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  • 04/21/2021 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    John Boehner Returns and the World Wonders Why  by Tom Reynolds

    Many of us believed that John Boehner was the worst ever Republican House Speaker - until Paul Ryan came along and took up that challenge.  But we also believed Boehner was safely retired and just another Speaker to be forgotten by history.  He now spends his time using his political connections to lobby for whoever will pay him, which has notably been the tobacco and marijuana industries.  But suddenly, he is back!  It appears he has written a book.  (Apparently he has written a book before he ever read one.)

    Perhaps it is a good thing that he has resurfaced to remind us of the reasons we were so angry with the pre-Trump Republican Party.  The one that when campaigning they were fierce defenders of Constitutional principles but when legislating rarely had the backbone to stand for Constitutional principles.   That lack of commitment to principles is one of the things that turned off so many potential Republican voters. 

    If Republican candidates are interested primarily in power, perks and pay, Boehner is someone to model.  If they believe in and are willing to fight for Constitutional principles, they should ask themselves, “what would Boehner do” and then do the opposite.

    In an interview on CBS News, Boehner blamed his lack of a backbone on everybody else, which is exactly what a spineless politician does. (Remember Obama blaming everything that went wrong in his administration on George Bush.)  Boehner said it was the unwillingness of his fellow Republicans to support him, and not his lack of leadership, that caused his Speakership to be a disaster for the Republican Party.  (But by the Democrat Party, he should be fondly remembered as one of their great Speakers.)  Boehner said of his caucus, "I've got no position, because my guys wouldn't vote for anything…They're against everything but I've never been able to determine what they're for."  Perhaps the problem was that none of his caucus could determine what Boehner was for, other than compromise for compromise’s sake (or in other words, giving away the store).

    In reviewing Boehner and his book, the current Democrat media criticizes Boehner for his 2010 pledge to deny President Barack Obama a single policy victory on his agenda.  They forget that he approached that pledge in the same way he pledged to support Republican / Conservative principles and was equally unsuccessful with both pledges. 

    Let Boehner’s reemergence be a reminder to all Republican candidates that the day of the spineless Republican has passed.  It is not enough to only defend the 2nd Amendment, the Constitution as written, and the free-market system when campaigning.  Actions and results count.

  • 04/19/2021 11:24 AM | Anonymous

    Democrats Giveth and Democrats Taketh Away  by Tom Reynolds

    The NY State Budget was passed and it includes legislation lowering the age for deer hunting with a firearm and crossbow in participating Upstate counties.  But Counties Must Adopt a Local Law Allowing Youth Hunters 12-13 to Hunt Deer per ECL-0935.

    For nearly two decades, youth aged 12 and 13 in New York have been safely hunting deer and bear with archery equipment and small game with firearms. But until now, New York didn't allow 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt big game with a firearm. Environmental Conservation Law 11-0935 is a temporary measure that will pilot program lowering the age through 2023.  It includes the following provisions:

    ·        Allows 12- and 13-year-old licensed hunters to hunt deer with a rifle, shotgun, or muzzle loading firearm in areas these firearms may be used during hunting season;

    ·        Allows 12- and 13-year-old licensed hunters to hunt deer with a crossbow during the times when other hunters may use crossbows;

    ·        Requires that these youth hunters be supervised by experienced and licensed adult hunters at all times; and

    ·        Requires the youth hunter and adult mentor to wear fluorescent orange or pink clothing and to remain at ground level while hunting deer with a crossbow, rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader.

    The legislation requires each county to "opt-in" to the program by adopting a local law allowing for 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt deer in accordance with ECL 11-0935. The legislation specifically excludes Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, and Westchester counties from participation in the new program.

    DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos enthusiastically promoted this law and pointed out the societal advantages of deer hunting when he said, “Deer hunting…provides millions of pounds of quality food to New Yorkers while reducing the negative impacts of abundant deer populations on agriculture, forests, and communities...I encourage all upstate counties to consider 'opting-in' to support New York's young hunters and their potential contributions to deer management."

    Contact your County Executives and legislators and request that your county ‘opt in’ on allowing licensed youth aged 12-13 to hunt big game with a firearm and/or crossbow. 

    Important Note: While this is a rare NY law which encourages gun use, Federal House of Representatives proposed bill HR127 would require these same 12 and 13 years old and their adult supervisors to each pay $800 for a liability insurance policy. But don’t worry about the cost to these young people since HR127 would also make it illegal for anyone under 21 to possess a firearm.  In essence, if HR127 passes, it makes the above change to NY law meaningless.

