The National Rifle Association has been working quietly for the last few months to get an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that deletes the words “keep and bear” in the Second Amendment and replaces them with “own” so the language in the gun-rights amendment matches their view that people have a right to gun ownership.
“It’s kind of embarrassing, but we’ve been dropping anvils on the heads of anyone who challenges the right to gun ownership but, you know, the Constitution doesn’t even grant the right to gun ownership,” says James Smith, the NRA’s chief lobbyist. “It only grants the right to keep and bear arms, which is a different standard. Hah-hah. Do we look stupid or what?”
The Second amendment says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
John Carter, a constitutional scholar at Harvard University, says the “keep and bear” standard can be met simply by the state militia loaning a gun to someone on condition of their being a member of the militia. “No where in the Constitution does it say anything about the right to gun ownership being sacrosanct,” Carter says. “I can see why the NRA wants to get the language changed. Their whole argument is based on the right to gun ownership, but that’s a non-existent right. If they don’t feel stupid, they should.”
Nancy Brown, a constitutional scholar at Columbia University, says most Americans don’t realize the Second Amendment doesn’t give them a right to gun ownership, and once they realize that, they’ll understand that restricting ownership of assault rifles like the AR-15, which is used in most headline-grabbing random shootings, doesn’t restrict someone’s right to keep and bear arms. “Does a well-regulated militia want you to own an assault rifle?” Brown says. “That’s up to the militia. But if you’re part of the militia, they can give you a pistol and they’ve met your constitutional right to keep and bear arms. There’s nothing that says you have a right to own an assault rifle. I don’t know where that myth came from. The NRA, I guess.”
Smith, the NRA lobbyist, said it’s been harder than he expected to get lawmakers in Congress to pass an amendment to change the words in the Second Amendment. “Once a lot of blue state senators and representatives realize there’s no constitutional right to own guns, they get all excited about getting some restrictions passed,” he said. “I wish there was some way to get the amendment changed without actually letting people know there really isn’t a right to gun ownership. Unfortunately, there isn’t. We shouldn’t have made such a big deal out of gun ownership. Now we’ve got people who have a fetish about it. We’re so stupid!”
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Despite reports of gun violence in the United States, the chance of you getting shot remains low. That’s the theme of a campaign that the U.S. Tourism Council is launching today to coax European and other tourists back to the United States. “New York City, the Grand Canyon, the monuments in D.C.—these have historically been major attractions for families from Germany or Spain and we want them to become that once again,” said Sarah Hanson, president of the Tourism Council, at a press briefing announcing the new ad campaign. Hanson pointed to a recent report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization that found global tourism hitting records, fueled in part by increasingly wealthy Chinese families eager to see the world outside their borders. Tourism is booming so much, in fact, that major destinations like Rome, London, and Paris are having trouble coping with the influx of people without sacrificing what makes the cities attractive in the first place. But U.S. cities are having no such trouble. More.
WASHINGTON–Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, made a rare admission that so-called second-amendment nuts have become such a problem that people should be thankful they can arm themselves under the second amendment to protect themselves against them. “You can see it in their eyes,” LaPierre said of second-amendment nuts after speaking at a conference here. “They have that look that says, ‘You’ll take my gun when you claw it out of my cold, dead hands.'” LaPierre said people should take advantage of the second amendment by buying a gun and keeping it with them in case they come in contact with one of these second-amendment nuts. “You don’t want to argue with them unless you can match their firepower,” he said. “Really, It’s just common sense.” The second amendment gives people a constitutional right to keep and bear arms so the state can mount a militia with citizens who are prepared to fight. More.
President Donald Trump took aim at law enforcement officers who waited outside while a former student shot up his school in Florida two weeks ago by saying he would have tried to save the kids even if he were unarmed and bone spurs on his feet were hurting him. “You don’t know until you test it,” Trump told a gathering of governors at the Whte House yesterday. “But I think I would have gone in. I love the kids, so I would have tried to ignore the pain on my heels. I’ve been told I’m a tough cookie. People have made that observation about me. It’s a tough call, but I think I would have gone in, although I probably would have had a bad limp.” Trump has proposed arming a portion of the country’s teachers and training them in the use of firearms as a way to deter school shootings, which are on the rise. The last major shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., left 17 students and two teachers dead after Nikolas Cruz, 19, used a legally purchased assault rifle in a shooting spree. More.
