SCOPE NY

Frontlines  from SCOPE President, Tom Reynolds

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  • 05/13/2021 9:29 AM | Anonymous

    Proposed Anti-Gun Bills  per Senator Pam Helming

    State Senator Pam Helming sent out the following notice to alert gun owners.  The two proposed laws cover microstamping and mandatory liability insurance of $1 million.  The links take you to the actual bills.  There are at least 79 gun related bills introduced into the NY Legislature this year. 

    “Gun owners need to keep a close eye on both of these bills. They have plenty of votes to pass the Assembly already, so push should be stopping in Senate. The GOOD news is that there are only 16 days left of legislation and they have not even been put through committee”. 

    Senate Bill S4116

    “This link should be shared.  Gun owners click on it and it brings them right to their Senators page to send an email or find their number”. 

  • 05/11/2021 8:39 PM | Anonymous

    Proposed Bill A5728: No Lead Ammo  by Tom Reynolds

    NYS Assembly bill A5728 prohibits the use of lead ammunition in the taking of wildlife on state-owned land and on land contributing surface water to the NY City water supply.

    SCOPE opposes this bill as it would hamper gun owners. 

    The actual bill reads as follows:

    Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 11-0901 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new paragraph h to read as follows:

    h. Wildlife shall not be taken with the use of lead ammunition on:

    •    wildlife management areas, state forests, forest preserves, state parks or any other state-owned land that is open for hunting; and
    •    the land area contributing surface water to the New York city water supply. 

    For the purposes of this paragraph "lead ammunition" shall mean any ammunition that contains one percent or more of lead by weight.

        This act shall take effect January 1, 2023.

    Presently the proposed law would be a prohibition of lead ammo usage on any NY State public land and on any land contributing water to NY City regardless of the likelihood of adverse health impacts on people or the general environment.  The second part about land area contributing surface water to the NY City water supply is the “gotcha” in this bill. The next step would be to ban lead ammo on land contributing water to any municipal water supply thus eventually banning it anywhere in NYS. 

    The current ammo shortage will eventually end. But the shortage of lead-free ammo will not! Even before the current ammo shortage began, lead-free ammo was, reportedly, very hard to get - if it was available.  If this trend of lead-free ammo shortage continues, you will not be able to hunt on state land after the effective date. This includes not being able to use rim-fire lead ammo for small game hunting. Obviously, this a backdoor hunting ban because of the scarcity of lead-free ammo.

    If the lead-free ban is expanded – and you can almost bet on that - the government might permit us to use any lead ammo we already own for a year or so and after that possession of our current supplies will probably be declared illegal.  (gun owners again become criminals.)  Imagine if any current supplies you possess are declared to be illegal and you can't find new, non-lead ammo for your guns; they wouldn't need any further laws to just about eliminate gun use by law abiding citizens. 

    NRA-ILA reports that alternatives to lead ammunition are cost prohibitive for hunters in New York.  But this is by design.  Animal extremists want to drive up the cost of hunting to reduce participation and thereby reduce the number of hunters, which remain the financial backbone of conservation efforts throughout the state.  Animal extremists want hunting out of the picture and hunters off the landscape.  The simple truth is that there is no credible evidence that lead ammunition has a negative impact on wildlife species. But the goal of the extremists is to remove hunting, not promote wildlife. Consider the loss of these advantages of lead:

    ·       Lead is a pretty heavy metal, therefore capable of carrying more force on impact. Therefore, smaller size projectiles can cause greater harm when compared to other metals of same size/dimension.

    ·       Lead is soft, especially when it comes out hot from the barrel, making it malleable enough to transfer complete impact on the target, without passing through the target.

    ·       The softness of lead greatly helps in inducing ‘rifling’ on itself, thus ensuring better accuracy, without damaging the otherwise harder metal barrel.

    ·       The softness of lead also plays a great part in expanding itself at the rear end, to properly engulf the circumference of the barrel (when fired), so that full impact of the power of the explosion (or air pressure in air guns) is rendered on the projectile with minimum leakage.

