Tag Archives: CALIFORNIA

A Tale of Two Rallies

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California Democratic Rep. Eric Swallwell takes his battle “to the NRA’s doorstep” to press his points about gun control. Here’s what happened. READ MORE

nra rally

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The 2020 presidential contest is now underway in earnest. Last Tuesday, President Trump officially kicked off his reelection campaign to a packed house at the 20,000 seat Amway Center in Orlando, FL. Earlier that day, one of the two dozen or so contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination tried to have a rally of his own to draw attention to his signature issue of gun control. The difference between the two events speaks volumes about the role the Second Amendment plays in American politics.

At about 1:30 in the afternoon, Eric Swallwell, a little-known U.S. Congressman from California’s 15th District, held an event on the sidewalk across from NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, VA. Swallwell is polling at a pathetic 1% in his party’s primary race and just barely qualified to attend the first Democrat debate.

The location of the “event” (if that’s not too strong a word) was meant to be symbolic. Speaking to The Hill last week, the candidate boasted: “I’m taking the battle to the NRA’s doorstep with a new, broader package of commonsense reforms to end gun violence.” The Hill article noted that “gun control” is the “centerpiece” of this individual’s “long-shot Democratic presidential bid.” Indeed, at his campaign launch in April, he told his audience that “this issue [i.e., gun control] comes first.”

It can only be assumed, then, that this “confrontation” with the NRA was a key moment in his effort to gain some national attention and raise his profile in a crowded field.

Instead, the gathering was an embarrassingly lame example of either extremely poor planning or rank disinterest in anything the individual had to say. With sun breaking through the clouds, accompanied by typical Northern Virginia heat and humidity, the crowd topped out at 18 individuals during the height of the event. This does not include the individual himself or a small contingent of reporters, but it does include his own staff and others who actually accompanied him to the site.

Adding to the humorous nature of the scene was the backdrop of a giant black tour bus that looked as if it could have held many dozens of occupants. Like a reverse clown car, it disgorged a “crowd” completely disproportionate to its size.

There’s nothing funny, however, about what this pretender would do to your Second Amendment rights in the far-fetched event he actually wielded power from the Oval Office.

Swallwell’s plan — which he misleadingly calls “A National Framework to End Gun Violence” — is basically a compendium of the worst thinking on gun control from the last 40 years.

Needless to say, the centerpiece of the “Framework” is a massive gun ban, in this case on what he calls “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons.” This likely refers to magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, which not incidentally is America’s most popular centerfire rifle platform.

Unlike other recent proposals, his plan calls for forcing those who previously obtained the newly-banned guns lawfully to surrender them to the government for whatever compensation D.C. bureaucrats decided to offer. He calls this the option for the person “who chooses to follow the law.”

Any person “caught defying the law” by refusing to relinquish their lawfully-obtained and constitutionally-protected property, meanwhile, could expect to be criminally prosecuted under the plan.

Of course, the true threats to public peace and order do not “choose[] to follow the law,” and the types of firearms he proposes to ban are actually under-represented in violent crime in the U.S. And even considering the far more infrequent phenomena of mass shootings, semi-automatic rifles are under-represented in those crimes as well.

The rest of his proposed agenda is too lengthy to fully enumerate, but lowlights include:

a mandatory 48-hour waiting period to take possession of a purchased gun (including, apparently, for those who already own guns);
a ban on the private sale of firearms;

federal licensing and mandatory training to obtain a firearm;

a nationwide registry of every firearm, firearm owner, and firearm transaction in America;

rationing of the purchase of handguns and ammunition; and

a cap on the amount of ammunition that individuals may possess at any one time to 200 rounds per caliber or gauge.

The full list is considerably longer, but the obvious intent is to discourage gun ownership by making it as expensive, burdensome, bureaucratic, legally perilous, and socially unacceptable as possible. Indeed, if he accomplished every item he proposes, American citizens would be worse off in terms of access to firearms than residents of many Western European countries that have no pretense of a “right” to arms and instead treat gun ownership as a tightly-restricted privilege.

Yet even as this plan was being unveiled to an audience that could barely fill a spacious utility closet, another, significantly larger audience was massing well ahead of President Trump’s official campaign kick-off later that night. That event packed the 20,000 seats of the arena, with an overflow crowd cheering the President on from outside of the venue as well.

And it wasn’t just the numbers that told the tale. There was an enthusiasm and electricity to the crowd in Orlando that is simply unmatched in American politics today.

