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Friday, November 7, 2014

Continued Complaints against the AL RKBA Amendment: "Inalienable" v "Fundamental"

I can't believe it, but the Bama Carry organization is still caterwauling on their Facebook page about the passage (72%) of Amendment 3, as they have done since it first was voted by the Legislature to appear on the ballot.

The ballot measure amended the Alabama constitution of 1901 to read:
Every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.
If you can believe it, the objection now is the wording "fundamental right", which these rubes believe to be somehow less than rights described by the phrase "inalienable right".

There ain't a substantial difference, people.  The two terms are used interchangeably.

Don't believe it? Look, Ol' Backwoods ain't a lawyer, but I can read and reason.  And I trust those attorneys, judges, and justices who have argued and written our pro-RKBA case law. 

How about Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the majority opinion in landmark  Supreme Court case McDonald v. City of Chicago, in which the City was infringing the right of a black man to keep and bear arms?  Justice Thomas
uses the words "inalienable" and "fundamental" interchangeably in this section about the history of rights in America (emphasis from Ol' Backwoods):
Justice Thomas:
Fundamental==Inalienable
After declaring their independence, the newly formed States replaced their colonial charters with constitutions and state bills of rights, almost all of which guaranteed the same fundamental rights that the former colonists previously had claimed by virtue of their English heritage. See, e.g., Pa. Declaration of Rights (1776)... declaring that "all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights," including the “right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences” and the "right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state."
Several years later, the Founders amended the Constitution to expressly protect many of the same fundamental rights against interference by the Federal Government.
Again later in the same opinion, Justice Thomas was discussing the usages of "privileges and immunities" from the 14th Amendment (emphasis from Ol' Backwoods):

...both the States and the Federal Government had long recognized the inalienable rights of their citizens. ... Article IV, §2 of the Constitution
protected traveling citizens against state discrimination  with respect to the fundamental rights of state citizenship.

I guess Justice Thomas is a backwoods rube who doesn't know his fundamental from his inalienable, huh?

Ol' Backwoods will be back later with more on this... 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

AL Constitution Ballot Measure on RKBA PASSED!

Despite the surprising objections from Bama Carry, and from the usual anti-gun, anti-rights culprits, Alabama is now the third fourth state in the Union to enshrine the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right which must be protected by judges from infringement with the strictest level of judicial review:

From ABC 33 News:
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama voters have approved a constitutional amendment to make gun ownership a fundamental right. 
The measure called Amendment 3 won easily in statewide balloting Tuesday.
The Republican-backed amendment used language from the National Rifle Association.
The measure would make owning firearms a fundamental right in Alabama. It would also require that measures to control firearms would have to pass the toughest review by state courts.  
Supporters say the amendment was needed to guard against overreaching gun control. Opponents say the proposal could lead to a dismantling of existing limits on gun possession and ownership. 
Louisiana and Missouri have approved similar measures.
I know my wife and I voted for it.  We must have been among many.

WELL DONE, ALABAMA!

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UPDATE: Prominent RKBA attorney Eugene Volokh quotes the newly-amended Alabama constitution and comments:
"Every citizen has a fundamental right to bear arms in defense of himself or herself and the state. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny."  
[... the]   provision would impose a more demanding test for gun controls, though not an insuperable test (see this case upholding a limited ban on gun possession by felons under strict scrutiny). Similar restrictions have recently been enacted in Louisiana and Missouri.

I can't help thinking about how this would have played in the Washington Post (Volohk's host site) if, as Bama Carry's leadership wanted, the ballot measure would have failed.  The WaPo would have celebrated, and y'all know it.

