Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fundamental rights and contrasts with Kitchen v. Herbert versus Peterson v. Martinez

As some may know, I share with the plaintiffs in the recent Kitchen decision of having a decision made by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, specifically written by Judge Lucero.

n that decision, Judge Carlos Lucero write both the majority opinion which was supported by two judges and his own concurring opinion on the matter of my case.

The 10th Circuit majority opinion ruled essentially that "open carry" was the 2nd amendment bear right. However Judge Carlos Lucero wrote a concurring opinion which went further on his own that stated that even if concealed could possibly be the right, he would have essentially ruled that I would lose the case anyway, citing Kachalsky v. Cacace.

Compare and contrast from his concurring opinion in Peterson:

Cognizant of these relevant factors and the statement in Heller that "the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues," 554 U.S. at 626, 128 S.Ct. 2783, Peterson's challenge triggers, at most, intermediate scrutiny. See Reese, 627 F.3d at 801 (noting that the level of scrutiny depends "at least in part, upon the type of law challenged and the type of Second Amendment restriction at issue" (quotation and alterations omitted)).

I would apply intermediate scrutiny to both claims to the extent concealed carry is protected, and would hold that the state has carried its burden under that standard.

Versus his majority opinion in Kitchen:

The Due Process Clause “forbids the government to infringe certain fundamental liberty interests at all, no matter what process is provided, unless the infringement is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest.” Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 302 (1993) (quotation and emphasis omitted). By the same token, if a classification “impinge[s] upon the exercise of a fundamental right,” the Equal Protection Clause requires “the State to demonstrate that its classification has been precisely tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest.” Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, 216-17 (quotation omitted). Having persuaded us that the right to marry is a fundamental liberty, plaintiffs will prevail on their due process and equal protection claims unless appellants can show that Amendment 3 survives strict scrutiny

Though I clearly support Judge Lucero's Kitchen decision as clearly correct (and I find no fault in it), the clear hypocrisy of Judge Lucero's previous decision involving my case versus his decision in Kitchen is clear in light of McDonald v. City of Chicago, where the words "fundamental right" is mentioned 19 times in the plurality plus concurring opinion by Justice Thomas, about the 2nd amendment being enumerated and therefor fundamental right.

In both my case and in Kitchen, Judge Lucero decided that he had "the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon". (McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., 130 S. Ct. 3050).

When it came to the right to marry that's being denied to gay couples (of which I'm also personally affected by this because of the Utah recognition ban), an un-enumerated though considered fundamental right was worth insisting upon.

When it came to visitors to the state who wished to be able to carry, in some form, while visiting the state of Colorado's capital city, he decided that it was not worth insisting on, despite it's enumerated and declared fundamental nature in McDonald.

Friday, November 9, 2012

MN Senate Majority Leader Bakk, House Speaker Thissen, and Governor Dayton are spineless, will not put the people's choice into law...

Please read to the end, contact info for the spineless officials are at the bottom.

Thomas Bakk says marriage for gays must take a back seat.

I was rather pissed at seeing this, so I found the new Majority Leader's email and fired off an email.

A copy below is my email exchange with Senate Majority Leader Thomas Bakk, (DFL-MN).

First email:

Mr's Bakk & Thissen,

I've gotten reports from the media that the both of you are attempting to "not legalize it in the immediate future", saying that budget considerations were more important.

When the marriage bill in Washington State was being debated in the Legislature, the WA Legislature had no problem addressing both marriage equality & the budget at the same time. 

 "You know, I'm not going to deny this isn't probably one of the more difficult legislative sessions in history, but I multitask every day, and legislators do as well....I will tell you one thing that would be reprehensible is the idea that we would say to someone "'I'm sorry, we're going to continue to deny you equality because of a budget problem.'" -Governor Chris Gregoire, WA State.

Right now, individual gay couples have ZERO protections afforded to them by their state government.    Every single day of marriage being withheld from gay couples is a cost to their time, their finances, and their ability to function within society as equals....

Simply put, 51% of the Minnesota voting population has rejected discrimination against gays for marriage.    You, as the leadership of the Minnesota House & Senate, should put their voice into law, immediately.   When New Jersey introduced marriage equality, the House & Senate filings were HF1 & SF1.  You should do the same.

Your budget is not due until July, and you can walk & chew bubble gum at the same time, as the Washington Legislature and Governor Gregoire did.   The people of the state of Minnesota have spoken, and saying "Well, we attacked the Republicans for keeping social issues first and not economic" is a cop-out.   There were Republican supporters of marriage equality during the campaign against Amendment 1, and some of them supported marriage in the Legislature.

Grow a spine, quit prevaricating, and make this happen.  Some gay couples can't afford to wait until late 2013 or early 2014....

-Gray Peterson

I got this back

On 11/9/2012 4:06 AM, Sen.Tom Bakk wrote:
Gray. The tone of your email and your charge of Paul and I being spineless is unwarranted and not an effective way to advocate for issues important to you


Shot this back:


With all due respect, my tone & my charge is absolutely warranted.  Unless there is some sort of rule in the Senate or House rules requiring consideration of the budget first to the absolute exclusion of all other matters, there is no reason to not consider both issues at the same time, as the Washington State Legislature did with their Governor (which if you bothered to actually watch the YouTube video, made the same point I'm making).   Traffic light laws can wait.  There is also no reason why you as the new Senate leader cannot take a leading role in making this happen, as Senate President Sweeney in New Jersey did earlier this year.

