Second Amendment absolutists in Arizona Lege go nuts

A couple of weeks ago I posted about Neo-Confederate nullification day at the Arizona Capitol, specifically:

The latest iteration of the Neo-Confederate Tea Party insurgency against the U.S. government occurred on Tuesday, led by “Little Reb” Sen. Sylvia Allen from Snowflake. Allen wants Obama gun rule blocked (SB 1452 (.pdf)).

This week the full Arizona House passed a similar bill, HB 2300 (.pdf), sponsored by Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale. The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, House votes to forbid enforcement of some federal gun laws:

Confederale SoldiersThe state House voted 33-21 Wednesday to forbid state and local governments from helping to enforce any federal law, act, order or rule that deals with the personal possession of firearms and infringes on the constitutional right of people to have weapons.

[T]he legislation cuts off state funds from any local government that does agree to cooperate.

The measure also subjects any employee who knowingly violates the law to a $3,000 fine for a first offense and up to six months in jail for subsequent violations.

This Second Amendment absolutist bill not only attempts to nullify federal laws, but also to preemptively nullify local ordinances — like those in Tucson, something our lawless Tea-Publican legislature has already done — and to penalize any local governments or government employees for complying  in good faith with lawful federal laws over this unconstitutional attempt to nullify federal law by our lawless Tea-Publican legislature.

Similarly, Tea-Publican authoritarians voted for a bill that would cut state shared revenue from cities or towns that pass regulations conflicting with state law. Senate OKs cutting funds for cities that flout state law:

The Arizona Senate has approved a proposal that would cut state shared revenue from cities or towns that pass regulations conflicting with state law.

All 17 Republicans present Wednesday voted for the bill and all 12 Democrats voted no.

The bill by Senate President Andy Biggs would penalize cities and towns after an investigation by the attorney general. They would have 30 days to rescind the action or lose their state revenue. The state sent $600 million to cities and towns last year.

Biggs says his SB 1487 (.pdf) rightly penalizes municipalities that fail to enforce state law.

The bill conveniently removes the third branch of government, the judiciary and its pesky due process and fair trial nonsense, to allow our authoritarian Tea-Publican overlords to act as autocrats over local governments. Remember, Andy Biggs is now running for Congress. Do not give him that chance.

False IdolsThe ammosexual gun fetishists and gun worshipers were not done.

Next they voted to join an interstate compact Confederacy of states that will agree to forgo their state sovereignty in order to deny their own citizens their constitutional right to pursue citizens initiatives and referendums for gun safety regulations, and to give citizens of other states veto power over their own citizens. This is just how batshit crazy our lawless Tea-Publican legislators are over guns. Arizona bill would block voters from imposing checks on gun sales:

State lawmakers are moving to block the ability of Arizona voters to pass their own laws requiring background checks any time a gun is sold.

The legislation given preliminary House approval (COW) Thursday would have Arizona enter into an agreement with other states, with each prohibited from enacting any new regulations on the transfer of firearms beyond what already is in federal law.

And once Arizona has entered into such a compact, it could withdraw only once every decade.

Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, admitted HB 2524 (.pdf) is aimed at trying to short-circuit efforts by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to get individual states to do what Congress will not: Close loopholes in federal law that allow the sale of some guns without the need for the buyer to pass a background check.

And Thorpe said he was undisturbed that the compact would overrule the right of Arizona voters, as listed in the state constitution, to propose their own laws when the Legislature refuses to act.

I’m sure the voters in “Bobby Reb’s” district are likely undisturbed about kicking his ignorant insurrectionist ass out of the legislature for trying to void their constitutional right to citizens initiative and referendum. He is also violating his oath of office to uphold the Arizona Constitution.

Michael Bloomberg has been using his personal fortune to change laws on a state-by-state basis.

A measure is already set for the November ballot in Nevada that would require an unlicensed person who wants to sell a weapon to do so through a licensed gun dealer who would be required to run a background check. The initiative would let the dealer charge a “reasonable fee” for the service.

It does have some exemptions, such as transactions between immediate family members.

Nevadans for Background Checks is getting financial support from Everytown for Gun Safety, a national group that is getting $50 million from Bloomberg.

Thorpe wants to quash a similar effort in Arizona before it starts. And he said it’s irrelevant if voters, exercising their right to create their own constitutional provisions and state statutes, vote otherwise.

The key, he said, is that the Second Amendment should trump all of that.

This Second Amendment absolutist is, of course, WRONG. Even Thorpe conceded “there is nothing in the Second Amendment that precludes background checks.”

