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View Full Version : I Spoke With An ACLU Rep. Today


CABilly
02-07-2010, 12:30 AM
I stopped by the MLK Jr. library in San Jose this afternoon and saw an ACLU booth so I decided to stop by. The guy sitting there was nice, in a sort of condescending manner. He gave me a little card with advice regarding LEO interactions. When I asked him what the local chapter's stance on the Second Amendment was, he said, (all quotes paraphrased) "I think we're very much in support of it." Alright! Then two shaggy guys walked by and he interrupted himself to holler at them. "Woah, you guys need these (police advice cards in hand)! I can tell just by looking at you" blah blah blah, I was brushed off.

Then his helper arrived, an attorney, I'm guessing. So I asked her the same question, and she sort of stiffened and asked "in what regard?" Well, in general. Would they take a 2A case? What is their official stance, and how would McDonald influence that? "Well, we do support and believe in the Second, but we feel the "well regulated militia" is the operative phrase. We don't base our stance on agreeing with what the Supreme Court says, necessarily. We'll agree that what they say is the law, but we hold our own viewpoints."

When I asked if, assuming incorporation post McDonald, the ACLU would take on more 2A cases, such as California's assault weapons ban, CCW, etc I got a sort of non-response. She said they all love sitting around and debating issues, but it takes an actionable case and they're more likely to take gun-related cases for their 4A merits, mostly. She then recommended I look up the chapter's website and blah blah blah for more information.

So I was a bit disappointed. Not surprised at all, mind you, just disappointed. It's not really fair to expect a surprise and be disappointed when you don't get one, but this is fairly new territory for them. Hopefully they'll come around. In the meantime, I'll steer my donations to CGF and NRA.

CalNRA
02-07-2010, 12:32 AM
*shrug* no surprise there. I don't think anyone in their right mind thinks of ACLU when they want legislative cooperation to uphold the 2nd.

(I know there are state chapters that support 2nd, but supporting the 2nd in those states is like supporting abortion rights in Vermont-no brainer)

CABilly
02-07-2010, 12:35 AM
*shrug* no surprise there. I don't think anyone in their right mind thinks of ACLU when they want legislative cooperation to uphold the 2nd.

(I know there are state chapters that support 2nd, but supporting the 2nd in those states is like supporting abortion rights in Vermont-no brainer)

I wouldn't want them steering the ship, but I think a pro-2A amicus from them would be an attention-getter.

CalNRA
02-07-2010, 12:47 AM
I wouldn't want them steering the ship, but I think a pro-2A amicus from them would be an attention-getter.

that would be nice, wouldn't it?

CABilly
02-07-2010, 1:01 AM
It sure would. I'd also like to see them on our side providing commentary at Public Safety Committee hearings, city council meetings, etc. I think they're an ally worthy of courting, simply because if they wind up getting solidly behind the 2A (as an INDIVIDUAL right), a lot of fence-sitters and ambivilants (new word, I like it) would probably come around to our side as well. The hard-core antis would be forced to question themselves and at least give some consideration to softening their stance, lest they appear outdated.

putput
02-07-2010, 7:34 AM
Next time hold a $20 over the donation jar. The more you like the response, the more you move it closer to the jar. The less you like the response, the more you move it away. In this case, I'd have pocketed the money while saying, "maybe when you come around"...

CaliforniaLiberal
02-07-2010, 7:37 AM
What did their police interaction cards say?

.454
02-07-2010, 8:09 AM
ACLU stands for American Communist Liberties Union
Roger Baldwin the founder of ACLU wrote in 1935:

"I am for Socialism, disarmament and ultimately, for the abolishing of the State itself ... I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."

Any other questions?

oldrifle
02-07-2010, 12:06 PM
ACLU == All Causes Liberal Upheld!

Actually, I heard a rumor that CGF has been meeting with the ACLU for some possible joint efforts.

hoffmang
02-07-2010, 12:39 PM
"Well, we do support and believe in the Second, but we feel the "well regulated militia" is the operative phrase. We don't base our stance on agreeing with what the Supreme Court says, necessarily. We'll agree that what they say is the law, but we hold our own viewpoints."

