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New Jersey Concealed Carry Decision Heading to Debate in Supreme Court

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New Jersey is a highly prohibitive state when it comes to concealed carry permitting, they are one of the hold out ‘may issue’ states that are under the gun (so to speak) if the Supreme Court rules against New York in November. May issue, where the state retains the right to deny a permit for any reason, is a problematic policy for their is no objective criteria and the state is not required to provide objective criteria for the issuance of a license. This makes abuse of the system rampant with certain official permitting their friends and supports and others permitting nobody at all because they believe nobody needs a gun for any reason other than law enforcement. Their personal prejudices or favors corrupt the whole process. It would be objectively better to have no permitting process at all from a legally fair standpoint, but after Illinois was made to come up with a permit no state was without some form of carry licensure.

From USACarry,

According to Gov. Phil Murphy and acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck, people in New Jersey do not need to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.

The legislation will head to the Supreme Court after filing an amicus brief to defend their laws stating citizens must demonstrate a particularized need to carry a firearm for self-defense.

“We will always defend our state’s common-sense gun safety laws,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Concealed carry can and does lead to unnecessary violence and brings more firearms to our town and city streets. I look forward to seeing Acting Attorney General Bruck’s success in upholding our concealed carry restrictions.”

Murphy also states residents and their families deserve to feel comfortable in public and not fear anyone in the street can turn a dispute into an armed confrontation.

“The Second Amendment has always allowed states to adopt common-sense restrictions on carrying a concealed firearm in public – to protect their residents. A Supreme Court decision striking down reasonable firearm licensing laws would pose a significant risk to public safety,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck.

These decisions are based on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, a case involving two men citing a general desire to conceal carry a firearm being denied.

Decisions like these can stem from a small part of gun control but gradually can crumble our rights to the 2nd Amendment. Who are these men to seemingly strip away the right to keep and bear arms? It should not matter if it is in public.

Requiring citizens to demonstrate a “need” to defend themselves only makes it easier for criminals to prey on those defenseless law-abiding citizens. These men stand behind the idea that concealed carry leads to more unnecessary violence and threatens public safety. Really, concealed carry can prevent violence by an unwanted party and makes sure public safety is upheld when our first responders seemingly are not readily available.

Above all, responsible gun owners aim to make sure they and others who carry consistently demonstrate proficient knowledge and the necessary fundamentals of safety.

Murphy says the Constitution does not permit citizens to conceal carry firearms in public, but he is absolutely wrong.

Wanting to uphold unjust concealed carry laws in an imperfect world endangers those who cannot seek protection from an imminent threat.

Read on [here] from the article source

WI 2nd Amendment Sanctuary?

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Second Amendment Sanctuary States continue to be a political declaration from the smaller, mostly middle nation states, to the federal government on several of their recent plans to enforce further restrictions nationally on gun owners.

Wisconsin, like Michigan, is a mixed political state where the quality of an individual candidate or policy can make or break a ‘left’ or ‘right’ vote on an issue as the state overall is fairly moderate. Most of the nation is when it is distilled, but the hard trends remain on the binary issues. The second amendment tends to be one of those issues. 

The Governor is unlikely to approve the measure, just as would be the case in Michigan, but it is a statement from the legislature and the people that they are tired of arbitrary and ineffectual rules being used in place of meaningful policing and reform for controlling violent crime.

It will be interesting to see which states push these issues in 2022, especially after the Supreme Court rules on the New York case.

From 715,

Lawmakers at the Wisconsin Capitol wanted to declare the state a Second Amendment sanctuary, but it’s not going to happen.

Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate approved a plan that would put the state on the record as being against a federal gun registry, federal gun seizures, and as being against certain federal gun laws. The state Assembly approved the same plan earlier this month. The proposal will not become law, however. Governor Tony Evers has promised to veto the plan as soon as it gets to his desk.

Read on [here] from the article source

Hawaii is “Gearing Up” for…

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Tasers

Yep, tasers. The electric disruption devices used by law enforcement, security personnel, and are unrestricted for ownership in most states with little ill effect, are apparently going to cause a shocking change (pun absolutely intended) to the behavior of Hawaii residents who will now be able to legally possess and carry such a device, like most of the nation already can…

So evidence says this is a non-issue… Lots and lots of evidence. Something like several hundred million people with this legal ability already.

Will there be some misuse? Absolutely. What hasn’t been misused by humanity? What device or rule that can be exploited hasn’t been?

Name one?

I will wait.

