#Hypocrisy Alert: Anti-NRA Protest Has Armed Security, Police For Protection

David Hogg and other anti-NRA, anti-Second Amendment activists showed up to NRA headquarters this weekend. As reported at Townhall.com, they were a) trolled by the NRA, b) protesting an empty building, and c) protected by armed police and security.

They also had some real classy support. Therese Okoumou, the immigration activist who climbed the Statue of Liberty last month and later called America “fascist” and “KKK” when appearing in court, showed upRadical abortion supporter Alyssa Milano likewise made an appearance.

The best part about these protests is that they highlight the intellectual incoherence which is part and parcel of anti-Second Amendment efforts. For just a few examples:

  1. The facts show that self-defense gun use is far more common than is admitted by these misled activists.
  2. These activists are often the same ones who claim they want police to have less power/do less. If police have less power and/or do less, and law-abiding citizens can’t defend themselves, then who will be ready and able to stop dangerous criminals? (Hint: Nobody…)
  3. Being protected by armed police and armed security while protesting law-abiding firearm ownership is completely hypocritical.
  4. Gun control advocates frequently have no idea what kinds of weapons they are talking about. It was true after the Orlando shooting, and the NRA’s trolling interviews show it continues to be true today.

The fact is that the Second Amendment exists to allow self-protection for citizens. The NRA supports these rights. These misinformed activists who are clearly funded by liberal activist organizations should stop interfering with their fellow citizens’ God-given, constitutional rights to self-defense.

VIDEO: They Blame the NRA Over Terror-Linked Linda Sarsour

“So did everyone start calling out the Women’s March and Linda Sarsour for their connections to what ultimately is showing itself to be a terror cell? I mean this is also the same woman that says she’s besties with Louis Farrakhan. Of course not. They always blame the NRA. Even for this compound as well.” —Dana Loesch


Stinchfield: Jihad Is Already Embedded Throughout the U.S. in Secret Training Camps

Edwards: Mainstream Media Aren’t Covering the New Mexico Extremist Training Compound

NoFundMe: NRA Protest March Nets $70 in National Fundraising Effort

Crowd funding is a relatively recent innovation that allows a person or cause to leverage the vast reach of the Internet to raise money for virtually every imaginable purpose. Even small donations of a few dollars can aggregate into impressive sums with sufficient participation. It also provides an interesting window into the sorts of appeals that move people into parting with their own hard-won cash, as participants vote with their wallets, rather than just their online clicks or survey answers. To that extent, it can provide some insight into what issues really attract substantial grassroots support.

It does, however, require a “crowd.” This recently proved to be a problem for a national appeal aimed at raising funds for the so-called “National March on the NRA” (NMNRA). Despite the effort’s prominent exposure on the organizing entity’s website and social media platforms, and the hype the event itself received from a “news” apparatus eager to portray gun control as enjoying resurgent popular support, NMNRA’s online fundraising effort was an unmitigated bust. Before the campaign finally closed, it had attracted only 3 contributors who ponied up a grand total of $70.

Here in Northern Virginia, that might just about get you a tank of gas for an 8-passenger van.

As astute observers of gun control advocacy already know, there is very little that is “grassroots” about it. Its funders are principally billionaires who believe their vast wealth entitles them to remake American culture in their own image, guys like Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, and Paul Allen. They are fortunately few in number but undeniably mighty in resources.

What they haven’t yet managed to do, however, is create a culture in which the idea of taking away peoples’ rights moves ordinary individuals to sustained action. Causes that have attracted more support on the same crowd funding website NMNRA used have included a young man seeking money for “booze and cigarettes” (224% more support), an aspiring Yoga instructor (757%), and a parade float for a mother who wears heavy metal t-shirts(6,084%).

More to the point, there has also been greater support for a competitive shooter hoping to participate in an international match (1,357%) and a young cancer patient’s hunting fund (2,357%).

For months, the mass media has been insisting that America has turned a corner in its popular support for gun control and in its opposition to the NRA.

But talk, as they say, is cheap.

When you get past the media filter and see the sorts of choices Americans are making on their own, it becomes pretty clear they’re just not buying what the gun control advocates are pushing.

Problematic Women Podcast: The Forgotten Voices of Santa Fe, Texas

On today’s “Problematic Women,” we cover our mini-documentary about the May school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, produced by our very own Kelsey Harkness and Lauren Evans. Unlike the shooting in Parkland, Florida, this community was not given a voice and largely has been forgotten. Two students now bravely tell their story.

