Previous Post
Next Post


The American Bar Association is the trade group for many of the nation’s attorneys (please keep your lawyer jokes in the comments family friendly). But in addition to promoting the practice of law and trying to keep their members from living up to the public’s worst stereotypes of the profession, they’ve also chosen to get involved in social issue advocacy. For some reason. And one of their pet causes is what the gun-grabbing community euphemistically refers to as “preventing gun violence.” Translation: The ABA is a made member of the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex . . . As Amy Miller reports at, ABA president James R. Silkenat highlighted what he sees as one of the the association’s major initiatives at their recent national meeting:

“Part of our mission as an association is to defend liberty and deliver justice,” Silkenat said at the program, “Combatting Gun Violence: A Role for Lawyers and the Bar.” Someone “who cannot go to the laundromat, the movie theater or school, without fear for their safety, is not truly free—even if he or she can vote or have the right to legal counsel,” he said.

Does that mean they’ll be suing the city of Chicago on behalf of innocent south-siders who are terrorized and murdered by gang bangers while city government and the street gangs coexist in symbiotic bliss? No, no it doesn’t.

Instead, they’re working hard to ensure more restrictions on individual gun ownership by law abiding citizens, whatever the Constitution may say about the matter. The ABA has thrown in with many of the usual suspects like the Brady Campaign, the American College of Physicians to work for more gun control laws. And they’ve created a Standing Committee on Gun Violence that’s liberally stocked with gun control industry shills.

As Miller puts it,

The gun control advocates who presented at the ABA’s meeting are perfectly aware that what they’re doing has nothing to do with the Constitution. They’re playing a very tricky—and shameless—political game with our Constitutional rights, and are depending upon the knee jerk reactions of politicians and the media to give their arguments credibility.

[Harvard Law professor Laurence] Tribe noted that even though “the Constitution is not a suicide pact,” the court decisions do allow for certain gun regulations and that the real challenge for proponents of gun regulations is a political one—to get laws enacted. “It’s not the Second Amendment that stands in the way” of reform,” said David Clark, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Gun Violence.

People like Tribe and Clark understand that the real end game for progressives isn’t necessarily less guns—it’s the ability to control with absolute certainty the culture surrounding personal responsibility, self-defense, and dependence on government.


Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Someone “who cannot go to the laundromat, the movie theater or school, without fear for their safety, is not truly free—even if he or she can vote or have the right to legal counsel,” he said.

    Freedom != the right to feel safe. Freedom is a very complex beast, and for good reason; the people who want to “feel safe” are the same people who are trying to infringe on the freedoms of others. Trying to narrow the definition of freedom to “vote + legal counsel + feel safe” shows that these bozos should be shown the door.

    • Which is one of many reasons why, as a lawyer, I never have considered giving a red cent to those bastiches.

      Anyone who is afraid of going to the laundromat should pick another laundromat, movie theater or school or should be 100% free to choose, train on, and carry the personal defense solution that will allow him or her to go to those places with a measure of confidence.

      However, anyone who thinks that he or she is entitled to a life free of “fear” is a deluded child who needs to grow the hell up. And, also, apparently, who needs to spend some of those otherwise billable hours finding a new damn barber shop.

      Good God.

      • Amen. Nice to see that there are some lawyers not sold out to the devil. sigh Don’t know the details for lawyers, but last I heard only about 15% of doctors still belong to the socialist insanity called the AMA. Hope it can be that way one day for lawyers too.

      • ‘Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

        I remember as a teenager hearing how the subway system in Moscow was free of crime and graffiti. The only entity that is powerful enough to even make promises about safety is the government and the authority needed to act on those promises constitutes absolute control of our daily lives. Banning guns does not in itself ensure safety. For the government to make you safe they must also read your emails and listen to your phone calls. To monitor your purchases. And if you are up to something suspicious it’s off to the gulags for you. But at least you won’t have to worry about criminals infringing on your right to ‘feel safe’ while working in the death camps.

