Rabbi Van Lanckton’s 16 Gun-Safety Ideas, Providing Our Schools The Same Protection As Airports & Office Buildings, Etc.

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On occasion, we are forced to focus on a topic that neither the news media nor book publishers are willing to let “see the light of day” -- using such materials as our members can assemble from news articles, court opinions, other official documents, etc.

This is such an occasion.

Please post anything you believe is relevant in the immediately-following "Participant Comments" section or the "Reference Materials" section.

[Yes, this "Original Proposal" comprises 5 postings including "Participant Comments" and "Reference Materials" -- but they were part of the Original Proposal.]
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johnkarls
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Rabbi Van Lanckton’s 16 Gun-Safety Ideas, Providing Our Schools The Same Protection As Airports & Office Buildings, Etc.

Post by johnkarls »

Originally Posted by johnkarls » Sun Jun 12, 2022 10:22 am – 408 views in Sec. 3 (Possible Topics for Future Meetings) before being transplanted here.


On occasion, we are forced to focus on a topic that neither the news media nor book publishers are willing to let “see the light of day” -- using such materials as our members can assemble from news articles, court opinions, other official documents, etc.

[For example, the topic of our 3/16/2022 meeting was “America’s 1994 Written & Signed Guarantee Of Ukraine’s Independence and Territorial Integrity For Ukraine Surrendering Its 1,900 Nuclear Missiles” for which we were forced to rely on official documents, etc.]


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Sec. 1 -- The Underlying Issue of Racial Fears in the Gun Debate -- and Isabel Wilkerson’s refraining from even mentioning it in our focus book for this coming Wed June 15 (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents) --


To me, it seems obvious that the REAL ISSUE underlying the gun-control debate is the ability of ordinary citizens to protect themselves and their families from criminals WHO ARE USALLY VISIUALIZED AS BLACKS.

[Yes, the reader is entitled to resent being labelled a racist and to protest IAW “freedom of speech” that s/he and her/his family also need protection against wealthy white criminals.]

But in reading Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” at the same time that the Uvalde TX school shooting occurred, it was impossible NOT to speculate on why Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste” SAID NOTHING about gun control.

My guess???

She would have had to triple the length of “Caste” and then seen it dismissed as just another polemic in the gun-control debate.

Yes, I do intend to raise this issue at our meeting this Wed evening on “Caste” under the last item on the Proposed Discussion Outline (Sec. B – Creation and Discussion of Two Lists Re “What To Do” – Sec. B(2) – What we think would be important prescriptions but were NOT prescribed by Isabel Wilkerson).

But I believe the racial dimension of the gun-control debate, together with all of the gun-control-debate issues that are NOT racial, deserve the focus of one or our regular meetings.


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Sec. 2 -- Rabbi Van Lanckton’s Sixteen Gun-Safety Ideas (which, BTW, he stresses can be implemented by individual states as well as nationally) --


By way of background, Rabbi Van Lanckton is a member of my Harvard Law School Class of 1967.

He retired after a long, distinguished legal career in 2003 when the Hebrew College in Newton MA where he lived, opened a Rabbinical School.

After six years of full-time study, he was ordained a Rabbi and served a congregation in Braintree MA until 2017.

He still serves on the Board of Trustees of the afore-mentioned Hebrew College.

He is also the founder of our HLS Class of 1967 weekly Zoom chats in which I regularly participate.

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Here are Rabbi Van Lanckton’s Sixteen Gun-Safety Ideas which were discussed during our HLS-67 Zoom chat on 5/30/2022 (which I, unfortunately, had to miss) --

1. Expand the existing background check system through the NCIS to purchase guns at gun shows and online. This is what H R 8 would do.

2. Extend the time for a response from the NCIS from three days to ten days, with a means to add ten days if there has been no response within the first ten days. This is what H R 1446 would do.

3. Raise the minimum age to buy a gun to 21.

4. Adopt red flag laws to remove guns from a person found by a court to be dangerous.

5. Prohibit gun sales to people on no-fly lists.

6. Require every person who wants to own or use a gun to first pass a training course and get a license, as is required in Massachusetts and as we do with everyone who wants to drive a car.

7. Require every gun owner to register the gun, as we do with car owners.

8. Require every gun owner to buy liability insurance, as we do with car owners.

9. Require gun makers to make guns that lock as iPhones do (recognizing the fingerprint of the owner to unlock the gun).

10. Require gun owners to keep the gun locked in a secure location and ammunition for the gun locked in a different secure location.

11. Prohibit the sale, transfer, or possession of any gun whose magazine holds more than 20 bullets, commonly called a “high-capacity magazine” and previously defined in federal law as a “large capacity ammunition feeding device.”

12. Prohibit modification of gun magazines making them capable of holding more than 20 bullets.

13. Prohibit modification of semi-automatic guns to make them automatic.

14. Prohibit the sale of bump stocks.

15. Prohibit possession, sale, or transfer of a gun that does not have a serial number.

16. Prohibit possession, sale, or transfer of a gun made by 3D printer.


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Sec. 3 -- Providing Our Schools The Same Protection As Airports & Office Buildings --


IMHO, this should be a “no brainer”!!!

