Address to the Los Angeles Police Commission July 16, 1991
by J. Neil Schulman
(After Schulman identifies himself as speaking for the Committee to Enforce the Second Amendment
Madam President and Members of the Commission, I do not sit before you seeking to make it easier for criminals and mental incompetents to carry firearms. They find it too easy already -- far easier than I do, for they are not afraid of the law, and I am.
But the Los Angeles Police Commission's guidelines for issuing licenses to carry concealed firearms is in clear opposition to the words of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Let me quote both:
The independent clause from the fourth paragraph of the "Board Policy Concerning Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons" states, "It is the policy of this Board that 'good cause' for the issuance of any concealed weapons license would exist only in the most extreme and aggravated circumstances."
And, the independent clause from the Second Amendment is, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
The Second Amendment does not say the right of the militia, or police, or the National Guard. It says "the right of the \people\."
The Founding Fathers, in their good sense, knew that a free society requires its citizens -- the people themselves -- to take responsibility for the defense of themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors, and that such responsibility requires being armed to fulfill it.
We live in a city where violent crime is epidemic and the police are incapable of protecting the citizens from it. Your own former police chief, Ed Davis, said as much in a well-publicized speech.
When you deny a citizen a firearms permit because in your opinion there is no "extreme and aggravated circumstance," you take upon yourself a discretion that the Constitution does not permit you. The Constitution says you may not infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms. I think we can agree that leaves out convicted criminals and mental incompetents. Use your discretion all you can to keep \them\ from getting and carrying guns.
But the Constitution forbids you from denying the right to carry firearms to the people -- we honest, law-abiding citizens.
California Penal Code Section 12050 authorizes you to issue a license to carry a concealed weapon provided that the person is of good moral character and that good cause exists for issuance of the license. The "good cause" is the requirement of the Second Amendment that the people's right to carry arms not be infringed.
I am calling upon you to fulfill your obligation under California law, and most specifically the highest law of the land, the U.S. Constitution, to revise your policy for issuing licenses to carry firearms, so that any sane, adult citizen may carry firearms for the protection of her or his life, loved ones, and neighbors.
A Conversation with An Expert on English Usage
By J. Neil Schulman
I just had a conversation with Mr. A.C. Brocki, Editorial Coordinator for the Office of Instruction of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Mr. Brocki taught Advanced Placement English for several years at Van Nuys High School, as well as having been a senior editor for Houghton Mifflin. I was referred to Mr. Brocki by Sherryl Broyles of the Office of Instruction of the LA Unified School District, who described Mr. Brocki as the foremost expert in grammar in the Los Angeles Unified School District -- the person she and others go to when they need a definitive answer on English grammar.
I gave Mr. Brocki my name, told him Sherryl Broyles referred me, then asked him to parse the following sentence:
"A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed."
Mr. Brocki informed me that the sentence was overpunctuated, but that the meaning could be extracted anyway.
"A well-schooled electorate" is a nominative absolute.
"being necessary to the security of a free State" is a participial phrase modifying "electorate"
The subject (a compound subject) of the sentence is "the right of the people"
"shall not be infringed" is a verb phrase, with "not" as an adverb modifying the verb phrase "shall be infringed"
"to keep and read books" is an infinitive phrase modifying "right"
I then asked him if he could rephrase the sentence to make it clearer. Mr. Brocki said, "Because a well-schooled electorate is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed."
I asked: can the sentence be interpreted to restrict the right to keep and read books to a well-schooled electorate -- say, registered voters with a high-school diploma?" He said, "No."
I then identified my purpose in calling him, and read him the Second Amendment in full:
"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."
He said he thought the sentence had sounded familiar, but that he hadn't recognized it.
I asked, "Is the structure and meaning of this sentence the same as the sentence I first quoted you?" He said, "yes." I asked him to rephrase this sentence to make it clearer. He transformed it the same way as the first sentence: "Because a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
I asked him whether the meaning could have changed in two hundred years. He said, "No."
I asked him whether this sentence could be interpreted to restrict the right to keep and bear arms to "a well-regulated militia." He said, "no." According to Mr. Brocki, the sentence means that the people \are\ the militia, and that the people have the right which is mentioned.
I asked him again to make sure:
Schulman: "Can the sentence be interpreted to mean that the right can be restricted to "a well-regulated militia?"
Brocki: "No, I can't see that."
Schulman: "Could another, professional in English grammar or linguistics interpret the sentence to mean otherwise?"
Brocki: "I can't see any grounds for another interpretation."
