Apparently more football players are taking their knees rather than standing and saluting the American Flag during American football games!
Now, I’m about as American as they come. Born in Connecticut, raised in Arizona. A believer in both the First and Second Amendments. And businesses running their businesses as they see fit. (Sorry, Mr. President!)
If an entertainment business agrees it’s okay for their employees to act in such a disrespectful manner, so be it.
Hopefully, if the audience votes with their feet, or their on/off switch, it’s no skin off my nose.
I’m not particularly a football fan.
If I’m in a public venue, I will still stand proudly, with my hand over my heart, when the National Anthem is played. And will sing along – ( I have a passable voice!)
The protestors will display allow me to display my opinion, as I will theirs. (Hopefully)
That’s what Freedom of Speech and Redress of Grievances in a Free Republic should be!
If the government begins enforcing what kind of Speech is acceptable, we have lost…
(to my friends who disagree with this, you have a right to!)
But start telling me what Speech is acceptable, and we may have words!
(from Liberty Headlines)
(LifeZette) The U.N. issued an “early warning” Wednesday for the United States, urging that the government take immediate action to confront white supremacy following the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
But the warning and call for the U.S. government to act contained a little-noticed last paragraph, urging the U.S. to make sure that the “rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly” are not exercised to deny rights or freedom to others and pressing the U.S. government to “ensure that such rights are not misused to promote racist hate speech and racist crimes.”
But as many legal scholars have noted, there is no hate-speech exception to the First Amendment; that is, the government cannot limit a person’s speech because it is considered hateful towards any person or group.
The United Nations hasn’t been valid for years. Maybe it’s never been valid. Many of the international wars have been started or escalated by the U.N., which seems to have few teeth when it comes to individual liberties.
And then there’s THIS:
Members of The United Nations Human Rights Council
TERM EXPIRES ON
|Bolivia (Plurinational State of)||2017|
|Republic of Korea||2018|
|United Arab Emirates||2018|
|Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)||2018|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||2019|
|United States of America||2019|
(from Gun Talk Media – SAF)
A Scarlet Letter for Gun Owners
Imagine being a grandfather seeking custody of his grandson. The state says that will be okay, but you’ll have to give us the serial numbers of all your guns. A caseworker says, “If you want to care for your grandson you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights.”
You appeal to a court of law, and the judge says, “We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home.”
That’s what happened in Michigan, and it is why the Second Amendment Foundation has filed suit against that state’s Department of Health and Human Services. The state prohibits foster parents and adoptive parents from having guns — a clear violation of constitutional rights — fully acknowledged by the judge. (Hear from attorney David Sigale this Sunday on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio!)
This kind of branding gun owners as less desirable is part of a larger pattern, where zoning laws treat gun stores as though they were sex shops, and won’t allow them near schools. Responsible gun owners and shooters are treated, by law, in ways that other identifiable groups would never stand for. Get a permit for free speech? Have financial services denied through a government program (Operation Choke Point)? Be required to be photographed, fingerprinted, and have a mandatory background check to exercise what clearly is a fundamental right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights?
We simply must challenge every single one of these blatant discriminatory laws and practices, and it takes all of us. It takes the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, state groups, and individuals — you and me. It’s why I created the Gun Talk Truth Squad more than a decade ago — so we can challenge each one of these. So we WILL challenge every media slight, smear, and lie. Every. Single. Time.
A lie left unchallenged becomes the truth.
Author, outdoorsman, gun rights activist, and firearms enthusiast for more than five decades, Tom Gresham hosts Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk, the first nationally-syndicated radio show about guns and the shooting sports, and is also the producer and co-host of the Guns & Gear, GunVenture and First Person Defender television series.
This kind of unconstitutional BS really torques my jaw!
We have won many battles, but have not yet won the war. We must continue to be vigilant.
Photographing and filming police officers in public is a constitutional right protected by the First Amendment. That’s what a federal appeals court unanimously affirmed this week in cases involving Philadelphia officers retaliating against citizens pointing cameras at them.
Slate reports that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was for two cases. In one, a woman named Amanda Geraci was restrained across the neck by a police officer while trying to film the arrest of an anti-fracking protester. In the second, a Temple undergraduate named Richard Fields was handcuffed and prosecuted after trying to film officers breaking up a house party.
A District Court previously had ruled that both Geraci and Fields had engaged in “conduct” only and not “expressive conduct,” and that therefore their filming wasn’t a First Amendment “freedom of speech” issue. But in Friday’s ruling, the Federal Appeals Court disagreed.
“Every Circuit Court of Appeals to address this issue […] has held that there is a First Amendment right to record police activity in public,” the judges write in their opinion. “Today we join this growing consensus. Simply put, the First Amendment protects the act of photographing, filming, or otherwise recording police officers conducting their official duties in public.”
