A Guest Post From H.C. “Sparky” Bollinger, USMC (Ret)

I spent 22 ½ years in the Marine Corps. I have operated in around 30 countries, sat off shore of many more. Waiting for an order that often never came. When waiting off shore for an operation, or moving to a new Area of Operations, or even over time and different tours in Iraq, we would be given a Rules of Engagement brief (ROE) by a Lawyer from the Judge Advocate General’s office (JAG). This would spell out legally when we could and could not engage hostiles, or perceived hostiles. However, ever Marine Corps ROE brief ended the same way and on the same note. On the typed copy is was in bold, usually underlined print, often all capital letters, but always said the same thing, “THE RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE IS NEVER DENIED!”

A week ago a landmark court decision in Florida decided on December 12th, vindicates all arguments for the right to self defense and your right to bear arms. This court decision by a Federal Judge sets or affirms legal precedence that the Police have no constitutional duty to protect individuals from harm, even when they know harm will occur and that harm will most likely result in death. This legal precedence is not just for the state of Florida where the case was tried. This is a Federal court and has establish or affirmed legal precedence in all 50 states and US territories.

What does this mean for Joe Citizen? If this case is not overturned on appeal. It firmly establishes that the individual and only the individual is responsible for his or her safety. With this one court decision, that is likely if not surely to be upheld by higher courts up through the Supreme Court, the individual is firmly within his or her Constitutional right to defend themselves, and as stated in the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. This ruling gives substantial legal weight to the argument for Constitutional carry and the individuals inalienable right to save and preserve one’s own life.

What does this mean to gun control lobbyist, groups, and politicians? This ruling in Federal court obliterates all barriers imposed by “May Issue” concealed carry states and cities. States and cities will still have wiggle room to impose some sort of firearms safety course in the same legal spirit as a driver’s license, however legal bars outside criminal records, drug abuse, or mental health will loose all just standing under the law unless it is shot down on appeal. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Senator Feinstein, Michael Bloomberg’s arguments that individuals do not need firearms for self defense and that the police are responsible for public safety just had the rug yanked completely out from under them. Their argument was always on tentative ground at best, since when seconds count, the police are minutes away. The Department of Justice determined that the average police response time to a 911 call is over 4 minutes, the average interaction time between a criminal and his victim is 90 seconds. This is a not a dig at police officers, as a retired Marine who is currently employed as a tactical firearms and martial arts instructor, I am a staunch supporter of law enforcement, and many of my friends and coworkers are law enforcement or retired law enforcement. This is simply a matter of time, space, and logistics. Now, it is firmly established that even if the police respond to, or are in observance of a crime, they are not required to intervene, they can even refuse to intervene, and not be held accountable to the department, city, county, state, federal government, or even the Constitution of the United States.

Just as Smokey the Bear says, “only you can prevent forest fire,” you, and only you, are 100% responsible for your safety, only you are responsible to save your life. The 2nd Amendment was just reaffirmed as your legal means to do so.

Just my two cents,

H.C. “Sparky” Bollinger, USMC (Ret)

Thank you, Sparky. Below are my comments.

 

There are actually two decisions reported in The New York Times on December 18th:

The school district and sheriff’s office in the Florida county that is home to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had no constitutional duty to protect the students there during the deadly February massacre, a federal judge has said in a ruling.

The decision was made in a lawsuit filed by 15 students who said they suffered trauma during the Feb. 14 attack in Parkland, Fla. A total of 17 students and staff members lost their lives; 17 others were injured.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, 20, the former Stoneman Douglas student who is accused of opening fire at the school on Valentine’s Day. He has pleaded not guilty, but his lawyers have said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.

The Dec. 12 ruling, by Judge Beth Bloom, came on the same day that a county judge, Patti Englander Henning, came to the opposite conclusion. Judge Henning found that Scot Peterson, the armed sheriff’s deputy who heard the gunfire but did not run in and try to stop the attack, did have an obligation to confront Mr. Cruz.

