View Full Version : Canales on Parker/Levy

04-04-2007, 3:00 PM
Tony Canales of http://calnra.com/newsbriefs/ fame has distributed the following over the internal Members' Councils network. As this topic has arisen here, and I think Tony does an excellent job of framing the issues, I present it here:

To All,
Robert A. Levy, co-counsel on the recent Parker v. District of Columbia, writes an editorial today at Examiner.com which apparently takes the NRA to task over what appears(at least to seasoned firearms activists) to be a dual strategy on protecting the Second Amendment as an individual right.

Levy apparently is miffed that NRA and a number of Second Amendment stalwarts in Congress have been going after the DC Gun Ban in a way that obviously does not count solely on Mr. Levy's verbal ability to sway notorious swing voter Justice Anthony Kennedy on overturning what Liberals nationwide are screaming is stare decisis, harkening back to Miller.

If anything, one would wonder why Mr. Levy has not taken into account that a Supreme Court challenge entered, without knowing for certain how the individual justices would vote, should be considered a highly reckless action no matter the beneficial aspects of the Second Circuit's recent ruling. Is it possible that he has not considered the "downside" effects on gun owners nation-wide should Kennedy lead an overturning of Parker? (Even the folks in Rio Linda would know that an overturning of Parker at this stage would be a critical blow to the individual rights concept in law.).

One aspect of Mr. Levy's state of mind on this issue can be found in today's article:

"...Third, the Supreme Court is more conservative today than it's been for some time, and probably more conservative than it's going to be. In the unlikely event that five current justices decide to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by upholding a total ban on handguns, that would be the time for Congress to act. Until then, the DC Personal Protection Act is premature and counter-productive..."

In other words, Mr. Levy is practically guaranteeing that the Supreme Court will uphold the Second Circuit on Parker. (If this little prognostication is not viewed by a challenge to the Court's independent state of being, it will only be cause Examiner.com is not widely read by the clerks who do all the grunt work for SCOTUS.). Let's see, the definition of "hubris" in Webster's is around here somewhere....

In addition, Mr. Levy's fall back position, in case of an adverse 5-4 ruling on Parker, is to turn to the newly-veiled Nancy Pelosi and get her to somehow come up with legislation that somehow would negate a Supreme Court ruling favored by the Kos Kiddies and the American Left.


Perhaps it is true that Mr. Levy is one of Cato's legal grandmasters, leading the fight on one of the most important issues of the age. But to paraphrase William Frawley's character in "Miracle on 34th Street", politics is the NRA's "racket". One does not successfully stay in the Arena for long by risking all firearms owner's rights (and valuable personal property) on anything less than the absolute certainty that one is going to win the votes at the end of the day.

Anything else is playing the game with other people's money when the odds favor the casino.

Let us pray that Levy's apologetics in this case are up to snuff. Even if he has to make like a tenor and sing "The Black Velvet Band" so as to cause the angels weep, we are now all hostage to the philosophy of a Supreme Court Justice who, among other things, just agreed that carbon dioxide is a pollutant to be regulated by the EPA.

Thanks, Bob.

Link at:

http://www.examiner.com/a-653443~Robert_A__Levy__Should_Congress_or_the_cour ts_decide_D_C__gun_ban_s_fate_.html


Anthony Canales
Almost seems the closer these RKBA attorneys get to the Supreme Court, it's like a drug - the less control they have over themselves. Suddenly, everyone else has to see it their way.

Shades of Silveira!


04-04-2007, 4:52 PM
Silveira?! Come on.

The NRA wanted to join the Parker suit and were turned down. They had their own suit going and it wasn't successful. The Parker suit has been successful.


This issue is going to end up at SCOTUS.

04-04-2007, 5:03 PM
Anyone who clings to the historically untrue -- and -- thoroughly immoral doctrine that violence never solves anything I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler would referee. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor; and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.

- Robert Heinlein

The only thing we have to fear is fear it'self - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance

- Fdr - First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933

Where fear is present, wisdom cannot be.

- Lactantius

Mike I hope this doesnt offend but Im not pulling for the NRA on this one.

I do not believe acting out because of fear especially fearing the SCOTUS on this is wise.

Not to mention this could blow up in the NRA's face politically with its members because they are moving to moot it which they now make clear. If it goes through, and parker affirms a lot of fallout will come of it.

... Give us the courage to do what is right. And if it means civil war? Then let it come. And when it does, may it be, finally, the last battle of the American Revolution.
- Hopkins acting as John Quincy Adams in Amistad

That quote is very relevant to us now. We must pass, win or lose. We must pass this point.

LAK Supply
04-04-2007, 5:43 PM
That article is irritating.....we will never know for sure how any justice will vote. There are a few on the court that I've expected to vote one way many times and they've come over to the right side; this also happens the opposite way sometimes.

We need a ruling on this....if it's good it could be very good; if it's bad we may just see some states taking some action with state law. Many states have the people's RKBA in their constitutions anyway.

I'm calling the NRA to voice my displeasure; I don't think I like their response to this particular subject.

04-04-2007, 5:44 PM
The NRA is wrong on this one, its time to stand and fight. My Father always preached to me, that sometimes you have to take the Bull by the horns, this is one of those times.

04-04-2007, 7:09 PM
Not if the NRA keeps "helping".

What I meant was, whether it's a gangbanger with a public pretender like Miller, or a well educated group with multi-race/sex/sexuality people, in protected classes which get special consideration from the Court, with demonstrated need of firearms, and thoroughly well funded, not to mention is completely a pure 2A case, and a highly capable legal team, is the only question.

