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.

 

Is The Second Amendment Real In Massachusetts?

Yesterday The Boston Herald posted an article about a rather odd incident in Boston. The article deals with the confiscation of a legal gun of a private citizen because the police decided that the man was unfit to have a gun license.

The article reports:

According to Evans’ (Police Commissioner William B. Evans) filing, the man received a license to carry from BPD in March 2016, and had a gun in his car when he went to a party in Dedham that November. Shots were fired at the party and the man took the gun from an unsecured area in his trunk and put it in his driver’s side door.

Dedham police confiscated the man’s gun and BPD revoked his license. But the man appealed in West Roxbury District Court, which ruled that the man “did what most people would have done in the same circumstances” and reversed the revocation, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.”

Evans’ appeal says the court misinterpreted the law and makes the city less safe.

“The ruling of the West Roxbury Court ordering the Commissioner to reinstate (the) license to carry firearms adversely affects the real interests of the general public in limiting the access irresponsible persons have to deadly weapons,” the appeal reads.

I have a number of questions about this story. How did the police know the gun was in the driver’s side door? Did the police have permission to search the car? Were this man’s civil rights violated?

It will be interesting to see what happens next. The man committed no crimes. He had legally owned a gun for more than two years without incident. There is no evidence of a criminal record. Why did he lose his Second Amendment rights?

This Sums It Up

On Saturday, The Daily Signal posted an article listing some observations about the protest march last weekend. The author of the article went to the march and lists his observations about the march.

These are his observations:

1) A Left-Wing Movement

As Julie Gunlock at The Federalist noted, some parents were led to believe that the March 14 National School Walkout would be about memorializing victims of the Parkland shooting. It wasn’t.

“The real mission of the walkout is to demand Congress pass more restrictive gun laws,” Gunlock wrote.

This goal was even more obvious at the March for Our Lives.

The author noted that there were many pink hats from the 2017 Women’s March and many anti-Trump or anti-Republican signs. One wonders what the Republicans had to do with the shooting at Parkland since it was the policies of the Obama administration that allowed the shooter to buy a gun (see article here about The Promise Program).

2) Well-Organized and Well-Funded

As BuzzFeed reported, a litany of leftist organizations and politicos got involved, including the George Soros-backed MoveOn.org, Women’s March LA, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and, curiously, Planned Parenthood.

There were certainly many children present, but there’s no way they could have put this all together on their own. Outside help and organization was apparent.

It is ironic that Planned Parenthood, a group that is directly responsible for the murder of nearly one million unborn babies a year, provided part of the funding for the March for Our Lives.

3) Prayer Is Out

Taking away guns from ordinary Americans and denigrating prayer are two things that would have horrified our Founding Fathers.

4) Those Who Disagree Viewed as Complicit in Murder

So much for constructive debate.

5) Second Amendment Seen as Problematic and Outdated

This is probably a reflection on the failure of our education system to teach American history. The protesters seem to lack understanding of why the Second Amendment is included in the Bill of Rights.

6) Fuzzy Facts

For instance, in an interview with The Daily Signal’s Genevieve Wood, one marcher repeated the thoroughly debunked claim that there had been 18 school shootings this year prior to Parkland.

This shocking number, repeated by Obama and some major media outlets, was a bogus stat cooked up by a pro-gun control group.

Almost none of the incidents used in that statistic can be described as anything like a school shooting—several were suicides or random shootings that simply took place near a school campus.

The Washington Post even called the statistic “flat wrong.”

There were other examples of misinformation as well, including one sign that called for a ban on “automatic weapons,” which have actually been banned since 1934.

Unfortunately, Americans have received a huge amount of disinformation about guns and gun control, much of it perpetuated by the media.

7) Not a Gun-Free Zone

The March for Our Lives crowd may have wanted to disarm Americans, but the event hardly took place in a gun-free zone.

Armed police covered the streets to ensure the safety of those gathering in the nation’s capital. In fact, there were even armored military vehicles embedded within groups of protesters.

Some signs essentially called for only the government to have firearms.

Of course, the idea that only the government and the military should have access to firearms would not have sat well with the Founders. They feared a government powerful enough to disarm the citizenry and a standing army. That’s why we have the Second Amendment.

Sir Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I suggest those students asking for the repeal of the Second Amendment do a study of the history of countries where only the government has seized firearms from ordinary citizens. That scenario generally does not end well.

On February 6, 2010, I posted an article about the changes being made to the bar glasses in Britain.

This is the article:

The bar glasses had recently been reinvented.  According to the Houston Press, a new shatterproof pint glass is being introduced in the British Pubs.

