Posts from the ‘Current Events our 2nd Amendment’ Category

Polls show Americans oppose unilateral action on Gun Control

Despite a highly-publicized speech and a multi-week media blitz aimed at convincing the American people of the importance and legitimacy of President Barack Obama’s executive maneuvers on gun control, the American people remain unpersuaded. Polls show that Americans are unconvinced about the effectiveness of further gun control measures and are in opposition to Obama’s decision to work outside the traditional political process. An additional poll offers important insight in to one of the reasons the public has repeatedly rejected new federal gun controls.

A poll conducted by Investor’s Business Daily on January 4-7 asked if stricter gun control would “hinder self-defense, protecting family” or “reduce crime/keep guns out of criminals’ hands?” Only 42 percent of those surveyed responded that stricter controls would stop criminals from acquiring guns. Moreover, the poll found that more members of the public believe an increase in gun ownership would lead to an increase in safety rather than an increase in crime. The poll also found that the vast majority of Americans agree that the Second Amendment “will always be a relevant and necessary safeguard against tyranny,” including 52 percent of Democrats.

Similarly, a Rasmussen poll conducted January 6-7 revealed that Americans question the efficacy of Obama’s executive actions, but it also showed the public is skeptical of the legitimacy of Obama’s decision to act unilaterally. Survey takers were asked, “Will the president’s new executive order further extending federal government oversight of gun sales reduce the number of mass shootings in America?” A mere 21 percent believed that measure would be effective, while 59 percent answered that it would not. Further, indicating that at least half of Americans didn’t sleep through grade school civics, when asked, “When it comes to gun control, should President Obama take action alone if Congress does not approve the initiatives he has proposed or should the government do only what the president and Congress agree on?” a majority of 58 percent answered that the president must work with Congress.

Part of the reason the Americans lack an appetite for gun control is revealed in another Rasmussen poll conducted January 10-11. The survey asked, “Do you trust the government to fairly enforce gun control laws?” A staggering 59 percent of those polled do not trust the government to enforce gun control laws fairly. A mere 28 percent trust the government with this task, while 13 percent were undecided.

These results are in line with broader measures of trust in the federal government. Since the 1970s, Gallup has routinely conducted a poll asking “how much trust and confidence do you have in our federal government in Washington when it comes to handling [domestic problems] – a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all?” Under Obama, the federal government has breached Watergate-era lows in trust.

With a severe distrust of the government’s ability to fairly carry out gun control policies, the widely-opposed decision by Obama to go it alone on guns is unlikely to bring about the sort of togetherness across the political spectrum that Obama purports to seek. Those currently running for the Presidency that hope to reverse the climate of distrust with Washington might do well to exhibit trust in the American people to exercise their right to keep and bear arms and their ability to make decisions through their elected representatives.

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Strike Three! Third Court of Appeals Decision in Long-Running Case Ks Anti-gun Doctors in Florida

Anti-gun doctors in in the Sunshine State may be feeling a little queasy after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit handed them a third straight loss in their ongoing challenge to a Florida law designed to protect patients from harassing and unwarranted grilling about firearm ownership. Should these symptoms persist, the physicians should note they have a simple and foolproof remedy: simply refrain from using the doctor-patient relationship to advance a non-medical ideological and political agenda.

The plaintiffs in the case, Wollschlaeger v. Gov. of Fla., assert that their First Amendment rights are being violated because the law prohibits them from documenting or inquiring into patients’ firearm ownership or harassing or discriminating against patients who own firearms. The law provides exceptions, however, for situations in which the doctors believe, in good faith, the actions are “necessary” or “relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others.”

As we detailed earlier this year, the 11th Circuit has already issued two opinions against the plaintiffs. The original opinion characterized the regulated behavior more as conduct – i.e., medical practice – than pure speech. On its own initiative, the court later revisited that determination and revised the earlier opinion with a more detailed analysis of the law’s First Amendment implications. The second opinion held that even to the degree the law regulates speech protected by the First Amendment, the state has sufficient justification to curtail it. The court took into account the nature and context of the speech, the interests advanced by the law, and the law’s limited scope.

