Briefings  from SCOPE President, Tom Reynolds

  • 05/04/2022 9:41 AM | Anonymous

    New Lt, Governor – Same Old Same Old  by Tom Reynolds

    Governor Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday that she had picked U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado to be New York’s lieutenant governor, replacing former second-in-command Brian Benjamin after his resignation.  Hochul said, “I am proud to appoint Antonio Delgado…as lieutenant governor of New York, and I look forward to working with him…” 

    Delgado is a Harvard Law School grad who represents the Hudson Valley in Congress.  The head of the New York State Democratic Party was asked if Delgado was picked because Empire State Democrats feared he would lose his reelection bid, Jacobs responded, “No, no. Absolutely not.” 

    A source familiar with Hochul’s selection process told The NY Post “she wanted to select a Latino in order to give the Latino base a statewide elected official — something they had been asking for. 

    On Monday, Democrat majority state lawmakers passed legislation allowing candidates indicted for a crime to withdraw their name from the ballot.  Hochul immediately signed the bill into law, which also allows Democrats to name a new candidate for lieutenant governor.  The previous Lieutenant Governor, Brian Benjamin, who also had been appointed by Hochul, had recently been indicted on five federal criminal charges.

    Assembly Minority leader Will Barclay said of this appointment, “Just yesterday, Assembly Democrats rejected a Republican proposal to require a majority vote of the Legislature to fill a vacancy for lieutenant governor – the same process necessary to fill vacancies for state Comptroller and Attorney General, and similar to the Congressional procedure to fill a vacancy for Vice President…”

    “Rep. Delgado will now hold the second-highest office in New York without being elected to the position or requiring any approval from the Legislature.”

    Concerning the 2nd Amendment and law enforcement, On the Issues reports:

    Delgado supports the survey question, 'Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation?

    Delgado co-sponsored George Floyd Justice in Policing Act which addressed policing practices and law enforcement accountability.  Specifically, it limited qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer.

    Delgado’s own web site contains the following two reports on Delgado’s approach to the 2nd Amendment:

    On, March 11, 2021: “Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) voted to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act.”

    SCOPE Note: The Bipartisan Background Checks Act would require a background check for almost every gun sale or transfer.  The Enhanced Background Checks Act would address the so-called "Charleston Loophole," which currently allows the sale of a firearm to proceed if a background check is not completed within three business days.

    Delgado was quoted as saying, "Gun violence is a public health and safety crisis that has plagued our communities for far too long…" 

    On September 11, 2019: “U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his steadfast refusal to allow any gun-control measures to the Senate floor.”

    “He also accused President Donald Trump of caving to the gun lobby on background checks.”

    "’It's naked corruption,’ the freshman congressman said…”.

    "This feels like money and special interests and gun companies being able to dictate to Mitch McConnell how to proceed."

    The names may change but the policies in Albany won’t change without real change with the November election.

  • 05/02/2022 2:38 PM | Anonymous

    SCOPE‘s Members’ Meeting

    On April 30th, 100 attendees at SCOPE’s annual Members’ Meeting in Geneva had the chance to hear speeches from seven political office candidates.  Governor candidate, Lee Zeldin, New York Attorney General candidate Mike Henry and 25thCongressional District candidate La’Ron Singletary were the featured speakers and, in addition, conducted question and answer sessions.  Also, there were short presentations from U.S. Senator candidate Diane Sare, 22ndCongressional District candidate Mike Sigler, 131st New York District Assemblyman Jeff Gallahan and 130th New York District Assemblyman Brian Manktelow. 

    In several ways, all seven candidates expressed support for the 2nd Amendment and defending civilian gun ownership. 

    As a long-time police officer and former Rochester Police Chief, La’Ron Singletary had the most first-hand experience with the effects of the anti-2nd Amendment movements and highlighted several negative results from it.  He was especially critical of the “Defund the Police” movement and its negative effect on minority communities.  Singletary also expressed his admiration for Governor DeSantis work on the Covid epidemic.  He also said he was pro-life and that late term abortion was “unthinkable”.  Singletary wants to return “checks and balances” to D.C.   