We also discuss the recent harassment of Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens and Charlie Kirk in Philadelphia.

Plus: The NFL adds male dancers to a couple of teams, and doctors report a scary new trend in the plastic surgery field—”Snapchat dysmorphia.”

All that and more in this week’s edition of “Problematic Women.”


Portrait of Ginny Montalbano

Ginny Montalbano is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Send an email to Ginny. Twitter: .

Portrait of Kelsey Harkness

Kelsey Harkness is a senior news producer at The Daily Signal and co-host of “Problematic Women,” a podcast and Facebook Live show. Send an email to Kelsey. Twitter: .

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

Guns of The American People

One of the greatest symbols of freedom is the armed American citizen…..that is also what keeps the left from forcing a totalitarian system on us all.

I say keep fighting the good fight!

Florida’s GOP Senators Who Voted for Gun Control Face Major Backlash

This tar and feather symbolism in article below, is just another flashy “shiny object” action that does little to nothing to solve the problem. If anything, it will just help to elect Democrats to their seats especially if they have no Republicans running against them in Primaries – prime example State Sen Kelli Stargel who voted for this terrible law, has no Republican opponent but does have a rabid leftist in former Judge Doyel running against her.

What I have heard is that NRA dropped their lawsuit which didn’t contain anything about the gun seizure parts anyway.

To my knowledge neither the NRA or any of the other Florida gun advocacy groups have written or said anything about dangers of the ex parte, Risk Protection Order gun seizure parts of the law nor the use of a special social media site to send anonymous tips about possible threats nor the new threat monitoring bureaucracies created at both state & school district levels – why ?

We do know that 450 people in Broward and Pinellas counties have already had their firearms seized and that Pinellas county has even organized a gun seizing Task Force.

This more government gun control is the much bigger threat to all gun owners than just 21 year olds not being able to buy long guns and banning bump stocks. Yet what we have on it are chirping crickets?

Is anyone with any power to influence changes actually chasing this issue other than what we have heard from Jeff Mann running for Dist 56 FL House that he is writing proposed legislation to change the Marjory Stoneman School Safety (gun control) law?

I have also heard that the Senate Judiciary Committee will kill any attempts to change this Bad Law, e.g. not let proposals get to the Senate floor for discussion. Putting RINOs on this crucial committee like S. Florida RINO Flores is why we don’t have campus or airport (non-secure areas) carry.

Marian Hammer saying NRA doesn’t reveal their strategy is no help in terms of reducing the concern of gun owners – she could have least have said something like – We understand the concerns about gun seizures and we are working on fixes to reduce those concerns or some such.

The only good part about this terrible Law is Sherriff Judd’s Guardian Program and even it has been watered down by an option where School Supers & Sheriff’s must agree on either armed security guards for those schools without SROs or using trained, armed school employees to augment SROs or to protect those schools without SROS.

In case of Polk County for example, our liberal School Super Byrd didn’t want armed school employees recommended by Sherriff Judd and went with the minimum option of training security guards for elementary schools (since our middle & HSs all have 1 SRO). This is better than no armed good guys on campuses but more trained, good guys with guns on campuses would be better able to get to any bad guy/active shooter(s) and shoot them “graveyard dead”. More is better….should be the decision criteria here.

Less is better should be the decision criteria on bureaucratic govt. gun control & gun seizures in violation of our 2d, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendment rights.

Florida GOP senators face backlash after gun control vote …


Shortly after Florida senators narrowly passed a bill that raised the age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 and imposed a minimum three-day waiting period on gun purchases, several Republican members received a gift hand delivered to their offices: a jar of tar and feathers.

VIDEO: The Media Thinks You’re Stupid

“Leading the pack of unhinged self-obsessed camera hogs is CNN’s Jim Acosta, who let’s not forget made clear in an interview that the big problem with ‘Trump vs. the press’ is that the American people are too stupid to know the press is right.” —Dana Loesch

In Targeting NRA, Andrew Cuomo Focuses on Political Nemesis, Not Public Safety

New York’s governor has made it clear that he’s on a witch hunt to put a private organization out of business.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has been in a protracted battle with the National Rifle Association. Now he’s using a state agency to hound the pro-Second Amendment organization with costly regulatory threats, as well as to convince financial institutions not to do business with the NRA.

The NRA filed a lawsuit against Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services, saying, according to NPR, that the state officials are trying to “deprive the NRA and its constituents of their First Amendment rights to speak freely about gun-related issues and defend the Second Amendment.”

