Hogg and cops said a prank call targeted the teenage school-shooting survivor’s home, triggering a substantial law-enforcement response. PARKLAND, Florida-Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor David Hogg , now one of the most outspoken voices in the anti-gun violence “March for our Lives” movement, was the victim of a “swatting” prank Tuesday morning, when police responded to a hoax call about criminal activity at Hogg’s Florida home.
Two families that lost loved ones in the Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are looking for some accountability, and not just from the school shooter.
On Thursday, Parkland parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg and Max Schachter, the parents of students Jaime Guttenberg and Alex Schachter who died in the attack, are filing a lawsuit against the gun store where the high school shooter bought his AR-15 and the gun manufacturer that made it.
The Parkland parents argue that Sunrise Tactical Supply, the gun store, and American Outdoor Brands, the gun manufacturer, are “complicit” in the deaths of their children and 15 other students.
NBC News states, “It’s the first lawsuit filed in Florida since the Feb. 14 shooting that specifically targets the gun industry as a whole.”
However, the Parkland parents may face a roadblock because of a Florida statute that aims to protect gun stores and manufacturers from such lawsuits.
The 2001 law, Florida Statute 790.331, explicitly prohibits state, county and city government agencies from suing businesses over the legal manufacture and sale of weapons that are later used unlawfully. The law is silent on whether victims can sue on those grounds.
The same law allows governments and victims to sue over defects in the weapons, but “the potential of a firearm or ammunition to cause serious injury, damage, or death as a result of normal function does not constitute a defective condition of the product.”
Though the Sun-Sentinel states the law does not specify whether or not victims of gun violence can sue businesses or gun manufacturers if a weapon is used to commit a crime, the next sentence seems to answer the question of whether that position will hold up in court. While a defect in a weapon can be grounds for a lawsuit, a weapon’s ability to cause harm due to its normal function does not count.
While Florida has its statute, there is also a law protecting against these kinds of frivolous lawsuits at the federal level.
In 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush to protect gun businesses and gun manufacturers from being penalized for the actions of criminals who legally purchased or illegally obtained their firearms so they could commit crimes.
Within the PLCAA, Congress stated:
Sec. 2. Findings; Purposes
(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(3) Lawsuits have been commenced against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms that operate as designed and intended, which seek money damages and other relief for the harm caused by the misuse of firearms by third parties, including criminals.”
(b) Purposes- The purposes of this Act are as follows:
(1) To prohibit causes of action against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and their trade associations, for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended.
If gun businesses and gun manufacturers follow current gun laws, and gun purchasers pass background checks, there’s no reason for a gun store or gun manufacturer to be held accountable for upholding the law and allowing Americans to exercise their Second Amendment right. Responsibility should fall solely on the individuals who chose to abuse their right to bear arms and those businesses that are negligent when selling firearms.
It’s important to note that gun stores have been held accountable for selling firearms to individuals who should not be in possession of them. In 2015, Bearing Arms reported on a Wisconsin gun business that was charged with negligence for allowing a straw purchase to take place. When the news broke, the anti-gun left attempted to spin the facts of the case to fight against the necessary PLCAA, even though the Act does not protect such a business.
This lawsuit from the Parkland parents may face the same fate as the lawsuit against Remington which was brought forward by the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. It has been dismissed on several occasions.
The post Parkland Families Bring Lawsuit Against Gun Store And Manufacturer appeared first on Bearing Arms.
While gun owners and non-gun owners disagree on a handful of proposed policies, they agree on many new measures to strengthen gun laws, according to a new study. A majority in both groups supports universal background checks, greater accountability for licensed gun dealers, higher safety training standards for concealed-carry permit holders, improved reporting of records related to mental illness for background checks, gun prohibitions for those with temporary domestic violence restraining orders, and gun violence restraining orders.
So, has Kyle Kashuv received an invitation yet?
NBC News reports that House Democrats are inviting students from Majory Stoneman Douglas High School to intern this summer to work on gun violence prevention … which may or may not be a step up from lying on the floor of a supermarket.
House Democrats are inviting Parkland students to come intern in their offices and work on gun violence prevention. https://t.co/yhn4O4g0MV
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 24, 2018
Reminder: Any time the media uses the shorthand “Parkland students,” they’re referring to a subset consisting of anti-NRA activists like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez.
House Democrats are inviting students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — who survived a mass school shooting in February — to come intern in their offices, working on gun violence prevention.