If I may quote,
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
-Martin Luther King Jr, "Letters from the Birmingham Jail", 1963.

Though the experiences of Mr. King were rooted from a different manner (racial discrimination), the root is common in terms of bigotry against one's fellow man.
The state of Minnesota has been stained with the decision in Baker v. Nelson.   It also was stained with the disgrace that occurred with the Anoka-Hennepin School District where several kids perceived to be gay were bullied to suicide:

Though a lawsuit was filed and the "No Promo Homo" policy was struck in settlement, the core of the reason that kids think they can bully gay kids is because the state gives license to them to discriminate by treating them differently in law & in fact.   Every day that this continues is another day where the bullying culture against gay people are given a license by state to continue.

Not to mention, the various older gay couples who cannot afford to wait; couples where one partner may be sick and cannot as a matter of statutory right add their spouse to their health insurance, among other things (the 515 state rights, benefits, responsibilities, along with the federal responsibilities when DOMA Section 3 is struck).

The people of Minnesota have spoken.  It is inconceivable that anyone who voted NO on Amendment 1 would support the continued exclusion from the fundamental right of marriage in state law. 

I'm just a guy who's making a demand as one of the oppressed who is asking an member of the oppressor class (a state legislator) to stop doing what their doing, quickly.  I am not a lobbyist, just a guy who's seeing what's you're being quoted by the AP as total bovine excrement.   I'll say it again: The people of the State of Minnesota have spoken against discrimination, and when they spoke, they helped put you and the DFL back in the majority.

Not one more day should the 1977 or 1997 Minnesota DOMA's be law.  It's that simple.

Not impressed with the walk backs by the Minnesota DFL Leadership, who won majority status in both houses because the Republicans miscalculated what would happen in 2012 and the gay allies vote brought them the majority.

Voters had to affirmatively vote NO in order to block this amendment from passing.  It is inconcievable that more than a handful of voters voted no but continue to support SSM exclusion.  It was not about "The Amendment Process is an inappropriate way" and avoiding the Governor.

Stop being a spineless coward, Senator Bakk.  You can walk & chew bubble gum at the same time.

If you want to complain about this spinelessness (a big plus if you're a Minnesota resident or frequent visitor), please complain to the following people:

Senator Bakk's Email
Speaker Rep Paul Thissen's Contact Info
Governor Mark Dayton's Contact Form
Democratic Farmer Labor Leadership Page, for Emails to Chair Ken Martin & Vice Chair Marge Hoffa, as well as State Party Outreach Officer Eric Margolis

Let's get this done, folks.

Friday, October 19, 2012

New Washington State CPL Design....

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Licensing, Firearms Division...

Front of new CPL

Back of new CPL

The new license looks nice.  Not everyone is currently issuing it yet.   Department of Licensing Firearms Division is rolling out something called "Firearms Online", which is some sort of new state database system.   You can always call up the issuing authority and ask them if they issue the new CPL.  Under Washington State law, you can renew up to 3 months in advance of the expiration date of your current license.  

If you're a resident of Washington state & a resident of an incorporated city with it's own police department, you can apply either to the city PD or the county sheriff (your choice).  If you're not a resident of Washington, you can apply to any jurisdiction for a license.

Thanks to a rep at the DOL for sending this over....

Friday, August 3, 2012

Certain "Straight Allies" to gays need to stop damaging their "Allies"

The Chick-Fil-A mess  has shown how straight people trying to be "allied" with us hurt us the most at times.

Mayor Thomas Menino wrote a letter to Chick-Fil-A stating that he doesn't like them being in the city.   What he said right after the letter is what started the firestorm.

"first reported last week that Menino warned “it will be very difficult” for Chick-fil-A to obtain licenses for a restaurant in Boston.[...]"

Similar actions were threatened by an Alderman in Chicago who stated the same thing, using concerns about traffic and secondary effects as a smokescreen.

Menino had to "walk it back", but the Chicago Alderman isn't backing down.

Unfortunately, social conservative groups used the above especially to do a buycott.  What they don't understand is that social conservative movements gave the Alderman the tools and some constitutional backing to his position.  The cases that illustrate this is Annex Books v. City of Indianapolis and City of Renton v. Playtime Theaters, City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center.  Also, Ezell v. the City of Chicago also discusses bans as well.

Gay groups and gay people have been boycotting Chick-Fil-A for many years before this latest blowup has been occurring.   We were doing fine with the boycotts until "straight allied" politicians decided to do unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination and blow things up to a full-scale boycott/buycott war.

Thanks a lot, "Straight Allied" politicians, for screwing the gays over.   You wanna tell Chick-Fil-A you don't like them because of what they said or what their foundation is supporting (money to FRC, money which went to the "Kill the Gays" Bill in Uganda), that's fine.  Engaging in zoning and licensing stupidity is not how you fight these battles.   Because of this, you have some libertarians and moderates joining the buycott, perhaps not realizing that their money may be used to support the mass murder of gays in Uganda by their government.

Thanks a fucking lot to these so-called "Straight Allies".  People like you is why we lost the Prop 8 Battle with "Whether you like it or not" and the teacher who took the kids to San Francisco City Hall with the field trip on the first day of marriage after In Re Marriage Cases ruling took effect.