Hawaii’s prohibition on such devices did not prevent them, even on an island, from being carried and used. Prohibitions never do, they just impose a harsh penalty for doing so if caught. Ending the prohibition, just like other rule changes in other states, is not going to drastically alter the behavior of your residents. How many criminal cases were make or break in Hawaii on possession of a disruptor being illegal?

Hawaii continues to be a very safe state, with a much lower violent crime rate, that actually fell in 2020 by about 11%, than the nation as a whole. Funny how not having a major urban sprawl and a a population about half that of Chicago (not including the surrounding areas) in a wonderful climate makes for a fairly content populous. Their per capita income is a little higher too, another note factor that makes Hawaii a pretty chill spot.

What about that makeup suddenly makes the police believe the state is going to run amok with taser crimes now that tasers are legal to carry? The people you most need to worry about are the ones who already have them, and probably illegally carry other more lethal tools too. But no, let’s promise that HPD are ‘Gearing Up’ for tasers in January.

Gearing up with what? Rubber suits? Insulated uniforms so they don’t get shocked? How does one ‘gear up’ beyond a bulletin saying that electronic neuromuscular disruptors are now legal to possess and carry, so don’t arrest anyone? Your gear up is a memo. What was the incident rate of officers encountering taser armed folks? What was the incident rate of officers encountering folks armed otherwise? What was their negative outcome rate? What is the projected change for allowing the law abiding to abide by the law carrying disruptors? Criminally assaulting somebody with it is still going to be a crime, just without the extra crime of illegal possession. How does that negatively impact an assault case that you cannot add an illegal possession charge?

These are many questions that come to mind when I hear about cops ‘Gearing Up’ for a non-issue item in many other locations. The same thing that has campus officials losing their minds if concealed carry is permitted upon their hallowed halls of learning causes these reactions. It is pouting, it’s just official pouting and ass covering if a negative effect occurs. But if a negative outcome, like a sexual assault let us say, that could reasonably have been prevented and defended against by a person armed were to happen these people will point to their blue light campus phones and policies that say ‘Remember, Rape Bad. Don’t Do’ as being the best they can do for their campuses.

God forbid someone be empowered to defend their life with the one thing that can absolutely turn the tide, the ability to take the attacker’s.

Governor Newsom Signs Senator Mike McGuire's Legislation Protecting Journalists

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[Photo from the Facebook Journalism Project]

New protections in California for journalists, specifically related to coverage of protests and riots, has been signed into law in California. It will be interesting to see if this coverage extends to places like the Mexican border crossings where journalists have been barred access by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

These protections of coverage extend certain exceptions to declarations like curfews to the press for coverage of current events. The ability of the press to cover current events is one of the core principles of the First Amendment and its even application to reporters is crucial.

By that same token any ‘journalist’ taking place in activities outside reporting would be subject to the law as a regular citizen if they are not acting in their role as a reporter.

More below from KYMKEMP,

Senator Mike McGuire’s legislation, which advances some of the toughest press freedom protections in the nation, has been signed into law by Governor Newsom today.

SB 98 has been one of the most critical bills focused on first amendment protections moving forward in any state legislature. The new law’s provisions will extend crucial protections to members of the press as they enter and report on events protected by the First Amendment.

Freedom of the press is foundational to our nation. It strengthens our democracy by providing transparency, keeping a check on government, and informing our everyday decisions. But this freedom is under assault here in the United States.

“There’s no doubt about it, California now has some of the toughest protections in place for journalists compared to any other state in America. We have seen a surge in egregious acts of violence and obstruction made against members of the press across the country and right here at home in the Golden State,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “This law will provide critical protections for the press as they attend and report on First Amendment events like protests, marches, rallies, and demonstrations. California is leading the way to ensure the freedom of the press and the First Amendment are protected and held to the highest standard. I’m grateful to Governor Newsom for his signature and to the hundreds of journalists and Guild Members who mobilized across the state along with the California News Publishers Association and the California Broadcasters Association, to ensure SB 98’s success.”

In 2020, over 600 reported acts of aggression against reporters took place. Rubber bullets, tear gas, and even detainment cannot become the new norm for an essential pillar of our nation’s democracy. California must lead the way to protect and uphold the right of the press and the First Amendment.

Currently, California law allows reporters and other members of the press to enter natural disaster emergency areas behind closed law enforcement lines – such as areas impacted by fires, floods, and earthquakes – in order to gather information to relay to the public. They can also go out during curfews at times of natural disasters. Until now, these critical protections, however, did not expressly extend to first amendment events such as protests and marches.

SB 98 prohibits law enforcement officers from obstructing, detaining, assaulting, or otherwise preventing the press from fulfilling their constitutional mandate in reporting on these events.

