The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today launched the first phase of a “Petition to Reject” the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Garland has been nominated by President Barack Obama to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, author of the landmark 2008 Heller ruling. It was that 5-4 decision that affirmed the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms beyond service in some militia.
Judge Garland has been described as an “ideal moderate” to sit on the court, but CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said in a news release, “Gun owners don’t want an ‘ideal moderate’ to replace Scalia, they want a pro-Second Amendment jurist to fill that seat, to retain the current balance on the high court.” That echoes what this column noted a few days ago about gun owner reaction to the nomination.
“Judge Garland has a long record of being anti-gun that threatens Justice Antonin Scalia’s most important decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, a case that affirmed the Second Amendment and a person’s individual right to keep and bear arms,” Gottlieb asserted. “Obama is trying to change the makeup of the Supreme Court in an effort to undermine the cornerstone of our Bill of Rights.”
CCRKBA’s “Petition to Reject” campaign kicked off today with Internet ads urging people to sign an online petition and will be followed with direct mail, radio and TV as well as telephone outreach, Gottlieb said. He hopes to raise enough money to “print and distribute millions of additional petitions, plus fund radio, television, newspaper and Internet impact activities.”
MEANWHILE, two school districts – one in California and the other in eastern Washington – are considering a change in policy that focuses on the right to bear arms. The Fresno Bee reported today that some staffers in the Kingsburg Joint Union High School District might be allowed to carry guns on campus. The newspaper said that the school board “is considering approving a policy that would allow some employees to possess firearms and ammunition on school grounds.”
By no small coincidence, the school board in Naches, a community west of Yakima along Highway 410, is also considering allowing some staffers to carry firearms, but the decision could be long in coming, according to the Yakima Herald. A meeting held in the community Monday night found opinions dramatically split, with even students on opposite sides.
The newspaper quoted 16-year-old Corissa Cruzen, a student at Naches Valley High School, who remarked, “I don’t think I could trust some of my teachers with a gun.”
On the other side was Emma Brignone, a middle school student, who admonished some of the adults who had voiced concerns about the cost of training staff, according to the newspaper. Her take was blunt: “You’re all complaining about prices. It is our lives you’re talking about. If it was up to me, I’d rather have a gun in this school than my life on the line.”
Naches is a community where a lot of residents own firearms. It is essentially the eastern gateway to the Central Cascades, as the highway moves west and splits, one branch heading toward White Pass and the other going on to Chinook Pass and the east boundary of Mount Rainier National Park. At last check, there were more than 20,700 active concealed pistol licenses in Yakima County, and it’s a safe bet that a fair number of those are held by Naches residents.
This debate goes back to the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy, when National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre stated that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The comment horrified liberal pundits, but in the years since, several school districts have adopted programs that allow armed staffers or armed school security.
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