“The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it.” —Federal Farmer (1787)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Sandy Hook families can sue Remington, says Connecticut Supreme Court.
- New Zealand Assailants were fascists, not “right wing.”
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
A crack may have been created in the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), the 2005 federal law designed to shield firearms manufacturers from direct legal liability for crimes committed by third-party individuals using their weapons. In a 4-3 ruling Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s dismissal of a liability lawsuit against Remington Outdoor Co. brought by nine family members of victims of the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In its narrow ruling, the court actually upheld the lower court’s dismissal of all aspects of the lawsuit except a key one regarding the state’s authority in regulation of marketing. The court stated, “The regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals has long been considered a core exercise of the states’ police powers.” The decision further states:
We conclude that the trial court properly determined that, although most of the plaintiffs’ claims should have been dismissed, PLCAA does not bar the plaintiffs’ wrongful marketing claims… Specifically, if the defendants did indeed seek to expand the market for their assault weapons through advertising campaigns that encouraged consumers to use the weapons not for legal purposes such as self-defense, hunting, collecting, or target practice, but to launch offensive assaults against their perceived enemies, then we are aware of nothing in the text or legislative history of PLCAA to indicate that Congress intended to shield the defendants from liability for the tragedy that resulted.
To put it simply, the court ruled that Remington, maker of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle stolen and then used by the Sandy Hook assailant, could potentially be held legally liable for how its firearm was used based upon how it marketed its product. The court is stretching in its attempt to find a hole in PLCAA. How do we know? One clear indication is that the judges used the misnomer “assault weapons” when describing Remington’s marketing. We may be wrong, but we can’t think of a single gun manufacturer that uses this bogus term to describe its semiautomatic rifles. Thus, the judges say, the lawsuit can proceed based on malicious mischaracterization by the Left, not marketing by Remington.
Gun-control activists were quick to celebrate the ruling, seeing in it a roadmap for getting around PLCAA protections to go after firearm manufacturers. Adam Winkler of UCLA School of Law observed, “This is a landmark and potentially historic ruling. It opens up an avenue to hold gunmakers responsible despite federal immunity. It will encourage a lot more litigation.”
The lawsuit will now proceed in the lower court, where the plaintiffs will attempt to make the case that Remington marketed its firearms in such a fashion as to have encouraged their illegal use. This clearly sets up a collision course with constitutional rights protected by the First and Second Amendments. If influencing the illegal use of firearms via marketing makes an organization liable for criminal activity, then Hollywood and video-game creators top the list of the worst offenders.
The brutal terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, today are believed to have been perpetrated by a psychopathic white nationalist from Australia (a “gun free” country), though three others were taken into custody. The assailant(s) killed 49 people and wounded nearly that many more, even live-streaming part of the attack. They reportedly fled the second mosque when a good guy with a gun returned fire.
The primary suspect declared in a lengthy manifesto that he was inspired by the racists who, respectively, perpetrated attacks on a black church in South Carolina and a teen camp in Norway. For that reason and because he mentioned President Donald Trump — both favorably and unfavorably — the Leftmedia and others, including the Australian prime minister, are mindlessly parroting the charge that he is a “right-wing extremist.”
The Leftmedia is nothing if not shameless.
First of all, this is the same media that lectured ad nauseam after Muslim-perpetrated terrorist attacks — to name but a few, Paris, Orlando, San Bernardino, and 9/11 — that Islam is the Religion of Peace™ and that we shouldn’t stereotype Muslims by associating all of them with a few extremists. If that was a fair point then, why not now?
On the contrary, we fully expect the coming days to include the latest reports (and fundraisers) from the Southern Poverty Law Center about the rise of this supposedly “right wing” hatred in the age of Trump. But as we’ve said before, there’s nothing uniquely “right wing” about racism or even nationalism.
The New York Times also reports, “Writing that he had purposely used guns to stir discord in the United States over the Second Amendment’s provision on the right to bear arms, he also declared himself a fascist. ‘For once, the person that will be called a fascist, is an actual fascist,’ he wrote.”