“We think it would be a great experience for them to be on the Hill to see exactly how things operate — or doesn’t, to some degree — but also to have time with these very special young people that have experienced something that none of us ever want to have experienced and I think we can learn from each other,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley, who is helping lead the effort, told NBC News.
Our politics are about 180 degrees from hers, but we think Symone D. Sanders has a valid point here — why are the Parkland students getting special treatment, as if there haven’t been other young people affected by gun violence?
Wait y’all!! Are the #Ferguson protestors, young people who were/are on the frontlines in #Baltimore or the amazing student activists from #Chicago getting internships too? Nah? https://t.co/jNN3xxEWl9
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 25, 2018
I love the Parkland students. Everyday their perseverance encourages me. But I also love them b/c they have been good at talking about their privilege and bringing other students whom don’t get town halls and Harvard invites to the table.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 25, 2018
So it really bothers me when time & time again folks act like the students from Parkland were the first kids who experienced a tragedy that decided stand up and demand change in their communities. It’s like the young folks in Ferguson, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, DC etc don’t exist.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 25, 2018
I will be asking the @HouseDemocrats that they consider an intern policy that incorporates the voices of kids who navigate their communities daily while under the threat of gun violence. Those young people matter too…And pissed I even have to say that.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 25, 2018
While Sanders asks the House Democrats why they’re limiting their invitation to Parkland students, quite a few people are asking when the survivors of the recent school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas are getting their own CNN town hall?
It’s sick that since majority of Santa Fe students oppose gun control and favor school security measures instead that the media won’t give them nearly as much coverage as the MSD students. Students of SFHS, my DMs are open to work together with you. I know your pain. #FixIt!
— Hunter Pollack (@PollackHunter) May 22, 2018
And this is why the Santa Fe kids won't get a CNN townhall ==> https://t.co/8eOONtUfzt
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) May 23, 2018
— Michael B (@bunchesoffive) May 25, 2018
Which reminds me… why hasn’t CNN called for a townhall with Santa Fe?
— Mujahed Kobbe (@Moj_kobe) May 26, 2018
@CNN Still waiting on the Santa Fe townhall. I guess their pro 2A stance doesn’t fit your agenda. Y’all couldn’t find an attention seeking, NRA bashing loudmouth like David Hogg to run on a 24 hour reel?! Shame on CNN!!
— Kevin (@kevinh1983) May 26, 2018
Has CNN scheduled a town hall yet with the kids from the school in Texas?
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) May 24, 2018
— jimmybagadonuts (@stay_woke2020) May 24, 2018
No because they wouldn't have their "assault rifle" talking points to lean on https://t.co/7CXJBKX12n
— Daddy G (@BillsMafiaTPA) May 24, 2018
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) May 24, 2018
REALLY!? David Hogg says this pic at Publix is 'literally perfect symbolism' of 'America's indifference to gun violence' https://t.co/JxTcX3TIg5
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) May 26, 2018
The post Democrats inviting Parkland students to intern this summer, but where’s Santa Fe’s town hall, CNN? appeared first on twitchy.com.
By Chris Knox and Jeff Knox
Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton, turned ubiquitous talking head on left-leaning cable news and radio, recently published five talking points that he claims shoot holes in the NRA’s (here meaning all gun-rights supporters’) arguments. The points are not at all unique to Mr. Reich, so we thought it would be worthwhile to take a closer look.
Reich’s Point Number 1: Gun laws save lives.
“Consider the federal assault weapons ban. After it became law in 1994, gun massacres – defined as instances of gun violence in which six or more people were shot and killed – fell by 37 percent. The number of people dying from mass shootings fell by 43 percent. But when Republicans in Congress let the ban lapse in 2004, gun massacres more than doubled.”
Nonsense. Reich doesn’t cite a source for his claims because there is no credible source drawing that conclusion. Start with his definition of “gun massacres” being shootings resulting in 6 or more deaths. Despite a rash of those horrible events, massacres, by any definition, remain rare. But because of their horrific nature, they draw media, following the ancient newspaper adage, “If it bleeds, it leads.” As a result the nation fixes its gaze on a single-digit percentage of all crime involving guns, and a fraction of a percent of overall deaths.
With such a small sample size, a difference of one or two incidents has a dramatic impact when presented as a percentage. Thirty-seven percent of 10,000 would be a significant result, but 37% of 3 would be one more or less – a meaningless statistical anomaly. There’s no way of knowing exactly what Reich’s percentages are based on though, because he provides no source, and most tellingly, no real numbers. In short, Reich’s first point is just short of a total fabrication.
