masthead-highres

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quote of Note

"For liberal elites, belief in gun control and global warming has taken on the character of religious faith. We have sinned (by hoarding guns or driving sport utility vehicles), we must atone (by turning in our guns or recycling), we must repent (by supporting gun control or cap-and-trade schemes). You may notice that the 'we' in question is usually the great mass of ordinary American citizens."

-Michael Barone, "On Guns and Climate, the Elites are Out of Touch," Washington Examiner, May 10, 2009


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:17 AM

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ron Bailey on CWRA

Ron Bailey of Reason magazine takes a look at Congress' flawed Clean Water Restoration Act, quoting from this National Center paper by Peyton Knight.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:45 AM

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Deneen Borelli on the Supreme Court's Ruling Against the D.C. Gun Ban - Listen Live (Three Opportunities)

From David Almasi:
Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli will discuss today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the Washington, D.C. ban on handgun ownership live this afternoon with Vicki McKenna on WIBA-Madison at 4:35 pm eastern [see note below], with Don Kroah on WAVA-Washington at 5:30 pm eastern and with Jeff Whitaker on WOND-Atlantic City at 6:15 eastern.

You can listen to them live over the Internet.

To listen to Deneen with Vicki McKenna, click here and look for the listen live tab to the right of the station logo at the top of the page.

To listen to Deneen with Don Kroah, click here and look for the listen live tab at the top of the page at the center [see note below].

To listen to Deneen with Jeff Whitaker, click here and look for the listen live option at the top left of the page.
To contact author David Almasi directly,
write him at [email protected]


Addendum: The interview with Vicki McKenna on WIBA-Madison has been changed to Friday, June 27 at 4:35 pm eastern.

Addendum II: The Don Kroah show has an audio archive that can be found here. Deneen's interview will be in the audio file for hour 1 of the June 26, 2008 broadcast. The Vicki McKenna Show's audio archives can be found here.
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:00 PM

Black Group on Gun Decision: A Great Day for Law-Abiding Citizens

The Project 21 black conservative leadership group  comments on the Supreme Court's gun rights decision:
District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court Second Amendment Decision Hailed by Black Activists

For Release: June 24, 2008
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or [email protected]


Today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing the Constitution's individual right to own firearms and overturning the ban on most gun ownership in the nation's capital in the first major Second Amendment case in almost 70 years is being hailed by black activists of the Project 21 leadership network.
Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli says the decision supporting an individual right to use firearms is a loud and clear declaration that the government cannot pick and choose what constitutional protections are honored and enforced.

"This is a great day for law-abiding citizens of the nation's capital who have unjustly been denied their full right to protect themselves and families for over 30 years," said Borelli. "The Second Amendment guarantees the individual right of citizens to arm themselves for self-defense and not become easy prey. Perhaps the government should find a better way to keep illegal guns away from criminals and not law-abiding citizens."

The case of District of Columbia v. Heller is an appeal of the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in Parker v. District of Columbia. In Parker v. District of Columbia, the DC Circuit ruled the District of Columbia's Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, which bars handgun ownership by most D.C. residents, is unconstitutional.

The specific question being answered in District of Columbia v. Heller today was, as phrased by the Court: "Whether... provisions [in the District of Columbia code] violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes."

The District of Columbia, defending the constitutionality of the firearm ban before the Court in oral arguments March 18, argued the Second Amendment's right to "bear arms" refers not to an individual right to use firearms, but rather to a "right to participate in the common defense" and a restriction of "the authority of the federal government to interfere with the arming" of state militias. The District of Columbia argued to the Court that "the Second Amendment... is expressly about the security of the State; it's about well-regulated militias, not unregulated individual license."

Opponents of the ban, however, said the Founders considered self-defense a right and one they intended the Second Amendment to protect, telling the Court "the framers knew exactly how to condition a right on militia service... and they didn't do it with respect to the Second Amendment."

"There are countless instances in which individuals are on their own when it comes to protecting themselves and their property. A majority of the Justices recognized this and upheld the Second Amendment's specific protection of an individual right to self-defense. Now that D.C.'s citizens have had this constitutional right restored, criminals will have good reason to think twice before trying to plunder another's property," added Project 21's Borelli.

