One Benefit Of An Armed Citizenry

Fox News is reporting today that two dangerous inmates who escaped from a prison in Georgia have been apprehended.

The article reports:

Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Bill Miller said late Thursday that the homeowner caught Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose trying to steal his vehicle.

Miller says the escaped Georgia inmates had crashed a car while being chased by law enforcement and fled on foot into woods along Interstate 24 near the rural community of Christiana.

Miller says something alerted the homeowner that people were outside his home and he saw the men trying to steal his vehicle. The trooper says the homeowner held the two at gunpoint with a neighbor he called until the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department could get there to arrest them.

An armed citizen, using his gun responsibly, held the men until the police could get there. Actually, the Second Amendment was designed to protect the American citizens from a tyrannical government that might arise in the future, but this case illustrates that there are some other advantages to having an armed citizenry.

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?

Why The Second Amendment Matters

WISTV  (Columbia, South Carolina) posted a story on Sunday about a shooting in a nightclub. Four people were wounded by the gunman, but there is more to the story.

The article reports:

Deputies said 32-year-old Jody Ray Thompson pulled out a gun after getting  into an argument with another man and fired several rounds toward a crowd that had gathered out in front of the club.

“His rounds struck 3 victims, and almost struck a fourth victim, who in self-defense, pulled his own weapon and fired, striking Thompson in the leg,” Lt. Kevin Bobo said.

Bobo said the man who shot Thompson has a valid concealed weapons permit, cooperated with investigators, and won’t be facing any charges. 

The man who shot Thompson was exercising his Second Amendment rights and probably save the lives of many people. When everyone is armed, crime (and carnage) goes down.

 

Hypocrisy At Its Worst

In 2013, USA Today posted the results of a survey taken of members of Congress that owned guns. Oddly enough, many of those Democrats (26 or so) were involved in the sit-in protesting the fact that Congress was not willing to pass any laws impacting current gun laws. As I have previously mentioned, the Democrats filibustered two of the gun laws that were introduced, staged the sit-in, and used the sit-in as an opportunity to raise money. A website called Heatstreet has the full story.

We need to be very careful about passing any legislation that limits the Second Amendment rights of Americans. At a time when our borders are not secure and there are many people entering the country with ill intentions, Americans need to be trained in how and when to use firearms to protect themselves.

The Obama Administration’s War On Guns

The Daily Signal posted an article today about the efforts of Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah to unravel the government’s Operation Choke Point.

The article reports:

“Under President Obama’s reign, the DOJ has abandoned its longstanding tradition of staying out of politics and has instead become a partisan arm of the White House,” Cruz said. “The Obama administration initiated Operation Choke Point to punish law-abiding small businesses that don’t align with the president’s political leanings. The DOJ should not be abusing its power by trying to bankrupt American citizens for exercising their constitutional rights.”

The bill, called the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, bans federal agencies that oversee banks from requesting or ordering banks to terminate customer accounts “unless the regulator has material reason.”

The measure also requires banking regulators to put in writing any “formal or informal” requests for account termination, and requires those regulators to file an annual report to Congress regarding those requests. To scale back Operation Choke Point or any similar initiatives, the bill also amends the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.

I have written articles about the impact of Operation Choke Point before. You can use the search engine at the top of the page to find them. Operation Choke Point is an obvious example of government overreach. Gun ownership is a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and the government has no right to interfere with that right. Operation Choke Point is one of several back door methods the Obama Administration used to attempt to take guns away from lawful gun owners. Had they come up with a plan to take guns away from unlawful gun owners, I might have been willing to listen.

The article further reports:

An identical version of the bill passed the House of Representatives 250-169 in February with bipartisan support.

According to government documents, Operation Choke Point was designed by the Justice Department in 2012 to “attack Internet, telemarketing, mail, and other mass market fraud against consumers, by choking fraudsters’ access to the banking system.”

The Justice Department carried out the program by using its investigative powers and partnering with federal regulating agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) that provide formal guidance to banks.

Since the program’s inception, many gun sellers, pawn shops, and short-term lenders reported their bank accounts being shut down.