Friday, April 27, 2012

CA: Bill to Prohibit "Conversion Therapy" for minors, requiring informed consent for adults. GOOD!

California Bill (SB1172) would require informed consent for conversion therapy, remove that informed consent for minors.

I realize some folks who are heavily focused on parental rights don't want this to pass. As a gay person, however, who has had to counsel numerous persons who as a result of forced reparative "therapy" as minors, the therapy is extremely abusive. Some of them have never recovered at all from the trauma and abuse these programs do. A few of them killed themselves either directly, or through engaging in self destructive behavior to the point where they die from the behavior, which most certainly would have never happened if they were not forced by months or years of unwanted "therapy".

There are laws on the books in every state which puts down things that professionals may not do to their patients. Reparative "therapy" techniques are highly dangerous to the mental health of individuals who are subject to it. Though many of you may criticize California for "passing too many laws", this is one law I hope is signed and upheld.

Persons who are adults can consent, but the therapist should at least ask a basic question, such as whether or not an inheritance from a will or continued housing is on the line.

Legal note: parents cannot sue to stop this law under 42USC1983. They have no standing because it is not them who is being regulated, it is the therapists themselves.

From the press release from Ted Liu:

"Under the guise of a California license, some therapists are taking advantage of vulnerable people by pushing dangerous sexual orientation-change efforts,” Lieu said after the 5-3 vote by the nine-member Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. “These bogus efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish. This is junk science and it must stop.”

The therapists would have a major uphill battle to climb, as the therapists cannot use religious grounds for their therapy decisions. They have to use other ways of explaining why, and they will find nothing but studies from groups like NARTH, which is all proven quackery. The state, on the other hand, can show a direct correlation of reparative "therapy" and suicide rate.

My final thought: It's time to put an end to this abuse. I hope that Washington State and Oregon passes this law too.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hit Piece by Chuckles Nichols; Why carry, not OC, was the target

Charles Nichols, who I call "Chuckles" a lot of times, decided to do two different hit pieces on me in the last week:

In other news, the sky is blue, the Brady Campaign are liars, you need a mix of two different chemicals to breathe, and Chuckles apparently committed perjury by lying on a state form submission to the California Secretary of State's Office.

I also did not see Chuckles anywhere in the Byron White US Courthouse's Courtroom III, either.  He may have gotten notations from other reporters.  Of course, he didn't do the right thing like say, waiting for the oral arguments before blasting out to everyone who will listen what his impressions are from third parties before the oral arguments are acquired by him.

"They just concluded a second round of oral arguments before the Court of Appeals. The first time around, one of the three judges pointed out to Peterson's attorney that Colorado is an Open Carry state and that state has recognized prohibitions on concealed carry since the 19th century. His lawyer then reluctantly said that his client would carry in whatever manner the court decides."

What Chuckles the Perjurer leaves out is the Colorado Appellate Court decision in Trinen v. City/County of Denver, which makes it clear that Colorado is NOT an open carry state. In that particular case:

In Robertson, supra, the supreme court did not expressly state whether the right to bear arms is a fundamental right. However, by requiring that restrictions on the right be only reasonable, rather than necessary, the court essentially applied the rational basis test in evaluating the constitutionality of a city ordinance that implicated the right to bear arms. Therefore, we conclude that the court implicitly found that the right to bear arms is not a fundamental right. See People v. Young, supra.
The state cited Trinen as a reason why a person should not OC in Denver, either.  More from the decision:
Trinen also argues that the language in § 38-118(a)(1) requiring a "direct and immediate threat" is too restrictive. We disagree.
When liberally construed, the language "direct and immediate threat" requires some real identifiable and substantial justification for carrying a gun away from one's home. Absent such a qualifier, anyone could carry a gun about Denver and claim that it was for self-protection. Section 38-117 reflects the Denver City Council's determination that such practices endanger public safety and that it is reasonable to allow citizens to exercise their right to bear arms by obtaining a permit. Thus, the constitutional right has not been rendered nugatory. See People v. Blue, supra.
Section 38-117(b) indubitably places restrictions on the constitutional right to bear arms. However, in our view, the ordinance is a reasonable exercise of the police power, and Trinen has not met his burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that the restrictions are so severe as to render the ordinance unconstitutional.

Both our briefs in the district court, as well as the briefings at the court of appeals, points out the standing law of Trinen in the state court system.   Don Kates, along with David Kopel, challenged Denver's "Assault Weapons" Ban.  Here is the result, from Silveira's Second Amendment Suicide:

