Cherry Picking The Facts To Get The Results You Want

For whatever reason, the government wants everyone to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Despite numbers that show many Americans have natural immunity to the coronavirus because they have already had it (I am one of those Americans. I had the virus in early November. As of two weeks ago, I still had the antibodies. If I test negative for the antibodies in the future, I might consider the vaccine, but for now, I won’t.), the government is pushing the vaccine.

Yesterday Townhall posted an article on some of the twisted logic being used to coerce Americans into getting the vaccine.

The article notes:

There are no more experts. They know nothing. So, don’t listen to them. Okay, maybe that’s not actually fair—but the real experts are being ignored by the liberal media for a simple reason: they want the COVID panic to continue. They want more deaths to occur. They want a spike. They want to keep the nation locked down. It’s partially out of spite. Blue states are still under Nazi-esque lockdown rules—and their cases are still bad. Not like last year, but Michigan is seeing a massive spike, whereas Texas who nixed their mask mandate over five weeks ago and reopened fully has seen no spikes—none. Florida has also been a state that has managed its COVID crisis better than the media gave it credit for, painting Gov. Ron DeSantis as the grim reaper. It turns out the entire media establishment ate it on that one—no shock. The good news is that even though Democratic states cannot manage COVID, there is no fourth wave. A spike in one state—Michigan, does not make a wave no matter what the CDC says. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he doesn’t think there’s going to be a fourth wave. And alas, here is the circus. The CDC saying there’s “impending doom,” which was voiced around spring break to Fauci saying, ‘nah, that ain’t happening.’  The messaging on COVID protocols has been a mess; the ones with vaccines has been even worse. An MIT study pretty much gutted or cast immense doubt on the effectiveness and purpose of air filtration systems, indoor capacity caps, and even mask wearing. Folks think they’re protected wearing a mask. Nope. It’s an airborne virus. If you’re inside with someone exposed, that mask isn’t doing much, whether it be six or sixty feet apart. It’s all a mess, and now we have this garbage about not reaching herd immunity (via NYT):

The New York Times reported:

Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives.

Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.

Instead, they are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers.

How much smaller is uncertain and depends in part on how much of the nation, and the world, becomes vaccinated and how the coronavirus evolves. It is already clear, however, that the virus is changing too quickly, new variants are spreading too easily and vaccination is proceeding too slowly for herd immunity to be within reach anytime soon.

Again, there is no allowance for natural immunity in this conclusion. It is estimated that at least one-third of Americans have had the coronavirus and are immune to it. When you add that to the forty-five percent who have been vaccinated you get approximately seventy-eight percent. That is herd immunity. Just a note, herd immunity does not mean that we eliminate the virus completely–it simply means that we eliminate the epidemic. That is a distinction that I don’t think is being currently made. We could lock ourselves in our houses forever, and there might still be a virus bug waiting for us somewhere when we ventured outside. Living in a bubble is not practical. We need to follow the example of Florida–protect the vulnerable, vaccinate the vulnerable who choose to be vaccinated, and let those less vulnerable go on with their lives. Unfortunately (as we are currently seeing), government does not like to give up control under any circumstances.

Where The Money Went

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about how the money from the coronavirus stimulus package has been distributed.

The article reports:

The 591-page American Rescue Plan Act also changed Congress’ normal formula for appropriating money. Rather than scaling funding by population, the measure awarded taxpayer dollars based on which states had the highest unemployment rates in the fourth quarter of 2020.

That shifted $31 billion in funding, according to Open the Books’ analysis, so that 27 states gained by the allocation change and 23 states lost money they would have gotten from the normal formula.

“There is a $31 billion shift and it has shifted to blue states,” Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of Open the Books, told The Daily Signal. “The big winners were California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey. Obviously Florida, which kept their economy open [under] Gov. Ron DeSantis, they continue to flourish. They lost money on that allocation change.”

I would like to remind anyone reading this that no Republicans voted for this bill. When you look at how the money has been allocated, the reason for that becomes obvious. States that were fiscally responsible were short-changed. States with already bloated spending were rewarded. Essentially bad behavior was rewarded and encouraged.

The article cites a few examples of how the money was misspent:

DeSantis (Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida) is a Republican. Under the congressional legislation, $10.1 million went to Key West, Florida, even though the state as a whole didn’t fare so well. Other wealthy conclaves receiving federal tax dollars include Oyster Bay, New York, which got $32.7 million, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, which got $65 million. 

The city topping Bloomberg’s Richest Places index with a median income of $525,000—Atherton, California—scored $1.3 million from taxpayers. Scarsdale, New York, which is No. 2 on Bloomberg’s list and the wealthiest city on the East Coast—got $2 million. The third city on the list, Hillsborough, California, got $2.1 million.

It is time to clean house in Congress.

Learning From Statistics

The two-week lockdown of the economy to flatten the curve of the coronavirus has now lasted almost a year. In some cases when the lockdown was lifted, the cases spiked, and the lockdown was reinstated. However, in other cases, when the lockdown ended quickly, there was no spike in the number of cases.

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about the success of Florida in dealing with the coronavirus crisis. The article contains a number of graphs, so I strongly suggest you follow the link to read the entire article.

Here are a few highlights from the article:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis started lifting lockdown restrictions back in May, allowing stores and restaurants to begin reopening in all but three counties in South Florida. The stay-at-home order also ended at the beginning of May. Unlike New York and California, Florida never tried to bar people from going to religious services.

At the end of September, DeSantis lifted all remaining statewide COVID-19 restrictions. Traveling back and forth from COVID-conscientious Northern Virginia to Florida, I could notice a difference. In Florida, kids were going to school, wedding parties were throwing receptions, young people were studying at coffee shops, and families were taking Christmas pictures downtown on the square.

…Since April, Florida’s unemployment rate has remained better than New York’s and California’s.

Schools in Florida are open too, and have been since August. My brother goes to one of them. I’ve seen kids playing at recess.

