13 Times in February Armed Citizens Intervened to Stop Crimes

The fundamental right to keep and bear arms is a vital tool safeguarding individual liberty.


Last month, we documented some extraordinary examples from January of armed citizens relying on their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves and others.

We pointed out that these were average, everyday Americans who were just going about their lives. They did not go looking for evil but were nonetheless prepared to deal with the evil that found them.

February has produced even more evidence that the fundamental right to keep and bear arms is not an anachronism that no longer deserves constitutional protection, but a vital tool safeguarding individual liberty.

Studies routinely indicate that every year, Americans use their firearms in defense of themselves or others between 500,000 and 2 million times. Very few of these defensive gun uses receive national publicity—if they receive publicity at all.

Below, we’ve highlighted just a handful of the many times during the month of February that law-abiding Americans demonstrated the importance of the Second Amendment.

  • Feb. 2: A restaurant owner in Akron, Ohio, scared off a masked man who attempted to rob him with a knife. The man fled, and police believe he successfully robbed a different restaurant just hours later.
  • Feb. 5: A Nashville, Tennessee, woman was attacked from behind by a would-be purse thief, who proceeded to repeatedly slam the woman’s head into a wall when she resisted him. The woman’s husband heard her cries for help and came to her defense, firing his gun at the thief and causing him to flee.
  • Feb. 9: When three armed men attempted to rob a Little Caesars restaurant in North Fort Myers, Florida, a patron inside pulled his own firearm to defend other customers. One suspect was shot and the other two fled.
  • Feb. 12: A homeowner in Jackson County, Georgia, heard someone trying to break into her house through a window. She found a man standing outside and warned him not to come into the house. Nevertheless, the man broke the glass window, so the armed homeowner shot him.
  • Feb. 13: Sullivan County, Tennessee, Sheriff Jeff Cassidy praised the actions of a concealed carry permit holder who ended a deadly domestic violence incident at a dentist’s office. The armed citizen shot and detained an active shooter who killed his wife and may have planned to harm others in the office.
  • Feb. 14: An Evans, Georgia, mother shot and killed her boyfriend after he began violently assaulting the woman’s 15-year-old son during an argument.
  • Feb. 16: Two masked assailants attempted to rob 35-year-old Antonio Santiago in Allentown, Pennsylvania, pepper spraying his face and “pistol whipping” him with a BB gun that appeared to be real. In an act of self-defense, Santiago grabbed his own handgun and fired at his attackers, killing one of them. Two other suspects fled, but were eventually arrested and tied to two other recent crimes in the area.
  • Feb17: An armed good Samaritan in Daytona Beach, Florida, intervened and fired a shot to stop a knife-wielding man, who had already stabbed someone, from stabbing other people outside a convenience store.
  • Feb. 20: A 79-year-old Commerce, Georgia, homeowner called 911 to report a burglary in progress after she heard someone breaking into her home. The burglar ignored her threats and came in through an upstairs window before police could arrive. The homeowner shot at the burglar, who was so scared that he hid in a closet until the police arrived.
  • Feb. 24: Three armed men ambushed a Houston, Texas, couple who were walking out of their apartment complex, forcing them back inside to rob them. The boyfriend retrieved his own firearm from within the apartment and exchanged fire with the three men, injuring one of them.
  • Feb. 26: The Mobile County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office posted a Facebook video showing an armed local homeowner’s recent encounter with two would-be burglars. The burglars attempted to enter the occupied home in broad daylight, and were only deterred when the homeowner fired her handgun at them.
  • Feb. 27: A group of teenage thieves entered a pawn shop in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and tried to flee with two guns they grabbed from behind the counter. Armed store clerks chased the teens and held them at gunpoint until the police could arrive, preventing the future unlawful use of those stolen firearms. Police believe these teens are responsible for other gun thefts and may be able to take other illegally possessed guns off the streets as a result of these clerks’ actions.
  • Feb. 28: Two men helped rescue a woman from a would-be kidnapper in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, after seeing her struggle to escape on the side of the road. After the two men stopped their car, one of them pulled out his handgun, prompting the suspect to flee. He was later apprehended and confessed to kidnapping the woman.

These individuals were all law-abiding citizens whose lives and livelihoods depended upon their ability to exercise their natural right of self-defense. Without a robustly protected right to keep and bear arms, the Americans in the cases above would have been left to the mercy of criminals who don’t much care for the rights of others.

Despite this reality, gun control activists and lawmakers have spent the last month pushing legislation that would severely hamper the ability of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and others.

They have proposed effectively stripping young adults of their Second Amendment rights by raising the legal age for firearm purchases. Apparently, while law-abiding 18- to 20-year-olds are mature enough to vote, serve on juries, and be drafted into the military, they can’t be trusted to legally purchase a handgun with which to defend themselves and their families.

The bill for universal background checks, which recently passed through the House of Representatives, would compound this problem by depriving young adults of the ability to receive firearms via private transfers.

Gun control advocates have introduced bills that would limit magazine capacity for privately-owned firearms and that would prohibit future civilian purchases of semi-automatic rifles that serve as some of the most effective guns for home defense.

The irony is that, while civilians would be stripped of the right to immediately defend their lives and property with these guns, the law enforcement officers who respond—perhaps too late—to calls for help overwhelmingly choose those same firearms precisely because they are the most effective.

