Really Bad Advice

I don’t watch The View. I watched a few minutes once and realized instantly that it was simply not something I wanted to spend time watching. However, occasionally the ignorance of our Constitution illustrated on that television show is simply astounding.

Fox News posted an article today that illustrates that ignorance.

The article reports:

Politicians seeking to confiscate guns from Americans shouldn’t share their plans with the public beforehand and should seek to maintain an element of surprise, Joy Behar said on “The View” Monday.

Behar was discussing former 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat from Texas, and said it was foolish of him to announce his plans for gun confiscation before he was elected. She advised all politicians to go after the country’s guns after they’ve assumed office.

Co-host Meghan McCain also weighed in on the issue and said O’Rourke has poisoned the well and scared off independent voters from the Democratic party.

“They should not tell everything they’re going to do. If you’re going to take people’s guns away, wait until you get elected — then take the guns away,” she said. “Don’t tell them ahead of time.”

“I will also say that his stance on gun buybacks — Mayor Pete said it was a shiny object that distracts from achievable gun reform,” she said earlier in the interview. “That clip will be played for years… with organizations that try and scare people by saying that Democrats are coming for your guns.

“[Beto] also made some statements about religious institutions getting their tax-exempt status removed from them because they didn’t support same-sex marriage,” McCain continued. “He did a lot of, like, battleground culture war, and he ran as the most left, most woke candidate and look where he ended.”

The Second Amendment is not a cultural issue–it is an integral part of the Bill of Rights, a document written to limit the power of government–not the power of citizens. The ladies on The View need to take a basic civics course.

Hasn’t He Read The U.S. Constitution?

The Washington Examiner posted an article yesterday about some recent remarks by presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.

The article reports:

Beto O’Rourke said he would use the criminal code to back up his proposal to confiscate AR-15s and other “weapons of war” from Americans.

“If we’re able to pass mandatory buybacks and I’m able to sign that into law, then I fully expect our fellow Americans to turn in their AR-15s and their AK-47s,” the former Texas congressman said in a Thursday CBS News interview when asked if his policy was “too retroactive.”

O’Rourke continued his answer by saying there would be criminal consequences if people were to “persist” in holding onto their weapons.

“For anyone who does not and is caught in possession or seen in possession of one of these weapons of war — one of these instruments of terror, that weapon will be taken from them, and they will be fined. And if they should persist in continuing to use and to buy these weapons, then there will be other consequences in the criminal code.”

The Democratic presidential contender said earlier this month that under his administration, police would “visit” AR-15 owners who did not cooperate in turning their guns in voluntarily.

“I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back so that it cannot potentially be used against somebody else,” O’Rourke said about the possibility that gun owners might not submit to voluntary buybacks.

It’s interesting that the candidates seem to be focused on AR-15’s. An AR-15 is a semi-automatic weapon that fires one bullet at a time. The AR stands for ArmaLite, the original manufacturer of the weapon. It is a scary looking gun, but even if you support taking guns away from Americans, there is no reason to focus on that particular gun. It is legal to own an AK-47 as long as it was manufactured before 1986. There are also paperwork requirements involved with owning this particular gun.

However, all of the above is simply irrelevant. 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.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms was to protect the people from a tyrannical government–like one that wanted to forcefully take away their guns. What Beto O’Roarke is proposing is exactly what the Second Amendment was written to prevent.

The Recent Democrat Debate

I have only one comment on the Democrat debate held this week. Beto O’Rourke stated, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, we’re not going to allow it to be used against fellow Americans anymore.” The audience cheered.

Mr. O’Rourke, the Second Amendment was put in place to limit the powers of government–not the freedom of American citizens. The Bill of Rights was included in the U.S. Constitution so that the states would approve the Constitution. The Bill of Rights was an insurance policy against the rise of a tyrannical government in America similar to the one America had just fought hard to overturn. The Americans of the Revolutionary Era wanted to make sure that another tyrannical government was never allowed to rise up in America. The Bill of Rights was their protection against that.

The statement from Mr. O”Rourke is disturbing. What is even more disturbing is that the audience cheered the statement, not understanding that the suggested action was not only unconstitutional, but would be only the first step in severely limiting the freedom of Americans. The Second Amendment is what protects all of the other Amendments.

 

How Red Flag Laws Can Be Misused

The American Thinker posted an article today about a move during the Obama administration to deny gun rights to veterans and senior citizens.

The article reports:

The Obama administration’s idea of keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill was based on a bizarre and discriminatory definition of who might be mentally unstable. In 2013 it was reported that the Veterans Administration was sending letters to vets warning them that they might be declared mentally incompetent and denied their Second Amendment rights unless they could prove otherwise:

The contempt by the Obama administration for our Constitution and our rights has reached a new low with news the Veterans Administration has begun sending letters to veterans telling them they will be declared mentally incompetent and stripped of the Second Amendment rights unless they can prove to unnamed bureaucrats to the contrary…

“A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2),” the letter reads…

While mental health is a factor in the current gun control debate and recent mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., and elsewhere have in common the questionable mental state of the shooters, to single out returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan this way is unconscionable and unconstitutional.