But nobody has ever accused our pols of having brains!!!

The typical list of school-safety measures --

1. Only a single entry-exit.

2. Of course there would have to be additional fire-exit doors, but they should be fitted with one-way locks that permit egress only and fitted with alarms when opened that register at the single entry-exit; moreover the fire-exit doors and their alarms should be inspected at least daily.

3. Metal detectors at the single entry-exit.

4. Trained armed guards at the single entry-exit.

5. Bullet-proof windows.

[Additional school-safety proposals welcome.]


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Sec. 4 -- Current U.S. Senate Negotiations --


In the wake of the 5/24/2022 school shooting in Uvalde TX, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell designated Sen. John Cornyn to lead negotiations with Senate Democrats re legislative proposals on which sufficient bi-partisan agreement can be achieved to surmount the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster rule.

One of two U.S. Senators from Texas, Sen. Cornyn –

• Joined the Senate 2/2/2002.
• Served, inter alia, as Senate Minority Whip 2013-2015 and Senate Majority Whip 2015-2019.
• Was Texas Attorney General 1999-2002.
• Was a Texas Supreme Court Associate Justice 1991-1997.

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Here is what Sen. Cornyn posted 6/6/2022 on his website (www.cornyn.senate.gov/node/6720) concerning the negotiations --

I want to be clear, though: we are not talking about restricting the rights of current law-abiding gun owners or citizens.

"What I'm interested in is keeping guns out of the hands of those who, by current law, are not supposed to have them: people with mental health problems, people who have criminal records."

"Following Sutherland Springs, we came up with a targeted bill to address specific circumstances. I hope we can do so again. I will not settle on inadequate or downright harmful legislation for the sake of doing “something.'"

"I hope the Democratic Leader will allow bipartisan discussions to continue and then conclude before he pulls the plug and schedules show votes on something he knows can't pass. He's threatened to do it, but I don't believe we ought to try to meet artificial deadlines."

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WASHINGTON – Today on the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed the tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas and the bipartisan negotiations on potential mental health and school safety legislation. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video can be found here.

“Like so many people in Texas and across the country, I can't stop thinking about the 19 children and the two teachers who lost their lives in Uvalde, Texas. Over the last several days, 21 families have started burying their loved ones.”

“Everyone is asking the logical question: how do we stop these sort of things from happening again?”

“Over the last week-and-a-half, I've been talking, particularly with Senator Murphy, Senator Tillis, Senator Sinema, but literally with everybody I can reach on the phone or get through text message to see if there's some package of mental health and safety legislation that addresses some of the factors that might have prevented the recent shootings in Uvalde and elsewhere.”

“I want to be clear, though: we are not talking about restricting the rights of current law-abiding gun owners or citizens.”

“What I'm interested in is keeping guns out of the hands of those who, by current law, are not supposed to have them: people with mental health problems, people who have criminal records.”

“I'm a proud supporter of the Second Amendment. Period.”

“We also recognize, though, that there are people who are prohibited by current law from purchasing guns, like the shooter at Sutherland Springs, because of criminal records or mental illness. We're discussing possible additional reforms to keep guns out of the hands of people who are not legally allowed to purchase or possess them in the first place.”

“If we reach an agreement, law-abiding gun owners will not be impacted at all. Our conversations are ongoing, and indeed all 100 senators will be part of that conversation, but these are the broad parameters of the things that I'm interested in addressing.”

“We're not talking about banning a category of weapons across the board, a ban for certain high-capacity magazines, or changing the background check system by adding additional disqualifying items. If we're actually serious about finding common ground and building consensus, those sorts of things will stand no chance of passing the Senate.”

“Instead, we're talking about commonsense, targeted reforms that are responsive to the tragedies at Uvalde and elsewhere and that will, I believe, save lives - strengthening mental health, bolstering school security, keeping guns out of the hands of people who are already legally prohibited from having them. I think a lot of our colleagues could get behind those provisions like they did with the Fix NICS bill.”

“Following Sutherland Springs, we came up with a targeted bill to address specific circumstances. I hope we can do so again. I will not settle on inadequate or downright harmful legislation for the sake of doing ‘something.’”

“Targeted reforms, I think, is the way to get to where we need to go.”

“I understand the desire for quick action, but I hope the Democratic Leader will allow bipartisan discussions to continue and then conclude before he pulls the plug and schedules show votes on something he knows can't pass. He's threatened to do it, but I don't believe we ought to try to meet artificial deadlines.”

---------End of Sen. Cornyn’s website posting----------

Observations --

1. Incredibly, Sen. Cornyn does NOT mention Providing Our Schools The Same Protection As Airports & Office Buildings!!!

2. Although Rabbi Van Lanckton is NOT a member of the U.S. Senate, it would appear from Sen. Cornyn’s statement that he could accept all 16 of Rabbi Van Lanckton’s gun-safety measures.