The article states:

“According to British Home Secretary Alan Johnson, there are about 87,000 of these (glass) attacks every year, some very serious. We even read a story about a bloodbath in a London bar in which 50 pint glasses were smashed in a minute and one person’s eye popped out. Sounds more like a horror movie than a night out at the pub.”

I must admit I live in a very sheltered world–I wasn’t even aware of the problem.  I am glad they have come up with a solution to ‘glass attacks’ at the pub, but it occurs to me that you could still knock a person out with a well-placed hit on the head even if the glass didn’t break.  I’m not sure what the solution to that would be.

The article also points out that the new glass will keep the beer (or ale) cold longer.  Since the British drink their beer at room temperature, I suspect that would be more of an American selling point.  Oh well, I’m glad that some inventor has solved one of life’s problems.  Let me know when someone comes up with an idea of how to prevent the fights in the first place. 

Guns are generally illegal in Britain, so people in bars were fighting with broken bar glasses. Maybe the problem isn’t the weapon.

 

Some Of The Signs Don’t Agree With The Stated Purpose

The rallies held around the country yesterday supposedly had the aim of ending gun violence, but when you looked at some of the signs the protesters carried, you began to wonder what the actual agenda was.

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air posted a few pictures from the “March for Our Lives”:

So what have we here? The march opposed the Second Amendment–an Amendment that actually protects their right to protest–without the Second Amendment it is very unlikely that the right of free speech or the right of assembly would exist. The march blames the GOP for the loss of life due to gun violence. To say that is a stretch is a bit of an understatement. Also, doesn’t that make this a political march? If so, why did schools bus children to various cities to participate? Is that not a use of tax dollars for political purposes? The march targeted the NRA–a group that promotes gun safety. I guess they needed a target–regardless of the validity of targeting that organization.

The true purpose of this march was to register young Democrat voters–the Democratic party is losing voters because of its dramatic shift left. As the party is being taken over by the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer, the traditional base of the Democratic party is leaving the party. President Trump’s win in 2016 included votes from many of the Democrats who were Reagan Democrats. This is frightening to the party leaders. The two groups currently being used to build up Democratic voters by the party leaders are Hispanic immigrants (legal or illegal) and youth. This march was an example of the lack of knowledge of American history and the U.S. Constitution in our young people. These things are no longer being taught effectively in school. Therefore these young people are easily manipulated through emotion rather than logic. We may be in danger of losing the republic that we know and love if the Democratic party is successful in their goals.

There is some good news. Breitbart reported today:

A report indicates attendance at Saturday’s student march for gun control was approximately 200,000, which is less than half of the expected crowd size.

…But CBS News reports that the actual number of attendees turned out to be about 300,000 lower than Witt expected. They put the number at “202,796” at its peak.

Nevertheless, USA Today reports that march organizers claimed “800,000 protesters attended the gun-control demonstration in Washington, DC, on Saturday.”

Despite what you have heard in the media, hopefully many of our youth are smarter than we give them credit for.

Politicizing Finance

On Friday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about a recent policy change by Citibank.

This is the new policy:

[…] Today, our CEO announced Citi is instituting a new U.S. Commercial Firearms Policy. […] Under this new policy, we will require new retail sector clients or partners to adhere to these best practices: (1) they don’t sell firearms to someone who hasn’t passed a background check, (2) they restrict the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age, and (3) they don’t sell bump stocks or high-capacity magazines. This policy will apply across the firm, including to small business, commercial and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners, whether co-brand or private label.

Citibank has every right to do what they are doing. However, the American public has every right to choose whether or not to do business with Citibank. Unfortunately the American public did not have any say in the $476.2 billion in cash and guarantees that Citibank received from TARP, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis .

The article notes:

However, with more and more organizations deciding to limit the use of their products and services based on political ideology; and with Citibank now openly stating their intent to create national legislation without actually applying congressional laws to their endeavors; it’s a fair request to say Citi-group should no longer be permitted any favorable benefits from the FDIC.

As a private company, Citibank has the right to a company policy about guns, but restricting the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age is contrary to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  I wonder if a retail sector client has a legal case against Citibank if he refuses to abide by these terms and his business is prohibited from using Citibank credit cards.

The idea of injecting political views into business practices can be a problem. What if a bank decides it will not grant car loans to cars that run on gasoline because they believe in the concept of electric cars? What if a bank refuses loans to homes unless they have solar power? A corporation has the right to set their own company policies, but those policies should be in line with the U.S. Constitution if they are a business based in America.

