Thursday, July 10, 2014

CT Bar Association Supports Gun Control

An original Essay by Billboy Baggins
Today, the CT Law Tribune published an article stating that the CT Bar Assoc. is considering writing an amicus brief in support of U.S. District Judge Alfred Covello's dismissal of the lawsuit that had been filed by the Connecticut Citizen's Defense League and Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen in opposition to S.B 1160, the most recent assault against the Constitution to come out of the CT legislature.  Following is my response:  (let's see how long the Trib lets my remarks stand)

This is so wrong; I don't know where to begin . . .

Let's start with the term "assault weapon".  This is a term dreamed up by the anti-gun extremist to raise fear in the minds of the low information crowd, who have no knowledge or experience with the lawful possession and use of firearms.  (Think about it; if someone hits you over the head with a bat, does the bat become an "assault bat" or is it still just a bat?  Or maybe we could call aluminum bats “assault bats” since they are unbreakable?)

Scary looking semi-automatic firearms like the ones that were banned by S.B. 1160 have been in common use at least since the early 60's.  (Eugene Stoner invented the M-16 in 1958)  Semi-automatic firearms in general have been in common use since the late 1800's.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-automatic_firearm

Who gets the privilege of deciding what a "large-capacity ammunition magazine" is?  I'll bet it ain't me.  S.B. 1160 bans magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds.  Yet, magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, including those used by civilians, police and military, are standard capacity magazines and have been in common use for a century.

When U.S. District Judge Alfred Covello dismissed the lawsuit filed by the CCDL and CCS, he said the ban on assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines "does not effectively disarm individuals or substantially affect their ability to defend themselves".  If that were the case, why aren't police limited in the same way as the citizens?  After all, cops don't carry guns to defend YOU, they carry guns to defend themselves.  If you and I are not "substantially affected in our ability to defend ourselves" by a restricted magazine capacity, then it stands to reason that police would not be "substantially affected", either.

How would the judge know such a thing, anyway?  Has he ever been in a firefight?  Has he ever fired a gun?  Has he ever had his home invaded in the middle of the night by multiple assailants?  A single assailant?  No.  Covello earns a hefty salary from the bench and lives in a home with a sophisticated security system and has armed guards to protect him at work, unlike most of us.  He is an elitist, out of touch with the general citizenry.

Covello "reasoned" that "a wide variety of non-assault weapons" are still available for protection and hunting under the law.  He needs to look at the plain language 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,*" and the plain language of Article 1 Section 15 of the Connecticut Constitution, which reads, "Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state."  You will notice, perhaps, that there is no mention in either of hunting or target shooting or limits to capacity or scarylookingness.

Covello admits 1160 burdens Second Amendment rights, but he claims it "is substantially related to the important government interest of public safety and crime control."  Gun control does not equate to crime control or public safety.  Last weekend in Chicago, where there are some of the most draconian gun laws in place, (remember McDonald?) there were ten people KILLED and forty-four wounded by criminals*** wielding firearms . . . in a single weekend!  http://gawker.com/5569299/chicagos-weekend-shooting-tally-10-dead-44-injured

Gun control laws do NOTHING to prevent crime and in fact it is evident that where gun control laws are most stringent, crime is highest.  Look at cities like Chicago, D.C., L.A., Philly, etc., all cities with draconian gun laws and controlled by Democrats, and you will see that crime rates (and poverty) are higher there than in places where gun laws are less restrictive.

Surely, we all understand the concept of "original intent"; let's step away and take a look at what our Founding Fathers wrote concerning the militia and the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.

On Feb. 20, 1788, Trench Coxe wrote in The Pennsylvania Gazette, "The powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves?  Congress has no power to disarm the militia. Their swords and every terrible implement of the soldier are the birthright of Americans. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments but where, I trust in God, it will always remain, in the hands of the people."

George Mason said, "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."  16Jun1788, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3

James Madison said, “A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country ..." 8Jun1789, at page 434, Vol. I Annals of Congress

Lastly, though there are countless references from the Founders, are the words of Thomas Jefferson.  Jefferson said of the Second Amendment: ". . . what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned . . . that this people preserve the spirit of resistance?   . . . The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."  letter to William S. Smith in 1787,  (Jefferson, On Democracy 20, S. Padover ed., 1939)

Clearly, the authors intended the citizenry to be armed equally to, or nearly so, a standing army, including our own.  (See Scalia in Heller)  The right to bear arms has been referred to as our “liberty teeth”.

