All posts by Chris Knox

The Second Amendment Threat

(August 10, 2016) It’s amazing watching the media going nuts over Donald Trump’s recent comment about the Second Amendment. The comment that stirred up the firestorm was this uttered at a Trump rally in North Carolina on August 9. What Trump said was:

Hillary wants to abolish – essentially abolish the Second Amendment. And by the way, if she gets to pick her judges…(shrugs shoulders, shakes head) Nothing you can do folks… Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is… I don’t know. But I tell you what, that will be a horrible day.”

Taking their cue from Clinton staffers and radical anti-rights extremist groups like Bloomberg’s Demanding Moms, the media has painted Trump’s comment as a suggestion that gun rights supporters should take up arms against the government if Hillary is elected. Shannon Watts, the PR flak who heads up Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – the Demanding Moms – sent out an outrageous email fundraiser claiming that Trump’s comment was a call to assassinate Hillary Clinton. In the email, titled “Ballots vs. Bullets,” Watts echoed the Clinton camp, declaring; “This is dangerous,” and claimed that, “the media quickly reported Americans’ widespread shock at the idea that Trump was encouraging the assassination of a U.S. president.” She even included footnotes to support this assertion. The three articles in the footnote were:

  1. An editorial from rabid Trump-basher, Philip Bump at the Washington Post, who parsed the statement down to suggest that it was a threat against Clinton, but said nothing about “widespread shock,”
  2. An editorial report by Trump-basher Andrew Prokop at Vox, a “progressive” news service aimed at millennials, which mainly consisted of some speculation about what Trump might have meant and reprints of some comments made by other “progressive” pundits on Twitter.
  3. An article by Louis Nelson at Politico suggesting that Trump was in trouble for making the remarks, and supporting that contention by quoting a variety of Clinton and Democrat functionaries who were hyperventilating about it.

None of these suggested anything resembling “widespread shock” among Americans, just typical attempts to exploit an opening from an opponent. The suggestion that Trump was actually encouraging revolt or suggesting assassination is silly. He was talking about the damage Hillary Clinton could do to the country and the Constitution if she is elected, and one of the points was that if she were to make appointments to the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment would be virtually abolished – which is absolutely true.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently stated that she, like Hillary Clinton, believes the Court’s decision in DC v. Heller was “bad” and that a future Court would have the opportunity to revisit the issue when a case challenging a gun control law comes up. Since Heller was decided 5-4 with the now deceased Antonin Scalia leading the 5, it is no stretch to assume that a “progressive” replacement to fill Scalia’s empty seat at the bench would mean that the next case to arrive in the Court concerning gun laws would be decided 5-4 in the opposite direction. By ruling that only “intermediate scrutiny” or “rational basis” need be applied to such questions, the Court could effectively nullify Heller, and thus make the Second Amendment hollow.

Trump was offering a dire warning in an effort to rally GunVoters to his cause and against Clinton. His follow-up comment that perhaps “Second Amendment people” might not be helpless, was obviously a joke, but it was a joke with historical teeth.

The Second Amendment itself is a warning against overreaching government. Those who suggest that pointing out this fact is a threat and insurrection, are ignoring the other side of that coin. The threat of the Second Amendment is not that gun owners should will resort to armed violence to get our way. Rather it is that the people can and should resist unjust force with force of our own.

This is right and just, and is in full harmony with the writings and beliefs of the founders and the legal scholars who followed them. Famed Supreme Court Justice and constitutional historian, Joseph Story, in his highly respected tome Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States phrased it like this:

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.” (emphasis added)

That “strong moral check” is in fact a warning. The idea is that as long as the American people are armed, and thus have the ability to physically resist overreaching government, they will never have a need to physically resist the government, because the government would be foolish to try and oppress a citizenry that is well-armed.

If I take a new shooter to the range and caution them not to let the gun point at any part of their body, and to keep their finger away from the trigger, would that be considered a threat?

Reminding those in power that We the People are potentially dangerous and should be handled with respect, is not a threat, it’s a courtesy.

Don’t tread on me.