3. Despite Sen. Cornyn’s staunch-sounding support for the Second Amendment “Right to Bear Arms,” like any politician he can always say in the wake of an agreement (if one is reached) that infringing on Second-Amendment rights was necessary to get what America demands in terms of school safety.

4. Sen. Cornyn can also claim that any infringements on Second-Amendment rights can be invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court.


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Sec. 5 -- Salient U.S. Supreme Court Second-Amendment Decisions (INCLUDING ITS IMMINENT DECISION IN NEW YORK STATE RIFLE AND PISTOL ASSOCIATION VS. BRUEN) --


The Second Amendment says –

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Regardless of the historical analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court, we have often studied in other contexts --

1. Contrary to popular perception, George Washington and the Revolutionary Army were NOT the reason for the 13 colonies winning their independence from England.

2. Throughout the conflict, George Washington and his army did virtually nothing but retreat, finally facing surrender on Chesapeake Bay when Lord Cornwallis’ troops which had out-run their supply lines, were expecting the English fleet to show up with new supplies and “saw the writing on the wall” when the French fleet showed up instead.

3. Cornwallis immediately surrendered and Washington was credited by American historians with the victory – but it was really the French fleet which should have been credited!!!

4. THE REAL AMERICAN HEROES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION WERE THE “MINUTEMEN” who, literally as described inter alia in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” were expected, AND DID, grab their muskets and WITHIN ONE MINUTE of receiving an alarm, were engaging English “Red Coats.”

So why is it so surprising that the U.S. Supreme Court would --

1. Uphold the Second Amendment right of homeowners to bear arms to protect their homes.

2. Restrict the right to bear arms to muskets and their modern-day equivalent – not tanks, airplanes, etc.

Salient U.S. Supreme Court decisions --

1. District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) - The Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

2. McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) – The Second Amendment applies to state and local governments, courtesy of the “Due Process Clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment.

3. Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016) – the Second Amendment extends to all “bearable arms” even if not in existence at the time the Second Amendment was adopted (and re-affirmed that the Second Amendment is fully applicable to state and local governments).

4. New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen (imminent) – Per the Petition for Certiorari (request for the Court to accept the case), the “Question Presented For Review” was --

“Whether a state court’s decision that a criminal defendant can be falsely accused during his criminal murder trial of ‘illegally’ possessing outside his home a legal firearm for the purpose of self defense is a reasonable application of clearly-established federal law.”

johnkarls
Posts: 2061
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Unauthorized Bio of Rabbi Van Lanckton

Post by johnkarls »

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Since Rabbi Van Lanckton’s 16 Gun-Safety Ideas (along with Providing Our Schools The Same Protection As Airports & Office Buildings) are our focus this month, there have been a lot of requests for more info about his background in addition to the “bare bones” bio in the 6/12/2022 Original Topic Proposal which had said little more than he is a member of my Harvard Law School Class of 1967.

Attorney Arthur Van Cleve Lanckton had been contemplating a “life change” since undergoing triple-bypass surgery in 2001.

Brought up Presbyterian in such places as Bulgaria, Lebanon, Greece and Turkey since his father was an oil executive, Arthur Van Cleve Lanckton converted to Judaism a few weeks before our 1967 law school graduation and his marriage 8/31/1967 to Alice Keidan (a H.S. Latin teacher and 1965 Ed.M. from Harvard Ed School).

Prior to the triple bypass surgery, he had served as President of Temple Emanual in Newton MA and, for four years, Regional President of the American Jewish Congress.

So when Hebrew College in Newton MA opened a Rabbinical School in 2003, he retired from his law career and became one of the first Rabbinical students at age 60.

BTW, when he was ordained in 2009, he became the second rabbi in the family. His son, Benjamin, was already a chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital.

During his last 3 years of Rabbinical School, Arthur Van Cleve Lanckton served as a Student Rabbi at Temple B’nai Shalom in Braintree MA, about 15 miles from his Newton MA home, and the only synagogue in Braintree. It serves about 75 families.

He became its Associate Rabbi upon ordination in 2009, and its Spiritual Leader in 2011.

Becoming its Rabbi Emeritus in 2017, he returned to Temple Emmanuel in Newton where, as of our 55th Law School Reunion last year, he was once again serving as its President.

He is also a long-time Trustee of Hebrew College of Newton and its website currently lists him as Vice-Chair of its Board of Trustees.

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Founder of Our HLS Class of 1967 weekly Zoom chats

The 2002 Reunion Book says Arthur Van Cleve Lanckton organized the group a few years earlier as a monthly in-person lunch group at the Boston Harvard Club.

A similar group had already formed in 1982 at the NYC Harvard Club (more than 160 of our 560 classmates had come to NYC).

I was one of the regular participants and had organized its original e-mail list to include every classmate who had come to NYC per the 1982 Reunion Book.

However, our leader abandoned his role in 2017 and I was no longer based in NYC – just scheduling trips around the meetings whenever possible.

In early 2000, COVID transformed the Boston group into a weekly Zoom chat and many of us from around the country joined.

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