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Eric Holder Montage

Friday, February 27, 2009

Back in November, the Second Amendment Foundation sent out this warning when Holder was up for nomination...
 
NEWS RELEASE

Second Amendment Foundation

12500 NE Tenth Place • Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 454-7012 • FAX (425) 451-3959 • www.saf.org

HOLDER NOMINATION SIGNALS OBAMA'S
TRUE ANTI-GUN RIGHTS AGENDA

For Immediate Release: 11/19/2008

BELLEVUE, WA – The nomination of Eric Holder for the post of attorney general of the United States sends an "alarming signal" to gun owners about how the Barack Obama administration will view individual gun rights, as affirmed this year by the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

"Eric Holder signed an amicus brief in the Heller case that supported the District of Columbia's handgun ban, and also argued that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right," noted SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. "He has supported national handgun licensing and mandatory trigger locks. As deputy attorney general under Janet Reno, he lobbied Congress to pass legislation that would have curtailed legitimate gun shows.

"This is not the record of a man who will come to office as the nation's top law enforcement officer with the rights and concerns of gun owners in mind," he observed.

Holder's nomination, like the appointment of anti-gun Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief of Staff, tells American gun owners that Obama's campaign claims supporting the Second Amendment were "empty rhetoric," Gottlieb stated.

"America's 85 million gun owners have ample reason to be pessimistic about how their civil rights will fare under the Obama administration," Gottlieb said. "Mr. Obama will have a Congress with an anti-gun Democrat majority leadership to push his gun control agenda. Gun owners have not forgotten Mr. Obama's acknowledged opposition to concealed carry rights, nor his support for a ban on handgun ownership when he was running for the Illinois state senate.

"Barack Obama vigorously portrayed himself on the campaign trail as a man who supports gun ownership," Gottlieb concluded, "but now that he has won the election, he is surrounding himself with people who are avowed gun prohibitionists. What better indication of what to expect from Barack Obama as president than the people he is selecting to lead his administration? This isn't a roster of devoted public servants. It's a rogue's gallery of extremists who have labored to erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights."

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nations oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and an amicus brief and fund for the Emerson case holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.

-END-
Then there's this post from The Volokh Conspiracy:
 
[David Kopel, November 20, 2008 at 7:41pm]

Eric Holder on firearms policy:

Earlier this year, Eric Holder--along with Janet Reno and several other former officials from the Clinton Department of Justice--co-signed an amicus brief in District of Columbia v. Heller. The brief was filed in support of DC's ban on all handguns, and ban on the use of any firearm for self-defense in the home. The brief argued that the Second Amendment is a "collective" right, not an individual one, and asserted that belief in the collective right had been the consistent policy of the U.S. Department of Justice since the FDR administration. A brief filed by some other former DOJ officials (including several Attorneys General, and Stuart Gerson, who was Acting Attorney General until Janet Reno was confirmed)took issue with the Reno-Holder brief's characterization of DOJ's viewpoint.

But at the least, the Reno-Holder brief accurately expressed the position of the Department of Justice when Janet Reno was Attorney General and Eric Holder was Deputy Attorney General. At the oral argument before the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Emerson, the Assistant U.S. Attorney told the panel that the Second Amendment was no barrier to gun confiscation, not even of the confiscation of guns from on-duty National Guardsmen.

As Deputy Attorney General, Holder was a strong supporter of restrictive gun control. He advocated federal licensing of handgun owners, a three day waiting period on handgun sales, rationing handgun sales to no more than one per month, banning possession of handguns and so-called "assault weapons" (cosmetically incorrect guns) by anyone under age of 21, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, national gun registration, and mandatory prison sentences for trivial offenses (e.g., giving your son an heirloom handgun for Christmas, if he were two weeks shy of his 21st birthday). He also promoted the factoid that "Every day that goes by, about 12, 13 more children in this country die from gun violence"--a statistic is true only if one counts 18-year-old gangsters who shoot each other as "children."(Sources: Holder testimony before House Judiciary Committee, Subcommitee on Crime, May 27,1999; Holder Weekly Briefing, May 20, 2000. One of the bills that Holder endorsed is detailed in my 1999 Issue Paper "Unfair and Unconstitutional.")

After 9/11, he penned a Washington Post op-ed, "Keeping Guns Away From Terrorists" arguing that a new law should give "the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms a record of every firearm sale." He also stated that prospective gun buyers should be checked against the secret "watch lists" compiled by various government entities. (In an Issue Paper on the watch list proposal, I quote a FBI spokesman stating that there is no cause to deny gun ownership to someone simply because she is on the FBI list.)

After the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the D.C. handgun ban and self-defense ban were unconstitutional in 2007, Holder complained that the decision "opens the door to more people having more access to guns and putting guns on the streets."

Holder played a key role in the gunpoint, night-time kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez. The pretext for the paramilitary invasion of the six-year-old's home was that someone in his family might have been licensed to carry a handgun under Florida law. Although a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo showed a federal agent dressed like a soldier and pointing a machine gun at the man who was holding the terrified child, Holder claimed that Gonzalez "was not taken at the point of a gun" and that the federal agents whom Holder had sent to capture Gonzalez had acted "very sensitively." If Mr. Holder believes that breaking down a door with a battering ram, pointing guns at children (not just Elian), and yelling "Get down, get down, we'll shoot" is example of acting "very sensitively," his judgment about the responsible use of firearms is not as acute as would be desirable for a cabinet officer who would be in charge of thousands and thousands of armed federal agents, many of them paramilitary agents with machine guns.
And finally, Holder's view (pdf) of what the Second Amendment really means:
 
INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE

Amici curiae are former officials of the United States Department of Justice.1 In their official capacities, amici curiae were responsible for enforcing the laws of the United States, including federal laws that regulate the possession, use, ownership, and sale of firearms. They submit this brief to express their view that federal, state, and local gun control legislation is a vitally important law enforcement tool used to combat violent crime and protect public safety. Amici disagree with the current position of the United States Department of Justice that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for purposes unrelated to a State's operation of a well-regulated militia. That position, which was adopted in the fall of 2001, reversed the Department's longstanding position that the Second Amendment is not implicated by firearms regulations that are designed to protect public safety and do not interfere with participation in a well-regulated militia. The Department's current position runs against the great weight of federal appellate authority, which has rejected the view that the Second Amendment protects a right to keep and bear arms for private purposes. Amici believe that the Department's original position reflects the correct interpretation of the Second Amendment and that the current position, if adopted by this Court, will place vitally important gun-control legislation at risk of invalidation, to the detriment of effective law enforcement and public safety.
How Eric Holder ever became AG is beyond me. I must conclude that those that gave him their stamp of approval were either idiots or just didn't give a shit... or both. His view of the Second Amendment--as well as Janet Reno's as her name is attached to the amicus brief as well--raises quite a few questions as to the motivation behind DOJ's pursuing both David Koresh at Waco, Texas and Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge in Idaho. If they were acting under the belief that neither party had the Right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms for private purposes, it would explain their heavy-handed approach to disarm them.

1 Comments:

Blogger MarkN said...

Great post.

8:21 PM  

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