Religious Freedom: A Two-Way Street

Yesterday, former V.P. and potential 2024 POTUS candidate employed a typical slogan from his camp, in an interview with Larry Kudlow: “Well, the radical left believes that the freedom of religion is the freedom from religion. But it’s nothing the American founders ever thought of or generations of Americans fought to defend.”

With Kudlow offering his own tired and empty slogan: “These lefties want to scrap religion, Mike Pence, and I think it’s a terrible mistake.”

I would offer that ‘freedom OF religion’ absolutely includes ‘freedom FROM religion’. Tommy J had something to say regarding this as well:

“No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

So while we can all agree that religious freedom means that a Citizen has the Liberty to worship as one pleases (so long as it’s a State recognized religion of course……..), do we not also have the Liberty to not be regulated by religious dictates with no corresponding secular value?

Or the inclusion of religious worship and affirmation in secular activities (where the participants may be religious or not)?

The undercurrent of all of this of course, is that those pining for Pence’s ‘definition’ are really only talking about one specific religion…..

What say you?

Finally, a step in the right direction! And from a Democrat?

I am announcing a pardon of all prior Federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana. I have directed the Attorney General to develop an administrative process for the issuance of certificates of pardon to eligible individuals. There are thousands of people who have prior Federal convictions for marijuana possession, who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result. My action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions.Biden

It’s about damn time. I defy any liquor-swilling opponent to make their case against this long-overdue action.

I’m never happy to praise a Democrat, but of late….they’ve been the proponents of Civil Liberties.

Another Flawed Argument Against the PLCAA

From a typically (somewhat) rational forum for analysis of US national security law and policy – Just Security. A typically flawed argument for repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA):

Since its adoption in 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) has largely shielded gun manufacturers from civil liability suits. Although originally designed to deflect frivolous litigation, PLCAA has been invoked and interpreted expansively over the years in U.S. courts in a way that jeopardizes the right to a remedy to which survivors of gun violence and their family members are entitled, including under international human rights law. As the momentum to dismantle PLCAA steadily gains ground, international law and norms further support the case for the law’s repeal.

Congress should repeal PLCAA for myriad reasons, including to ensure judicial relief as enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other international commitments the United States has undertaken.

So much wrong in such a long article. The authors even cite portions of the law, which seem to undermine their own argument. The bottom line is this – the gun control cabal seeks to limit, restrict or negate the 2nd Amendment (and Natural) Rights of Citizens to keep, carry, store, manufacture and utilize firearms any way they can. The PLCAA was passed specifically, not as some sort of special privilege to firearm sellers and manufacturers, but to ensure that industry has the same legal protections as any other sector in American society……protections against frivolous and malign lawsuits, seeking damages or worse, against third party, uninvolved and non-complicit entities.

Victims and their families already have legal and financial recourse against the party or parties that committed a criminal act against them. To cite the oft-used (but entirely appropriate) analogies – a Citizen cannot (successfully) sue Ford, if a drunk driver injured them or killed a family member. Why? Because Ford (or eve another party widening the chain of custody) sold a lawful product to a customer who was legally qualified to acquire it.

And just as other consumer products are open to, firearm manufacturers and sellers are culpable if they make or sell an unsafe, defective product….or sell a product to a customer who is prohibited from acquiring it. To restate – the PLCAA ensures that the firearm industry and retailers have the same basic legal responsibilities and protections as any other consumer good.

But wait, the PLCAA (as the authors do note) have six specific exemptions not common to other consumer goods, that allow for the pursuit of legal recourse to be brought before a court – negligent entrustment, actions for breach of contract in connection with a purchase, and actions brought for damage caused to individuals or property due to a design or manufacturing defect.

And still….the gun control camp isn’t satisfied. They don’t actually care about fairness under the law. Victims and plaintiffs already have access to the courts to seek redress from the person or persons who transgressed against them. The gun control camp wants to eradicate the firearm industry using perfidious backdoor means, since their repeated frontal assaults against the 2A have come to naught.

Remember this, and the other asinine attempts (1000% taxes on firearms, registration for ammunition, “assault weapons” bans, etc…..) each and every time you see them bleat “we don’t want to take away anyone’s guns”.

Rare Point to Ted Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, one of the most socially conservative Texans serving in Congress, told The Dallas Morning News that Texas should repeal its now-dormant law that bans gay sex.

“Consenting adults should be able to do what they wish in their private sexual activity, and government has no business in their bedrooms,” Cruz’s spokesperson told the newspaper.

The Texas Legislature passed the law decades ago. It hasn’t been enforceable since 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a landmark ruling that it violated the Constitution. There have been regular attempts by Democrats to repeal the law since, but they have repeatedly failed in the Legislature.

To be clear, sodomy refers to more that just ‘gay sex’….but it’s been used as a legal cudgel by bigots over the centuries. Good on Cruz for this one though.

Good Job, Dumbasses

The law of unintended consequences bites the short-sighted (and quite frankly absurd) right in the ass.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new gun bill on Friday that is explicitly modeled after Texas’ unprecedented abortion law. The state is now the first to allow citizens to sue people who make or sell banned weapons, state officials said.

