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Rival Gun Rights Group Accuses NRA of Never Advocating for Second Amendment Amid Lawsuit – Newsweek

  1. Rival Gun Rights Group Accuses NRA of Never Advocating for Second Amendment Amid Lawsuit  Newsweek
  2. How did Caribbean yacht vacations promote the Second Amendment? We may find out in court.  The Washington Post
  3. Texas attorney general welcomes NRA after New York sues pro-gun group  New York Post
  4. Noah Feldman.: New York AG errs in going after NRA  Greensboro News & Record
  5. NY AG Who Wants to Dismantle NRA Calls It a 'Terrorist Organization'  Prescott eNews
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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Rival Gun Rights Group Accuses NRA of Never Advocating for Second Amendment Amid Lawsuit - Newsweek

Slave-patrols and the Second Amendment: How Fears of Abolition empowered the idea of an armed militia – Milwaukee Independent

Article 1, Section 8, of the proposed Constitution had southern slave owners concerned about the future of their economy. Slavery can exist only in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.

If the antislavery folks in the North could figure out a way to disband those southern militiasor even just to move the militias out of the statesthe police state of the South would collapse. And, similarly, if the North were to invite into military service the slaves of the South, then they could be emancipated, which would collapse the institution of slaveryand the southern economic and social systemsaltogether.

These two possibilities worried southerners like James Monroe, George Mason who owned more than 300 slaves, and the southern Christian evangelical Patrick Henry the largest slaveholder in the state of Virginia.

Their main concern was that Article 1, Section 8, of the newly proposed Constitutionwhich gave the federal government the power to raise and supervise a militiacould also allow that federal militia to subsume their state militias and change them from slavery-enforcing institutions into something that could even, one day, free the slaves.

This was not an imagined threat. Famously, 12 years earlier, during the lead-up to the Revolutionary War, Lord Dunmore offered freedom to slaves who could escape the American South and join his forces. Liberty to Slaves was stitched onto the pocket flaps of the escapees jackets. During the war, British General Henry Clinton extended the practice in 1779. And numerous freed slaves served in General Washingtons army.

Thus, southern legislators and plantation owners lived not just in fear of their own slaves rebelling, but also in fear that their slaves could be emancipated through military service.

At the ratifying convention in Virginia in 1788, Patrick Henry laid it out: Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8, of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. . . .

By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defense is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neitherthis power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory.

George Mason expressed a similar fear: The [slave patrol] militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practiced in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretenses, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution].

Henry then bluntly laid it out: If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress. Congress, and Congress only [under this new Constitution], can call forth the militia.

And why was that such a concern for Patrick Henry?

In this state, he said, there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free.

Patrick Henry was also convinced that the power over the various state militias given to the federal government in the new Constitution could be used to strip the slave states of their slave-patrol militias. He knew the majority in the North opposed slavery, and he worried that theyd use the Constitution to free the Souths slaves a process then called manumission.

The abolitionists would, he was certain, use that power (and, ironically, this is pretty much what Abraham Lincoln ended up doing): [T]hey will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission, said Henry. And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defense and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?

This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper [proposed Constitution] speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it. He added, This is a local matter, and I can see no propriety in subjecting it to Congress.

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and a slaveholder himself, basically called Patrick Henry paranoid. I was struck with surprise, Madison said, when I heard him express himself alarmed with respect to the emancipation of slaves. There is no power to warrant it, in that paper [the Constitution]. If there be, I know it not.

But the southern fears wouldnt go away.

Patrick Henry even argued that southerners property (slaves) would be lost under the new Constitution, and the resulting slave uprising would be a disaster for them: In this situation, Henry said to Madison, I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone.

So Madison, who had (at Jeffersons insistence) already begun to prepare proposed amendments to the Constitution, changed his first draft to one that addressed the militia issue to make sure it was unambiguous that the southern states could maintain their slave patrol militias.

His first draft for what became the Second Amendment had said: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country [emphasis mine]: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.

But Henry, Mason, and others wanted southern states to preserve their slave-patrol militias independent of the federal government. So Madison changed the word country to the word state and redrafted the Second Amendment into todays form:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State [emphasis mine], the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Little did Madison, Jefferson, or Henry realize that one day in the future, weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as persons by a dysfunctional Supreme Court, would use his slave-patrol militia amendment to protect their right to manufacture and sell guns to individuals who would use them to murder schoolchildren.

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Slave-patrols and the Second Amendment: How Fears of Abolition empowered the idea of an armed militia - Milwaukee Independent

"Second Amendment Rights of the Successfully Treated/Former ‘Mentally Ill’" – Reason

An interesting article by New York lawyer David Z. Carl, from the June 2020 issue of the Nassau Lawyer (the journal of the Nassau [N.Y.] County Bar Association):

In 2008, in D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court declared that the right to have a functional handgun in the home is a fundamental right under the Second Amendment.[5] In 2010, the Court held in McDonald v. Chicago that this "fundamental right" is incorporated against the states by the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause.[6]

Although it declined to "undertake an exhaustive historical analysisof the full scope of the Second Amendment," the Heller court declared "longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms bythe mentally ill" were "presumptively" constitutional.[7]

Since then, some federal Circuit and District Courts have explored the issue and decided that "presumptive" constitutionality might not mean "actual" constitutionality. These courts have based their reasoning on a combined interpretation of Second and Fifth Amendment rights.

Pursuant to 18 USC 922 (g) (4) "It shall be unlawful for any personwho has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution to [possess a firearm]."[8] The Code of Federal Regulations defines certain terms as follows:

"Committed to a mental institution: A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily[9]

"Mental institution: Includes mental health facilities, mental hospitals, sanitariums, psychiatric facilities, and other facilities that provide diagnoses by licensed professionals of mental retardation or mental illness, including a psychiatric ward in a general hospital.[10]

Despite the regulatory authority above providing that "committed to a mental institution" means a "a formal commitment by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority," the Second Circuit in U.S. v. Waters[11] upheld the conviction of a New York man who had been admitted to a mental health unit solely upon the evaluation of two physicians. Mr. Waters was subsequently convicted of being a prohibited person in possession of firearms. The Waters case, however, was decided fourteen years before the Supreme Court held the possession of a firearm is a fundamental right. Accordingly, the court never considered whether the absence of, or minimal elements of, due process available at that time, was enough to allow for the deprivation of a newly secured fundamental constitutional right.

Under the New York state statutes still in effect today (e.g., MHL 9.27[12]) [the statute at issue in Waters] and MHL 9.37 [13]an otherwise astute individual could theoretically seek representation and some type of hearing, but only after the individual had already been admitted without such a hearing or counsel for as many as 60 days at the behest of two (or fewer) physicians. No automatic hearing or assignment of counsel is required prior to involuntary admission to a mental health facility. If, perhaps, believing he/ she will soon be discharged, the individual never requests counsel or a hearing, the only available due process is effectively waived. The person is nonetheless deemed to have been "committed," which would require firearms deprivation. This seems to conflict with other cases, discussed infra, that require before-the-fact due process for deprivation of a constitutional right.

Decades earlier, in United States v. Hansel,[14] the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals observed that Nebraska law provided a two-step procedure for determining when a patient was mentally ill and in need of hospitalization. If the County Mental Health Board made such determination, the individual could be hospitalized for up to 60 days; much like the time frame in New York. There was a second step available for keeping the patient beyond 60 days, but since Hansel was released after two weeks, this second provision was never invoked. The Court found that Hansel's temporary confinement did not constitute a commitment.[15]

Despite the equivalent length of 60-day hospitalizations in New York and Nebraska, the holding in Hansel is contradictory to the holding in Waters in that in New York, the initial 60 days of hospitalization, without due process, is sufficient to refuse an individual his Second Amendment rights. In Nebraska, only the holding of an individual after the 60 days is sufficient to refuse said rights.

Current Decisions

Now that the ability to possess a functional firearm is an individual right,[16] a once largely mundane area of law has surfaced as a hot topic. In United States v. Rehlander,[17] the State of Maine offered two categories of hospitalization. One offered due process, the other did not. The First Circuit Court of Appeals held that since possessing a firearm is a fundamental right, an admission without any adversary proceeding lacked the necessary due process procedures for permanent deprivation under Section 922(g)(4).

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals later made it clear en banc, in Tyler v. Hillsdale County Sherriff's Department, that 922(g)(4) "applies only to persons who are involuntarily committed by an appropriate judicial authority following due process safeguards."[18]

This is highly significant, because in Waters: (1) there was no advance due process; (2) the admitted individual was permitted only an opportunity to attempt to contact counsel from the hospital; and (3) said individual had to request an optional (rather than mandatory) hearing at some future time. If, as held by the Sixth Circuit, due process is required as a prerequisite for the deprivation of firearm rights, the holding in Waters presumably could not stand.

In United States v. McMichael, for example, the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan held that "a commitment [for the purpose of firearm rights-deprivation] does not occur until the completion of an adversary process that results in an adjudicative decision in favor of hospitalization."[19]

Moreover, in Wilborn v. Barr, the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that an emergency mental health examination lasting 120 hours or less directed by someone other than an authoritative body, where the individual did not have the right to counsel or an adversarial proceeding, could not support firearm deprivation.[20] If the logic of the Wilborn court is to be considered, the deprivation of rights by New York's provision for confinement up to 60 days without mandatory due process could be constitutionally suspect.

To be clear, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has subsequently (and recently) held in an unpublished case that appellants admitted based on New York's strictly medical standard could be denied fundamental firearms rights. In Phelps v. Bosco, the Second Circuit cited to Waters in upholding the denial of a firearm to the appellant. The Court took care to note, however, that:

Phelps did not raise a constitutional challenge to the state's conduct on appeal. Such a challenge would present complex issues, whether under the Second Amendment or the Due Process Clause.We therefore do not consider whether the state violated any of his constitutional rights when it reported his hospitalizations to the FBI or whether concern for these constitutional rights might change our interpretation of the word 'commitment' under New York's scheme[21]

Finally, in Doe v. Evanchick, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that:

Although the Supreme Court in Heller articulated that prohibition on the right to own a gun by the mentally ill is presumptively lawful, a temporary emergency commitment to a mental institution is not sufficient to consider the individual 'mentally ill' for the purposes of the Heller mental health exception. Thus, an individual committed under [Pennsylvania law] still retains a protected liberty interest in the right to bear arms.[22]

Curiously, though, the court denied the Plaintiff's contention that Pennsylvania lacked sufficient due process safeguards as Pennsylvania provided a mechanism for reinstatement of Second Amendment rights post-deprivation. The court held that the post-deprivation remedy was sufficient to satisfy due process requisites.[23]

Possibilities for Restoring Rights

One could argue that New York also offers post-deprivation remedies, as it offers a potential Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (restoring firearms rights) for individuals who have been committed without due process in accordance with the "NICS Improvement Act of 2007."[24] This remedy, nonetheless, seems akin to holding a person guilty (at the whim of a doctor) without any trial, and forcing him to prove his innocence later at his own burden and expense. It hardly seems like a sufficient protection of due process when countless individuals could be easily afforded adequate pre-deprivation safeguards for now-fundamental Constitutional rights.

