On Friday, February 10, 2017 at 6:00 PM, the Action Training Group Inc. will meet at Sportsman’s Warehouse on North Division in Spokane. We invite anyone interested in our group to attend, ask questions and participate in the planning for upcoming events.
The Action Training Group has been presenting shooting events at Fernan Rod and Gun Club near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho since June, 2016.
We are now recruiting new members. A Charter Membership is $39.00. Sign up at Action Training Group. Membership will normally cut the price for each live-fire shooting event by $10.00 or more.
Our PayPal function allows you to join by accessing our website and also make contributions. We invite interested individuals and groups to attend our business meeting scheduled for Friday, February 10th at 6:00 PM. The meeting is open to the public every month on the second Friday of the month. The ATG will be insured with NRA liability insurance in 2017 and we will start shooting again at one of the local indoor ranges in Spokane or North Idaho soon.
Please go to the Calendar of Events to confirm the website for the date place and time of meetings. We meet at Sportsman’s Warehouse in the back of the store.
We now have a Mission Statement in place with clear, measurable objectives:
MISSION STATEMENT- We are a group of citizens that have come together in order to be prepared for action when a crisis arises. We encourage each other to anticipate threats, think about our actions and the consequences of what we do- or fail to do- and we train accordingly.
ACTION- We must take action. because we cannot prepare by simply thinking and talking about what we see happening;
TRAINING- because we know that preparations fail without continual training;
GROUP- Because we live in communities and cannot prepare & train adequately unless we work together.
OBJECTIVES-We exist for the purpose of giving participants monthly opportunities to continue sharpening skills and to develop a regular schedule of events that includes Reality Based Training, to develop situational awareness and instill skill in the use of arms while maintaining a mindset that fosters defense of ourselves and others.
What do we mean by REALITY BASED TRAINING? The mind is our primary tool for self-defense. Firearms are also a tool but the risks of carrying a firearm outweigh the benefits without constant training in safe handling, storage and use. Reality Based Training is beyond what is available to most gun owners without a great deal of expense. We recommend the various professional shooting academies that are available but regular practice is the key to obtaining proficiency.
We invite interested groups and individuals to contact us and consider serving on one of our volunteer planning committees. Promoting respect for law enforcement, gun safety and preparedness are just some of the values fostered by the numerous activities presently under discussion.
Go to Firearms Lawyer to contact us via email or contact Mark Knapp at (253) 202-2081.
A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. Proverbs 22:3
Last year (2008), the Supreme Court of the United States (hereinafter SCOTUS) ruled that Americans have an individual right to keep and bear arms. Why does the decision in DC V HELLER matter to city-dwellers like you and I that live or work in Federal Way and have almost no place in our lives for hunting, target shooting or toting a pistol as we go about our busy routines?
The fact that the Washington State Constitution already guarantees Washingtonians protection if we choose to possess firearms also raises the issue of what was, if any, the HELLER decision’s impact on residents of our local communities. Any law-abiding U.S. citizen of sound mind (twenty-one or older) can obtain a Concealed Pistol License in Washington State. You can even keep and wear a weapon in your own home or business without obtaining a CPL. So why does DC V HELLER matter in the Evergreen State?
To answer the question we need a nutshell course on Second Amendment jurisprudence. When the federal government first got involved with regulating guns pursuant to the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). In the 1939 case of UNITED STATES V MILLER, SCOTUS took up the issue of whether the NFA’s prohibition against sawed-off shotguns violated the Second Amendment. The MILLER court decided the issue by analyzing whether sawed-off shotguns are militarily useful. Ever since that time gun control advocates, law professors and even a minority of Supreme Court justices in the HELLER dissent have been able to point to United States Circuit Court precedents in which the decisions cited the MILLER case and rejected claims that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. Thus, prior to recent times, a majority of legal scholars and even our own Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have taken the position that the “people” that have the right to keep and bear arms are the states; i.e., the U.S. Constitution only protects a state’s right to maintain a militia.
