Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sotomayor Ducks Questions About Gun Rights

Sotomayor Ducks Questions About Gun Rights - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor refused on Wednesday to elaborate on her views about firearms regulations and the Second Amendment, saying she would "make no prejudgments" about future firearms-related cases.

President Obama's first nominee to the high court did say that she believed Americans do not currently enjoy a fundamental right to bear arms, which echoes her two previous rulings on the topic as an appeals court judge.
I commented previously about Sotomayor's candidacy to SCOTUS, and I admit it was not supportive. In that article, I also focused on her responses to questions about her support for the Second Amendment as acknowledging an 'individual right', and perhaps suggested that her support was tepid at best, reminiscence of a Cracker asserting that "some of my best friends are N ... uh ... Black People".

Today, the news reports describe her absolute inability (or unwillingness) to comment on the Second Amendment as an Individual Right.
Because Sotomayor has not clarified her position on gun rights, and has declined repeated invitations to do so during this week's Senate hearing, advocacy groups have turned to her written opinions and the president's own record on firearm regulation. (This parallels the abortion question: While Sotomayor parried those questions on Wednesday, the White House had previously reassured liberal groups that she would be a staunch pro-choice vote on the court.)
I have nobly managed not to address her decision on the RICCI case, and in truth I'm not willing to initiate a barrage attack on Sotomeyer's candidacy. I don't like the Ricci decision, I don't agree with it, but here ... it is a digression.

What most concerns me is that a candidate for the Supreme Court of The United States, one who has previously and historicallyl based her decisions on "precedence", is unwilling or unable to cite "precedence" as recent as the past calendar year.

Speaking openly, I don't feel much inclined to argue that a SCOTUS candidate who offers "I don't know, it depends on the case" is ipso facto unqualified for acceptance. Our last two SCOTUS nominees, those who somehow made it past the Senate Selection Committee, often felt obliged to respond in much the same way.

Consider this:
Existing Supreme Court decisions indicate the Second Amendment only limits "the actions the federal government could take with respect to the possession of firearms" and can't be used to strike down broad state laws, Sotomayor told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
This is all well and good (it says here), but this is not a nebulous issue which decision must be finessed by reading between the lines, such as Roe v Wade.

This is an issue which has been very carefully defined by the recent Heller decision, and for a SCOTUS candidate who professes to take into account 'precedents', one wonders why an interpretation of the law, for which precedents exist, has so much trouble answering simple questions.

To illustrate, read the transcript at the end of the article which offers a dialogue between Sotomayor and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK):

COBURN: Do I have a right to personal self-defense?

SOTOMAYOR: I'm trying to think if I remember a case where the Supreme Court has addressed that particular question. Is there a constitutional right to self-defense? And I can't think of one. I could be wrong, but I can't think of one.

SOTOMAYOR: Generally, as I understand, most criminal law statutes are passed by states. And I'm also trying to think if there's any federal law that includes a self-defense provision or not. I just can't...

COBURN: But do you have an opinion, or can you give me your opinion, of whether or not in this country I personally, as an individual citizen, have a right to self-defense?

SOTOMAYOR: I -- as I said, I don't know.

COBURN: I'm talking about your...

SOTOMAYOR: I don't know if that legal question has been ever presented.

COBURN: I wasn't asking about the legal question. I'm asking about your personal opinion.

SOTOMAYOR: But that is sort of an abstract question with no particular meaning to me outside of...

COBURN: Well, I think that's what American people want to hear, Your Honor, is they want to know. Do they have a right to personal self-defense?...

Those are the kind of things people would like for us to answer and would like to know, not how you would rule or what you're going to rule, but -- and specifically what you think about, but just yes or no. Do we have that right?

SOTOMAYOR: I know it's difficult to deal with someone as a -- like a judge who's so sort of -- whose thinking is so cornered by law.
[Ed: emphasis added.]

There is more detail available in the original article, and you may be justified in thinking I have
"cherry-picked" the quotations. So go read the whole thing, and maybe it will help you to make up your own mind about Sotomayor's candidacy for the Supreme Court of The United States.

Personally, I don't have much faith in a SCOTUS candidate who professes to be "cornered by the law".

I never thought that Supreme Court judges could be 'cornored by the law'. I always though that they interpreted the law. If they feel 'cornored by the law', are they really the best candidates for the job?