Amid all this, Florida ranks 33rd in pediatric cases per capita, better than California, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The state of New York has not released its numbers on pediatric cases.

…Not only is Florida’s economy enduring the effects of COVID-19 much better than locked-down states, its death rates are below the national average. At the beginning of February, the Heritage Foundation reported that Florida’s death rate was 123.3 per 100,000 residents — a tragic number, but below the national average of 132 people per 100,000.

Florida’s experience is consistent with epidemiological experience and research, as the infectious disease experts who authored the Great Barrington Declaration pointed out last October: “Basic epidemiological theory indicates that lockdowns do not reduce the total number of cases in the long run and have never in history led to the eradication of a disease.  At best, lockdowns delay the increase of cases for a finite period and at great cost. ”

This is also consistent with recent, peer-reviewed research done on COVID spread in different countries that finds lockdowns and their severity have no ultimate effect. Numerous other recent studies make this conclusion.

Florida was also below the national average rise in total deaths per capita, which would include deaths caused by lockdowns in other states. As early as July, CDC Director Robert Redfield said of young people: “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID.”

Nationally, there was a 16.9 percent increase in total deaths, regardless of cause. Florida’s increase was lower at 14.8 percent. Meanwhile, New York saw a 30.1 percent spike and California’s deaths increased by 18.6 percent.

If the states are considered laboratories to experiment with programs to see if they are successful, the rest of the nation should be following the example of Florida. That would be ‘following the science’ or at least ‘following the statistics.’

We Need Much More Of This

CBN News is reporting the following today:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and their international counterparts arrested 113 alleged child predators across the US and South America from Nov. 2 – 6 in what is described by the Department of Homeland Security as phase seven of Operation Protected Childhood. (OPCVII)

Working in cooperation with Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and the Public Security and the Public Security Secretariat for Integrated Operation Cyber Laboratory, the agency’s operation simultaneously targeted the distributors and producers of child sexual abuse material throughout the Americas.

Law enforcement agencies in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama coordinated with Homeland Security field offices in their respective countries during the sweep.

Here in the US, Homeland Security field offices working with local law enforcement officials in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Colorado, and Florida executed a combined 13 child exploitation-related search warrants and made nine arrests for child exploitation offenses. 

Simultaneously, international law enforcement partners in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama also executed search warrants in their respective countries, totaling the following arrests: 

    • Brazil – 137 child exploitation related search warrants and 74 arrests
    • Argentina – 37 child exploitation related search warrants and 23 arrests
    • Paraguay – 2 child exploitation related search warrants and 2 arrests
    • Panama – 7 child exploitation related search warrants and 5 arrests

ICE officials especially praised Brazil for its efforts in the ongoing Operation Protected Childhood.

Thank God for law enforcement officers who are willing to search out and find the people exploiting innocent children. Please follow the link to read the entire article for further details.

This Seems Very Questionable To Me

The Hill reported yesterday that billionaire Michael Bloomberg has reportedly raised more than $16 million in an effort to help convicted felons in Florida register to vote.

The article notes:

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition estimated Bloomberg’s fundraising push has already paid off monetary obligations for 32,000 felons, Axios reported

“The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right,” a Bloomberg spokesperson told the news outlet. “Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it.”

Florida passed a law in 2018 reinstating voting rights for felons that dictated they could register only if they pay all fines, fees and restitution — sometimes totaling more than $1,000 — owed to the government. 

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Florida, last week ruled to uphold the law. 

Last week, several television networks also pledged to donate money to the cause. 

Bloomberg, who ran in the Democratic primary for president, has endorsed the party’s nominee, Joe Biden, and has donated at least $100 million to the former vice president’s campaign to defeat President Trump

This may not be illegal, but it definitely is sleazy. I wonder how the average resident of Florida feels about this.

 

 

If Presidential Debates Happen, The Will Be Interesting

Breitbart posted an article today about a recent comment made by Presidential Candidate Joe Biden.

The comment:

“unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community.”

Wow.

The article reports:

National Public Radio’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro asked Biden about whether he would stop the deportation of Cubans.

“I’m going to look at every single country in the world … this guy [President Donald Trump] is sending them back,” Biden said, promising to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program on his first day in office — one of several such first-day promises Biden has made.

Garcia-Navarro followed up, asking whether Biden would attempt to restore the Obama-Biden administration’s policy of improving relations with communist Cuba.

“Yes,” he said.

Biden then went on to add:

“And by the way, w hat you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community, with incredibly different attitudes about different things … it’s a very diverse community.”

Biden attempted to explain that point by arguing that Latinos in Florida and Arizona had different views on immigration.

Garcia-Navarro did not ask Biden why he thought the black community was not diverse. She moved on to a different topic.

I think there are a number of black conservatives who might argue that the African American community is diverse and quite capable of thinking as individuals rather as a monolithic group.

The Truth About Covid-19 Begins To Emerge

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about Colorado health officials beginning to correct the number of deaths reported to have been caused by Covid-19.

The article reports:

Colorado health officials this week implemented a more precise coronavirus data metric to measure deaths from the virus in that state, one that sent confirmed COVID-19 fatalities tumbling by a full 25%.

Public health officials in the state elected to start distinguishing between individuals who died directly from the disease and those who simply died with the virus in their systems. Authorities in that state had faced criticism this week for classifying as a COVID-19 death a man whose blood-alcohol content registered an astronomical .55.

With the new system in place, confirmed coronavirus deaths in Colorado plummeted from 1150 to 878, a drop of almost 25%.

…The state’s coronavirus dashboard lists 21,232 confirmed cases of the virus there as of Saturday afternoon, with over 3,800 hospitalizations. Over 90% of deaths in the state were of individuals 60 or older. Deaths appear to have peaked there on April 25. 

I suspect an honest counting of deaths due to Covid-19 would be very different from the numbers that have been reported. One thing we do know is that people in nursing homes or extended care facilities need to be protected from the disease. Allowing patients with the disease to be placed in these facilities is very dangerous to the residents who are already there.