The financial services agency specifically targeted an NRA insurance program. Called Carry Guard, it was created to help gun owners and concealed-carry permit holders pay legal bills if they use their firearms in self-defense.

In a letter Monday, Cuomo wrote:

We discovered that the NRA was marketing insurance products for gun owners that violated numerous state laws. Insurers such as Chubb Ltd. and a broker Lockton Affinity LLC were providing illegal insurance coverage to gun owners for intentional criminal conduct resulting in bodily harm through the NRA’s Carry Guard program.

“From the outset, it was clear that the investigation was meant to advance Cuomo’s political agenda by stifling the NRA’s speech and retaliating against the NRA based on its viewpoint on gun control issues,” the NRA said in a complaint, according to The New York Times.

“If I could have put the NRA out of business, I would have done it 20 years ago,” Cuomo responded in a statement Friday.

Cuomo urged other states to follow New York’s example.

The fact is that some of the attacks on the gun rights organization have been downright hysterical.

The NRA frequently has been called a terrorist organization by many on the left, and has come under attack from celebrities and other politicians.

However, no known NRA members have been accused of committing mass shootings, and most gun owners in general are law-abiding citizens.

A 2016 study by the Crime Prevention Research Center, a nonprofit devoted to conducting research on gun ownership, showed that concealed-carry permit holders are among the Americans least likely to commit a crime.

In fact, according to the study, they are less likely to commit crimes than police officers are.

It is also worth noting that the insurance program in New York state’s crosshairs is for gun owners who use firearms for self-defense, yet the left claims the program is for those who “murder.”

This does in some ways get to the heart of the gun debate.

While Second Amendment advocates see firearm ownership as a critical element of the right of self-defense, the left would rather see every American simply disarmed—whether criminal mass murderers or law-abiding gun owners—in their belief that this somehow would prevent all violence.

The logical end of “commonsense” gun control being mass disarmament, where only the government controls weapons.

It’s better to leave some people defenseless in the hope that bad people won’t be able to commit murders, this line of reasoning goes.

But as we’ve seen time and again, gun laws have failed to stop criminals or mass violence, leading many to believe that in a fallen world the defense against evil is citizens empowered to protect themselves and their neighbors.

As The Heritage Foundation’s Amy Swearer showed by analyzing a single month of statistics on gun use, firearms have been a particularly effective tool for citizens to prevent themselves from becoming victims.

This is why so many Americans support organizations such as the NRA, despite the incessant attacks by Cuomo and others on the left.


Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor and commentary writer for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: .

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo welcomeing state and local officials to the National Comedy Center during an opening ceremony Aug. 1 at the $50 million center in Jamestown, New York. (Photo: Dan Cappellazzo/Polaris /Newscom)

Bank of America blames firearms with ‘military characteristics’ for mass shootings, but report on Parkland massacre shows Cruz asked for but was denied help!

Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman of the Bank of America.

Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman for Bank of America in a letter stated,

We know there is a limited role we [Bank of America] can play as a company to make a direct contribution to reaching a day we all want, when we no longer have to suffer a mass shooting tragedy in our country.

Firearms with military characteristics have been used in many of these tragedies, including at schools in Florida and Connecticut.

We have firearms industry clients who do not manufacture this type of firearm. But we are engaging the limited number of clients who do, to learn their plans to keep this type of firearm from being used in mass shootings. In those discussions, we have indicated it is our intent that we will not finance the manufacture of this type of firearm for non-law enforcement, non-military use. We want to understand what those clients are doing to end mass shootings, and what we can do to help them.

Bank of America and Anne Finucane miss one key factor in mass shootings, the shooters.

If Bank of America truly wants to help prevent mass shootings, then they must take into account the shooter. Issues such as how did the shooter purchase a firearm with military characteristics, was the purchase legal, what was the background of the school shooter, did the shooters family, friends or fellow students know his intent, what did law-enforcement know about the shooter? Lastly, what did the local school district know about the shooter and did the district do its duty to either help or report the shooter to the appropriate authorities.

We now learn that, in the case of Nicholas Cruz, he asked for help and was denied it.

A heavily redacted report  was released on August 3rd, 2018 after Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer ordered Broward County Public Schools to release its report on Nicholas Cruz, the shooter who slaughtered 17 people on February 14th, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

According to The Daily Beast,

In Cruz’s junior year, after he had already begun exhibiting behavior so disturbing it led to guidance counselors wanting to have him committed, the teenager sat down with education specialists to discuss his options for further schooling.