Nor am I just spinning some theory here. I am talking about the outcome of actual cases. Of course every lawyer with a long career has lost cases. But until I started litigating AW cases I had a virtually unblemished record, including having invalidated the San Francisco handgun ban in 1982. Since the late 1980s I have been involved in litigating AW cases; half a dozen in California and individual cases in Colorado and Connecticut. Every one has been an utter disaster. 
Unlike California, Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio and Oregon used to have right to arms clauses in their state Constitutions. Unlike the phony controversy about the federal Second Amendment, these state right to arms clauses clearly did guarantee an individual right. But in each of those states AW bans were enacted by state or local law and well-meaning lawyers (including me) challenged those AW bans under the clear state constitutional right clauses. Because the clauses were so clear the judges were faced with a clear choice: they could either hold that AWs are constitutionally protected or they could read the right to arms clauses out of the state constitution. And that is what they did.  The people of Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio and Oregon still have their state constitutional right to arms, of course – but only as long as no legislative body seeks to ban and confiscate their guns. If a ban is passed as to any kind of gun in Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio and Oregon the likely result of any constitutional attack on that ban is that it will be upheld on the same false reasoning that was used to uphold the AW bans.
A direct victim of the attack on Denver's Assault Weapons ban was the inability of Mr. Trinen to prove the supposedly clear reading of the Colorado Constitution's Bill of Rights, via the use of the courts of "false reasoning".  You see, because of the Robertson v. City/County of Denver case, Article II Section 13 of the Colorado Constitution is essentially dead letter, and the state judiciary would accept anything a government said in re the state constitution.   State law issues, of course, are a completely different matter.  The recent ruling in the Colorado Supreme Court in re Campus Carry was a pure matter of statutory interpretation of it's preemptive nature of the state's Concealed Carry Act, not a constitutional matter.

The state courts directed me under Trinen to apply for a license to carry as this was, in the state courts words, "... reflects the Denver City Council's determination that such practices endanger public safety and that it is reasonable to allow citizens to exercise their right to bear arms by obtaining a permit."   Denver law, as conceded by the state AG, requires a carry license in order to carry in either manner.  The Denver ordinance requires a state license to carry.  It becomes a matter of nomenclature.

Denver could have chosen to recognize all of state licenses to allow me to open carry, or had a separate licensing scheme for open carry.  They did not.  Instead, they co-opted a state scheme with the Manager of Safety, also the enforcer of the city's criminal law prohibitions for carry without a license.

Of course, Chuckles doesn't understand anything about Colorado legal jurisprudence matters.   You see, Chuckles sees my involvement as a volunteer for civil rights in a manner he doesn't appreciate like a bull seeing a red cape being held by a matador.   He ignores the clear text of Heller in the way which doesn't fit his "concealed can't be the right" narrative:
 Justice GINSBURG wrote that "[s]urely a most familiar meaning is, as the Constitution's Second Amendment . . . indicate[s]: `wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.'" Id., at 143, 118 S.Ct. 1911 (dissenting opinion) (quoting Black's Law Dictionary 214 (6th ed.1998)). We think that Justice GINSBURG accurately captured the natural meaning of "bear arms."

As for this:

The judges said that Heller only entails a right to keep a firearm in one's home and oh by the way, Peterson never challenged any particular law and makes no mention of Open Carry in his lawsuit.
My counsel did not mention "open carry", he mentioned "carrying a functional handgun for self defense".

8. When he visits Denver, Peterson wishes to exercise his right to keep and bear
arms by carrying a functional handgun for self defense.

11. Denver Ord. § 38-117(b) prohibits the carrying of a firearm outside one’s
dwelling or place of business without a CHL.

12. C.R.S. § 18-12-203(1)(a) prohibits issuing a CHL to a non-resident of
13. C.R.S. § 18-12-203 vests the sheriffs of the several counties with authority to
issue CHLs.
14. As ex officio sheriff of Denver County, Defendant LaCabe is responsible for
receiving and processing applications for CHLs in Denver County.
15. Denver Ord. § 38-117.5 vests Defendant LaCabe or his designee with authority
to issue CHLs.

59. By prohibiting any meaningful opportunity for Plaintiff to bear arms in the
City and County of Denver through a licensing scheme that precludes Plaintiff
from obtaining a necessary license to bear arms, Defendants have violated
Plaintiff’s right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States.

Nomenclature issues, essentially.

More spew from Chuckles.

Unfortunately, thanks to the NRA/SAF/CalGuns it now looks like the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is going to decide that Heller only entails a right to have a loaded firearm in one's home.
Their Kool-Aid drinking supporters will claim that losing is all part of their "secret plan."

Like nearly all people, I hate losing.   Chuckles, however, has zero understanding of legal history and judicial procedure.   In the federal court system, the "loser" controls the appeal.    When someone files as part of the strategic civil rights litigation (in a similar vein to the religious freedom cases of the Jehovah's Witnesses in the 1940's or the school segregation cases of Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall from 1930 to the 1960's), you have to be willing to appeal a losing ruling upwards, or choose a defendant who will definitely file an appeal upwards if they lose.

The AG's of the anti-gun states, like DC, will not particularly accept the idea of "taking a loss for the team" like the Brady Campaign staffers tried to convince DC to do (Source: Adam Winkler's Gun Fight), but the elected officials of anti-gun jurisdictions do not take being told no by the courts well.  Denver is no different.

Chuckles, of course,  would rather use shortcuts and just plain cheat. From the Silveira posting:

The first victorious case was a vital first step, but had they only brought that case they would still have been subject to endless harassment under laws that differed from the one that first victorious case overthrew.
In sum, it is hopelessly unsophisticated to believe that one Supreme Court victory is going to make gun control go away. What is needed is one really strong first case, followed by another, followed by another, followed by another, followed by another, followed by another, and so on. With the constitutional law thus established we can go on to apply it ever more expansively.
In contrast to the Unsophisticated View, the Wrong View acknowledges that it will take multiple decisions to establish our Second Amendment rights. But its proponents see making an "assault weapon" case like Silveira the first Second Amendment case decided by the Court as a shortcut. They believe (all-too-rightly) that if the Supreme Court will invalidate an AW ban, it will invalidate virtually any other gun control. The problem is that the converse is far more likely: If the Court is given an AW case first, it is very unlikely to decide the case our way and its decision will doom other challenges to other kinds of gun control.