    To all you hunters who have said the gun control laws won’t affect you…guess what?  Do you have $800 to pay, every year, to possess a firearm?  The actual cost of deer meat will be going sky-high if HR127 passes and ”the negative impacts of abundant deer populations on agriculture, forests, and communities” will sky-rocket.  Contact your Congressperson and tell him/her that you oppose HR127. 

  • 04/14/2021 11:31 AM | Anonymous

    Presidential Succession  by Tom Reynolds

    SCOPE has written about the gun-grabbing, Democrat Party’s dilemma because some parts of their reliably Democrat constituency are buying guns in record numbers; they risk alienating some of their reliable constituency with excessive gun control.  But the Democrat Party and especially Biden’s inner circle also face another potential problem of their own making; there are many who doubt that Joe Biden will be able to complete his term in office.  If that is true, the Democrat Party in general and the forces behind Biden face major issues.   

    If Biden should step down or be removed in his first two years, it will be obvious that Democrat insiders knew, prior to the election, that he was failing and hid it from the voters.  That should cause a major negative reaction amongst voters, even amongst the usual Democrat supporters.  There would be legitimate questions: concerning the leader of the free world’s ability to lead; about the judgment of the man with his finger on the nuclear button; about the man tasked by the Constitution with defending it – and thus defending us – from all enemies foreign and domestic; was he incapable of doing his job; what unelected person was acting as President while pulling the strings from behind the curtain; who was really responsible for all the Executive Orders Biden signed?  The legitimate uproar would be overwhelming.  And it would be worse if Biden’s policies are failing at the time he steps down. 

    If kamala Harris did succeed to the Presidency within the first two years of Biden’s term, the Vice President’s position would need to be filled.  She would nominate someone but that person must be approved by a majority of both houses of Congress. Here’s the monkey wrench in Democrat’s planning; currently, both Houses of Congress are Democrat controlled but the Senate is split exactly 50-50 with the Vice President’s vote being the deciding factor that gives Democrats their control.  If there is no Vice President, the Democrats have only a tie and must seduce at least one Republican vote in order to approve a Harris nominee for Vice President.  (And if one or more Democrats do not vote for the Harris’ nominee, that makes the situation more difficult.)  As a side issue, while the Vice Presidency is vacant, the Democrats do not have a tie breaking vote on any proposed legislation.  Oops!  

    This would force Harris to nominate someone very much less radical than the current President and Vice President.  Joe Manchin, the Senator from West Virginia, comes to mind but that would lose Democrats their majority in the Senate, at least until a replacement election was held, and maybe after the replacement election since West Virginia tends Republican.   

    This leaves Democrat insiders with the option of delaying Biden’s removal until two years have passed and after an off-year election in 2022, which causes them more problems, (besides putting their own political careers above the safety and security of the nation).  Historically, the President’s party loses seats in Congress during an off-year election.  If Democrats should lose one seat in the Senate, they lose their majority.  If Democrats lose about a half dozen seats in the House, they lose their majority.  Losing one or both houses of Congress is a real possibility and must weigh heavily on Democrats’ decision making. 

    If kamala Harris should succeed to the Presidency after the 2022 election, she would nominate someone but, as previously stated, that person must be approved by a majority of both houses of Congress.  And if one or both of those houses has a Republican majority, a nomination would certainly have to be very much less radical than the current President and Vice President.  And depending on how firm the Republicans held, the person could be middle to right leaning.  

    But it gets worse for Democrats.

    When the Vice Presidency is vacant, the next person in line is the House Speaker and next after that comes the President Pro tempore of the Senate.  If either or both houses are under Republican control, they would be Republicans! If Republicans control the House, they might be very slow in approving any Harris’ nominee, in order to keep a Republican next in line.  And what if the Republicans decided that impeachment payback was in order at the same time that the Vice Presidency was vacant?

    And just for fun – imagine that Donald Trump runs for Congress from Florida in 2022 and is elected.  Once elected, he runs for Speaker of the House in a Republican majority Congress and wins.  That would put Trump next in line after the Vice President or first in line if Harris moves to the Presidency.  Can you imagine…can you even begin to imagine…the left-wing media’s frenzy!

    The point is – and SCOPE keeps repeating it - things can change quickly and 2A supporters should not lose hope.  If Democrats pushed a Joe Biden nomination because he was the only electable Democrat in the last election, even though he was in failing health, it may have unintended consequences for them in both the short and long term.  Things could get very interesting very quickly!

