Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A singular Solution to Many Problems

Chuck Norris

Loyal readers know that I have been calling attention to a range of Second Amendment issues in the past week. In last week's column here, I wrote about the scandals and illegitimate regulations emanating from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In another outlet, I documented the threat to our rights that is posed by the United Nations' proposed arms trade treaty.

In response, I have heard from many readers who are understandably outraged. They want our federal law enforcement agencies to respect the law, not break it. They want our negotiators at the U.N. to protect our unique constitutional rights, not surrender them to some Utopian vision of global harmony. With apologies to the late Bill Buckley, my readers feel powerless to climb athwart the federal leviathan and yell "stop."

Those two issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Two landmark Second Amendment cases recently were decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The first established that the Second Amendment indeed does provide an individual right to keep and bear arms and a restraint against the federal government. The second case applied that finding to state and local governments, as well. Both cases invalidated Draconian handgun bans. Both were decided by the razor-thin majority of 5-4. But neither case established a precise boundary of regulation that the court might find acceptable.

Now lawsuits have been filed across the country seeking to invalidate long-standing state and local restrictions. The National Rifle Association is coordinating a nationwide legal strategy to fulfill the promise of the recent Supreme Court decisions. These cases are bubbling up in different federal circuits, testing different limitations. Some of the cases are filed by choice; some are by necessity. They are all expensive, and they are all important. The court inevitably will accept one or more of these cases once a split between circuits becomes established. That much is virtually certain.

But it's unknown what that court will look like. Will it be the same 5-4 majority that finally has recognized our fundamental Second Amendment rights, or will it be a new majority, perhaps 5-4 the other way, seeking to not only uphold state and local gun restrictions but also effectively reverse the two recent decisions with death by a thousand cuts?

That question will be answered by President Barack Obama, with the advice and consent of the Senate. We are one heartbeat away from giving that decision to this president. We are one election away from virtually guaranteeing that the next president will answer that question, whoever that may be. And we are one election away from making sure that there are enough pro-gun senators to give him the right advice, if not consent.

So, what do we do? As I tell my readers, we all have the power to remedy these issues and more through a singular action. But we do not hold it as individuals; it only will work if we use it collectively. That simple action is to register to vote and then cast an informed ballot.

Too many gun owners and hunters aren't registered to vote. I know you're out there, and I've heard all the excuses. That's all they are, and they're not worth the paper to print them. We stand one short year away from the high campaign season in which voters will select our next president, 33 senators and all 435 members of the House. The Senate could change leadership with a swing of just four seats. And this could be another presidential election decided by a scant few hundred votes in a single key state. I've identified nine key states that will be important in both the presidential and senatorial elections. As honorary chairman of the NRA's "Trigger The Vote" voter registration campaign, I will be doing everything in my power to identify, locate and register gun owners and hunters in these states. No, I won't tell you which states they are, because I don't want you to think your state isn't important. It is; they all are. And every election matters, for all the reasons laid out above.

If you're not registered to vote, then just do it. Visit our website, at, for all the information you need to fill out the form, print it and put it in the mail. It's just that simple. And if you are registered to vote already, then find someone who isn't. Show him this article. Tell him that I know he's not registered to vote -- and I'm not happy about it.


KY: Shooting of football player Daniel Covington self-defense: "Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel said from the start he believed Daniel's shooting was done in self-defense. "He chased them down several blocks away and then really put a whipping on two of them," Stengel said. "We have the photos." Daniel Covington died after being shot at 2nd and Liberty Streets early on the morning of September 16, 2010. Police say Cunningham dove into the SUV of Isaiah Howes and started assaulting him and his brother, Joseph Vessels, believing one of them yelled racial slurs at him. Howes fired his gun, killing Covington. "At the beginning, there was a racial epithet thrown at Mr. Covington, which he had a right to be outraged by, but he still doesn't have a right to beat the snot out of anybody over it," Stengel said."

CA: Passenger With Crossbow Shoots Boy Throwing Rocks At Cars: "A 16-year-old boy who police said was throwing rocks at several vehicles was recovering Tuesday after being shot with a crossbow fired by someone inside a small sport utility vehicle, San Diego police reported. The victim and another boy were throwing rocks at vehicles about 2:15 p.m. Monday in the vicinity of Linda Vista and Mesa College roads, police said. Hassen said the boys got on a bus, and when they got off the bus, two young men in a black Toyota RAV 4 drove up. Someone in the SUV fired a crossbow, and an arrow hit one of the boys in the abdomen. He was treated at the hospital and is now at home, 10News reported. Police don't know yet if the Toyota had been hit by rocks. The two teenagers in it, described as 16- to 17-year-old Latinos, got away and were last seen heading south on Linda Vista Road."

"Fast and Furious” fallout: ATF boss reassigned; US attorney losing job: "The Obama administration on Tuesday removed or reassigned the top officials involved in a widely criticized U.S. operation to trace the flow of illegal guns into Mexico. 'Fast and Furious' was intended to gather information on how Mexican drug cartels use operatives in the U.S. to buy and smuggle guns across the border. Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents were instructed to watch -- but not to stop -- the illegal sales in the hope of gathering intelligence on how the smugglers worked. But in the process, hundreds of guns wound up in the hands of Mexican drug gangs."

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