Attacks on Sonia Sotomayor by Right-Wing Gun Rights Groups Don’t Hold Up

By Zak Johnson of Portland, Oregon. Zak is the vice chair of the Multnomah Education Service District Board and the chair of the DPO's Gun Owners Caucus. Previously, he contributed "Replacing Souter: What's your advice to Senator Wyden?"

In the event you live in a cave in the Wallowas, you might have missed last fall's fear-mongering against candidate Barack Obama led by right-wing gun rights groups. The smears have continued with intensity and have created an ongoing panic that Obama is a secret gun prohibitionist. One demonstrable result of this panic is that since November, fearful gun owners have pushed gun and ammunition sales up approximately 30 percent above the previous year. This panic continues in spite of President Obama's emerging--and moderate--record on gun rights: since January the president has signed important gun rights legislation easing restrictions on interstate transport on Amtrak and giving state law precedence in determining when and how guns are restricted on National Parks administered lands. The watchword of the new administration appears to be consensus, and this extends to gun policy.

The ill-founded attacks also target the President's allies and appointees, who are accused, without evidence, of favoring broad restrictions on gun rights (the president's emerging record notwithstanding.) These attacks have extended to Sonia Sotomayor, currently undergoing the third degree from Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The primary gun rights issue in examining Sotomayor's record is whether she agrees with last year's landmark decision in DC v. Heller, which for the first time cemented interpretation of the Second Amendment as applying to individuals. That is, SCOTUS said you have a civil right to own a gun and do not have to belong to a militia in order to do so. Attacks against Sotomayor have been based largely on a single case involving nunchucks (really!). In that case, Maloney v Rice, Sotomayor ruled that New York state had the right to outlaw nunchucks because in the Heller ruling, the Supreme Court had specifically noted that the Second Amendment applies only to federal law, not to state law. This is completely accurate. But what the Supreme Court actually said (Scalia wrote the opinion) has been conveniently ignored by Sotomayor’s attackers, as has the fact that conservative judges on other courts, such as the Seventh Circuit, have agreed with her. At the time of the Maloney ruling, Sotomayor noted, as she often does, that she was not able to apply the Heller ruling to force New York to allow nunchucks because the Supreme Court itself is the only court that can decide to overturn its own judgments. Sotomayor's ruling is the very model of judicial restraint; not "judicial activism" as those on the right like to pretend.

In this week's hearings, Sotomayor and Sen. Leahy (D-VT) had an exchange that should have put to rest any doubts about where Sotomayor stands on the question of individual rights and the Second Amendment:

LEAHY: I've owned firearms since my early teen years. I suspect a large majority of Vermonters do. I enjoy target shooting on a very regular basis at our home in Vermont. So I watched that decision rather carefully and found it interesting.

Is it safe to say that you accept the Supreme Court's decision as establishing that the Second Amendment right is an individual right? Is that correct?

SOTOMAYOR: Yes, sir.

LEAHY: Thank you.

And in the Second Circuit decision, Maloney v. Cuomo [Maloney v. Rice], you, in fact, recognized the Supreme Court decided in Heller that the personal right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution against federal law restrictions. Is that correct?

SOTOMAYOR: It is.

LEAHY: And you accept and applied the Heller decision when you decided Maloney?

SOTOMAYOR: Completely, sir. I accepted and applied established Supreme Court precedent that the Supreme Court in its own opinion in Heller acknowledged, answered the -- a different question.

LEAHY: Well, that -- let me -- let me refer to that, because Justice Scalia's opinion in the Heller case expressly left unresolved and explicitly reserved as a separate question whether the Second Amendment guarantee applies to the states and laws adopted by the -- by the states . . . And I understand that petitions asking -- seeking to have the Supreme Court revisit the question applied to the Second Amendment to the states are pending (inaudible) that case appears before the Supreme Court and you're there how you're going to rule, but would you have an open mind, as -- on the Supreme Court, in evaluating that, the legal proposition of whether the Second Amendment right should be considered fundamental rights and thus applicable to the states?

SOTOMAYOR: Like you, I understand that how important the right to bear arms is to many, many Americans. In fact, one of my godchildren is a member of the NRA. And I have friends who hunt. I understand the individual right fully that the Supreme Court recognized in Heller.