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UPDATE: I forgot about Kansas, so that makes Alabama the fourth.  Dean Weingarten at Gun Watch reminds us (and I'll forgive him for calling us Alabamians 'Alabamans'):
Alabama follows on the heels of a Missouri amendment that passed with 61 percent of the vote, which continued the trend of Kansas and Louisiana. The Louisiana measure passed with 74% of the vote; the Kansas amendment passed with 88% . Wisconsin was the last state to add an amendment, instead of strengthening an existing one. The Wisconsin amendment passed in 1998 with 74% of the vote. It is clear that legislators are listening to grassroots support of these efforts.
Alabama follows on the heels of a Missouri amendment that passed with 61 percent of the vote, which continued the trend of Kansas and  Louisiana.   The Louisiana measure passed with 74% of the vote; the Kansas amendment passed with 88% .  Wisconsin was the last state to add an amendment, instead of strengthening an existing one.  The Wisconsin amendment passed in 1998 with 74% of the vote.    It is clear that legislators are listening to grassroots support of these efforts.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Will Malloy Raid Gun Owners After Losing the Election?

UPDATE 11/5: Malloy won.  CWII soon?

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Mike Vanderboegh says he has sources in the Connecticut Governor's office and the State Police that believe so.
This week, the water-cooler rumor at the Connecticut State Police barracks around the state is that [Under Secretary for Criminal Justice] Mike Lawlor has promised that if the governor is defeated that the raids will not wait for next year, but ... will "punish the gun nuts" by starting the raids within days of [CT Gov.] Malloy's defeat. ...
On Friday, I heard from another source I trust that they, too, had heard this and believed it to be true. 
Thus, if the rumor IS true and Lawlor has his way, it doesn't matter if Malloy wins or loses -- there will be raids.
If so, will that start a hot civil war?  Or will the people of CT just give up thousands of $$$ worth of rifles, and agree to go to prison over something people in free states like my own Alabama think nothing of owning?

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Update on Proposed Alabama Amendment 3 (Strict Scrutiny)

UPDATE 11/5: it PASSED!

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Dave Workman has an interesting article about the controversy in Alabama's gun rights community on ballot measure 3, which proposes an amendment to Alabama's constitution to direct judges to always apply a strict scrutiny level of judicial review to all cases where the right to keep and bear arms is in jeopardy.

Of course, Ol' Backwoods has covered this before, talking about the split between Bama Carry and the Alabama Gun Rights organizations (which include Alabama Open Carry).

The real story in Workman's article is in the comments.  Eddie Maxwell is a honcho in Bama Carry, and I have tried to argue for this amendment with him on the Facebook page, and was told to leave Bama Carry if I believed the Amendment was good for Alabama.  (Full disclosure: Ol' Backwoods is a paying member of Bama Carry.)  George Owens, a big wheel in the Alabama Gun Rights Organizations, is trying to argue for the amendment by showing how limited the right to keep and bear arms already is in Alabama, including the case State v. Reid (1840) which defined the right to bear arms as open carry, not concealed carry.

All I know is that a) 2nd amendment / RKBA lawyers smarter than me are for strict scrutiny, and b) if this goes down in flames here in the Deep South, the Bloombergites and the other anti's will dance up a storm, and claim that they are winning.  And maybe they do win a victory if this ballot measure is defeated.

As David Codrea says, "any chair in a bar fight."  Or, in Latin, "CUM ULLA SELLA IN PUGNO TABERNA".

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kakistocracy

kak·is·toc·ra·cy noun \ˌkakə̇ˈstäkrəsē\
                 Definition: government by the worst men
                 Origin:  Greek kakistos (superlative of kakos bad) + English -cracy

(First in a series)
From our friend Bob Ownes:  BOO-HOO: Eric Holder Is Really Sad He Was Unable To Disarm You Before Fleeing Office

