While the U.S. Supreme Court examines whether the Second Amendment rights to bear arms are being enforced in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. BruenAmnesty International’s amicus brief argues against this. This post will examine the AI brief’s arguments.
When I donated monthly to AI in those days, it was well-known for supporting political prisoners in other parts of the world. AI was involved in many other areas, such as global gun prohibition. Control Arms is today the world’s leading anti-gun organisation. It was founded in 2003 by Oxfam and Amnesty International.
These groups consider an absolute embargo of all arms sales to Israel a top priority. See, eControl Arms Arms Without Borders: Why Global Trade is Important for Global ControlsOctober 2006. These groups favor an end to commerce in weapons-making materials like titanium, which would prevent Israel from producing its own arms.
AI doesn’t just want to disarm Israelis. The group enthusiastically supported hard left Brazilian president Lula da Silva’s 2005 ballot referendum to ban all gun sales. The ban was defeated by 64%-36%
Even those who oppose civilian gun ownership are not ardent supporters of it. However, they do acknowledge the legitimacy of defensive weapons for victims of active genocide campaigns. AI does not agree.
This group was able to document how simple it was for Sudan’s Islamist government to use disarmament to commit genocide against African Darfuri tribals. Many of the deaths were carried out by Arab gangs called the Janjaweed. They were armed with weapons by the Sudanese Government. AI reports that most Janjaweed carried five- to six guns per individual. AI quoted one Darfuri villager as saying that “none had arms, and they were unable to resist the assault.” Another villager said, “I attempted to grab my spear to defend my family but they threatened to shoot me.” So I stopped. Six Arabs then attacked my child in front my wife, me and the other children. Amnesty International Sudan: Arming Perpetrators of Grave Abuses In Darfur, Nov. 16, 2004.
Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewTrish Katyoka from Amnesty International, the director for Africa Advocacy, was asked by the group whether Darfur’s victims should have arms. Dimitri Vassilaros, “Gun Control’s Best Friend,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review1, 2005. 1, 2005. 1) 2005.
Amnesty International is not going to support an increase in the flow of weapons to the region. You are actually empowering the victims to inflict a retaliation. You can create complexity by giving arms to the poor and letting them fight back. It is impossible to predict the outcome. “Fighting with fire does not solve genocide.” Arming minorities in order to resist is dangerous.
AI’s position confuses self defense against murder with revenge, which is revenge after it has happened. It’s true that armed victims may add “complexity” to a situation—especially for attackers who used to straightforwardly murdering helpless victims. If the victim is unarmed, it’s easier to defend yourself. Do It is important to “know what will happen”: victims will be exterminated. If you want to avoid mass murders, adding complexity is an option that can save your life.
Part I of AI amicus brief argues, among other things, that judicial reading of the U.S Constitution including the Second Amendment must be subordinate to interpretations of what AI considers international law. This argument is an exaggerated extension of a well-known rule. statutoryInterpretation, specifically the “Charming Bettsy Canon.”
The 1804 U.S. Supreme Court Case Murray v. Schooner Charming Betsy6 U.S. (2 Cranch), 64 (1804), Chief Justice Marshall stated that “an Act of Congress should never be read to violate the law, of nations,” if there is any other construction. These are the Charming Betsy Original owner was an American. However, the ship was later sold to St. Thomas to a Dane. He sent the vessel on a commercial journey to Guadeloupe. Before the Court, the issue was whether or not the ship could have been forfeited by a Congress statute. This prohibited American trade with France at the time. France was engaged in an undeclared naval Quasi-War. Marshall Court narrowly interpreted the statute to avoid running counter to international law which permits wartime trade between neutrals (such Denmark).