All of these proposals would significantly burden the exercise of a constitutional right that, as the data from February shows, is commonly used by average Americans to enforce their inalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.

We don’t make law-abiding citizens safer by disarming them or making them less capable of fighting back against criminals. We only make them easier targets.

COLUMN BY

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission.

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

On Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court created a dangerous new exception to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a strong safeguard for our right to keep and bear arms.

Repealing or judicially nullifying the PLCAA has been a priority for the gun ban lobby ever since the law was enacted in 2005. Thursday’s decision, while not binding beyond Connecticut, provides a possible roadmap for those hoping to circumvent the PLCAA’s protections against frivolous and untested legal claims against the firearm industry.

The case is Soto v. Bushmaster.

The PLCAA was enacted to protect the firearms industry against a highly-orchestrated and coordinated series of lawsuits that sought to either bankrupt the industry or force it to “voluntarily” adopt the sorts of measures gun control activists had unsuccessfully sought to impose by legislation.

While anti-gunners like to portray the PLCAA as providing “extraordinary” or “unparalleled” legal protection to gun makers and sellers, in reality it simply ensures that activist courts cannot create a firearm-specific exemption to well established principles of law. The most important of these is, as the Connecticut Supreme Court put it, “the general rule that an individual cannot be held liable for the conduct of others.”

Gun control activists, however, have long sought to hold firearm manufacturers and sellers accountable for the crimes of third-parties who obtain and illegally use the guns they sell. The theory would be similar to the victim of a drunk driver suing the manufacturer or dealer of the vehicle the driver happened to be operating at time.

This theory is unsurprisingly almost always a legal loser, absent unusual circumstances demonstrating a link between the merchant and the criminal or specific warning signs the merchant was aware of but chose to ignore when selling the gun to the person who later misused it.

Nevertheless, winning the cases was never really the point. The point was instead to get enough litigants in different jurisdictions to gang up on the manufacturers so that they would go out of business or give up defending the lawsuits before the cases ever got before a jury.

The PLCAA put an end to this, while still allowing for liability for those who knowingly engage in bad conduct. For example, it contains exceptions for marketing a defective product, entrusting a firearm or ammunition to someone unfit to have it, or breaking a law “applicable to the sale or marketing of the [firearm or ammunition],” and thereby causing the plaintiff’s injuries.

The plaintiffs in Soto v. Bushmaster are survivors and representatives of those killed in the terrible murders at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. in 2012.

They advanced a variety of legal theories as to why the PLCAA did not apply to their claims.

A trial judge dismissed all of these claims in an October 2016 ruling, which we reported on at the time.

The plaintiffs then appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, which in a closely divided 4 to 3 ruling, found a pathway for the case to proceed.

The high court’s majority opinion focused on the exception for the violation of laws “applicable to the sale or marketing of the [firearm or ammunition]” that result in the plaintiff’s injuries.

In so doing, it had to resolve the question of whether that exception applies only to gun specific laws (like the ones used as examples in the act itself) or whether it could apply to any law that might conceivably be invoked against the manufacture or sale of a firearm or ammunition.

The court chose the broadest reading of that language, finding that it applied to any law used to bring a case against a firearm manufacturer or seller, whether or not that law was enacted with firearms in mind or even whether or not it had previously been used in the context of a firearm related claim.

The law the plaintiffs invoked was the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), which prohibits any person from “engag[ing] in unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.”

The plaintiffs advanced two theories as to how this applied to the defendants’ behavior.

First, they asserted that any sale of an AR-15 to the civilian population was necessarily a fraudulent commercial practice, because (so they claimed) such firearms have no legitimate civilian use.

Never mind the fact that the AR-15 is, by all accounts, the most popular centerfire rifle in America, that it is owned by millions of law-abiding people who use it for every legitimate purpose for which a gun can be used.

It is also notable with respect to this claim that Congress enacted the PLCAA the year after it allowed the Clinton Gun Ban to expire in 2004. Congress was well aware that gun control advocates hate AR-15s and similar guns and want them permanently banned, but it did not exempt them from the PLCAA’s protection. Indeed, an important principle underlying the PLCAA is that the legislatures get to determine how to regulate firearms, not the courts.

The Connecticut Supreme Court, however, did not decide whether the sales and marketing of AR-15s to the general public is inherently fraudulent, finding only that the statute of limitations had expired on that particular claim. But the court at least left the door open for future such claims in other cases.

The second CUTPA theory the plaintiffs advanced was the outrageous accusation that Bushmaster intentionally marketed its version of the AR-15 to school shooters and other violent criminals and that the perpetrator of the Newtown crimes choose to use that gun at least in part because of this.

The supposed evidence the plaintiffs used for this claim was Remington ad copy that used militaristic images and language, appeals to patriotism, references to the gun’s use and proofing in combat.

These are, of course, the same advertising techniques used to sell any number of other lawful products to law-abiding people, from pants, to sunglasses, to boots, to vehicles.  The fact that a customer might appreciate knowing that an item – especially one for use in protecting his or her home and loved ones – performed well under demanding circumstances is hardly proof that it is purposely being marketed to deranged killers.

But that premise was enough for the Connecticut Supreme Court to require the defendants in the case to spend millions of dollars defending themselves from what is certain to be prolonged and costly litigation that publicly portrays the companies and their products in the most negative ways possible.

