VIDEO: On Guns, Joe Biden is Full of It

Presumptive Democratic 2020 Presidential Nominee Joe Biden is not one for claritytact, or a firm grasp of the facts. However, even an American public that has long been aware of his shortcomings was taken aback this week when the former vice president launched an unhinged attack on a pro-Second Amendment auto worker. Aside from further exposing a waning control of his faculties, the exchange revealed Biden’s deep antipathy towards the Second Amendment, his profound ignorance on the firearms issue, and his willingness to lie for political advantage.

The verbal dispute occurred on Tuesday as Biden toured a Fiat Chrysler plant in Michigan as the state was holding its primary. As Biden made his rounds, auto worker Jerry Wayne went up to the presidential candidate and asked him about his position on the Second Amendment. Speaking with Fox News’s Fox and Friends the following day, Wayne explained that he “asked [Biden] how he wanted to get the vote of the working man when a lot of us, we wield arms. We bear arms and we like to do that. And if he wants to give us work and take our guns, I don’t see how he is going to get the same vote.”

Wayne told Biden, “You’re actively trying to end our Second Amendment right and take our guns,” to which a visibly agitated Biden responded, “You’re full of **it.” Following Biden’s use of profanity, a female Biden staffer attempted to quell the confrontation. Biden responded by shushing the assistant.

Biden then claimed that he supports the Second Amendment, providing as evidence his ownership of 12 and 20-gauge shotguns. An angry Biden then professed “I’m not taking your gun away” and denied ever having said that he would take guns away. Wayne responded that there was video of Biden expressing his desire to take guns, to which the candidate responded with a denial.

At that point Biden thought it appropriate to point a finger in Wayne’s face and clarify that he was going to “take your AR-14s away.” The befuddled politician presumably was referring to America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15. When Wayne protested Biden pointing a finger in his face, a now irate Biden challenged the auto worker to a fight, telling him “Don’t tell me that, pal, or I’m going to go outside with you’re a**.”

Demonstrating a firmer grasp on U.S. civics than the Syracuse Law graduate*, Wayne responded to the unhinged “public servant” by saying “You’re working for me, man.” Continuing his profanity-laced tirade, Biden responded with, “I’m not working for you. Don’t be such a horse’s a**.”

Confused, Biden then appeared to conflate commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles with machineguns. Wayne was then forced to explain to the former vice president the difference between semi-automatic and automatic firearms. An addled Biden then shouted “Do you need 100 rounds? Do you need 100 rounds?” before wandering off.

Describing the interaction for Fox News, Wayne recalled that Biden “kind of just went off the deep end.”

That is an understatement.

Joe Biden does not support the Second Amendment

Biden continues to boast about his role as lead sponsor on the Senate crime bill that contained the 1994 Clinton ban on commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms and magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds. The ban was allowed to expire in 2004 after a federally-funded study determined that “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” Despite this record of failure, in 2007 Sen. Biden introduced S.2237. This legislation would have reinstated the so-called “assault weapons” ban.

At present, Biden’s campaign website touts his plan for a more restrictive ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and magazines. Further, while attending a private $500 a person fundraiser in November, Biden revealed his intent to ban 9mm pistols. According to an article from the Seattle Times, while at the soiree, the 77-year-old asked attendees “Why should we allow people to have military-style weapons including pistols with 9mm bullets and can hold 10 or more rounds?”

The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that the Second Amendment prohibits the gun bans Biden advocates.

In the landmark Second Amendment case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court concluded that the types of firearms protected by the Second Amendment include those “in common use at the time” for “lawful purposes like self-defense.” The AR-15, which it appears Biden was attempting to cite in his most recent anti-gun rant, is the most popular rifle in America and therefore undoubtedly “in common use” and protected by the Second Amendment.

In 2015, Heller decision author Justice Antonin Scalia reiterated that the Second Amendment and Heller preclude so-called “assault weapons” bans when he signed onto a dissent from the denial of certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park. In the dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas explained,

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles [with many millions more owning them in 2020]. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

In targeting 9mm pistols, Biden has called for a ban on one of the most popular firearms in America. According to ATF’s Firearms Commerce in the United States FY 2019, there were over 3.6 million pistols manufactured in the U.S. in 2017. This was more than 1 million more guns than the next most popular category of firearms, rifles. Further, over 3.2 million handguns (including revolvers) were imported in to the U.S. in 2017.

In its annual report on the U.S. firearms industry, Shooting Industry reported that 9mm caliber pistols are the most commonly produced pistol and have been for many years. In 2017 alone, there were more than 1.7 million 9mm pistols produced in the U.S. Cumulatively there are tens of millions of 9mm pistols in the hands of law-abiding Americans.

As with so many anti-gun politician, when Biden claims to support the Second Amendment he is not being honest.

Joe Biden wants to take your guns

At a campaign rally in Dallas on the Monday before the Super Tuesday primaries, failed U.S. senate and presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke endorsed Biden for president. Sharing the stage with his former rival, Biden stated, “I want to make something clear. I’m going to guarantee you this is not the last you’ll see of this guy.” Biden went on say, “You’re going to take care of the gun problem with me. You’re going to be the one who leads this effort. I’m counting on ya.”

Following the campaign event, Biden and O’Rourke went to local burger chain Whataburger, where the septuagenarian continued to heap praise on the former manny’s anti-gun advocacy. Speaking about Beto and gun control, Biden stated, “This guy changed the face of what we’re dealing with regarding guns, assault weapons… and I just want to warn [Beto’s wife] that if I win I’m coming for him.”

By offering Beto a role on guns in a potential future administration, Biden has made clear that he supports Beto’s gun control position. That position is gun confiscation.

During the September 12, 2019 Democratic debate, Beto O’Rourke was asked about his proposal to confiscate commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. Beto responded in part by saying, “hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.” The Beto campaign would go on to sell t-shirts with the anti-gun slogan.

Less than a week later, Beto reiterated his call for gun confiscation on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time. During an interview, Chris Cuomo asked Beto, “All right, so let’s state the proposition. Are you, in fact, in favor of gun confiscation?” Beto responded with “Yes.”

There can be no doubt that Biden understands Beto would confiscate firearms, as he shared the debate stage with him on September 12.

Moreover, Biden himself has stated that he intends to take firearms. Biden had the following exchange with CNN’s Anderson Cooper when asked about firearm confiscation during an August 5, 2019 interview.

Cooper: So, to gun owners out there who say well a Biden administration means they are going to come for my guns.

Biden: Bingo! You’re right if you have an assault weapon. 

Biden must think he can get away with lying to Second Amendment-supporting working people. In the friendly confines of a CNN interview, Biden is more than happy to admit his gun confiscation plans. However, put him in front of a group of workers and he tries to hide his radical anti-gun agenda.

Thanks to autoworker Jerry Wayne, Biden wasn’t able to get away with it this time. Wayne was correct to ask Biden about his history of attacking the Second Amendment and support for firearms confiscation. Biden, on the other hand, was full of it.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Florida Man’s Life Ruined Because of False ‘Red Flag’ Laws

Watch the below video – this is what is happening under Florida’s Red Flag Law, SB 7026. and its unconstitutional Risk Protection Orders (RPOs).  Fifty four Republican Representatives voted for this terrible law and all but 6 FL Senators did the same.

QUESTION: Have you asked the Clerk of Court from your county how many of the RPOs issued resulting in ex parte seizures without Due Process were overturned or vacated the after the seizure hearing 14 days later?

Who is being held accountable when these reports to LE of someone being a threat are found to be lies?

Steven Linne for Florida House posted the video titled “Red Flagged – SB7026” below on YouTube.

© All rights reserved.

PODCAST: Her Husband Was Murdered in a Gun-Free Zone. Now Nikki Goeser Is Fighting Back.

Nikki Goeser watched the man who had stalked her murder her husband in a gun-free zone. Because she was a law-abiding concealed carry permit holder, Goeser’s firearm was safely locked away in her vehicle, leaving her defenseless.

Now a gun rights activist, Goeser is working hard to ensure every American has the means to protect themselves and their loved ones. Goeser, author of “Stalked And Defenseless: How Gun Control Helped My Stalker Murder My Husband in Front of Me,” joins the “Problematic Women” podcast to share her story. Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.

Virginia Allen: Nikki, thank you so much for being here today and for being willing to share your story with us.

Nikki Goeser: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Allen: Your book “Stalked And Defenseless: How Gun Control Helped My Stalker Murder My Husband in Front of Me” is about your husband Ben, really. And so we wanted to start and talk about him. What was Ben like and how did you meet him?

Goeser: Ben was a sweetheart. He was just a happy-go-lucky, fun-loving, lighthearted person. He was always smiling. He was the type of person that if a stranger came into the karaoke venue where I worked at, he would introduce the person around the room to all of the regulars to try and make them feel welcome.

Ben was also a big brother for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. He was a big brother to a child by the name of Trent. And Trent’s father was in prison and his mother really wanted Trent to have a positive male role model in his life. Someone that could spend time with him. And so Ben would take him go kart riding and to the bowling alley, movies. Trent would come over and ride the four wheeler at our house, or I’d cook dinner for him. And Ben was just a remarkable person. He was a really sweet person.

Allen: And when did you all get married?

Goeser: We actually got married on New Year’s Eve.

Allen: That’s so romantic. What year was that?

Goeser: It was 2007.

Allen: 2007, wow. Why New Year’s Eve?

Goeser: You know, I like New Year’s Eve, and he liked New Year’s Eve. It’s a date you never forget.

Allen: I love that.

Lauren Evans: And it was not long after you were married that you had the worst day of your life. Can you walk us through what happened that night at the restaurant?

Goeser: Yes. I need to kind of, I guess, give you a backstory a little bit.

Evans: OK.

Goeser: So my husband Ben and I [had] a mobile karaoke business in the evenings. Now we both had regular corporate jobs during the day. So we did this just as a side job for a little extra gas and grocery money. And it was fun. We both enjoyed it.

I would run karaoke shows in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, for various karaoke jockeys, ladies that were calling in sick or they just didn’t feel like working or any number of reasons. And those venues downtown, they owned their own equipment. So I would just show up and run a karaoke show using their equipment.

And I did this quite often and there was a man that came in to the karaoke venue and Ben and I—Ben was always with me by the way, when I would run these shows, because all of our friends were there, the regulars were there and Ben would just enjoy the evening with them and sing and have fun and then we would drive home together after my shift.

A man showed up and we’d never seen him there. And at first we thought he was just a tourist because, you know, there’s tons of tourists that come through in Nashville. But then he started coming in more often and we figured, well, he must live here. And Ben introduced him around the venue to all of the regulars to try and make him feel welcome.

And this man, I remember there was one night where he gave me $100 tip. Now keep in mind, when you run karaoke shows, the way you make the majority of your money is through tips. So we take around a tip jar at various points throughout the night or you have one up there by the karaoke equipment.

And people will tip you—now, usually people give you a $5 bill. Maybe they’ll give you a $20 if they want to sing next and they want their name moved up the song list because they’re extremely impatient, and they’ve had a little, maybe too much to drink and are not thinking. Sometimes I would think, “Buddy, you need to save that $20 for a ride home.”

But this man gave me a $100 bill and I thought he had made a mistake. I thought he thought he pulled a $10 and he accidentally pulled a $100 so I took it back over to him and I was like, “Are you sure?” And he just gave me this look of accomplishment like he was sure. So I knew it wasn’t a mistake. I’m showing it to him.

And so I said, “Well, thank you.” And I just, it may sound silly now, but at the time I was thinking, “Obviously, he wants to sing a lot tonight.” And … I put him up to sing a lot throughout the evening.

I remember then he sent me a request on social media. At the time it was MySpace back in those days and I added him to my social media account just like I did the rest of my customers. It was a way for me to retain my customer base and let people know where I would be running shows …

He started sending me messages, the kind of private message section, that were normal. I mean, just customer interaction, “Great show. Really enjoyed it. Can’t wait to come to the next one,” or whatever. Normal conversation.

Well, then he started saying things, it started to progress in a different light. He would say things like I was attractive. And now keep in mind, when you work in a venue like that, men tell you that you are attractive and you say thank you and you go about your business. You hear it all the time, no biggie.

Then his messages started to progress even more and he started saying things like, maybe, “Ben is too old for you. It’s OK to admit that you may have made a mistake. Don’t you want to have children?” Just inappropriate. So I showed the messages to Ben and Ben’s like, “Obviously, this guy’s got a crush on you,” and he just kind of, he didn’t think that much of it.

And I was like, “Well, I’m going to have to set this guy straight because that’s not appropriate at all.” So I did. I just said, “Look, you’re fishing in the wrong lake. I’m happily married. What you’re saying is not appropriate.” … I didn’t delete him right away. I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. I’ve had to tell men before no, and they just move on. There’s other fish in the sea.

But he sent a message back that was the exact opposite of what he had been saying. He was trying to break me down by my physical appearance. He was really just being mean and obnoxious. And so I showed that message to Ben and we both agreed he needed to be deleted and blocked. And so that’s what I did.

I remember he came back into one of the karaoke venues and now he’s not singing, he’s stopped singing, he’s just standing in the middle of the crowd. Everyone’s having fun around him and he’s just standing there staring at me the whole time while I’m on the stage trying to run the show. And seems like he had come in again and again just staring at me.

And Ben at one point, Ben had told me on our way home, he said, “You know that guy … ” I don’t ever say his name because I don’t want to give him notoriety. My stalker, I guess, walked up to Ben and said, “Hey, Ben, how’s it going?” Like nothing had ever happened. He hadn’t sent me these strange, inappropriate messages.

And Ben just said, “Look, I read the messages that you sent my wife and I read what you had to say about me and you’re scaring her. Please leave my wife alone.”

And he said, “What? Is she mad at me? I swear it wasn’t me. I’ve got a crazy ex-girlfriend who knows how to hack into my account. It was her. It wasn’t me.” And of course Ben did not believe this phony explanation. Ben’s just like, “OK dude, whatever. Just leave her alone.”

And Ben turned around and joined the rest of our friends and this man left. We didn’t see him again for at least a solid month and I’m thinking it’s taken care of and he shows up to this restaurant where Ben and I ran our own mobile karaoke using our equipment. This restaurant was a good 30-, 35-minute drive away from downtown Nashville where this man normally went for karaoke.

Ben’s already asked him to leave me alone. I’ve deleted him, I’ve blocked him. It’s pretty clear we want nothing to do with him. And now he’s here. What’s he doing here?