It is eminently reasonable that people should not live with a lifelong disability because of unfortunate health conditions, which no longer endure, perhaps because of successful medical treatment or perhaps because their disabilities are from the distant past. Most courts so far seem to be correct in the wake of Heller and McDonald that the determination should be made on an individualized basis with robust pre-deprivation due-process safeguards. But whether this theory will prevail nationwide is a matter only time will tell.

[I added the bracketed text in the third paragraph because the author reports that this point was inadvertently deleted in the editing process for the published piece. -EV]

[1] The APA Removes "Gender Identity Disorder" From Updated Mental Health Guide, Dani Heffernan (Dec.3, 2012), available at https://bit.ly/3fEeou0.

[2] 18 USC 922 (g) (4).

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

[6] McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., 561 US 742 (2010).

[7] District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

[8] 18 USC 922 (g)(4).

[9] 27 CFR 478.11.

[10] Id.

[11] United States v. Waters, 23 F.3d 29 (2d Cir. 1994).

[12] MHL 9.27.

[13] MHL 9.37.

[14] United States v. Hansel, 474 F.2d 1120 (8th Cir. 1973).

[15] Id.

[16] District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

[17] United States v. Rehlander, 666 F.3d 45 (1st Cir. 2012).

[18] Tyler v. Hillsdale Cty. Sheriff's Dep't, 837 F.3d 678, 68182 (6th Cir. 2016) (en banc)(emphasis added).

[19] United States v. McMichael, 350 F.Supp.3d 647 (W.D. Mich. 2018) (emphasis added).

[20] Wilborn v. Barr, 401 F. Supp. 3d 501 (E.D. Pa. 2019).

[21] Phelps v. Bosco, 711 Fed.Appx. 63 (2d Cir. 2018).

[22] Doe v. Evanchick, 355 F.Supp.3d 197 (E.D. Pa. 2019).

[23] Id.

[24] NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (NIAA), Penal Law 110-180.

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"Second Amendment Rights of the Successfully Treated/Former 'Mentally Ill'" - Reason

New Hanover County leaders to consider Second Amendment resolution – WECT

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners believes that the Second Amendment right as outlined bt the United States Constitution, and reinforced by the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, are unalienable and will serve all the citizens of New Hanover County as a reminder of the great freedoms and prosperity those rights have bestowed upon us.

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New Hanover County leaders to consider Second Amendment resolution - WECT

Gun Stores Have Standing to Raise Their Customers’ Second Amendment Rights – Reason

So the Fourth Circuit held today inMaryland Shall Issue v. Hogan, in an opinion written by Judge Steven Agee and joined by Judges Barbara Keenan and Julius Richardson. The court cited Supreme Court cases that allowed alcohol stores to assert their prospective customers' Equal Protection Clause rights in challenging sex-discriminatory drinking ages, and contraceptive sellers to assert their prospective customers' substantive due process rights. The district court will now need to consider whether the Maryland law is consistent with the Second Amendment.

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Gun Stores Have Standing to Raise Their Customers' Second Amendment Rights - Reason

Letter to the editor: Wiley will support Second Amendment rights – The Winchester Star

As a strong supporter of our right to bear arms, I was very disappointed with the actions of Governor Northam and the General Assembly earlier this year to infringe on our Constitutional rights.

When I vote I look for a candidate who will protect the Second Amendment (along with the rest of the Bill of Rights).

Bill Wiley is such a candidate. He is pro-Second Amendment and opposes the continuing gun control agenda in Richmond.

Please join me in voting for Bill Wiley in the Firehouse Primary this Saturday, August 8th. Voting will take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Millwood Station Banquet Hall. If we nominate Bill Wiley and elect him this year, we are sure to have a delegate who supports our Second Amendment Rights.

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Letter to the editor: Wiley will support Second Amendment rights - The Winchester Star

Bullock Gets an "F" Rating from the NRA – newstalk955.com

Buried in the news of the first US Senate debate over the weekend, was another piece of big news: the National Rifle Association (NRA) gave liberal Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) an "F" rating.

Back in May, we shared the news that Montana's Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) earned an "A+" rating from the NRA. Both Bullock and Daines are now head-to-head in the US Senate race this Fall.

Here's the reasons listed by the NRA for giving Bullock an "F":

Supports Semi-Auto BanLike California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Bullock supports a ban on commonly owned firearms used for hunting, recreational shooting and self-defense.

Supports Magazine BansBullock supports bans on standard-capacity magazines.

Opposes Right-to-CarryBullock vetoed legislation in Montana which would have expanded the ability forlaw-abiding Montanans to carry a firearm for self-defense.

Supports Criminalizing Private Firearm TransfersBullock supports the Schumer/Biden/Bloomberg so-called universal background check system that would criminalize the private transfer of firearms, which is only enforceable through federal firearms registration.

Supports Red Flag LawsBullock supports unconstitutional Red Flag laws that would strip Second Amendment rights of individuals by confiscating firearms without due process.

Opposes PreemptionBullock vetoed preemption legislation in Montana that would have protected gun owners from a confusing web of local anti-gun laws.

Over the years in Montana politics, Democrats have done a good job at attempting to portray themselves as pro 2nd Amendment. Some have even earned the coveted endorsement of theNational Rifle Association(NRA). At best, though, Montana Democrats have typically been able to at least keep the NRA at bay and kept the NRA from making an endorsement in some high profile races.

Not when it comes to the 2020 US Senate race in Montana, however. Liberal Gov. Steve Bullock's (D-MT)open embrace of a semi-automatic weapons banandother gun control measuresgives gun owners and the NRA an easy choice.

DAINES: Montanans know I am their strongest ally when it comes to defending our Second Amendment Rights. This is about protecting our freedom and liberty, and fighting back against any effort to infringe on our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Ill always be there to protect our guns rights and our way of life.

Jason Ouimet, the Chairman of the NRA's Political Victory Fund called Daines "an unwavering defender of the Second Amendment, adding:

OUIMET: You have fought tirelessly to protect the constitutional right to self-defense for NRA members and law-abiding gunowners in Montana. Based on your strong leadership on Second Amendment issues, you have earned the highest attainable rating, an 'A+', from NRA-PVF.

In case you missed it,Roll Call highlighted Bullock's flip flop on gun rightsback in August of 2019:

After campaigning against an assault weapons ban and universal background checks during his 2016 reelection, Bullock reversed both positions in the middle of 2018, fueling suspicions that he was preparing for a national campaign.

Wait a minute. Isn't this the same governor who used to pretend to be a moderate who supported the Keystone XL pipeline? That was my first reactionto this story in The Sidney Heraldabout Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT) taking shots at the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that bring tens of millions of dollars into Montana every year.

Yep. Apparently there's this hilarious new website called "BothWaysBullock.com" that is pointing out his series of flip flops as he desperately seeks a rise in poll numbers for the Democrat presidential race.

Back in 2013 Bullock said this:

I write to express my strong support for the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

Now, Bullock is criticizing the project in his official capacity as governor, according to The Sidney Herald:

Gov. Steve Bullock today submitted comments on behalf of the State of Montana on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS) for the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, expressing concerns over the failure to adequately analyze potential spill impacts and response, cultural resource impacts, and fish and wildlife resource impacts.

As the "Both Ways Bullock" website also points out, Bullock previously campaigned in support of 2nd Amendment rights, and now wants to ban semi-automatic rifles.

Here's a video featured prominentlyon the website:

Read More:NRA Endorses Daines with A+ Rating in MT Senate Race|

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Bullock Gets an "F" Rating from the NRA - newstalk955.com

Societe Generale: Availability of the second amendment to the 2020 Universal Registration Document – Yahoo Finance

PRESS RELEASEREGULATED INFORMATION

Paris, 5th August 2020

Availability of the second amendment to the 2020 Universal Registration Document

Societe Generale informs the public that a second amendment to the 2020 Universal Registration Document filed on 12th March 2020 under number D-20-0122, has been filed with the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) on 5th August 2020 under number D-20-0122-A02.

It includes in particular the information of the interim financial report for the first half-year 2020.

This interim financial report comprises the following pages of the amendment:

This document is made available to the public, free of charge, in accordance with the conditions provided for by the regulations in force and may be consulted in the Regulated information section of the Companys website (http://www.societegenerale.com/en/measuring-our-performance/information-and-publications/regulated_information) and on the AMFs website.

Press contact:

Corentin Henry _ +33(0)1 58 98 01 75_ corentin.henry@socgen.com

Societe Generale

Societe Generale is one of the leading European financial services groups. Based on a diversified and integrated banking model, the Group combines financial strength and proven expertise in innovation with a strategy of sustainable growth. Committed to the positive transformations of the worlds societies and economies, Societe Generale and its teams seek to build, day after day, together with its clients, a better and sustainable future through responsible and innovative financial solutions.

Active in the real economy for over 150 years, with a solid position in Europe and connected to the rest of the world, Societe Generale has over 138,000 members of staff in 62 countries and supports on a daily basis 29 million individual clients, businesses and institutional investors around the world by offering a wide range of advisory services and tailored financial solutions. The Group is built on three complementary core businesses:

Societe Generale is included in the principal socially responsible investment indices: DJSI (World and Europe), FTSE4Good (Global and Europe), Euronext Vigeo (World, Europe and Eurozone), four of the STOXX ESG Leaders indices, and the MSCI Low Carbon Leaders Index. For more information, you can follow us on Twitter @societegenerale or visit our website http://www.societegenerale.com

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Societe Generale: Availability of the second amendment to the 2020 Universal Registration Document - Yahoo Finance

NSSF Statement On NYAG’s Intent To Dissolve The NRA – SGB Media

NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, said in a statement that it is troubled by the politically-driven decision of New York Attorney General Letitia James to seek to dissolve the National Rifle Association, Americas oldest civil rights organization.