As the Los Angeles Times has reported, the Obama administration would have liked like to make our Social Security records part of the background check system. The move would have stripped some four million Americans who receive payments though a “representative payee” of their gun rights. It would be the largest gun grab in U.S. history.

A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”

There is no simple way to identify that group, but a strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the creation of the background check system is reporting anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary.

The article concludes:

Keeping guns out of the hands of the truly mentally unstable is a worthy goal, but it should not be used as a cause for disarming veterans who carried a weapon in defense of their country or seniors who might need some assistance in paying their bills.

They deserve the presumption of innocence, and sanity, every bit as much as Vester Flanagan. Stripping away their Second Amendment rights in the name of mental health would be a gross injustice that would not make us safer, but would merely create millions of unarmed victims for the next shooter with an agenda.

We need to make sure that American citizens understand our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is there to limit the rights of government–not the rights of citizens. If we want to preserve our republic, we have to continue to fight to protect those rights our Founding Fathers codified in the Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

Irony At Its Best

One of the arguments used by those who want to end the Second Amendment is that anyone can buy a gun anytime. While that is unfortunately true for criminals, it is not true for law-abiding citizens, and that is the problem. A reporter attempting to prove how easy it was to buy a gun recently found out it wasn’t.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about Hayley Peterson, a senior correspondent for Business Insider. Ms. Peterson was investigating the availability of guns at Walmart and went to Walmart to buy a gun.

The article reports:

“I went to Walmart with the intention of buying a gun last week as part of an investigation into the placement, selection, marketing, and security of firearms in Walmart’s stores, and to learn more about the retailer’s processes governing gun sales,” Hayley Peterson said in article should wrote for Business Insider. “My journey to bring a gun home from Walmart turned out to be far more complicated than I expected.”

Walmart’s lack of advertising and the fact they only sell guns in certain stores frustrated Peterson’s attempt to buy one. After failing a background check, she decided that buying a gun at Walmart was not worth it.

…Peterson failed the background check after her home address did not match the one on her license. The clerk told her that she would have to bring in another document with the correct address to pass.

“She apologized, told me the rules were strict around background checks, and asked me to come back another time to finish the purchase,” Peterson recounted. “At this point, I decided to give up on buying a gun at Walmart.”

Peterson’s investigation came amid claims that background checks do not adequately prevent gun violence. Some have called for Walmart to stop selling firearms altogether, including half-a-dozen Democratic presidential candidates, such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Maybe Walmart is not the problem. If Ms. Peterson had been a criminal, she would have easily been able to buy a gun on the street. Taking guns away from people who follow the law only creates a vulnerable population to be exploited by those who do not follow the law.

Watching The Slippery Slope

Every time a criminal or a crazy person shoots people, the Democrats decide that the gun was the problem. They just don’t seem to be able to focus on the person doing the shooting. There is a total disregard for the purpose and history of the Second Amendment.

Townhall posted an article today about some recent comments by a Democrat candidate for President regarding Americans who own guns.

The article reports:

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is one of them and said earlier this week she’s open to putting gun owners who refuse to comply with bogus government “buybacks,” which is simply government confiscation, in prison.

“You don’t want to grandfather in all of the assault weapons all across America. We’d like people to sell them back to the government,” Gillibrand said during an interview with MSNBC. “The point is you don’t want people using assault weapons so the point is ff you’re arrested for using an assault weapon you’re going to be arrested for an aggravated felony. The whole point is when you make it a crime to own an assault weapon then if you are found using it, that would be the issue. It would be part of law enforcement.”

Let’s put this into context. The semi-automatic AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. The left considers it an “assault rifle.” There are more than 20 million of them owned by Americans across the country. Gillibrand wants to turn every single person who has one into a felon and institute a police state for enforcement.

The article also notes that candidate Kamala Harris is also talking about taking away the right of Americans to own guns. This is obviously unconstitutional, but there are some real questions as to whether our courts are following the Constitution. This is a critical time for gun rights in America.

 

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.

Senator, Please Read The Second Amendment

There were two horrific shootings in America yesterday. Actually there were probably a few more than that if you count Chicago and Baltimore, but there were two that made the headlines. There were two that were instantly politicized. There were two that reminded us that politicians don’t always think before they speak.

The Washington Examiner posted an article yesterday about Senator Kamala Harris’ response to the shooting in Texas:

California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris gave details about her gun control proposals in the wake of the deadly El Paso, Texas shooting after she addressed union members at the AFSCME forum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Saturday.

When asked by the Washington Examiner if her plan would include legal gun owner databases or gun confiscation via law enforcement visits to residents who own banned firearms, she replied, “I’m actually prepared to take executive action to put in place rules that improve this situation.”

She continued, “I also have as part of my background and experience working on this issue, when I was attorney general [of California], and we put resources into allowing law enforcement to actually knock on the doors of people who were on two lists — a list where they had been found by a court to be a danger to themselves and others.

“They were on a list where they were precluded and prohibited from owning a gun because of a conviction that prohibited that ownership. Those lists were combined and then we sent law enforcement out to take those guns, because, listen, we have to deal with this on all levels, but we have to do this with a sense of urgency,” Harris added.

