What’s Wrong With This Picture: ABA Gun Violence Confab

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American Bar Association and Office of the Mayor of Philadelphia
Taking Aim at Gun Violence: The Myth and Meaning of the Second Amendment

Please join us on March 6, 2014, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., at the National Constitution Center for an in-depth discussion of current Second Amendment law and other developments in the fight to reduce gun violence in our community. This complimentary program will include the latest developments in the legal, legislative and public health fields, with experts from each area available for question and answer sessions . . .

  • Opening Remarks

James Silkenat, President, American Bar Association

  • Public Health Perspectives

Jon Vernick, John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy & Research

Susan Sorenson, Firearm Injury Center, University of Pennsylvania

Matthew Miller, Harvard Injury Control Research Center

  • Second Amendment Law, Reform through Litigation, Legislative Landscape

Erwin Chemerinsky, Constitutional Law Scholar, University of California

Jon Lowy, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Julie Leftwich, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence 

  • Pennsylvania Gun Violence Issues 

Shira Goodman, CeaseFirePA

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, or Representative

Bryan Miller, Heeding God’s Call to End Violence

Dorothy Johnson-Speight, Mothers in Charge

To register, or for more information about the program, please email Jin Kim at [email protected].


  1. avatar freezercharlie says:

    no one from TCTAESCWTTADSTAI? (The Center to Arm Everyone So Criminals Will Think Twice About Doing Somthing That’s Already Illegal)

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      It’s easier to say GOA; (Gun Owners of America.) Or TTAG.

  2. avatar Korvis says:

    Ugh. I’m so embarrassed for my profession sometimes. Never have paid the ABA a dime, though.

    1. avatar Joe Grine says:


      1. avatar Peter says:

        Ditto. The ABA does not speak for all attorneys. They certainly don’t speak for the Constitution.

        1. avatar DrVino says:

          What was it that Shakespeare said?…

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Hmm…I think you meant to ask “What did a coup-plotting character in a Shakespeare play say about killing all the lawyers so that, absent a legal system, he could impose his own personal tyranny on a newly lawlessness kingdom”, right?

        3. avatar Ralph says:

          What was it that Shakespeare said?…

          He said “kill the chiropractors, for they are quacks.”

        4. avatar NCDC says:

          And exactly what facts would lead you to that conclusion Ralph?

        5. avatar Doug says:

          I’m not Ralph, but the chiropractors that treat based on subluxation are quacks. Subluxation theory is pseudoscientific garbage in line with astrology and phrenology. My personal experience with chiropractors is when I was trying to figure out what was wrong with my back (ended up being syingomyelia, a hole down the center of my spinal cord), the chiropractor I went to for a cheap X-Ray declared that my spine was out of alignment and I needed to sign a contract for 3 months of adjustments which would cure me. If I had believed them and done that, my back would be in even worse condition than it is now.

          Luckily, I went to a real goddamned doctor who actually figured out what was wrong with me.

        6. avatar NCDC says:

          Ok Doug I am going to give you a polite response despite the fact that you swore at me in your reply.
          First, I asked for facts. Not anecdotal evidence based on one person’s experiences.
          Second, chiropractors are recognized as “real” doctors and are licensed as such in all fifty US states.
          Third, no doctor can guarantee a cure for any condition. Doing so is unethical and in many cases against the law. This is not unique to chiropractic. And while I don’t think that a 3 month contract for treatment is the best business model, each business owner is allowed to do as he or she pleases and you are free to give them your patronage or not.
          Fourth, what is a “cheap” x-ray and why would you go somewhere that you could get one?
          Fifth, how are you so sure that your back would be in worse condition now? I still have never met anyone who could predict the future with 100% certainty.
          Sixth, it is syringomyelia.

          To everyone else, sorry for the rant. It just really frustrates me to hear someone state something as fact with little to no actual knowledge of the subject about which they are speaking. Kinds of reminds me of someone like Watts or Feinstein speaking about guns or 2A.

        7. avatar Shaky Dave says:


        8. avatar rolling says:

          Actually, NCDC, it’s hydrosyringomyelia…unless, of course, you took this kind gentleman’s spinal cord out of his body and examined it histologically. You do understand the difference, don’t you doctor? I can call you “doctor,” can’t I?

          BTW, don’t try to make someone look bad when you barely know what you are talking about yourself. Or when you training is confined to “manipulations” and theatrical facet joint popping. You might be surprised who reads TTAG with you.