He was told he could transfer to Cross Creek, a school tailored for students with special needs; sue the Broward school district; or stay at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School without any special counseling. According to a review of that meeting featured in the new report, school officials left out one crucial fact: Cruz was still entitled to special assistance at Stoneman Douglas if he chose to stay.

Being unaware of this option, however, Cruz—whose developmental delays were flagged at age 3—was reportedly stripped of counseling services and left to fend for himself as a “regular student.”

Read more.

The Sun-Sentinel noted that the investigation found that the school district “did not follow the requirements of Florida statute or federal laws governing students with disabilities” in two specific instances:

  • School officials misstated [the shooter’s] options when he was faced with being removed from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School his junior year, leading him to refuse special education services.
  • When [the shooter] asked to return to the therapeutic environment of Cross Creek School for special education students, the district “did not follow through,” the report reveals.

What would have happened if the district had told Nicholas Cruz the truth about his options? What would have happened if the Broward County School District followed through on returning Nicholas Cruz to the therapeutic environment of Cross Creek School?

Perhaps Ms Finucane should meet with school districts across America and ask them what are they doing to stop one of their students from becoming the next mass shooter?

Here’s How School Security Should Be Improved in 4 Easy Steps

Since publication of an earlier commentary on four steps to achieving better school security, many organizations have been in contact to offer excellent additional ways to reach this desired end state.

Again, there is no simple solution. We cannot just ban guns, or hand them out willy-nilly, and expect our kids to be safe. America must get beyond the political theater and posturing and do the hard work of making our schools secure places for kids to learn and grow.

What is needed is a true system of overall security.

The American people must determine that schools are a big enough priority to take action. Some groups have done so. Organizations like the FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response) Program founded in Ohio, or the National Rifle Association’s School Shield program, offer training and support relating to physical security and first aid for any school district that wants it.

There are others as well. The University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education has developed an entire construct of steps to add psychological security measures to achieve balance among the students affected. They do this in their online master’s program in school counseling.

The experts at Defend Systems in Nashville called for a much-increased emphasis in emergency first aid, particularly for trauma wounds. They were spot-on, and this is a great additional call. Defend Systems provides local schools with that critical skill set.

There are still four steps that must be taken to increase security in our schools and decrease the likelihood of a shooting and the number of children who will be harmed. Those steps are really four interconnected pillars: pre-emptive response, access control, hardening classrooms, and on-site incident response.

1. Responding Pre-emptively

In order to pre-emptively stop school violence, it is vital to establish an environment that provides solid psychological security. A promising track is to develop relevant and up-to-date forms and modes of psychological first aid.

Psychological first aid should be a national strategy used as a preventative measure for dealing with more serious psychological trauma. Currently, the development of psychological first aid can be highly effective in smaller sample populations such as schools, a workplace, or a religious or social association, and can be put into practice in everyday life.

As it pertains to schools, and school-age kids, the initial action is to involve the students. Using them as an informational resource can make all subsequent actions more effective. Survey their experiences and then use the information openly (but anonymously) so they can see the follow-through.

Additionally, put students in as many leadership positions in the process as possible. This grows them, and will provide a wealth of insights that the adults might have missed.

All of this will build trust and inclusion that will empower the other pre-emptive actions. The students will be your best source of information. This generation of young people lives in near-constant communication, but it is not always transparent to the staff and faculty. Given that there were warning signs before almost all of the recent school shootings (many of which were stopped), making the students a part of this process is a key.

That said, these warning signs must provoke immediate action. The majority of the shooters have had some mental health or social interaction issues, and people noticed. The Parkland shooter was flagged multiple times, yet no one took action.

This was egregious, but not that abnormal. Police and school officials have to respond to red flags on social media or in overheard conversations. This response must be immediate and highly public. That way, we can stop what we know about, and deter what we don’t.

Teachers must follow due process, but fear of overstepping one’s bounds must not be allowed to obstruct intervention. Worries about giving a student a “black mark” must be swept aside. Troubled individuals—and all those around them—are much better served by stopping them from doing something potentially drastic and deadly. Action must be taken before shots are fired, if at all possible.

2. Control Access to the School

The second pillar is firmly controlling access to school facilities. If a person does not belong in the school, or is attempting to bring in prohibited items such as weapons, they must be denied access. Schools must have limited points of entry (one or at most two), each of which should be monitored and controlled by personnel that can turn people away when needed.

