• Gun Rights Advancing Across the Country!

  • Congress Pushes to Arm Service Members at Military Recruitment Centers

  • Momentum Building for Repealing Gun Free Zones

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  • Obama Strikes Again with a New Gun Ban

  • A Time for Mourning

    -- And then time to end the military gun ban! Read More
  • Obama Using the Charleston Tragedy to Infringe on Your Gun Rights

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GOA News

  • Guns in 2016
  • Flawed System
  • Carry Deregulation
  • Two Shootings
  • Guns Under Obama

The dark reason why guns are virtually guaranteed to be a major issue of the 2016 campaign

After years of ducking presidential-campaign battles over gun laws out of fear of the powerful gun lobby, it appears that Democrats are finally ready to go on the offensive....

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The entire background check system is flawed
by Erich Pratt appearing in USA Today (July 28, 2015)

 

 

 

 

FBI Director James Comey recently said a flaw in the gun background check system allowed Dylann Roof to purchase the gun he allegedly used to kill nine people in a church in Charleston, S.C.

But the fact is, the entire background check system is flawed. Not only is it unconstitutional — and disarming many law-abiding citizens — it’s failing to keep guns out of criminals’ hands and is not keeping people safe.

Consider Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who used a gun stolen from a federal agent to allegedly kill Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco.

The same is true for Adam Lanza at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and Jacob Tyler Roberts at the Clackamas Mall in Oregon. Background checks failed to stop these killers from stealing their guns and committing atrocities.

If Roof had been denied a gun by a background check, couldn’t he have stolen his weapon, just as Lanza and Roberts did? Couldn’t he have used a fake ID to illegally purchase one?

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Wave of gun carry deregulation sweeps USA

There’s gun rights policy grid-lock in the nation’s capital, where the Administration keeps proposing restrictions on gun rights through executive action, and Congress members primarily introduce pro-gun bills.

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A Tale of Two Shootings, and Why Gun Control is Killing Us

 

In the wake of Thursday night’s Louisiana shooting, the media has made much ado about the President’s “prediction” that law gun control laws would lead to more shootings.

But the reality is that strict gun control laws made Thursday night’s shooting at the Lafayette Grand Theater possible.

While facts are still pouring in, here’s what we already know:

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Gun production has doubled under Obama

Gun production has more than doubled over the course of the Obama administration, according to a new report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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Self-Defense Corner

  • AR-15 v. Pistol
  • 3 out of 5
  • Well Armed Business
  • Clerk Fights Back
  • Good Guy Wins

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Store Owner Lights up Trio of Armed Robbers with AR-15

Three armed robbers met a store owner armed with an AR-15 and left with gunshot wounds aplenty. And it was all caught on camera.

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70 Year Old Defends His Roommate And His Home From Invasion

According to authorities’ reports passed through KIRO-TV, a 70 year old man successfully fought off a home invader who entered his home and was mercilessly attacking his 65 year old roommate.

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‘WELL ARMED’ CA BUSINESS OWNER RETURNS FIRE, KILLS TWO ALLEGED ROBBERS

On July 18 a “well armed” business owner was shot on the streets of Montebello by two allegedly armed men who wanted his wallet and other valuables. The business owner was able to return fire and kill both men.

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Houston Store Clerk Fights Back, Killing Two Of Three Armed Robbers

The news reporter for this station summed up gun ownership for self-defense in her opening segment; “Those who work here were prepared because they know what it’s like to be victims.”

Well, almost. It’s good to be armed before knowing what it’s like to be a victim, but you get the idea.

Robbed just 12 days earlier, the workers at the Super K store in Houston were prepared for trouble this time around.

When three armed men stormed into the store, they went to the register and pistol-whipped an employee. One of the armed men waited by the door to hold it open. The owner’s brother was on break, but still in the store, when the robbery was happening.

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GOOD GUY WINS: Vietnam Veteran Shoots Armed Robber At Gas Station; “I Just Did What I Had To Do”

A vietnam veteran was out for a typical day, and walked into a gas station to break a $20. His day changed quickly when a young thug came in with a gun.

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John McCain's Lobbying Reform Provisions Unconstitutional And Would Protect Corruption
by Mark Fitzgibbons

Editor's note: trashing the First Amendment rights of groups like GOA in 2002 with the infamous McCain-Feingold law -- better known as the Incumbent Protection Act -- wasn't enough for Sen. McCain. He's back for more in 2006 with S. 2128, the Gag Act.

Proposed regulation of the grassroots, such as Section 110 of S. 2128 (the Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act), with similar provisions in counterpart bills before the House of Representatives, would harm America.

Not only does such regulation abridge freedom of speech, of the press, the right of the people to peaceably assemble, to petition the Government for redress of grievances, and to exercise our respective faiths, but such regulation would actually protect the corruptive influences that these lobbying and ethics reform bills are purportedly intended to fix.