First of all, what firearms is she going to ban?

In June 2016, The Federalist reported:

But before we dive into whether the assault weapons ban was merely dumb, or if it was monumentally stupid and counterproductive, it’s important to define what the previous federal ban covered and how it defined an “assault weapon.” The 1994 assault weapons law banned semi-automatic rifles only if they had any two of the following five features in addition to a detachable magazine: a collapsible stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor, or a grenade launcher.

That’s it. Not one of those cosmetic features has anything whatsoever to do with how or what a gun fires. Note that under the 1994 law, the mere existence of a bayonet lug, not even the bayonet itself, somehow turned a garden-variety rifle into a bloodthirsty killing machine. Guns with fixed stocks? Very safe. But guns where a stock has more than one position? Obviously they’re murder factories. A rifle with both a bayonet lug and a collapsible stock? Perish the thought.

A collapsible stock does not make a rifle more deadly. Nor does a pistol grip. Nor does a bayonet mount. Nor does a flash suppressor. And for heaven’s sake, good luck finding, let alone purchasing, 40mm explosive grenades for your rifle-mounted grenade launcher (and remember: the grenade launcher itself is fine, just as long as you don’t put the ultra-deadly bayonet lug anywhere near it).

The complete unfamiliarity with guns and how they work that led to the inept definitions in the 1994 law was on full display in a now-infamous television interview with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a New York congresswoman who backed the so-called assault weapons ban. In the interview, Tucker Carlson asked McCarthy to define “barrel shroud,” a firearm feature regulated by the law. Here’s how she answered:

CARLSON: I read the legislation and it said that it would regulate “barrel shrouds.” What’s a barrel shroud and why should we regulate that?

MCCARTHY:The guns that were chosen back in those days were basically the guns that most gangs and criminals were using to kill our police officers. I’m not saying it was the best bill, but that was they could get out at that particular time.

CARLSON: Ok. Do you know what a barrel shroud is?

MCCARTHY: I actually don’t know what a barrel shroud is. I think it’s the shoulder thing that goes up.”

Senator Harris, you can confiscate all the guns and rifles you want and criminals will still manage to get them. At that point you have created an unarmed general population that is more vulnerable to gun crimes. Is that what you really want?

 

The Professionally Offended Often Have No Idea What They Are Talking About

Yesterday The Daily Wire posted an article about a recent dust-up over a shirt worn by Chris Pratt. The shirt depicted the Gadsden Flag, a Revolutionary War flag.

An article at Yahoo News reported:

The Marvel star’s top shows the American flag with a coiled snake over the top and a message underneath which reads “Don’t Tread On Me.”

The writing and snake combo on its own is depicted on the Gadsden flag; a symbol created by Christopher Gadsden, a Charleston-born brigadier general in the Continental Army.

It came to prominence during the Revolutionary War of the US by colonists who wanted independence from Great Britain.

Although it is one of the symbols and flags used by the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team, over the years the flag has been adopted by Far Right political groups like the Tea Party, as well as gun-toting supporters of the Second Amendment.

It has therefore become a symbol of more conservative and far right individuals and, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the US, it also is “sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.”

Wait a minute. Since when is it far right to support the U.S. Constitution and want smaller government? Note the subtle criticism of those who support the Second Amendment. Also, there is nothing racial about the Gadsden flag. Race was not part of the equation at the time it was designed. The Yahoo News story is injecting opinion into its reporting, giving some basic facts, but misleading the reader.

Aside from the fact that the professionally offended are again trying to put a negative spin on a symbol of our history, Chris Pratt was wearing the shirt to support a pro-veteran nonprofit called the Brain Treatment Foundation.

The article at The Daily Wire reports:

On Facebook, Brain Treatment Foundation posted a photo of Pratt in the T-shirt and said that they were “honored” by the support.

“We are honored to work with the silent warriors who sacrifice greatly so that others may live free, who defend our freedom, who live with honor and by the word of God. These warriors hunt evil to protect our peace, while those who disparage their sacrifices and our nation from behind a computer screen, pretend it doesn’t exist,” the organization said. “We are proud of the American flag and all symbols that represent the freedom brave men and women have shed blood for since the inception of our great country.”

This is another example of the political left criticizing something they know nothing about. Hopefully fewer people are falling for the antics of the professionally offended.

Haven’t These People Read The U.S. Constitution?

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

Amendment II

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.

Let’s look at this Amendment in the view of history and context. All ten amendments in the Bill of Rights limit the power of government and protect the rights of the citizens. The Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution to ally the fears of a people shell-shocked by the abuses of King George. The people wanted to make sure they would be able to defend themselves against a tyrannical government in the future. An armed citizenry was one way of keeping the government in check. The colonists felt like they needed a way to keep the government in check at that time and in the future.

Today the right to bear arms is under attack.

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about Kamala Harris, a presidential candidate who is advocating for policies that undermine the Second Amendment.

The article reports:

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told CNN’s “State of the Union with Jake Tapper” on Sunday that on her 100th day in office when she’s elected president, if the Congress fails to send her a bill with “good” gun control ideas, she will issue an executive order saying anyone who sells more than five guns a year must perform background checks on those they sell them to.