    ·       And when lead enters a target, like a human body or animal, its impact on harder parts like bones, etc., will cause it to splinter, sending delicate shrapnel in various direction - leading to mode damage and higher probability of death.

    And if you are worried about wildfires, certain non-lead ammo hitting flammable materials could create sparks which can produce forest fires.

    A5728, is progressing fast!  It passed the Assembly's Environmental Conservation Committee on 4/27/2021, and was referred to the Assembly's Code Committee.  A5728 passed the Codes Committee on 5/4/2021. 
    This bill may go to the Assembly floor shortly for the full Assembly to vote on once it gets assigned to the calendar!

    Please contact ALL NYS Assembly members to let them know your stance on this bill. The NYS Legislative session ends in about a month so time is critical that you make contact.

    The link below will bring up the bill we are referring to. 

    A5728

    Take Action; contact your representative.

    NYS Assembly Member Directory

  • 05/06/2021 2:41 PM | Anonymous

    D.C. Statehood  by Tom Reynolds

    In order to gain political control of the United States, Democrats want to make Washington D.C. into a state.  As currently proposed, the new state would consist of all of D.C. except tiny strips of territory remaining under federal control. It would be called “Washington, Douglas Commonwealth”—presumably meaning the City of Washington in the Commonwealth of Douglas.

    As we shall see, giving D.C. statehood guarantees the Democrat Party two additional Democrat Senators and that is the Democrats real agenda.  Since the Democrat Party leadership is rabidly against private gun ownership, D.C. statehood is very plainly another Democrat step to eliminating private gun ownership.

    To understand the legal issues that should prevent this from happening, let’s take a quick look at the history of the creation of the Capital District.

       ·    The states of Maryland and Virginia formally offered to cede to the federal government jurisdiction over land for a capital district.  In 1791 Congress accepted Maryland’s and Virginia’s offers and the District of Columbia was eventually established. The federal government later returned Virginia’s portion to that state, so all of what is now the District of Columbia is former Maryland territory.

       ·   D.C. residents do not have any voting Senators or Congresspersons but the 23rd Amendment permitted residents of the District of Columbia to have three presidential electors (giving it the equivalent representation of several states in presidential elections).

       ·   In 1973, Congress passed the Home Rule Act, permitting local self-government for the District.

    Why should D.C. not be allowed to become a state?

    D.C. statehood would put the federal government at the mercy of local state officials. “Douglas Commonwealth” officials could refuse to restrain rioters threatening federal institutions. They could threaten or intimidate federal officials to obtain political ends. Who can doubt this possibility after observing the riots of the past year that were essentially approved by the governments of several states.

    The terms of Maryland’s 1788 offer of cession also present objections to D.C. statehood; Maryland’s consent to cession, as well as Congress’s acceptance, was clearly based on the land being used as a national capital. The 1788 Maryland law provides that cession is to be of a “district in this State not exceeding ten miles square, which Congress may fix upon and accept for the seat of Government of the United States.” Maryland did not consent to the creation of another state out of its territory, which is required by that pesky Constitution.  (The US Constitution keeps interfering with Democrat plans.)  Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution states that “…no new state shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other state …without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress”.  Maryland’s cession was effective for creating a federal district to be used as a national capital, but not effective for creating a new state. Turning all or part of D.C. into a state would require either a new agreement with Maryland, or a constitutional amendment.

    Many participants in the Founding Fathers’ debate over the Constitution expressed concern that residents of the capital district, who would consist largely of government employees and their families, would reflect solely the interests of the government upon which they were dependent.  They did not want dependents of the federal government unduly influencing state or national elections.

    A similar objection arises from the results of the 23rd Amendment, which gave D.C. three presidential electors.  Subsequent election results have fully vindicated the Founders’ concerns about allowing District residents to vote in federal elections. The District is a dependency of the federal government and its electorate invariably votes for the party that offers more government—the Democrats.  D.C. residents have cast ballots in 15 presidential elections and they have voted the same way each time, and by huge margins: In 2020, Joe Biden took 92 percent of their vote.

