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Second Amendment -- Or Second-Class Citizens?

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  • Second Amendment -- Or Second-Class Citizens?

    The bigotry against gun owners and our right to arms continues unabated - particularly in the Snowflake's Democratic Republic of California and in the indoctrinated mind of so-called federal judge Beverly Reid O’Connell who obviously worships at the altar of progressive fascist socialism.


    Link:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgel.../#22d2f7305660

    Second Amendment -- Or Second-Class Citizens?




    Written by George Leef April 24, 2017



    In our “blue” states, many politicians have a deep animosity toward private ownership of firearms. (Yes, you also find some like that in “red” states, but they seldom have the political clout to do much damage to our Second Amendment rights.)

    California is the prime example of a state where the dominant political class abhors guns and does all it can to hamper individuals who own and carry them. A recent action of the state legislature makes that point and has led to a lawsuit that will be heard later this year by the Ninth Circuit.

    Among the state’s many useless and symbolic laws is its “gun free school zone” law, which would do nothing to stop a determined killer from storming into a school and shooting students, teachers, and anyone else. But the state wrote an exception into that law for retired law enforcement officials and citizens who held a concealed carry permit. Those individuals could bring their weapons with them onto school grounds.

    But in 2015, the anti-gun forces in California wanted to eliminate that exception and pushed a bill in the state legislature. That bill provoked a storm of lobbying by interest groups. The ones that were successful were those favoring police and government workers. They managed to get the bill changed so that the retired peace officer exception was retained. Regular civilians who have concealed carry permits, however, had no such clout in the legislature and the bill was signed into law removing only their exception.


    Who cares?

    One person who does is Dr. Ulises Garcia. Dr. Garcia applied for and obtained a concealed carry permit several years ago after a former patient had made threats against him. As a result of the change in the gun free school zone law, he can no longer carry his weapon if he attends school functions with his children. For no good reason, he has been deprived of his rights. Indeed, he is now in violation of the law if he should come within 1000 feet of a school with his gun.

    Dr. Garcia and a number of other plaintiffs filed suit against this discriminatory law in federal court. Their argument is that the state’s different treatment of two groups of citizens (retired peace officers and others who have concealed carry permits) is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the law.


    When their case, Garcia, et al v. Becerra, was heard in federal district court, Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell dismissed its Equal Protection argument that the law had been “enacted for the improper purpose of favoring a politically powerful group and to disfavor a politically unpopular one.” Judge O’Connell waived away that claim in a single paragraph, stating “The legislative history of the Act here does not indicate that the California Legislature was trying to prejudice civilian firearm owners when it retained the Retired Peace Officers Exemption Absent evidence of explicit legislative intent to cause harm to civilian gun owners, Plaintiffs cannot establish a violation of the Equal Protection Clause….”

    So Americans can’t win an Equal Protection suit unless they’re able to find statements in the legislative history of discriminatory intent?! If that were the law, then such suits would never succeed for the obvious reason that politicians are too cagey to declare that they intend to help certain groups and damage others in their official deliberations.


    Fortunately, a ton of legal precedent says that courts must look deeper than the legislative history of a bill when faced with a denial of equal protection claim. The Garcia case has come to the attention of the Cato Institute’s crack legal team, which has submitted an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit, seeking a reversal of Judge O’Connell’s breezy decision.

    In their brief, Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry point out that Supreme Court precedents going back to the 19th Century establish that courts must not look at the words politicians choose to utter, but to their actual, often covert, motives.

    Consider, e.g., the case Ho Ah Kow v. Hunan, an 1879 circuit court decision written by Justice Stephen Field. (In those days, Supreme Court justices still had to “ride circuit” and hear cases in the judicial circuit to which they are assigned.) San Francisco had passed a city ordinance stating that any male taken into police custody would have his hair cut to a one-inch length. Two facts stood out to Justice Field: this ordinance would have almost no impact on prisoners other than Chinese men, who often wore their hair in a ponytail and it served no sanitary or disciplinary purpose.


    Field struck down the law as a violation of equal protection, motivated by nothing more than animus against the Chinese. He wrote, “When we take our seats on the bench we are not struck with blindness, and forbidden to know as judges what we see as men.”

    In the 20th Century, the Supreme Court often struck down laws where an improper motive to single out some group for unequal treatment could be inferred from the effects of the law. In
    Rogers v. Lodge, for instance, the Court struck down a voting procedure in Georgia that it found to be targeted at black voters. Quoting from the Cato brief, “Despite no ‘smoking gun’ in the legislative record the Court reiterated Davis’s ‘totality of the relevant facts’ approach and engaged in a detailed historical analysis of Georgia’s voting laws. This history proved to be determinative, because, as the Court made clear, ‘evidence of historical discrimination is irrelevant to drawing an inference of purposeful discrimination.’”


    If judges look only at the legislative history of a challenged law, that, write Shapiro and Berry “dangerously narrows the universe of evidence they must examine to determine legislative motivation.”

    That’s correct, but I’m pretty sure that the judge would have looked diligently for improper legislative motives had the group in question not been civilian gun owners, but instead a favored political group such as prisoners of a certain ethnicity or voters of a certain race. Californians who exercise their Second Amendment rights are treated as second-class citizens.


    Now we will see if the infamous Ninth Circuit chooses to follow Supreme Court precedent, rule that it is not sufficient for a judge to toss out an equal protection case after only a look at the legislative history, and send the case back for further deliberations. If so, Judge O’Connell should ponder if there is any reason why people like Dr. Garcia, who has a concealed carry permit for a good reason, should be prevented from bringing his weapon on school grounds while retired peace officers (a category including employees of the California Department of Fish and Game) who are not likely to be subject to such dangers are allowed to.

    Or will the Ninth Circuit engage in its customary habit of results-oriented judging and turn a blind eye to the plain fact that civilian concealed carry holders have been denied equal protection of the law simply because they are a disfavored group with no clout in the state legislature?

    "There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights." - Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC

    "The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." - Thomas Jefferson

  • #2
    It would be interesting if this wins based on violation of equal protection. Based on that principle, any internal revenue rule based on income (i.e. graduated tax rates) would be invalid. Unfortunately, I believe it will take a general revolution (not to be desired, as too many good guys get killed) to get the vile income tax removed from this country. Why the general populace likes it so much is beyond me, but there it is. We'll never unwind the welfare state if income tax is allowed to exist. They are one in the same in mindset.

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