Have We Passed The Point Of Being Able To Have A Serious Discussion Of Issues?

On Friday, The Daily Signal posted an article that provides some background information on Stacey Abrams.

These are some basic facts about Ms. Abrams listed in the article:

1. She ‘Wouldn’t Oppose’ Noncitizen Voting  –  she did support the idea of non-citizens voting to local elections, but the fact remains that people who are here illegally are breaking the law and should not have voting rights.

2. She Wants to Turn Georgia Blue – that’s not all that unusual, but her approach in somewhat interesting.

3. She Wants to Promote ‘Race and Gender’ Issues – has anyone else noticed that promoting race and gender issues divides us rather than unites us?

4. She Was Endorsed by Planned Parenthood – just for the record, Planned Parenthood receives on average approximately $500 million a year in taxpayer funds. How much of that money is essentially laundered and spent on campaign contributions?

5. She Is ‘Sick and Tired’ of Free Market Role in Health Care – actually health care worked very well until the government got involved – people were taken care of and the cost was not prohibitive.

6. She Says ‘Liberal’ Is a Good Word – that is her privilege.

7. She Says the AR-15 Doesn’t Belong in Civilian Hands – Don’t look for her to support the Second Amendment.

And finally:

8. She Is a ‘Romance’ Novelist – she writes sexually explicit romance novels under the name of Selena Montgomery.

The comments in bold type are from the article. Other comments are mine.

This is the person the Democrats have chosen to respond to the State of the Union address.

The Irony Of Students Marching Asking The Government To Take Away Their Rights

The Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution reads:

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.

That Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights–the document that protected the rights of the people from government overreach. It was there in response to the experiences the Americans had had with the overreach of the British government. The American people wanted to protect themselves from random searches, limits on speech, limits on the ability to assemble, and property seizure without proper legal procedure. That is the context of the Second Amendment. There was a feeling that without the Second Amendment, none of the other Amendments could be defended. Unfortunately, this is not something American students are currently being taught.

There was a student protest in Washington, D.C. (and other places) today to challenge gun ownership in America. The Gateway Pundit posted a speech by Delaney Tarr, who survived the Florida school shooting.

The is her speech:

My name is Delaney Tarr, and I’m here today because I’m a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student. However, I’m not here today for the media. I’m not here for the crowds, as great as you all are, for the fame, for the fun. I’m here on this stage today and I’ve been working everyday for my 17 fellow Eagles who were pronounced dead because of gunfire.

I am here for every person that has died at the hands of gun violence and for the many more whose lives were irreparably changed because of it.

I think, I hope that that is why we are all here. Because this is more than just a march. This is more than just one day, one event, then moving on. This is not a mere publicity stunt, a single day in the span of history. This is a movement.

This is a movement reliant on the persistence and passion of its people. We cannot move on. If we move on, the NRA and those against us will win. They want us to forget.

They want our voices to be silenced. And they want to retreat into the shadows where they can remain unnoticed. They want to be back on top, unquestioned in their corruption, but we cannot and we will not let that happen.

Today, and every day, we will continue to fight for those things that are right. We will continue to fight for common sense. We will continue to fight for our lives. We will continue to fight for our dead friends. There will be no faltering, no pauses in our cause.

Every moment will be dedicated to those pieces of legislation ― every march, every meeting, every moment. All for that assault weapons ban to keep these weapons of war out of the hands of civilians who do not need them. All for the prohibition of high-capacity magazines.

Because no hunter will ever need access to a magazine that can kill 17 in mere minutes. All for the reinforcement of background checks and closing of loopholes, because there must be more of a requirement for a person to access a gun than just a wad of cash.

There are so very many things, so many steps to take. Like right now, sign our petition. It takes two seconds and it matters. We will take the big and we will take the small, but we will keep fighting. When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile. We are not here for bread crumbs. We are here for real change. We are here to lead.

We are here to call out every single politician, to force them into enacting this legislation, to addressing this legislation, to doing more than a simple Band-Aid on a broken bone. The pressure is on for every person in power, and it will stay that way. Because they know what is coming.

They know that if there is no assault weapons ban passed, then we will vote them out. They know that if there is no tightening of the background checks, we will vote them out. They know that if there is no shrinking of magazine capacity, then we will vote them out.

If they continue to ignore us, to only pretend to listen, then we will take action where it counts. We will take action every day, in every way, until they simply cannot ignore us anymore.

Today we march, we fight, we roar. We prepare our signs, we raise them high. We know what we want, we know how to get it, and we are not waiting any longer.