“The First Amendment protects actual photos, videos, and recordings, […] and for this protection to have meaning the Amendment must also protect the act of creating that material.”
“We ask much of our police,” the judges write in the closing statements. “They can be our shelter from the storm. Yet officers are public officials carrying out public functions, and the First Amendment requires them to bear bystanders recording their actions. This is vital to promote the access that fosters free discussion of governmental actions, especially when that discussion benefits not only citizens but the officers themselves.”
So there you have it: police officers don’t have the right to squash free speech by ordering you to stop shooting photos of them in public.
Image credits: Header illustration based on photo by Elvert Barnes and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
h/t John Gwillam, Facebook
IT’S ABOUT TIME!
Don’t you always hate it when Rights you believed to be self-evident truths have to work their way up the judicial chain just to be affirmed as valid?
Of course, this hasn’t yet reached The Supreme Court(!)
Today is the 241st anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from the tyranny that was the British crown against the colonies.
And, it will be celebrated with fireworks, picnics, barbeques and other family get-togethers. Some parades and even some solemn remembrances.
We should acknowledge this day, but we should also remember tyranny never stops, and government never stops growing unabated.
YES! WE HAVE A BILL OF RIGHTS! – but how many of them are forgotten or stepped-on today?
Freedom of Speech? Hardly. Colleges and university restricting or stopping speech with which they disagree WHOLESALE!
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms? I will acknowledge much improvement has happened over the past 20 years in this area, but we must not sit on out laurels. Just this past week, the Supreme Court declined to hear how possession (carrying) of weapons outside the home factors in. Leaving an erroneous District Court finding to stand.
Search and Seizure? Do we even have a Fourth Amendment, anymore? Blanket wiretapping of cellular phone and Internet communications. DUI checkpoints. The TSA. Anyone see any warrants affiliated with these actions?
Trial by a Jury of one’s Peers? Seriously? How often?
And don’t even get me started on seizure of assets and jury nullification!
I thank God that we didn’t elect Barack 2.0 (aka Hillary). This doesn’t mean that the current White House occupant is close to being a diamond in the rough.
He is a populist, and certainly NOT a libertarian! And surrounds himself with statist conservatives.
We have won some battles, but are nowhere close to winning the war.
In fact, Curran’s line was somewhat different. What he actually said, in a speech in Dublin on July 10, 1790, was:
“The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”
And, according to Jefferson scholars there is “no evidence to confirm that Thomas Jefferson ever said or wrote, ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’ or any of its variants.”
Whoever said it, it is TRUE! Stay vigilant, My Friends!
Happy Independence Day
(from NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS VOLUME 24, NUMBER 26, in part)
Supreme Court Declines to Take Carry Case, but Gorsuch Casts a Solidly Pro-Gun Vote
Gun owners received disappointing news on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that effectively let stand California’s “may-issue” permitting regime. The upshot of this decision is that law-abiding Californians in many areas of the state will be effectively denied the right to “bear” arms in public for self-defense.
But there was a silver lining to this development as Justice Neil M. Gorsuch – President Trump’s pick to replace the late, great Antonin Scalia – came out strongly in favor of the Second Amendment by joining a dissent from the court’s decision penned by Second Amendment stalwart Justice Clarence Thomas. Gorsuch’s participation in the dissent confirmed that he, unlike so many of his colleagues in the federal judiciary, is indeed prepared to take the Second Amendment seriously.
The underlying case was Peruta v. San Diego. The plaintiffs had complained of being arbitrarily denied concealed carry permits, the only way for law-abiding persons in California to exercise the right to carry loaded, operable firearms in public for self-defense. Each plaintiff met all the qualifications for a permit but one: they could not show an extraordinary need for self-protection that distinguished them from the general population, as required by licensing officials in their counties of residence.
The case therefore presented the court with an opportunity to clearly state whether or not the Second Amendment extends its protections beyond the home. Indeed, the three-judge panel that originally heard the case in the Ninth Circuit recognized that its defining issue was “whether a responsible, law-abiding citizen has a right under the Second Amendment to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”
The panel answered that question affirmatively, stating: “the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.” The panel also noted that it was California’s own decision to make concealed carry permits the only lawful path to do so. It therefore held the plaintiffs could prevail with “a narrow challenge to the San Diego County regulations on concealed carry, rather than a broad challenge to the state-wide ban on open carry ….”
After the panel’s opinion was published, the full Ninth Circuit voted for a larger en banc panel to rehear the case. The en banc decision, however, avoided the real issue presented by the case and held that “the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.” It therefore summarily disposed of the plaintiffs’ claims without confronting the question of whether the Second Amendment applies beyond the home at all.