This was so, even though the majority acknowledged CUTPA had never been used to bring a firearm-related case in Connecticut and indeed had never even been applied to a personal injury case.

And if there was any remaining doubt about where the majority stood on the issue of AR-15s, they also included a totally unnecessary commentary suggesting the limits of the Second Amendment, which wasn’t even raised as an issue in the case. In particular, the court opined, “It is not at all clear … the second amendment’s protections even extend to the types of … rifles at issue in the present case.”

To their credit, three judges dissented from the majority opinion as it applied to the ability to use CUTPA to circumvent the PLCAA, even as they indicated their own disagreement with the choices Congress made with the Act.  “It is not the province of this court, under the guise of statutory interpretation, to legislate a particular policy, even if it were to agree that it is a better policy than the one endorsed by the legislature as reflected in its statutory language,” the Chief Judge wrote in his dissent.

With the viability of the PLCAA now in jeopardy, it is likely the defendants will appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Whether any intervention comes quickly enough to save the gun industry from a renewed campaign of frivolous litigation remains to be seen.

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

VIDEO: Hawaii Signs Resolution To Abolish the Second Amendment

Hawaii may have just eclipsed California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York as the most anti-gun, anti-freedom states in the Union. Abolishing the Second Amendment is about as un-American as you can get.

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“The Protected Class” Are Hypocrites of the Highest Degree

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column with video is republished with permission.

Guess Who Created the term ‘Assault Rifle’ used by Democrats? You guessed it Adolf Hitler!

Whenever you hear the term “assault rifle” used by Democrats you need to understand what this means.

On January 26th, 2017 Liberty Doll published a YouTube video titled “True History of Assault Rifles.” Hat tip to Ron Harvey.

Watch, listen and learn where the term assault rifle came from:

VIDEO: FBI Failed to Complete 276,000 Background Checks in 2018

The disarm America movement wants to expand – not fix – the NICS System. “276,000 times, the government couldn’t do its job efficiently.” —Grant Stinchfield

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Opponents of Campus Carry Are Misguided and Misinformed

Sheriff Tony Mace: More New Mexico Sheriffs Declaring Second Amendment Sanctuaries

Guns Don’t Kill People; People Kill People

Lawmakers in Hawaii Propose Repealing Second Amendment

This is not the first time Democratic senators in Hawaii have called for congressional action on guns and gun violence.

Legislators in Hawaii, which has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the United States, moved this week to bring their concerns about the Second Amendment to the national level.

In Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) No. 42, introduced Tuesday, Democratic lawmakers assert that

in light of the numerous tragic mass shootings at schools, work places, and public events, this body believes that it is necessary to repeal or amend the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

In the resolution, lawmakers urge Congress to

adopt a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution pursuant to article V of the United States Constitution to clarify the constitutional right to bear arms.

The sponsors of the resolution suggest the Framers’ use of the term “well-regulated militia” was “intended only to restrict the United States Congress from legislating away a state’s right to self-defense.”

Hawaii has a history of enacting gun control. In 2016, Hawaii became the first state in the country to add gun owners in the state to the FBI’s centralized database (known as “Rap Back”), which allows federal authorities to notify local law enforcement when a gun owner is arrested. That bill, SB 2954, was co-sponsored by Sen. Roz Baker, who also introduced this week’s resolution.

Resolution co-sponsor Stanley Chang has a similar history of advocating gun control measures, while other legislators who introduced SCR No.42, like Sen. Laura Thielsen and Sen. Karl Rhoads, have likewise supported other anti-Second Amendment policies.

The Democrats’ resolution heavily references the 1939 Supreme Court decision United States v. Miller as a precedent for a “collective rights” interpretation of the Second Amendment. They call on Congress “to consider and discuss whether the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution should be repealed or amended to clarify that the right to bear arms is a collective, rather than individual, constitutional right.”

The Supreme Court settled the issue in 2008 in the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision, a ruling the resolution says “revitalized” the discussion of individual versus collective rights with respect to firearm ownership.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote:

The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

Scalia was joined in that ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito. The individual right interpretation was expanded and made the law of the land in 2010’s McDonald v. Chicago decision.

The difference in Second Amendment interpretations is significant.

As Dahlia Lithwick of Slate has explained, a collective interpretation of the Second Amendment is one generally championed by gun control activists. It holds that the Second Amendment “only protects the states’ authority to maintain formal, organized militias.” As such, the Second Amendment would only apply to federal gun regulations, leaving state and local governments to regulate and prohibit gun ownership as they saw fit.

Hawaii’s attempt to have Congress consider whether the Second Amendment should be “repealed or amended” comes one week after House Democrats passed the first major gun control legislation in years.

Individuals will, of course, decide for themselves whether the Founders intended the Second Amendment to be an individual or a collective right. But their own words can help shed light on the issue.

“No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1776 while drafting the Constitution for Virginia.

This is not the first time Democratic senators in the state of Hawaii have called for congressional action on guns and gun violence, nor is it the first time the state has asserted its right to restrict gun rights. In 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found the state had violated the Second Amendment when law enforcement denied a Vietnam veteran the right to open carry a handgun. Hawaii fought the decision, and the court agreed last month to revisit its ruling, which could ultimately bring the case to the Supreme Court.