I see him and I’m like, “Oh my God, this man is stalking me.” At that point I realized this is stalking. He’s not just a dedicated karaoke customer. He doesn’t have just a simple crush on me. This guy is stalking me.

So I turned to Ben and I said, “Honey, that man is here. The one that sent me the strange messages.” And he said, “Yeah.” He looked up and saw him and I said, “I don’t feel comfortable at all. I’m going to ask management to remove him.” And Ben said, “OK babe, do whatever you need to do.”

So I went to get management and … He had walked around behind Ben at the point that they confronted him and he had gone to the restroom before and he came back out and he’s standing behind Ben. Ben’s now at the karaoke equipment because I’m not there anymore to run the show, so Ben’s running it. Ben’s busy on the computer typing in songs and this man is just loitering behind him. He’s acting anxious, he’s looking all around the restaurant. I assume he’s looking for me.

I had walked the manager through the back kitchen up against a side brick wall where I could see out into the dining room, but he wouldn’t be able to see me and something just told me, “Don’t get involved. You’ve got no way to protect yourself. You don’t know what he’s capable of.”

Obviously, I’m concerned. I tell the manager, “Please get him out of here. He’s stalking me. Here’s what he has on.” And when they went to confront him.

I later learned during the trial that the manager said, “We need to ask you to leave.” And he said, “Why?” And she said, “Because you’re making someone here feel uncomfortable.” And he said, “Who?” And she said, “I think you know who.” And he said, “Well, I have to go to the restroom.” She said, “No, you’ve already been to the restroom. I think you need to leave now.”

And that’s when he pulled a .45 caliber handgun out from under his jacket. He had it in a shoulder holster. And at this moment he’s pulling the gun and I’m thinking, “Oh my God, I don’t have my gun.” And I can see the lights reflecting off of the metal slide.

He lowers the gun to Ben’s head and he fires one round and shoots Ben in the head and Ben falls to the ground and he stands over Ben and continues to fire six more rounds into him in front of myself and everyone in the middle of a busy restaurant. There was probably 50 people in there at the time.

And of course you can imagine the restaurant is complete pandemonium. People are running and screaming and trying to get out. And he had very calmly put the gun back inside of his jacket and started to walk around the corner into the pool table room to leave.

Allen: Oh my goodness.

Goeser: Like nobody would know he was the shooter. And I’m running as hard as I can to get to Ben when he turns around that corner and there’s a barrier between us. I later learned that there was a United States Marine who was in the crowd that tackled that man and a handful of other men jumped on top of him as well. They disarmed him and held him until the police came.

But I will probably wonder for the rest of my life if I could have prevented that. Of course, I’ll never know because I was denied a chance. I was stalked and defenseless.

So I’ve taken all of this grief and trauma and loss and I’ve tried to put all of this into a book to describe to people how gu- free zones are extremely dangerous. They make good, law-abiding people helpless. They do nothing other than encourage criminals to attack because, let’s face it, they know everybody in that place is helpless. So I’ve just done what I can to try and educate people and help them understand.

Allen: Nikki, thank you so much for sharing that. So incredibly just tragic what has happened.

During that time when your stalker entered the restaurant and you said you had that moment where you saw the gun come out and you thought, “I don’t have my gun,” you were a concealed carry [permit holder]. You had your permit, you still have it. Where was your gun at that point and why couldn’t you have it in the restaurant?

Goeser: My legal permitted gun that I normally carried for self-defense was locked in my vehicle in the parking lot there because the restaurant we were in, not only did they serve full meals, but they also served alcohol. And in the state of Tennessee at that time, you could not bring a gun, a legal handgun. You’ve got your hand gun carry permit. You could not bring it into those establishments. So I followed the law and left my gun locked in my vehicle.

Of course, my stalker did not have a handgun carry permit. He carried a gun illegally into a gun-free zone.

Evans: Had you been drinking that night? Is there any reason why besides just this law that you shouldn’t be?

Goeser: I was working and in the state of Tennessee, you cannot carry a gun anywhere … It was already the law. You cannot carry a gun anywhere and have alcohol in your system, so.

Evans: So the only reason why you didn’t have your gun on you was because of this law?

Goeser: The law.

Evans: Wow. One thing in your book that really touched me is how God’s fingerprints were on that day. That you never called out sick. You never called out of work sick ever. But that day you just felt like you wanted to spend the day with your husband and you had a conversation with him that most people don’t have on a normal day. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Goeser: Sure. I had never fibbed to a bar to spend time with my husband. I felt really awkward about that. But you know, I woke up that morning and I just could not shake this feeling. I was just like, “I really don’t want to go to work today. I just want to be with Ben.” And I don’t know how to explain it really.

But I took the day off and Ben had been laid off from his job and he was doing various home improvement, fix-up projects for friends to try and make a little extra money. So I just went with Ben that day and worked on the house that he was working on, ripping up old flooring and he was installing a fan that day and several other things.

But I am so glad I fibbed that day and took the day off as a sick day because I got to spend those precious moments with my husband.

Evans: So this happened over 10 years ago. Why choose now to write this book?

Goeser: It started out as a diary and it was a process. … It took three years to go to trial despite the overwhelming evidence and the entire crime was filmed on security cameras there at the restaurant. I mean, there was no question that he did it, who the murderer was. So it was very frustrating waiting that long.

So I would write my feelings just to deal with the grief and the trauma and the loss. And plus, I wanted to be able to remember things. I was concerned that because it was taking so long to go to trial, I knew that I would most likely be a witness in the trial and I wanted to be able to remember key details. And when time passes, sometimes your memory fades.

Then an acquaintance of mine, a friend said, “You should really consider turning this into a book. I think that a lot of people could learn from this.” So that’s what I did.

Allen: How have you been able to find some healing from your husband’s death? I mean, was writing the book an act that helped you to find that healing and in some ways recover?

Goeser: Yes, it was definitely healing. It was tough and it was healing, if that makes any sense. I don’t really know how to explain that, but it’s tough reliving those things. But if I feel like it can benefit others and make them think about their own safety, then I think it’s worth it. But yeah, it was healing.

Evans: You haven’t just written this book. You’ve become a gun rights advocate, doing speeches, working on legislation. What have been some of your proudest moments?

Goeser: Proudest moments? Oh, I guess one of my proudest moments was when the NRA gave me the Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award in 2012. It’s an award given to one woman in the entire nation every year, and I was the recipient of that award for my Second Amendment advocacy work and that was a real honor for me that they would recognize all that I had done. That’s probably one of the big ones.

I’ve had so many moments that are just incredible. Of course, my boss is Dr. John Lott Jr., author of “More Guns, Less Crime,” and I have met some really incredible people and there are famous people I’ve met. But it’s funny because once you get to know them, you realize that they’re just people. They’re just like us. I mean, they put their pants on the same way we do. When you really talk to them and get to know them, I mean, they’re just good people. They’re just regular people.

I got to meet Allen West. I’ve got to meet Ted Nugent, his wife Shemane. I’ve gotten to meet Gunny, he was great. R. Lee Ermey, of course, he’s passed away now. Gosh, who else? There’s so many. I’ve gotten to meet Glenn Beck. I just had an interview the other night with Tucker Carlson.

Evans: Very cool.

Goeser: Just incredible people. Oh, Judge Andrew Napolitano. I’ve got to meet him. I’ve been honored to work for Congressman Thomas Massie. He’s just a great person. I loved working for him. True conservative, totally solid on the Second Amendment. He’s the chairman of the Second Amendment Caucus for Congress and I have a great deal of respect for him. …It’s hard to pick one. There’ve been so many great moments out of this horrible tragedy, but I just feel honored to have the opportunity to work with some really great people.

Evans: And have you had any legislative achievements?

Goeser: Well, I don’t know that I can take full credit. I can tell you that I certainly tried to help.

In the state of Tennessee, I actually worked with a Democrat. Now keep in mind, I am very conservative. I worked with the sponsor of the restaurant carry bill in Tennessee, who was a Democrat in the Senate, Doug Jackson. And he and I talked on the phone. I told him, “You know what had happened,” and I think he had seen it on the news, but the news wasn’t reporting that the wife of the murder victim had her hand gun carry permit, but she had to leave [her gun in] the car because of the law.

So when I told him, he’s like, “Oh my gosh, Nikki, we’re trying to get this bill passed and I may need to call on you to come to the Senate floor and tell your story.” And so that’s ultimately what happened. He had me come on the Senate floor. I don’t know if it flipped any votes or not, but it ended up passing. And then the governor, Phil Bredesen, Democrat, he vetoed it. And then they had to have an override vote and it passed.

Evans: Well, this is such a huge debate that we’ve really been seeing increasingly in America. There are two very passionate sides to the gun rights debate. But gun control advocates would likely argue that it’d only took cops three minutes to arrive on the scene of your husband’s murder.

Goeser: And that’s incredibly fast.

Evans: That is very fast.

Goeser: But I can tell you that when it’s happening to yourself or your loved one, it seems like an eternity.

Allen: Yeah, I’m sure. I’m sure.

Evans: And directly after the shooting as, as you mentioned, there were good Samaritans—

Goeser: Yes.

Allen: … that hopped on top of the shooter and took his gun away, but how do you think, if you had had that gun in your hand—

Goeser: Mm-hmm.

Allen: … how do you think the situation might’ve played out differently?

Goeser: You know, it’s really hard to say. I’ve definitely thought about it, but I don’t know that going back mentally over and over again with the should have, coulda, woulda scenario is healthy for me mentally.

Evans: Yeah.

Goeser: I’d like to think that with the training that I had—I was also a range volunteer so I would help with everything on the range when other people were trying to get their handgun carry permits—and doing armed security guard training and that sort of thing, I would like to think that those skills that I learned would’ve come in handy that night.

But here’s the thing, I think we all make decisions based on the options that we have. And when those options are not available to us, it changes the decisions that we make. So that’s hard to answer because those options were not available to me.

Evans: Andrew Pollack, gun rights advocate, and father of Meadow Pollack, we’ve interviewed him at The Daily Signal here before, wrote a very powerful intro to your book. He’s the father of a Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim.

Goeser: Meadow.

Lauren Evans: Meadow.

Goeser: I love that name.

Evans: It’s beautiful. And he wrote, “If Nikki had gone to the press to denounce the Second Amendment, anti-gun activists would’ve flocked to her, propped her up and amplified her message. This book probably would have been published by Simon & Schuster, but when she stood in front of the press in tears and spoke out in support of the Second Amendment, the press edited her words out and she was left to fight alone.”

Allen: Wow. Yeah. So Nikki, this is a tragedy that so much of the media really has ignored and because it doesn’t fit into their talking points. But what is the message that you want the public to hear?

Goeser: I guess the message I want people to hear is I don’t want people to be paranoid. I just want them to be prepared. Because let’s face it, nobody really thinks that something this horrible can happen to them. People tend to think, “Oh, this is something that happens to other people. It happens to people I see on the news.” Well, now I’m sitting here with you and I am one of those people. And bad things happen to good people every day and evil can show up unexpectedly and you just have to be prepared. You just never know when evil is going to show up.

Evans: Yeah.

Allen: And in your mind what is really next in this gun rights debate? I mean, what are you working on now or are you still involved?

Goeser: I feel like the criminal justice system really failed Benjamin and I back in Nashville. Here’s what happened. It was an insanity defense. OK. And I think people just think that insanity means, “OK, they’re crazy. They’re nuts. They’re insane.” No, insanity means you don’t know right from wrong. That’s it. That’s what it means.

And this man knew right from wrong and that was proven in the trial. But it was a bench trial. The murderer insisted on having just a judge. He did not want a jury. And for whatever reason, the prosecutor, I guess, decided to go along with that.

And the judge, his name was Judge Seth Norman, Democrat, unfortunately, despite all of the overwhelming evidence that showed what I believe is absolute premeditation, Judge Seth Norman dropped it from first degree premeditated murder to second degree.

In the state of Tennessee that’s only 15 to 25 years. This man got 23 years at 100% with no parole. But here’s the problem: 100% … I’ve recently learned this. 100% is not really 100%, no. He gets to earn early release good behavior credits while he’s in prison and he can have 3.5 years knocked off his sentence for good behavior. Well, I’ve also recently found out that my stalker has been writing me love letters from prison for years.

Allen: Wow.

Goeser: … I had hired an attorney to represent me and my civil lawsuit against him. I had a wrongful death suit, which I won, but the lawsuit paperwork obviously was sent to him in prison and so he knew my attorney’s address. He would send these letters to my attorney.

When you open them up, all these letters are to me, and there were a few envelopes where he actually put my name on the outside of the envelope and all the prison system does is stamp it and they just say, “This has not been inspected. We are not responsible for the contents of this letter.” And they come out now …

I can tell you this, at first, I was furious with the Tennessee prison system. I thought, “How in the hell can a convicted murderer write their victim while they’re incarcerated?” And I was really mad. I was like, “This is crazy.” But the more I thought about it, I thought, “You know what? If it were mandated that the prison system cannot let these letters out, then I would never know about this continued threat.”

And I think it’s important that women know, as disturbing as it is. I mean, believe me, I’ve had nightmares. This is very difficult to deal with mentally and emotionally on top of everything that I’ve been through. But I think it’s really important that women know.

So I would not want to see a mandate where these types of letters are prevented from leaving the prison. I think that women should know and women should be given the option to prosecute for stalking and harassment while this person’s incarcerated.

So I have hired attorneys and we’re in the process of working on this and hopefully I can do something about this man because I think he’s extremely dangerous. He’s extremely dangerous to myself, to my loved ones. And he should’ve gotten the death penalty, quite frankly. At the very least, he should have gotten first degree, but, unfortunately, he is going to walk free one day and I’m just going to try everything I can to keep him out of society because I believe he’s very dangerous.

He’s already proven what he’s capable of.

Allen: Wow. Twenty-three years. That’s nothing for shooting your husband in cold blood.

Goeser: Yeah. His release date is 10/21/2028. He was supposed to stay in until 2032 but because of the early release credits—

Allen: Oh, he’s already earned it?

Goeser: Yes. … He has an early release because of that.

Allen: So do you fear that date?

Goeser: Absolutely. It’s terrifying.

Allen: Yeah.

Goeser: I mean, it’s kind of strange. I’m terrified and I’m furious at the same time.

Allen: Yeah.

Evans: Will you have your gun on you on that date?

Goeser: Oh, I usually have my gun on me … All the time. Obviously, not here. I’m in D.C. So—

Allen: Yeah, they’re pretty strict here.

