Mexico’s theory is that, since any gun in the U.S. might at some point conceivably cross the U.S. border, all U.S. guns have to be controlled in the name of controlling the international arms trade.
But Mexico, the other nations that agree with it, and “progressive” groups that campaigned for the treaty the blame America-first activists, in other words are in this game for the long haul. So it’s not a good sign that Mexico’s been given the job of hosting the first treaty meeting.
It’s even less good that Mexico’s spent much of the past year colluding with the activists to keep skeptics out of the room. Their view was that only true believers who campaigned for the treaty should be allowed to see what’s going on.
You might wonder what they’re afraid of. Civil libertarians and skeptics make no secret of their views. However, if they were always in the room, they’d report on exactly how closely the activists are working with Mexico and other like minded nations.
The activists led by the global Control Arms Coalition, which has a massive presence at Cancún are the only insiders in the treaty process, and they want to keep it that way.
The ATT was adopted through the U.N., which means it was drafted by the world’s nations. That’s bad, because there are lots of incapable and evil governments in the world. But it’s better than the alternative, which was for the ATT to have been drafted solely by the activists.
Now that the treaty exists, however, the activists want to take it over and direct it for their own purposes. What they want is to turn the ATT into an arms control and disarmament treaty.
Keeping skeptics away is part of that campaign.
So far, they’ve not succeeded in keeping them out, or in taking over the treaty. But the ATT isn’t simply a treaty that’s over and done with. Like many treaties, it’s a process that will go on and on, in meeting after meeting, year after year. And the activists have lots of people, lots of money, and lots of time.
The U.S.’s goal in Cancún should be to do whatever it can to prevent the activists from getting any footholds. That means ensuring a treaty secretariat that’s strictly limited in its purposes, conference rules that don’t privilege the activists, and reporting requirements that don’t go beyond current U.S. practice or identify individual U.S. firearms owners.
Because, thankfully, the U.S. hasn’t ratified the ATT, we won’t have a vote in much of what goes on. But that doesn’t mean we lack influence. Let’s hope that America uses it wisely.
A North Dakota law allows police to outfit drones with ‘less-than-lethal’ weapons including stun guns and tear gas. The bill’s original sponsor says he didn’t want weapons of any kind on drones, but that the state law enforcement lobby altered the bill’s language.
A new law passed this week made North Dakota the first state in the US to allow state and local police drones to carry weapons.
House Bill 1328 explicitly forbids lethal weapons aboard police drones, but allows stun guns, beanbag rounds, tear gas, and other “less-than-lethal” weapons to be fitted onto unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The bill’s sponsor originally included language banning police drones from carrying any kind of weapon, but that language was removed at the behest of a representative from the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association, the state’s law enforcement lobby, before it passed.
The bill’s original sponsor, Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck), said at a hearing in March that he was worried about police using drones to fire remotely on suspected criminals.
“When you’re not on the ground, and you’re making decisions, you’re sort of separate,” he said at the time. Supporters of the current measure say that police drones are generally only used to photograph crime scenes, assist in missing-person searches, and perform other non-criminal duties, and that the less-than-lethal weapons carried by the drones would only be employed in extraordinary circumstances.
The legislation does require police and sheriff’s deputies to obtain a search warrant from a judge before they can use UAVs for surveillance. Police must also retain records on where drones fly, for how long, and for what purpose.
Rep. Becker told Ars Technica that although the law gives North Dakota law enforcement agencies the power to outfit their drones with less-than-lethal weapons, he didn’t know of any that were planning to do so. He also said that he plans to introduce a new bill in 2017 specifically banning police drones from carrying any kind of weapons, including Tasers and other non-lethal weapons.
The Mexican government has told Texas that they had better start issuing birth certificates to the children of illegal immigrants–or risk lousing up the entire relationship between the U.S. government and Mexico.