 

Shall Not Be Infringed

A friend of mine who teaches social studies once pointed out to me that the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution (The Bill of Rights) are there to protect the rights of American citizens. They don’t give the government rights–they protect the citizens’ rights. In that context, the Second Amendment is there to protect the right of Americans to own guns.

The Second Amendment states:

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.

Seems pretty clear. Well, I think we are about to have a discussion on exactly what ‘infringed’ means.

Fox News reported today that the governor of ConnecticutDannel Malloy, wants to raise the cost of pistol fees in Connecticut. The state has a budget shortfall, and the governor thinks this might help close the gap.

The article reports:

The five-year renewal fee for pistol permits would increase from $70 to $300, first-time five-year permits would increase from $140 to $370 and fees for background checks would increase from $50 to $75.

The plan is expected to raise nearly $12 million per year in additional revenue, CBS News and The Associated Press reported.

Frankly, if I lived in Connecticut, I might consider those rather drastic increases.

The article further reports:

Gun-rights supporters and state Republican lawmakers said this increase would preclude many people from exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms, since the proposed fees would be among the highest in the country.

The National Rifle Association called the governor’s proposal “outrageous,” according to the report.

Malloy said the fees are in line with other jurisdictions and will cover the state’s administrative costs for gun permits and background checks.

To me, the size of the increase would qualify as ‘infringe.’ Making it expensive to own a gun is one way anti-gun politicians can legislate gun restrictions without actually legislating gun restrictions. I hope the governor’s idea is quickly shot down.

 

The Central Issue In The November Presidential Election

There are a lot of issues floating around the presidential election in November–globalism vs. nationalism, gun control vs. the Second Amendment, freedom of speech, religious freedom, etc., but there is one very subtle issue that really needs to be looked at carefully if you care about the future of America.

On Wednesday, the American Family Association (AFA) posted an article about a recent statement by Donald Trump about this election.

In August, The Washington Post reported:

Donald Trump, trailing narrowly in presidential polls, has issued a warning to worried Republican voters: The election will be “rigged” against him — and he could lose as a result.

Trump pointed to several court cases nationwide in which restrictive laws requiring voters to show identification have been thrown out. He said those decisions open the door to fraud in November.

“If the election is rigged, I would not be surprised,” he told The Washington Post in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “The voter ID situation has turned out to be a very unfair development. We may have people vote 10 times.”

The article was dismissive of the charges–not a surprise, considering the political bent of the newspaper, but we have seen clear evidence of voter fraud in the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, so the idea of voter fraud is not shocking.

The AFA article explains exactly how the system is rigged:

This makes two debates in the past week where the moderator’s biases have been clearly evident. The American people can’t even get a fair and balanced debate.  Why? Because the Left’s ideas don’t work and if there ever were to be a fair debate, this would become quite obvious.

We all remember the role Candy Crowley‘s misinformation played in the 2012 debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama. We can expect more of that sort of thing in the coming debates.

The AFA article further explains:

Over recent years, rogue federal judges have struck down voter I.D. laws in several key states. Laws aimed at preventing voter fraud have been partially or fully struck down in states like Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin to name a few. Many of the judges claimed that the voter I.D. laws would have caused a decrease in turnout for minority voters, specifically blacks.

This should be an offense to the entire black community. A federal judge makes the assumption that minorities aren’t responsible enough to acquire a government issued identification card. If individuals have to show their I.D. when buying tobacco or when going to see an R rated movie, then why is it unjust to apply the same standard to something as important as voting?

I would like to note that the majority of the judges ruling against voter ID were appointed by Democrats.

So what am I saying? The system is definitely slanted against Republicans. If Hillary is elected, that will continue and she will probably add to the problem. Unless you want America to become a banana republic where one party rules and is above the law, you need to vote for Trump. I really don’t care what the man does or what he is accused of, he is the alternative to losing our freedom. If you believe that the Clintons are pure as the wind-driven snow and have never spoken or acted crudely, then you are the result of the slanted media I have been talking about. There are some serious things on the line here–the Second Amendment and the First Amendment (including religious freedom) being two of them. Your vote counts.

When The Truth Doesn’t Matter

Truth seems to be taking a back seat in some major political discussions lately–Katie Couric‘s gun documentary did some creative editing and the State Department edited a press briefing that was to be saved as an historical archive. In both cases, the idea was to promote a point of view that was contrary to the truth. The gun documentary was supposed to show how easy it was to obtain a firearm, and the editing of the press briefing was to erase the fact that negotiations with Iran on the nuclear deal started long before there was a ‘moderate’ president of Iran. Just for the record, the president of Iran is not the person who is actually in charge. The group that is currently ruling Iran is essentially the same group of people that took over in 1979.