This is as much as or even more than Sotomayor has been willing to say about backing Roe v. Wade! Of course, the right-wing sound machine is not celebrating Sotomayor as an Anti-Choice justice because they don't believe she is one; but their attack on her as a threat to gun rights is based on her similar judicial history with respect to both gun rights and privacy rights, and in light of almost identical statements made to the judiciary committee on both issues.

You would think the exchange in plain English above would make the issue go away. But no; yesterday afternoon the following form letter was sent out to members of a prominent right-wing gun rights group urging them to send the following to their US senators:

Dear Senator:

Even though President Obama is extremely anti-gun, I still started with an open mind regarding his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. But after her testimony these past two days, there is no way that she should be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court . . .

Let's just stop right there. "Open mind?" You've got to be kidding. The right-wing's anti-Obama agenda is firmly in place, and by all appearances it will be pursued regardless of the actions of either the president or his proxies. The 37 million gun owners who voted for Obama notwithstanding, many of these attacks will continue to come from right-leaning gun rights groups as long as Democrats who are members of these groups allow the leadership of those groups to hide their broader right-wing agenda behind the pretense of non-partisan gun rights advocacy. The reason for the continuing attacks is simple: frightened supporters don't just buy up guns, they send donations.

As Democrats it's time we stopped joining these organizations and stopped funding their attacks on our leadership. If you feel you must belong to one of these groups, insist that they act in a genuinely non-partisan manner, or take your membership dues with you when you walk out the door. I’m a Democratic gun owner who avidly works to see our Second Amendment rights protected and significantly expanded. But I'm not going fund the opposition in order to see it done.

Comments

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    I'm a gun owner who did not vote for Obama. The vote had nothing to do with Obama's percieved issues with guns or the second ammendment. Likewise, I suggest that many, many who do not consider themselves 'liberal' still support Obama as their president. I certainly do.

    A careful historical review will show that gun and ammunition sales always go up in times of economic downturn. I've paid pretty close attention to the Sotomayor hearings and have yet to hear of any credible and sustained concerns regarding gun rights.

    Sotomayor will be confirmed. Much of the vaudeville show by both parties right now is more about the next potential nomination.

  • (Show?)

    A few weeks ago, my good friend and I took a day trip along the northern Oregon coast. We drove from Cannon Beach to Pacific City to Neskowin along the 101.

    Along the way, we drove through the town of Beaver, Oregon.

    In Beaver, there's a store called Fox Grocery. It's actually a gun shop that happens to sell Twinkies. We stopped in for a visit.

    The same day we were there, the Tillamook newspaper happened to have a story on the shortage of guns and ammo in the area, heavily quoting the owner of Fox Grocery:

    "[The sale of] ammo and guns took off after the election and increased by 50 or 70 percent," said Fox. "Then, everybody ran out of ammunition, so then you have nothing to sell.

    "So one month you're selling beyond what you can imagine, the next month you're not selling anything because you can't find anything. You can't find anything as common as .22 ammunition."

    Which could be a real problem come hunting season, he added.

    Fox said weapons manufacturers are charging about three times more than they were a year ago.

    So why the run on firearms and ammunition? Fox is clear on that score - "My customers are afraid of what President Obama will do to our gun rights and the Second Amendment.

    "I even have old people coming in (because they're scared). That's the reason a lot of people are buying guns and ammo, because if it gets banned, how are you going to defend your family?"

    Fox is a steadfast critic of the President and his administration. A sign above the gun display in Fox's store warns those who voted for Obama to buy their ammo elsewhere.

    This is absolutely a right-wing, anti-Obama agenda being stoked. And now they're scared and armed to the teeth.

  • gjdagis (unverified)
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    " . . . you might have missed last fall's fear-mongering against candidate Barack Obama led by right-wing gun rights groups."

    Are you dense or just a liar? Obama's antagonism toward individual rights has been made VERY clear by his rhetoric, before he decided it was politically expedient to lie about his stance, and by his RECORD ! Look it up (as if you aren't familiar with the FACTS) and stop trying to treat your readers as total idiots !

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Never let ignorance of a field of study get in the way of commenting upon it.

    Sotomayor is being criticized, by the "right wing gun nuts," for her evasiveness on two interrelated topics.