    Denying the vote to residents of the capital district does not leave them without influence. On the contrary, those residents have an outsize influence; partly by reason of their proximity to federal institutions and partly because many are or would be government officials or employees. Allowing them to participate in national elections would, unfairly,  further magnify their power.

    Democrats have no hesitancy on pushing any changes that are to their advantage, no matter how radical.  That puts Republicans and conservatives forever on the defensive.  It’s time to change that and put Democrats on the defensive.  The 18th Amendment (Prohibition) was repealed by the 21st Amendment. Election results since the passage of the 23rd Amendment have proven the Founding Fathers’ concerns to be correct.  So, rather than admitting the District as a state, we should be discussing repeal of the 23rd Amendment. 

    While we’re at it, we might consider repealing the 16th Amendment which allowed the Federal income Tax.

  • 05/06/2021 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    To Be or Not To Be  by Tom Reynolds

    People can lead very successful lives and still not even be a footnote in history.  For instance, there have been almost 2,000 United States Senators in American history but only a handful achieved any lasting fame.  Probably, all tried for fame and celebrity but the laws of chance decided whether they were famous or anonymous.  But, once in a while, someone gets to knowingly make the choice between being a famous historical figure or being anonymous.

    Enter West Virginia Senator Democrat Joe Manchin.

    He is one of those rare people who can personally decide between anonymity or being an historical figure.  Manchin is one of those currently almost extinct, Democrat politicians who could be described as moderate – or at least not radically left which makes him comparatively moderate in today’s Democrat Party.  He may be moderate because he really believes in old style Democrat policies or it may be that it’s a political decision; a radical left Democrat would have slim to no chance of being elected in West Virginia.  Only he knows for sure.

    Manchin has his opportunity for fame because the Democrat Party is taking advantage of what is probably temporary control of both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.  They are pushing through radically progressive liberal policies that at least half of – and probably more – U.S. voters disagree.  If successful, they believe they will transform America into a socialist state (which they can control and milk for personal riches) while the bulk of Americans see their program as a path to disaster.  The Democrats ability to do this, hinges on control of the U.S. Senate, which is equally divided at 50/50, so extreme socialist Vice President Kamala Harris casts the deciding vote.  As long as all 50 Democrat senators stick together, they can proceed.  But if even one defects to sanity, their program is stopped.

    During Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office, the Democrats have generally stuck together, including Manchin, on those proposals that have reached a vote.  But Manchin has said he will defect on some issues, the most important of which is the Senate Filibuster.  In a Filibuster, a Senator holds the senate floor and does not give it up, which prevents proposed legislation from being voted upon and, therefore, never becomes a law.  Under Senate rules, to break a filibuster, it takes 60 votes and the Democrats have almost no chance of getting 10 Republicans to defect.  But, also under Senate rules, it only takes 51 votes to change the rules!  If all 50 Democrat Senators stuck together, including Manchin, then Kamala Harris’ vote would allow them to change the rules on the Filibuster to only needing 51 votes to end it.  This would allow the Democrats to pass their radical left agenda which would, in many people’s opinions, destroy America and, in particular, allow them to neuter the 2nd Amendment.

    Joe Manchin has said he will not vote to change the current Filibuster rules and, thus, prevent the Democrats from making that rule change. To entice him to change his position, you can be sure there are lucrative backroom deals being offered to Manchin.  But if he takes those deals and caves in on the Filibuster, he becomes rich but probably also becomes unelectable in West Virginia.  And importantly, he will also become historically anonymous as just another one of many Democrats that share mutual responsibility for these policies; he will not be even a footnote in history. 

