Nevada ACLU Supports Heller and 2nd Amendment!


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Buck Nekkid
July 11, 2008, 12:17 PM
Unbelievable! In today's Las Vegas Sun:

CARSON CITY — Everyone loves guns in Nevada. Ducks Unlimited, the National Rifle Association, Republicans, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ...

Wait. The ACLU?

The Nevada ACLU has declared its support for an individual’s right to bear arms, apparently making it the first state affiliate in the nation to buck the national organization’s position on the Second Amendment.

The state board of directors reached the decision this month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals to own handguns.

“The Nevada ACLU respects the individual’s right to bear arms subject to constitutionally permissible regulations,” a statement on the organization’s Web site said. “The ACLU of Nevada will defend this right as it defends other constitutional rights.”

“This was the consensus,” said Allen Lichtenstein, general counsel for ACLU of Nevada. “There really wasn’t a lot of dissent.”

But the state affiliate’s position puts it at odds with the national organization.

The New York City-based ACLU disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling, saying in a statement that it interprets the Second Amendment as a collective right to own guns and not an individual one.

“In our view, neither the possession of guns nor the regulation of guns raises a civil liberties issue,” according to the position on its Web page.

It’s that position that has long infuriated gun rights advocates.

Larry Rhodes, president of the Stillwater Firearms Association, a Northern Nevada advocacy group, said the state ACLU’s position “is a wonderful thing.”

“I’m thrilled the Nevada ACLU, which seems to support the other nine Bill of Rights, has decided to do this,” Rhodes said.

John Cahill, chairman of the Nevada Outdoor Democrats, said he had not been a member of the ACLU because of its position.

“I resented their position on the Second Amendment,” Cahill said. “I’d be happy to be a card-carrying member of the Nevada ACLU.”

The phrase “card-carrying member of the ACLU” has long been used by conservatives as a liberal curse, perhaps most famously against Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

Gary Peck, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada, said the decision was not political, nor a slap at the national organization. He said the ACLU of Nevada often defends both conservative and liberal groups when, in its view, a constitutional right is being violated.

“This was a legal, constitutional decision for us,” he said. “Right now, it’s an issue percolating in the ACLU universe. It should be no surprise that an issue that has sparked a lot of issues and debate outside the ACLU has sparked debate inside the ACLU.”

The national ACLU, in a statement by a spokeswoman, said, “ACLU affiliates are free to take positions that differ from those of the national office.”

The spokeswoman said she was unaware of any other ACLU affiliate that had taken a differing position on the Second Amendment.

Peck said the state has a history of opposing government involvement in people’s lives.

“Nevada has a long, proud tradition of libertarian skepticism of government overreach,” Peck said. “An individual’s right to bear arms, not surprisingly, is in the Nevada constitution.”

Even when gun control was a major national issue during the 1990s, Nevada’s strong gun culture knew no party lines.

State Sen. John Lee, a North Las Vegas Democrat, has sponsored a number of bills on people’s right to carry guns.

He pointed to the gun park being built north of Las Vegas, the first phase of which will cost $64 million.

“We’re a hunting state,” Lee said. “Here in Nevada, we’re a real pragmatic group of Democrats.” (Democratic state Sen. Dina Titus, during her run for governor in 2006, liked to point out that she owned a gun.)

Attempts to find a Nevada group or affiliate in favor of stricter gun control were unsuccessful.

Bob Fulkerson, the executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, said he did not know of any such organizations in the state.

The gun control issue “has never really come up,” he said. “It’s ironic because we are one of the leaders in handgun-related deaths.”

Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said he recognizes different parts of cultures have different experiences with guns.

“Certain areas of the country have very strong traditions and take great pride in them,” he said. “I think the real shame is we could have better firearm laws without preventing law-abiding citizens from owning guns.”

Peck said he anticipates Nevadans will come to his group to protect their gun rights.

“I have no doubt people will be making inquiries on their rights,” he said. “I have no doubt we’ll be stepping to the plate on Second Amendment rights, if they come under assault by governments. In this state, of course, I don’t see any big rush by lawmakers.”


Also see comments at Section 11 (http://art1sec11.blogspot.com)

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Elza
July 11, 2008, 12:26 PM
The Nevada ACLU has declared its support for an individual’s right to bear arms :what:

.cheese.
July 11, 2008, 12:31 PM
what were those pink things that just flew by my window?

alemonkey
July 11, 2008, 12:34 PM
This just in from our weather reporter Beelzebub....temperatures have dropped and heavy snowfall is expected soon.

armoredman
July 11, 2008, 12:35 PM
Piglets. The big pigs will fly when all the liberal leftists agree to the same thing...

hso
July 11, 2008, 12:35 PM
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/jul/11/only-nevada-aclu-opposes-gun-control/

xjchief
July 11, 2008, 12:39 PM
Apparently the NV ACLU knows what the ACLU supposedly stands for- individual liberty. A great day and hopefully a crack in the damn holding the ACLU's silly position on the collective rights myth.