Yesterday The Independent Journal Review pointed out another problem with the gun documentary. People unfamiliar with gun laws who watched the documentary might have missed this, but Dana Loesch, a 2nd Amendment advocate, noted the following:

In an interview shared by Ammoland TV, Soechtig (Stephanie Soechtig, also involved in the production of the show) discusses the making of the film and notes the following:

“We sent a producer out and he is from Colorado and he went to Arizona and he was able to buy a Bushmaster and then three other pistoles without a background check in a matter of four hours. And that’s perfectly legal.”

Except it isn’t. Legal, that is. When Soechtig sent a producer to Arizona from Colorado specifically to acquire firearms, she could have actually broken two federal laws:

  • Interstate transfer: for a purchaser to acquire a firearm outside their state of residence – in this case, Colorado – the transfer must go through a licensed firearms dealer in the purchaser’s state of residence [18 U.S.C 922(a)(3); 27 CFR 478.29].
  • Straw purchase: one individual may not make the purchase of a firearm in someone else’s name [18 U.S.C. 922(a)(5)].

By Soechtig’s own admission, she sent a producer across state lines with instructions to purchase a firearm on her behalf (violation of straw purchase laws). And unless her producer is also a licensed firearms dealer, it’s likely that interstate transfer laws may also have been violated.

Loesch called on the ATF to investigate, noting the irony that people criticizing law-abiding gun owners were actually the ones violating gun laws already on the books.

It is interesting that those fighting to undo the 2nd Amendment do not understand the laws surrounding it. The 2nd Amendment was put there to protect the rights of Americans to own guns. We can argue about the current regulations surrounding the 2nd Amendment, but generally speaking, the safeguards are there to prevent criminals and unstable people from acquiring firearms. The right of law-abiding Americans to buy guns is part of the Constitution. It needs to be upheld. What was done in Katie Couric’s gun documentary is simply another example of the media trying to mislead the American people. We need to be smart enough to know when we are being lied to. Also note that many of the people trying to take away the guns of Americans have armed bodyguards. Another example of a law for thee, but not for me.

 

Speaking Out After A Tragedy

Last night at CNN’s “Guns in America” townhall, Kimberly Corban asked the following:

“As a survivor of rape, and now a mother to two small children — you know, it seems like being able to purchase a firearm of my choosing, and being able to carry that wherever my — me and my family are — it seems like my basic responsibility as a parent at this point,”

“I have been unspeakably victimized once already, and I refuse to let that happen again to myself or my kids. So why can’t your administration see that these restrictions that you’re putting to make it harder for me to own a gun, or harder for me to take that where I need to be is actually just making my kids and I less safe?”

The quote comes from a Washington Post article posted today. Ms. Corban was raped while a student at the University of Northern Colorado. Someone broke into her apartment and sexually assaulted her. After the attack, she realized how important it is for women to have access to guns to protect themselves.

This is part of the President’s response included in the article:

“I just want to repeat that there’s nothing that we’ve proposed that would make it harder for you to purchase a firearm.” And: “You have to be pretty well trained in order to fire a weapon against somebody who is assaulting you and catches you by surprise.” And: “There’s always the possibility that that firearm in a home leads to a tragic accident.” And: “All I’m focused on is making sure that a terrible crime like yours that was committed is not made easier because somebody can go on the Internet and just buy whatever weapon they want without us finding out whether they’re a criminal or not.”

Just for the record, you cannot go on the Internet and just buy any weapon–even on the Internet, weapons are sold by dealers who have to do a background check before the weapon is delivered to your home.

Ms. Corban’s statement at the end of the article summarizes the way most Americans feel about the Second Amendment:

“I actually typically try not to disclose that (exactly what weapon she carries) just for safety’s sake,” she said. “I do have a small concealed carry and I have other firearms which I choose to keep in my home.” To the president’s point that weapons can bring tragedy in homes, like hers, with small children, she said her guns are “completely secure.”

“You don’t have to carry a firearm,” she said. “I’m not telling you that you need to. I just want you to respect my right to do that myself.”

With all this talk about limiting the sale of guns, has anyone come up with an idea to keep criminals from obtaining guns? Please call me when you have a solution to that problem.

Losing Due Process And The Second Amendment

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

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.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Someone needs to explain this to the people writing laws in California. Yesterday Breitbart.com reported:

According to KPCC (Member of National Public Radio, operated by Pasadena City College), GVROs (gun violence restraining orders) “could be issued without prior knowledge of the person. In other words, a judge could issue the order without ever hearing from the person in question, if there are reasonable grounds to believe the person is a threat based on accounts from the family and police.” And since the order can be issued without the gun owner even being present to defend him or herself, confiscation can commence without any notice to the gun owner once the order is issued.

