2nd Amendment Support — Will It Grow This Year?

2020 has not been kind to the U.S., or the world for that matter. Multiple crisises have hit the country. The state of politic in the US is also in a divisive and downright strange place. With all of that said, could there be good news for those in the firearms community?

Waning Fear Tactics

The ways in which the mainstream media attempts to push control have always been wrought with misinformation. There has long been a sense in the gun community that people would see through to the truth if they simply looked into the facts of matter. However, much of the media is not interested in spreading the truth. They routinely paint the country as warzone with gun homicides as an ever-increasing threat. Their coverage of mass shootings has been particularly egregious. They can often make it sound as if schools are being attacked every other day, when these kinds of attacks actually make up a tiny amount of homicides. Of course, mass shootings have to be taken seriously. Lives are lost, and they deserve respect. The issue is that many in the media attempt to take advantage of our empathy to garner support for gun control. They also mischaracterize weapons, labeling them as “military grade assault weapons”, to conjure fear. They fail to explain the actual breakdown of firearms homicides.

The issue with a campaign built largely on propaganda is that it creates a house of cards. Looking behind the scenes at the actual data can quickly cause their vision of a country wrought by an epidemic of gun violence to crumble. As powerful as their campaign has been, this sets the stage for curious people to easily peek behind the curtain of propaganda. For those interested in learning about their second amendment rights, it is not hard to find the truth.

Millions of New Gun Owners

Data suggests that there have been roughly 5 million new gun owners this year. This seems to be connected to the sense of social unrest that has plagued the country this year. At the beginning of the year, the coronavirus caused a spike in purchases. Many feared that the coronavirus could disrupt American life and lead to shortages of food and other necessities. This led to panic buying by some and to gun purchases by others wanting to be prepared for anything. Then, protests erupted. Thousands of protesters lined the streets, and footage came out showing businesses being attacked by rioters. This added to fears of social unrest, and many felt like they needed to ensure that they could be protected. In addition to social unrest, we are in an election cycle. Biden has made his anti-gun stance clear. There is a real chance that he may become president, and many have a sense of wanting to purchase a gun before it is too late. All of these factors have led to the roughly 5 million new gun owners we have seen this year.

Unlikely Support?

The idea that support for gun rights would strengthen on the right is not particularly surprising, but interestingly, support has been growing among many on the left.

The Pink Pistols are an organization that aims to empower members of the LGBTQ+ community by educating them on their gun rights. “Armed queers don’t get bashed” is one of their slogans. It empathizes a key point of the second amendment which is that when a group feels threatened by society, firearms can act as a great equalizer.

Many black Americans have also been rediscovering the usefulness of the second amendment. The history of gun control cannot be separated from racism. During the times of segregation and Jim Crow, black people had their gun rights limited in any way possible. Many understand that being able to defend oneself is necessary to preserving the rights of any group.

Where Do Things Go from Here?

Recent events notwithstanding, the data generally shows that support for increased gun control measures has been slowly increasing over the past few years. Some polling data suggests that support for tighter gun control rose to around 60% in 2019. As shoddy as arguments for gun control may be, there is no guarantee that everyone will see through it. It definitely seems that support for the second amendment is growing though. America has a rich gun culture, and there is no reason why it should only include members of one political party. The second amendment is incredibly important for all disenfranchised groups, and hopefully that message will continue to spread. It is not yet clear how significant the increase in support for gun rights has been this year, but it seems promising.

The best move for those concerned about their second amendment rights is to educate people. Offer to take your friends to a gun range. They may have never handled a gun in their lives, and the experience of shooting for the first time can be enlightening. Do what you can to calmly explain the usefulness of firearms. Education is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal.

©Jay Chambers. All rights reserved.

FLORIDA: Leftists Deface Trump Billboard with ‘F__k UR Guns!’

We conservatives know the double standard, hypocritical leftists have no  respect for our 1st Amendment unless what is spoken, written, demonstrated etc. supports their socialist Marxist message.

