trump3 story two Supreme Court

I might sound like a single-issue voter, but I’m really not. Allow me to explain.

I’ll almost always support the candidate with a bold and unapologetic history of protecting individual gun rights. You’ll notice I said “protecting.” That’s a critical distinction. No government grants or gives rights. Rights are something we all already own. Period, paragraph, and end of story. So the concept of protecting gun rights is a big deal. The government’s job is to preserve the rights, any type of rights, that we already have.

So back to the single-issue thing. To me, gun rights are the ultimate litmus test, for lack of a better phrase, because I generally hate the idea of political litmus tests. If a candidate aggressively protects gun rights, you can be pretty sure that they understand the importance of individual rights. They place the power squarely in the hands of the individual citizen and not the government. After all, they’re supportive of protecting the right of an individual to arm themselves to protect life and liberty.

In short, if a politician is serious about protecting individual gun rights, then they’re serious about the concept of individual rights in general. One who protects Second Amendment rights isn’t at all likely to trample on other basic rights such as free speech, unlawful search and seizure, and so on.

The bottom line is this. If I vote for a candidate who supports the Second Amendment as an individual right, I feel like I’m voting for a candidate who supports most of my other core freedom-centric beliefs such as individual liberty, small and non-intrusive government, and meaningful citizen representation.

With all that said, we’ve got a really unique election going on this cycle. For the first time that I can remember in my lifetime, and perhaps the first time in United States history, we have a presidential candidate actively campaigning against the individual right to keep and bear arms. You don’t even have to search a deleted email account to hear Hillary Clinton’s thoughts on the issue. It’s recorded audio for all to hear.

“We’ve got to go after this,” Clinton said. “And here again, the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.”

Image from Hillary Clinton Facebook
Image from Hillary Clinton Facebook

More specifically, perpetual candidate Clinton was referring to the 2008 District of Columbia vs. Heller case, in which the Supreme Court clarified that the Second Amendment does, in fact, exist to protect an individual’s right to keep arms. Just 2 years later, in 2010, another landmark Second Amendment case, McDonald vs. The city of Chicago, the court affirmed an individual right to bear arms and prohibited de-facto gun bans. While a whole plethora of specific legal principles was at play in this carefully orchestrated case strategy of Heller and later McDonald, you can think of the two cases at a high level like this: Heller addressed the individual right to own a gun, while McDonald clarified the individual right to bear arms. If a gun ban exists where you live, you can’t very well exercise your right to bear arms, right?

Understanding these two lynchpins of case law is critical to realizing the tremendous importance of the next Supreme Court nominations. A single Supreme Court vote can effectively bounce us gun owners right back to where we were before these two cases.

The Roberts Court, 2010. Back row (left to right): Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, and Elena Kagan. Front row (left to right): Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Note: There are eight justices because Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016 at the age of 79. The next President of the United States will nominate someone to fill the Court vacancy, then the Senate will vote (simple majority) to confirm the nominee. This nomination/confirmation system is in place so both the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government have a voice in the composition of the Supreme Court. (Image from Wikimedia Commons)
The Roberts Court, 2010. Back row (left to right): Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, and Elena Kagan. Front row (left to right): Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Note: There are currently eight justices because Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016 at the age of 79. The next President of the United States will nominate someone to fill the Court vacancy, then the Senate will vote (simple majority) to confirm the nominee. This nomination/confirmation system is in place so both the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government have a voice in the composition of the Supreme Court. (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

As you’ll recall, many areas of the country had outright gun bans on all or major categories of firearms. We even lived through a federal gun ban on so-called “assault weapons” for a full decade. State and local governments had no federal check to stop them from enacting legislation that violated the very basic right to keep and bear arms.

This single vote threat is not at all hypothetical. Michigan man Clifford Tyler is almost certain to have his case heard by the Supreme Court in 2017. The result could effectively cancel out the 2008 Heller victory.

While a United States president can do either good or evil for 4 or 8 years, the justices they put in place can do good or evil for 40 or so years. That’s a big deal. How big a deal? Consider some of the possibilities should Hillary Clinton start placing her picks on the Supreme Court. Technically, these are hypothetical. In reality, they’re all already happening to some degree, even with the backstop of Heller and McDonald case law in place.

