With the exception of law enforcement, guns will not be allowed by the Secret Service at the Republican National Convention.
The Secret Service on Monday quashed the hopes of gun rights advocates who were pushing for the open carry of firearms to be allowed at this summer's Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
An online petition in support of the effort rapidly gained signatures and attention in the past week, applying pressure to pro-gun Republican officials and presidential contenders to walk the walk when it comes to guns. But on Monday, the Secret Service said that only law enforcement personnel will be allowed to carry firearms at the event.
Source: Secret Service: We’re not allowing firearms at the Republican National Convention
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a controversial case out of Illinois that effectively upheld a ban on assault weapons as consistent with the Second Amendment. The court's order didn't explain the reasoning behind the decision, but two justices, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, split with their colleagues and laid out why they would've agreed to hear the case.
Pointing to the Supreme Court's decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago -- which extended the "personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home" -- Thomas said the Illinois decision treated "the Second Amendment as a second-class right." "There is no basis for a different result when our Second Amendment precedents are at stake," Thomas wrote.
The move by the justices comes amid renewed calls for gun control in the wake of last week's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. During a rare Oval Office address on Sunday, President Barack Obama again urged Congress to enact gun control measures. The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case could be read as an indication of justices' unwillingness to further define the contours of the Second Amendment in light of the current political climate.
In the 2008 Heller decision, the court warned that the amendment didn't stand for a "right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose," and noted the "longstanding" and "historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons."
The case the court declined to hear on Monday stemmed from a local ordinance in the city of Highland Park, Illinois, that banned "assault weapons" -- defined as any semi-automatic firearm that accepts large-capacity magazines and possesses a number of specialized features. Gun rights advocates attacked the ordinance as unconstitutional. But eventually, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upheld the ban -- and essentially invited the Supreme Court to clarify whether the scope of the Second Amendment should be extended to include the prohibited weapons.
Bill Maher ended his show by going after the “nitwits” of the Open Carry movement and their belief that bringing a gun to a public place with “sane people’ who might freak out about seeing those guns is just a reasonable show of support for their Second Amendment rights. Maher said that these “playdates with other gun owners” might sound nice to gun lovers, but it might make the world a little nicer to live in if they aren’t walking around trying to “scare the bejeezus out of everybody.” In fact, Maher said these people are so obsessed with their firearms, there is only one real takeaway here: “You’re ammosexuals!” And there’s something weird about observing a gun owner harboring an “unnatural romantic relationship” with their guns.1
In considering all gun deaths in America since 1968, not just homicides, they gleaned their figures from databases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the FBI:
The compilations they extrapolated from that research led to the figures for each of the year-increments in the chart below, with 2011 clearly lower because it only reflects FBI figures, with more complete statistics to come …but even with that, the total gun deaths trump wartime dead.:
War deaths were compiled using a comprehensive document prepared by the Congressional Research Service, as well as the website icasualties.org. The war dead statistics were arrived at by combining “all war-related deaths, not just those that occurred in combat,” which makes the fact that these numbers are dwarfed by domestic gun deaths all the more shocking:
Simple arithmetic tells us Mark Shield’s statement is correct: gun deaths in America since only 1968 exceed the casualty totals of all U.S. wars by 212,994 deaths.
How many times have you heard a conservative say liberals have nothing to offer but emotions for gun control debate? On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart tried to make sense of the NRA convention speakers' convoluted logic. Speakers like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck said that President Obama and others are using tactics of emotion and fear... then went ahead using tactics of emotion and fear, prompting Stewart to do his Yoda impression. Ted Cruz bragged about his filibuster... then condemned a filibuster that blocked a bill he wanted to pass. Stewart concluded: "Stop pretending that background checks are the last barrier standing between a free America and Obama-sponsored government mom-rape." *
Entire video clip of Jon Stewart's segment, since it will not embed properly.