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Gun Law Expert Commends Congressmen for Sponsoring Mariners Self-Defense Bill
From:
John M. Snyder -- Rest In Peace John M. Snyder -- Rest In Peace
Washington , DC
Friday, July 31, 2009

 
"Freedom-loving Americans congratulate two congressmen for sponsoring a bill this week to ensure the traditional right of self-defense of United States mariners against acts of piracy," gun rights activist John M. Snyder said here today.

"This contrasts sharply and favorably with the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote earlier in the week to recommend Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court of a nominee who doesn't even know if there is a right to self-defense," he added. "Hopefully, the full Senate will refuse to accept its committee's absurd position."

Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) introduced H.R. 3376, the proposed United States Mariner and Vessel Protection Act of 2009. It was referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

"The introduction of the measure comes in response to reports of piratical attacks on the high seas of American sailors," Snyder said. "Our nation was thrilled on Easter Sunday in April when United States Navy Seal sharpshooters rescued Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama from pirates off the coast of Africa. The action demonstrated that guns in the hands of good people can be and are used to save lives and to thwart the intentions of wicked people using guns for nefarious purposes."

H.R. 3376 would provide that an owner, operator, time charterer, master or mariner who uses force, or authorizes the use of force, to defend a vessel of the United States against an act of piracy shall not be liable for any injury or death caused by such force to any person participating in the act of piracy.

A former National Rifle Association editor, Snyder is Public Affairs Director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Treasurer of the Second Amendment Foundation, and Public Affairs Director of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. Shotgun News recently named him the senior rights activist in Washington.

"The Senate should reject the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court because she maintains she doesn't know if people have an individual right to self-defense," Snyder said. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1fkXysuFcY)

"Despite the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote earlier this week to recommend confirmation, the full Senate still has time to turn its back on the committee on this matter," he continued. "While such an action would be most unusual, the judge's voiced ambivalence on such a fundamental matter warrants it."

Snyder noted Sotomayor said "I don't know" if an individual citizen of the United States has a right to self-defense. She said this during confirmation hearings conducted earlier this month by the Senate Judiciary Committee. She said this in response to questioning by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

Sen. Coburn, a medical doctor, asked Sotomayor: "Do you have a personal opinion, or can you give me your opinion, of whether or not I personally, as an individual citizen, have a right to self-defense?"

Sotomayor's response was, "I --- as I said, I don't know."

Snyder said, "This exchange indicates Sotomayor does not know whether an individual has a right to defend himself or herself or even has a right to his or her own life. Doesn't she realize that an individual has a right to protect his or her life from a murderous criminal who would deprive him or her of it?

"The right to self-preservation is basic to our nation, to our culture, indeed to civilization itself. To not know if this right exists is an absolute disqualifier. The fact that an individual of such ambivalence on such a fundamental matter is nominated to the highest court in the land indicates the low esteem in which the President holds individual rights. That the Senate, especially Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, even is considering the nomination can lead one to question the legitimacy of government itself. What is the purpose of government if not the protection of the rights of individuals, including the basic right of self-preservation?"

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John M. Snyder
Manager
Telum Associates, LLC
Arlington, VA
202-239-8005
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