        9. avatar NCDC says:

          rolling, I’m not surprised at all by who reads TTAG. I actually think that the readers here are some of the more intelligent people in our society. And I have no idea what condition the guy above has without actually speaking to him. For all I know he googled the name of a spinal condition and then mistyped it in his comment. I also was not tying to make him look bad. I simply pointed out several facts that he got wrong. I don’t know where you got the information that chiropractors “training is confined to “manipulations” and theatrical facet joint popping”, but you are either at best grossly misinformed or at worst willfully ignorant.

    2. avatar Pascal says:

      The statue of justice, also called “Lady Justice” needs to be revised. Justice is not blind, it often has its finger on the side of the scale it wants and the sword should be behind her back as the executive branch and the judicial branch are often cohorts making up BS examples or scenarios to justify laws that are often unconstitutional. The sword behind the back can represent the back stabbing that is done to the American people. The reason so many cases get so much press because a certain judge who was selected by a certain president, governor whomever selected them is because they know the fix is already done and all there is left is to go through the motions.

      Really, at this point nobody should be surprised.

    3. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

      Yeah…they don’t represent me either.

    4. avatar Anon in CT says:

      I did my first few years in, when the firm covered it. I do feel a bit bad for the poor minimum wage girl who called about renewals. Not her best call ever.

      1. avatar Gregolas says:

        Member one year b/c the city I was prosecuting for got me a membership w/o telling me. Told them never to waste their money thereafter. ABA represents less than 50% of this country’s lawyers, but they’re liberal media darlings so the press makes them appear far more significant than they are.

    5. avatar John says:

      I made the conscious decision to avoid the ABA solely because of this issue. It’s obnoxious.

    6. avatar Rad Man says:

      Me either. We all get the obligatory free one year membership once admitted to the Bar but once they disclosed their official position that the second amendment didn’t confer an individual RKBA, I was done with the ABA.

    7. avatar LSUTigersFan says:

      So true, My firm just dropped the ABA. They offered us nothing more than a number each year for the dues we owe. They serve no real purpose other than their own self-aggrandizement.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        ” They serve no real purpose other than their own self-aggrandizement.”
        That’s true of every top-town power structure.

    8. avatar Matt says:

      Ditto + 3. The ABA will never see dues from me for this very reason.

  3. avatar JaxD says:

    Seems like a rather one sided “discussion”.
    More like a propaganda rally.

    1. avatar Pwrserge says:

      I wonder if they will march in neat lines with banners and torches?

      Also, anybody get a dress code for this event? Are jackboots optional?

      1. avatar JaxD says:

        Torches are against the fire code.

        1. avatar DJ9 says:

          Rules are for the little people.

        2. avatar Cliff H says:

          Rules are for people who can’t afford to hire a lawyer clever enough to parse the language and/or find a loophole.

    2. avatar Anon in CT says:

      Erwin Chemerinsky is libertarian on some issues. I suppose he’s the “balance”?

      Thank goodness for the Federalist Society.

  4. avatar jkp says:

    Erwin Chemerinsky is probably the only one who has a clue about constitutional law that’s in attendance.

    That said, he also recently authored a book titled “The Conservative Assault on the Constitution”, so you know what side he’ll come down on. (If somehow that wasn’t already clear.) But he *is* somewhat of a heavyweight in Con law circles.

    If I were in Philly, I might attend just to hear what he says, in a ‘know your enemy’s best arguments’ kind of way. But I’d leave when he’s done.

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      Is there anyone among us that will attend, record, take notes, etc? This sounds like a great opportunity to develop a rebuttal video for YouTube. We can do it here but we’re the only ones that come here, right?

      1. avatar Roscoe says:

        An anti-gun rally under the guise of an ABA logoed high fallutin’ anti-gun conference; big surprise given the cast of players. I’m sure it’ll be given plenty of prime time news coverage, what with all the ‘experts’ in attendance.

        Probably won’t take too many lawyer skills to do a rebuttal, but you sure won’t hear *that* on the nightly news.

    2. avatar Coloradan says:

      He’s another lefty hack who believes the constitution is a breathing document that can be changed on the fly by lefty judges.