The article further states:

“Neither the Constitution, nor state law, impose a general duty upon police officers or other governmental officials to protect individual persons from harm — even when they know the harm will occur,” said Darren L. Hutchinson, a professor and associate dean at the University of Florida School of Law. “Police can watch someone attack you, refuse to intervene and not violate the Constitution.”

The message is clear–every American has to take responsibility for their own safety. If you are not comfortable with guns and want to feel safe at home, keep a can of wasp spray on your night stand. It won’t kill an intruder, but it might slow him down and give you a chance to escape. There are also other personal safety devices available. The right to bear arms should not be infringed. Our Founding Fathers placed it there so that we could defend ourselves in all situations–from criminals and from government tyranny. Giving up the right to bear arms would result in the end of America as we know it.

Learning From History

On October 31, Breitbart reported that after the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue on October 27, Jewish Americans are taking firearms training in record numbers. It is unfortunate that Jewish Americans feel the need for weapons training, but considering the lessons of history, it is perfectly understandable.

The article reports:

And while there are some members of the Jewish community pushing back against the idea of using guns to keep synagogues safe, Stern notes, “To wait for law enforcement to arrive simply is not the answer.”

Zev Guttman was afraid of guns until Saturday’s attack, but now he chooses to be armed. He said, “Everybody has to find a way to react; this is my way.”

Brooklyn borough president Eric L. Abrams reacted to the Pittsburgh attack by making clear he will be armed when he goes to a synagogue. He said, “It’s not popular, but it’s right.” He added, “We have to live in the real universe that we’re in.”

NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind said, “I applaud and agree with Eric L. Adams and I am registering immediately for a gun license. And I encourage other Jews to do so to protect their institutions and synagogues. If we are targets, we need to be prepared.”

The following is from a National Review article from 2013:

In 1931, Weimar authorities discovered plans for a Nazi takeover in which Jews would be denied food and persons refusing to surrender their guns within 24 hours would be executed. They were written by Werner Best, a future Gestapo official. In reaction to such threats, the government authorized the registration of all firearms and the confiscation thereof, if required for “public safety.” The interior minister warned that the records must not fall into the hands of any extremist group.

In 1933, the ultimate extremist group, led by Adolf Hitler, seized power and used the records to identify, disarm, and attack political opponents and Jews. Constitutional rights were suspended, and mass searches for and seizures of guns and dissident publications ensued. Police revoked gun licenses of Social Democrats and others who were not “politically reliable.”

Our Second Amendment is important. Gun registration has too much opportunity to be abused to be a realistic policy. Are you willing to allow a government that in the past has spied on Americans and used government agencies to fight political opponents have access to information regarding gun ownership?

America would be a safer place if all law-abiding citizens took firearms training.

Questionable At Best

The October Surprise is a political tactic that has been used in the past to convince the public that a candidate is unfit for office. It is done close enough to the election so that there is not adequate time to research the the accusation before the election. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. Somehow the accusation and the accusers disappear after the election. Rarely does the accused get a chance to redeem his reputation. In the past the tactic has been used in presidential campaigns and Congressional campaigns. A form of it has also been used to attempt to block Supreme Court nominees. It worked on Robert Bork; it failed on Clarence Thomas. I have no idea what is going to happen with Judge Kavanaugh.

There are a few things to consider in the attack on Judge Kavanaugh. Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today that revealed the following:

It looks like Brett Kavanaugh’s mother, Judge Martha Kavanaugh, ruled against the parents of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Court documents show the losing party in a foreclosure case Martha Kavanaugh heard to be Ralph and Paula Blasey of Potomac, Maryland. They appear to be Christine Blasey Ford’s parents.

The fact that Kavanaugh’s mother ruled against Ford’s parents doesn’t prove Ford is lying about the conduct of the son. Her allegation, coming so many years after the fact and without a description of when or where the event supposedly occurred, is probably not susceptible to being ruled out conclusively. But there now seems to be a motive, beyond partisan politics, for Ford to make up or significantly embellish her story so long after the “fact.”