  • 04/13/2021 11:49 AM | Anonymous

    Biden’s First Move on 2A  by Tom Reynolds

    Last Thursday, in a speech intended to mislead rather than inform, President Biden took his first steps towards neutering the 2nd Amendment (2A).  Some of the left-wing media described the steps as “modest”.  That same left-wing media is optimistic that more gun control is coming since Biden said “much more needs to be done”.

    Biden (or whoever is pulling his strings) is ruling by executive order as the Democrat Party is faced with a dilemma.  Their leadership is radically anti 2nd Amendment but last year a record number of NICS Checks were processed and gun sales also set records.  Some of those record setting categories were blacks and women, two constituencies the Democrats depend upon to reliably vote Democrat.  If they continue to push gun control, Democrats may face the wrath of their new gun owning constituency in the 2022 elections.

    Joe Biden tried to justify his assault on 2A by telling us that our rights are not “absolute”.  Well, he’s a little bit right...but just a little bit.  As he pointed out, even under the First Amendment freedoms, you can’t cry fire in a crowded theatre (unless there really is a fire).  But the Constitution is there to protect the people from its government, so the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has developed some guidelines called “Strict Scrutiny” to define the limited way in which constitutional rights can be violated.  Per “Strict Scrutiny”, an invasion of our rights requires both a compelling government interest and must be narrowly tailored to achieve its purpose in the least restrictive way.  Just because the Biden Administration does not like 2A is not a compelling government interest and he is a long way from doing it in the least restrictive way.  Take for instance, Biden ordering his Justice Department to develop model “red flag” legislation for states.  Red Flag laws would appear to violate the 2nd, 4th, 5th 6th and 14th Amendment.  It’s hard to call that that the least restrictive way.

    In defending his call for Red Flag laws, Biden didn’t point out the historical statistics that show that 92%-94% of murders are by unlawfully attained weapons.  And as should have been expected, he added race to the debate by pointing out that gun violence remains the leading cause of death for Black men between the ages of 15 and 34.  He failed to mention that most killings of black men are gang and drug related and that the majority of black men are killed by other black men.  Of black men killed by police, the majority are killed by black police officers.  (But the latter facts would destroy the Democrats favorite talking point: racism.)  

    Biden said: “We should… eliminate gun manufacturers from the immunity they receive from Congress…Most people don’t realize, the only industry in America, a billion dollar industry, that can’t be sued… are gun manufacturers”.  That’s absolutely a lie. The protections Biden criticizes flow from the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. That Act shields gun makers from frivolous suits, not from all suits whatsoever. They can be sued for product defects, negligence, when the transfer of a gun was made knowing it would be used to commit a crime, and when manufacturers or sellers violated state or federal law in marketing or selling a gun.  The victims of drunken drivers don’t sue Coors or Ford but Biden and the progressive left wish Ruger and Winchester could be sued for gun violence.

    Biden claimed that firearms purchased at gun shows are exempt from background checks.  FFL gun sellers are required to do the same NICS Checks at gun shows as they do at their shops.  It’s true that private sales might avoid NICS at gun shows but they could avoid NICS elsewhere and many gun shows require a NICS check on all sales, whether sold by FFL’s or privately.  And of course, surveys of imprisoned criminals have shown that over 90% of their weapons were obtained illegally, not from FFL’s or at gun shows.

    Piling on, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department will give over $1 billion in funding to over a dozen programs to use and create "evidence-based intervention strategies" to reduce gun violence.  (Can we expect 2nd Amendment advocates like the NRA and John Lott to receive some of that funding in order to ensure the proposals are “evidence based” and not emotion based?  The odds are better on a cold day in Hell.)

    Biden announced the nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).  Chipman once worked for BATFE and more recently for anti-2A billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, then at anti-2A’s Public Safety Solutions and later as senior policy adviser at anti-2A Giffords, a gun control organization led by an anti-2A former Arizona congresswoman.  (Don’t expect a fair shake for 2A from Chipman.) 

    You can also expect the same level of honesty from Chipman as we get from Biden.  On the Reddit website, he commented about the Waco siege (where he was present), “At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters”.  Unfortunately for Chipman – but fortunately for helicopter pilots – no helicopters were shot down at the Waco siege.

