A high-school student in Manville, New Jersey was suspended and ordered to undergo psychological evaluation resulting from his assigned classroom presentation on an “anti-gun-control” topic.
Originally reported by News 12 (New Jersey)
Frank Harvey, a Manville High School (NJ) senior says that he was suspended from school and ordered to go for a psychological evaluation after an anti-gun control project he was assigned last year was found on his thumb drive.
He had left the drive in the school computer lab room, and evidently someone found it, saw the presentation, and alerted school officials. That was on a Monday. On Tuesday, Harvey was suspended by the Manville School District for the content on the thumb drive and said that he had to undergo a five-hour psychological exam before he could come back to school. Manville police were called in and questioned Harvey, but cleared him of any wrongdoing.
“I’ve never been a violent person,” said Harvey. “I’ve never had detention in my life.” Harvey’s mother, Mary Vervan, said she will not subject her son to such an evaluation for no reason, and decided to pull him out of school. He turned his books in on Wednesday and signed a school withdrawal form, and Harvey says he will now work towards earning his GED.
Harvey had been assigned the project during his junior year for a College and Career Readiness class. The assignment was to come up with a topic that, according to Harvey, would “provoke class discussion.” He chose an anti-gun control viewpoint, communicated through a video presentation he produced. The presentation was impressive enough to earn him an “A” on the project, he said.
His teacher, Rachel Gottfried, has since denied giving her College and Career Readiness class the assignment and approving his topic, Harvey said.
“It was assigned by the teacher, and I got the topic, which was anti-gun control, approved by the teacher. She said my project would be perfectly fine,” said Harvey, “I presented the video to the class and took a few questions from my classmates. My presentation went over well. The whole idea of the assignment was to expose students to an idea they hadn’t considered before.”
“What the response of the school tells me is that I’m allowed to do my school work as long as it agrees with their point of view on an issue,” said Harvey.
His presentation gave examples where people using guns have thwarted home invaders and argued that people should be able to protect themselves. The presentation also shows political cartoons suggesting that gun-free zones are ineffective.
School officials were contacted for comment, and Superintendent Anne Facendo said only, “The school district is not at liberty to make comment on any issue pertaining to confidential student information.”
There’s more information out there to be found on this story as it continues to unfold, and be debated. What do you think?
We’ve all felt the tension in the air as this election cycle winds up to it’s climax. Folks, especially those of us in this sector, are keenly aware of what’s happening in the industry, and the country, when it comes to everything involving our Second Amendment.
Gavin, at Ultimate Reloader, recently started an epic series on the much beloved AK-47. Follow his series right here, and check out the video below!
“After much preparation and experimenting with some new storytelling techniques (see the video below), with this post I’m kicking off a long-term series that will celebrate the AK-47, and go into many aspects of the 7.62x39mm cartridge, including a bunch of content and detail related to reloading 7.62x39mm ammunition for the AK-47 and the SKS. It’s going to be both educational and FUN!”
Might want to park across the street… Privacy watchdog groups and firearms enthusiasts upset about spy tactics initiated by feds through local police.
A new report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that the federal government has on multiple occasions used local police departments to scan automobile license plates at gun shows. This has been done in an effort to collect and record information on gun show attendees.
The Journal reviewed a series of 2010 emails between the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and police departments in Southern California, including one in Del Mar, near the Mexican border. In the emails, federal agents persuade local police to use license plate readers to randomly scan cars at local gun shows. The agency planned to cross-reference that data with cars crossing the Mexican border to find and prosecute gun smugglers.
And there’s more… According to the Journal, the emails indicated that this strategy could have been employed elsewhere around the country. ICE has no policy that dictates the use of license plate readers, and nothing would have kept them from continuing the practice from 2010 until now.
No shock: the report has upset both privacy watchdog groups and firearms enthusiasts. It clearly raises Constitutional questions, to say the least.