NSSF said the lawsuit filed on August 7 by Attorney General James seeks to punish the over five million members of the National Rifle Association based on mere allegations of possible wrongdoing by a few individuals.

NSSF is deeply concerned about the apparent political agenda to silence the strongest voice in support of the Second Amendment ahead of the election in November.

This lawsuit, and one filed today by the District of Columbia Attorney General, should concern all Americans who cherish both the First and Second Amendments to our Constitution regardless of their views on what laws and regulations are appropriate to address the criminal misuse of firearms.

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NSSF Statement On NYAG's Intent To Dissolve The NRA - SGB Media

Black Lives Matter activists rally in Martinsville Saturday – The Bloomingtonian

August 8, 2020; Martinsville, Indiana: Black Lives Matter activist Belinda Snowden argues with a member of the Scallywags III-percenter motorcycle club as BLM holds a rally on the Morgan County Courthouse Square Saturday. The BLM activists were met by armed counter-protesters who surrounded the square. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Before the group of Black Lives Matter activists showed up the Morgan County Square was already surrounded by people holding flags, and some carrying guns.

The rally was supposed to start at 3 p.m., but as a man sat near the war memorial downtown, holding a 16-gauge shotgun, the activists were nowhere to be seen. The man spoke using words like family, and heritage and expressed he was concerned the war memorial would be vandalized.

Two other men stood in the shade near a wall holding AR-15 rifles, one said he had been a cavalry scout in the U.S. Army, as he talked to another man sitting next to a scoped military-style rifle on a tripod, who reached out to pet a dog on a leash.

A man wearing a Military Police hat to indicate his service in the army sat on a sidewalk a short distance away, and a group of women stopped at the corner to pray. A couple from Florida had broken down near the site of the protest, and asked, Whats going on here?

The United States has been the location of continuous Black Lives Matter protests since Minneapolis Police killed George Floyd in May. However, this was the second Black Lives Matter protest in Martinsville.

A man could be heard saying to some people in a vehicle, They wont get much support here. This isnt Democrats like Bloomington. However, a member of the Martinsville Police Department said that Martinsville doesnt deserve the reputation it has and most people from the city would not protest against Black Lives Matter protesters. The city is known for the murder of a young Black woman in 1968, but it turned out the killer was from another city.

As a group of young women in their late teens or early 20s gathered to participate in the BLM rally, a man in his 50s walked past, looked at them, and grabbed his crotch.

Three women organized the rally Saturday. Katelynn Shaffer, and Shaelyn Powell, of Mooresville, spoke to a local reporter while they waited for BLM activist Sherry Tucker.

(Counter-protesters continued to show up at the square, and one man, maybe in his late 50s, wearing a white t-shirt looked at The Bloomingtonians Jeremy Hogan (me) weighed down with cameras and said in a threatening way, Try it and see what happens, as he put down a cooler, I noticed he was strapped with a handgun. So, I held my bottle of water and said to the man, I already have water, and then he said, Thats not what Im talking about.)

Black Lives Matter is for everyone. You dont have to be black to support Black Lives Matter. I feel that if you are not a racist person and you, you, everyone, despite their skin color is equal to you that you would also want them to feel safe and for them to receive justice. Were not anti-police officer. Were not anti-white people. Were just want to ensure that justice is served for people like Brionna Taylor and you know the names, said Katelynn Shaffer of Mooresville.

Tension filled the square as two young men carried Trump flags past the BLM activists who were finally gathering around 4 p.m. Two men carried a sign for the reelection of Donald Trump, and a BLM activist began to engage verbally with them, and out of nowhere Martinsville Police rolled up and separated the men from the BLM activists.

A few of the BLM activists got AR-15 style rifles from their vehicles and carried them throughout the rally.

The Scallywags III-percenter motorcycle club rolled up around 4 p.m. and parked on the square. A member of the group told The Bloomingtonian they are second amendment activists, and they are against tyranny. Some of the same bikers had participated in a Defend the Police caravan in Bloomington earlier Saturday.

The men walked in a group past the BLM protesters, and one of them flipped off the activists. Later a biker parked right in front of the group to drown out their chants, and as he revved his engine, he made a fist. Police once again appeared, and a member of the Martinsville police went over to talk to the bikers.

Our Black Lives dont matter, thats why we are out here protesting, said one of the BLM activists.

A woman maybe in her 60s, wearing a plaid shirt, grey sweatpants, and blue sandals, could be heard saying, They look like trouble makers to me. I protested against the Vietnam War, but I didnt go to someone elses town to do it.

The Mayor of Martinsville, Kenneth Costin, standing on the square, told The Bloomingtonian hed gotten no advance notice that the BLM activists would hold a rally in Martinsville, and when he heard about it, he reached out to the organizers of the previous rally, but they said they were not the organizers. The Mayor asked where the protesters had come from and seemed surprised that the bikers who had come to oppose them were also from out of town.

At various points during the rally, both sides insulted each other, and some people were held back by others, or the police.

A chaplain from the Martinsville Police Department handed out water to BLM protesters, and also the counter-protesters, and said he didnt want anybody to have a medical emergency due to dehydration.

Sherry Tucker told the crowd of counter-protesters that its not that white lives dont matter, they do matter, but since Black lives dont matter, that until they do, all lives cant matter.

Tucker told the crowd shed answer any questions they had. Some counter-protesters yelled questions, and Tucker attempted to answer them. Then the BLM activists marched around the courthouse again, and a man in his 50s put a scoped hunting rifle back into his vehicle.

By 6 p.m. the crowd began to dissipate, and the BLM activists appeared to be huddled in a group preparing to leave the area.

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Black Lives Matter activists rally in Martinsville Saturday - The Bloomingtonian

Perspectives on partisanship from a professional neutral | Columnists – LancasterOnline

Political commentator Walter Lippmann once offered this lament about the modern age: For the most part we do not first see, and then define, we define first and then see.

As a labor arbitrator and mediator, I resolve grievances filed by unions challenging actions taken by their employers by analyzing the facts, making findings and drawing conclusions. When asked to mediate, I ascertain the facts and then attempt to define a common ground upon which the parties might compromise. Using Lippmanns terms, it is my role to first see, and then define.

As we draw closer to what is going to be one of the most contentious presidential elections in our lifetimes, I am especially frustrated watching the current political discourse that defines first, then sees. I am referring to an increasing penchant for grasping partisan positions and obtusely rejecting out of hand any facts that conflict with the narratives. It is the primary reason for gridlock at all government levels, because political bodies cannot find solutions when they are unable to agree on one set of facts.

Indeed, the U.S. Senate was intended to be the body where things get done by compromise. This is no longer the case. In fact, in our modern age the word compromise has taken on a more sordid connotation (he was caught in a compromising position). Compromise is now a sign of weakness because it conflicts with the partisans definitions.

The National Rifle Association and Planned Parenthood would never be considered kindred spirits politically, yet their partisan approaches are similar. Both groups define first. In the case of the NRA: the Second Amendment protects citizens rights to own a firearm. Planned Parenthood: Roe v. Wade and the right of privacy preserves a womans right to choose. Then with teeth-gritting determination both entities resist any proposed restrictions on these constitutional rights. This is so even when the facts what many Americans see (i.e., senseless gun violence, partial birth abortion) may warrant sensible regulations.

When governing is driven by define first and then see, it usually results in endless posturing and law ultimately being made by five U.S. Supreme Court justices. It also leads to overcorrection, as recently evidenced by efforts to defund police departments or to use violence against lawful protests. Most Americans favor neither.

Donald Trumps presidency has seen the zenith of define first, then see, with partisans doubling down on their definitions. Thus, the only negatives Trumps partisan supporters begrudgingly see is that he has trouble reading a teleprompter and tweets too much. Shockingly, they cannot see the very same childish behaviors, overactive ego and boorish treatment of others they would not tolerate if exhibited by their own children, much less their president.

Many cite Trumps defense of religious liberties and the right to life while ignoring his well-documented less-than-Christian behaviors. These partisans refuse to admit that the self-proclaimed wartime president initially dismissed reaction to COVID-19 as a hoax and has since blamed others rather than unify the country. Anything seen that detracts from the partisans definitions is disregarded or deflected (usually with a what about her emails, Benghazi, etc., retort).

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People on the anti-Trump side have their own sacred definitions. Based on flimsy evidence and panicked by his 2016 win despite the polls, they defined Trump from the start as an illegitimate president who stole the election by conspiring with Russia. Once this narrative was undermined by the Mueller report, the partisan left simply replaced it with the obstruction of justice definition.

They refuse to acknowledge any of Trumps accomplishments, such as the (pre-COVID-19) robust economy and rising employment numbers. Many Democratic legislators now reject some of the same border security measures they previously supported under President Barack Obama. The partisan left also chooses not to see the fact, confirmed by the FBIs inspector general, that Obamas FBI provided untruthful and misleading information to obtain warrants to spy on Trump associates even before he took office.

Then there are facts that neither side wants to acknowledge, such as Trumps termination of trade deals loathed by labor unions or signing bills providing for paid child care leave. The left cannot admit Trump has certain populist leanings, while the right cannot admit that he is less than a true conservative.

If we were to see the Trump presidency the way an arbitrator would, we might initially find that the leftist partisans took unethical (and perhaps illegal) steps to marginalize the Trump presidency from the start. Then, with the help of a sympathetic media, it doubled down with impeachment proceedings knowing they never had the votes to convict. We also may find that Trump is a narcissistic, thin-skinned, unsteady leader, who divides by exploiting our worst instincts. On his watch the economy and unemployment improved before the pandemic hit, but he has failed to lead since. Partisans would say all of these findings cannot coexist.

Dont expect any self-analysis from the partisans because it is hard to admit ones deeply held definitions are wrong or misplaced. It is much easier to ignore facts to support the narrative. But as John Adams once posited, Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

Alas, our modern-day problems cannot be resolved via arbitration or mediation. They will never be solved utilizing genuine facts and compromise until we are willing to question our revered definitions.

James M. Darby is an arbitrator and mediator who lives in Lancaster. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and chairman of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. The opinions expressed in this column are his own.

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Perspectives on partisanship from a professional neutral | Columnists - LancasterOnline

The Ravings of Mad King Trump – The Bulwark

To a striking degree, Donald Trumps administration evokes the final days of the mad king of some Ruritanian backwater, spewing splenetic ravings while his shrinking cadre of sycophants struggles to steer their foundering ship of state.

