by Morgan Lee
Newscast Media DETROIT—A community is looking for answers after 19-year-old
Renisha McBride was shot in the head after seeking the help of residents in what
media reports are describing as a predominantly white Detroit suburb following a car
crash in the early morning of Nov. 4.
While Dearborn Heights authorities have refused to release details of the
investigation, they have “identified the person who fired the shot and killed the
woman.” CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media NEW YORK—A treaty regulating cross-border trade in conventional weapons has been approved by the United Nations General Assembly. The treaty was put to an assembly vote after diplomats failed to pass it unanimously.
The General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty in a vote on Tuesday, as 154 countries voted in favor of the proposal, three opposed it and a further 23 abstained. The treaty needed two-thirds approval to pass.
Syria, Iran and North Korea, which together blocked the treaty last week as UN diplomats sought consensus approval for the motion, voted against it on Tuesday. India, Sudan, Indonesia and Russia were among the countries that abstained. Individual member states must now ratify the treaty domestically. It will be officially recognized once 50 countries have done so.
Australian Ambassador Peter Woolcott, who chaired the negotiations, said the treaty would “make an important difference by reducing human suffering and saving lives.”
“We owe it to those millions – often the most vulnerable in society – whose lives have been overshadowed by the irresponsible and illicit international trade in arms,” Woolcott told assembly members in his final appeal before they voted.
Under the terms of the treaty, countries planning to sell weapons abroad would agree to assess the risk of the arms being used to commit crimes against humanitarian and human rights law. If this risk was deemed “overriding” and could not be mitigated, the treaty said the deal would have to be stopped.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today joined a broad coalition representing Congress, law enforcement, politicians and gun violence victims to announce the introduction of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. The bill bans dangerous military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
Interestingly enough, the loudest voices on the Conservative side resisting the bill, are the very same ones that did not vote in the past election and encouraged others not to participate in the 2012 election.
This should be a lesson to all Conservatives who refused to vote because they did not like the candidate on the GOP ticket, and instead they either stayed home, wasted their vote on Gary Johnson, or encouraged others not to vote. Even though there was voter fraud, overwhelming numbers of voters would have been enough to offset any voter fraud.
The bill bans the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of the following:
* All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at
least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or
detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or
* All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at
least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud;
capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the
pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
* All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the
capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
* All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable
stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5
rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade
launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
* All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of
accepting more than 10 rounds.
* 157 specifically-named firearms.
List of weapons prohibited by name:
Rifles: All AK types, including the following: AK, AK47, AK47S, AK–74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms LAR–47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK–47, VEPR, WASR–10, and WUM, IZHMASH Saiga AK, MAADI AK47 and ARM, Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S, and 86S, Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS;
All AR types, including the following: AR–10, AR–15, Armalite M15 22LR Carbine, Armalite M15–T, Barrett REC7, Beretta AR–70, Bushmaster ACR, Bushmaster Carbon 15, Bushmaster MOE series, Bushmaster XM15, Colt Match Target Rifles, DoubleStar AR rifles, DPMS Tactical Rifles, Heckler & Koch MR556, Olympic Arms, Remington R–15 rifles, Rock River Arms LAR–15, Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles, Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles, Stag Arms AR rifles, Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR556 rifles; Barrett M107A1; Barrett M82A1; Beretta CX4 Storm; Calico Liberty Series; CETME Sporter; Daewoo K–1, K–2, Max 1, Max 2, AR 100, and AR 110C; Fabrique Nationale/FN Herstal FAL, LAR, 22 FNC, 308 Match, L1A1 Sporter, PS90, SCAR, and FS2000; Feather Industries AT–9; Galil Model AR and Model ARM; Hi-Point Carbine; HK–91, HK–93, HK–94, HK–PSG–1 and HK USC; Kel-Tec Sub–2000, SU–16, and RFB; SIG AMT, SIG PE–57, Sig Sauer SG 550, and Sig Sauer SG 551; Springfield Armory SAR–48; Steyr AUG; Sturm, Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rife M–14/20CF;
All Thompson rifles, including the following: Thompson M1SB, Thompson T1100D, Thompson T150D, Thompson T1B, Thompson T1B100D, Thompson T1B50D, Thompson T1BSB, Thompson T1–C, Thompson T1D, Thompson T1SB, Thompson T5, Thompson T5100D, Thompson TM1, Thompson TM1C; UMAREX UZI Rifle; UZI Mini Carbine, UZI Model A Carbine, and UZI Model B Carbine; Valmet M62S, M71S, and M78; Vector Arms UZI Type; Weaver Arms Nighthawk; Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine.
