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Entries in 2nd Amendment (3)

Tuesday
Mar192013

Rep. J.R. Hoell - New Hampshire jobs, lives in the cross hairs of gun debate

By Rep. J.R. Hoell
Dunbarton, NH


It would seem absurd to almost anyone if a group of politicians said they wanted to ban a list of controversial books or require a background check that verified the completion of some civics education before anyone could vote in an election.

After all, the state and federal constitutions protect the right to free speech, regardless of where a person happens to be, and it also protects the equal right to vote in free elections for everyone who is 18 and older. Importantly, these constitutions specifically restrict the right to vote for people convicted of treason, bribery or violation of election laws, not to mention those individuals who happen to be 17 or younger.

Now, the federal Constitution also protects the right to “keep and bear arms” and specifically asserts that this right “shall not be infringed” by Congress. Our state Constitution protects the right of individuals who are “defending life and liberty” or “protecting property.” It also specifically affirms: “All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.” Unlike the right to vote, there are no constitutional restrictions on these very clear God given Natural Rights of self-defense.

Why then, is it not absurd for politicians to seek legal restrictions on citizens’ right to defend themselves from potentially lethal attacks “wherever they have a right to be,” as our state law now says? Why is it not absurd to require background checks before someone can buy a constitutionally protected product? Why is it not absurd to contemplate banning any weapon that a person can bear? How are these restrictions of the right to self-defense any different from the restrictions to voting or speech rights contemplated above?

Quite simply: Any restriction on gun rights or the right to self-defense is equally absurd and unconstitutional.

Yet, we now have a group of Democrat state legislators in the House who have made it their priority to violate gun owners’ constitutional rights, at the expense of safety and the New Hampshire economy. The same group of Democratic legislators who complained last session when Republicans lifted the unconstitutional ban on guns in parts of the State House reinstated the ban as their first order of business this year.

Then, the Democrats busily got to work on bills to ban guns in public buildings, to prohibit people from showing a gun to diffuse a violent confrontation, to allow violent aggressors to sue people who use their gun in self defense, to require people to take a safety course before buying a gun, and to force innocent people to run and cower from someone trying to kill, rape or seriously harm them.

All of the Democrats’ ideas to restrict gun rights this year are unconstitutional and a distraction from more important business, but the Democrats are now working overtime to convince you it is a compromise for them to advance HB 135, a bill that would make you a criminal for defending your life with a gun outside your house. That bill is scheduled for a vote in the House this week.

Perhaps New Hampshire Democrats expect a woman who is about to be raped to urinate or throw-up on herself as she’s trying to get away from her rapist rather than stop the rape with her gun? Or maybe Democrats expect a disabled man in a wheelchair to let an assailant tip over his chair and take his wallet instead of prevent potentially life-threatening injuries and the theft with his gun? Do they think the well trained, concealed-carry license holder should let a madman shoot 30 people before the cops arrive or take the clear shot that he has and stop the mayhem? Maybe Democrats want a young mother to allow her children to be murdered as she runs under a table to hide instead of take a weapon from her purse and save her most precious loved ones?

With their relentless efforts, it is clearly more important for House Democrats to stop law-abiding citizens from lawfully protecting themselves than to work on efforts to rebuild our struggling economy. What’s worse, a quick look at the statistics show how Democratic efforts to curb lawful gun rights in New Hampshire will actually contribute further to economic malaise.

By far, the firearms industry in New Hampshire generates more revenue per capita and employs more people per capita than the firearms industry in every other state. In New Hampshire, there are over 2,100 people working in the firearms and ancillary industries generating over $150 million of economic activity, according to the National Shooting Sports Association, yet the Democrats want to shut this industry down.

With their uncompromising action, it’s quite clear that Democrats are not only trampling all over constitutionally protected rights, they are also actively working to harm the economy.

 

Released by House Republican Alliance

Tuesday
Jan292013

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter - Time for Action

As I write this column, the news is covering still another shooting, this time on a college campus. We will learn who was involved, who was standing where when it happened, who witnessed it, who was hurt, who the hurt people’s friends and families are. Students—reportedly 10,000 students attend the college—will say how terrified they were. And then…the story of this shooting will be dropped from the news cycle, only to be replaced by another shooting story. And Americans will wonder why we can’t seem to stop the violence. Or can we?