In 2007, in a newspaper column published in Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburgh and elsewhere, Borelli addressed some of the public policy aspects of the case:
Besides violating the Second Amendment, D.C.'s gun ban is a violation of the fundamental rationale of law. In The Law, noted political theorist Frederic Bastiat wrote: 'It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.' D.C. promotes the opposite, effectively protecting the plunderer and punishing the property owner.
Borelli also pointed out:
Research shows that law-abiding citizens using firearms for protection can save lives and deter crimes. In 'Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control,' co-authors Gary Kleck and Don Kates note that 'as many as 2.5 million victims use guns to defend against crime each year' and 'handguns are actually used by victims to repel crime far more often than they are by criminals in committing crimes - as much as three times more.'
Borelli believes that in addition to it being unconstitutional, it is immoral to deny law-abiding citizens the right to legally possess a firearm, especially within crime-infested neighborhoods.

Borelli's column is available at www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVBorelliGuns90507.html.

Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21's website at http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21Index.html.

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:20 PM

Friday, April 18, 2008

True Emancipation Would Be Something New to Celebrate

From David Almasi:
April 16 is a public holiday unique to the District of Columbia. It's "Emancipation Day" - the commemoration of President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Compensation Emancipation Act in 1862. The Act freed the approximately 3,100 slaves in the nation's capital months before the Emancipation Proclamation freed them in Confederate states.

Along with the closure of public offices and the government-run schools, parades and performances mix are sometimes mixed with political action. Most notably, the day is often used as a rallying point for efforts to make the federal district a full-fledged state with two senators and a representative.

But how about using Emancipation Day to call for an emancipation from burdensome government, rather than demanding more of it?

As pointed out in a Washington Times commentary by Project 21 member and new National Center Policy Analyst Casey Lartigue, Jr. on April 16:
The focus was - as it is usually is in D.C. - on political power rather than policies to make citizens freer. Not to take away from the oppression of slavery, but Emancipation Day is more than an opportunity to celebrate the end of the oppression of slavery. It also is a good time to note that lawmakers typically look backward at liberty's advances rather than forward to find ways citizens can enjoy more personal freedom.
For example:
It won't be until a week after Emancipation Day that Americans will observe "Tax Freedom Day," the date when people essentially stop working to pay off their tax obligations and begin working for themselves. According to the Tax Foundation, April 23 is the national average. D.C. residents celebrate their particular Tax Freedom Day last - after all 50 states - on May 3...

Wouldn't it be a pleasant surprise today, Emancipation Day, if Mr. Fenty and the D.C. Council announced cuts in government spending or extended the occasional "tax-free" shopping periods?

Another way city leaders could expand freedom is to extend school choice, at a minimum, to every low-income student living in the District. Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute recently pointed out that when all costs are divided by the number of students, the District of Columbia is spending close to $25,000 per child. The District essentially is providing mediocre public schooling at elite private school prices.
Casey did point out one bright spot on the horizon. Unfortunately, if this happens, this reform will not be by the hands of the District's leadership but rather through a legal mandate from the U.S. Supreme Court:
When D.C. leaders can't be relied on to extend freedom, others may help. The Supreme Court may soon step in to help D.C. residents by ending the city's ban on firearms.

Since 1976, ownership of virtually all firearms in the District has been illegal. The gun ban hasn't curtailed gun-related crimes against D.C. residents, but it robs them of the means of self-defense. The Supreme Court is expected to rule by June on a lower court's rejection of the ban.
To see the full version of Casey's commentary, click here.
To contact author David Almasi directly,
write him at dalmasi@nati[email protected]

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:23 PM

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Citizens Must Be Able to Defend Their Property

From David Almasi:
Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the first major case dealing with the 2nd Amendment right for citizens to own a firearm in almost 70 years. Wednesday, readers of the Examiner newspaper chain were able to read Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli's comments on the case and gun rights in general.

Wrote Deneen, in part:
...Besides violating the Second Amendment, D.C.'s gun ban is a violation of the fundamental rationale of law.

In "The Law," noted political theorist Frederic Bastiat wrote: "It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work.

All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder." [But] D.C. promotes the opposite, effectively protecting the plunderer and punishing the property owner.

Looters, for example, know it's easier to steal another man's property than to earn their own.

When government can't perform a basic function like protection, it's naturally up to the citizens to defend their property.