Harris also plans to direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to take away the licenses of gun dealers who don’t follow the law.

…“What we’re waiting for is Congress to have the courage to act, and so let me tell you what I’m proposing. I’m proposing, one, that if, by my 100th day in office when elected president of the United States, the United States Congress fails to put a bill on my desk to sign with all of the good ideas or any of the good ideas, then I’m prepared to take executive action, because that’s what’s needed, action,” Harris said.

When asked “executive action to do what,” she said, “To do, specifically, for anyone who sells more than five guns a year, they will be required to perform background checks on the people they sell them to, and this will be the most comprehensive background check policy that has ever been had in our country thus far.”

When asked whether that can be done by executive order, Harris said, “Yes. Yes, it can. I’m also prepared to say and to direct the ATF to remove and take away the licenses of gun dealers who fail to follow the law, and, Jake, 90 percent of the guns that are associated with crime have been sold by 5 percent of the gun dealers. We need to take their licenses away.”

I believe that the proposal by Ms. Harris is exactly what our forefathers were trying to prevent.

The Constitution Upheld By U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

The legislative action part of the National Rifle Association is reporting today that ruling on the legal case Duncan v. Becerra, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined on Friday that California’s ban on commonly possessed firearm magazines violates the Second Amendment.

The article reports:

Judge Benitez rendered his opinion late Friday afternoon and handed Second Amendment supporters a sweeping victory by completely invalidating California’s 10-round limit on magazine capacity. “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts,” he declared. 

In a scholarly and comprehensive opinion, Judge Benitez subjected the ban both to the constitutional analysis he argued was required by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and a more complicated and flexible test the Ninth Circuit has applied in prior Second Amendment cases.

Either way, Judge Benitez ruled, the law would fail. Indeed, he characterized the California law as “turning the Constitution upside down.” He also systematically dismantled each of the state’s purported justifications for the law, demonstrating the factual and legal inconsistencies of their claims.

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 Second Amendment protects American citizens from a tyrannical government–the Founding Fathers understood that the fact that they possessed weapons allowed them to free themselves from the rule of Britain. They wanted to protect future Americans from a tyrannical government. Beware of people who want to take guns away from America–that is the beginning of tyranny.

When Hearings Don’t Really Want To Hear Anyone Who Doesn’t Fit Their Narrative

Yesterday House Republican Whip Steve Scalise wrote an op-ed piece for Fox News. The statement is included on his website.

This is the op-ed piece:

Statement for the Record

Republican Whip Steve Scalise

House Committee on the Judiciary

February 6, 2019

My name is Steve Scalise. I am the Congressman for Louisiana’s 1st District. I am the Republican Whip. I am also a target of gun violence.

Many of you may be familiar with the events of June 14, 2017. Around 7:00 AM, at the last morning practice before the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, an Illinois man named James Hodgkinson opened fire on myself and a group of Republican legislators and volunteers on an Alexandria, Va. baseball field.

Fortunately, as a member of House leadership, I was accompanied by my Capitol Police security detail who were able to return fire and engage the shooter until additional law enforcement officers arrived and ultimately took down the shooter. I was shot and nearly fatally wounded, and both of my detail agents were shot as well. I am alive today thanks to the bravery of U.S. Capitol Police and the Alexandria Police, heroes like Congressman Brad Wenstrup and the first responders who rushed to the scene, the incredible medical team at Washington MedStar Hospital Center, and most importantly the grace of God.

I applaud the intentions behind this hearing and believe we are all pursuing the same goal of reducing gun violence. As someone who experienced gun violence, I do not want anyone else to go through that trauma. However, it is also important to me that we be honest with ourselves and the American people about what will — or won’t — actually prevent these tragedies. The shooter who targeted me that morning was armed with an SKS rifle and a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun, both of which were purchased in compliance with Illinois gun laws.

The new gun control restrictions currently being considered by the Democratic majority in H.R. 8 would not have prevented my shooting.

In fact, these new gun control measures being proposed in H.R. 8 would not have prevented any number of recent mass violence events. Several perpetrators of recent multi-victim shootings also purchased their guns legally. In some instances, the background check system failed, and lack of intervention from law enforcement failed to intercept potential threats.

I want to stress that the man who shot me was issued a permit to purchase firearms by the state of Illinois, and had acquired them legally. At Virginia Tech, Charleston, and Sutherland Springs failures in the background check system allowed individuals to illegally obtain the firearms they used to commit their crimes. The alleged loopholes that H.R. 8 claims to fix would not have prevented these tragedies either.

Instead, whether intentionally or not, the gun control proposals in H.R. 8 could turn law abiding citizens into criminals while also failing to achieve the stated purpose of reducing gun violence.

A recent study by the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis and Johns Hopkins University into California’s effort to implement “comprehensive background checks” found that, “The simultaneous implementation of [the Comprehensive Background Check policy] and [prohibitions on firearm purchase and possession for persons convicted within the past 10 years of certain violent crimes classified as misdemeanors] was not associated with a net change in the firearm homicide rate over the ensuing 10 years in California.” Even though California implemented more stringent background checks, this study shows that these measures did not reduce gun violence.