Goeser: Very, very strict here.

Allen: So what would you say to women who, obviously, they’re hearing your story and they want to be able to protect themselves, but they might not have grown up around guns, they might be fearful of the idea of carrying a gun? What would you say to them?

Goeser: There are different training facilities in just about every town in the nation. There are a lot of women out there that train other women on firearm safety and shooting skills, justifiable self-defense. …

Not that males are not good at training. I’m not saying that at all, but there are some females that feel a little intimidated by guys training with guns and they might feel a little bit more comfortable learning from another female.

So I always encourage my friends to go get good training and see if you can find a female firearms trainer.

I tell ya, I think one thing I really want to talk about, if you don’t mind—I started doing my own research online as to the advice that women are given about stalking. And how to deal with it. Different women’s advocacy, advocacy groups and stalking resource groups, etc.

And one thing that bothers me—and look, I think some of this advice is helpful or could be helpful. They’ll say things like, “You might want to consider changing your name, moving, getting a new job, don’t follow a routine, get a restraining order,” which I think is just a piece of paper. Let’s face it, it’s not going to do anything for someone who has already murdered, who doesn’t care about the laws.

But one option that is generally not ever given is you might want to consider the basic human right of self-defense, your Second Amendment rights. You might want to go get training on justifiable use of force and take responsibility for your own safety, protect yourself and your loved ones. Why is this subject seen as so taboo? It’s ignored.

I personally think that if all the options were laid out on the table, women can decide for themselves what best course of action to take to protect themselves. But give them all the options.

Allen: Absolutely.

Evans: So being the devil’s advocate, there are a lot of well-intentioned people on the gun control side who just don’t want more guns to be around because they’re worried guns do shoot people and they do harm people. What would your argument to them be?

Goeser: When the bad guys [are] the only one[s] with a gun, guess who wins? And you could ban, try to ban all the guns in the nation, OK? Let’s say that somehow we could wave a magic wand and ban all the guns. The war on drugs hasn’t worked so well, right? I’m pretty sure that criminals, people with evil intent can get illegal guns the same way they get illegal drugs.

I mean, if they banned all guns, how long do you think it would take before guns would start making their way back into the country? Twenty minutes at the border? I mean, what?

Evans: No, not long.

Allen: Not long at all.

Goeser: All it’s going to do is disarm good law-abiding people and then only the outlaws will have guns. This is not smart.

Evans: If our listeners wanted to learn more about your story and read your book, where can they find it?

Goeser: My book is available on Amazon and I believe it’s going to be up on Barnes & Noble soon. And I’ve got an audiobook coming out, so that should be available really soon as well.

Allen: Nikki, thank you so much for joining us and just for being willing to tell your really very powerful story, we so appreciate it.

Goeser: Thank you so much for having me on.

COMMENTARY BY

Lauren Evans is the multimedia manager for The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation. Send an email to Lauren. Twitter: .

Virginia Allen is a news producer for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

How America’s Gun Culture Cultivates Civic Virtue

From the colonists winning independence from Great Britain to African-Americans vindicating their civil rights, the role of the gun is inseparable from American identity.


It is through the enjoyment of a dangerous freedom that Americans learn the art of reducing freedom’s perils.” —Alexis de Tocqueville

Many people are often surprised to learn that I am a gun owner and firm defender of the Second Amendment. After all, I, a first-generation Chinese-American immigrant, do not fit the stereotype of the typical American gun owner. Of all of America’s cherished freedoms, the natural and unalienable right of self-defense, recognized and protected (not granted) by the Second Amendment, took me the longest to fully embrace.

But as an open-minded rationalist, the lessons of history and statistical research proved overwhelming (not to mention the sheer fun of learning the basic operations and mechanics of firearms) and eventually helped me understand why tens of millions of my fellow Americans treasure their right to keep and bear arms.

From the colonists winning independence from Great Britain to African-Americans vindicating their civil rights, the role of the gun is inseparable from American identity. The gun is the ultimate multipurpose tool that empowers its user with the means to put food on the table, as well as preserve one’s life, whether against common street criminals or government tyranny. The philosophical underpinnings and lived experiences that shaped American gun culture all matter (and reinforce each other), but I want to focus on one aspect in particular: the cultivation of civic virtue.

Owning and shooting a gun promotes self-reliance, personal responsibility, and community. Whenever I go to a gun range, I see parents teaching their young children how to shoot, men instructing their significant others, and people of all colors and ethnicities enjoying themselves. Nervous skeptics usually end up leaving with a big smile on their faces.

Further, I am surprised by the large number of foreign tourists eager to learn how to handle and shoot a gun for the first time, an activity that is often out of reach—if not outright illegal—for the average person in their homeland.

I served as an unofficial ambassador and taught European exchange students how to shoot my AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.In my experience, a typical day at the range is an ideal snapshot of American diversity tied to common principles. In the United States, gun culture fosters civic virtue and a healthy civil society as admired by Alexis de Tocqueville, one of America’s best foreign observers. In his classic Democracy in America, he was impressed by the young republic’s numerous voluntary associations, which provided the lifeblood and training grounds for self-rule among its people.

The activities and interactions at gun clubs, ranges, trade shows, and conventions have every effect in cultivating a virtuous citizenry as churches, sports teams, debate societies, and other civic groups do. From lectures on current firearms law to practical lessons on self-defense, experts and ordinary Americans alike freely share their knowledge. America’s gun culture is further reinforced by a vibrant online community that covers gun reviewscustom AR-15 buildsmilitary historycurrent politics, and virtually every topic one can think of pertaining to firearms.

After sharing a poignant story of true threats directed at him and his family, National Review writer and Iraq veteran David French describes how carrying a weapon leads to individual empowerment and, as one learns, discovers a welcoming network of support, solidarity, and community:

As your worldview changes, you expand your knowledge. You learn that people defend themselves with guns all the time, usually without pulling the trigger. You share the stories and your own experience with your friends, and soon they walk into gun stores. They start their own journey into America’s “gun culture.”

At the end of this process, your life has changed for the better. Your community has expanded to include people you truly like, who’ve perhaps helped you through a tough time in your life, and you treasure these relationships. You feel a sense of burning conviction that you, your family, and your community are safer and freer because you own and carry a gun….

Confidence is contagious. People want to be empowered. That’s how gun culture is built. Not by the NRA and not by Congress, but by gun owners, one free citizen at a time.

Although I’m fortunate not to have faced a true threat that convinced me of the need for self-protection like French and his family did, I fully understand that evil exists in this world and that under the right circumstances, people can do unspeakable things to each other. On a happier note, I can also confirm that my own journey into American gun culture introduced me to some of the most knowledgeable, kind, and supportive people who are now personal friends.

I especially want to emphasize the gun community’s overwhelming support for newcomers and marginalized groups. In the aftermath of the 2016 Orlando night club shooting, many gun ranges offered free training, and traditional pro-gun groups such as Open Carry Texas offered armed security for LGBT people. Many gun shops reported a rise in LGBT customers, and new self-defense groups, like the LGBT-centered Pink Pistols, experienced a surge in membership. Free citizens with diverse backgrounds united over shared principles and interests. If he were to witness how individual empowerment through the gun strengthened the fabric of civil society, Tocqueville would be proud.

As admirers of their Greco-Roman predecessors, the Founding Fathers of the United States understood that only virtuous citizens are capable of self-rule and preserving a free society. In the early American republic, statesmen and ordinary people alike saw no conflict between the individual right to bear arms and participating in a militia for collective self-defense, unlike many of today’s misguided debates. In his famed Commentaries on the Constitution, Justice Joseph Story articulated the orthodox view of the Second Amendment:

The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people.

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.

As Justice Story and early Americans understood, an armed people upheld free institutions. Far from being lone wolves, individual gun owners throughout American history organized and participated in militia units as a counterbalance against a standing army and the prospects of centralized government tyranny. Even though the militia today no longer plays the important historical role it once did (as Justice Story and others would lament), that certainly does not mean the Second Amendment is obsolete, nor does it even slightly diminish the importance of gun ownership.

The Second Amendment is not a vestigial remnant from a bygone era. It grew out of the experiences of a people who understood the dangers of standing armies and martial law, successfully overthrew a tyrannical government, and recognized the reality of human nature, especially the tendency of men to seek power and dominate others.

Today, as in the Founding generation, our precious right to keep and bear arms remains indispensable for securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and loved ones in our persons, homes, and livelihoods.Most modern gun owners know they are the heirs of a constitutional legacy that stretches across the pages of history. A free society endures only when its people internalize its principles. As a naturalized American citizen, I can’t help but feel proud every time I shoot a gun, knowing I am one of millions who keep our heritage of freedom alive.

COLUMN BY

12 Times Gun Owners Defended Themselves and Others

Many lawmakers around the country welcomed in the new year by pursuing legislation that would severely curtail the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens began 2020 just as they ended 2019—by showing repeatedly just how instrumental that right is to the security of a free state.

According to almost every major study on the issue, Americans use their firearms defensively between 500,000 and 3 million times each year. Even if we assume the lower end of this range, it means an incredible number of times that Americans relied on the Second Amendment—not government getting there on time—to protect their inalienable rights.

During every month of last year, we highlighted some of the stories of average, everyday Americans who used their guns to protect their lives and livelihoods from criminals.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


The first month of 2020 provided still more examples of citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights in defense of themselves and others. Here are 12:

  • Jan. 1, Dublin, California: A lawful gun owner relied upon his Second Amendment rights to defend his life when an ex-girlfriend and her armed acquaintance assaulted him in his own home. Police said the ex-girlfriend and acquaintance showed up purporting to want some of her possessions back, but instead threatened the resident with a gun. He fired at his two attackers as he fled and called police. The ex-girlfriend was killed, and her acquaintance wounded in the exchange of gunfire. Police determined that the lawful gun owner acted in self-defense. The armed acquaintance was charged with her death under the state’s Provocative Act Doctrine, since he ultimately provoked the violent confrontation.
  • Jan. 4, Columbus, Indiana: A homeowner shot and killed an intruder wielding a baseball bat who broke into his home in the middle of the night. The intruder may have been in the middle of a mental health crisis, as the Department of Veterans Affairs recently had requested that local law enforcement take the man to a hospital, but he refused to go. Neighbors reported that, in the minutes before the shooting, the man was seen walking up and down the street in a highly agitated manner, smashing windows and cursing loudly.
  • Jan. 7, Pascagoula, Mississippi: A man suspected in a string of burglaries picked the wrong house to break into, at the wrong time. The armed homeowner returned in the middle of the morning to find the burglar in his bedroom. The burglar tried to pull his gun, but the homeowner instead shot and killed him.
  • Jan. 10, Dallas: A concealed-carry permit holder was socializing with guests at a home cookout when three armed men attempted to rob them all at gunpoint. The permit holder drew his own handgun and fatally shot one of the robbers. The other two fled.
  • Jan. 11, Tulsa, Oklahoma: A homeowner’s son was asleep in the living room when he was awoken by the family dogs barking at a man on the porch. The man demanded to see his fiancée but was told he had the wrong house and needed to leave. Instead, the man broke into the family’s car, then tried to kick in the back door. The homeowner’s son warned the man multiple times that he was armed and would shoot him if he stepped foot in the house. Nonetheless, the man barged inside. True to his word, the son shot and wounded the man, who retreated and was later arrested.
  • Jan. 12, Pittsburgh: A young father used his handgun to defend himself, his fiancée, and their 10-month-old child after an intruder broke into their apartment and threatened them at gunpoint. The man shot and killed the intruder.
  • Jan. 14, Pierce County, Washington: The driver of a pickup truck began passing cars dangerously on a winding two-lane road, then took offense when another driver honked at him. Police said the pickup driver stopped his truck, halting traffic, then climbed out with a gun, pointing it at the people in the car behind him. A passenger in that car also was armed and ultimately was forced to shoot and kill the pickup driver in defense of himself and those around him.
  • Jan19, Danville, Illinois: When several armed men in ski masks kicked in his door one night, a 31-year-old homeowner defended himself with his handgun, firing multiple rounds at the intruders. One was killed and the others fled, police said.
  • Jan. 22, Warren, Michigan: A young man with a concealed-carry permit was returning home from a late night out at a show when he was accosted on his doorstep by a man with a gun. A neighbor’s doorbell camera captured the next harrowing moments: The permit holder drew his gun in self-defense and fired approximately 10 rounds at his would-be attacker. The attacker, wounded, fired back but did not hit the permit holder. About 20 shots were fired, police said, most apparently by the permit holder. Police arrested the intruder.
  • Jan. 24, Cape Coral, Florida: A good Samaritan with a firearm in his truck defended three women from a man who followed them out of a bar in a threatening manner. The women yelled at passing vehicles for help, and the truck driver stopped and allowed the women to take refuge inside as he confronted the aggressive man. The man retreated to his own vehicle when he saw that the truck driver was armed. He then rammed the truck several times while the women were still inside. The truck driver fired a couple of rounds into the tailgate of the man’s vehicle and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. Police charged the man with aggravated assault and determined that the truck driver acted in lawful defense of himself and the women.
  • Jan. 27, Brown County, Texas: A 13-year-old boy used the family rifle to protect his grandmother during a domestic violence incident, shooting and wounding a man because he was “fearful that his grandmother was going to be killed,” police said. Investigators said the man was “actively assaulting” the boy’s grandmother and threatened other family members, including a juvenile.
  • Jan. 31, Detroit: A woman shot and wounded a man who broke into her apartment in the middle of the night. A neighbor told reporters that it is a dangerous neighborhood and that there are regularly “gunshots up and down the area.” This time the gunshots were from a law-abiding citizen defending herself against a criminal.

As we noted in closing out 2019, it’s vital that Americans routinely hear these stories.

The “good guy with a gun” is not a myth but an integral part of American society, serving to protect individual liberty and increase public safety.

We all want safe communities, but our focus should be on doing the right thing instead of just doing “something.” The right thing certainly includes protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, who regularly rely on those rights.

COMMENTARY BY

Amy Swearer

Amy Swearer is a senior legal policy analyst at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Parkland Dad, Andrew Pollack: “March for Our Lives” Made Kids LESS SAFE

Andrew Pollack is the father of Meadow Pollack, a victim of the Parkland mass murderer.  He works to get the truth out while gun control zealots work to hide the truth by blaming guns.  This courageous story is a must read for those who really want to know the truth.