When the children and teachers were executed in a mass murder at an elementary school, right before Christmas, while we were talking about love and faith and family and peace, everyone thought that this time, politicians would take action. It did seem for awhile that we had reached our breaking point, and that we would finally be ready to pass responsible gun legislation that would give us both the freedom to hunt and protect our families and the freedom to go about our daily lives without fear of being gunned down in still another act of violence. There was encouraging talk about passing legislation as quickly as possible, and President Obama did sign some Executive Orders with the families of the murdered six and seven year olds and the slain staff in the room.

The fight was already ugly, but that’s where it got uglier. The head of the National Rifle Association said that President Obama was “attacking firearms and ignoring children.” There was a sea of outrage that President Obama had children at the event. Children were at the site of the massacre—I think it is appropriate that children who knew it happened and wrote about it should be in the room when grownups say we are going to try to stop this from happening again to children, or anyone else. The NRA leadership also dragged the President’s own children into the fray, as they falsely warned that President Obama was going to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.

Some in Congress were upset at even the mildest suggestions, such as doctors asking if there are guns in the house so they can talk about safety issues involved when there are children in the residence. Doctors ask if somebody smokes around children. They talk about being safe and careful with candles and stoves, but apparently, they should not ask about a huge killer of children—guns.

It’s time to stop the fighting and work on the solutions here. It is time to stop bowing to special interests and yes, the money they bring to campaigns, and talk about how we are going to protect both the right to have guns for sport and for protection, and the right to be safe from gun violence.

The easiest step should be to require background checks for gun sales. This means gun sales involving most private sales also. The majority of Americans support this plan. We also need to make sure that critical information is available when there is a background check. Records right now are too often incomplete, and do not identify a buyer’s criminal history or a dangerous mental illness.

It is time to end high-capacity magazine sales. It used to be that citizens had a chance to get away from a shooter when he had to stop to reload. But with high-capacity magazines, the killer can just keep firing away a lot longer, murdering many more innocent folks. Hunters do not need to fire 30 rounds. Neither do citizens exercising their right to defend themselves. I support banning magazines holding more than ten rounds. This will help law enforcement and the public to disarm a mass shooter, and it will give people a better chance to escape a madman.

I support President Obama’s call to close loopholes in gun trafficking laws, and to beef up law enforcement in communities. Let’s also step up mental health services, and work together to encourage a reduction of violence in video games and television and movies. All of these ideas should be the easiest to enact. There is another step, an assault weapon ban, that will require more political debate, but these ideas listed here are common-sense ideas that should have no political test of courage attached to them. Can’t we at least get this done now? Let’s get it done now. It already has been a long and deadly wait.

###

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter represents New Hampshire’s First District. She previously served the District from 2007-2011, and she was reelected in the November 2012 election. The Congresswoman is again serving on the House Armed Services Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.

Tuesday
Sep012009

Political Violence in New Hampshire?

By Chaz Proulx

 

NH Insider Readers: I wrote the following piece last week for the NH Union Leader. On Monday I discussed the idea of this piece with Drew Cline, the editorial page editor. He liked the idea and brought up the issue of time-sensitivity because Carol Shea-Porter was going to hold two live town meetings on Saturday and my idea was tied to that event.

 

I told Drew I’d write it right away, but told him I had to “clear the air” over past grievances with the U.L. editorial page first.” I couldn’t get motivated to write for five hours if my piece had no chance of being printed.

 

Specifically I brought an incident a four years ago when the Union Leader dropped a scheduled op ed of mine, because I’d had “words” with publisher Joe McQuaid. After that incident Drew Cline at least admitted what had happened. He told me “Joe wouldn’t duck it.”

 

I also brought up the fact that twice this month my comments to the Union Leader Web site had been blocked. I knew they got received my comments because long time U.L. employee Charlie Perkins sent me an e-mail after I protested. Charlie’s e-mail contained my comment.

 

I was satisfied that the air was clear and I would be treated fairly. I wrote the op-ed on Tuesday, and sent it to Drew. Drew sent me this e-mail.

 

Chaz,

 

Nice piece. I'll definitely run it. Not sure what day, though. Won't be tomorrow, no room. Will let you know.

 

Drew

 

There were a few more e-mails, all indicating a go.