Elza
July 11, 2008, 12:41 PM
Cut and paste the link from hso. There is a poll you can take as to whether the SC was right or wrong about Heller.

SCKimberFan
July 11, 2008, 12:44 PM
Is that Satan donning his ice skates???

Thank you Nevada ACLU.

(I can't believe I actually said thanks to an ACLU affiliate.)

230RN
July 11, 2008, 12:45 PM
You suppose NV ACLU could open a branch here in Colorado?

The CONVACLU?

I have a feeling we're going to need one here.

MGshaggy
July 11, 2008, 12:53 PM
The big pigs will fly when all the liberal leftists agree to the same thing...

Some of the big pigs already have flown the coop. It took a while, but even Harvard's liberal lion of constitutional law, Larry Tribe, eventually (and prior to the decision in Heller) came around to realize the second amendment is an individual right, not a collective one. It may take a while, but I think other chapters of the ACLU may eventually come around also.

Smokey Joe
July 11, 2008, 12:56 PM
the ACLU of Nevada often defends both conservative and liberal groups when, in its view, a constitutional right is being violated.that that was the whole reason-for-being of the entire ACLU!

It's the American CIVIL LIBERTIES Union. A "right" is meaningless unless those whose positions you dislike are also free to exercise it.

Harvster
July 11, 2008, 01:11 PM
This reminds me of recent actions of a couple little suburbs around a large Midwestern city. Anyone for dominoes?

damien
July 11, 2008, 01:19 PM
We need the other rural state ACLU chapters to jump on this is quickly as possible and work to change the National ACLU's opinion on this issue.

doc2rn
July 11, 2008, 01:45 PM
Between yes and Heck yes we hold a 93% majority.

Is the national ACLU in DC because that would explain alot?

armedandsafe
July 11, 2008, 01:52 PM
I wonder when they will go to work on the Clark County gun registration?

Pops

bogie
July 11, 2008, 01:56 PM
Maybe the Nevada organization has enough gun owners in it to make a difference, unlike weaker states, such as Georgia, Texas, etc...

H088
July 11, 2008, 02:30 PM
Hey maybe this will set off a chain reaction

RPCVYemen
July 11, 2008, 03:21 PM
Texas ACLU has for several years.

Does that challenge anyone's stereotypes? :)

ACLU OF TEXAS AND GUN RIGHTS: I think it's too bad that the ACLU takes a collective rights view of the Second Amendment, and generally doesn't do much to defend state constitutional rights to bear arms. (As readers of this blog might realize, I don't think they're evil or even hypocritical for disagreeing with my interpretation of the Second Amendment, or even for declining to defend the clearly individual state constitutional rights. They're entitled to pick and choose what rights they think are most important to defend, just as the NRA and my two favorite conservative/libertarian public interest law firms, the Institute for Justice and the Center for Individual Rights, are entitled to do the same. I just think the ACLU is mistaken in its views.)
In any case, though, I'm pleased that the ACLU of Texas is taking a pro-right-to-self-defense view; Scott Henson, director of the police accountability project for the ACLU of Texas, testified this Spring -- on the ACLU of Texas's behalf -- in favor of a proposal to let law-abiding citizens carry guns in their cars. The law ultimately passed, and Mr. Henson is now trying to check how well it's being implemented, by filing state open records act requests for any instructions that government agencies are giving police officers about the new law. Sounds like good work to me.

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2006_01_15-2006_01_21.shtml#1137534663

Mike

cxg231
July 11, 2008, 03:25 PM
...it is a lot colder here today than usual for this time of year...:what:

guntotinguy
July 11, 2008, 04:12 PM
Amazing...

Gray Peterson
July 11, 2008, 04:16 PM
The State ACLU affiliates generally use both US and state constitutional provisions for it's lawsuits and legal work. I'm personally working on Washington State's ACLU affiliate on this situation. Expect this to happen more and more often.

