A collection of relevant and timely media clips and resources.
Posted on June 23, 2008
Gun rights advocates considering skipping this November's presidential election should keep two things in mind--the Supreme Court and the United Nations.
by Wayne R. LaPierre
NRA Executive Vice President
Recently, I've encountered some friends who are disillusioned over the political scene. As one recently put it, "The country would be better off with Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in the White House, because after four years, the American people would have their fill of ‘progressives' and demand a true political revolution."
What I have said to them one-on-one must also be said to any of our number who might have that same "sit-this-one-out" mentality. Two things I mentioned to the cynics changed their minds--the Supreme Court and the United Nations.
Consider this: In November, we will not just be electing a president for four years. In essence, we will be electing a U.S. Supreme Court majority for a lifetime. And we will be electing scores of lower court judges to lifetime posts.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, who has embraced every form of gun control you can think of--from registration, to licensing, to gun bans--actually put it better than I can. She told a newspaper editorial board in Iowa:
"I think you can make it clear that elections have political consequences, and among them are who gets to pick our judges . . . who has power and how they get to exercise that power . . ."
That power, Clinton understands, extends to the entire federal government, and she understands how that power can be used to pack the court with those unfavorable to the Second Amendment.
This is the fundamental fact that the "sit out this election" folks are forgetting. Whatever issue is driving our disheartened friends to believe that "worse will be better in the long run," we must remind them that the long run is exactly why the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court trumps everything else.
Supreme Court justices are appointed for life. A relatively youthful anti-Second Amendment justice or two could hold supremacy over our Right to Keep and Bear Arms for the next 30 to 40 years.
Right now, we are seeing just how critical a change in the membership of the U.S. Supreme Court can be--especially concerning the Second Amendment. Nothing accomplished during George W. Bush's presidency has been more important than his appointments to the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts.
In the next few years, it is likely that two, maybe three, Supreme Court vacancies will occur. The one appointing replacements will be critical to everything we hold dear--and that holds true for all of our friends who are dedicated to preserving freedom in other areas.
Here is what Sen. Barack Obama sees as the role of the Supreme Court; he recently declared during one of his town hall meetings:
"What I really believe is that the Supreme Court has to be first and foremost thinking about and looking out for those who are vulnerable. People who are minorities, people who have historically been discriminated against. People who are poor. People who have been cheated. People who are being taken advantage of. People who have unpopular opinions. People who are outsiders."
In other words, it's about social engineering, not interpreting the law.
As for Clinton, her vision is also very clear--and just as frightening:
"I'm going to be looking for people," Clinton said, "who respect that the Constitution is an organic, growing, evolving set of principles that have stood the test of time, and we can't just be looking at it as though it is frozen at some point in the late 18th century . . ."
To my mind, that statement from Clinton defines exactly why we don't need any more activist social engineers creating law from the bench.
In truth, the only major presidential candidate talking about strict adherence to the Constitution by the courts is Sen. John McCain. In May, he laid out his vision of America's court system to a Wake Forest University audience:
"In federal and state courts, and in the practice of law across our nation, there are still men and women who understand very well the proper role of our judiciary, and I intend to find them and promote them," McCain said. "My nominees will understand that there are very clear limits to the scope of judicial power, and clear limits to the scope of federal power."
Counter that with Clinton's view of what is at stake for her party's progressive philosophy come November. Again, remember Hillary's words: "I think you can make it clear that elections have political consequences, and among them are who gets to pick our judges . . ."
With a Senate controlled by party members who agree with her, Clinton knows what is up for grabs--nothing less than the entire federal court system, with scores of vacancies created by a politicized confirmation process designed to kill the nomination of any "strict constructionist."
To see how important this issue truly is, let's look at the damage just one U.S. district court judge can do. Many of the most outrageous abuses of the federal judicial process have been before Brooklyn federal judge Jack B. Weinstein. Anti-gun to the core, Weinstein has even gone so far as to ban the use of the words "Second Amendment" and "National Rifle Association" during court proceedings.