The president issues a directive to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to “crack down” on Federal Firearm Licensed (FFL) gun dealers. These businesses, large or small, are at the complete mercy of the ATF. Any one of them can be shut down immediately for virtually any reason. An employee made a paperwork mistake? That company is out of business. Permanently. Can you even imagine a world where, say, a grocery store printed the wrong date on a receipt, so the federal government seized all assets and shut it down for good?

Don’t believe me? Think back to 1993 when there were 282,000 licensed FFL dealers in the country. Due to presidential directive to the ATF and change in policy for licensing procedures, Clinton and crew successfully shut down over 178,000 FFL holders, bringing the national total to just 104,000 by 1999.

How about executive orders? George H. W. Bush started a campaign to ban the import of hand-picked semi-automatic rifles. Later, Bill Clinton amped that program into high gear, banning the import of large classes of “assault weapons.”

Executive directives don’t even have to be related to imports, either. Just over 1 year ago, President Obama launched an executive action to ban the most common type of ammunition for the AR-15 by classifying it as “armor piercing.” The fact that virtually all rifle ammunition is “armor piercing” was not lost on the administration, who clearly hoped to implement gun control measures by choking off the ammunition supply.

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State law is another area checked by the Supreme Court. Before Heller and McDonald, the District of Columbia and Chicago both had effective and complete gun bans in place. Even with Supreme Court support, the battle between rogue states and localities is never ending. How many cases are currently active, challenging California gun ban laws? Plenty.

Don’t forget the all-time favorite government regulatory tool – taxes. Back in 1934, the feds implemented a $200 tax on suppressors, machine guns, and short-barrel shotguns and rifles. In today’s dollars, that tax worked out to about $3,500. And if you think it won’t happen now, listen to Hillary and various West Coast politicians. There are plenty in favor of “gun safety” taxes on new gun and ammunition sales. How would you feel about $1 per round of “safety” tax for the children? Or maybe a $100 (or more) gun tax? With an unfriendly Supreme Court, this kind of stuff can sail through unchecked.

Last but not least, don’t forget the ambulance chasers. To this day, Hillary Clinton runs around the country claiming that gun manufacturers are completely exempt from lawsuits related to the misuse of their products. Yes, she’s actually upset that a crime victim’s family can’t sue manufacturer XYZ for making the gun.

Can you even imagine a world where parents could sue the local water company if their child drowned? Or where one could sue General Motors if they were harmed by a drunk driver? Yet that’s exactly what she wants, but only for gun manufacturers. That’s because it’s a great strategy to shut down gun companies by suing them out of business, whether they’re at fault for anything or not.

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 exists solely to prevent abuse of the legal system and does nothing to protect gun makers from actual bad behavior. They’re liable just like anyone else should they do something negligent. Striking down that law would be one of the first agenda items for a Hillary Kangaroo Court. Don’t take my word for it, take hers:

“Probably one of the most egregious, wrong, pieces of legislation that ever passed the Congress when it comes to this issue is to protect gun sellers and gun makers from liability. They are the only business in America that is wholly protected from any kind of liability.” That last sentence is an outright lie, but that’s never stopped her before, has it?

In summary, think of it this way. With a Supreme Court unfriendly to the Second Amendment, all branches of the government – legislative, executive, and judicial, at federal, state, and local levels – can exhibit very bad behavior with no consequence. If anti-gun Hillary Clinton stacks the Court with like-minded justices, we gun owners are in serious trouble.

Here’s the bottom line: Thanks to mainstream media, we’re getting all wrapped around the axle about what a candidate did or said. I don’t care. What I do care about is policy. I care a great deal about the Supreme Court makeup. I want that bench filled with people who understand why it was created in the first place – to serve as a check and balance that ensures the executive and legislative branches of government behave consistently with the United States Constitution.

Image from Donald J. Trump Facebook
Image from Donald J. Trump Facebook

We know where Hillary stands on the Supreme Court based on her own words. We also know where Donald Trump stands on the Supreme Court based on his own words. In fact, he’s published a list of potential Supreme Court candidates on his short list for nomination. I like the list – a lot. But again, don’t take my word for it, you can check them out yourself here.

This November 8, you’re voting for a United States president, but also the future makeup of the Supreme Court. Cast your vote wisely.