Erich Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, told the Journal that his group opposes such surveillance: “Information on law-abiding gun owners ends up getting recorded, stored, and registered, which is a violation of the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act and of the Second Amendment.”
What ICE doesn’t seem to realize is that, contrary to what the Clinton campaign would have us believe, gun shows are NOT hotbeds of criminal activity. According to an NIJ (National Institute of Justice, the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice) study released in December 1997 (“Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities”), only 2 percent of criminal guns come from gun shows. The vast majority of firearm sales at gun shows are being offered by federally-licensed gun dealers who must ensure that each customer passes a background check, which blocks firearms purchases by most known criminals as well as illegal immigrants. This is likely why, according to the Journal, “There is no indication the gun-show surveillance led to any arrests or investigative leads.”
No one familiar with gun shows would think to target attendees in an effort to locate criminals. Perhaps instead of invading the privacy of law-abiding gun show patrons, ICE should use its taxpayer dollars to target straw purchasers and criminals who steal firearms, both more likely sources of illegal guns than random gun show attendees.
The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) recently launched a new $3 million TV ad buy making the case that Hillary Clinton is an out of touch, hypocritical politician who would leave the American people defenseless.
This ad helps highlight the fact that the right of law-abiding Americans to keep a firearm in their homes for self-protection is on the ballot in this presidential election. The ad, titled “Defenseless”, began airing this month on national cable as well as local broadcast stations in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada and North Carolina. It is the third installment in a series of ads by the NRA-PVF.
“Hillary Clinton has supported the concept of confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens. Despite what she says to try and get elected, she would stack the Supreme Court with anti-gun justices who would overturn our fundamental right of self-protection. So it is not an understatement to say that the future of American freedom is at stake in November,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund.
In a candid moment, Hillary Clinton told an audience of supporters that “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, and I’m going to make that case every chance I get.” She was referring to the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Court held that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.
The ad highlights the hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton’s views on the Second Amendment and reveals her as a political elitist who is out of touch with the American people.
“The choice to own a firearm doesn’t belong to the government — it is an individual freedom,” continued Cox. “So it is too important to be subject to one set of rules for political elites like Hillary Clinton, and a different set for the rest of us.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, announced that Smith & Wesson has joined NSSF’s #GUNVOTE Chairman’s Club with a $500,000 contribution to the association’s critical voter registration and education campaign. This is the largest contribution the #GUNVOTE campaign has received to date.
“Smith & Wesson has set the bar high with this unprecedented half-million dollar contribution to our #GUNVOTE campaign,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “It is exactly that kind of commitment that will help ensure that our history and our rights will remain intact not just for us today.”
James Debney, CEO of Smith & Wesson, said, “We are honored to support this effort on behalf of our employees and especially the law-abiding firearm owners of Massachusetts, who have so recently been denied their fundamental rights through arbitrary government action that threatens to turn lawful gun owners and dealers into criminals. To stop this from happening elsewhere, it is imperative that citizens across our nation are informed and knowledgeable about their rights, their candidates and the importance of their vote in this critical election year.”
NSSF’s #GUNVOTE — www.gunvote.org — is a voter registration and education platform for use by firearms industry manufacturers, wholesaler distributors, retailers, ranges and media members that helps gun owners, hunters and target shooters to register to vote, to become informed on where the candidates in 2016 stand on gun control and conservation issues, and encourages them on election day, armed with the facts, to #GUNVOTE so they do not risk their rights.
— The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those products.
— “Copies or duplicates” mean “state compliant” versions of Modern Sporting Rifles sold in Massachusetts. Such “state compliant” versions lack a flash suppressor, a folding or telescoping stock, or other helpful shooter features. The AG will notify all gun manufacturers and dealers to make clear that the sale of semi-auto rifles with certain features is now illegal in Massachusetts.
— The effect could mean that all AR-15s that have been modified to comply with Massachusetts law are now illegal purely because they are AR-15s. This could eventually outlaw all semi-automatic weapons in the state, which should violate D.C. v Heller’s explicit “common use” standard.
