Why Does the ABA Have a Standing Committee on ‘Gun Violence’?

Amy Coney Barrett SCOTUS swearing in

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administers the Constitutional Oath to Amy Coney Barrett on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after Barrett was confirmed by the Senate earlier in the evening. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Darin Scheer is a general commercial litigation attorney in rural Casper, Wyoming, where he lives on a small cattle farm with his wife. As a volunteer firefighter, he has responded to suicides and accidental shootings.

He is an [American Bar Association] delegate for his state. At the 2020 midyear meeting in Austin, Texas, he objected to a resolution in favor of stricter rules for gun permits.

“I don’t think that the ABA should be in the business of recommending one-size-fits-all, top-down requirements for an issue like this that is constitutional,” Scheer said before the House passed the resolution.

What’s often lost in the decades-long fight over gun rights and laws is that Americans’ relationship to guns differs depending on where they live, Scheer says. He says people in his community do not buy guns just for self-defense. There is a tradition of fathers passing rifles down to their sons and teaching them how to hunt. Scheer says it sometimes appears to gun owners that constitutional rights are trampled because of the “irresponsible behavior of the few.”

“That irresponsible use leads to horrible tragedy. I’m not blind to that, and that’s wrenching. And I think anybody that ignores that side of the debate is being close-minded as well,” Scheer says.

Is there space in the middle to meet? J. Adam Skaggs, a special advisor to the ABA’s Standing Committee on Gun Violence and chief counsel and policy director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, says it is hard to find common ground when the gun rights side is pushing “an extremist agenda in the courts.” On the other hand, he says gun control advocates have much in common with Americans who support reasonable regulations.

“I think the central argument is that like all other rights, the Second Amendment is not unlimited and has always coexisted with strong regulations and laws,” Skaggs says. “That’s no different today than it was at any other point in history.”

— Matt Reynolds in Lawyers involved in the gun debate are primed for the Supreme Court to take the next big case

comments

  1. avatar GS650G says:

    The ABA is an organization of lawyers. Why would they care about little people?

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      He seems like an unbiased person to run a committee like that on the aba. Why not someone from saf or fpc?

      1. avatar LampOfDiogenes says:

        Yeah, try to find a member of the ABA that is also a member of the SAF or FPC (or GOA, or any decent state rifle and pistol association).

        Good luck with that.

        The ABA is an avowedly, unashamedly socialist institution. I dropped my membership DECADES ago. They are only SLIGHTLY to the right of the National Lawyers’ Guild.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          Ditto. As with states run by their urban centers, the ABA is run by a bunch of big city liberal attorneys who outvote the conservative minority,

        2. avatar JRB says:

          Yes, like the NASW for social workers. I left them long ago.

    2. avatar Darkman says:

      Because the “Little People” are considered victims of (insert deepest pockets) which is where most lawyers make their money. Just look at all the ads on TV and Radio trolling for “Victims”. Which has become the modern day equivalent of ambulance chasers. Lawyers, Judges and Politicians are the 3 biggest defects of a Civilized Society, even more so than criminals. Criminals can be eliminated by simply making them room temperature, which should be the case for the a fore mentioned groups. Considering most all of the problems faced by society today are a direct reflection of their activities.
      Still dislike the Font.

      1. avatar The checker says:

        You got that right buddy….. these people are a SCOURGE OF SOCIETY for sure!
        It needn’t be that way, but these pieces of trash have manipulated everyone around them their whole lives and continue to do so into their adult lives……. unchecked……. it’s time someone checked….

    3. avatar Alan says:

      While there are likely exceptions, who says that they do, that is “care about the little people”.

  2. avatar DaveL says:

    it sometimes appears to gun owners that constitutional rights are trampled because of the “irresponsible behavior of the few.”

    The irresponsible behavior of the few is the excuse, not the cause. The totalitarian ambitions of the few are the cause.

  3. avatar Jimmy Beam says:

    Almost all lawyers vote Democrat and contribute to Democrats.

    1. avatar LampOfDiogenes says:

      No, but pretty much all ABA members do.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Nonsense. I know both liberals , conservatives, and ultraliberals and ultraconservatives both. If there were no conservative attorneys, where did the last three justices on the Supreme Court come from?

    3. avatar Rad Man says:

      Jimmy, you would be surprised how many conservative lawyers regularly read and comment here.

  4. avatar Jim from LI says:

    The ABA knows where it’s interests lay. Dead perps don’t need defense lawyers and their baby mamas make unsympathetic plaintiffs.

  5. avatar Debbie W. says:

    TTAG This new font does not work.