What Chuckles doesn't understand, that much is obvious, is that some things are meant to be decided by the Nine Justices at 1 First Street.  Carry will be one of them.  Whether it be my case, Moore v. MadiganPalmer v. District of Columbia,  Kachalsky v. Cacace or Piszczatoski v. Filko, carry will be decided at 1 First Street.  Chuckles seems to think that a guy who has his own home is a more sympathetic plaintiff for unlicensed no fee carry than a guy on a fixed income who lives in a public housing project, like, for example, Guy Montag Doe?

Chuckles would rather attack volunteers who put their time and treasure into winning, make insinuations about me being "Senior Member" (scary, do I get a cane or a walker, sonny?), being a contributor (I just like having more PM space) and being moderator (this is because of my expertise on a particular subject matter).    He's just pissed off he got banned from several forums for breaking the rules.  He banned me from his Facebook group.  Ho hum.  Whatever shall I do, rather than engage in dialogue with geniuses like this??

Chuckles pretty obviously suffers from Dunning-Kruger Cognitive Bias.  He also reminds me of Wile Coyote from Operation: Rabbit

Genius, indeed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Anti-Self Defense Types Fundraising on my case

I extremely rarely use this blog.  Been too busy, you know, working.

It was, however, brought to my attention a situation involving the Brady Center fundraising using my case as a reason.  Conveniently, however, they do not mention me, my attorney, SAF, or Alan Gura (SAF's amicus counsel who will be arguing).  They only mention the NRA.  Copied for posterity:

Don't let the NRA force guns onto your streets!
Dear Friend,
We have the right to decide how we keep our streets safe. The NRA wants to take that
right away.
If the NRA gets its way, your hometown might soon be forced to allow virtually anyone
to carry loaded handguns on public streets, buses and parks — and no laws, elected
officials or even law enforcement officers will be able to stop them.
That's not the America I want to live in — and I fight every day to prevent it.That's why on Monday
I'll be in a Denver federal court going head-to-head against one
of the NRA's top attorneys. I'm fighting for people like you who believe that communities
should be able to decide for themselves about loaded guns in their public places.  The
NRA won't stop until guns are carried everywhere.

Please help me and the other Brady attorneys defeat the NRA again!

This case is critical. If the NRA wins, this will be the first appeals court ruling that there
is a Constitutional "right" for individuals to carry a gun virtually anywhere outside the
home. If we win, the people will have the right to decide whether guns are allowed in public
spaces in their communities.
How extreme is the gun lobby's position? It's so extreme that even Colorado's NRA "A-rated"
Attorney General is arguing alongside me. He knows how perilous it is to relinquish Colorado's
right to protect people from the lethal risks of guns.
Almost all Americans agree with us. But the NRA has armies of lawyers bankrolled by a billion
dollar industry. So we need your help now to defeat the gun lobby where its massive war-chest
can’t buy success — in the courts.

Please join us as we beat back the NRA to ensure strong gun laws and safe communities.
We can't do it without you.

John Lowy [photo]Thank you,
John Lowy [signature]
Jonathan Lowy
Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

I removed the fundraising links because I'll be damned if I help give the Brady Center any money. 
If the NRA gets its way 

Except the NRA is just an amicus curiae party, just like the Brady Center is and they were told to argue sua sponte by the 10th Circuit Panel.  They want to help, that's cool, but this was MY case, funded by myself, private interested parties as well as state 501(c)(3) orgs. 

Your hometown might soon be forced to allow virtually anyone to carry loaded handguns on public streets, buses and parks — and no laws, elected officials or even law enforcement officers will be able to stop them.

Well, anyone who is willing to pay $152.50 on a license and a state and FBI fingerprint background check, actually travel to Denver to apply (which I did), and be subject to the same laws as the residents of Colorado are.  They can't carry in schools or secured areas, so I don't know what they are blathering about.

That's not the America I want to live in — and I fight every day to prevent it.

United Kingdom Border Agency for Immigration

I was going to suggest Canada, but I believe within a decade they have shall-issue LTC's anyway, thanks to the tireless efforts of CSSA and CILA.

If we win

If you win,  and I lose, I can petition SCOTUS.  Perhaps gloating and goading the plaintiff isn't a good idea?   That's what sucks about your position: Even if I lose, I still win.  If we go back to the Heller and McDonald text, then you have 3-4 votes.   Pro-self defense side has 5-6.  Would you like to roll the dice?

the people will have the right to decide whether guns are allowed in public spaces in their communities.

You mean like how supposedly "the people have the right to decide whether whether or not marriage is between a man and a woman"? *buzz* wrong.  As Perry v. Brown in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated, the 9th Amendment and the 14th amendment's equal protection provisions protects gays and lesbians in their family choices on equal grounds as mix gendered couples.  However, the 2nd amendment is a specifically enumerated fundamental right.  There's also the issue of why non-resident, when they freely issue on a shall-issue basis to residents, is treated as an "unwelcome alien" rather than a "welcome visitor".

Their above statement is also supportive of unchallenged anti-gay violence.   You see, the Brady Center, along with their (c)(4) Campaign, openly supported cities banning handguns in the home, and requiring trigger locks to where guns cannot be used in self defense in one's own home.