…If the bill passes the Senate, it will then head to Obama’s desk for approval.

Hopefully one of the first things the next President will do (regardless of who is elected) will be to cut back on some of the abuses of power that have gone on during the Obama Administration.

Reciprocity Gun Rights Restored In Virginia

The Times News in Kingsport, Tennessee, reported today that Virginia will again recognize concealed carry permits from other states, including Tennessee and Kentucky. This action reverses a decision by the Virginia Attorney General which nullified reciprocity agreements with twenty-five states.

The article reports:

On Tuesday the issue brought 9th District Congressman Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, and Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe together in Bristol in a border declaration of defiance to slam Herring’s decision and advocate Virginia live up to its agreements.

When the two House colleagues learned of the agreement, they issued a joint statement praising resolution of the matter.

“Like many of our constituents, we were frustrated by Attorney General Herring‘s confusing and unworkable decision to no longer recognize out of state concealed carry permits. Put simply, we believe your Second Amendment right does not stop at a state line,” Griffith and Roe said.

The statement referred to the pair’s visit to Bristol last week to discuss the effects Herring decision would have “on our constituents who regularly cross state lines — some who do so by simply walking across the street — as well as local law enforcement tasked with carrying out the policy.”

There is little doubt that the decision to nullify reciprocity agreements would have resulted in a lawsuit fairly quickly. As Congressman Griffith stated, “… your Second Amendment right does not stop at a state line.” This was an example of a state Attorney General trying to put in place a law that was clearly unconstitutional.

 

Making It Difficult To Exercise Your Rights As A Citizen

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.

Our Founding Fathers understood that at some point the American people might need to be armed to protect them from a government determined to take away their freedom. Unfortunately, some of our cities are moving to take away the freedom of their residents.

The Lowell Sun in Massachusetts posted an article last Tuesday about some changes that are being made in the city of Lowell regarding gun possession.

The article reports:

A new firearms policy will go into place despite a final plea from gun-rights advocates Tuesday for looser restrictions.

The policy requires anyone seeking a license-to-carry to take a gun-safety course. Anyone applying for an unrestricted gun license must state in writing why they should receive such a license, and to provide additional documentation, such as prior military or law-enforcement service, a prior license-to-carry permit, or signed letters of recommendation.

…Taylor (Police Superintendent William Taylor) did agree to work with one resident, a trained firearms-safety instructor, to help shape a training course applicants will be required to take. The trainer, Randy Breton, strongly criticized Taylor moments earlier for what he said was intentionally expensive training to dissuade anyone from applying for a gun permit.

“It’s beyond ridiculous,” Breton said of courses he looked into. One costs $1,100 over five days, and another doesn’t offer any sessions through the rest of the year in Massachusetts.

Does the Police Superintendent really believe that having to write an essay will prevent criminals in Lowell from getting their hands on guns? I can’t believe this will have any positive effect on the crime rate in Lowell. All that the Police Superintendent will succeed in doing is disarming the citizens so that they cannot defend themselves against criminals with illegal weapons. I also believe that this policy is unconstitutional, so we should look for a lawsuit to be filed quickly.

Can The Second Amendment Be Overturned By Executive Action?

ABC News is reporting today on President Obama’s plan to use an executive order to begin to limit gun rights among Americans.

The article reports:

President Obama plans to announce executive actions he will take on gun control on Tuesday, a source told ABC News.

Obama had announced during his weekly address Friday that he planned to discuss gun control options with Attorney General Loretta Lynch after he returned from his Hawaiian vacation, which ended today.

“A few months ago, I directed my team at the White House to look into any new actions I can take to help reduce gun violence,” he said in the address. “And on Monday, I’ll meet with our Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to discuss our options.”

The White House had previously announced the Justice Department was examining unilateral action the president could take on gun control, and would be making recommendation.

Gun sales during the Obama Administration have skyrocketed. Gun sales in America have increased since the San Bernardino shootings.

