An Atlanta news anchor nails it when explaining what the actual purpose of the Second Amendment is and why the Founding Fathers thought it was so important.
Ben Swann, host of CBS 46’s show “Reality Check,” explained on Monday that the right to bear arms isn’t just about hunting or personal protection; it’s about preventing the government turning on its own people.
Swann started off the segment by quoting the text of the Second Amendment:
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
He explained that much of the modern debate over the intent of the Second Amendment centers around whether or not private citizens should be allowed to own guns. At the time the Constitution was drafted, private gun ownership was considered to be an indisputable right by the Founding Fathers and their fellow countrymen.
“This may be a very foreign concept, but the first fight over the Second Amendment wasn’t over whether the population should be armed. All the framers agreed with that,” Swann said. “The fight was between Federalists and Anti-Federalists over whether we would have a standing army.”
An army is necessary to protect its citizens, but both Federalists and Anti-Federalists were worried that if a government were to become militarized, nothing would keep it from growing too strong and eventually becoming tyrannical.
“The Federalists wanted the Second Amendment because they believed a strong federal government would be able to control a standing army,” he said. “The Anti-Federalists wanted it because it would mean every able-bodied man in America would be armed in the event that the federal government or America’s own standing army turned on its own people.”
Thus, the Second Amendment has provisions for both a well-regulated militia, which consisted of pretty much every male with a pulse, and the right for private citizens to bear arms, which appeased both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.
“It was written by men who ultimately believed that governments and armies would turn on their own people,” Swann said. “The Second Amendment was written to guarantee that would never happen.”
You can read a transcript of the full segment here.
On Fox New’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” correspondent Jesse Watters often goes to college towns, microphone in hand, to document the airy ignorance of some college students. Now we know it’s not really their fault.
“I urge President Obama to ban firearm possession in America,” a college professor wrote in the Rochester (New York) Democrat & Chronicle. “He is the president of the United States. He can change the country. He can do it today. I believe in him.”
That’s Barbara LeSavoy, director of Women and Gender Studies at The College at Brockport. You’d think she would know something about the U.S. Constitution and the way the country works. But alas, she seems pretty clueless.
“Today, I write this letter with a bleeding heart,” she states. “I admire Obama. But he has let me down. I am disappointed because his presidency could have done more for our country, and sadly, the many taken lives who cannot read this essay. I still worry about urgent social tensions facing our nation, and I recognize their ongoing complexities in policy and legislative action. But gun violence can be averted.”
How? It seems pretty simple to her.
“Firearm possession should be banned in America; President Obama can orchestrate this directive,” she wrote. “His presidency can be remembered as a remarkable turn in United States history where a progressive leader forever changed the landscape under which we live and work. This is his legacy. To establish gun control laws in America that will reduce high levels of male violence and usher in a culture of peace and civility.”
No, President Obama doesn’t have that power. What’s standing in his way isn’t political meekness, as professor LeSavoy implies, but the Second Amendment.
As the U.S. Supreme Court held in the Heller decision in 2008, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”
Professor LeSavoy’s letter doesn’t make it clear how she thinks the government should go about collecting all those guns she wants the president to ban. But any such effort would be disastrous.
As The Federalist’s Varad Mehta noted, “Let there be no doubt. Gun confiscation would have to be administered by force of arms. I do not expect that those who dismissed their fellow citizens for clinging bitterly to their guns are so naive that they imagine these people will suddenly cease their bitter clinging when some nice young man knocks on their door and says, ‘Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to take your guns.’”
It would be needlessly cruel to quote much more of professor LeSavoy’s letter, although this sentence pretty much sums it up: “During (Obama’s) 2008 presidential campaign, my two daughters, partner, and I ate every meal in our house on Obama placemats.”
The point here is that professor LeSavoy is a celebrated scholar and thought-leader in academia. So maybe we should give college students a break. It’s not their fault.
“I will not allow gun confiscation in my county.”
Elkhart County, Indiana Sheriff Brad Rogers made a covenant declaration to his citizens that he will “disregard” any executive orders sent by President Obama that infringes on their Second Amendment rights.
“If President Obama today said, ‘I’m creating an executive order that all sheriffs and police chiefs around this nation need to start registering firearms,’ I will disregard it,” the sheriff said on Sunday’s broadcast of WNIT’s Politically Speaking.
Rogers was a guest, along with several other members of the community, invited to talk about the government’s call for more gun control and to speak on gun rights in the wake of the recent university shootings.
“We’ve always had this conversation that we need more reasonable gun control put in place,” Rogers said. “But we already have what is reasonable, in my opinion, and in fact it’s probably overdone.”
Rogers was questioned on how he can hold these unruly views and be reconciled with the oath he took for office. So, he repeated his oath, saying it is to defend the United States Constitution and the Indiana constitution to the best of his ability. However, he said that doesn’t mean he enforces every law every time:
If you want the police to enforce every law on the books, that means all the discretion is taken out. That means you get a ticket every time instead of a warning. That means we can’t take a juvenile home instead of throwing him into the juvenile justice system and starting their career in crime.