PNW U.S. Steel Match

I heard from Section Coordinator (and perhaps our next Area 1 USPSA Director) Chuck Anderson today.

There's a 'regional' (my term) match coming up, you probably don't want to miss it.

Here's the pertinent information:

The US Steel Shoot NW Regional is July 25-26. Applications are up on
the website at

The bad news is we are light on entries. I've heard from several folks
that said they are coming but not many applications have shown up.

The good news is we have a huge prize table for the few that do show
up. We're well over $15,000.00 with more sponsors confirming every day.

If you're planning to show up and register on match day, please email
me so we can plan for the provided lunch.

Chuck Anderson
Chuck at andersontactical dot com

(The webpage for AndersonTactical is still under construction. I can't be very critical, my jerrythegeek website is similary under construction, although I haven't started building it yet.)

I checked the Columbia Cascade Sectional/Current Events website, and although I find a reference to the match, there is no link yet available. If you are interested in attending the July 25-26 match, watch here or watch at the Columbia Cascade Sectional "Current Events" website.
As of this date, I haven't been able to find more information. However, I can say that the Speed Steel events at the Tri-County Gun Club is usually wild and wooly. You may not be able to beat Max Michelle, but the prize table is often quite generous.

And with Chuck involved, you can take it to the bank that there WILL be a humongous prize table, at least as impressive as stated on Chuck's email.

This match is listed on the TCGC Calendar for July, 2009.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

some of my Best Friends are ....

Sotomayor pushes back on GOP’s bias claim - White House-

Judge Sonya Sodomayor today reputed Conservative attacks on her appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States by testifying that:

"Like, you, I understand how important the right to bear arms is to many, many Americans," she said. "In fact, one of my godchildren is a member of the NRA and I have friends who hunt," she said, adding she would have an open mind.”
Is this the same as asserting that ?"Some of my best friends are (minority group of your choice here)"

Yes, it is.

This is very much like William Jefferson Clinton who, when asked if he had ever smoked Pot, replied: "
Yes, but I didn't inhale".

To be absolutely clear on this point, consider the disingenuous response that:
"Yes, but I didn't swallow".

Dear Justice-wanna-be Sotomayor, from your words we know what you are. All we are doing now is dickering over your price.

If that makes you feel petty, than good! You begin to appreciate that you have exposed yourself as a Cigar Smoker.

Americans don't typically appreciate Cigar Smokers. You smoke, but you don't inhale. You foul your environment gratuitously, and don't even experience real satisfaction from the exercise.

And you expect us to vet you to one of the most powerful offices in America?

Thank you for your ingenuity, but ... no. We don't think you are the best person for the job. We would prefer someone who is entirely candid about who and what she is, what her political bias may bring to The Bench, and then we can make up our own minds about how qualified you are for the office.

From where we stand, your qualifications are ... not much. You have already made up your mind about how you will rule on several key judicial issues which you may be called upon to address (Abortion, 2nd Amendment, and Racial Discrimination.)

When called before a congress which has not already established a clear majority as a Liberal congress, you wouldn't make it past the front door.

Yes, you may likely be voted into office for life. That doesn't mean that the majority of American people accept your racial and liberally biased vies of "what's right for America".

And Sonya, remember that most of us don't think only W.A.S.P.s can be racists.

This ability to appoint Liberal Judges to the Supreme Court is only one of the reasons why many Americans were reluctant to vote for

And now you, personally, have proved that our concerns about
Obama were justified.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Welcome to Florida. Watch your six!

Woman shot in bathroom stall

Florida, one of the first states in the nation to pass "Shall Issue" Concealed Carry laws, reports a Negligent Discharge incident ... in the lady's room of a Tampa hotel.

TAMPA - A Tampa woman is recovering from a gunshot wound she received while using the bathroom at local hotel. Police say Thursday morning, 53-year-old Janifer Bliss was attending a women's health conference at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center on Fowler Avenue in Tampa.

She was inside a bathroom stall, when a bullet came from the next stall and hit her in the leg.

There she was, innocently attending to her 'personal business', when a shot rings out and she collapses in a pool of blood.

(No word whether she had completed her 'personal business'.)