Abner J. Mikva, a member of Congress, federal judge and counsel to President Bill Clinton, and Lawrence Rosenthal, a professor of law at Chapman University in Orange, California, wrote this op-ed for the New York Times this week. Effective Firearms Regulation Is Constitutional:

The sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court brought renewed attention to one of his more heralded — and criticized — decisions: District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the court, by a 5-4 vote, held that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right “to keep and bear arms.”

The principal objection to tough gun laws is that they violate the Second Amendment. Opponents of gun control cite the 2008 Heller decision as proof that the Supreme Court agrees.

There is reason to doubt the soundness of that opinion. But even if the decision is not reversed, we believe it poses no obstacle for much stronger gun laws.

The need for tougher measures is clear. The federal law requiring a background check for a gun purchase can be summarized this way: People who want to buy guns have to submit to a background check, unless they don’t want to.

The Brady Bill’s background-check requirement applies only to sales by licensed firearms dealers. Virtually all resales of guns by private individuals are left unregulated. Calling this a “gun show loophole” considerably understates matters. The entire secondary gun market is a vast regulatory void.

The consequences of this gap are dire. Criminals want to avoid background checks and guns that can be traced to them. Surveys of offenders consistently show that a vast majority did not obtain their firearms from licensed dealers, thereby avoiding background checks.

A more effective system would require everyone who owns or acquires a gun to register it. Gun owners would also need a license that could be obtained by demonstrating they can use a gun responsibly, and passing a background check.

You know, the same as your motor vehicles.

Registration records would create a comprehensive database of all guns and their owners. During a criminal investigation, when a gun was recovered from a person who was not its registered owner, that person would face serious penalties. But so, too, would the registered owner if he had failed to report that the weapon was no longer in his possession.

Under this system, anyone selling or possessing unregistered firearms would face huge legal risks. Overnight, gunrunning and other illegal arms trafficking would become easier to prosecute.

Emerging technology will also help. Registration could include recording the unique characteristics of a firearm’s barrel. That, combined with stamping ammunition with identifiers, could someday make shooting at someone much like leaving fingerprints at the scene of the crime. Firearms offenders would become far easier to catch, and the prevalence of firearms crime would decline.

Tough gun laws along these lines can work. Registration would not prevent law-abiding people from owning guns, but it would make life far more difficult for criminals.

* * *

The Second Amendment is the only provision in the Bill of Rights with a preamble, which announces its purpose: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The Heller decision, in turn, described the “militia” not as a formal military organization, but as everyone qualified to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment therefore means that all who exercise firearms rights should be “well regulated.” History confirms this: Comprehensive registration laws would not have alarmed those who wrote the Second Amendment. In the early republic, gun owners were frequently required to register their weapons with local authorities. A “well regulated militia,” of course, is subject to rules that ensure firearms are used safely and appropriately.

The Heller decision stressed that the Second Amendment is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” The court described lawful self-defense as “the central component of the right itself.” It invalidated Washington’s ban on the possession of handguns only because it “makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.”

A comprehensive system of background checks and registration would not prevent law-abiding people from obtaining guns for purposes of lawful self-defense. It would be consistent with both the Heller decision and the Second Amendment’s acknowledgment that those who keep and bear arms should be “well regulated.”

An efficient system could instantly determine whether a proposed firearms purchase was legal, and then register the sale. It need not impose any meaningful burden on the right to keep and bear arms. This system would, however, put a serious crimp in gun theft, gun crime and gunrunning. There is nothing unconstitutional about that.

We doubt that there is any coherent defense for our current Swiss-cheese system of firearms regulation. But if opponents of gun control want to make serious arguments for maintaining the status quo, they should make them without hiding behind the Constitution.

These guys are way more knowledgeable than some “Tenther” Teabagger from Flagstaff spouting Second Amendment absolutist nonsense, who is seeking to void your constitutional right to citizens initiative and referendum through an unconstitutional Confederacy with other states. This bill should be rejected, and if not rejected, vetoed by the Governor. Then vote every one of these lawless Tea-Publicans out of office.

4 responses to “Second Amendment absolutists in Arizona Lege go nuts

  1. 1.Can you offer an estimate of the court costs for the unconstitutional gun bills?
    2. The people of AZ WILL NEVER repeat NEVER give up their right to initiative and recall.

  2. American Vendetta

    WTF is going on over there? Is this Bizzaro World? Good Hell Arizona….

  3. captain*arizona

    Ronald reagan advocated for signed the first major gun control law in california. Do you know why mr 2 amendment signed it into law?

  4. Frances Perkins

    You have to figure everything Biggs does is with an eye on Congress. He doesn’t give a whit about anything but his own ambition. The substance or lack thereof on any legislation is secondary to playing to the district primary base.