    Attorney General candidate Mike Henry blasted current Attorney General Letitia James as a grandstander who did not believe in law enforcement.  He said law abiding citizens with guns are not the problem.  Henry came firmly down against bail reform and letting non-citizens vote as the latter would diminish the votes of citizens.  He believes that crime is the biggest problem facing New Yorkers and that opening the southern border to fentanyl traffickers will make it worse. Mike added that he would work with I.C.E. on immigration.  Henry covered a number of topics in two question and answer sessions. 

    Lee Zeldin was a last minute drop in to the meeting and he covered a variety of topics.  He condemned gun free zones as they are targets for criminals and criticized the use of emotional responses to tragedies for political purposes.  He promised to fire District Attorneys who do not enforce the law, in particular, Manhattan’s Alvin Bragg, and also to repeal the so-called “Bail Reform”.  Zeldin condemned the fear mongering against hydro-fracking.  He is in favor of voter ID.

    Four candidates were recognized from the audience and they each spoke briefly.  All four expressed their support for the 2nd Amendment in their comments.  The four candidates were:

    • Diane Sare is an independent candidate for U.S. Senator to run against Chuck Schumer.  She must get 45,000 voters’ signatures to get on the November ballot.
    • Mike Sigler is a Republican candidate in a new 22nd Congressional District. He will face an opponent in a Republican primary.  There are multiple Democrat candidates in their primary.
    • Jeff Gallahan and Brian Manktelow are both sitting New York Assemblymen seeking reelection on the Republican ticket. They have to deal with newly redrawn districts but they are not impacted by the current court case on redistricting.  Manktelow’s new district includes Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego Counties.  Gallahan’s new district includes Yates and Seneca Counties.

    Various candidates warned about the disastrous one-party rule in New York and the need for voter turnout in November, in order to change that.  As an example of the dangers one-party ruling in its own interests and not the interests of the people of New York, they pointed out the New York Senate and Congressional maps that were so partisan that they were overturned by the courts.

    The current court case, which threw out the redistricting map signed by Kathy Hochul, will impact Singletary and Sigler as they will not know what counties are in their districts until the courts decide on a newly redrawn map. Sigler’s district was slated to include parts of Tompkins, Cortland, Cayuga, Seneca, Madison and Onondaga County.  Singletary’s district was slated to include Monroe County and a bit of Ontario County.

    A presentation was made by Jack Prendergast and Jim Tuttle about the SCOPE annual banquet that will be held at Batavia Downs on September 17th.

    SCOPE had invited Singletary’s and Henry’s likely Democrat opponents to also be featured speakers but they did not respond.  Only two days earlier, Zeldin had asked to drop in.

  • 04/27/2022 6:04 PM | Anonymous

    Redistricting  by Tom Reynolds

    On Wednesday, the NY Court of Appeals rejected the NY State redistricting maps for Congress and for the NY Senate!

    This is the top appeals court in NY State.  

    The maps drawn by the Democrat controlled legislature (and rejected by the court) would have made it very difficult for most Republicans to win, except for a very few districts.  

    Things are going to be interesting and confusing.  Primaries are up-in-the-air and might end up being on multiple dates for various offices.  For instance: statewide races, such as governor and US Senator, are unaffected by this ruling but Congress and State Senate are affected. It also confuses the candidates as they won't know, now, what district they will be running in.

    For more information try this link.

  • 04/27/2022 3:09 PM | Anonymous

    Hypocrisy Supports the Radical Left  by Tom Reynolds

    Should a home-made pie be called a “Ghost Pie”?  But if you make a home-made gun, the result, according to Joe Biden and the anti-gun left, is a “Ghost Gun”.  Shouldn’t it more properly be called a “Home-made gun”?

    Per the FBI, knives are used 4 to 7 times more often in homicides than all kinds of rifles.  And yet, Biden and the anti-gun left don’t use the term “Assault knife” but they do use the term “Assault Rifle”.

    More people are killed in auto accidents than by all types of firearms, but Biden and the anti-gun left never use the term “Ford violence” or “Auto violence”.  But “Gun Violence” is never far from their lips.

    Biden and the “Green radical left” refer to “Global Warming” and “Global Climate Change” as a reason for shutting down the fossil fuel industry.  Then, Biden begged Saudi Arabia and other countries to increase their exports of oil to the USA.  Isn’t Saudi Arabia still on the globe? 