      • I let my free, one year “new lawyer” membership expire and never sent them another dime. That an organization of this sort could be so out of touch with the Bill of Rights and specifically the Second Amendment is appalling.

        • Too late! You’re already tainted!

          Yeah, I did the same thing, but the issue then was the ABA’s meddling on the issue of abortion. If it stayed out of politics and limited itself to being a professional resource for attorneys, it would be another thing entirely.

      • That last paragraph is one of the best comments i’ve seen in a while.

        The problem with “the right to feel safe” is that it inevitably restricts my already existing REAL rights to an unreasonable degree.

        Fvck them “feeling safe”. What I say to “feel safers”: grow up, go away, or better yet, do humanity a favor and go fill up a bucket of bleach, immerse your head in it and inhale deeply…

    • Ahhh……..Shakespeare, the most quoted, least understood source of wisdom out there, second only to the Bible.

      The infamous “First thing we do, is kill all the lawyers” line is spoken by a one of several coup conspirators looking to topple the government, destroy the rule of law, reject all rights for others and install their own illegitimate government. Lawyers stand in their way of imposing tyranny and must be removed.

      Think more along the lines of Gura, than this ABA hack. It takes a good guy with a J.D. to stop a bad guy with a J.D.

      • I still hold to the fact that we are a nation of laws, but when these fools knock them all down by their illogical application of them… It’s just as bad as not having any laws:

        William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
        Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
        William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
        Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

      • I would remind all those with a “JD” that the supreme law of the land is the BORs all laws that conflict with it are null and void. and there is this as well:
        Title 18, USC, Section 241- Conspiracy Against Rights. Here is the important language of this law: “This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same). Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both.”

        • Yeah, we all took that class. The problem is legislators who knowingly draft unconstitutional bills which are presented to executives who sign them into law. Then you break one of these laws and are hauled before an agenda-driven judge, who listens to your argument then promptly dismisses it (Constitution be damned), and sentences you anyway. An imperfect system to be sure but as it’s been said many times, the American legal system is the most convoluted and unjust in the world – except for all the others.

    • Not all of us Tom.
      Many of my fellow lawyers and I want nothing to do with the ABA, and never will. This most recent asinine pronouncement is yet another reason for our position.

  2. Violence is rarely the answer but a good swift kick to his rear would really make me “feel” better…..and isn’t that what they’re all about, feelings?

  3. The ABA, like many similar professional orgainzations, has been taken over by the Progressive activists in the profession. The ABA no more represents the average lawyer than the AMA, which support ACA, represents the rank and file physican.

    • Well, as always, follow the money. Which party is consistently more likely to pass laws that keep more lawyers working? Make them richer? Yep. Same with the “feminists” who run the abortion mills. Same with the unions. The AMA makes a bit less sense on the surface, but I’m sure they are selling out for political favor in some way.

    • I was going to say the same thing. The lawyers that run the organization are liberal elites from the major urban centers–gee, just like the liberal politicians.

    • Agree-the ABA sold out to the progressive agenda years ago. Unfortunately they still get media attention when Federal judges, especially one of the Supremes, are nominated.

      • OK, I can’t resist any longer.
        A lawyer and his wife were driving down a country road when all of a sudden there was a bump! The lawyer says, what was that? The wife, looking out the rear view window says, you ran over a small animal, and it’s still alive. We have to go back to tend to it. The guy says OK, and backs the car up. The wife gets out and see’s that it’s a skunk, and that it’s leg is broken. We have to take it with us and drop it off at a vets office in the next, she says.
        She picks the skunk up and gets in the car. She asks her husband, what should she do with the poor animal. Her husband says to lay it in her lap, between her legs, What about the smell, she says, it’s a skunk!
        Her husband says, Just turn him around so his nose is facing the dash board!

        • What’s the difference between an ABA lawyer and a catfish?

          One is a cold blooded bottom dwelling scum sucker living in darkness and the other is a fish.

  4. Less than 1-in-3 American lawyers are members of the ABA. It has long been known for leftist advocacy, on guns and other issues. I’m not a member and don’t know any lawyers who are.