To be fair, Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore does not use the word “confiscate” when talking about confiscating firearms. Rather, Moore says, “The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will.”

California laws already ban people from owning guns if they have committed a violent crime or were involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. It seems odd than an additional law would be required. The potential for mischief under this new law is endless–a neighborhood spat, a divorce, a lover’s quarrel could all result in someone losing their guns without due process and also without any real reason. Hopefully, the first time anyone attempts to take away a legally owned gun without due process, there will be a massive lawsuit filed that will result in the law being declared unconstitutional, which I believe it is.

Quietly Infringing On The Second Amendment

Historically, one of the first steps in gun confiscation is the registration of all privately-owned firearms. That step makes it very simple for authorities to quickly go to the homes where firearms are owned and take them away. Gun registration in America has not met with a lot of success, so those who would like to ignore the Second Amendment are looking for alternative ways to determine which households own guns.

ObamaCare included a section that stated:

(2) Limitation on data collection

None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any information relating to-

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;

(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or

(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.

On November 4, 2015, U. S. House of Representatives Representative Michael M. Honda, a Democrat from California, introduced H.R. 3926 To amend the Public Service Act to provide for better understanding of the epidemic of gun violence, and for other purposes.

The bill includes the following section:

SEC. 4. Protecting confidential doctor-patient relationship.

Section 2717(c) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg–17(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(6) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Notwithstanding the previous provisions of this subsection, none of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, an amendment made by that Act, or this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a physician or other health care provider from—

“(A) asking a patient about the ownership, possession, use, or storage of a firearm or ammunition in the home of such patient;

“(B) speaking to a patient about gun safety; or

“(C) reporting to the authorities a patient’s threat of violence.”.

As of the writing of this article, the bill has 36 co-sponsors–all Democrats.

On Friday, a website called guns.com reported:

Federal research of gun violence as a health care issue had been largely defunded for 17 years until President Obama’s January 2013 executive order partially restored it. This order lead to the National Institutes of Health publicly requesting research projects on the topic for funding consideration.

The CDC peeked into gun violence as part of a White House by executive order following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, but its results were surprising to gun control advocates. The final study found that defensive gun use was common, while mass shootings were not. It was also discovered that when guns are used in self-defense the victims consistently have lower injury rates than those who are unarmed, even compared with those who used other forms of self-defense.

Taking guns away from innocent people does not make anyone safer. It amazes me that this seemingly rather obvious concept seems to be beyond the reach of many of our leaders.

Why We Need New Media

Breitbart.com is reporting today that The New York Daily News has called for the U. S. State Department to designate the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a terrorist organization.

The article reports:

They based this request on their belief that national security faces a greater threat from armed citizens than from “foreign terrorists,” and they singled out the NRA as the bulwark preserving citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. They suggested, “The NRA should take its rightful place on the State Department list of terrorist organizations, because its influence is more of an immediate threat to the lives of our citizens than foreign terrorists.”

To be on the State Department’s list of designated terror organizations a group has to be state-sponsored for terrorism–which the NRA is not. Moreover, they do not exist for terrorist reasons. Rather, they exist to defend the civil liberties protected by the Second Amendment. Undaunted by these things, the NYDN simply declares the NRA a “terrorist group” and suggests it falls under the State Department’s purview by being “nearly-state sponsored.”

The NYDN added, “Although the NRA is not an officially state-sponsored organization it is the supporter of the state with its massive member and lobbyist donations to our elected officials.”

I am not personally a member of the NRA, but I appreciate the fact that they are trying to protect the Second Amendment rights of American citizens. This statement by The Daily News is truly an example of a small group of people attempting to deny the rights of free speech and political activism of a group they not not agree with. That in itself is un-American.

The problem with school shootings is not guns–the problem is that all of the gun-free zone signs are not heeded by criminals. Why do politicians believe that laws that take guns away from law-abiding Americans will be followed by criminals?

Sometimes I Am Simply Amazed

Vice-President Biden has done it again. Breitbart is reporting a comment made by Vice-President Biden at a memorial for the late Jim Brady, President Reagan‘s Press Secretary who was shot during an attempt to assassinate President Reagan.

The article reports:

According to The Washington Times, Biden stressed that the push for more gun control is not over and said he prays a new voice for the gun control movement emerges soon:

What we need is another Jim Brady, who has the skill and the ability to convince those who are afraid, who walks the halls of Congress, to step up and do what they know is right. One will come along. It will happen. I pray God it is sooner rather than later.