Additionally, the bill mandates that reporters can challenge their detainment or lack of access by working with law enforcement management on scene. This provides a necessary safety net to reporters who are not granted access or intentionally detained or mistakenly detained.

Recent police action demonstrates that these statutory protections are critical to ensure our democratic system has access to newsworthy information to inform the discussion on the crucial issues that California and the nation face.

Read on [here] from the article source

'Welcome to the party': five past tech whistleblowers on the pitfalls of speaking out – Flipboard

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Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, joined a growing list of Silicon Valley former employees to call out company policies

A ‘Whistleblower’ is an internal person within a company or organization who comes forward with information on a policy, or practice, that may or maynot be illegal but is certainly ethically questionable or morally repugnant. The recent admissions out of social media that high follower count celebrities and politicos get special rule sets and treatment (something that has always been suspected) is one such event in a chain. Confirming those suspicions and outing the company might be an ethical choice, but it will have consequences both positive and negative to ones life. Any company, no matter how virtuous, is going to look at a whistleblower askacne and with wariness for if their policies don’t live up to the whistleblower’s ideals it could be a problem for them.

The very act of hiring a former whistleblower, regardless of qualifications, will be taken as a statement of intent and affiliation. It is one of the reasons companies take great pains to protect their images and IP with NDA’s, non-competes, and other legal measures.

From The Guardian,

When Frances Haugen revealed she was the Facebook whistleblower who supplied internal documents to Congress and the Wall Street Journal, she joined a growing list of current and former Silicon Valley employees who’ve come forward to call out military contracts, racism, sexism, contributions to climate crisis, pay disparities and more in the industry.

In the past days, the Guardian spoke with five former employees of Amazon, Google, and Pinterest who’ve spoken out about their companies’ policies. The conversations revealed Haugen’s experience has been singular in some respects. Few of them received the international praise bestowed upon her. Some of them said they have faced termination, retaliation, harassment and prolonged litigation.

But Haugen is entering a community of whistleblowers that appears tighter than ever, with some working to make it easier for the employees to come forward, through legislation, solidarity funds, and resources.

“Welcome to the party, Frances Haugen,” one tweeted.

Read on [here] from the article source

ACLU says North Myrtle Beach’s ‘vulgar’ music ordinance violates 1st Amendment

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Music has long been one of the topics that fall under the 1st Amendment protections but has been subject to rules and regulations governing its public distribution and consumption. While vulgarity has been allowed in music purchased or subscribed to, publically consumed radio has largely had a profanity standard that music had to adhere to in order to be aired. This led to ‘explicit’ versions and ‘radio edits’ of songs and warnings on albums.

But what about private property playing music at volumes other properties can hear? What if those properties are in close proximity? Myrtle Beach passed an ordinance relating to this recently and it is being challenged.

From CBS 17,

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to North Myrtle Beach over the city’s new “vulgar” music ordinance, saying the ordinance violates the First Amendment.

The letter, dated Oct. 7, urged Mayor Marilyn Hatley and city council to repeal the amendment that puts a restriction on how loud vulgar music can be played within city limits. The letter states that the ordinance is an unconstitutional content-based law and “criminalizes vast swaths of protected speech.”

The letter cites various Supreme Court rulings regarding vulgar content.

The letter also says defining “profane” as “crude, filthy, dirty, smutty, or indecent” is too vague and subjective, claiming having no definition would lead to discriminatory enforcement.

The ACLU also states in the letter that even if the city could limit profanity, the decibel restrictions are too unreasonable, comparing the decibel limits to a whisper or leaves rustling.

The ACLU said it would be in best interest of the city to remove the ordinance, as the city is exposed to litigation, costing the city lots of money.

Read on [here] from the article source

First major 2nd Amendment case before the Supreme Court in over a decade could topple …

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The overturning of New York’s ‘May Issue’ permitting system could be the most significant win for the Second Amendment in a long time. The rights of firearm owners and potential new firearm owners, the citizens and residents of this nation, have been under siege in the name of ‘safety’ for a century and better.

Gun control has never successfully curbed criminal activity in a significant enough way, compared to the cost in liberties, to be an effective policy. Policing and sentencing have had much more positive results and combined with community level activism and engagement to make ‘violence as a means of currency’ an unattractive option policing can succeed. But prohibitions and mass declarations against an inanimate object, or pre-victimizing your population in a morbidly perverse hope that partial compliance will stop some of the non-compliant through compliance…

From the Tucson Sentinel,

The stakes in one of the most significant Second Amendment cases in U.S. history are high.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, expected by mid-2022, could declare a New York state restriction on carrying concealed handguns in public places unconstitutional.