    But if Manchin holds firm, he will have stopped most of the far left’s madness and he will become an historical figure: the man who saved America; the man who saved the American Constitution; the politician who put principles above party. Manchin will have intentionally made himself into an historical figure!   You can be sure that there will be books written about him.  (Could there someday be a Broadway rap musical called “Manchin”?  Will he be added to an updated version of “Profiles in Courage”?)

    So, Joe Manchin has to make a decision, will he take a short-term gain and be only a two term Senator or will he become an historical figure.  Not exactly George Washington but he will certainly leap frog Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi as those two join John Boehner and Mitch McConnell in the long list of forgotten legislators. 

    Being known to history as a rare politician that put principle above self and party isn’t a bad way to be remembered. Joe Manchin controls his own fate.

  • 04/29/2021 5:22 PM | Anonymous

    One Man One Vote  by Tom Reynolds

    Because of the huge political divide on almost everything between New York City and most of the state, SCOPE previously wrote about the possibility of New York counties seceding from NY and joining Pennsylvania.  Other options are Divide NY and, of course, to do nothing.  Another alternative that isn’t mentioned, but should be promoted, might be to overturn the Warren Court’s wrongful ruling that established the “one man one vote” principle.      

    The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) under Chief Justice Earl Warren was one of the most liberal SCOTUS that the USA has ever had and, hopefully, ever will.  Many of the divisive issues we face today are directly related to rulings during Warren’s reign. Associate Justice John Marshall Harlan II accused the Warren Court of repeatedly amending the Constitution through its opinions, rather than waiting for the lawful amendment process

    One of the Warren Court’s worst decisions was Reynolds v Sims, which ignored the Constitution in order to remove political power from conservative rural areas and give it to liberal cities; it’s known as “one man one vote”.  

    •     In 1946, before Warren was appointed to SCOTUS, in Colegrove v. Green the court continued its long-standing position that legislative apportionment was a “political thicket” into which the judiciary should not intrude.  

    •     In 1962, in Baker v. Carr, the Warren Court ignored SCOTUS’ own precedent and forced the Tennessee legislature to reapportion itself on the basis of population.

    •     In 1964, using its own precedent to validate its action, the Warren Court cited the Baker case as a precedent and held in ReynoldsSims that both houses of a two-house legislature had to be apportioned according to population. This is known as “one man one vote”

    As a result of Reynolds v Sims, virtually every state legislature was reapportioned, ultimately causing rural areas’ political power to be given to urban areas.

    Every issue must be viewed in context; statements can mean very different things when taken out of context.  The US Constitution set up the rules and overall framework for how the federal government would operate, but it also had another purpose; to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.  Every part of the Constitution should be interpreted within the context of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority.  “One man one vote” goes against that principle.

    The Constitution contains many examples that contradict “one man one vote: 

    •     The power to make laws is vested in our elected representatives in the House and Senate, not in a vote by the majority of the people (Article I Section 1). Each state has two Senators, no matter what the population (Article 1 Section 3 and Amendment XVII).

    •     One person, the President, has the executive power to run the government and enforce laws (Article II Section I).

    •     The President is elected by the Electoral College, where each state has the number of votes equal to its total number of Representatives and Senators (Article II Section I).  Almost all states allocate their Electoral College votes on a winner take all basis, not a percentage of votes (state laws). 

    •     In case no one gets a majority of the electoral votes, the decision is made by the House of Representatives where each state has only one vote for President, no matter what the population. (Amendment XII)

    •     Only the House of Representatives is based on population and it is not truly “one man one vote”.  The smallest state gets at least one vote (Article I Section 2). Six states are below the average representation.

    •     Congress passed the law that sets the number of SCOTUS judges at nine and there is no requirement for equal representation throughout the USA.

    Why is it important to gun owners that our Constitution is not in any way based on one man one vote?  Currently, New York has a bicameral (two house) legislature where both houses are based on an equal percentage of the population.  What if, instead of “one man one vote”, the NY State Senate was apportioned by each county having one Senator, no matter what the population was of the county?  Rural counties would then have a voice that is currently denied them because of NY City’s overwhelming population.  In NY State, the principle of “one man one vote” effectively means that people in rural counties have no vote.  Rural counties are subject to the tyranny of the majority.