On May 12th, I posted an article stating that a new study reveals that 39% of all US coronavirus deaths occurred in nursing homes. These are the people who need to be protected. Florida is the gold standard for protecting the elderly. Florida has a large elderly population and has not had nearly the number of cases and deaths as New York. It’s time to protect the vulnerable and send the rest of us back to work.

Putting The Safety Of Convicted Criminals Above The Safety Of Innocent American Citizens

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article that illustrates the folly of letting convicted prisoners out of jail to protect them from the coronavirus. First of all, the original idea is shaky. In order for a prison to have an outbreak of the coronavirus, the virus would have to enter the prison with someone. Prisons have the potential of being the ultimate ‘shelter in place’ example. If you control the people coming in–limit visitors until the virus is not active in the area of the prison and test your prison guards regularly (take their temperatures in a non-intrusive way), theoretically that would not allow the virus to enter the prison. You can also quarantine anyone with the virus. There is no reason to free convicted prisoners and endanger the lives and property of everyday Americans. Meanwhile, some states are doing really dumb things.

The article reports:

A Florida inmate released on March 19 to ‘slow the spread of the Coronavirus’ was arrested on a murder charge just one day after he got out of jail.

State officials are releasing hundreds of inmates into society over Coronavirus fears while they threaten and arrest law-abiding citizens for violating ‘social distancing’ orders.

What could possibly go wrong?

Tampa deputies say 26-year-old Joseph Edwards Williams committed second-degree murder just one day after he was released from jail.

…“There is no question Joseph Williams took advantage of this health emergency to commit crimes while he was out of jail awaiting resolution of a low-level, non-violent offense,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “As a result, I call on the State Attorney to prosecute this defendant to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Judges, prosecutors, and Sheriffs around the country are facing difficult decisions during this health crisis with respect to balancing public health and public safety. Sheriffs in Florida and throughout our country have released non-violent, low-level offenders to protect our deputies and the jail population from an outbreak. Our commitment as an agency is to keep this community safe and enforce the law.”

Letting prisoners out of jail before they have completed their sentences is not a way to keep our communities safe.

Anecdotal Evidence?

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about recent comments made by Dr. Marc Seigel on the Tucker Carlson show.

The article reports:

Dr. Siegel: Tucker, I want to tell you about a 96-year-old man in Florida who one night, “I don’t think I’m going to make it. I feel very weak. The end is coming. I’m coughing. I’m short of breath. I can’t get up from the couch.” The next day he was on hydroxychloroquine and antibiotics per his cardiologist. He got up the next day he was fine. This man is my father.

Follow the link to the article to see the video. We haven’t had time to do the kind of studies that we normally do to introduce a new drug, but this drug has been used for other purposes for a long time. Many reports and studies are showing that it may be the ‘magic bullet’ for the coronavirus. I hope so.

This Is What American Ingenuity Looks Like

The Amateur Radio Relay League (AARL), a group of amateur radio operators, posted the following in their recent newsletter:

Radio Amateurs Team Up to Help University Design Low-Cost Ventilator

Amateur radio volunteers from around the world have volunteered to assist University of Florida Professor Sam Lampotang and his engineering team in their quest to rapidly develop an open-source, low-cost patient ventilator that can be built anywhere from such commonly available components as PVC pipe and lawn-sprinkler valves.

The amateur radio volunteers are developing Arduino-based control software that will set the respiratory rate and other key parameters in treating critically ill coronavirus victims.

Multiple volunteers responding to a call for help from Gordon Gibby, MD, KX4Z, include noted software developer Jack Purdum, W8TEE, and uBITX transceiver maker Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE. University of Florida physicians are working to address the critical legal aspects as the design moves closer to fruition. The ventilator’s valves would precisely time compressed oxygen flow into patient breathing circuits under Arduino control, allowing exhausted patients with “stiff” lungs impacted by viral pneumonia to survive until their body can clear the infection.

The software design team is also adding simple features such as an LCD display, encoders to choose parameters, and watchdog safety features.

This is the result of the free market being allowed to function.

When Personal Interests Overrule Good Legislation

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that two House of Representatives Democrats have proposed lifting tariffs on imported Chinese goods. The two Democrats are Florida Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy and Democrat Joe Cunningham of South Carolina. Oddly enough, Representative Murphy’s husband manufactures sportswear in Chinese factories. She also owns a patent on one of the products manufactured by her husband. What an amazing coincidence.

The article reports:

Murphy and Cunningham’s plan does not provide any insight or plans on how they would make sure said imports, which include everything from food to construction supplies, would be properly tested to make sure they are not carrying the Wuhan Virus. Furthermore, the individuals involved in loading, shipping, and unloading said imports have no requirements to be tested by American officials to determine if they are also carrying the Wuhan Virus. To say that this is reckless would be an understatement.

…Jamison Johnson, who is a graduate of the The Citadel in South Carolina, also served three tours of duty as a marine in the Middle East. He is running for the GOP nomination in South Carolina’s 1st District to take on incumbent Congressman Joe Cunningham, the co-sponsor of Murphy’s pro-China legislation.

“The Wuhan Virus came from China. If they would’ve been open and honest with us from the beginning, far less people would’ve gotten sick and far less people would have died. As a marine with three combat tours, I understand all too well how to deal with bullies like China. You have to show resolve and not back down,  just like how President Trump is remaining firm and steadfast in handling them. At the end of the day, it is quite clear that “Smoking Joe Cunningham” simply lacks the moral compass or courage to unite and lead us in any capacity,” Johnson told TGP in an exclusive statement Wednesday afternoon.

It is unclear how much support this effort has, but Murphy and Cunningham are pushing to have this placed in the Coronavirus aid package being considered and developed by President Trump. This is a breaking news story and we will update you as more happens.

I suspect that the obvious conflict of interest Congresswomen Murphy has between the interests of her husband’s business and the well being of America is only one example of something that is rampant in Washington. It is time to look at the business interests of both our Congressmen and their spouses. Some of their business interests may be in conflict with the interests of America. When that is the case, they need to be removed from office.