Take these incoherent ruminations from a mid-July press conference:

But we had, in 2016, something even more so, but we got in, and we had 306 to, I guess, 223, which was a tremendous margin of difference. You remember, they all said, He cannot get to 270. I went to Maine a number of times, where we just freed up lobster fishing and fishing. Justthey took away 5,000 square miles from Maine. I just opened it up. And I just got rid of tariffs in China. And were working on European Union, which charge our fishermen tariffs. And I said, Youre not going to do that. So we freed it up for Maine. But if you take a look, we went up there recently. There were crowds. Thousands of people lined up going over to a factory where we were opening up forwere making swabs. A beautiful, big, new factory, making swabs.

Problem is, he does this pretty much every day.

Emulating a frightened oldster hearing the first, faint echo of senescence like a distant signal on a transistor radio, Trump bragged to Chris Wallace about acing a test designed to detect the onset of Alzheimers or dementia. But his problem is differentinstead of entering his second childhood, Trump seems never to have left his first.

These recurring scenes from a Peter Sellers movie might have a certain seriocomic fascination had Trump not failed the most serious test of real-world leadership: a rolling public health disaster which has afflicted sickness, death, and privation on many millions of Americans.

Once again, COVID-19 is surging. Our total number of cases is heading toward 5 million; our fatalities already exceed 160,000. Asks Ed Yong in the Atlantic:

How did it come to this? A virus a thousand times smaller than a dust mote has humbled and humiliated the planets most powerful nation. America has failed to protect its people, leaving them with illness and financial ruin. It has lost its status as a global leader. It has careened between inaction and ineptitude. The breadth and magnitude of its errors are difficult, in the moment, to truly fathom.

Yong provides the obvious yet appalling answer: Trump is a comorbidity of the COVID-19 pandemic. He isnt solely responsible for Americas fiasco, but he is central to it.

Podcast August 07 2020

On today's Bulwark Podcast, Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes to discuss the President's new religious case against Joe B...

Trumps abdication of responsibility proceeds apace. He has no national testing strategy; no plan for the reopened schools he so noisily demands; no road to reviving the economy; no disciplined or sustained message about social distancing and wearing masks. Nothing but the prattling of a self-absorbed child regurgitating willful make-believeclaiming that the virus will disappear or that hydroxychloroquine is great.

By at least February, any sane president would have rallied the country to curb the coronavirus before disaster struck, fusing federal power with the expertise of scientists to distribute vital resources, facilitate testing, and develop a national public health regime. Instead Americas ersatz Nero heeded the discordant notes of his own incessant fiddling, downplaying the threat to life and health while spreading disinformation that endangered all who believed him.

In the Washington Post, Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker explain his lethal incapacities:

People close to Trump, many speaking on the condition of anonymity to share candid discussions and impressions, say the presidents inability to wholly address the crisis is due to his almost pathological unwillingness to admit error; a positive feedback loop of overly rosy assessments and data from advisers and Fox News; and a penchant for magical thinking that prevented him from fully engaging with the pandemic.

Instead of listening to science, Trump looks for affirmation from the fever swamp of right-wing media, recycling falsehoods, bogus conspiracies, and patent quackery. To please his base, he has mocked mask-wearing, campaigned against the public health measures recommended by his own administration, and shifted blame to everyone from the Chinese to Barack Obama. The only unifying theme is the cosmic self-pity which disqualifies Trump from leadership and destroys his empathy for otherslicensing Trumps laser focus on himself as the pandemics chief victim.

All this creates the bizarre dissociation from reality he exhibited in his interview last month with Chris Wallace, in which he asked his press secretary to fortify his own bubble of ignorance: I heard we have one of the lowest, maybe the lowest mortality rate anywhere in the world.

So pathetic was this spectacle that, for the moment, Trump descended from the mad king to Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, insanely fixated on demented self-delusions nurtured by her slavish retainerswhich, as with Trump, prove deadly for others. This raises a frightening question: does Trump remain simply a sociopathic and remorseless liar of convenience, or has he become so addicted to his own fantasies that he has taken leave of the world as perceived by normal humans?

Daily, Trumps statements suggest the latter. The Washington Post reported but one example: In wide-ranging, often erroneous comments on Fox & Friends, Trump claimed the virus was spreading in a relatively small portion of the country (it is spreading nearly everywhere); said children are virtually immune to the virus (they are not); and once again insisted the outbreak will go away like things go away.

This followed Trumps surreal interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios, a spectacle aptly described by Ryan Bort in Rolling Stone:

Trump genuinely seems to think at the top of this clip that hes about to put the idea that hes mismanaged the pandemic to rest by showing Swan a few charts his aides printed out for him. As Swan soon realizes, Trump is touting that the death rate by the case is lower than in other countries. Far more pertinent, obviously, is the percentage of the American population Trump has let die from COVID-19, as Swan quickly points out.

You cant do that? Trump says.

Why cant I do that? Swan asks.

You have to go by . . . you have to go by . . . Trump begins before shuffling some papers and trailing off.

But for the rest of America, reality biteshard. Said Dr. Deborah Birx on CNN: What we are seeing today is different from March and Aprilit is extraordinarily widespread. In the latest manifestation of his penchant for projection, Trump called her remarks pathetic.

It fell to another member of his captive coronavirus task force, Admiral Brett Giroir, to discredit yet again one of Trumps most persistent quack cures: hydroxychloroquine. Little wonder, then, that public health officials fear Trump will pressure the FDA to approve a vaccine before it is proven safe and effectivewhich is to say, before November.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of Trumps departure from reality is his failure to comprehend that containing COVID-19 is, and always was, the indispensable prerequisite to reopening the economy. Particularly astonishing is this most self-interested of presidents failure to comprehend his own political self-interest. Rather than grappling with the linkage between public and economic health, he attempted to transform America into a Disney World wherein the economy could rebound on its own.

Our real-world reward is the largest quarterly economic decline9.5 percentin the 70 years since the government began posting such data. This news broke immediately after our tangerine soothsayer assured us that the recovery has been very strong. Sixteen-plus million unemployed Americans were no doubt relieved to hear that.

Rationalizing Trumps failure to deal with the pandemic, his economic adviser Stephen Moore lionized his crippling myopia: Hes so focused on the big problem, which is getting the economy up and running and trying to get businesses up on their feet. Thats been their priority.

Whats so scary is that Moore is not the biggest fool to advise Trump on the economy. That distinction goes to the time-tested buffoon Larry Kudlow, who continues to celebrate our V-shaped recovery despite the ongoing slump driven by COVID-19.

In the Atlantic, Annie Lowery summarizes the comprehensive results of such mindless compartmentalization: Failed businesses and lost loved ones, empty theme parks and socially distanced funerals, a struggling economy and an unmitigated public-health disaster: This is the worst-of-both-worlds equilibrium the United States finds itself in.

Trumps refuge from reality is that the stock market is thriving. But a chasm of privilege separates Wall Street from the real economy. At least for now, financial institutions and the wealthy are largely insulated from the economic depredations of COVID-19principally because of prior stimulus spending spearheaded by Democrats, and interventions from a Federal Reserve Trump so often disparages. But for millions of Americans trapped in this pandemic, work is either dangerous or unavailable.

Trumps indifference to their plight accounts for his abstention from working with Congress to craft a further stimulus bill that would renew enhanced unemployment benefitswhich, humanity aside, helped prevent our economy from collapsing altogether. Democrats proposed such legislation by mid-May; Trump and his party still have not. Starting this week, Robert Reich wrote last week, more than 30 million Americans will no longer receive $600 in extra weekly unemployment benefits. As a result, tens of millions will not be able to make rent or mortgage payments. More will go hungry, including children. The economy is likely to slide even further.

Why delay unemployment benefits? Because, Kudlow advises, We dont want to create disincentives to work.

If only we could disincentivize Kudlowaccording to Catherine Rampell, five recent expert studies concluded that enhanced unemployment benefits did not inhibit workers from seeking re-employment. At least when Caligula named his horse a consul, he included the entire horse.

Cosseted by sycophants like Moore and Kudlow, Trump also floated a proposal so irrelevant that not even Republicans embrace it: a payroll tax cut which, by definition, does nothing for the unemployed. Instead of engaging with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Trump disparages them for seeking to prevent a potential financial collapse of state and local governments that would accelerate unemployment and hamstring the providers of essential services like the K-12 schools which Trump insists must re-open, the police departments whose funding he so loudly defends, and the hospitals and public health institutions to which he has delegated the brunt of this pandemic.

Instead of trying to find a legislative solution, Trump on Saturday issued four executive orders of dubious constitutionality and design, including deferring payroll taxes through December and providing $400 weekly in unemployment aidpart of which would be paid by the cash-strapped states for which he refuses to provide relief. As the New York Times observed the day before, anticipating Trumps unilateral move: It was not clear that he had the power to do so without Congress, which controls spending, or that any set of executive actions could stabilize an economy devastated by the pandemic.

This is dereliction on an epic scale. But, increasingly, Trump spouts hallucinatory nonsense like a man awaking from a fever-dream. Were going to be doing a very inclusive healthcare plan, he said in July. No such legislation existedexcept, perhaps, in Trumps Lotusland of the mind. Nonetheless, Trump said to Wallace of Obamacare: Were getting rid of it because were going to replace it with something much better. He would sign a new plan into law very soon, within two weeksor so he promised three weeks ago.

Not to worry. Trump now promises to reform healthcare by executive ordera literally impossible task which, Lindsey Graham nonetheless assures us, hes pretty excited about.

What is so unnerving about this folie deux is its utter evanescence. No one else on Capitol Hill can verify that such a plan existsnor, except in his imaginings of monarchical omnipotence, can Trump transform healthcare by presidential fiat.

But there is one larger mercy: Unlike a Ruritanian potentate, Americas president must run for re-election.

This goes badly. Trumps approval ratings are underwater. In early August, the Washington Post summarized his week:

A slew of public polls showed Trump falling further behind Biden, who now leads by double digits nationally; Trump demoted his campaign manager Brad Parscale and replaced him with longtime GOP operative Bill Stepien; nearly 25,000 Americans died of the novel coronavirus, and a record 2 million were infected; Trump canceled the Republican National Convention celebrations; the economic recovery from a record contraction slipped into reverse; and 30 million Americans lost their $600 weekly federal unemployment assistance after the White House and Congress struggled to negotiate a stimulus package.