— Healey said in her Globe article that “if a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a ‘copy’ or ‘duplicate,’ and it is illegal.”
Bottom Line: Some of our customers in Middle America will notice this state-law change and not be too concerned about it, because it is Massachusetts, and things like this are to be expected there.
Quite a few of our customers and fellow countrymen in the Bay State are now in limbo because basic AR-15 parts may turn a vanilla semi-auto rifle into “copies or duplicates” of those products.
Will this turn into another nudge in the direction of our fellow Americans losing their rights? There seems to have been a precedent set with California cities banning firearms, the strict laws placed in Chicago (which seems to be working, he lied), and other “leaders” treating their constituents more like an authoritarian society.
Hopefully the people of Massachusetts sound off in a clear, unified, voice at the ballot box this November.
Americans are continuing to acquire guns at an unprecedented level. In early June, the FBI reported that in June 2016, firearm-related background checks set a new record for any month of June, up 39% from the number of checks conducted in June 2015.
For the first six months of 2016, checks are up 32 percent over the same period in 2015. If the present rate of checks holds through December, there will be over 32 million checks conducted this year, more than double the number conducted during President Obama’s first year in office. There have been 26.5 million checks during the last 12 months, more than in any 12-month period previously.
NICS checks don’t precisely indicate the number of firearms acquired in a given time frame. But the trend in checks makes clear that Americans are acquiring firearms at a record pace. The annual number of checks has risen from 12.7 million during the last year of President George W. Bush’s administration to an average of 23 million during Obama’s second term.
Gun owners across the country may want to keep track of what is scheduled to be a September capital murder trial in central Texas, because it illustrates a nightmare scenario for home defenders: A homeowner shoots and kills a law-enforcement officer whom the homeowner had reason to believe was an intruder that might do the homeowner harm.
We asked Emily Taylor, an attorney with the law firm of Walker & Byington in Houston and a Texas Law Shield Independent Program Attorney, to shed some light on how the law in her state works in situations where a homeowner mistakenly shoots and kills a law-enforcement officer.
Marvin Louis Guy, 51, is alleged to have shot and killed police officer Charles Dinwiddie, who was part of a team with a warrant to conduct a no-knock search at Mr. Guy’s home on May 9, 2014. Mr. Guy is also alleged to have wounded three other policemen, David Daniels, Xavier Clark, and Otis Denton, during the narcotics raid that took place around 5:30 a.m. that fateful day. Click here and here for more background. The officers didn’t find anything, for the record.
What is Capital Murder?
Taylor explained that there are several ways to commit capital murder. She elaborated that “of the ways to commit capital murder, we are looking at the ‘biggie’ here — a person who murders a peace officer, who is acting in the lawful discharge of an official duty and who the person knows is a peace officer, commits capital murder.”
This is worse than your run-of-the-mill homicide because if you’re convicted of capital murder, you’re eligible for the death penalty. The alternative isn’t much better; life in prison without parole. Taylor summarized that, “for this individual to avoid a life sentence without parole, or worse, the death penalty, the most important issues are: were the police in lawful discharge of their duties; did the individual in question know that it was a police officer entering his home; and finally, is there evidence that indicates the shooting was reasonable and justified.”
Why didn’t the police knock and announce who they were before entering the home?
“The general rule is that the police must ‘knock and announce’ their presence prior to entering a premises to execute a warrant,” Taylor said. She elaborated that there is an exception to this requirement. “If the police can articulate a reasonable suspicion to believe that if they knocked or announced before entering it would be ‘dangerous, futile, or would frustrate the search’s purpose,’ then they no longer have to knock and announce.”
Taylor stated that there are two ways to accomplish this “no-knock” goal. The police can ask in the warrant itself that it dispense with the knock-and-announce requirement. Alternatively, they may claim that the circumstances on-scene surrounding the actual search justified dispensing with the knock-and-announce requirement at the time the warrant was executed—no prior approval needed.