Reich’s Point Number 2: The Second Amendment was never intended to permit mass slaughter.
When the Constitution was written more than 200 years ago, the framers’ goal was [to] permit a “well-regulated militia,” not to enable Americans to terrorize their communities.
The First Amendment was written more than 200 years ago and the founders’ goal was to protect people’s right to assemble in person, and protect the press – newspapers printed on paper, not to enable the mass propagation of fake news by internet trolls. But few today would argue that the First Amendment does not apply to online communications. The rights recognized by the Bill of Rights are not dependent on technology.
It is also worth noting that during the framers’ time, it was common for private citizens who could afford them to own canons, and even fully-armed warships. The right to arms does not “permit mass slaughter,” and restricting that right does not prevent mass slaughter. Every day over 100 million lawful gunowners don’t kill anyone or terrorize their communities. Restricting their rights will not prevent evil people from doing evil things.
Reich’s Point Number 3: More guns have not, and will not, make us safer.
“More than 30 studies show that guns are linked to an increased risk for violence and homicide. In 1996, Australia initiated a mandatory buyback program to reduce `the number of guns in private ownership. Their firearm homicide rate fell 42 percent in the seven years that followed.”
Once again, Mr. Reich throws around “studies” but fails to mention which ones. We can easily present more than 30 studies that show that gun control laws don’t reduce risks of violence. In fact, in the late 1970s Wright and Rossi produced a study funded by the Carter Justice Department, with the objective of determining which “gun control” programs were most effective. They found none. In the mid-2000s, both the Centers for Disease Control and the National Science Foundation did independent reviews with the same objective. Both reviews reached the same conclusion as Wright and Rossi: that there is no clear evidence that any gun control laws have effectively reduced crime.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Reich also fails to mention that murder rates in Australia were declining prior to the massacre that triggered their gun ban and confiscation. The rates went up slightly in the year right after the ban, then resumed their downward trend at a slower pace than previously, and slower than the rate enjoyed in the U.S., where gun laws were being liberalized, and gun ownership was skyrocketing.
Reich’s Point Number 4: The vast majority of Americans want stronger gun safety laws.
“According to Gallup, 96 percent of Americans support universal background checks, 75 percent support a 30-day waiting period for all gun sales, and 70 percent favor requiring all privately owned guns to be registered with the police. Even the vast majority of gun owners are in favor of common-sense gun safety laws.”
Gallup polls also concluded that Hillary Clinton was supposed to be our president.
Poll results depend on how questions are phrased and asked. A good many Americans support some of the general ideas around gun control, but absolutely reject specific proposals. Rephrase the question about “universal” (sic) background checks to ask whether it should be a felony for you to lend your gun to a friend for target practice, and different answers come back, as they did in Nevada and Maine when such proposals were put to voters.
Reich’s Point Number 5: The National Rifle Association is a special interest group with a stranglehold on the Republican Party.
“In 2016, the group spent a record [for them] $55 million on elections. Their real goal is to protect a few big gun manufacturers who want to enlarge their profits.
America is better than the NRA. America is the young people from Parkland, Florida, who are telling legislators to act like adults. It’s time all of us listen.”
Gun prohibitionists routinely target the NRA instead of ordinary American gun owners. It’s certainly easier to stir fear and uncertainty about some large organization funded by a faceless industry than to risk humanizing the opposition. Even so, the NRA’s power does not arise from industry money, it comes from millions of individuals who freely choose to defend their rights with their voices, their votes, and their dollars.
Something else worth mentioning is that while Reich and other media accuse NRA of buying politicians with their $55 million in election spending in 2016, labor unions reportedly spent $1.7 billion on those elections.
If those talking points are the strongest assault an Ivy League lawyer can launch against the unfettered right to arms for defense of self, family, home, and homeland, then the Second Amendment should be safe for a while longer. Unfortunately, these and similar points rarely get any sort of honest scrutiny in the media shouting matches, so it’s up to you to call them out every time they pop up again.
About Jeff Knox:
Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.
The post How To Prove The NRA Is Wrong: Just Make Stuff Up… ANTI-GUN VIDEO appeared first on AmmoLand.com.
The shooting at the Santa Fe high school in Texas reminds again of the damage gun violence does to us all. Banning Guns is not a viable solution.
Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- Late last week, Senate Bill 221, until recently dealt with “Criminal Fines: HIV Prevention and Education,” was gutted and amended to prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition at the Cow Palace starting January 1, 2020. Despite being a full time legislature that consistently pushes legislation to limit the rights of gun owners across the Golden State, the legislature continues to make procedural moves to sneak in additional restrictions. This has already happened several times this year and most notably in 2016 with the “Gunmaggedon” package of bills. SB 221 has already passed the Senate and has now been assigned to the Assembly Public Safety Committee where it awaits a hearing date.
Additionally last week, the Assembly Appropriations committee sent anti-gun bill, AB 2382, to the suspense file to be heard at a later date.
Oppose: Assembly Bill 2382,, sponsored by Assembly Member Mike Gipson (D-64), would require precursor firearms parts to be sold/transferred through a licensed precursor parts dealer in a similar process to the new laws regarding ammunition purchases. It would further create a new crime for transfer of precursor parts without the involvement of a licensed precursor parts dealer to anyone under 21 years of age or prohibited from owning firearms. Precursor parts include items such as barrels, ammunition feedings devices and upper receivers.
On Tuesday, May 22, Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to hear anti-hunting bill SB 1487. Please use our TAKE ACTION button below to contact the Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and urge them to OPPOSE SB 14. Further this Friday May 25 is the deadline for fiscal committees to report bills to the floor in the house of origin. Both the Senate and Assembly Appropriations committees will be considering items that have previously placed on the suspense file.
OPPOSE; Senate Bill 1487, sponsored by Senator Henry Stern (D-27), would prohibit the possession of certain African species of wildlife. The true goal of the bill is to ensure that a lawful U.S. hunter is not allowed to bring home a hunting trophy—even though the animal was legally taken and the hunter has the approval of the U.S. Federal Government.
Bills on Suspense:
APPROVE: Senate Bill 1311, sponsored by Senator Tom Berryhill (R-8), would create the annual sportsman’s license that affords the holder of the license the same privileges as the annual hunting and fishing licenses as a single license. SB 1311 would help generate participation and encourage the next generation of sportsman conservationists by providing a convenient and economical way to secure the necessary licensing for hunting and fishing activities in the Golden State.
OPPOSE: Senate Bill 1100, sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-25), would place further restrictions on law abiding citizens by expanding the current one gun a month restriction for handguns to include all guns and raises the purchase age for long guns to 21.
OPPOSE: Senate Joint Resolution 24, sponsored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-19), would urge the Congress of the United States to reauthorize and strengthen the federal “assault weapons” ban and would urge Congress to pass, and the President to sign, the federal Assault Weapons Ban of 2018. It would additionally call on the California Public Employee’ Retirement System (CalPERS) to engage with companies that produce or sell firearms and determine a method for those companies to withdraw from the sale or production of firearms, or produce a plan for CalPERS to divest its holdings from those companies. The reauthorization of an “assault weapons” ban would burden the self-defense rights of law-abiding Americans without meaningfully addressing the problems it’s purportedly designed to address, it would not impact overall gun death rates, and there is no evidence it would prevent mass shootings.
OPPOSE: Assembly Bill 1927, sponsored by Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-18), would direct California’s Department of Justice (DOJ) to “develop and launch a secure Internet-based platform to allow a person who resides in California to voluntarily add his or her own name to the California Do Not Sell List.” For more information on this issue, please read our article, Waivers of Gun Rights: A New Shot at Gun Repression.
OPPOSE: Assembly Bill 2382,, sponsored by Assembly Member Mike Gipson (D-64), would require precursor firearms parts to be sold/transferred through a licensed precursor parts dealer in a similar process to the new laws regarding ammunition purchases. It would further create a new crime for transfer of precursor parts without the involvement of a licensed precursor parts dealer to anyone under 21 years of age or prohibited from owning firearms. Precursor parts include items such as barrels, ammunition feedings devices and upper receivers.
APPROVE: Assembly Bill 2670, sponsored by Assembly Member Kevin Kiley (R-6), would require, rather than authorize, the director to establish 2 free hunting days per year one in the fall and one in the spring, no later than July 1, 2019.
Today, Monday, May 21, the Assembly passed AB 2888.