The Problem With Red Flag Laws

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about Florida’s Red Flag Law. Please follow the link to read the entire article. Based on what has happened since the law was passed, some of Florida’s counties were awash with crazy people and other counties had a totally sane population. I doubt either is entirely true.

The article reports:

Florida enacted its red flag law in the spring of 2018 and they didn’t lose any time in putting it to use. And I mean a lot of use. But as this report from the Associated Press indicates, use of the law is not consistent from county to county and there are serious questions remaining as to how fairly it’s being applied.

That is the problem with Red Flag Laws–they deny a citizen due process and they are arbitrary in the sense that an unhappy neighbor can file a complaint without a truly good reason.

The article continues:

The first thing I would point out here is that the AP article was edited to have a rather disingenuous title. It reads “In 2 years, Florida ‘red flag’ law removes hundreds of guns.” While that’s technically true, the actual number is more than 3,500, so “thousands of guns” would have been a more accurate description.

The article concludes:

Here’s one other hole in the state’s red flag law that has many people concerned. These red flag hearings are not considered criminal proceedings so you aren’t entitled to a lawyer assigned by the court. If you’re too poor to afford a good attorney, your chances of prevailing at the hearing go way down. With all that in mind, how many of these “success” stories about gun confiscations were actually brought by people with an ax to grind against their neighbor or angry ex-wives and girlfriends? Once the judge makes the decision to confiscate your weapons, that’s pretty much it. You’re allowed to appeal, but again, if you don’t have a good lawyer what chance do you have?

I’ve been on the fence about these red flag laws since they first started cropping up. In extreme cases like the ones I mentioned at the top, I can definitely see firearms removal as being justifiable. But the system is also open to abuse and there appear to be few safeguards in place for the wrongly accused.

The Media Responsibility For The Divide Between Us

On February 8th, Gregory Timm drove his van into a Republican voter registration tent in Jacksonville, Florida. The mainstream media chose to ignore the story.

Today The Washington Examiner posted an opinion piece that noted a few things about the attack and the silence of the media:

In the hours and days after Gregory Timm plowed his vehicle into a tent of Republican Party volunteers registering voters in the parking lot of Kernan Village Shopping Center in Jacksonville, Florida, national coverage of the event has been alarmingly lacking.

Local news channel WJXT reported days later on the arrest report, which showed Timm telling the sheriff’s office his “disapproval of Trump” was the motivating factor for the attack. He showed the sheriff’s office a self-recorded video of him driving straight at the volunteers, expressing frustration that the video cut out before “the good part.” Even then, as I write this, the best the New York Times could muster was wire coverage.

No teams of reporters were sent to uncover his dark motivations, upbringing, or political leanings. No psychological profiles have been written up, nor have any experts weighed in on how this is a growing threat. These are all tools that would have been used by an army of reporters if Timm had been a Trump supporter plowing into Democratic Party volunteers registering voters.

The problem isn’t that Timm’s attack on the GOP wasn’t covered by most of the media. It’s that it wasn’t covered with the same voracious appetite news organizations have whenever someone who is even peripherally associated with the Right does something to a Democrat.

This isn’t whataboutism; this is realism. It gets to the heart of why people, especially conservatives, believe the media doesn’t just have a liberal bias, but it either doesn’t cover stories that show when conservatives are attacked, or it buries them.

The opinion piece concludes:

According to a new Pew Research Center study, more Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents trust rather than distrust most of the 30 outlets in the study, which includes the New York Times. The reverse is true among Republicans and center-right independents. In fact, the gap has widened substantially for Republicans’ trust in the media in the past six years to get the story right, or without bias, or report it at all.

Bier (Jeryl Bier, a freelance writer whose dispatches can be found in the Wall Street Journal and National Review) says the danger for right-leaning news organizations is to try not to overcompensate for what they see as left-wing bias. “It is truly difficult to walk the line, but more in media need to strive for that balance.”

One of the more common observations I hear from people on how my profession reports on politics in this country centers on how Trump has been covered since he became president.

The conversation typically goes something like this: “I don’t mind that you scrutinize every move he makes or what his motivations are, that is your job. I just want to know why you didn’t cover the last guy with the same gusto, which was also your job.”

It is fair to say that logic should also apply to how incidents are covered that affect Republicans. There would have been a week’s worth of cable news coverage, several nationwide protests, and someone calling for a national conversation by now had the victims of Timm’s attack been supporting anyone but Trump.

The liberal slant of the mainstream media is divisive. Many Americans do not hear both sides of an issue. The are constantly fed the idea that Trump supporters are unprincipled people who want to destroy the Constitution. When the media criticizes President Trump, it generally fails to mention similar actions of previous presidents. On the whole, the mainstream media is setting up an alternative reality that can only be harmful to America.

Good News From Florida

Local 10 in Miami, Florida, posted an article on February 7 about Common Core.

The article reports:

Florida has officially done away with the controversial academic standards to establish benchmarks for reading and math.

The Florida Department of Education, acting on an executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis, eradicated Common Core from its classrooms Friday.

“Florida has officially eliminated Common Core,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I truly think this is a great next step for students, teachers and parents. We’ve developed clear and concise expectations for students at every grade level and allow teachers the opportunity to do what they love most — inspire young Floridians to achieve their greatest potential.”

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said, “Florida has completely removed ourselves from the confines of Common Core.”

Other states need to follow Florida’s example.

It’s Always A Good Idea To Follow The Money

Hot Air posted an article yesterday about the money that funded the March for Our Lives. The March for Our Lives took place on March 24, 2018, in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018. Isn’t it amazing how people managed to organize and put all that together in about five weeks?

The article reports that according to The Washington Free Beacon:

The March For Our Lives Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization launched in the aftermath of the deadly 2018 shootings at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is bankrolled almost entirely by large donations in excess of $100,000. The group reported $17,879,150 in contributions and grants over the course of 2018, its first year of operations. Ninety-five percent of those contributions came from 36 donations between $100,000 and $3,504,717—a grand total of $16,922,331.