The bill, SB 1327, allows Californians to sue those making, selling, transporting or distributing illegal assault weapons or ghost guns for at least $10,000 in damages. Gun dealers who illegally sell firearms to those under the age of 21 could also be liable for the same damages.

https://abc7.com/governor-signs-gun-bill-modeled-after-abortion-law/12068039/

A Criminal Level of Congressional Ignorance

I watched a bit of the House Committee hearing on HR1808 (Federal “assault Weapons” Ban). And I’m re-watching the entirety on YouTube today.

I’m almost speechless. I’ve long said that Congress, especially where it regards gun control, is fundamentally and willfully ignorant about the lawful and Constitutionally protected item that they wish to legislate against.

The stunning display of un-education by the Democrats on the Committee not only spoke to my statement above….but underlined it, bolded it and finished with an exclamation point.

Even if you support gun control, do you support such ignorance? Either they’re stupid…..or they think you’re stupid.

My favorite debacle so far:

Rep Cicilline on stabilizing braces: “When attached here, it turns this weapon into an automatic weapon. It becomes a bump stock, and so it will allow that to essentially be fired like an automatic weapon. That’s the danger.”

Cue the (((Facepalm)))……..

But wait, the genius from Rhode Island isn’t done!

“No one has said it is a bump stock, but what we are saying is it harnesses the semiautomatic fire recoil and it operates like a bump stock because subsequent shots occur in rapid succession. That’s exactly what a bump stock does.”

And another gem: “It (AR-15) was designed to kill someone wearing a military helmet. What that does to a civilian wearing nothing — is liquify organs.”

This from a PhD who used to fly helicopters for the Marines and “her research focuses on the intersection of social integration and military effectiveness, with a focus on gender and unconventional warfare.” Uh huh.

And from Eric Swalwell, D-CA: “There is never an instance where an assault weapon can be classified as a “weapon of defense.” The only way to describe these dangerous firearms are “weapons of war.”

There is no such animal as a “defensive firearm”….or an “offensive firearm”.

Heroism in Indiana

Copied from Gun Free Zone – This is why we practice:

Police say the “Good Samaritan” who ended a mass shooting at an Indiana mall by killing the gunman saved lives, noting that it only took two minutes from the time the suspect opened fire until when he was shot.

The Good Samaritan, who was identified as Elisjsha Dicken, engaged the gunman within two minutes of the start of the shooting Sunday at Greenwood Park Mall. Police said Dicken approached the gunman from a distance and fired 10 rounds of ammunition at him, striking and killing him before he could retreat to a nearby bathroom.

“His actions were nothing short of heroic,” Ison said. “He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun. He was very proficient in that, very tactically sound. And as he moved to close in on the suspect, he was also motioning for people to exit behind him.”

This is man is a civilian, no military or law enforcement background, but he knew to respond quickly to a mass shooter, was proficient with his firearm, and took out the shooter without hitting bystanders.

This is a man who clearly practiced with his firearms and invested the time and money to develop his skills on his own.

He hit the shooter at 40-50 yards with a Glock 9mm.

This young man can out shoot most military and law enforcement in the country.

Dicken didn’t just kill an active shooter, he murdered the entire anti-concealed carry hand wringing that untrained civilians with guns make these situations more dangerous.

Fucking legend.

This guy should never have to pay for a drink in a bar ever again.”

No added commentary from me….not necessary.

SCOTUS Trips

After making exactly the right call on the Bruen case, and decidedly less so in Dobbs (I am not optimistic that this Court will protect an inherent Right to privacy with regard to other cases specifically cited by Clarence Thomas)………the Court too a decided faceplant with KENNEDY v. BREMERTON SCHOOL DISTRICT.

There are plenty of places to read the history of the case and it’s appeals, so I won’t bother with that. But I oppose this ruling. Not only am I a fervent defender of religious liberty, but I am a fervent proponent of the tenet of Separation of Church and State.

Decades spent in the Armed Forces, where I couldn’t possibly count the number of times I was a captive audience for Chaplain (or Layman) led prayer. This began with a mandatory church service early in Basic Training, where we were all marched to the Harmony Church Chapel (Fort Benning, GA), and required to sit through the service, on the weak premise, that the command “just wanted to ensure that we all knew where the chapel was”. Uh huh.

It is unprofessional and unethical to allow an adult in a leadership role, where the entire audience is also captive, to lead children in a religious ceremony, rite or prayer. No fan really of Sotomayor, but I do agree with her dissent:

“Today, the Court once again weakens the backstop. It elevates one individual’s interest in personal religious exercise, in the exact time and place of that individual’s choosing, over society’s interest in protecting the separation between church and state, eroding the protections for religious liberty for all.”

“Today’s decision is particularly misguided because it elevates the religious rights of a school official, who voluntarily accepted public employment and the limits that public employment entails, over those of his students, who are required to attend school and who this Court has long recognized are particularly vulnerable and deserving of protection.”

I eagerly await when an Islamic coach fires up a prayer at mid-field, and the reaction of all who support this ruling.