There is a problem with what she is saying (other than not understanding the Second Amendment).

Let’s talk about the ban on assault weapons.

In June 2016 The Federalist posted an article about the banning of assault weapons. The article stated:

But before we dive into whether the assault weapons ban was merely dumb, or if it was monumentally stupid and counterproductive, it’s important to define what the previous federal ban covered and how it defined an “assault weapon.” The 1994 assault weapons law banned semi-automatic rifles only if they had any two of the following five features in addition to a detachable magazine: a collapsible stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor, or a grenade launcher.

That’s it. Not one of those cosmetic features has anything whatsoever to do with how or what a gun fires. Note that under the 1994 law, the mere existence of a bayonet lug, not even the bayonet itself, somehow turned a garden-variety rifle into a bloodthirsty killing machine. Guns with fixed stocks? Very safe. But guns where a stock has more than one position? Obviously they’re murder factories. A rifle with both a bayonet lug and a collapsible stock? Perish the thought.

A collapsible stock does not make a rifle more deadly. Nor does a pistol grip. Nor does a bayonet mount. Nor does a flash suppressor. And for heaven’s sake, good luck finding, let alone purchasing, 40mm explosive grenades for your rifle-mounted grenade launcher (and remember: the grenade launcher itself is fine, just as long as you don’t put the ultra-deadly bayonet lug anywhere near it).

So what was the impact of the assault weapons ban?

The law expired in September of 2004, making 2003 the last full calendar year in which the law was in effect. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime statistics, 390 people were murdered with rifles in 2003, making rifles the weapon of choice in 2.7 percent of murders that year. But in 2014, more than a decade after these vile weapons of war flooded American streets, the number of rifle murders surely skyrocketed, right?

Not so much. Quite the opposite. In 2014, the most recent year for which detailed FBI data are available, rifles were used in 248 murders. And not only are rifles used in far fewer murders over a decade following the expiration of the 1994 gun ban, they’re also used in a smaller percentage of homicides. In 2003, when the gun ban was in full effect, rifles were used in nearly 3 percent of murders. In 2014, they were used in barely 2 percent.

I think it is wonderful that students want to get involved in politics, but it is a shame that our schools are not teaching them the facts about what they are protesting.

We need good background checks for gun owners, but let’s remember that the school shooter in Florida would not have been able to purchase a gun but for the changes in law enforcement policies in the school made by the Obama administration. The problem was not the background check–it was that the student’s history was not reported to the authorities so it could be included in his background check.

The irony here is that there was a person on the campus of the school whose job it was to protect the students who was armed. That person chose not to enter the building and confront the shooter. A good guy with a gun could have stopped a bad guy with a gun had he chosen to act. The gun was never the problem–the problem was the morality of the person holding the gun.

 

Why American Need To Keep Their Guns

As I write this, there are a number of bills going through Congress banning various rifles, magazines, etc. Most of the weapons being banned are being banned out of ignorance–they are scary looking or are distantly related to military rifles–they are not military rifles and do not have the multiple firing capability of military rifles, but they look like them. A lot of Americans are not familiar with the various types of guns, and these laws make sense to them. These laws do not make sense in relationship to the Second Amendment and what it was about. These laws also have no relationship with the horrific event in Florida–none of these laws would have made an ounce of difference. One of the things Congress wants to ban is high-capacity magazines. According to The Daily Wire (on Friday), the Florida shooter only used 10-round magazines because the larger magazines would not fit in his duffel bag. The Daily Wire also noted that jamming is a major problem with the AR-15 platform if the weapon is not properly cleaned.

Does anyone really think that if the AR-15 had been banned that the shooter would not have used another type of gun? Also, why are we focusing on the gun when it is very obvious that had the shooter’s previous problems with the law been reported, a thorough background check would have prevented from buying a gun? I don’t know whether or not that would have stopped him–criminals seem to be able to get their hands on guns, and other weapons have been used in attacks on students. Taking guns away from innocent people solves nothing. Making sure mentally ill people who have shown that they are dangerous don’t get guns would be a much better approach.

So why do we need the Second Amendment?

On March 1st, The Blaze posted a statement from Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice explained to the ladies on The View:

“Let me tell you why I’m a defender of the Second Amendment,” she began.

“I was a little girl growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, in the late fifties, early sixties,” she explained. “There was no way that Bull Connor and the Birmingham Police were going to protect you.”

“And so when White Knight Riders would come through our neighborhood,” she said, “my father and his friends would take their guns and they’d go to the head of the neighborhood, it’s a little cul-de-sac and they would fire in the air, if anybody came through.”

