An Open Letter To Bernie Sanders And His Supporters.
Many of you who I count as personal friends have gotten into the Bernie Sanders fan club.
Here in Iowa we get to think we're important once every four years with the first in the land caucuses now that the Republican straw poll has taken a forever dump. Be that may it has the effect that we are all spending more time than we should hunched over our computers, reading and thinking-there's not much else to do in the winter, really.
I should also say that I am a liberal Democrat of the labor variety-I am liberal in many matters but conservative on social issues. Hey. This is America and we can be what we like and that's what I am-a Harry S. Truman Democrat if you will.
I must admit I hadn't thought much about Sanders aside from thinking I might caucus for him, but that is definitely out as of today, and if he is nominated I will not vote for him. Ever. For dogcatcher even.
Why, since he's promising the sun the moon and the stars all for free?
I'll tell you why. It's sort of a convergence thing.
1. The right to sue and be sued.
The arc of civil liberties is long and broad-slow moving too, but, we are reminded, it bends toward justice.
The civil rights movement may have started before that day on the battlefield at Runnymede when King John signed the Magna Carta at sword's point, setting forth the rights of English yeomen for all time.
Clause 40, in particular states affirmatively that the King shall not undertake to sell the law or fail to deliver justice.
In Blackstone's Commentaries on the Common Law, Book 1 section III clause IV we find support where it says:
No freeman shall be divested of his property or his liberties, or free customs save by the justice of his peers.
What's this have to with Bernie Sanders, you say? Read on.
One of the foremost rights we enjoy as free people is the right to bring suit against a person or persons who have wronged us, and make out our case to a jury of our peers. If we prevail, we are to be made whole, and if we fail of our proof, then we fail.
2. The public health aspect of firearms.
If you believe, as I do, that the single most important social and public health issue that is with us today is the proliferation and misuse of firearms, and the fact that the only way a private individual may find redress is by bringing suit against the person who proximately caused the injury, then you cannot help but be disappointed by this: the Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act, enacted in October 2005, which Sanders among others signed.
Quite simply, the statute bars, in point of fact, any lawsuit brought by a free man for the redress of his rights as determined by a jury, and thus serves to wipe out 800 or more years of law and precedent.
It thus renders the power of the individual to correct injustice with a lawsuit a nullity, and in so doing tampers with the federalist notion that the states are the best judges of what law or how much of it we as free people want or need.
It's a significant right, it's an overreach, and it is an outrage that the merchants of death ought to be so protected from the rightful reach of the free man and his rights.
For that reason, I am not going to caucus for Bernie Sanders and I may make up a sign and parade it around the meeting place. I urge my fellow Democrats to hold Sanders accountable for his vote.
Robert W. Luedeman
SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON BRINGING OF QUALIFIED CIVIL LIABILITY ACTIONS IN FEDERAL OR STATE COURT.
- (a) In General- A qualified civil liability action may not be brought in any Federal or State court.
(b) Dismissal of Pending Actions- A qualified civil liability action that is pending on the date of enactment of this Act shall be immediately dismissed by the court in which the action was brought or is currently pending.
- `(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a
person who has lawful possession and control of a handgun, and who uses
a secure gun storage or safety device with the handgun, shall be
entitled to immunity from a qualified civil liability action.
`(B) PROSPECTIVE ACTIONS- A qualified civil liability action may not be brought in any Federal or State court.
`(C) DEFINED TERM- As used in this paragraph, the term `qualified civil liability action'--
- `(i) means a civil action brought by any person against a
person described in subparagraph (A) for damages resulting from the
criminal or unlawful misuse of the handgun by a third party, if--
- `(I) the handgun was accessed by another person who did
not have the permission or authorization of the person having lawful
possession and control of the handgun to have access to it; and
`(II) at the time access was gained by the person not so authorized, the handgun had been made inoperable by use of a secure gun storage or safety device; and