The following are the principles of statutory construction Charming Betsy American courts have used canon since then. The doctrine of constitutional interpretation has not been used. It would mean that the First Amendment was a sure casualty. The American courts are the strongest in their interpretation of “the freedom to speak, of press or exercise of religion”. Indeed, for most of American history judicial review of the constitutionality of legislation had very few counterparts in the world. Vicki Jackson, Harvard Law Professor. Transnational Era: Constitutional Engagement(2008) argues that international law should be used to interpret certain constitutional provisions. However, the Second Amendment does not have the same “specificity or distinctness” as the Second Amendment. . . That renders transnational resources irrelevant.”
AI asserts that the Constitution was “. . . This Constitution was drafted using international law as a collection of background norms. The Court should interpret it accordingly. AI claims that there were no “background norms” in place in 1791, when the Second Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. They also did not exist in 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was made enforceable against the States.
The Constitution including the Bill of Rights was indeed drafted to be ratified. ContraContemporary norms. For instance, although many nations allow (and even permit) censorship to be practiced, the Constitution prohibits this. Unlimited arms control used to be (and is still) common in many parts of the globe. However, America’s Framers wanted government to have no monopoly over violence implements because it was not possible for them to trust government with this monopoly. No matter the negative consequences, Founding Fathers and Founding Sons believed the government should not have a monopoly over force.
Even if the U.S. Senate ratified an international gun-control treaty, it is impossible for the Congress or any other government branch to confer authority with a foreign country. Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1. 16 (1957). (Black, J.). (plurality.op.
AI correctly refers to the 1897 case. Baldwin v. Robertson165 U.S..275, 283–86 (1897) to show that the Court may sometimes look at laws from other countries. In RobertsonA merchant seaman, who had jumped ship, claimed that being forced into fulfilling his labor contract was involuntary servitude under the Thirteenth Amendment. The Court cited the historical sea laws of Rhodes and Germany as well as other countries, noting that sailors were forbidden from deserting while at port. AI’s brief contains what is notable. Robertson said about the Second Amendment: all of the Bill of Rights—and by extension the Thirteenth Amendment–contained implicit exceptions that were well-known at the time, and incorporated into those Amendments. The First Amendment Freedom of Speech and Press does not prevent laws against libel. The Fifth Amendment prohibition of double Jeopardy doesn’t forbid the retrial of a jury that is hung. However, this Amendment’s prohibition of compelled self incrimination does not have to be applied if the applicable statute of limitations has expired. Also, “Art. (2) is not violated by any laws prohibiting concealed weapon carrying.” It is. 282-83
This means the right is to have Unconcealed Weapons IsPart of the Second Amendment rights. Oder pursuant to state cases favourably cited HellerFollowing a more thorough examination of Second Amendment, we see that the legislature is free to decide whether arms should be concealed or openly carried. However, the legislature cannot forbid carry. For more information, see Part V of the amicus brief I filed in this case.
An empirical mix-up
Part II is the main argument why the Court should rule against international law stating that plaintiffs do not have the right to obtain a permit to legally carry a firearm. The brief offers a hodgepodge of empirical studies, hardly any of which are relevant to the case at bar—such as a study arguing that Connecticut’s laws for purchasing handguns are better than Missouri’s.
The majority of these studies do not have to do with guns. They instead focus on the claim that more people possess firearms leads to greater criminal violence. Although all the studies can be debated, and even though they are conclusively true, they argue against the Second Amendment.
A “fact sheet” written by Professor Daniel Webster of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, is the only specific citation from the AI brief regarding bearing arms. Concealed carry of firearms. Unfortunately, the AI brief link is no longer available. However, the fact sheet can be found here. The fact sheet argues that guns can be ineffective as self-defense tools and are rarely used to defend themselves. Three studies have shown that carrying laws are harmful.
Another article in the AI brief indirectly calls into question this claim: Julian Santaella-Tenorio et al., What are our knowledge about The Association Between Firearm Legislation and Firearm LegislationArm-Related Injuries38 Epidemiologic Updates [sic, Epidemiologic Reviews]140 (2016) AI claims that gun violence deaths can be prevented by the adoption of sensible gun safety laws in America. These include provisions like New York’s. Proper cause is required to obtain and carry a firearm.