    Per the FBI, in 2019,

    246 black races were murdered by white races 

    2,574 black races were murdered by black races. 

    2,594 white races were murdered by white races

    566 white races were murdered by black races.

    And yet, Biden and the radical left want to divide Americans with constant charges of racism.   

    The Biden administration said you couldn’t fly on an airplane without a mask, to prevent the spread of Covid.  But illegal aliens are allowed to illegally enter the USA bringing, with them, a host of diseases.

    The Biden administration talks about an opioid epidemic but illegal immigrants can cross easily into the USA from Mexico, with the aid of Mexican drug cartels.

    The left loves to refer to gun “control” but what they really mean is “people control”.

    And in the height of hypocrisy, the party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses the term “common sense” when referring to their gun control proposals.  I repeat, it is the party of AOC defining “common sense”.

    7 or 10 rounds in a magazine are variously called “high-capacity magazines”.  Does 7 items in a shopping cart make it a “high-capacity cart”?  Is pizza containing more than 7 pieces a “high-capacity pizza”?  On the other hand, if you ate 7 slices of pizza that is definitely “high-capacity”.

    And speaking of so-called “ghost guns”…

    The ATF has declared war on “homemade guns”.  Per Ammoland, this attack on unfinished frames and receivers was largely based on the work of former Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division, Carlos A. Canino.  He told anti-2A, Bloomberg funded, web site The Trace that 41% of all firearms recovered were “ghost guns.”

    Really? Is that statistic true?

    Ammoland further reports that ATF Spokesperson, Erik Longnecker, stated that the ATF’s Los Angeles Field Division could not verify Canino’s claim.  But Longnecker obscured the issue by stating that the ATF does not label any firearm as a ‘ghost gun,’ but prefers to use the term ‘privately made firearm’.

    Longnecker was asked if Canino and the ATF were combining homemade firearms with factory-made guns that have had their serial numbers “privately altered or obliterated”?   Longnecker gave a long response which avoided answering the question.  “ATF investigates the criminal possession and other criminal misuse of both commercially manufactured and privately made firearms. These privately made firearms can be made from multiple sources and frequently lack serial numbers and other markings which generally make the firearms more difficult to trace…ATF also investigates the criminal possession and other criminal misuse of firearms that have had serial numbers altered or obliterated”. 

    The Left wants to control the language of the debate.  Don’t fall into that trap.  It uses emotions and not facts and knows how to obliterate the truth like serial numbers on a “ghost gun”.

  • 04/18/2022 10:14 AM | Anonymous

    NY SAFE Act, MHL § 9.46: A violation of the Second Amendment and a barrier to mental health care  by Sandra Richardson, RN, MS

    It all began when I sought guidance on managing stress from a healthcare provider. After I did so, a report was filed against me under the New York SAFE Act’s Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) § 9.46, “reports of substantial risk or threat of harm by mental health professionals.

    Under this law, when a mental health provider determines, “in the exercise of reasonable professional judgment,” that a patient is “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others,” that provider “shall” be required to report this.  In turn, that information can be used to revoke any pistol license, confiscate all of a person’s guns and make that person ineligible to possess any guns of any kind in this state.

    As a result of and five weeks after that report, the Sheriff’s office demanded any guns that I possessed.  That demand was the first notice I received of the report against me.  An order to show cause came in the mail shortly after that, directing me to appear in court to plead my case.

    I hired an attorney, prepared my defense, and fought for my rights.  Four months after the report, the court ruled in my favor and my pistol permit was “restored immediately.”  The court’s conclusion of law deemed the MLH § 9.46 report to be “arbitrary, capricious or an abuse of discretion.”  A victory, but at a cost of both $4,000 in legal fees and, ironically, magnified stress.

    Not only did this process cost me thousands and magnify my stress level, it made me want to share my story to raise awareness.  I also wanted to help providers understand the impact of and their responsibility under this law.  This unfortunate experience should not happen to anyone because they sought care.

    Although unfortunate, this experience piqued my curiosity.  I wanted to understand more about the impact of MHL § 9.46 on the citizens of New York.  There are very few people who have shared their story publicly, but I could not be the only person to whom this happened.

