Paranoia Strikes Deep

Especially Among Anti-Gunners

A recent report from Fox News raised a few eyebrows when it alleged “some House Democrats … are suggesting their Republican colleagues will shoot them since metal detectors were removed from the House of Representatives.”

Evidently, paranoia — at least on Capitol Hill — strikes deep, and this does not appear to be political theatrics. It started with a report at a website called Raw Story, which quoted California Congressman Eric Swalwell raising concerns because metal detectors had been removed from the House. He reportedly told the writer, “A lot of my Republican colleagues glorify violence and proudly display the firearms they have in their offices, so it just makes me nervous that we could have a workplace violent event. They’re not the most stable people.”

So much for respecting your fellow lawmakers.

Swalwell has some company, allegedly. One other congressman had this to say about some of his GOP colleagues: “There’s a frightening group of people over there.”

Apparently, one of the people not unhappy about removing metal detectors is Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert. She’s the conservative restaurateur-turned-politician, elected to her second term last fall, who gained notoriety for operating an establishment called “Shooters Grill” in — where else? — the community of Rifle, on Highway 70, west of Glenwood Springs (Doc Holliday’s final resting place).

When Boebert first arrived in Washington, D.C., she made some headlines for wanting to pack iron in the nation’s capital for her own safety. Considering the homicide body count last year hit 203 victims, as reported by WAMU/DCist, maybe Boebert was onto something.

CCRKBA’s Alan Gottlieb has a civics lesson for anti-gunners who rely
on public opinion polls to justify their attacks on Second Amendment rights.

Note to Poll Watchers

The establishment media and anti-gun politicians love public opinion polls when it comes to gun control proposals because they can refer to results that show support for gun bans or tougher gun laws.

Recently, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms reminded us that constitutionally-protected fundamental rights are not subject to opinion surveys. Rights are sacrosanct. Nobody gets to vote on whether or not to keep them.

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb offered some observations after a recent poll showed support for a ban on semiautomatic rifles.

“Fundamental rights, including the right to keep and bear arms, must never be determined by the whims of survey respondents,” Gottlieb said in a prepared statement. “We don’t have popularity contests to determine the rights of free speech or the press. We would hardly allow a public opinion poll to dictate whether people should worship in a church, mosque or synagogue. So, why would we think it’s allowable for a survey to tell us whether we should ban a whole class of firearms when the Second Amendment has protected the rights of gun owners for more than two centuries?

“At the moment we allow ourselves to fall into this trap,” he continued, “we stop becoming a republic and start being an oligarchy, if not a dictatorship. This is not how rights are decided because a right popular one week might fall out of favor the following week with a different polling sample, and then where would we be? Within a few weeks, we would have no rights at all.”

He tossed this in for good measure: “Anyone who honestly believes a survey should justify the erosion of any right guaranteed by our constitution needs a refresher course in high school civics. Rights are special. We don’t need government permission to exercise them, nor do we need the blessing of a vocal minority because, in this country, citizens do not answer to the wishes of a mob.”

Meanwhile, in Michigan

Gun owners in the Great Lakes State are on the defensive because, for the first time in a while, there is one-party control of the Legislature, with second-term Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talking about “common-sense reforms” to Michigan gun laws.

This begs the question, and maybe readers can provide some answers. Just what are “common-sense gun law reforms?” Do Michigan gun laws need reforming? The Michigan Constitution, Article 1, Section 6, is pretty straightforward: “Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.”

A website called MLive recently carried a lengthy report about the situation in which Whitmer’s gun control wish list included a so-called “safe storage” mandate, universal background checks and “red flag” laws.

The story quoted Tom Lambert, legislative director for Michigan Open Carry, Inc. He believes Democrats today are “a little bit more anti-gun than they used to be.”

Or maybe they just don’t have to hide their animosity now that they’ve got a complete grip on the Legislature and governor’s office.

California Dreamin’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently made a claim which brought guffaws from critics, including singer Phil Labonte.

What did Newsom say? “California is the true freedom state. Protecting liberty from a rising tide of oppression taking root in statehouses. Weakness masquerading as strength. Small men in big offices. Freedom is who we are — anyone from anywhere can accomplish anything here.”

Labonte reacted on Twitter, and it wasn’t a compliment.

“Hi, New Hampshire resident here,” he wrote. “I don’t pay income tax to my state, I don’t need permission to carry a firearm, I can collect rain water, and we have way less crime. We’re The Free State, thank you very much.”

The Big Uneasy

New Orleans is a fabled city, home of the Mardi Gras, great jazz, Bourbon Street and the backdrop for films and television shows.

Alas, the city has another mark of distinction, according to a recent Fox News report. It’s the murder capital of the country. Last year, there were 280 homicides in the Big Easy, a rate of 70 murders per 100,000 residents.