    Biden senior adviser Cedric Richmond repeated a tired old adage that is beyond silly, “When the Second Amendment was written, people were stuffing gunpowder into a musket to shoot. Now you have guns that can shoot 100 rounds in a minute and that’s just completely different”.  And a world where politicians can lie and the lie circulates the entire world in minutes is completely different from what the founders envisioned when they wrote the First Amendment but he is not calling for 1A’s end.  (Of course, Richmond and the Democrats would secretly be happy to abolish free speech - and gun ownership - for everyone but themselves.) 

    Biden also said the orders he'll sign won't impact Americans' rights to own guns under the 2nd Amendment.  That would be wonderful if his definition of 2nd Amendment rights were as broad as his definition of “infrastructure”.  Unfortunately, his definition of 2nd Amendment rights would fit on the head of a pin. 

    Gun control is not about guns. Gun control is about who controls America and Joe Biden and the progressives are intent on controlling America.

  • 04/08/2021 8:44 PM | Anonymous

    FFL’s and Proposed Laws  by Tom Reynolds

    The attack on the 2nd Amendment happens in many ways.  Currently, there are a number of laws proposed at both the federal and state level which would affect Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL’s).  You may want to pass along this information to your local gun dealer as they might not be aware of all the proposed laws that would affect them.

    At the Federal Level

    HR1207 is being reviewed in the House Judiciary Committee.  It would require:

    •        All ammunition sales must be in-person and photo ID required’.  (Wait a minute, isn’t requiring a photo ID a form of racism?  Also, good bye to on line sales.) 
    •        Ammunition dealers must be licensed. (Forget selling some extra ammo or trading one caliber for another to a friend.)
    •        The FFL must submit a federal and state report on same day for any purchase of 1,000 rounds within 5 days.  (And criminals will not be able to figure out that buying ammo from multiple sources is a way to beat this?)

    HR0125 is Sheila Jackson Lee’s latest attack on firearms.  It is in the House’s subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. It would require:

    •        A 7-day waiting period before a semiautomatic firearm, a silencer, armor piercing ammunition, or a large capacity ammunition magazine may be transferred.  (“Luckily” for those of us in NY State, silencers and large capacity magazine sales are already illegal so those parts will not affect us.)

    HR0647 is in the House’s subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.  It would prohibit:

    •        A Federal firearms licensee from transferring a long gun to a person who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the licensee’s place of business is located.

    HR1446 has passed the House and been referred to the Senate.  It requires:

    •        The default date on NICS Check is extended to 10 days. 
    •        If no answer received within 10 days, the purchaser may petition for review.  (No automatic review after 10 daysMore bureaucratic paperwork to buy a firearm.)
    •        If no answer to the petition is received within the second 10 day period (20 days overall) the purchase may proceed.

    (See HR1787 is the opposite of this bill and it would prevent delays in transfers.)

    HR1691 is in the House Subcommittee on Economic development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. It identifies:

    •        Licensed firearm manufacturers and licensed firearm dealers as essential businesses during certain national emergencies, and for other purposes.

    HR1787 is in the House Judiciary Committee.  No text is available but it is defined as a bill to:

    •        Prevent unnecessary delay in firearms transfers from licensed firearms dealers to unlicensed persons.  (As opposed to HR1446 which would delay transfers.)

    S0591 is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  There is no text available but it is defined as:

    •        A bill to prohibit firearms dealers from selling a firearm prior to the completion of a background check.  (See HR1446 and HR1787 for competing bills.)

    Not to be outdone, New York State is also pushing new laws.

    A2176 is in the Assembly Codes Committee.  It would:

    •        Require gunsmiths and firearms dealers to implement a plan for securing firearms, rifles and shotguns, including those transported in interstate commerce.
    •        The following minimum requirements for such security plan:

        -   display cases must be locked at all times;
        -   firearms, rifles and shotguns must be secured in a locked fireproof safe or vault in the licensed premises or in a similar secured and locked area;
        -   and ammunition must be stored and secured separately from the firearms, rifles and shotguns, and out of reach of the customers.

      A0449 and S1235 are in their respective Codes Committees.  They would:

      •        Establish a ten-day waiting period from contact of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) before a firearm, shotgun or rifle may be delivered to a person.  (Federal HR1446 and HR1787 and S0591 complicate all this.)

      A0930 and S2844 is in the Assembly’s Government Operations Committee and in the Senate’s Finance Committee.  These bills would:

      •        Make the NY State Police the FFL’s point of contact for NICS checks.