    I learned that beyond the provider who files a report, the relevant information goes to at least four entities:  the State Office of Mental Health (OMH); the County Director of Community Services; the State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DJCS), and if the reported person has a handgun permit or registered assault weapon, the County Sheriff’s office.

    Based on information obtained from a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, OMH has all of the reports ever filed.  Based on another FOIL request, the DCJS has only the past five years of the reports.  The Director of Community Services to whom I spoke told me that he does not retain the information.  It is reasonable to assume that the county Sheriff’s Office retains records of the confiscation of personal property and the cause of such action.

    Meanwhile, the subject of the report is not permitted to see it and the reporter is not obligated to make the person aware of the report.  Based on the DCJS FOIL request, only one percent of those reported are notified of the report and that is because they have a handgun permit or registered assault weapon in the state database.  That one percent get a day in court to challenge the allegations and retain their rights.  The remaining ninety-nine percent may never be told that they were reported and may have had multiple Constitutional rights violated, including deprivation of rights and property without due process; specifically, the right to keep and bear arms.  This may be a violation of United States Code Title 18 § 242 (Deprivation of rights under color of law).

    An additional issue is that there is little recourse against the provider who made the report, even if it is found to be false.  Under the law, “the decision of a mental health professional to disclose or not to disclose in accordance with this section, when made reasonably and in good faith, shall not be the basis for any civil or criminal liability of such mental health professional.”  However, what constitutes “good faith” and “reasonably” are not defined in the law, leaving it open to interpretation … or misinterpretation.

    Furthermore, it has been recognized that the law itself is not intended to protect any one from harm. In reviewing MHL § 9.46, the New York State Psychiatric Association stated that “…following discussions with OMH staff, it has become clear that the SAFE Act reporting requirement is solely to limit access to legal firearms and not to protect individuals from imminent risk of harm to self and others.”

    In addition to these flaws, MHL § 9.46 has created a massive barrier to mental health care. That in itself is counterintuitive to the stated purpose of this law.

    In August 2020, Psychiatric Quarterly published an original paper, “The Influence of New York’s SAFE Act on Individuals Seeking Mental Health Treatment.”  The paper reported on a study conducted to determine if the NY SAFE Act impacts mental health treatment-seeking and symptom-reporting behaviors.  According to the study, about 18% of respondents were concerned about being reported to the government, 9% were less likely to seek mental health care, and about 23% were less willing to report mental health symptoms/behaviors to a mental health provider because of the New York State SAFE Act.

    Society’s common goal should be to create a space where everyone feels comfortable seeking mental health care when needed.  Getting there will involve reducing bias and stigma surrounding guns and gun owners, and removing barriers to care such as MHL § 9.46 of the New York State SAFE Act.


  • 04/13/2022 4:26 PM | Anonymous

    Suicide Bomber in the White House  by Tom Reynolds

    What’s the difference between a Suicide Bomber and Joe Biden?  A Suicide Bomber only gets one chance at causing destruction but Joe Biden tries over and over and over.

    It would be hard for anyone to deny that Biden’s policies, both here and abroad, have been failures.  But don’t believe me, check every political poll that’s been taken in the past few months; well over the majority of Americans believe Biden has been a failure.  And if you don’t believe the polls, check out the headlines for further evidence of his failures. 

    Faced with policy failures and what seems like a coming disastrous November election for Biden’s party, a change in direction would be appropriate.  Not Joe – or whoever is actually running the country.  He’s / they’re doubling down on their anti-2A policies.

    During the last two years, record numbers of gun purchases were made in America.  The 2nd Amendment is back in style.  Ignoring this movement, Biden, earlier, nominated David Chipman, who is a fiercely anti-2A zealot, to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).  Sentiment was so strong against this anti-2A nominee that Biden eventually withdrew the nomination.

    Wouldn’t it make more political and common sense to nominate someone who is non-political and will not try to force anti-2A regulations on the American people; just follow the law, not try to write it.  Not Biden!  He’s doubling down by nominating someone who is described as equally as anti-2A as Chipman. 