Many of these cases are based on an abusive, Orwellian legal claim that the federally licensed firearm industry is somehow responsible for the violent acts of armed criminals in New York City. Anti-gun groups have tailored their cases and abused court procedures to get into Judge Weinstein's courtroom.
Judge Weinstein has provided endless opportunity for this serial abuse of the judicial process with punitive, crackpot legal action piled upon legal action. And in case after case, his rulings have been reversed.
But what if, in the future, appeals court judges appointed by Obama or Clinton were to uphold one of Weinstein's wacky decisions? Further, suppose that decision is supported by a Supreme Court majority appointed by Obama or Clinton.
Such a scenario could spell the end of lawful commerce in firearms in America, and it could mean the end of federalism as we know it.
The latest case before Judge Weinstein involves New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's vigilante action to control the lives of innocent firearm dealers in every state in the nation from his Manhattan office. Billionaire Bloomberg wants to be a self-appointed dictator ruling over gun owners' lives, no matter where they live. And Weinstein has granted him that authority.
"The basic premise ... that American law should conform to the laws of the rest of the world, ought to be rejected out of hand."
--Justice Antonin Scalia
So if Obama or Clinton were elected, and endowed with the ability to appoint even more activist judges in the Weinstein mold, everything we believe in, and everything we practice under the Second Amendment, could be destroyed.
As consumers, we are already paying for such judicial travesties--Judge Weinstein's inquisitions have already cost the firearm industry over $100 million in legal fees. Several companies have even gone belly-up because of the legal costs.
Imagine an Obama or Clinton administration--supported by a rubber-stamp progressive U.S. Senate--with 10 more, 20 more, even 50 more judges like Weinstein. For that reason alone, gun owners and others who believe in the Constitution cannot afford to sit out this election.
In McCain's Wake Forest speech, among the activist directions of the Supreme Court that he attacked was the notion--expressed by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy and Steven G. Breyer--that international law takes precedence over American law, or even the Constitution.
In a 2005 death penalty case, for example, Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority:
"It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion . . . The opinion of the world community, while not controlling our outcome, does provide respected and significant confirmation for our own conclusions."
In his scathing dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia countered:
"‘Acknowledgment' of foreign approval has no place in the legal opinion of this Court . . . the basic premise . . . that American law should conform to the laws of the rest of the world, ought to be rejected out of hand."
Yet conforming to the laws of the world--for example, laws to disarm all civilians--is the very goal of the likes of globalist gun-banner George Soros and his international political hand-maiden Rebecca Peters. In their view, world opinion demands total civil disarmament on a global scale, including free citizens of the United States of America. Peters heads the powerful International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), which is bankrolled by billionaire Soros and deep-pocketed governments that have forcefully disarmed their own citizens.
When Peters and I debated before a crowd at Kings College London in 2004, she stated:
"I think American citizens should not be exempt from the rules that apply to the rest of the world . . . this is the irony that the gun lobby . . . should be obstructing a global process . . ."
This global process Peters champions brings me to another huge stake that American firearm owners have in this election, yet might not have carefully considered: the United Nations.
And in the case of an Obama or Clinton administration, U.N. supremacy over American sovereignty would be a clear danger.
During President Bush's tenure, no better service to the cause of American freedom has been rendered than that of United States Representative to the United Nations John Bolton, who was honored as banquet speaker at the 2007 nra Annual Meetings & Exhibits in St. Louis. From the first months of the Bush administration, as undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security, Bolton stunned the gun-ban world, telling the U.N. international gun control conference in July 2001:
"The United States will not join consensus on a final document that contains measures contrary to our constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms." Bolton consistently held that line against an unrelenting effort by the U.N. to create a treaty that would jeopardize our national sovereignty and trump the Second Amendment.