For Second Amendment supporters, the president has been a steadfast ally, refusing to bend to the will of anti-gun forces within the Democrat party, the legacy media, and increasingly in a business climate that appears to embrace virtue signaling even over company mission or shareholder value. His years in office have seen some of the harshest, most sustained attacks against the Second Amendment in our nation’s history, and he has held firm to his promise to be friend to the law-abiding gun owner. None of the many gun control bills introduced into Congress have succeeded during his watch.

Not only that, he has appointed two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court committed to the original understanding of the U.S. Constitution. The Second Amendment will again be before the court this year, and thanks to President Trump, it will be given the respectful consideration it deserves. That would not have happened if Hillary Clinton had succeeded in her bid for the White House.

President Trump mentioned the Second Amendment three times in Orlando, and the crowd responded each time with raucous cheering and applause.

Like his would-be opponent from California, the President has situated the Second Amendment squarely at the center of his campaign. President Trump, however, understands the fundamental place the right to keep and bear arms holds in American life. “We will protect our Second Amendment,” he promised once again.

Fortunately, President Trump will almost certainly not be facing the Congressman from California’s 15th District in the race for the White House. And while the president’s eventual opponent is likely to take a more “moderate” stance on firearms in the general election, there’s little doubt the gun control wish list unveiled last Tuesday was as much as anything a roadmap anti-gun forces hope will lead to the eventual destruction of the Second Amendment. Bit by bit, they are hoping to change the terms of the debate and move the window on what is considered possible in infringing your rights.

Two views of the Second Amendment emerged on Tuesday, and it was clear which one was more widely embraced.

But make no mistake, there is still much work to be done to ensure that view also prevails in 2020. The media’s knives were out before the president even finished his speech, spinning familiar tales about the doom that surely await his electoral ambitions.

So we must do all we can to protect our freedoms in the 2020 elections.

 

Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

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Major 2nd Amendment boost! Judge overturns California’s ban on “high-capacity” magazines, the ban was “turning the Constitution upside down.” READ MORE

high capacity magazine

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In one of the strongest judicial statements in favor of the Second Amendment to date, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined last Friday that California’s ban on commonly possessed firearm magazines violates the Second Amendment.

The case is Duncan v. Becerra.

The NRA-supported case had already been up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on the question of whether the law’s enforcement should be suspended during proceedings on its constitutionality. Last July, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit upheld Judge Benitez’s suspension of enforcement and sent the case back to him for further proceedings on the merits of the law itself.

Judge Benitez rendered his opinion late Friday afternoon and handed Second Amendment supporters a sweeping victory by completely invalidating California’s 10-round limit on magazine capacity. “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts,” he declared.

In a scholarly and comprehensive opinion, Judge Benitez subjected the ban both to the constitutional analysis he argued was required by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and a more complicated and flexible test the Ninth Circuit has applied in prior Second Amendment cases.

Either way, Judge Benitez ruled, the law would fail. Indeed, he characterized the California law as “turning the Constitution upside down.” He also systematically dismantled each of the state’s purported justifications for the law, demonstrating the factual and legal inconsistencies of their claims.

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox hailed the decision as a “huge win for gun owners” and a “landmark recognition of what courts have too often treated as a disfavored right.”

“Judge Benitez took the Second Amendment seriously and came to the conclusion required by the Constitution,” Cox said. “The same should be true of any court analyzing a ban on a class of arms law-abiding Americans commonly possess for self-defense or other lawful purposes.”

Unfortunately, Friday’s opinion is not likely to be the last word on the case. The state will likely appeal to the Ninth Circuit, which has proven notably hostile to the Second Amendment in past decisions.

Nevertheless, the thoroughness of Judge Benitez’s analysis should give Second Amendment supporters the best possible chance for success in appellate proceedings, particularly if the case ultimately lands before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the meantime, Friday’s order prohibits California from enforcing its magazine restrictions, leaving its law-abiding residents safer and freer, at least for the time being.

To stay up-to-date on the Duncan case and other important Second Amendment issues affecting California gun owners, click HERE. And be sure to subscribe to NRA-ILA and CRPA email alerts HERE and HERE.