I asked Mr. Brocki if he would be willing to stake his professional reputation on this opinion, and be quoted on this. He said, "Yes."
At no point in the conversation did I ask Mr. Brocki his opinion on the Second Amendment, gun control, or the right to keep and bear arms.
J. Neil Schulman July 17, 1991
The Equal Protection Act of 1991
Premise: The purpose of this act, when enacted into law either by legislation or proposition, is to provide adequate means of protection against violent crime to those who are most victimized by it: women, the elderly, minorities, the physically handicapped, children, residents of neighborhoods where there is persistent gang presence or drug-related violence, or anyone who lives or works in a municipality where city, county, state, or federal police presence is inadequate to prevent or protect the citizenry beforehand from any of the following crimes: rape, child molestation, mugging, hate crimes, murder, attempted murder, assault, mayhem, armed or unarmed robbery, burglary (including automobile burglary), grand theft (including grand theft, auto), extortion, drive-by shootings, purse snatching, or any other attack or threat of attack against the persons or personal property of peaceful citizens.
Upon passage of this act (or proposition), anyone who satisfies the following criteria:
I. A citizen or legal resident of the United States; and who is
II. Eighteen years or older (unless a member of the armed forces, or a cadet training for the armed forces,in which case the age requirement is waived); and who has
III. Never been convicted of a violent crime or never pleaded not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity to a violent crime, or has never been involuntarily committed to a mental institution for having committed a violent crime;
IV. And can satisfy being in one or more of the following categories:
A. A woman;
will hereafter be granted an unlimited license to carry, concealed or unconcealed, loaded firearms, of any sort legally carried by any police officer, sheriff, judge or justice of the peace, elected or appointed public official, civil servant, government employee, or member of the organized or unorganized militia.
B. A member of any race, religious group, sect, nationality, or other minority for which there is a history of hate crimes;
C. Over 50 years of age (the minimum membership age for the American Association of Retired Persons);
D. Physically handicapped, or suffering from any physical condition which would tend to make one a target for criminal assault, attack, robbery, or violence;
E. The parent or legal guardian of a minor child, or a person \in loco parentis\ for a minor child;
F. A person who has ever been the victim of any of the following crimes: rape, child molestation, mugging, hate crimes, attempted murder, assault, mayhem, armed or unarmed robbery, burglary (including automobile burglary), grand theft (including grand theft, auto), extortion, drive-by shooting, purse snatching, or any other attack or threat of attack against one's person or personal property;
G. A person whose residency or work places them in a municipality where there is persistent gang presence or drug-related violence, or anyone who lives or works in a municipality where city, county, state, or federal police presence is inadequate to prevent or protect the citizenry beforehand from any of the following crimes: rape, child molestation, mugging, hate crimes, murder, attempted murder, assault, mayhem, armed or unarmed robbery, burglary (including automobile burglary), grand theft (including grand theft, auto), extortion, drive-by shootings, purse snatching,or any other attack or threat of attack against one's person or personal property;
H. Can demonstrate circumstances in which one is escorting or otherwise responsible for the safety of anyone in the previous categories;
-- J. Neil Schulman August 3, 1991
Discussion of the Act from CESA topic on GEnie:
Category 8, Topic 14 Message 120 Mon Aug 05, 1991 B.YOKEM Bazooka at 22:53 EDT
Regarding the provisions of The Equal Protection Act. The 'limited' number of people this benefits appear to be nearly everyone. The section regarding women, minorities, etc. has so many different subsections that nearly anyone can qualify, and even if you don't, the act does't PROSCRIBE you from carrying. You can still be allowed under other laws. Gang members, most of whom have criminal records, would be excluded by the conditions of the act, not permitted. It appears evident to me, the gender/racial conditions, etc. were added to get it to pass, or force the politicians to make some tough choices regarding support of minorities women, and handicapped, etc. vs opposition to firearms. Also, if the act does pass, and is successful, then who says it has to stop there? More provisions can be amended to the act to include anyone else, this would be a great foot in the door for private firearm ownership and personal protection.
Category 8, Topic 14 Message 121 Tue Aug 06, 1991 KURTAMESBURY GUNNER at 00:21 EDT
Who drafted the act?
Category 8, Topic 14 Message 122 Tue Aug 06, 1991 SOFTSERV NeilSchulman at 01:39 EDT
Kurt, I've read the Levinson article, and it's terrifically useful.