Mexico has accused Texas of trying to deny citizenship to the so-called “anchor babies”–children born in America to illegal immigrants, who should automatically receive citizenship at birth because of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In order to obtain a birth certificate in Texas, a parent has to show two forms of identification.
But while illegal immigrants may have a Mexican passport, their other form of government-issued ID is a “matricula,” a special identification card given to illegal immigrants by the Mexican consulate.
But Texas does not recognize matriculas as a valid form of identification. Some Texas country registrars offices are even refusing to accept anything short of a U.S. visa or a U.S. ID card in order to obtain a birth certificate.
Right now, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of six children by their illegal parents, who came from Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.
The lawsuit alleges that Texas is violating the Fourteenth Amendment by denying citizenship to children born on U.S. soil.
But Texas claims the ability to choose which IDs to accept is a state issue, and has claimed that not accepting consulated-issued ID cards, like matriculas, is a long-standing policy.
Attorney Jennifer Harbury, who is representing the illegal immigrant families, said that the issue isn’t just whether or not matriculas should be accepted–but whether or not Texas is being fair.
“The argument is ‘what will you take that people can actually get?’” she said. “They have to take something. [The children] were born here. They are U.S. citizens.”
Seattle’s leftist progressive government running on emotions approved a sales tax of $25 on each firearm sold and five cents for each round of ammunition (two cents for .22 caliber).
Washington state preemption laws will lead to the city into a costly lawsuit if Mayor Ed Murray signs the “gun violence tax” in to law violating the state statute.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, says it intends to file a lawsuit challenging the City of Seattle’s recently NSSF and other pro-gun groups fought the legislation, labeled a “gun violence tax,” but the City Council nevertheless approved the ordinance on August 10. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has indicated support for the measure. NSSF today sent the mayor a letter urging him to veto the unlawful tax and letting him know that if the law was enacted “NSSF will have no alternative but to file a lawsuit” against the City to invalidate this unlawful regulation of the lawful sale of firearms and ammunition on the grounds that it violates Washington state’s preemption statute that blocks cities from regulating the sale of firearms. Additionally, the letter points out that the tax burdens citizens from exercising their Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm.
“This ordinance will do little to promote public safety and instead will place an undue burden on both federally licensed firearms retailers and law-abiding citizens who want to purchase firearms, particularly people in less well-off circumstances,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of NSSF. “This law is nothing but a ‘poll tax’ on the Second Amendment and an effort to drive Seattle’s firearms retailers out of business.”
If I were a Seattle taxpayer, I’d be furious that the city council and Mayor Murray are going to force an expensive and apparently doomed lawsuit for what appears to be nothing more or less than political theater.
In 2013, as Detroit sank into bankruptcy due to Democratic policies, Chief of Police James Craig surprisingly made the commonsense suggestion that, given shrinking police resources and a spike in violent crime, residents should take a hand in their own personal security by purchasing a firearm.
Since then, there has been a substantial increase in gun ownership in the city and not unexpectedly there is some indication that this has led to a decrease in some categories of crime.
“When you look at the city of Detroit, we’re kind of leading the way in terms of urban areas with law-abiding citizens carrying guns,” Craig said recently.
The chief’s call to arms, which first came in December, 2013, has been answered by thousands of men and women tired of being victims and eager to reclaim their beleaguered city. In 2014, some new 1,169 handgun permits were issued, while 8,102 guns were registered with Detroit’s police department – many to prior permit holders who bought new firearms. So for in 2015, nearly 500 permits have issued by the department and more than 5,000 guns have been registered.
“There’s definitely been a “Chief Craig” effect,” Rick Ector, a firearms instructor who runs the blog Legally Armed in Detroit. “His support and endorsement has been helpful.”
Obtaining a concealed-carry permit in the state of Michigan is not difficult compared to states with stricter gun laws. Eligible citizens can meet the state’s training requirement in eight hours, and firearms academies and gun shops within the city offer one-day courses for as little as $99.