Anti-gay violence is tied for 2nd largest hate crime statistic in Denver, behind race.

Hate crime statistics for Denver, Colorado.

Race 36
Religion 5
Sexual Orientation 9
Ethnicity 9
Disability 2
Total Reported Hate Crimes 61
Reported Hate Crimes by Quarter

First Quarter (Jan/Feb/Mar) 17 Second Quarter (Apr/May/Jun) 11
Third Quarter (Jul/Aug/Sep) 24 Fourth Quarter (Oct/Nov/Dec) 9

Of course, being anti-self defense, they will say that 9 of these is very rare for a large city.   

To the 9 people who were attacked, however, it happened to them just one too many times.

And of course, this is just the reported stuff.    Talking to my LGBT brothers and sisters in Denver, there is a LOT more than just 9 hate crimes.  They don't report because they view the police as worse than useless, and there's tremendous amount of tension between the LGBT community and Denver Police for numerous reasons (hidden cameras catching cops beating lesbians and gay people without any provocation, resulting in firings by the previous Manager of Safety).

I don't butch up my natural voice just to avoid a problem in public, as some straight anti-sefense types have suggested.   They seem to be real insensitive bastards when they tell people to "avoid doing things to attact criminal attention", you know.  

You see, government enforced personal pacifism is a religion, and for gay people, this enforced religion results in things for us like being curb stomped or being stabbed in the back with a broken beer-bottle.

Simply put, the Brady Center, despite the heightened risk to gay people from anti-gay violence, wants the resident anti-gay criminal class of Colorado to be able to attack out of state gays from 21 states who may be visiting the state without fear of them being armed legally.  It's that simple.

Almost all Americans agree with us. 

They agree that not everyone should be able to carry.   It's all about how you ask the question in an attempt at a push poll.  Also, if almost all Americans agree with you, it should be a simple matter of amending the constitution using Article V, right?    Except in places like Kansas where 89% of the population supported a strong RKBA provision in 2010. 

But the NRA has armies of lawyers bankrolled by a billion dollar industry. So we need your help now to defeat the gun lobby where its massive war-chest can’t buy success — in the courts.

Nice to know that I'm bankrolled by a billion dollar industry.   I have this 100 foot yacht that I take out into Puget Sound, my house is paid off, I have no more bills, ever.  /sarcasm

Btw, I predict, just like the anti-gay organizational hate machine, will use the term "activist judges" if the pro-self defense side wins the case.

CITADEL at one of my favorite forums posted this:
That's pretty crudely crafted propaganda. 
The most conspicuous example of this twisted spin is Gray's case being spearheaded by the NRA. They did this because without the NRA, one cannot make the connection to the funding of 'the multi-billion dollar gun industry'. Without this, its a hard sell to say that millions of guns are being pushed into the streets by one person's rights being vindicated in court, being funded by the many contributors of the SAF, and other gun rights advocacy groups. I predict that the same dialogue will resurface with the CGF's involvement in other wins... Credit will be given to the NRA and the alleged monolithic gun manufacturers, instead of where it is due.  
Me: I notice they didn't mention SAF or Alan Gura. I wonder why...hmm....
They live in the Harry Potter universe. To them saying 'Gura' is akin to a wizard invoking the name of Voldemort. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named... 

It's nice to be a muggle-born rather than a wizard, I guess. 

That being said, my real commentary about the amicus counsel opposition blatantly lying and misrepresenting who actually paid for the case, or saying it's an NRA case:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Update to "Missing the Point"

It appears that some people still  "do not get the point". 

My response:

However, it is still the law of the land. When gun owners decide to do stupid things like convert a semi-auto into full auto (not as easy as it sounds but roll with me here), or carry a gun across a security checkpoint in an airport (Oh, I didn’t know doesn’t work), these people give gun owners a black eye in the public relations war that’s being fought against us. It makes ALL of us look bad when a member of the gun owner culture A) Commits a violation of federal law as brazenly as this guy is doing and B) Basically says that Otis McDonald cannot be trained by him (poor form).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Missing the Point

At the blog Shall Not Be Questioned, two posts were made there in regards to Crockett Keller, the Texas-certified firearms instructor who in a radio advertisement stated he would not train "Obama-voters" and "Muslims".  Youtube Video to see it for yourself.

The first post "Help We Don't Need" some pretty interesting comments are there.  Sebastian seems to be cleaning them up good because it breaks his rules, but some of them included suggestions that "This is America, if the person offended by this wants it, they can go down the street to an instructor that will teach the enemy".  This is disgusting behavior that shouldn't be allowed by any gun owner blog, which I will get into later.

A second post, More on Instructor Certification Non-Discrimination, seems to inordinately focus on the fact that Texas has a mandatory training platform, done by state certified instructors, and that one must go through the gateway of state certified instructors.  Sebastian and others suggest that going to a non-specific training regiment (private instructor via the NRA Personal Protection Course or something similar), or going the Pennsylvania route (where Sebastian resides) where no training is required at all.

However, neither of these suggestions to alleviate or address the underlying problem: What the instructor did was unlawful under federal public accommodations law, and gun owners supporting law breaking members of our community, especially law breaking with bigoted overtones and exclusionary tactics, is a major black eye to all of us firearms owners, instructors, and so on.