… the first sitting U.S. Attorney General ever found in criminal contempt of Congress, regrets that he was unable to strip Americans of the firearms that the citizens would find most useful in defending themselves from tyrannical government officials such as himself ... 
Mr. Holder and his allies on the progressive far left have long desired to outlaw this popular firearms because their characteristics make them extremely useful for self defense not just against criminals (most experts regard the AR-15 platform in .223 Remington/5.56 NATO as one of the best home defense weapons made), but also against a bloated federal government that is becoming increasingly lawless, tyrannical and overbearing under his blatantly partisan and possibly criminal leadership.  ...
Curiously, Mr. Holder had very little to say about Operation Fast and Furious, Operation Gangwalker, or any of the other alleged ATF gun-walking plots that sent tens of thousands of weapons to foreign narco-terrorists and domestic gang members in an apparent scheme to manufacture violent crime to justify the gun control laws he so desperately championed.
The targeting of your RKBA does not change just because Eric Holder is leaving one un-elected position and will doubtless enter another powerful but un-elected position in some prog think tank, university, or bank.

You can bet that there are thousands of men and women just as corrupt, just as power-hungry, just as politically-correct, ,just as America-hating, and  just as determined to take your rights as Eric Holder.

And NONE of them are on the ballot in the November elections.  The continuity of the kakistocracy is always maintained.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Interview with an Unrepentant Murderer, 19 Years Old

Via GunFreeZone, on Gun Nuts Media, a YouTube of a harrowing interview with a 19-year-old self-confessed double murderer, whose name I will not even type.  Just think, there are MILLIONS of soulless killer kids just like him in America.

Warning, this kid either has Tourette's sydrome, or in the hood, every other word is the f-word.

I tried to get a partial transcript of the interview [MUST CREDIT BACKWOODS ENGINEER.COM IF YOU USE THIS TRANSCRIPT].  Tell me this doesn't give you the shivers.
"Let's go out there where the rich white folks stay at, rob one of them.. you know what I'm sayin'?" 
(Describes in Ebonics how he and his cousin started talking to two guys in a parking lot of a recording studio in Dallas.) 
"I'm like, 'yeah, you got a cigarette?' He go, 'yeah', and he went to go reach for it, I pulled the pistol, shot him, shot the driver... the one I shot here first, he stumbled back, like dropped, got back up like he was fixed to run, the one of the other side, he raised up like he was fixed to do something, so I shot him in the head, you know what I'm sayin'? 
 Then the other one, shot him twice in the head, just to make sure f*** dead... 
(Interviewer asks, "Do you have any remorse?") (shakes head) "Do it look like it?" 
(Interviewer asks, "What will happen to you now?") "Hopefully the death penalty... because if they give me life, I'm 'll kill somebody else, straight up, I'm tellin' you right now.... F*** his family, too, both of them.

People like this monster is exactly why I carry concealed, every day.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Is Strict Scrutiny Really a Trojan Horse to Defeat the RKBA?

UPDATE 11/5: Amendment PASSED!  But Bama Carry's gripes continue!

WELCOME Sipsey Street & War on Guns readers!   There's an update to this story here at The Backwoods Engineer.  Also, please check out my other posts when you're finished with this one.
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I don't understand the opposition to the ballot measure for Amendment 3 in Alabama, which would direct judges in the state to apply strict scrutiny to cases where the state's compelling interest is opposed to the individual and fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

For example, the Bama Carry organization, both at the state level and local chapters, have had officers tell their members to vote NO on Amendment 3.  Ol' Backwoods heard this personally at the Bama Carry Rivers Region chapter meeting this past Monday in Elmore County.

Why?  Is strict scrutiny really such a Trojan Horse that it will bring the loss of our right to keep and bear arms?

Prominent 2nd Amendment attorneys, who work cases at both the federal and state levels, advocate for strict scrutiny for the RKBA.  For example, Alan Gura (who won Heller v US and McDonald v Chicago) has argued extensively for strict scrutiny (as in Nordyke v King in CA:http://www.saf.org/?p=1656).

I think those who oppose the mandate of strict scrutiny in RKBA cases misunderstand how this works. This is not about the legislature, but about the judiciary.

The judiciary has to decide between two interests in all cases as regard fundamental rights: 1) interest of the individual, and 2) interest of the state, or the people, as perceived by the judge(s). What gun-grabbing judges will do is say that the interest of the people is that nobody should have a gun.  This just happened in North Carolina,  with Judge Stephens ruling no concealed carry at NC state fair, in clear contravention to a law barely a year old, explicitly allowing carry at events requiring admission.

