Levi Strauss & Co. has expanded their original mission beyond the manufacture of blue jeans. This “values driven company” now feels a responsibility to “the communities where we live and work” and will now engage with other gun control groups to fight for “gun violence prevention.”Chip Berg, CEO of Levi Strauss, wrote an open letter to his customers asking them not to bring firearms onto the premises of their stores, offices or other facilities. For him, it was a matter of safety. Of course, law enforcement was exempt from that request.
“It boils down to this: you shouldn’t have to be concerned about your safety while shopping for clothes or trying on a pair of jeans. Simply put, firearms don’t belong in either of those settings. In the end, I believe we have an obligation to our employees and customers to ensure a safe environment and keeping firearms out of our stores and offices will get us one step closer to achieving that reality.”So, it’s clear Berg doesn’t subscribe to the theory that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Berg took it a step farther today with an op-ed in Fortune. He explained that as a leader in business “with power in the public and political arenas” he felt the responsibility to break the silence that threatens “the very fabric of the communities where we live and work.”“So today, on top of our previous actions, Levi Strauss & Co. is lending its support for gun violence prevention in three new areas.”
The company has developed a site that outlines its gun violence prevention strategy complete with mission statements and donation match programs.“So today, on top of our previous actions, Levi Strauss & Co. is lending its support for gun violence prevention in three new areas.”
The company has developed a site that outlines its gun violence prevention strategy complete with mission statements and donation match programs.
This coalition of like minded executives “has a critical role to play in and a moral obligation to do something about the gun violence epidemic in this country. I encourage every CEO and business leader reading this to consider the impact we could make if we stood together alongside the broad coalition of concerned parents, youth, elders, veterans, and community and faith leaders who are committed to shaping a safer path forward.”He doesn’t explain any particular plan of action for the Every Town organization other than to infer there may be some think-tank like discussions on how to end gun violence.
And the third leg of the stool involves employee participation. Levi Strauss is doubling its employee donation match to any organizations aligned with its own Safer Tomorrow Fund.
In addition to encouraging employee donations to their own foundation, they are offering to compensate any employee who wishes to volunteer time up to five hours a month. Not only can employees volunteer in their own foundations but political activism is also compensated as well.
Levi Strauss considers this compensation an encouragement to employees “to use their time to make an impact.”Berg notes that Levi Strauss has always been on the cutting edge of progressivism ideals in company policy and some not so progressive. But he thinks this one will prove to be the right stand in history.
“As a company, we have never been afraid to take an unpopular stand to support a greater good. We integrated our factories in the American South years before the Civil Rights Act was passed. We offered benefits to same-sex partners in the 1990s, long before most companies did. We pulled our financial support for the Boy Scouts of America when it banned gay troop leaders.“While each one of these stands may have been controversial at the time, history proved the company right in the long run. And I’m convinced that while some will disagree with our stand to end gun violence, history will prove this position right too.”
Mr. Berg, no one disagrees with your stand to end gun violence. Gun violence is a terrible thing.We just don’t want anyone to eliminate our constitutional right to bear arms at a time when law enforcement officers can’t get to your offices, stores or factories in time to stop mass shooters who would attack innocents in a gun free zone — hypothetically of course.
Has anyone ever asked these social justice warrior business leaders why they can’t coalesce around decreasing the national debt, lowering taxes, returning to state sovereignty, or any number of other things that also “threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work?”
by Amy Swearer
There is no denying that lawful gun owners use their firearms in self-defense far more often than those decrying the “myth” of a good guy with a gun would care to admit. Firearms are, in fact, used for self-defense often and effectively.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, notorious for its anti-gun bias, acknowledges as much in its 2013 report on gun violence research.
There, in conjunction with the National Research Council, the CDC concluded that almost all national, comprehensive studies on the subject find that firearms are used for lawful defensive purposes between 500,000 and 3.5 million times every year in the United States.Even assuming that the actual number of defensive uses is on the low end of that range (and there’s good reason to believe that, in fact, it falls at the higher end), firearms are used to protect life and property more often than they are used to commit crimes, according to the CDC.
The month of June 2018 provided ample evidence of just how valuable a firearm can be in the hands of a law-abiding citizen.