Let us now look at the unintended consequences of S.B. 1160.**  In a Hartford Courant column by Dan Haar, "Untold Thousands Flout Gun Registration Law", he writes, "No one has anything close to definitive figures, but the most conservative estimates place the number of unregistered assault weapons well above 50,000, and perhaps as high as 350,000."

Think about that; 50,000 to 350,000 of our fellow citizens and neighbors, as much as 10%, became instant felons on January 1, 2014 based solely on the type of property they own, not upon any specific criminal behavior.  How does the state intend to enforce this law, when tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people flaunt it?  How do you think these gun owners, not to mention those who complied with the law and those who don’t even own guns, will react if and when the state begins wide spread enforcement?  How will the citizenry in general react if and when the blood of otherwise innocent people, their families and law enforcement personnel is spilled for no other reason than the type of property they own and a refusal to comply with an unconstitutional law?  Is that a wise and prudent use of the taxpayer resources; to incarcerate or kill our fellow citizens over property?

Based on what I have read from around the country and my personal relationships with law enforcement personnel, there are plenty of cops who will not enforce unconstitutional laws.  After all, they are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution.

In Wisconsin, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke called proposals to seize firearms unconstitutional and warns of dire consequences if such plans are enacted.  "The reason is I don’t want to get shot, because I believe that if somebody tried to enforce something of that magnitude, (confiscation) you would see the second coming of an American Revolution, the likes of which would make the first revolution pale by comparison.”

Have you thought about the consequences of what could well escalate into a civil war?  I have, and the thought terrifies me to the extent that I will do everything in my power to prevent it.  The CBA should think twice before submitting an amicus in defense of S.B. 1160.

Then there are the lies necessary to promote such legislation as S.B. 1160.  Early in January of this year, Dannel 88 publicly stated that 1160 was a success, noting a drop in gun related crime since its passage.  This is an absolute lie.  In the first place, 1160 didn't go into effect until after the first of the year, and in the second place, those statistics are generally not available until some months after the end of the period in question.  Malloy fails to make mention that prior to the enactment of S.B. 1160 on 1Jan14, gun sales in Connecticut went through the roof and pistol permit applications have overwhelmed state police!  Assuming there really was a reduction in crime during that period, it is clearly not because of a restrictive, unconstitutional law, but because there are far more of our friends and neighbors bearing arms in defense of themselves, than there were prior to 14Dec12 and the criminals know it.

But the right to keep and bear arms is not absolute.  There are no absolutes in the Constitution; or are there?  Liberal Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, stated, "There are 'absolutes' in our Bill of Rights, and they were put there on purpose by men who knew what words meant and meant their prohibitions to be 'absolutes.'”  (http://criminology.fsu.edu/faculty/gertz/hugoblack.htm)

Justice Black also wrote, "Our business is not to write laws to fit the day. Our task is to interpret the Constitution,"   (U.S. News & World Report, volume 63 (1967), page 38) I submit to you that, as it is the job of the courts to interpret the Constitution; it is the duty of legislatures to follow the Constitution and not to twist it to fit the passions of the day.

So what should the CBA do?  If the CBA is not willing to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Connecticut, it should butt out.  I can think of a Shakespearean quote that is apropos to the circumstance, but I dare not use it, lest some ignorant, alarmist, elitist coward take offense and my comments here, be banned.

PARTING SHOT:  It is a fool’s endeavor to think that this will stop with S.B. 1160.  The ultimate goal is the disarming of the American People.  Make no mistake about it.  Late last year, I heard a rumor that a state senator said there was a confiscation bill sitting in the drawer waiting for the this upcoming legislative session.  I called the office of Senator Jason Welch, of Bristol and his aid, through him, confirmed this for me.  Keep your powder dry!

BillBoy Baggins

*In Heller, Scalia wrote that the Second Amendment would have the same meaning if it read, "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".

**Or are they REALLY unintended consequences?  Why would the post office or the National Park Service need to buy millions of rounds of hollow point ammo? (look it up)

***Criminals by nature, do not obey laws.

The author is a certified paralegal, one of the 16,000 members of CCDL, a life member of the NRA, a former USAF Combat Arms Instructor, a contributing writer in middletowninsider.com,  a member of the Middletown Republican Town Committee, chairman and founder of the Tea Party Caucus of the CT GOP Town Committees and according to Janet Reno, Eric Holder and the current administration, a potential terrorist.


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