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Anti-gun Group Applauds Their Own Defeat

from Angel Shamaya

October 16, 2001 -- The Violence Policy Center wasted no time in misrepresenting Tuesday's 5th circuit court ruling in the U.S. vs. Emerson case.  Their press release issued immediately upon the ruling borders on lunacy.  Below are quotes from their report, followed by facts they either missed or refuse to comment on because they refute claims made by the group.

VPC said:  "The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today applauded the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Emerson."

FACT: VPC's amicus brief to the court said there is no individual right to keep and bear arms. Meanwhile, the ruling VPC "applauds" produced the strongest "individual right" arguments ever to come from a federal circuit court. For example:

VPC attempts, consistently, to use US v Miller to "prove" that the second amendment is a collective right.

Emerson says, "Miller Does Not Support Collective Right Model" -- and backs up the statement with tremendous, irrefutable evidence to support the claim.

VPC attempts, consistently, to say the second amendment is about the National Guard. In their incorrigible press release after the Emerson ruling, they said the language of the second amendment "speaks in terms of a limited right to keep and bear arms in connection with service in a state militia."

Emerson says, "The plain meaning of the right of the people to keep arms is that it is an individual, rather than a collective, right and is not limited to keeping arms while engaged in active military service or as a member of a select militia such as the National Guard."

The VPC's perpetual lies about the second amendment were soundly defeated in court, their history-ignorant amicus brief destroyed. Their inaccurate arguments against the second amendment have been shattered beyond recognition. The Supreme Court now has a scholarly body of information to consider when the second amendment issue hits their courtroom -- all thanks to the 5th circuit judges who just ruled in U.S. vs. Emerson.

Shall we honestly take VPC's inauthentic "applauding" seriously? Does anyone really take them seriously anyway?

And there's more:

VPC said:  "...the judges rejected the argument that the Second Amendment guarantees domestic abusers an individual right to keep and bear arms..."

The judges actually said: "...the predicate order in question here is sufficient, albeit likely minimally so, to support the deprivation, while it remains in effect, of the defendant's Second Amendment rights."

There is a big difference in the two. And Dr. Emerson can still appeal. If he does appeal -- all the way to the Supreme Court -- gun owners have the most strongly worded and thoroughly presented case for the individual right to keep and bear arms we have seen from a federal ruling.  And such a hearing by SCOTUS would necessarily address the nature of the second amendment, considering the very ruling VPC "applauds."

Also noteworthy is the fact that Dr. Emerson was never even charged with domestic abuse, let alone convicted -- and every charge against him except the gun possession issue was dropped. VPC's calling Dr. Emerson a "domestic abuser" absent an accusation of and conviction for domestic abuse is libelous.

But what else would you expect from people who openly and repeatedly call for all-out bans on guns and lie repeatedly in hopes of achieving their objectives?

And perhaps the most absurd statement in VPC's "press release" involves yet another slur against gun rights advocates:

"Today the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the sweeping arguments of the gun lobby that the Second Amendment guarantees domestic abusers an individual right to possess a gun."

We have never seen any gun rights advocacy organization say that "the Second Amendment guarantees domestic abusers an individual right to possess a gun." To the contrary, even strident constitutional purists tend to agree that someone actively engaging in violent acts against others -- like known and proven domestic abusers, for example -- should be brought to full and swift justice. The contention of most liberty advocates surrounding mandatory gun possession prohibitions under restraining orders is that there needs to be a trial by jury and a conviction before constitutional rights are removed. 

And from the text of the ruling, it appears that Dr. Emerson didn't cross-examine his wife or depose anyone else in his own defense, so there is not a clear ruling that a mandatory domestic violence restraining order prohibition will stand in the next case that comes along, either. 

While a host of VPC's favorite falsehoods were soundly disproved in the 5th circuit court, gun rights advocates have a rock-solid federal ruling in clear support of the individual right of the people to keep and bear arms. So who really won in the Emerson case, VPC? Think real hard, and keep applauding your own ignorance.

If you are interested in reading more about the lies and distortions from the "Violence Policy Center," go here: They seem to tell a couple of whoppers every week or two these days, so be certain to check back to watch that archive expand. As long as VPC exists, we will have lies and distortions to address.

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