Pro-gun folks advocate that MILLER only dealt with the issues in a very oblique fashion for a number of reasons, including the fact that the only representatives that appeared to argue the issues in MILLER were the government lawyers! Because the defense did not appear, there was arguably no way for the judges to hear both sides of the issues. It is worth noting that, despite the assertion in the MILLER opinion declaring that sawed-off shotguns have no military usefulness, short barreled shot-guns were very much in use as trench guns in WW I.
It can be argued that the HELLER case is actually the first case in which SCOTUS has dealt directly with the issue of who has standing to assert the right to keep and bear arms. The HELLER decision almost guarantees that many more Supreme Court decisions will follow. Because Washington, DC is not a state there are bound to be cases that decide whether the states are obligated to abide by the Second Amendment and what restrictions are reasonable for the states and the federal government to enact. Keep in mind that many rules dealing with firearms are administrative and are buried deep within arcane intricacies of local, state and federal bureaucracies.
Those of you that resent rampant militarism, the Founding Fathers are on your side! The legislative history of the Bill of Rights reveals that the Founders were conflicted about the wisdom of permitting standing armies that could be used against the people to usurp American’s civil rights. The Federalists compromised with the anti-Federalists by leaving the size of the military up to the President and Congress. By keeping the people armed, Americans would be prepared if the government neglected the national defense and, at the same time, the people would have recourse in the event that the new federal government ran roughshod over our liberties. You have to say one thing for those old boys- they were radical!
Dick Heller, an armed security guard for a government agency, was prohibited under Washington, DC’s draconian gun laws from possessing a gun in his home, even though the United States Government entrusted him to guard life and the U.S. Government’s property. Because he challenged and overturned the DC gun ban, cities like Morton Grove, Illinois are already revising their gun laws to permit at least some private possession of guns within their city limits.
History has demonstrated that the federal government, states and local governments can and will enact laws that deprive individuals and states of the ability to take control of our own destinies. The Interstate Commerce Clause has been invoked to justify economic regulation and federal incursions into almost every area of our lives. Presidents can enter into all kinds of treaties and there are many legal scholars prepared to argue that treaties may be valid even without going through the cumbersome process entailed by the plain meaning of the U.S. Constitution. My Constitutional law professor taught me that treaties supersede the Constitution!
Consider also that in the very near future, you will be hearing a great deal about a proposed UN Treaty that is being touted as a “common sense” agenda to limit trafficking in small arms- a solution to international terrorism and other criminal activities. The only problem is that everywhere we look in the world, the thugs in high places are busy building up arsenals, while the honest folks are mostly disarmed- except in the United States of America.
The DC v Heller case makes it far more difficult for the executive branch of the federal government, Congress or a federal judge interpreting an international treaty to undermine the protection that Washingtonians enjoy under various state laws.
In a very real sense, the Second Amendment helps to protect our First Amendment rights. But guns have no inherent ability to guarantee that we will remain a free people. Vigilance and prayer must secure liberty.
In conclusion, you should take a final look at a not-so-apparent but self-evident truth. The right to protect our loved ones does not come from a constitution or other legal document. Protecting our families and communities from violence is not really even a right! It is a duty that is placed on us by God. The soccer-mom or senior citizen that might be carrying a concealed pistol often represents as much of a deterrent to violent crime as a six foot, two-hundred pound police officer. Why? Because predators never know where and when the armed citizen may respond with deadly force!
From 1897 through 1937, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a number of cases involving economic issues where the court often struck down state regulations that restricted business owners. Child labor laws and minimum wage laws, for example, were held to violate the freedom of contract, a liberty interest under the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment guarantees life, liberty and property and requires due process under the law before state governments can invade such interests. At one time, the Court had consistently held that the 14th Amendment only guaranteed fundamentally fair procedural safeguards.
However, even before FDR was president, the Court began invalidating minimum wage laws, federal child labor laws, regulations on banking, insurance and transportation industries and unions. This years are often called Lochner era because the Court began a process of discovering substantive legal rights that were often characterized as freedom of contract; i.e., liberty interests protected by the 14th Amendment.
The Supreme Court played an activist role during the Lochner era. The Court sometimes invalidated state and federal legislation that inhibited business or restricted free enterprise. In the 1930s, the Court invalidated labor and market regulations such as laws attempting to abolish Yellow Dog contracts. Employees signed Yellow Dog contracts promising not to join labor unions as a condition of employment. Such laws ran head on into FDR’s New Deal laws. FDR threatened to add several new justices to the court in order to prevent the court from stroking down laws enacted by the New Deal Congress.