The report said New Orleans displaced St. Louis as the nation’s deadliest city, and that is no small feat. Chicago had a far higher tally, according to, a website which keeps a running count on Windy City corpses. In 2022, Chicago racked up 736 slayings, of which 665 involved firearms, the website says, but there are millions of people, so the murder rate is lower.

All big cities experience violent crime, but the Fox report said New Orleans had not experienced a homicide rate like last year’s “in decades.”

Concealed carry advocates in New Jersey got a boost from a federal judge
in Camden when she put state officials on notice their arguments against a
temporary restraining order to halt enforcement of the state’s new carry
restrictions didn’t pass the smell test.

Judge Lays Down Law

A federal judge in Camden, N.J. recently put Garden State attorneys in their place when she issued a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the state’s new concealed carry law, which makes it nearly impossible to actually utilize a carry permit anywhere outside one’s own home.

The law drew a challenge from the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners, the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, and three private citizens. Attorney David Jensen of Beacon, NY, represents them.

When state attorneys tried to get more time to provide what they claimed was evidence backing their contention that gun restrictions are historically supported, District Judge Renee Marie Bumb was blunt in her 60-page ruling.

“The State may regulate conduct squarely protected by the Second Amendment only if supported by a historical tradition of firearm regulation,” Judge Bumb wrote. “Here, Plaintiffs have shown that Defendants will not be able to demonstrate a history of firearm regulation to support any of the challenged provisions. The deprivation of Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights, as the holders of valid permits from the State to conceal carry handguns, constitutes irreparable injury, and neither the State nor the public has an interest in enforcing unconstitutional laws.”

She didn’t stop there.

“Defendants press this Court to refrain from acting urgently and to afford them more time to set forth the legal justifications for the legislation,” Judge Bumb observed. “As State Defendants argue, a ‘hasty injunction would short-circuit the democratic process while the litigation process is underway.’ This Court concurs in that no injunction should ever be hastily issued, but Defendants must do more than promise they will justify the constitutional basis for its legislation later.

“Surely, Defendants had — or should have had — the historical materials and analyses the State relied upon when it began its legislative response to Bruen,” she added. “After all, the Supreme Court was clear that in order for any gun control legislation to pass constitutional muster under the Second Amendment, such legislation must be consistent with historical tradition. The State has had six months since Bruen to identify well-established and representative historical analogues …

“That Defendants dedicate a significant portion of their argument discussing the benefits of the firearms regulations and not evidence of historical analogues is quite telling,” Judge Bumb wrote. “And although Defendants represent that the ‘State will offer ample evidence that Chapter 131 is constitutional,’ they do not adequately explain why — if such evidence was critical to the passage of the legislation that would pass constitutional muster post-Bruen and available to the Legislature as set forth in Section 1(g) of the statute — they have not introduced such evidence here … Plaintiffs implore this Court to consider the only reasonable conclusion from Defendants’ posturing: their dragging of feet is evidence that no such historical tradition and evidence exists.”

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)

BULLETIN: Inside the Nat’l CCW Reciprocity Bill

Just days ago, Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would provide nationwide recognition of all state-issued concealed carry permits and licenses, essentially on the same principle as each state currently recognizes drivers’ licenses from all other states.

Contrary to what you may have read on social media, the bill does not create a “national” concealed carry standard. Likewise, it doesn’t allow licensed citizens to violate the laws of any other state they may visit; that is, travel to another state, and conduct yourselves under that state’s laws, not your own.

Insider did a quick check of the roster of co-sponsors. They are all Republicans, but the list doesn’t include all of the Republicans in the Senate. There are four no-shows: Rand Paul (KY), Mitt Romney (UT), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME). In all, there are 45 Republicans backing this bill.

Here they are: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), John Thune (R-SD), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Rick Scott (R-FL), John Boozman (R-AR), Josh Hawley (R-MO), John Hoeven (R-ND), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Ted Budd (R-NC), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Todd Young (R-IN), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Mike Braun (R-IN), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), James Risch (R-ID), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Katie Britt (R-AL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Steve Daines (R-MT), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).

It’s got support from three major gun rights organizations: the National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and National Shooting Sports Foundation. Gun Owners of America has supported reciprocity bills in the past, and perhaps by the time you read this, they will be on board.

Over in the House of Representatives, Congressman Richard Hudson introduced HR 38 back on Jan. 10. According to a news release from his office, his bill has bipartisan support in the House.

The downside is that Democrats control the Senate, and with none of them showing much interest, this legislation may not get far. What it will do is separate the good guys from the not-so-good guys where advancing Second Amendment rights is concerned.

Insider Online will have a more complete report on the measure in an upcoming column.

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