In any event, the fact that Ford’s story, having been presented so late and with little detail as to time and place, is probably not susceptible to being ruled out means that, if not “ruled in” conclusively, the story should not preclude Kavanaugh’s confirmation. We have statutes of limitations for a reason.

Finally, unless we accept the view that Kavanaugh truly attempted to rape this girl, I don’t believe his conduct provides a basis for rejecting his nomination. Kavanaugh was still a teenager. More than five dozen women who knew him at the time vouch for his behavior. His female law clerks consider him a gentleman and a mentor.

The American Thinker posted an article today detailing some of Ms. Ford’s student reviews. It is very obvious that Ms. Ford easily fits into the category of a radical liberal. The question is whether or not she has any foundational principles that would prevent her from making false accusations.

The article at The American Thinker concludes:

So has Kavanaugh gotten on Ford’s bad side by expressing conservative ideas?  Probably.  And even if her allegations are true, I very much doubt she’d have come forward had Kavanaugh stayed on her good side by being a leftist reprobate in the mold of Slick Willie or Chappaquiddick Ted Kennedy.  For a good example of such situational sexual mores, note that liberal reporter Nina Burleigh actually said in 1998 about B. Clinton, “I’d be happy to give him [oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal.”

As for Kavanaugh, unless it’s shown that he’s like Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy and has exhibited a pattern of sexual wrongdoing, there’s nothing to see here.  Ford claims that the 36-year-old alleged incident of sexual misconduct took place in a room with only her and the two boys present.  So while 65 women who knew Kavanaugh in high school have come forward to vouch for his character as a gentleman, Ford’s lone word is the only claim against him.  Heck, there are more testimonials as to Ford’s alleged insanity than there are regarding Kavanaugh’s alleged impropriety.

This is foul play on the part of the anti-Trump crowd. The fact that Jeff Flake is using these accusations as an excuse not to vote Judge Kavanaugh out of committee and let the Senate vote is an indication of where things are. The fact that the Democrats are using this tactic to attempt to stall the nomination also illustrates their pettiness in trying to prevent the President from exercising his Constitutional right to select judges. The actions of Diane Feinstein and the other Democrats involved in this smear campaign are a disgrace to their party and to their country. These are the people who supported Bill Clinton as President when there was current evidence against him. Now they have discovered morality and can’t support a man with a questionable accusation from thirty years ago. That really does not pass the smell test.

Veterans And The Second Amendment

Some members of Congress are leading an attack on the Second Amendment right now.  It is being done in the name of making Americans safer while overlooking the fact that criminals do not obey gun laws. However, there is also an attack on our military veterans‘ ability to own guns. This is very serious, as the group that would be most likely to prevent the government from doing really ugly things (should it come to that) would be armed military veterans. I hope that day never comes, but there is nothing wrong with being prepared and aware.

A website called Redflag posted an article on March 15th regarding some of what is happening in our government regarding the Second Amendment.

The lawyer who writes the Redflag site is offering his service to veterans who are in danger of losing their Second Amendment rights. This is what he has encountered:

Veterans are being declared incompetent not because they have a serious mental illness that makes them a danger to themselves or others, but because they have a physical disability resulting from their service in the armed forces or because they simply let their spouses pay the family bills.

If veterans have minor issues with PTSD, have expressed that they are depressed sometimes, or even in the case of Vietnam veterans admit that they are getting older and sometimes forget to pay their bills on time, the bureaucrats at the VA will seek to declare them incompetent. (I am a 65 year old veteran and often forget where I put my car keys, does that make me incompetent to handle my own financial affairs and even worse mean that I can’t own a firearm?) According to the VA it apparently does.

All of this has resulted in America’s heroes being declared incompetent by a process that blatantly violates their rights to due process under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. Then, for reasons that have not been explained these same veterans are also being denied their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Many of the veterans I have heard from were initially both scared because of what was happening to them, and hurt because it is their own government that is causing this fear. After all, when they joined the military they signed a blank check to their country to defend it and its Constitution even if it cost them their lives. Yet, now their own government is turning on them and taking from them the very Constitutional rights they fought to preserve.

This needs to be reported in the mainstream media and stopped immediately.

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