You should always ask this follow up question. "Well, since the Supreme Court ruled (maybe even incorrectly) that the 2A was an individual liberty and you're an organization that supports individual liberties, wouldn't you seek to expand individual liberty?"

-Gene

Cool Hand Luke
02-07-2010, 1:33 PM
Why don't they just change their name to the ALLU(American Liberal Liberties Union) to better reflect their agenda. Spawned as the legal arm of the Communist Party, this should have been their title.

N6ATF
02-07-2010, 2:05 PM
Next time hold a $20 over the donation jar. The more you like the response, the more you move it closer to the jar. The less you like the response, the more you move it away. In this case, I'd have pocketed the money while saying, "maybe when you come around"...

Hahaha.

B Strong
02-07-2010, 2:26 PM
I was approached on the street by an ACLU outreach person, and when I inquired about Heller and their position on the Second Amendment, the gal essentially stopped listening, and went on to the next individual.

The day that the ACLU supports the Second Amendment with the same enthusiasm as they do the First and the Fifth Amendments, they'll have my support.

B Strong
02-07-2010, 2:27 PM
Why don't they just change their name to the ALLU(American Liberal Liberties Union) to better reflect their agenda. Spawned as the legal arm of the Communist Party, this should have been their title.

My old man called them the American Criminal Lovers Union.

tuolumnejim
02-07-2010, 3:01 PM
I wouldn't expect anything less from an elitist anti American socialist lobby. If I really tell you how I feel about them I'll probably get the hammer, because it won't be nice.

nicki
02-07-2010, 4:42 PM
I know that many on this board have little use for the ACLU.

The ACLU is having rebellion in the ranks, the Nevada chapter broke away from the national and supported Heller, others are following.

After Alan Gura wins the MacDonald case, I am sure the ACLU will be very happy with the reborn 14th amendment.

Sure, the ACLU was founded by Marxists, that doesn't necessarily mean it is run by Marxists today.

The ACLU is changing, over the years they have worked with Gun Rights groups on common threats to rights.

I suggest we agree to disagree and just plug away.

Nicki

Gray Peterson
02-07-2010, 5:27 PM
ACLU stands for American Communist Liberties Union
Roger Baldwin the founder of ACLU wrote in 1935:


Any other questions?

Just goes to show you that everyone goes for the one liners and don't do actual research.

Read up on "A New Slavery" written in 1953 by Roger Baldwin.

Also, Professor Eugene Volokh of the blog Volokh Conspiracy went into detail about unsound and incorrect criticisms of the ACLU (http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2006_01_08-2006_01_14.shtml#1137223408).

I refused to renew my membership in ACLU when they ignored Heller. They lost enough membership and got hit with so much harsh criticism that they at least was re-evaluating their stance. I believe it is stalled because some of their more institutional donors may have threatened to yank their funding if they go from a "neutral/SCOTUS is wrong" impression.

Because much of ACLU's funding is from institutional donation rather than individual membership, a bloc of the people controlling those institutional funds can figuratively put a knife to the throats of the executive staff and board of the organization. This "bloc" are avid supporters of the Brady Campaign and their goals and they know that if ACLU involves itself in 2A litigation, it's all over for the gun control movement in this country, because if ACLU says it's an individual right, much of the left will adjust their thoughts on this accordingly.

dfletcher
02-07-2010, 5:32 PM
This is the only answer that has a chance with them:

"Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the constitution by claiming it’s not an individual right or that it’s too much of a safety hazard don’t see the danger of the big picture. They’re courting disaster by encouraging others to use this same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don’t like."

Alan Dershowitz

CABilly
02-07-2010, 7:38 PM
You should always ask this follow up question. "Well, since the Supreme Court ruled (maybe even incorrectly) that the 2A was an individual liberty and you're an organization that supports individual liberties, wouldn't you seek to expand individual liberty?"