      1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

        I’m fond of the old quote, “What is a moderate interpretation of the text? Halfway between what it really means and what you’d like it to mean?”
        -Justice Scalia

      2. avatar Sammy says:

        More like a breathing document that can be smothered.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          No, the document is the rule book. It’s the ones who are playing the game, breaking the rules, that are smothering the rights of the people who get stuck paying the bills.

  5. avatar Gunracer1958 says:

    So now the 2nd Amendment is a myth?

    And the Brady Center now has a 2nd Amendment expert?

    The fail that will be presented at this “Confab” will be epic, me thinks………..

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      The constitution has been a myth for a long time now. It has no power over these people. Seven decades ago they morphed the commerce clause to justify the federal government forbidding a farmer from growing wheat on his own property for his own consumption. A few years ago the constitution was used to justify a local government taking away property from one citizen and giving it to another for the sole purpose of raising tax revenue. You have no property rights, you have no right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, you have no right to free speech (try starting a Tea Party group and see what happens). Your rights died a long time ago BECAUSE the whole constitution is a myth. They have as much respect for your right to keep and bear arms as they have for the rest of your ‘rights’. Your ‘rights’ are what they say they are.

      1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

        Yes but…
        Our rights never go away. They get trampled, distorted, spat upon, twisted, spindled and mutilated. They get neglected, trashed and forgotten. But all the people have to do is to decide to retrieve them from the trash heap, dust them off and revive them for another generation’s use. Witness the revival going on with recent events in Mexico. I hope we don’t have to fall so low before the people realize it’s time to grow a pair and fight for our rights.

        1. avatar HondoGibbs says:

          Fight how? Please expand on your statement.

        2. avatar crashbbear says:

          I have a feeling that we will fall farther than Mexico, but it will take longer to get there. The outcome will be better, but the toll it takes on the nation will be higher. I see this being the case in the next 100 years, but probably less. We (constitutionalists) will have some major victories between now and then, but the government will grow tired of playing games with the people and just say “You all belong to us now.” This followed by civil war, where the civilization in question is a global one.

          That or both sides will continue to bicker and be miserable ’til the aliens invade. Who knows… 🙂

        3. avatar mk10108 says:

          “Our rights never go away. They get trampled, distorted, spat upon, twisted, spindled and mutilated. They get neglected, trashed and forgotten. But all the people have to do is to decide to retrieve them from the trash heap, dust them off and revive them for another generation’s use.”


        4. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Practice writing "Richard McCally Grise" in that little “write-in” box on the ballot to elect me by overwhelming Liberty Mandate in 2016, and I’ll fire the whole damn bureaucracy and reinstate the Constitution!

          The government isn’t supposed to be anybody’s boss – the government is supposed to be nothing but an organizational chart.

        5. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Our right to property can’t be taken away, but our property can be taken.
          Our right to freedom of speech can’t be taken away but we can be harassed by the government for using it.
          Our right to keep and bear arms can’t be taken away but our arms can be taken.
          Our right to life can’t be taken but your life may be taken.
          You might be right, but you’re still dead.

          The government grants rights and takes rights away on a whim. They invented a ‘right to privacy’ to take away the right of life from others. They grant the right to food, shelter and a college education and they take away your right to property to pay for it. They even grant the right to health care by forcing you to buy insurance at your own expense. Say what you want it’s only semantics. Unless you are prepared to fight off the bastards who wish to take away your rights you will have none.

      2. avatar Ardent says:

        I disagree, the 2a is the only one they do still respect to a degree. While freedom from unreasonable searches is surely out and freedom of speech depends entirely on the speech you wish to make the 2a is still around simply because it is the final trip wire and the one that people start bleeding over. Surely they would like to outlaw all privately owned firearms, but the bulwark against enforcing such a law are the arms themselves.

        We may live on the cusp of tyranny, and our rights are surely ragged and fluttering, but they aren’t all gone yet and there might still be time to restore the others so long as we have the 2a.

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Much like a tinpot dictator, the only thing these people fear is force. We, as gun owners have the political power to vote them out of office and if all else failed we may have the power to force them out with force. They have no respect for our rights, only our power. When they see that power seem to wain, like after a mass shooting, they always pounce, and we always push back, and we usually win. If we were as passionate about our other rights as we are about the second amendment we would have those rights back. Eventually. After a drawn out bloody fight. Figuratively speaking. Hopefully figurative.

  6. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    SOP on the anti side. Nothing is technically “wrong” with the presentation as long as you agree with them.