    First, she couldn't even form a sentence in support of the idea of a right of armed self defense in this country, mealy mouthing it and frankly hiding behind her elitist position as a judge and her being "unable to turn it off" and consider the question on its merits.

    How much insight, intelligence, and education does it take for a person to say, "Why yes, in this country, people naturally have the right to defend themselves from unlawful criminal attack by any means at hand."? Sotomayor couldn't even muster that.

    The second line of inquiry has to do with her intellectual dishonesty regarding the doctrine of selective incorporation. No jurist with two operative brain cells could have missed that since the end of World War I, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, aka the Bill of Rights, have been "selectively incorporated," IOW, imposed upon the states as the minimum guarantee of the rights of the citizenry via the language of the 14th Amendment. The First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and part of the Eighth, (and soon the Second) have all been given supremacy over conflicting state laws.

    Since the SCOTUS in Heller v. DC declared the Second Amendment to be a fundamental right, it follows, or should follow to any awake federal judge out there, that the Second should be incorporated against any state weapons possession prohibition that is not squarely aimed at previously adjudicated felons, the insane, or minors generally. And yes, nunchuks are a weapon, albeit more in Hollywood and Hong Kong cinema than in reality.

    Even the Ninth Circuit, notorious for its anti-Second Amendment stances in previous cases, "got it" that under the doctrine of selective incorporation, the Second Amendment applied to California, see the recent decision in Nordyke v. King for details. The bravely (for them anyway) resisted the temptation to deceive themselves that they could ignore how selective incorporation had developed and would now logically include the Second Amendment.

    And yet, Sotormayor doesn't see it, relying instead on discredited pre-incorporation precedents like Cruikshank. She should be embarrassed by such naked and knowingly adopted judicial ignorance in service to a policy stance discredited by the SCOTUS. That's why she is being opposed by the NRA.

    Why worry? She'll still be approved. Just another idiotic anti-Constitutionalist to replace Souter.

    On a final note, Mr. Obama was "Firearms Salesman of the Year" in 2008 and the runaway leader for a repeat in 2009 and beyond. His "developing moderate record" is replete with false starts from his AG, and various executive branch appointees. Some DOD functionary temporarily ordered once fired cartridge cases to be scrapped rather than sold to ammunition remanufacturing companies. Another flunky at Commerce is trying to ban the importation of "assisted opening" locking folding knives as "switchblades." Only organized opposition has had Holder's trial balloons shot down in public and the later two policy changes either rescinded or under review. Who got national park carry changes to stick? A hint: It wasn't Democrats.

    You Democratic Party gun owners just keep your heads in the sand. We have your backs regardless, despite that you are mostly free riders on the waves of our efforts and the enablers of gun grabbers.

  • (Show?)

    Are you dense or just a liar? Obama's antagonism toward individual rights has been made VERY clear by his rhetoric, before he decided it was politically expedient to lie about his stance, and by his RECORD ! Look it up (as if you aren't familiar with the FACTS) and stop trying to treat your readers as total idiots !

    Uh...yeah.

    Obama hasn't done anything to curb the sale or distribution of guns. Weird little rants like this don't change that.

    If you're torqued about the erosion of individual civil liberties, you should be glad that Bush is gone and hope that Obama restores them.

  • SCB (unverified)
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    "Are you dense or just a liar? Obama's antagonism toward individual rights has been made VERY clear by his rhetoric, before he decided it was politically expedient to lie about his stance, and by his RECORD ! Look it up (as if you aren't familiar with the FACTS) and stop trying to treat your readers as total idiots !

    Hmmm, as a gun owner, I checked Obama's campaign website. There, in black and white text, he clearly supported the Second Amendment.

    I sometimes wonder if the NRA Board isn't interrelated to the Boards of gun manufacturers? It wouldn't be the first time a political group was controlled to increase the profits of an industry....

    But, conspiracy thoughts aside, as a gun owner, I did not run out and buy ammunition and another gun. That's what I would have done if the election had gone the other way ....

    .... The Republicans didn't build those mass prison camps in Texas for nothing ....

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Kurt Chapman wrote: ...I've paid pretty close attention to the Sotomayor hearings and have yet to hear of any credible and sustained concerns regarding gun rights.