If what we say or do doesn’t support their socialist message; reflects conservative values or in this case our choice for re-electing POTUS Trump then the left thinks we don’t have 1st Amendment rights.  As a direct, local example, the following involves the defacing of Trump/Pence Billboards excellently erected locally by a team of volunteers – see their efforts.

WATCH THE WINDER HAVEN 912 VIDEO HERE

The co-leader of the volunteer billboard construction team wrote the following:

Hello to All

Some of you have already heard about the “attack” on our Trump BILLBOARDS. Severe damage was done to two signs at LeadFeather Gun shop and range. Please if you are on FB search “leadfeather” (see link below) and like the group. Will, the son of the owner Bill, has posted a response to this “attack” and offered a reward to arrest of these people. We are over 1,000 comments and shares at last count on their page. Please join this group, like and share.

I will attach a picture of the damage to one of the signs. damage was also done to two more that we are aware of so far. Please be aware that offensive language was spray painted on the sign.

Click here for the link to LeadFeather Gun Shop and Range FB Page and pics of the defaced signs.

LeadFeather Gun Shop and Range stated:

 “After the local Trump precinct contacted me to ask to put up a Trump sign, I agreed! Only one week in and this is how the opposition responds! If your beliefs and values are not the same as theirs, they vandalize your property! Police were notified, additional cameras installed and a NEW larger and taller sign is on its way. $500 reward if your tip leads to the arrest of the assailant! Never before has your vote counted so much this year!!!!”

The irony and stupidity of these  “useful idiot” criminals who vandalized these signs on private property next to Overlook Rd, Winter Haven, FL is that new signs will be posted above these defaced signs and the defaced signs will help to motivate people driving by to support Trump and LeadFeather Gun Store and Range.

We will not be deterred – we are on the right side in this battle of good vs evil; Constitutional Republic vs. Socialism and with our help and the help of GOD, POTUS Trump will WIN again on November 3rd, 2020!

©Royal A. Brown, III. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Biden Staffers Donated to Nonprofit That Bailed Out Criminal, Then He Fractures Man’s Skull

VIDEO: Joe Biden Says He Tries Not To Discuss ‘Law And Order’ Because It Plays Into President Trump’s Hands

Democratic nominee Joe Biden claimed President Donald Trump is trying to distract from “the job he hasn’t done” by talking about “law and order” and election security as he took to the podium to make remarks and answer questions from the press Friday from Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden said he was concerned that the president’s attacks on mail-in voting could disrupt attempts by Biden supporters to vote, before continuing on to denounce the “law and order” rhetoric Trump’s campaign has deployed.

WATCH:

“That’s why I try not to talk about it so much,” Biden continued, suggesting that he could be “playing into” Trump’s hands by talking about election security and civil unrest throughout the country.

“I’m playing into — we’re playing, the more we talk about — there’s two things he wants us to talk about: ‘Is the election legitimate?’ and, ‘The whole country is up in flames. Everything is burning. Law and order.’”

Biden said the president’s focus on election security and violent unrest in major American cities is a distraction from the job he “hasn’t done.”

“Because he doesn’t want to talk about anything. Anything at all,” Biden continued, “About the job he hasn’t done. And, so, it is —it’s a conundrum.”

This statement comes only days after a speech Biden gave in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Biden condemned violent unrest, saying “we have to stand against violence in every form it takes,” but did not mention “Black Lives Matter” or antifa during the address.

Biden and Democrats largely ignored rioting and looting during the Democratic National Convention in August, possibly because they believed it played into Trump’s hands then as well, but have since changed their tune and have begun trying to pin the unrest on Trump.

COLUMN BY

BRADLEY DEVLIN

Reporter.

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

Rittenhouse Attorney: Kenosha Shootings Were ‘100 Percent Self-Defense’

The attorney representing alleged Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse said Monday that his client was exercising “100 percent self-defense” on the city streets.

Rittenhouse has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder after he shot and killed two people and injured another last Tuesday.