    1. avatar jkp says:

      Well, the bit about “Defending Liberty” does sort of clash with the agenda.

      1. avatar JoshtheViking says:

        Dang! You beat me to it.

      2. avatar NYC2AZ says:

        True for us… not for them. They’ll just come up with some “we’re defending people’s liberty to live or to not be afraid or (insert some emotional garbage here)” justification for defending liberty the way they see it.

  7. avatar peirsonb says:

    Isn’t it hard to disable comments in an “in person” “discussion”?

    1. avatar KevinMA says:

      Very easy, you take no questions from the audience. It’s a lecture, not a discussion.

    2. avatar blahpony says:

      Don’t tase me, bro!

      1. avatar Pwrserge says:

        This is PA, you taze me, I shoot back.

        1. avatar joe l says:

          yup… taser = deadly force. i love everything about PA but philly

  8. avatar NJDevil says:

    Aside from the use of the word “myth”, the irony is that this is taking place in Philadelphia. You know, that place where the Liberty Bell is, the icon of freedom and independence?

    1. avatar KingSarc48265 says:

      Its also being held at the Constitution Center.

      1. avatar NJDevil says:

        HAH missed that!

      2. avatar peirsonb says:

        “Where we keep a copy in every bathroom stall.”

  9. avatar Pete from Texas says:

    All I see is one side of an issue.

    1. avatar pyratemime says:

      From their POV there is only one side of the issue.

      1. avatar Salty Bear says:

        There IS only one side! The antis just refuse to concede that the 2nd amendment means what it says.

        1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:


        2. avatar Ardent says:

          It makes me wonder; If my attorney turns out to be incapable of understanding the relevant SC decisions regarding the meaning of the 2a, would I have an appeal based on incompetent representation if I were convicted while using said attorney?

          It’s not something I’d test, rather a thought about how such a thing might be used against these A**holes later. You know, just in the same spirit of goodwill they show in their liberty bashing.

  10. avatar Geoff in DE says:

    I see what they did there. Hold the “discussion” on a Thursday in the middle of the day so that the people who would come and give the other side are at work and will not confront them on their lies.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Looks like they didn’t even bother to invite anyone who deviates with their agenda.

      1. avatar Sammy says:

        Propaganda don’t take kindly to opposing views. Self defense id considered violence. Those promoting self defense promote violence and, for the children’s sake, we can’t have that.

  11. avatar JoshtheViking says:

    Defending liberty? How can one defend liberty while he or she is trying to disarm the people?!

  12. avatar Gil Elliott says:

    What the anti-gun crowd means is, “disarm everyone so they will have to submit to all the other crap we want to shove down their throats” … They lost me at “Global Warming”

  13. avatar JeffR says:

    And this is why I hang up on the ABA every time they call asking why I am no longer a member. This presentation is a one-sided joke.

  14. avatar Mark N. says:

    “◾Second Amendment Law, Reform through Litigation, Legislative Landscape”
    Just what does this mean–a session on legislative and litigation schemes to limit the Second Amendment?

    There is a 2A section of the ABA–but it is, or was initially, a pro-2A group that was pissed that the ABA powers that be came out against the 2A without consulting the membership. Any member of that group is notably absent from this program. And it seems that ABA maintains its antagonism to the right. This session confirms my decision years ago to never pay these guys hundreds of dollars a year for an overpriced magazine.

  15. avatar Hannibal says:

    “Mothers in Charge”… sounds legit…

  16. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Why not just bill it as “The Philadelphia ABA Anti-Gun Symposium” and call it a day? Truth in advertising and all that.

  17. avatar neiowa says:

    Not on their calendar. Perhaps Czar Barak (Czarina Val) has not informed them yet.


  18. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    Are they serving popcorn & candy, that always goes good at the circus, Randy …maybe o will make a guest appearance & stick his head in a lions mouth, I couldn’t get enough of that.

  19. avatar mirgc says:

    ABA Gun Violence Confab. Also known as the “echo chamber” conference.

  20. avatar brentonadams says:

    Ha ha.. I like that the motto is ‘Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice’

    Now excuse us while we do the exact opposite.

  21. avatar the ruester says:

    So, they will discuss the best way to take my property, and prevent me from purchasing anything new over wine and cheese. Then some dingbat will start singing a new song she wrote on the piano, and people will pretend to love it. Trust me, I’ve seen this before.