“I don’t think they actually ever hit anybody,” she continued. “But they protected the neighborhood. And I’m sure if Bull Connor had known where those guns were he would have rounded them up.”

“And so, I don’t favor some things like gun registration,” she said to a suddenly silent crowd.

“That said, it’s time to have a national conversation about how we can deal with the problems we have. It’s not going to be any single fix to the terrible events at Parkland,” she concluded.

The Second Amendment is there to protect Americans from a government that may not protect them. It is there to give Americans the ultimate responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their families.

The following is a quote regarding World War II:

I would never invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass. — Admiral Yamamoto

There is no proof that this quote is real, but you get the idea–a country with armed, trained citizens is in a much better position to protect itself from both internal and external threats. Those who are trying to ban scary-looking guns are a threat to America’s freedom and are attempting to do something unconstitutional. What happened in Florida was tragic, but disarming law-abiding citizens will not solve anything.

People Who Don’t Know Anything About Guns Making Gun Laws…

Maura Healey, the attorney general of Massachusetts, posted an article in the Boston Globe today. Attorney General Healey has declared war on guns.

The article reports:

The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those weapons. But gun manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to define what a “copy” or “duplicate” weapon is. They market “state compliant” copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.

That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.

The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.

I am having trouble understanding why the state wants to ban AR-15’s. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic weapon. It is not an assault rifle. The AR does not stand for assault rifle as some people opposed to gun ownership would have you believe–it stands for “Armalite rifle, design 15.”

Yesterday The Conservative Tribune posted an article that further explains the problem with the Attorney General’s decision.

The article at The Conservative Tribune reports:

She (Maura Healey) ended her piece with the typical liberal huffing and puffing about “if Congress won’t act, we must” because of some “moral obligation” that we have heard far too often over the past seven years.

Furthermore, this woman revealed that she had no idea about the guns she seeks to ban. The rifles she spoke of are “state compliant,” meaning they fully comply with the state ban as it was written and passed and upheld in court. She doesn’t like that, so she is now moving the goalposts, so to speak.

Furthermore, her redefinition of “copy/duplicate” to include firearms that use the same operating system would seem to encompass far more than just the scary AR-15s and AK-47s she is fretting about, as the overwhelming majority of modern firearms, no matter what they look like, have pretty basic operating systems across the board (with some exceptions, of course).

This gun-grabbing attorney general has overstepped her bounds, and will hopefully be put back in her place real quick once the avalanche of lawsuits she has invited with her extra-legal actions begin rolling in.

See you in court, Ms. Healey.

Note to Ms. Healey–guns are not the problem. The terrorist in France used a truck. The terrorist at the French resort used a knife. Another terrorist used an axe. Guns are not the problem.

There are conflicting reports as to whether or not the Congressional Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 actually had any impact. People who want to commit crimes are not generally concerned about weapons that are banned and often have sources of weapons that are not interested in following the law. All a gun ban does is allow the percentage of the population that knows nothing about guns to feel safer (while being unable to defend themselves) and let the criminals know that they will be unlike to meet resistance when they commit their crimes.

Telling The Truth While Being Asked Inane Questions

I don’t know anything about Florida Governor Rick Scott, but I love the way he handled this reporter. Watch the video (posted at YouTube). I don’t know that I could have been so patient::

 

There are a few facts here that are either unintentionally or intentionally misrepresented. First of all, the gunman did not use an AR-15. (Just for the record, even if he had an AR-15, an AR-15 fires one shot every time you pull the trigger–it is NOT an automatic weapon–it is just a scary-looking rifle.) He used a Sig Sauer MCX rifle. Similar, but again, not an automatic weapon. About the idea of taking guns away from people on the terrorist watch list or the no-fly list. Oddly enough, this is a really dangerous idea in relation to the U.S. Constitution. Both these lists (aside from their record of inaccuracy) are done without the person on them being aware of being on the list. The person placed on the list has to go through a lengthy process to get off of the list. This is an assumption of guilt and having to prove innocence. That is against the U.S. Constitution. In America we have the right to face our accusers, and we are considered innocent until proven guilty. Taking guns (or forbidding the purchase of guns) to a group of people who are not charged with any crime and have not been proven guilty is a really bad idea.

Just a note on the no-fly list–at one point Senator Ted Kennedy was delayed when flying home to Massachusetts from Washington, D.C. because somehow he (or someone with the same name) had been placed on the no-fly list. The no-fly list is not a list I have a lot of confidence in.