You can be certain, however, that under an Obama or Clinton administration, there will be no John Bolton in the halls of the United Nations to protect the interests of American sovereignty and our rights under the Constitution. Consequently, upcoming U.N. disarmament efforts could prove far more devastating to our way of life than anything we've so far witnessed.
Stop and consider a gun hater representing the United States in the U.N. gun-ban process, and you can see just how real this threat could be.
An Obama or Clinton administration, appointing anti-gun Supreme Court justices along with U.N. representatives friendly to Soros' and Peters' gun-ban plans, would create a well-oiled anti-gun machine--both within and outside the country--bent on destroying the Second Amendment.
Once in place, that machine could pursue its desired endgame--a total U.S. gun ban--unfettered by those gun owners who chose to "sit this one out."
We simply can't let that happen.
In our October 2007 cover feature, "Drowning Out Talk Radio," we chronicled the current attack on talk radio and the unprecedented efforts to shut it down. Trust me on this: Under an Obama or Clinton administration, that attack would only increase.
Among my friends espousing the "let 'em win" policy is a talk radio wonk--it's the biggest thing in her life. I recently explained to her just what "sitting out this election" would mean in terms of an imagined political rebound four years from November.
Talk radio has been a massively successful platform for gun owners to communicate the dangers we face. Yet, if Obama or Clinton takes the White House, it could mean the end of talk radio as we know it.
Sen. Hillary Clinton has embraced the so-called "Fairness Doctrine"--the long-mothballed federal communications rule whereby individual broadcast license holders were required to provide free airtime for opposing views to any political thought expressed over the airwaves. The death of the "Fairness Doctrine" years ago gave birth to today's talk radio.
There is something eerie in the so-called "progressive" kill-talk-radio arsenal fostered by such deceptively titled groups as the Center for American Progress (CAP), Media Matters and Free Press--well-heeled, far-left pressure groups created and bankrolled by the billionaire global gun-ban mogul George Soros. Soros understands the powerful role talk radio plays in preserving the Second Amendment and other key elements of the American culture we cherish, and has leveraged his billions in an attempt to dismantle it.
"It is difficult to argue," one of Soros' front groups claims, "that the existing audience for talk radio is only interested in hearing one side of public debate given the diversity of existing and potential audience."
In June 2007, Soros' CAP published a manifesto--The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio--calling for the dissolution and dismemberment of talk radio networks through "diversity" breakups that would take licenses from conservative broadcasters and redistribute them to "minority" and localized broadcast license ownership. That's socialized radio on a grand scale.
Crucial to Sen. Barack Obama's demand for change is Soros' plan for talk radio; it is how Obama can force those who don't agree with him to lose their "divisiveness."
Consider this statement from his "Technology and Innovation for a New Generation" campaign web page:
"Barack Obama believes that the nation's rules ensuring diversity of media ownership are critical to the public interest. Unfortunately, over the past several years, the Federal Communications Commission has promoted the concept of consolidation over diversity."
Got that? "Consolidation." "Diversity." "Change."
Those are all "progressive" code words that the far left understands well. Those words mean closing down talk radio. Those words translate into a policy under which the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck would no longer be heard in all markets across the nation.
Talk radio today is a politically powerful force with a huge audience created in the free market of ideas. It is a massive commercial success based on choice. And Obama would kill it in a heartbeat.
That's what he means when he says, "Change."
"Barack Obama believes that providing opportunities for minority-owned businesses to own radio and television stations is fundamental to creating the diverse media environment that federal law requires and the country deserves and demands. As president, he will . . . clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum."
That, my friend, is right out of George Soros' playbook to destroy talk radio!
For his part, Sen. John McCain has introduced legislation to kill the Fairness Doctrine outright and protect existing broadcast rights.
Without this free-market means to communicate, when will we see the "next-time" election some gun owners plan to wait for? Well, it just might never happen. - Wayne LaPierre
Second Amendment/Right To Arms, International/UN Gun Control Issues
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