In a case that came to the court from Washington state, West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, some of the Conservative justices unexpectedly sided with Roosevelt administration’s position that minimum wage laws are permitted by the United States Constitution.
In the West Coast Hotel case, Chief Justice Hughes stated the following:
“ The principle which must control our decision is not in doubt. The constitutional provision invoked is the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment governing the states, as the due process clause invoked in the Adkins Case governed Congress. In each case the violation alleged by those attacking minimum wage regulation for women is deprivation of freedom of contract. What is this freedom? The Constitution does not speak of freedom of contract. It speaks of liberty and prohibits the deprivation of liberty without due process of law. In prohibiting that deprivation, the Constitution does not recognize an absolute and uncontrollable liberty.
West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish
Congress rejected the Roosevelt proposal to pack the court and it is often assumed that the Supreme Court bowed to political pressure after President Roosevelt’s proposal to enlarge the Court. Justice Owen Roberts, who had previously voted to strike down similar legislation, joined the wing more sympathetic to the New Deal and upheld the Washington state law setting a minimum wage for women.
According to progressive scholars, judges invented novel economic “rights” — most notably “substantive due process” and “liberty of contract” — and then injected their own values upon the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It is hard to deny that the Court was abrogating the authority of state legislatures and Congress by finding unrestricted liberty interests that are not specifically enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.
Between 1899 and 1937, the Supreme Court held 159 statutes unconstitutional and another 25 were struck down in reference to the due process clause coupled with some other provision. When the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted in 1868, 27 out of 37 state constitutions had provisions which typically said: “All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring and possessing and protecting property: and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.” Nevertheless, finding that such provisions guarantee the right of a child to contract for long hours performing factory work requires stretching the text to find rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution. The authority to make laws remains with state legislatures except where the Constitution specifically provides otherwise.
Two early substantive due process cases, Pierce v. Society of Sisters and Meyer v. Nebraska, were decided during the Lochner era. These two cases helped legitimize the modern substantive due process decisions involving the constitutional “right to privacy’ which opened the door to the Court’s prohibition on most state and federal laws restricting abortion. The so-called right to privacy is not enumerated in the Constitution and also is the basis for the Court’s decisions striking down state laws against consensual sodomy, thus fueling the same sex marriage agenda and many other issues that have divided our society and ignited the Culture wars.
In Lochner v. New York (1905), the Court struck down a New York State law limiting the number of hours bakers could work on the grounds that it violated the bakers’ “right to contract”.
The following Supreme Court decisions are typical cases from the Lochner era:
• Allgeyer v. Louisiana (1897), striking down state legislation prohibiting foreign corporations from doing business in the state
• Lochner v. New York (1905), striking down state legislation limiting weekly working hours
• Adair v. United States (1908), striking down federal legislation prohibiting railroad companies from demanding that a worker not join a labor union as a condition for employment (“yellow-dog contract”)
• Coppage v. Kansas (1915), striking down state legislation prohibiting yellow-dog contracts
• Adams v. Tanner (1917), striking down state legislation preventing privately owned employment agencies from assessing fees for their services
• Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918), striking down federal regulation of child labor
• Duplex Printing Press Co. v. Deering (1921), construing federal legislation not to exempt labor unions from antitrust lawsuits
• Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. (1922), invalidating a federal tax on interstate commerce by employers hiring children
• Adkins v. Children’s Hospital (1923), striking down federal legislation mandating a minimum wage level for women and children in the District of Columbia
• Nichols v. Coolidge, 274 U. S. 531 (1927)
• Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton Rr., 295 U. S. 330 (1935)
• Louisville Joint Stock Land Bank v. Radford, 55 Sup. Ct. 869 (1935)
• United States v. Butler (1936), construing congressional taxing power to invalidate the Agricultural Adjustment Act
• Carter v. Carter Coal Company (1936), striking down federal legislation regulating the coal industry
Law Office of Mark Knapp PLLC- Spokane (253) 202-2081