    But before we get to the nominee, a few words about Biden.  At a recent bill signing celebration he said, “…it’s going to sound bizarre, I support the Second Amendment”.  Obviously, Joe is as confused about his 2nd Amendment policies as he is about all his other policies. 

    But is he confused or he can’t stop lying?  During his State of the Union Address, he said, “Repeal the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued”.  That statement’s a lie!  What he is referring to is the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that protects gun makers from frivolous lawsuits, but not from the common liability suits that can be brought against gun manufacturers as well as almost all other manufacturers.  So, gun manufacturers can be sued, but not frivolously.  

    At that same bill signing where he claims to be pro 2A, Biden got cleverer about the way he phrases that infamous remark.  He said that gun manufacturers “have more immunity than any other American industry”. Technically, that’s partially true as the PLCAA shields only the gun industry, so it does have one additional item granting it more immunity.  Jen Psaki now has a basis to try to defend that latest remark, where Biden’s State of the Union remark is indefensible.  However, Biden’s latest remark is also partially a lie since other industries, such as the pharmaceutical industry which developed the Covid vaccine, got lawsuit immunity tailored only to their industry.  So, other industries also get immunized.  But the purpose behind Biden’s statement is still the same; to falsely convince the average American that the gun industry can’t be sued.     

    In conflict with Biden’s self-proclaimed support of 2A, he just nominated Steve Dettlebach to head BATFE.  Dettlebach has spent most of his legal career working in the “Swamp” with occasional, short, private practice interludes during republican presidencies, when he worked on “regulatory matters”, which usually means he lobbied the “Swamp”. 

    Biden has nominated a lifetime “Swamp denizen” to lead a “Swamp Bureau”.  That won’t end well for the American people. Biden claimed Dettlebach was a “noncontroversial candidate,” even though he holds virtually the same policy positions on 2A as the previous nominee. 

    Some people in NY formerly believed that Attorney Generals are supposed to be non-political and pursue the law even handedly.  That is, they may have believed that until Letetia James became NY’s Attorney General and put anti-2A politics above the law. In 2018, Dettlebach lost in his bid to be elected Ohio’s Attorney General.  Dettlebach and James ran somewhat parallel anti-2A campaigns, where Dettlbach promised: an Assault Weapons Ban; Universal Background Checks; gun confiscation for misdemeanor crimes and for those dealing with mental health issues; closing the “gun show loophole”; and disarming teachers, which keeps schools as “gun free” targets.  Politics trumps the law for leftist Attorney Generals.

    At various other times, while holding positions in and out of the “Swamp”, Dettlebach has published op-eds in favor of leftist anti-2A positions such as Universal Background Checks.  In one op-ed, he argued that a background check system will not lead to a federal gun registry (which he admits is illegal under current law.)  This ignores that BATFE has been converting out-of-business Firearm Transaction Records (Form 4473s) and Acquisition and Disposition Logs into a digital searchable database. 

    Will Dettlebach discontinue what he admits is an illegal activity?  It’s as likely as the-oceans-are-rising alarmist Barack Obama will stop buying beach front property.

    Joe Biden may be willing to go down with the ship but other politicians, who are anti-2A, may not be as suicidal and might be willing to work behind the scenes to try and save the November elections.  (Working behind the scenes has come to mean begging Joe Manchin to save the Democrat Party from itself.)  Let the NY Senators know how much we oppose Dettlebach’s nomination and these continued assaults on our liberties.

  • 04/08/2022 11:57 AM | Anonymous

    One Man One Vote - Again

    Last April 29th, SCOPE wrote about “One Man One Vote.  (It is available on SCOPE’s website under Briefings, Page 11).  It ended saying, “…one man one vote was another constitutional aberration of the Warren Court and needs to be overturned.  That would overcome the tyranny of the majority that is now the rule of law in NY State and give gun owners and Upstate NY a voice in their government that is currently denied to them”.

    In his recent letter to Second Amendment for EVER members (SAFE), Ed Pettitt reiterated that issue and it is reproduced, below, with his permission.  As he points out, this is a long-overlooked issue.  It doesn’t get mentioned during Senate confirmations of judges, but needs to be resurrected.  We need to keep reminding ourselves and our legislators about this issue if we are ever to get this changed and restore a legislative voice to rural areas.      