Parkland Dad Andrew Pollack: ‘March for Our Lives’ Made America’s Kids Less Safe

By Andrew Pollack

Breitbart

February 14, 2020

Two years ago today, my daughter Meadow and sixteen others were murdered in the Parkland school shooting. For the families of the victims, it was an unspeakable tragedy. But for others, it was an incredible political opportunity.

The shooting propelled a handful of shrill student activists to fame. The most prominent one, David Hogg, later mused, “We really only remember a few hundred people, if that many, out of the billions that have ever lived. Is that what I was destined to become?”

No, David. My daughter wasn’t murdered so that you could fulfill your “destiny” of tweeting about historically marginalized “indigenous lgbtq women and non binary” gun control activists.

She was murdered because of the failures of the Broward County school district, sheriff’s office, and mental health services. Failures that partisan agitprop, spewed by you and the other March For Our Lives (MFOL) activists, helped to shield from the public eye.

Although I disagreed with the gun control kids politically, I made it a rule not to criticize them publicly. Because I figured that despite our differences, we all wanted the same thing: safe schools…

Read the full story here.

PODCAST: ‘Exposing Everything That Went Wrong’: A Parkland Researcher Speaks Out

Today is the second anniversary of the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed. Max Eden, an education researcher, who co-authored “Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students,” joins today’s podcast. Read the lightly edited interview, posted below, or listen on the podcast:

We also cover these stories:

  • The Democrat-led House passed a bill that would eliminate the 1982 deadline to ratify the the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticizes President Donald Trump over his protests about the original seven- to nine-year jail recommendation for Roger Stone, a Trump ally.
  • According to a Gallup poll taken in January, 61% of Americans say they are better off than they were three years ago

The Daily Signal podcast is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!

Rachel del Guidice: We are joined today on The Daily Signal Podcast by Max Eden. He’s an education researcher. Max, thank you so much for being with us today.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Max Eden: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me.

Del Guidice: Feb. 14 is the second anniversary of the Parkland shooting in Parkland, Florida, that took the lives of 17 people. Max, you co-authored a book about the shooting. The book is called “Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students.” Max, why did you write this book?

Eden: Immediately after the shooting, kind of two groups of students came forward. And one group got a lot more attention than the other.

The group of students [that] got attention said, “We blame the Second Amendment. We blame the NRA. We blame the gun for what happened.” The other group of students said, “We knew it was him before it was over. The student threatened to kill us. He threatened to rape us. He threatened to kill our families. He brought knives to school. He brought bullets to school. We saw something. We said something. They did nothing. They didn’t protect us from him.”

And kind of from my perch as researcher in D.C. when I saw this, I thought, “Oh, OK. Well, this is in a school district that became nationally famous for fighting the so-called school-to-prison pipeline by lowering arrests, lowering suspensions, lowering expulsions. I wonder if these policies, this kind of leniency pressure played a role in his journey through the school system.”

So I wrote an article kind of posing this question about 10 days after the shooting. And, unfortunately, this question kind of very quickly became an answer in politics, as happens, right? I mean, one side was for gun control and the other side was very quick to take the question and answer, “It wasn’t the gun’s fault. It was these policies. It was [former President Barack] Obama’s policies.”

It became a political football very quickly and nobody answered the question. It was labeled as fake news by the superintendent and most of the media skated on by.

But a couple months after the tragedy, I had wanted to see whether or not the answer was “yes” to the question that I had posed. And I found a way to get down there to talk to some students, talk to some teachers.

While I was down there, Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was murdered on the third floor, heard that there was somebody from D.C. who was looking for answers. And he got my number somehow, texted me, said, “Come over to my house.”

I explained to him what I was doing and kind of gave him some questions to ask and he texted me a couple of days later and said, “Thanks so much for your help, Max. You’re going to be a tremendous asset helping me find justice for my daughter’s murder.”

I came down thinking, “Oh, I’ll just come in for a few days, talk to a couple of people, and maybe write an article.” When I got that text, I knew I had to come down again.

After my second trip, I had talked to enough people that I got through him to realize, “Oh, wow, this is much bigger than our article. And also bigger than the discipline issue that I thought it had to do with.” That was part of it, but it was part of a broader story that needed to be a book for parents to understand it.

Del Guidice: So, Max, in the book you detail how the shooter … slipped through the cracks when there was just really an exorbitant amount of red flags and warning signs.

For example, I know that you said in the book that the police were called to [the shooter’s] home I think about 45 times. What were some of the other warning signs that just went unnoticed?

Eden: Well, they were noticed and ignored. I mean, in middle school, the student, when you read his teachers’ records, he kind of was fixated with guns daily. He would always talk about guns, always talk about shooting. Whenever the topic came up, he would kind of light up or he would bring up the topic himself.

His behavior in middle school was so egregiously bad that he was suspended every other day for about 10 months in middle school. And middle school discipline policy wasn’t the problem. The problem was there was a student whose behavior was so extreme that he required a security escort to walk in the hallways, to go to the bathroom, to do anything outside of the classroom. In some cases, teachers wouldn’t let him into their classroom without a security escort.

When the security escort wasn’t enough, the school got the mom to come and accompany the security escort accompanying him. And they kept him at this school for 10 months before they finally got the paperwork in order to send him to a specialized school where he very desperately needed to be.

At that specialized school, his behavior was so disturbing that they wrote a letter to his private psychiatrist after his first semester, basically saying, “This student told us that he dreams of killing and being covered in blood. He has extreme mood liability. We tried to take away all sharp objects in the home, but there’s a hatchet missing and there are still holes appearing on the walls. We’re very, very worried about the student.”

But after a couple of months of good behavior at that school, they thought, “Oh, he’s ready to attend a normal school again. And he seems to be very interested in the military, very interested in guns. All the teachers say that he’s interested in the military and guns. So let’s try him at a traditional high school for two courses for one semester, see how that goes. And we’ll do maybe one academic course and JROTC,” where he got to practice marksmanship.

I think we can have a gun control debate, we should have a gun control debate, but when you have a school district that’s taking a kid who has literally said, “I dream of killing and being covered in blood,” who talks about guns all the time, and they put them into a normal school and they gave him a gun and teach him how to shoot, maybe it’s something more than the school that we should be looking at.

Del Guidice: In your book, you obtained a lot of information that wasn’t public, at least at the time. How did you go about compiling all that information, gaining access to it? And given that you were so successful in that, what kind of impetus does that have on us to see what you uncovered and act on it?

Eden: It was not an easy process. There are federal education records, privacy laws that protect kids from adults who want to snoop and find out about them. And for good reason. But, unfortunately, those laws still apply after the student has committed a mass murder in school.

So at first, I had to just ask a whole bunch of questions to teachers and students and try to put inferences together. Like, “Oh. Well, you said this and he said that? And how do these pieces fit together? And how can I just take all of the stories that I’m finding and weave it into a story that makes sense, that fits, that coheres?”

After a certain point, though, I realized after one trip when I was talking with people … we never used the word victim to refer to the shooter, but we realized just how profoundly the system failed him. And as Andy has said, he blames the shooter for half of it. He blames the system for the other half.

I said to him at a certain point, “We’re basically going to be acting as your daughter’s murderers’ defense attorney in the court of public opinion. Because our argument is it’s their fault too. And that’s the exact same argument that his lawyer is going to be making. And we can’t get his official records, which would break the case wide open, so it might be worth talking to them about it and seeing if they’d provide it to us.”

He called me a few days later and said, “Yeah. So, I just talked to the defense attorney and they’re going to give us the records. I told them that at the trial I would take the stand and I’d bash the school district, bash the sheriff’s office, bash the mental health provider. So we’ll get the records.”

And that’s how we got a lot of the stuff that had never previously been reported. Because Andy, his sense of justice, his mission has been to expose everything that went wrong, every one who failed, hold as many people as possible accountable, and try to have everybody learn every lesson that there is to be learned.

So what will happen in the trial [is], we’ll see what he chooses to do and how it all plays out. But he took that step because he is so committed to having the full truth be exposed. That’s what we tried to take and weave into the story and put forward a product that parents and schools across the country can read …

It’s an anecdotal thing to say, but I can’t tell you how many people have DM’d him, DM’d me, have emailed us being like, “Oh, wow. I knew what was happening at my kid’s school, but I didn’t know what it all fit together and how big of a problem it was.” Or, “Oh, I read this book and then I started asking some questions and it turns out the exact same thing is happening here.”

So the mission of the book was, as Andy said, to expose. And the hope is that by exposing everything that went wrong with the shooter, every way that the school district failed him, that we can open parents’ eyes a little bit to ways that school districts are failing their kids in ways that will, God willing, never nearly approach the level of what happened there.

But times when there are other red flags being swept under the rug, other violence that goes unaddressed, bullying that is just ignored by administrators who have this pressure to fight the so-called school-to-prison pipeline, lowering suspensions, lowering expulsions, lowering arrests.

The easiest way to do that is to just not do anything, to sweep it under the rug, to say, “Hey, look, our numbers are looking better. That means our school’s getting safer.”

It’s up to parents at the end of the day to speak up against that because teachers are frequently too intimidated to say, “Hey, our principal’s leading our school in a very bad direction and our superintendent’s policies are totally out of whack.”

Teachers aren’t going to say that. If schools are going to start putting the safety of classrooms and the interest of students first, again, before these kind of fake numbers, that has to come from parents.

Del Guidice: In talking about the Parkland shooting, I can’t help but think back to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which killed 58 people and wounded some, I think 413 others.

More than two years later, the motives of the shooter remain a mystery for the Vegas shooting. But in the case of Parkland, we kind of have the exact opposite where there’s a wealth of information on the alleged shooter and his background. But all this information doesn’t really fit the gun control narrative so it hasn’t been covered, at least to the extent that people want to see it covered. What’s been your experience with the media covering your own work?

Eden: The Vegas shooting laid into a much better case for, “It’s the AR-15, the so-called assault weapon.” Because you couldn’t have pulled that off with a handgun. You couldn’t have pulled that off with a shotgun. It was the gun that enabled the Vegas shooting and it was a gun that was legally acquired by a guy who otherwise looked clean. It’s a very alarming thing that fits that narrative very well.

In this case, as Andy has said, he could have killed 17 people with a musket that day. It did not matter what gun he had. He had 11 minutes alone in a school building with 800 kids. It did not matter that it was an AR-15. And he bought that gun legally despite having exhibited every red flag that in a functioning system would have prevented him from buying the gun.

He committed felony-level crimes that could have either got him directly prohibited or when the FBI and Broward Sheriff’s Office received tips, [they] could have showed up, could have made them think, “Oh, wow, this kid who threatened to kill somebody at school committed a hate crime assault, trespassed on campus. We’re getting a call that he might shoot up the school. Let’s look into that.” But they looked him up and they saw nothing.

I think that to answer your question directly about media reception, it’s been something that has been very upsetting to me, more so to Andy. He at one point said in an interview, “The only parents who will know about what really happened in Parkland, and will know what they need to know to keep their kids safe, are the parents who watch Fox News.”

It was no reception whatsoever in so-called mainstream media, no reception whatsoever in education media. It got all the attention in the world that we could have asked for within conservative media. It’s just very, very sad that it had to play out that way. Anything that isn’t pro-gun control is, in the way that the media and political environment shakes out, has to be anti-gun control.

And not that my opinion on gun control matters, but I actually came out of it probably more pro-gun control than I went in because I saw just how hard it can be to stop crazy people from getting guns.

There are pro-gun control changes that I would happily endorse, but it’s just a tragedy that because our book didn’t say, “you have to blame the gun and this is the primary issue,” it was cast as being a right-wing, pro-gun apology book when it was just what actually happened to the school and what parents needed to know to keep their own kids safe.

Del Guidice: Yeah. Wow, that’s really unfortunate. In your book, and you sort of alluded to this at the beginning of our discussion, you talked about how the school created a culture of leniency and part of this was through the school instituting a program called the Promise program. What was that program?

Eden: The Promise program was one part of a broader suite of kind of leniency reforms, and this part focused on lowering arrests. And it accomplished that goal by basically giving students four free misdemeanors a year before they were required to talk to law enforcement, and it reset every single year.

This program … let kids commit up to four crimes before they have to talk to a school resource officer, and at that point, arrest is probably still discouraged. That succeeded in getting arrests down by 70% and it was perceived to be a great success by the Broward County school district.

It became kind of a model for the nation. It was credited with inspiring this 2014 “Dear Colleague” letter by the Obama administration’s Department of Education, which was less focused on decriminalization and more focused on kind of lowering suspensions and detentions and expulsions.

But these same kind of policy pressures on principals and assistant principals, “Lower the numbers. We’re watching the numbers. We expect these numbers to get lower,” that has spread to schools across the country.

Probably at least half of schools, about 54% of schools in America have administrators who say that they’re implementing restorative justice, which is kind of what these new leniency policies go by.

We have situations where a teacher will send a student to the office and the student will come back five minutes later smiling with a lollipop and the teacher will be the one who will get flack from the administrator for sending a kid there because that means that you’re not doing your job as a teacher.

Now, the Promise program was the highest-profile aspect of it because it was just the most egregiously, “Oh wow, you’re going to lower arrest by not arresting kids.” But it was one part for the whole of these policies that prioritize almost transparently fake statistical progress in the name of allegedly fighting institutional racism, which is, of course, an allegation predicated on the idea that teachers are racist or ablest or can’t be trusted and need to be micromanaged and second guessed, which is fundamentally wrong and leads to all sorts of problems in and out of the classroom. Far short of what happened in Parkland.

Del Guidice: You mentioned that this Promise program resulted in nearly a 70% drop in school-based arrests and you also note in the book it allowed this 90% non-recidivism rate. How did this enable the shooter in the end?

Eden: There was some controversy or argument about this point. The Promise program itself only applied to the shooter once directly when he committed an act of vandalism in middle school that he was supposed to have been sent to the Promise program, but they didn’t keep track of him effectively because the program itself was just kind of fraudulent all the way down. It was chaotic. It was a very poorly run, a very toxic environment at the school.

So he seems to have been referred to the Promise program once in middle school. Didn’t go. They couldn’t figure out why he didn’t go. They couldn’t figure out whether or not he really didn’t go. They didn’t send them to the court system as they were supposed to, given that they didn’t go. The state commission looking into this kind of came to the conclusion that, well, that one incident itself wouldn’t have made a decisive difference in the course of events. So that’s not really the issue.

I don’t dissent from the opinion that that one act of vandalism wouldn’t have made a difference, but when he got to high school, he was committing crimes that did not qualify for the Promise program, that were felonies, not misdemeanors. Things that did not technically fall under the umbrella of the Promise program.