The Supreme Court majority, as is typical, did not issue an opinion explaining why it refused to review the en banc decision. Its refusal to do so does not, however, represent an endorsement of the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning or holding. As commentators have mentioned, federal appellate and state courts of last resort have come out different ways on the scope of the Second Amendment’s protection for carrying outside the home, and these disparate outcomes are not affected by the Supreme Court’s decision this week. The court may simply have decided, for example, that it did not want the differences between the panel and en banc approaches to the case to cloud the issue presented for its own resolution.
Whatever the majority’s thinking, the opinions of Justices Thomas and Gorsuch came through with vivid clarity in a sharply worded dissent from the decision to pass over the case. “At issue in this case,” Thomas wrote, “is whether [the Second Amendment] protects the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.” They called the en banc court’s resolution of this issue “indefensible” and “untenable” and asserted it was “not justified by the terms of the complaint, which called into question the State’s regulatory scheme as a whole.” They also opined that that “[h]ad the en banc Ninth Circuit answered the question actually at issue in this case, it likely would have been compelled to reach the opposite result.”
Thomas and Gorsuch additionally chided their judicial colleagues for treating the Second Amendment as a “disfavored right.” Thomas explained:
The Court has not heard argument in a Second Amendment case in over seven years—since March 2, 2010, in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742. Since that time, we have heard argument in, for example, roughly 35 cases where the question presented turned on the meaning of the First Amendment and 25 cases that turned on the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. This discrepancy is inexcusable, especially given how much less developed our jurisprudence is with respect to the Second Amendment as compared to the First and Fourth Amendments.
The dissent also contrasted the plight of the average citizen who must largely provide for his or her own security with that of government elites “who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force.” The Framers, Thomas wrote, “reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”
(from Fox News)
The United States Supreme Court…
In win for Asian-American rock band the Slants, and possible boost for the Washington Redskins, Supreme Court rules that the government can’t refuse to register trademarks that are considered offensive.
AGAIN, free speech is not about that with which we agree!
(Just when you thought the Supreme Court was worthless…)
On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced H.R. 2620, the “Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act.”This bill would remove ATF’s authority to use the “sporting purposes” clauses in federal law in ways that could undermine the core purpose of the Second Amendment. Under Chairman Bishop’s legislation, all lawful purposes – including self-defense – would have to be given due consideration and respect in the administration of federal firearms law.
While the NRA’s announcement above is poorly written, the message is clear. WE (gun civil rights advocates) are becoming the vanguard.
Sporting purpose never had a place in the Second Amendment. Period. Nice we are on the right side, for once.
SOME of us got what we asked for.
Originally, I was gong to post regarding the last administrations’ ‘accomplishments’ – Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Uranium to the Russians, The Iranian bribe, continuing Gitmo, continuing massive unwarranted surveillance on American citizens, Executive Orders in excess, medical insurance taxes, golf games, ongoing wars, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
Then, it occurred to me I would be going backward.
What about the future?
Will DJT lessen the intrusions, black sites, unwarranted searches, etc.
I kinda doubt it.
Will patriotism be increased? Perhaps? Prosperity? Maybe. Crony capitalism? Perhaps, or it might remain the same as under the last administration.
Will the progressives fight tooth-and nail to keep all the socialist agendas they fought for the past eight years?
Will Gun Rights improve? Maybe.
I’m taking a wait and see attitude – applauding those things with which I agree, and condemning those I don’t.
Hopefully, there will be much more applause this term than the last two!
God Bless The United States of America!
(I was gonna put WHITE in there, but didn’t wish to mislead!)
Well, it seems this Nation is indeed separated into
two three factions: Those who support the President-elect, and those who hate him. (And those for whom the jury remains out).
I don’t think our long national nightmare is yet over…
FOUR EIGHT years ago, when the Electoral College put a Black man into the White House? And many on the Right referred to him as The Black Jesus? Because the Left viewed him as the solution to all things ‘wrong’ with the Country.
And, after all, he wasn’t George W. Bush (or his weak carbon copy John McCain? Or Mitt Romney?)
Hope and Change? Fundamentally transform? (Pick one).
Well, now (if we’re thinking racially), we’ve replaced a Black man with a White man. (Not that other Black candidates weren’t possible – Condi Rice? Mia Love? Clarence Thomas?…)
If we’re NOT thinking racially, Mr. Trump is a populist.
He doesn’t appear to have read recent Supreme Court decisions, or, the U.S. Constitution, however. (wanting to ban flag burning, for example – reprehensible speech though it may be).
And Gitmo will remain, as will massive surveillance. As will issues with guns, illegal immigration, terrorism and civil liberties. Pending court decisions on the next administration’s actions.
And, I think many folks are harkening back to the days of Norman Rockwell. (The 40’s, 50’s?) Burying their heads in the sand, because we no longer have a Leftist President. Of whatever color.
Those of us who are concerned with civil liberties need to continue our watch into the next administration.
Lest we become