What stands out amid this self-inflicted wreckage is that, as ever, Trump found someone else to blamethe erstwhile genius Parscale. But this cannot obscure what would be obvious to anyone but a pathological narcissist: that Trumps most insuperable problems fester within.

Denuded of self-awareness, Trump looks in the mirror and sees himself in the eyes of his adoring base. But in his suffocating solipsism he refuses to perceive how many Americans will vote against him out of ineradicable loathing.

Instead, Trump demonizes Joe Biden. Consider this semi-hysterical tweet:

One trembles at the thought. But, on Thursday, Trump further informed us that Biden was out to kill off Christianity, the Bible, and God himself: Hes following the radical left agenda, take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God. Hes against God. Even worse, Trump added, Hes against energy, our kind of energy.

Such incoherent vituperation captures Trumps central problem: Compared with Trump himself, Biden is Mr. Rogers. Trumps ad hominem lunacy isnt working, and his time is running out: Early voting in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin starts in mid-September, and Trumps campaign seems to be writing off Michigan.

In desperation, Trump has declared war on the ultimate reality which separates democracies from monarchies: that, come November 3, voters will render judgment on his presidency. Hence his preemptive claims of voter fraud spawned another hallucinationpostponing the election itself.

Oblivious to John Lewiss funeral, Trump tweeted:

That this would abridge the Constitution eluded Americas premier historical illiterate. Whats real is a fear of mail-in balloting so deep that he threatens not to honor the electoral results.

Trumps solution is to sabotage another of our institutions: the postal service. The Washington Post reports that his new postmaster general, a Trump mega-donor, is cutting overtime pay, shutting down sorting machines early, and requiring letter carriers to avoid extra tripsall of which operate to delay mail deliveries.

The almost certain effect will be to undermine voting by mail, and therefore the election itselfwhich is precisely what Trump wants. Observes the Post: A delay in delivering ballots to voters and then returning them back to election officials could cause people to be disenfranchisedespecially in states that require ballots to be returned by Election Day, voting rights experts warn.

This would force Americans to vote in person at risk of their own health or, Trumps preference, to have their ballots discarded. This evokes the maddest of monarchs: having abandoned his duties to America, he would trash its democracy to save himself. Because nothing ever matters to Trump, but Trump.

It is what it is, Trump said of our national death toll. And what it is, more terrible to say, is the perfect expression of everything Trump is.

The rest is here:

The Ravings of Mad King Trump - The Bulwark

Slave-patrols and the Second Amendment: How Fears of Abolition empowered the idea of an armed militia – Milwaukee Independent

Article 1, Section 8, of the proposed Constitution had southern slave owners concerned about the future of their economy. Slavery can exist only in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.

If the antislavery folks in the North could figure out a way to disband those southern militiasor even just to move the militias out of the statesthe police state of the South would collapse. And, similarly, if the North were to invite into military service the slaves of the South, then they could be emancipated, which would collapse the institution of slaveryand the southern economic and social systemsaltogether.

These two possibilities worried southerners like James Monroe, George Mason who owned more than 300 slaves, and the southern Christian evangelical Patrick Henry the largest slaveholder in the state of Virginia.

Their main concern was that Article 1, Section 8, of the newly proposed Constitutionwhich gave the federal government the power to raise and supervise a militiacould also allow that federal militia to subsume their state militias and change them from slavery-enforcing institutions into something that could even, one day, free the slaves.

This was not an imagined threat. Famously, 12 years earlier, during the lead-up to the Revolutionary War, Lord Dunmore offered freedom to slaves who could escape the American South and join his forces. Liberty to Slaves was stitched onto the pocket flaps of the escapees jackets. During the war, British General Henry Clinton extended the practice in 1779. And numerous freed slaves served in General Washingtons army.

Thus, southern legislators and plantation owners lived not just in fear of their own slaves rebelling, but also in fear that their slaves could be emancipated through military service.

At the ratifying convention in Virginia in 1788, Patrick Henry laid it out: Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8, of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. . . .

By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defense is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neitherthis power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory.

George Mason expressed a similar fear: The [slave patrol] militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practiced in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretenses, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution].

Henry then bluntly laid it out: If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress. Congress, and Congress only [under this new Constitution], can call forth the militia.

And why was that such a concern for Patrick Henry?

In this state, he said, there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free.

Patrick Henry was also convinced that the power over the various state militias given to the federal government in the new Constitution could be used to strip the slave states of their slave-patrol militias. He knew the majority in the North opposed slavery, and he worried that theyd use the Constitution to free the Souths slaves a process then called manumission.

The abolitionists would, he was certain, use that power (and, ironically, this is pretty much what Abraham Lincoln ended up doing): [T]hey will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission, said Henry. And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defense and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?

This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper [proposed Constitution] speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it. He added, This is a local matter, and I can see no propriety in subjecting it to Congress.

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and a slaveholder himself, basically called Patrick Henry paranoid. I was struck with surprise, Madison said, when I heard him express himself alarmed with respect to the emancipation of slaves. There is no power to warrant it, in that paper [the Constitution]. If there be, I know it not.

But the southern fears wouldnt go away.

Patrick Henry even argued that southerners property (slaves) would be lost under the new Constitution, and the resulting slave uprising would be a disaster for them: In this situation, Henry said to Madison, I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone.

So Madison, who had (at Jeffersons insistence) already begun to prepare proposed amendments to the Constitution, changed his first draft to one that addressed the militia issue to make sure it was unambiguous that the southern states could maintain their slave patrol militias.

His first draft for what became the Second Amendment had said: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country [emphasis mine]: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.

But Henry, Mason, and others wanted southern states to preserve their slave-patrol militias independent of the federal government. So Madison changed the word country to the word state and redrafted the Second Amendment into todays form:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State [emphasis mine], the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Little did Madison, Jefferson, or Henry realize that one day in the future, weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as persons by a dysfunctional Supreme Court, would use his slave-patrol militia amendment to protect their right to manufacture and sell guns to individuals who would use them to murder schoolchildren.

The rest is here:

Slave-patrols and the Second Amendment: How Fears of Abolition empowered the idea of an armed militia - Milwaukee Independent

"Second Amendment Rights of the Successfully Treated/Former ‘Mentally Ill’" – Reason

An interesting article by New York lawyer David Z. Carl, from the June 2020 issue of the Nassau Lawyer (the journal of the Nassau [N.Y.] County Bar Association):

In 2008, in D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court declared that the right to have a functional handgun in the home is a fundamental right under the Second Amendment.[5] In 2010, the Court held in McDonald v. Chicago that this "fundamental right" is incorporated against the states by the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause.[6]

Although it declined to "undertake an exhaustive historical analysisof the full scope of the Second Amendment," the Heller court declared "longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms bythe mentally ill" were "presumptively" constitutional.[7]

Since then, some federal Circuit and District Courts have explored the issue and decided that "presumptive" constitutionality might not mean "actual" constitutionality. These courts have based their reasoning on a combined interpretation of Second and Fifth Amendment rights.

Pursuant to 18 USC 922 (g) (4) "It shall be unlawful for any personwho has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution to [possess a firearm]."[8] The Code of Federal Regulations defines certain terms as follows:

"Committed to a mental institution: A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily[9]

"Mental institution: Includes mental health facilities, mental hospitals, sanitariums, psychiatric facilities, and other facilities that provide diagnoses by licensed professionals of mental retardation or mental illness, including a psychiatric ward in a general hospital.[10]

Despite the regulatory authority above providing that "committed to a mental institution" means a "a formal commitment by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority," the Second Circuit in U.S. v. Waters[11] upheld the conviction of a New York man who had been admitted to a mental health unit solely upon the evaluation of two physicians. Mr. Waters was subsequently convicted of being a prohibited person in possession of firearms. The Waters case, however, was decided fourteen years before the Supreme Court held the possession of a firearm is a fundamental right. Accordingly, the court never considered whether the absence of, or minimal elements of, due process available at that time, was enough to allow for the deprivation of a newly secured fundamental constitutional right.

Under the New York state statutes still in effect today (e.g., MHL 9.27[12]) [the statute at issue in Waters] and MHL 9.37 [13]an otherwise astute individual could theoretically seek representation and some type of hearing, but only after the individual had already been admitted without such a hearing or counsel for as many as 60 days at the behest of two (or fewer) physicians. No automatic hearing or assignment of counsel is required prior to involuntary admission to a mental health facility. If, perhaps, believing he/ she will soon be discharged, the individual never requests counsel or a hearing, the only available due process is effectively waived. The person is nonetheless deemed to have been "committed," which would require firearms deprivation. This seems to conflict with other cases, discussed infra, that require before-the-fact due process for deprivation of a constitutional right.

Decades earlier, in United States v. Hansel,[14] the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals observed that Nebraska law provided a two-step procedure for determining when a patient was mentally ill and in need of hospitalization. If the County Mental Health Board made such determination, the individual could be hospitalized for up to 60 days; much like the time frame in New York. There was a second step available for keeping the patient beyond 60 days, but since Hansel was released after two weeks, this second provision was never invoked. The Court found that Hansel's temporary confinement did not constitute a commitment.[15]

Despite the equivalent length of 60-day hospitalizations in New York and Nebraska, the holding in Hansel is contradictory to the holding in Waters in that in New York, the initial 60 days of hospitalization, without due process, is sufficient to refuse an individual his Second Amendment rights. In Nebraska, only the holding of an individual after the 60 days is sufficient to refuse said rights.

Current Decisions

Now that the ability to possess a functional firearm is an individual right,[16] a once largely mundane area of law has surfaced as a hot topic. In United States v. Rehlander,[17] the State of Maine offered two categories of hospitalization. One offered due process, the other did not. The First Circuit Court of Appeals held that since possessing a firearm is a fundamental right, an admission without any adversary proceeding lacked the necessary due process procedures for permanent deprivation under Section 922(g)(4).

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals later made it clear en banc, in Tyler v. Hillsdale County Sherriff's Department, that 922(g)(4) "applies only to persons who are involuntarily committed by an appropriate judicial authority following due process safeguards."[18]

This is highly significant, because in Waters: (1) there was no advance due process; (2) the admitted individual was permitted only an opportunity to attempt to contact counsel from the hospital; and (3) said individual had to request an optional (rather than mandatory) hearing at some future time. If, as held by the Sixth Circuit, due process is required as a prerequisite for the deprivation of firearm rights, the holding in Waters presumably could not stand.