How many times do we have to say this? Fascism is not a right-wing ideology.
Anyone who thinks so — whether pro or con — is woefully misinformed and committing the intellectually bankrupt sin of conflating racism or, in this case, anti-immigrant sentiment with the right side of the political spectrum. This assailant was not advocating lower taxes, limited government, or individual liberty. He claimed, “I am just a regular white man, from a regular family. Who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people.”
A final note: Attacks on houses of worship are, tragically, nothing new. The Associated Press compiled a list of 18 such attacks just over the last decade. Churches, mosques, synagogues — nothing is safe. Such violent hatred is pure evil. Indeed, the assailant bore symbols of Satanism among his belongings. Responsible people should rise above that evil with run-of-the-mill political disagreements.
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: McConnell Considers the Next Nuclear Option — Democrats are obstructing nominations by abusing 30 hours of debate. Not for much longer.
- Obama’s Department of Injustice Quashed Clinton Investigation — Newly released testimony from Lisa Page highlights egregious abuse of power.
- No Safe Spaces for Conservative College Students — A majority of these young conservatives find their political views are not welcome on campus.
- The Border Crisis That Wasn’t? — We’re told there’s no crisis, but the numbers on crime and drugs say otherwise.
- Video: Ocasio-Cortez Sounds a Lot Like Karl Marx — The freshman Democrat attacks Reagan for what she and other socialists and racists do.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- “The Senate voted on Thursday to nix President Trump’s national emergency declaration to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall, setting up the first veto battle with his White House,” The Hill reports. Fifty-nine senators — including 12 Republicans — voted in favor of the resolution. “The resolution now heads to Trump’s desk, where he is expected to use the first veto of his presidency to defeat it. Neither chamber has the votes to override the president.”
- “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon decide whether to continue diplomatic talks and maintain his moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, a senior North Korean official said Friday, adding that the U.S. threw away a golden opportunity at the recent summit between their leaders.” The Associated Press goes on to note that “Pyongyang now has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the United States takes measures that are commensurate to the changes it has taken — such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests — and changes its ‘political calculation.’”
- “British lawmakers on Thursday voted to seek an extension to the country’s Brexit deadline, throwing further doubt on the U.K.‘s impending divorce from the European Union. In a series of votes in another dramatic yet inconclusive week, members of Parliament overwhelmingly voted 412-202 for the resolution. … The motion directs Prime Minister Theresa May to ask E.U. leaders for at least three months longer to work out what has become a protracted political mess. May will need all 27 other members of the bloc to agree to extend the March 29 deadline. It is far from certain that such unanimity exists.” (NBC News)
- The House on Thursday unanimously passed a bill that would impel Robert Mueller’s report to be made public, USA Today reports, but “the measure … was blocked [in the Senate] by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who asked that the resolution also include calling for the appointment of a new special counsel to investigate how the Justice Department conducted its investigation.” Graham stated, “We let Mueller look at all things Trump, related to collusion and otherwise. Somebody needs to look at what happened on the other side and find out if the FBI and the DOJ had two systems.”
- “The residents of a makeshift New Mexico compound — where 11 emaciated children were found during an August raid — were charged by federal authorities Wednesday with terror, kidnapping and firearms offenses. … Jany Leveille, 36, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hurjah Wahhaj, 38, Subhanah Wahhaj, 36, and Lucas Morton, 41, were charged 'with federal offenses related to terrorism, kidnapping and firearms violations,’ the Department of Justice said in a press release. In the original indictment, Leveille was also charged with ‘possessing firearms and ammunition as an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States.’ … ‘The superseding indictment alleges a conspiracy to stage deadly attacks on American soil,’ U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson said in a statement.” (Fox News)
- “The discredited ‘anti-hate’ group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) fired its co-founder and chief litigator Morris Dees for a ‘personal’ issue that didn’t reflect ‘the mission of the organization’ or its values,” according to The Daily Wire, which adds: “The SPLC said it would bring ‘in an outside organization to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices, to ensure that our talented staff is working in the environment that they deserve — one in which all voices are heard and all staff members are respected.’” If only the SPLC would show respect for the plethora of legitimate people and organizations it so desperately seeks to destroy.