National Rifle Association President and CEO Wayne LaPierre says he loves the life he leads and can’t believe his good fortune to live in a world in which he can occasionally walk down a street carrying only a light handgun and having only a single bodyguard hardening his perimeter. “There are a lot of bad people with guns but, fortunately, sometimes there are only a few of them around you in your immediate kill zone,” LaPierre said in a interview this morning with American Freedom News. LaPierre says his living compound in an undisclosed location in the Northern Virgina suburbs of Washington, D.C., is a wonderful retreat for him. Its network of armed check points enables him to . . . . More.
After the fourth school shooting and the twentieth mass shooting in the United States since the first of the year, the 700,000 Dreamers who were brought here as children and allowed to stay as long as they check in every two years say it’s okay if Congress wants to send them back to their native countries. “You know, we’ve been giving it some thought and, if you don’t want us here, we understand,” the Dreamers said in a joint letter they sent to Congress today, the day after a former student killed 17 students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Jose Gonzalez, a Dreamer in Orlando, says he’ll probably be better off dealing with the gangs in his native El Salvador. “It’s true my mother just got a $1.50-a-week raise,” Gonzalez says. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) responded to the latest mass shooting in the United States with a message that the Republican tax cuts are working and Congress is ready to tackle the country’s crumbling infrastructure with public-private partnerships that envision more toll roads. “Employers are hiring and giving their employees bonuses because our tax cuts are stimulating the economy,” Ryan said at a hastily called press conference to respond to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. At least 17 students and faculty were killed when a former student opened fire with an automatic weapon. It was the fourth school shooting since the first of the year and the 18th mass shooting over that same time period. “What we’re seeing is a new incentive to invest in the economy and build our competitiveness for the next century,” Ryan said. More.
The U.S. Congress came together in a bipartisan fashion today to condemn the acts of gun violence that will plague the country in the months and years ahead. “We condemn the senseless taking of innocent life that we will experience in the future,” the resolution reads. “We call on all Americans to come together during these times of national trauma that will inflict us, probably twice a year if not more frequently.” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), one of the sponsors of the resolution, says it’s a step in the right direction for lawmakers to get all of their future condemnations of acts of gun violence out of the way at once, because that will free up time for other legislative priorities. More.
President Donald Trump took a step to help address the nation’s outbreak of mass shootings by using his executive power to create a United States Department of Prayers. “With this order we’re showing Americans that we’re doing everything we can as a government to address gun violence in our country, which is so terrible,” Trump said at a signing ceremony in Japan, where he is visiting as part of a 12-day Asia tour. Under the order, the department will deploy a religious leader based in the area of the incident to offer official prayers on behalf of the federal government. More.
The mental health issues that are at the center of random gun shootings in the United States are absent in other countries, explaining why the United States leads disproportionately in the incidence of gun violence, a report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds. “We thought it was the bedrock American belief in the right to bear arms that was at the root of the pervasive gun violence in our country, but in fact it’s a mental health issue,” says Meyer Steinberg, chair of the MIT Institute of Violence and Culture. More.
DAVENPORT, Iowa—Following on the heels of the endorsement by dead American icon John Wayne, the late great actor and gun-rights activist Charlton Heston today endorsed the Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump. As with the Wayne endorsement, the announcement was made by the actor’s daughter on behalf of her dead father. “I’m sorry my dad couldn’t be here in person, but I know in my heart that he would want to endorse Donald Trump for president,” said Janet Smith-Heston at a news conference here. More.
The National Rifle Association released a statement today warning lawmakers in Congress not to use the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas as a reason to take drastic action on gun ownership because armed citizens are needed to fight enemies like North Korea and Iran. “Should the government of Kim Jong Un in North Korea decide to drop a nuclear warhead on the United States or one of its territories, as it has threatened to do, we will need American citizens to take up arms to defend themselves,” The NRA said in its statement. Wayne LaPierre, executive director of the gun-rights group, said the framers of the U.S. constitution made it a point to protect gun ownership in this country precisely to ensure people are prepared to join their state militia should they be called upon to do so. More.
Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, said today the United States will never get a handle on its problem with violence until more people get their hands on guns so more people can meet violence with violence. “There simply aren’t enough people with enough firepower to stop the violence,” LaPierre said. His remarks came in the wake of the of the latest random mass shooting in the United States. Yesterday, Omar Mateen used several automatic weapons to kill more than 50 people and wound an equal number at an Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub. “Would so many people be dead if some of the people had been armed in that nightclub?” LaPierre said at his news conference. More.