Anti-Gun Democrat Proposes Banning Semi-Autos and Going After “Resisters”

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Don’t believe the smoke screen: the anti-gun agenda won’t rest until they’ve got your gun… READ MORE

swallwell

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The May 11, 2018 headline of the USA Today op-ed said it all. Anti-gun Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) last week advocated for legislation to ban an as-yet undetermined class of semi-automatic firearms and to “go after resisters” who refuse to relinquish their lawfully-acquired firearms. Lest anyone mistake his intentions, Swalwell followed up with a lengthy NBC News interview this week in which he made clear that his own proposal is a departure from prior gun bans that allowed those who obtained the firearms when they were lawful to keep them. Swalwell said that after thinking “about the different ways to address it … I concluded the only way to do this is to get those weapons out of our communities.”

According to the NBC piece, Swalwell is modeling his own proposal on laws passed during the 1990s in Australia. The article then inaccurately states, “But while Australia comes up often in gun debates, almost no prominent figures have proposed national laws that would demand that gun owners turn in existing weapons en masse.”

The truth is that anyone who suggests the United States should adopt Australian-style gun control — a club that includes such infamous gun ban advocates as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — is by definition advocating for the forcible disarming of “resisters.” That, in fact, was the signature feature of the Australian approach.

The widespread disarming of Australian citizens occurred through a comprehensive scheme that proceeded as follows. What is no longer debatable, however, is the true agenda and ideology that lies behind the gun control project in America. It is the abolition of the right to gun ownership in America as we know it … “resisters” be damned.

First, the various political subdivisions within Australia unanimously agreed to a uniform ban on large categories of popular firearms. The ban was both retroactive and prospective.

Second, the government instituted “amnesty” periods, which allowed those who had previously acquired the newly-banned firearms lawfully to surrender them to the government for a fixed and nonnegotiable rate of compensation.

Third, and most importantly, anyone who refused to relinquish their formerly lawful property was to be treated as an armed criminal, with all the physical jeopardy and legal consequences that entails.

The Australian government also uses a “may-issue” licensing scheme for firearm acquisition, which among other things requires an applicant to show a “genuine reason” for needing the gun. Self-defense — which the U.S. Supreme Court considers the “central component” of America’s right to keep and bear arms – is not recognized under Australian law as a permissible reason for the acquisition, ownership, or use of a firearm.

Australian-style gun control, in other words, is completely foreign to and incompatible with America’s history, tradition, and rights of firearm ownership. Simply put, there is no reconciling Australian-style gun control with America’s Second Amendment, a fact which even some gun control advocates in their more candid moments are willing to admit.

If Swalwell has distinguished himself at all from other American advocates of the Australian approach, it’s because he is willing to be more forthcoming about the fact that it would turn millions of formerly law-abiding Americans into armed “criminals” with the stroke of a pen.

In his NBC interview, however, he tried to have it both ways.

First, he insisted:

I’m not proposing a roundup or confiscation. It would be like anything else that’s banned: If you’re caught with it there would be a steep penalty. Any fear of ATF agents going door to door to collect assault weapons is unfounded and not what is proposed here. They don’t go collecting drugs that are banned or any other substance or weapon that’s banned and I’m not proposing that here.

That, of course, is a lie. Law enforcement agents with enough probable cause that someone possesses drugs or other contraband to get a warrant absolutely do go after the contraband. Some might even say they are duty-bound to do so. A quick Internet search will show you what that looks like in the real world.

Anybody who illegally possesses a contraband firearm potentially risks the same treatment. Swalwell, who touts his credentials as a former prosecutor, surely knows that.

But when asked to elaborate about the “stiff penalties” that would supposedly ensure compliance with his scheme, Swalwell seemingly contradicted his no-confiscation stance, stating, “I’d want to first get the gun.”

To their credit, NBC asked Swalwell directly whether he was “prepared for some of the confrontations that might erupt from this,” adding, “You’re surely familiar with the slogan, ‘I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands.’” Swalwell brushed aside the question, indicating that Parkland survivors who have been advocating for gun control have given him “courage” for resolute action.

The actions he is calling for, however, carry inherent risks of further unnecessary loss of innocent life.

But that is what the gun “debate” has come to in America, with at least one gun control advocate so emboldened that he’s openly willing to put violent confrontations on the table to advance the agenda.

Whether Rep. Swalwell is serious or whether he is just hoping to move the Overton Window on what is considered legitimate rhetoric in the realm of gun control policy is perhaps debatable.

What is no longer debatable, however, is the true agenda and ideology that lies behind the gun control project in America. It is the abolition of the right to gun ownership in America as we know it … “resisters” be damned.