The resolution introduced this week now awaits a vote in the state’s legislature.

COLUMN BY

VIDEO: Hickenlooper Is the Poster Child of Failed Gun Control

“Driven by emotion rather than facts, the legislature limited magazines to 15 rounds, increased taxes on firearms purchases, and cemented universal background checks into law. It is interesting to note that firearms deaths haven’t gone down since 2013 like he said they would. In fact, in just a three-year period, firearms deaths jumped by more than 20% and homicides jumped up by 33%. But, he’ll set out on the campaign trail, shouting from the roof tops that the so-called gun safety laws he forced upon Colorado have made the state more dangerous and less free.” —Dana Loesch

Anti-gun Democrats Press for Publicly Funded Gun Control Advocacy

On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations held a hearing supposedly geared toward “Addressing the Public Health Emergency of Gun Violence.”

That hyperbolic title, however, betrayed the real agenda of the event, which was to create the false impression that an unprecedented wave of firearm-related violence urgently demands an infusion of federal research dollars.

In truth, rates of firearm-related violence are relatively stable and near historic lows in the U.S., while tens of millions of dollars are already being poured into firearm-related studies by a variety of funding sources

To understand why taxpayer funded “gun violence research” should concern gun owners, it’s necessary to revisit current law and the history of the issue.

Numerous provisions of federal law prohibit using congressionally appropriated money for lobbying

That makes sense, because Americans expect their tax dollars to fund (or at least hope they will fund) projects and services for the general welfare, not for self-serving ambitions of whoever happens to be in power at a given moment.

One of these provisions specifically bans using appropriations for America’s public health apparatus to lobby for limitations on Second Amendment rights. It states: “None of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or in part, to advocate or promote gun control” (see Title II, SEC. 210 of legislation at this link).

Versions of this limitation have been included in appropriations bills dating back to 1996, when congressional investigations revealed systemic anti-gun bias in certain components of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On March 6, 1996, a number of witnesses testified before a congressional appropriations subcommittee about how government researchers were misusing public funds to pursue a political agenda.

An Atlanta doctor noted that senior CDC staffers had for years been involved in an annual conference for organizations dedicated to using “a public health model to work toward changing society’s attitude toward guns so that it becomes socially unacceptable for private citizens to have handguns.”

Theses annual gatherings allowed the government scientists to coordinate with political activists in the gun control movement on messaging strategies.

The CDC was also funding research to promote this effort that was low-quality and of questionable significance but that was uncritically portrayed by the media as “scientific proof” that firearm ownership is dangerous.

One of the most infamous studies, for example, is still referenced by gun control advocates to this day as supposedly establishing that residents of a home with a firearm in it are more likely to be killed by that firearm than to use it in self-defense. But, as Dr. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center explained at Wednesday’s hearing, 86% of the homicides covered by the study were committed by means other than the residents’ own firearms. And, he said, researchers undercounted defensive firearm use by ignoring cases in which the assailant was not actually killed with the firearm.

The overarching goal of the CDC’s efforts in the 1990s was not the earnest quest for knowledge but helping to defraud the public into believing the gun control agenda had the imprimatur and mandate of “government scientists” whose only concern was “public health.”

Congress responded to this misuse of taxpayer dollars by enacting a specific prohibition against using funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services to “advocate or promote gun control.”

That provision, which is merely a more specific statement of the general rule against using appropriated funds for lobbying, has often been falsely portrayed by the mediaacademia, and gun control advocates as a federal ban on gun violence research.

It is true that researchers whose only interest is in pushing a predetermined agenda of gun control certainly have had a lower expectation of federal funding since this provision has been in effect. But as Dr. Lott testified to the panel, the overall volume of research into firearm-related violence actually increased in the years following the appropriations rider limiting gun control advocacy.

Moreover, pursuant to Obama-era executive actions, federal funding for research into firearm-related crime has recently been robust, with Dr. Lott testifying that over $42 million in grants were awarded for these types of projects from 2015 to 2018.

Meanwhile, generating “science” to justify gun laws continues to be a profitable industry apart from federal funding. Several state and private universities have their own well-funded efforts, and anti-gun states are increasingly using public funding for this purpose as well.

To be clear, the NRA is not opposed to using legitimate research methods for serious study into the dynamics of violent crime, including firearm-related crime.

Unfortunately, as with media reporting on firearm-related issues, there is little reason to believe that competence, professionalism, and the detached, rigorous search for knowledge are the primary drivers of these efforts.

In the end, you get what you pay for, and gun control advocates obviously see the veneer of scientific inquiry – especially when it emanates from the federal government – as providing a solid return on anti-gun propaganda investments.

GUNS SAVE LIVES: Three Women Who Used Their Concealed Carry To Protect Themselves

The world today can be a dangerous place, especially for women. Every day we see stories on the news of women being accosted, threatened, assaulted and even murdered in America.

But many courageous women have decided to protect themselves and their families by arming themselves with a concealed carry for self-defense. These women learned about self-defense and gun safety during the training they received when applying for the permit.

Concealed handguns deter crime, according to the analysis of FBI crime data. Criminals are less likely to attack someone they believe to be armed. Detroit Police Chief Larry Craig agrees, stating that permitted concealed weapons are “a deterrent” to potential criminals.