I am sure that the Vice-President made the comment without thinking through the implications of his statement, but can you imagine the uproar if a Republican had said something similar.

The gun control debate does not need any more victims–high profile or otherwise. What the gun control debate needs is a respect for the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment. In terms of crime rates, statistics show that since Detroit relaxed its gun laws, crime rates have gone done. Muggers are less likely to mug grandma if she might be packing. Criminals are not likely to obey restrictions on gun ownership.

Craven County Republican Party 2014 Convention

Today I had the privilege of attending the Craven County Republican Party 2014 Convention. As I have previously indicated, moving to North Carolina from Massachusetts has been a bit of a culture shock.

There were almost one hundred people at the Convention, and there was unity on the basic principles the Republican Party has traditionally stood for. Some of the candidates for federal, state and local offices spoke. Other candidates send representatives who explained their candidate’s platforms. There were some very basic themes in the goals listed by the candidates and their representatives–strong families, a government in Washington that adheres the the principles of the U.S. Constitution, and a strong American foreign policy.

There were two resolutions considered by the Convention. The first resolution opposed the implementation of the Common Core educational standards. The resolution detailed the problems with Common Core:

1. The program by-passes and overrides the local community’s control of education in the community.

2. Common Core involves the collection of data on our children that is an invasion of privacy. There is no promise in today’s world of that data being kept private.

3. The inflexibility of the Common Core program–it is a one size fits all approach that is copyrighted and cannot be altered.

4. Common Core increases the cost of education while providing no proven results.

The resolution passed.

The second resolution stated that the Craven County Republican Party supported the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association’s January 24, 2014 Resolution. The text of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association’s January 24, 2014 Resolution can be found here. The resolution simply reaffirms the rights of Americans under the U.S. Constitution. Those rights include the right to bear arms and, the right to due process, and protection against unlawful searches and seizures. That resolution also passed. Unfortunately, an affirmation of these rights is needed at this time–Connecticut recently passed a law that was in violation of the Second Amendment.

At this time, there are deep divisions in our country regarding culture and politics. It was encouraging to me to spend time with a group of people who understand the roots of our Republic and support our Constitution.

It was a very enjoyable convention.

 

 

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A Backdoor Approach To Gun Control

At some point you have to ask yourself why the Obama Administration and the political left are so desperate to separate Americans from their guns. Statistics show that the cities with the strictest gun laws have the highest crime rates, and criminals do not obey gun laws anyway. There is no logical reason to take guns away from Americans, yet the left seems convinced that the Second Amendment doesn’t really mean what it says and that Americans are not smart enough or stable enough to own guns. Well, the left is at it again.

The Daily Caller posted an article today about President Obama’s two new executive actions that would expand the government’s access to mental health records when doing background checks on gun buyers. Now admittedly that sounds like a good idea, and if you looked into the backgrounds of some of the recent acts of gun violence and who committed them, it might make sense. But wait–there’s more. In every case of a shooter (from the Arizona shooter who shot Representative Giffords to the Colorado theater shooter to the Newtown Connecticut shooter), there was more than enough evidence that the shooter was mentally ill long before the shooting incident. The government would not have to have access to anyone’s mental health records–the people around the shooters could have easily alerted local police to the danger.

The problem was not the background check, the problem was a society not willing to put the mentally ill in mental institutions. In the case of Newtown Connecticut, the mother of the shooter was going through the process of having her son committed. The process took long enough for the son to find out and shoot his mother to prevent being committed.

The article at the Daily Caller describes the two Executive Orders:

It (the first order) modifies the HIPAA Privacy Rule to allow institutions “to disclose to the NICS the identities of persons prohibited by federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm for reasons related to mental health.”

The other executive action, issued by the Department of Justice, clarifies what exactly in someone’s mental health history would prohibit them from owning or purchasing a gun. Persons who fall under the category of “adjudicated as a mental defective” and “committed to a mental institution” include those who are “incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect; persons lacking mental responsibility or deemed insane; and persons found guilty but mentally ill, regardless of whether these determinations are made by a state, local, federal or military court,” as well as “a person committed to involuntary inpatient or outpatient treatment.”

There are some concerns with these Executive Orders. There is a basic danger in allowing the government to be involved in any way in determining a person’s mental health. Is the next step declaring members of the Tea Party mentally unstable?