In reality, Figure 2 of the study presents a summary of 25 studies of “Shall Issue” laws—that is, laws specifying that a person who passes a background check and safety training may not be denied a carry permit simply because a government official thinks the person does not “need” to carry a defensive arm. This law is already in almost all U.S. states. One-third of the 25 studies cited found that Shall Issue laws were associated with an increase in homicide. The other half reported a decrease.
The article was criticised by those who disagreed with it. Seven peer-reviewed studies were not included in this article, which all showed that Shall Issue leads to a reduction in violent crime. Furthermore, they had chosen the “most favorable” results for gun control from the papers they had surveyed and rejected the results. John Lott (Carlisle E. Moody), and John E. Whitley. Re: “What do we know about the Association between Firearm Legislations and Firearm-Related Injuries?”” Epidemiologic Review, June 2016 (letter). Prof. Santaella-TenorioHer colleagues published an additional 30-item correction of the original article. 39 Epidemiologic Review 171 (2016).
Other amicus briefs go into greater detail about the empirical and pro/con issues surrounding bearing arms. These will be covered in another post. Dissenting in District of Columbia v. HellerJustice Breyer summarized both the positive and negative evidence regarding the dangers and benefits of having a handgun in your home. Justice Breyer concluded that there was ample evidence from both sides and the Court should accept the D.C. Council’s judgment. Justice Scalia’s majority opinion was:
The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. It is not a constitutional guarantee that the future judges will judge its utility. Constitutional rights are protected with the exact scope that they were intended to have at the time when they were adopted. . . . [T]Certain policy options are eliminated by the enshrinement or constitutional rights.
This is also true for the right to keep and bear arms. American citizens ratified Second Amendment to balance pro/con interests. The licensing law that would make it unaffordable for the large majority of people to have an enumerated right is prohibited, and not a regulation. It violates the constitution.
The “international law” that the AI brief promised was actually quite thin. United States has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. These documents provide protection for the human right to life and personal safety, as well as the unique rights of children to be protected, and all other rights against discrimination based on race or sexuality.
AI draws attention to UN documents that state governments have an affirmative duty under the ICCPR to ensure people are protected from any private violation of their rights. The UN’s Human Rights Committee states that a country must be able to affirmatively defend people against being murdered by other people in order to conform to the ICCPR.
The only document that is part of American law, however, are treaties that have been ratified and signed by the Senate. Senate ratification does not compel the U.S. Supreme Court—or anyone else—to comply with the subsequent declarations by the U.N. bureaucracy.
The contrary has been ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is not. Gonzales v. Castle Rock544 U.S. 478 (2006). The Court reiterated the established doctrine that governments do not have an affirmative duty of protecting citizens against private violence. Arguments that the Court had to follow international law were made in this case but failed.
In whatever way the ICCPR or CERD texts may be relevant New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. BruenThey will support the petitioners. A person being attacked in public by violent criminals is a violation of the government’s (arguable?) duty to safeguard them from any private violence. In such a situation, some governments make the victims even worse off than they would be if there were no government at all—for the governments forbid the victims from carrying the tools necessary for the victims to defend themselves.
You can think about how impunitive gangs are in attacking people wearing a yarmulke, or short skirts in European cities. The impunity of violent predators who are repeat offenders on New York City’s streets and subways. Governments that ban lawfully carrying arms for defensive purposes have guaranteed peaceable security to gangsters, the mentally ill and their victims by forbidding peaceful carry.
U.N. Human Rights Committee
Statements by the U.N.’s notorious Human Rights Council are a major part of the AI amicus brief. Inadvertently, the brief refers to this body as “Human Rights Committee.” In fact, the U.S. Committee on Human Rights (predecessor of the U.S. Human Rights Council) was established in 2006. The U.N. disbanded it because of its antisemitic and anti-right agenda. But, the U.S. Human Rights Council is continuing the same misconduct as the previous Committee.