Through the grassroots, citizens across the country assemble peaceably, though perhaps not always politely, on political and social matters of importance to them. The problems Congress purports to cure through its recent efforts are the quid pro quo of legislation for gifts or other "consideration." Whatever the problems inside the Beltway, none of those problems can be blamed on too much citizen participation in public policy matters. Any efforts to regulate the grassroots, therefore, are misplaced.

The grassroots, of course, are the People. They are whom Justice William Brennan called "citizen-critic[s] of government." More than merely critics of government, the grassroots are populist means of criticizing corporations, even entire industries. They are critics of the institutional, mainstream media as well as critics of the new and alternative media. Grassroots organizations are critics even of other grassroots organizations.

S. 2128 would require registration and reporting of "paid" efforts to "stimulate" the grassroots. Section 110 of the bill defines these as efforts "to influence the general public... to contact one or more... legislative or executive branch officials (or Congress as a whole) to urge such officials... to take specific action" on matters of public policy. "Attempts to influence" 500 or more citizens by any person or entity receiving or spending $25,000 or more in any quarter trigger these grassroots lobbying registration and reporting requirements.

The thresholds triggering registration and reporting may be met by the placement of just one media ad or just the postage for one direct mail letter mailed nationally. It is not merely that these thresholds are low; they are unconstitutional. These provisions directly violate the "constitutional rights" identified in 2 U.S.C. 1607(a) of the underlying lobbying registration statute that S. 2128 amends (not that constitutional rights need statutory recitation of the fact that they exist). What possibly could have made these constitutional rights fall out of favor since 1995, when the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities bill was first passed?

The registration requirements are a prior restraint on the exercise of First Amendment rights, and the reporting requirements are burdens on such rights, with civil and even criminal sanctions in some of the legislative proposals for failure to register and report. Registration is a prior restraint because failure to register within a set period of agreeing to engage in such rights sets off penalties. Speech and press rights must therefore obtain government clearance in advance of communications being issued.

James Madison, in describing the distinction between the American version of a free printing press versus the British version, said that

    a law inflicting penalties on printed publications would have a similar effect with a law authorizing a previous restraint on them. It would seem a mockery to say that no laws should be passed preventing publications from being made, but that laws may be passed for punishing them in case they should be made.

Section 110 of S. 2128 is a prior restraint. Section 106 of the bill amending 2 U.S.C. 1606 would create substantial penalties for that to which all Americans have guaranteed and constitutionally protected rights "paramount to laws," as Madison said.

Such regulation would stifle speech, but more so, it would effectively censor small, start-up and unpopular causes already strapped for cash. These bills would treat small and unpopular citizen causes the same as large corporations hiring high-priced K Street lobbyists, and would penalize or completely shut out some of the most valuable means of citizens protecting their own freedoms.

It is well-settled law that paid efforts to engage in First Amendment rights merit no fewer constitutional protections than unpaid volunteer efforts. Journalists who receive paychecks are no less protected than unpaid bloggers.

The paid ads of the Committee to Defend Martin Luther King "communicated information, expressed opinion, recited grievances, protested claimed abuses, and sought financial support on behalf of a movement whose existence and objectives are matters of the highest public interest and concern." New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 266 (1964). Such "editorial advertisements," of course cost money to prepare, to place, to print and to disseminate. They are "the promulgation of information and ideas by persons who do not themselves have access to publishing facilities -- who wish to exercise their freedom of speech even though they are not members of the press." Id.

There are many other examples, too long to list in this letter, of why "paid" efforts to engage in protected First Amendment activity are not only as protected constitutionally, but are as important and as valuable as unpaid efforts. For example, paid efforts to circulate petitions are "core political speech" subject to the "zenith" of First Amendment protections. See, Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 421–422 (1988). The bottom line is that First Amendment protections of speech, the printing press, petitioning and association rights are not lost merely because it costs money to communicate in today's world of mass media.

Regulating "paid" efforts to stimulate grassroots activity merely gives the appearance that Members of Congress and their respective Republican and Democratic Party committees would prefer for their own professional political consultants to have a leg up in the marketplace of ideas and donations. Members of Congress may already send communications at taxpayer expense under their "free" franking privileges, and as 535 of the most important people in the country, easily have more access to express their views for free through the mainstream media.

Costs of compliance with quarterly reporting requirements will effectively reduce the ability of marginal grassroots efforts to communicate, and will silence cash-strapped unpopular causes. Corporations and large, established causes that are already wealthy will be able to comply. Thus, your bills would effectively silence some critics and allow the wealthier ones to communicate. Such censorship through regulation merely protects the corruptive influences inside the Beltway.

Since the apparent ethics issues are the quid pro quo, it seems that a better solution, and certainly one without constitutional prohibitions, would be to require Members of Congress who sponsor legislation or amendments to sign, under penalties of perjury, that such legislation is submitted without gifts or promises of some consideration.

The expansion of the grassroots these past 40 years has empowered Americans, and that is a good thing. The grassroots are the very antithesis of corruptive influences inside the Beltway. Whatever the solution to the complex problems of congressional ethics, a vote to regulate the grassroots would be the equivalent of a vote to protect the corruptive influences.

Op-Ed Articles