Glenn Beck: Chicago gun ruling



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GLENN: Okay, Alan Gura is on the phone. Yesterday they announced — Alan, are you there?

GURA: Yes, I am. Thanks for having me, Glenn.

GLENN: You bet. You argued this case in front of the Supreme Court.

GURA: Yes.

GLENN: So you won the D.C. gun ban overturning and then you went and you took on Chicago. Now, we know what D.C., what happened in D.C. But out of Chicago this was, of course, a big white monopolistic sort of company that wanted to make sure that they kept minorities down and wanted to put a whole bunch of guns into the city. That's basically what happened, right? (Sniffing).

GURA: What we were doing is we were making sure that people like Otis McDonald and Adam Orlov, people who live in the City of Chicago, a city that does have some amount of crime in it, are able to exercise their right of self‑defense.

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Tell me who Otis is. I thought it was a big corporation or some special interest group. Who's Otis?

GURA: Otis McDonald is a 76‑year‑old gentleman living in a fairly rough neighborhood in Chicago who just wants to have a handgun with which he can defend himself in his own home. His home has been broken into any number of times. The neighborhood is truly not the greatest and he simply wants to have the ability to defend himself and his family.

GLENN: Okay. But Alan, that again you are leaving out key details here. He obviously lives in a minority neighborhood and he's only afraid of the minorities because he's the, if I may quote the president, a typical bitter white person.

GURA: Well, Otis is not white and he's not bitter. I wouldn't say he's even typical because he's truly one of the most charming and magnetic people that you might ever have the pleasure to meet. But Otis is a hero and what he's done for people, not just of Chicago but of the United States is profound. I mean, this is a case that tells state and local officials, your local neighborhood politician that they do need to watch out for the Second Amendment, that you need to obey it, it is something that's going to impact their lives if they ignore it.

GLENN: Okay. So tell me exactly what is going to change in, you know, for instance, New York City. How is this going to change New York City?

GURA: Well, New York City, for example, we've already seen some changes recently in anticipation of this ruling. We saw Mayor Bloomberg announce that he was revisiting some of the gun laws trying to streamline the process, trying to reduce the fees. I think there's an understanding now that it's no longer acceptable to have gun laws that exist for the sole purpose of interfering with people's right of self‑defense. I understand, we all understand that some people don't think the Second Amendment is a good idea, but that's just too bad. They have to accommodate themselves to the fact that this is a part of the Constitution. And laws that don't serve any public purpose and merely exist to interfere with people's right to self‑defense are going to be struck down. So I would hope that Mayor Bloomberg and New York City and other places where there are very tight gun laws will read this opinion, reflect on it, take it seriously and try to comply with the Constitution before a judge forces them to comply.

GLENN: What — I mean, we have a city of Chicago that is so out of control that they are actually considering or were considering bringing in the National Guard. When a reporter brought it up and said, I mean, the gun laws aren't working, obviously the gun laws aren't working because people are murdering each other with guns and you banned guns. I believe the mayor of Chicago responded something about putting that gun or those gun laws up an orifice of that reporter. While we don't necessarily think that was a good idea, what are some of the other ideas now that the mayor is going to have to deal with? Do you know? Do you have any idea? The actual tangible changes coming?

GURA: The tangible, the first tangible change is the mayor has conceded that handguns are going to be permitted in Chicago. They know that they lost this case and at the very least the absolutely most popular weapon for self‑defense that people use is going to be allowed into the City of Chicago. Beyond that it's not clear what they are cooking up. We have other things that we're challenging in this law. For example, we believe that it's no longer going to be acceptable to impose an annual tax on the possession of guns in Chicago. Chicago has a registration scheme that requires people to re‑register constantly all the time. We think that, for example, is something that's going to go away. The mayor has talked about, we haven't seen it, but he's talked about this concept of requiring people to get an insurance policy in order to buy a handgun. The theory is that if you have a gun, you will magically become a violent, dangerous person, imposing costs on society and you must be able to purchase an insurance policy. That's going to get struck down. If he's actually serious about this, he is going to find himself on the losing end of another judgment. We, for example, have right of free speech in this country, but we don't require reporters or radio hosts to go buy libel and slander insurance before they go on the air. If you do something bad with your speech, if you incite a riot or slander someone or commit perjury then, of course, you are going to be held to an account. But generally the idea that you have a right to do something, you live in a state of freedom means that the government cannot put roadblocks in your path as you try to exercise that right.

GLENN: Okay.

GURA: And all these road blocks that are being thought of are going to get struck down.

GLENN: Alan, one more question because this is something that bothers me. The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, as the president likes to say. It says what the federal government cannot do. The federal government cannot do.

GURA: That's right.

GLENN: There were religious — there were state religions in almost all of the original 13 states. Massachusetts had a state, you had to be a member of a certain church to be able to serve, et cetera, et cetera. That's just the way it was. What they were trying to avoid was the federal government telling the states what to do. For instance, if you want to have healthcare, universal healthcare like Massachusetts does, do it. Do it. The federal government doesn't have a right to do that, but the state does. Doesn't this conflict with the idea now that the Constitution is telling the states what they must do? Isn't it up to the state to choose?

GURA: No. The state is limited by the Constitution and that's because while what you're describing was perhaps the way things were until the Civil War, in 1868 following the Civil War and the disaster that we experienced in Reconstruction, we made a change. And the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified and the Fourteenth Amendment is a part of our Constitution and it changed the relationship. And the Fourteenth Amendment starts out by saying that everyone who's born here is a citizen of the United States and no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Then it demands states to respect due process, equal protection, a whole bunch of other restrictions. And so what that means is that starting in 1868 when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, states were held to national civil rights standards and so they cannot take your guns away or ban newspapers or force you to follow a religion that conflicts with your values.

GLENN: All right. Wouldn't it be a better way to argue this case rather than going back to the — I'm not saying this particular case because you've already won two of them. But I mean, wouldn't it be better to argue on the states' rights issue that this is a natural right, to defend yourself in a natural right. You know, you can do healthcare because then all of a sudden, why can't you just make healthcare a right and you got a — the federal government has every right to do it.

GURA: We don't have —

GLENN: This is a natural right.

GURA: We don't have any positive rights, any rights to entitlements for goodies from the government. You are right, we do have certain natural rights, negative liberties, the idea that the government can't force us to do things or interfere in our daily lives. And what makes this lawsuit and lawsuits like that possible is that the Constitution tells states they have to respect individual freedoms in certain areas and one of those areas is the right to keep buying and use guns.

Another area, of course, which the Courts don't respect enough but we hope that they will in the future is there is recognition that you have the right to make use of your property, to pursue a livelihood of your choosing without excessive regulation. You have the right to live generally is a state of freedom. If the state wants to infringe on that, then they have to find some positive source of authority to enact those laws. They can't simply go ahead and deprive you of your basic liberty.

GLENN: All right, thank you very much, Alan Gura who has now won the — I mean, this guy is a gun legend.

GURA: Thank you.

GLENN: He has now won both the D.C. and the Chicago cases with the Supreme Court. Alan, there is a reason for everybody being born. I think we found yours. God bless you.

GURA: Oh, thank you so much.

GLENN: God bless you. Thank you very much.

[NOTE: Transcript may have been edited to enhance readability - audio archive includes full segment as it was originally aired]

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

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On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.