      A2175 and S0065 are in their respective Codes Committees.  These would:

      •        Restrict the sale of ammo only to persons that own that caliber weapon.

      S1048 is in the Consumer protection Committee.  It would:

      •        Under certain circumstances, a manufacturer, distributor or seller of a firearm may be designated a public nuisance and subject to civil and criminal action.

      S1236 is in the Senate Codes Committee.  It would make it:

      •        A misdemeanor to buy - or sell to the same person - more than one firearm every 30 days
    • 04/06/2021 6:52 PM | Anonymous

      Gun-grabbing is now infrastructure  by Tom Reynolds

      SCOPE has been warning that the anti-gun left-wingers will use any method, both direct and indirect, to destroy the 2nd Amendment.  In the past, we’ve offered examples of their efforts and, unfortunately, the left keep obliging us with more and more.

      Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg funds “Everytown” which, in turn, funded a publication called “The Trace”.  In “The Trace’s” newsletter, it enthusiastically reported that Joe Biden’s $2.3 billion infrastructure plan (which actually contains relatively little for infrastructure) includes a “monumental development in the world of gun violence reduction: The package calls for spending $5 billion on community-based prevention programs…it would set up the federal government’s largest outlay for anti-violence work in history”.

      Of course, almost every anti-violence proposal of the left is really a Trojan Horse for more gun control and destroying 2A.  Rest assured that the root causes of violence will be ignored in the rush for more ineffective gun control.  

      “The Trace” whines that many anti-gun programs operate on a shoestring.  (Since this is government funding, perhaps 2A defenders should not be as worried as government funding often goes primarily to pay the executives of government funded projects and not towards the purpose of the organization.)  But some will certainly leak out into direct anti-gun publicity and lobbying efforts; the government likes to fund groups to lobby the government for programs the government already wants. 

      Biden’s excuse for including a $5 billion anti-violence investment in a so-called jobs bill — as opposed to including it in crime legislation — will probably be that violence impedes the country’s economic health.  This may not seem like radical thinking to you but it will be a radical shift in thinking for Biden and the Democrat left since they ignored the economic cost of violence in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis and many other cities during 2020.  Estimates are that the riots caused $2 billion in damages but no estimate as to their economic cost. (Lost jobs for instance.  Anyone in their right mind want to open a new business in downtown Portland or Seattle?) Don’t count on the left-wing media pointing out this inconsistency; hypocrisy is not a sin when Democrats do it.

      Of course, when guns are being bought at a record pace, especially by first time gun owners and women, trying to get openly anti-gun legislation passed is not good politics.  Better to bury it in a jobs bill.

      "The Trace” further reported that Chico Tillmon, who it described as a veteran violence interrupter in Chicago, was in favor of the bill.  (If there was ever an example of someone who failed at their job, it’s a “Violence Interrupter” in Chicago.  This is someone worth quoting?)  

      Basically, the Biden administration has opened the public trough to every radical program, and groups aimed at destroying 2A are bellying up to the trough.

      Without question, the “community-based prevention programs” will study the violence issue (in studies done by 2A enemies) and conclude that the answer to violence is fewer guns and eliminating Modern Sporting Rifles, (which are misnamed for political propaganda purposes as Assault Rifles).  The studies will overlook the increasing violence in heavily Democratic cities that already have radical gun control laws and implemented bail reform to release felons.  And none of the studies will dare mention immigration or sanctuary cities since that would label them a racist.  Could Democrat governors, mayors and D.A.’s condoning the 2020 riots have encouraged violence?  Don’t expect the studies to go there.    

      Contact your Republican legislators and tell them to not support this bill.  And contact your Democrat legislators and tell them they can’t slip this past you as you know what they are doing.

    • 04/01/2021 4:59 PM | Anonymous

      Young v Hawaii  by Tom Reynolds

      On Tuesday, we warned that the left’s never-ending effort to destroy the 2nd Amendment would force 2A defenders to learn more about the fine points of law than we ever wanted to learn. Today, we explore another fine point.

      The “Heller and McDonald” Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions of over a decade ago would seem to have decided the issue of whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense or if the right was intended only for state militias. SCOTUS ruled it was an individual right and did not require a militia.

      Since that time, the left has tried to skirt around “Heller and McDonald” and attacked 2A in new and different ways. The crux of the gun grabbers new argument is that “Heller and McDonald” only protected the right to “keep and bear arms” in the home but not in public. Many left-wing lower courts have ignored “Heller and McDonald”. As Justice Clarence Thomas has charged, the courts have treated the Second Amendment as a second-class right. SCOTUS has not taken up any gun rights cases that would clarify the situation (and slap down the lower courts).