    AS for the topic…Consider the meeting was in leftist Austin TX. It pandered to useful idiots who walk around Austin thinking they are, “cool.” Actually they are gutless wonders who lint lick each other out of fear of being,”shamed” and losing their so called, “friends.”

    Like the cops are pigs man and need to be defunded man. Like dude someone backed into my Pirus and drove off. Somebody call the cops…oh yeah I forgot cops are pigs so never mind like the guy who hit my Pirus probably was low on bread man and had to leave…that’s cool man I’ll give the poor guy a break. Cops are pigs man…are we still cool?

    Rest assured if these cop hating twits hear a bump in the night they’ll trip over each other trying to call the cops…hypocrites.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      I’m not happy with the new format, but at least the fonts are displaying better than when the changeover was launched yesterday. The comments section is okay and I suppose I can get used to it, but the front page is difficult to navigate. Not a fan, and the only link I’ll likely be clicking on is the topmost.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        I’ll agree the front page is a mess and difficult on a phone. Doubly so for the newest articles.

      2. avatar doesky2 says:

        The front page is a wreck.
        It’s made for people who visit once a month instead of once a day.
        The front page is gonna push me away.

      3. avatar Rad Man says:

        Change for change’s sake is rarely an improvement.

    2. avatar . says:

      If cops are pigs does that mean there’s a hunting season for them or is it year round like coyotes? Will my Hunt/Fish pass work or do I need a special stamp? After I shoot my Pigcop I will need a good taxidermist, oh no wait, I will shoot a female Pigcop and mount her myself.

  6. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

    So true! But like everything else the left hates, it’s a human tragedy that happens thousands of times a day and should be outlawed! Kinda like the first ammendment lately, eh?

  7. avatar Debbie W. says:

    Walter Williams…Brilliant man and one of the best fill-ins for Rush. Go Rest High.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      Holy shit! Walter E. Williams has died.

      A *brutally* bright conservative mind, with a delightfully wicked sense of humor. Just how wicked? –

      He said he got golf shoes for his wife one Christmas. She didn’t play golf, but with spiked golf shoes on, so she wouldn’t slip on the ice while washing his car in the Washinton winter. *snicker* 😉

      He was despised by the Leftists for having the gall to be right-wing and Black at the same time. He was my favorite Rush fill-in guest. R.I.P. indeed, Deborah…

      Here’s the W.S.J. obit, freed from its chains :

      “Walter Williams, R.I.P.
      His research was rigorous, and he was one of the few economists who know how to engage with the public.”

      “America has lost one of its greatest economists and public intellectuals. Walter Williams died Wednesday morning after teaching his final class at George Mason University on Tuesday. He was 84.

      For 40 years Walter was the heart and soul of George Mason’s unique Department of Economics. Our department unapologetically resists the trend of teaching economics as if it’s a guide for social engineers. This resistance reflects Walter’s commitment to liberal individualism and his belief that ordinary men and women deserve, as his friend Thomas Sowell puts it, “elbow room for themselves and a refuge from the rampaging presumptions of their ‘betters.’ ”

      A onetime cabdriver who grew up poor in Philadelphia, Walter knew injustice—and understood the way to fight it wasn’t by emoting but by probing and learning. In 1972 he earned a doctorate in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he learned to look beneath surface phenomena for deeper causes and consequences.

      His pioneering 1982 book, “The State Against Blacks,” is an eloquent, data-rich broadside against occupational licensing, taxicab regulations, labor-union privileges and other fine-sounding government measures that inflict disproportionate harm on blacks by restricting the employment options and by driving up the costs of goods and services.

      The economics profession boasts many excellent minds, but it has precious few with the ability and interest to do rigorous research and to engage the public with its results. Milton Friedman was such a scholar, as is Thomas Sowell. Walter was in their league. From his appearance on Friedman’s PBS program “Free To Choose” (1980) through his stints as guest host of Rush Limbaugh’s radio program to his syndicated column, Walter brought economic lessons to life in a way few others could.

      Behold his brilliant explanation of how minimum wages promote employment discrimination: “What minimum wage laws do is lower the cost of, and hence subsidize, racial preference indulgence. After all, if an employer must pay the same wage no matter whom he hires, the cost of discriminating in favor of the people he prefers is cheaper. This is a general principle. If filet mignon sold for $9 a pound and chuck steak $4, the cost of discriminating in favor of filet mignon is $5 a pound, the price difference. But if a law mandating a minimum price for chuck steak were on the books at, say, $7 a pound, it would lower the cost of discrimination against chuck steak.”