In fact, most criminals obtain firearms through unlawful means — whether through theft, straw purchases, or lying on the required paperwork. A DOJ study of federal inmates found that only seven percent who possessed a firearm while committing the crime they were serving time for purchased it legally from a firearms dealer under their own name. Based on similar gun control measures in states like California, H.R. 8 would not deter a criminal from engaging in criminal activity, and it won’t decrease gun crime. Instead, it only succeeds in limiting the ways that law-abiding citizens could exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Every single month in America, law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits defend themselves and others against criminals who have guns. For example, on January 8th, a man approached a 25-year-old woman in Chicago, displayed a weapon, and attempted to rob her at a bus stop. The woman had a concealed carry permit. She drew her own weapon and fired a shot, killing the armed robber. The owner of a nearby pharmacy said such violence happens “all over” Chicago. However, in this case, the intended victim was able to defend herself with her own gun.

On January 2nd, a Good Samaritan in California with a concealed carry permit used his firearm to stop an attempted stabbing of a security guard and held the perpetrator until law enforcement could arrive at the scene.

On January 17th, a man at an IHOP in Alabama opened fire on employees, killing one before another employee pulled his handgun and killed the shooter in self-defense.

On January 29th, an armed robber held up a Family Dollar Store in Georgia. A customer was able to use a personal firearm to shoot and kill the robber before the criminal could hurt any of the many employees or customers in the store.

These are just some examples from the last month alone. There are hundreds of stories like these every single year from law-abiding Americans all over the country.

I am alive due to the effective and immediate response of my Capitol Police detail, and the Alexandria Police Department. Most victims of gun violence do not have law enforcement already on the scene to respond to a violent gunman. Instead of making it harder for citizens to defend themselves until law enforcement arrives, Congress should consider legislation like H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill that would help law-abiding citizens have the same tools to defend themselves as a criminal has of trying to inflict harm, regardless of where they travel.

I firmly believe we must never forget, nor minimize, the importance of the Second Amendment to our Constitution.

H.R. 8, as well as other new gun control legislation currently being considered by the House Democrat majority do not accomplish the goal of reducing gun violence.

If our goal is to reduce gun violence, then we should focus on penalizing criminals, not law-abiding citizens.

Thank you.

Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens does not make us safer. It is also unconstitutional. It will not reduce gun violence. The only thing that reduces gun violence is a good guy with a gun.

How To Limit The Second Amendment Without Appearing To Do So

Breitbart posted a story today about a Missouri law that limits the gun rights of foster parents in Missouri. The law prohibits all foster parents from carrying concealed firearms or storing ammunition with firearms in the same locked safe. It seems to me that if a foster parent has a concealed carry permit, he knows to store his firearms in a locked safe and to accept the responsibilities of a legal gun owner. Being a foster parent has nothing to do with gun rights.

The article notes:

James and Julie Attaway are asking for an injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri’s Western Division against the Missouri gun regulation.

…The couple is joined in the suit by the Second Amendment Foundation. They said the regulations “amount to deprivation of civil rights under color of law” and are similar to other laws they’ve challenged in Michigan and elsewhere.

“This is familiar ground for us,” Alan M. Gottlieb, founder of the group, said in a statement. “We have successfully challenged similar regulations in other states when we find them, because there is a significant question about the constitutionality of such prohibitions. We believe this is an unconstitutional provision in Missouri’s Code of State Regulations. It is important for the court to take action to protect the rights of Missouri residents who open their homes and hearts to foster children for whom they wish to provide a stable environment.”

The Attaways said they’re concerned the gun regulation, which they described as “unconstitutional,” may be scaring off other potential foster parents.

“The foster system in Missouri is in need of qualified, loving families to take children into their home,” James Attaway said. “Many families who value their Second Amendment rights to self-defense are deterred from applying to be foster parents. We were not allowed to continue with the licensing process until we agreed to abide by the department’s firearm policy while foster children were placed in our care. We ultimately agreed and finished our licensing process, and while having a foster child in our home, we have had to abide by these unconstitutional policies for fear of losing our foster care license.”

The couple said their goal is to change the regulations so they and other foster parents don’t have to choose between being legally armed and caring for foster children.

“We are pursuing this legal action so that we, and other families who feel called to care for foster children in their home, don’t have to decide between retaining their Second Amendment rights and caring for children in need,” James Attaway said.

I don’t mean to be cynical, but this seems like another back door approach to limiting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. This law does nothing to make anyone safer–criminals don’t follow gun laws, and it simply attacks legal gun owners who are trying to do something positive in their community.

How Is This Legal?

A website called Bearing Arms posted an article about Boulder, Colorado, earlier this month. It seems as if some of the city officials have forgotten the Second Amendment.

The article reports:

Residents of Boulder, Co., have until December 27 to “certify” their “assault weapons” or remove the firearms from city limits. Those who fail to comply could face fines, jail time, and confiscation and destruction of their firearms, according to the Denver Post.