  5. “Part of our mission as an association is to defend liberty and deliver justice,”

    This is either a bald-faced lie or a total failure on their part if they think it’s compatible with gun control.

  6. In 1989, when the” ABA Journal” featured the National Chairman’s Op-Ed, “time TO Assault Assault Rifles”, I checked out.
    The ABA (also officially pro-abortion since 1991) represents fewer than half of all lawyers, and it’s political and legal clout is far out of proportion to the actual members of the legal profession. These goofs are screaming libs on all points, having honored Hillary and Ruth Buzzy Ginsberg. If you peruse the legislation they back in Congress for any given year, it can all be translated, “full employment for lawyers”.
    Don’t give them the time of day, most lawyers don’t.

  7. Someone “who cannot go to the laundromat, the movie theater or school, without fear for their safety, is not truly free

    This applies to my need to carry a firearm just as much as the individual that fears guns; however, one cannot have any one body of people FEEL safe, happy, sad; anything. Coming from a lawyer and also president of ABA [lawyer jokes green light] I would expect better use of language but as noted, yes the statements are meant to mislead in that if even one person feels for their safety then what follows next must be true.

    In truth the statement about ABA’s mission is idiocy.

  8. First off I would rather we had Doc Watson in a suit sitting on the ABA than this IMPOSTOR!

    “defend liberty and deliver justice”

    I always am saddened to find these words in the sentence before anything involving gun control.

  9. Isn’t this like a doctor taking the Hippocratic oath with his fingers crossed? I’d like to know how these guys (ACLU included) think they can pick and choose from the constitution.

  10. No attorney we know including many in our immediate community, belong to the ABA.

    It is just like my family and I do not know any physicians who belong to the AMA.

    That should come as no surprise to anyone since they do not represent the majority of attorneys, or of physicians–not even close.

  11. Dude, you’re as old as the hills, make peace with your male pattern baldness.

    Petty? Sure. Has nothing to do with his opinion on the 2A.

    • With apologies to the good lawyers out there (yes, there are quite a few) –

      What’s the difference between a dead snake in the middle of the road and a dead lawyer in the middle of the road? There are skid marks in front of the snake.

      And yes, I heard this from a friend who is a lawyer.

  12. how about that… the fine lawyer corps of Amelika is committed to undermining the Constitution from which they make a living…

    • I know these may sound like ad hominem attacks but the real question is, Is that a comb over?
      I believe that comb overs are a strong indicator that the individual has a problem with reality and has strong case of denial. That is just one small fact I take into estimating credibility.
      BTW, I’m very thin on top.

  13. About twice a year, I get a call at my office soliciting me to join the ABA. And for over twenty years, my response has been the same:

    “I wouldn’t join the ABA if they paid ME to do so.”

    Sometimes the solicitor will ask me why, and my answer is similarly pat:

    (1) ABA’s record of politicized “reviews” of judicial nominations (e.g., according to the ABA, legendary jurist and constitutional scholar Robert Bork was not “well qualified” to be on the Supreme Court, but a goofball hack like Sonia Sotomayor somehow is).
    (2) ABA’s institutional support for left wing social / political issues like abortion, gun control, etc., that have nothing to do with the practice of law or the administration of justice.

    While some of their practice sections do provide decent continuing legal education seminars, the national ABA is a bad joke among attorneys and has been for years.

  14. Bad premises lead to bad conclusions, i.e. “Garbage IN, Garbage OUT”

    We do not have a nation based upon “freedom”, but rather LIBERTY. Substituting the former for the latter is the root of all sorts of statist mischief.

  15. I received a cheap ABA membership when I graduated from law school, but never renewed it. I refused to let the social insurrectionists of the ABA spend my money on their communist causes.

  16. Maybe the ABA is like the AMA…a politically active group that claims to represent a profession but only gets about 20% to become members. In any case, you’d like to think that lawyers, who went to ‘law’ school, might have a rudimentary understanding of the US Constitution and the principles of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Maybe the ABA leadership needs a refresher course. Oh, wait…our so-called ‘commander in chief’ (lower case used purposely) claims to be a Constitutional lawyer so I guess the bar (no pun) has been set pretty low already. Unfortunately, no surprises here…

    • The problem isn’t restricted to the AMA and ABA. I was a member of the IEEE since 1984, and finally quit in 2003, when they started carping on AGW issues in Spectrum (their central publication).