Administration officials called it fake news that President Donald Trump took Kevlar vests from a box and tossed them out to a crowd of survivors of the mass shooting last week on the Las Vegas strip. “It’s just another example of bad reporting from a news media that people have a right to think more highly of,” Trump Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway said at a press briefing today. Conway also said it’s not tue that Trump praised the people as a “great crowd,” nor did he say there was a lot of “love in the room.” Separately, the Natonal Rifle Association denied it supplied President Trump with the Kevlar vests and said . . . More.
News reports are saying something about another mass shooting somewhere, Kansas, I think, and people were killed and the shooter had some issues and he was at a factory or maybe he was driving a cab or was at a community college or whatever and blah, blah, blah. A report says Iowa lawmakers passed legislation to let kids carry guns in public and that’s good because kids are known for taking reasoned approaches to conflict and it will be good they will be armed in case the security of our free state is at risk and hopefully the NRA will write similar legislation for other states to pass and blah, blah, blah. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says he’s bummed Congress just added $1.5 trillion to the deficit for tax cuts because that’s the exact same amount President Trump says he wants to use to rebuild the country’s crumbling infrastructure. “Just really bad timing,” Ryan told reporters after President Trump concluded his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. “We know how badly we need to repair our roads, bridges, dams, train tracks, airports, canals, ports, and other big public works projects but unfortunately we just burned through the exact same $1.5 trillion Trump says we need to pay for our tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.” More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called it “very unfortunate and unhelpful” that President Trump is destroying the United States, and said it would be better if the President didn’t destroy the institutions he has sworn to oversee or make the United States loathsome in the eyes of people around the world. He also said it would be better if the President didn’t pit Americans against Americans. “Would it be better if the President tried to strengthen our institutions? Yes, it would,” Ryan said. “Would it be better if he tried to make people look up to the United States rather than down on it? Yes. And would it be a plus if he brought Americans together rather them drive them apart? Yes, I’m sure it would be.” Ryan said he can’t speak for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but he believes the Majority Leader also thinks it’s very unfortunate and unhelpful when the President makes the United States an object of hatred and derision around the world. More.
Trump Can’t Understand Why U.S.’s Crumbling Infrastructure, Mediocre Schools, and Depleted State Budgets Aren’t Enticing More Migration From Norway
President Trump today said he’d like to see more immigration from Norway and other advanced countries but for some reason people who live in places with well-run and adequately funded governments don’t want to come to the U.S. “I’m not sure why a person who does satisfying work in a country that provides well-run public services doesn’t want to come here,” Trump said at a press briefing. “Apparently our obsolete airports, money-starved transit systems, and hellish public services don’t appeal to people whose countries invest in their citizens.” More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) probably aren’t going to say anything about it, according to the two congressional leaders’ aides. Max Phillip, McConnell’s chief of staff, said it’s the Majority’ Leader’s intent not to say much about President Trump’s tweet comparing his nuclear button to the nuclear button of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “Would he plan to comment on that anytime soon?” Phillip said. “I wouldn’t expect that.” Phillip said there’s always a temptation to say something when the President’s son is accused of treason by a person who was the President’s top aide just a short while ago, but the Majority Leader will probably not address it. “You have to think about what you remark on and what you don’t remark on, and I think the Majority Leader will probably choose not to remark on that,” he said. More.
Saying the United States has too many mass shootings to bother ever raising the flag again, President Barack Obama today ordered all flags in the country to stay permanently lowered to half mast. “This is not an order I enjoy giving, but as long as we as a country are unable to rein in gun violence, there’s no reason not to leave our flags lowered each and every day.” Obama says he doesn’t want a situation in which people are raising their flags then lowering them, then raising them again and then lowering them again. “Up, down up, down–what the heck? We’ll all have arthritis by the time we hit 400 million guns in this country,” he says. More.
President Barack Obama said the latest mass shooting, at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., is another reminder the United States must take action on guns, but because the National Rifle Association is so scary, he knows nothing will happen. “Would we like something to happen?” he said in his remarks in the James Brady White House Press Office today. “Of course. Who wouldn’t? But when you have an organization that’s as scary as the NRA defending gun rights, there’s no way you’re gong to get any action taken.” Obama says he favors tighter and more expanded background checks and limits on the sale of automatic weapons. He also favors allowing states and municipalities to curb gun sales in their jurisdictions. More.