Attorney John Pierce described Rittenhouse as a concerned youth who was determined to protect businesses from being torched and looted by rioters. “Kyle and his friends decided that nobody was doing anything to protect that community and they decided they would answer the call and help protect that business,” Pierce told Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

The lawyer said that Rittenhouse was not only armed with an AR-15 rifle but had brought a first aid kit because “he was concerned that there would be wounded protesters downtown,” in a city had become a “war zone.”

Pierce explained that Rittenhouse became a target of rioters because “he was trying to put out the fires” that arsonists had started. “The mob became enraged. They began screaming that Kyle needed to be killed and they were going to kill him.”

”They started relentlessly hunting him as prey as he ran down the street attempting to retreat,” Pierce began, saying that Joseph Rosenbaum, one of those killed by gunfire, “attempted to take his weapon, take his firearm, and Kyle, when he turned, he instantaneously had no choice but to defend himself by firing one, he was in eminent danger of serious bodily harm or death” Pierce insisted.

The lawyer described the second shooting incident as similar to the first. “Again, the mob relentlessly and viciously pursued him and he was struck as he was running from behind by one of the rioters.”

“He tripped and fell to the ground and then one of the rioters was right over him,” Pierce continued. “The other one was attempting and both of them were attempting to disarm him to take his AR-15. He was successful in being able to fight that off and he had no choice but to then immediately defend himself. It was serious bodily harm or death.”

Kenosha police said Monday that 102 of the 175 people arrested for rioting and violent protest are from outside of the community. President Donald Trump has promised to visit the city on Tuesday.

COLUMN BY

DAVID KRAYDEN

Ottawa Bureau Chief.

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

‘Kyle Did Nothing Wrong’: Attorneys For Teen Kenosha Shooter Say He Acted In Self-Defense

Attorneys for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with killing two people and wounding another during a riot on Tuesday, said the teenager “did nothing wrong” and only pulled the trigger to defend himself from harm.

“Kyle did nothing wrong. He exercised his God-given, Constitutional, common law and statutory right to self defense,” Pierce Bainbridge, the law firm representing Rittenhouse, said in a press release Friday evening.

Rittenhouse is facing six charges from the shooting, including first degree intentional homicide and attempted intentional homicide.

Video from the incident shows a group of people chasing after Rittenhouse, someone other than Rittenhouse firing a shot into the air, and then Rittenhouse turning around and shooting one of the men chasing him. As Rittenhouse fled from the scene of the first shooting, he tripped and was set upon by several other individuals who were chasing him, videos show.

Rittenhouse shot two of the men as they lunged at him while he was on the ground, according to video from the scene. All three of the shooting victims were convicted criminals with crimes ranging from sexual conduct with a minor to felony strangulation, court documents reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation show.

“A 17-year-old child should not have to take up arms in America to protect life and property. That is the job of state and local governments,” John Pierce, the law firm’s founder, said in a press release Friday.

“However, those governments have failed, and law-abiding citizens have no choice but to protect their own communities as their forefathers did at Lexington and Concord in 1775. Kyle is not a racist or a white supremacist,” Pierce added.

COLUMN BY

PETER HASSON

Editor.

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

CATHOLICS AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT: Natural rights under attack

Watch the full episode of Mic’d Up: God, Guns and the Government.

One of the most hotly-debated issues in America today revolves around the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

In this week’s Mic’d Up, the Second Amendment is defended from a Catholic angle.

Michael Voris interviews Jason Jones, executive producer of the 2006 People’s Choice Award-winning film Bella. Jason, along with his co-author John Zmirak, also wrote The Race to Save Our Century: Five Core Principles to Promote Peace, Freedom, and a Culture Of Life.

God endows as part of His design the natural and inalienable right for humans to defend themselves, and if they’re responsible for the lives of others, this defense is a grave duty. Government, therefore, doesn’t give the rights, but defends them.

This comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the respect for human life, and more specifically, legitimate defense: “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.” (CCC 2265)

Since self-defense is a natural right freely given by God, it makes sense that historically, the irreligious have stripped people of these rights in order to bring about their own agenda.

Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others.Tweet

In 1918, as the Russian Revolution was launched under Vladimir Lenin, the Council of People’s Commissars, which became the highest authority of the Soviet Union, put together “On the surrender of weapons.” This decree ordered citizens to surrender their firearms, swords and bayonets.

This communist revolution is thought to have resulted in the murder of millions of Russians from 1917–1922.

Since then, Hitler’s Nazi GermanyMao’s communist China, and even socialist Venezuela have all stripped their own people of their natural right to defend themselves.

In the United States, some Churchmen — like Cdl. Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey — have joined many Democrat politicians in calling for “a ban on the sale or possession of all assault weapons.” Fr. James Martin has even portrayed gun control as moral issue equal to abortion.

Jason Jones and John Zmirak, both Catholic writers at The Stream, wrote a thorough article debunking these assertions.

COLUMN BY

Paul Brock

EDITORS NOTE: The Church Militant video and column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

A Biden-Harris Administration Will Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse

It’s no secret that most in the legacy media do not support the Second Amendment; at least, not a proper interpretation of what that amendment actually protects. It’s also no secret that most of those same purveyors of “news” will do everything they can to attack President Trump, and defend the Biden-Harris ticket—now the official Democrat ticket for President in 2020—any chance they can get.

A recent USA Today “Fact Check” is a perfect example of this obvious bias.

The impetus of this “Fact Check” was that someone on Facebook posted what was said to be intended as a hypothetical statement by VP candidate Kamala Harris. Based on her history of proposing and supporting a litany of anti-gun schemes, the post attributed to Harris the statement, “If elected and you don’t surrender your guns, I will sign an executive order and the police will show up at your door.”

So, USA Today is now “Fact Checking” random Facebook posts by private citizens? At least they haven’t delved into “Fact Checking” satire.

Technically, USA Today is correct when it classifies the actual quote as “False.” As far as we know, Harris has never said these exact words. But if one believes the person who made the post—that it intended it as a hypothetical statement that “isn’t that much of a stretch” from Harris’s true feelings—it’s probably more true than “False.”

When Harris was an actual presidential candidate, she did clearly state that, should Congress not enact several of her gun control ideas within 100 days of her taking office, she “will take executive action.” At least USA Today acknowledges this, although they emphasize that she would, using Harris’s words, focus on “reasonable gun safety laws.”

But what, exactly, is a “reasonable” law, in the mind of someone like Harris, or her running mate, who is so unreasonably anti-gun?

She clearly supports gun bans, which are unreasonable to many Americans, and, more importantly, unconstitutional.

Harris is a co-sponsor of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Cal.) legislation that seeks to ban countless semi-automatic firearms. This includes, of course, the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15, which has been available to the public for more than half a century. In total, there are tens-of-millions of firearms currently in the hands of law-abiding citizens that Feinstein and Harris would like to see banned by the federal government.

That hardly seems “reasonable,” unless you simply don’t like the idea of law-abiding citizens being able to exercise their right to self-defense with the firearm of their choosing.

But what about the hypothetical line that “the police will show up at your door”?

Well, Harris has made it clear that she doesn’t believe Feinstein’s ban goes far enough. It would allow those who currently own these firearms to continue to own them, as the ban would “just” be on the future manufacture, import, sale, and transfer of these guns. Harris, on the other hand, has stated her support for firearm confiscation.

While campaigning for president last year, during a stop in Londonderry, N.H., Harris told reporters that confiscation of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms was “a good idea.” Elaborating on her support for a compulsory “buyback” program, the senator added, “We have to work out the details—there are a lot of details—but I do… We have to take those guns off the streets.” She also called for a “mandatory buyback program” during an October 3, 2019, MSNBC gun control forum and again during a November interview with NBC Nightly News.

So, if she supports the ban, and the “mandatory buyback” scheme, what if some people choose to not comply? How will she “take those guns off the street”? Perhaps police coming to your door is not out of the question. It seemed to be the plan for one of her fellow former presidential candidates, who her current running mate seems to want as his gun control czar.