ACLU national is based on New York City, not DC. The real issue is this: The ACLU as an organization has a charter which require any policy changes be approved by a board of directors. Also remember that ACLU's basis for the whole "collective rights" comes from the lower court cases misquoting and misinterpreting Miller.

http://www.guncite.com/journals/dencite.html

I'm certainly not defending ACLU on this particular decision. Keep hammering them on their comment board, but "you're dirty commies" comments are not helpful, considering Roger Baldwin rejected communism in the 1940's and purged the ACLU organization of their membership and influence (which most of the comments seems to indicate them as a "communist" organization continuously). If the ACLU can be turned into our side on this subject, it'll drive a stake through the heart of the now dying vampire called "Gun Control". The blog post comments HAVE gotten their attention, and it's being reviewed, and they've been given the tools and the scholarship. Helps that their president is a Constitutional Law Professor. :)

-Lonnie

dhoomonyou
July 11, 2008, 05:09 PM
hell just froze over.

Gray Peterson
July 11, 2008, 05:17 PM
Not really. ACLU of Texas has had this position for as long as I can remember. 2 down, 48 to go. :)

This is the beginning of a grassroots rebellion among the state ACLU's. This along with the review should help.

mrreynolds
July 11, 2008, 05:50 PM
:neener:

NG VI
July 11, 2008, 06:12 PM
Good for them, doing the right thing regardless of what the national branch wants.

Jdude
July 11, 2008, 06:47 PM
Nevada citizens, the NV-ACLU has decided to support your freedoms. It is time to reciprocate in kind! Put the NV ACLU membership form in the mail on the same day you put your NRA one.

makanut
July 11, 2008, 09:56 PM
A pig just flew by my window.

everallm
July 11, 2008, 10:00 PM
Excellent news, I'll use this to continue to badger the NJ chapter who are shall we say......"unenlightened"

Gray Peterson
July 12, 2008, 05:17 PM
http://www.volokh.com/posts/1126047007.shtml

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2006_01_08-2006_01_14.shtml#1137223560

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2005_07_31-2005_08_06.shtml#1123266561

I suggest that everyone read the above links by Eugene Volokh. Understanding accurate history. Also read the related postings on this issue.

XD Fan
July 12, 2008, 05:49 PM
Forgive my cynicism, but I am a bit suspicious. The phrase, "subject to constitutionally permissible regulations" gives a lot of wiggle room.

I think it is the one weak point of Scalia's opinion and it will be used to create a lot of havoc for us.

Novus Collectus
July 12, 2008, 07:17 PM
Forgive my cynicism, but I am a bit suspicious. The phrase, "subject to constitutionally permissible regulations" gives a lot of wiggle room.Think of "Constitutionally permissible regulations" this way:
Can you express your free speech as much as you want in a courtroom while others are facing a trial?
Can you have a protest march on city streets without a permit?
Can you build a church without following building code for all buildings?
Can someone lose their right to vote if they committed a felony and lost their right to vote by due process of law?

That is what they are talking about, I am sure. Just like with all the other civil rights, they are not absolute and they wanted to make sure everyone knows this as I see it.

RPCVYemen
July 12, 2008, 11:12 PM
Excellent news, I'll use this to continue to badger the NJ chapter who are shall we say......"unenlightened"

How exactly do you badger your local chapter? Bush et.al. convinced me to rejoin after a 20 year lapse, and I don't know much about the governance of the organization. I mainly joined because I agree with them on nearly every issue except gun control. :mad:

I would have PM'd you, by I think other folks might want to join and lobby for change.

Mike

VegasOPM
July 13, 2008, 12:13 AM
Nevada's ACLU reflects Nevada's population (at least the well entrenched ones) that tend towards a more Libertarian outlook. It doesn't really surprise me too much.

taprackbang
July 13, 2008, 12:53 AM
hey .cheese.

Priceless!!!

Robert Hairless
July 13, 2008, 01:26 AM
I'm certainly not defending ACLU on this particular decision. Keep hammering them on their comment board, but "you're dirty commies" comments are not helpful, considering Roger Baldwin rejected communism in the 1940's and purged the ACLU organization of their membership and influence (which most of the comments seems to indicate them as a "communist" organization continuously). If the ACLU can be turned into our side on this subject, it'll drive a stake through the heart of the now dying vampire called "Gun Control". The blog post comments HAVE gotten their attention, and it's being reviewed, and they've been given the tools and the scholarship. Helps that their president is a Constitutional Law Professor.

But "dirty commies" is what many gun owners think of as foreplay.

CRITGIT
July 13, 2008, 02:49 AM
I'm afraid there are more than just a few misconceptions about the ACLU.


CRITGIT

borntwice
July 13, 2008, 02:54 AM
This is a step in the right direction; however, there are MANY ways the ACLU has been destroying America over the decades, so I would like to see them change their position on a whole host of other issues, as well.