Such a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, which include a National Rifle Association affiliate, could loosen gun regulations in many parts of the country.

In my view as a Second Amendment scholar, this case is also noteworthy in that how the court reaches its conclusion could affect the Second Amendment analysis of all weapons laws in the future.

The court is set to hear oral arguments on Nov. 3.

Read on [here] from the article source

Q&A with Texas Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Mike Collier

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Below is a Q&A with the Lt. Gov. Candidate running in Texas. It is clear they know the audience they are talking to in the cities, the places where Democrats have the strongest hold in Texas. Equally though, they understand that this is Texas. That means a lot of things, even to Texan Democrats. Texans of all political leanings are Texans, and the influx of new blood from places like California (where they breed a different breed of Democrat) better take notice.
Perhaps the most interesting is their slow roll on the 2A front, where they are trying to gain inroads like ‘background checks that work’ (which they do, as much as they can possibly work they do) and red flag laws. Both are feel good policies, but have dangerous
From ITP,

Collier spoke to Inside Texas Politics about issues he believes Texans are facing and how he’d address them.

What are the two biggest problems facing Texas right now… and how do you fix them?

#1  Fixing the Grid

“Well, we absolutely have to fix the grid.  There’s no question about it.  I had been concerned about the grid because it was designed improperly many years ago.  And we all know the state was outgrowing it.  So, we have to do two things fundamentally: change the incentive structure so that companies invest in backup generation.  We need extra generation so that we can meet the demand on a hot day in the summer.  And then we have to winterize.  Not just winterize the electrical gear, but we have to winterize gas production.  So, it seems simple.  That’s not hard.  However, what’s hard is the political will to do that, because we’re talking about billions of dollars.   And then finally, when we do do those things, we have to make sure who pays for it, it has to be fair.  And so, it can’t all land on consumers.  It has to be shared equally by those that consume power, including the commercial and industrial users.”

#2  Property Taxes

“You can’t talk about property taxes without talking about public schools. And you can’t talk about public schools without talking about property taxes because the two are inextricably linked. We do not have enough funding for our public education. But we’re also paying property taxes that are too high and it’s unfair. I campaigned hard on that in 2018. And I know why the problem is. The problem is that the state is not doing its job. The state is deliberately putting the cost of education onto homeowners’ backs and small businesses. We’re paying more. The state is paying less. And therefore, we get increasing property tax bills, but we don’t see any improvement in terms of funding an education.”

How do we keep Texas citizens safe from gun violence, while also respecting the 2nd Amendment?

“There’s a lot that we have to do.  Background check system that works.  That would be huge.  Red flag laws.  That would be huge.  And perhaps the liability should follow the gun owner, if that makes any sense.  So, if you own a gun and something terrible happens with the gun that you own, perhaps you ought to be on the hook for this.”

What should abortion rights look like for a woman in the state of Texas?

“It’s not going to surprise you as Democrat that I support a woman’s right to choose.  I think that’s the right thing to do.  And so, Roe vs Wade laid down a framework for that.  And within that framework, we lived pretty well together.  I’d like to see us go back to that.  I think that makes a great deal of sense.  What we’ve seen out of the legislature is what I would call an end around, mocking the constitution, taking away a woman’s right.  You know, a woman has a right to be master of her own destiny.  Just like any man.  And it’s not just a Democrat thing here.  This is a Texan thing.  And I can tell you I’ve spoken to a lot of Republican women who are very angry about what happened.  So, we lived with Roe v. Wade for a long, long time.  We should respect that, respect the rights in the constitution.  That’s my point of view.”

Which Democrat would you like to see run for Governor?

“So, Beto and I are friends.  Beto O’Rourke, the fellow from El Paso, perhaps you’ve heard of him?  But I know Beto well.  I think Democrats love Beto.  And I’d like to see him run for Governor.  I don’t know if he’s going to or not.  You’ll have to ask Beto that.  But I think for Democrats that are listening, I always hasten to point out that I got more votes than he did in two-thirds of the counties in this state.  I did very well in rural Texas.  He did very well in urban Texas.  And so, if we work together and compare notes, both of us have statewide campaign experience, it takes a long time to learn how to do this and build your own infrastructure and your network, so I’d really like to run with him.”

Mike Collier campaign website: Collier for Texas

Read on [here] from the article source

Feds should leave school boards alone, A Letter

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Parents and School boards have been clashing and clashing heatedly in some cases in recent days. Between mask mandates, curriculum, and even dietary concerns have come under parental fire from concerned guardians. The FBI was written to by AG Merrick Garland and here is a response letter to that situation.