How these things get decided in courts depend on the level of judicial scrutiny: rational basis, intermediate scrutiny, or strict scrutiny. With a strict scrutiny amendment in the AL Constitution, judges receive instruction that all cases involving fundamental rights must apply strict scrutiny to state interests that come in conflict with an individual's fundamental rights (here, the RKBA).

Here is a quote from Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens of NC, who does NOT have to apply strict scrutiny to a case regarding the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. He can tell peaceable gun owners to pound sand, you can't carry at the state fair in NC, in direct contravention to the clear language of the law: "... if there is some way I can interpret these statues to prohibit [carry at the fair], I will."

You bet he will.  And so will other anti-gun judges, unless they are reined in by the people.  The judges have been inculcated with hatred of the right to keep and bear arms in the law schools, most of which still teach, contra Heller, that the RKBA only applies to the militia, and that is the National Guard.

Look, this isn't a cure-all.  An amendment enjoining strict scrutiny is just a start.  Judges will still rule against fundamental rights.  Those that do should be impeached; but, there first must be a basis in law for them to be impeached.  Which returns us to the need for strict scrutiny in Alabama's Constitution.

Here's a quote from 2nd Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh, whose credentials I need not present, in discussing the very important Ezell v. Chicago case at the Supreme Court:
In short, the Second Amendment is part of normal constitutional law. The standard of review is not the absolutist “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ don’t you understand?'” Nor is the standard “reasonableness” as a euphemism for “rational basis so long as all guns are not banned”; nor the weak “undue burden” standard that was invented for one particular un-enumerated right which is an extreme outlier in the weakness of its basis in history, tradition, and other sources for u-nenumerated rights. Intermediate scrutiny does apply sometimes, as with the First Amendment, and, also as with the First Amendment, stricter scrutiny applies at other times. As with much of the rest of 21st century constitutional law, the interpretive methodology includes both originalism and a practical analysis which some persons would call “living constitutionalism.
So why not mandate strict scrutiny then, Alabama?

One objection is "if it is not broke, it does not need to be fixed or changed."  I read this exactly on one of the Alabama gun rights groups's Facebook page.

Well, it's plenty "broke" now!  There are plenty of infringements of the right to keep and bear arms that exist in Alabama law, and have been upheld by courts.  For example, an Alabamian cannot carry in his or her car without a concealed carry permit, which is a clear infringement of the right to keep and bear arms.  But no court challenges have been brought to this.  My guess is, the lawyers know the case would never succeed, because the judge would apply rational basis or intermediate scrutiny, and agree with the Alabama Sheriff's Association and "Boss Hogg" Marshall of Montgomery County, and say "You lose!  Get a permit from the county if you want to carry!  NEXT CASE, Bailiff!"

Thus do they infringe our fundamental rights unless told otherwise.

There are other infringements that are just now beginning to be challenged in Alabama.  The Students for Concealed Carry on Campus this year are challenging the total ban on concealed carry on the University of Alabama campus.

Now, under what standard of review would a judge in that case rule in favor of the Alabama students' fundamental right to bear arms?  On a rational basis?  Nope.  That would lead most judges, who are already biased against guns from way back in law school, to say, "Ban upheld, state has a compelling interest of safety.  NEXT case!"  How about an intermediate scrutiny basis?  It's doubtful; few RKBA cases have been won on the basis of that level of judicial scrutiny.  Only strict scrutiny would win the day, and only if the people can compel the judge to apply it.  Amendment 3 would be a good start.

Another so-called argument against Amendment 3 that I've read is this: "Well, the 1901 Constitution says no law or court can infringe the right to keep and bear arms, so what part of that can't you understand!!"  Despite its blustery emotional appeal, this is not actually an argument; it is called "begging the question", since the sufficiency of the language in the 1901 Constitution as regards the RKBA is what is at issue here.  Just blustering over and over, "what we have now is good enough!" does not make it so.

