Tag Archives: ACLU
As one of the few ACLU affiliates to affirmatively support the Second Amendment, all of us at the ACLU of Nevada have respect for responsible gun owners, and we often work with gun rights advocates on issues of common concern.
Just the other week, our good friend Robert Johnson from Gun Owners of Nevada invited us to try our hand at shooting. Staff Attorney Maggie McLetchie and I made the trip out to Boulder City and, I’ll be honest, as two people who had never used a gun before, we didn’t know what to expect. I was hoping that I’d at least hit the target!
After a comprehensive lesson on firearm types and safety protocols, we were each set up with a .22 caliber gun. Maggie was up first:
Her first shot was nearly dead center! The guns we used were relatively quiet and did not kick back into your shoulder as we expected they would. After Maggie’s round was done, it was my turn. I was nervous, but I tried to focus on the target and remember Robert’s tips about breathing and properly holding the gun.
Success! My shots were quite close together for a beginner, and as the lesson progressed I became more comfortable holding the gun and reloading the ammunition. For both of us, apprehension quickly turned into excitement about learning a new skill.
We hope to go out again soon with Robert to practice some more and further improve our marksmanship. Given that summer is fast approaching and it gets pretty darn hot out in the desert, I suspect it will need to be an early-morning excursion.
As someone who had never touched a gun before this experience, I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with them under the tutelage of an experienced teacher. As Americans we have the right to bear arms, but we also have a duty to exercise that right responsibly.
The best part? Maggie and I have found a new hobby!
One Man’s Thoughts Has Moved To
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Thank You, Vytautas
A teenager trying to get into his apartment after school is confronted by police. A man leaving his workplace chooses a different route back home to avoid officers who roam a particular street.
These and hundreds of thousands of other Americans in big cities have been stopped on the street by police using a law-enforcement practice called stop-and-frisk that alarms civil libertarians.
Police in major U.S. cities stop and question more than a million people each year — a sharply higher number than just a few years ago. Many are frisked, and nearly all are innocent of any crime, according to figures gathered by The Associated Press.
And the numbers are rising at the same time crime rates are dropping.
Ronnie Carr’s experience was typical: He was fumbling with his apartment door after school in Brooklyn when plainclothes officers flashed their badges.
“What are you doing here?” one asked, as they rifled through his backpack and then his pockets. The teenager stood there, quiet and nervous, and waited.
Carr said the officers told him they stopped him because he looked suspicious peeking in the windows. He explained that he had lost his keys. Twenty minutes later, the officers left. Carr was not arrested or cited with any offense.
“I felt bad, like I did something wrong,” he said.
Civil liberties groups say the practice fails to deter crime. Police departments maintain it is a necessary tool that turns up illegal weapons and drugs and prevents more serious crime.
The New York Police Department is among the most vocal defenders of the practice. Commissioner Raymond Kelly said recently that officers may stop as many as 600,000 people this year. About 10 percent are arrested.
The practice is perfectly legal. A 1968 Supreme Court decision established the benchmark of “reasonable suspicion” — a standard that is lower than the “probable cause” needed to justify an arrest.
Last year, New York police stopped 531,159 people, more than five times the number in 2002. Fifty-one percent of those stopped were black, 32 percent Hispanic and 11 percent white.
Not all stops are the same. Some people are just stopped and questioned. Others have their bag or backpack searched. And sometimes police conduct a full pat-down.
David Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and an expert on street stops, said few searches yield weapons or drugs. And the more people are searched, the more innocent people are hassled.
“The hit rate goes down because you’re being less selective about how you’re doing this. That has a cost. It’s not free,” Harris said.
In Los Angeles, where Bratton recently stepped down as police commissioner, pedestrian stops have doubled in the past six years to 244,038 in 2008. The number of people stopped in cars is higher.
About 15 percent of the stops resulted in arrests in 2002, compared with about 30 percent in 2008, according to an analysis of the data by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Chicago police refused to release numbers to the AP. Boston police say they do not keep the records. The New Orleans department is not required to keep statistics on pedestrian stops.
Civil liberties groups complain because New York police keep a database of everyone stopped — innocent or not. That makes them targets for future investigations, said Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Los Angeles was forced by federal mandate to release data on street stops — including the race of those stopped — starting in 2000 after a series of scandals. The city government promised to adopt scores of reform measures under federal court supervision.
The LAPD was released from the federal decree in July, but a report last year by the ACLU in Southern California showed that blacks were still nearly three times more likely to be stopped by police than whites.
Some people who are stopped file lawsuits against the city and speak out publicly. Most just accept it.
In Harlem, George Lucas changed his route home from work to avoid a stretch of Seventh Avenue, because he kept being stopped by the police.
It’s so common in some areas that community groups have begun offering classes on how to behave when stopped.
Obama has nominated far-left homosexual rights advocate Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – a move that makes Congress’ new push to pass the anti-faith ENDA bill even more dangerous to the rights of Christians.
Not only is Feldblum a former legal counsel for the ACLU and the pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign, she is a CO-AUTHOR of the ENDA bill that she could soon be enforcing!
And what is Feldblum’s agenda?
Incredibly, Feldblum says that when there is a conflict between religious freedom and homosexual rights, “…society should come down on the side of protecting identity liberty of LGBT people” (LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered).
In this view, YOUR religious beliefs will take second place to someone else’s desire for aberrant sexual activities or gender changes!
She opposed a case in which a Christian couple who owned a bed and breakfast in Vermont and who refused to participate in a same-sex union ceremony in their own home.
Feldblum stated: “Thus, for all my sympathy for the evangelical Christian couple who wish to run a bed and breakfast from which they can exclude unmarried straight couples and all gay couples, this is a point where I believe an inevitable choice between liberties must come into play. In making that choice, I believe society should come down on the side of protecting identity liberty of LGBT people.” Unbelievable!
In Feldblum’s desired workplace, Bob the receptionist can wear a dress and lipstick to work and designate his restroom of choice, yet the owner of the business – even a Christian business owner – will not be able to say a thing about it!
If this latest Obama nominee has her way, even the Boy Scouts would not be able to protect its young members from contact with openly homosexual leaders…
Feldblum is on record as saying that the Boy Scouts should not have won their case at the United States Supreme Court that affirmed their right to free association.
Feldblum and ENDA will put every employee, business owners and even churches and non-profit ministries on the wrong side of the law
The nomination of Chai Feldblum makes the ENDA battle in Congress even more critical. If she is confirmed and ENDA is passed, we should brace ourselves for the most radical, anti-faith interpretation of this bill that is even possible.
Obama’s nomination of Chai Feldblum is no accident. This is all part of a strategic plan to advance a radical, anti-faith, anti-marriage agenda.
Only the Left would even attempt to pass such a radical law and then give the architect of that law enforcement powers!
We have exposed their strategy. Now, we must stand.