In United States v. McMichael, for example, the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan held that "a commitment [for the purpose of firearm rights-deprivation] does not occur until the completion of an adversary process that results in an adjudicative decision in favor of hospitalization."[19]

Moreover, in Wilborn v. Barr, the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that an emergency mental health examination lasting 120 hours or less directed by someone other than an authoritative body, where the individual did not have the right to counsel or an adversarial proceeding, could not support firearm deprivation.[20] If the logic of the Wilborn court is to be considered, the deprivation of rights by New York's provision for confinement up to 60 days without mandatory due process could be constitutionally suspect.

To be clear, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has subsequently (and recently) held in an unpublished case that appellants admitted based on New York's strictly medical standard could be denied fundamental firearms rights. In Phelps v. Bosco, the Second Circuit cited to Waters in upholding the denial of a firearm to the appellant. The Court took care to note, however, that:

Phelps did not raise a constitutional challenge to the state's conduct on appeal. Such a challenge would present complex issues, whether under the Second Amendment or the Due Process Clause.We therefore do not consider whether the state violated any of his constitutional rights when it reported his hospitalizations to the FBI or whether concern for these constitutional rights might change our interpretation of the word 'commitment' under New York's scheme[21]

Finally, in Doe v. Evanchick, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that:

Although the Supreme Court in Heller articulated that prohibition on the right to own a gun by the mentally ill is presumptively lawful, a temporary emergency commitment to a mental institution is not sufficient to consider the individual 'mentally ill' for the purposes of the Heller mental health exception. Thus, an individual committed under [Pennsylvania law] still retains a protected liberty interest in the right to bear arms.[22]

Curiously, though, the court denied the Plaintiff's contention that Pennsylvania lacked sufficient due process safeguards as Pennsylvania provided a mechanism for reinstatement of Second Amendment rights post-deprivation. The court held that the post-deprivation remedy was sufficient to satisfy due process requisites.[23]

Possibilities for Restoring Rights

One could argue that New York also offers post-deprivation remedies, as it offers a potential Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (restoring firearms rights) for individuals who have been committed without due process in accordance with the "NICS Improvement Act of 2007."[24] This remedy, nonetheless, seems akin to holding a person guilty (at the whim of a doctor) without any trial, and forcing him to prove his innocence later at his own burden and expense. It hardly seems like a sufficient protection of due process when countless individuals could be easily afforded adequate pre-deprivation safeguards for now-fundamental Constitutional rights.

It is eminently reasonable that people should not live with a lifelong disability because of unfortunate health conditions, which no longer endure, perhaps because of successful medical treatment or perhaps because their disabilities are from the distant past. Most courts so far seem to be correct in the wake of Heller and McDonald that the determination should be made on an individualized basis with robust pre-deprivation due-process safeguards. But whether this theory will prevail nationwide is a matter only time will tell.

[I added the bracketed text in the third paragraph because the author reports that this point was inadvertently deleted in the editing process for the published piece. -EV]

[1] The APA Removes "Gender Identity Disorder" From Updated Mental Health Guide, Dani Heffernan (Dec.3, 2012), available at https://bit.ly/3fEeou0.

[2] 18 USC 922 (g) (4).

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

[6] McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., 561 US 742 (2010).

[7] District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

[8] 18 USC 922 (g)(4).

[9] 27 CFR 478.11.

[10] Id.

[11] United States v. Waters, 23 F.3d 29 (2d Cir. 1994).

[12] MHL 9.27.

[13] MHL 9.37.

[14] United States v. Hansel, 474 F.2d 1120 (8th Cir. 1973).

[15] Id.

[16] District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

[17] United States v. Rehlander, 666 F.3d 45 (1st Cir. 2012).

[18] Tyler v. Hillsdale Cty. Sheriff's Dep't, 837 F.3d 678, 68182 (6th Cir. 2016) (en banc)(emphasis added).

[19] United States v. McMichael, 350 F.Supp.3d 647 (W.D. Mich. 2018) (emphasis added).

[20] Wilborn v. Barr, 401 F. Supp. 3d 501 (E.D. Pa. 2019).

[21] Phelps v. Bosco, 711 Fed.Appx. 63 (2d Cir. 2018).

[22] Doe v. Evanchick, 355 F.Supp.3d 197 (E.D. Pa. 2019).

[23] Id.

[24] NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (NIAA), Penal Law 110-180.

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"Second Amendment Rights of the Successfully Treated/Former 'Mentally Ill'" - Reason

Black Lives Matter activists rally in Martinsville Saturday – The Bloomingtonian

August 8, 2020; Martinsville, Indiana: Black Lives Matter activist Belinda Snowden argues with a member of the Scallywags III-percenter motorcycle club as BLM holds a rally on the Morgan County Courthouse Square Saturday. The BLM activists were met by armed counter-protesters who surrounded the square. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Before the group of Black Lives Matter activists showed up the Morgan County Square was already surrounded by people holding flags, and some carrying guns.

The rally was supposed to start at 3 p.m., but as a man sat near the war memorial downtown, holding a 16-gauge shotgun, the activists were nowhere to be seen. The man spoke using words like family, and heritage and expressed he was concerned the war memorial would be vandalized.

Two other men stood in the shade near a wall holding AR-15 rifles, one said he had been a cavalry scout in the U.S. Army, as he talked to another man sitting next to a scoped military-style rifle on a tripod, who reached out to pet a dog on a leash.

A man wearing a Military Police hat to indicate his service in the army sat on a sidewalk a short distance away, and a group of women stopped at the corner to pray. A couple from Florida had broken down near the site of the protest, and asked, Whats going on here?

The United States has been the location of continuous Black Lives Matter protests since Minneapolis Police killed George Floyd in May. However, this was the second Black Lives Matter protest in Martinsville.

A man could be heard saying to some people in a vehicle, They wont get much support here. This isnt Democrats like Bloomington. However, a member of the Martinsville Police Department said that Martinsville doesnt deserve the reputation it has and most people from the city would not protest against Black Lives Matter protesters. The city is known for the murder of a young Black woman in 1968, but it turned out the killer was from another city.

As a group of young women in their late teens or early 20s gathered to participate in the BLM rally, a man in his 50s walked past, looked at them, and grabbed his crotch.

Three women organized the rally Saturday. Katelynn Shaffer, and Shaelyn Powell, of Mooresville, spoke to a local reporter while they waited for BLM activist Sherry Tucker.

(Counter-protesters continued to show up at the square, and one man, maybe in his late 50s, wearing a white t-shirt looked at The Bloomingtonians Jeremy Hogan (me) weighed down with cameras and said in a threatening way, Try it and see what happens, as he put down a cooler, I noticed he was strapped with a handgun. So, I held my bottle of water and said to the man, I already have water, and then he said, Thats not what Im talking about.)

Black Lives Matter is for everyone. You dont have to be black to support Black Lives Matter. I feel that if you are not a racist person and you, you, everyone, despite their skin color is equal to you that you would also want them to feel safe and for them to receive justice. Were not anti-police officer. Were not anti-white people. Were just want to ensure that justice is served for people like Brionna Taylor and you know the names, said Katelynn Shaffer of Mooresville.

Tension filled the square as two young men carried Trump flags past the BLM activists who were finally gathering around 4 p.m. Two men carried a sign for the reelection of Donald Trump, and a BLM activist began to engage verbally with them, and out of nowhere Martinsville Police rolled up and separated the men from the BLM activists.

A few of the BLM activists got AR-15 style rifles from their vehicles and carried them throughout the rally.

The Scallywags III-percenter motorcycle club rolled up around 4 p.m. and parked on the square. A member of the group told The Bloomingtonian they are second amendment activists, and they are against tyranny. Some of the same bikers had participated in a Defend the Police caravan in Bloomington earlier Saturday.

The men walked in a group past the BLM protesters, and one of them flipped off the activists. Later a biker parked right in front of the group to drown out their chants, and as he revved his engine, he made a fist. Police once again appeared, and a member of the Martinsville police went over to talk to the bikers.

Our Black Lives dont matter, thats why we are out here protesting, said one of the BLM activists.

A woman maybe in her 60s, wearing a plaid shirt, grey sweatpants, and blue sandals, could be heard saying, They look like trouble makers to me. I protested against the Vietnam War, but I didnt go to someone elses town to do it.

The Mayor of Martinsville, Kenneth Costin, standing on the square, told The Bloomingtonian hed gotten no advance notice that the BLM activists would hold a rally in Martinsville, and when he heard about it, he reached out to the organizers of the previous rally, but they said they were not the organizers. The Mayor asked where the protesters had come from and seemed surprised that the bikers who had come to oppose them were also from out of town.

At various points during the rally, both sides insulted each other, and some people were held back by others, or the police.

A chaplain from the Martinsville Police Department handed out water to BLM protesters, and also the counter-protesters, and said he didnt want anybody to have a medical emergency due to dehydration.

Sherry Tucker told the crowd of counter-protesters that its not that white lives dont matter, they do matter, but since Black lives dont matter, that until they do, all lives cant matter.

Tucker told the crowd shed answer any questions they had. Some counter-protesters yelled questions, and Tucker attempted to answer them. Then the BLM activists marched around the courthouse again, and a man in his 50s put a scoped hunting rifle back into his vehicle.

By 6 p.m. the crowd began to dissipate, and the BLM activists appeared to be huddled in a group preparing to leave the area.

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Black Lives Matter activists rally in Martinsville Saturday - The Bloomingtonian

‘He was defending himself and his family’: Homeowner shoots, kills suspected invader – WTSP.com

LAND O' LAKES, Fla. A man believed to have been upset at a family supporting his estranged wife broke into their home Saturday afternoon and was shot to death by its homeowner, the sheriff said.

Deputies responded around 12:30 p.m. to the home in the Sunset Lakes subdivision, where 55-year-old Ronald Fleet was pronounced dead.

Fleet kicked in the door of the family's home and was met by the homeowner armed with a gun, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said. Fleet also was armed and was fired upon but returned a round of gunfire before exiting.

Fleet then "charges" into the house, Nocco said, forcing the homeowner to shoot and kill him.

"He was defending himself and his family," Nocco said. "Any loss of life is tragic, but the victim was utilizing his Second Amendment rights to protect himself and his family from the fear of Ronald who was carrying a gun, kicking in a door, trying to harm them.

"I can't imagine the fear that they were going through, but I'm very happy the fact that he was able to defend himself and his actions."