  22. avatar A-Rod says:

    Anyone wanna bet that Shannon Watts will be there? Any takers?

  23. avatar WI Patriot says:

    Liberals will NEVER be happy with the definition of the Second Amendment until it is defined with words to their satisfaction, regardless of the true meaning…

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Luckily Liberals can never agree on anything specific because one of them will be offended by it.

  24. avatar BDub says:

    Gee, that panel sure seems evenly distributed across all concerns and parties.


  25. avatar Shawn says:

    Stop the whining and go and ask the questions.

  26. avatar ropingdown says:

    Of course the ABA is anti-gun. The entire spirit of their enterprise is “we should be able to make your life as miserable as we want, but you shouldn’t shoot us or our paymasters. We should be able to drag a person through years of ‘liberal discovery’ irrelevant to the case, steer employment to our political-aligned friends, negate federal statutes to impose a way of life resting on so-called rights that are neither specified in the constitution as amended nor known to Americans before 1999. But don’t carry a gun, because it makes us uncomfortable as we make your assertion of your rights ever more ruinously expensive. Because we’re worth it!”

    The ABA activists, in hot pursuit of a bit more visibility for their practice, bear no resemblance to my state bar association. The ABA self-selects for that group of people who represent a complimentary mix of PC hustlers and big corporate money, aligned as one to create a tame bunch of cattle from what was once a body of citizens.

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      While I have a regular attorney who is willing to handle anything I ask of him I propose a new litmus test for selecting a lawyer: Are you a member of the ABA? Yes? Next please!

  27. avatar Toasty says:

    Well the anti’s current method of winning 2A cases is getting judges nervous about overturning anything. Every single case “we defer to the legislature”. Everytime. Only hope is the scotus. If we lose there it’s over. Until then just keep expecting the antis defense to be to have their lawyer holding a puppy and asking why the judge doesn’t care about the children.

  28. avatar Taylor TX says:

    You sure this isn’t a meeting of the league of doom?

  29. avatar DJ says:

    I don’t know of any of my acquaintances who practice law who doesn’t have their CCW permit. This whole thing strikes me as weird.

  30. avatar Ralph says:

    So sad I’ll have to miss this particular ABA circle jerk, but I’m saving up to attend the ABA conference on Tort Reform.

  31. avatar MiniMe says:

    “The Myth and Meaning of the Second Amendment” ??

    Hmm… are they also going to cover “Gun Control: it’s not about guns but about the anal retentive needs of a few control freaks to force their FUBAR’d views on everybody else”

  32. avatar The Original Brad says:

    “Julie Leftwich, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence”

    – LOL, “Leftwich”, I thought that was a joke – but sadly, it’s not.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      It’s not a joke — it’s a misspelling.

  33. avatar DougR says:

    The John Hopkins guy is just another Bloomberg puppet.

  34. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

    Not sure whether to characterize this collection as an echo chamber or a downright circle jerk.

  35. avatar Gyufygy says:

    Is the ABA different from the state bars? The ones that handle who can practice law where?

    1. avatar James says:

      The ABA is a national organization. It has degenerated into an anti-Constitutional cabal of leftist nitwits over the last few decades. State bar associations are under state jurisdiction and are not “under” the ABA.

      1. avatar Gyufygy says:


  36. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    The ABA, thank heavens, has absolutely no authority over the practice of law. The various state Bar Associations are in charge of that, and they have no real affiliation with the ABA.

    The ABA may once have been an advocacy group trying to improve the law, but now they’re no more than a lobbying arm of the Democratic National Committee, pushing an agenda that’s well to the left of anything Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, or even Bernie Sanders ever dreamed of.

    The ABA has its offices in Chicago and Washington DC, the two most crime-ridden cities in our fair nation, and among those with the most Draconian gun-control laws.

    Most American lawyers are *not* ABA members. I told the ABA to bugger off while I was still in law school because of their obnoxious politics, and I told them again in an email this morning.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      Gotcha. Thanks.

  37. avatar Steve D. says:

    I guess the hypocrite Ex-Spaceman and his puppet wife are busy that day!?

  38. avatar cubby123 says:

    How about libaturds on parade.Of course, nobody who knows anything about guns or the The 2A are going to be there.Just a bunch of idiots with the wrong approach to gun crime trying to circumvent the 2A.

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