USA Today’s “Fact check” conveniently avoids any mention of the VP candidate’s outspoken support of banning most semi-automatic firearms, which seems odd, considering that position is clearly what inspired the hypothetical quote. By avoiding her support of gun bans, the paper could also avoid her voicing support of a “mandatory buyback program,” and, thus, avoid discussing what such a program actually is.

But we are happy to fill in USA Today’s intentional blanks.

As we’ve said before, a “mandatory buyback” is simply an anti-gun euphemism for confiscation.

First, you cannot “buyback” something you never previously owned, and the government did not own the tens-of-millions of guns that would be targeted by this scheme.

Second, the term “buy” implies that both the seller and purchaser are willing participants in the transaction, and the ability to negotiate a price would, presumably, be involved. But if the “buyback” is “mandatory,” then it does not matter if the seller is willing; the government has dictated you will sell. And if the government has dictated the sale, there will be no possibility of negotiating price; the government will dictate the price.

Finally, if it is “mandatory,” and you don’t take part in the “buyback,” the next obvious step is confiscation, and perhaps jail time, and that would clearly be done by police. In fact, a more accurate term for “mandatory buyback” would probably be “compensated confiscation,” with the understanding that the “compensation” will likely be far less than what you originally paid. Or, to paraphrase Don Corleone, the government will simply make you an offer you cannot refuse.

And we really don’t have to speculate on how the scheme might play out, as we’ve seen it implemented in Australia.

In 1996, following a high-profile shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia’s states and territories adopted the federal National Firearms Agreement (NFA). The agreement set up stringent licensing requirements to possess firearms, requiring license applicants provide a “genuine reason” for owning a firearm; the agreement made clear that personal protection was not a genuine reason. The measure also targeted several types of commonly-owned firearms, and included a near total ban on civilian ownership of semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns.

With the ban, which did not allow for continued possession of firearms lawfully acquired before it went into effect, came an amnesty and compensation program. Through a massive public education campaign, gun owners were warned that they were required to turn their newly-prohibited firearms over to the government for a set price. Sounds exactly like what Harris supports.

We also don’t have to speculate on what would happen after, if a scheme like the one Harris supports were to be implemented. Australia has seen its ban fail, leading to new amnesty/confiscation schemes in spite of the growing understanding that such schemes don’t work. And because they don’t work, Australia continues to see efforts to push for more gun control laws—laws that Harris and USA Today would also likely consider “reasonable.”

So, we agree that Harris didn’t actually say what someone apparently hypothesized she might say, were she to tell the truth about her views on gun control. There is ample evidence to support the view that Kamala Harris does support the banning and confiscation of tens-of-millions of firearms from law-abiding citizens. After all, when discussing her support of a mandatory “buyback” scheme—which is confiscation—she did say, “We have to take those guns off the streets.” While they are generally in the homes of law-abiding gun owners, we understand what she means. She just hasn’t been honest enough to actually say such things.

So, kudos to USA Today for clearing up any confusion some may have had regarding a Facebook post by an individual who was, apparently, expressing her opinion of what Kamala Harris actually feels when it comes to gun bans. This was not an editorial, or a campaign ad, or a story from a news broadcast, or even a comment from a political candidate. Just a Facebook post.

That’s groundbreaking journalism. Look out memes, you’re next!

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

VIDEO: Democrats Don’t Think Government Should Protect Honest Citizens, St. Louis Gun-Wielding Couple Says At RNC

St. Louis, Missouri couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the homeowners who defended their home from protesters while wielding firearms, spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention Monday in support of President Donald Trump.

video of the McCloskeys defending their St. Louis mansion with firearms during a June 28 protest has garnered more than 15 million views on Twitter. The couple warned Americans that a similar incident could happen to anyone in the country.

“What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country,” Patricia McCloskey said.

Mark McCloskey added: “Whether it’s the defunding of police, ending cash bail so criminals could be released back out on the streets the same day to riot again, or encouraging anarchy and chaos on our streets, it seems as if the Democrats no longer view the government’s job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens.”

The McCloskeys ended their segment by endorsing Trump for president.

WATCH:

In the aftermath of the June incident, the couple said they were defending their home from protesters who were shouting threats, Fox News reported.

“[They said] that they were going to kill us,” said Patricia McCloskey on Fox News’ “Hannity” in a July interview.

Several protesters can be seen screaming at the McCloskeys while others are heard saying “keep moving,” according to video. “Private property, get out,” a barefoot Mark McCloskey is heard yelling to protesters while holding a rifle in separate footage of the incident.

The protesters were on their way to Democratic Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home to demand her resignation, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Krewson read the names and listed the addresses of protesters who demanded that the city defund its police department, NBC-affiliate WAND-TV reported.

Protests have been occurring in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody after an officer knelt on his neck, video of the incident showed.

Police seized the McCloskeys’ firearms in July and days later St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner filed felony weapons charges against the couple. However, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sought to dismiss the charges while Gov. Mike Parson indicated that he would pardon the couple if they were convicted.

Trump called the charges “absolutely absurd,” according to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

The McCloskeys are a husband-wife attorney team at McCloskey Law Center who specialize in brain injury, spinal injury and catastrophic injury cases. Mark McCloskey is representing Isaiah Forman, a black man who alleges he was unjustly kicked by Officer David Maas in a 2019 incident, The Associated Press reported.

COLUMN BY

THOMAS CATENACCI

Contributor.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

EXCLUSIVE: New York City Rifle Permit Applications Surge by 340%

New York City rifle permit applications and pistol license requests have surged this year, according to New York Police Department (NYPD) data obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

NYC residents submitted nearly 149% more handgun permits and nearly 340% more rifle/shotgun permits from Jan. 1 to June 28 compared to the same period in 2019, according to data provided to the DCNF by NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McRorie.

A total of 2,338 people applied for handgun licenses from January to the end of June this year, compared to 1,571 last year in the same time frame, according to the NYPD data. Residents applied for 1,492 rifle permits in the six-month span in 2020 compared to 441 in 2019, the data show.

Handgun licenses were approved at a rate of 46% and rifle and shotgun licenses at a rate of 29% in the six month period in 2020, data show. Last year, 77% of handgun licenses were issued and 61% of long gun permits were approved in the same period, according to a data analysis performed by the DCNF.

The apparent decrease in approvals may not necessarily equal an uptick in denials, as residents can end up waiting up to 8-10 months to receive their permits. Thus, many of the currently unapproved applications may have yet to be either approved or denied.

The five boroughs have some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation and are one of three regions in the U.S. to mandate citizens have permits before they can purchase either handguns or rifles, according to the Giffords Law Center.

Residents must apply for the permit that covers the specific class of weapon they’d like to acquire and cannot purchase a gun legally without one, according to New York City Guns, a local firearm-advocacy organization.

A New York City rifle and shotgun permit application is 13-pages long and costs $231 to submit with all relevant materials. Applicants must show four color photographs of themselves, a utility bill or lease, a birth certificate and two character reference letters in addition to being fingerprinted.

If approved, the applicant is granted a license but must then register all of their firearm purchases with the city. License holders are also required to comply with NYC’s assault weapons ban that forbids the ownership of any firearm with a folding stock, pistol grip or threaded barrel, among other common features.

Any component that police deem to be akin to military features can also be banned at their discretion, according to the application.

NYC also has outlawed pistol magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and rifle or shotgun magazines that hold more than five rounds, according to New York City Guns.

The city has experienced a wave of violence since the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, video showed.

NYC has experienced a 64% increase in shootings in May, a 130% increase in gun incidents in June and a 177% uptick in shootings in July, according to NYPD crime statistics.

Murder in the Boroughs is also on the rise with 79% increase in May killings, 30% rise in June murders and a 59% increase in July killings, NYPD crime comparisons to 2019 showed.

COLUMN BY

JAKE DIMA

Contributor.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: ‘Black Guns Matter’ — The Racist History Of Gun Control

Gun control is pushed endlessly by the left as a way to decrease violence and save lives, but many people aren’t aware of the gun control movement’s sordid, racist history.

In this Daily Caller Productions video, black gun rights activists explain how gun control efforts evolved from “Slave Codes” that banned slaves from owning weapons before the Civil War to “Black Codes” that targeted freed slaves for disarmament to today’s gun control measures that leave majority-black inner-city residents vulnerable to criminal predators.

“The genesis of gun control was designed to keep guns out of the hands of black people,” gun rights activist Colion Noir said. “The last thing that they want to do is prop up a message that demonstrates to the very people they rely on to gain their power is the idea that we utilized the very thing they are trying to ban to gain our freedom or to protect our families back during the time period where we needed them the most.”

The video describes how these measures were fought and ultimately overcome by freedom-loving Americans.

VIDEO BY:

DAILY CALLER PRODUCTIONS

Contributor.

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2020 Democratic Party Platform Declares Total War on Second Amendment Rights

The national Democratic Party is no longer making any attempt to hide their antipathy towards guns and gun owners. Where once the party attempted to tailor their anti-gun messaging to appear moderate and appeal to some gun owners, the draft 2020 Democratic Party Platform contains a full-throated assault on firearms ownership and a blueprint for undermining every aspect of Second Amendment rights. Viewed in historical context, the draft 2020 Democratic Party Platform is the most anti-gun the party has ever put forward.

Released July 21, the draft platform contains the following passage:

Democrats will enact universal background checks, end online sales of guns and ammunition, close dangerous loopholes that currently allow stalkers and some individuals convicted of assault or battery to buy and possess firearms, and adequately fund the federal background check system. We will close the “Charleston loophole” and prevent individuals who have been convicted of hate crimes from possessing firearms. Democrats will ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines. We will incentivize states to enact licensing requirements for owning firearms and “red flag” laws that allow courts to temporarily remove guns from the possession of those who are a danger to themselves or others. We will pass legislation requiring that guns be safely stored in homes. And Democrats believe that gun companies should be held responsible for their products, just like any other business, and will prioritize repealing the law that shields gun manufacturers from civil liability.

The proposals include so-called “universal” background checks, the elimination of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System’s three-day safety -valve provision, and gun owner licensing, which would turn the right to keep and bear arms into a privilege dependent on the whim of government bureaucrats. The Democrats would empower government intrusions into the home to dictate how Americans keep and store firearms for self-defense and to confiscate firearms without due process based on the flimsiest of evidentiary standards. Moreover, the draft platform calls for a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and their magazines, something explicitly prohibited under the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller.

Another portion of the platform states, “Democrats will also ensure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have sufficient resources to study gun violence as a public health issue.” At a time when the politically-biased Centers for Disease Control has come under severe criticism for its response to an actual communicable disease, the national Democratic Party platform would further distract the agency from its core mission by turning it back into a taxpayer-funded gun control factoid factory.

The gun control section of the draft 2020 Democratic platform is an escalation of the anti-gun position put forward in the 2016 platform, adding and expounding upon the positions in the earlier document. Both are notable for what they omit. Neither recognizes that Americans have a Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms

As recently as 2012, the national Democratic Party was willing to acknowledge that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to arms – something understood by the vast majority of Americans and the U.S. Supreme Court. The 2012 Democratic platform explained:

We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms.

Similarly, the 2008 Democratic platform noted:

We recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms.

The 2004 Democratic platform stated:

We will protect Americans’ Second Amendment right to own firearms… 

Although the 2000 Democratic platform did not cite the Second Amendment, the platform stated that the party sought to regulate firearms “in ways that respect the rights of hunters, sportsmen, and legitimate gun owners.”

Earlier Democratic platforms (1996199219801976) often offered language meant to assure hunters and target shooters that their rights would not come under threat.