    A Direct Hit on the Republican Form of Government

    by Ed Pettitt

    If you are like me, you are probably frustrated by a seemingly continuous onslaught of ridiculous legislation passed by NYS that targets gun owners, small businesses, farmers and actually anything that seems to be part of life in rural areas. They all seem to be coming from legislators in the NYC area.

    The floodgates opened once the NY Senate majority switched and there was no longer a means to balance the Assembly.  There is more to this than Republican Party vs. Democrat Party.  This is really about a change in the structure of our Republic that occurred under our noses and has been completely overlooked, in my opinion. And it is fundamentally about the rights of rural communities to have equitable representation in the making of State Law.

    In 1964, US Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren orchestrated a direct hit on the Republican form of government guaranteed to every state by Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution.  The decision in Reynolds vs. Sims, where Warren, basically, directed every state to district their state Senates by population instead of by county.
    The first step of solving any problem is to recognize and expose its cause. That is the purpose of my letter to you here.  Look it up, ask your representatives about it, make your friends aware of it.  In the end, the solution can only come from restoring electoral equity to our counties.

    As you know, our founders built in checks and balances to the structure of our Republic and part of that was having bicameral legislatures with a Senate representing sub-governments while the House or Assembly represented "The People."  Warren disregarded that balance in order to subvert the ability of rural areas to balance the representation of the urban areas.  After shifting over to population-based districts, the state Senates have become controlled by urban areas.  In New York State, 38 of the 63 senators are from NYC and 48 counties are controlled by 14 of the more urban counties.  There really is no balance in the legislature where both houses are dominated by NYC.

  • 04/06/2022 10:00 AM | Anonymous
    • Survey: Pandemic First-Time Buyers Younger and More Diverse, Oppose Gun Control  Jake Fogleman, March 28, 2022; Adapted and edited by Lee Edgcomb

      People who purchased a gun for the first time during the pandemic may not look like previous gun owners, but they overwhelmingly share the same opinions on gun laws. Those were the findings of a new survey released Thursday from National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (NORC):

    • 86 percent of first-time buyers identified in the survey were under 45, compared to 41 percent for pre-pandemic owners.
    • 5 percent of all adults in America purchased a gun for the first time during the two-year period between March 2020 and March 2022.
    • 46 percent of American households now report having a gun in the home.

    Increasing, gun sales during the pandemic were driven in nearly equal parts by people purchasing a gun for the first time and existing gun owners purchasing additional firearms,” John Roman, NORC Senior Fellow, said in a press release. “New gun owners during the pandemic were much more likely to be younger and People of Color compared to pre-pandemic gun owners in America.” The data provides more support for the observation that the landscape of American gun ownership has shifted massively in just the last two years.

    Attitudes toward gun control among new owners largely mirror those of existing gun owners. Equal shares of first-time and existing gun owners (68 percent) support allowing people to carry concealed firearms into more places. Likewise, 41 percent of both first-time and existing gun owners said they supported allowing them to do so without a permit. “First-time gun buyers’ attitudes toward gun control look remarkably similar to those of the pre-pandemic U.S. gun owner,” Roman said. “Whether they bought a gun because of existing beliefs about gun control—or owning a gun changed their policy views—is unknown, but it is notable that the policy positions of new gun owners are so different from non-gun owners.”

    The survey was conducted March 3–7, 2022 among 1,106 adults aged 18 and up. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.85 percent.

    SCOPE note from NORC’s web page:

    NORC at the University of Chicago conducts research and analysis that decision-makers trust. As a nonpartisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied almost every aspect of the human experience and every major news event for more than eight decades. Today, we partner with government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise necessary to inform the critical decisions facing society.

  • 04/04/2022 4:17 PM | Anonymous

    Jackson (Not Andy) and the 2nd Amendment or Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt  by Tom Reynolds

    Last week, we asked if we can believe the words of Joe Biden and his Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson.  It’s not just what they say, but what they don’t say, that matters.