The thing we need to remember here is that a lack of guns by law-abiding Americans does not make us safer. The move for better background checks is the beginning of the effort to register guns. Historically that has been the move that preceded gun confiscation. Note also that most of the shootings involving multiple victims have occurred in ‘gun free’ zones. The shooters knew that the people they attacked would not be armed and they would not meet immediate resistance.

Keep in mind as you hear this debate that there is a Second Amendment that upholds the right of private citizens to own guns. Law-abiding citizens owning guns makes us safer–it does not put us in danger. Hopefully Congress will stand up for the U.S. Constitution in this debate.

This Is Ridiculoous

I realize that there is a small group of people in America who oppose the Second Amendment. Some of them understand it, but don’t understand the reasoning behind it, and some simply have no idea why it is there. Occasionally it is somewhat amusing to watch the gyrations of the people who oppose guns.Today Hot Air posted a really good example of people going over the edge on the subject.

The article reports:

Three dozen online retailers will no longer be able to sell realistic-looking toy guns, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday.

Schneiderman reached a settlement with 30 online toy gun retailers who sell their products through Amazon.com. The third-party retailers have sold over 5,000 imitation toy guns in New York, and they are illegal because they did not meet state safety standards, he said.

“When toy guns are mistaken for real guns, there can be tragic consequences,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “New York state law prohibits the sale of imitation weapons that closely resemble real guns.”

…We may not be able to put the actual criminals in jail at a reasonable rate, but by golly we’re going to stick it to those toy retailers. The 30 or so retailers are paying fines which total more than $27K. (That’s on top of his move back in August when he nailed Amazon, Kmart, Sears, Wal-Mart and ACTA for $300K, so if nothing else the state coffers are getting fatter.) If these scofflaws want to peddle their dangerous wares in the Empire State in the future they will have to be colored “white or bright red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink or purple.”

I realize that occasionally mistakes are made, but I refuse to believe that toy guns are a major part of any gun problem. However, you notice that this new law will provide money for the state. The law serves two purposes–it pleases a certain political group and it provides money for the state. Unfortunately, it does nothing to deal with criminals with guns.

Please Listen To The Entire Statement From Senator Feinstein

Please listen to the entire statement from Senator Feinstein.  As Senator Cornyn points out, PTSD sufferers are already prohibited from owning weapons by law. It is horribly unfair to accuse all veterans of having PTSD.

The transcript of the video is at C-SPAN:

Our military is well trained and can be trusted with guns. It bothers me that there are people in our government who seem to be trying to undermine the rights of veterans to buy and possess firearms.

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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

Disturbing Words From An Influential Governor

Andrew Cuomo is the Governor of New York. He is also one of the Democrat party’s upcoming stars. I have no doubt we will be hearing more from him in the future. Hot Air quoted one of his recent statements that needs to be considered as he rises to higher positions in government.

In a radio interview on Thursday with Albany’s WGDJ-AM, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that he plans to work with state legislators next month to submit a proposal for new gun-control laws; in particular, Cuomo said, “our focus is assault weapons,” because current state laws regulating the weapons “have more holes that Swiss cheese.”

“I don’t think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, ‘I need an assault weapon to go hunting,’” he said.

Cuomo continued, “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”

Confiscation is not an option. Confiscation is against the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is part of the Constitution, which forms the foundation of American law. If you destroy the foundation, you destroy the country.

Just a note about the effectiveness of gun bans. The Sandy Hook Elementary School was a gun-free zone. Connecticut has an assault weapons ban. Does anyone honestly believe that laws stop a mentally disturbed person from causing harm to innocent people? The theater in Colorado was particularly chosen by the shooter because it was gun-free. Criminals and mentally unstable people desiring to do harm to innocent people do not go where people are armed–they go where people are defenseless. Laws are not the answer. Dealing with the mentally ill is part of the answer, and teaching everyone to value life is part of the answer. I am not sure we will ever have the entire answer.

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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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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.

Another Reason To Leave The United Nations

The Heritage Foundation posted an article today about the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The U.N. has released its press package for its July conference that will finalize the ATT.

The article reports:

This paper perpetuates the belief, on which much of the ATT is based, that the big problem the world faces is a lack of agreed standards on arms transfers. That’s wrong: The big problem the world faces in this regard is that many U.N. member states are dictatorships, supporters of terrorists, or simply incapable of controlling their own borders.