Following publication of the second opinion, however, the 11th Circuit asked the parties to submit further written arguments concerning how a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, might affect the way the case should be analyzed. In its latest opinion, the 11th Circuit finds that Reed might require a more stringent standard of review on the First Amendment issue than was used in its second opinion, but it goes on to hold that the challenged regulations nevertheless survive that review.

The third opinion also represents a relatively rare example of a regulation surviving “strict scrutiny” analysis in the face of a constitutional challenge. Strict scrutiny requires the state to show that the law furthers a “compelling interest” and that “the Act is narrowly tailored to advance that interest.”

The compelling interest identified by the 11th Circuit is “the State’s interest in regulating the practice of professions for the protection of the public,” and the protection of Second Amendment rights and privacy in particular. “We do not hesitate to conclude,” the court writes, “that states have a compelling interest in protecting the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.”

Regarding the tailoring prong of the analysis, the court dismisses the plaintiffs’ suggestion that they are not actually interfering with Second Amendment rights. “It is of course an interference with Second Amendment rights for a trusted physician to tell his patient – for no medically relevant reason whatsoever – that it is unsafe to own a gun.” The court also explains that the law focuses on subjects that, once entered into a patient’s medical record, could be used to “harass or profile” that individual, an outcome the Florida legislature has determined is contrary to public policy.

The court goes on to note the narrow scope of the law’s actual prohibitions and emphasizes that they are subject to “physicians’ own good-faith judgments about whether such inquiry or record-keeping is medically appropriate in the circumstances of a particular case.” “[W]hat narrower way to advance [the state’s interests in protecting privacy and chilling of Second Amendment rights] could there be,” the court asks rhetorically, “than by requiring physicians to base any inquiry or record-keeping about firearm ownership on a genuine, subjective determination of medical need?”

The court also rejects the plaintiffs’ claim that the law is unconstitutionally vague, deciding its text is “sufficiently clear that a person of common intelligence need not guess as to what it prohibits.” It also reiterates that “so long as a physician is operating in good faith within the boundaries of good medical practice, and is providing only firearm safety advice that is relevant and necessary, he need not fear discipline” under the law. In other words, competent, ethical doctors will not be adversely affected.

Throughout the history of this case, anti-gun doctors and their media collaborators have been committing rhetorical malpractice by misrepresenting the law’s scope, effects, and burdens in the court of public opinion. Fortunately, in the court of law, the 11th Circuit soberly and carefully judged the law for what it is: a means to prevent abuse of the doctor-patient relationship and exploitation of medicine’s prestige to browbeat Florida residents into giving up constitutional rights.

Thus, while the 11th Circuit’s analysis has changed in its various opinions, its message to Florida doctors has been consistent: Physician, control thyself and stick to patient care, and you will have nothing to fear from this law.

Strictist Gun Laws Don’t Stop Criminals

WASHINGTON TIMES
Despite California’s strict gun laws, politicians seek more external site
Democrats, led by President Obama, called for Congress to pass additional firearms restrictions in the wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting in Southern California, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation.

NY Sheriff Stands for 2nd Amendment

CBS NEW YORK
New York: Ulster County Sheriff Says All Licensed Handgun Owners Should Carry Them external site
All licensed handgun owners in Ulster County should carry their pistols.That’s the message Thursday from the Ulster County Sheriff.Ulster County is located about two hours north of New York City.

Vote Against Gun Control Ammendments

Call Your U.S. Senators Today — Tell Them to Vote Against Any Gun Control Amendments
A group of anti-gun U.S. Senators are scheming to bring several gun control measures to the Senate floor TODAY, including the Manchin-Toomey “universal” background check bill that was defeated in 2013.  Debate could also include an amendment to expand the prohibited person list for anyone who is on the “terrorist” watch list, even if by error and without due process.  Other amendments are possible, so your action is critically needed to defeat these anti-gun measures. All NRA members need to call their Senators NOW at 202-224-3121 and urge them to vote NO on any and all gun control proposals up for debate in today’s session, including the Manchin-Toomey bill or the expansion of the prohibited persons list.
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