The duty becomes harder when the property owner is hobbled by things like Washington's ban on gun ownership.
To read the Examiner piece, click here. To read all of Deneen's commentary, click here. Project 21's press release on Tuesday's arguments can be found here.
To contact author David Almasi directly, write him at [email protected]

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:01 PM

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On Eve of D.C. Gun Ban Supreme Court Case, Black Activist Says No Rights are Secure Unless All of Them Are

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today on the constitutionality of the nearly 32-year-old District of Columbia handgun ban. Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli, a gun owner, says the court must respect all the protections in the U.S. Constitution, or none of them are truly safe:
Black Activist Asks: If Courts Can Gut Second Amendment, How Can We Assume 13th Amendment Ban on Slavery is Safe?

For Release: March 18, 2008
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or
[email protected]

As the U.S. Supreme Court considers its first major case involving the definition of the 2nd Amendment's protection of gun rights in almost 70 years, black activists with the Project 21 leadership network assert that government should not be allowed to pick and choose what constitutional protections are honored and enforced.

"As a black American, I would be horrified to hear a state or local government enacted legislation or regulation that gutted the 13th Amendment's prohibit on slavery or the 15th Amendment's guarantee that all races could vote. Why aren't more people outraged when the 2nd Amendment's guarantee that individuals can protect themselves is infringed?" asks Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli. "Besides violating the 2nd Amendment, this case involving the District of Columbia's gun ban is a violation of the fundamental rationale of law as well as immorally denying citizens the right to protect themselves."

In the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, to be heard at 10:00 am Eastern on March 18, the justices will consider arguments about a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last spring that struck down the 1976 law that banned most gun ownership in the nation's capital. This particular case is important from other recent gun rights cases heard by the Court because the nature of the case touches the core 2nd Amendment protection of an individual's right to own a firearm.

"In Washington, criminals know that an unarmed citizen is easy prey. Right now, the criminals are winning because the city's gun ban is effectively protecting the plunderer and punishing the property owner," added Project 21's Borelli. "The lower court verdict to restore power to the people to legally possess a suitable firearm will make criminals think twice about their actions, and it is something the Supreme Court should affirm."

Borelli's column on the case is available at http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVBorelliGuns90507.html

Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.

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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:22 AM

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Safety of Police More Important than Favors for Donors, Group Says

Project 21 says the safety of police officers is more important an a favor for trial lawyers:
Protecting Police Officers More Important Than Helping Political Donors, Group Says

Congress should not put the lives of law enforcement officials at risk to benefit its trial lawyer contributors, says Deneen Borelli of the national black group Project 21.

Congress is now considering overturning the Tiahrt Amendment, a measure that restricts certain gun data from being shared outside of the law enforcement community. Project 21 members are opposing any action that allows trial lawyers, politicians, criminals and others from accessing federal gun trace information.

"The only possible purpose served by overturning the Tiahrt Amendment is to aid the anti-gun lobby and make it easier for trial lawyers to sue gun manufacturers," said Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli. "Killing the Tiahrt Amendment would also be a great thing for criminals. Not only could they learn they are the subject of an investigation, but also the identity of special agents and informants."

The Tiahrt Amendment - named after its chief sponsor, Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) - was first enacted in 2003. It amends the appropriations legislation that funds the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to restrict the sharing of the contents of the Firearms Trace System that is administered by the BATFE's National Trace Center. Under the terms of the amendment, data regarding guns involved in crimes is restricted to domestic and foreign law enforcement and prosecutors as it relates to the investigation and prosecution of specific crimes and for national security, intelligence and counterterrorism purposes. Trace data is also inadmissible in evidence and cannot be subpoenaed.

Project 21's Borelli added: "I am a gun owner. I was appalled when a local newspaper decided to publish my name and the names of other registered gun owners in my area. It was an outrageous violation of my privacy rights. Overturning the Tiahrt Amendment could allow this violation of privacy and safety to occur on a larger and more dangerous scale."

The origin of the Tiahrt Amendment comes from a 2002 court decision that allowed trial lawyers to access the BATFE's trace data to gather information for potential lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Dave Kopel of the Independence Institute has also written about how trace data has been used by special interest groups to overstate gun violence figures.

Amendment supporters also want to protect the confidentiality of the federal database because the release of some information contained in it may compromise investigations and reveal the identities of undercover officers. The Fraternal Order of Police supports the Tiahrt Amendment "because of our concern for the safety of law enforcement officers and the integrity of law enforcement investigations." In 2006, then-BATFE director Carl J. Truscott said the Amendment "protects... sensitive data from indiscriminate disclosure."
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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 6:27 PM

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