    Stare decisis is a legal principle where courts rarely go against principles established in previous rulings.  Unless of course you are a liberal court, then the only principle that matters is your current political position.  Liberals respect stare decisis only when it works in their favor.  The Warren Court frequently ignored Stare Decisis.  Unfortunately, Stare Decisis also protects bad rulings as we have seen with “one man one vote”.

    Federal judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate (Article 2 Section 2); they are not elected.  (Another example that goes against “one man one vote”.)  2nd Amendment defenders face an extremely grave time after Democrats won both races in Georgia, giving them control of the Senate through the Vice-President’s tie breaking vote.  The Senate could run rampant in approving far left judges who will make political rulings, such as the Warren Court made, instead of judgments based on the Constitution.  Elections have consequences and we need to ensure that future Presidents and Senates only appoint conservative judges who believe in the rule of law. 

    Perhaps, someday, we will have judges who recognize that “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.

  • 04/27/2021 5:04 PM | Anonymous

    TWO-HOUSE Anti-2A bills in New York State  by Tom Reynolds

    “Two-House” bills mean they have been introduced in both the NYS Assembly and the NYS Senate, thus creating a greater chance of them becoming law. 

    A short description of the bills and their current committee status is provided below.

    SCOPE encourages contacting your legislators about bills, especially TWO-HOUSE bills.  A list of NYS Senators and Assemblypersons, with their contact information, can be found in your latest Firing Lines, or by clicking on the links below.

  • 04/21/2021 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    John Boehner Returns and the World Wonders Why  by Tom Reynolds

    Many of us believed that John Boehner was the worst ever Republican House Speaker - until Paul Ryan came along and took up that challenge.  But we also believed Boehner was safely retired and just another Speaker to be forgotten by history.  He now spends his time using his political connections to lobby for whoever will pay him, which has notably been the tobacco and marijuana industries.  But suddenly, he is back!  It appears he has written a book.  (Apparently he has written a book before he ever read one.)

    Perhaps it is a good thing that he has resurfaced to remind us of the reasons we were so angry with the pre-Trump Republican Party.  The one that when campaigning they were fierce defenders of Constitutional principles but when legislating rarely had the backbone to stand for Constitutional principles.   That lack of commitment to principles is one of the things that turned off so many potential Republican voters. 

    If Republican candidates are interested primarily in power, perks and pay, Boehner is someone to model.  If they believe in and are willing to fight for Constitutional principles, they should ask themselves, “what would Boehner do” and then do the opposite.

    In an interview on CBS News, Boehner blamed his lack of a backbone on everybody else, which is exactly what a spineless politician does. (Remember Obama blaming everything that went wrong in his administration on George Bush.)  Boehner said it was the unwillingness of his fellow Republicans to support him, and not his lack of leadership, that caused his Speakership to be a disaster for the Republican Party.  (But by the Democrat Party, he should be fondly remembered as one of their great Speakers.)  Boehner said of his caucus, "I've got no position, because my guys wouldn't vote for anything…They're against everything but I've never been able to determine what they're for."  Perhaps the problem was that none of his caucus could determine what Boehner was for, other than compromise for compromise’s sake (or in other words, giving away the store).

    In reviewing Boehner and his book, the current Democrat media criticizes Boehner for his 2010 pledge to deny President Barack Obama a single policy victory on his agenda.  They forget that he approached that pledge in the same way he pledged to support Republican / Conservative principles and was equally unsuccessful with both pledges. 

    Let Boehner’s reemergence be a reminder to all Republican candidates that the day of the spineless Republican has passed.  It is not enough to only defend the 2nd Amendment, the Constitution as written, and the free-market system when campaigning.  Actions and results count.