But the paper makes it clear that the job of the U.N.—as the U.N. itself sees it—is to make the case for a very broad treaty. As CASA puts it, “Advocacy efforts should be developed…through relevant reports and op-eds, messages, and statements at relevant meetings and to the press.” So watch out for U.S. taxpayer-funded funded U.N. propaganda in a newspaper near you.

The important sentence in the press kit:

But in spite of its desperate efforts to rebut Second Amendment concerns, the U.N. can’t stop stepping on its own shoelaces. After proclaiming that the ATT “does not aim to impede or interfere with the lawful ownership and use of weapons,” the CASA paper goes on to say that “United Nations agencies have come across many situations in which various types of conventional weapons have been…misused by lawful owners” and that the “arms trade must therefore be regulated in ways that would…minimize the risk of misuse of legally owned weapons.”

I don’t know what the chances of this treaty being ratified by the Senate are. I do know that President Obama has been named Salesman of the Year by many gun stores–private ownership of guns has soared during his administration. People are buying guns while it is still legal to own them.

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This Is Not Even Remotely Surprising

One of the agendas of the Obama Administration is to find a way to invalidate the Second Amendment. Fast and Furious did not work (even before it was discovered that they were the ones selling the guns) and various court cases have not been successful. But, they haven’t yet given up.

Breitbart.com reported today that Vice-President Biden stated on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the shooting of Trayvon Martin should spark a national debate over gun control. Really?

The story at Breitbart points out that we don’t yet have all of the facts on this case. The author reminds us that if Zimmerman shot in self-defense, the gun laws saved his life. If Zimmerman did not shoot in self defense, he violated already existing gun laws–we don’t need more!

The article reminds us:

Beyond that, Biden’s bizarre notion that concealing and carrying guns doesn’t provide additional security is plainly nonsensical. Misuse of guns is always an issue – but as a general rule, of course carrying a gun makes you more safe than not carrying one. John Lott has pointed out clearly in More Guns, Less Crime:  “Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.” This is called common sense, and the data backs it up.

The call for stricter gun laws is generally made by those who do not understand that the right to bear arms is part of what makes the United States Constitution work. Tampering with that right would be a huge mistake.

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The Children Are Throwing Tantrums Again

The Des Moines Register posted an article today about the Iowa House Democrats who have left the Capitol to protest two gun bills the Republicans are bringing up. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has accused the Republicans of not giving enough notice so that Democrats could amend the bills.

I’m not even going to go into the details of this–I just want to show you the two bills as reported in the article:

House Joint Resolution 2009: Iowa Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Constitutional Amendment

This resolution would begin a process to amend Iowa’s constitution to include a “right to keep and bear arms.” The proposed amendment echoes the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, saying “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

To pass, the resolution must be approved by both the House and the Senate in two consecutive general assemblies before voters would weigh in on the issue.  It means that the earliest a vote could occur would be 2013, should the legislature act this year and next.

House File 2215: Reasonable force/Stand your ground

The bill would rewrites the law on “reasonable force” so that a person may use force — including deadly force — against someone who they believe threatens to kill or cause serious injury, or who is committing a violent felony.  The bill specifically says that a person is presumed to be justified in using deadly force if the person reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to his or her life.

Iowa’s current law allows potential victims to use deadly force against a perceived threat only if an alternative course of action also entails “a risk to life or safety.”

The first bill does nothing except echo the Second Amendment. What is the problem? The second bill simply allows a person to defend himself. Again, what is the problem? What amendments are needed?

Somewhere along the line, we have lost the concept of having the right to defend ourselves and our property. I don’t think that violence is always the solution, but I do think we have lost the distinction between right and wrong in our victim mentality society. If someone murders someone, the murderer is often painted as a victim of some evil in society–poverty, bullying, disturbed childhood, etc. Parents are told not to spank their children and parental authority is undermined in our schools. If we are to survive as a society, we need to relearn the concept of good and evil and learn to deal with evil when it rears its ugly head!

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