Below, you will find three stories of heroines who chose to protect themselves and their families by using concealed carry to survive terrifying ordeals of physical threats, attempted abduction and murder and carjacking.

HER FAMILY WAS THREATENED IN A PARKING GARAGE

A story posted on the website forum The Well Armed Woman tells the tale of a seemingly ordinary day when a woman went on an outing with her mother. As they were in the parking garage putting bags in the woman’s truck, a 200-pound man approached their vehicle and began yelling obscenities at the women and threatening them.

At first, the woman decided to ignore the man, thinking he was mentally unstable and would leave on his own, and asked her mother to walk ahead and exit the garage.

However, instead of losing interest and leaving, the man began closing in on the woman as she stood near her car. She realized she wouldn’t have the option to call for help before the man reached her and that’s when she knew she was in trouble and would need to use her full-sized Springfield Armory XD .40–what she considered the best self-defense caliber–to show the hostile aggressor that she was prepared to defend herself and her family.

After doing a quick scan of the garage for safety, she reached into her purse and showed the approaching man her firearm still in its holster and warned him loudly to leave her alone. At first, the man was stunned and angry, but after realizing he didn’t have the power to attack the woman, he got into his car and left the scene.

Thanks to concealed carry for women, the potential victim and her mom escaped a dangerous situation, without firing a shot.

WOMAN SAVES HERSELF FROM MURDERER WITH CONCEALED CARRY (THEWELLARMEDWOMAN.COM)

A woman was walking to work early one morning when a man stopped her in the middle of the deserted street and pulled a knife, demanding she come with him immediately.

Terrified and overwhelmed at the prospect of being abducted by a stranger, she instinctively pulled her concealed carry weapon from the holster and told the man she wasn’t going anywhere.

The man was so intimidated by her actions that he wet himself before running away. The woman reached her office safely, but she never shared her story.

It would be a great tale if the story ended there but, unfortunately, there is a tragic twist. A few months later, the woman was watching the nightly news and saw the man again. The former convict had been arrested for the kidnap, rape and murder of another young woman he had abducted on her way to work early in the morning a few weeks after her attack.

Without using her concealed carry to protect herself, the woman may have been another victim of this convicted killer, but she was able to defend herself and escape.

A decade later, the woman founded a local chapter of a national women’s shooting organization, became a firearms instructor and participates in competitive shooting.

CARJACKED AND KIDNAPPED: ONE WOMAN’S STORY OF CONCEALED CARRY

Illinois became the last state to enact the conceal carry legislation and, fortunately for the victim in this story, it did so.

A petite young woman in Illinois was enjoying a typical day at the mall and left to get into her car in the well-lit parking lot. While she was getting her keys out, a large, aggressive man with a knife approached her and forced himself into her car with her.

The man slashed her arm with his knife. She was scared and overwhelmed–even more so when the man demanded that she begin driving him toward a rural destination.

However, the woman was not powerless. In fact, despite being short, she had the best handgun for small hands located in her purse. She just needed to get access to it.

She waited until the man was distracted and then reached down and grabbed her weapon and pointed it at her abductor. The man was so surprised that he immediately jumped out of the car and ran off.

The woman was treated at the hospital for minor injuries as a result of the initial knife wound.

Because she was prepared and trained with her concealed carry, she escaped a terrifying ordeal.

The man was later apprehended and charged with her abduction.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Women who carry a concealed handgun are more aware of their surroundings, self-confident, empowered and have the means to defend themselves in life-threatening situations.

Contact your local range if you have never handled a gun or don’t feel confident using a firearm. Ranges offer beginner classes which are a great first step for women looking to carry a concealed firearm.

Wayne LaPierre: CPAC 2019

NRA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

TRANSCRIPT

Good morning special guests and CPAC attendees and all Americans who share in the hope and promise of our great nation, which we celebrate here today.

As CEO and Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association,I have the privilege of directing one of the oldest and most successful advocacy groups in the world. At the NRA, we are dedicated to protecting your constitutional rights, promoting our most cherished values and carrying the torch for the freedoms that define the greatness of America.

The NRA has grown to almost five-and-a-half million members—the most in our history. And we represent the interests of an estimated 100 million gun owners.

Our members come from every walk of life. They represent people of every race, religion, gender, profession and political persuasion. And that diversity gives rise today to our plans for the future growth of the Association and inspires us to embrace a more inclusive vision of ourselves. The NRA is 148 years old. An advocacy group built upon the strongest of foundations, the principles of our Founding Fathers.

Our nation was founded by people in pursuit of liberty. That’s why the Declaration of Independence is the first document of the U.S. legal code. In their great wisdom, the fathers of this nation saw the need to protect our God-given liberties—fundamental freedoms—from being trampled by despots, dictators and demagogues, and from intrusion by the government they founded.

And so, they left us with a list of our most cherished freedoms—the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to our Constitution. And in our First and Second Amendments, our founders gave us two freedoms that historically belonged ONLY to the upper class. They gave us the freedom to speak freely, boldly and honestly. And they gave us the freedom to bear arms in defense of ourselves, our families and our nation.

When I started at the NRA more than 40 years ago, we certainly faced opposition. To be sure, we engaged in full contact advocacy with those who challenged our point of view and we debated issues of importance to our nation with all of our might.