  • 04/19/2021 11:24 AM | Anonymous

    Democrats Giveth and Democrats Taketh Away  by Tom Reynolds

    The NY State Budget was passed and it includes legislation lowering the age for deer hunting with a firearm and crossbow in participating Upstate counties.  But Counties Must Adopt a Local Law Allowing Youth Hunters 12-13 to Hunt Deer per ECL-0935.

    For nearly two decades, youth aged 12 and 13 in New York have been safely hunting deer and bear with archery equipment and small game with firearms. But until now, New York didn't allow 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt big game with a firearm. Environmental Conservation Law 11-0935 is a temporary measure that will pilot program lowering the age through 2023.  It includes the following provisions:

    ·        Allows 12- and 13-year-old licensed hunters to hunt deer with a rifle, shotgun, or muzzle loading firearm in areas these firearms may be used during hunting season;

    ·        Allows 12- and 13-year-old licensed hunters to hunt deer with a crossbow during the times when other hunters may use crossbows;

    ·        Requires that these youth hunters be supervised by experienced and licensed adult hunters at all times; and

    ·        Requires the youth hunter and adult mentor to wear fluorescent orange or pink clothing and to remain at ground level while hunting deer with a crossbow, rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader.

    The legislation requires each county to "opt-in" to the program by adopting a local law allowing for 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt deer in accordance with ECL 11-0935. The legislation specifically excludes Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, and Westchester counties from participation in the new program.

    DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos enthusiastically promoted this law and pointed out the societal advantages of deer hunting when he said, “Deer hunting…provides millions of pounds of quality food to New Yorkers while reducing the negative impacts of abundant deer populations on agriculture, forests, and communities...I encourage all upstate counties to consider 'opting-in' to support New York's young hunters and their potential contributions to deer management."

    Contact your County Executives and legislators and request that your county ‘opt in’ on allowing licensed youth aged 12-13 to hunt big game with a firearm and/or crossbow. 

    Important Note: While this is a rare NY law which encourages gun use, Federal House of Representatives proposed bill HR127 would require these same 12 and 13 years old and their adult supervisors to each pay $800 for a liability insurance policy. But don’t worry about the cost to these young people since HR127 would also make it illegal for anyone under 21 to possess a firearm.  In essence, if HR127 passes, it makes the above change to NY law meaningless.

    To all you hunters who have said the gun control laws won’t affect you…guess what?  Do you have $800 to pay, every year, to possess a firearm?  The actual cost of deer meat will be going sky-high if HR127 passes and ”the negative impacts of abundant deer populations on agriculture, forests, and communities” will sky-rocket.  Contact your Congressperson and tell him/her that you oppose HR127. 

  • 04/14/2021 11:31 AM | Anonymous

    Presidential Succession  by Tom Reynolds

    SCOPE has written about the gun-grabbing, Democrat Party’s dilemma because some parts of their reliably Democrat constituency are buying guns in record numbers; they risk alienating some of their reliable constituency with excessive gun control.  But the Democrat Party and especially Biden’s inner circle also face another potential problem of their own making; there are many who doubt that Joe Biden will be able to complete his term in office.  If that is true, the Democrat Party in general and the forces behind Biden face major issues.   

    If Biden should step down or be removed in his first two years, it will be obvious that Democrat insiders knew, prior to the election, that he was failing and hid it from the voters.  That should cause a major negative reaction amongst voters, even amongst the usual Democrat supporters.  There would be legitimate questions: concerning the leader of the free world’s ability to lead; about the judgment of the man with his finger on the nuclear button; about the man tasked by the Constitution with defending it – and thus defending us – from all enemies foreign and domestic; was he incapable of doing his job; what unelected person was acting as President while pulling the strings from behind the curtain; who was really responsible for all the Executive Orders Biden signed?  The legitimate uproar would be overwhelming.  And it would be worse if Biden’s policies are failing at the time he steps down. 