-Gene

I'll make sure to be on my toes next time. Yesterday, I'd been awake for 30+ hours (school, work, college admission testing wheee!) when I saw their booth while looking for a restroom.

That question was one of the things that crept up and smacked me upside the head as I was walking to my car.

cbn620
02-08-2010, 1:22 AM
ACLU stands for American Communist Liberties Union
Roger Baldwin the founder of ACLU wrote in 1935:


Any other questions?

Please. That'd be like saying the founding fathers owned slaves, so America is a racist country 200-some years later. Roger Baldwin is long dead and the organization is not pushing communist views. Even if Baldwin was a hardcore red, and I'm not disputing whether he was or not, it's hard to take that as an argument or even seriously when the ACLU is not currently and for the most part never has pushed anything remotely communist.

Look, I get the frustration with them playing coy about our 2nd amendment rights but pick any other amendment in the Bill of Rights and show me how they've supported infringing upon it. Heck, show me something they've done where they've effectively given our country communism. On the contrary, they've done a lot for civil libertarian issues in this country.

Even though the OP is disappointed, honestly I expected this to go much worse. There was a time when the ACLU was adamantly anti-2nd, and in this case it seems less so. There are chapters of the ACLU just over the border from here who are pursuing 2nd amendment issues. To completely glaze over and discredit virtually everything the organization and its members have ever done based on a quote that is probably out of the context in which it was spoken and is definitely out of context as to the reality and nature of the organization as it exists is brazenly out of line.

dfletcher
02-08-2010, 10:30 AM
Look, I get the frustration with them playing coy about our 2nd amendment rights but pick any other amendment in the Bill of Rights and show me how they've supported infringing upon it.

I presume they've since moved, but IIRC the ACLU had the amendments to the Bill of Rights engraved or on display at their DC headquarters - except the 2nd. I agree with them some of the time, especially on speech issues, & don't think they are a monolithic anti American group. But I think their unwillingness to accept a SCOTUS interpretation that expands individual rights is very interesting. I can not imagine the ACLU discounting a SCOTUS decision that expended individual liberty on speech, religion, criminal rights, searches, etc. I think they would support it, that they do not on the 2nd is unusual and I think shortsighted.

Syntax Error
02-08-2010, 10:52 AM
Just goes to show you that everyone goes for the one liners and don't do actual research.

Read up on "A New Slavery" written in 1953 by Roger Baldwin.

Also, Professor Eugene Volokh of the blog Volokh Conspiracy went into detail about unsound and incorrect criticisms of the ACLU (http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2006_01_08-2006_01_14.shtml#1137223408).

I refused to renew my membership in ACLU when they ignored Heller. They lost enough membership and got hit with so much harsh criticism that they at least was re-evaluating their stance. I believe it is stalled because some of their more institutional donors may have threatened to yank their funding if they go from a "neutral/SCOTUS is wrong" impression.

Because much of ACLU's funding is from institutional donation rather than individual membership, a bloc of the people controlling those institutional funds can figuratively put a knife to the throats of the executive staff and board of the organization. This "bloc" are avid supporters of the Brady Campaign and their goals and they know that if ACLU involves itself in 2A litigation, it's all over for the gun control movement in this country, because if ACLU says it's an individual right, much of the left will adjust their thoughts on this accordingly.

I can understand the position of the ACLU, and they could be a great organization if they just had some damn common sense in their litigation practices. Sometimes, they do legitimately take up good causes for major individual rights cases, but other times, it just seems like they want publicity.

Still, I can't understand why they don't support Second Amendment rights. I for one hold that gun ownership need not be a partisan affiliation towards Republicanism or what-not, yet the organization as a whole (minus some local State chapters) does not accept the Second Amendment as an individual right.

Your post makes a good deal of sense, and the institutions that help fund and support the ACLU as a solvent entity certainly do have lots of leeway if they have the power of the purse.