Nocco said the family was helping to protect the woman during divorce proceedings get out of a "horrific marriage." Records show Fleet had prior arrests for domestic battery and driving under the influence.

No one else was hurt in the shooting.

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'He was defending himself and his family': Homeowner shoots, kills suspected invader - WTSP.com

What to Know in Washington: Stimulus Talks Near Edge of Collapse – Bloomberg Government

Negotiations on a new coronavirus relief bill edged toward the brink of collapse after a meeting yesterday between White House officials and top congressional Democrats ended with each side accusing the other of being unwilling to compromise and the biggest issues far from resolved.

The four negotiators, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, emerged from a more than three-hour meeting with little to show and with no guarantee they would resume talks today.

Mnuchin and Meadows said that while talks made progress on a few areas of possible compromise, there still are disagreements on the topline numbers for a stimulus bill and on the biggest individual provisions, including aid to state and local governments that Democrats want.

The differences are still significant, Meadows said.

Pelosi said Republicans are not facing up to the gravity of the economic calamity facing the U.S. Schumer said the meeting was disappointing because the White House wasnt willing to meet them in the middle.

We are very far apart, Pelosi said. Its most unfortunate.

The talks began under the pressure of expectations from financial markets and the threat from President Donald Trump that hell act unilaterally to restore some of the stimulus measures that ran out during a stalemate in Congress.

Meadows and Mnuchin said they will consult with Trump and call Pelosi and Schumer today to determine if it makes sense to meet. Schumer made clear Democrats are willing to keep talking.

Todays release of the Labor Departments July jobs report may influence whether talks resume. While high-frequency data have indicated a slowdown in economic activity in recent weeks, the report is forecast to show another positive, though modest, gain in jobs. Still, the unemployment rate is expected to remain higher than it was at the peak of the deep recession that followed the financial crisis in 2008.

If the jobs report comes in better than expected, it could stiffen the resistance of the White House to spending anywhere close to $3.5 trillion Democrats have been demanding in the talks. A worse than expected report could hasten them to a conclusion. Read more from Erik Wasson, Steven T. Dennis and Laura Litvan.

Signs Are Pointing to a Far Less Rosy Jobs Report: After a surge in coronavirus cases across the U.S., all signs point to a slowdown in job gains last month or worse. The report is forecast to show a 1.48 million increase in nonfarm payrolls in July, the median estimate in projections ranging from a 600,000 decline to a gain of 3.2 million. Thats following a combined rise of 7.5 million in May and June, which just started to make up the 22 million drop over the first two months of the pandemic, Reade Pickert and Maeve Sheehey report.

The House meets at 10 a.m. for a pro forma session.

The Senate will reconvene Monday at 3 p.m., with no votes currently planned.

No hearings are scheduled in the House or Senate as of this morning.

Hawaii State Democratic Sen. Kahele Favored to Succeed Gabbard: A Democratic House primary tomorrow in Hawaii is more of a coronation than a competition. State Sen. Kai Kahele is an overwhelming favorite to win a four-candidate election in the 2nd District, which includes most of Hawaii outside Honolulu. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) is retiring.

None of Kaheles competitors in the primary reported raising $5,000, according to Federal Election Commission data as of July 19.

Kahele got a big head start when he announced in January 2019 he would run against Gabbard, who had just announced her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Gabbard, whose White House bid faltered, announced in October 2019 she wouldnt seek re-election to the House. Read more from Greg Giroux.

Judge Denies GOP Bid to Stop House Proxy Voting: A federal judge rejected a bid by House Republicans to block proxy-voting procedures Democrats created for members who are quarantined or otherwise house-bound during the Covid-19 pandemic. U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras said that House lawmakers may continue to vote by proxy because the U.S. Constitution protects members of Congress from civil suits contesting legislative acts. David Yaffe-Bellany has more.

Pipeline Bill Passed: The Senate last night by unanimous consent passed legislation (S. 2299), with a substitute amendment by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), that would authorize appropriations through fiscal 2023 for some pipeline safety programs, among other provisions. The bill now moves to the House. The chamber also passed S. 4075, legislation to amend the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, introduced by Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee.

Oil Profit by U.K. Firm Stirs Scrutiny: A Senate Democrat is calling on federal regulators to conduct a deep analysis of whether oil markets are susceptible to manipulation following a Bloomberg News report that documented how a small London firm made as much as $500 million when the price of oil went negative in April. Senate Banking Committee ranking member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Vega Capital Londons trading profits show additional regulatory safeguards are necessary. Ben Bain, Liam Vaughan, and Kit Chellel have more.

Rubio Wants More Time to Count Votes: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is warning of potential chaos in the election because of the pandemic and wants to give states nearly two months to count ballots. Under Rubios measure, states would have until Jan. 1 to certify electors to the Electoral College rather than Dec. 8. Read more from Ryan Teague Beckwith.

Senate Confirms SEC Nominees Peirce, Crenshaw: Hester Peirce and Caroline Crenshaw will serve as SEC commissioners until at least 2024 after receiving the Senates endorsement. The Senate confirmed Peirce and Crenshaw for terms on the Securities and Exchange Commission by voice vote. Trump nominated them in June. Read more from Andrew Ramonas.

Peters Solicits Americans Postal Delay Complaints: Americans who have had critical mail such as election ballots or medicine delayed or go missing should report it to Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the top Senate Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Peters is investigating the reported service delays following recent changes, Shaun Courtney reports. Ive heard firsthand from constituents, postal workers and local officials in Michigan who have encountered problems with the timely and dependable service they count on to conduct business, get prescription medications and critical supplies, and even exercise their right to vote, Peters said in a press release.

Hagerty Wins Tennessee GOP Primary for Alexanders Seat: Bill Hagerty won the Tennessee Republican primary for the seat held by retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), AP reports. Trump endorsed Hagerty, his former ambassador to Japan, in a 15-way Republican race. Hagerty, a former private equity executive who was Tennessees economic and community development commissioner, faced competition from Manny Sethi, an orthopedic trauma surgeon and son of Indian immigrants.

Commission Turns Down Request for Fourth Debate: The Commission on Presidential Debates yesterday rejected the Trump campaigns request for an additional debate against Democrat Joe Biden in early September as well as its push to pick moderators for the three scheduled debates. Read more from Jennifer Epstein.

Trump Campaign Sees Jump After Virus Briefings: Trumps new campaign manager credited the revival of the presidents daily briefings with narrowing the gap between him and Biden, saying that when the president speaks its a needle mover. Bill Stepien took over as the presidents campaign manager in July. Since Stepien stepped in, Trump has changed his public approach to the pandemic. Mario Parker has more.

Trump Says Biden Is Against God: Trump said Biden was opposed to God and religion, turning to cultural issues during a speech on the economy. Hes going to do things that nobody ever would ever think would be possible because hes following the radical left agenda, Trump said during an Ohio event. Take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible, hurt God. Hes against God, hes against guns.

Biden slammed Trumps comments, calling the president an insecure bully. For President Trump to attack my faith is shameful. Its beneath the office he holds and its beneath the dignity the American people so rightly expect and deserve from their leaders, Biden said in a statement. Ryan Teague Beckwith has more.

Biden Apologizes For Comments on Racial Diversity: Biden apologized late yesterday for comments he made earlier in the day that suggested that the African-American community was not diverse. In no way did I mean to suggest the African-American community is a monolith not by identity, not on issues, not at all, Biden said in an series of tweets. In an interview with Black and Latino journalists published early yesterday, Biden said that unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things. Read more from Jennifer Epstein.

Kanye West Plays Spoiler: Rapper Kanye West all but confirmed he is running a spoiler campaign for the presidency to draw votes from Biden, amid reports that GOP operatives are helping him get on the ballot. Im not going to argue with you. Jesus is King, West told a Forbes reporter after the reporter pointed out the artist cannot win since he wont be on enough ballots to garner the necessary 270 electoral votes. Read more from Ryan Teague Beckwith.

Virginia Drops Absentee Ballot Witness Requirement: Virginia has agreed to extend its suspension of its witness requirement for absentee ballots for the November general election due to the continued presence of Covid-19 in the state, according to a recent filing in federal court. Election officials and the League of Women Voters of Virginia agree that enforcing the requirement during the coronavirus pandemic would impose a serious burden on the right to vote, the parties told the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia Wednesday. Read more from Porter Wells.

Trump Widens China Tech Attack: Trump signed a pair of executive orders yesterday prohibiting U.S. residents from doing business with the Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat apps beginning in 45 days, citing the national security risk of leaving Americans personal data exposed. The bans mark a significant escalation by Trump in his confrontation with Beijing as the U.S. seeks to curb Chinas power in global technology.

The move coincides with Trumps push for the sale of TikTok, the popular video app owned by ByteDance, to an American company. It threatens penalties on any U.S. resident or company that conducts transactions with TikTok, WeChat or their owners after the orders take effect. To protect our Nation, I took action to address the threat posed by one mobile application, TikTok. Further action is needed to address a similar threat posed by another mobile application, WeChat, Trump said in the order against WeChat, released minutes after the TikTok measure. Read more from Saleha Mohsin, Shelly Banjo, Nick Wadhams and Justin Sink.

U.S. Seeks Tighter Disclosures for China Listings: A high-powered U.S. panel recommended tightening the disclosure requirements for Chinese companies listed on American exchanges, following mounting concerns about the possible exposure of investors to fraud. The Working Group on Financial Markets said it will recommend the Securities and Exchange Commission bolster requirements governing the submission of audit papers from Chinese listingsboth new and existingto the main American accounting-standards agency. Read more from Saleha Mohsin and Jenny Leonard.

Trump to Reimpose Some Tariffs on Canada: The Trump administration will reimpose tariffs on some Canadian aluminum imports, striking a crucial trade partner only weeks after the presidents landmark North American trade deal went into effect. Trump announced that he was removing Canadas exemption from 10% tariffs, effective Aug. 16. Read more from Joe Deaux, Josh Wingrove, Jenny Leonard, and Jennifer Jacobs.

U.S., India Plan Meetings: The U.S. and India will hold ministerial meetings and discussions later this year, according to a State Department read out issued after Secretary of State Michael Pompeos phone call with Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Archana Chaudhary reports.

Roberts Court Draws Partisan Fire: Pretty much no one is happy with U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts. And that may suit him just fine. Vice President Mike Pence joined a chorus of right-wing criticisms of the Supreme Courts leader, telling CBN News on Wednesday that the Republican-appointed Roberts has been a disappointment to conservatives. Those attacks come even as liberals say the real problem is Robertss larger body of work and steady effort to bolster conservative legal causes.

