WASHINGTON, June 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Robert Weiner, a former spokesman for the Clinton White House and senior members of Congress, and senior policy analyst Ben Lasky have written a Charleston Post and Courier article, "FLAGS LOWERED, BUT GUNS STILL RAISED", on the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church. Weiner and Lasky argue that Ted Cruz was correct when he said that the 2016 presidential election is critical in terms of the future of the Supreme Court's actions on guns, but not for the reason Cruz asserted of continuing to block gun access reforms. Weiner and Lasky say exactly the opposite: With the right choice, the "one vote" sought by Cruz to replace Antonin Scalia, who recently died, could instead lead to "flipping decisions regarding the Second Amendment" and "can save thousands of lives."
Weiner and Lasky begin, "June 17 marks the one year anniversary of the shootings and murders of nine victims at Emanuel AME Church. While the Confederate Flag has been taken down throughout South Carolina, mass shootings haven't stopped, as the June 12 horrific mass killing of fifty in Orlando shows once again. Guns and assault weapons aren't any harder to buy."
They argue, "Though he lost the nomination, Ted Cruz was right when he said that the 2016 election is important to the future of the Supreme Court and the Second Amendment. On Feb. 14, Cruz appeared on 'Meet the Press' and said, 'We are one justice away from the Second Amendment being written out of the constitution altogether.' Cruz, a Constitutional lawyer, knows that the Supreme Court can't simply get rid of an amendment. However, it can interpret it, and the one justice to replace Scalia could cause more murders, or slow down the carnage. If on the other side, one new Justice could slow down the carnage."
They write, "Both D.C. v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) were 5-4 decisions, with one of the five being the late Antonin Scalia. One judge has the ability to turn them both over and prevent thousands of preventable deaths."
They continue, "Every year, 33,000 people die by guns, partially because of the then-majority's decision to ignore a modifying phrase in Article Two of the Constitution. When is the last time anyone heard the modifier, 'Informing a militia' when Second Amendment defenders talk about their 'right' to own a firearm? They're wrong. If part of the National Guard, sure, someone must have a gun. However, where is it stated that everyone has the right to own a gun? In his opinion representing the four dissenters in McDonald v. Chicago, Justice Breyer wrote, 'In sum, the Framers did not write the Second Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed self-defense. There has been, and is, no consensus that the right is, or was, 'fundamental.'"
They go on, "Amazingly, the Supreme Court Justices majority of one followed a special interest NRA-leadership position, whereas polling consistently shows that 80 to 90 percent of Americans support reforms such as increased background checks. According to a 2012 poll by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, even among the NRA, 74 percent of its members support background checks on gun transactions."
They explain, "After the Charleston shooting, South Carolina's revered congressman, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the Assistant House Democratic Leader, announced the introduction of the Background Check Completion Act, which would close a loophole that allowed shooter Dylann Roof to purchase a firearm. 'Tragically, the Charleston shooter was allowed to purchase a gun even though the FBI had not completed his background check. My bill is a commonsense fix to our nation's gun laws, and I call on my colleagues in Congress to move it immediately towards passage,' Clyburn said. Unsurprisingly, in the Republican House, the bill is languishing.
They say, "Many will tell you that the problem isn't guns, but mental illness as a decoy against doing anything about guns. However, a May 19 Washington Post article finds that 'Most mass shooters aren't mentally ill.' Michael Stone, a forensic psychiatrist at the Colombia College of Physicians and Surgeons, found that only two out of every 10 mass killers is likely to be helped by the mental health system. The other eight suffer from various personality disorders that would not be helped."
They continue, "When Roof shot the nine people at Emanuel AME, he did it for no other reason than the color of their skin. According to survivors, when Roof was asked why he was shooting, he replied, 'I have to do it. You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go.'"
They write, "Many believed that the Confederate flag represented that racism, and it was the right move to replace it in July, 2015. However, as we mark the anniversary of the shooting, removing the flag was only symbolic. Had Roof not had a gun, those who attended the Bible study that night probably would have survived. The sole purpose of a gun is to maim and kill quickly."
Weiner and Lasky conclude, "How could Charleston—and Newtown, Columbine, Virginia Tech, San Bernardino, and now Orlando--not motivate action? Florida Governor Rick Scott said June 12 that 'now is not the time' to debate ease of gun ownership. That would be never, if the NRA leadership has their way, again. The best commemoration of the sad anniversary of the souls murdered at Emanuel AME Church would be to pass Congressional legislation like Clyburn's --and to act on Cruz's warning of what one new Supreme Court Justice could change but by finding one who properly reads the Second Amendment."
Contacts: Bob Weiner/Ben Lasky 301-283-0821, cell 202-306-1200 [email protected]
SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates and Solutions for Change