Boulder police say they have certified 85 firearms since the city council passed an “assault weapons” ban in May. Residents who already owned prohibited rifles, pistols, and shotguns were given the chance to keep their firearms by certifying prior ownership with police. The council also voted unanimously to ban “high-capacity” magazines and bump stocks.

“My hope is that we will see more bans at the state level and one day at the federal level so these weapons will no longer be available,” Councilman Aaron Brockett said in May.

What? Generally speaking, ‘certification’ is the prelude to confiscation.

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.

Keep in mind that the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) were put in place to limit the power of the federal government. Those amendments were necessary in order to get all of the thirteen colonies to sign on to the U.S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights limits the power of the government–it is not intended to limit the power of American citizens.

This is an instance where a state resident, a state official or state legislature needs to step in declare this ban and registration program unconstitutional and send the case through the courts. This law should not be allowed to stand.

I Suppose This Isn’t A Surprise

In early November, a Maryland man was killed as police tried to confiscate his guns under a ‘red flag’ order (story here). Obviously the man’s response to the police was unwise, but when you boil the whole story down, the man was killed because he resisted when police came to take his guns. That is chilling.

Today The Daily Caller posted an article about recent statement by Democratic California Representative Eric Swalwell.

The article reports:

Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell suggested on Friday that the U.S. government could use nuclear weapons on its own citizens if they fight back against firearm confiscation.

Right-wing internet personality Joe Biggs tweeted at Swalwell in response to a May report that Swalwell wants to ban “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons” and prosecute gun owners who did not turn in their newly-banned weapons.

Biggs promised any such legislation would provoke a “war” between gun owners and the government, writing, “You’re outta your f*****g mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov [sic] all the power.”

…Swalwell replied to Biggs that any such war between the government and gun owners would be “short” because the government has “nukes,” implying that the government would use nuclear weapons against its own citizens.

He further threatened that the nukes are “legit.”

The last sentence in the article states:

Swalwell said in August that he would consider a 2020 presidential run after the 2018 midterm elections.

This is what a threat to the Second Amendment looks like.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Today Breitbart posted an article about Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D). In an interview, Ms. Abrams admitted that a possible outcome of her gun control plans could be that “people would turn their guns in.” That is her opinion. It contradicts the Second Amendment, but that is her opinion.

The article reports:

Abrams began by telling host Jake Tapper that “AR-15s are not necessary on our streets.” She then called for more gun control “semiautomatic weapons” in general. She did not mention that semiautomatic handguns like Glock, Kimber, Ruger, Walther, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, etc., are the go-to choice for concealed carry and self-defense. Rather, she simply called for new controls for firearms with semiautomatic actions.

Tapper reminded the viewing audience that Abrams co-sponsored Georgia HB 731 on January 2016. He pointed out that Abrams’ co-sponsors admitted the bill would “require gun owners of these particular models to turn their guns in.” (Breitbart News reported that HB 731 designated certain commonly owned semiautomatic firearms as contraband and required the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to seize them from their owners.)

Meanwhile, another Breitbart article shows members of the New Black Panther Party wielding weapons and holding signs supporting Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. I sense a contradiction here.

In Ms. Abrams’ opinion, is it okay for them to have the guns they are holding? As governor, would she take their guns away? Good luck.

Why We Need Concealed Carry

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about an incident in an Alabama McDonald’s.

The article reports:

Once again: The Second Amendment saves. 

The father, who hasn’t been publicly named, was leaving the fast food place on Saturday when a masked man walked in and began shooting.

The dad then pulled his own weapon and started firing at the masked shooter — becoming the shooter’s target in the process.

The father sustained life-threatening injuries, according to WBRC. His son is recovering from his own gun-related injuries. The masked gunman, meanwhile, died from wounds suffered during the incident.

Police aren’t sure what the masked gunman was after — whether he was trying to rob McDonald’s or shoot someone within the establishment. But what’s sure is the father is not going to be charged.

The thing that stopped the shooting from being a massacre was a good guy with a gun who shot the bad guy with a gun, Thank God for gun rights in America.

The article concludes:

Simply put: If it hadn’t been for that armed dad, the bloodshed would’ve been a lot worse. If not for his gun-toting self, the media reports on this would be a lot different, a lot more tragic, and the focus would be on how many were murdered, not saved.

“The shooting took place at the McDonald’s across from Princeton Hospital,” WBRC reported. “A masked man entered the restaurant when an employee opened the door for a father and his sons to leave. The masked man then opened fire in the restaurant. At that point, the father began shooting at the masked man.”

Aside from the father and one of his sons, nobody else was reported injured. Nobody else, aside from the masked gunman, was killed.

This unidentified father deserves a hero’s award for quick and life-saving thinking. Once again, it’s a case of the Second Amendment saving untold numbers from disaster.

Yes,

A Common Sense Solution To The Violence In Chicago

Carl Jackson posted an opinion piece at Townhall today with suggestions as to how to deal with the gun violence in Chicago. He refers to his solution as the “Three G’s”–guys, God, and guns.

The article reminds us:

First off, when I say the word “guys” I mean dads! At the very least young men need a healthy male role model around. Young men need dads to show them how to cope with the harshness of life.