      Observing dilapidated and abandoned housing in New York and other cities, Walter blamed rent control, which dampens landlords’ incentive to maintain their properties and even creates an incentive to destroy them and collect insurance proceeds. “Short of aerial saturation bombing,” Walter observed, “rent control might be one of the most effective means of destroying a city.”

      The author of 13 books, dozens of academic papers and countless popular essays, Walter was a scholar’s scholar. He was one of America’s most courageous defenders of free markets, constitutionally limited government and individual responsibility. I will miss him as a friend. The world will miss him as a tireless champion of American values.”

      He died after teaching his class. Let it be said – “He died with his boots on.”

      Please join me in lifting a toast tonight for a truly great man…

  8. avatar Robert Davis says:

    The photo on the main page headlining this story is the most so awful that it distracts from the story, seriously, generic clip art would be better.

  9. avatar enuf says:

    it is hard to find common ground when the gun rights side is pushing “an extremist agenda in the courts.”
    ———————————

    The extreme idea is that inanimate objects are the cause of their own behavior. Humans have behavior, inanimate objects do not.

    There are extremists on every issue but this lunacy that guns cause violence, that spoons cause obesity, that paint and brushes and canvas cause great works of art, that cars cause speeding, that alcoholic beverages cause car crashes, all these are fundamentally broken ideas.

    People cause these things to happen. Not the things the people have, use or abuse, but the people themselves.

    There has never been a violent gun.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    As a retired attorney, I accept the responsibility of translating left-wing lawyer bvllsh!t into colloquial English.

    “an extremist agenda in the courts” = the foolish notion that the Second Amendment means what it says. In opposition, “a moderate agenda in the courts” encompasses the wise notion that the Constitution means what some ambulance chaser says it means.

    “common ground” = you rednecks will do what you are told.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      ““an extremist agenda in the courts” = the foolish notion that the Second Amendment means what it says.”

      And yet, a woman has an absolute right to have an abortion. Not even common-sense restrictions like not in the last month should be allowed, when the baby can survive on its own outside the mother.

      So, who’s the extremest there?

  11. avatar busybeef says:

    As an attorney it sickens me when my State Bar recommends gun control measures; like they know what the hell they’re even talking about?

    Most of these limp wristed desk jockeys rarely see the sun, let alone a firearm.

  12. avatar Gregolas says:

    The ABA is a straw tiger. It has been looney left-wing since at least 1988. Fewer than 50% of the lawyers in this country belong to it because it is so political. Look at the federal legislation they support, and you can file 98% of it as “Full employment for lawyers” (especially for the plaintiff’s bar).
    My membership was paid for when I became a clerk at the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals straight out of law school. Suddenly I found myself on the mailing list of every Liberal outfit, including Pete Shield’s Handgun Control, Inc. I haven’ even a member since then. They should be universally ignored.

    1. avatar SKP5885 says:

      Based on a quick google search looks like membership is closer to 14.4%….which honestly shocked me. I guess I thought it was like the AICPA for CPAs where 75% or more of practicing CPAs belong.

      1. avatar Gregolas says:

        Wow ! I had no idea it had fallen so low. Thanks ! That encourages me.

  13. avatar Steve Eisenberg says:

    There is no such thing as “gun” violence. There is only violence.

    1. avatar CentralVirginian says:

      Gun violence, domestic violence, and hate crime are all nonsense terms made up to politicize crimes already covered by other criminal code.

  14. avatar Ticked Off says:

    Adam Skaggs…”says it is hard to find common ground when the gun rights side is pushing “an extremist agenda in the courts.” ”

    Good to know he considers anyone he disagrees with as an extremist. He ought to look in the mirror – but that would take a level of self reflection progressive liberals don’t have.

    These people are evil pigs.

    1. avatar . says:

      I’m pretty busy with my pigcop hunting however once I finish up on that I give the Piglawrs a try. I’d imagine though that once you’ve field dressed them and got rid of the shit you’ve not got much left to eat?

      1. avatar Traitors swing says:

        Lol…. the founding fathers prescribed a remedy for the sickness of treason…. which is EXACTLY what these people are…. enemies of the constitution…

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          Kraken Sidney Powell knows how to handle ‘em!

          “I would encourage all Georgians to make it known that you will not vote at all until your vote is secure – and I mean that regardless of party,” Powell said. “We can’t live in a republic, a free republic unless we know our votes are legal and secure.”

  15. avatar Chuckers says:

    The second amendment is to protect us from a tyrannical government like we are seeing in Venezuela right now. Our founding fathers knew human nature and realized someday the government would forget it worked for us and decide it should rule over us and we had a way to straighten up their thinking.

