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Muddling Through

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Member since: Fri Jun 13, 2014, 06:54 AM
Number of posts: 19,038

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Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Oct 30, 2015, 02:12 PM (0 replies)

Bernie Was Right, and Hillary Wrong, on Gun-Lawsuit Bill

"It came up again at last night’s Democratic debate, so it’s worth repeating: Bernie Sanders and more than 60 other Democrats in Congress were right to support the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), and Hillary Clinton was wrong to oppose it.

Congress had both good practical reason and Constitutional authority to enact PLCAA. Its purpose and effect was to call a halt to the campaign (backed by the administration of Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband) to launch financially ruinous litigation against firearms makers and dealers – most of them thinly capitalized firms unable to withstand massive legal bills – and apply the resulting leverage to extract promises of gun control without the bother of seeking approval for those measures from a then-skeptical U.S. Congress. It was a campaign rightly decried as undemocratic even by such figures of the Left as former cabinet secretary Robert Reich. It was also a travesty of legal ethics, employing litigation as a pure weapon; thus then-HUD secretary Andrew Cuomo warned gunmakers that unless they cooperated they’d suffer “death by a thousand cuts”, while then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer reportedly warned Glock: “If you do not sign, your bankruptcy lawyers will be knocking at your door.”

It is not the place of the U.S. Congress to rectify every ill of litigation that may arise in state courts, but the Constitution specifically contemplates that federal lawmakers will oversee the doings of state courts when those courts assert power over transactions and residents of other states. Thus Article IV, Section 1 grants Congress the power “by general Laws prescribe the …Effect” of state law in other states. These powers are peculiarly relevant when employed to safeguard a Constitutionally specified right that is (purposely) put in jeopardy by tactical abuse of interstate lawsuits.

Despite the claims of some opponents, Congress’s formula for resolving litigation amounted in essence to restoring, not overturning, the traditional common-law bounds of gun liability. It left open a few exceptions for instances where liability might have been found with some warrant in the older common law, as when a gun explodes or is knowingly sold to a person intent on harm. Otherwise, it codifies the same common-law rule that Cuomo, Clinton et al were hoping to get the courts to abandon: if an otherwise lawful firearm has performed as it was designed and intended to do, its maker and seller are not liable for its misuse.

I’ve written more about PLCAA and its critics here, here, and here. "

Some food for thought.
Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Oct 16, 2015, 06:51 PM (2 replies)

Clinton’s claim that 40 percent of guns are sold at gun shows and over the Internet

–Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, remarks on gun violence at Manchester Community College, N.H., Oct. 5, 2015

"Clinton made this statement while decrying what she called a “loophole” in the law that permitted guns sales without a background check. “We need to close that loophole so that when we have universal background check, it will cover everybody,” Clinton said.

In 2013, when the gun debate heated up after the Newtown Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, we closely examined the origin of the claim that 40 percent of gun sales are done without a background check. It’s a very stale figure, based on data about two decades old, though some tantalizing new research may shed additional light on the issue. Given that gun violence has again become a hot political issue, it looks like it’s time for a refresher course.

The Facts

First, the “loophole” mentioned by Clinton refers to “person-to-person” sales, primarily by people who do not earn a livelihood from firearm sales. People engaged in the business of selling guns by contrast need a Federal Firearms License (FFL), but unlicensed sellers can sell to a neighbor, a friend, at a gun show or over the Internet.

But many sellers at guns shows actually have an FFL and conduct background checks, while 17 states (including California, New York and Illinois) have passed laws which require at least background checks on all handgun sales at gun shows."

Balance of article follows at link:

Why do some people repeat the same lies over and over?
Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Oct 16, 2015, 06:46 PM (17 replies)

Ave Imperator.

"Occasionally a member of the chattering classes writes something that is not just wrong, that is not just irritating, but that is genuinely dangerous. Matthew Yglesias’s latest essay at Vox is just such a piece. Writes Yglesias: From her adventures in cattle trading to chairing a policymaking committee in her husband’s White House to running for Senate in a state she’d never lived in to her effort to use superdelegates to overturn 2008 primary results to her email servers, Clinton is clearly more comfortable than the average person with violating norms and operating in legal gray areas. This is, for him, a point in her favor: Committed Democrats and liberal-leaning interest groups are facing a reality in which any policy gains they achieve are going to come through the profligate use of executive authority, and Clinton is almost uniquely suited to deliver the goods. More than almost anyone else around, she knows where the levers of power lie, and she is comfortable pulling them, procedural niceties be damned. Conclusion: She truly is the perfect leader for America’s moment of permanent constitutional crisis: a person who cares more about results than process, who cares more about winning the battle than being well-liked, and a person who believes in asking what she can get away with rather than what would look best.

Read more at:
Posted by Muddling Through | Wed Oct 7, 2015, 08:04 PM (6 replies)
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