According to the “Human Rights Council”, “With membership in the Council, comes the responsibility for upholding high standards of human rights.” One can assess the Council’s credibility by considering its actual current members, such as China, Eritrea, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Sudan, and Venezuela—all of which are criminal thugocracies that rule by attempting to disarm their victim populations.
AI refers to a report by Barbara Frey, University of Minnesota Law Professor. The Frey Report states that a state failing to limit self-defense constitutes a violation of human rights. According to the report, a government is said to have violated the right to life if it allows the use of firearms for defensive purposes “unless necessary to protect a life or life”. Guns may only be used in defense when the life or rights of others are at risk. This means that a government who allows use of deadly force in defense against rape or arson, carjacking, and armed robbery is violating the criminal’s right to live. According to Frey, both the U.S. federal and state governments are violators of the rights of violent criminals.
Frey reports that it is against human rights to allow people to own firearms without permits. Permits should be specific and identify the intended use of the weapon. No U.S. state is currently compliant with the standard. The majority of the states allow handguns to be carried without a permit, while fewer require long guns. A person who is legally allowed to possess a firearm may have it at their home in self-defense. They may also take the weapon out on a hunt (for which a hunting licence may be required) or for other legal purposes. According to the Frey Report and the adoption of the U.N. Committee’s gun control laws in New York, even severe New York State gun regulations are violations of human rights. New York permits you to buy a gun after passing a background screening. The gun can be kept for self defense, skeet shoots, or any other purpose without permission.
I’ve argued that Frey reports misses many international legal sources that recognise the human inherent right to self-defense. Also, the report misinterprets certain sources of international laws by saying that self-defense is an excuse but not justification. Human Rights of Self-DefenseThe 22 BYU Journal of Public Law 42 (2008).
This third part, the final one of the AI amicus briefs, basically retreads Part II’s arguments but with a special focus on racial disparity. The brief shows that violent-armed criminals are more likely to harm black Americans than whites, and they often do not receive adequate police protection. The problem is worsening over the last few years. The existence of the serious problem does not prove that the U.S. Supreme Court would violate international law if the Court respected the right of a law-abiding black woman or man to carry a handgun for protection. A brief of amicus by theBlack Attorneys of Legal Aid (Bronx Defenders) and Brooklyn Defenders highlight that New York’s arbitrarily imposed handgun licensing laws are now and have been with discriminatory severeness against people of colour.
This short acknowledges firearms’ controversial public safety implications. But
. . New York’s licensing requirements—This cause Criminal penalties For Unlicensed
possession—themselves You can find it here Controversial Public Safety implications This is dangerous to approach. Police suspect you may have a firearm without your authorization License A search warrant is dangerous. Your home. You should not be kept in cages during a trial. Rikers Island. You can’t lose your job. You should not lose your children.It It is dangerous to serve a sentence in prison. It is dangerous to be forever branded “a” As a “violent felon”, you can be called “criminal” or worse. Sum Neue York Licenses These requirements can be dangerous.
New York’s court cannot “stand still idly”, the Court should not. It denies its citizens the right to bear and keep arms. “especially when their entire lives could depend on it.” Peruta v. California(2017) (Thomas J. dissented from the denial certiorari). The rule must protect the second. All people have the right to amend their laws. Check out McDonald [v. City of Chicago] 561 U.S.A. 773 To achieve this goal, you must have the following: Answer the Court by holding for Argumentation and Petitioners for New York’s Licensing The right to keep and bear firearms is being violated by the government
Some citations have been omitted
Therefore, in whatever way international treaties on the rights to life and equality influence U.S. Constitutional interpretations, treaties are favorable to the Court’s ruling against New York’s law which fosters racial disparity and prohibits one from the lawful defense and protection of their personal life.
The differing interpretations of international treaties and the different results of empirical studies raise doubts about Amnesty International’s claims that the United States is prohibited by international law from allowing firearms to be used against violent felon attackers.