But that’s as close as I got. Drew did not run it.

 

Fool me once...

 

I don’t know what happened but amongst other scenarios, I would imagine that the U.L. is loath to mention a political website. They don’t like the competition and if NH INSIDER spiked because of the attention to this article it wouldn’t make the bean counters happy.

 

Anyway, thanks to Richard Barnes for giving me permission to use quotes by him. Legally Richard’s work is in the public domain, but I preferred to tell him what I was doing and getting the green light from him. I was limited to 700 words so I couldn’t include Richards quotes in full context.

 

Oh, did I mention that the Union Leader editorial board is a bunch of cowards?

 

 

Political Violence in New Hampshire?

 

 

Recently the Union Leader, Portsmouth Herald and Nashua Telegraph ran editorials with a similar complaint—they took Carol Shea-Porter to task for not holding live town meetings during the August Congressional recess. Two of these editorials made reference to the days when an unknown Carol Shea-Porter earned a reputation by asking then-sitting Representative Jeb Bradley very tough questions at live meetings.

 

I’m an activist Democrat but I think that all three papers bring up legitimate points about the value of live town hall meetings. But I’m afraid that there’s is a glaring omission in each editorial.

 

It’s this: All three editorials fail to mention the very real and growing probability of political violence in NH.

 

Put another way--Jeb Bradley faced Carol Shea-Porter armed with tough relevant questions while Representative Shea-Porter and her followers and the public are facing armed, viciously angry and anonymous people.

 

What evidence do I have? Plenty—some firsthand. I’ve been threatened with death myself. What brought on the threat? I was wearing a Carol Shea-Porter hat at the recent Obama Town Hall meeting in Portsmouth. A protester and I had a few words, then he urged me to throw the first punch even though I had my hands behind my back. He followed by repeating, “I want to kill you.” I believed him.

 

That incident is anecdotal--more revealing evidence is just a mouse click away:

 

As some reading might know I wrote a Column for three years at NH INSIDER a predominately conservative web site. I was a “voice of the left” so to speak. Over the years I engaged in hundreds of debates in the comments section.

 

Richard Barnes, a conservative colleague at NH INSIDER has written extensively about gun rights and constitutional issues. Richard’s column is widely read--last week he was rated fifth in NH web traffic by Blog Net News.

 

Following the reports of guns at the recent Obama event in Portsmouth Richard wrote a series of articles on the subject including: Democrats Fear of Open Carry ( 1 and 2) and Guns Around Obama.

 

I engaged Richard in the comments section of his blog about this. We had a long discussion with many revelations, but it all boiled down to my last question and Richard’s answer.

 

Chaz question-----"Have we reached the point where armed patriots are going to go beyond threats?"

 

Richard’s answer ----“It wouldn't shock me if we had. People can only be pushed so far before they push back.”

 

Richard also believes that a number of people are carrying hidden weapons. He writes, “I'm aware of at least one person who went to both the Republican and Democrat debates during the election who concealed carried.”

 

A commentor to Richards column went even further stating: "BTW, for anyone confused, there may have been hundreds of people carrying guns at the event. If you don't think so, spend some more time thinking about it."

 

Frankly, I’d rather not have to think about it.

 

At least one prominent conservative shares my alarm and has the back bone to confront an ugly trend.. David Frum, the former (GW) Bush speechwriter and Republican strategist wrote a telling piece that appeared on August 13, in The Week.

 

In Frum’s words: “Nobody has been hurt so far. We can all hope that nobody will be. But firearms and politics never mix well. They mix especially badly with a third ingredient: the increasingly angry tone of incitement being heard from right-of-center broadcasters.”

 

Frum sites many examples including this: ”Just yesterday, the radio host Sean Hannity openly contemplated violence—and primly tut-tutted that if it occurs, the president will have only himself to blame.”

 

All this is only the tip of the iceberg of course. The evidence is all around us. Militia groups are on the rise and with a black President, racists are spreading their resentments onto fertile ground.

 

Lastly this: political murder happens. A year ago, on August 13, 2008, Bill Gwatney, the Chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, was gunned down in his office by a disgruntled man with a gun. No solid motive was ever reported.

 

I guess the man “snapped.”

 

Will someone snap here? The odds are rising every day.