      The Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals covers the left coast and is one step below SCOTUS. It is also the circuit court most reversed by SCOTUS. It recently ruled against “Heller and McDonald” in the case of Young v Hawaii.

      In 2011, Hawaii resident George Young twice applied to his county police department for a license to carry a loaded firearm in public. The Hawaii County Police Chief concluded that Young was ineligible for a license. Young then filed a claim against Hawaii County, the State of Hawaii, and various officials. The federal district court found that sovereign immunity barred Young’s action against the state and rejected the claims against the County on the merits. Young then appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals where a 3-judge panel found for Young and held that Hawaii’s open-carry licensing statute was invalid because it burdened a core right to bear firearms outside of the home. Hawaii then appealed and the Ninth Circuit decided to hear the case en-banc (every judge on the circuit would hear the case rather than just the original 3‐judge panel).

      Several Second Amendment groups and law professors submitted briefs discussing the original meaning of the Second Amendment and the historical practice of carrying firearms. They argued that contemporary understandings of the word “bear” was synonymous with “carry,” and that it was not limited to a military context. They also surveyed early colonial laws which showed that carrying was common and legal and discussed how individual Founders, such as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, carried weapons for self-protection. Their conclusion from history was that arms were borne by common people for self‐defense, and the Second Amendment protects that right.

      In March, 2021 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a ruling against Young and also limited Second Amendment rights. This ruling means that the state has the privilege of granting citizens the ability to carry firearms, not that citizens have the right to carry firearms.

      Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, in his dissent, said: “The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.’ U.S. Const. amend. II. Today, a majority of our court has decided that the Second Amendment does not mean what it says. Instead, the majority holds that while the Second Amendment may guarantee the right to keep a firearm for self-defense within one’s home, it provides no right whatsoever to bear—i.e., to carry—that same firearm for self-defense in any other place.”

      This ruling contradicts other rulings in other circuits. It does cover all of the Ninth Circuit’s states but it is not in effect in other circuits. However, left leaning judges in those other circuits might use it for “guidance” when they rule on similar 2A cases.

      Young now has the option of trying to get SCOTUS to hear his appeal. It would seem that SCOTUS would take up the case since there is a contradiction between appeals courts that needs to be settled.

      There are several lessons here for gun owners and 2A defenders:

      For those that wish to rely on the courts instead of the legislature to protect 2A, it should be noted that Young’s lawyers, so far, were handling his case “pro bono” (no fee was charged.) Without their pro bono it would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to go this far in the court system – and it has not yet reached SCOTUS.

      Money was no issue for Hawaii to fight this as they were on the “Taxpayer’s dime”.

      It has been over 10 years since Young’s original application for a license was submitted. For ten years he has been denied his constitutional right and has had to undergo ten years of stress in court.

      If SCOTUS decides to hear the case, the Supreme Court has several Trump appointees and a majority who seem likely to overturn the Ninth Circuit and uphold 2A. But will we see Democrats once again call for the nuclear option on the Senate filibuster and threaten to pack the Supreme Court full of anti-gun justices? Will we hear Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer again threaten SCOTUS with, “You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

      “Heller” was decided about Washington D.C.’s laws but the left tried to bypass it by claiming that it only applied to D.C. and not states. “McDonald” subsequently said it applied to the states, too. So, now the left wants “Heller and McDonald” to only apply to gun ownership in homes and not in public. The left will never accept that we have the right to “keep and bear arms”. The Second Amendment seems to always be one court case away from being erased because that is one of the left’s “Holy Grails”.

    • 03/30/2021 10:45 PM | Anonymous

      The 2nd and 4th Amendments protect Each Other  by Tom Reynolds

      SCOPE has written often that the gun grabbers are continually searching for new ways, both direct and indirect, to undermine the 2nd Amendment (2A).  These attempts force pro 2A defenders to become more knowledgeable about legal issues than most of us ever wanted to become. One such current anti-2A attempt tries to legalize the seizure of guns by invalidating the 4th Amendment (4A).  So, put on your legal caps!

      The 4th Amendment secures “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures”.  (This helps protect firearms from seizure.) To further protect that right, 4A requires a search warrant based on probable cause and, in addition, 4A requires that the warrant narrowly define what is to be searched or seized. 