    Sotomayor will be confirmed. Much of the vaudeville show by both parties right now is more about the next potential nomination.

    This pretty much checks with my view. In all the stuff about Sotomayor during the last month, this is the first I've heard/read about any supposed gun rights concerns. Zak was really reaching for a topic to write about here so he could spring his 'Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam...' reference, I guess. And what's with this labeling of ANY and EVERY criticism of His Highness Obama or member of his administration as an 'attack'... geesh - seems to me there's more stoking of a left-wing, anti-Republican/Conservative agenda going on here than anything else. Back when Bush was president, criticism was encouraged as everyone's patriotic duty - now any dissent is an 'attack'...

  • gnickmckibbin (unverified)
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    The Second Amendment I believe uses the term "arms" and not "guns". Arms is a very broad definition - can you own a tank?... or a submarine say for example? How about a bomb?.. some nerve gas anyone? What about a jet fighter? How about your common kitchen knife? Even a nail or a board can be construed as an "arms". Even cars can be considered in the same way. I believe in the sanctity of the second amendment and the right to bear "arms". Its just when you get into the question of guns and the ownership of them that the demons start raging in the closet. I think we have the right to own them, just license them and register them like vehicles. And train the licensee just like driver's ed. And hold them responsible for the misuse of them. I'm surprised that government hasn't picked up on this source of revenue; after all if you want to use some dynamite you have to get a permit and show how your going to store it and use it. Might as well do the same thing with guns.

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    Boats, You can put it in quotes all you like, but I didn't and don't use the term "gun nut." If anything, I would probably qualify as one. I didn't use ""right wing gun nuts" anywhere; not sure who you are quoting, but it isn't me.

    Guns are not a right-wing, centrist or left-wing value; they are a civil right that ought to be supported by all. But talking about it that way apparently isn't scary enough or divisive enough to send people running to their checkbooks.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Hmmm, as a gun owner, I checked Obama's campaign website. There, in black and white text, he clearly supported the Second Amendment.

    Hmm. I checked his actual votes as both an Illinois State Senator and a US Senator and found a chasm between his rhetoric and his record.

    Voted twice to keep armed self defense illegal in Illinois communities with handgun bans SB 2165, (2004).

    Endorsed a handgun ban in Illinois as a State Senator.

    Supported a ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons as a candidate in 1998.

    As a US Senator, he voted against shielding gun manufacturers from novel and frivolous lawsuits by municipalities and gun control groups. (S397, 2005)

    Yes folks, everyone on the right ginned up this fantasy that Barack Obama was, and remains, a gun grabber.

  • (Show?)

    Regarding the Heller decision and incorporation, I suggest you read the decision not just the spin put out about it. Scalia wrote the following for the majority in that decision:

    "With respect to Cruikshank’s continuing validity on incorporation, a question not presented by this case, we note that Cruikshank also said that the First Amendment did not apply against the states and did not engage in the sort of Fourteenth Amendment inquiry required by our later cases. Our later decisions in Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 265 (1886) and Miller v. Texas, 153 U. S. 535, 538 (1894), reaffirmed that the Second Amendment applies only to the Federal Government."

    I agree that the Second Amendment SHOULD be incorporated and apply to states, but according to the Supreme Court it currently only applies to the federal government. Calling a circuit court judge an anti-Second Amendment activist for upholding Supreme Court rulings don't fly.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    You can put it in quotes all you like, but I didn't and don't use the term "gun nut." If anything, I would probably qualify as one. I didn't use ""right wing gun nuts" anywhere; not sure who you are quoting, but it isn't me.

    Guns are not a right-wing, centrist or left-wing value; they are a civil right that ought to be supported by all. But talking about it that way apparently isn't scary enough or divisive enough to send people running to their checkbooks.

    That's it? That is the totality of the defense of your ill-informed screed?

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Horse puckey. That language from Heller invites the circuits to come to the correct conclusion in the coming incorporation cases by reiterating the obvious obsolescence of Cruikshank and related pre-incorporation cases.

    Some of the circuits did what logic and duty commanded of them in light of Heller, and some of them willfully did not.