Not only was he not referred to the Promise program, nothing happened to him when he threatened to kill other students; when he called a student the N-word and attacked him, it was pretty clearly a hate crime assault; when he was no longer a student, when he trespassed on campus, having been labeled already by the security staff as like, “Oh, if there’s any kid who’s going to shoot up the school, it’s going to be that kid.”

So the Promise program directly only touched him once in a way that wasn’t decisive, but it created this broader culture of leniency that allowed him to commit crimes such that—and we only figured out this last part after the book released so it’s not in it—they eventually not only prohibited him from wearing a backpack to school after a series of kind of assaults and after, I believe, they found bullet casings in his backpack, they also frisked him every day to make sure that he wasn’t bringing a deadly weapon to school.

So you have a situation where you’re saying, “You’re not allowed to bring a backpack. We’re going to frisk you every day because as we admit later in our testimony to the police, we’re worried that he might bring a weapon and kill people, but arrest, not even on the table.”

Del Guidice: Wow. That is … definitely very alarming. So looking at all of this, were parents aware of all these changes that were made when, for example, the Promise program was implemented? Did they know the extent of everything that this program meant?

Eden: No. What Andy has said repeatedly is that he will never forgive himself for not knowing what was actually going on at his daughter’s school. Having no idea that there was somebody there who was so dangerous that they had to frisk him every single day. For knowing that kids could get away with that many crimes in a single year scot-free.

He had absolutely no idea, and his mission with everything that he’s done since, kind of our mission with the book, as he says, is that he wants to be the last father who can honestly say, “I had no idea what was going on at my daughter’s school.” …

The purpose of the project was, as you asked earlier, to not allow any other parent to make the excuse. Even when something happens like this again and it resembles Parkland, and sometimes it won’t—there was the shooting in California—sometimes they are out of the blue and there are no warning signs, but sometimes there are.

And schools will continue to sweep the warning signs under the rug unless parents take it to them. And the hope is that by opening their eyes to the example of what happened in Parkland, we can make it such that parents know … “I know what’s happening in my kid’s school. I understand the risks. I understand the dynamics and I have some idea what to do about if I find that what I’m reading about here fits what’s going on in my kid’s school too.”

Del Guidice: In the book you mentioned that [a] campus security guard, Andrew Medina, spotted [the shooter] the day of the shooting and he later told the police, “I saw him with a bag, with like a rifle bag, beelining to Building 12,” and that this officer said the shooter looked like he was on a mission and walking with purpose. And then this officer recognized [the shooter] and he thought, “Man, that’s the crazy boy, why wasn’t school security called?”

What was the breakdown at this point? Just looking back with all of the research you’ve done, the security guard is asking this question himself and looking back and telling listeners, “Why wasn’t security called?”

Eden: At that point, his job was to call a Code Red. You see a suspicious intruder. You fear that something might happen. You call a Code Red that’s broadcast over the intercom and everybody shelters in place.

If a Code Red had been called, then I think everybody on the third floor could have lived because everybody who died on the third floor died because the fire alarm went off.

When the fire alarm went off, one or two of the teachers knew the sound of gunshots when they heard them before. The other teachers didn’t put it together. They put their kids out into the hallway. Everybody who died in the third floor died in the hallway.

So if a Code Red had been called before the fire alarm went off, Meadow would be alive. Five other students would be, or four other students, one other teacher would be alive. But he did not call a Code Red himself.

And as he said, shortly after, he sees him go in, he starts to hear these loud percussion noises, like pow, pow, pow. “It’s not a firecracker noise,” he says. But he doesn’t call a Code Red because, these are his words, not mine, “If I call it and everybody comes in and it’s not really, I don’t want to be the guy who made that call.”

So this is the reductio ad absurdum slash ad infinitum of the whole story. You have a security guard. His one job is to call a Code Red when you see something like this happen. And when it almost couldn’t possibly be more clear what it was, he still doesn’t because he doesn’t want to get in trouble in case kids aren’t actually getting murdered.

That’s part and parcel of what happened with the shooter his whole way through. There was an obviously responsible decision that could have been made by an adult around him after he displayed disturbing behavior, and the obviously morally wrong decision was made by the adults and authority many times over because that’s what they were incentivized to do, because it was a path of least resistance for them, because it’s what their bosses wanted.

On the one hand, the Parkland school shooting has been called a total system failure, but on the other hand, you can’t really call what happened a failure because everybody who made a wrong decision made it for a reason, and made it pursuant to a policy.

These policies are not confined to Broward County and not confined to South Florida. They are found in many, many schools across the country and lead to thousands of tragedies every day that come nowhere near approaching the scope and the horror of what happened in Parkland, but will also never be reported and never acted on and won’t be changed unless parents take a really hard look at what happened there.

Del Guidice: We’ve talked a lot about how the school failed parents and students that day. In all of your research for this book, how did law enforcement fail students?

Eden: There is the before and the during. Before, as you said, the consistent behavior that he displayed wasn’t just displayed in school.

The police were called to his house 45 times before the shooting. They received tips. The FBI received tips. Broward Sheriff’s Office received tips. This is a guy who might shoot up the school. Never arrested. Every tip is dropped.

A lot of the attention of what happened that day has gone to Scot Peterson, who was the school resource officer on duty, who gets the memo of what happened, approaches the building, but then takes a step back, takes cover behind the building nearby, and stays there for what ends up being over 50 minutes, and not only doesn’t approach the building, but actually gets on the radio and basically tells the other police officers to make a perimeter, to not approach the 1200 building where he seems to have a very good reason to know exactly what’s happening.

And the tension focused mostly on him, but before the shooting was over, there were eight Broward sheriff’s officers on the scene hearing gunshots and none of them approached the building.

You can see body cam footage of one of them who gets out of the car. You can hear the shots in the background. [He] goes back to the car, takes his gun off, puts on his bulletproof vest, puts the gun back on, and then takes position behind the car.

You can listen to statements from other police officers. They take positions behind trees. And eventually, the Coral Springs police officers, officers who are given good training, not under the umbrella of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, they start coming in.

According to one of them, as they’re approaching, a Broward Sheriff’s officer who’s standing behind a tree says, “Don’t go in there. He’s got a gun.” At which point in time the Coral Springs police officer, who has a son inside the building, basically says “F you” and runs in, and the other Coral Springs officers run in as well.

But unfortunately, the good cops running into the building isn’t the end of the story. They get very delayed in their job of going through the building to try to clear it because the school district did not give the sheriff’s office access to their video equipment. You don’t want the cops to see what’s going on in schools because you’re trying to lower arrests, probably.

So as they’re going through the building, there are school administrators who are in the camera room saying to another school administrator what they’re seeing on the camera without having made it clear or it’s somehow getting lost in translation that the school administrators had rewound the tape several times and were describing delayed footage to the police.

So the police were being told, “The shooter is on the second floor,” when they were on the second floor, when they could see that there was no shooter. And ultimately, this confusion made it such that it took medical personnel 43 minutes to reach Meadow on the third floor.

She was shot nine times. It probably wouldn’t have helped. But other students who it might have—another student who might have died if it had been a couple of minutes longer, who could’ve been spared a lot if it had been a half-hour sooner.

It’s not just that parents should take a close look at what happened for all the warning signs of what went on in the school. I think the police offices, police departments need to understand the second-by-second, blow-by-blow of what happened that day because it’s hard to imagine a broader failure that could have occurred on their part.

Del Guidice: Looking at all of what we’ve discussed today and even what Andy said about him wanting to be the last dad who really can say, “I didn’t know what was going on in my daughter’s school,” and knowing everything you know now, what are some lessons for schools as well as parents going forward? And how can we avoid future things like this happening?

Eden: There’s a hardware and a software side to it. A lot of the attention went to the hardware side of it in the immediate aftermath. If you don’t want weapons getting into buildings, then a metal detector or an armed guard and a single point of entry will do more than almost anything. And if worse comes to worst and something like that happens, you want the police to be able to see what’s happening instantly.

So these are things that parents can—and, in my opinion, should—advocate for in their own communities. It’s things that can be kind of controversial, aren’t going to fit everywhere.

But then there’s the software side of it too. There’s the question of, are the dynamics that we describe in the book, that engendered and enabled the Parkland shooter, are those dynamics playing out in your kid’s school too?

And it’s ultimately on parents to find out because teachers aren’t going to stand up and point a finger at their bosses. They’re not going to go talk to the press immediately and say how bad everything around them is.

Parents need to talk to their students, talk to their teachers, and just ask a couple of basic questions, like, “Do you feel supported when it comes to discipline? Do you feel like your administrators, like the principal is sweeping problems under the rug? Is there a student in my son or daughter’s classroom who everybody knows shouldn’t be there?”

If the answer to any of those questions are “yes,” then it’s on the parents to take another step, to try to talk to the school board members, talk to the superintendent, and effect policy change.

These policies come down partly from pressure from the Obama administration Department of Education, partly from outside social justice activist groups, sometimes, and partly from state bureaucrats.

It’s framed as a social justice thing, right? Like lower suspensions because we’re trying to reduce bias and everything will get better. And if you’re a school board member or a superintendent, it’s very easy to want to believe these things, to believe these things.

But if there are parents who are coming to you consistently and saying, “Hey, this might have sounded nice, but my kid says that he was assaulted and that your principal did nothing,” or, “My daughter says that she was harassed and told the assistant principal and they didn’t do anything.” If the people who run schools at a local level hear that from parents, they’re in a position to actually address it.

I think part of the tragedy of Parkland is that, as I said, it was the most avoidable mass murder in American history.

Everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong, all for a reason, all at the local level, and it immediately became subsumed into a big, national political fight that distracted from what really went wrong.

And if such an avoidable tragedy hitting such a, frankly, high socioeconomic class community can’t make parents take a hard look at what’s going on in their kids’ schools, then it’s cause for a lot of concern.

Del Guidice: Well, Max, we appreciate you being with us here on The Daily Signal Podcast today, talking about everything you’ve learned, about your book. Thank you for taking time to be with us.

Eden: Thanks for having me.

PODCAST BY

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a congressional reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.


A Note for our Readers:

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The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

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Top Picks of the World’s Deadliest Guns

There are guns that everybody has heard of and there are guns that nobody wishes to encounter in real life. Naturally, we don’t talk about Glock or Makarov handguns – you’ll soon see that those are babies compared to what we’re about to present you.

Namely, today we’re going to talk about some of the deadliest guns in the world, as well as about the features that make them so deadly – besides the fact that they can be used to hunt any kind of game and not fail the hunter, ever!

  • Accuracy International AS50 Sniper Rifle

This particular rifle is made from a lightweight titanium frame and a floating barrel and can fire .50 BMG rounds – five of them in roughly 1.6 seconds!

The gun itself weighs around 14kg and is manufactured by Accuracy International Ltd., a British firearm producer. Why is it on our list?

Well, it has an effective range of 1800m and a caliber of 12.7mm. On top of that, it is specially designed to hit long-distance targets with increased precision and accuracy.

  • M4 Carbine

Naturally, we couldn’t have a top of the world’s deadliest guns without mentioning the M4 carbine. This particular model is a shorter version of the M16. However, the M4 comes with the same firepower as the traditional assault rifles.

As such, given its portability and firepower, it is known as a very dangerous and effective firearm. It can fire up to 950 rpm and has an effective range of 500m.

  • Desert Eagle Mark XIX

Even though we said that handguns won’t have an entry in this article, we can’t ignore the almighty Desert Eagle!

It was first produced in 1982 and it is a semi-automatic, gas-operated handgun with an effective range of 200 meters.

The most recent model, namely the Mark XIX, can be chambered for different cartridges. The largest – and probably the deadliest for a handgun – is the .50 AE. Obviously, Mark XIX can kill with a single shot.

  • Heckler and Koch HK416 Assault Rifle

The HK 416 model is an assault rifle believed to be a modernized version of the M4. It comes with an effective range of 600 meters and fires 5.56mm rounds.

Speaking of rounds, the assault rifle can fire up to 900 rounds per minute – an aspect that is both impressive and deadly. Obviously, the cartridge size and the sheer power of this Heckler and Koch gun make it one of the deadliest in the world!

  • Kalashnikov AK-47

The infamous AK-47 is known as one of the most used weapons during the Second World War. It can fire up to 580 rounds per minute and has an effective range of up to 800 meters.

Nowadays, the AK-47 is extremely popular due to its weight, as well as its incredible effectiveness in various weather conditions. After all, the Kalashnikov is known as the weapon that can be fully submerged in water and still work seconds after.

Moreover, it is one of the cheapest guns to manufacture – as it contains only eight moving parts.

  • FN FAL

The FAL, also known as Fusil Automatique Leger, is a battle rifle known as the most dependable gun that the military uses.

The weapon features a gas-operated action and can fit 7.62x51mm NATO cartridges. In terms of power, it can fire up to 700 rounds per minute when set on fully automatic – however, due to its very strong recoil, FAL users avoid this particular model.

The FAL is known by many as one of the most widely used guns in history – with more than 2 million units produced since its creation.

  • Uzi

The Uzi is, without any doubt, a rather curious entry on this list of the world’s deadliest guns. However, most of you probably already know that one should never underestimate the Uzi.

This small weapon is capable of firing up to 600 rounds per minute – on top of that, it packs accuracy as well, besides sheer firepower. Moreover, due to its size and weight, it’s the preferred weapon when it comes to personal defense – used by either military personnel or criminals.

  • DSR-Precision DSR 50 Sniper Rifle

Last but not least, it’s time we talked about another sniper rifle – but a more powerful one than our previous entry.

This particular gun is, clearly, one of the deadliest there can be – and here’s exactly why. First of all, it is worth noting that the DSR-precision is manufactured as an ­anti-material rifle. This makes it capable of puncturing vehicles – even armored ones.

It comes with an effective range of 1500m and, as its name implies, fires .50 caliber rounds. Obviously, it is equipped with free-floating barrel technology.

Among some of its peculiar characteristics, we have to mention its rather short length that doesn’t affect the rifle’s power at all. In fact, the manufacturer made it highly adjustable and capable of great precision.

Then, to make it even deadlier, the gun was also equipped with a front holder that decreases the gun’s reloading time!

The Bottom Line

As you can see, a weapon is not deadly simply because it is very large or fires the largest caliber possible – thinking of the Uzi, in this case.

For a weapon to be the deadliest in the world, it must come with firepower and accuracy first. Then, some versatility would be helpful too – for example, there are guns that can be chambered for different bullets.