A cursory review of news stories from that month reveals the following:
- On June 1, a concealed carry permit holder in Cape Coral, Florida, shot a convicted felon who had pulled a firearm on employees of a roofing company. Police said the unnamed good Samaritan acted in self-defense and will not face criminal charges, while the convicted felon—who was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm—will be charged with aggravated assault.
- On June 4, a 63-year-old Chicago man with a concealed carry license used his lawfully owned firearm to fight off three young, would-be robbers, one of whom pulled out what was only later discovered to be a replica firearm. The man shot one of the robbers in the leg, which caused the other suspects to flee.
- Also on June 4, an 18-year-old man in Arlington, Tennessee, found himself “rejected” at gunpoint when he assaulted and attempted to rape his friend’s mother during a sleepover. The man forced the woman on a bed and began putting his hand down her shorts before she was able to knee her attacker in the groin and retrieve her handgun, which was stored in the bedroom. The woman sustained a black eye, but told law enforcement officers that she prevented the man from sexually penetrating her.
- On June 8, a Jacksonville, Florida, man stole cash from a Walmart register and then tried to steal a truck at knifepoint before the truck owner pointed a handgun at the man. The man fled to a nearby Starbucks parking lot, where he again an attempted carjacking—only to be confronted by another armed civilian. Police finally arrived to find the man barricaded inside a Supercuts bathroom, where he was eventually arrested.
- Also on June 8, in DeKalb County, Georgia, three armed individuals followed a couple out of a grocery store, where police believe they intended either to rob or carjack the couple. The would-be attackers failed to account for the possibility that the couple might also be armed, and all three suspects found themselves in the hospital after a shootout, while neither of the victims was injured.
- On June 10, two armed men broke into the Cleveland home of an 84-year-old man, where they found themselves in a shootout when the elderly homeowner did not back down. The homeowner suffered a gunshot wound to his side, but the attackers fled the scene. The homeowner’s 17-year-old grandson called 911 after climbing out a window and onto the roof to escape the gunfire.
- On June 13, a Toledo, Ohio, resident intervened to save the life of a woman being attacked by a man with a hatchet. Police say the resident retrieved a firearm out of his home after witnessing a man in a truck at the nearby intersection repeatedly strike the woman. Neighbors told the media that the woman was screaming for help before the gun owner shot the man attacking her.
- On June 14, a quick-thinking 5-year-old saved his mother’s life by handing her the family firearm to defend herself. The woman’s ex-husband had broken into her Houston home, where he started choking the woman in front of their four children. The woman’s 8-year-old daughter attempted to pry the ex-husband off of her mother until the 5-year-old obtained the weapon, which the mother then used to shoot the ex-husband in the arm. The mother survived, and none of the four children—ages 8, 5, 2 and 1—were hurt in the confrontation.
- In the early morning hours of June 16, a Parkland, Washington, woman shot a 16-year-old who broke into her home and continued approaching her after she fired a warning shot and told him not to move. When the intruder continued to approach her, she shot him in the shoulder. The teenager allegedly collapsed to the floor and continued to yell, “I’m so high” until law enforcement arrived. He is expected to survive the wound.
- On June 17, in Tumwater, Washington, an armed local pastor was credited with stopping a potential mass shooting when he shot and killed a gunman in a Walmart parking lot. The gunman had fired rounds inside the Walmart, apparently trying to break into an ammunition display, before shooting two people during an attempted carjacking. The pastor was aided by a second lawful gun owner.
- Also on June 17, across the country in Pennsylvania, a man and his 17-year-old daughter teamed up to successfully defend their home against a would-be arsonist who entered their home and started pouring gasoline all over the floor. The father tried to push the would-be arsonist out of the door, but was overpowered and assaulted until the daughter was able to retrieve his handgun. He then fired one shot at the intruder, striking him in arm and stomach, and neutralizing the threat until law enforcement could arrive.
- On June 22, a Virginia woman successfully used her firearm to defend her 14-year-old daughter against a knife-wielding would-be kidnapper who had flown to the United States from New Zealand as part of a “carefully planned trip.” The New Zealand man was also carrying pepper spray and duct tape when he used a landscaping brick to smash a glass door, only to be confronted by the teen’s better-armed (and presumably very angry) mother.
- On June 30, a Tennessee teenager used her father’s shotgun to ward off a would-be burglar who approached the front door after stealing two pressure washers from the driveway.