    Sotomayor is in that second camp.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    "And what's with this labeling of ANY and EVERY criticism of His Highness Obama or member of his administration as an 'attack'... "

    What's with any and every right wing criticism of Obama BEING an attack? Seriously, it's almost impossible to find a Republican who criticizes Obama on any issue, no matter how trivial, without at the same time questioning his honor, his values, his intelligence, his religion, his patriotism, his US citizenship, his homo sapiens ancestry, his sports trivia knowledge and his lack of interest in peeing on the White House furniture and outlawing Nascar.

    And then, when called on their tantrums, they say, "What? I'm just trying to have a dialogue here. Why are you so defensive?"

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Given that all of those details about Mr. Obama biography, save for him being homo sapiens, and his views are unanswered or actively avoided questions, it is not unreasonable to keep reiterating them.

    Dude doesn't even know where he met his wife.

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    Horse puckey. That language from Heller invites the circuits to come to the correct conclusion in the coming incorporation cases by reiterating the obvious obsolescence of Cruikshank and related pre-incorporation cases.

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzt. Wrong.

    Heller doesn't invite the Circuits to do anything. Zak is right. Scalia himself said this applies to the federal level. Sotomayor followed the law as written.

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    Boats: "That's it? That is the totality of the defense of your ill-informed screed?"

    There are plenty of other points in my "screed," as you put it, but even more in Heller itself, which it's clear neither you nor several others commenting here have actually read. Confusing your personal point of view with the law is common enough, but it doesn't make it so.

    Regarding the 9th circuit court, it's interesting to see right-wingers suddenly in love with the court they love to bash as "activist," but simultaneously ignoring the views of noted conservative judges, such as Easterbrook of the 7th, who concurred with Sotomayor's judicial restraint in this matter. Please read the Heller decision for yourself sometime, Scalia put in quite a few qualifiers on our rights when he penned that.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    The Second Amendment I believe uses the term "arms" and not "guns". Arms is a very broad definition - can you own a tank?... or a submarine say for example? How about a bomb?.. some nerve gas anyone? What about a jet fighter? How about your common kitchen knife? Even a nail or a board can be construed as an "arms". Even cars can be considered in the same way.

    Private citizens do in fact own jet fighters, WW2 and WW1 fighter planes and bombers, own tanks, artillery pieces, flame throwers, grenade launchers, electric motor driven chain guns, fully automatic infantry weapons, and in the past even owned entire front line warships, or the Constitutional provision for Congress authorizing "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" would be non-sensical.

    I believe in the sanctity of the second amendment and the right to bear "arms". Its just when you get into the question of guns and the ownership of them that the demons start raging in the closet.

    Arms in the parlance of the Founders, would commonly have been taken to mean firearms without question. Guns and artillery had been in the field for nearly 300 years, and constantly improved upon, when the Constitution was drafted and adopted.

    I think we have the right to own them, just license them and register them like vehicles. And train the licensee just like driver's ed. And hold them responsible for the misuse of them.

    What an excellent and novel idea.

    I don't need a background check to own a car. If I don't want to use the public streets, I don't have to license or register my car. There are no restrictions on the size of the vehicle I can own, how fast it can go, how wicked it can look, how much it scares a pansy, etc. With a driver's license and current tags I can take my car to all 50 states, no questions asked and no travel pre-approval required. I don't have to overnight ship my car to the repair shop if it is outside of my community. I can sell my car to anyone I would like, even to a citizen of another state. I can own as many cars as I can afford. I can buy more than one car a month. I don't have to ask the police for a permit to buy my car. I can take my car to the airport. I can take my car to the courthouse. I can take my car to a bar. And a school.

    But hey, why don't we try treating personal transportation like guns for a moment:

    You'd need a breathalyzer to buy a bike, let alone a motorcycle or a car. A local government might tell you that one cannot own a car at all. You'd need a special permit from the police to buy a car. In some jurisdictions, your car wouldn't be able to exceed 55mph. Or look sporty. Or be too handy. Or be too big. Or might be banned on short notice by people who know nothing about cars. You could legally drive in Oregon, but not in Chicago.

    I could go on, but I'll spare everyone.

    I'm surprised that government hasn't picked up on this source of revenue; after all if you want to use some dynamite you have to get a permit and show how your going to store it and use it. Might as well do the same thing with guns.