To the Editor,

This is in reference to “Their View” commentary, “We all win when we argue” in the Oct. 6 edition of the Mount Airy News.

How timely in light of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s letter of Oct. 4 to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which was instigated at the behest of the National School Board Association (NSBA). In that letter, he authorizes the FBI to use their legal power to criminalize parental 1st Amendment Rights to speak at school board meetings in order to advocate for their children’s education; not indoctrination (i.e., CRT).

I submit that, in the mien, parents are able to conduct themselves with civil discourse. As the author of the cited article writes, by exercising their 1st Amendment Rights, parents “seek to model and promote…constructive engagement across political differences.”

The heavy hand of federal bureaucrats, under the guise of unsubstantiated threats and auspices of domestic terrorism, into a community’s business of holding elected school board members accountable is not warranted.

G.J. Harmon

Mount Airy

Read on [here] from the article source

Virginia Judge Hands Victory to Parents, Sides Against Prosecutor on School Board Recall

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People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. - "Are you ready to take back our schools?" Republican activist Patti Menders shouted at a rally opposing anti-racism teaching that critics like her say trains white children to see themselves as "oppressors." "Yes!", answered in unison the hundreds of demonstrators gathered this weekend near Washington to fight against "critical race theory," the latest battleground of America's ongoing culture wars. The term "critical race theory" defines a strand of thought that appeared in American law schools in the late 1970s and which looks at racism as a system, enabled by laws and institutions, rather than at the level of individual prejudices. But critics use it as a catch-all phrase that attacks teachers' efforts to confront dark episodes in American history, including slavery and segregation, as well as to tackle racist stereotypes. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

From Epoch Times:

A Virginia-based parent group attempting to oust five Loudoun County School Board members was given a small win after a Loudoun County Circuit Court judge ruled Tuesday in favor of the organization’s recall petition against a board member who sought to dismiss it.

On Tuesday, a judge denied Loudoun County school board member Beth Barts’ motion to dismiss the case and also removed Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj from the case.

The group Fight For Schools and others have alleged that Barts was involved in a private Facebook group that violated the School Board’s Code of Conduct and other laws after members allegedly tried to attempt to reveal private information about parents and opponents.

Judge Jeanette Irby, meanwhile, ruled that Biberaj should be removed from the case due to a public perception issue, arguing the public may not trust the prosecutor to be impartial.

“I have the utmost respect for Ms. Biberaj … however, if she continued on this case there would never be acceptance on this case,” Irby said, according to local media outlets.

An attorney for Citizens of Leesburg, another plaintiff in the case, cited a Twitter post made by Biberaj in which she shared a letter to the editor published in Loudoun Now that supported the district’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work—which is closely aligned with the quasi-Marxist critical race theory that’s now at the center of many heated school board debates across the United States.

Biberaj was also listed as a member of the same private Facebook group in which Barts had belonged—Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun—where members were allegedly sought to reveal private information, or “doxx,” parents and opponents of critical race theory.

The Epoch Times has contacted the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office and the school district for comment.

Ian Prior, who is involved in the charge to remove Barts from the school board, said he is pleased with the judge’s decision on Tuesday.

“We are ecstatic,” Prior told WJLA. “I can say for months, parents have been asking for a seat at the table. We haven’t been heard by the school board. They haven’t given us that opportunity. The leaders here haven’t stepped up to try to come to resolution about what’s going on in schools, but yesterday the court gave us that seat at the table.”

“I feel like the judge looked at the evidence and made a decision that was right,” Fight for Schools supporter Erin Dunbar, also a parent, said after the hearing, according to Loudoun Now. “I think she’s unbiased. She’s looking at the evidence in front of her and I think she’s actually going to give us a fair trial.”

Earlier this year, when she was censured over her social media activity, Barts said in a statement: “It’s not my job to be liked. It’s my job to ask hard questions, work to provide the best education for our kids, make sure our teachers are paid what they really deserve, and represent the people of Leesburg.”

Her statement came after School Board Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser asserted in March that Barts repeatedly violated the school board’s code of conduct.

Meanwhile, a several-month-long Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office investigation found that social media posts in the private Facebook group did not constitute criminal action, according to local media. The office, as a result, did not pursue criminal charges against any of the members after they received complaints alleging “evidence of organized criminal activity intended to infringe upon 1st Amendment rights and [violations of] certain laws surrounding the crimes of stalking, harassment, and racketeering.”

Read on [here] from the article source