      The Fourth Amendment and other rights are not an absolute.  4A is interpreted as permitting a warrantless seizure or home entry when that seizure or entry is reasonably necessary to protect health or safety.  Protection of health and safety are additional police duties beyond enforcing the law.  These situations can get complex as federal and states don’t always use the same standards, but the basic idea is easy to comprehend. For instance, the police do not need a search warrant if they reasonably believe someone is about to commit suicide inside a house or the police hear someone screaming for help from inside a house.  Like a house, a car is protected by 4A but police can search your car without a warrant in some instances: if police make a traffic stop and hear someone pounding from inside the trunk for example. 

      Of course, it is the less obvious cases that open the door to abuse of 4A (or not).  What if a neighbor tells the police that they have not seen an elderly neighbor in several days and the police knock on the door and get no answer?  Can they go in without a warrant?  Is it reasonable for the police to believe there is a health or safety problem? 

      Also, under a Supreme Court (SCOTUS) approved exception called “Community Caretaking”, the police can search an impounded car, under certain situations. That leads us to the government’s latest attack on 2A.  

      Last week, SCOTUS heard a case called Caniglia v Strom.  Caniglia and his wife had a verbal argument and she spent the night in a motel.  The morning after the argument, Caniglia’s wife called police because she thought her husband might be suicidal.  Police came and interviewed Caniglia.  He denied being suicidal but the police insisted he undergo a psychiatric exam at a hospital, from which he was quickly discharged.  But while he was at the hospital, police searched his house, without permission, and seized two handguns and refused to return them, forcing Caniglia to file a civil rights lawsuit. 

      The police defended their seizure of the handguns by extending the Community Caretaking exception for cars to Caniglia’s house (SCOTUS had previously only applied it to cars.)

      As might be expected, the Biden Administration’s argued for expanding the government’s ability to intrude on our rights; it said that “the Fourth Amendment permits a warrantless seizure or home entry that is reasonably necessary to protect health or safety”  In addition, the Biden administration does not want to “limit the government to common law rules that applied to private citizens”.  (What a shock?  The government doesn’t want to live under the same rules as private citizens.)  Some justices seemed concerned about health and safety issues more than constitutional protections but we won’t know the result until they rule on the case, this summer.

      Justice Sonia Sotomayor seemed to defend 4A rights and got to the real issue, “...there was no immediate danger to the person threatening suicide and no immediate danger to the wife because the suicide person was removed to a hospital.” Nevertheless, police “decided on their own to go in and seize the gun.” Sotomayor also wondered if the officers could “have gone into the house and taken not just the gun but any bat, knife, anything else that in their judgment this man could have used to commit suicide?” (This is important to note.  Suicides don’t use only a gun, but the police seized only guns.  Doesn’t that seem to show that the motive was a prejudice against guns as opposed to preventing a suicide?) 

      Amicus briefs echoed the concern about the government’s hidden motive being gun seizure when they said, “Expansion of the ‘community caretaking’ exception into the home will be used by police in jurisdictions with onerous or constitutionally-questionable firearm restrictions to turn every call to a house into a search for guns under the pretext of ‘helping’ those present”.

      There were other legal and common law issues that were argued before SCOTUS which may influence the decision.  But we have already seen a continued erosion of our rights and we will be entering new and more dangerous territory if SCOTUS gives the government another excuse to dismantle 2A.  The 4th Amendment helps protect the 2nd Amendment, and vice versa.

    • 03/28/2021 3:06 PM | Anonymous

      Yesterday  by Tom Reynolds

      Yesterday morning, SCOPE distributed an email about Communist China’s growing influence over the America’s economy and how it would leverage that power to change American laws and policy.  We used as examples Chinas treatment of the Uighers and China’s use of reeducation camps, which have been labeled Crimes Against Humanity.

      Yesterday evening, Breitbart Business Digest distributed the following news release.

      Chinese state media outlets, the nation’s Foreign Ministry, and Communist Party-controlled social media launched a multi-pronged attack Wednesday against Nike in retaliation for the company saying it does not use cotton sourced from Xinjiang, a region where the U.S. government says workers are enslaved within China’s so-called “re-education” camps. Chinese “netizens” — social media users whose posts the government approves — are posting photos and videos on the government-controlled social media site Weibo of people throwing out or burning Nike products. Shares of Nike sold off on Thursday, falling 3.44 percent to $128.44, the lowest level in four months.”