A boy who grows up without a dad has no one to guide him into the man he can become despite his surroundings or circumstances. Not to mention, help him discover his gifts and talents so that he becomes a productive contributor to society. Without a dad around gangs and or other bad influences will fill that void because children need a sense of belonging. Kids that wind up in gangs typically rebel against authority because oftentimes the first father figure they encounter that’s willing to address their bad behavior authoritatively is a cop.

…Secondly, boys who grow up without loving fathers find it harder to believe and accept that they have a heavenly father that wants the best for them. Consequently, if kids don’t have a source for objective truth, they will invent their own truth, even if it means justifying crime. Young men, who grow up with a biblical worldview are less inclined to commit violent crimes because they believe there are eternal consequences to their actions. Beyond that, religious faith gives you a roadmap to daily living and a sense of purpose, joy and peace you can’t find on the streets.

Lastly, it’s time for the city of Chicago to embrace the Second Amendment. On the surface this may sound contradictory but it’s not. When gangsters start to realize they are outgunned by law abiding citizens who simply want to protect themselves and their families, they’ll keep their illegal guns in their pocket. I experienced this myself.

Mr. Jackson goes on to relate his culture shock at moving from Los Angeles to Orlando, Florida. He explains:

To escape the violence, I moved to Orlando, Florida and moved in with my aunt and uncle for a while. To my shock, I couldn’t believe how many people I saw driving around town with shotguns displayed inside of their pickup trucks. I was scared senseless! I thought I’d be shot and lynched. But that never came to fruition. Compared to Los Angeles, there wasn’t much violence besides an occasional school fight despite the high rate of gun ownership. Gun violence was rare. My attitude even shifted. I wasn’t trying to be a tough guy knowing people could legally carry firearms in Florida. In part, guns helped cure my case of “wannabe gangsteritis.”

I recommend that you follow the link above and read the entire article. Mr. Jackson has some good ideas.

Making Our Schools Safer

The IJR posted an article yesterday about a panel on school safety. The panel was held during Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit and moderated by Townhall’s Guy Benson. The panel included family members of school shooting victims.

The article reports:

While many family members of victims usually speak out in support of enacting more gun control laws, that wasn’t the case with Hunter Pollack and J.T. Lewis.

Pollack, whose sister, Meadow, died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, said he was proud to help pass Florida Senate Bill 7026, which allows programs to be created for retired law enforcement and veterans to go through an extensive training course before being sent to protect public schools in the event of an active shooter.

“When Columbine happened, gun control was the talk, and it was a big distraction,” Pollack said. “Then Red Lake happened. [They said] we needed gun control, big distraction. Then Sandy Hook happened. They fought for gun control, [gun control] was another distraction.

“Now, it’s Stoneman Douglas, it stops with us,” he continued. “Our schools need to be safe. We need metal detectors, we need single-point entry, we need armed guards, and we need more resources for mental health.” 

Lewis, who lost his brother in the Sandy Hook shooting, echoed Pollack’s view of gun control not being the answer to school shootings.

Gun control has never been successful–criminals find ways to get guns–but in the age of 3-D printers, gun control is pretty much impossible. The Second Amendment protects the rights of Americans to bear arms, but even if that right were somehow taken away, the advent of the 3-D printer would make any laws prohibiting guns unenforceable.

The article further reports:

Matt Whitlock, who also serves as Hatch’s [Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)] communications director, told the audience the importance of getting involved at the local level since it is local leaders who are in charge of keeping kids safe, using the recently passed STOP School Violence Act as an example.

“The STOP School Violence Act is an excellent example of what good, substantial activism can lead to,” Whitlock told IJR. “First, because it was the powerful voices of young people that helped pass the bill into law, and second, because young people now have an opportunity to work with their local leaders to ensure STOP resources are used in their own schools.

“The STOP School Violence Act is about empowering local leaders to tailor school safety programs to fit their specific needs, and it’s about empowering local communities to hold those local leaders accountable for using these tools to keep them safe,” he added.

Amy Swearer, a legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, pointed to how schools are the safest they’ve been in 30 years despite the massive coverage of school shootings when they occur. She cautioned, however, that simply citing the numbers is not always the best approach when talking to victims.

There is a solution to school shootings. The STOP School Violence Act is one part of that solution.

The Second Amendment Saves Lives

Status

The New York Post posted a story yesterday about a shooting in a restaurant in Oklahoma City. A man walked into the restaurant and began shooting, injuring two people. A person in the restaurant who had a gun shot the gunman, killing him. The two people shot by the gunman are in the hospital recovering.

How long would it have taken for the police to respond to the incident? Would anyone have had a chance to call the police before being shot? How many people would have been shot before the police got there?

This is an example of the basic fact that the quickest way to stop an evil person with a gun is to have a good person with a gun at the scene. I am not supporting creating ‘the wild west,’ but there have been a few shootings recently where having an armed person at the scene saved lives.

We have the resources to put trained people in our schools with guns. There are a number of ways this can be done without breaking the budgets of the schools. One suggestion I have heard is to ask retired policemen or retired military personnel to stand guard a few days a week in return for tax breaks on their local taxes. There are other ways to do this, but that is one suggestion.