The group’s 990 tax form shows another 38 donations totaling between $5,000 and $100,000, which together accounted for an additional $876,114 of revenue. The remainder, just 0.5 percent of total receipts, came from those giving less than $5,000.

The group isn’t required to release the names of its donors but the Free Beacon notes that Marc Benioff and Eli Broad each donated a million dollars. Influence Watch has a list of some of the other big-name donors including Steven Spielberg and his wife who gave a combined million dollars:

A number of celebrities gave financial support to the organization: George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, and Kate Capshaw each donated $500,000 for the event. The clothing company Gucci donated $500,000 to the movement. Actress Sara Ramirez notably donated $20,000 to the GoFundMe page. Professional basketball player Dwayne Wade also donated $200,000 to the organization.

All of that doesn’t include the largest contribution by far which came from CNN in the form of an endless stream of air time and online promotion for the Parkland kids, culminating in that awful special in which the Parkland kids and Sheriff Scott Israel were pitted against Dana Loesch and Marco Rubio.

The WFB story also includes a rundown of what the money was spent on. The largest chunk (nearly $8 million) went to funding the March itself. Another $4 million went to a 24-state tour to register young voters.

It is somewhat amazing to me that many Hollywood celebrities who are guarded by men with guns are perfectly willing to support taking guns away from ordinary citizens who are not guarded by men with guns.

Why The Census Is An Issue For The Democrat Party

The Democrats have been pursuing two paths regarding the 2020 Census and its impact on the 2020 election–the first is to eliminate the Electoral College and the second is the refusing to distinguish between American citizens and non-citizens during the census. Eliminating the Electoral College will put Los Angeles and New York City in charge of our country’s government (those two cities have not really mastered good government with fiscal responsibility) and counting non-citizens in the census will give more Electoral College delegates to the Democrat states.

On January 5th, The Blaze reported the following:

Population estimates show reliably Democratic states, like New York, California, and Illinois will each lose at least one congressional district and representation in the Electoral College. Conversely, states that tend to vote for Republicans—such as Texas, Florida, and Montana—are expected to increase their presence.

“This is looking to benefit Republicans only because of how the landscape has changed,” said Jenna Ellis, senior legal analyst for the Trump 2020 campaign, according to radio station KTRH.

Ellis also noted that Democrats’ anticipated losses is why they mobilized so strongly to oppose the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question on the Census.

“They’re not interested in laws,” she said. “They’re not interested in sound reasoning or fair and accurate representation of every American. They are only interested in concentrating their own political power by any means necessary.”

Most Americans have the option of voting with their feet. That is why California is rapidly losing citizen residents and Texas is gaining them.

The article lists the states gaining and losing population:

Among GOP strongholds expected to lose an electoral vote are: Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Among the blue states are California, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Rhode Island. That’s an even minus five for both parties from the 2016 election night map, according to an analysis by NBC News.

However, when analysts looked at states expected to gain seats, the GOP comes out on top. Three Republican states that went for Trump in 2016—Montana, Arizona, and North Carolina—are likely to pick-up one seat after the Census. On the Democratic side of the ledger, two states (Oregon and Colorado) will each add a seat, resulting in a net gain of one Electoral College seat for Republicans.

The big problem for the Left is that forecasts show Florida and Texas—both of which voted for Trump in 2016—picking up a combined five seats (two for Florida, three for Texas). Thus, if the estimates hold, Republicans will pick-up six Electoral College votes. Of course, this assumes that both the GOP maintains control of the Lone Star and Sunshine States, but that’s a topic for a different day.

The only hope for the Democrats is that the people moving to Republican states bring their big government ideas with them and overwhelm the population. As someone who lives in one of those states, I am hoping that doesn’t happen.

Once A Community Organizer, Always A Community Organizer

President Obama has reentered the political scene. He is in the process of buying a beautiful waterfront home on Martha’s Vineyard. He is also involved in an organization called “Redistricting U.” The organization’s website is Allontheline.org.

Here is some information from the website:

  • “I’ve always believed that training is at the heart of organizing. It’s why I made it a priority in my 2008 campaign and throughout our larger movement for change in the years since. … The movement for fair maps will determine the course of progress on every issue we care about for the next decade. And we can’t wait to begin organizing when the redistricting process starts in 2021. We need to build this movement from the ground up – right now.” — President Obama
  • As a campaign of the National Redistricting Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization, All on the Line’s primary purpose is the advocacy and the promotion of social welfare. However, in limited instances, and only when consistent with our values and mission, All On The Line may engage in grassroots electoral work.
  • All On The Line is a campaign of the National Redistricting Action Fund (NRAF), an affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), which is chaired by Eric H. Holder, Jr., the 82nd Attorney General of the United States.
  • The All On The Line campaign began, in part, when NRAF combined forces with Organizing for Action, an organization founded by Obama aides that grew out of President Obama’s campaign infrastructure. The power of ordinary people coming together to enact change is central to the beliefs of President Obama and Eric Holder, and they are both active in this effort and supportive of this campaign.

The states targeted by this organization for redistrict6ing are Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. It is interesting that all but one of these states voted for President Trump in 2016. President Trump lost in Colorado by less than 5 percent.

So what is this really about? President Obama is watching his legacy being destroyed as President Trump is rebuilding the American economy. President Trump is on track to be reelected despite the efforts of the mainstream media and the hysterics of the Democrat presidential candidates. Redistricting reform is the name President Obama is giving to his efforts to make sure President Trump is not reelected.

 

Ignoring Our God-given Rights Enumerated In The U.S. Consitution

Yesterday Townhall posted an article that illustrates the problem with the ‘red flag’ laws currently being discussed by gun-control advocates. The article tells the story of Jonathan Carpenter, a Florida resident.

The article reports:

According to Ammoland, Jonathan Carpenter received a certified letter from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services saying his concealed handgun permit had been suspended for “acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violations.”