      “It was a powerful demonstration of the might of the Chinese consumer army and a warning about U.S. policies directed at "opening" the Chinese market. The more U.S. companies are exposed to China's giant consumer base, the more influence China's regime will have over those companies. This is cancel culture on the world stage.”

      The point of yesterday’s email emphasized that gun owners cannot ignore economics and politics just because they don’t like economics and politics.  Politics and economics are coming for gun owners (and lots of other American values and traditions).  Whether or not you like Nike, this was a timely demonstration of the growing power of a Chinese government.  A government that will enslave its own people will not hesitate to trample on other people’s rights if it benefits the Chinese Communists.

      We have already seen many major American companies attack 2A without any prompting from China.  It will get worse once China starts using its influence.

      Gun owners had better start voting and getting active in electing politicians who believe in the 2nd Amendment and will have the backbone to follow through on those beliefs when China uses its economic influence to attack 2A.

    • 03/28/2021 2:36 PM | Anonymous

      It’s all related  by Tom Reynolds

      Many gun owners refuse to get politically involved. There are a lot of excuses for not getting involved; one is that the gun owners do not see the threats to the 2nd Amendment as personally affecting them.  But HR 127 should bring reality back to all gun owners.  This proposed bill would make an $800 insurance policy premium mandatory for all gun owners.  In addition, all gun owners would need to take – and pay for – a mental health evaluation.  That’s right, all gun owners. Do you already own a gun?  You’re included!  Do you only have a pump action shotgun for hunting?  You’re included!  Have an already licensed handgun you only keep in the house for protection?  You’re included!

      Some other gun owners, who are involved with 2A defense, are willing to talk about 2A, but they don’t want to talk about other politics.  A mistake.  It’s all politics.  It’s all related.

      Ever heard of the Uighurs?  They are a nomadic, Turkic people in northwest China.  In the name of protecting China from domestic terrorism, a million Uighurs have been detained, without criminal charges, and put in “reeducation” camps.  The US State Department, under President Trump, called it genocide.   Others cite enough evidence to call it Crimes against Humanity

      Have I turned off a lot of gun owners who say, “So what?  It’s China.  It doesn’t concern me what China does to its own citizens”.  But it should. 

      Many Democrats – without any prompting from China - are calling for reeducation of Trump supporters in addition to a hiring ban on former members of the Trump administration. Have you heard about the threat of domestic terrorism and the number one domestic terrorism threat being racist white Trump supporters?  Substitute Uighurs for white people and Trump supporters.

      By-the-way, the Uighurs don’t have guns.

      How about the politics of economics?  Smithfield Foods was acquired by Chinas biggest meat processorShuanghui International Holdings, in the largest acquisition ever of a U.S. company by a Chinese one.  The Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group built a $100 million plant in Thomasville, Alabama.  These last two are examples of an economic strategy that China is employing to gain control of countries around the world - and in the U.S.A. 

      Lots of gun owners, who bothered to read this far, are probably saying, “Big deal.  It’s too bad that New York’s governor and the new President aren’t as interested in American economic development as the Chinese are”.   But here is the “kicker”.  All major Chinese owned companies are directly or indirectly controlled by the Chinese government.  The same Chinese government that will imprison a million of its own Chinese citizens is increasing its economic influence over America and is moving to eventually have the ability to instantly destroy millions of American jobs.  What happens if, for political purposes, China threatens to close one or more major companies in the USA?  American employees will scream at their state and federal legislators to do something.  Jobs will be lost!  Lives destroyed!  China will counteroffer to keep the businesses open if the state and federal government make a few changes; let’s say, for instance…stop enforcing those pesky 1st and 2nd Amendments.  That’s not a big deal to many American politicians, since they don’t really believe in them, anyway. 

      Just my imagination?  Can’t happen here?  China is using its economic might for political purposes to dominate many countries. 

      Private gun ownership exists in the U.S. for many reasons, but one of the biggest is as a defense against tyranny.  The Chinese government epitomizes tyranny.  Since the communists gained control of China over 70 years ago, the Chinese communists have murdered somewhere between 40 million and 160 million of its own people.  (Estimates vary because, as should be understood, the communists are not eager to supply good statistics on this subject.)  A government that kills tens of millions of its own people will not hesitate to trample on the rights of other countries.  The Chinese communists don’t want to go to war to take over, they just need to have a major impact on our economy. China would like to give Americans a choice: we can keep our jobs or our guns, but not both.

    A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

    PO Box 165
    East Aurora, NY 14052

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