    A right subject to permitting is not a right, it's a privilege. Dynamite is a tool that can be turned to being a weapon, it is not an "arm" that would fall within the ambit of the Second Amendment, and thus is logically subject to governmental intrusion as to safe storage and whatnot.

    Rights are not unlimited. Then again, up until very recently, the right to keep and bear arms wasn't being taken seriously at all. The full contours of that right will develop over time to probably be a little more liberal than things are today. Nevertheless, incorporation upon to the several states is a no brainer, which brings us full circle to Sotomayor. . . .

  • Boats (unverified)
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    If you cannot see the telegraphing that Scalia put into Heller about how incorporation is going to turn out, there's no helping you. It is implicitly incorporated right now, with Scalia indicating he has five votes for it, and the only remaining question is what level of judicial scrutiny is to be applied to governmental infringement. My bet is on some formulation of intermediate scrutiny, Less than strict scrutiny but way more than the rational basis deference of old.

    Let's formulate the question the other way: Do you really think the Easterbrook/Sotomayor angle on the Second not applying to the states is going to prevail when the issue comes up in the SCOTUS before 2010 is out?

    There is no sudden love for the Ninth on my part. Perhaps they have been reversed enough by now that they decided to get to where the ball is going for once rather than continuing on to where it used to be.

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    If you cannot see the telegraphing that Scalia put into Heller about how incorporation is going to turn out, there's no helping you.

    LOL..telegraphing? So now you're Carnac?

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Why not answer the question?

    How is the incorporation issue going to come down Carla? Don't be shy, you're not under oath or anything.

  • Tom (unverified)
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    The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over

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    Boats, On the incorporation issue, which you have now implicitly admitted was not addressed in Heller (thanks for the honest concession for once), recall Sotomayor is replacing Souter, a Republican appointee who voted against gun rights in the Heller decision. I believe Sotomayor will side with the previous majority on this issue. If I am proven wrong and she does not, the 5 justices who originally supported Heller are still on the bench, which should make for a happy outcome for gun owners if any of the three pending cases are taken up by the court this fall.

    As I said before, the apoplexy around this issue is more about shaking dimes out of the faithful than about any legitimate political concern over civil rights.

    Work beckons--enjoy your rebuttal ("horse puckey" - you're a MAS*H fan now?), I'll have to read it tonight.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "These attacks have extended to Sonia Sotomayor, currently undergoing the third degree from Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    The primary gun rights issue in examining Sotomayor's record is whether she agrees with last year's landmark decision in DC v. Heller, which for the first time cemented interpretation of the Second Amendment as applying to individuals."

    Way to go Zak!

    I thought most of the Republicans couldn't see that there is more to life than their "base" which hasn't won elections for them recently.

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    Good gawd, Boats, you said you'd spare us? Please do. You clearly have a difficult time separating your arguments and opinions from your zeal to insult anyone to the left of you.

    But just for the record, on your point of Sotomayor being evasive, high court nominees are loathe to make assertions regarding issues that may come before them as cases. Is it frustrating to listen to nominees dance around an answer? Sure, but one must take into consideration this context, and Sotomayor has been not been significantly worse nor significantly better than other nominees that we've see via braodcast hearings.

  • Bill (unverified)
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    Perhaps you left coast libs do not have access to the Chicago newspapers and local radio and TV news outlets. Obama is a far left anti - gun weasel, what it states on his website is meaningless. He voted for every gun control scheme that came across his desk while a State Senator. He endorsed Mayor Daly's complete gun ban in the city of Chicago. Yes, that's right, you cannot own any type of firearm whatsoever if you live within the city limits and Obama likes it that way. He endorsed the Clinton gun ban and wants it re-instated. He had his idiot of an attorney general, Eric Holder, float the idea to the masses recently. Perhaps your memories are not so fuzzy that you can't remember that. He has also publicly stated that he would love to go door to door and confiscate all privately owned weapons. He only changed his tune while running for President, in order to appeal to more of the population.

    So, regardless of what you want to believe about your master, his record and his documented statements contradict your wildest fantasies.

  • Beepy (unverified)
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    Golly...I think we should start a LEFT WING GUN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION...possible consequences would be an immediate reduction in the number of right wingers, because a large number would have brain hemmorhages (or similar excessive bleeding from the opposite end)...and the rest would exhaust their financial resources in massive ad campaigns.