Carpenter was forced to go to the Osceola County clerk’s office to have a form filled out stating he wasn’t the person law enforcement was looking for. At that point, the clerk instructed Carpenter to speak with the sheriff’s office.

Ammoland reports:

The Sheriff’s office supplied Carpenter with a copy of the injunction. In the statement, the plaintiff stated that she rented a room out to a “Jonathan Edward Carpenter” and his girlfriend. She alleged that this Carpenter was a drug dealer who broke her furniture and sold her belongings without her permission. He had a gun, and she feared for her life. She was not sure if the firearm was legal or not.

Carpenter had never met the woman in question and never lived at the address listed in the restraining order. Moreover, other than being white, he looked nothing like the man the terrorized the woman.

The man in question is 5’8. Carpenter is 5’11. The alleged drug dealer is 110lbs. Carpenter is over 200. The man has black hair. Carpenter is completely bald. Last but not least, the man in question is covered in tattoos, and Carpenter only has a few.

Even though it was evident they had the wrong man, Carpenter was forced to hand over his firearms. There was no hearing or any kind of court proceeding.

Read those last two sentences again.

The article concludes:

Carpenter’s firearms had to remain in police custody until the plaintiff can say, in court, that he’s not the man that she filed a complaint against. He’d then have to petition the court to get his firearms back…and he would have to bear the cost. Carpenter will get his day in court later this month. 

What’s happening to this man is the exact instance Second Amendment supporters have worried about. This very instant is what we’ve talked about, time and time again. What if Carpenter needed to defend himself between now and his court date? He couldn’t, because the government failed him. He’s having to prove himself innocent in a country where everyone is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

The ‘laws’ used to confiscate Mr. Carpenter’s firearms are not constitutional. This nightmare scenario would be frequently repeated if ‘red flag’ laws are passed. Mr. Carpenter is innocent until proven guilty. He was not treated that way.

Security In Florida Schools

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that the Florida Senate has passed a bill that will allow trained teachers to arm themselves in class. It is sad that this is probably a necessary thing to do.

The article reports:

The bill will now go to the House, after being approved by a vote of 22-17. The Republican House has been extremely supportive of the bill, and Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated that he intends to sign it if it passes.

If passed, the bill will still require local school boards and charter governing boards to vote on whether or not they want to authorize it.

“Teachers who volunteer to bring guns to schools would have to undergo a psychological test and at least 144 hours of training, the results of which have to be approved by law enforcement,” The Hill reports.

In the past, people who carry out mass shootings have preferred places where they would not encounter armed resistance. Knowing that there were trained, armed teachers in a school might discourage a deranged person from attacking it. Obviously, the best way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun. The need for this law is an unfortunate statement about the condition of our society, but it is the reality we live with. I believe this law, if passed, will save lives in Florida.

This Could Get Very Ugly

There are a lot of questions about how the Jeffrey Epstein trial and sentencing was handled in Florida. A lot of evidence has remained secret, and a lot of circumstantial evidence seems to require a much harsher sentence than was given. The Miami Herald has followed this story and done a lot of investigative reporting on the case.

Yesterday The Miami Herald posted an article about the latest twist in the Jeffrey Epstein case.

The article reports:

Two mysterious parties, labeling themselves Jane Doe and John Doe, have filed separate legal briefs in an attempt to limit the public release of personal information that could connect them to an underage sex trafficking operation allegedly run by New York financier Jeffrey Epstein and his partner, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Jane Doe, represented by Kerrie Campbell, a Washington-based gender equality lawyer, appears to be a victim who wants to remain unidentified, but indicated she is amicable to the release of some information — as long as it doesn’t identify her, court documents filed this week show.

The other party, John Doe, submitted a brief in support of Maxwell, who continues to mount a last-ditch legal campaign to keep court records that allegedly contain details of their sex exploits involving young girls — and other third party people who may be involved — under seal.

It’s not clear whether the latest challenges will delay release of the documents, said Sanford Bohrer, attorney for the Miami Herald, which filed an action to unseal the files last year as part of its investigation into Epstein called “Perversion of Justice.’’

The article concludes:

Epstein, who was not party to the lawsuit, has denied he ever ran a sex trafficking operation. In 2005, he came under investigation by Palm Beach police, accused of molesting three dozen underage girls by luring them to his mansion under the guise of paying them for massages.

Eventually, under a secret plea deal negotiated by then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, Epstein pleaded guilty to two prostitution charges in state court and served 13 months in the county jail, where he enjoyed liberal work release privileges despite that being prohibited for sex offenders.

In November, the Miami Herald published a series of articles that deconstructed how Epstein and his lawyers manipulated the criminal justice system, working secretly with federal prosecutors to conceal and minimize his crimes. The handling of the case is now under investigation by the Department of Justice.

On March 4, some of Epstein’s lawyers wrote an op-ed letter to The New York Times denying that Epstein ran a sex trafficking ring and contending that the number of women involved in his criminal case was “vastly exaggerated.’’

Acosta, who is now President Trump’s secretary of labor, has come under pressure by some in Congress to resign his post, but the president on Tuesday expressed his support.

This is a story to keep an eye on. There are a lot of people involved in the Epstein story who would very much like to keep their names secret. We know a lot of their names because some of the flight logs of the plane to “Lolita Island” have been released. If more of the records regarding the Epstein trial are made public, there are a number of public figures who will have a lot of explaining to do.

Seriously?

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported the following:

The Georgia Democrat Party announced on SATURDAY that a handful of Georgia counties have suddenly discovered THOUSANDS of new votes that need to be counted. The Georgia Democrats say the new stash included absentee, early and election day votes.

…Democrats in Georgia have now mysteriously discovered another 5,569 votes of which 4,804 were for Stacey Adams.

Meanwhile in Florida, according to another article at The Gateway Pundit posted yesterday:

One day after un-conceding the election, defeated Democrat candidate for Florida governor Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum will hold a rally at a Broward County church Sunday evening sponsored by leftist political groups in support of the recount efforts that could upend the election day victory of Republican candidate Ron DeSantis. The rally is being called, “Count Every Vote: A Faith Response to the Florida Recount”.