    If kamala Harris did succeed to the Presidency within the first two years of Biden’s term, the Vice President’s position would need to be filled.  She would nominate someone but that person must be approved by a majority of both houses of Congress. Here’s the monkey wrench in Democrat’s planning; currently, both Houses of Congress are Democrat controlled but the Senate is split exactly 50-50 with the Vice President’s vote being the deciding factor that gives Democrats their control.  If there is no Vice President, the Democrats have only a tie and must seduce at least one Republican vote in order to approve a Harris nominee for Vice President.  (And if one or more Democrats do not vote for the Harris’ nominee, that makes the situation more difficult.)  As a side issue, while the Vice Presidency is vacant, the Democrats do not have a tie breaking vote on any proposed legislation.  Oops!  

    This would force Harris to nominate someone very much less radical than the current President and Vice President.  Joe Manchin, the Senator from West Virginia, comes to mind but that would lose Democrats their majority in the Senate, at least until a replacement election was held, and maybe after the replacement election since West Virginia tends Republican.   

    This leaves Democrat insiders with the option of delaying Biden’s removal until two years have passed and after an off-year election in 2022, which causes them more problems, (besides putting their own political careers above the safety and security of the nation).  Historically, the President’s party loses seats in Congress during an off-year election.  If Democrats should lose one seat in the Senate, they lose their majority.  If Democrats lose about a half dozen seats in the House, they lose their majority.  Losing one or both houses of Congress is a real possibility and must weigh heavily on Democrats’ decision making. 

    If kamala Harris should succeed to the Presidency after the 2022 election, she would nominate someone but, as previously stated, that person must be approved by a majority of both houses of Congress.  And if one or both of those houses has a Republican majority, a nomination would certainly have to be very much less radical than the current President and Vice President.  And depending on how firm the Republicans held, the person could be middle to right leaning.  

    But it gets worse for Democrats.

    When the Vice Presidency is vacant, the next person in line is the House Speaker and next after that comes the President Pro tempore of the Senate.  If either or both houses are under Republican control, they would be Republicans! If Republicans control the House, they might be very slow in approving any Harris’ nominee, in order to keep a Republican next in line.  And what if the Republicans decided that impeachment payback was in order at the same time that the Vice Presidency was vacant?

    And just for fun – imagine that Donald Trump runs for Congress from Florida in 2022 and is elected.  Once elected, he runs for Speaker of the House in a Republican majority Congress and wins.  That would put Trump next in line after the Vice President or first in line if Harris moves to the Presidency.  Can you imagine…can you even begin to imagine…the left-wing media’s frenzy!

    The point is – and SCOPE keeps repeating it - things can change quickly and 2A supporters should not lose hope.  If Democrats pushed a Joe Biden nomination because he was the only electable Democrat in the last election, even though he was in failing health, it may have unintended consequences for them in both the short and long term.  Things could get very interesting very quickly!

  • 04/13/2021 11:49 AM | Anonymous

    Biden’s First Move on 2A  by Tom Reynolds

    Last Thursday, in a speech intended to mislead rather than inform, President Biden took his first steps towards neutering the 2nd Amendment (2A).  Some of the left-wing media described the steps as “modest”.  That same left-wing media is optimistic that more gun control is coming since Biden said “much more needs to be done”.

    Biden (or whoever is pulling his strings) is ruling by executive order as the Democrat Party is faced with a dilemma.  Their leadership is radically anti 2nd Amendment but last year a record number of NICS Checks were processed and gun sales also set records.  Some of those record setting categories were blacks and women, two constituencies the Democrats depend upon to reliably vote Democrat.  If they continue to push gun control, Democrats may face the wrath of their new gun owning constituency in the 2022 elections.