Bazooka, you understood the purpose of the act \precisely\. It's intended to expose the hidden agenda of the anti-gunners: they don't care about crime or victims; all they care about is making sure that the only armed people are subject to \their\ orders. By turning their own rhetoric against them -- focusing on the \actual\ victims who need to be afforded protection which the police can't give them -- we expose their rhetoric for being empty and, hopefully, force them out into the open, where people can see the issue more clearly.
Confusion to the enemy!
As a general principle, when debating someone (I) Find out what their political bias is; (II) then be a more extreme advocate of it than they are. No point arguing conservative premises to a liberal or liberal premises to aconservative. Out-conservative the conservatives by making them be consistent to their desire for a crime-free society; out-liberal the liberals by demanding that they recognize the principle that innocent people cannot be lumped in with criminals by the law.
Kurt, I drafted the Equal Protection Act. (I now take a bow or duck, depending on whether those are roses or tomatoes being tossed at me. ) ------------
An electronic letter about the Act:
Item 8112696 91/08/05 18:10
From: SOFTSERV J. Neil Schulman
To: R.COHEN27 Richard M. Cohen S.HENRY8 Steve Henry
cc: SOFTSERV J. Neil Schulman
Sub: Equal Protection Act
Regarding your comments in the CESA topic:
To be excluded from the right to carry firearms, one would have to be:
1) An illegal alien;
2) Under 18 unless in the military, ROTC, or military academy;
3) A person convicted of a violent crime, or legally criminally insane;
4) A physically perfect single, unengaged, non-cohabitating male under 50 with no children, minors, or senior citizens in his family or under his care, \and\ whose ancestry, religion, sexual preference, race, color, national origin or creed has never suffered from a hate crime (which includes White-Anglo-Saxon- Protestant-Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans, Jewish-Americans, Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, German- Americans, Chinese-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Gay Americans, Catholic-Americans, Armenian-Americans, Cambodian-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans, Arab-Americans, Lebanese-Americans, Greek- Americans, Turkish-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Muslim- Americans, East-Indian-Americans, etc.), \and\ who has never personally suffered from any sort of crime, \and\ who never lives, works, owns, or rents property in a city or town where the public police can't prevent crime \before\ it happens, \and\ who is \never\ responsible for the safety of any woman, child, person-over-50, physically-imperfect individual, discriminated- against minority, crime victim, crime-ridden-city-or-town-dweller or worker.
And if you can find one, this guy doesn't \need\ a gun, anyway.
ABOUT J. NEIL SCHULMAN
J. NEIL SCHULMAN is the author of two novels, much short fiction and nonfiction, and screenwritings, as well as being the founder and president of SoftServ Publishing, the first publishing company to distribute "paperless books" via personal computers and modems.
Schulman's first novel, ALONGSIDE NIGHT (Crown hardcover 1979, Ace paperback 1982, Avon paperback 1987, SoftServ 1990), a prophetic story of an America beset by inflation and revolution, was endorsed by Anthony Burgess and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, and received widely positive reviews, including the Los Angeles Times and Publisher's Weekly. The novel, published in 1979, anticipated such 1980's and 1990's problems as increased gang violence and homelessness, economic chaos such as the recent stock market crash and S&L crisis, and political trends such as the economic and political unification of Europe in 1992. In 1989, ALONGSIDE NIGHT was entered into the "Prometheus Hall of Fame" for classic works of fiction promoting liberty.
THE RAINBOW CADENZA (Simon & Schuster hardcover 1983, New English library paperback 1984, Avon paperback 1986, SoftServ 1989) was his second novel, winning the 1984 Prometheus Award, and was the basis for an all-classical-music LASERIUM concert which played for several years in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston. It's the story of a young girl in the 22nd Century who must fight the sexual exploitation of her era to pursue a career as a performer of "lasegraphy," a classical form of visual music evolved from the current laser shows. The book received favorable comments from such diverse authors as psychologist/ bestseller Nathaniel Branden, British author Colin Wilson, and the late Robert A. Heinlein.
Schulman also wrote the "Profile in Silver" episode, exploring the JFK assassination, for The Twilight Zone TV series on CBS, which was run three times in network prime time in 1986 and 1987, and which can now be seen in syndication.
Schulman's novels, collected writings, and screenwriting are appearing in SoftServ editions. His latest book, THE ROBERT HEINLEIN INTERVIEW AND OTHER HEINLEINIANA, was just released by SoftServ.
Most recently, Schulman has founded the Committee to Enforce the Second Amendment (CESA), through which he intends to see the individual's right to keep and bear arms recognized as a constitutional protection equal to those afforded in the first, fourth, fifth, and fourteenth amendments.
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