As opponents in debates over important issues, the NRA often shared a seat at the table with those who opposed our values—even with those opposed to the Second Amendment freedoms for which we stand. The debates were tough. They were spirited. And they were defined by committed and unwavering voices.

Political differences aside, there was recognition that the NRA and advocacy groups of every kind are entitled to their voice in the discussion on matters that speak to our safety, security and ideals.

Boy, what a difference a couple of decades make! Today, we at the NRA awaken each morning to new challenges, to threats against our organization heated and vile, political rhetoric and new forms of opposition that violate the spirit and letter of the very freedoms our republic was founded to protect.

Today, many of our adversaries seek to challenge not only our opinions, but our very right to express them. Rather than compete in the marketplace of ideas, they want to rig the competition or foreclose it altogether.

Let me share an example. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hates the NRA. He hates the freedoms for which we stand. And he’s not shy about saying so. If you agree with our positions, the governor of New York says you have “no place”—that’s a direct quote—”no place” in his state. No matter how much he’d like to, New York’s governor can’t just expel gun owners from the state. He can’t just ban the NRA. That would overtly violate the Constitution.

So instead, Governor Cuomo decided to covertly violate the Constitution by using his power over Wall Street to starve the NRA of funds. At the governor’s direction, New York’s banking regulator sent letters to the CEOs of every bank and every insurance company doing business in the state.

The letters urged those institutions to blacklist Second Amendment groups, especially the NRA. To deny us bank accounts. To block NRA members from purchasing affinity insurance, including health insurance for their families.

To prevent us from purchasing ads on the airwaves. To suffocate Second Amendment speech by choking off the funds that make speech possible. That’s Governor Cuomo’s goal.

To achieve it, the governor didn’t just threaten companies, he acted. New York started to punish companies that did business with the NRA. The state imposed multi-million-dollar penalties and forced several of our business partners to abandon us. Let me say that again. The state imposed multi-million-dollar penalties and forced several of our business partners to abandon us.

Just imagine the national outcry if the governor of a red state did the same thing to Planned Parenthood, PETA or the Sierra Club. If a Republican governor forced businesses to blacklist those groups based on the viewpoint of their speech, the media would be going nuts. Fleets of constitutional scholars would descend from every political persuasion. Every prestige newspaper would proclaim a grave threat to the First Amendment. And you know what? They’d be right.

Governor Cuomo would be wrong to try to censor Planned Parenthood, just like he’s wrong to censor the NRA. It’s morally wrong. It’s legally wrong. And that type of coercion and oppression of free speech is downright anti-American.

As Governor Cuomo would soon discover, attempting to silence the voices of our five-and-a-half million NRA members won’t be tolerated. In New York, the NRA did what patriots have always done in the face of tyranny. We fought back.

We took the governor to federal court under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. And in a great victory for principle over partisanship, the American Civil Liberties Union joined our cause. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the NRA and I’m incredibly proud to have them as a partner in this fight.

The court has already upheld the NRA’s freedom-of-speech claims against Governor Cuomo. And let me tell you, I can’t wait for our organization to get them in front of a jury. I believe that Americans still keep faith with the Constitution, even when politicians don’t.

Against the backdrop of all this, the governor and his henchmen appear to have gone even a step further. New York’s new attorney general—the chosen candidate of Governor Cuomo—vowed to attack the NRA as a pillar of her campaign platform.

Even before day one in office and without a shred of evidence that we’ve done anything wrong, the attorney general publicly labeled the NRA a “criminal enterprise” like MS-13 or the mafia. She promised a fishing expedition into the NRA’s files, at taxpayer expense, to see if she could find any crimes to substantiate her slander.

In other words, she promised to fulfill a vision quest that is little more than a rank political vendetta. Contriving a criminal investigation to target a political opponent is the act of a third-world petty tyrant, not a distinguished public servant. And the America I know doesn’t tolerate such an abuse of power.

Here’s what’s going on. In real time, before your very eyes, we are fighting perhaps the most important piece of First Amendment constitutional advocacy in the history of our country. This case will decide whether or not government can be weaponized against you if your opinion differs from theirs.

True to this independent spirit, Americans have begun to notice Governor Cuomo’s attack on the First Amendment. And they don’t like what they see.

A Wall Street Journal columnist observes that the NRA getting its day in court is “welcome news for those helping to restrain the power of government.” He commented that, “there is enormous interest for all Americans in making sure that a politician like Mr. Cuomo … cannot abuse his authority to silence law-abiding citizens with whom he disagrees.”

Closer to home for the governor, a columnist from the state capital of Albany wrote that the governor “has essentially weaponized the state’s regulatory authorities” to go after the NRA, calling his conduct “tyrannical.” And political voices from the “right” and the “left?” From the National Review all the all the way to the New Republic have defended NRA’s free speech rights.

It is no surprise that the message from the courtroom is echoed in the court of public opinion. Our case is being discussed in law schools right now—it’s that critical to our fundamental right to speak.

Let me say it again. In our First and Second Amendments, our Founders gave us two freedoms that historically belonged only to the upper class. They gave us the freedom to speak freely, boldly and honestly. And they gave us the freedom to bear arms in defense of ourselves, our families and our liberty.

These rights are the cornerstone of our foundation as a free society. From the start, they made Americans different from the serfs and subjects of the old world. And centuries later, these rights continue to make America not just different, but better, than other countries.

For the NRA, freedom of speech is as essential as any other liberty.