Then, in the end, it is very important that the gun is made from durable materials and that it’s manufactured properly. As mentioned above, the AK-47 contains only 8 moving essential parts and, because of this, the weather will not affect it at all.

This is, basically, what makes a weapon deadly – the fact that multiple generations can use it without major failure and that you can rely on one even if it sat in your attic for the last five years!

© All rights reserved.

President Donald J. Trump’s Historic State of the Union Address — February 4th, 2020

President Donald J. Trump gave his third and most uplifting and visionary State of the Union address to the American people on February 4th, 2020. He had many special guests in the gallery and made note of each of their hopes, dreams, lives and sacrifices for America.

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TRANSCRIPT

Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow citizens:

Three years ago, we launched the great American comeback. Tonight, I stand before you to share the incredible results. Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling, confidence is surging, and our country is thriving and highly respected again! America’s enemies are on the run, America’s fortunes are on the rise, and America’s future is blazing bright.

The years of economic decay are over. The days of our country being used, taken advantage of, and even scorned by other nations are long behind us. Gone too are the broken promises, jobless recoveries, tired platitudes, and constant excuses for the depletion of American wealth, power, and prestige.

In just 3 short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline, and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny. We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back!

I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been. Our military is completely rebuilt, with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world — and it is not even close. Our borders are secure. Our families are flourishing. Our values are renewed. Our pride is restored. And for all these reasons, I say to the people of our great country, and to the Members of Congress before me: The State of our Union is stronger than ever before!

The vision I will lay out this evening demonstrates how we are building the world’s most prosperous and inclusive society — one where every citizen can join in America’s unparalleled success, and where every community can take part in America’s extraordinary rise.

From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the United States economy — slashing a record number of job-killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements. Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, and, most of all, pro-American. We are advancing with unbridled optimism and lifting high our citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed.

Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs — 5 million more than Government experts projected during the previous administration.

The unemployment rate is the lowest in over half a century.

Incredibly, the average unemployment rate under my Administration is lower than any administration in the history of our country. If we had not reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration, the world would not now be witness to America’s great economic success.

The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans have reached the lowest levels in history. African-American youth unemployment has reached an all-time low.

African-American poverty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded.

The unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years — and last year, women filled 72 percent of all new jobs added.

The veterans’ unemployment rate dropped to a record low.

The unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached an all-time low.

Workers without a high school diploma have achieved the lowest unemployment rate recorded in United States history.

A record number of young Americans are now employed.

Under the last administration, more than 10 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Under my Administration, 7 million Americans have come off of food stamps, and 10 million people have been lifted off of welfare.

In 8 years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people dropped out of the workforce. In just 3 years of my Administration, 3.5 million working-age people have joined the workforce.

Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage-earners has increased by 47 percent — 3 times faster than the increase for the top 1 percent. After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast — and, wonderfully, they are rising fastest for low-income workers, who have seen a 16 percent pay-increase since my election. This is a blue collar boom.

Real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded!

Since my election, United States stock markets have soared 70 percent, adding more than $12 trillion to our Nation’s wealth, transcending anything anyone believed was possible — this, as other countries are not doing well. Consumer confidence has reached amazing new heights.

All of those millions of people with 401(k)s and pensions are doing far better than they have ever done before with increases of 60, 70, 80, 90, and even 100 percent.

Jobs and investment are pouring into 9,000 previously-neglected neighborhoods thanks to Opportunity Zones, a plan spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott as part of our great Republican tax cuts. In other words, wealthy people and companies are pouring money into poor neighborhoods or areas that have not seen investment in many decades, creating jobs, energy, and excitement. This is the first time that these deserving communities have seen anything like this. It is all working!

Opportunity Zones are helping Americans like Army Veteran Tony Rankins from Cincinnati, Ohio. After struggling with drug addiction, Tony lost his job, his house, and his family — he was homeless. But then Tony found a construction company that invests in Opportunity Zones. He is now a top tradesman, drug-free, reunited with his family, and he is here tonight. Tony: Keep up the great work.

Our roaring economy has, for the first time ever, given many former prisoners the ability to get a great job and a fresh start. This second chance at life is made possible because we passed landmark Criminal Justice Reform into law. Everybody said that Criminal Justice Reform could not be done, but I got it done, and the people in this room got it done.

Thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the United States has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, by far. With the tremendous progress we have made over the past 3 years, America is now energy independent, and energy jobs, like so many elements of our country, are at a record high. We are doing numbers that no one would have thought possible just 3 years ago.

Likewise, we are restoring our Nation’s manufacturing might, even though predictions were that this could never be done. After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, America has now gained 12,000 new factories under my Administration with thousands upon thousands of plants and factories being planned or built. We have created over half a million new manufacturing jobs. Companies are not leaving; they are coming back. Everybody wants to be where the action is, and the United States of America is, indeed, where the action is.

One of the single biggest promises I made to the American people was to replace the disastrous NAFTA trade deal. In fact, unfair trade is perhaps the single biggest reason that I decided to run for President. Following NAFTA’s adoption, our Nation lost one in four manufacturing jobs. Many politicians came and went, pledging to change or replace NAFTA — only to do absolutely nothing. But unlike so many who came before me, I keep my promises. Six days ago, I replaced NAFTA and signed the brand new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law.

The USMCA will create nearly 100,000 new high-paying American auto jobs, and massively boost exports for our farmers, ranchers, and factory workers. It will also bring trade with Mexico and Canada to a much higher degree, but also to a much greater level of fairness and reciprocity. This is the first major trade deal in many years to earn the strong backing of America’s labor unions.

I also promised our citizens that I would impose tariffs to confront China’s massive theft of American jobs. Our strategy worked. Days ago, we signed the groundbreaking new agreement with China that will defend our workers, protect our intellectual property, bring billions of dollars into our treasury, and open vast new markets for products made and grown right here in the United States of America. For decades, China has taken advantage of the United States, now we have changed that but, at the same time, we have perhaps the best relationship we have ever had with China, including with President Xi. They respect what we have done because, quite frankly, they could never believe what they were able to get away with year after year, decade after decade, without someone in our country stepping up and saying: Enough. Now, we want to rebuild our country, and that is what we are doing.

As we restore American leadership throughout the world, we are once again standing up for freedom in our hemisphere. That is why my Administration reversed the failing policies of the previous administration on Cuba. We are supporting the hopes of Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans to restore democracy. The United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. Maduro is an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who brutalizes his people. But Maduro’s grip of tyranny will be smashed and broken. Here this evening is a man who carries with him the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of all Venezuelans. Joining us in the gallery is the true and legitimate President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. Mr. President, please take this message back to your homeland. All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom! Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul.

To safeguard American Liberty, we have invested a record-breaking $2.2 trillion in the United States Military. We have purchased the finest planes, missiles, rockets, ships, and every other form of military equipment — all made in the United States of America. We are also finally getting our allies to help pay their fair share. I have raised contributions from the other NATO members by more than $400 billion, and the number of allies meeting their minimum obligations has more than doubled.

And just weeks ago, for the first time since President Truman established the Air Force more than 70 years earlier, we created a new branch of the United States Armed Forces, the Space Force.

In the gallery tonight, we have one of the Space Force’s youngest potential recruits: 13-year-old Iain Lanphier, an eighth grader from Arizona. Iain has always dreamed of going to space. He was first in his class and among the youngest at an aviation academy. He aspires to go to the Air Force Academy, and then, he has his eye on the Space Force. As Iain says, “most people look up at space, I want to look down on the world.”

Sitting beside Iain tonight is his great hero. Charles McGee was born in Cleveland, Ohio, one century ago. Charles is one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen — the first black fighter pilots — and he also happens to be Iain’s great-grandfather. After more than 130 combat missions in World War II, he came back to a country still struggling for Civil Rights and went on to serve America in Korea and Vietnam. On December 7th, Charles celebrated his 100th birthday. A few weeks ago, I signed a bill promoting Charles McGee to Brigadier General. And earlier today, I pinned the stars on his shoulders in the Oval Office. General McGee: Our Nation salutes you.

From the pilgrims to our Founders, from the soldiers at Valley Forge to the marchers at Selma, and from President Lincoln to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Americans have always rejected limits on our children’s future.

Members of Congress, we must never forget that the only victories that matter in Washington are victories that deliver for the American people. The people are the heart of our country, their dreams are the soul of our country, and their love is what powers and sustains our country. We must always remember that our job is to put America first!

The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Yet, for too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools. To rescue these students, 18 States have created school choice in the form of Opportunity Scholarships. The programs are so popular, that tens of thousands of students remain on waiting lists. One of those students is Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia. Janiyah’s mom Stephanie is a single parent. She would do anything to give her daughter a better future. But last year, that future was put further out of reach when Pennsylvania’s Governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice for 50,000 children.

Janiyah and Stephanie are in the gallery this evening. But there is more to their story. Janiyah, I am pleased to inform you that your long wait is over. I can proudly announce tonight that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available, it is going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice!

Now, I call on the Congress to give 1 million American children the same opportunity Janiyah has just received. Pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act — because no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.

Every young person should have a safe and secure environment in which to learn and grow. For this reason, our magnificent First Lady has launched the “Be Best” initiative — to advance a safe, healthy, supportive, and drug-free life for the next generation, online, in school, and in our communities. Thank you, Melania, for your extraordinary love and profound care for America’s children.

My Administration is determined to give our citizens the opportunities they need regardless of age or background. Through our Pledge to American Workers, over 400 companies will also provide new jobs and education opportunities to almost 15 million Americans.

My Budget also contains an exciting vision for our Nation’s high schools. Tonight, I ask the Congress to support our students and back my plan to offer vocational and technical education in every single high school in America.

To expand equal opportunity, I am also proud that we achieved record and permanent funding for our Nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

A good life for American families also requires the most affordable, innovative, and high-quality healthcare system on Earth. Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just 5 years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive. I have also made an ironclad pledge to American families: We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions — that is a guarantee. And we will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security.

The American patient should never be blindsided by medical bills. That is why I signed an Executive Order requiring price transparency. Many experts believe that transparency, which will go into full effect at the beginning of next year, will be even bigger than healthcare reform. It will save families massive amounts of money for substantially better care.

But as we work to improve Americans’ healthcare, there are those who want to take away your healthcare, take away your doctor, and abolish private insurance entirely. One hundred thirty-two lawmakers in this room have endorsed legislation to impose a socialist takeover of our healthcare system, wiping out the private health insurance plans of 180 million Americans. To those watching at home tonight, I want you to know: We will never let socialism destroy American healthcare!

Over 130 legislators in this chamber have endorsed legislation that would bankrupt our Nation by providing free taxpayer-funded healthcare to millions of illegal aliens, forcing taxpayers to subsidize free care for anyone in the world who unlawfully crosses our borders. These proposals would raid the Medicare benefits our seniors depend on, while acting as a powerful lure for illegal immigration. This is what is happening in California and other States — their systems are totally out of control, costing taxpayers vast and unaffordable amounts of money. If forcing American taxpayers to provide unlimited free healthcare to illegal aliens sounds fair to you, then stand with the radical left. But if you believe that we should defend American patients and American seniors, then stand with me and pass legislation to prohibit free Government healthcare for illegal aliens!

This will be a tremendous boon to our already very-strongly guarded southern border where, as we speak, a long, tall, and very powerful wall is being built. We have now completed over 100 miles and will have over 500 miles fully completed by early next year.

My Administration is also taking on the big pharmaceutical companies. We have approved a record number of affordable generic drugs, and medicines are being approved by the FDA at a faster clip than ever before. I was pleased to announce last year that, for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down.

And working together, the Congress can reduce drug prices substantially from current levels. I have been speaking to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done properly. I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay.

With unyielding commitment, we are curbing the opioid epidemic — drug overdose deaths declined for the first time in nearly 30 years. Among the States hardest hit, Ohio is down 22 percent, Pennsylvania is down 18 percent, Wisconsin is down 10 percent — and we will not quit until we have beaten the opioid epidemic once and for all.

Protecting Americans’ health also means fighting infectious diseases. We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the Coronavirus outbreak in China. My Administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.

We have launched ambitious new initiatives to substantially improve care for Americans with kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, and those struggling with mental health challenges. And because the Congress funded my request, we are pursuing new cures for childhood cancer, and we will eradicate the AIDS epidemic in America by the end of the decade.

Almost every American family knows the pain when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness. Here tonight is a special man, someone beloved by millions of Americans who just received a Stage 4 advanced cancer diagnosis. This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet. Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country. Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our Nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I will now ask the First Lady of the United States to please stand and present you with the honor. Rush, Kathryn, congratulations!

As we pray for all who are sick, we know that America is constantly achieving new medical breakthroughs. In 2017, doctors at St. Luke’s hospital in Kansas City delivered one of the earliest premature babies ever to survive. Born at just 21 weeks and 6 days, and weighing less than a pound, Ellie Schneider was born a fighter. Through the skill of her doctors — and the prayers of her parents — little Ellie kept on winning the battle for life. Today, Ellie is a strong, healthy 2-year-old girl sitting with her amazing mother Robin in the gallery. Ellie and Robin: We are so glad you are here.

Ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life. Thanks to modern medical wonders, 50 percent of very premature babies delivered at the hospital where Ellie was born now survive. Our goal should be to ensure that every baby has the best chance to thrive and grow just like Ellie. That is why I am asking the Congress to provide an additional $50 million to fund neo-natal research for America’s youngest patients. That is also why I am calling upon the Members of Congress here tonight to pass legislation finally banning the late-term abortion of babies.

Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God!

As we support America’s moms and dads, I was recently proud to sign the law providing new parents in the Federal workforce paid family leave, serving as a model for the rest of the country. Now, I call on the Congress to pass the bipartisan Advancing Support for Working Families Act, extending family leave to mothers and fathers all across the Nation.

Forty million American families have an average $2,200 extra thanks to our child tax credit. I have also overseen historic funding increases for high-quality child care, enabling 17 States to serve more children, many of which have reduced or eliminated their waitlists altogether. And I sent the Congress a plan with a vision to further expand access to high-quality childcare and urge you to act immediately.

To protect the environment, days ago, I announced that the United States will join the One Trillion Trees Initiative, an ambitious effort to bring together Government and the private sector to plant new trees in America and around the world.

We must also rebuild America’s infrastructure. I ask you to pass Senator Barrasso’s highway bill — to invest in new roads, bridges, and tunnels across our land.

