Conclusions Not Based On Facts

Bearing Arms posted an article today about the game the media plays comparing apples and oranges in order to infringe on our Second Amendment rights. The latest example the media is sighting is Iceland.

This is a recent quote from NBC News:

Like many of his countrymen, Olaf Garðar Garðarsson is eager to get his hands on a rifle.

But he can’t just walk into a store and buy one. Instead, he is sitting through a mandatory four-hour lecture on the history and physics of the firearm.

This is Iceland — the gun-loving nation that hasn’t experienced a gun-related murder since 2007.

“For us, it would be really strange if you could get a license to buy a gun and you had no idea how to handle it,” says Garðarsson, 28, a mechanical engineer. “I would find it very odd if [a gun owner] had never even learned which is the pointy end and which is the trigger end.”

Iceland is a sparsely populated island in the northern Atlantic. Its tiny population of some 330,000 live on a landmass around the size of Kentucky.

St. Louis, Missouri, which has a population slightly smaller than Iceland’s, had 193 homicides linked to firearms last year.

Icelanders believe the rigorous gun laws on this small, remote volcanic rock can offer lessons to the United States.

I have no problem with gun safety classes. I took one when I moved to North Carolina because I realized very quickly that the culture in North Carolina regarding guns was very different from that of Massachusetts. But I took that course by choice. No one forced me to do it. I think those courses are a good idea. I think forcing people to take them is a bad idea. Our gun crimes haven’t come from citizens who would be willing to take those courses. Even if we banned guns totally, criminals would still find a way to get them. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, but it also has a very high rate of murder by gun. The only reason a politician wants to take guns away from citizens or infringe on citizens’ rights to have guns is to increase the power of the government and decrease the power of citizens to prevent government overreach.

The article further reminds us:

Iceland and the United States are very different when it comes to key issues, namely those of culture. Iceland is culturally homogenous, with 94 percent of its population coming from Norse or Celtic roots and only six percent coming from some other group. Because of this, the Icelandic culture is easily dominant, making those who come from other cultures step up and adhere to the social rules of their new nation as much as the civil and criminal rules. The fact that the culture has been there, more or less, for over a thousand years solidifies that in a lot of minds. While that culture has changed over the years, it’s still there, and it drives society.

Meanwhile, the United States is culturally diverse.

What works for Iceland won’t work for America. Our culture is very different. Iceland is essentially a socialist country. As you drive through the countryside, all of the houses look alike–there are no houses that stand out with creative designs. It is a much more homogenous society than America. Our freedom and diversity are part of what makes us great. When the media says that Icelandic gun laws would work in America, they are doing both countries a disservice.

 

This Story Could Have Had A Very Different Ending

Concealed Nation posted a story on May 16th about a mall shooting that had an ending very different from what would have been expected.

The article reports:

On May 10th 2014, a 34-year-old man named Fadi Qandil went to the Central mall parking lot in Ft. Smith, Arkansas to confront his estranged wife Tabitha while she was on her way to see a movie with two other people; 23 year old Grayson Herrera, and 27 year old Dustin O’Connor.

According to witnesses, Qandil approached the party and told them that he had a gun. He then raised his shirt to display a firearm tucked into his waistband. When he went to reach for his firearm, both Herrera and O’Connor, who are licensed to carry a concealed firearm in their state, drew their firearms and fired at Qandil.

Herrera suffered a non-life threatening wound, while Qandil was hit with multiple shots and pronounced dead at the scene by first responders.

It is unfortunate that anyone was killed in the shooting, but certainly the intended victims had every right to protect themselves. Had they not been carrying weapons themselves, there would have been three deaths–not one–and the three deaths would have been of people who meant no harm to anyone. Following their deaths, newspaper articles about the ‘alleged shooter’ would have followed, and then a trial and (hopefully) incarceration at the taxpayers’ expense. Justice was served in this incident–quickly and without a lot of fanfare. That is why individual citizens should be allowed to own and carry guns.

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Losing The Second Amendment

On Wednesday Guns.com posted a story detailing the latest chapter in Connecticut’s war on gun owners. A law was passed at the end of last year that required certain gun owners to register their weapons with the State of Connecticut by December 31, 2013. Many gun owners simply did not register their guns. Others sent their applications in late or their applications were delivered late. Those people recently received a letter from the state:

http://www.rightwinggranny.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CT-Assualt-Weapon-Letter.jpg

The long and short of it it–if you missed the deadline, we will take your weapon away.

The article states:

According to the Journal Inquirer, 106 rifle owners and 108 ‘large capacity magazine’ owners in Connecticut were recently sent letters from the state police advising them that they had missed the deadline for registering their now-illicit firearms and accessories.

The state knew these individuals had these items because their registration applications were sent in, but postmarked too late to be processed.

This should be a wake-up call for anyone who doesn’t see gun registration as the beginning step of gun confiscation.

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Disarming A Stuffed Monkey To Make Our Airplanes Safe

Sometimes you just wonder at the level of common sense being exhibited by some people. There was an incident that I personally witnessed last week in a government office where a person’s pocket knife was declared a weapon and he was asked to leave the office. It was a small pocket knife. He made no effort to conceal it–it was clipped onto his pocket. I seem to be living in a part of the country where people carry pocket knives, but evidently you can’t take a pocket knife into a government office–even if it’s a public office. Well, a recent TSA incident tops that.

KING5.com in Washington state reported earlier this month that a women who has a small business selling unique sock monkey dolls had a two-inch toy pistol belonging to her “Rooster Monkburn” cowboy sock monkey confiscated by the TSA.

The article reports:

The TSA agent told May she would have to confiscate the tiny gun and was supposed to call the police.

“I said well go ahead,” said May. “And I said really? You’re kidding me right, and she said no it looks like a gun.”

“She took my monkey’s gun,” said May, who has retained her sense of humor.

“Rooster Monkburn has been disarmed so I’m sure everyone on the plane was safe,” she said. “I understand she was doing her job but at some point doesn’t common sense prevail?”

In the end, the agent did not call police and May did get her other sewing supplies back.

On Monday, the TSA issued a statement, saying “TSA officers are dedicated to keeping the nation’s transportation security systems safe and secure for the traveling public. Under longstanding aircraft security policy, and out of an abundance of caution, realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.”

I don’t want to encourage the TSA agent, but I can think of things in an ordinary sewing kit that would be more dangerous than a two-inch toy pistol. I doesn’t say a lot about the level of common sense of the TSA that the agent thought it necessary to confiscate a two-inch plastic toy.

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I’m From The Government…

Michael Graham is a Massachusetts talk show host who writes a blog called “The Natural Truth.” As a resident of Massachusetts, he understands some of the unbelievable things that go on in this state. Today he posted an article entitled, “I’m From The Government And I’m Here To Inspect Your Guns.” No, in Massachusetts that is not a joke .

A Swampscott Massachusetts Board of Selectman member introduced an enforcement discussion Wednesday that he hopes will lead to the safeguarding of guns in town — keeping them out of the hands of children. Keeping guns out of the reach of children is a good idea. However, his methods were unconstitutional. Under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, gun owners are required to keep their firearms locked away or rendered inoperable. That’s not a bad thing, but the problem is how to enforce the law.

The article states:

If this incredibly bad goose-stepping attack on gun ownership sounds familiar, it should. The state of Washington considered it earlier this year. Then some lawyer read this thing called the Constitution and it went away.

But we’ve never been big on that whole “Bill of Rights” thing here in Kennedy Country. And so the town of Swampscott is going to decide whether or not to send the local cops door-to-door to visit lawful gun owners and, you know, just have a look around.

What could possibly go wrong?

At some point, we need to get back to the U. S. Constitution. We are in danger of losing our most basic rights.

 

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Another Gun Confiscation And American Citizen Forced To Go To Court To Defend His Constitutional Rights

Today’s National Review posted a story about a soldier in Texas arrested for “rudely displaying” his weapon. Yes, you read that right.

The article describes the incident:

“We live out in the country in Texas, near Temple,” he told me. “My son and I were on a ten-mile hike so that he could earn his hiking merit badge – it’s the last badge he needs to become an Eagle Scout.” But half way into the hike, Grisham said, “a police officer pulled up.” Initially, he was “cordial” and he “asked what we were doing.” Grisham told him. “Then he looked at my rifle. I carry a rifle any time I walk around because there are feral hogs and cougars and things like that.” 

From here, things took a turn for the worse.

“‘Where you going with that rifle?’ he asked me. I said, ‘does it matter? Am I breaking any laws?’” Then, he says, the officer “grabbed the rifle without telling me – but it was attached to me. My immediate reaction as a combat veteran was to grab it back and then take a step back. I asked him what he was doing. So he pulled his gun on me. Then I thought about my son, so I put my hands off my gun and he told me to move over to the car. Luckily my son had the video camera to document the hike for his merit badge. I told him to turn it on.”

There is a video of the incident included in the article. I suggest you watch the whole thing. This is clearly unconstitutional.

The soldier’s concealed-carry permit was taken along with his guns. The article notes that historically what happens next is that the prosecutor will offer to drop the charges if the soldier gives up his guns. It is a very subtle form of gun confiscation.

Evidently this is not an isolated incident. The obvious question here is, “Why are the police wasting their time on legal gun owners when there are so many illegal guns out there?” If the police had been half as diligent in “Fast and Furious” as they are at harassing legal gun owners, a lot a people would be alive today who are no longer with us.

UPDATE: Evidently there are some questions about whether or not Mr. Grisham set up this encounter. However, even if this were the case (and we don’t know if it was), confiscating someone’s guns without proper legal procedure is a serious violation of the Constitution. The fact remains that it will cost Mr. Grisham a lot of time, money, and energy to get those guns (which are rightfully his) back. If I come across further information on this story, I will post it.

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Another New York Gun Confiscation (Do You See A Pattern Yet?)

The Commack Patch reported on Monday that John Mayer, a Commack father, had his pistol license pulled and his guns taken away. The reason–his 10-year-old son talked to some his classmates about bringing a water gun, paintball gun, and BB gun with them to the house of a schoolyard bully.

The article reports:

“I attempted to explain that this must be a mistake, no wrong doing occurred on my part. My son has no access to any of my guns. The officer that came to my residence saw that all my guns were secured. Pistol Licensing was not interested in my side of the story. They were only interested in what happened with my 10-year-old son in school,” he said.

When Mayer asked police when his license would be restored, he said that police told him he would have to wait until his son is 18 years old and moves out of the house. According to police, if Mayer wants his handguns back sooner, he could pursue an administrative hearing or other legal recourse. However, those are pricey endeavors.

“The cost, so far, about $6,500 monetarily. Emotionally, the cost is far, far higher. That can’t be calculated. All my handguns are gone, my license is suspended and my long arms are out of the house waiting to be sold at a local store,” Mayer said.

Mayer’s lawyer, James Murtha, said that his client would likely be pressing charges against both Suffolk County Police and Hauppauge School District in federal court.

This is a direct violation of the Second Amendment. Americans need to understand that if the government gets away with this we will lose the right to own guns. I don’t know if it is legal to sue a Police Department for tons of money, but I hope Mr. Mayer does. When a local government violates the U. S. Constitution, they need to pay a high price.Enhanced by Zemanta

The Second Amendment Is In Danger

How many times have the proponents of limited access to guns told us that they weren’t going to confiscate guns–they just wanted to make sure that guns sold were sold to people who had undergone thorough background checks. Well, it doesn’t always work out that way.

The Blaze report today that a California man had his guns confiscated (he had three) because his wife had been in the hospital voluntarily for mental illness last year. Evidently his wife reacted negatively to some medication she was taking and checked herself into the hospital to have it taken care of. However, the guns were not hers–they were legally owned by her husband.

The article reports:

Just last week, the California Senate approved a $24 million funding bill to expedite the process of collecting guns from owners in the state who legally acquired them but have since become disqualified due to felony convictions or mental illness.

That sounds like confiscating guns to  me. The problem here is defining mental illness. Who is the judge of that? How many witnesses?

 

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Some Common Sense In The Gun Debate

This is a video of Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey. The video was posted at Breitbart.com.

This is what the Mayor said:

To me, the data should drive our decision making. So I know, I’m not afraid of people having guns who are law abiding citizens. In the analysis of gun murders and shootings in my city, I could only find one in the entire time I’ve been mayor – and unfortunately there have been hundreds and hundreds – where a person who was involved in a shooting where they had their gun legally, where they legally acquired their gun. The guns that are causing carnage in our cities, my city and our country, every single year are acquired illegally.

Newark, New Jersey, is the second largest city in the New York metropolitan area.

Wikipedia gives us a picture of crime in the city:

In 1996, Time magazine ranked Newark “The Most Dangerous City in the Nation.” By 2007, however, the city recorded a total of 99 homicides for the year, representing a significant drop from the record of 161 murders set in 1981. The number of murders in 2008 dropped to 65, a decline of 30% from the previous year and the lowest in the city since 2002 when there were also 65 murders.

In 2011, Newark recorded 90 homicides, after experiencing 86 homicides in 2010. Overall, there was a 6% increase in crime numbers over the previous year, including a rise in carjackings for the third straight year. Along with the increase in crime, the Newark Police Department increased its recovery of illegally owned guns in 2011 to 696, up from 278 in 2010.

After being forced to lay off 162 officers due to economic reasons in 2010, the NPD was able to rehire eight of those officers in 2012, with plans for another 17 rehires later in the year.

Mayor Booker was elected in 2006. He is an inspiring mayor to watch–recently he rescued a young woman from a burning building and came to the aid of a dog that had been left out in the extreme cold. We need more mayors (and people involved in politics) like Mayor Booker–he tells the truth and does what’s right!

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Exploiting Children For Political Points

It has already been announced that President Obama will have children present when he announces his program of gun control today. It’s always good to have props to distract from the fact that you are about to violate the Second Amendment. But it’s worse than that…

The Weekly Standard posted a story stating that today, just hours before the President’s press conference, the White House has released letters from little kids pleading for gun control. There were no little kid letters released by the White House asking for policemen in the schools or guns for the teachers–just little kids pleading for gun control. Wow! Eight year old Constitutional Scholars.

Meanwhile, back in New York State, a gun control bill was passed that conceivably could limit the number of bullets a policeman could have in his gun. That wasn’t the intent of the bill, so amendments are being looked at, but evidently the law was not thought through before it was passed. We know that if policemen are only allowed seven bullets in their guns that criminals will also follow that law. Right?

The violence in our society has to do much more with the culture of our society than it does with guns. Part of the problem is not effectively keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, and part of the problem is the devaluing of life. It is a tragedy that 26 people were killed in an elementary school in December and that many of those people were children, but it is also a tragedy that over 1 million babies a year are aborted. Where is the outcry over those innocent lives that were violently ended. Until the lives of the unborn are valued, we cannot realistically expect the lives of the living to be valued.Enhanced by Zemanta

Something To Keep In Mind As We Debate Who Should Be Allowed To Have Guns

Townhall.com posted a story today about a store owner who stopped a robbery.

The article reports:

Robberies happen far too often, but a robber coming face-to-face with a gun-carrying grandmother is a little more rare.

Ernestine Aldana owns a grocery store near the corner of Muskego Avenue and Becher Street in Milwaukee. On Dec. 14, Aldana was working in the store when a man entered the store and pulled a knife on her.

“I was really scared,” she said.

But as the man reached for cash from the drawer, Aldana pulled a gun from underneath the counter.

“I didn’t think,” she said. “I didn’t remember what was being said. I just took a step back, grabbed the gun and that was that.”

As the gun came out, the man ran away.

Aldana said she and her husband have owned the grocery store for just over two years and have not encountered any problems before this. She said her son bought the gun for their protection, but they never thought they would have to use it.

It is a pretty safe bet that the story would have ended differently if Adlana had not owned the gun and kept it handy. This is the kind of story we need to keep in mind as we listen to Washington discuss laws that will take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, but not out of the hands of criminals.

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Common Sense Takes A Vacation

Actually common sense has taken a lot of vacations lately, but some are a little stranger than others. CBS News in St. Louis reported yesterday on an incident at a Denny’s in Belleville, Illinois, where a police detective was asked to leave because her gun was making a patron feel uncomfortable. The Belleville police chief has responded by asking his policemen not to eat at Denny’s. If I were a criminal wanting to rob a restaurant, I now know that there will be no armed policemen in Denny’s at any time to stop me. Way to go.

The article reports:

The department says the detectives were out of uniform but wearing their badges, when manager David Rice asked them to either leave or put their guns in their vehicle.

Rice, told the detectives that one of their weapons, specifically a female detective’s gun, was making another diner feel uncomfortable.

As the officers were leaving, without their food, General Manager Michael Van walked up and corrected the manager and said it was fine for them to stay, but the officers said it would be too awkward and they left.

Denny’s corporate office has apologized for the incident, stating, “Denny’s policy permits law enforcement officials to carry their firearms in the restaurant and we regret any misunderstanding.”

The person who complained needs to rethink their complaint. If there are armed policemen in a restaurant, the chances of anyone being harmed by a criminal with a gun are reduced considerably. The patron was actually safer with the armed policemen in the restaurant than without.

One of the purposes of the Second Amendment was to have an armed citizenry that would be able to defend itself from criminals and from a tyrannical government. As the discussion of gun bans and which guns to ban continues, has it occurred to anyone that in order to defend themselves from a tyrannical government, citizens need to have weapons equal to what the government has. The colonial fathers owned and knew how to use weapons as powerful as those owned by the government. Private citizens did not own cannons, but their muskets were as powerful as the government muskets. Those attempting to ban certain guns might want to consider that. Also, concerning multiple rounds of ammunition, if you are hunting and wound rather than kill a wild boar and he is coming after you, do you want to take the time to reload?

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