The sheriff said his role in the government of the people doesn’t mean he “checks his mind at the door” and blindly follow orders. If something is asked of him that checks out as unlawful with the Constitution, even a law itself, his conscience wouldn’t permit him to enforce it.
I want to affirm my commitment and my oath of office to uphold the Indiana and United States constitutions, the Second Amendment and all of the Bill of Rights. I will not allow gun confiscation in my county.
I will not enforce any additional anti-gun laws and I stand with you for liberty as a law enforcement officer, as a sheriff and hopefully to light the flame across this nation for other sheriffs to also stand for liberty and not tolerate the constitutional usurpations that are occurring at the federal level.
Californians can rest assured that law enforcement must obtain a warrant to access digital records. Today, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed S.B. 178, the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA).
After months of pressure from public interest groups, media organizations, privacy advocates, tech companies, and thousands of members of the public, California’s elected leaders have updated the state’s privacy laws so that they are in line with how people actually use technology today.
CalECPA protects Californians by requiring a warrant for digital records, including emails and texts, as well as a user’s geographical location. These protections apply not only to your devices, but to online services that store your data. Only two other states have so far offered these protections: Maine and Utah.
Here’s what the bill’s authors had to say about the victory:
Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco)
For too long, California’s digital privacy laws have been stuck in the Dark Ages, leaving our personal emails, text messages, photos and smartphones increasingly vulnerable to warrantless searches. That ends today with the Governor’s signature of CalECPA, a carefully crafted law that protects personal information of all Californians. The bill also ensures that law enforcement officials have the tools they need to continue to fight crime in the digital age.
Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine)
Senator Leno and I helped bridge the gap between progressives and conservatives to make the privacy of Californians a top priority this year. This bipartisan bill protects Californians’ basic civil liberties as the Fourth Amendment and the California Constitution intended.
EFF, along with the ACLU and the California Newspaper Publishers Association, sponsored the bill from the very beginning, recognizing how the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is inherently tied to freedom of speech. Tech corporations also recognized that, following two years of government spying scandals, consumers have lost trust in the companies’ ability to protect their digital information. In response, Silicon Valley’s major players, including Adobe, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Google, and Twitter, all threw their support behind the bill. After months of negotiation, the state’s major law enforcement organizations also withdrew their opposition, stating that the bill struck an appropriate balance between public safety and privacy. The San Diego Police Officers Association further lent its endorsement to S.B. 178, arguing that clear processes for obtaining data would improve their ability to do their jobs, while also protecting privacy.
CalECPA’s passage marks a significant milestone in the campaign to update computer privacy laws, which have been stuck in the 1980s.
In another Gun Free Zone shooting a gunman killed as many as 10 people at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon on Thursday, he has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, police told CBS News. The shooter was killed in a firefight with Douglas County sheriff’s deputies, according to Sheriff John Hanlin.
Mercer reportedly demanded to know victims’ religions before killing them, according to witnesses and authorities.
First there was this account from student Kortney Moore printed by The News-Review:
Kortney Moore, 18, from Rogue River, was in her Writing 115 class in Snyder Hall when one shot came through a window. She saw her teacher get shot in the head. The shooter was inside at that point, and he told people to get on the ground. The shooter was asking people to stand up and state their religion and then started firing away, Moore said. Moore was lying there with people who had been shot.
The New York Post followed up with a report of its own on an account someone tweeted out:
“The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian,” she wrote. “If they said yes, then they were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs. My grandma just got to my house, and she was in the room. She wasn’t shot, but she is very upset.”
Some media outlets are reporting that the campus was not a gun free zone and Oregon is an open carry state. Unfortunately for the college students attending the school the student hand book states otherwise.
In addition to the written policy of the community college, the university’s president, Rita Cavin, stated in a press conference that the university is a gun-free campus and there are “no plans” to change security policy.
Having a pass-code on your phone might be your best defense in a case where a device’s data could be used against you.
In January, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused two analysts for Capital One Financial Corp. of insider trading. The SEC claimed the two turned a $150,000 investment into $2.8 million with the information they gleaned.
Even though the two men had company-owned smartphones while the insider trading was allegedly happening, Capital One did not know the pass-code for either device.
So, after firing the two men and collecting their phones, Capital One turned the handsets over to the SEC. But the devices were still locked, so the commission tried to compel the men to give up their pass-codes.
What did they do? They pleaded the Fifth. That’s the amendment that says people can’t be forced to incriminate themselves.
That defense ended up working in favor of the two former Capital One analysts. The judge decided the codes were personal information — not corporate records, since the company never knew the codes to begin with — and could be considered self-incriminating if given up.
The SEC tried to argue that the codes didn’t qualify for this protection because the government already knew the information existed and knew where it was located — an argument that’s worked in similar cases — but the judge didn’t agree. (Video via YouTube / EverythingApplePro)
The judge basically said the SEC didn’t have proof of any incriminating documents on the pass-code-protected phones, or that any such information existed at all.
So a pass-code could save you in a trial, if you plan on pleading the Fifth, but fingerprints still can’t. Other judges have ruled that biometric data doesn’t reveal anything a defendant knows and therefore doesn’t qualify as self-incriminating information. (Video via Apple)