There are, of course, individuals who would use firearms to commit heinous criminal acts. But the proper response to this reality is not the wholesale stripping of constitutional rights from otherwise law-abiding citizens, or the prohibition of entire classes of firearms commonly used by those law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.
That framework of broad gun control makes no one safer — least of all the brave citizens highlighted above.
Amy Swearer is a visiting legal fellow at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
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by Daniel J. Schultz
he Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The reference to a "well regulated" militia, probably conjures up a connotation at odds with the meaning intended by the Framers. In today's English, the term "well regulated" probably implies heavy and intense government regulation. However, that conclusion is erroneous.
The words "well regulated" had a far different meaning at the time the Second Amendment was drafted. In the context of the Constitution's provisions for Congressional power over certain aspects of the militia, and in the context of the Framers' definition of "militia," government regulation was not the intended meaning. Rather, the term meant only what it says, that the necessary militia be well regulated, but not by the national government.
To determine the meaning of the Constitution, one must start with the words of the Constitution itself. If the meaning is plain, that meaning controls. To ascertain the meaning of the term "well regulated" as it was used in the Second Amendment, it is necessary to begin with the purpose of the Second Amendment itself. The overriding purpose of the Framers in guaranteeing the right of the people to keep and bear arms was as a check on the standing army, which the Constitution gave the Congress the power to "raise and support."
As Noah Webster put it in a pamphlet urging ratification of the Constitution, "Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe." George Mason remarked to his Virginia delegates regarding the colonies' recent experience with Britain, in which the Monarch's goal had been "to disarm the people; that [that] . . . was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." A widely reprinted article by Tench Coxe, an ally and correspondent of James Madison, described the Second Amendment's overriding goal as a check upon the national government's standing army: As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.
Thus, the well regulated militia necessary to the security of a free state was a militia that might someday fight against a standing army raised and supported by a tyrannical national government. Obviously, for that reason, the Framers did not say "A Militia well regulated by the Congress, being necessary to the security of a free State" -- because a militia so regulated might not be separate enough from, or free enough from, the national government, in the sense of both physical and operational control, to preserve the "security of a free State."
It is also helpful to contemplate the overriding purpose and object of the Bill of Rights in general. To secure ratification of the Constitution, the Federalists, urging passage of the Constitution by the States had committed themselves to the addition of the Bill of Rights, to serve as "further guards for private rights." In that regard, the first ten amendments to the Constitution were designed to be a series of "shall nots," telling the new national government again, in no uncertain terms, where it could not tread.
It would be incongruous to suppose or suggest the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, which were proscriptions on the powers of the national government, simultaneously acted as a grant of power to the national government. Similarly, as to the term "well regulated," it would make no sense to suggest this referred to a grant of "regulation" power to the government (national or state), when the entire purpose of the Bill of Rights was to both declare individual rights and tell the national government where the scope of its enumerated powers ended.
In keeping with the intent and purpose of the Bill of Rights both of declaring individual rights and proscribing the powers of the national government, the use and meaning of the term "Militia" in the Second Amendment, which needs to be "well regulated," helps explain what "well regulated" meant. When the Constitution was ratified, the Framers unanimously believed that the "militia" included all of the people capable of bearing arms.
Mason, one of the Virginians who refused to sign the Constitution
because it lacked a Bill of Rights, said: "Who are the Militia? They
consist now of the whole people." Likewise, the Federal Farmer, one of
the most important Anti-Federalist opponents of the Constitution,
referred to a "militia, when properly formed, [as] in fact the people
themselves." The list goes on and on.
By contrast, nowhere
is to be found a contemporaneous definition of the militia, by any of
the Framers, as anything other than the "whole body of the people."
Indeed, as one commentator said, the notion that the Framers intended
the Second Amendment to protect the "collective" right of the states to
maintain militias rather than the rights of individuals to keep and bear
arms, "remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the
eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period
between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis."
returning to the text of the Second Amendment itself, the right to keep
and bear arms is expressly retained by "the people," not the states.
Recently the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed this view, finding that the
right to keep and bear arms was an individual right held by the
"people," -- a "term of art employed in select parts of the
Constitution," specifically the Preamble and the First, Second, Fourth,
Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Thus, the term "well regulated" ought to be
considered in the context of the noun it modifies, the people
themselves, the militia(s).
