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Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 2, 2019

THE FOUNDATION

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” —Cesare Beccaria

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IN TODAY’S EDITION

IN BRIEF

SCOTUS Takes Up Case on Right to Bear Arms

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York. This will be the first Second Amendment case the High Court has heard in nearly 10 years following its landmark rulings in Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010). The case involves New York City’s passage of a gun-control law banning gun-owning residents from transporting their firearms outside their homes and outside city limits, except to select gun ranges within the city and only then provided their handguns are unloaded, locked up, and separate from ammunition. In other words, paper weights that are useless for self-defense.

The draconian and obviously unconstitutional law was immediately challenged by Second Amendment advocates. In a move clearly demonstrating that New York officials knew their law violates the Second Amendment, they sought to prevent the issue from being taken up by the Supreme Court by changing the law to allow gun-owning residents to transport their firearms outside city limits provided it was “directly to and from” a second home or shooting range.

However, this “voluntary cessation” didn’t stop the justices from deciding to hear the case, as they rightly note that the issue at stake is the Second Amendment’s protection of individuals’ right to bear and not merely possess arms. Furthermore, New York officials are clearly seeking to undermine the Heller decision, which protects the right to bear firearms for the “core lawful purpose of self-defense,” as well as “learning to handle and use [arms]” and “hunting.” By limiting a gun owner’s right to bear firearms only in his place of residence, New York was effectively attempting to gut Heller, which is likely why the justices are keen to take up this case to reassert the Court’s judicial authority. Clarence Thomas, for one, has been particularly vocal about the erosion of the Second Amendment by municipalities and lower courts.

Predictably, the anti-gun crowd isn’t happy. Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) warned the Court that if it did not drop the case, he and his fellow Democrats would work to “restructure” the Court. “The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it,” Whitehouse ridiculously asserted. He added, “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’ Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.” Oh, the irony. Who exactly is seeking to inject “the influence of politics” into the Court in order to eliminate Americans’ Second Amendment rights? It certainly isn’t the NRA or Republicans.

If the Court follows the precedent it set with Heller, it’s likely that the ruling will come down to a 5-4 decision. No wonder anti-Second Amendment activists are so upset over the Court’s decision to hear the case.

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‘Schiff Show’ Roundup: Passing the Baton to Nadler

We’d venture to guess most Americans didn’t give impeachment much thought over Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few developments. Now that Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee has completed its roster of public hearings, the “Schiff Show” moves to the House Judiciary Committee. New York Democrat Jerry Nadler’s committee will decide whether President Donald Trump’s conduct vis-à-vis Ukraine is impeachable, and, if so, Democrats there will draft articles of impeachment. Hearings begin Wednesday, Dec. 4.

For his part, Trump dangled the possibility of testifying before Congress himself, but the White House announced Sunday that he has decided against it. “This baseless and highly partisan inquiry violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Nadler.

Partisan and unfair? You bet. The Judiciary Committee, like the Intelligence Committee, denied Republican attempts to call for testimony from the so-called “whistleblower.” Yes, that would be the whistleblower who Schiff said would testify … until he changed his mind after it was revealed that Schiff’s staff colluded with the whistleblower.

What next? USA Today reports, “House Democrats have been clear that if they decide to take up articles of impeachment, they want to vote on it before Christmas — leaving about three weeks for hearings, drafting of one or more articles of impeachment, a vote in the House Judiciary Committee on articles and a full House vote.”

The Hill adds the obvious: “Articles of impeachment against President Trump over his dealings with Ukraine are widely considered near-inevitable — and imminent.” But also, “Virtually no one expects the Senate to vote in favor of removing Trump from office.”

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ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

OPEN BORDERS ANYONE? Mexico gun battle near Texas border between suspected cartel members and police leaves at least 21 dead (Fox News)

POTUS IN MIDDLE EAST: Trump surprises U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving, announces new talks with Taliban (The Washington Times)

MISSION NOT ACCOMPLISHED: DHS still can’t identify all separated families from zero-tolerance border fiasco (The Washington Times)

JUSTICE SERVED? Mexican authorities make arrests in killings of American Mormons (The Washington Post)

RETAIL NUMBERS: Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores dropped by 6% as consumers spent record online (CNBC)

RAINBOW MAFIA: Hallmark Channel holiday movies under fire from the diversity police (Hot Air)

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT?: New scandal hits Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador involved in impeachment hearings (The Daily Wire)

LEFTMEDIA HACK FIRED: Newsweek reporter fired over bungled Trump Thanksgiving story (The Washington Times)

BRUTAL CRACKDOWN: Iran kills hundreds of unarmed protesters as Quran expert warns it may kill thousands (The Daily Wire)

KNOWN ASSAILANT: London Bridge attacker had been jailed for terror crimes; two fatally stabbed (The Washington Times)

POLICY: The middle class always pays: Europe shows how the Warren-Sanders agenda really works (The Wall Street Journal)

POLICY: How UK free-riding on U.S. drug innovation is affecting Brexit (The Federalist)

HUMOR: Leftists protest new Mister Rogers film for controversial message of being nice to everyone (The Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Burt Prelutsky: “The fact is most people don’t think they’re paid enough, so income inequality strikes a chord with nearly everyone. Even I am not immune. But I have specific high-earners in mind. My bugaboo happens to be politicians. It’s not just that they get paid far more than they’re worth, but that, unlike most high-earners, they are easily replaceable. There isn’t even special education required to get the job. All they have to do is win an election, which is basically a popularity contest in which the competition is someone as unappealing as they are. Then, once they have the job, all they are ever called upon to do is vote. A chimpanzee could do it. And so long as the chimp wasn’t a Democrat, he or she could do it better than most.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “In America, our origins matter less than our destination.” —Ronald Reagan

For the record: “Everyone I know under 25 isn’t the slightest bit interested in cars — Greta Thunberg has killed the car show. They’re taught at school, before they say ‘Mummy and Daddy,’ that cars are evil, and it’s in their heads.” —former “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson

Village idiots: “Spent the morning at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on the 50 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz. The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always.” —Colin Kaepernick celebrating “Unthanksgiving Day” last Thursday

Braying jackass: “There’s a certain element within [the Republican] base that seems to love it when people are cruel to one another. And I don’t know why that is. … Trump has built up his political record and reputation, and this administration has continued a record of cruelty toward migrants, toward people who are poor, and there’s a certain amount of that base that seems to love it.” —Julian Castro

Hot air on climate change: “There are great efforts out there. Many environmental groups, young people particularly. But no country is getting the job done. … Things are getting worse, not better. We have unlikely allies coming together here. There’s no group that has people as diverse as ours in terms of nationality, age, gender, ideology, background, life experience, and all of these people have come together saying, ‘We’ve got to treat this like a war.’” —John Kerry

And last… “When you consider what an enormous windfall gain it is to be born in America, it is painful to hear some people complain bitterly that someone else got a bigger windfall gain than they did.” —Thomas Sowell

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.


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