The woman in the next stall had just completed the 'drop trousers' portion of her personal business when the pistol she was carrying in an open holster (read: unsecured by strap, etc.) dropped out, hit the floor, and zinged Ms. Bliss a good one in the near hind limb.

Ambulances, policemen, janitors ... oh my!

Getting shot in the leg isn't something to make light of, but the circumstances are admittedly bizarre.

The pistol-packing mama was a concealed carry license holder, and the District Attorney's office is determining whether charges will be filed.

Which is a lesson to us all, at least those who do carry.

Do secure your firearm. CCW licensees are carefully vetted by the authorities, and are rarely charged with firearms-related felonies. Still, there is a disturbing tendency to carry 'sloppily'.

(I recall an Oregon man last year who had a .45acp in the pocket of his jacket, which hit the floor when he slung his jacket over a restaurant chair resulting in loud, rude noises and considerable upset to the other patrons. He's cooking his own breakfasts at home now.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Videos of people advocating bans on firearms

Tonight we have two videos for your enjoyment.

First, from Australia, in response to the State's Director of Prosecution's call for a total gun ban in South Australia ("Enough is Enough"); an interview with Samantha Lee of the National Coalition for Gun Control.

"After the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, the Howard Government and the states and territories banned all semi-automatic long arms. But they did not extend that ban to semi-automatic hand-guns. Now we've seen some great benefits from the ban of semi-automatic long arms. We've seen a reduction in firearms deaths in Australia, and hospitalizations and suicides. So we'd like to see that ban extended to semi-automatic handguns."

(Interviewer: "Just how feasible is it for a total ban?")
S.Lee: "Well what we would like to see is the total ban of semi-automatic weapons."

S.Lee: "We'd like to take it by stages, and if we can get rid of the most powerful weapons, which are the semi-automatic weapons, we'd be very happy with that."

[Geek: Yes, you would be 'very happy with that' ... for now. It's disingenuous, which is the same thing as a bald-faced lie, to imply that your only target is to ban semi-automatic firearms in the same breath in which you admit that your goal is to 'take it by stages'. You must hold law-abiding firearms owners in extreme contempt to be so obvious in your lies.]

(Interviewer: "So what are the 'semi-automatics', everybody talks about a 'semi-automatic' -- I just have no idea".)
S.Lee: "Well, Semi-automatic means that it just flows so very quickly, so you puta magazine chamber into the firearm, and you press the trigger once, and it propels a number of bullets in a number of minutes. ..."

[Geek: this is an obvious attempt to confuse the listener/reader when you lump semi-automatic weapons in the same definition as full-automatic weapons. Ms. Lee obviously holds the listener/reader in the same contempt as she does legal firearms owners. Who could fall for this lie?]

(Interviewer: "As opposed to just one bullet at a time".)
S.Lee: "That's right. Now sporting shooters will argue that they need semi-automatics to do their sport. Now, that's not true. .... Now what we would like to see is ban all semi-automatic handguns, and what that means is that sporting shooters can have single-shot firearms to do their sport.

(Interviewer: "When you see ... the Olympics, those aren't semi-automatics, are they?")
S.Lee: "They don't need semi-automatics for Olympic or commonwealth (?) game shooting. Now when you think about sporting shooting, it's about hitting a target. It's not about how powerful you hit the target, so it's about your precision in hitting the target."

Geek: DVC obviously means nothing to a spokesman who doesn't understand the people or the sports she dismisses so casually.]


The second interview is much more simplistic ... and perhaps not quite such a subtle (read: "Misleading") statement on Gun Control on an MSNBC "Hardball" interview of NRO's Deroy Murdock by Chris Mathews.

In response to the Mathews' question, "Do you think we should have a Concealed Gun law in New York", Murdock says "Yes, I think that would probably be helpful. There are people who do conceal guns here, and to the degree that people think criminals may be retaliated on I think that that helps keep the place safe."

where Mathews asserts:

"I think they should check people on sidewalks like they do people on airplanes, and why Americans think an airplane should be safer than an American sidewalk is crazy to me. ... I want to see people disarmed. I want people disarmed in our major cities. How's that for a plan? I don't think we should all be armed, and I don't think more firearms is the answer. I think that it's wacky to say that the solution to armed robbery and killing in our streets is to put more arms in the streets. ..."