School personnel and students must not be able to “cheat” by opening doors for friends or for parents. Worse yet is opening doors for a stranger, just to be “nice.” Convenience must not be a factor. If a shooter is blocked from entering a school, they are unlikely to do much harm, or at least a lot less.

Controlling access to a school is particularly critical at the beginning and end of the day, but also applies during the remainder of the day. The question, “How did the shooter get in?” is always a pivotal one.

How people enter the building and who monitors the access process are a key set of decisions. They must be tailored to each specific school. Too much security, or too heavy-handed a footprint can add psychological insecurity to the student body, which can do harm even if a shooting never takes place.

A balance must be found and maintained. This decision cannot be driven from outside the school. It must be seen as part of the school’s central “culture.” If students see it that way—which will require research, education as to the reasoning, and a deft touch with both students and parents—they will be far more likely to buy into the practice.

3. Hardening the Classroom

Next, we must do a better job of securing (or hardening) classrooms as potential targets inside the school. Classrooms are often chosen to shelter-in-place, particularly for the youngest kids who are very difficult to move quickly.

All classroom doors have windows to allow observation (and protection for the children), but in an active shooter situation, this becomes a liability. There needs to be a low-cost, fast way of blocking the outside view through the window. Likewise, the doors must be lockable from the inside by the door’s organic lock, and with some sort of very simple, quickly applied additional blocking mechanism.

Within the classroom, teachers must be able to provide their students both cover (protection from gunfire) and concealment (a place to hide). The courageous teacher who hid her young pupils in storage cabinets and then faced the gunman in Sandyhook gave her life, but her quick thinking saved the children.

There are now bulletproof sanctuaries that can be put inside classrooms and can double as “story corners.” While these may be beyond the budgets of most schools, it’s a good model to provoke the imagination. We must devise the best cover and concealment we can find.

As a last resort, teachers and older kids should also make a determination as to how they might actually fight an attacker with improvised weapons available in the class.

The best mode of attack must be specified for each individual classroom, grade level, and teacher. Teachers should first be briefed or taught by an expert what is expected of them. Then, the teachers should devise a specific plan of action for their own classroom. This should be reviewed and, if need be, adjusted so that it provides the maximum protection and the minimum of psychological insecurity.

Once the plan is approved and set, it should be “published” in writing so it is not just in the teacher’s head. (Any substitute teacher should be required to review these plans.)

Lastly, drills should be conducted, first with the teacher alone, then with adults role-playing as the kids, and finally with the actual students. Older kids (high schoolers) can be told what the drills are really for, though teachers should characterize them for younger students as something like “stranger” drills, to avoid any unneeded worry.

4. On-Site Incident Response

That leads to pillar No. 4: Schools must have an on-site response capability that can confront and stop an active shooter.

Law enforcement will do their best to respond in a timely manner, but they will quite often fail. Most active shooter scenarios are done within 3-6 minutes. Few, if any, police or sheriff departments can promise to respond that quickly, especially in non-urban areas. How schools achieve this capability is again a delicate decision.

Every school district or individual school should come to this decision themselves. A highly centralized “solution” is not recommended. The “how” of achieving an adequate on-site response must once again factor in the school culture. This is clearly the most contentious aspect of school security.

There are four main options. (1) A school can have dedicated police assets on campus; (2) they can hire private security personnel; (3) they can seek volunteer security personnel from the community (such as veterans or retired law enforcement); or (4) they can have armed staff and/or faculty.

There are numerous options for schools to attain this on-site capability, and communities must choose what they can support, both budget-wise and within their collective moral structures. Remember: Too much security can be almost as big a problem as too little, so the right solution for each school is critical.

This is about more than just handing out pistols or asking those with concealed carry permits to bring their weapons to work. This will involve protocols for the storage of weapons, psych evaluations for those who volunteer, and extensive training regimens. The training must include negotiation and de-escalation skills, non-lethal control techniques, team response drills, firearms training, and extensive trauma-level first aid.

This all bears emphasis: You must have the correct people as well as the correct training. The firearms training in particular must entail far more than shooting a few dozen rounds at a local range. Shooting in close proximity to non-hostile personnel is the most difficult gun skill to learn—it must be trained and drilled until it is engrained, and only attempted in the correct situations. This is particularly essential if we are going to depend on a volunteer- or staff-based response capability.

The fact that certain individuals will actively deter and respond to threats need not lead to culture of fear among the student body. Local schools and communities will be able to develop their own psychosocial infrastructure that is compatible with each individual’s preferred form of security.