The above analysis leads us finally to the term "well regulated." What did these two words mean at the time of ratification? Were they commonly used to refer to a governmental bureaucracy as we know it today, with countless rules and regulations and inspectors, or something quite different? We begin this analysis by examining how the term "regulate" was used elsewhere in the Constitution. In every other instance where the term "regulate" is used, or regulations are referred to, the Constitution specifies who is to do the regulating and what is being "regulated." However, in the Second Amendment, the Framers chose only to use the term "well regulated" to describe a militia and chose not to define who or what would regulate it.
It is also important to note that the Framers' chose to use the indefinite article "a" to refer to the militia, rather than the definite article "the." This choice suggests that the Framers were not referring to any particular well regulated militia but, instead, only to the concept that well regulated militias, made up of citizens bearing arms, were necessary to secure a free State. Thus, the Framers chose not to explicitly define who, or what, would regulate the militias, nor what such regulation would consist of, nor how the regulation was to be accomplished.
This comparison of the Framers' use of the term "well regulated" in the Second Amendment, and the words "regulate" and "regulation" elsewhere in the Constitution, clarifies the meaning of that term in reference to its object, namely, the Militia. There is no doubt the Framers understood that the term "militia" had multiple meanings. First, the Framers understood all of the people to be part of the unorganized militia. The unorganized militia members, "the people," had the right to keep and bear arms. They could, individually, or in concert, "well regulate" themselves; that is, they could train to shoot accurately and to learn the basics of military tactics.
interpretation is in keeping with English usage of the time, which
included within the meaning of the verb "regulate" the concept of self-
regulation or self-control (as it does still to this day). The concept
that the people retained the right to self-regulate their local militia
groups (or regulate themselves as individual militia members) is
entirely consistent with the Framers' use of the indefinite article "a"
in the phrase "A well regulated Militia."
This concept of the people's self-regulation, that is, non-governmental regulation, is also in keeping with the limited grant of power to Congress "for calling forth" the militia for only certain, limited purposes, to "provide for" the militia only certain limited control and equipment, and the limited grant of power to the President regarding the militia, who only serves as Commander in Chief of that portion of the militia called into the actual service of the nation. The "well regula[tion]" of the militia set forth in the Second Amendment was apart from that control over the militia exercised by Congress and the President, which extended only to that part of the militia called into actual service of the Union. Thus, "well regula[tion]" referred to something else. Since the fundamental purpose of the militia was to serve as a check upon a standing army, it would seem the words "well regulated" referred to the necessity that the armed citizens making up the militia(s) have the level of equipment and training necessary to be an effective and formidable check upon the national government's standing army.
This view is confirmed by Alexander Hamilton's observation, in The Federalist, No. 29,
regarding the people's militias ability to be a match for a standing
army: " . . . but if circumstances should at any time oblige the
government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be
formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body
of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of
arms, who stand ready to defend their rights . . . ."
It is an absolute truism that law-abiding, armed citizens pose no threat to other law-abiding citizens. The Framers' writings show they also believed this. As we have seen, the Framers understood that "well regulated" militias, that is, armed citizens, ready to form militias that would be well trained, self-regulated and disciplined, would pose no threat to their fellow citizens, but would, indeed, help to "insure domestic Tranquility" and "provide for the common defence."
1. In constitutional or statutory construction, language should always be accorded its plain meaning. See, e.g., Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, 14 U.S. (1 Wheat.) 304, 326 (1816).
2. "On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 32.
3. "The Congress shall have Power . . . To raise and support Armies . . . ." U.S. Const., Article I, Section 8, cl. 12.
4. Senate Subcommittee On The Constitution Of The Comm. On The Judiciary, 97th Cong., 2d Sess., The Right To Keep And Bear Arms (Comm. Print 1982), at 5.
5. 3 J. Elliot, Debates In The Several State Conventions 380 (2d ed. 1836).
6. Originally published under the pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian," these "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution" first appeared in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789, at 2, col. 1. They were reprinted by the New York Packet, June 23, 1789, at 2, cols. 1-2, and by the Boston Centennial, July 4, 1789, at 1, col. 2. The U.S. Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 83 L. Ed. 2d 1206, 59 S. Ct. 816 (1939), noted that the debates in the Constitutional Convention, the history and legislation of the colonies and states, and the writings of approved commentators showed that the militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense -- a body enrolled for military discipline.