      I noticed in the post dot-bomb era that more of the authors in Spectrum were j-school majors and not engineers, whereas they used to have professors of engineering, practicing engineers, etc writing for their flagship journal. I figured I can read the the same AGW hysteria and twaddle from journalism majors in any edition of any fishwrap paper in the US. I told them I was paying hundreds of dollars of dues every year to read the mental flatulence of a j-school major in an engineering journal, because I could read the same tripe for $0.50 in a newspaper. And that was that.

      The pattern seems to be that any professional organization gets invaded and taken over by the incompetent slackers and grifters, because the people who really know something about the profession are busy and haven’t the time to contribute to the professional associations.

  17. Has anyone in the ABA hierarchy read the Heller and McDonald decisions? You know, the ones by the SUPREME COURT? You know, the court that sets legal precedent when it decides on an issue?

    I don’t expect them to read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, but a Supreme Court decision? What’s the problem, too many big words for Mr. Crummy CombOver, Esq.? (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

    • What’s the problem, too many big words for Mr. Crummy CombOver, Esq.?

      Pleaseohplease, somebody start using this as their screen name.

  18. Ya’ know, a lot of lawyers own gun collections, sometimes acquired from clients as payment for representation where the client became a “prohibited person”.

    Nah must be coincidence. *Anti-gun* ABA lawyers couldn’t be supporting stricter firearm restrictions hoping for more business and an opportunity to add to their own collections.

    Must be the pessimist in me.

  19. How do you keep a lawyer from hanging out in front out of your house?
    Hang him out in the back.

    Isaiah 59:4 ESV
    No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.

  20. Have you ever seen a group of people struggle so hard to achieve long-term irrelevancy?

    [I mean, besides the Supreme Court, Democratic Party, Mothers for letting their babies get raped, killed and eaten in an invasion because guns are “un-safe”, Bloomberg . . .]

    A N D . . .

    That dude should get out of the Shire once in awhile. A quest would show him what a gun was for.

  21. Honestly, there is no point in “feeling safe” in the world we live in… Quite simply, life ISN’T SAFE. You could have a heart attack and drop dead, or your home town could be smashed to pieces by an asteroid. In a world where danger lurks in every nook and cranny, the only thing that a “sense of safety” does is make you complacent. (Not that I support paranoia… Just pay attention to your surroundings! God gave you eyes and ears for a reason!!)

  22. I have worked with a number of national professional associations similar to (but not including) ABA. Many of them receive a large portion of their revenue via federal grants. Many of them are remarkably cynical and pragmatic when it comes to protecting said revenue, and they will sell their souls to curry favor among the politicians and bureaucrats in DC who control the flow of grant money.

    It’s the same reason why police chiefs, who answer to their political masters, routinely misrepresent law enforcement’s view of gun owners’ rights, coming down on the side of the antis out of political expedience. All the while, the vast, vast majority of law enforcement officers strongly favor the rights of law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms for self-defense and other lawful purposes. But their voices are silenced or at least ignored by the mainstream media, who are happy to announce that “cops support reducing gun violence [by disarming law-abiding citizens].”