How hard is it for the police to satisfy this requirement? In practice, the potential for the destruction of evidence and concerns of officer safety will almost always supersede the knock-and-announce rule.
So what does this mean? Taylor said, “It is pretty easy for the police to legally break down your door to execute their warrant, without any warning to you.”
What about the Castle Doctrine?
Taylor made it a point to mention that “People who are familiar with the law in Texas will immediately ask, ‘isn’t this a Castle Doctrine situation?’ which is a good point to make.” She referenced the Castle Doctrine law, which says you are presumed reasonable to use deadly force to defend yourself when a person has unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter, your occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment.
Taylor’s analysis was that, “the Castle Doctrine requires that the entry be unlawful. In this case, the police had obtained a warrant and thus had a legal right to enter the property by any means they deemed necessary, such as by executing a no-knock warrant.” This means that the homeowner does not get the advantage of the Castle Doctrine (namely, that his use of deadly force is presumed reasonable) and we must analyze the reasonableness of his deadly force as though he were not in his “Castle.”
Did the homeowner know that the person crawling through his window at 5:30 AM was a peace officer?
To summarize, the no-knock entrance was legal, and the Castle Doctrine does not apply. The defense can only effectively argue the remaining option; that the elements of the crime of capital murder have not been met, and that the use of deadly force was reasonable and justified.
There is no question that the officers were acting in the lawful discharge of their duties. So the only issue that can negate capital murder lies in whether or not the homeowner knew, or should have known, that it was a peace officer coming through his window. In other words, a “mistake of fact,” in which the homeowner believed it was your run-of-the-mill intruder slipping through the window that morning.
What are the facts to be considered? Things like whether the police officer identified himself as he slipped into the home, were there police lights or sirens outside, was the police officer wearing anything that had POLICE written on the front.
Taylor explained that “a mistake of fact needs to be both honest and reasonable.” She elaborated that “honest” means he really didn’t know the man was a peace officer, and “reasonable” means an ordinary and prudent person in the same situation would not have known the man was a peace officer.
If the jury believes he committed an honest and reasonable mistake of fact as to the man’s identity as a peace officer, and that he used deadly force based upon his reasonable belief that it was immediately necessary to defend himself from a burglar/home invader, then he did not commit capital murder.
Ultimately, this comes down to whether or not the jury of 12 random people believe that he didn’t know it was a police officer entering his home.
Taylor concluded by saying, “Whether or not the homeowner can succeed, and avoid both the death penalty or a life sentence without parole, will depend entirely on the evidence presented, and the jury sitting in front of him that day.”
And in a recent development, Mr. Guy says it was police gunfire that struck the officers, not his shots. That assertion was made in a federal civil rights complaint Mr. Guy filed, court records show.
How do you think this will resolve? If you were on the jury, which way would you be leaning based on the incomplete facts presented so far?
NRA News contributor Dom Raso, a former Navy SEAL and founder of Dynamis Alliance, reminds us that the AR-15 is the best defense against terror and crime in this informative video. Along with reminding us that banning AR-15s wouldn’t have prevented most of the recent terror attacks, Mr. Raso offers his common sense solution to stemming the tide of terror: Law-abiding citizens prepared to deal with the imminent threats we face.
Raso added, “After the attack at Pulse night club in Orlando, Hillary Clinton looked past the obvious enemy – radical Islamic terror – and instead said “weapons of war have no place on our streets” and that we need to ban AR-15s immediately. AR-15s are fine for Hillary and her family. They’ve been protected by armed guards who use them for three decades. But average Americans who watch the news and feel genuine fear for their safety, and their families’ safety—Hillary wants to deny them the level of protection she insists upon herself.”
What did you think of Raso’s “Best Defense Against Terror” video? Let us know what’s on your mind in the comment section.