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Don Bird Lawsuit Exposes CA Contempt for Bill of Rights

by Brian Puckett
BPuckett@CitizensOfAmerica.org

August 12, 2001

I reported on Don Bird's lawsuit against various California officials, including the Governor and various legislators, in a previous KeepAndBearArms.com report. [See https://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=2223.] The government's attorneys have responded to Mr. Bird's lawsuit, and the response makes interesting reading for those who are contemplating similar suits in your own locales.

First, the response attacks various technical details of Mr. Bird's lawsuit, even though anyone reading the lawsuit knows precisely what Mr. Bird is alleging. To be specific, he correctly alleges that his civil rights under the Second Amendment are being blatantly violated by various laws that the California governor and the named legislators have pushed for, enacted, and are now enforcing, all in direct violation of their oaths of office. The US Code Title 18 violations (such as conspiracy to violate civil rights) and US Code Title 42 remedies for such violations Mr. Bird is utilizing can be viewed on this page: Filing a Gun Rights Lawsuit by Brian Puckett. (See: https://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=2364.)

Fortunately, a list of legal/technical errors that the governor's legal counsel is claiming can be found in Mr. Bird's lawsuit (called the "Memorandum of Points and Authorities") is serving as a guide to amend his lawsuit, which a judge has ruled he could re-file. As an aside, the state Attorney General's office is serving as the governor's counsel even though Mr. Bird's lawsuit is filed against the governor as an individual person, and not as an agent of the state. It remains to be seen whether Governor Davis will be held accountable for using the state's resources to defend himself personally.

It should be noted that for anyone who wishes to file similar suits against officials in their state, it is best to have a correctly written complaint from the outset. Therefore it is best to enlist the help of an experienced attorney, though it isn't absolutely necessary. There is a website devoted to helping Californians file their own (pro se) lawsuits: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/.

In Mr. Bird's case, he didn't know of such an attorney and got tired of waiting for the perfect moment, and filed suit on his own (pro se), for which he is to be commended. The cost for filing the suit was about $150.

Perhaps the most astounding aspect of the governor's response to Mr. Bird's lawsuit is that it claims that California citizens have no individual right to own and use firearms. I quote directly from the response signed by CA Attorney General Bill Lockyer on behalf of Governor Gray Davis:

"That is, Plaintiff [Mr. Bird] has no legally recognized right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution."

"...the Constitution does not provide a private right to bear arms."

"As a result, the Second Amendment does not protect the possession of a weapon by a private citizen."

This could not be any clearer: Davis, Lockyer and the rest of their Democratic kind in California have absolute contempt for the Bill of Rights and contempt for the citizens of California regarding their right to defend themselves. Personally, I believe that any vote for any Democrat anywhere merely encourages this disgusting, socialist, anti-American political party in its increasingly vicious assault on our freedoms.

If you're wondering why I'm letting the Republican Party off the hook, it is because there is a still a small chance that this party can be reformed, whereas the Democrats are beyond any hope. As for Libertarians, while certain aspects of their ideology are stunningly wrong-headed in the real world and will probably doom them to perpetual minority status (e.g., open borders, no zoning laws, no government property [including national parks]), their views on gun-related rights are correct, and I will continue to vote for certain individual Libertarian candidates.

Perhaps, someday, the Republican Party in California will awaken to the fact that they continue to lose power because they rarely stand on principle, and therefore hundreds of thousands of people who would vote for a Republican simply stay at home on election day because there's no point in voting "Democrat Lite". One of the few Californians who really understood the value of not backing down on principle and not weaseling words - Ronald Reagan - became President of the United States.

Having vented my political views, I return to the lawsuit. One has only to read the actual response to Mr. Bird's to understand that the government's contempt extends beyond the legal aspects of this situation to include Mr. Bird himself, no doubt because he has the courage to stand up to these thugs. I do not use the word "thug" lightly. Anyone who attempts to disarm peaceable Americans exercising a Constitutionally protected right, and who is willing to use force to achieve this disarmament is a thug.

I end this report by again encouraging Americans everywhere to go on the offensive and sue any public officials who are attempting to disarm you via their offices or via laws they pass. At worst, you will learn something about the law, and at best, your case may be the one which results in repealing unconstitutional laws in your state, or even in repealing unconstitutional federal laws. Don't think one person can make such a difference? Ask Rosa Parks about that.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Mr. Bird is looking for California attorneys willing to help him in this case, not for money, but because they understand that they have a right to own and use firearms and are willing to fight to continue exercising that right.

If you are such a person, please contact Mr. Bird at 530-585-2779 or write to him:

Don Bird
PO Box 5313
Corning, CA 96021


KABA NOTE: Now that the governor of California is directly stating a false opinion (as fact) that directly opposes the official position of the Department of Justice -- that citizens do not have an individual right to keep and bear arms -- perhaps you'd like to contact the DOJ and urge them to put Gray Davis in his place. If so:

Attorney General/Department of Justice Email Address: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

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 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
They should have stopped with "Congress shall make no Law..."

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