  16. avatar MarkPA says:

    “Is there space in the middle to meet?”

    We PotG have probably figured-out the answer to this question.

    Now, what do we do about it? There is the soap-box; the ballot-box; the courts; and, the cartridge box.

    Ideally, we PotG would succeed in making our case to our fellow voters nation wide such that the right to arms would be no more questioned then it was in the 18th or 19th Centuries. This goal is beyond our horizon; albeit, the riots of 2020 with the Defund the Police movement have set us on course for this goal.

    The ballot box is really a question of restoring the situation prevailing decades ago when the NRA had made the “one-issue-voter” a force that neither party was willing to recon with. When the Democrats lost seats as a consequence of the AWB, we saw a little flash of that phenomena. It didn’t last.

    Our goal ought to be to persuade enough voters in enough states to elect gun-rights Senators. Senators CAN block gun-control legislation. Once we restore this modicum of control in the Senate then we have done as much as we can politically. I.e., we persuade the body politic that gun-control legislation will never get anywhere – at least not federally – and so it’s better (that they) spend political capital on their other goals (Green New Deal, free college for everyone, a Rolls Royce on batteries in every garage, you know, really important goals).

    Today, our best shot is in the courts; which really means the Supreme Court of the United States. There is no time to waste. A Biden/Harris President with a Democrat Senate could pack the court; or, at least, replace the next retirement/death with a Leftist.

    I think that we need to get Right-to-Carry established by SCOTUS so that voters in the last 8 May-Issue states can start to become accustomed to Shall-Issue. Once they realize that some of their neighbors are carrying and there is no (more) blood in the streets, that will defuse the gun issue somewhat.

    On that judicial foundation we might be able to secure control of the Senate and sustain it.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Our goal ought to be to persuade enough voters in enough states to elect gun-rights Senators. Senators CAN block gun-control legislation.”

      That requires honest elections, and we’ve seen where that has got us…

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        “I would encourage all Georgians to make it known that you will not vote at all until your vote is secure – and I mean that regardless of party,” Powell said. “We can’t live in a republic, a free republic unless we know our votes are legal and secure.”

  17. avatar onestab says:

    What happened to Colt Royal Blue?

  18. avatar Jeff says:

    It is sad that they are still using arguments that are shown to be false. Common sense gun laws are no different from total bans. This idea that we need to exclude weapons of war is the extreme argument. The bolt action Springfield rifle is a weapon of war. Is it more dangerous than a commercial rifle?

  19. avatar JRB says:

    “… the Second Amendment is not unlimited and has always coexisted with strong regulations and laws…”
    Wonder what he means by “limited.” Don’t see that in the Constitution.

    1. avatar Richard Kennedy says:

      That is what I am wondering. I don’t see anywhere in the Constitution where is talks about limitations to any of the Bill of Rights. Scalia even said there were limitations, but how do the words “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” become susceptible to limitation?

  20. avatar ExtraSmooth1 says:

    “gun rights side is pushing “an extremist agenda in the courts.”

    Really? Cite some examples of an “extremist agenda,” please.

    And then remember what Barry Goldwater once said:

    “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

    (I am still pissed to this day that Goldwater lost the 1964 presidential election to that conniving cretin, LBJ.)

  21. avatar Nanashi says:

    I repeat that load more over pages is an abomination and just bad web design.

  22. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    “Is there space in the middle to meet? J. Adam Skaggs, a special advisor to the ABA’s Standing Committee on Gun Violence and chief counsel and policy director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, says it is hard to find common ground when the gun rights side is pushing “an extremist agenda in the courts.” ”

    NFA ’34, FFA ’38, GCA ’68, FOPA with Hughes Amendment, AWB ’94, plus an uncountable number of state and in some places local laws. We did meet . We are way passed the middle motherfucker. We are done meeting and we mean to take back our rights.

  23. avatar Chris A. says:

    “I think the central argument is that like all other rights, the Second Amendment is not unlimited and has always coexisted with strong regulations and laws,”

    Wrong, the only restraint on the 2A was placed upon the Government until about 80years ago when the politicians started preying on public fear to gin up support for their control ambitions.

  24. avatar Barry Hirsh says:

    “strong regulations and laws” are incompatible with “shall not be infringed,” Q.E.D.

    Strong regulations and laws are arguably appropriate to discipline a militia. However, militia ≠ right. In that sentence, the militia is to be well regulated, but the right is to remain uninfringed.

    That’s it, BLACK LETTER. The rest are “penumbric emanations.”

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