    In a trial, it’s good for the prosecution if there is a great deal of provable evidence against the accused.  But sometimes there is enough circumstantial evidence to find the person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Biden’s nomination for Supreme Court Justice, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, should be familiar with that concept.  Even though she never ruled on a major gun rights case during her nine years on the U.S. Court of Appeals, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to find her guilty of being anti-2nd Amendment. 

    And one thing the anti-2A crowd has in common is activism in their war on guns, which makes Ketanji Brown Jackson a dangerous nominee for the Supreme Court.

    She was a Barack Obama nominee to the Court of Appeals, which should tell you something right there.  Obama was certainly a believer in radical, anti-constitutional activism and his close advisor, Susan Rice, followed in that category. As part of being nominated by Biden, Jackson surely would have been interviewed by Biden’s advisor Susan Rice.  When Rice is not busy running the Biden administration, she also oversees a “gun violence” team.  It is beyond question that any Supreme Court nominee who did not voice strong support for Biden’s anti-gun agenda during the nominee screening process would immediately have been rejected. To believe otherwise makes no sense.

    During her Senate confirmation hearings, she was asked, “Do you believe the individual right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right?”  She responded: “Senator, the Supreme Court has established that the individual right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right.” She did not say it’s part of our God-given right to self-defense and that the 2nd Amendment only protects that right. It’s likely that she believes it is a right established by the Supreme Court and what the Supreme Court giveth the Supreme Court can taketh away.

    As to other Second Amendment issues, Judge Jackson sidestepped questions during her confirmation hearings. It was clear she had spent considerable time learning how to not give away her intentions.

    Without question, Biden is one of the most – if not the most - anti-gun President to ever occupy the White House. For instance, he nominated a fiercely anti-2A David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  (He was so radical his nomination was withdrawn).  And his nomination of leftist extremists is not limited to anti-2A.  The nominations of communism admirer Saule Omarova (Comptroller of the Currency), Neers Tanden (Office of Management and Budget) and Sarah Bloom Raskin (Federal Reserve Board of Governors) had to be withdrawn.  David Weil (Department of Labor) was recently defeated in a Senate vote.  Is there any reason to believe that Judge Jackson is not in the mold of previous Biden / Rice nominees, since Biden / Rice do not seem to be easing off in their pursuit of their radical leftist agenda. 

    Some of the extremist anti-2A policies that Biden has embraced are: a ban on the manufacture and sale of “assault weapons” and standard-capacity magazines; placing all existing “assault weapons” under the regulatory authority of the National Firearms Act; instituting a mandatory “buy-back” – gun confiscation – of “assault weapons” and standard-capacity magazines; banning private firearm sales.  Gun rights will disappear if Biden can fill the Supreme Court with activist judges who will legislate from the bench, (Jackson will become 3 of 9).

    It’s a given that a President will nominate a Supreme Court justice who supports the president’s position on issues.  But the Biden Administration, by its words and deeds, has declared itself so radical and so partisan and so out-of-touch with America that every one of its nominees must be presumed to also be radical. 

    At a time when the country was evenly divided and it was only the ability of the Vice President to break ties in the Senate, Biden ignored that even-divide and tried to implement his radical agenda.  Now, according to all polls, the country has moved strongly against Biden’s radical agenda, but that does not stop him from still pursuing it.  Common sense (a term the left loves to apply to anti-2A laws) tells us that Biden has nominated a radical leftist to the Supreme Court.  Senators need to keep this in mind when they vote.

    Senators who support Judge Jackson’s nomination must answer to the voters when their elections draw near.  They cannot claim ignorance of any infringement of our 2A gun rights, since the circumstantial evidence is clear.

  • 03/31/2022 4:34 PM | Anonymous

    Do Politicians Ever Mean What They Say?  by Tom Reynolds

    Referring to Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden said, “…this man cannot remain in power.”  The White House staff immediately walked back Biden’s words as not meaning what they meant. The issue is not if Biden’s words were appropriate but that they were almost immediately disavowed by those speaking on behalf of Biden.

    When questioned about his unsuccessful sanctions to deter Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden said, “I did not say that…the sanctions would deter him.”  Fox news and talk radio have played numerous quotes from Biden and his staff saying that sanctions would deter Putin. (Apparently, CNN and MSNBC were not able to find those same quotes.)

