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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.
Starting in five four three two one.
Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.
There has been much backlash against President Donald Trump’s statement at a Wednesday White House meeting that he thinks police should “take the guns first” from people they think may be dangerous before any court hearings are undertaken concerning the confiscations. Trump justified his position by pointing to the time consumed by court procedures.
Less discussed is what immediately preceded Trump’s comment. Trump had recognized Vice President Mike Pence to speak, and Pence had extolled the supposed benefits of California law allowing taking guns and other weapons from an individual after an expedited, low burden of proof hearing, at which the gun possessor is not even present, if police or any of a list of extended family members, former roommates, or others complain the individual may pose a danger to himself or others.
What Pence was describing, at Trump’s request, is one of the most expansive mechanisms in America for depriving people of the ability legally to possess arms. Yet, compared with Trump’s immediately following even more rights-abusive suggestion, the California program can be promoted as a “moderate alternative.”
Pence and Trump presented a false dichotomy, leaving out a freedom-respecting alternative. And much of the media coverage has played along.
In a Thursday Ron Paul Institute article, I wrote about a bipartisan effort of United States House of Representatives members to repeal the 2001 authorization for use of military force (AUMF) that three presidents have used to excuse their military interventions around the world without any particular legislative approval.
As part of this effort, the House Progressive Caucus and Liberty Caucus on Tuesday held a hearing.
The hearing included discussion about how any future AUMFs can be written better to ensure they do not excuse endless, expansive war. Rita Siemion from Human Rights First, for example, stressed that any future AUMFs should be debated and voted on before any force is used and that they should contain limitations, including clearly defining who the enemy is, providing geographic specificity for where force may be used, and imposing a rather near-term sunset date.
In December, the State Department announced the US government would be providing the Ukraine government with weapons including Javelin anti-tank missiles. The Ukraine government is expected to use these weapons in its ongoing conflict arising from a US-supported coup.
Josh Lederman reported at the Associated Press that President Donald Trump informed the US Congress on Thursday that weapons including “210 American-made Javelin missiles along with 37 command launch units” would be sent to Ukraine. Lederman also notes that the US government has been training Ukraine military members to use of the weapons that will likely arrive next month.
In the June 16, 2016 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I mentioned proposals to bar people on the No Fly List and other so-called terror watch lists from buying or possessing guns after a mass murder in Orlando, Florida. I noted a problem of such proposals is that people’s names are included through a secret process that allows including and retaining names indefinitely without any evidence that the people have any connection to terrorism.
Now, following a mass murder last month in Florida, US Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced on Tuesday the Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act (S 2458), which she says in a press release is intended to prevent people on either the US government’s No Fly List or Selectee List from purchasing firearms. The bill already has ten cosponsors — Republican, Democrat, and independent.
Jon Murray reported at the Denver Post that the Denver, Colorado coffee shop called the Coffee Joint received Monday the first city approval, pursuant to a 2016 citywide ballot measure, for legal marijuana consumption by customers at a business. While the Coffee Joint will not be allowed to sell marijuana, a marijuana store, partly owned by the Coffee Joint’s owners, is next door.
That’s a wrap.
Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.
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