Ector said that he and other instructors have seen a steady rise in locals looking to get a permit, to protect themselves either on the street or in their homes. While data showing a relation between increased gun ownership and the crime rate is not available, Ector said legally armed residents are having an effect.
Home invasions have gone down,” he said. “A huge reason was that there was a huge spate of homeowners using their guns against intruders. More people have guns and it’s making burglars cautious.”
The firearms instructor said women are driving growth in his business.
“It used to be that we would only have one or two women in a class,” he said. “Now we are seeing much, much more. This past May, I held a class where we trained 300 ladies.”
Detroit is more than 80% black and there has been a remarkable change in the attitude of black people toward gun ownership:
With a population of about 680,000, some 83 percent of which is African-American, Detroit’s growing embrace of Second Amendment rights has a racial component that is not unique to the city. According to a recent survey from Pew Research Center, 54 percent of African-American residents nationwide now see legal gun ownership as more likely to protect people than to put their safety at risk. That figure was up from 29 percent two years ago.
“If anyone should have the right or need to carry a gun, it should be the African-American community,” Philip Smith, founder of the National African American Gun Association, told Reuters.
What’s changed in 2 years? There has been a spike in crime in big cities the last few years and blacks, like any Americans, see their personal safety in terms of what they can do for themselves. Relying on the police to come save you when someone is trying to break into your home is suicidal. Better to have protection at hand to deal with an intruder yourself.
Is this a trend? Zealous, anti-gun prosecutors will prosecute citizens who use their personal firearm for protection, but that doesn’t seem to deter people from exercising their Second Amendment rights. Restrictive gun laws aside, citizens will almost always choose being safe over getting in trouble with the law.
As Patrick Henry once said, give me Liberty or give me death.
A Wisconsin appellate court on Thursday ruled that the right to keep and bear arms extends to all individuals in the United States, including “unauthorized aliens.”
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Meza-Rodriguez decided “the term ‘the people’ in the Second Amendment has the same meaning as it carries in other parts of the Bill of Rights” and that the framers could have used the term “citizen” to bestow the right, as they had in other parts of the Constitution, but chose not to.
While the decision was a win for gun rights, as left-leaning website Think Progress noted, it also holds other implications for undocumented individuals living in the country.
Hidden just one level below the surface in Meza-Rodriguez is the question of whether “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” which is protected by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, applies to undocumented immigrants at all.
Mariano Meza-Rodriguez was carrying a .22-caliber cartridge when Milwaukee police arrested him on Aug. 24, 2013. Because he was a citizen of Mexico, this possession was illegal under federal law. Police were called to a bar the night of Meza-Rodriguez’s arrested after receiving reports that a man with a gun was there.
After reviewing surveillance footage from that night, investigators believed they saw the man pointing what looked like a firearm. Police then later responded to another bar nearby after receiving reports of a fight. Officers then identified Meza-Rodriguez as the individual in the surveillance video. After chasing the suspect on foot and searching him, officers discovered the cartridge.
The Justice Department argued an undocumented immigrant wasn’t considered a part of “the people” and therefore not subject to search and seizure protections.
The case could go as far as the Supreme Court and if the DOJ argument is favored, it could affect the way illegal immigrants are treated in this country, Think Progress writes.
If this argument ultimately prevails, it will have profound ripple effects that extend far beyond the subject of guns. As mentioned above, the Fourth Amendment also refers to a right belonging to “the people,” so if that term does not include undocumented immigrants, their rights to be free from abusive police tactics could be severely curtailed. Similarly, the First Amendment refers to “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Those rights could also potentially be stripped from undocumented immigrants if the Justice Department’s arguments prevail.
The court rejected the DOJ’s argument that the non-citizen cannot be a part of the “the people” because of the lack of commitment to basic obligation to U.S. society, according to analysis from Josh Blackman, an associate professor of law at the South Texas College of Law. The court rejected that notion, Blackman wrote, saying the Second Amendment is not a second-class right.