Pete's Prep: Tuesday, March 27, 2018

posted by Pete Kaliner - 

Retired Supreme Court Justice calls for repeal of Second Amendment

So are we still to believe this whole gun control effort since Parkland, Florida is NOT about taking all the guns?

That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.

This is from an op-ed today in the New York Times written by former Supreme Court associate justice John Paul Stevens.

In 2008, the Supreme Court overturned Chief Justice Burger’s and others’ long-settled understanding of the Second Amendment’s limited reach by ruling, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that there was an individual right to bear arms. I was among the four dissenters.

That decision — which I remain convinced was wrong and certainly was debatable — has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power. Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.

It'll be simple, says the retired judge.

Will it?

I'm not so sure.

But at least it would be an honest debate about what progressives are actually seeking.

National Review's Charles C.W. Cooke has been urging this approach for years.

Seriously, try it. Start the process. Stop whining about it on Twitter, and on HBO, and at the Daily Kos. Stop playing with some Thomas Jefferson quote you found on Google. Stop jumping on the news cycle and watching the retweets and viral shares rack up. Go out there and begin the movement in earnest. Don’t fall back on excuses. Don’t play cheap motte-and-bailey games. And don’t pretend that you’re okay with the Second Amendment in theory, but you’re just appalled by the Heller decision. You’re not. Heller recognized what was obvious to the amendment’s drafters, to the people who debated it, and to the jurists of their era and beyond: That “right of the people” means “right of the people,” as it does everywhere else in both the Bill of Rights and in the common law that preceded it. A Second Amendment without the supposedly pernicious Heller“interpretation” wouldn’t be any impediment to regulation at all. It would be a dead letter. It would be an effective repeal. It would be the end of the right itself. In other words, it would be exactly what you want! Man up. Put together a plan, and take those words out of the Constitution.

Gutowski take apart Stevens' argument:

Also, it's not surprising in the least John Paul Stevens wants to repeal the Second Amendment. He dissented in the Heller decision and appears to believe the amendment was intended to protect not the right of the people, as it explicitly says, but the right of state governments.

I've always found this to be the weakest of the anti-gun arguments. Somehow the authors of the Bill of Rights screwed up and wrote the right to keep and bear arms was reserved for the people when they meant the states? How did that happen exactly?

The authors of the Bill of Rights spell out which right is reserved to whom throughout the document. The press, the people, the home owner, the accused, the states. Did they screw up these clear terms elsewhere or just the in the Second Amendment?

Should we consider the right of the people to assemble and petition for redress of grievances to not be the right of the people, as the First Amendment explicitly states, but the right of the states? Do protests of the federal government need to be organized by state governments?

Ben Shapiro at the Daily Wire says "Stevens was a disaster on the court. And he just proved why. Again."




Speaking of honest debate...

It's instructive that none of the teenagers being used to advance gun control will agree to debate the issue. I thought we might see such an interaction.

Briefly.

A Parkland high school student who agreed to a live debate over his conflicting views over gun reform with fellow Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Kyle Kashuv has pulled out of the deal.

Cameron Kasky, an organizer of the pro-gun control March for Our Lives movement, tweeted Monday night that he won't debate Kashuv, a pro-Second Amendment voice, following a tweet Kashuv seemingly disapproved of. 

To me, this is an obvious excuse to bail on a debate he didn't want to have.

If anything, Kasky could've used the tweet (and the sentiment expressed in it) during his debate against Kushuv. It was a piece of free ammo he could've utilized. Instead, he ran away.

Considering that none of these kids have faced any serious debate about their demands to strip Americans of their rights, it's not possible to take them very seriously at all. Unless you already agree with them, of course.

You can read the entire FOX News report here.


What's going on at NC's crime lab?

When he was Attorney General and in charge of the North Carolina crime lab, Governor Roy Cooper had... some issues. A decade ago an audit found serious problems with evidence collection and handling in hundreds of cases.

A.P. Dillon has this timeline:

To give one an idea of the gravity of the problem, the audit revealed that blood testing done in the crime lab between 1987 and 2003 was purposefully withheld. The audit showed that in 190 cases the lab’s final report omitted evidence that contradicted earlier preliminary tests that indicated blood at a scene.

Three of those 190 cases resulted in executions and four other people convicted were on death row at the time of the audit. To be clear, the lab omitted evidence that could have cleared some of the accused in those 190 cases.

In his campaign for Governor, Roy Cooper assured voters that the crime lab has been fixed.

But Dillon isn't so sure...

In May of 2017, Attorney General Josh Stein told ABC 11 that everything was peachy and that he had cut the rape kit backlog from “52,000” to “9,000.”  Stein also  told ABC 11 the crime lab was “in operationally good shape now.”

That was last year, what about right now?

Well, there are now apparently 15,000 rape kits sitting untested at the crime lab. That means in less than a year, some 6,000 new kits came in and have just sat unprocessed or AG Stein perhaps stretched the truth some in his 2017 interview.

That’s a lot and according to the N&O its the highest in the country.

“But according to End the Backlog, a program operated by the nonprofit Joyful Heart Foundation, North Carolina has the highest reported number of untested rape kits in its current inventory.”

How is this possible. Roy Cooper said that the crime lab was fixed!


Indeed.


Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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