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News & Editorials

Don Birdís One-Man Battle Ends at Supreme Court -- But he hasnít given up the war

Brian Puckett
May 8, 2003 -- I have been sporadically reporting on Don Birdís fight to regain the free exercise of California citizensí right to own and use firearms since 2001. By himself, this 68 year old patriot has waged a legal battle against the anti-freedom governor and attorney general of this liberal-controlled state. However, this particular legal battle has ended with the U.S. Supreme Courtís decision on May 5 to deny certiorari (refusal to hear the case).

In response to Californiaís unconstitutional ban on certain semi-automatic rifles, Mr. Bird originally filed suit on June 12, 2001 against Governor Gray Davis, a number of California senators and assemblymen, and 10 John Does and Jane Does, claiming damages for violation of his civil rights, specifically his right to own and use firearms as protected under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The suit was filed in the Eastern U.S. District Court of California, citing U.S. Code Title 18, which outlines various legal sanctions against government officials, who conspire to misuse their offices and powers to violate the constitutional rights of their fellow citizens, and Title 42, which outlines the legal remedies citizens have for violations of constitutional rights.

The Case went through several evolutions, and in the end became a request for the high court to issue a writ of mandamus requiring Governor Gray Davis to state publicly that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to keep and bear arms. After reviewing Mr. Birdís petition, the Supreme Court declined to hear this action, and, as usual, gave no reason for doing so.

It is highly unusual for an individual with no formal legal training (such as Mr. Bird) to reach the level of the U.S. Supreme Court, and this result is a testament to Mr. Birdís determination and intellectual abilities.

ďBut Iím not giving upĒ Mr. Bird told me in a telephone conversation. ďI have another lawsuit Iím going to file. Iím going to keep at it, keep pushing them. All these lawsuits that are happening now are keeping the pressure up to get our rights backĒ

Heís right. And heís a remarkable patriot for taking on these tasks by himself.

Read Mr. Birdís story from the beginning:

1. California Patriot Stands Up and Fights

2. Don Bird Lawsuit Exposes CA Contempt for Rights

3. Don Bird Continues Unique Battle


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No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him. ó Thomas Jefferson

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