Because you can’t advocate effectively for our Second Amendment freedoms without the right to speak out against its enemies. No public official can weaponize the power of government to attack organizations simply because they have a different political point of view. Many believe that Barry Goldwater got it right when he said that extremism in the defense of liberty is no VICE.

But what we’re seeing today is extremism that’s hostile to liberty.

These extremists want to revoke your freedom of speech, your freedom of assembly and your freedom of association if you hold views the elites don’t like.

And leftist pundits aren’t the only ones who feel this way. The oligarchs of Silicon Valley want progressive speech amplified and conservative speech suppressed.

A whistleblower at Google leaked a PowerPoint presentation last year titled, “The Good Censor.” The document claims that Google—which is one of the world’s most powerful monopolies—has “shifted away” from the “American
tradition” of free speech.

It says Google shifted toward the quote “European tradition” of censorship. And wouldn’t you know it, in the European tradition, Google began to censor firearms instructional videos this year.

Just like the Second Amendment, the First Amendment must be defended absolutely, against all incursions, without compromise.

And just like the Second Amendment, we should aim to exercise our First Amendment rights responsibly. Not by censoring others, but by lifting up our own voices. By speaking out with dignity, purpose and courage in a way that honors the founders’ gift to us. More, better speech—that’s the way to fix America.

George Washington said, “If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led like sheep to the slaughter.” My friends, rest assured, the NRA will never let that happen.

There is a great saying: adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.

I can tell you that in times like this, the character and identity of the NRA will reveal itself in the most visible of ways. We will fight back against anyone who attempts to silence us. Understand this, we will advocate, as loudly and boldly as ever, for our First and Second Amendment freedoms.

My call today is for each one of us to embrace and respect the constitutional freedoms that are afforded to all of us. This is our moment of truth. To our members, I thank you for standing with us and holding tightly to the freedoms for which we stand. To those of you just learning of our cause, I invite you to become part of the future of the NRA, inspired by the constant belief in the spirit of America.

Come join the NRA—the unabashed, unapologetic fighter for the freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation on earth. America, the home of the free and the land of the brave.

God Bless all of you and God bless the United States of America.

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column with video and images is republished with permission.

VIDEO: The Disarm America Movement Is Gunning To Make America Weak Again

“Over the last two years, we cured the ills they brought to our country. Let’s stand together, so the new leaders of the House of Representatives, don’t make America weak again.” — Oliver North, NRA President

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column with video and images is republished with permission.

H.R. 8 Votes Reveal Dem House Leadership Values Illegal Aliens over Law-abiding Gun Owners

The Nancy Pelosi-led House of Representatives passed gun control measures H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 largely along party lines this week. However, a surprise procedural move by a Republican prior to the passage of H.R. 8 underscored the deep divisions in the Democratic Party along with the depth of the leadership’s deep disdain for gun owners. Moreover, the procedural wrangling around the bill further revealed that gun control efforts are not about confronting criminal conduct involving firearms, but rather about burdening gun owners.

In passing H.R. 8, the House voted to burden law-abiding gun owners by criminalizing the private transfer of firearms, even for temporary transfers and those among friends and extended family. The legislation targets the conduct of law-abiding gun owners, as Department of Justice polling of state and federal inmates shows that a plurality of criminals get their guns from the black market (not including private sales or gun shows).

Just prior to the vote on H.R. 8, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) made a motion to recommit the legislation to amend it to include a provision that would require the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if an illegal alien attempts to purchase a firearm. Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5), it is already a felony for an illegal alien to possess or receive a firearm.

The vote and surrounding furor is instructive in understanding the legislative and political priorities of the Democratic House leadership.

This amendment was aimed at alerting law enforcement to felony conduct among a group championed by Democratic leadership rather than imposing new burdens on law-abiding gun owners, and as such Democratic House leadership vigorously opposed it. Attuned to the terrible optics of voting to attack law-abiding gun owners under the guise of controlling crime while simultaneously appearing to condone obvious felonious conduct brought to the direct attention of the federal government, 26 Democrats defied their leadership and voted in favor of the amendment. The amendment passed 220-209 and subsequently H.R. 8 passed 240-190.

According to reports, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was upset after the successful Republican procedure, targeting Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) with her ire. A reporter for The Hill described the scene, writing,

Wednesday’s drama played out as allied gun control activists from Moms Demand Action and the Brady Campaign sat above in the visitors’ galleries to watch the vote on one of their top priorities…

Pelosi approached Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) with the suggestion that the loss of 26 Democrats on what is typically an easy party-line vote was his responsibility. The confrontation, which took place before a group of members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), angered members of the group, of which Clyburn is a long-standing part.

A Washington Post reporter described Pelosi as “clearly frustrated” after failing to stop the ICE amendment. The paper also described the aftermath of the surprise vote by noting,

finger-pointing began almost immediately in a lengthy floor conference that included the top three Democratic leaders: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) and Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (S.C.).

Self-described Democratic Socialist and staunch enemy of ICE Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) offered the most outspoken criticism of her Democratic colleagues that voted for the ICE amendment. In a Washington Post article titled, “House Democrats explode in recriminations as liberals lash out at moderates,” Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent was quoted as saying that the freshman congresswoman told her colleagues that those that voted for the amendment “are putting themselves on a list.” Despite claiming that the ICE amendment gave her pause, in the end Ocasio-Cortez’s eagerness to attack gun owners overcame her advocacy for illegal aliens, as she voted to pass the amended H.R. 8.