- Sanctuary madness: “Local and federal authorities are imploring California lawmakers to revise the state’s ‘sanctuary’ policies after another illegal immigrant with a known criminal record was charged in a brutal killing in the Democrat-controlled state. Police say Bambi Larson, 59, was stabbed to death in her home Feb. 28 by Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, 24, an illegal immigrant with a long rap sheet. … According to investigators, Carranza, a Salvadoran national, was in the country illegally and had been convicted of more than 10 crimes in the past three years.” (The Daily Signal)
- Humor: Man feels the need to clarify he doesn’t support Trump before every mundane statement (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: “Most Americans don’t want a nationwide bathroom requirement, health care mandate, or ‘preferred pronoun’ law based on gender identity, but congressional Democrats seem to think it’s time to impose them,” says The Heritage Foundation’s Monica Burke. Here are “7 Reasons Why the Equality Act Is Anything But.”
- Policy: “The various claims that Obama administration officials made about school discipline and racial discrimination, including the suspicion cast on public school teachers, are still widely circulated and believed,” writes Manhattan Institute senior fellow Max Eden. “This is unfortunate, because almost all these claims are based on weak or flawed empirical evidence. As school leaders revisit the rules that they maintain to ensure orderly classrooms and safe learning environments, it is essential that they understand why the federal government’s involvement with local school disciplinary policies was ill-advised — and be guided by better and more rigorous research.”
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Michael Reagan: “The massive college admissions scam … is only the tip of what is said to be a really dirty iceberg. … In the vast number of cases, where 18-year-olds have no clue why they are going off to college, it wouldn’t matter what school their parents sent them to. It’s not the ‘YALE’ on junior’s jacket or the ‘USC’ on missy’s sweatshirt that is going to determine how their lives turn out. It’s about who the kid is inside. … You never know, some kid could study economics at some tiny private, non-profit Christian liberal arts college in Illinois and become president someday. Which is what my father did. … Speaking of character, those substandard rich kids who benefited from the admissions scam are as guilty as their cheating parents. Not legally, obviously, but morally. They received stolen goods — prestigious college educations that otherwise would have gone to others who were academically or athletically qualified. To say they didn’t know what was going on is idiotic. They were silent partners in their parents’ crimes. And getting tossed out of their schools ASAP, which they deserve, might actually teach them an important lesson about right and wrong that their cheating parents never could.”
Non Compos Mentis: “I myself have always been for lowering the voting age to 16. I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school — when they’re interested in all of this and learning about government to be able to vote.” —Nancy Pelosi, trolling for more Democrat votes
Endless hot air: “What is going on in the public square right now is more important than any time since the Civil War. We are facing an ecological crisis that can bring about the end of civilization.” —Al Gore
The BIG Lie: “Let us all be well aware that life will be a lot tougher for the generations that follow us, no matter what we do. It is only a matter of degrees. Along this current trajectory, there will be people who can no longer live in the cities they call home today. There is food grown in this country that will no longer prosper in these soils. There is going to be massive migration of tens or hundreds of millions of people from places that are going to be uninhabitable or under the sea. This is the final chance. The scientists are unanimous on this. We have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis.” —Beto O'Rourke
The BIG Lie II: “Democracy should mean taking power and wealth from those who hoard it, and making sure it belongs to everyone.” —Democrat strategist Waleed Shahid
What could possibly go wrong? “Every knife sold in the UK should have a gps tracker fitted in the handle. It’s time we had a national database like we do with guns. If you’re carrying it around you had better have a bloody good explanation, obvious exemptions for fishing etc.” —UK parliamentarian Scott Mann
Braying Jenny: “What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe? … (‘Thoughts and prayers’ is reference to the NRA’s phrase used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies.)” —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
And last… “When I say thoughts and prayers are with these folks [in New Zealand], I mean it. I mean that this is a time where we need the God of the universe to step in and to change people’s hearts.” —Rep. Adam Kinzinger
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher