Archive for the ‘Gun Rights’ Category

Texas Liberty: Lost to History?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

As readers will remember, I’ve covered the case of Army Master Sergeant Christopher “CJ” Grisham, who was arrested, tried, re-tried, and finally convicted of a misdemeanor charge of “interfering with a public servant,” in Bell County, Texas.  The case arose out of a ridiculous case of officer over-reaction in a rural area of Temple, Texas, where Grisham and his son were on a hike for a merit badge for the boy’s scouting pursuits.  What bothers me most about this case is a circumstance that should cause every American to recoil in anger: Here was a man committing no crime, threatening no person, but an officer showed up and made a criminal of him by acting in outrageous fashion.  I’m not going to re-argue the case, as it is currently under appeal, but there is a subtext to this story that makes me ill.  Persons in the community claiming to be conservative, yet taking the side of the law enforcement officer in this case are cowardly fools.  There should have been no case.  There should have been no arrest.  There should have been no initial call from a passerby who observed the “armed subject.”  We live in a nation of cowards, and some of them claim to be “conservatives.” This wretched, skulking view of liberty sickens me. We have now supposed “conservatives” who pose as advocates of liberties they would rather you not exercise, and of all places, in Texas.

Let me assert from the outset that an armed person hiking along the rural roadways of Texas really ought not be a matter for law enforcement.  There is no law in Texas against openly carrying a long gun, whether rifle or shotgun, and Grisham was not threatening any person.  He wasn’t brandishing the firearm, or waving it around, or otherwise doing anything that would indicate any aggressive action.  Sadly, the mere presence of the firearm suggests to some very dim-witted persons a threat that does not exist.  These same nit-wits do not flinch at the presence of firearms on the persons of law enforcement officers, but slung from the neck of a citizen, it’s another matter.  It is either cowardice or malice that leads to such calls to law enforcement.

On the side of malice, there are those in every community who hate firearms, largely because they live in fear.  They are participants in a nonsensical agenda aimed at disarming the country, believing that some Utopia is possible absent guns.  These are the same dolts who supported the enactment of Obama-care, or who are happy to vote for every statist that promises them a paradise on Earth, free of want and fear.  These are the overt enemies of liberty, and Texans, of all the people in America, should shun them as reprobates.  They fear liberty as they fear life itself.  They are not fit to live among civilized people, and therefore seek to reduce civilization to a world of mandates and dicta from on high.

As bad as the open enemies of liberty may be, there is another group I estimate to be perhaps worse.  There are those who proclaim themselves “conservative,” but who are no less fearful or debauched in their thinking.  Actual conservatives do not live in fear of bogey-men.  They do not live in fear of inanimate objects or tools. They do not pretend to themselves that a society in which guns are forbidden from public view, or forbidden altogether will be somehow safe from harm.  All the evidence gathered about crime and guns over the last half-century demonstrates convincingly that the more citizens are armed, the safer their communities will be.  In stark contrast, the fewer citizens who are armed, the more common it will be for people to fall prey to monsters and madmen.  Those claiming “conservatism” as their general ideology should know better, and reason should be their guide, but what we really have is a number of people who don’t really believe anything except that “liberals are bad.”  They don’t adhere to principles, and they don’t really know why they’re “conservatives.”

One of the arguments you hear from this crowd is that “Grisham was only carrying to prove a point.” This bizarre logic would have you believe that somehow, if only for the sake of doing what the law permits, Grisham would be guilty of some crime.  What they are too cowardly to understand is that to retain our freedoms, we ought to exercise them openly and in full light of day as the means by which to reinforce their validity.  What they mistakenly believe is that we ought to have rights, but never to exercise them.  This bastardized view of liberty has led nation after nation, and civilizations from time immemorial to utter collapse and tyranny.  A right not exercised out of a fear of persecution is no right at all.  What one can learn from the Grisham case is that while many politicians and persons in Bell County Texas may claim to support liberty and gun rights, the truth is that they don’t support their exercise. In much the same fashion, Phil Robertson is being persecuted for his beliefs. None will dare say that he isn’t entitled to them, but too many will shrink from his right to state them.  So goes “free speech” or “free exercise of religion” in modern America.

There exists also some abiding but misplaced sense of fealty to local law enforcement.  I love the people who earnestly take up the defense of our lives and liberties, but I strenuously oppose any who would abuse citizens under color of law.  More, those who speak out about this subject are often ostracized for what boils down to simple boat-rocking.  Speaking out in a Texas community against the actions of law enforcement officers in some particular cases is tantamount to becoming a leper in the community.  It is the preposterous proclamation of the idea that “we have rights, but we ought never exercise them” that emboldens those with tyrannical mindsets to such actions.  Why did the officer in this case seek to disarm Grisham, who was doing nothing illegal, threatening no one, and harming not a soul?  Why did he do so without warning?  Why did he take on the power of the state as an aggressor?  The reason is simple: He believed he would be safe in so doing.  He believed he would get away with it, and thus far, the legal farce in Bell County courtrooms stage-managed by visiting judge Neal Richardson have borne out his belief.

What we really have here is a simpler question, truth be told: Was Grisham out to “interfere with a public servant,” or was a public servant out to interfere with a citizen’s free exercise of liberty?  I would conclude in this case that it had been the latter, but so many of my fellow citizens seem to fear such a “revolutionary” idea. Each year, Texans celebrate their own independence, and remember the Alamo, but then quietly and meekly ignore the meaning of those things they claim to hold dear.  Each and every time they participate in one of these sham trials against a citizen who had really done nothing but exercise the liberties they claim to support, they mark themselves as frauds and pretenders. “Don’t mess with Texas,” they’ll say in imitation of the state’s anti-littering campaign, but “go ahead and mess with Texans,” they’ll meekly admit.

When I decided with my family to remain in Texas after my military service, it was based on the idea that we would become Texans.  We wouldn’t try to re-shape the state or its people into the form or image of what we had escaped, but instead adopt to ourselves the history and culture of a freedom-loving place.  I believed that meant something special, which is to say that I believed at the time that Texans were fiercely protective of their freedoms.  Nowadays, seeing what passes for “conservatism” in so much of the Lone Star State, I’m no longer certain my assessment had been correct.  Texans may like the imagery of prideful independence, but slowly and surely, they are joining many of their fellow Americans in the slide into servitude.  I know there are still a number of Texans of the sort I had hoped to become, but their number is dwindling fast, much too fast, as it becomes increasingly fashionable to spout about liberty but never to exercise it.  It is this sort of cowardice that is uncharacteristically un-Texan, and yet it seems to grow like a cancer, metastasizing through the entire body of the state, undermining the appearance of independence still claimed by its residents.

Supposed “conservatives” in Texas who enable this decline are the more objectionable to me.  On the federal level, we have one conservative Senator, Ted Cruz, and one cowardly Senator, John Cornyn.  Cruz actually fights to the limits of his ability. Cornyn pretends to fight for us, but all too often fights against conservatism, joining with the left in their various plots and plans.  At the state level, it’s much the same. We have a number of crony capitalists who claim conservatism, but only a few hands-full of actual conservatives.  You might wonder how this could be the case in Texas, of all places, but the answer is clear: Too many supposed conservatives among the voting populace are similarly opposed to boat-rocking because too few really want freedom complete with its ups and downs; its rewards and risks.  We’re losing our culture, and it’s sad that having discovered the freedoms of Texas at twenty-five years of age, and having the courage to make of it our new home, I now find that the courage that had attracted me to the people and places of Texas is slowly bleeding away.  When I see shoddy argumentation demanding a surrender of rights while claiming to possess them, I know that this is not the Texas with which I had become so enamored in my youth.

Texas needs new leaders, and it needs them soon, but to get the sort of men and women who can save the state, we will need citizens with the courage and will to do so.  Texans invest a lot of time proclaiming their pride in this state, and what it purports to be, but the truth is that nowadays, that’s more boast than fact.  From the statehouse to the local governments, Texans are yielding liberty at an astonishing pace, as our “independent school districts” run wild, spending outrageous sums on unnecessary things, our local governments grow and become more reliant on the state, that in its turn becomes merely a localized, branch establishment of the federal leviathan.  CJ Grisham’s case is just one among many, as the cowardice of too many alleged conservatives comes to dominate our polity.   Everywhere, government entities are clamping down on liberties long-enjoyed but less and less frequently exercised.  We’re told by our neighbors and friends that we should not exercise them, for fear of retribution or rocking the boat, but one must ask what sort of sinking ship of freedom we’re aboard, that we no longer dare evince these rights by carrying them into execution.  Don’t speak out, or you will be ostracized.  Don’t walk in public with a firearm lest you be arrested for contrived causes.  Don’t be a Texan, whatever you may claim, because real Texans are going extinct, like the dinosaurs, and good riddance, it seems.

All hope is not lost, but it’s time to re-evaluate our position.  Christians now hide their faith lest they be publicly pilloried for it.  Conservatives refuse to be conservative, lest their noncommittal acquaintances think the less of them.  Men and women are now chastised for speaking of freedom, never mind exercising it.  Over the last several years, there has been talk of “the wussification of America,” but no place in the country has it become more evident of late than in Texas, perhaps precisely because of the contrast provided by its peoples’ former strengths. Where once dwelt a vast majority of rugged individuals among the blue-bonnets, we now find a population increasingly composed of shrinking violets who dare not stand for the right.  Any right.  We must endeavor to fight this slide, and we must do so in the city council meetings, the counties’ commissioners courts, and in the legislature.  Time for a resurgence of liberty in Texas is growing short.  The most important places in which we must make a stand are among our friends, families, and neighbors, among whom the number of gone-wobbly seems to increase daily.  It’s time for the voices of freeborn men and women to be heard, and if not in Texas, one must wonder where those voices will resound again.  It’s a damnable shame that as Texas begins the approach to its bicentennial, we may find ourselves in a state where our claims to liberty are all hat but no cattle.  Stand up Texans!  You have a famous heritage based on the bold and courageous, but so must your children and their progeny beyond.  We must exercise our rights, or yield them, surrendering them forever more.  One new Texan’s final diary entry must be our guide:

“No time for memorandums now. Go ahead! Liberty and Independence forever. “– David Crockett, March 5th, 1836

The Right to Live Without Fear?

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

MSGT CJ Grisham

In my area, I’ve been monitoring a case involving Army Master Sergeant Christopher “CJ” Grisham, who was unnecessarily assaulted, disarmed, and arrested by Temple policeman Steve Ermis while out on a hike with his son.  The case went to trial this week, and at its end, there was a hung jury with five of six jurors finding Grisham “guilty” on the class B misdemeanor charge of “interfering with a police officer in the performance of his duties.”  Prosecutors will indeed try the case again.  Apart from the preposterous expense of re-trying the case, and ignoring the biased manner in which the court trial was carried out by visiting judge Neal Richardson, there remains the simple relevant fact that at least five of the jurors were able to discern: CJ committed no crime.  He and his son were walking along a roadside in a rural part of Temple, the elder Grisham with an AR-15 slung from his neck, as well as his concealed handgun. There is no law against openly carrying a long-gun in Texas, and Grisham has a concealed handgun license, but as usual, there’s always somebody in a hurry to claim offense or that they had been in fear.

It was such a caller to Temple PD who initiated this case.  I want to address this post particularly to such people, as perhaps best represented by a person who wrote a letter to the Temple Daily Telegram, or who otherwise claim some offense against their psychological state: Get over it.  Your fears do not invalidate the rights of your fellow citizens.

Let us first stipulate that we have an obnoxiously large proportion of our society that no longer understands what constitutes a “right.“  I place the blame for this at the feet of a failed education system and failed parenting, as well as an ever-growing statist regime.  Examples of rights are things like free speech, free exercise of religion, freedom from wanton search and seizure, and freedom to self-defense and its implements(the right to keep and bear arms, for instance.) Things for which there can be no right would include “a right to food,” or “a right to health-care,” or a “right to education,” among many others.  Added to these material things provided by others to which one can have no legitimate right, there are also intangible things to which one can have no right.  For instance, our founding documents specify a “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Neither does it demand simply “happiness,” nor does it suggest that such happiness as one may pursue ought to be provided by others.  This is because it is preposterous to suggest that if you’re unhappy, somehow, somebody will compelled to make you happy.  This is because your emotional or psychological state is entirely your affair.  Knowing this, let us examine the preposterous, childlike, almost infantile claim of those who wish government to protect them from “fear.”

One of the letter-writers to the Temple Daily Telegram attempted to make this case:  CJ Grisham may have a right to carry a gun, but in public spaces,  her fear should trump this.  Because the writer is afraid of guns, all who own guns must therefore yield the right to possess them.  Consider the following from the Temple Daily Telegram, under the title My Rights vs. his:

“I would like to say “thank you” to Temple Council members for not allowing Sgt. Christopher J. Grisham to dictate how they address the issue of carrying guns wherever someone chooses. The Second Amendment gives him or anyone the right to “own” a gun, when legal. However, it does not give them the right to impose their rights on everyone else. His rights end when they infringe upon my right to feel safe and free of fear when I go outside of my home and see people carrying guns.”

“Impose?”  This is the sort of inverted logic I expect from a third-grader.  It evinces a complete misunderstanding of the entire concept of rights.  If we are to subject the rights of citizens to the random, irrational and entirely variable fears of all other citizens, we must immediately embark upon a program to build a vast prison able to contain all seven billion humans, who once imprisoned must never be let out.  I might claim, and it would be true, that I am afraid for my life due to idiotic letter-writers who demand the disarming of their fellow citizens.  Let us now hold such letter-writers in prison, or at least prevent them from writing further correspondence lest I or others of a similar mindset be unnecessarily fearful.  We can extend this putrid argument of the timid to virtually any and every issue.  Once one has embarked down this path, there is no turning back.  CJ Grisham did not impose anything on any person.  He was minding his own business, on a hike with his son, when a police officer arrived to impose sanctions on him for the sake of some caller’s irrational fear, due to their ignorance of both the law and the concept of rights, or simply to malice.  No, we must not permit such folly to determine when rights end, or there will be no rights of any sort: No cars, no trucks, no airplanes, and no houses. No people.  Some one is fearful of virtually any thing, any one, or any action possible to imagine.

A sane adults’ emotional or psychological state is entirely under his or her control.  I am not responsible for how you feel.  CJ Grisham  was not responsible for the dubious emotional state of the caller who observed him walking alongside a rural road armed with a rifle.  I walk my property frequently with firearms in-hand.  Thankfully, I live far enough outside city limits that most passersby seem to recognize nothing particularly threatening or untoward about an armed man in the country.  Sadly, this is not always the case, and despite the fact that Grisham was breaking no laws, violating no rights, and frankly “imposing” nothing whatsoever on any other person, he was unnecessarily disarmed, assaulted, and arrested by a Temple police officer responding to that call.  If you want to know how tyranny grows, it is due in large measure to the sort of numb-skulls  who profess to be frightened of this or that.  What they seek is a peace of mind absent any other humans, and far too many public officials are willing to seek power by claiming to serve that need. Only in death can any person rightly expect to obtain a “freedom from fear,” but ultimately, death, its threat, and its implements are the sole tools available to politicians who promise it.

Consider Franklin Roosevelt’s so-called “Second Bill of Rights,” a litany of things to be provided, including mental or emotional states.  It would have been better to have termed it a “Bill of Violations of Rights,” would we have been honest.  Obama-care is a response to the very same thing: Some people must have their rights to life, liberty, and property denied due to the wants, wishes, and fantasies of others.  This practice of tyrants creating conflicts between the actual rights of some people and the wishes of some others is not new.  What is new has been the rapid advance of this bankrupt theory into our American culture.  Due to faulty education, negligent parenting, and a vast political engine based on exploiting human weakness, America has arrived at the point in history where it must now fail for the lack of individual rights and the courage that had maintained them.  “Rights” as conceived by our founders are disappearing under the crush of timid, slothful, morally-confused people with the ethics and standards of our lowest common denominator.  The hopeful aspect of Grisham’s mistrial is that one of the six jurors ultimately understood what had been at stake.  When CJ Grisham is re-tried, I earnestly hope that more who have understood the concept of rights will be on his jury.

At least five more.

You may remember the viral video of the event:

Editor’s Note: The Temple Daily Telegram is a paid subscription site for much of its content.  The letter posted is part of that content, and therefore not all of it is available without subscription.  I wouldn’t recommend the Temple Daily Telegram to any person, even were its articles available at no cost.  It is one of several regional newspapers of the local establishment, pandering primarily to cronies.  While there are occasionally stories or columns that contradict the party line, it remains our local version of Pravda, of former Soviet Union character. Update: The juror verdict count was earlier reported as 5 not guilty, and 1 guilty. Subsequent information provided to this blog substantiates the notion that this was actually backwards.

16 Anti-Republicans

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

The following is a list of United States Senators who today voted for cloture on a bill in the Senate they have not yet seen.  The bill purports to impose new background check requirements that will act to infringe on your right to keep and bear arms.  I consider these people to be traitors to the US Constitution, each and every one of them.  These people decided that your rights are open to periodic diminution at their whim, irrespective of the guarantees of the US Constitution.  I don’t care what other issues these turncoats are said to be “right on,” or “good on.” From  this day forward, this list of tyrannically-minded dim-wits will be known collectively as the “anti-republicans” on this site. These people have lined up with the likes of Charles Schumer(D-NY) even though at least one of them explicitly didn’t want to be seen with the vicious NY schmuck.  Why won’t they seek to amend the constitution, the legitimate process?  They know you wouldn’t let them.  Instead, these snakes are slithering around to attack you from behind:

Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)
Kelly Ayotte (N.H.)
Richard Burr (N.C.)
Saxby Chambliss (Ga.)
Tom Coburn (Okla.)
Susan Collins (Maine)
Bob Corker (Tenn.)
Jeff Flake (Ariz.)
Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
Dean Heller (Nev.
John Hoeven (N.D.)
Johnny Isakson (Ga.)
Mark Kirk (Ill.)
John McCain (Ariz.)
Patrick Toomey (Pa.)
Roger Wicker (Miss.)

(And Boehner promises  to take up the Senate bill.)

The cowards listed above voted to open up Harry Reid’s gun control bill for debate even though most will walk away from the legislation in the end.  This is a procedural trick.  Understand: Allowing this bill to come up for a vote means it will pass because the Democrats hold a majority.  The only way this bill could be stopped is to prevent it from coming to the floor, but these worthless Senators made sure this bill would pass the Senate, but as of this moment, they don’t know what’s in it. There could be ANYTHING in it.

On that future day when your Second Amendment rights are cast aside  by a tyrannical Federal government, you can thank the people on this list for screwing you, your children, and all posterity.  I don’t want to hear excuses.  I don’t want to hear “the NRA rates me 95%” (because the NRA won’t count this cloture vote against them.)

Ladies and gentlemen, don’t be swayed by the apologists: These people hate you.  They hold you in contempt.  They fear you, so they seek to disarm you as they work together with Democrats to bring about the kind of world in which they would have every reason to fear you if you’re armed.  They are collapsing the country together with the Democrats.  In 2014, most of these people are not up for re-election, and that should be your key indicator.  There are plenty of other cowards who would have joined with them if they weren’t up for re-election in 2014.  These people will either retire, or will not come up for re-election again for 3-5 years, meaning they have time for you to forget their betrayals.  I’m not forgetting.

Neither should you.

There is still some chance to defeat this bill in the House.  That said, Boehner will do as he always does:  He will bring it to the floor for a vote, and some weasel anti-Republicans along with the whole body of Democrats will vote for it. You’d better burn up your phone lines as these rotten bastards attempt to burn your constitution.

 

For Whom the Bell Tolls: 1.6 Billion Hollow Point Bullets

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Hollow-Points

As a military veteran and firearms owner, I find it unconscionable that the United States Federal Government continues to mislead the American people about its activities and its intentions.  The Geneva Conventions of 1949 outlawed hollow point ammunition for use on the battlefield because of the particularly cruel nature of the round. It does not merely incapacitate or kill, but inflicts gruesome injuries, maiming living targets in a manner that can be best described as catastrophic.  It’s designed to impact, penetrate, and expand, essentially mushrooming out to deliver tremendous damage.  Prohibited in war, our combat troops deploy with standard ball ammo instead, (known as Full Metal Jacket,) that has a clean ballistic profile. While it penetrates and is certainly lethal, it does not do additional damage by virtue of its construction.  Claims by government agencies and their lackeys in the media that the 1.6 Billion rounds of hollow-point ammunition is intended for target practice simply isn’t credible.  For whom is this ammuntion intended?  One needn’t be a rocket scientist to do this math. The government is bound to abide by the Geneva Conventions in wars with foreign enemies, but there is no explicit prohibition against the use of hollow-point ammunition by civilian agencies on a nation’s own citizens.

I go to the range a few times per year, both to keep up my skills and to re-zero the sights on various weapons.  This is a common practice, and our combat troops do this routinely in order to keep their weapons combat ready and practice their skills.  While durable and resilient, even modern combat arms need to have their sights re-verified periodically because all of the jostling and bumping and dropping means that the sights can be off, meaning the strike of the bullet may not match the point of aim.  This is best practice with firearms of any description.  When I go to the range, I generally take enough ammunition that I will be able to [re]zero my sights if necessary, and get in a little target practice.  Since clean ballistic performance is what you’re seeking for such circumstances, consistency being the basic object and necessity of setting up one’s sights, I use standard full metal jacket rounds at the range.  Unless I’m attempting to discover performance differences for a particular ammunition type, that’s ordinarily all I will shoot at the range.

There are some valid reasons to use hollow-point ammunition for some training, but the difference in cost alone would demand that one make sparse use of the more expensive types, opting instead for plain FMJ.  A high quality HP round will generally be between 180-300% of the price of a comparable quality FMJ round.  Until the recent price spikes, it was not uncommon to buy fifty rounds of .45 ACP in FMJ for $15, but to spend upwards of $35 for comparable HP rounds.  The price difference alone dictates that at the range, one shoots primarily FMJ, because it’s foolish to use expensive ammo to shoot at targets.  Never mind this reality, the leftwing media lackeys insist that the government is stockpiling billions of rounds to shoot at paper targets.  According to one federal agent with whom I spoke, there’s no real reason to use anything but the less expensive Full Metal Jacket ammunition in most training.  Frankly, it’s just not believable that all of this high-priced hollow point ammunition is intended for training purposes.

Let us be blunt about the numbers.  Let’s consider how many rounds of ammunition the average federal agent needs to shoot annually to maintain his or her proficiency. According to my sources, it’s likely that the average federal agent/officer is expending many fewer than 1,000 rounds per year in training, most less than half that number. It may vary somewhat from agency to agency, but as a general rule, that’s a generous average number.  Compare this with our soldiers, for whom Army rifle qualification involves forty shots at forty targets at varying distances, from fifty to three-hundred meters.  Once a soldier has been through basic training, apart from a few practice ranges here and there, and the zeroing ranges, a soldier is going to re-qualify twice per year.  That’s eighty rounds for record-fire.  Even if the soldier uses an equal number in practicing, and another twelve to eighteen in re-zeroing his sights(generally fired in three-round sets,) there will be fewer than two-hundred live rounds fired per year unless the soldier is a special operator, who do many more live-fire training exercises, or is deployed in combat. I am sure a number of federal officers spend a good deal more time at the range.   Still, let’s consider the math.  1.6 billion rounds to Homeland Defense is a sizable delivery, even admitting that half these rounds are to be delivered over the next five years.   How many federal agents are there anyway?

In order for Federal agents to consume 1.6 billion rounds in five years of training, even at the generous rate of 1,000 rounds per year, the number of officers needed to expend this amount of ammunition would be around 320,000.  The most recent figures I can find suggests that as of 2004, there were roughly 105,000 armed federal agents in all civilian agencies.  That would mean that the government and its media lackeys expect us to believe the average federal agent is shooting up 3,000 rounds of ammunition per year at the range, but remember that this purchase of 1.6 billion rounds represents only the Department of Homeland Security.  It doesn’t include the purchases of other federal agencies, but only the subordinate agencies of DHS, including the US Border Patrol, ICE, Secret Service and the Coast Guard, among smaller agencies.

I find that preposterous on several levels.  If it were true, it’s a colossal waste of money and a bunch of trigger-happy baloney at tax-payers’ expense, but I doubt it’s true or even close to that number. If it were true, the government is expending colossal sums on firearms practice that should not be necessary, and is not necessary for our soldiers, generally speaking.  If a couple-hundred rounds per year in training is good enough for our soldiers, I cannot fathom how it wouldn’t be enough for federal officers, generally speaking.  1.6 billion rounds is a fantastic number and would represent training ammunition for at least 15 years, if not longer.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re being fed a colossal lie.  There is no rational explanation for this number of rounds in the realm of training.  This story has been out for some time, with little comment from the administration, until Sarah Palin mentioned it in a Facebook post last week, covered here by Gary Jackson.  Jackson offers another post to debunk the various attempts by the lapdog media to explain away the purchases. The media would have you believe that this is all very harmless, and that there’s nothing sinister in this number of rounds, that while seemingly fantastic, is easily explained away by the government trying to get a good deal on ammunition, acting therefore as budget-minded guardians of the public trust.

No, this is something else, and I have two possible bits of speculation in mind. One is less diabolical, but would make perfect sense with the current administration.  As Breitbart suggested, the government may be trying to induce a shortage in the market and drive up prices.  We’ve certainly seen rapid price increases for ammo, even before the mad rush that commenced after the Sandy Hook tragedy.   Some in this administration may be thinking that if they buy it up in huge contracts, there will be a good deal less out there for the populace to stockpile, and such ammunition that is available will come only at a premium price.

The other explanation is more sinister, and I believe entirely possible, because the condition of the economy is unraveling much faster than expected.  There’s no doubt that we are being engineered to economic collapse on the basis of a fundamental monetary breakdown that will result from the endless money-printing habits and debt accrual of this president.  It’s the Cloward-Piven strategy, being played out in living color. When this happens, there will be chaos in the streets and in the towns and villages of the country, and there will be a move by government to suppress the violence by any and all means necessary.  They won’t discriminate much either, because if you are armed, you will be seen as a threat, even if you’re doing no more than defending yourselves.  In that light, it makes a good deal of sense for the government to procure vast stores of ammunition now.  It reduces the amount available to the rest of us, and it provides a ready stockpile…”in case of emergencies.” The best part from the point of view of the people in government driving all of this is that the people who they expect to “suppress” are the same people now finding it difficult to find ammunition at any price, but they’re the ones paying for it. It’s win-win-win. You don’t get the ammo, you pay for theirs, and they have a ready stockpile for use against you.  If you’re a statist in the Obama administration, what’s not to love?

Besides, remember this guy:

 

 

Support Firearms Companies Supporting Liberty

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

In 2003, Ronnie Barrett of Barrett Rifle fame sent a notice to California saying that he would no longer sell guns to government agencies in that state because that state prohibited sales of his company’s rifles to ordinary citizens.  Barrett has been an outspoken industry leader in the fight against gun control, and lately, his general tactic has been spreading through the industry, and this past week, he added the State of New York to the list of jurisdictions in which his company will no longer do business.  More and more companies are deciding that as a moral concern, they can no longer do business with institutions of government that are attempting to limit the rights of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.  This is a hopeful trend, but I’m afraid there’s more to this than a list of smaller companies making such pronouncements.  Few of the big players have gotten aboard, and it’s time for you to know about them.  Large firearms and ammunition manufacturers continue to rake in government dollars, many of them having large government contracts.  It’s time for ordinary citizens who purchase firearms to begin applying pressure by way of their wallets.

One website has actually created a form letter that can be used to send a message to firearms companies.  Naturally, the large companies like Winchester, Glock, Smith and Wesson, Glock, Remington, Colt and others comprises a vast majority of firearms sales throughout the country.  You can see a more complete list of the big outfits that haven’t joined in the boycott of sales to offending jurisdictions here.  It’s time the big manufacturers and sellers began to get the message, and it’s imperative that we begin to deliver it. In the current mad rush among many to acquire more firearms and related items, it’s high time to begin to temper this with some discerning examination of the nature of the companies with which we do business.   Large manufacturers are relying upon their name and contracts with government to sustain them against any backlash, and it’s for that reason that I would urge you to do business with companies that are openly adopting a policy to refuse to sell to governments seeking or enforcing encroachments on the Second Amendment. There is a more thorough list of those companies supporting your right to keep and bear arms as a matter of policy located at FreedomOutpost.

It’s high time that the large firearms manufacturers begin to get the message.  On that basis, it is my pledge (for what little it may be worth) that I will not do business with any company not appearing on the list of those interested in upholding the rights of ordinary citizens to keep and bear arms.  My next firearm will certainly come from somebody on this list.  It’s time we smarten up and realize that by feeding the beast, we’re making it stronger, and if large(r) firearms companies need to learn from whence their bread is buttered, so be it.  They need to feel the crush of a people who have realized that to do business with them is to support their own oppressors.  We who assert our Second Amendment guarantees of our natural right to keep and bear arms must begin to put our money where our mouths are on this issue, if we haven’t already.

In the article on FreedomOutpost, there was one interesting account from the owner of KISS Tactical, relating a story of how he dealt with the situation:

On Saturday I refused to sell a AR-15 rifle to a police officer from California. He came into my shop and wanted to buy his duty gun in AZ because the same gun in his home state would cost him more. I told him that I would not sell him the gun even though he had his department letter saying he was able to buy it. I told him that if the gun was not legal for law abiding men and women in CA I would not sell it to him. After he told me that “civilians don’t need them type of guns,” I asked to leave my shop. He stomped out mad.

I have made a decision to not sell to any gun to police department that are not legal for civilians. We build custom AR-15 and have sold more then a few to cops in a few states. I am not sure how this will effect us but as we grow and our name gets out there more we will not change this policy.

You see, it is the small(er) companies that understand that it is the principle of the matter that underlies all of our freedoms. It is one thing to say that one supports the Second Amendment, but it is entirely another to demonstrate the measure of that commitment by virtue of actions.  I am gratified to see larger or at least more prolific companies joining the list.  LaRue Tactical, from right here in Central Texas, has been among the stalwarts, and I really appreciate their bumper stickers.

We as consumers and advocates of freedom have a choice, and it’s a critical one.  We can simply buy from an unlimited list of manufacturers and sellers, or we can restrict our purchase decisions to the smaller list of companies that support our liberties.  Placed in this context, it becomes clear that we have only one rational choice, and that we must at long last begin to discern among our options with a sharper focus.  It’s also time to bring heat on those companies that are not committed to our liberties. If you’re in the market for a firearm or accessories,  it’s high time to begin looking closely at those with whom you will do business.  High quality firearms are available that will fulfill your needs while also supporting your moral position.  Reward those who understand the Second Amendment and who realize that their future is tied to the liberties we enjoy.

Note: In addition to the form submission available from the Firearms Policy Coalition, there is an editable letter you can customize and send to the large firearms manufacturers here, in Word format.

Veterans Administration Proposes to Strip Veterans of Gun Rights

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Helping Veterans?

It was inevitable.  When I posted my concerns about how the government could use claims by veterans of PTSD and other combat-related issues, I have long suspected the Obama administration would act to curtail the Second Amendment rights of veterans on the basis of such claims.  A story being reported by Jim Hoft via the Gateway Pundit reveals that the VA is already mailing out letters that are threatening some veterans with precisely that sanction.  The story originates with Red Flag, in a post written by constitutional attorney Michael Connelly.  At present, this seems to be aimed at people who the VA considers incompetent to handle their own affairs, because they’ve asked for help with their benefits.  While I’d like to know more about the specifics of these classifications, and how that determination has been made, let it suffice for the moment to consider that the Veterans Administration’s policy in this matter is an extension of an overall move by the Obama administration to strip veterans of the right to keep and bear arms.

I have warned veterans in previous posts about how they would be targeted, and it has been suspected by wary veterans for some time that the VA first approved claims for PTSD as the future means by which to strip rights from veterans, but few took notice. We already know that the Department of Homeland Security headed by Janet Napolitano considers veterans a threat, and viewed through the lens of leftist revolutionaries, it’s perfectly understandable.  Veterans are a generally patriotic group who had sworn an oath to the US Constitution, so that their loyalties ought generally to be in favor of our republican form of government.  They will be viewed necessarily as potential counter-revolutionaries if the left succeeds in pushing their “fundamental transformation” to its completion.  Skilled in arms, and generally understanding at least rudimentary guerrilla tactics, US Military veterans comprise a significant potential danger to leftist designs.

In 2010, the Veterans Administration began approving claims for PTSD more easily than in previous years.  This was not accidental.  By making claims of PTSD easier, the VA created a new open door for borderline claims that enable more veterans to find an easier path to compensation.  That is the enticement, and it worked because more veterans than ever have used the new rules to file such claims and derive compensation.  The problem is that the PTSD classification carries with it the immediate potential of such judgments as are being made about veterans’ basic competence.  On that basis, to consider a veteran incompetent to handle his or her own affairs, and thus strip them of the right to keep and bear arms is but a short step.  As previously stated on this site, I would never discourage any veteran from seeking help actually needed, but I would caution all those who would consider making a claim for PTSD to think long and hard about what they may be giving up.

Consider the ease with which the VA will make this argument: Persons suffering with PTSD can be volatile and sometimes unstable or violent.  Sometimes, they are suicidal.  In any of these cases, one would not ordinarily entertain the notion of permitting such persons to own firearms, irrespective of their service records.  Making the leap to declaring these persons “incompetent” on the basis of their inability to pursue the VA processes (to the extent they ask for help) is an easy method by which to get veterans classified in this way.  A determination of incompetence is the death knell of one’s Second Amendment rights.  Veterans pursuing claims of PTSD (or anything else) with the VA should think long and hard about the consequences because while we certainly do not want veterans to go without the assistance they need, it would be awful to awake and find that the VA is painting with an overly broad brush and subjecting most veterans to this kind of classification.

Consider the cases involving veterans with the PTSD classification who have committed acts of violence even after returning to civilian life.  How difficult will it be to sell to the public that their veterans are dangerous time-bombs waiting to explode?  Nobody in the Obama administration will think even twice about characterizing veterans in this way, which is why Napolitano did not issue an apology for classifying veterans as potential terrorists until after extended heavy criticism.  Finding a way to control veterans’ right to keep and bear arms has long been an object of the radical left.  As evidenced by the sort of letters now being received by numerous veterans, calling into question their competence to lead their own lives, including their right to possess firearms, it must be understood that the left wants to disarm as many veterans as possible.

More, initially, they will use test cases to see how far they can press the matter, and I expect that the first round of recipients of such letters represent the testing of this procedure.  They will begin with veterans who have more obvious cases and who may be incompetent in some respect, with a few more questionable cases thrown in to test the limits.  They will make the initial cases based on the public danger aspects, and once they succeed in making the procedure appear perfectly rational and sensible, they will begin processing wider and wider groups of veterans in the same manner.  The first run through this procedure will be mostly actual cases of concern, because the early object of this will be to legitimize and normalize the process.  Once it has become perfectly normal to strip a handful of veterans with real problems of their rights, the process will be widened to include more and more veterans, until a soldier who once stubbed his toe on a parade field will be subject to this classification.

To my brothers and sisters who have served, I urge caution.  To those currently serving, I want you to beware of what seem to be easier paths to compensation.  If you need help, get it.  If you can live without it, avoid it. Know that contrary to what you have been told, the Veterans Administration is not necessarily your friend.  As an arm of government, the administration of which is now dominated by leftists, the VA is an adjunct of their policy preferences, and those preferences include particularly the disarming of America, especially its veterans.  There is no organization on Earth better positioned to accomplish that goal with less muss and fuss than the VA, and as is evidenced by the case brought before us by Jim Hoft and Michael Connelly, they intend to use it to maximum effect.

Open Letter to Richard Fitzpatrick, CEO of Magpul Industries

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Dear Mr. Fitzpatrick:

I have read the announcement made by Magpul Industries on February 15th via Facebook, and I wish to discuss it with you further.  I realize that you do not wish to leave the state of Colorado, and that if the state enacts laws making your products illegal for purchase by customers in your state, as a matter of moral and philosophical consistency, your hand will have been forced, and that you will uproot your company and move it to another state more amenable to your enterprise.  This is a commendable stance, and you are to be credited for taking it, as far too many people in business see only dollar signs but not the underlying principles that support their existence. I hope you are not forced to move Magpul, but if you find that you must, I’d like to offer you a new home where your company and its purpose are welcome.

Recently, my Governor went on a tour of California trying to drum up businesses to move to the Lone Star State, and while it seems he failed to find any takers, let me suggest to you that it is because he was looking in the wrong place.  The problem with his approach was that he looked in a particular geographic location, but I think if Governor Perry had wanted more success, he would have looked to business owners who had arrived in a philosophical place, much like the one in which it seems you have arrived. Amoral and immoral lawmakers of the sort who would impose such legislation on the people of Colorado(or any state) help to create an environment in which men and women of good will are unable to continue in good conscience in their present circumstance.  If such a condition arises anywhere, it constitutes the precise destination to which our Governor(or any Governor) should turn to look for businesses to bring to their states.

On that basis, let me make you an offer your conscience may find difficult to refuse. If the  laws of Colorado are changed so as to make it unsuitable for Magpul Industries, I would very much like to see your company relocate to our state.  More, I would suggest to you that within the vast expanses of Texas, there are particular places that would suit your company more than others, and that would offer the moral climate in which your operation would likely feel at home.  Specifically, I would offer you Central Texas, and most specifically, Bell County.  Bell County is home to Fort Hood, the U.S. Army post that is the home of III Corps, and it offers a variety of advantages to your operation should you be compelled to choose out of sad necessity to relocate your company.

Our largest two cities are Killeen and Temple, respectively, and our County seat is Belton.  Temple and Belton are located directly on the I-35 corridor, while Killeen and Harker Heights, further west in the county, have access to I-35 via US-190, an improved four-lane, divided highway.  Temple is home to a number of companies large and small, and it also feature Scott&White Hospital, as well as a Veterans’ Administration hospital both of which serve this region.  Our climate is necessarily warm, but there are few work stoppages due to winter weather, and we are generally far enough inland from the coast that direct impact from hurricanes is minimized.

More importantly to your operation, we have many qualified prospective employees, many of them veterans skilled in the use of products you manufacture. Because we are home to Fort Hood, we have many veterans who decide to settle here(as I did more than two decades ago,) because Texas is a place of liberty and opportunity.  More, Central Texas is a place that has a deep and abiding understanding of the moral purpose of self-defense, and its residents are quite aware of all the reasons your products are vitally important to a free people.  So many of our residents having served in the Army, or having had loved ones who served, there is a reverence in our community for the Constitution, and for all it implies about limited government.

Taxation is relatively low here, and you would find a locale happy to embrace your business.  Texas has fared better than many states under our current economic conditions, but as you are doubtless aware, no place has been entirely immune to the economic predations of big government except perhaps Washington DC.  Due to this grim reality, there exists here no small number of potential employees who have skills of the sort for which you would be looking should relocation become necessary. We have shipping facilities and probably the sort of facilities you would need in order to set up operations here, and I offer you also this: Texas must be among the larger of your company’s customer states, so that a large share of the products you manufacture would actually be purchased and used by the people in whose state your company would then reside.

Having now shamelessly offered you my home state, and indeed my adopted home county as a new locale for your operations, let me explain to you that it is precisely because I am proud of our little slice of a big state that makes me certain about its inherent suitability to your enterprise.  While you go about the business of giving your customers an “unfair advantage,” I would assert that Central Texas would provide your company a similar competitive advantage in a market segment full of innovators with whom you compete for business.  It is difficult to overestimate the importance of location,  but it is similarly difficult to overstate the importance of a welcoming community that will embrace a company’s philosophy and purpose. I realize that that such a decision would not be taken lightly, so please permit me also to state for the record that I understand a good deal about the torturous struggle you are enduring that would lead you to consider relocating your company.

I realize that you will have been beset by thousands or millions of such offers in the wake of your company’s announcement.  I also realize that relocating is in fact the last thing on Earth you would choose, but for the circumstances that may arise now, well beyond your control.  It is easy for those of us who would be the beneficiary of your prospective relocation to offer our respective areas, but I realize that it is much more a matter of heart-rending consideration for you, who must calculate the costs not only of moving a business entity, but of the dislocation and hardship that would attend those who work for you now, who might well not be able to relocate with you.  I understand what it is to have one’s company undermined by stupid laws, and to have one’s dreams shattered by bureaucrats. I realize that much more is at stake here than simply picking up and moving a company.  You would be moving the site of your great aspirations at the point of lawmakers’ pens.

The truth is that I hope sincerely that your fight in Colorado for rational law is victorious, and that you are able to overwhelm the proponents of bad law so that Colorado can remain the home of Magpul Industries. I also understand why you are making your stand, and why the demands of  logical consistency will demand that you leave Colorado, should the legislature and Governor of your state act with such tempestuous reflexes against objects that are no more the source of violence than a pillow used to suffocate a sleeping victim.  Objects don’t commit murder.  Lawfully manufactured and distributed products do not commit murder.  Only people commit crimes. Those politicians who use objects or products as surrogates for their alleged anger against criminals instead create a whole new class of victims, comprised of legally disarmed people who have not the ability to oppose in force the attackers who do not abide by the very laws that restrain their victims.  I believe we should consider such politicians criminals by proxy.

I wish you well, both in your business, and in your life’s pursuits, and also to all of your employees who have with you provided so many Americans such excellent products.  You should be proud of the company you have built, and all the things you have made that continue to revolutionize your market niche.  I know that wherever you and your company land, you will continue to be leaders in innovation and reliability, and I want to thank you in advance for all you will yet do, not only for your customers, but on behalf of a people who understand the necessity of the right to keep and bear arms, and why taking a stand in favor of that right is essential not only to the future of your company, but indeed, the entire country.

Best Wishes,

Mark America

Proud Texan and Owner of several Magpul Products

A Sandy Hook Parent Whose Testimony Didn’t Make the Evening News

Monday, February 4th, 2013

One of the things I have grown to detest is the absolutely biased media coverage in the wake of tragic events such as the Sandy Hook shooting.  The event was awful enough, but must news coverage also be biased with such regularity in favor of the leftists’ agenda?  Naturally, the invariable answer is “yes,” and as we were treated to the sad testimony of parents who have just been through heart-rending disaster being exploited by politicians and media who are reliably intent on pushing their agenda, it is clear the media will never give coverage to the whole story.  Here is Newtown Connecticut resident Bill Stevens giving testimony regarding the ongoing attack on the right to keep and bear arms in the wake of the tragedy at the school his own daughter attends, a clip I am fairly certain you did not and will not see on your evening news.

 

Buyback BackFire: Police Gun Buyback Turns Into Gunshow

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

In Seattle, Police were conducting a buyback program in their attempt to “get guns off the streets.”  Unfortunately, they didn’t plan on gun buyers showing up with signs and cash to offer in exchange for the guns.  The police program exchanged gift cards worth $200 and $100, depending on the gun, but when gun buyers began paying in cash, many of the people there to sell their guns quickly shifted from the buyback line to wheeling and dealing with the cash buyers.  According to the website DCXposed, the scene became like an impromptu gun show, particularly after police ran out of the gift cards, and began issuing IOUs. From the article:

John Diaz, Seattles Police Chief,  wasn’t pleased with the turn of events stating “I’d prefer they wouldn’t sell them,” but admitted it’s perfectly legal for private individuals to buy and sell guns, FOR NOW. Mayor Mike McGinn said at a news conference the private transactions are a loophole that needs to be closed. “There’s no background checks, and some (guns) could be exchanged on the streets that shouldn’t be in circulation.”

But Schuyler Taylor, a previous gun retailer attending the event in hopes of buying weapons, asked “Why not offer them cash versus a gift card? I’m still taking the guns off the streets; they’re just going in my safe.”

It seems that this really rained on the parade of gun-grabbers, although they still managed to collect up a large number of guns.  Still, the ingenuity of Americans and the entrepreneurial spirit are alive and well in Seattle.

Ban Down Under: What Happens When a Nation Surrenders Guns – Video

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Liberty Crushed Down Under

If you’re still on the fence about gun control, or you know somebody who is, it may be time to acquaint yourselves with the recent  experiences of the Australian people, who in 1996 enacted a ban on all semi-automatic and pump-action weapons in private possession. While the murder rate from guns has diminished in very small ways, their overall crime problem has since gone through the roof. It’s really no surprise that the results have been exactly opposite of what was promised, and contrary to all of the alleged “good intentions.”  As Aussies have discovered, now that the gun ban has made things worse in the aggregate, reclaiming their gun rights will be nigh on impossible.  Once liberties are taken away, they’re seldom returned, and if it’s your right to keep and bear arms you’ve surrendered, you won’t even be able to fight for them. The Australian experience should serve as a warning to every American.

Take a look at this video and acquaint yourself with what Obama and his ilk are really after:

Knowing that the overall crime statistics have worsened, you might be surprised to find that even the Chicago Tribune acknowledges that in Australia, since the ban, deaths by firearms haven’t diminished at a rate faster than they were already falling prior to the ban.  As they suggest, while mass shootings have dropped to zero, this may owe more to random chance than to any effects of the gun ban.  Considering the UK as another example, overall violent murders have increased despite the all-out ban on guns, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that once you remove the great equalizer, those who are the traditional targets of villainous scum would have a lesser chance of surviving an attack in a world in which they are legally disarmed, and by definition of their physical stature and condition, less able to defend against brutal attackers.

David Plouffe has been running his mouth, and he has stated that he thinks the President may have the votes in Congress for some sort of gun control action. If this is the case, it comes down to a bunch of sell-out Republican moderates in the House, never mind the Senate, where McConnell ought to be able to filibuster the thing to death provided Reid and the Democrats don’t employ the nuclear option.  Once again, as the tide is shifting against the President and his leftist agenda, Republicans in Congress are contemplating surrender.  If the Republicans go along with gun control, they will lose the House in the Senate and they will face a complete revolt by 2016.

The Real Motive For Going After “Assault Weapons”

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

For Your Own Good?

I’d like to discuss this subject rationally with my readers, and that means we must dismiss emotion from the subject.  The passions inflamed by discussions of gun bans, as well as the debate over their legitimacy and purpose are sure to take any debate to the brink, so rather than fill volumes with useless rhetoric, I’d like to cover a bit of ground most of the media, even conservative outlets, won’t touch with a ten-foot pole.  People on the pro-Second Amendment side of this argument are quick to point out the very real statistics that demonstrate fewer people in the United States are murdered in a given year with all rifles, including the subset consisting of so-called assault weapons, than are killed in the city of Chicago with handguns in that same year.  This statistic should be stunning to those who had swallowed the media hype about so-called “assault weapons,” but the simple fact of the matter is that such weapons account for a statistically insignificant number of murders in the US, according to the FBI’s own crime figures.  Knowing this, it is reasonable to ask why it would be that the gun-grabbers would focus on this contrived class of weapons for their immediate gun-ban agenda.  There are just a few reasons, and they’re all important to understanding their agenda, but one is absolutely critical.

The first thing to understand is that by simple appearance, and since cosmetics largely define the classification, so-called “assault weapons” look mean.  Despite the fact that Grandpappy’s old-school Browning BAR in .30-06(7.62×63,) another semi-automatic rifle that is much more lethal, given the higher energy of its round versus an AR-15 in .223 or an AK-47  in 7.62×39, the Browning merely looks relatively innocuous compared to the menacing AR-15.  The truth is that a single round from any of the three could be lethal, but if I had to bet on which would cause more damage, I would put my money on the .30-06.  The .30-06 was the standard round the Army employed in its Springfield M1 Garand rifle, from the period covering the Second World War until its ultimate replacement with the M14 (.308) and the M16(the fully automatic cousin of the AR-15.)  The projectile of a .30-06 is an awesome round, and as George S. Patton observed, the Garand rifle was at the time what he considered to be “the greatest battle implement ever devised.”  Let us therefore conclude that there are indeed rifles with far more lethal capability that would not be considered “assault weapons” for the purposes of this ban.  It is therefore an obvious conclusion that this classification of weapons, defined almost entirely by cosmetic characteristics, was created entirely because they look more threatening than Grandpappy’s BAR and therefore make for better propaganda.

This is the classification of weapons that constitutes the most rapid growth in gun ownership in the country, excepting one:  Handguns. There are many more handguns in circulation than there are so-called “assault weapons,” meaning that as a purely political exercise, it will be easier to drum up some majority willing to ban “assault weapons.”  This political calculation is why the focus is on so-called “assault weapons:”  If the gun-grabbing camel is to get its nose under the tent-flap that is the Second Amendment, it must start with something that is owned by a relatively smaller albeit rapidly growing segment of the populace. If too many obtain weapons in this class, it will be more difficult to ban them, and so the gun-grabbers must act now to the extent they are able.

So-called “assault weapons” generally share another characteristic that gives them broad appeal both among civilian sportsmen and police or paramilitary organizations:  Compared with many of the rifles that look  more innocuous, they can be mastered and handled by a much larger segment of the population, because felt recoil is reduced to levels that do not jar one’s bones, and they are typically light enough that the do not cause extensive fatigue for the shooter. Because of their relatively simplified design, they are easily maintained by even an inexperienced novice.  Most of them share various types of ammunition that are lightweight and inexpensive, giving them broad appeal.  Since the expiration of the 1994 “Assault Weapons” ban in 2004, millions or even tens of millions of this type of firearm have been produced or imported into the United States, although most of the imports have been “sporterized” (removing many of the cosmetic features defining them as “assault weapons”) in order to comply with US Customs restrictions and regulations imposed by the BATFE. What this means to statist gun-grabbers is that so-called “assault weapons” are the most effective weapons with which to stave off any tyrannical moves by the government.

Their low recoil, easy portability, durability, weather and dirt resistance are all features common to their military cousins.  The ease of maintenance, the high capacity magazines, and the relatively inexpensive ammunition mean that these weapons would be of indispensable use to those who comprise “the militia” as defined by our founders, who were not discussing and did not intend “The National Guard” by their description.  The founders of our country and the framers of our constitution envisioned a militia made up of every able-bodied male, able to bear arms in defense not only of the country in time of invasion or insurrection, but in defense of liberty if the source of insurrection were to become the legalized sort characterizing every despotic form of government the world has ever known.  Knowing this, it’s important to realize that so-called “assault weapons” are the focus of fear among the anointed who may have other plans for our republic.  It is for this reason that they seek to ban them, because this is the sole weapon classification in broad distribution among the American people that makes a meaningful resistance to arbitrary governmental actions possible.

It is for this reason that the gun-grabbing left wishes to deprive you of so-called “assault weapons,” knowing that they resemble in many respects their military cousins, minus the ability to operate in fully-automatic mode.  In truth, a well-skilled group of veterans, or average citizens could hold off a similarly sized military force for some time unless heavier weapons were brought to bear against them.  From the moment the ATF carried out its botched raid on the Branch Davidians at Mt. Carmel, TX, it was clear to all who watched that a superior force of government agents could be held at bay indefinitely until there was an application of larger, military class weaponry.  So-called “assault weapons” have no application in defense against tanks.  It was in response to this raid that the assault weapons ban of 1994 was crafted.  It’s also worth noting that as much as the broad-based backlash against Hillary-care, the AWB of 1994, passed by Congress in September, was instrumental in fueling the “Republican revolution” in November that year.

What the events in Waco made plain to the elites is that armed resistance is possible, and while it would be relatively easy to contain small enclaves of resisters in compounds simply by the application of superior firepower and military equipment, putting down a wider resistance might prove difficult. On a broader scale, with a resistance across the entire population, perhaps even on the offensive rather than hunkered in bunkers awaiting the end of the world, such a resistance might well overturn a runaway government despite its advantage in heavy weapons and military equipment.  This was a shock to the powers-that-were, and it posed to them a new danger that spoke to a future moment when they might face justice for treason rather than a few dozens or hundreds of isolated radicals being dealt with in swift and severe fashion.

This may sound fantastic at first blush, but I beg you consider it if only to recognize the reasons why despite all of the illogical arguments made against “assault weapons,”  the political class in our nation’s capital have a very strong reason to see the citizenry of the nation deprived of “assault weapons.”  In their jaded but pragmatic view, citizens may use their shotguns, their handguns, and even Grandpappy’s old-style Browning rifle, to kill a deer, or even one another, but politicians are largely protected from these, and more importantly, they represent no meaningful offensive capacity in a theoretical war against the aggressions of government. Not since the advent of modern military weapons have the American people had at their disposal so effective a means by which to resist arbitrary government, and you had better believe that the government knows it.  Whatever doubts they may have had evaporated during a morning raid in 1993 at the door of a religious enclave that had been obsessed with the end of the world.  From that moment forward, it was realized and understood by the political ruling class that they must relieve the American people of that capacity.  In 1994, they made the first attempt to do so.

In the eights years since the expiration of that law in 2004, many on the radical left have thought of little else but reinstating it, and you can bet that if they get it back in place, there will be no expiration this time, and no means save one by which to undo it.  There’s a widespread understanding in Washington DC that on our current fiscal and monetary path, massive civil unrest is virtually inevitable, but if it should eventuate while the American people retain the capacity for mass armed resistance, the eventual clean-up may not look quite like the anointed class had hoped.  It is for this reason that we must not permit them to ban our guns, and our “assault weapons” most of all, because the fact of their existence may constitute the only implement of detente in a cold war now waged by the forces of statism against the greater body of the American people.

Now you must understand why despite the illogical basis for the arguments, and in spite of crime statistics that demonstrate the irrational course of going after them, the statist gun-grabbers must act to deprive you first of so-called “assault weapons.”  Once deprived of these, you will maintain no other for long.   This concept was well understood by our founders, though in interceding generations, it has been neglected and white-washed by the statist intelligentsia.  In that vein, I offer you a few pointed reminders you should take care never to forget:

:
“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, during Virginia’s ratification convention, 1788.

“The power of the Sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress. My friends, and countrymen, it is not so for the powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The militia of these commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. The unlimited power of the sword, is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” – Tench Coxe, Penn Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

“…but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights…” – Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist Papers 29

“There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; as a disingenuous artifice to instill prejudices at any price; or as the serious offspring of political fanaticism. Where in the name of common sense are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits, and interests?” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers 29

“A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms…To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…” -
Richard Henry Lee, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights. Additional Letters From the Federal Farmer 53, 1788.

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.” – Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution(1787)

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, …” – Alexander Hamilton Federalist Papers 28.

Confessions of Failure: NY High-Cap Magazine Ban to be Amended

Friday, January 18th, 2013

At present, the law rushed through the legislature in the State of New York does not exempt police officers from the prohibition on magazines with more than seven rounds.  This isn’t surprising given the rushed legislation or the fervor of imbeciles in that state for stricter gun control.  What’s astonishing is the confession of those, including their genius governor, who have said there will be an addition or amendment to the law before the ban goes into effect in March, exempting police officers.  Given the facts ABC News has reported, these brilliant minds are even dumber than you and I might otherwise have suspected. How could I conclude this from their report? Let’s see if we can find the confession of failure in the article:

The Patrolman’s Benevolent Association President released a statement saying, “The PBA is actively working to enact changes to this law that will provide the appropriate exemptions from the law for active and retired law enforcement officers.”

State Senator Eric Adams, a former NYPD Captain, told us he’s going to push for an amendment next week to exempt police officers from the high-capacity magazine ban. In his words, “You can’t give more ammo to the criminals

Well, apparently the genius State Senator is able to understand that criminals won’t necessarily abide by the restriction on magazine capacity, so much so that he’s worried that officers would face criminals with more loaded ammunition, but the esteemed legislator doesn’t realize that the same would apply to average citizens accosted by thugs?  Cops are to be given the benefit of higher capacity mags, and as the PBA states, even retired law enforcement officers should be covered by an exemption, but you’re just out of luck!

To the residents of the State of New York, I bid you a fond farewell.  I was born in that State, but I would not nowadays travel there for any reason I can imagine at present.  In New York, while their State Senators apparently recognize the unnecessarily  ludicrous level of danger these restrictions on magazine capacity impose on police officers, they don’t give a damn about ordinary citizens who may be confronted with thugs who may well wish to poach their lives too.

Do you suppose the bad guys will now say: “Hey, we’re going after a non-cop, so we don’t need our high-cap magazines?”

This entire line of reasoning is not merely logically broken, but morally bankrupt.  It demands that while cops and criminals are free to parade around with whatever ammunition capacity they choose(since criminals don’t care about laws, and cops are exempted,) the people the government officials of that morally repugnant State don’t seem to give one damn about is you, the average citizen.  Good luck!  The State of New York now offers you a choice if you wish to give full vigor to the defense of your life, or the lives of your loved ones:  Be a cop, a legislator, a retired officer, or a criminal.  Law abiding citizens need not apply.  Just stick to your seven rounds and get faster about your magazine changes.  Before long, they’ll knock it down to three rounds.  And then one.  In the end, you can have the gun, but unless you’re a cop or a criminal, you’ll need to use it as a club.

Here’s the video report from ABC News 7:

 

Obama Confesses Momentary Defeat

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Sore winner?

It’s true that President Obama didn’t verbally admit defeat as he announced his new measures and legislative agenda on gun violence(a.k.a. Gun Control,) but that is the meaning of his seemingly tepid measures to combat “gun violence.”  If the grotesque spectacle of the President of the United States reading letters allegedly from children isn’t enough, and delivering this while standing in front of children used entirely as a propaganda tool doesn’t go too far, then the idea that he would exploit the tragedies of Newtown, CT, or Aurora, CO as  impetus for these actions should very nearly push you over the edge.  Sadly, all that will be accomplished even if the entire slate of Obama’s proposals are adopted is to cause the number of children killed by mad-men to increase, ultimately leaving more law-abiding Americans less able to defend themselves and their families.  Despite all of this, there is one hopeful sign in today’s actions, or the lack of more overt ones:  The left knows they could not easily win this battle so they’ve chosen not to engage directly, at least for the moment.  This is more back-door action, aimed at a future situation when they hope to be able to confiscate guns at will. This is the sole reason Obama did not press even more tyrannical measures through the use of executive orders.  Today, Obama soundlessly  admitted defeat, for now, but he’ll be back…with a vengeance.

I must also tell you that there are some very insidious provisions hidden in the plain language of his orders, and it’s time for you veterans to wake up and pay attention.  We have long known that the left would like to go after veterans, because they see us as a potential force of resistance to the tyranny they desire.  One of these executive orders requires information sharing among all departments of government, so I want you to know, those of you who are veterans, that if you permit yourself to be classified as having PTSD(Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,) there is a high probability that they will be coming after your guns, or at least your right to procure one, with this set of  executive orders.  I am not suggesting that those with real cases of PTSD shouldn’t seek help, but I am suggesting that those seeking help should go into it with their eyes open. At first glance, the slate of executive orders this President has issued doesn’t seem to be that obnoxious, but I’d ask you to reconsider.  This president has decided that doctors must violate their confidentiality with patients or face potential sanctions or at the very least, civil liability.  These measures really go too far, but since many Americans seem to be accepting that the President is screwing around with their health-care, they probably won’t mind if he gives orders to their doctors.

Despite all of the ginned-up polls suggesting Americans favor stronger gun control, what you will discover is that this issue doesn’t make the top five in importance. More, there is a great gender gap between men and women.  A majority of men oppose the ban of semi-automatic weapons, while nearly two-thirds of women favor that measure.  More important is the assessment of the root cause of guns violence.  As the pie chart below from CNN demonstrates, the availability of guns is seen as the leading cause of gun violence by less than one-fourth of respondents.  Fully three-fourths of respondents attributed gun violence to the influences of the popular culture or to the way parents raise their children.  This is hardly a glowing endorsement of the proposal that limiting firearms, magazines, or bullets will reduce gun violence.

http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/pollingcenter/polls/3380

The NRA’s ad attacking President Obama’s hypocrisy would seem to ring true to a larger number of Americans than the intelligentsia inside the DC beltway might otherwise imagine.  In the same round of polls, CNN found that a clear majority of Americans (a larger percentage than re-elected this President,) favor armed guards in schools.  Here’s that pie chart:

http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/pollingcenter/polls/3381

In typical Obama fashion, the White House Spokes-Puke Jay Carney responded to the NRA ad, accusing them of attacking the President’s children. Naturally, the Fox News Beltway Boys with Bret Baier but featuring Krauthammer and Williams concluded that the NRA was out of line with the ad, but the NRA didn’t attack the President’s children, nor did they suggest the President’s children should not have protection, but the dunderheads on Fox News seemed oblivious to that fact. Instead, each in turn cravenly conceded to the notion that the NRA’s ad had been ugly.  Apparently, most of the people in the country are inclined to agree with the notion that everybody’s children should have protection at school, as that was the actual point the NRA video was intended to make, along with pointing out the hypocrisy of President Obama. Leave it to Beltway media folk to get this one wrong.

Perhaps the most telling portion of the CNN poll is the question of whether stricter gun control would reduce gun violence. Fully three in five Americans believe stricter gun laws will do nothing to reduce violence, while just thirty-nine percent believe the opposite.  Here’s the chart from CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/pollingcenter/polls/3379

Overall, and owing entirely to the gender gap described above, fifty-five percent of Americans currently favor stronger gun laws.  This CNN chart tells the story, although they admit that this has fallen nearly eight percentage points since immediately after the Newtown shooting:

http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/pollingcenter/polls/3377

 

Many will offer that this poll owes to the ignorance of many people who don’t know a semi-automatic from an automatic rifle, and who do not grasp the obvious truth that bad people will do bad things irrespective of the particular weapons they ultimately choose.  If guns aren’t available, they’ll find something else, like fertilizer, and build a bomb, or crash an airplane into a building.  Most Americans remain sensible enough to realize that crazy and/or evil people will always do immense harm when they see an opportunity to do so.

For my part, I take some solace in the fact that Obama didn’t try to impose even more tyrannical things than those already represented by today’s twenty-three executive orders, and you should expect that he will pursue them if he sees a political opening to do so.  Besides, with Boehner running the House, Obama may yet try an end-around and get some of the weak-kneed Republicans in that body to act in conjunction with Democrats, to re-impose a Federal Assault Weapons ban, or impose limits on magazine capacity, but the problem remains that once you get outside the liberal havens represented by the Northeast corridor, the popularity of such proposals drops dramatically, which is why Obama today encouraged people to put pressure on members of Congress outside those safely blue zones.  In truth, the drive for gun control matches in character the national by-county mappings of Obama’s electoral victory, but in fact, it’s not even that strong since some counties that are blue on that map would inevitably express opposition to gun control.

As bad as this has been, and as ridiculous as Obama’s executive orders may be, I want you to understand that if he sees an opening, it will be far, far worse.  It’s also important to remember that he’s going to be applying maximum pressure against even the more conservative members of the House to see what he can get shoved through, since the Senate will undoubtedly do his bidding.  This President hasn’t given up on his desire to disarm Americans, but for the moment, he clearly doesn’t think the political will exists to ram the whole thing through.  If he did, he would have done so, and the battle would look quite different tonight.  What I would urge patriots to do is to avoid complacency, and to keep pressure on their members of the House, and on Republican leadership as well, to oppose more of this gun control agenda that a wide majority of Americans already recognize will have no impact on gun violence.  We need also to get more people who are currently on the fence, or even opposed to consider our arguments.  Maybe you have a few single women in your circle, some of whom buy into this gun-control nonsense.  It’s time to get them to the range, empower them, show them how guns can provide them far more protection than some poor overworked cop who may be dispatched eventually when they call 9-1-1, but who will frequently arrive much too late.

The dirty secret they won’t tell you about is why they go after so-called “assault weapons” when the vast majority of all gun murders are committed with hand-guns is that over the last number of years, women have been arming-up in record numbers.  That’s right, “Julia” is more likely to be packing heat.  Showing more women that they have less to fear from guns than from lacking them in a moment of need should be a priority for all gun-owners.  The more responsible citizens who have guns, train to use them, and are confident and capable in their own defense, the less relevant this nonsensical drive for gun control will become.  There’s simply no better way for a woman to become the physical equal or superior of her attacker than through arms.  There is no means available by which she can more forcefully defend her family than through the disciplined training and use of firearms should the situation call for it.

If you want to know why I believe Obama unintentionally signaled an at least temporary hold on his gun control agenda, it is because he is confronted with these facts.  When CNN’s own polling makes the case so thinly, it’s a good deal worse for their side than their polls are likely to indicate.  A five-point swing nullifies the gun-grabbers edge, and they know it.  As more people lift the veil of ignorance and seek out facts about guns and gun violence, they’re apt to shift more rapidly in many quarters to favor the rational side of this argument.  Part of being a citizen of this great country is making the effort to inform your fellow citizens about pressing facts they may not know. That must be the root of our continuing efforts to stave off future tyrannical actions.  We still don’t know what the moderate Republicans in the House will do if cornered on such legislation, and with Boehner conducting negotiations, we mustn’t let our guard down.  Despotism often takes root when citizens become complacent, and if today’s stage-show with Obama demonstrates anything, it is the fact that we must grow louder, stronger, and more numerous if we are to defend our remaining liberties, never mind take back those already lost.  You can bet that during the immediate future, Obama and his cohorts will be pushing hard to make as much political hay of this latest horrific event as they are able.  If there’s one line we must not let them cross, this is it, and while national sentiments may be their reason for a moment of pause, we must not take that for granted.

NRA Video Slams Obama Hypocrisy

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

There’s not much one can add to the simplicity of this message. Barack Obama’s children go to school and enjoy the protection of armed guards. Why should your kids have any less? This video courtesy of the National Rifle Association’s NRA Stand and Fight website:

Hypocrites Won’t Proclaim Their Homes “Gun-Free” – Video

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Once again, James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas were out there catching lefty hypocrisy on video.  This time, they were demonstrating how the same people who can’t wait to publish the location of registered gun owners don’t like any attention coming to their own homes.   Some of the people have armed guards outside to protect them given the recent backlash against the new organization, but naturally, none are willing to place a sign saying “Gun-Free” in their yards.  Why not?  I would think they’d invite the attention, but no, they’re liberals which means they’re free-riders who wish to have the status of their gun ownership in doubt. As you will remember, the Journal News and Star Ledger published pin-maps of registered gun-owners in their respective areas.  Now, these same people don’t want their homes labeled as “gun free.”

Imagine that you’re a doctrinaire leftist who believes that people shouldn’t own guns, to the extent that you’re willing to publish a pin-map of all those who do, in order to bring pressure(and perhaps harm) to those gun-owners.  To then be shocked and surprised when there is a public outcry over your publication is obnoxious.  Now, confronted by O’Keefe’s group posing as anti-gun activists, you see their reactions.  These are hypocrites.  They don’t wish to advertise their own status as unarmed homes, but would instead like to leave the matter in doubt.  Why?

Simply put, they benefit from all those who are armed, and they benefit from the doubt as to whether a given home might have become armed since their publication.  They want the benefits of criminals believing they may be armed, but not the responsibilities of being armed.  This is the height of hypocrisy.  It also demonstrates the pure cowardice of the leftists in media.  I would have a good deal more respect for their position if they’d accepted O’Keefe’s signs, proclaiming proudly that theirs are gun-free homes.  At least that would be putting their money where their mouths are, but no such character was exhibited in this video.  Mostly, at the homes of the Journal News and Star Ledger folk, O’Keefe’s band of spoofers were turned away.

So much for commitment to their espoused ideals.

Updated: Walmart Denies It Won’t Re-Stock Ammo

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Walmart Denies

Walmart has denied that it is changing its policy, even temporarily, on the re-stocking of ammunition.  This is according to a WND report.  From that article:

“That information is inaccurate,” said Ashley Hardie, a spokeswoman located at Walmart’s corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

WND then asked whether the retail chain is cutting back on orders of ammunition.

“No,” Hardie said. “We’re continuing to serve our customers as we have in the past.”

She said Walmart’s ammunition sales policy has not changed, even amid talk of gun-control legislation in Washington, D.C.

 

WND is also reporting that CNSNews, the source of yesterday’s viral story, has in fact pulled the article at this hour.  On the other hand, as WND further reports, they had the following information from people not connected with the original story on which Monday’s CNSNews article had been based:

Meanwhile, WND reader Sam Singleton said his local Walmart in Myrtle Beach, S.C., has a very short supply of ammunition. According to Singleton, the store claimed it had received a letter from corporate headquarters on the issue.

“The clerk said they only had what was left on the shelf and that there was a ‘hard lock’ on the reorders. She said they hadn’t been getting any replenishment and that just today the store had received a letter from the corporate office stating that they would not be able to order any replenishment of ammunition, other than some for shotguns.

“She said they were not stocking anything that could be used in an ‘assault-type rifle.’ I said, ‘This is ammunition I use for practice,’ and she said they were just told there was a ‘hard lock’ on ammo sales.”

Another WND reader, Patrick Clemons, reported a similar experience today after he visited the Walmart in Folsom, Calif.

This is all very curious.  If we are to believe Walmart’s denials, then it’s hard to square with the reports from various people independently reporting very similar things.  Either there is a massive conspiracy to “get Walmart” or there’s a cover-up under way.  At any rate, as of this update, Walmart says it’s not true.

 

How to Defeat Liberals in Arguments About Guns – Video Goes Viral

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Hard-Hitting Facts

If you ever wanted to know how thoroughly bankrupt the arguments of the gun-grabbers are, all you need to do is watch this video.  Watch the liberal host, Bray Cary, get sucker-punched repeatedly by WVCDL President, Keith Morgan on the State Journal’s Decision Makers. The WVCDL is the West Virginia Citizens’ Defense League.  If Alex Jones had been the model for how not to win an argument, then Morgan’s calm and collected demeanor is an excellent example of how to corner the left with their own nonsense, rather than coming off like an unhinged lunatic.  What this video reveals is the fear-driven mindset of liberals in media who want to get rid of guns.  Cary doesn’t really want to have a rational discussion, for all his posturing to that effect.  Listen carefully as a plainly rational man de-fangs this leftist vampire who eventually looks as though Morgan had been wielding holy water, a stake and mallet:

Here is a perfectly reasonable man attempting to have a logical conversation with a leftist who turns out to be simply another ignorant talking head.  As the host ultimately admits, he simply doesn’t think private citizens should be armed.  More, the moment Mr. Morgan corners him, he becomes almost desperate to go to break and end the segment, particularly once Morgan begins to describe the lie that is the claim that so-called “assault weapons” have never been used in defense against criminals.  This is a blatant lie, and it been debunked so frequently that it’s astonishing it keeps being re-told.

Here’s one example, from 2011, in which a 15-year-old in Houston defended his home and his sister from home invaders with an AR-15.  The original story and video posted here at KHOU’s website. You can watch the video below:

So much for the faulty assertion that none have ever defended their homes with an AR-15.  The truth is that most instances of defense never involve the discharge of a weapon, but merely the display of one.  There is no statistic on how many times guns were brandished or displayed causing would

 

Convicting the Innocent in Lieu of the Guilty

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Franklin’s Proposal

Barack Obama and the forces of the left want to deprive me of my rights.  Naturally, they want to strip you of your as well.  In that sense, let us admit that they are equal opportunity despots.  There’s a problem, however, and it’s simply this: I have committed no crime and no tort, and I have harmed no other living person, and after nearly half a century on the planet, and with nearly thirty years bearing arms, both privately and on behalf of my country, there are no innocent victims littering a bloody trail behind me.  Obama and his minions would have you believe that their intention is to reduce gun violence, but that’s simply not true.  The real intention is to punish the innocent, and to reward the guilty, but decent Americans who abide the law should have the clarity of conscience to reject the charge and to demand that the Obama administration prove our guilt before depriving us of our liberties.  You see, that’s how it is supposed to work:  The Constitution accords us each due process of law before our rights may be suspended, violated or infringed. Rather than confront the real problem, the gun-grabbers are building sentiment for punishing the innocent in lieu of the guilty.

There is no such notion in American law as a collectivized guilt to be shared between the innocent as well as the guilty.  Both our civil and criminal legal systems are based in individualized concepts of justice. The Fifth Amendment as well as the Second guarantee that neither Obama nor Congress can take our guns simply because they concoct a figment of law in order to compel you. The Fifth Amendment’s text explains the context in which your rights may be suspended or violated:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.(Emphasis added)

The relevant portions of this amendment make it plain that I am entitled to due process of law, and that due process is every bit as much an individual right as any other guaranteed by the constitution, although the government has gotten in the habit of pretending otherwise.  I have a right to my arms, to bear them, and to maintain them in perpetuity without governmental interference, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.  So long as that Amendment remains in force, in order to strip me of that right, the government must first accuse me of a crime, convince a jury of my guilt, and sentence me accordingly.  I have the right to have my day in court, present a defense, and provide exculpatory evidence on my behalf.  Leftists like to pretend that when Congress passes a law and the President signs it, or he enacts new regulations or dicta, this is all the due process to which individuals are entitled, but this is not the case particularly when we are talking about rights explicitly enumerated in the Constitution.   The due process clause clearly applies to individuals.  The text makes that fact plain, since it is written with a singular pronoun:  In describing the “person” who shall have due process of law,  it says: “himself.” One needn’t be a constitutional attorney or a Supreme Court justice to recognize the plain language of the constitution and to understand its meaning.

On this basis, I wish then to know when each of us will be charged in some manner, according to some law, on the basis of which Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and their host of Marxist brethren will present indictments against each of us.  I want to know the charges against me.  I want to know what is my alleged guilt so that I may be deprived of my explicit liberties guaranteed by the US Constitution.  Passing a law to outlaw this gun or that magazine, subsequently accusing me of violating it, does not pass the constitutional stricture against post facto law, in the first instance, nor is such a law an individualized process.  It is instead mass punishment.  Mass punishment of any sort violates all the principles of the constitution, and yet what Obama and his goons would have you believe is that we must be deprived of so-called “Assault Weapons” on the basis of a collective guilt for the actions of a few criminals who have committed horrendous acts, to which we have no relationship.

Still others like Governor Cuomo pretend that the number of rounds we can have ought to be limited, but as one combat veteran explained to me when I was a young private in the Army, “You won’t know how much ammunition you’ll need until the firefight is over.”  This is undeniably true, and I was reminded of it when a caller to Mark Levin’s show made much the same point.  You don’t know how many bad guys you’ll face, or how they will be armed.  Andrew Cuomo screaming at the top of his lungs about whether hunters have a legitimate need for magazines that hold more than ten rounds is a farce, because the Second amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting.  Do hunters enjoy the protections of the Second Amendment?  Certainly, but they are not the object of the Second Amendment, otherwise we would see an amendment elsewhere defining a “right to hunt.”  This illusion the gun-grabbers want you to stumble over is a nonsensical argument because the founders did not enshrine the right to keep and bear arms in the US Constitution so their heirs could shoot deer, or wild turkeys, or ducks.  They ratified it as a protection against governmental tyranny.

Now we are confronted with a President who wishes to deprive us of our right to keep and bear arms.  He presents no charges against any of us, and he offers no evidence in substantiation of the non-existent charges.  Instead, he plans to act with despotic discretion in the matter.  I have been charged with no crime, and knowing the character of my average reader, they haven’t been charged with a crime, yet this President intends to punish us just as surely as any convicted felon in acting to deprive us of our rights.  This is the sort of thing one sees in any growing tyranny, where laws and dicta are written to prevent crimes that may well never be committed by people who may well never have conceived of committing them.  Vice President Biden offered that if so few as one life is saved by the actions they will take, it will have been worth it.  If that is now to be the argument in favor of banning guns, let us apply it equally to every issue.  How many lives will be needlessly ended under Obamacare?  How many children are aborted each day?  How many doctors make errors each day?  How many people are killed in motor vehicle accidents, or are trampled by cattle, or are struck by lightning?  Using such a fraudulent rationale, one must construct an endless list of things to be banned.

We must ban knives because if only one life is saved, it is worth it.  We must ban doctors, because if even one life is saved, we have done something heroic.  We must ban cars altogether, because if even one life is saved…  We can go on ad nauseum, but ultimately, what the left will reveal if they don’t know you’re paying attention is that if it were up to them, they would ban people.  The left now enacts laws, and too often, the so-called moderate Republicans go along, and the object of these laws is inevitably to punish you for being alive.  If you use gasoline, you must be punished.  If you use paper, you must be punished. If you use water, air, or anything at all, you must be punished.  Only when you are reduced to the level of a slave does the punishment diminish in its frequency and severity.

The entire argument being advanced by leftists is that all we who own weapons are guilty each and every time some lunatic commits a heinous act of violence against his fellow men.  It’s largely based on a fear-mongering argument contrived to make people believe that there is something inherently evil about the instrument, and therefore necessarily evil about all those who would possess them.  This is roughly as sensible an argument as the idea that because some people drive drunk, we should therefore do away with the motor vehicle, or because some Islamic supremacist nuts flew four airplanes into buildings and a fourth into the ground, jetliners should now be banned in the name of the public safety.  By this sort of disconnected anti-reasoning, we should blame Wilbur and Orville Wright for 9/11.

I reject such reasoning, as I reject the authority of all those who would advance it.  Law-abiding Americans are not even distantly responsible for the actions of the shooters who perpetrate these crimes, any more than they are responsible for the hundreds of murders on the streets of Chicago.  Taking away my guns or the guns of other law-abiding Americans will do nothing to reduce the actions of murderous predators, but more than that, nobody has made a valid charge against them.  What is being done in this instance is a travesty, with leftist activists making sure the crisis presented by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut doesn’t “go to waste.”  Americans should incensed at the notion that the actions of a handful of monsters somehow conveys guilt upon the rest of us, yet that is the basis of the emotionalized appeal being pushed by the anti-Second Amendment crowd.

The left pretends to adore the first Amendment, particularly those parts pertaining to freedom of speech, yet they would insist, one mustn’t permit people to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, and to that extent we are able to agree.  For reasons entirely their own, they are unable to see that in order to prevent the yelling of “fire” in a crowded theater, we do not gag people before they enter.  We do not place this prior restraint upon speech because there is a presumption of innocence, and yet this is precisely the thing they refuse to presume on the part of law-abiding citizens who own guns.  Just as with the First Amendment, we do not punish or impede people in advance, but instead seek justice when they commit such a crime, so should it be for every other right of free people that might be abused.  I will not accept a guilt I had not earned, and neither should any other American.

It is for these reasons that I have resolved that neither Barack Obama nor future politicians shall be permitted to have my guns.  If they insist, I will resist them, and they will be compelled to choose whether to murder me, or to relent in their outrageous punishment levied against a man who is peaceful, and who had committed no crime, or otherwise harmed another soul.  Benjamin Franklin had wanted the Great Seal of the United States to include the motto: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”  If we are to be confronted with tyrants, may we be faithfully obedient to Franklin’s proposition.

The Alex Jones Freak-Show With Piers Morgan

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Jones Launches

As a resident of Central Texas, I’ve been familiar with Alex Jones for more than a decade.  When I first heard him, he w as on KLBJ-AM radio in Austin on weekends, as well as a daily Internet broadcast. Jones has always been easily convinced of conspiracies, and while he bumps into a number of real ones, he never seems to have the self-restraint to realize that not everything is a conspiracy, and not everything bad that happens is strictly the result of some conspiratorial actions of some shadowy elites.  I knew I could never listen to him again once he proposed that the twin towers were brought down by controlled demolition.  All of the video from that day shows the real cause of the collapse, and it wasn’t a thermite plasma device, or a series of smaller explosives, but the structural failure of steel load-bearing members weakened by heat and bearing much greater and more asymmetric burdens then they had ever been designed to bear.

It was from that moment on that I dismissed Alex Jones as an overblown crackpot.  The sad part is that he does more damage to his own credibility than his adversaries ever could, and it’s too bad because Jones is right about a number of things on the issue of freedom, and the never-ending growth of government.  On Monday night, he appeared on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN and scored some excellent point before melting down and making a complete ass of himself.  The freak-show may have been entertaining in some respects, but ladies and gentlemen, he is a loose cannon, and conservatives shouldn’t rely on him to carry the banner of liberty.  I get as angry as the next conservative when I see what the left is doing to our country, but most of us realize you can’t win an argument if you appear to be off your nut.  Jones never saw that memo.

The first thing Jones should have known was that he was being set up like a carnival side-show freak.  If Piers Morgan had wanted a serious debate about guns, there are much more authoritative sources he might have interviewed.  John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime would have demolished Morgan without challenging him to a boxing match. As soon as Morgan began pummeling Jones over his beliefs about 9/11, it was clear that his entire aim was to discredit gun-owners by association with the likes of Jones.  Of course, by then, Jones was quite angry because he knew he had been set up, but the problem with Jones is that he never knows when to shut up, and his own kooky pet theories know no bounds.  One would think that with his conspiratorially-tuned mind, he’d have been looking for a big ambush after his run-in with TSA on his way to this interview.

It’s not to say that Jones doesn’t air real issues of consequence, like the extensive coverage he gave to UN Agenda 21 long before it got any mainstream media coverage.  Jones is a constant critic of TSA, and the Department of Homeland Security, but one needn’t be a conspiracy nut to see that those agencies are fatally flawed and reprehensibly managed.  Jones seemed determined to point out Morgan’s hypocrisy, and yet with his inability to maintain his composure, a lacking he’s suffered for all the years during which I’ve been acquainted with his work, he comes off sounding like a ranting loon, and if there was a conspiracy this day, Jones was too incensed to see how he is being used as a propaganda score against the very cause he went to CNN to defend.

I think Alex Jones firmly believes he is doing as he should, and that he believes he is advancing the fight for liberty in America, but each time he gets drawn into one of these battles, he looks the part of the fool he had been selected to play, and he never quite seems to recognize that in the mainstream of America, he’s not going to score points with average viewers by screaming at the interviewer.  Instead, he looks like a raving maniac to most viewers. Rather than ranting, he should have mentioned the stories in support of his thesis that big multi-national corporations are helping government to disarm Americans, like Bank of Americaca that seems to be hostile to gun manufacturers banking with them, or how the Obama Administration is on record as seeking the assistance of big business in getting rid of guns.  Instead, he sat there  flipping verbal channels like the ultimate expression of ADD/ADHD, and in so doing, squandered an opportunity to speak to the issue at hand in a cogent, sensible manner.

Jones went to the interview armed with crime statistics, but as he rightly complained, Morgan was prepared to pepper him with factoids on the subject of mass shootings.  The problem is that sensing the snare, like a trapped animal, he exploded in rage, and rather than making his best arguments, he came off as a clown or a nut.  It’s not to say he didn’t say anything correct or worthwhile, but that the way he said it in combination with all of his extensive conspiracy theories made him look like a raving maniac. It’s too bad, because he made some great points until Morgan got him off-kilter, and from there on, Jones was in purely ballistic trajectory. He spews tenuously-linked tidbits of stories, strung together like a flow of lava from an erupting volcano, and it makes Jones seem unbound and disorganized like a library shelf full of books suddenly deprived of their bindings, but that is also the nature of many of his conspiracy theories.

Here are parts 1 and 2 of the interview, as aired on CNN, H/T

Again, I think that Jones is probably sincere in his efforts, but sincerity is not a substitute for reason.  I think he’s right when he asserts that a gun ban will result in greater violence, and I also know he’s got an important story to tell about such things as the seeming correlation between some psychiatric medications and mass shootings, as WND reported on Monday.  As you can see by that article, WND was careful not to assert that the linkage is certain, but they relied on a variety of cases that are well documented and sourced, rather than innuendo and supposition.

In stark contrast, Jones frequently relies on a trail of bread-crumbs that he spots on a bakery floor, making more of them than might be reasonable.  Again, it’s not to say that Jones and his website don’t present important information, as they were among the first to run the story on the unbelievable amount of small-arms ammunition being purchased by the Federal Government, numbering nearly two billion rounds, for the Department of Homeland Security and other civilian agencies.  In Jones-speak, that’s enough to kill every man, woman and child in America nearly seven times over.  As I said, it’s not that he covers all nonsense, or that all of them are made-up, fanciful conspiracies about globalists, but it is to say that it’s hard to pick your way through it all to separate the wheat from the chaff, and all too often, there’s a good deal more chaff than hard news.

I rather like Alex Jones, in the same way I liked the entertainment value of other loudmouths in media from time to time, not as a steady diet, but as a diversion.  I know that with Alex Jones, what you see is what you get, and most of the time, it’s not smoke indicating fire but steam warning that the pot is boiling.  Watch and listen to Jones at your own risk.  At times, he says some very sensible things, things I have said myself, for instance indicating today in his interview that no entity has committed more murder than statist governments over the last century or so.  It’s undeniably true, and it’s likewise true that in each of the countries in which that occurred, the people had been more or less disarmed without significant struggle.  You see, Jones will say that with the passion it deserves, but when he then follows-up with one of his more outlandish theories, it wastes it all.  One might be tempted to take him seriously if he didn’t follow up every good point with two bad ones, an absurd one, and a challenge to a boxing match.

The most disconcerting thing about Jones is that he doesn’t understand the power of propaganda when he is made into its instrument for the other side.  CNN will make the most of Monday’s freak-show, and haul it out every time something bad happens and they want to discredit patriots, Tea Party folk, libertarians, Republicans, and conservatives.  They will hold Jones forth as exemplar of the nuttiness of the so-called “right,” but naturally, he’s not representative of any of those groups.  He’s one man, with a very loud mouth, and a microphone, and he appeals to some people, particularly young men, under thirty, because he’s angry and he’s loud and he’s obnoxious, but he is not the voice of reason.  Most of his audience outgrows him like a pair of high-water pants, wanting more depth and substance than the yelling man from Texas can provide.  If only he would stick to what he could prove, ditch the bizarre theories, and tone down the yelling a bit, he might just find himself with a larger audience, but after nearly twenty years of his yelling, conspiratorial rants, there’s not much chance of that.

 

 

Former Marine Who Told Feinstein “No Ma’am”

Monday, January 7th, 2013

No Ma’am!

Joshua Boston is the former Marine who published a letter on December 27th, informing Senator Dianne Feinstein that he would not obey any law that demanded he register or surrender his firearms and his right to bear them. Corporal Boston’s letter was a response to all the talk about gun bans, and particularly Feinstein’s proposed legislation. CNN interviewed him, and he figuratively stuck to his guns, telling the CNN interviewer that an unconstitutional law is no law. The interviewer naturally seemed argumentative, but that’s to be expected when a Marine talks to the press.  Watch the interview here, courtesy of Mediaite:

Feinstein’s office responded, saying she respected the Corporal’s service, but like most leftists, I believe the Senator from California is lying through her teeth. If she had any regard or respect for Corporal Boston or any of the millions of other veterans who have worn the country’s uniform, fought it battles around the globe, and kept the nation secure against all threats, she wouldn’t be considering this sort of legislation. Among other things, in his interview on CNN, Boston said:

“Whatever happens happens. I have a right granted to me by the Second Amendment in our bill of rights and it says ‘shall not be infringed.”

In his original letter, Boston in part made his case this way:

“I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.”

What I find interesting in this interview is the demeanor of the CNN interviewer, who seems to hold his remarks in contemptuous, laughing disdain.

“The law is the law, right?”

As the 8-year veteran observes, an unconstitutional law is no law.

This is another example of what I explained in my piece on Sunday about Confronting Ignorance About Guns. These people in the newsrooms are frequently factually ignorant of almost everything relevant to the issues they cover, and it is perfectly understandable why conservatives and conservatism never seem to get even-handed coverage in media.

To his credit, Cpl. Boston acquitted himself well in the interview, and he did the Marine Corps proud.

Semper Fidelis!

Combating Ignorance About Guns

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

He’s Coming for Yours…

One of the things that causes me the most consternation about the entire argument over gun control is how so many people who express opinions on the matter exhibit a complete lack of knowledge on the instruments at the center of the discussion.  More, it’s frustrating to realize that among all the voices chiming-in, there are a great number who have no idea why it is that we have the Second Amendment, or what all the fuss is about.  To them, it’s a simple matter: Collect up all the guns and the problem is solved.  Sadly, simplistic views like this aren’t very likely to bear fruit, and there is good reason to be skeptical about those who express them.  After all, before launching into a tirade against guns, or anything else for that matter, one ought to know a bit about the subject matter, but it seems to have become the fashion in America to speak with conviction on issues about which one may know precisely nothing.  This article is an attempt to lift the veil of ignorance that seems to shroud so much of the public discourse, and while my readers may know much of this material, I have no doubt but that there are millions who might benefit from the information contained.

The first thing that every person ought to know about guns is that many things have been mislabeled by politicians so as to more easily sway the ignorant.  Understanding what is and what isn’t true about guns first requires learning what they are, how they function, and what the different types of guns are, as well as their uses.  One often hears politicians talking about “fully automatic” weapons.  This is by itself a misnomer, because I’ve not seen a weapons system that is fully automatic outside of military applications, for instance like the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System used in our Navy.   That is a system that once turned on, automatically aims and fire projectiles at targets without any further human intervention.  You would not be able to contain one of these even in a fairly large garage, so let’s dispense with the nonsense about “fully automatic weapons.”

In practical terms, however, when most people talk about fully automatic weapons, what they are describing is a gun that will continue to fire one cartridge after the next by merely squeezing and holding the trigger.  I am always perplexed when media outlets describe a shooting with a semi-automatic weapon as “spraying the room with bullets,” since “spraying”  implies a continuous stream.  If the trigger is being re-pulled with each round, there is no “spraying” involved.  “Peppering” is a better descriptor, but naturally, the media blows everything out of proportion.  They may share an anti-gun agenda, but I believe another explanation is that most people in the media are equally ignorant about guns. Only with automatic weapons is something remotely like “spraying” possible.  Automatics are very rare in fact, and have been strictly licensed for decades.  There is a great deal of paperwork and taxation and licensing fees involved in maintaining an automatic weapon.

In stark contrast, what is generally regarded as a semi-automatic weapon requires an additional pull of the trigger for each round to be sent down-range.  The confusion arises because there are any number of guns that look just like their automatic cousins, but are instead purely semi-automatic weapons.  What most people know as the AR-15 is simply the semi-automatic cousin of the fully automatic M-16 rifle, first tested and fielded by the Army in the 1960s.  This family of rifles has been through several stages of development, and there’s no denying that they even share many common parts, but I can most thoroughly assure readers that an off-the-shelf AR-15 is not an automatic, and is not capable of “spraying” anything in the sense of a fully automatic M-16.  An M-16 has a maximum cyclic rate of around 700 rounds per minute.  This assumes you could feed it a continuous stream of ammunition, and that the barrel would not bow like a banana from the heat well before a full minute had elapsed.

A semi-automatic is in fact a self-loader, or an auto-loader, in that when you squeeze off one round, the rifle will by a combination of spent propellant gases and mechanical action eject the spent cartridge and reload the next round, provided one is available.  One must release and again squeeze the trigger to fire the next round and send it down range.  Military rifles like the M-16 have a select-fire feature that permits the user to place the weapon in automatic or semi-automatic mode.  Civilian rifles like the AR-15 do not have the automatic setting, and can only fire in semi-automatic mode.

The same thing is true of the much-discussed AK-47.  There are as many versions of this rifle in the world as there are manufacturers, plus some, but those legally imported into the US are all of the semi-automatic variety.  In fact, while it is theoretically possible to convert many of these rifles to fully automatic function, the jail time one would incur for having done so is hardly worth the trouble of modifying one, and depending on which model and so forth, you may have some substantial but delicate machining ahead of you.  It’s simply not worth it, either in terms of any perceived benefit, or in terms of the probable criminal liabilities.  In all the hundreds upon hundreds of gun-owners I know and have known, I’ve never known so much as one willing to entertain the idea.  We rational gun-owners enjoy our right to keep and bear arms far too much to put it all at risk over something so foolishly wasteful.

One of the questions I am asked by people who aren’t aware of the reasons for the so-called “Assault Weapons Ban” of 1994  given the differences in function between an automatic weapon and a semi-automatic weapon is why it was that such weapons were ever banned at all.  The answer is purely political.  So-called “Assault Weapons” merely look menacing, and as we should all know by now, politics is frequently all about perceptions.  If you want proof, consider one of the features banned in that law: The Bayonet Lug.  A bayonet lug is a machined block or other appendage on a rifle that permits the mounting of a bayonet.  I have never heard of a single person committing a crime with a bayonet attached to an “assault rifle,” and yet we are told that this is a feature that makes them more dangerous.  I don’t have any statistics to back this up, but given what I know about the world in which I live, I am willing to bet that more people are killed by meteorites hitting them in the head than have been killed by a madman with a fixed bayonet.

Since this is the case, one must ask what rational purpose there is to this classification of so-called “assault weapons.”  The answer is that all of the criteria are purely cosmetic.  Much is made of the question of magazine capacity, but frankly, this is a lot of steam.  Take your average Glock 17, a weapon that is fairly common, and sadly has been used in a number of the high profile crimes of which we’re all aware.  There are those who, apart from simply calling for an outright ban, want to restrict the number of rounds one can store in a magazine to just ten.  I say “just 10,” but 10 shots are plenty in the hands of a practiced shooter, because if you’ll head over to Youtube, you can watch videos of competitive shooters who are able to change magazines and resume fire in less than one second.   In other words, any perceived hitch in reload time is very minimal for somebody who is well-practiced.  On the other hand, for those less-experienced shooters who may simply be trying to fend off some home-invader(s,) a magazine change could take several seconds, costing them time and permitting the assailant(s) to close the ground between them.  Having a higher-capacity magazine is a distinct advantage for the less-than-expert home-defender, because having nearly twice the rounds on tap probably increases their chance of successfully defending their home particularly against multiple assailants.

The point is, however, that with practice, the difference between two ten-round magazines and one seventeen-round magazine is negligible.   Some will ask: “But what about Assault Rifles? Surely their magazines cannot be changed so quickly!” Really?  Try this video.  As you can plainly see, magazine changes, no matter how frequent, are of little consequence to somebody trained to shoot.  There are those who will say “But that proves our point about semi-automatics.”  Not really.  Watch this gentleman firing and reloading his revolver.  As you can see, there’s nothing about this that would suggest that some of the most horrific shootings we’ve witnessed over the years would have been even slightly different in terms of the results by eliminating semi-automatics. Perhaps this will lead you to believe that I’ve made the case against all semi-automatics, but before you jump to conclusions, take a look at this video of a seventy year-old bolt-action rifle.

What nobody seems willing to discuss is how often firearms are used in the defense of innocence against the insane or malignant people who manage to get their hands on them.  In one recent case, an off-duty Sheriff’s Deputy in San Antonio, TX prevented what could well have turned into another theater shooting by engaging a suspect who ran into a theater shooting.  This story received virtually no press coverage, but once again, what is demonstrated is how guns can and are frequently the instruments of salvation for the innocent.  Just days ago, a woman in Georgia shot an intruder who had broken into her home.  She hid with her children in the crawl-space, but when the thug came into view, she unloaded on him.  There won’t be a widespread push to get this into widespread circulation, either.

Just as our society is beginning to break down, and you may find yourself more frequently needing the defensive capacity of firearms, the Obama administration is trying to fast-track legislation to ban them.  This is another example of how the emotions of Americans are used against them by shrewd politicians who take advantage routinely of crises to advance what is nothing more than a political agenda.  It does nothing to change the reality that there are some sick and evil people who will make use of whatever weapon is available to do some of the most horrific things.  As Charles Krauthammer recently explained on FoxNews, the real problem is that we have made it nearly impossible to get a troubled person committed for psychiatric treatment.  That was true with the individual who carried out the massacre at the Sandy Hook elementary school, and it was undoubtedly true of many others.

Given enough time and opportunity, the insane and the evil will find ways to turn almost anything into a deadly instrument of mass murder, whether it’s a handgun or a fertilizer bomb or a Boeing airliner.  None of that changes the fact that one’s 2nd Amendment rights are not subject to popular vote.  None of that changes the purpose of the 2nd Amendment.  The founders, in their wisdom, understood that one might well have need to defend himself, and that police would not always be available to respond in time to prevent a crazy or a villain from doing their absolute worst.  At the recent school shooting, this was clearly the case, since by the time the police arrived on scene, the killer had taken his own life, and there was no exchange of gunfire with police.  In fact, given the circumstances, the killer could have used ‘slow’ revolvers to equally tragic effect, and nothing about the outcome would have changed.

The purpose of our 2nd Amendment is to afford you the possibility of repelling attackers, and dealing with insane and evil people who prey upon their fellow man.  They understood that there would always be good cause for self-defense, and given their recent experiences, they also understood all too well that some times, the evil and the crazy act from behind the shield of official power.  One would think that somebody would eventually consider the death tolls governments have inflicted on their own people over the last century, but somehow this death toll, numbering in the tens or hundreds of millions always manages to escape notice.  No other sort of institution has inflicted that sort of carnage whether private or individual, and yet we have some number of people who suffer under the delusion that governments are to be trusted as the sole armed defender in a given society.    I saw an interesting image on Twitter Saturday being re-tweeted around and what it said was that “a movie about a society in which only police and military are armed has been made,” and when you click into the picture, you see a scene of execution and the title of the movie:  Schindler’s List.

If this doesn’t make plain the truth of the matter, I don’t think you’re willing to be convinced of the truth.  Some people choose ignorance because it’s more comforting than actual knowledge, or because it permits them to take up the support of evil while pretending not to have known better.  Either way, readers should understand that there can be no rational argument for stripping the hundreds of millions of guns from the American people for the purposes of crime prevention.  The truth is that guns are simply an instrument like any other, and as long as there is man, there will be senseless violent murders, whether guns are available or not.  The only thing achieved by banning firearms is to leave millions of Americans virtually defenseless, and that’s immoral.  Instead of going after the crazies, the politicians are using this as an opportunity to go after the rights of law-abiding citizens, and for all the reasons you can already guess, you have every reason and right to resist it.  Ignorance should no longer be an excuse.  Those who advocate the banning of firearms are simply damning many more innocent Americans to deaths from which they might have protected themselves.  So much then for “good intentions.”

So the Politicians Want Our Guns?

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Forced to Choose?

In the aftermath of the horrifying school shooting in Newtown, it was inevitable that leftists would use the opportunity to agitate for further limitations on the right to keep and bear arms.  Before the day was over, the Marxist-in-Chief appeared to make a statement to the press, a man who is himself perpetually surrounded by a legion of armed guards, and his basic premise was laid out: This has to stop and he’s going after guns to do it.  This is the typical reaction to these sorts of events, just as the last “Assault Weapons Ban” was passed in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, in which exactly zero assault weapons were used by the bombers.  This is a fraudulent approach to a problem, because it has nothing in fact to do with the issue at hand.  Timothy McVeigh didn’t need assault weapons to murder Americans en masse, because the real problem is with individuals, but not with the implements.   Knowing this, I have a serious question or two for politicians before they decide to infringe upon our rights.  I want them to know what’s at stake, because taking such steps could do mortal damage to the country.

I’d like politicians to place themselves in law-abiding gun-owners’ shoes.  Many are like me.  I’m an Army veteran, and since returning to civilian life, I have never raised any of the weapons I own in the direction of another living soul.  I maintain a number of firearms for defense of my home, my family, and my farm, against both human and non-human predators.  Some of these would undoubtedly be classified “assault weapons” given the bizarre criteria of the last iteration of the legislation, but that hardly matters.  I’m a law-abiding citizen, and I cannot imagine a scenario in which I would employ my guns for reckless, wanton purposes.  That notion is with respect to the laws as currently written, however, new laws would leave us with a new problem should the politicians in Washington DC decide they must enact a ban on any of the weapons we already lawfully own, because if they believe that Americans are going to hand them over, they’re in for a bit of a disappointment. Why do politicians believe that law-abiding citizens should be punished for crimes they have not committed, and would never commit?

Many Americans will not yield their weapons. Will not.  Got that?  So, here’s the trouble: If by enacting a new law, people are made criminal by possession of weapons that had been perfectly legal, folks in Washington DC will be making a grave error in judgment.  You see, I am a big believer in what I like to call “Mark’s nothing-left-to-lose” theory, which states that if you make a criminal of a person by legislative or regulatory fiat, a person who has really committed no crime and no tort, that person really has no further reason to obey any laws.  Not gun laws.  Not traffic laws.  Not tax laws.  Not drug laws.  Not any law.  I think there’s something tragic about the sort of thinking driving this gun-grabbing mentality in Washington DC, but I also believe it is intended to garner the worst possible result, and there are those who will cheer at the carnage that will be wrought.  You see, they will claim the political shield of their alleged “good intentions,” but the truth is that they have none.  They intend to wreck this Republic, and if we yield so much as an inch on this, they will have made another step in that direction.

I am certain there are those advocating such legislation who believe they’ll simply send out federal agents to collect all the guns and thereby enforce the laws, and if they have a few shoot-outs with those who may be unwilling to surrender their arms, so much the better to strengthen the propaganda case. After all, it won’t be the necks of the politicians that are on the lines, but federal agents who have been directed to enforce an immoral and reckless law.  I pity them, because I know some number of them will doubtless be injured or worse, but also because I know some of them will disagree vehemently with this law, and away from work, they’ll be forced to live under it just like every other American. The rational thinkers among them might well refuse to carry such a law into execution, but sadly, the soft coercion of a paycheck is a mighty motivator.

There is also the social pressure, and it comes in the form of celebrities, media personalities and politicians making ridiculous comments about America and “its gun laws.”  Take Piers Morgan, who has “threatened” self-deportation if America doesn’t change its gun laws. Apart from leftist dolts, I cannot imagine the mindset of anybody who thinks this is an effective tactic. Will anybody miss Piers Morgan?  To me, this looks like an inducement to repeal some of the archaic restrictions on firearms ownership already on the books.  Note to Mr. Morgan:  If you’re going to “threaten” us, be sure the threatened action is something that we’d like to avoid.  As it is, and as his ratings demonstrate, I think Mr. Morgan had better start packing his bags now.

I think the politicians aren’t quite seeing the whole picture in such a short-sighted view of how things under a ban-and-seizure procedure might go.  It’s their operating assumption that the one-hundred million Americans who legally and safely own firearms will either hand in their guns at the appointed place and time, or if they resist, simply hunker down to await the aforementioned federal agents to show up for the obligatory stand-off and eventual surrender or massacre.  The problem with this view is that I don’t think the bulk of that one-hundred million Americans who own guns are nearly so stupid or short-sighted as politicians seem to believe.  The real question is whether politicians are so universally craven, and if they’re willing to convert millions of law-abiding Americans into criminals by post facto writ of law.  Do they understand that for some number of Americans, this will truly amount to an act of war?  Do they believe all armed citizens will simply go along quietly?

I doubt that all one-hundred million Americans are likely to be so docile, or so flat-footed. I suspect that if politicians enact such laws, or actually attempt to confiscate guns from Americans, there could be a rather different reaction based upon “Mark’s nothing-left-to-lose” hypothesis.  You see, I could well imagine any number of gun owners who would look at their guns, the impending seizures, their shrinking liberties, and simply conclude that “today is the day for the second bloody revolution.”  I suspect they would not be so slothful as to wait, huddling in their homes for hordes of better-armed and vastly more numerous federal agents to appear at their door.  No, I believe that if such a thing were to be enacted, the bright line between liberty and tyranny will have been crossed, and at such a point, it may well become an open season, not on poor federal agents who are being directed to such idiocy, but on politicians, media, and other public persons who support such nonsense, breaching the peace with legislation, prompting American gun-owners to oppose such tyrannical actions, and to show up at their doors with notions other than peaceful discourse in mind.

Naturally, there are those leftists who actually hope such a scenario would arise, because it would permit their shill to declare martial law, and so on, but the problem comes in for all those supporters of such policies who do not have and will not have a legion of armed guards to protect them on the day Americans finally become pissed-off, or otherwise decide they have nothing left to lose.  There exists a substantial number of Americans who simply will not yield to such a law.  This is not Australia, and contrary to the thinking of those who may have been led to believe the same sort of approach could work in the US, whereby the government would ban guns and conducted a mass confiscation through a buyback program, most going along quietly, there are still far too many Americans who realize the simple truth that a government that would seize the weapons of law-abiding citizens is a tyrannical master, and no longer an obedient servant.

One imbecile suggesting total confiscation is the governor of New York, whose only actual claim to fame is that his father had been governor of that state, that Bill Clinton hired him for a cabinet post as a favor to his father, and he used his father’s name and connections to elevate him into high office.  Andrew Cuomo called for confiscation, and here, Sean Hannity and Michelle Malkin discuss the matter on FoxNews:

This is a dangerous time in which we live, made all the more dangerous by the imbecilic sloganeering of politicians bent upon an agenda of destruction.  Guns really aren’t the problem, and they have never been the cause or source of violence.  Instead, this is a problem of mostly insane individuals who do evil deeds.  It’s a problem of people who are only loosely tied to reality or morality getting their hands on guns, or bombs, or airplanes.  There isn’t enough banning and seizing to be done to combat all the evil actors on the planet, which is the reason that we must retain our rights to keep and bear arms.  Some of those evil actors rise to power in governments, and occasionally, they too must be confronted with arms.  It would be an awful lesson to repeat, if politicians foolishly insist on replaying it here, now, in the country that had been the world’s most free and prosperous.  Taking away the right to keep and bear arms in any fashion isn’t an acceptable answer for a free people, and I pray a majority of our politicians know it.  It’s not a lesson a free people should be compelled to re-teach.

 

The Natural Right to Self-Defense

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Stand for Liberty

Our founders had the wisdom to recognize that rights are a fact of man’s nature.  They held that rights come from a Divine Creator, and that these rights cannot be nullified by governments.  They fought a bloody revolution to sustain their noble argument, but they also assumed there would be those who would claim to know the mind of Divine authority, and inasmuch as they knew this, they sought even to place rights outside the realm of religion, lest another would-be king decide he spoke with Divine endorsement, or some ruler might arise who held no respect for the Divine.  Knowing this, the founders laid the basis for our constitutional, representative republic on the foundation of an underlying philosophy that had no need of a claim to the Divine, though they claimed it nonetheless.

Consider the full meaning our founders authored, and together through the able pen of Thomas Jefferson declared:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”-Declaration of Independence

These opening line in the Declaration of Independence set the stage for all that is to follow.  Here, the founders introduced many to the formalized concept of Natural Law.  Here, they laid the basis of our rights, and they pointed to the “…Laws of Nature, and of Nature’s God…” as the source.  Think about what they directly implied with this choice of terminology.  Whether or not you accept the existence of a Creator, the Laws of Nature dictate that mankind has rights that are a precondition of his existence.  They endorsed God as the author of Nature, but irrespective of whether you share that view, they were laying down a clear marker:  These rights exist, as a fact of Nature.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” -Declaration of Independence

They held these truths to be “self-evident” because every person is able to clearly discern the great natural law of cause and effect, action and reaction, and because every person can plainly see the necessary logic of the matter.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” -Declaration of Independence

Notice what government’s proper role is to be: “To secure these right…”  There is no rationalization for the basis of government to create these rights, or even to endorse these rights, but merely to secure them.  This is because the government cannot create what pre-exists government, and whether its agents endorse these rights, they must nevertheless secure them.  This was intended to show not only the failures of the King against whom their revolt had been levied, but also against tyrants who might rise in some remote future.

They made plain that if a government becomes destructive of these liberties, it is the “right of the people to alter or abolish it,” and this is the statement of their motive and cause in having declared their independence. For those who will refute statists of the left by saying that rights are a gift from God, they find that they are immediately subject to the retort: “God?  What God?”  This has been the left’s basic approach to this argument for generations, and over time, it explains their desire to secularize our culture.  After all, if some larger portion of the people come to believe there is no God, so much easier will it be to disclaim the entire matter of rights.  Our founders were brilliant men, and they were ready for this argument, so the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence were designed to clarify the matter for all times.

Who can dispute that the laws of nature exist, and that  they are immutable?  We have no capacity to amend the Laws of Nature, and if Nature is the source of our rights as people, then no man can abolish them.  They affirmed and endorsed in full the belief that a Divine Creator was the author of Nature, and therefore its law, but their construction was intended to make the argument over the existence of God irrelevant to the matter of the existence of rights.  These were brilliant men, so they understood fully what sort of monstrous concepts would be used to attack their declaration, and all to which it would give rise.  They were also offering an invitation of sorts:  You needn’t have accepted their particular belief in God to be the beneficiary of these rights.  The Laws of Nature are universal irrespective of one’s religious beliefs.

Consider that a right of the people to alter or abolish a government means that such a right  pre-exists governments.  Naturally, and in all logic, this is the self-evident truth, since individual men form a government, they can alter or abolish it at will, or even decide never to form it at all.  If this is the right of individual people, banded together in common cause, needing only their mutual consent to do so, there must be some means by which to carry out such a necessity.  If such a necessity were to arise that the people would decide to abolish a government, it would only be so because they could not simply alter it.  After all, when your car becomes inoperative, you do not take it immediately to the wrecking yard.  You will naturally try first to repair(alter) it, and even if it is operable, you might find it no longer complies with your needs.  You might try to alter it so that it better-suited your purposes.  Our founders and the framers of our Constitution recognized this inasmuch as they built in the means by which to amend(alter) our law or to scrap it altogether and start over(constitutional convention.)

They also recognized that a time might arise when a government might become so large and powerful as to prohibit the peaceful measures to alter or abolish it, and in such cases, they would ultimately write down yet another measure that would become our second amendment, providing a protection for the natural right of man to defend his life, liberty and property.  This is the right we find under assault even now, as in the wake of the fiendish shooting in Aurora Colorado, no shortage of would-be tyrants have risen to decry the right to keep and bear arms.

We must never, under any circumstance, and by any diversion or claim of exigency yield any more ground on these rights.  We have already given far too much ground, always in the name of a civil society, and yet with each step in the limitation of gun rights, our culture becomes more stricken with violence, and less safe for every person.  Our founders understood that just as every government is made up of men, and as every man possesses a vast capacity for evil, every other person must maintain the ability, both in fact and in law, to defend against any device or practice of man, be they individuals, hordes, or governments.

They viewed this through the lens of Natural Law, in the same way they viewed all other laws given rise through the clear example of nature.  You might make a law that prohibits in words the act of a lion to defend itself.  Your law might demand in reckless disregard of the facts that a lion ought to lie down and surrender upon the approach of any man, and were he to resist the man, to restrain himself from making use of his fangs,claws, and superior dexterity.  Assuming there could be a lion who could understand such a dictum, what would any suppose might be the reaction of the lion to such a farcical notion? Who suspects a lion would comply?

None would make such a fanciful law, because no lion would understand it, but more, none could be expected to comply in any way with it.  That is the nature of a lion, and this self-evident truth is all one needs to understand the basic premise underlying the entire construct of natural law, upon which our founders relied in the formulation of our Declaration of Independence, but also in their laying down of our guaranteed liberties in the Bill of Rights.

Some will believe that such laws are not made merely because the lion cannot understand them, and therefore could not be expected to comply.  The simpler truth is that a lion must not be expected to act contrary to his own nature.  What John Locke explained, being perhaps the greatest enlightened political philosopher upon whom our founders had relied, is that no law ought to be erected that supposes man can be compelled to live contrary to his nature as man.

“Thus the ‘Law of Nature’ stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men’s actions, must, as well as their own and other men’s actions, be conformable to the ‘Law of Nature’, i.e. to the will of God, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it.” – John Locke, “Second Treatise in Civil Government”, Chapter-11, Section 134

Here is the evidence of Locke’s influence on the founders, and it is once again exhibited within this statement, that while Locke believed firmly in a Divine Creator, he nevertheless points out that God is the source of the Law of Nature.  Were you to reject even the belief in God, you may not pretend that nature has no laws.  You can credit the Law of Nature to anything you like, but what Locke made plain is that the Laws of Nature are not to be ignored or suspended, and that in fact, no law erected against the Laws of Nature can stand as valid.

Man’s greatest natural gift is not a claw or a fang, or the dexterity to employ them, but an agile mind, able to remember, and to correlate, and to associate cause with effect; to understand the relationship between action and reaction.  Man furthers his life not through violent assault, even if such may on occasion be necessary, but by utilizing the best fruits of his mind. Just as one must not expect a lion to suspend the use of his claws or his gaping, fanged jaw, it is ridiculous on its face to expect man to suspend the use of his mind.

If it is foolishness to expect a man to suspend the use of his mind, it is equal foolishness to expect that he would abstain from the use of its products.  A gun is an instrument, but like any other, it is incapable of thought, and incapable of self-determined action.  It is a tool, and as such, having being created and reproduced by the minds of men, to expect men to abstain from using such a simple instrument is in every way as fundamentally bankrupt a notion as demanding a lion forgo the use of his claws.  Just as a lion has every natural right to fight for the defense of his existence by all the means with which he is equipped, so too is man entitled by nature to fight for his own defense to the same degree of effort.

When a governmental lunatic, or mindless politician approaches you to demand that you lay down the means of your own defense, though you had wronged nobody, and threatened no one, you are right to look at that person as quizzically as the lion would look at the author of a claw-control law.  What you are faced with is a person who has suspended reality to the degree that he no longer sees a toothed lion or an armed freeman before him, but instead a potential slave, and one who will subserviently yield the means of his own defense despite the warnings screaming in his brain that no good can come of yielding one’s rights.

Like the founders, conservatives respect the Laws of Nature, in part because most hold due reverence for their Author, but more fundamentally because they respect the self-evident truth the universe makes plain all about them. The right to self-defense is plainly a fundamental right that government may not abolish or suspend without consent of all those it governs.  Were I the last individual person on the Earth to retain arms, even would the whole of humanity demand I relinquish them, I would maintain my right to them, and I would sustain that right by the ferocity of my defense of it, even if it were to be my last, and I would abolish so much of the attacking throngs as I might be able before I would be overwhelmed.

My right to keep and bear arms is non-negotiable, and my right to self-defense is identically sacred.  So too is yours.  Any person who would yield it is either a fool or a knave, and I say this with all due respect to all the brilliant masterminds who believe otherwise, which is little, or none.  We who understand the implications of the founders must endeavor to see the full wisdom of their declaration, for it is our declaration too.  They have gifted to us this legacy of superior reasoning, and we must guard not only the document, but the meaning of the words upon it.  When dim-witted politicians descend upon every available microphone, and fill the frames of every available camera, all in a display of posturing for the sake of their fraudulent agenda the object of which is to protect themselves while enslaving you.  What other reason can there be for their delusion?  In what other purpose could their actions be intended? They wish only to urge the lions to de-fang and de-claw themselves.

This terrible tragedy must not be permitted to become the next excuse in pursuit of that end.  For once, let us see the wisdom of our founders and let the lions defend themselves from the rabid dogs.  The fools and knaves who mouth their slogans are accessories to such tragedies before-the-fact, having prohibited honest men and women from their own defense.  Our founders knew with the certitude provided by their combined experiences and lifetimes spent in study by candlelight and lantern that man is the possessor of unalienable rights, that are the product of the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” and that none can make a rightful claim to nullify them among the innocent.  We, who were born to the electric light-bulb, now banned, and who read by the light even of the devices on which the text is itself imaged should think long and hard before we too easily yield these rights.  No other men before them had conceived of a country in which people might be guaranteed the full complement of their natural liberties, and if we let their light be extinguished, we may never see its kind again, instead condemned to languish in perpetual darkness.

 

WRAL(Raleigh) Releases N.C. Conceal Carry Database

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Unarmed? Here's Your Sign

Unarmed residents of North Carolina should be livid.  On the other hand, criminals operating in North Carolina must be ecstatic because CBS affiliate WRAL(in Raleigh) has posted a complete searchable database on its website through which you can look up people by name and address to see if they have concealed-carry permits.  Some are understandably afraid that concealed-carry permit-holders may be singled out by criminals, but in fact, what I expect is that criminals will search to see if their intended targets are gun-owners.  In one sense, this is like placing a “Gun-free zone” sign in all the places that don’t show up in this database.  All of the people who have benefited from the deterrent effect of neighbors who have armed themselves under the law will now likely lose that free ride.  Trying to embarrass or pressure concealed-carry permit holders, and certainly opening them up to harassment on a political basis, what WRAL has succeeded in doing is to help criminals avoid armed citizens.

Guess what that means for everyone else?

While the absence of a concealed-carry permit-holder hardly guarantees the absence of guns in a given business or home, it could be an indicator, and for criminals, if the address they’re about to hit isn’t in the database, there is a higher likelihood of catching a business owner or resident unaware and unarmed.  Ladies, you will be the first targets of this, because violent sexual offenders can now look to see if their intended targets are apt to be packing heat.  We know victims of sexual assault frequently know their attackers, prior to the attack, and now such fiends will be able to verify whether their intended victim is a permit-holder.  Consider that what WRAL has actually done is to point violent criminals in the direction of probable unarmed victims.  Despite the political harassment North Carolinians with permits might now endure as a result, I would not fail to be join that list if I were a resident of that state.  I would want every thug in the state who is aware of WRAL’s database to know that I am armed to the teeth and will defend myself vigorously. It won’t take long for the word of the existence of the database to spread to and among the criminal element.

This shows the foolishness of the left. In attempting to target gun-owners and concealed-carry permit-holders politically, what they may ultimately succeed in doing is to cause criminals to target everyone else.  When that happens, more and more law-abiding citizens will go get a concealed-carry permit, or at least arm themselves in their homes, and that will be a good thing for the free people of North Carolina.  This is typical of the manner in which leftists function:  Their immediate concern was how to score political points against a class of citizens in North Carolina who they hold in contempt, and upon whom they had hoped to heap derision and scorn.  Instead, they may well damn every other citizen of the state by helping criminals to filter out the concealed-gun carriers.

In fact, every resident of North Carolina should be outraged, because what WRAL has just done is to aid and abet the criminals.  On the other hand, the one thing law-abiding citizens of that state should do in response is to get their concealed-carry permits.  As is the norm, there will be unintended consequences of this action by WRAL, and one may be to impel more residents to procure their concealed-carry permits.  As bad as this is, for those who like to look for “silver linings,” this story may actually offer one over the long run.