Why don't the opponents of Amendment 3 bring a cogent argument to the table that condemns requiring the judiciary to use strict scrutiny when deciding between an individual's RKBA and the government's interests ?

Because there aren't any good arguments against strict scrutiny, or against Amendment 3.

I maintain that those that oppose the legislation of judicial strict scrutiny to state interests opposing fundamental rights do not understand it.

And here's one of the worst things:  if Amendment 3 goes down in flames, you can bet the enemies of freedom like Bloombers and CGSV will crow about it as if it was their own personal victory.  Bet on it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lessons Lost: Project Ebola 1983

UPDATE II: Boy, I've really touched a nerve with this.  I have all kind of people messaging me and trying to shut me up on this.  Let's be clear: the virus injected into the monkeys in Project Ebola in 1983 was from a woman in Africa who ACTUALLY HAD THE DISEASE!  It's in the book!  I guess people won't read, and they don't want to hear scientific research.  Whatever.  I'm done with this subject.

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UPDATE: Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast, a man I have met personally, I respect, I have corresponded with, and whose podcasts I have listened for over 5 years, sent me a message on my personal page on Facebook and told me to "quit posting stupid bullshit," as regards this post.

I'm just shaking my read.

Read the book, Jack.  What happened with Colonel Jaxx and the other vet in Project Ebola REALLY happened.  Richard Preston, the author, interviewed her years later.  She is a scientist and a primary source in an investigation to find a cure of the deadliest disease known to man.

Stanford University has interviewed her and her husband about Project Ebola: Interview with Colonel Nancy Jaax, D.V.M., PhD. 

Aereolization of the Ebola virus was proven 31 years ago by the Army.   Why deny it?  What possible gain is there to denying it?

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Thirty-one years ago, the US Army learned lessons learned about how deadly the Ebola virus is. Those lessons have been forgotten by the feckless Federal administration and its political appointee who oversees the CDC.  I repeat one of the most important lessons here, about Ebola's airborne virulence through aerolization, by quoting a passage from a poor scan of the book "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston.  The book is now available on Kindle at the link.  Read it.  Educate yourself.

PROJECT EBOLA
US Army Veterinary Corps Level 4 Facility
Thurmont, Maryland
September, 1983
THE [PROJECT] EBOLA EXPERIMENTS were not a success in the sense that the drugs had no effect on the virus. All of Gene Johnson's infected monkeys died no matter what drugs they were given.  
They all died.  
The virus absolutely nuked the monkeys. It was a complete slate wiper.  
The only survivors of the experiment were the two control monkeys-the healthy, uninfected monkeys that lived in cages across the room from the sick monkeys. The control monkeys had not been infected with Ebola, and so, as expected, they had not become sick. 
Then, two weeks after [a near-infection of Nancy Jaax, one of the veterinarians working on the project], something frightening happened in the Ebola rooms. The two healthy monkeys developed red eyes and blood noses, and they crashed and bled out. 
 They had never been deliberately infected with Ebola virus, and they had not come near the sick monkeys. They were separated from the sick monkeys by open floor. 
 If a healthy person were placed on the other side of a room from a person who was sick
with AIDS, the AIDS virus would not be able to drift across the room through the air and
infect the healthy person. But Ebola had drifted across a room. It had moved quickly,
decisively, and by an unknown route. Most likely the control monkeys inhaled it into
their lungs.  
"It got there somehow," Nancy Jaax would say to me as she told me the story some years later. "Monkeys spit and throw stuff. And when the caretakers wash the cages down with water hoses, that can create an aerosol of droplets. It probably traveled through the air in aerosolized secretion. That was when I knew that Ebola can travel through the air."

And now, that virus is in Dallas, Texas.

Emphasis mine.

Stay away from crowds, my friends, and prepare for a long period of isolation from others who aren't in your "tribe".