Even if there was no state requirement for state certified instructors teaching a state certified course to get a state issued license, it still does not change the fact that what he did was unlawful, and it would certainly be unlawful by a firearms instructor in Pennsylvania.  

Under federal law:

(D) an auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, or other place of public gathering;

Trying to be cute with definitions of "interstate commerce" and "place of public gathering" doesn't change the fact that it's a form of business transaction and therefor a public accommodation  under Heart of Atlanta Hotel and McClung.

Firearms used during the instruction, for example, crossed a state line (unless there's a huge amount of Texas handgun manufacturers, which I don't think there would be).  Let's also consider the fact that non-residents can and have flown into Texas to get a Texas CHL.  That makes it interstate.  Of course, any students from out of state to an lecture hall style instruction, say, an NRA Basic Pistol course, makes it interstate commerce as well.

Some of you folks have a lot of real problems with the commerce clause uses against business entities like instructors.  The way it's being dealt on the purely gun front issue is MSSA v. Holder.  Even if MSSA somehow succeeds at the Supreme Court, the court will narrowly address the issue of firearms purely intrastate.  It will not address public accommodations at all.

Unfortunately, the skepticism and defense of this instructor on forums and blog comment rolls feeds into the PR slander campaign that gun owners, especially gun owners who identify themselves in some form or fashion on the internet as gun owners, are misogynists, racists, and bigots (oh, and bloodthirsty murderers too, but that's on a separate issue).

Simply put, this instructor is not obeying the laws of our country, and arguing that the law is unconstitutional, despite clear rulings from 50 years ago that is in fact constitutional, is neither helpful nor correct. Remember that the Brown plaintiffs did not achieve their victory by refusing to leave the school in Topeka and getting cited/arrested in order to challenge Plessy. They applied for admission and were denied, then they sued in federal court.  They didn't break the law.

I leave you with three points:

1) If you think that the federal public accommodations law will be struck down by this instructor's action, you have another thing coming.  Federal courts, even SCOTUS, are not going to light the fuse on the powder keg by annihilating the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, when they can cite the doctrine of stare decisis to keep the status quo.  The only time they have departed from that doctrine is to increased perceived civil liberty (especially that of a historically oppressed population), not decrease it.

2) The instructor broke the law.  Gun owners should not in ANY way shape or form support law breaking, especially in this fashion.  A private conversation over instant messenger with someone else questioning purely constitutionality is one thing, but when you post on the internet stupid things that you know nothing about in regards to interstate commerce, or even worse, make stupid comments about along the lines of "all terrorists are Muslims" that I saw in the previous thread, these gun owners are especially giving Ladd Everitt/CSGV, the VPC, the Brady Campaign, and MAIG all of the ammunition they need to attack all of us, and us protesting of "not all of us are like this" doesn't work.  That leads to the third point.

3) "This is the face of the gun owner: Bigoted, racist, wife beating murderers" is what the anti-gunners will drum beat.   They'll ignore the fact that more gay people are arming themselves, more African-Americans are embracing responsible gun ownership (thank you, Otis McDonald!).  We are winning the battle in the courts, which is helping us win the battle of public opinion as well.  However, that doesn't mean that certain segments of gun owners have the ability now to screw it all up for us by making racist and/or bigoted statements.   The commentary you make could make it onto the front page of New York Times or LA Times, which is the rule I generally prescribe to when making public commentary about issues such as this.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Twin Victories of Liberty Today

Today was a good day for freedom and liberty. Two different United States Circuit Courts of Appeal made excellent rulings which increased the individual liberty of all people in the United States.

The first ruling which occurred today was Ezell v. City of Chicago by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The opinion, written by Judge Diane Sykes, literally skewers both the district court judge and the City of Chicago:

The judge was evidently concerned about the novelty of Second Amendment litigation and proceeded from a default position in favor of the City. The concern is understandable, but the default position cannot be reconciled with Heller.

This decision by far calls out district court judges who continue to represent the 2A right as being default something the government can infringe without true questioning.

The second was the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, ruling today in Log Cabin Republicans et al v. United States to lift the stay on a district court injunction which had prohibited the DOD and the US government from enforcing the so called “Don't Ask Don't Tell” Statutes and Regulations:

This occurred due to the US Department of Justice making representations during the numerous DOMA defenses occurring throughout the country. The writer of the decision, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, took note of the fact that USDOJ was making representations to federal courts about sexual orientation being a quasi-suspect class. Funny thing is, the Golinski case was originally a Kozinski case, as he's the head of the Employee Dispute Resolution Program. 

Today is measured by the signs of great individual liberty and freedom. Anti-gay animus and anti-gun owner animus suffered major blows today.

Friday, June 3, 2011

LGBT and Marriage Equality Roundup...(sans links)

  1.  New York Senate still under pressure to pass marriage equality Bill

It appears that the New York State Senate will soon be considering a marriage equality bill.   In the last 3 years, marriage equality bills have passed the Assembly repeatedly only to be stalled out in the Senate.   This year, however, a multi-vectored attack has been going on against the New York State Senate from not only the Governor, but also many in the NYC business community.  Surprising supporting is coming from many large scale GOP donors who are putting their money where their mouths are.  It goes to show that Marriage is and should never be a partisan issue.  

    2.  Nevada governor signs gender identity anti-discrimination bills.

In a surprising turnabout, Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law three anti-discrimination laws based on gender identity.  It covers employment, public accommodations, and housing. 