04-04-2007, 9:46 PM

Comparing Gura and Levy to Silviera is like comparing you to Alison Merilees. You know I love and support you but that's a nasty statement for no good reason beyond propoganda. We can read and do the research on Gura, Levy, and Cato.

NRA is free to disagree with the strategy of taking a clean Second Amendment case to the Supreme Court and that is what the post above indirectly states. Having that debate is interesting and worthwhile for all of us who support the expansion of gun rights.

However, that doesn't seem to be the plan. I'm troubled by the circular argument that NRA is supporting passing legislation that would restore the Second Amendment to DC to moot Parker, but they couldn't do the same in the same Congress that we'd all have to go back to after a Parker decision.

Also, the Judge count above is misleading at best. We have 4 solid votes in Thomas, Alito, Scalia, and Roberts. All we need is one of Kennedy, Souter, or Ginsburg. I have another earlier post that analyzed the positions those three have taken and I'm reasonably confident that at least one and maybe two of them will take our side.

Silveira almost got taken by the Supreme Court. That fact shows that the a bad case could easily go instead of Parker?

I'm going to be calling NRA national now that appears that NRA is stating it does not support Supreme Court review at this time. I can respect that position, but I think it needs more debate and less of a defacto strategy.


04-04-2007, 10:02 PM
I absolutely disagree with Canales on this one. Parker needs to go to SCOTUS. If it is upheld, that will be a huge win for 2nd Amendment rights, and will trigger a landslide of pro-2nd changes. If it is overturned, then it will be clear that the Bill of Rights is no longer worth the parchment it's written on, and hopefully the various factions of gun owners would finally be galvanized to stand together and stop letting each other take it up the bum. The status quo is thoroughly unacceptable; it's time to go all-in.

So, politics is NRA's racket, huh? Where has this political savvy gotten us? At best, they've had some success in maintaining a holding action against major 2nd Amendment losses. I can see how they might want to keep things how they are; lobbying is their only reason to exist, and a big pro-2nd win (especially by somebody other than them) would tend to marginalize them. This kind of approach is one of the reasons I canceled my NRA membership. Well, that and the way I always expected to see Ed McMahon's picture on the semimonthly Give Us More Money mailing.

The Parker ruling is one of the most significant wins for gun owners in the last century. Canales has a lot of nerve making condescending remarks like "Perhaps it is true that Mr. Levy is one of Cato's legal grandmasters, leading the fight on one of the most important issues of the age." NRA needs to either support the continuing Parker battle or get the hell out of the way.

If NRA continues to support legislation which would moot Parker, then by doing so they're showing that they're not really on the side of gun owners. If such legislation actually passes, and in so doing torpedoes Parker before it has a chance to make it to SCOTUS, then I'll go so far as to call NRA an active enemy of 2nd Amendment rights.

04-05-2007, 5:27 AM
...Parker needs to go to SCOTUS. If it is upheld, that will be a huge win for 2nd Amendment rights, and will trigger a landslide of pro-2nd changes. If it is overturned, then it will be clear that the Bill of Rights is no longer worth the parchment it's written on, and hopefully the various factions of gun owners would finally be galvanized to stand together and stop letting each other take it up the bum...
Your 'loss' scenario is too rosy. There is no recovery from a 2A loss at the SCOTUS.

This is not an election or a "CA RKBA amendment". One does not consider losing with a 'well, we'll try again harder next time' attitude.

...various factions of gun owners would finally be galvanized...
Excuse me, this logic elicits a "yeah, right" because it's not logic and that's all it deserves. And galvanized to do what? Appeal to whom? It will be o-v-e-r.

The 5-4 ruling regarding Global Warming points to a strongly activist court which will go to far lengths to support a radical agenda. If you want to insure victory, SCOTUS is not ready for a 2A case. Do you really want to put the Second Amendment for future generations on the line when SCOTUS has handed down recent decisions like CO2 being a pollutant and the support of eminent domain for commercial enterprises?

Excuse me, but I don't see a SCOTUS that is all that focused on individual rights nor even common sense. I see one that will step WAAAAY outside of what the average 'mercin considers the Constitution to be.

No matter how enthusiastic or bombastic Levy gets, I'm not about to lose faith in NRA. They were there before Parker and will be there after, if there is an "after".


04-05-2007, 5:54 AM
I am losing faith, very very quickly. The NRA wanted to come to the dance and was turned down. Now it's acting like a shunned high schooler and lashing out.

CO2 in not mentioned in the BOR.

And this will hardly be the end of it, even if lost.

04-05-2007, 7:32 AM
I believe the NRA has done a great deal for gunowners in the past few years, but I absolutely disagree with Canales on this matter. I suggest the NRA stop with these opinion pieces because it sounds like nothing more than sour grapes. If they keep making these determinations (regardless of the NRA's political savvy), they're going start turning off more existing members and turn away potential new members.

Regardless of whatever experience the NRA might have across the board, they haven't always been right, and to somehow suggest that they are the only one fit to determine what cases might or might not be successful at federal court levels is a lot of self-serving B.S.

04-05-2007, 9:03 AM

A loss means that we all fall back to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms provisions in the State Constitutions and gun owner's legislative power around the country.

Politics matter and there already isn't a second amendment in California or Massachusets. However, there is a second amendment in Texas and even a loss in SCOTUS isn't going to effect that. If anything it will mean that certain states will gaurd that right even more jealously.

To not understand how limited a loss at SCOTUS impact actually is to the status quo is to continue to overstate the downside and therefor underestimate the upside.