7. 11 Papers Of James Madison 307 (R. Rutland & C. Hobson ed. 1977) (letter of Oct. 20, 1788, from Madison to Edmund Pendleton)( emphasis added).
8. An examination of the other nine amendments of the Bill of Rights shows that they were designed, like the Second Amendment, to declare rights retained by the people (1-9), or the States (10), and to provide a clear list of powers not given to the national government: "Congress shall make no law . . . ." (Amendment I); "No soldier shall . . . ." (Amendment III); "The right of the people . . . shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue . . . ." (Amendment IV); "No person shall . . .; nor shall any person . . .; nor shall private property be taken . . . ." (Amendment V); "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy . . . ." (Amendment VI); "In Suits at common law . . . the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States . . . ." (Amendment VII); "Excessive bail shall not be required . . . ." (Amendment VIII); "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." (Amendment IX); "The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." (Amendment X).
9. 3 J. Elliot, Debates In The General State Conventions 425 (3d ed. 1937) (statement of George Mason, June 14, 1788), reprinted in Levinson, The Embarassing Second Amendment, 99 Yale L. Rev. 637, 647 (1989). See supra note 6 and accompanying text.
10. Letters From The Federal Farmer To The Republican 123 (W. Bennet ed. 1978) (ascribed to Richard Henry Lee), reprinted in Levinson, supra note 9, at 647. See supra note 6 and accompanying text.
11. S. Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, p. 83 (The Independent Institute, 1984).
12. U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259, 265 (1990) ("The Second Amendment protects 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms'....").
13. "The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators." (Article I, Section 4); "The Congress shall have power . . . To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes . . . ." (Article I, Section 8, cl. 3); "The Congress shall have power . . . To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures . . . ." (Article I, Section 8, cl. 5); "No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another." (Article I, Section 9); "In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make." (Article III, Section 2, cl. 2); "No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due." (Article IV, Section 2, cl. 3); "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular state." (Article IV, Section 3, cl. 2).
14. See supra, notes 6, 9 and 10 and accompanying text.
15. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the following examples of usage for the term "well regulated": 1709: "If a liberal Education has formed in us . . . well-regulated Appetites, and worthy Inclinations." 1714: "The practice of all well regulated courts of justice in the world." 1812: "The equation of time . . . is the adjustment of the difference of time, as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial." 1848: "A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Major." 1862: "It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding." 1894: "The newspaper, a never wanting adjunct to every well- regulated American embryo city." One definition of the word "well" in the Oxford English Dictionary is "satisfactorily in respect of conduct or action." One of The Oxford English Dictionary definitions for the term "regulated" is "b. Of troops: Properly disciplined." The one example of usage is: "1690: Lond. Gaz. No. 2568/3 'We hear likewise that the French are in a great Allarm in Dauphine and Bresse, not having at present 1500 Men of regulated Troops on that side.'" The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition (Clarendon Press, Oxford 1989).
16. "The Congress shall have Power . . . To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions . . . ." U. S. Const., Article I, Section 8, cl. 15.
17. "The Congress shall have Power . . . To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress . . . ." U.S. Const., Article I, Section 8, cl. 16.
18. "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the United States . . . ." U.S. Const., Article II, Section 2, cl. 1.
19. U.S. Const., Preamble.
from: The "Well Regulated" Militia of the Second Amendment: An Examination of the Framers' Intentions, THE LIBERTY POLE V.II, No.2, The Official Publication of The Lawyer's Second Amendment Society.
today's world education servers a duel purpose, The first is to offer
the tools needed to form thought, to reason and think. The second is to
indoctrinate, inform people 'what to think'. If by chance you fall into
the first category this is an article that provides the tools necessary
to understand the intentions of the Framers when drafting the Bill of
Rights regarding the 2nd amendment. If self-indoctrination is one's
goal then this article will not conform to your curriculum.
Daniel J. Schultz is a practicing attorney in Los Angeles and President of LSAS, a nationwide network of pro-right to keep and bear arms attorneys. Contact the LSAS at (818)734-3066 or 18034 Ventura Boulevard, #329, Encino, CA 91316.. The article originally published here.