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26 thoughts on “Election 2016: The Supreme Court Is Everything

  1. You’re something special. You give examples of BOTH Democrats and Republicans screwing you over the issue of guns and then suggest we all vote Republican because they seem to screw us less often or less severely.

    Faced with that sort of ‘thinking’, I suggest that maybe it would be a good thing for us to have a SCOTUS that was clearly out-of-step with your position — severely out-of-step. That would provide us with one or more of several valuable things, e.g.: the understanding that SCOTUS does not make law; an opportunity to update Claire Wolff’s speculation; a spine; the understanding that the GOP doesn’t give a rat’s @$$ about you as long they can count on your vote; the realization — finally — that voting for the lesser evil always manages, somehow, to buy you a bag of evil.

    Any of these would make life better in this country.

      1. That’s YOUR opinion. I merely point out that your strategy-of-choice has left us — after decades of practice — with the unenviable option this cycle of two samples from the absolute bottom of the political barrel — Clinton and Trump — and one of them looks pretty appetizing to you. Maybe you’ll accept anything that has an (R) next to it.

        As my sainted grandmother used to say “He’d eat $h!t if it had salt and pepper on it.”

        The problem is that you’re setting the menu for the rest of us. Thanks for nothing.

      2. Both republicans and democrats have screwed us over on gun rights. When I was 13 years old, I bought a Winchester 30-30 with cash at Kmart in Macon, Ga. I walked out of the store with that rifle, with money that I earned from working. That was 1970. Times have certainly changed. Dipjerks at all levels of authority need to reevaluate values and consequences.

  2. You’re absolutely correct. It’s even more important today because the rules of the game were changed with Justice Roberts setting a precedent with Obamacare to adjudicate laws based on what a justice thinks Congress intended to do rather than what they actually did. Hence this election is not about who is going to be the President. There are several checks and balances on the Presidency (The bureaucracy, Congress, and SCOTUS) and the President is only in power for 4-8 years. This election is really about who is going to appoint 1 or more Supreme Court justices in their 40’s who will dominate the court for 30-40 years where there are no real checks and balances other than the life span of the justices. In addition, there are several cases (~7000) that are decided at the Circuit Court level where there are approximately 92 vacancies that are also likely to be filled by the next President. Prior to Obama, only 1 of the 13 Circuit Courts leaned to the left – today 9 do. If Hillary wins, she is more than likely to nominate justices who will legislate her “ends justify the means” progressive agenda with impunity from the bench and essentially rewrite the Constitution. If Trump doesn’t win this election, it won’t make any difference who runs for President in the future because policy will be made by the progressive courts based on the cases they decide to accept and adjudicate.

  3. This should be in the advertisement section…not article section. This is an ADVERTISEMENT paid for Donald Trump. This isn’t journalism

    1. The heading is “General Outdoors News,” and it is. The columnist is expressing a pertinent opinion on a subject that is of utmost importance to the regular readers of this website. If you don’t like it, take your Left-wing a$$ somewhere else.

      1. The columnist lined his pocket with Trump $$$$. This isn’t journalism, it’s a PAID advertisement.

      2. Which is exactly what the Mendacious Socialist Media does ecept that maybe with them it’s not for money but to advance their ideology.

      3. Prove that the columnist was paid for this article. Did it ever occur to you that maybe the “paid” declaration was for reprinting the article? No, of course not.

  4. Whatever one might think about Hillary (I do not like her), keep in mind that Trump lies about EVERYTHING, and he has NO history about supporting the 2nd Amendment. Never think that he would not hesitate to lie to us all about anything. He already has, MANY times! This buffoon represents a clear danger to our country and anyone who supports him must not care about about our country.

  5. If you are one that believes the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is lawful and constitutional, then you have believed a lie and a myth that Jefferson warned about. The States still retain their rights to this day to defy the federal judiciary, which has become an oligarcy. We just need strong statesmen as governors and legislatures to make that stand!

    In writing to William Jarvis, Jefferson said, “You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

    The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.”

  6. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

  7. Ronald Reagan had a very large part in the banning of assault rifles, and was instrumental and helped to write and pass the Brady bill.
    Why are you choosing to attack only Dems. in the article? Believe it or not there are probably just as many Democrats that believe in the 2nd amendment (as does Hillary) and the right to carry.
    You guys preach that guns will be taken away forever, it won’t happen!! All you’re doing is driving the costs of guns up!!