I also want every vote counted–every legal vote, but it seems odd to me that thousands of Democrat votes were discovered after the deadline for counting votes. There are also some questions about custody of ballots–people driving ballots around with only one person in the car–documenting the chain of custody seems to be a lost art in Florida.

Hopefully this mess can be sorted out in the next few days. I believe that the Republicans won both in Florida and Georgia. If corruption can be proven in these states, those responsible for the corruption need to go to jail. We need to make sure that those who seek to cheat during elections are punished severely enough to discourage the practice.

 

 

Voter Fraud In Florida

Below is an affidavit regarding the current ballot count in Broward County.

11 03 2016 Chelsey Smith SO… by on Scribd

The affidavit is posted at various places on the intehe rnet. The Gateway Pundit is one of those places.

The Gateway Pundit reports:

Former Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp tweeted that there is an affidavit from a Florida campaign worker who states that he/she saw Broward County Elections staff filling out blank ballots!

In a previous article, The Gateway Pundit reported:

Matt Caldwell has followed Gov. Rick Scott’s lead in filing a lawsuit Friday against the Broward County Supervisor of Elections in one of the state’s closest races.

The campaign of the Republican candidate for agricultural commissioner sent a news release Friday afternoon announcing that his attorneys filed a lawsuit in the 17th judicial circuit “asking the court to protect the integrity of all ballots and all public records relating to the election for Commissioner of Agriculture.”

Caldwell thought he had edged out a victory in the agricultural commissioner race Tuesday night when he had about a 40,000 vote lead over Democratic candidate Nikki Fried.

But the latest vote count shows Caldwell losing by 3,120 votes to Fried. The difference between the candidates is .04 percent, signaling an automatic recount, and a likely manual recount.

This whole thing should be shut down immediately and those involved arrested and put in jail.  This impacts the entire nation, not just the crooks running Broward County elections.

The election results from Broward County need to be declared invalid. They should not be counted in any Florida race. If anyone complains about their vote not being counted, they should be reminded to choose honest election officials if they want their vote counted. The other solution is to fire everyone involved, charge them with voter fraud, appoint honest people to count the votes, and hold another election.

A Blatant Misuse Of Authority

The Parkland School anti-gun children have been off the front pages for a few days, so I guess it is logical that they would want their school back in the headlines again. However, I do question their approach.

The Daily Wire posted an article today about Kyle Kashuv, a pro-Second Amendment student at Parkland School. Kyle Kashuv posted some tweets and a video of himself at a shooting range learning about gun safety and how to use a gun properly. Because of this, he was called to the school office.

In an article posted yesterday, Twitchy describes what happened next:

Near the end of third period, my teacher got a call from the office saying I need to go down and see a Mr. Greenleaf. I didn’t know Mr. Greenleaf, but it turned out that he was an armed school resource officer. I went down and found him, and he escorted me to his office. Then a second security officer walked in and sat behind me. Both began questioning me intensely. First, they began berating my tweet, although neither of them had read it; then they began aggressively asking questions about who I went to the range with, whose gun we used, about my father, etc. They were incredibly condescending and rude.

Then a third officer from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office walked in, and began asking me the same questions again. At that point, I asked whether I could record the interview. They said no. I asked if I had done anything wrong. Again, they answered no. I asked why I was there. One said, “Don’t get snappy with me, do you not remember what happened here a few months ago?”

They continued to question me aggressively, though they could cite nothing I had done wrong. They kept calling me “the pro-Second Amendment kid.” I was shocked and honestly, scared. It definitely felt like they were attempting to intimidate me.

This student went to the gun range with his father to learn about gun safety and the proper use of firearms. There is nothing there that is the slightest bit illegal. Contrast that with the Parkland shooter who had threatened people with a gun and had a record of negative behavior. The school resource office and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office were way out of line here. Students who go to a gun range to learn about gun safety are not the ones who shoot up schools. This is as ridiculous as taking guns away from law-abiding citizens and believing that criminals will not find a way to obtain guns.

School Policies Have Consequences

In 2013, the Obama Administration instituted the Promise Program (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education). The purpose of the program was to slow down the rate of students going directly from high school to prison. If essence, the Promise Program simply looked the other way if the students committed crimes. Broward County Florida schools adopted the program.

An article at a website called Matter of Cause posted the following:

Broward’s Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline was announced in early November. Instead of suspensions, students can now be referred to the PROMISE program, where they receive counseling for several days and then return to school. A host of non-violent misdemeanors no longer require an arrest, though officers can sometimes override that if they feel it is necessary (“I wanted to make sure deputies always had discretion,” says Scott Israel, Broward County’s sheriff). The school district’s Office of Minority Male Achievement reviews data to ensure that punishments for minor infractions and racial disparities are on the decline.

“There’s been success with other districts working to address parts of the problem,” says Alana Greer, an attorney with the Advancement Project who consulted on the agreement. In recent years, Los Angeles and Denver have limited the range of minor behavior infractions that can be punished by a suspension. “But what Broward did that really set it apart is they put together this incredible breadth of stakeholders. They have been able to not only address one piece of it, but create a set of policies that work together to hopefully eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline in Broward.”

Broward is unusual because representatives from law enforcement, the district, and the community were able to agree on reform, and the superintendent approved it. “In dealing with the previous administration, people were afraid to look at disparate impact issues,” says Weekes. “[Runcie] was not backing away from it.” The new superintendent released the data and acknowledged that the problem had a racial dynamic. “It’s a problem all over the country,” Runcie says, “and Broward is no exception.”

The article was very optimistic, but Hot Air posted an article today with the results of the program:

Broward County’s PROMISE program (which stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education) coincides with higher levels of violent crime among juveniles, even as levels of such crime have been falling statewide.

…Broward County now has the highest percentage of “the most serious, violent [and] chronic”juvenile offenders in Florida, according to the county’s chief juvenile probation officer…

Within two years of adopting the discipline reforms, Broward’s juvenile recidivism rate surged higher than the Florida state average.

