Thursday, July 31, 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Concealed carry rules tough on out-of-state residents
18 hours, 34 minutes ago from sj-r.com
More than a year after Illinois passed a law allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms, the argument over a part of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act that makes it difficult for out-of-state residents to carry here is still smoldering.
Illinois law is unique in that it does not allow individuals from other states to carry firearms here even if they have a permit from their home state. Instead, non-residents who wish to carry concealed firearms in Illinois must get an Illinois permit.
But that’s not all. According to the Illinois State Police website, “only residents of states that have laws related to firearm ownership, possession and carrying that are substantially similar to the requirements to obtain a license (in Illinois) under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act are eligible.”
The site states that “substantially similar” means:
* The comparable state regulates who can carry firearms;
* Prohibits people who have involuntarily been placed in a mental health facility from carrying, or who have voluntarily placed themselves in such a facility within the last five years; and
* Reports both approved and denied applicants to nationwide databases.
ISP distributed a survey, most recently updated in May, to states to determine whether their laws meet that criteria and found that only four — Hawaii, New Mexico, South Carolina and Virginia — have similar enough rules to allow their citizens to apply for Illinois permits.
Additionally, non-residents applying for an Illinois permit, which is good for five years, must pay a $300 fee compared to the in-state applicant fee of $150.
Simply put, “It’s too complicated,” said state Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat who helped steer the law through the General Assembly.
“We need to look a little more carefully at how we’re treating people from other states,” Phelps said. “A lot of those states have good standards. They should have been granted reciprocity in Illinois.”
Monday, July 28, 2014
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
9 Things You Didn't Know About the Second Amendment
The use of the word "militia" has created some confusion in modern times, because we don't understand the language as it was used at the time the Constitution was written. However, the Supreme Court states in context, "it was clearly an individual right" (p. 20). The operative clause of the Second Amendment is “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” which is used three times in the Bill of Rights. The Court explains that "All three of these instances unambiguously refer to individual rights, not 'collective' rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body" (p. 5), adding “nowhere else in the Constitution does a 'right' attributed to “the people” refer to anything other than an individual right" (p. 6).
3. Every citizen is the militia
To further clarify regarding the use of the word "militia," the court states “the ordinary definition of the militia as all able-bodied men” (p. 23). Today we would say it is all citizens, not necessarily just men. The Court explains: “'Keep arms' was simply a common way of referring to possessing arms, for militiamen and everyone else" (p. 9). Since the militia is all of us, it doesn't mean “only carrying a weapon in an organized military unit" (p. 11-12). “It was clearly an individual right, having nothing whatever to do with service in a militia" (p. 20).
4. Personal self-defense is the primary purpose of the Second Amendment
We often hear politicians talk about their strong commitment to the Second Amendment while simultaneously mentioning hunting. Although hunting is a legitimate purpose for firearms, it isn't the primary purpose for the Second Amendment. The Court states “the core lawful purpose [is] self-defense” (p. 58), explaining the Founders “understood the right to enable individuals to defend themselves ... the 'right of self-preservation' as permitting a citizen to 'repe[l] force by force' when 'the intervention of society in his behalf, may be too late to prevent an injury' (p.21). They conclude "the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right" (p.56).
5. There is no interest-balancing approach to the Second Amendment
Interest-balancing means we balance a right with other interests. The court notes that we don't interpret rights this way stating “we know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all” (p.62-63). This doesn't mean that it is unlimited, the same as all rights (more on that below). However, the court states that even though gun violence is a problem to be taken seriously, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table" (p.64).
6. The Second Amendment exists to prevent tyranny
You've probably heard this. It's listed because this is one of those things about the Second Amendment that many people think is made up. In truth, this is not made up. The Court explains that in order to keep the nation free (“security of a free state”), then the people need arms: “When the able-bodied men of a nation are trained in arms and organized, they are better able to resist tyranny" (p.24-25). The Court states that the Founders noted "that history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the able bodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents" (p. 25). At the time of ratification, there was real fear that government could become oppressive: “during the 1788 ratification debates, the fear that the federal government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia was pervasive" (p.25). The response to that concern was to codify the citizens' militia right to arms in the Constitution (p. 26).
7. The Second Amendment was also meant as a provision to repel a foreign army invasion
You may find this one comical, but it's in there. The court notes one of many reasons for the militia to ensure a free state was “it is useful in repelling invasions” (p.24). This provision, like tyranny, isn't an everyday occurring use of the right; more like a once-in-a-century (if that) kind of provision. A popular mythfrom World War II holds Isoroku Yamamoto, commander-in-chief of the Imperial Japanese navy allegedly said “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” Although there is no evidence of him saying this, there was concern that Japan might invade during WWII. Japan did invade Alaska, which was a U.S. territory at the time, and even today on the West Coast there are still gun embankments from the era (now mostly parks). The fact is that there are over 310 million firearms in the United States as of 2009, making a foreign invasion success less likely (that, and the U.S. military is arguably the strongest in the world).
8. The Second Amendment protects weapons "in common use at the time"
The right to keep and bear arms isn't unlimited: “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” (p. 54). The Court upheld restrictions like the prohibition of arms by felons and the mentally ill, and carrying in certain prohibited places like schools and courthouses. What is protected are weapons "in common use of the time" (p.55). This doesn't mean weapons in common use “at that time,” meaning the 18th Century. The Court said the idea that it would is “frivolous” and that “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" (p.8). The Court's criteria includes weapons in popular widespread use “that [are] overwhelmingly chosen by American society" (p. 56), and “the most popular weapon chosen by Americans” (p. 58).
9. The Second Amendment might require full-blown military arms to fulfill the original intent
Thursday, July 17, 2014
'How dare these law abiding citizens defend themselves!' - Gun control nuts
Detroit Police Chief says private gun ownership is lowering crime rates.
Back in March, we told you about Detroit Police Chief James Craig. Craig made waves by suggesting that “empowered,” law-abiding gun owners were the key to slowing his city’s astronomical crime rate.
Back then, Craig said:
“People who are faced with a dangerous situation are taking matters into their own hands. We’re not advocating violence; we’re advocates of not being victims. We’re advocates of self-protection. We want people to be safe.
“This should be a message to those who continue to perpetuate violence on Detroiters that enough is enough. You’ve got to be concerned about good Detroiters who aren’t going to stand for it. Detroiters are fed up and they are taking action.”
Now, Craig is back in the news. This time he’s claiming that private gun ownership has, in fact, led to lower crime rates in Detroit.
“Detroit has experienced 37 percent fewer robberies in 2014 than during the same period last year, 22 percent fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30 percent fewer carjackings.
...Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon. I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.
I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect.”
Detroit’s crime rate is still disastrously high, but it is dropping. Of course, don’t waste your breath telling any of this to the anti-2nd Amendment nutjobs. They’re still running around, yapping about how gun control works.
“Our position is, more guns equals more crime,” Horwitz said “These are complicated issues, but the empirical evidence shows the states with the lowest gun ownership and the tightest restrictions have the fewest instances of gun violence.”
That must be why things are going so well in Chicago, where they have very strict gun laws, and “only” 82 shootings with 14 fatalities over the 4th of July weekend. Clearly, tighter regulation is keeping everyone safe in the Windy City.
Let’s have a round of applause for Detroit’s Police Chief. He’s figured out what every law-abiding gun owner has known for decades. It’s better to be able to defend yourself than to sit around waiting to be a victim. If criminals know that they could be heading into a hornet’s nest, they may just reconsider their plans.