Pistols: All AK–47 types, including the following: Centurion 39 AK pistol, Draco AK–47 pistol, HCR AK–47 pistol, IO Inc. Hellpup AK–47 pistol, Krinkov pistol, Mini Draco AK–47 pistol, Yugo Krebs Krink pistol; All AR–15 types, including the following: American Spirit AR–15 pistol, Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol, DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol, DPMS AR–15 pistol, Olympic Arms AR–15 pistol, Rock River Arms LAR 15 pistol; Calico Liberty pistols; DSA SA58 PKP FAL pistol; Encom MP–9 and MP–45; Heckler & Koch model SP-89 pistol; Intratec AB–10, TEC–22 Scorpion, TEC–9, and TEC–DC9; Kel-Tec PLR 16 pistol; The following MAC types: MAC–10, MAC–11; Masterpiece Arms MPA A930 Mini Pistol, MPA460 Pistol, MPA Tactical Pistol, and MPA Mini Tactical Pistol; Military Armament Corp. Ingram M–11, Velocity Arms VMAC; Sig Sauer P556 pistol; Sites Spectre; All Thompson types, including the following: Thompson TA510D, Thompson TA5; All UZI types, including: Micro-UZI.
Shotguns: Franchi LAW–12 and SPAS 12; All IZHMASH Saiga 12 types, including the
following: IZHMASH Saiga 12, IZHMASH Saiga 12S, IZHMASH Saiga 12S EXP–01, IZHMASH Saiga 12K, IZHMASH Saiga 12K–030, IZHMASH Saiga 12K–040 Taktika; Streetsweeper; Striker 12.
Belt-fed semiautomatic firearms: All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms including TNW M2HB.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—The biggest debate going on is the debate on gun control that has escalated within the past few weeks. There is talk of Barack Obama using his executive powers to tackle the gun issue, while others wish to see restraint being exercised on this issue. Either way, the debate seems to be driven by emotion, rather than reason or critical thinking. Having waited for weeks without reviewing the ongoing debate, I will now present a judicial review on this subject that has already been settled in the United States Supreme Court.
It would be counterproductive for government to attempt to abrogate well-settled decisions and case law, and also to violate the Constitution’s Second Amendment that public officials swear to protect.
When Barack Obama took the oath of office four years ago, and when he does so again on January the 20th, the following are the utterances made:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Any Executive Order Obama issues that infringes upon the US Constitution’s Second Amendment, would not only be a violation of the oath he took publicly, but also a blasphemy upon the Constitution he swore to preserve, protect and defend.
The Supreme Court presented a very intellectual argument and ruling in 2008 and deconstructed the Second Amendment in regard to the selective banning of firearms in the United States Supreme Court, 554 U. S. ____ (2008)) decision. I will present highlights of the ruling, in simple terms, in a two-part series, using the words of the justices.
The Second Amendment provides: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State (prefatory clause), the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed (operative clause).”
The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause and its operative clause. The former does not limit the latter grammatically, but rather announces a purpose. The Amendment could be rephrased, “Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” See J. Tiffany, A Treatise on Government and Constitutional Law §585,p. 394 (1867)
Logic demands that there be a link between the stated purpose and the command.
Breakdown of the Operative Clause:
(i) Right of the people —We start therefore with a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.
(ii) To keep and bear Arms —The 1773 edition of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary defined “arms” as “weapons of offence, or armour of defence.” 1 Dictionary of the English Language 107 (4th ed.) (hereinafter Johnson).Timothy Cunningham’s important 1771 legal dictionary defined “arms” as “any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.”
Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.
We turn to the phrases “keep arms” and “bear arms.” Johnson defined “keep” as, most relevantly, “[t]o retain; not to lose,” and “[t]o have in custody.” Johnson 1095. Webster defined it as “[t]o hold; to retain in one’s power or possession.” Thus, the most natural reading of “keep Arms” in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.” “Keep arms” was simply a common way of referring to possessing arms, for militiamen and everyone else.
At the time of the founding, as now, to “bear” meant to “carry.” See Johnson 161; Webster; T. Sheridan, A Complete Dictionary of the English Language (1796); 2 Oxford English Dictionary 20 (2d ed. 1989) (hereinafter Oxford). When used with “arms,” however, the term has a meaning that refers to carrying for a particular purpose—confrontation. In Muscarello v. United States, 524 U. S.125 (1998).
From our review of founding-era sources, we conclude that this natural meaning was also the meaning that “bear arms” had in the 18th century. In numerous instances, “bear arms” was unambiguously used to refer to the carrying of weapons outside of an organized militia. The most prominent examples are those most relevant to the Second Amendment: Nine state constitutional provisions written in the 18th century or the first two decades of the 19th, which enshrined a right of citizens to “bear arms in defense of themselves and the state” or “bear arms in defense of himself and the state.” It is clear from those formulations that “bear arms” did not refer only to carrying a weapon in an organized military unit.
Meaning of the Operative Clause:
Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment. We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right.
*(What the Supreme Court is saying is, the pre-existing right, is the right to self defense).
The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed . . .”