Remembering Our Roots

On Wednesday, The Washington Times posted an article about the Second Amendment. There has been a lot of talk lately about the Second Amendment, but very little talk about the relationship of the Second Amendment and the U.S. Constitution.

The article reminds us:

The U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled in the past 11 years that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual pre-political liberty. That is the highest category of liberty recognized in the law. It is akin to the freedoms of thought, speech and personality. That means that the court has recognized that the framers did not bestow this right upon us. Rather, they recognized its pre-existence as an extension of our natural human right to self-defense and they forbade government — state and federal — from infringing upon it.

It would be exquisitely unfair, profoundly unconstitutional and historically un-American for the rights of law-abiding folks — “surrender that rifle you own legally and use safely because some other folks have used that same type of weapon criminally” — to be impaired in the name of public safety.

It would also be irrational. A person willing to kill innocents and be killed by the police while doing so surely would have no qualms about violating a state or federal law that prohibited the general ownership of the weapon he was about to use.

With all of this as background, and the country anguishing over the mass deaths of innocents, the feds and the states face a choice between a knee-jerk but popular restriction of some form of gun ownership, and the rational and sound realization that more guns in the hands of those properly trained means less crime and more safety.

Can the government constitutionally outlaw the types of rifles used by the El Paso and Dayton killers? In a word: No. We know that because in the first Supreme Court opinion upholding the individual right to keep and bear arms, the court addressed what kind of arms the Second Amendment protects. The court ruled that the Second Amendment protects individual ownership of weapons one can carry that are of the same degree of sophistication as the bad guys have — or the government has.

The government? Yes, the government. That’s so because the Second Amendment was not written to protect the right to shoot deer. It was written to protect the right to shoot at tyrants and their agents when they have stolen liberty or property from the people. If you don’t believe me on this, then read the Declaration of Independence. It justifies violence against the British government because of such thefts.

Governments are the greatest mass killers on the planet. Who can take without alarm any of their threats to emasculate our right to defend our personal liberties?

The Second Amendment is there to protect us from a tyrannical government. Does anyone believe that 90 percent of the people in government would not become tyrants if the population were not armed?

The article concludes:

The president also offered his support for “red flag” laws. These horrific statutes permit police or courts to seize guns from those deemed dangerous. Red flag laws are unconstitutional. The presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of demonstrable fault as a precondition to any punishment or sanction together prohibit the loss of liberty on the basis of what might happen in the future.

In America, we do not punish a person or deprive anyone of liberty on the basis of a fear of what the person might do. When the Soviets used psychiatric testimony to predict criminal behavior, President Ronald Reagan condemned it. Now, the president wants it here.

The United States is not New Zealand, where a national legislature, animated by fear and provoked by tragedy, can impair fundamental liberties by majority vote. In America, neither Congress nor the states can outlaw whatever handguns or rifles they want to outlaw or infringe upon the right to own them.

The government can no more interfere with Second Amendment rights than it can infringe upon any other rights. If this were not so, then no liberty — speech, press, religion, association, self-defense, privacy, travel, property ownership — would be safe from the reach of a fearful majority.

That’s why we have a Constitution.

A government that prefers an unarmed citizenry is not a government I want to support.

A List The Media Has Failed To Mention

Over the weekend we had two horrendous shootings–one in Texas and one in Ohio. We also had the usual carnage in Chicago which no one seems to mention anymore. There will be calls to limit the number of guns in America and calls for ‘red flag’ laws and calls to confiscate guns from any suspicious person. There will be lists of the dead and the injured. But there will be one list that you won’t see in the mainstream media.

Today The Daily Signal posted a list of a handful of the many times law-abiding citizens have used their firearms in defense of their rights or the rights of those around them. The article links to the January, February, March, April, May and June examples.

The article lists the July examples:

July 3, Summerville, South Carolina. Concerned neighbors went to check out loud noises that they thought might be someone breaking into the local church, only to discover a very drunk trespasser roaming through a nearby backyard.

The drunk trespasser began attacking one of the neighbors, who then shot the drunk man in self-defense after his warning shot went unheeded.

Law enforcement officers determined the neighbor acted justifiably, and the drunk man is facing charges related to the incident.

July 5, Danville, Kentucky. A homeowner held a would-be thief at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived, after investigating why his gate intercom rang at 4 a.m.

The homeowner looked outside and saw that his vehicles had been moved, then found the cars parked away from the house, with the thief still inside one of them.

July 10, Summerfield, Florida. A disabled 61-year-old homeowner kept his AR-15 loaded by his bedside after a suspicious interaction earlier in the day with a man who was looking through the sliding glass door on his back porch.

When the homeowner awoke to loud noises that night, he grabbed his rifle just in time to defend himself from four armed men who had broken into his home.

He killed two of the armed intruders and sent the other two fleeing, until they were tracked down by a police K9 unit. Despite being outnumbered and wounded himself, the homeowner survived.

July 11, Tampa, Florida. A pastor, joined by a deacon, held an intruder at gunpoint for nearly 10 minutes after responding to the church’s alarm system and discovering a man who had used a brick to break in. The intruder was in the process of stealing electronics from the place of worship.

July 15, Phoenix. A retired military law enforcement officer acted quickly to defend himself and his family against a home invasion, drawing his handgun from his bedside table and chasing the intruder out of the house.

After running, the suspect broke into another home and attempted to sexually assault a woman before being arrested by police, who the first homeowner had called.

July 16, San Diego. A man armed with a knife broke into a home and began stabbing the 54-year-old homeowner until the homeowner’s son was able to intervene, shooting and killing the attacker with his father’s gun.

The home invasion caused some residents to question the logic of a proposed local ordinance that would require gun owners to keep their firearms locked in a safe or left inoperable when not on their person.

July 17, Oneida, Tennessee. A man rushed to his mother’s home after receiving a phone call from the mother’s caretaker about hearing suspicious talking from other parts of the house.

He discovered a woman in the process of burglarizing the home who was armed with a pocket knife, and held her at gunpoint until police arrived.

July 24, Rochester, New Hampshire. A father, whose two young children were in the car with him, spotted a would-be burglar while pulling up in the driveway of his home.

The father confronted the man and held him at gunpoint while waiting for law enforcement. He told reporters that while he wished he had not needed to draw his gun in the presence of his children, he hopes it taught them a valuable lesson.

“I don’t carry a gun to kill people. I carry a gun to neutralize threatening situations,” he said.

July 27, High Point, North Carolina. A woman fatally shot an ax-wielding man who broke into her property and charged at her. The man had assaulted the same woman earlier that night but was able to elude police.

July 29, Prospect, Kentucky. A homeowner brandished his handgun to chase away a man attempting to break into his home. The incident was captured by a security camera, and the homeowner believes that the presence of the firearm allowed him to scare off the suspect without putting himself in danger.

July 31, Nashville. An Uber driver defended himself and his passenger by shooting a man who opened fire on the driver’s vehicle. The man—who had a long history of violent crimes, including armed robbery—said he had felt “disrespected” by the Uber driver’s passenger and followed the car to exact revenge.

Neither the passenger nor the Uber driver was harmed, but the perpetrator was later treated at a local hospital for wounds to his chest and arm.

The guns are not the problem. The people holding them can be. Any restriction on gun ownership runs the risk of taking the guns away from law-abiding citizens and allowing criminals, who don’t follow laws, to have them. Disarming a population does not decrease crime–it increases it. I am also very suspicious of a government that wants to disarm its population. An armed population is one of the things that keeps government power in check.

Something You Are Not Likely To Hear From The Mainstream Media

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article quoting statistics on firearms homicides over the past 25 years. The numbers are not what you might expect.

The article reports:

Despite endless gun violence reports put forward by the establishment media, the dirty little secret is firearm homicides have plummeted over the past 25 years.

Yet most Americans, particularly Democrats, believe firearm murders have risen period.

When you consider the fact that the media chooses what it covers and what it doesn’t cover, the fact that most Americans are misinformed about gun violence is not a surprise.

The article includes some of the statistics:

But the reality is that the high water mark for firearm murders was 1994 while 2017, the most recent year with complete data on incidents, shows a sharp drop. There were “16,136 [firearm murders] in 1994” but only “10,982” in 2017.

And if looked at in terms of the murder rate, instead of simply the raw murder numbers, the drop in firearm homicides is even more evident.

For example, the FBI calculated “6.2 firearm murders per 100,000 people” in 1994, while the murder rate in 2017 was 3.38. And the murder rate was even lower than 3.38 in 2014.

An interesting correlation with the drop in firearm murders is the incredible expansion of private firearm ownership. In other words, the number of privately-owned firearms was increasing at the same time that the number of firearm murders was plummeting.

On December 4, 2013, Breitbart News reported a Congressional Research Service study showing “gun ownership climbed from 192 million firearms in 1994 to 310 million firearms in 2009.” At the same time, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was cut in half over a roughly 17-year time period.

There are a few things at work here. First of all, criminals do not like to commit crimes in places where people are likely to be armed. Second of all, by providing wall-to-wall coverage of any mass shooting for days on end, the media puts the idea in our heads that these are common occurrences. The media is much less likely to cover events where an armed citizen protects himself or prevents a mass shooting.

I really don’t understand why the media aligns itself with the gun-control left. Do they not realize that they too will be left defenseless?

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.

“We Don’t Want To Take Your Guns,” She Said

There are millions of legal gun owners in America who have committed no crimes. They have guns because they hunt or because they feel the need to be personally responsible for their own safety. The vast majority of them have broken no laws and have no intention of breaking any laws. Unfortunately there is also a black market in America for guns where people who cannot pass background checks can obtain guns. If gun laws are made more strict, the legal gun owners will feel the impact–the illegal gun owners will feel no impact. In essence, restricting gun ownership only increases the number of unarmed potential victims. Somehow some members of Congress have forgotten the Second Amendment and ignored the consequences of taking guns away from law-abiding citizens.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about one Congresswomen who has forgotten her oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

The article reports:

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) used an April 2 Fox News Live appearance to announce that she is preparing to introduce legislation to create a federal law allowing firearm confiscation orders.

Such laws, generally referred to as Extreme Risk Protection Orders, are already in place in California, Indiana, Oregon, and other states, and Dingell believes the ability to seize firearms is crucial for pubic safety.

…Dingell stressed that seizure of firearms must occur in a way that protects due process, but she did not explain how such protection is possible. In California an order to take guns can be issued without the gun owner even knowing. And in Indiana, the state on which Dingell is basing her federal legislation, individuals who have their guns seized have approximately 14 days to go to court to “make a case” to get them back.

The Salt Lake Tribune summed up the Indiana law, “In Indiana, law enforcement can confiscate weapons without a judge’s order. The gun owner must ask the court to get the weapons returned.”

Extreme Risk Protection Orders have proved a popular gun control response to the February 14 Parkland school shooting. However, it is difficult to believe such orders would have prevented that attack. On February 23, 2018, Breitbart News reported, “The family with which [Cruz] was staying repeatedly called the police on him in November 2017 but refused to file charges when sheriff’s deputies arrived. A member of the family with which Cruz was staying explained away Cruz’s erratic behavior by saying he ‘had been suffering significantly from the loss of his mother’ earlier in the month.”

In other words, Nikolas Cruz received sympathy from the family with which he lived and at least one member of that family, in turn, inclined police toward non-action as well.

Nikolas Cruz had a troubled history at school. Had this history been property reported, he would have failed a background check and been unable to buy a gun. We don’t need more gun laws–we need to better enforce the ones we have. Also–there is nothing to say that Nikolas Cruz would not have been able to obtain a gun illegally if he had been prevented from buying one legally. It should also be noted that the law that made schools gun-free zones was passed in 1990, making schools a soft target for a shooter. That is the law that needs to be re-examined–not the gun laws that were not correctly followed.

When Potential Victims Are Armed, Crime Goes Down

Breitbart.com posted an article today about the rise in concealed carry gun permits.

The article reports:

On May 22, Breitbart News reported that the demand for concealed carry permits witnessed its greatest surge ever between May 2016 and May 2017. Fox News referenced Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) data showing there were 14.5 million permit holders in May 2016 and approximately 15.7 million in May 2017.

Now the NRA is tweeting data which shows that the bigger picture is not just the one-year surge but a 215 percent jump in concealed carry permits between 2007 and 2015.

…It is interesting to note that the murder rate dropped by 14 percent while concealed carry permits surged. And “the overall violent crime rate” dropped by 21 percent. This is not what the left tells us will happen if concealed carry expands.

This is simply common sense–Grandma is less likely to be mugged if she might be packing!

The article further reports:

On December 4, 2013, Breitbart News reported a Congressional Research Study (CRS) which showed a similar correlation between gun ownership and plummeting murder numbers. Gun ownership climbed from 192 million firearms in 1994 to 310 million firearms in 2009, CRS found that murder rates fell sharply during the same time period. According to the report, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993 but fell to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000. By 2011, the murder rate was 3.2 per 100,000.

Even if you disarmed every law-abiding citizen in America, criminals would still find a way to obtain firearms. At that point you would have armed the criminals and disarmed the victims–not a good idea. I would love to live in a world where guns and other weapons were not necessary at all, but unless human nature undergoes a drastic change, I don’t see that happening. Meanwhile, keep calm and carry.

There Are Still People Trying To Undo The Second Amendment

Yesterday I posted an article about the State of Connecticut‘s attempt to make gun ownership very expensive. Well, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has come up with its own idea of how to make using your gun very expensive.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday:

A gun bill in Massachusetts is looking to expand gun restrictions in the state through additional taxes on lawful gun owners.

The legislation, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Cynthia Creem, is one of many she said she has filed every state senate session in order to “to make it harder and harder” to obtain a gun, she told Wicked Local Newsbank.

Not only would the bill impose a 4.75 percent surcharge “on sales at retail of all ammunition, rifles, shotguns, firearms or parts thereof” on top of the licensing fees, the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax and the 11 percent federal excise tax; it would also require virtually all firearm sales to take place through a licensed dealer, with an additional charge for private gun sales, require gun owners to use fingerprint scanners to deactivate the weapon when the technology becomes available and bans .50 caliber weapons outright with a hefty fine and possible jail time if someone is found in violation of the law.

The money raised by this scheme would go into the Firearms Violence Prevention Trust Fund, which the bill establishes. Wow! Penalize gun owners to create more bureaucracy!

The article further reports:

Gun activists in the state are outraged by the sweeping legislation, especially since research shows that crime rates either are not affected or increase over time with more gun restrictions, according to the Crime Research Prevention Center.

“What’s the problem we’re trying to solve?” Jim Wallace, executive director of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League, told Wicked Local Newsbank. “Is it political, perceived or real? It seems it’s always been political.”

Frustration with the legislation also includes the belief that lawful gun owners seem to be punished for the transgressions of criminals, people who would find an illegal way to obtain a gun no matter what the law says.

Okay. Let’s look at this a minute. When law-abiding citizens cannot afford guns because the State Legislature has made it very expensive to buy or own one, do you think criminals will still have guns? This is Massachusetts’ attempt at an end run around the Second Amendment. The way our government was set up, the states have the right to disregard a law that is made that does not comply with the U.S. Constitution, but what do you do when the state itself is attempting to undermine a freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution?

The Real Cost Of Irresponsible Journalism

The U. K Daily Mail reported yesterday that two homes listed on the gun owners map published by the Journal News have been burglarized since the publishing of the list.

The article reports:

Thieves ransacked a house that features on the gun map published by the Journal News, just days after another home on the list was also targeted.

Burglars broke into the house in New City, New York, on Wednesday and pried open two safes, before leaving with another one.

The criminals escaped with two handguns, two pistol permits, cash, savings bonds and jewelry. The firearms were in the stolen safe.

Publishing the list of gun owners made it easy for criminals to target homes that had guns if that was what they wanted or to target homes where they knew the owners would be unarmed. Either way, publishing the map of gun owners was an invasion of the privacy of the gun owners and created problems for both gun owners and non gun owners. The people whose names and addresses appeared in the newspaper would be totally justified in exploring lawsuits for invasion of privacy and putting them and their families at  unnecessary risk.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Crime Rates Have Fallen–President Obama Is Responsible

No, the headline is not a joke. Crime rates have fallen, and President Obama is responsible. Why? Because President Obama is responsible for a major increase in gun purchases and gun ownership in America. What? Statistically it has been proven that when private gun ownership goes up, violent crime goes down. In plain English–criminals are a little more careful about attacking people in areas where concealed carry permits are issued and the victims may protect themselves.

On Monday the Washington Times posted an article explaining the relationship between the increase in private gun ownership and the decrease in violent crime.

The article quotes a National Rifle Association spokesman on the relationship between increased gun ownership and decreased crime:

“This is not a one-year anomaly, but a steady decline in the FBI’s violent-crime rates,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “It would be disingenuous for anyone to not credit increased self-defense laws to account for this decline.”

Mr. Arulanandam pointed out that only a handful of states had concealed-carry programs 25 years ago, when the violent-crime rate peaked. Today, 41 states either allow carrying without a permit or have “shall issue” laws that make it easy for just about any noncriminal to get a permit. Illinois and Washington, D.C., are the only places that refuse to recognize the right to bear arms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence did not respond to requests for comment.

The article draws a wonderful conclusion:

Mr. Obama could honestly take credit for this jobs program, economic boost and the reduction in violent crime that has followed the spike in gun ownership on his watch. Instead, he’s silent about his greatest positive accomplishment.

Sometimes the facts just get in the way of the politics!

Enhanced by Zemanta