In April 2009, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) detailing a government program targeting veterans as unstable. The article stated:

“The aim of the FBI’s effort with the Defense Department, which was rolled into the Vigilant Eagle program, is to “share information regarding Iraqi and Afghanistan war veterans whose involvement in white supremacy and/or militia sovereign citizen extremist groups poses a domestic terrorism threat,” according to the Feb. 23 FBI memo.”

Our returning veterans are not a threat. They do not represent a domestic terrorism threat. However, the government, at its whim, can declare them as such. At this point in history, I am opposed to anything that limits the rights of Americans to own guns–there are too many freedoms being infringed upon by our government right now, and I think the Second Amendment is more important than it has ever been.

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It All Sounds So Sensible…

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported that California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation aimed at taking handguns and assault rifles away from 20,000 Californians who acquired them legally but have since been disqualified from ownership because of a criminal conviction or serious mental illness.

Now on the surface, that sounds like a really good idea, but let’s take it apart for a minute. Who determines the disqualification? Can one person determine the disqualification?

The article reports:

“This bipartisan bill makes our communities safer by giving law enforcement the resources they need to get guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals,” said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor.

This law allows for confiscation of guns from ‘potentially dangerous individuals.’ Gun confiscation is definitely not part of America‘s tradition. I have recently posted a few articles that really make me wonder about what this law would be like down the road.

On April 6, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about a U.S. Army training instructor listing Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism along with Al Qaeda and Hamas during a briefing with an Army Reserve unit based in Pennsylvania, Would Christians have their guns confiscated under the California law because they were seen as ‘potentially dangerous?’

On April 12, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about a New York man who had his guns confiscated because 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. He was told he could get his guns back when his son is eighteen and moves out of his house. Needless to say, there is a lawsuit making its way through the courts.

On March 28, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about attempts to take Second Amendment rights away from America’s veterans.

There is a pattern here. The guns are being confiscated not only from criminals, but from law-abiding citizens deemed dangerous. The thing the lawmakers have forgotten here is that the guns most criminals have are not registered and they are not likely to be confiscated. Therefore, all you have done is to disarm law-abiding citizens because some authority considers them a threat. That is not a really good idea in a free society.Enhanced by Zemanta

The Temper Tantrum In The Rose Garden

Sometimes it is more difficult than others to be kind to people when they act like spoiled brats. President Obama lined up all the people he could find to use as props as he blamed the gun lobby for the fact that Congress upheld the Second Amendment. Thank God for the gun lobby. At some point, the President and all his allies in this need to realize that the problem is not guns–it’s the people who illegally use them. There was not one thing in the legislation that was proposed that would have prevented what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Unfortunately, criminals and mentally disturbed people do not tend to obey gun laws.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday reminding us where the anti-gun legislation failed–in the Democrat Senate–not the Republican House of Representatives.  The article also mentions the four Democrat Senators who voted against expanded background checks–Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.).

The article concludes:

The rout also vindicates Republicans who wanted the Senate to vote on the gun bill as opposed to the Rand PaulTed Cruz faction who sought a filibuster. For once Democrats had to declare themselves in public and couldn’t hide behind shouts of “Republican obstructionism.”

So much for the first big liberal hope of Mr. Obama’s second term. Maybe he should consider a centrist strategy from now on.

Don’t hold your breath.

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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

Where Are We A Week After The Newtown Killings ?

It’s been a week since the horrible tragedy in Connecticut. There are screams for gun control, assault weapons bans, police at the schools, and all sorts of things. But an article in yesterday’s Washington Post sheds some light and common sense on the subject.

Charles Krauthammer was a psychiatrist in Massachusetts during the 1970’s. He has an interesting perspective on what happened last week.

Mr. Krauthammer states that there are three parts to every mass shooting–the killer, the weapon, and the cultural climate.

The article points out:

Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker. Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate.

Regarding the weapon, Mr. Krauthammer states:

I have no problem in principle with gun control. Congress enacted (and I supported) an assault weapons ban in 1994. The problem was: It didn’t work. (So concluded a University of Pennsylvania study commissioned by the Justice Department.) The reason is simple. Unless you are prepared to confiscate all existing firearms, disarm the citizenry and repeal the Second Amendment, it’s almost impossible to craft a law that will be effective.

The article points out that over the past 30 years, the homicide rate in the United States has dropped 50 percent.

The article reminds us that gun violence is on the decline:

Except for these unfathomable mass murders. But these are infinitely more difficult to prevent. While law deters the rational, it has far less effect on the psychotic. The best we can do is to try to detain them, disarm them and discourage “entertainment” that can intensify already murderous impulses.

But there’s a cost. Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing “entertainment” violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech.