The message sent by the combination of votes on H.R. 8., and segments of the Democratic caucus’s reaction to them, is clear. Democratic House Leadership believes it is more important to protect illegal aliens from the potential consequences of their felonious conduct than to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column with images is republished with permission.

The Protected Class of Celebrities and Politicians Want You Disarmed and Vulnerable

“In the eyes of America’s socialist leaders they, and they alone, are the protected class. It’s why Nancy Pelosi can in the morning, say that a border wall is immoral and tell law-abiding Americans that you shouldn’t own guns. And then at night, sleep soundly in a home protected by walls and, of course, secret service agents with guns. Because for Nancy Pelosi, she is the protected class. And we are not.” —Grant Stinchfield

Reject Socialist Disarmament. Join the NRA.

Episode Transcript

When elitist politicians refuse to stand and clap as our President declares that America will never be a socialist country, here is what they’re really saying: that they believe in the redistribution of your freedoms, to them. That only they deserve to feel safe and secure. We don’t. Because in the eyes of America’s socialist leaders they, and they alone, are the protected class.

It’s why Nancy Pelosi can in the morning, say that a border wall is immoral and tell law-abiding Americans that you shouldn’t own guns. And then at night, sleep soundly in a home protected by walls and, of course, secret service agents with guns. Because for Nancy Pelosi, she is the protected class. And we are not.

It’s why Michael Bloomberg funds politicians and extremist organizations that do whatever they can to block school safety measures. That fight against the right of teachers to train and arm themselves so that they may defend children from a potential killer. And then use children as political pawns in the aftermath of a massacre, never admitting the reason our schools are still soft targets is the result of their political anti-gun, anti-NRA stance. Because for Michael Bloomberg, he and his children are the protected class, while we and our children, are not.

It’s why Kamala Harris has the audacity to compare ICE agents to the Ku Klux Klan. It’s why she wants to ban your semi-automatic firearms. Yet she’s lived for decades in a state protected by ICE agents. Now she works in the United States Senate, government buildings protected by the very firearms she insists you don’t deserve. Because for Kamala Harris, she is the protected class. And we are not.

Socialist arrogance is why Gavin Newsom is disarming law-abiding Californians by any means necessary, while he opens the doors of his state to illegal aliens, giving drug dealers, rapists and murderers sanctuary. Sanctuary everywhere in California except at his doorstep, where he is protected, again, by walls and guns. Because for Gavin Newsom, he is the protected class. And we are not.

It’s why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to disarm hard-working Americans, while giving those “unwilling to work” our money. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is Saul Alinsky in a pant suit, who calls the firearms that protect our families weapons of war. While she smiles and pushes the same socialist disarmament policies that have led to war in the streets of Venezuela. Because for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she is the protected class. And we are not.

These people are just the first drops of rain in the coming the socialist storm. A movement of elitists who want to force you to abandon your freedom for the false promise of free stuff. These are the people who want to disarm you. Guns in the hands of good people equals power. Power they want to take from you and harness for themselves.

But here is my guarantee: they will fail. America will never be a socialist country. Because of us. The NRA. The world’s oldest civil rights organization and the greatest defender of individual freedom the world has ever known. We as members will never let it happen. This is America. Where the right to self-protection is God-given, not socialist-driven. We know a firearm is the great equalizer. That every law-abiding American deserves the same right to safety and security the socialist protected class receives every day.

We will always fight for the Second Amendment and all our rights because it’s what we have always fought for: Freedom.

We will never relent on our quest to protect the Constitution. Because we are an unstoppable force. We are the NRA. Join our fight against this socialist storm. Stand on the frontlines with us. And together, we will protect this country from the arrogant protected class that tries to tear it apart.

Grant StinchfieldHost

A Video Message from a Real Hollywood Hero

“Something’s gone wrong, for all our vigilance and battle scars over the Bill of Rights, have we let the flame of freedom’s torch grow cold? Because there can be no torch to pass where there’s no flame.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA video with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by skeeze on Pixabay Pixabay.

Gun Control to Be Heard on the Floor of the House of Representatives Next Week

As we reported last week, anti-gun members of the House Judiciary Committee voted to move forward with two gun control bills. These bills will be on the House floor next week, so please contact your U.S. Representative and ask them to oppose H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112.

H.R. 8 would impose so-called “universal” background checks. But, this legislation doesn’t address how criminals actually acquire their firearms, it creates traps for law-abiding gun owners, and it’s been proven not to work.

While H.R. 8 is bad, H.R. 1112 is worse. Under that bill, gun sales from licensed dealers would be subject to the discretion of federal officials. Through either malice or incompetence, the legislation creates an unworkable system where gun buyers could be placed in an endless loop of background checks and would never actually receive the firearms they wish to purchase.

It’s now imperative that you take action to stop this ineffective and unconstitutional gun control. Please use this link to let your elected officials know that you won’t be blamed for the actions of violent criminals.  Ask your Representative to oppose H.R. 8 and H.R 1112. Additionally, you may call your U.S. Representative using the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Please Contact Your U.S. Representative and Ask Them to Vote Against H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112

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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column with images is republished with permission.