OPPOSE: Assembly Bill 2888, sponsored by Assembly Member Phillip Ting (D-19), would expand the list of those eligible to file gun violence restraining orders (GVRO) beyond the currently authorized reporters which include immediate family and law enforcement. The new list is expanded to employers, coworkers and employees of a secondary or postsecondary school that the person has attended in the last 6 months. GVRO’s can remove a person’s right without due process and not because of a criminal conviction or mental adjudication, but based on third party allegations.
Continue to check your inbox and the California Stand and Fight web page for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in California.
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org
The post California: Sneaky Legislature Offers New Gut & Amend Aimed at Gun Shows appeared first on AmmoLand.com.
When someone gets named Secretary of Education, you tend to think they’re someone who takes education seriously. After all, it’s not one of those cabinet-level positions that result in presidential aspirations, as a general rule. The only real reason I can see to take the job is that you care something about how people are educated.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not stupid enough to believe no one uses the office for politics. I’m just saying that they tend to believe their politics in the context of education are necessary for whatever reason.
With the idea that educating kids matters to these people in mind, let’s think about what it means when a former education secretary calls for a boycott of schools until gun control is passed.
After the deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas on Friday, former Obama-era secretary of education Arne Duncan said it would be a good idea for students to stay out of school until gun laws are reformed.
“This is brilliant, and tragically necessary. What if no children went to school until gun laws changed to keep them safe?”
Duncan said his own family would be willing to participate if it was possible to make it happen.
“My family is all in if we can do this at scale. Parents, will you please join us?” He said.
Duncan also told the Washington Post that he was “open to different ideas” but that he was “not open to doing nothing.”
“It’s wildly impractical and difficult, but I think it’s wildly impractical and difficult that kids are shot when they are sent to school.”
Well, that’s it. That’s the dumbest damn thing I’m going to hear this week. Yes, I know it’s only Tuesday, so it’s probably premature to make such a pronouncement, but I’m going to make it anyway.
First, only a complete moron would think that parents would allow their children to completely boycott school over something like gun control. The vast majority of the population aren’t gun control zealots who eat, breathe, and crap gun control. Even many of those who support gun control measures are, at best, lukewarm on the topic. Duncan really thinks people will risk their children’s future in order to score some political points?
Of course, I’m OK with anti-gun families doing it. It means my kids won’t have to deal with their idiot spawn while getting an education. Not that there’s any reason to worry. Duncan makes this right as schools are letting out for summer. By the fall, no one will even remember his crap.
But also note the typical anti-gun idea that the only “something” that can be done has to be some kind of gun control. They’re not willing to talk about other alternatives to keeping kids safe. It simply has to be something that will restrict the rights of average Americans while doing nothing to address these kinds of shootings.
Keep in mind that Duncan is speaking in response to the Santa Fe High School shooting, a shooting where absolutely none of the proposals being pushed by the anti-gun extremists in the media would have stopped the attack from happening. Not a single, solitary one.
Gun violence protective orders? They weren’t his guns.
Requiring people to be 21 to buy long guns? The kid stole the gun from his father.
Assault weapon ban? He used a pump-action shotgun and a .38 revolver.
What, pray tell, should “do something” look like? Whatever it is, I can tell you that it’s not going to work. It won’t work because people like Arne Duncan are focused on the tool used rather than the behavior that triggered it. They’re not interested in looking into the minds of these people. They might learn that guns aren’t really the problem, then.
The post Former Education Secretary Calls For School Boycott Over Gun Control appeared first on Bearing Arms.
“Was there a part of you that was like, this isn’t real, this would not happen in my school?” A ghoulish ABC television reporter asked a Santa Fe High School student this, expecting a stock answer that would fit the conventional wisdom.
“No there wasn’t,” she replied coolly. “It’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here too. So, I don’t know. I wasn’t surprised. I was just scared.”
Against our will, we are getting used to the carnage. This time, a spurned fatty given to black Goth-ish clothing and video games fatally shot 10 students and teachers and injured 13 others near Houston. “Surprise!” he shouted, as he jumped from the closet into a classroom, mowing down classmates and a would-be girlfriend.
On national television last weekend, National Rifle Association president-elect Oliver North tried to move public soul-searching towards prescribed drugs and the “culture of violence,” spinning what happened at Santa Fe away from mounting pressure for more gun restrictions. But what does this inadequate phrase even mean? Does North understand what he’s talking about?
“We are getting used to a lot of behavior that is not good for us,” said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Harvard professor of education and sociology and then U.S. senator, in his celebrated 1993 American Scholar essay “Defining Deviancy Down.” The nation had been “redefining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard,” Moynihan wrote.