  • straightarrow (unverified)
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    You're a liar. It's that simple. It doesn't matter what he said to get elected when his entire record is one of obliterating or attempting to obliterate rights. You have to know this, therefore, you lied, not a mistake, not a difference of opinion, you lied.

    Let me ask you this, if Maddof said he didn't believe in Ponzi schemes and fraud, nor would he ever participate in them, would you believe him? Nooo??? Why not? Could it possibly be because his history shows that to be a lie. Same with Obama.

    If you truly believe your audience is stupid enough to buy the tripe you just wrote, you are the one missing a few bricks in your foundation.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Back when Bush was president, criticism was encouraged as everyone's patriotic duty

    BULLSHIT

  • Mike (unverified)
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    "You're a liar. It's that simple. It doesn't matter what he said to get elected when his entire record is one of obliterating or attempting to obliterate rights. You have to know this, therefore, you lied, not a mistake, not a difference of opinion, you lied"

    God boats seems reasoned compared to this idiot.

  • Well (unverified)
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    Heller was 9-0 on the individual right issue. Incorporation is just one SCOTUS case away.

    SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, and ALITO, JJ., joined.

    There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms.

    JUSTICE STEVENS, with whom JUSTICE SOUTER, JUSTICEGINSBURG, and JUSTICE BREYER join, dissenting.

    The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a "collective right" or an "individual right." Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals.

    JUSTICE BREYER, with whom JUSTICE STEVENS, JUSTICE SOUTER, and JUSTICE GINSBURG join, dissenting.

    The Second Amendment says that: "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." In interpreting and applying this Amendment, I take as a starting point the following four propositions, based on our precedent and today's opinions, to which I believe the entire Court subscribes: (1) The Amendment protects an "individual" right—i.e., one that is separately possessed, and may be separately enforced, by each person on whom it is conferred.

  • Brian C. (unverified)
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    This is absolutely a right-wing, anti-Obama agenda being stoked. And now they're scared and armed to the teeth.

    Don't think "they're" scared so much as wary. Rightfully so considering the generally anti-gun reputation of the Democratic party. No surprise that a Democratically controlled congress + white house = run on guns & ammo.

  • HerbM (unverified)
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    A credible concern about Sotomayor:

    She does not believe that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental right.

    She is as wrong as if she denied this about the rights to speak freely, to assemble peaceably, to one's on views on religion, to a free press, to avoid self-incrimination, to be secure in one's property, or any number of both enumerated and un-enumerated rights.

    Anyone foolish enough to deny an explicitly enumerated right is unqualified to be a Justice, or even a judge at any level of government.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Beepy:

    Golly...I think we should start a LEFT WING GUN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION...

    Bob T:

    But this and other rights are not meant to be for either left or right (so-called), but things we at worst agree to disagree on. The only reason gun ownership is a very controversial issue is because those who call themselves "left" decided to deny there's such a right as understood earlier, and the same can be said for other rights that the left defends and the right tries to claim don't exist.

    So the question remains: why did you guys declare war on gun ownership? You know, the old saying is that rights start to disappear when they are watered down under the guise of "crime control", or the seeking of security. But that's what you're doing with regard to gun ownership rights.

    Bob Tiernan Portland

  • HardCorps (unverified)
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    What I love about lefty-socialists commenting on personal defense is: 1) they are completely ignorant of the concept, 2) their comments section immediately becomes an educational resource to readers about their rights to own weapons for personal defense, and 3) said lefty's air of 'intellectual authority' is severely disturbed by their brazen errors and distortions of fact revealed by pro-liberty samaritans.

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    "But this and other rights are not meant to be for either left or right (so-called), but things we at worst agree to disagree on."

    Couldn't agree with you more this time, Bob.

    For the record, there are many left-leaning groups, including the Democratic Party of Oregon, who have made Second Amendment rights and protections an explicit part of our platform.

  • (Show?)

    My, what a pleasant bunch of righties here. With attitudes like these, it's no wonder they worked themselves into an ammo buying frenzy in November. It's classic self-fulfilling prophecy for which they now shriek at every Dem w/in cyber ear shot. But such projection is not so surprising considering that their hero, Rush Limbaugh, bombastically exclaimed that the nation was entering the "Obama recession" before Obama even took the oath.