Things I Needed To Learn

As a relatively new resident of North Carolina, I was very uneducated in the gun culture in this state. Everyone seems to have a gun and go shooting periodically. I am working to correct my ignorance and learn about guns and gun safety, but it is going to take me a while to catch up. Meanwhile, I have gotten some help from a friend on Twitter.

Here are some excerpts from a post of Twitter about assault rifles:

The AR-15 rifle is the most popular rifle sold in America today.

Sometimes the AR-15 is incorrectly called an ‘assault rifle.’ Prior to 1989, the term “assault weapon” did not exist in the lexicon of firearms. It is a political term, developed by anti-gun publicists to expand the category of “assault rifles.”

The M4A1 carbine is a U.S. military service rifle. It is also an assault rifle. It is fully automatic–it fires multiple rounds. It is also sometimes called a machine gun. In 1986, the Federal government banned the sale or transfer of new machine guns to civilians.

The AR-15 is semi-automatic (like most guns sold in America). That means that when you pull the trigger, one round is fired.

According to a 1988 report by the Violence Policy Center, an anti-gun lobby: “Handgun restriction is simply not viewed as a priority. Assault weapons … are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

The article goes on to explain that since machine guns were already banned, so the anti-gun lobby began a campaign to convince the public that the semi-automatic guns were machine guns. This was relatively easy to do because of public ignorance and because of the military look of some of these guns.

The article further explains:

On September 13, 1994, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban went into effect. A Washington Post editorial published two days later was candid about the ban’s real purpose:

[N]o one should have any illusions about what was accomplished [by the ban]. Assault weapons play a part in only a small percentage of crime. The provision is mainly symbolic; its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control.

The end game of some of those in power is to take the Second Amendment rights away from Americans. After the Orlando shooting, there will be more cries for gun control. Where are the cries for better investigations of people making inflammatory statements about murdering people in the name of Islam? The problem in Orlando was not the gun.

A Judge’s Ruling That Ignores The Law

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about a recent lawsuit regarding the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. The parents of the children who were killed have sued the manufacturers of the guns used in the shooting.

The article reports:

It is important to remember that the rifle used by Adam Lanza, a semi-automatic AR-15, had been legally bought by his mother, Nancy Lanza. Lanza killed her while she was sleeping before he headed to the elementary school and engaged in his killing spree. In fact, some of the families blamed Nancy Lanza for what happened, saying that she knew about her son’s mental problems and “ignored all the signs” of his “increasing instability.”

The parents subsequently filed a wrongful death lawsuit in state court against Bushmaster Firearms, Remington Arms, and a host of other firearms manufacturers. The families claim that the manufacturers acted “unethically, oppressively, immorally, and unscrupulously” in marketing the “assaultive qualities and military use of AR-15s to civilian purchasers.”

I don’t mean to be difficult, but the manufacturers had nothing to do with the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The article reports:

Of course, the main problem faced by the plaintiffs is that this lawsuit is absolutely barred by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 (PLCA). The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush to stop these types of emotionally-charged lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Codified at 15 U.S.C. §7901-7903, the Congressional “Findings” specifically state that businesses that manufacture, market, distribute, import or sell firearms should not “be liable for the harm caused by those who criminally or unlawfully misuse” such weapons. Such civil liability lawsuits “may not be brought in any Federal or State court.”

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act provides only limited exceptions to this prohibition. One exception is for lawsuits claiming a normal product liability issue, such as the harm caused by a weapon that contained a design or manufacturing defect that caused it to malfunction. Or if the manufacturer deliberately sold the gun to someone who is prohibited from owning a guns—like a felon. Or if the manufacturer encouraged a gun owner to misuse the weapon in a way that led to the harm.

What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School was horrific. A mentally ill young man managed to get hold of a gun and went on a killing spree. Unfortunately, the way our laws are currently written, this was not a preventable crime. The laws that cover committing a person to a mental hospital have gotten complicated, and it was reported that the young man’s mother was attempting to have him hospitalized because of his mental state. Unfortunately, she was not able to complete that complex process before her son killed her. Maybe the answer is a review of our mental health policies–not suing people who are not responsible for the crime.

Good Police Work Prevented Something Awful

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story today about some recent events at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. There was a Pokemon convention there. I don’t know anything about Pokemon, but it seems that there were some attendees with nefarious intentions. James Austin Stumbo, 27, and Kevin Norton, 18, had posted on Facebook, ““Boys an girls this is going to be a guns and stripper weekend!!!” The convention center security called the Boston Police, who sent two officers to check on the two men. When he was questioned, Stumbo claimed that the quote was taken out of context, but told the police where their car was and that it had weapons inside. The police found a shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle, a hunting knife, and 250 rounds of ammunition inside the car. This doesn’t sound like normal cargo for a trip to Boston for a Convention.