Some students are more attracted to a physical procedure, and therefore will be more likely to respond appropriately based on their training. Likewise, those who are attracted to a psychological facilitation can respond positively and rebound more quickly from the trauma of an attack event.

Both deterring and facilitating through adequately trained response are necessary to maintain psychological strength and resilience. This is needed both in the event and immediately afterward.

One final note of action. No matter how one of these situations plays out, the school and community will be severely traumatized. If a solid base of psychological security has been laid beforehand, along with the physical security measures, the school and student body have the best chance of weathering the tragedy with the least damage.

Strong follow-up support must begin as soon as the site is secured, and it must continue until every need is met. If the kids know the counseling department well from pre-existing relationships, this can go relatively quickly. Bringing in strangers may be needed, but it not optimal. School districts are better served if the counseling department is well and professionally staffed long before any event occurs.

These four steps (and the follow-up) will not guarantee 100 percent safety in our schools, but they will materially increase that security through deterrence, strong defense measures, and adeptness in ending the killing as quickly as possible, and returning to normality as swiftly as possible.

These are not pie-in-the-sky ideas. They are already being applied in hundreds of schools across America. It is time to apply them in all our schools.


Portrait of Steven Bucci

Steven P. Bucci, who served America for three decades as an Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official, is a visiting research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Read his research. Twitter: .

Peter S. Bucci is a licensed psychological counselor in Georgia and Michigan with certifications in substance abuse, adolescent treatment, supervision, and trauma-specific training from EMDR International Association. He currently works with adults from high-risk environments.


Muslim Siraj Ibn Wahhaj Was Training Abused Kids at New Mexico Shelter to Commit Mass Shootings at Schools

Parkland Shooter Asked For Help Before Massacre, Was Denied

Beyond Gun Violence Prevention: Student Safety in Today’s Schools

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a Wellsville, New York, a teacher helping a student. (Photo: B.Fanton Universal Images Group/Newscom)

VIDEO: Dana Loesch Defends Hunting From Anti-NRA Progressives

“The only people that I actually see using hunting as an excuse to pollute American politics with a toxic agenda are writers like Wes Siler, because he’s actually doing that right here. He’s doing exactly what he’s accusing the NRA of by leveraging hunting as a way to push anti-NRA progressivism.” —Dana Loesch

Ninth Circuit Stunner: Second Amendment Protects Public Open Carry!

Gun control advocates undoubtedly awoke with a piercing headache Wednesday morning as the news sunk in that the U.S. appellate court for America’s largest circuit has recognized that the Second Amendment protects a right to openly carry loaded firearms in public for self-defense. The ruling came Tuesday in the case of Young v. State of Hawaii.

George Young is a veteran infantryman, law enforcement officer, and Hawaii native who was turned down for both concealed and open carry licenses in Hawaii County, at which point he filed his own federal lawsuit challenging the county’s administration of the state’s licensing laws for firearms carry. Young’s primary claim was that the county’s denial of his applications violated his Second Amendment right to carry a loaded firearm in public for self-defense. The trial court initially dismissed his complaint, ruling that the Second Amendment “establishes only a narrow individual right to keep an operable handgun at home for self-defense,” and does not implicate the public carrying of firearms at all.

Young appealed with the help of California attorney Alan Beck, who took on his case for free. The case was heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a longstanding battlefield for attempts to vindicate the right to “bear” arms under the Second Amendment, with the challenges primarily arising from California’s notoriously strict gun control laws.

Most recently, an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit had dodged the question of whether various California counties could effectively limit carrying in public for self-defense to those who could show an extraordinary “need” to do so. By the time that case was heard, California had banned the open carrying of firearms in public for self-defense outright, but concealed carry licenses for this purpose remained theoretically available.

Nevertheless, California counties have considerable discretion in implementing the state licensing laws, and some local licensing officials require applicants to show an extraordinary need for self-protection that distinguishes them from the general population. This requirement by design eliminates the vast majority of otherwise qualified applicants.

Yet rather than answer the essential question of whether the Second Amendment protects a right of public carry, the en banc Ninth Circuit simply decreed that concealed carry was not protected and that the plaintiffs therefore could not make a Second Amendment complaint for denial of a license to do so. The upshot is that California residents in the affected counties have no legal option for exercising their right to bear firearms in public.

That case, however, left undecided whether open carry of loaded firearms in public for self-defense might still be protected, and that was the claim that Mr. Young pressed before the appellate court. Two out of three judges answered this question in the affirmative. “The right to bear arms must include, at the least, the right to carry a firearm openly for self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority. The court therefore remanded the case to the lower court for further proceedings, presumably so it could order Hawaii County to reevaluate Mr. Young’s application for an open carry license without regard to local regulations that effectively limit such licenses to carrying for professional purposes.

What this decision means for the other jurisdictions in the Ninth Circuit – which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington State, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands – remains to be seen. The court hinted, but did not decide, that a concealed carry licensing regime might be sufficient to protect the right to bear arms by offering an “alternative channel” for lawful public carry. It also made clear, however, that access to the right cannot be limited to “a small and insulated subset” but must include, as a rule, “the typical, law-abiding citizen.” It additionally went on to clarify that “nothing in our opinion … would prevent the State from regulating the right to bear arms,” provided the regulations did not render the right a mere “illusory promise.”

That obviously leaves many questions left unanswered. The court’s decision therefore should not embolden residents in restrictive jurisdictions to immediately ignore local laws and expect to open carry with impunity. How far states and localities can go in regulating the right will undoubtedly take additional litigation to determine.

Needless to say, moreover, the split panel decision might not represent the final word in the case. It could still be reversed by the en banc court, as was a previous pro-carry panel decision written by Judge O’Scannlain. And, of course, Hawaii officials could also petition to have the case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, the anti-gun wing of the Ninth Circuit has few maneuvers left to continue to deny the constitutional right to bear firearms in public. It would either have to be the first circuit to declare there was no such right at all or decide that a right the Constitution ascribes to “the people” applies only to a hand-selected few. So far, even the dominant liberal contingent of the Ninth Circuit has been unable to muster a majority opinion for either proposition.

Stay tuned. We will monitor developments carefully and report on them as they occur.


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Left-wing radicals want more gun laws. Here’s how to resist

Gun control is the set of laws or policies that regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification or use of firearms by civilians, not the radical left’s definition of gun control.

Gun control only means that one should be in control of their firearm at all times.

How is this accomplished?

Through responsible firearm ownership, which can be broken down into three critical measures.

First, know how to use your firearm.

Second, keep your firearm safe.

Third, promote firearm safety.

These three critical measures that result in responsible firearm ownership are the type of gun control that should be promoted. By practicing responsible firearm ownership, you are controlling your gun.

If you are a law-abiding gun owner, it is your duty to practice responsible firearm ownership. As a gun owner, you have passed numerous requirements to purchase and own a firearm. The more prominent reasons to be denied include a felony conviction, a misdemeanor conviction punishable by more than two years in prison, a domestic violence charge, dishonorable discharge from the military, or being ruled mentally unfit by a judge.

By not falling into these categories it is expected of you by society to practice the three critical measures of responsible firearm ownership previously stated.

Even with the long list of requirements to meet in order to purchase and own a firearm, the left would still like to see its ideas of gun control become law and further restrict law-abiding citizens from owning firearms.

According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, protection tops the list of reasons for owning a firearm. Furthermore, 74 percent of gun owners believe that owning a firearm is tied to their sense of personal freedom.

So why then does the left continue its assault on their second amendment rights, when the primary reason for owning a firearm is for self-defense?

There can be no sound reasoning for implementing stricter gun laws on law-abiding citizens when the data prove that stricter gun control laws do not work. As of June 30, more than 1,700 people have been shot in Chicago.

Yet, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranked Illinois No. 8 in the country for strictest gun control laws — California is ranked No. 1.

California has extreme gun control measures such as a 10-day waiting period on gun purchases, universal background checks, gun registration, gun confiscation laws, an “assault weapons” ban, and a “good cause” requirement for concealed carry.

With all of these restrictions, a troubled person was still able to acquire firearms and kill three people.

Why then does the left continue to push for legislation that will only harm law-abiding citizens?

Remember, always practice responsible firearm ownership. Be in control of your firearm. Know how to use it, keep it safe and promote firearm safety.

If you live by these three critical measures, you will be helping all firearm owners and hurting the Radical Left’s gun control agenda.

RELATED ARTICLE: Stricter Gun Laws Didn’t Stop This Mass Shooting in Canada

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Hill.

Virginia Government Officials Not Happy With First School District to Arm Teachers

A school district voted unanimously to become the first Virginia county to permit armed teachers, but Virginia government officials are not pleased.

The Lee County School Board decided earlier in July to arm teachers in its 11-school, 3,200-student school district, but faces backlash from Virginia’s Department of Education and attorney general, according to The Washington Post Wednesday.


