Sponsored by Moms Demand Action,
On Thursday, July 11th, AZPASS hosted a guest speaker, Robert J. McWhirter, local criminal defense attorney and author of a book on the Bill of Rights (soon to be published by the American Bar Association), who presented a cultural and legal history of the 2nd Amendment and gun laws in England and America.
McWhirter demonstrated that text and history of the 2nd Amendment do not unequivocally explain its meaning, but there is no support for the idea that the 2nd Amendment was intended to create an unlimited right to own weapons.
When my wife and I tried to park in the designated visitor parking area at Sen. Jeff Flake’s Phoenix office recently, we were told by security to leave or our car would be towed. When we questioned this, as we were there to join with others to hold him accountable for his vote against universal background checks for gun purchases, we were told parking there was for office tenants only. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, security people began blocking all entrances to the parking lot with pick-up trucks and chains.
Sen. Flake seems so concerned about convenience in exercising the Second Amendment, but he evidently doesn’t mind at all making it difficult for law-abiding citizens to exercise First Amendment rights to assemble peaceably and petition our government. Our tax dollars pay for the rent on his office, where Flake hides behind keypad access security doors, bullet-proof glass and now security cordons around his office parking lot. Sen. Flake does not feel a need to directly answer victims of gun violence specifically or the people of Arizona generally for voting against expanded background checks for gun purchasers. Credible, scientifically conducted polls show that between 70 and 90 percent of Arizonans support that common sense measure. Flake certainly has no problem making it harder to exercise First Amendment rights, but he won’t vote to make it harder for criminals, terrorists, and the mentally ill to purchase guns.
In coordination with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, AZPASS (azpass.org) will be delivering all 11,540 pages of the Petition to Ban Assault Weapons, which now has 121,144 signatures to Senators Flake and McCain on FRIDAY, April 4th at 10:00 a.m.