The bottom line is simple–having a well-trained, armed person at the scene of a shooting saves lives.

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 Political Left’s War On Guns

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about the closing of the last gun shop in San Francisco. It wasn’t that the gun shop was not making a profit–the regulations finally forced the gun shop to close down.

The article reports:

The new city laws were so far over the top that it’s difficult to imagine them surviving a court challenge, but the owners apparently don’t feel like converting their entire operation into little more than a legal defense fund to keep fighting the liberal legislature. They were going to force them to record videos of every customer in the store and keep those videos available permanently. The personal information of every customer would have to be turned over to the police department each and every week even if there wasn’t a hint of an allegation that any crime had taken place. In short, the rules were designed to force the shop to harass their own customers mercilessly to the point where no reasonable person would want to shop there anyway.

The Obama Administration has been waging a war on guns and gun owners for a few years now. In June 2014, I posted an article about Operation Choke Point, an outgrowth of the President’s Financial Fraud Task Force, established by President Obama by Executive Order in 2009.

I quoted a Daily Caller article that reported:

Operated under a cloud of secrecy by the Department of Justice and in coordination with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Operation Choke Point forces banks to keep a closer eye on companies in industries that are deemed “high risk”, including gun and ammunition dealers, coin dealers, payday lenders, and debt consolidation service providers.

As a result of this government interference, a gun shop in Massachusetts was forced to close its doors when it was denied a line of credit from his bank because of the fact that he sold guns.

Americans are guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment.

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.

We need public officials that respect the Constitution that they took an Oath of Office to uphold.

Proposed Minnesota Law Proposes Gun Confiscation

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story yesterday about a proposed law in the Minnesota legislature that does call for confiscation of guns.

The article reports:

H.F. 241 relates to “assault weapons.” It defines “assault weapons” in more or less the usual way; I haven’t compared it line by line to Dianne Feinstein’s federal legislation, but the definition is similar if not identical. “Assault weapons” include all semiautomatic rifles that have a pistol grip or a hole in the stock through which you can put your thumb; any “protruding grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand;” a folding or telescopic stock; or a barrel shroud. So, what is it about a hole in the stock, a “protruding grip,” a folding stock and so on that explains why such weapons should be singled out for banning by the state? Nothing. These features have nothing to do with lethality and bear no rational relation to any legitimate governmental purpose.

…Under the Democrats’ legislation, no one can buy or possess an “assault weapon” in Minnesota. If you already own one as of February 1, you can keep it. But you have to register it, and give the state permission to inspect your home–which is the only place you can keep the “assault weapon”–to make sure you are storing it properly, and undergo annual background checks. You can’t sell the firearm or give it away, and when you die, your heirs are required to either destroy it or “surrender the weapon to a law enforcement agency for destruction.” So the statute represents a ban, followed by confiscation.

President Obama will be in Minnesota today supposedly to support this proposal. As I have said before, I am not personally a gun owner, although many members of my family are; however, I support the right of people to own guns, and I worry when the government talks about taking them away–for any reason.

This law (although hopefully it has no chance of passing) is frightening. It is frightening because the legislators think they can bring it up without fear of being voted out of office. The musket was the assault weapon of its day, and it was not banned in the Constitution. I think the founding fathers knew what they were doing.

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About That Flexibility In President Obama’s Second Term

Now that he has been re-elected, President Obama is free to deal with some of his priorities that he was not able to get to in his first term. One of the first is gun control in America.

Yesterday Investors.com reported that President Obama is fast tracking a United Nations gun treaty that will threaten the right of Americans to own guns. It should be noted that President Obama has done more to increase gun sales in America than any previous President. It also should be noted that President Obama has overseen two of the nastiest international gun running operations in America’s history–Fast and Furious and Benghazi (as the news begins to leak out on Benghazi, it will become clear that it was a gun running operation to arm the Syrian opposition–which includes Al Qaeda).

The article reports:

Less than 24 hours after President Obama’s re-election, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations helped move the U.N.’s Arms Control Treaty a step closer to enactment. America joined 157 other nations in voting Wednesday to finalize the treaty in March. None was opposed and there were 18 abstentions.

U.N. delegates and gun-control activists had complained that talks collapsed in July largely because Obama feared attacks from Republican rival Mitt Romney if his administration was seen as openly supporting the pact. But once the election was over, the Obama administration had more flexibility to pull the trigger on supporting the pact.

The article further reports:

Interestingly, just as the world’s worst human rights violators sat on and often chaired the U.N. Human Rights Council, Iran, arms supplier extraordinaire to America’s enemies, was elected to a top position at the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty that was held in New York in early July.

The U.S. is one of the few countries that has anything like a Second Amendment, our Founding Fathers enshrining the right to bear arms in our founding principles in recognition of it being the ultimate bulwark against tyrannical government. They were guns owned by civilians that freed us from British tyranny. The fact that tyrants, dictators, thugs and gross human-rights violators want to control small arms worldwide is hardly a surprise.

This is not good news.

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