Governor Sandoval signed the bills due to pressure from the gaming industry, who viewed it as bad business for the state's image to discriminate.   The same pressure was made in 1999 to cover sexual orientation, in which Governor Kenny Guinn signed such a bill into law.

The same allowances are made in housing law that are already made for race, gender, and religion (room-rental in your own home, etc).

   3. Rhode Island House Passes Civil Unions

Though originally pushing for marriage equality, the RI equality movement went for Civil Unions.  Though Civil Unions cannot compare to marriage in name from the state, it is a critical method of protection while everything is sorted out.

More to come later when I'm not dead tired.

A Blast from the Past, and Why CSGV's "Insurrectionist, Treasonous" Language is not actually new and therefor should be ignored.

Funny things happen when you decide to do a little bit of research into people's mentality.

Gun Control: A Realistic Assessment by Don B. Kates

An interesting quote given that some people seem to think that @csgv "insurrectionist" tirades are something new.  It isn't.  This is from 1990:

In sum, murderers comprise only a small, highly aberrant (and malignant and irresponsible) subset of all gun owners. Why, then, is it enlightened and liberal: to vilify the 50% of American householders who have guns as barbaric and/or deranged ("Gun Lunatics Silence [the] Sounds of Civilization"{24}), "gun nuts", "gun fetishists", "anti-citizens" and "traitors, enemies of their own patriae"{25}, as sexually warped{26} "bulletbrains"{27} who engage in "simply beastly behavior"{28} and represent "the worst instincts in the human character"{29}; or to traduce pro-gun groups as the "pusher's best friend"{30} and their entire membership as "psychotics", "hunters who drink beer, don't vote and lie to their wives about where they were all weekend"{31}; to characterize the murder of children as "another slaughter co-sponsored by the National Rifle Association"{32} and assert that "The assassination of John Lennon has been brought to you by the National Rifle Association"{33}; and to cartoon gun owners as thugs and/or vigilantes, intellectually retarded, educationally backward and morally obtuse, or as Klansmen?{34}
The NIJ Evaluation accurately describes how the anti-gun advocates sees gun owners: as "demented and blood-thirsty psychopaths whose concept of fun is to rain death upon innocent creatures both human and otherwise." It is really quite remarkable for such calumnies to issue from people who, rightly, regard it as egregious bigotry when other bigots: seek to blame AIDS deaths on gays whom they revile as sexually warped, moral degenerates who engage in simply bestial behavior; or blame gay rights activists for AIDS because they lobby against ordinances that would close bath houses; describe abortion rights activists as murderers, "baby butchers" and abortion clinics as "merchants of death"; dismiss all homeless people and welfare recipients as slackers, drug addicted, alcoholic or retarded; or traduce the ACLU as the "best friend" of criminals and drug pushers.
The fact that anti-gun crusaders are commendably eager to oppose racism, gay bashing and other evils they recognize as bigotry does not excuse their inability to recognize their own bigotry. On the contrary, it compounds that bigotry with myopia, if not hypocrisy.

Boy, doesn't this sound familiar?  This whole "gun owners are insurrectionist traitors" has been going on for DECADES.  It is not a recent thing that Ladd Everitt and the CSGV recently started doing in some form of desperation tactic against Heller and McDonald.  These is purely the latest chapter in a decades long academic attacks on gun owners, as Mr. Kates can show from his research in 1990 on the subject.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Introductions and Salutations..

Hello all.  My name is Gray, and welcome to my new blog.

First question: Why "Beyond the Snake?"  Well, beyond the snickering comments of double entendre, it came from a confirmation from another blogger on twitter during what I would call the "@csgv wars".  On twitter, numerous bloggers, such as John Richardson, Linoge, Thirdpower, among others, were tangling with @csgv, who is specifically Ladd Everitt, their communications director.

When I stepped into the fight, one of the first things Ladd noticed was the rainbow gadsen flag.    Right off the bat, I was smeared as a "Tea Partier".  The Rainbow Gadsen was specifically used to stop anti-gay politicians in New Hampshire from removing the marriage equality law that was passed in 2009.   It is a powerful symbol that people on both political persuasions understand.

Ladd's crappy attitude triggered this comment from a twitter follower (don't remember who or what, you folks can refresh my memory in comments): "They don't see beyond the snake".   Thus the name of the blog.    Throughout the years, the Gadsen has been used for various contemporary ways..  The most important to me was the TV series Jericho, which the town's mayor took down the "Allied States of America" flag (which in that show was tyrannical, warlike, and corporate-driven government).

Like the folks fighting for marriage equality in New Hampshire, I am co-opting the Gadsen flag for our purposes here.  The "rainbow Gadsen" is a symbol of freedom against the state criminalizing adult consensual relationships (as numerous states did pre-Lawrence v. Texas), asking stupid questions like "what sex or gender are you" before granting of a marriage certificate, and general discriminatory actions against me and my "tribe".

The Tea Party using the Gadsen flag as their primary symbol does not negate it's value with other groups.   It is not owned solely by the Tea Party movement.

It is truly unfortunate that Ladd got zapped off of the most popular social platform in our country before seeing the results of this blog.  When one breaks the rules, you should expect consequences.

The next posts will feature some thoughts that are slightly old and stale given it's a few days or weeks old, but I have some catching up to do.