  • Thirdpower (unverified)
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    "The Brady Campaign enthusiastically endorses Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the position of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court."

    That about says it all.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    For the record, there are many left-leaning groups, including the Democratic Party of Oregon, who have made Second Amendment rights and protections an explicit part of our platform.

    And yet they all continue running interference for incorrigible gun grabbers like Obama. Go figure.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Boats

    Whose gun has Obama grabbed?

  • Wrench Monkey (unverified)
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    The Progressive Case Against Sotomayor:

    "She has rejected the majority of racial discrimination claims... and sent most immigrants packing. On criminal justice matters, she is somewhere to the right of the man she will replace, Daddy Bush appointee David Souter. The very facts that ought to make progressives cringe are instead being extolled as Sotomayor's greatest virtues, since they are the things that render her eminently 'confirmable'." (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/07/progressive-case-against-sotomayor)

    Obama's choice of Sotomayor is firmly within the boundaries suggested by his prior choices of Gates, Geithner, Clinton, and Emanuel. The fact that you are willing to support minorities who are conservative by European standards does not make you progressives.

  • straightarrow (unverified)
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    this "idiot" has no intention of being pleasant to people who lie, to people who support "an agreement to disagree" on whether I should be "allowed" to exercise a right. In fact, my intent is to be as unpleasant as I can. We tried pleasant reasoned discourse, jackasses like the author continued to lie and obfuscate and we watched all our rights either disappear or be severely truncated.

    If you get anything else from me, you have to take it. That's right, you have to take it. You can't vote it from me, you can't legislate it from me, you must come physically and take it. Survivors on both sides will have tales to tell.

    Hopefully, none of the tales will be pleasant.

    Oh, and Mike, I gave reasons why the author is a liar. I noticed you couldn't refute them nor supply reasons why I am an "idiot". Which of us is the idiot?

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Whose gun has Obama grabbed?

    It's early yet and your cool cat came to the job with his immutable spots.

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    I think the tone of my detractors on this post more than makes my original case regarding the hysteria of the anti-Obama crowd. (Do they really think such tizzies are persuasive? I suppose they must given Glenn Beck's and Bill O'Reilly's cult status among them.)

    That the president continues to seek bipartisan agreements with this group makes it clear to me who the better man is; though I have to wonder how long he'll continue attempting discourse with those who refuse to listen or even hear.

    For those who genuinely want to protect their Second Amendment rights,

  • (Show?)

    For those who genuinely want to protect their Second Amendment rights, the best thing to do is to protect the positive view of gun owners and gun ownership in society. Besides behaving yourself (and not writing unhinged comments on a blog), one of the best ways to do that is to create more gun owners: take a non-shooter to the range, teach them to control the tool and understand that's all it is.

    Like the right-wing panic against Obama, people are more likely to fear what they do not understand and cannot control.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Actually the best thing one could do for gun rights would be to keep Second Amendment cancers like Schumer, Kennedy, Lautenberg, Feinstein, Boxer, Levin, McCarthy, any Clinton, and Obama as far away from the levers of power as is possible.

    Of course, that would mean walking the talk for a pro-2A Democrat, so that ain't gonna happen.

  • mike (unverified)
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    "Oh, and Mike, I gave reasons why the author is a liar. I noticed you couldn't refute them nor supply reasons why I am an "idiot". Which of us is the idiot?"

    Hmm let's recap:

    You're a liar. It's that simple. It doesn't matter what he said to get elected when his entire record is one of obliterating or attempting to obliterate rights. You have to know this, therefore, you lied, not a mistake, not a difference of opinion, you lied.

    "Let me ask you this, if Maddof said he didn't believe in Ponzi schemes and fraud, nor would he ever participate in them, would you believe him? Nooo??? Why not? Could it possibly be because his history shows that to be a lie. Same with Obama.

    If you truly believe your audience is stupid enough to buy the tripe you just wrote, you are the one missing a few bricks in your foundation."

    What reasons were there? Sounds like diatribe to me....

  • Steve C. (unverified)
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    Looks like this one is all but done.

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