Together, the dueling critiques are bolstering an image Roberts has long sought to foster that of a court that decides cases independently, not based on ideological leanings or party preference. Read more from Greg Stohr.

Main Street Program Attracts Handful of Borrowers: The Federal Reserves Main Street Lending Program had attracted just eight borrowers as of July 27, according to a report released yesterday by the central bank. Borrowers took out $10 million through the New Loan Facility and $70.9 million through the Priority Loan Facility, which provides potentially larger amounts to more leveraged companies. Read more from Catarina Saraiva.

DeWine Says Positive Test for Covid-19 Was False: Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican who has aggressively pushed public-health measures for Ohio, said last night that an initial positive test for Covid-19 was apparently a false result. DeWine took an antigen test early in the day. But then the governor said later that a second test using the PCR or nucleic acid method came back negative, as did tests for his wife and staff members. Stephen Merelman has more.

Safety Agency Moves Ahead with Quorum of One: The new chairwoman of a federal agency that investigates major industrial accidents has an unusual problem: shes the only person on its five-member board, and Trump wants it shut down. Katherine Lemos said she plans to continue the U.S. Chemical Safety Boards work after securing a legal opinion that she can operate as a quorum of one. In her first interview since taking office, Lemos vowed to get the roughly 35-person agency with a checkered-past off the problem child list, while promising to be tough on chemical and petroleum industries it oversees. Read more from Ari Natter and Alan Levin.

EPA Finalizing Second Term Trump Agenda Plans: The EPA is wrapping up its agenda for a second Trump administration term, as it gears up to release key air and water regulations including the rewrite of methane standards and revisions to the lead rule, Administrator Andrew Wheeler said yesterday. We are, at this point, putting our final touches on our agenda for the second term, he said. Amena H. Saiyid has more.

CandyPAC Lead Onboarded from Lodging Association: The National Confectioners Association has hired Alyssa Clevenger away from the American Hotel & Lodging Association to oversee the groups political action committee, the CandyPAC. The CandyPAC has donated about $420,000 to political committees since January 2019, Megan R. Wilson reports.

Trump Fails to Stall Rape Accusers Lawsuit: Trump cant stall a defamation lawsuit filed by a New York advice columnist who claims he raped her two decades ago, a judge ruled, allowing the two sides to start digging for evidence. E. Jean Carroll, who went public with her claims last year and sued Trump after he called her a liar, will now seek to depose the president as well as get a DNA test from him to compare with a sample on a dress the author said she wore at the time of the alleged attack. Read more from Erik Larson.

With assistance from Emily Wilkins, Megan R. Wilson, and Shaun Courtney

To contact the reporters on this story: Zachary Sherwood in Washington at zsherwood@bgov.com; Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com; Loren Duggan at lduggan@bgov.com; Michaela Ross at mross@bgov.com

Continued here:

What to Know in Washington: Stimulus Talks Near Edge of Collapse - Bloomberg Government

Trump calls Biden Sleepy but cant say Yosemite, Thailand: Darcy cartoon – cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- President Trump has nicknamed Joe Biden Sleepy Joe, portrayed him as feeble, challenged him to a cognitive test, said hes anti-God, but mispronounced Thailand after also mispronouncing Yosemite, all while Biden was seen vigorously riding a mountain bike.

At a campaign stop at the Whirlpool factory in Clyde, Ohio Thursday, Trump mispronounced Thailand, saying THIGH-land. Tuesday at a bill signing event, Trump had also mispronounced Yosemite twice. Trump pronounced it Yo-SEMIGHTS then Yo-se-min-NIGHT before giving up on pronouncing it Yo-sem-i-tee. You would have thought the President of the United States would have heard Thailand and Yosemite National Park before, or at least Yosemite Sam, the cartoon character.

Trump having THIGH-land on his mind is really not a surprise given his infidelities, comments about women physically or if youve seen the size of his thighs in golf attire.

During his Whirlpool speech, Trump also said the devout Catholic Biden was against God.

Take away your guns,destroy your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible, hurt God. Hes against God, hes against guns, hes against energy, our kind of energy.

The last time Trump was seen at a church was when he had protesters cleared from Lafayette Square next to The White House so he could have a brief photo-op in front of St. Peters church holding a Bible upside down.

In between mispronouncing Yosemite and Thailand, Trump tweeted a challenge for Biden to take the simple cognitive test he bragged about acing.

He cannot pass the test I ACED. He should give it a try.

All the time this was going on, footage was released of Biden driving his 1967 Corvette Stingray and vigorously riding a mountain bike while wearing a mask and cracking a joke.

Biden was driving his vintage vette for an ad. He had previously been seen driving it on a segment of Jay Lenos Garage in 2016. The classic car was a wedding gift to Biden from his father, who worked at a Chevy dealership.

When have you ever seen Trump driving anything besides a golf cart, let alone riding a bike?

At 77, Bidens not Sleepy Joe hes Spry Joe.

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Trump calls Biden Sleepy but cant say Yosemite, Thailand: Darcy cartoon - cleveland.com

Perspectives on partisanship from a professional neutral | Columnists – LancasterOnline

Political commentator Walter Lippmann once offered this lament about the modern age: For the most part we do not first see, and then define, we define first and then see.

As a labor arbitrator and mediator, I resolve grievances filed by unions challenging actions taken by their employers by analyzing the facts, making findings and drawing conclusions. When asked to mediate, I ascertain the facts and then attempt to define a common ground upon which the parties might compromise. Using Lippmanns terms, it is my role to first see, and then define.

As we draw closer to what is going to be one of the most contentious presidential elections in our lifetimes, I am especially frustrated watching the current political discourse that defines first, then sees. I am referring to an increasing penchant for grasping partisan positions and obtusely rejecting out of hand any facts that conflict with the narratives. It is the primary reason for gridlock at all government levels, because political bodies cannot find solutions when they are unable to agree on one set of facts.

Indeed, the U.S. Senate was intended to be the body where things get done by compromise. This is no longer the case. In fact, in our modern age the word compromise has taken on a more sordid connotation (he was caught in a compromising position). Compromise is now a sign of weakness because it conflicts with the partisans definitions.

The National Rifle Association and Planned Parenthood would never be considered kindred spirits politically, yet their partisan approaches are similar. Both groups define first. In the case of the NRA: the Second Amendment protects citizens rights to own a firearm. Planned Parenthood: Roe v. Wade and the right of privacy preserves a womans right to choose. Then with teeth-gritting determination both entities resist any proposed restrictions on these constitutional rights. This is so even when the facts what many Americans see (i.e., senseless gun violence, partial birth abortion) may warrant sensible regulations.

When governing is driven by define first and then see, it usually results in endless posturing and law ultimately being made by five U.S. Supreme Court justices. It also leads to overcorrection, as recently evidenced by efforts to defund police departments or to use violence against lawful protests. Most Americans favor neither.

Donald Trumps presidency has seen the zenith of define first, then see, with partisans doubling down on their definitions. Thus, the only negatives Trumps partisan supporters begrudgingly see is that he has trouble reading a teleprompter and tweets too much. Shockingly, they cannot see the very same childish behaviors, overactive ego and boorish treatment of others they would not tolerate if exhibited by their own children, much less their president.

Many cite Trumps defense of religious liberties and the right to life while ignoring his well-documented less-than-Christian behaviors. These partisans refuse to admit that the self-proclaimed wartime president initially dismissed reaction to COVID-19 as a hoax and has since blamed others rather than unify the country. Anything seen that detracts from the partisans definitions is disregarded or deflected (usually with a what about her emails, Benghazi, etc., retort).

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People on the anti-Trump side have their own sacred definitions. Based on flimsy evidence and panicked by his 2016 win despite the polls, they defined Trump from the start as an illegitimate president who stole the election by conspiring with Russia. Once this narrative was undermined by the Mueller report, the partisan left simply replaced it with the obstruction of justice definition.

They refuse to acknowledge any of Trumps accomplishments, such as the (pre-COVID-19) robust economy and rising employment numbers. Many Democratic legislators now reject some of the same border security measures they previously supported under President Barack Obama. The partisan left also chooses not to see the fact, confirmed by the FBIs inspector general, that Obamas FBI provided untruthful and misleading information to obtain warrants to spy on Trump associates even before he took office.

Then there are facts that neither side wants to acknowledge, such as Trumps termination of trade deals loathed by labor unions or signing bills providing for paid child care leave. The left cannot admit Trump has certain populist leanings, while the right cannot admit that he is less than a true conservative.

If we were to see the Trump presidency the way an arbitrator would, we might initially find that the leftist partisans took unethical (and perhaps illegal) steps to marginalize the Trump presidency from the start. Then, with the help of a sympathetic media, it doubled down with impeachment proceedings knowing they never had the votes to convict. We also may find that Trump is a narcissistic, thin-skinned, unsteady leader, who divides by exploiting our worst instincts. On his watch the economy and unemployment improved before the pandemic hit, but he has failed to lead since. Partisans would say all of these findings cannot coexist.

Dont expect any self-analysis from the partisans because it is hard to admit ones deeply held definitions are wrong or misplaced. It is much easier to ignore facts to support the narrative. But as John Adams once posited, Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

Alas, our modern-day problems cannot be resolved via arbitration or mediation. They will never be solved utilizing genuine facts and compromise until we are willing to question our revered definitions.

James M. Darby is an arbitrator and mediator who lives in Lancaster. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and chairman of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. The opinions expressed in this column are his own.

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Perspectives on partisanship from a professional neutral | Columnists - LancasterOnline

Rival Gun Rights Group Accuses NRA of Never Advocating for Second Amendment Amid Lawsuit – Newsweek

  1. Rival Gun Rights Group Accuses NRA of Never Advocating for Second Amendment Amid Lawsuit  Newsweek
  2. New York's attorney general shouldn't dismantle the NRA  Napa Valley Register
  3. The case against the NRA must be politically bulletproof  New York Daily News
  4. Congressman Greg Gianforte writes letter to NRA CEO inviting the organization to relocate to Montana  KULR-TV
  5. The NRA is corrupt, dangerous, and extremist says head of Pride Fund  metroweekly.com
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

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Rival Gun Rights Group Accuses NRA of Never Advocating for Second Amendment Amid Lawsuit - Newsweek


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