Altruism was one broad public response to deepening social pathology, marked by denial, kindness, pity, or guilt, he noted, using as an example the closing of mental hospitals and rise of the homeless. Opportunism, he continued, was a second response, anticipating the advancement of government programs and vast, often lucrative social service, therapy, and diversity franchises, all of which would be “jeopardized if any serious effort were made to reduce the deviancy in question.”
This self-interest led to “assorted strategies for redefining the behavior in question as not all that deviant, really,” and to a third response, normalization, adapting to crime and violence, getting used to widespread coarseness and nihilism.
Moynihan wrote his essay 25 years ago. The insane and wayward—increasingly freed from stigma and shame—today terrify functional America even more so than in his time, on account of their shamelessness as well as increasing prevalence.
Homicidal gun violence is to a large degree a ghetto affair. Illegal and unlicensed handguns are the nation’s major killing machine. School menace is embodied in the angry lout in the suburban high school parking lot and seething introvert in the darkened bedroom. His ear buds are on, and his smartphone is turned up full-blast to hate rap.
Music is a leading indicator of the “culture of violence.” Primer 55’s Introduction to Mayhem, for example, produced in 2000, is a heavy metal classic from the Island Def Jam Music Group, standard teenage boy fare. The cuts include “Dose,” “The Big Fuck You,” “Violence,” “Hate,” “Tripinthehead,” “Loose,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” “Supa Freak Love,” “Chaos,” “Pigs,” “Stain,” and “Revolution.”
The “culture of violence” is box office. And if Island Def Jam has been selling socio-cultural poison like this for two decades, isn’t legendary record producer and Malibu guru Rick Rubin, 55, who is worth an estimated $250 million, worthy of at least disgrace, not Hollywood and public adulation?
Violent music, video games, and depraved entertainment are cash machines. Electronic tools provide America’s youth—and their parents—with easy, possibly irresistible portals to the dark side. The weakening of families and religion-based communities contribute to the void. So do social media and porn. Unstable adolescents, if they are identified and treated, get medicated on the chance that anti-depressants or uppers will do their mood magic. Drugs—legal and illegal and everything in between—are palliatives for Americans of all ages.
Sometimes there’s official neglect or bad local policy, as with Parkland student Nicholas Cruz. But most educators are doing their best. The really damaged kids, the heartbreakers and the throwaways, the deranged and the dangerous, are given over to social workers, foster parents, or the police, but under the circumstances no one expects much to come from the interventions.
I wasn’t surprised, the Santa Fe High School student said. I was just scared. And, really, shouldn’t we all be feeling the same way?
The Justice Department has taken California to court over its status as a “sanctuary state,” a term that refers to places where state and local officials refuse to participate in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. In a speech announcing the suit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions accused the Golden State of creating “an open borders system,” something he denounced as “a radical, irrational idea that cannot be accepted.” Unfortunately for Sessions, his case appears to suffer from a significant constitutional defect.
In the complaint filed in March, the Justice Department asked a U.S. District Court to invalidate several state laws, including parts of the 2017 California Values Act, which stops state and local police from providing certain assistance to federal immigration authorities. Among other things, the act prohibits them from “detaining an individual on the basis of a [federal immigration] hold request”; “transfer[ing] an individual to immigration authorities unless authorized by a judicial warrant or judicial probable cause determination”; and “providing information” to federal immigration authorities “regarding a person’s release date…or other information unless that information is available to the public, or is in response to a notification request from immigration authorities in accordance with” California law.
According to the Justice Department, those provisions violate the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution by “making it more difficult for federal immigration officers to carry out their responsibilities in California” and by “obstruct[ing] the United States’ ability to enforce laws that Congress has enacted.” In effect, the attorney general wants to force local police to participate in the administration of federal law.
But that would run afoul of both the 10th Amendment and Supreme Court precedent. As the late Justice Antonin Scalia explained in Printz v. United States (1997), “the Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program.”
At issue in Printz were parts of the 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that required local police to help implement a federal gun control scheme. The Clinton administration argued that obstructionist local officials should not be allowed to thwart duly enacted national legislation, but the Court disagreed. The provisions were struck down as an unconstitutional “federal commandeering of state governments.”
Sessions’ case against portions of the California Values Act involves the same constitutional failing that Scalia identified in Printz. The feds may commandeer local police into administering neither federal gun control nor federal immigration policy.