Glenn Beck talks with Alan Gura



GLENN: I want to come back to that "Glenn Beck, you're a flip-flopper" on the death penalty because I've got a lot to say on that in many different directions. We'll do that, but I have Alan Gura on the phone. This is the guy who argued the Heller case with the Supreme Court. Allen, congratulations.

GURA: Thank you so much. Great to be here.

GLENN: This has to be quite a banner day for you.

GURA: It's a fantastic day. It's a great day for the Constitution, it's a great day for me personally, of course, but it's really not about me. It's really about the Second Amendment and the global rights and it's a great victory for all Americans.

GLENN: Oh, come on. You know you closed your office door at one point and you went, yes. Did you have a sleepless night last night?

GURA: No, I slept very well. Got to court early and just it was fantastic to be there in the courtroom and listen to Justice Scalia read what I thought was a fantastic opinion.

GLENN: Now, because I know I haven't heard that you're an arrogant guy. So I don't think that comes from arrogance. Was it just that you just felt comfortable with what you did? You just, you felt comfortable that the decision was going to come your way or you just let it --

GURA: We had a very, very strong case and it's also out of my hands by that point. I mean, there's been nothing for me to do, you know, and we did our best and all we had to do was just wait and get a decision.

GLENN: Was there any point in the case where you said, this is it, I got it, this is it?

GURA: Today, this morning when we got the decision. You never really know. You can't assume that you're going to win things like this. But when we heard the decision, of course, we knew and now it's great.

GLENN: No, but I mean when you had the case -- there was never a point when you were putting the case together, preparing it or arguing it that you thought, this is it; I mean, I've got the case, I really think this will do it?

GURA: Well, I felt that from day one this is a winner. This was always a very strong case. The law was clearly unconstitutional. The Second Amendment, a lot's been written about it and, of course, more today but if you look at the history, if you look at the text, no matter how you slice it, it comes down to individual rights. So I've always felt that we were right in a powerful case and that we deserved to win. Of course, a lot of things happen on the way and so I was never really certain that we would actually prevail. There can be all kinds of procedural bumps along the road and we had some in our case. And sometimes courts won't always get it right. But today the Court got it right and I'm gratified.

GLENN: Give me a sense of historically where this case is going to go down. Is this as big as Roe versus Wade?

GURA: Well, I'm not sure I can rank different cases. Certainly it's a landmark case. This is one of the all-time important cases because this is a case that tells Americans that a part of the Bill of Rights is in effect and is authorable. It tells us we do have a right. It's not every day the Supreme Court confirms against a great weight of opposition by government and other forces, that we do actually have a right that we can exercise as a constitutional matter. So it's profound.

GLENN: Now, will you go and take on any other gun rights? Will you take on Chicago or New York City or are you saying, well, I'm going to move on to something else now?

GURA: Oh, I definitely expect to lead the fight in Chicago and other places as well. You'll see more from me in this. I'm not -- this is not the end for me, and it's not the end for the Second Amendment. It's important for people to understand. The Second Amendment is a normal part of the Bill of Rights, and like other parts of the Bill of Rights, like the First Amendment or the Fourth Amendment, it's going to take time. It's going to take an endless amount of time. There will be cases that come up to the system and some of them will be successful and some of them will not, but that's the way our system works. We're not going to have one case that for all time determines what the Second Amendment means in all contexts.

GLENN: If you were on the other side or you were Chicago or you were New York or whatever, who do you think is sitting back today saying, oh, boy, this is going to mean real trouble for me because I'm on the fence, I mean, you know, I'm a city that has a law or a state or something that I'm probably the lowest hanging fruit?

GURA: Well, I think certainly Chicago has to start thinking about what its laws look like. You know, the people who favor gun prohibition. The gun prohibition movement ended today. It's very important to understand. The government cannot ban guns and it cannot regulate guns out of existence. There's always going to be a role for the politicians, for government to play in regulating firearms and we're not going to see background checks go away and we're not going to see felon possession laws go away. But when the government regulates guns, it's going to have to remember there are individual rights and they are going to have to respect that and if they don't respect it, then we'll have more days like today where the courts will step in and safeguard our liberties.

GLENN: So today when Michael Bloomberg is eating lunch and he's got indigestion, it's really your name that's giving him the indigestion today.

GURA: Well, I don't know. I mean, I wouldn't wish indigestion on Mayor Bloomberg.

GLENN: I would. Let me. Let me. Let me.

GURA: Okay.

GLENN: I wish him indigestion, I do. All right, Allen, congratulations and thanks so much for talking to us.

GURA: Well, thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

GLENN: You bet. Bye-bye.

GURA: Bye.

GLENN: Amazing to be able to talk to somebody who just made history with the Second Amendment.

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?