There are a few things at play here. Massachusetts has strict gun laws. Neither man had the proper gun permits for the weapons they were carrying. Obviously the strict gun laws had no impact on them or their intentions. Thank God they chose to brag on Facebook. Also, thank God for the diligence of the Hynes Convention Center security staff.

I now live in a state that has more relaxed gun laws. Had the men tried this in North Carolina, chances are they would have been met by concealed carry permit holders who would have dispensed with them quickly. I don’t like gun violence, but it seems to me that we are at a point where restrictive gun laws are not accomplishing what they are supposed to accomplish. Obviously, these two young men were not affected by Massachusetts’ strict gun ownership policy. It has taken me a while to get to where I am on gun control, but I am coming closer to the idea that the only gun permit that should be needed is found in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Other gun permits may seem to have some value, but it is obvious that they do not–people with nefarious intentions don’t seem to be deterred by gun laws.

The Wisdom Of Vice-President Biden

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about Vice-President Joe Biden‘s comments on the gun control debate. The comments were not particularly helpful to the average American trying to protect his family, but they were interesting.

In case you missed it, this is the Vice-President’s solution to protecting your home:

“I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house,’” Biden said.

“You don’t need an AR-15—it’s harder to aim,” he added, “it’s harder to use, and in fact you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!”

There are a few basic problems with the Vice-President’s suggestion. First of all, as anyone who is an experienced shooter will tell you, what goes up must come down.

The article reports:

Rob Wiltbank, a gun rights advocate who founded Delaware Open Carry in 2008, told U.S. News he agrees with the vice president that a shotgun would be good for home protection, but he was also troubled by the hypothetical.

“It would be incredibly irresponsible of a gun owner to blindly discharge a firearm into the air,” said Wiltbank. “What goes up, must come down and this specific behavior has been the cause of many negligent homicides over the years.”

Tom Shellenberger, a lawyer who serves as a spokesman for the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, told U.S. News that Biden’s security tip was “the worst type of advice.”

The other obvious problem is that after you fire those two shots out of your shotgun you have to reload. Until then you are defenseless.

In addition to being illegal, the Vice-President’s idea is also bad strategy. The article reminds us:

 

In addition to felony charges, Shellenberger cited the “Discharge of a firearm within 15 yards of a road (7 Del.C. § 719), a misdemeanor,” and “Violation of the residential dwelling safety zone as set forth in 7 Del.C. § 723, also a misdemeanor.”

“Beyond the potential criminal liability, it is simply bad advice,” added Shellenberger. “Not only does blasting blindly away put innocent persons at risk, it also tells the bad guys where you are and that you are armed. In most circumstances, it might be better if that comes as a surprise to the bad guys.”

Thank goodness we have the Secret Service to protect this man so that he doesn’t have to follow his own advice.Enhanced by Zemanta

Altering The News To Fit A Political Agenda

The Independent Journal Review posted an article on Tuesday detailing some of the erroneous reporting on the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. At issue is the type of guns used–the shooting is used as a justification for banning what are called assault weapons, but it has recently come to light that assault weapons were not used in the killing. So why is the President in such a hurry to ban them?

Pete Williams, who is NBC’s chief Justice correspondent, reported that only four handguns were found inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The article further reports:

The correspondent makes it clear over and over again that he confirmed this information with federal and state officials. Now, a lot of media reports contradict this one, but somebody’s lying. The report that an ‘AR-15-style’ assault rifle was in the trunk of murderer Adam Lanza’s car is up for dispute as well. If one examines footage from police breaking into Lanza’s car, one sees police clearing a round from a “long gun of some type” that does not appear to be ‘AR-15 style’ or ‘assault-style.’

…In a nation of 311 million people, the odds of being killed by a rifle is about one homicide per million people, which is far less than the odds of being murdered by a blunt object. But we don’t hear the media arguing about regulating hammers and clubs. Again, when 99.7% of registered gun owners are law-abiding, gun control is not about guns, it’s about control.

Before we limit our Constitutional rights to solve a problem that isn’t there, we all need to step back and take a deep breath. If an assault rifle was not used in the crime that has caused us to rush to legislate stronger restrictions on gun ownership, what is the reason for the rush to legislate?Enhanced by Zemanta