Obama Going After Gunsmiths

Obama Going After Gunsmiths

By Jeff Knox 

(August 4, 2016) The Obama administration has announced new regulatory guidelines that will drive thousands of small gunsmiths out of business.  This reinterpretation of existing regulations lowers the bar for what constitutes “manufacturing” of firearms, and will require that any gunsmith who performs any service more involved than simply cleaning or replacing old parts with functionally identical new parts register as a firearm manufacturer and pay a $2250 annual registration fee.

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Another Gun-Free Mass Murder

By Jeff Knox 

(July 28, 2016) Democrats have declared gun control as one of their top campaign issues this year (though they call it “gun safety,” “gun reform,” or “gun violence prevention” instead of gun control – those terms poll better).  They are betting that GunVoters are not really the political powerhouse that we have been reputed to be, and that after atrocities like the San Bernardino and Orlando terror attacks, Americans will reward them for trying to restrict rights.  They use mass murders – at home and abroad – as emotional launch-pads for their anti-rights rhetoric, but for all of their posturing about saving lives, they refuse to directly address the core problems: our broken mental health system, and fundamentalist Islam.  They also ignore the fact that none of the atrocities would have been prevented, or even mitigated, by the “solutions” they offer.  They are also ignoring the two most recent deadly attacks, because guns didn’t play any significant role in either of them.

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To Defend Gun Rights, It’s Trump

By Jeff Knox 

(July 20, 2016) The stage is set for a head-to-head battle between the two most widely disliked presidential candidates in modern history.  There is still significant enmity between Trump supporters and fans of Senator Ted Cruz, just as there is a rift between Hillary followers and Berners.  Hillary has the advantage that Bernie Sanders has officially endorsed her – something Ted Cruz has refused to do for Trump – but his supporters still aren’t happy about the outcome.  The big difference is that Hillary has the Democratic Party establishment firmly in her pocket, while the GOP establishment is swallowing bile not to actively oppose Trump.

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Court Right – for Now

Second Amendment Protects “Assault Weapons”
Fourth Circuit Court says “Strict Scrutiny” applies.

By Jeff Knox

(February 10, 2016) Earlier this month, the Federal Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit handed a stunning, but well-deserved, rebuke to the gun control zealots leading the state of Maryland.  In a 2-1 decision, a 3-judge panel rejected the conclusion of the Maryland District Court that said Maryland’s bans on so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity” magazines are permissible under the Second Amendment.  The case, Kolbe v. Hogan, was remanded back to the District Court for reconsideration using “strict scrutiny” instead of the looser standard, “intermediate scrutiny” that the lower court used in its original determination.

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Comey’s Gift and NRA’s Gaff

Comey’s Gift and NRA’s Mistake

By Jeff Knox

(July 6, 2016) FBI Director, James Comey has come under serious fire since he announced that the FBI is not recommending prosecution of Hillary Clinton over her willful negligence in handling classified material on her unauthorized, private email server.  While there is plenty of grumbling about the decision in Republican circles, Comey’s decision, and his statement of facts during his announcement, is much better for Republicans than if he had chosen to seek an indictment.

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Dear Stupid Republicans

Dear Stupid Republicans…

By Jeff Knox

(June 22, 2016) Dear stupid Republicans:

What the hell are you thinking?  What possible benefit is there in avoiding votes on gun control bills?  In what world is using the power of the gavel to block attacks on our right to arms, a sound political strategy?  Why would you be afraid to debate and get clear votes on legislation that will not hurt you at the polls – so long as you stand firm with the Constitution – and which will give GunVoters the ammunition we need to fire numerous gun control supporters from Congress?

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Magical Gun Control

Faith in Gun Bans: Magical Thinking

By Jeff Knox

(June 14, 2016) My brother Chris and I were once again asked to offer up a rebuttal to an editorial in USA Today newspaper after the terrorist attack in Orlando.  Unfortunately the paper rescinded the offer when Chris Cox, Executive Director of NRA-ILA, offered to do the job.  Here’s what we didn’t get to tell USA Today readers.

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