I tend to think that the fact that the murder rates are lower in states with strong civil commitment laws is significant. An article posted at The Blue Review on December 15th provides insight into what it is like to get appropriate treatment and possible restraint for a troubled child.

It’s time to look at all the elements of the tragedy at Newtown–not just the ones that are politically expedient.

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This Story Ended Well Because We Have The Second Amendment

A website called Newsok.com posted the following story on Friday. Kendra St. Clair, a twelve-year old, was home alone on Wednesday. Her mother is a single parent who works two jobs and had to work that day. Kendra’s brother attends a different school and did not have the day off.

This is the story:

Kendra, a sixth-grader at Calera Elementary, called her mother about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to say a man was ringing the doorbell and banging on the door, St. Clair said.

“She said he was continuously ringing the doorbell and when no one answered he opened the screen door and started banging on the door,” St. Clair said. “She told me she didn’t know where he had gone after that.”

St. Clair told her daughter to get her .40-caliber Glock pistol and go into the bathroom closet, which has reinforced locks on the door.

“She heard him break into the back door,” St. Clair said. “He knew someone was in there because she was watching TV and had paused it.”

According to the 911 recording, the intruder was inside the house for about six minutes while Kendra was told by the dispatcher to stay on the phone and keep it on speaker.

“The bathroom light switch makes a noise when you turn it on and Kendra heard it,” St. Clair said.

As Kendra saw the door knob turn slowly, she fired the gun, her mother said.

Jones was hit in the chest, Undersheriff Ken Golden said.

Jones ran out of the house and was chased down by Bryan County officers, he said.

Without the Second Amendment, this story might have had a very different ending.Enhanced by Zemanta

Why We Need The Second Amendment

 This is a video taken from an article posted at Hot Air yesterday:

 

It is a security surveillance video of an incident in an Internet cafe in Florida. Two armed men entered the cafe with nefarious purposes–guns drawn. The video shows an elderly gentlemen with a gun (he has a concealed carry permit) causing them to have second thoughts about their intentions and causing them to rapidly exit the Internet cafe. The suspects survived the shots and were arrested.

Not everyone has to be armed, but there have to be enough armed civilians walking around to give criminals second thoughts about doing what these two men attempted. We don’t know how many lives were actually saved by the seventy-one year old man with the concealed carry permit!

The article at Hot Air reports:

“Based on what I have seen and what I know at this time, I don’t anticipate filing any charges,” said Bill Gladson of the State Attorney’s Office for 5th Judicial Circuit.

Gladson said he has reviewed the security surveillance video from the cafe. While he still awaits final reports from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, he said the shooting appeared justified.

Samuel Williams, 71, who fired the shots, has a concealed weapons permit, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Under Florida law, a person is allowed to use deadly force if he or she fears death or serious injury to themselves or others. …

…At least one of his 30 fellow patrons at the cafe wants to thank him.

“I think he is wonderful. If he wouldn’t have been there, there could have been some innocent people shot,” said Mary Beach.

Cheers For The Second Amendment

First Model M&P shipped 1900

Image via Wikipedia

The Daytona Beach News-Journal posted a story today about a 64-year-old grandmother who stopped a car thief in his tracks. Karen Granville stated that she was up late because her cat woke her up. She was watching the Bravo channel when she heard a police helicopter hovering over her house. She saw the suspect, Roderick Willis, run into her backyard and attempt to climb over her fence. The quick-thinking lady grabbed her .38 Special revolver and followed him.

The article quotes her statement:

“My adrenaline was just flowing at 100 mph,” she said. “I just said, ‘Stop right there (expletive), or you’re going to be dead where you stand.”

Granville held the man at gunpoint until police arrived.

This is my kind of grandmother!

The article further reports:

This is the second time in less than two weeks older city residents have armed themselves to stop would-be criminals.

Charles Robbins, 82, shot and killed 24-year-old Tyler Orshoski after the man apparently tried to break into his home Jan. 11.

Police Chief Mike Chitwood said he doesn’t encourage vigilante justice but said people have the right to protect themselves or their property.

Part of the problem might be found in another part of the article:

Willis was charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement, driving with a suspended license, use of a vehicle to commit a felony, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. He was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail on Tuesday and released after posting $7,500 bail.

Willis, who could not reached by phone Tuesday night, spent time in jail last year for fleeing officers, court records show.

Volusia County sheriff’s officials say the Dodge Charger belonged to Hertz Rental Car Co. and was turned over to the company. Willis was not charged with vehicle theft.

One does wonder why he was not charged with vehicle theft and why the bail was so low. No wonder the citizens are arming themselves.

 

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