    1. Steve, The assault rifle ban was initiated by William Jefferson Clinton as were the huge increases in the cost of Federal Firearms licenses. It’s the democrat politicians who want to appease their liberal progressive supporters by doing anything possible to get rid of all guns. I was on active duty in Washington DC when Clinton and the democrats passed the assault weapons ban. G.W. Bush managed to get rid of the ban but the license fees remained. Nearly all anti-gun proposals are/have been initiated by democrats. I had an FFL at the time but refused to renew the license after the increased fees and restrictions. I turned my last license into ATF agents who could not have been more professional. Anyone in a similar situation could get by with a collectors license, I chose to avoid more red tape. These actions did little to deter sales to the criminal element, need proof, just read about the number of murders in Chicago, most were committed using illegal weapons. Similar situations although not as bad exist all over the country.

      1. Actually Bush said he would have signed a scary gun ban if presented. Congress allowed the ban to die by simply allowing it to expire without renewal.

    2. Re: “You guys preach that guns will be taken away forever, it won’t happen!!”

      Hillary acknowledged she is a progressive and the progressive philosophy is more subtle, insidious, and incremental than immediate confiscation. You can see examples of the philosophy reflected in laws that have been implemented by like minded individuals at the state level where they don’t confiscate firearms, ammunition or magazines, they just pass laws that say you can’t keep, sell, transfer, get them repaired, purchase ammunition, loan, share, inherit or shoot them. The Colorado magazine ban is a good example where the “owner” can keep them but not share or transfer them to anyone he is living with like his/her children, spouse, roommates, significant others, domestic partners, employees, house guests, or other acquaintances you have known for years. Another example is the CA SKS Sporter ban in 2000. CT required owners of certain types of “assault weapons” to register them then later passed a law banning them which required the now known gun owners to sell the now banned firearms to an FFL, turn them into the police or take them out of state. Some local governments have similar laws that prohibit the ownership of certain firearms within their geographic limits and several other states (NY,NJ,CA,MA,MD) have in effect “confiscated” some types of firearms from new users by grandfathering those that are currently owned and registered but prohibiting any new ones from being purchased or retained by people moving in from out of the state.

      Note that Hillary has said she wants a ban on so called “assault rifles” and when you read any of the legislation that has ever been proposed at the federal level, it goes way beyond “assault rifles” and applies to almost every semi-automatic, magazine fed rifle. This is essentially confiscation as new users reaching the legal age of ownership (21) would not be able to buy one and in 21 years it would be impossible for a 21-year old to possess one unless it was transferred or obtained illegally. She also said she would consider a program like the one implemented in Australia where gun owners were forced under penalty of law to sell their guns to the government so they could be destroyed. In addition, she wants universal background checks on all gun sales. When you read any of the federal or state laws passed or proposed, they go way beyond “gun sales” by prohibiting temporary loans, transfers or inadvertent access of firearms to anyone but immediate family members.

      So basically Hillary does what her mentor Saul Alinsky and all progressives do – they lie because they believe the ends justify the means. If she was honest, she would say “I want to abolish the Second Amendment because I believe only the ruling class should have guns”. But in a disingenuous sense – she is correct – the police didn’t show up at your door to take your guns, ammunition or magazines away – at least not yet – they just make it onerous, legally hazardous, and nearly impossible to own them which is the way the anti-gun folks implement their incremental strategy that will allow them to smugly claim “You guys preach that guns will be taken away forever, it won’t happen!!”.

    3. Re: ” Ronald Reagan had a very large part in the banning of assault rifles”

      I wouldn’t call it large. Reagan supported the ban (along with Carter and Ford) but he did not sign the bill. However I am not a fan of him because he did sign the Firearms Owners Protection Act which included the Hughes Amendment. That amendment banned public ownership of machine guns registered after May 19, 1986 and was passed through Congress using some political maneuvering by anti-gun zealots lead by Rep Charlie Rangel. He denied a roll call vote on the amendment so it was passed on his interpretation of a voice vote and the Senate went along with the House version of the bill and that idiot Reagan signed it.

  8. Hillary would be a disaster for gun ownership. Her actions and words do not even come close to supporting the 2nd Amendment. You are a fool if you believe anything she says positive about gun ownership.

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