    Actually, it’s the ultimate con —

    – Taxpayers pay money to the government
    – Politicians and bureaucrats give the taxpayers’ money to professional organizations (think doctors, nurses, educators, etc.)
    – Professional organizations provide political support to the politicians and bureaucrats, and add their voices to the anti-gun agenda
    – The grabbers cite “gun violence” figures that are around two-thirds suicides, with the vast majority of the remainder comprising felon-on-felon shootings, and that have been in steady decline for years, and describe it as an out-of-control epidemic
    – The politicians, professional organizations and anti-gun groups stir up panic about horrific but statistically anomalous child deaths, school shootings, etc., and pair their tragic anecdotes with the overall “gun violence” figures that are two-thirds suicides, with the vast majority of the remainder comprising felon-on-felon shootings, etc.
    – The media whips the issue into a frenzy in a cynical quest to increase viewership/readership and the subsequent advertising revenue
    – Action-demanding moms buy into the panic and respond by ostracizing, shaming and bullying law-abiding gun owners, particularly CCW holders who have a lower crime rate than virtually any other societal subgroup
    – Politicians and bureaucrats respond to the “epidemic” by passing laws and instituting regulations aimed at reducing “gun violence” (which, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we must again note consists almost exclusively of suicides and felon-on-felon violence) by restricting, obstructing or flat-out denying the rights of non-violent, non-felon, non-suicidal law abiding gun owners.

    So welcome to the party, ABA. Maybe I’m oversimplifying, but that’s pretty much how it all works.

  23. Precisely why I NEVER joined the ABA since my admission to the bar 20 years ago. It’s just another political action committee. Whether the issue is abortion, guns, immigration, judicial selection, tort reform (meaning the LACK thereof), or whatever. Definitely does NOT represent all lawyers.

    As for Mr. Silkenat’s fright wig — what the hell IS that?


  24. One of the reasons I switched from a “whatever” attitude towards gun control to a staunch pro-RKBA attitude was when I drove up on a carjacking while in a bad part of town investigating a case I was handling as a young criminal defense attorney.

    Can’t stand the utter fatuousness of organizations like the ABA.

  25. I am a retired LEO, who went to law school at night, and have now been in practice for the last 18 years. Neither I nor my law partner have ever been a member of that organization, and never intend to join. Support all of our rights under the Constitution, or support none. They have never gotten any of our money, and never will.
    Hopefully those who read this blog see that there are many lawyers who do support gun rights.

  26. So with this statement, it is obvious to me that no member of this association can represent or adjudicate a case involving a defendant who owns a gun, previously owned a gun, or believes in the 2nd amendment. Any person with reasonable knowledge has to agree it would not be ethical, and I would argue that it would be malpractice. I wonder how many of their members would put ethics above a big, fat paycheck. For the lawyers out there who are not members, I see a new line of business: Suing lawyers for malpractice.

  27. Quoting the last paragraph:

    “People like Tribe and Clark understand that the real end game for progressives isn’t necessarily less guns—it’s the ability to control with absolute certainty the culture surrounding personal responsibility, self-defense, and dependence on government.”

    Is the ABA really about “progressives” wanting to “control culture” or is the ABA simply following the money… ie. creating a regulatory environment which leads to more lawsuits and big $$ settlements?

  28. .” Someone “who cannot go to the laundromat, the movie theater or school, without fear for their safety, is not truly free—even if he or she can vote or have the right to legal counsel,” he said.
    Freedom from want.
    Freedom from fear.
    Freedom from Freedom.

  29. What is it with all these “supposed” legal eagles? “The Constitution? What on earth is that?”
    Have our Ivy League schools raised a bunch of insurrectionist lawyers who believe themselves smarter than Madison, Jefferson, and all of the founding fathers combined? If these people wanted to be lawyers; and went to prestigious law schools to secure the proper bona-fides, then how come they treat the Constitution as though it was an inconsequential document that is open for personal/political interpretation?

    If you’re a lawyer, working for a group that wants to rewrite, or abolish the 2nd amendment, or you personally want those things, then why aren’t you under imminent threat to be immediately disbarred? How can they act as though they were unaware that there are procedures provided in the Constitution, designed to allow people to lawfully amend the Constitution? Huh, lawyers who don’t want to act within the boundaries the U.S. Constitution. Go figure?

    • “Have our Ivy League schools raised a bunch of insurrectionist lawyers who believe themselves smarter than Madison, Jefferson, and all of the founding fathers combined? ”

      Short answer — yes.

  30. Of course. More tyrannical laws that snare the unsuspecting means more business for the lawyers who are defending them. It makes perfect sense.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here