The negative trends continued through last year, the most recent juvenile crime data show.

Prosecutors and probation officers complain that while overall juvenile arrests are down, serious violent crimes involving school-aged Broward youths – including armed robbery, kidnapping and even murder – have spiked, even as such violent crimes across the state have dropped.

Juvenile arrests for murder and manslaughter increased 150 percent between 2013 and 2016. They increased by another 50 percent in 2017. County juveniles were responsible for a total of 16 murders or manslaughters in the past two years alone, according to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice…

After Broward schools began emphasizing rehabilitation over incarceration, fights broke out virtually every day in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias and campuses across the district. Last year, more than 3,000 fights erupted in the district’s 300-plus schools, including the altercations involving Cruz. No brawlers were arrested, even after their third fight, and even if they sent other children to the hospital.

Federal data show almost half of Broward middle school students have been involved in fights, with many suffering injuries requiring medical treatment.

Because the students involved in the fights are considered “mutual combatants,” administrators tell parents they cannot be referred to police under the new discipline code.

The Promise Program may have sounded really good on paper, but it lacked a knowledge of human nature and teenagers–teenagers generally like to push boundaries. If they can get away with something, they will. That’s human nature. It was unrealistic to expect that undisciplined students would discipline themselves.

The Irony Of Students Marching Asking The Government To Take Away Their Rights

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

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.

That Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights–the document that protected the rights of the people from government overreach. It was there in response to the experiences the Americans had had with the overreach of the British government. The American people wanted to protect themselves from random searches, limits on speech, limits on the ability to assemble, and property seizure without proper legal procedure. That is the context of the Second Amendment. There was a feeling that without the Second Amendment, none of the other Amendments could be defended. Unfortunately, this is not something American students are currently being taught.

There was a student protest in Washington, D.C. (and other places) today to challenge gun ownership in America. The Gateway Pundit posted a speech by Delaney Tarr, who survived the Florida school shooting.

The is her speech:

My name is Delaney Tarr, and I’m here today because I’m a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student. However, I’m not here today for the media. I’m not here for the crowds, as great as you all are, for the fame, for the fun. I’m here on this stage today and I’ve been working everyday for my 17 fellow Eagles who were pronounced dead because of gunfire.

I am here for every person that has died at the hands of gun violence and for the many more whose lives were irreparably changed because of it.

I think, I hope that that is why we are all here. Because this is more than just a march. This is more than just one day, one event, then moving on. This is not a mere publicity stunt, a single day in the span of history. This is a movement.

This is a movement reliant on the persistence and passion of its people. We cannot move on. If we move on, the NRA and those against us will win. They want us to forget.

They want our voices to be silenced. And they want to retreat into the shadows where they can remain unnoticed. They want to be back on top, unquestioned in their corruption, but we cannot and we will not let that happen.

Today, and every day, we will continue to fight for those things that are right. We will continue to fight for common sense. We will continue to fight for our lives. We will continue to fight for our dead friends. There will be no faltering, no pauses in our cause.

Every moment will be dedicated to those pieces of legislation ― every march, every meeting, every moment. All for that assault weapons ban to keep these weapons of war out of the hands of civilians who do not need them. All for the prohibition of high-capacity magazines.

Because no hunter will ever need access to a magazine that can kill 17 in mere minutes. All for the reinforcement of background checks and closing of loopholes, because there must be more of a requirement for a person to access a gun than just a wad of cash.

There are so very many things, so many steps to take. Like right now, sign our petition. It takes two seconds and it matters. We will take the big and we will take the small, but we will keep fighting. When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile. We are not here for bread crumbs. We are here for real change. We are here to lead.

We are here to call out every single politician, to force them into enacting this legislation, to addressing this legislation, to doing more than a simple Band-Aid on a broken bone. The pressure is on for every person in power, and it will stay that way. Because they know what is coming.

They know that if there is no assault weapons ban passed, then we will vote them out. They know that if there is no tightening of the background checks, we will vote them out. They know that if there is no shrinking of magazine capacity, then we will vote them out.

If they continue to ignore us, to only pretend to listen, then we will take action where it counts. We will take action every day, in every way, until they simply cannot ignore us anymore.

Today we march, we fight, we roar. We prepare our signs, we raise them high. We know what we want, we know how to get it, and we are not waiting any longer.

There is a problem with what she is saying (other than not understanding the Second Amendment).

Let’s talk about the ban on assault weapons.

In June 2016 The Federalist posted an article about the banning of assault weapons. The article stated:

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).

So what was the impact of the assault weapons ban?

The law expired in September of 2004, making 2003 the last full calendar year in which the law was in effect. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime statistics, 390 people were murdered with rifles in 2003, making rifles the weapon of choice in 2.7 percent of murders that year. But in 2014, more than a decade after these vile weapons of war flooded American streets, the number of rifle murders surely skyrocketed, right?

Not so much. Quite the opposite. In 2014, the most recent year for which detailed FBI data are available, rifles were used in 248 murders. And not only are rifles used in far fewer murders over a decade following the expiration of the 1994 gun ban, they’re also used in a smaller percentage of homicides. In 2003, when the gun ban was in full effect, rifles were used in nearly 3 percent of murders. In 2014, they were used in barely 2 percent.

I think it is wonderful that students want to get involved in politics, but it is a shame that our schools are not teaching them the facts about what they are protesting.

We need good background checks for gun owners, but let’s remember that the school shooter in Florida would not have been able to purchase a gun but for the changes in law enforcement policies in the school made by the Obama administration. The problem was not the background check–it was that the student’s history was not reported to the authorities so it could be included in his background check.

The irony here is that there was a person on the campus of the school whose job it was to protect the students who was armed. That person chose not to enter the building and confront the shooter. A good guy with a gun could have stopped a bad guy with a gun had he chosen to act. The gun was never the problem–the problem was the morality of the person holding the gun.