NvTwist
July 13, 2008, 03:41 AM
I Love my state. :)

romma
July 13, 2008, 11:39 AM
We start gaining ground an inch at a time...

As civil order in the world slips towards chaos, people that never gave gun ownership and firearms rights much thought before, will realize how precious preservation of life and liberty really is.

That's how I arrived here at least!

RPCVYemen
July 13, 2008, 01:31 PM
This is a step in the right direction; however, there are MANY ways the ACLU has been destroying America over the decades, so I would like to see them change their position on a whole host of other issues, as well.

Actually, I think of the ACLU as protecting America from those who would destroy us from within. The two most dangerous groups of people who most threaten American freedom are those who are determined to warp America into a Christian theocracy - What part of "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" is hard to understand?" - and those who would trade away our 1st and 5th to make us "comfortable" and "safe from terrorism".

Most of what the ACLU does falls into 3 categories (from what I have seen):


Government resources may not be used to make people pray to the G-d you want them to pray to the way that you want them to pray.
The goverment can't force people to shut up because the government doesn't like what they are saying.
The government cannot pin a label on you and throw you in jail wihout a trial.


I am glad to see that the ACLU is adding a 4th - makes me give more donations. :)


Your religion says that Jew is not prohibited from marrying a non-Jew, but people of the same sex are prohibited from marrying each other.
My religion says that a Jew is prohibited from marrying a non-Jew, but people of the same sex are not prohibited from marrying each other.
Is there any way that the government can compel adherence to your religion and not mine? Should the government be in the business of enforcing any particular religion's marriage taboo's? That pesky "no law respecting an establishment of religion" gets in the way, doesn't it?


I support all of those.

So that's why I am a member (and I suspect that you are not). :)

If the ACLU adopted a different position about the right to keep and bear arms, I'd like them better.

I still wouldn't want them putting too much effort into RKBA issues as long as the NRA is ready, willing and able to do so. That's really a resource allocation issue - most of our rights are more or less continually under attack from people who believe they have the constitutional right to be comfortable to tell other people what to do. It makes sense to me for the ACLU to focus its efforts on non-RKBA issues, and for the NRA to focus on non-RKBA issues.

Mike

MIL-DOT
July 13, 2008, 03:27 PM
Hey RPCVY, you're doing the same thing with your quote of that amendment that the anti-gunners do with the 2nd. They harp endlessly about "the milita" ,then ignore "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms". You're focusing just as intently on the "no law respecting an establishment of religion" part, while conveniently ignoring the other equally important part about "restricting the free excersize thereof". We are in no danger at all of "congress passing any law respecting an establishment of religion", none at all, yet we see the courts strke down religious, particularly Christian, expression on an almost daily basis.

RPCVYemen
July 13, 2008, 04:46 PM
... while conveniently ignoring the other equally important part about "restricting the free excersize thereof"...

I don't think that I am ignoring anything.

There is a key difference between the 1st and the 2nd.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

It's the word or. Congress is not allowed to make any law that respects an establishment of religion. Congress is also not allowed to make any kaw taht restricts the free exercise of religion. The clauses are clearly independent, and prohibit two different actions by Congress.

The issue that was decided by Heller was the relationship between the two phrases in the 2nd Amendment - hence the emphasis by Scalia on the "operative" clause. The two phrases in the 2nd are not in conjunction.

... We are in no danger at all of "congress passing any law respecting an establishment of religion", ...

I respectfully disagree with your 2nd assertion - I think the the "faith based initiatives" are clearly nothing but an attempt to "respect an establishment of religion". What could be more clearly prohibited than giving tax money to religious establishments?. The founders didn't, "unless the religious establishment claims they are not promulgating religion; wink, wink."

BTW, I don't fault one party over another in this - Obama has come out in favor of this method for state support of acceptable churches. I think W likes to give tax money to white evangelicals, where Obama probably has more historical black churches in mind. I feel pretty confident that neither W or Obama have in mind funneling money to mosques or Wiccan sects. :)

The 1st is one that the Founding Fathers got exactly right, and dominant religious groups have been trying to weasel around it for 200 years. It was originally drafted, I believe to protect Baptists in Virginia (and maybe to a lesser extent Quakers in Pennsylvania.

... yet we see the courts strke down religious, particularly Christian, expression on an almost daily basis.

I have yet to here of single court decision that struck down any religious expression that did not involve government venues, government employees, or government resources of some kind. The "prayer in the school" issue is completely bogus - there has never been a decision that even touched whether or not I can pray in any school at any time The only question is whether government employees (teachers, etc.) can directly compel students to pray, whether government venues (like schools, football stadiums, airports, etc) can be used to compel students to pray. Can you demonstrate one that does not involve government venues, government employees, or government resources of any kind?