I am also committed to ensuring that every citizen can have access to high-speed internet, including rural America.

A better tomorrow for all Americans also requires us to keep America safe. That means supporting the men and women of law enforcement at every level, including our Nation’s heroic ICE officers.

Last year, our brave ICE officers arrested more than 120,000 criminal aliens charged with nearly 10,000 burglaries, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 violent assaults, and 2,000 murders.

Tragically, there are many cities in America where radical politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal illegal aliens. In Sanctuary Cities, local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public, instead of handing them over to ICE to be safely removed.

Just 29 days ago, a criminal alien freed by the Sanctuary City of New York was charged with the brutal rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman. The killer had been previously arrested for assault, but under New York’s sanctuary policies, he was set free. If the city had honored ICE’s detainer request, his victim would be alive today.

The State of California passed an outrageous law declaring their whole State to be a sanctuary for criminal illegal immigrants — with catastrophic results.

Here is just one tragic example. In December 2018, California police detained an illegal alien with five prior arrests, including convictions for robbery and assault. But as required by California’s Sanctuary Law, local authorities released him.

Days later, the criminal alien went on a gruesome spree of deadly violence. He viciously shot one man going about his daily work; he approached a woman sitting in her car and shot her in the arm and the chest. He walked into a convenience store and wildly fired his weapon. He hijacked a truck and smashed into vehicles, critically injuring innocent victims. One of the victims of his bloody rampage was a 51-year-old American named Rocky Jones. Rocky was at a gas station when this vile criminal fired eight bullets at him from close range, murdering him in cold blood. Rocky left behind a devoted family, including his brothers who loved him more than anything. One of his grieving brothers is here with us tonight. Jody, would you please stand? Jody, our hearts weep for your loss — and we will not rest until you have justice.

Senator Thom Tillis has introduced legislation to allow Americans like Jody to sue Sanctuary Cities and States when a loved one is hurt or killed as a result of these deadly policies. I ask the Congress to pass the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act immediately. The United States of America should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans — not criminal aliens!

In the last 3 years, ICE has arrested over 5,000 wicked human traffickers — and I have signed 9 pieces of legislation to stamp out the menace of human trafficking, domestically and around the globe.

My Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to secure the southern border of the United States.

Before I came into office, if you showed up illegally on our southern border and were arrested, you were simply released and allowed into our country, never to be seen again. My Administration has ended Catch-and-Release. If you come illegally, you will now be promptly removed. We entered into historic cooperation agreements with the Governments of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. As a result of our unprecedented efforts, illegal crossings are down 75 percent since May — dropping 8 straight months in a row. And as the wall goes up, drug seizures rise, and border crossings go down.

Last year, I traveled to the border in Texas and met Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz. Over the last 24 months, Agent Ortiz and his team have seized more than 200,000 pounds of poisonous narcotics, arrested more than 3,000 human smugglers, and rescued more than 2,000 migrants. Days ago, Agent Ortiz was promoted to Deputy Chief of Border Patrol — and he joins us tonight. Chief Ortiz: Please stand — a grateful Nation thanks you and all the heroes of Border Patrol.

To build on these historic gains, we are working on legislation to replace our outdated and randomized immigration system with one based on merit, welcoming those who follow the rules, contribute to our economy, support themselves financially, and uphold our values.

With every action, my Administration is restoring the rule of law and re-asserting the culture of American freedom. Working with Senate Majority Leader McConnell and his colleagues in the Senate, we have confirmed a record number of 187 new Federal judges to uphold our Constitution as written. This includes two brilliant new Supreme Court Justices, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh.

My Administration is also defending religious liberty, and that includes the Constitutional right to pray in public schools. In America, we do not punish prayer. We do not tear down crosses. We do not ban symbols of faith. We do not muzzle preachers and pastors. In America, we celebrate faith. We cherish religion. We lift our voices in prayer, and we raise our sights to the Glory of God!

Just as we believe in the First Amendment, we also believe in another Constitutional right that is under siege all across our country. So long as I am President I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

In reaffirming our heritage as a free Nation, we must remember that America has always been a frontier nation. Now we must embrace the next frontier, America’s manifest destiny in the stars. I am asking the Congress to fully fund the Artemis program to ensure that the next man and the first woman on the moon will be American astronauts — using this as a launching pad to ensure that America is the first nation to plant its flag on Mars.

My Administration is also strongly defending our national security and combating radical Islamic terrorism. Last week, I announced a groundbreaking plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Recognizing that all past attempts have failed, we must be determined and creative in order to stabilize the region and give millions of young people the change to realize a better future.

Three years ago, the barbarians of ISIS held over 20,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria. Today, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed, and the founder and leader of ISIS — the bloodthirsty killer Al‑Baghdadi — is dead!

We are joined this evening by Carl and Marsha Mueller. After graduating from college, their beautiful daughter Kayla became a humanitarian aid worker. Kayla once wrote, “Some people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love; I find God in suffering. I’ve known for some time what my life’s work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering.” In 2013, while caring for suffering civilians in Syria, Kayla was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by ISIS, and kept as a prisoner of Al-Baghdadi himself. After more than 500 horrifying days of captivity, Al-Baghdadi murdered young Kayla. She was just 26 years old.

On the night that United States Special Forces Operators ended Al‑Baghdadi’s miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the Situation Room. He was told that the brave men of the elite Special Forces team, that so perfectly carried out the operation, had given their mission a name — “Task Force 8-14.” It was a reference to a special day: August 14th — Kayla’s birthday. Carl and Marsha, America’s warriors never forgot Kayla — and neither will we.

Every day, America’s men and women in uniform demonstrate the infinite depths of love that dwells in the human heart.

One of these American heroes was Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake. On his second deployment to Iraq in 2008, Sergeant Hake wrote a letter to his 1-year-old son, Gage: “I will be with you again,” he wrote to Gage. “I will teach you to ride your first bike, build your first sand box, watch you play sports and see you have kids also. I love you son, take care of your mother. I am always with you. Dad.” On Easter Sunday of 2008, Chris was out on patrol in Baghdad when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. That night, he made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Sergeant Hake now rests in eternal glory in Arlington, and his wife Kelli is in the gallery tonight, joined by their son, who is now 13 years old. To Kelli and Gage: Chris will live in our hearts forever.

The terrorist responsible for killing Sergeant Hake was Qasem Soleimani, who provided the deadly roadside bomb that took Chris’s life. Soleimani was the Iranian Regime’s most ruthless butcher, a monster who murdered or wounded thousands of American service members in Iraq. As the world’s top terrorist, Soleimani orchestrated the deaths of countless men, women, and children. He directed the December assault on United States Forces in Iraq, and was actively planning new attacks. That is why, last month, at my direction, the United States Military executed a flawless precision strike that killed Soleimani and terminated his evil reign of terror forever.

Our message to the terrorists is clear: You will never escape American justice. If you attack our citizens, you forfeit your life!

In recent months, we have seen proud Iranians raise their voices against their oppressive rulers. The Iranian regime must abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons, stop spreading terror, death, and destruction, and start working for the good of its own people. Because of our powerful sanctions, the Iranian economy is doing very poorly. We can help them make it very good in a short period of time, but perhaps they are too proud or too foolish to ask for that help. We are here. Let’s see which road they choose. It is totally up to them.

As we defend American lives, we are working to end America’s wars in the Middle East.

In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our warfighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are underway. I am not looking to kill hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan, many of them innocent. It is also not our function to serve other nations as a law enforcement agency. These are warfighters, the best in the world, and they either want to fight to win or not fight at all. We are working to finally end America’s longest war and bring our troops back home!

War places a heavy burden on our Nation’s extraordinary military families, especially spouses like Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her 2 children — 6-year-old Elliana and 3-year-old Rowan. Amy works full time, and volunteers countless hours helping other military families. For the past 7 months, she has done it all while her husband, Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, is in Afghanistan on his fourth deployment to the Middle East. Amy’s kids have not seen their father’s face in many months. Amy, your family’s sacrifice makes it possible for all of our families to live in safety and peace — we thank you.

As the world bears witness tonight, America is a land of heroes. This is the place where greatness is born, where destinies are forged, and where legends come to life. This is the home of Thomas Edison and Teddy Roosevelt, of many great Generals, including Washington, Pershing, Patton, and MacArthur. This is the home of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, and so many more. This is the country where children learn names like Wyatt Earp, Davy Crockett, and Annie Oakley. This is the place where the pilgrims landed at Plymouth and where Texas patriots made their last stand at the Alamo.

The American Nation was carved out of the vast frontier by the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and women ever to walk the face of the Earth. Our ancestors braved the unknown; tamed the wilderness; settled the Wild West; lifted millions from poverty, disease, and hunger; vanquished tyranny and fascism; ushered the world to new heights of science and medicine; laid down the railroads, dug out canals, raised up the skyscrapers — and, ladies and gentlemen, our ancestors built the most exceptional Republic ever to exist in all of human history. And we are making it greater than ever before!

This is our glorious and magnificent inheritance.

We are Americans. We are the pioneers. We are the pathfinders. We settled the new world, we built the modern world, and we changed history forever by embracing the eternal truth that everyone is made equal by the hand of Almighty God.

America is the place where anything can happen! America is the place where anyone can rise. And here, on this land, on this soil, on this continent, the most incredible dreams come true!

This Nation is our canvas, and this country is our masterpiece. We look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers just waiting to be explored. Our brightest discoveries are not yet known. Our most thrilling stories are not yet told. Our grandest journeys are not yet made. The American Age, the American Epic, the American Adventure, has only just begun!

Our spirit is still young; the sun is still rising; God’s grace is still shining; and my fellow Americans, the best is yet to come!

Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless America.

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VIDEO: The Myth That the U.S. Leads the World in Mass Shootings

If you asked me this morning which nation has the most mass shootings in the world, I would have said, with perhaps a flicker of hesitation, the United States.

This is a tad embarrassing to admit because I’m pretty familiar with shooting statistics, having written several articles on gun violence and the Second Amendment. Below is a basic overview of gun violence in America. While gun homicides have been steadily declining for decades in the US, mass shootings have indeed been trending upward.

This fact alone probably would not have led me to believe that the US leads the world in mass shootings, however. An assist goes to the US media and politicians.

“Let’s be clear,” President Obama said in 2015 after a shooting in North Carolina. “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

Sen. Harry Reid echoed this sentiment. “The United States is the only advanced country where this kind of mass violence occurs.”

Media headlines have left little doubt that the US leads the world in mass shootings. In fact, according to CNN, it isn’t even close.

The comments and data seem to conclusively say that the US leads the world in mass shootings and the violence is unique, a product of “America’s gun culture.”

It’s a slam dunk case except for one thing: it’s not true.

Statistics on global mass shooting incidents from 2009 to 2015 compiled by economist John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center show that the US trails many other advanced nations in mass shooting frequency and death rate.

As Investor’s Business Daily noted on these findings, “Yes, the U.S. rate is still high, and nothing to be proud of. But it’s not the highest in the developed world. Not by a long shot.”

If this is true, how did the narrative that the US leads the world in mass shootings become the conventional wisdom? The myth, it turns out, stems from University of Alabama associate professor Adam Lankford.

Lankford’s name pops up in a montage of media reports which cite his research as evidence that America leads the world in mass shootings. The violence, Lankford said, stems from the high rate of gun ownership in America.

“The difference between us and other countries, [which] explains why we have more of these attackers, was the firearm ownership rate,” Lankford said. “In other words: firearms per capita. We have almost double the firearm ownership rate of any other country.”

Lankford’s findings show that there were 90 mass public shooters in America since 1966, the most in the world, which had a total of 202. But Lott, using Lankford’s definition of a mass shooting—“four or more people killed”—found more than 3,000 such shootings, John Stossel recently reported.

When findings do not mesh, scholars, in pursuit of truth, generally compare notes, data, and methodology to find out how they reached their conclusions. After all, who is to say Lankford doesn’t have it right and Lott is wrong? There’s just one problem: Lankford isn’t talking.

Lankford refuses to explain his data to anyone—to Stossel, to Lott, to the Washington Post, and apparently anyone else who comes asking, including this writer. (I emailed Lankford inquiring about his research. He declined to discuss his methodology, but said he would be publishing more information about mass shooting data in the future.)

“That’s academic malpractice,” Lott tells Stossel.

[Editor’s Note: Lankford has since published his research. It can be found here.]

Indeed it is. Yet, it doesn’t explain how one professor’s research was so rapidly disseminated that its erroneous claim quickly became the conventional wisdom in a country with 330 million people.

For that, we must look to the era of narrative-driven journalism and the politicization of society, both of which subjugate truth to ideology and politics. Media and politicians latched onto Lankford’s findings in droves because his findings were convenient, not because they were true.

This is an unsettling and ill omen for liberty. As Lawrence Reed has observed, the road to authoritarianism is paved with a “careless, cavalier, and subjective attitude toward truth.” Yet that is precisely what we see with increasing frequency in mass media. (Need I reference the Covington debacle and the Smollet hoax?)

More than a hundred years ago Mark Twain noted, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

Twain’s quote remains true even in the age of the internet. Lankford’s erroneous research had free rein for two years and was disseminated to tens of millions of viewers and readers before the truth finally got its shoes on.

If you ask most Americans today which country leads the world in mass shootings, I suspect a vast majority would say the US. And there’s always a price for the erosion of truth.

COLUMN BY

Trump Administration Publishes Historic Rulemaking to Modernize America’s Firearm Export Regime

On Jan. 23, the Trump administration published rules that will be a boon to the United States firearms industry and all who utilize its products. The new regulations will become effective March 9, 2020.

The rules update America’s regulatory regime for the export of firearms, as well as related parts, components, and accessories. They are the result of an intensive, years-long interagency review process, as well as consideration of thousands of public comments.

The changes move firearm-related commerce from an antiquated Cold War paradigm into the modern era of broader international trade and access to information.

No more will small, non-exporting businesses – including gunsmiths – be caught up in an expansive regulatory scheme for manufacturers of “munitions” and their parts that requires a $2,250 annual registration fee with U.S. State Department.

Americans will again be free to publish most technical information about firearms and ammunition – including on the publicly-accessible Internet – without fear of accidentally running afoul of State Department restrictions that could land them in federal prison.

And Americans temporarily traveling overseas with their own guns and ammunition won’t have to register them in a government database or deal with the complexities of completing lengthy forms in commercial exporting software.