    Biden said that the United States and NATO would respond "in kind" if Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine.  To those who regularly use the English language, that meant that the USA would respond with chemical weapons if Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine.  Once again, the English-speaking world had incorrectly interpreted Biden’s remarks, according to the clean-up crew at the White House. 

    Of course, Biden has a lifetime of such verbal misadventures.  In 2008, he said of Barack Obama, “I mean, you’ve got the first sort of mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean.”

    Which brings us to Biden’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson (KBJ) to be the first black woman on the Supreme Court. 

    In 2005, Janice Rogers Brown, a black woman, was on George Bush’s short list to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. She (not KBJ) would have been the first black woman to ever serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. But – guess who – Joe Biden appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to warn that if Bush nominated Brown, “I can assure you that would be a very, very, very difficult fight and she probably would be filibustered.”   

    Today, Biden calls the filibuster a relic of the Jim Crow era.” Biden now wants to get rid of the filibuster and also claim credit for putting the first black woman on the Supreme Court. Again, we have the issue of Biden’s actual words being dishonest.

    It would be nice if Supreme Court nominees were always the best person available but both major parties want Supreme Court justices who reflect their party’s philosophy; nothing new about that.  But be honest about it and don’t nominate or reject someone based on race or sex.  It would be nice if judicial decisions were decided outside of personal feelings but few people can put them completely aside and most Supreme Court nominees come from a political background. 

    Then, there is the issue of racism.  Biden and the Left often speak of having a government which “looks like America”.  America is 12% black.  The Supreme Court is already 11% black.  It aint gonna get any closer than that!  Has Biden considered that another black Supreme Court justice puts that court out-of-step with looking like America?   

    Biden gets a two-fer by limiting his selection to a black woman, which was both racist and sexist.  Ponder this: if he nominated a transexual woman, would the Left count a transitioned “woman” as a woman?  

    Is KBJ the best black woman available or the most likely to be confirmed black woman or the black woman most likely to view the law from a far-left radical perspective?  The latter possibility is particularly worrisome, for several reasons.

    There is the matter of those supporting her.  Radical liberals support her and some of them actually recommended her. That says something that gun owners do not want to hear since those same radical liberals are inti-2nd Amendment.

    And in a case of guilt by association, she’s distantly related by marriage to former House Speaker Paul Ryan.  When KBJ was earlier nominated to the federal bench by President Obama in 2012, Ryan introduced her.  Conservatives might sooner forgive her radical left relationships faster that one with RINO Paul Ryan.

    And let’s not forget the issue of KBJ’s testimony.  Can we believe her, any more than we can believe Joe Biden?

    During an earlier Senate confirmation hearing, KBJ said she did not have a political philosophy.  Now she says, "I'm very acutely aware of the limits on my power" and she has expanded on several issues in a way which made her sound like former Justice Antonin Scalia.  Would Biden have nominated a Scalia look alike?  About as likely as Nancy Pelosi voting for Donald Trump. 

    During her Senate hearing, KBJ was asked, “Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman”?  “No”, Jackson replied, “Not in this context…I’m not a biologist.”  This is troubling from two standpoints: it shows too much concern for leftist political correctness that will probably influence her decisions; the woman who is being touted as the first black woman on the Supreme Court says she doesn’t know how to define a woman, which sounds remarkably like something Joe Biden would say.

    KBJ has a history of defending criminals and even Guantanamo Bay detainees.  In addition, she served on a sentencing commission.  These raise the question, is she soft-on-crime and will she put criminals’ rights ahead of law-abiding citizens’ rights?  A sentencing commission debate gives us some answers.  Recidivism amongst released criminals is a problem and, in 2011, KBJ argued that longer sentences do not affect the rate of recidivism.  The U.S. Attorney argued that while longer sentences may not affect the rate of recidivism, when criminals are in prison, “…they are not out committing new crimes”.  KBJ was unmoved by such logic.  With soft-on-crime issues being a major factor in increased crime rates, this should worry us.  (And give us another reason to buy a new gun.)


    Hanging in the balance is a lifetime appointment to a court where the Left expects activism of radical left appointees.  Should we believe anything KBJ and Joe Biden say in order to get her confirmed?

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