At any rate, I didn't specify the second (independent) restriction on Congress with regard to religion - the "free exercise", because I don't know of that being under much attack. The first restriction is under constant attack.

The 1st Amendment includes two separate restrictions on Congress with regard to establishments of religion - the first is that you can't promulgate the second is that you can't prohibit any religion. The founding fathers knew that both were necessary. They knew the lash of both.

The 2nd Amendment is about one restriction - the right to keep an bear arms shall not be infringed.

Mike

MIL-DOT
July 14, 2008, 11:09 AM
(QUOTE) "I have yet to here of single court decision that struck down any religious expression that did not involve government venues, government employees, or government resources of some kind. The "prayer in the school" issue is completely bogus - there has never been a decision that even touched whether or not I can pray in any school at any time The only question is whether government employees (teachers, etc.) can directly compel students to pray, whether government venues (like schools, football stadiums, airports, etc) can be used to compel students to pray. Can you demonstrate one that does not involve government venues, government employees, or government resources of any kind?"

If the emplyees in some podunk city hall want to hang a wreathe or something, that does NOT constitute a violation of the 1st. That isn't within a hundred miles of "congress passing any law respecting....religion", yet we see this kind of thing on the news all the time, and this religious expression gets taken to court, or succumbs to ACLU threats. Also, we've seen numerous times where a high school principal has ordered a class valedictorian to not mention his/her faith in Jesus/God in their graduation speech because of some twisted assumption of constitutional violation. One of my poker buddies had their child admonished for bowing his head before lunch in the school cafeteria, and this is happening all over. Again, these expressions aren't remotely close to being a constitutional violation, yet they're routinely stepped on.

RPCVYemen
July 14, 2008, 11:23 AM
If the emplyees in some podunk city hall ...

Also, we've seen numerous times where a high school principal has ordered a class valedictorian to not mention his/her faith in Jesus/God ...


So you are in fact agreeing that there have been government venues, government employees, or government resources in all these cases that are claimed as "freedom of religious expression"?

The last case you cite is particularly clear as an infringement on the 1st. The other members of the graduating class are not required to sit and here how wonderful Jesus or Mohammed or Elijah Mohammed the Earth Mother is - they should not be compelled by the government to sit and listen to that in order to graduate from a public school. More importantly, tax money cannot be used to promulgate any religion.

Would you want your tax money used to allow a Nation of Islam valedictorian to lecture students on the belief that Jews are "mud people"? I sure wouldn't.

Just to be clear, I send (sent) my daughter to private Christian school where it would be perfectly appropriate for a valedictorian to talk about his/her beliefs - no government venues, government employees, or government resources are used.

The general solution in public school around here is to hold a "baccalaureate" at a church for graduating students. At a church, anyone can get up and testify to anything they want to - no government venues, government employees, or government resources are used.

Mike

Aguila Blanca
July 14, 2008, 12:15 PM
Think of "Constitutionally permissible regulations" this way:
Can you express your free speech as much as you want in a courtroom while others are facing a trial?
Can you have a protest march on city streets without a permit?
Can you build a church without following building code for all buildings?
Can someone lose their right to vote if they committed a felony and lost their right to vote by due process of law?

That is what they are talking about, I am sure. Just like with all the other civil rights, they are not absolute and they wanted to make sure everyone knows this as I see it.
Keep in mind that the 1st Amendment freedom os speech provision is nowhere near as all-encompassing as the 2nd Amendment:

Amendment 1
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Removing the religion part, this says "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; ..."

"Congress" is secret Constitution code for the Federal government. Under the 1st Amendment, the individual states can abridge the freedom of speech all they want.

hso
July 14, 2008, 12:23 PM
Well, this one's wandered off track into a discussion of politics of religion in this country.

Either drop this thread veer or this one's closed.

RPCVYemen
July 14, 2008, 12:29 PM
Well, this one's wandered off track into a discussion of politics of religion in this country.

You are correct. I am done.

Mike

bogie
July 14, 2008, 01:38 PM
A lot of gunnies don't understand that things can be changed. An organization's future actions are not already engraved in stone.

If enough gunnies and like-minded folks joined the ACLU, it -could- be changed, or, conversely, it could be at least neutered, as high-dollar "we know what is good for you" donators leave for more radical pastures.

And it could happen within two years.

Rachen
July 14, 2008, 02:32 PM
Lets hope there will be a domino reaction in the next year or so. If the entire nation's ACLU will strongly support the 2nd Amendment, the leftist elitist's golden days will be over.

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