Meanwhile, commercial exporters of non-military grade firearms and ammunition will have fewer fees to pay and will benefit from a more flexible, business-oriented regulatory environment. This will enhance their competitiveness in global markets and bring business and jobs that might have gone to unscrupulous foreign companies back to America, which will continue to have unrivaled oversight of its domestic and international arms trade.

To be clear, actual exports of firearms and ammunition will still require authorization by the federal government, including through licenses issued after interagency review to ensure the materiel will not fall into the wrong hands when it leaves the country. End users of the guns in the countries of destination will also remain subject to U.S. monitoring.

But guns and ammunition that can be readily obtained at big box retailers in the U.S. will no longer be treated for export purposes as if they were in the same “inherently military” category as missiles, warheads, howitzers, or other true weapons of war.

This change will additionally ensure that more resources are available to monitor transfers and movement of truly sensitive and consequential military equipment and technology.

The result is an overall win for American business, freedom, and the security of the Free World.

Needless to say, however, those who would ban firearms completely are already seeking to undermine the changes. Attorneys general from a number of anti-gun states have filed suit in a federal district court in Seattle, Wash., falsely alleging the rule changes would allow for the unregulated proliferation of so-called “3D-printed weapons.” Numerous media outlets have uncritically parroted these baseless claims.

In truth, the final versions of the rules specifically address this concern and will treat any computer code allowing for the automatic printing or milling of a firearm as a regulated item requiring prior authorization before being published on the Internet or released to any foreign national.

This latest action is just one more example of how President Trump continues to move forward with his positive agenda to protect the right to keep and bear arms and the businesses that comprise America’s firearms industry.  American manufacturing, as well as lawful firearm ownership at home and abroad stand to make big gains under the president’s export reform initiative.

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Journalist” Can’t Decide: Slumping Gun Sales or Best Year Ever?

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

We’re Forgetting: The Right To Bear Arms Is Essential For Life And Liberty

As we remember Martin Luther King, Jr., let’s also remember he was denied the right to keep and bear arms, and many states, including some run by Republicans, are pushing more gun restrictions.

They have forgotten or never learned that the right to keep and bear arms is an essential protection for Life and Liberty.

Samuel Adams wrote in 1792: “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First life, secondly liberty, third property, together with the right to defend them in the best manner possible.”  Adams continued his point by noting that these rights are a direct product of the First law of Nature, the Duty of self-preservation.

Those who would stand for the Right to keep and bear arms do so with the interest of preserving life and liberty – not destroying it.  Those who support the Right to keep and bear arms support the Natural Right and duty of self-preservation, they support the ability to defend life and liberty not only for themselves but for their neighbors.  They support freedom and just government, they support ensuring that our future generations will be able to be a government of the people, not subject to a government over the people. They keep and bear arms, they train in the skill of defense because they love their children, their families, and their neighbors and want to defend the most precious gifts of life, at their own expense, if necessary.

Those who oppose the Right to keep and bear arms, whether intentionally or not, support the opposite of life and liberty – they support slavery, they support oppression, they support despotic government rule over the people.

Those who ignorantly support disarming the people do so because they have been convinced of one eternal error – that those in power respect the lives and liberties of the people and will protect them.  There is absolutely nothing in the history of man that ought to give someone that false delusion of hope.

History is ripe with one oracle of truth: When the people are disarmed they are inevitably enslaved by the more powerful, more able, or more populated groups.  Disarming the people never ever frees the minority. To the contrary, in a disarmed society the minority becomes the first to be converted to chattel. Slavery is not possible in a society where the people are well armed and well trained in the skill of defense and the knowledge of the value of life and liberty worth defending.

Those who knowingly support disarming the people do so because they are power hungry, lack respect for life, and wish to control and dominate life, liberty, and property.  They know just how to motivate the ignorant through the greatest human deception, contrived necessity. They know how to control the powerless, corral the weak, and convince a morally depleted population to organize and come against their own neighbors.

They are those among us who endeavor to rob the innocent of their God given rights to enrich and empower themselves and endanger most precious gifts of life and at the fatal cost of a free future.  They care only about themselves; they are the ones who pass by a neighbor in need and demand the right to take life out of a feigned excuse derived from the most selfish center of humankind. They seek to rob, kill, and destroy life, liberty and property and they are the very spirit that has caused the institutions of slavery and despotism to rise throughout history.

William Pitt, The Younger summed it up best when he said,

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom, it is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves.”

There is a day where every American reflects on who they are, who they want to be, and takes the time to classify themselves.  Are you a slave? Are you a tyrant? Or are you a freeman?

If you have determined that you love your neighbor as yourself, if you love your children and your children’s children, if you wish to remain a freeman and not encourage slavery at the hand of the despot, then what comes next is your only choice…

John Adams wrote, “Liberty must at all hazards be defended, we have a right to it derived from our maker.  But if we had not, our fathers have bought and purchased it for us at the expense of their ease, their estates and their pleasure and their blood.”

So, first, you stand up for the weak and ignorant.  You stand up to say, we will not let you be enslaved.  We will defend you as well as our own because that is the call of Liberty that Makes America Great

Second, you Stand up to the tyrant.  You declare your Natural Rights just as we did on July 4, 1776 – That all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.  That these rights, being derived from Nature, a gift to all mankind, precede all government and all law; that all laws must be made to conform to our Natural Rights, or they are no law at all.  You tell the tyrant that you hold no ill will, that you love him and pray peace, and because you love him you will not allow him to enslave your neighbor and you will not allow him to deny us and our future a Right guaranteed by our Creator.

Mercy Otis Warren made this plea:

“America stands armed with resolution and virtue; but she still recoils at the idea of drawing the sword against the nation from whence she derived her origin. Yet Britain, like an unnatural parent, is ready to plunge her dagger into the bosom of her affectionate offspring. But may we not yet hope for more lenient measures!”

You see, it won’t be those who defend Liberty who pray violence.  Those fighting for the Right to keep and bear arms are armed, yes, with resolution and virtue to preserve life, not end it, to secure liberty, not destroy it.  It will be those who have no respect for life, that hold no love for their brother, who love self more than liberty and life – the tyrants and slaves – who will bring violence for violent ends.

These are the times that try men’s souls.  These are the days when choices must be made.  Today we choose peace. Today we choose Life. Today we choose Liberty.  And because we’ve made these choices, today we choose to defend our right to secure Life, Liberty, and Property from those who would come to rob, steal, and destroy.  Today we stand in defense of our Natural Right to keep and bear arms.

And if you find yourself in opposition to this essential Right.  If you find yourself thinking it’s necessary to deny us this Right or that someone must control and disarm the people, you have classified yourself… as either the tyrant or the slave.

You see if we are historically honest there is only one question necessary in the gun control discussion: Do you trust that the people in power will never use the force of government to take your Life, Liberty, or Property?

If the answer to that question is no, the discussion is over and you now finally know why we stand before you today and every day, armed with virtue and resolution to declare

244 years ago we took a stand and said, no more kings, and we’re not about to change our minds now.

COLUMN BY

KRISANNE HALL

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.

EDITORS NOTE: This Revolutionary Act column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

PODCAST: Virginia gun rally. Thousands march on Richmond!

GUESTS AND TOPICS

FORD FISCHER

Ford Fischer is the editor-in-Chief of News2Share, an independent news outlet that uses raw footage and livestream without commentary or editorialization to cover political and activist movements. Their work has been featured in Academy Award and Emmy winning films.

RICHARD MANNING

Richard Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government. He worked directly with now President Trump on trade issues during Trump’s run for office. Manning also serves on Trump’s transition team in the Labor Department. His website is GetLiberty.org.

DAN GAINOR

Dan Gainor, Vice President for Business and Culture for the Media Research Center, a veteran editor whose work has been published or cited in the following media: Congressional Quarterly.com, Investor’s Business Daily, Chicago Sun-Times, New York Post, Washington Times, Orange County Register, San Diego Union-Tribune, Dateline Washington, Janet Parshall’s America, Chuck Harder Show, Thom Hartmann Show, American Family Radio, CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now” and Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes” and “Fox Business Live.”

TOPIC: Virginia gun rally: Thousands converge on Richmond

RELATED VIDEO: Virginia Gun Sanctuary Showdown: Words on Paper?

The Media’s Shameful Depiction of Pro-Second Amendment Protests in Virginia

It’s the tea party all over again.

Way back in 2009 the press, followed by a gaggle of left-wing commentators and politicians, did a number on tea party protests, often portraying them—with little evidence—as driven by racist rage against President Barack Obama rather than principled opposition to his administration’s policies.

These same tactics were on full display Monday in the coverage of pro-Second Amendment protests that took place in Richmond, Virginia.

The protests were a response to the gun control policies of Gov. Ralph Northam and the state’s Legislature, which is now controlled by Democrats.


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Northam called for a “state of emergency” in response to the protest, and numerous media outlets predicted it would be marked by “hate” and violence, and overall would be a menacing and sordid affair.

Jim Geraghty at National Review gave an excellent rundown of the most absurd headlines and statements from various national media outlets.

NBC reporter Ben Collins said in a now-deleted tweet on Sunday that the gathering in Richmond would be a “white supremacist” rally.

MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin said of the rally on Monday: “Right now thousands of gun-rights activists, white nationalists, militia groups—all swarming the Virginia state capitol in Richmond.”

But no violence took place, and it appears that only one person was arrested for violating an anti-mask prohibition put in place by the governor.

Pretty impressive, given that the crowd reached an estimated size of 20,000 on a very cold day.

Though there were some reports that racist groups were planning to attend and infiltrate the event, there was little sign of them when it took place, if it took place at all.

It seems the protesters were aware of how they were being portrayed.

Tristan Justice, who covered the protest, wrote for The Federalist:

Dozens of protesters throughout the rally were sure to remind the public that Northam wore blackface, carrying signs of the Virginia governor’s infamous high school yearbook photo showcasing Democrats’ double-standard regarding racism.

Some media commentators claimed that the pro-Second Amendment demonstrators were insulting Martin Luther King Jr. by holding the event on a holiday celebrating his legacy.

Rev. Al Sharpton even said on MSNBC said that this was putting “salt in the wound” of King’s legacy.

He then doubled down, saying the protesters getting in the way of MLK Day celebrations “are in effect canceling them to have their event. That in and of itself is symbolic of a country that seems to be bent on accommodating the wrong side of the equation of peaceful coexistence and racial justice and fairness.”

King was indeed nonviolent, as the protests were, but to claim that being in favor of gun rights is an affront to his legacy is absurd.

In fact, the right to bear arms was often an essential element to black civil rights, especially when local authorities were doing little to protect black citizens from violence.

Ida B. Wells, one of the founders of the NAACP, once said in 1892—a year in which a massive number of lynchings of black Americans took place—that “a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.”

To that very point, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a 2018 interview with “The View” that she saw firearm ownership as essential when growing up.

“Let me tell you why I’m a defender of the Second Amendment,” Rice said. “I was a little girl growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, in the late ’50s, early ’60s. There was no way that Bull Connor and the Birmingham police were going to protect you.”

“I’m sure if Bull Connor had known where those guns were, he would have rounded them up,” she said. “So I don’t favor some things like gun registration.”

The bottom line is that associating the right to bear arms with anti-black racism is out of step with modern history. It was, in fact, an essential component of the civil rights movement.

The fact remains that the Richmond event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a large, entirely peaceful demonstration in defense of a right protected by the Constitution. That seems like a pretty solid justification for a protest.

Contrast all of this coverage and commentary with, for instance, the way media outlets treated the Women’s March protests, which also occurred over Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

Though many noted the waning interest in these mostly anti-Trump protests, little attention was given to the movement’s troubling ties to anti-Semitism. Any mention of this association—if it was mentioned at all—was buried in the story, not slapped in the headline.

Whether the difference in coverage between the two events was the result of willful bias or the simple cultural norms of those who work in elite media—or both—the fact is, it was obvious and noticeable.

Just like with the tea party movement and even the annual March for Life, America’s national media seems hopelessly biased and one-sided.

COMMENTARY BY

Jarrett Stepman is a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. He is also the author of the new book, “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.” Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Sorry Shannon, But Those “Random Civilians” Are What Are Known As NRA Members

We were well aware that after New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent a cool $2.5 million on his latest acquisition, majority control of the Virginia General Assembly, law-abiding gun owners in The Old Dominion would see an onslaught of legislation designed to infringe on their right to keep and bear arms. As the legislature prepared to convene, NRA-ILA scheduled a day for legislative action to show our opposition to the anti-gun agenda of Bloomberg and Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam, and we asked our members to show up at the capitol in Richmond.

Boy did they!

Thousands of NRA members and supporters of the Second Amendment came to Virginia’s capital, and NRA handed out t-shirts and 1,000 30-round magazines, kindly donated by Magpul Industries, as thanks to freedom’s most dedicated advocates.

Even the usually anti-gun Northam praised NRA’s “peaceful event,” although it would be nice if his respect for NRA members included not infringing our fundamental rights.

But Bloomberg’s most prominent anti-gun shill, Shannon Watts, seemed to be overcome by the thought of law-abiding gun owners and Second Amendment advocates gathering to present their unified political voice in opposition to legislative assaults on their cherished liberty. Watts, of course, heads the anti-gun advocacy group Moms Demand Action, a Bloomberg subsidiary that he acquired in 2013.

As you can probably guess, Watts had a problem with the magazines.

When she was told about what happened in Richmond, she tweeted her faux outrage over the idea that “NRA gave away dangerous high-capacity magazines…to random civilians at the Virginia statehouse today.”

Where to even begin with that mess?

First, Shannon, magazines are not dangerous. The particular components donated by Magpul are comprised predominantly of plastic, and weigh mere ounces. Forgetting the fact that it is preposterous to try to designate an inanimate object of being capable of behaving dangerously.

Second, those “random civilians” were NRA members, and were invited to come to Richmond to exercise their First Amendment rights in defense of the Second. As we said, even Governor Northam stated, “I thank the NRA for hosting a peaceful event.”

Of course, it should come as no surprise that Watts was confused. Her organization has no actual membership, although she claims to have millions of supporters and hundreds-of-thousands of “donors.” While both claims are suspect, the reference to “donors” seems particularly implausible. The bulk of her group’s funding, under the umbrella of Bloomberg’s parent company, Everytown, seems to originate from Bloomberg himself.

In contrast, NRA is an actual organization of members; more than five million of them. We are dedicated to freedom, as well as safe, responsible, and, as even one of the most anti-gun governors in the nation recently said, peaceful.

Sorry if that confuses you, Shannon.

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Crime Data is Readily Available

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.