    Joe Biden tried to justify his assault on 2A by telling us that our rights are not “absolute”.  Well, he’s a little bit right...but just a little bit.  As he pointed out, even under the First Amendment freedoms, you can’t cry fire in a crowded theatre (unless there really is a fire).  But the Constitution is there to protect the people from its government, so the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has developed some guidelines called “Strict Scrutiny” to define the limited way in which constitutional rights can be violated.  Per “Strict Scrutiny”, an invasion of our rights requires both a compelling government interest and must be narrowly tailored to achieve its purpose in the least restrictive way.  Just because the Biden Administration does not like 2A is not a compelling government interest and he is a long way from doing it in the least restrictive way.  Take for instance, Biden ordering his Justice Department to develop model “red flag” legislation for states.  Red Flag laws would appear to violate the 2nd, 4th, 5th 6th and 14th Amendment.  It’s hard to call that that the least restrictive way.

    In defending his call for Red Flag laws, Biden didn’t point out the historical statistics that show that 92%-94% of murders are by unlawfully attained weapons.  And as should have been expected, he added race to the debate by pointing out that gun violence remains the leading cause of death for Black men between the ages of 15 and 34.  He failed to mention that most killings of black men are gang and drug related and that the majority of black men are killed by other black men.  Of black men killed by police, the majority are killed by black police officers.  (But the latter facts would destroy the Democrats favorite talking point: racism.)  

    Biden said: “We should… eliminate gun manufacturers from the immunity they receive from Congress…Most people don’t realize, the only industry in America, a billion dollar industry, that can’t be sued… are gun manufacturers”.  That’s absolutely a lie. The protections Biden criticizes flow from the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. That Act shields gun makers from frivolous suits, not from all suits whatsoever. They can be sued for product defects, negligence, when the transfer of a gun was made knowing it would be used to commit a crime, and when manufacturers or sellers violated state or federal law in marketing or selling a gun.  The victims of drunken drivers don’t sue Coors or Ford but Biden and the progressive left wish Ruger and Winchester could be sued for gun violence.

    Biden claimed that firearms purchased at gun shows are exempt from background checks.  FFL gun sellers are required to do the same NICS Checks at gun shows as they do at their shops.  It’s true that private sales might avoid NICS at gun shows but they could avoid NICS elsewhere and many gun shows require a NICS check on all sales, whether sold by FFL’s or privately.  And of course, surveys of imprisoned criminals have shown that over 90% of their weapons were obtained illegally, not from FFL’s or at gun shows.

    Piling on, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department will give over $1 billion in funding to over a dozen programs to use and create "evidence-based intervention strategies" to reduce gun violence.  (Can we expect 2nd Amendment advocates like the NRA and John Lott to receive some of that funding in order to ensure the proposals are “evidence based” and not emotion based?  The odds are better on a cold day in Hell.)

    Biden announced the nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).  Chipman once worked for BATFE and more recently for anti-2A billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, then at anti-2A’s Public Safety Solutions and later as senior policy adviser at anti-2A Giffords, a gun control organization led by an anti-2A former Arizona congresswoman.  (Don’t expect a fair shake for 2A from Chipman.) 

    You can also expect the same level of honesty from Chipman as we get from Biden.  On the Reddit website, he commented about the Waco siege (where he was present), “At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters”.  Unfortunately for Chipman – but fortunately for helicopter pilots – no helicopters were shot down at the Waco siege.

    Biden senior adviser Cedric Richmond repeated a tired old adage that is beyond silly, “When the Second Amendment was written, people were stuffing gunpowder into a musket to shoot. Now you have guns that can shoot 100 rounds in a minute and that’s just completely different”.  And a world where politicians can lie and the lie circulates the entire world in minutes is completely different from what the founders envisioned when they wrote the First Amendment but he is not calling for 1A’s end.  (Of course, Richmond and the Democrats would secretly be happy to abolish free speech - and gun ownership - for everyone but themselves.) 

    Biden also said the orders he'll sign won't impact Americans' rights to own guns under the 2nd Amendment.  That would be wonderful if his definition of 2nd Amendment rights were as broad as his definition of “infrastructure”.  Unfortunately, his definition of 2nd Amendment rights would fit on the head of a pin. 

    Gun control is not about guns. Gun control is about who controls America and Joe Biden and the progressives are intent on controlling America.

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A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

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East Aurora, NY 14052

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