“[There are] one or two people out in the community that are not for it, and I think it’s probably from an anti-gun standpoint, really,” Lee County School Board member Rob Hines said. “But people can have concerns about it. We have concerns about it. We just think that, financially, it’s our best option and we have to do something.”

The board believes 50 out of Lee County’s 700 school employees will be responsible for concealed weapons in September after going through psychological evaluations, background checks, and summer training. Virginia state law forbids the presence of firearms on school property, but the Lee County School Board will attempt to classify the armed employees as “conservators of the peace” to gain exemption.

“We recently found out about this scheme, and we’re looking into it,” Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s spokesman, Michael Kelly, told the Post. “It’s troubling to learn that people are putting so much time and effort into getting around the law and getting more guns into schools when the focus should clearly be on creating a safe, welcoming learning environment.”

Kelly said that Virginia “clearly prohibits guns in schools,” barring a few small exceptions.

“Lee County did not approach the department for guidance or technical assistance before the local school board took this action,” Virginia Department of Education spokesman Charles Pyle said. His department is examining the school district’s decision in light of “relevant statutes.”

Fourteen states have armed teachers and 16 more states give school boards discretion over arming teachers as of March, according to VICE News. Virginia is not listed as one of those states.


Here’s what Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination means for gun rights

President Trump recently selected Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Immediately following this announcement, national pro-gun groups like the National Rifle AssociationGun Owners of America, and the Second Amendment Institute released statements endorsing Trump’s nomination. Kavanaugh brings with him a strong support and respect for the Second Amendment. His judicial history clearly demonstrates that he is a friend to law-abiding gun owners.

Whereas on the other side of the aisle, gun-grabbing groups like Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety opposed Kavanaugh, declaring that his confirmation would bring an end to “civil society” and public safety. Everytown for Gun Safety said in a statement, “Judge Kavanaugh has applied an extreme and dangerous interpretation of the Second Amendment when determining whether a law is constitutional, one that does not take into account a law’s impact on public safety.”

Throughout his judicial career, Kavanaugh has ruled on a number of Second Amendment-related cases during his time on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which included a detailed account agreeing with Heller from D.C. v. Heller. In 2011, when Heller brought another challenge to the city involving the AR-15 ban, Kavanaugh dissented from the majority and agreed with Heller. “In my judgment, both D.C.’s ban on semi-automatic rifles and its gun registration requirement are unconstitutional under Heller.”

When questioned about Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court, Dick Heller, from D.C. v. Hellerreplied, “Brett Kavanaugh is the right man for the job. He’ll bring with him a much needed refresh button to an out-of-date system, with Justices who refuse to uphold the Constitution. Justice Scalia, who wrote the magnificent Heller decision, would be proud.”

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, the Supreme Court will enter a new conservative era. Second Amendment supporters can expect the court hear more pro-Second Amendment cases, which could include striking down may-issue laws, constitutional carry, national reciprocity, and the most controversial of issues, the AR-15 ban.

Some current state laws that must be challenged, include red flag laws (which completely circumvent the Second and Fourth Amendments), raising the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, (which the left-leaning website Vox even admits would “do depressingly little”), and may-issue. In the 2017 case Wrenn v. D.C., the D.C. Court of Appeals struck down Washington D.C.’s unconstitutional “special reason” requirement for a concealed carry permit, thus changing the status of D.C. from may-issue to shall-issue. Meaning that, if a law-abiding citizen successfully completes the required training to obtain a concealed carry license in the District, D.C. shall issue them a license. Whereas before, D.C. could still deny that person.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation would shine a light of freedom in the face of the tyrannical darkness that is sweeping our nation. Dozens of pro-Second Amendment cases could finally be brought before the highest court of the land, and strike down unconstitutional gun control laws. Stricter gun control victimizes law-abiding citizens and empowers criminals. With another pro-Second Amendment conservative on the Supreme Court, law-abiding gun owners can finally take a very overdue deep, relaxing breath.

Gene Truono, candidate for U.S. Senate in Delaware, agrees: “Kavanaugh’s resume and reverence for the Constitution make him a strong choice for the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh’s dissent in the Heller decision paved the way for the Supreme Court to ultimately decide to maintain the individual’s right to bear arms. Therefore, I believe Kavanaugh is a good choice in regard to the Second Amendment, specifically.”


Tyler Yzaguirre (@realtyleryz) is the founder and president of the Second Amendment Institute.


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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by AP/Lily illustration.