The Democrats’ inclusion of Second Amendment language in the platforms of the early 2000s wasn’t by mistake. After George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, there was a concerted effort by Democrats to moderate, or at least give the appearance of moderating, the prevailing party positions on gun control in order to better reflect the American electorate’s respect for gun rights. For instance, in 2002, the Washington Post reported on a Democratic Senate caucus retreat at which “several” senators suggested a move away from gun control. According to the item, this prompted freshman Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) to “[urge] her colleagues to keep their positions but change their language to be less inflammatory to swing voters.” In the mid-2000s Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel also sought to shift the party’s anti-gun perception.

With the nomination of Clinton in 2016, the pretense that the national Democratic Party would respect Second Amendment rights was no longer tenable.

During the campaign, Clinton repeatedly attacked the individual right to keep and bear arms. She even attacked the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Heller, which recognized the individual right to arms. Clinton told the audience at a September 2015 fundraiser in New York City “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.” At a separate event in Connecticut, the former senator called Heller “a terrible decision.” When asked by ABC’s George Stephanopolous to clarify her position on the Second Amendment, the former first lady refused to acknowledge that it protects an individual right.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s persistent attacks on gun owners also make platform language in support of the Second Amendment indefensible.

The career politician has endorsed the confiscation of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. Biden had the following exchange with CNN’s Anderson Cooper when asked about firearm confiscation during an August 5, 2019 interview:

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

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

Further, while attending a private $500 a person fundraiser in November, Biden revealed his intent to ban 9mm pistols. According to an article from the Seattle Times, while at the soiree, the 77-year-old posited to attendees “Why should we allow people to have military-style weapons including pistols with 9mm bullets and can hold 10 or more rounds?”

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

In Heller, the Court concluded that the types of firearms protected by the Second Amendment include those “in common use at the time” for “lawful purposes like self-defense.” The AR-15, which Biden has made clear he seeks to ban, is the most popular rifle in America and therefore undoubtedly “in common use” and protected by the Second Amendment. Similarly, industry data shows that 9mm pistols are the most common type of pistol produced.

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

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

The gun control section of the draft 2020 Democratic Party Platform is a perfect fit for the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Both the platform drafters and the former vice president have put forward a radical gun control agenda that would further burden every aspect of gun ownership. Above all, both have exhibited a complete disregard for the Second Amendment.

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

VIDEO: ‘Mostly Peaceful Protests’

Democrats read Orwell like an instruction manual not a cautionary tale.

Orwell:

War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength

Peaceful protests don’t turn violent. Only violent protests do.

49 Chicago police officers were injured by rocks, pipes, and fireworks while trying to defend the statue of Christopher Columbus in Grant Park. Despite their valiant defense of the man who discovered America, Mayor Lori Lightfoot sided with the BLM mob and had the statue removed anyway.

3 law enforcement personnel with the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service may face permanent eye injuries after having lasers shined in their eyes by Black Lives Matter rioters.

These are some of the injuries suffered by large forces in a matter of days. By early June, I had tracked the cases of over 400 injured law enforcement officers in under two weeks of BLM riots.
A month later, there are too many cases and too little reporting to even begin assembling any kind of complete picture.
A week after I complied my list, over 350 NYPD officers had been listed as injured in the BLM riots. By the middle of June, 75 law enforcement officers had been injured in the Denver Black Lives Matter riots.

Rifles, explosives, lasers, power tools, and firebombs are routinely used at the mostly peaceful protests.

Law enforcement officers have come away from what the media continues to falsely describe as “mostly peaceful protests” with fractured skulls, eye and ear injuries, and broken bones. Officers have been hit with bricks, baseball bats, and broken bottles. They’ve been shot, stabbed, and run over by vehicles.

The full total is not in the hundreds: it’s in the thousands. That’s a war zone.

And that’s just the law enforcement officers. No count has been kept of the civilians assaulted by the rioters. No one has assembled a list of store owners beaten and robbed by Black Lives Matter rioters.

Rough estimates place the scale of damage in the billions of dollars. Walgreens alone suffered $75 million in looting damage. Minnesota estimated damage to 1,500 businesses totaling $500 million.

This is wildly inconsistent with the media’s repeated false claims that the Black Lives Matter riots have been “peaceful”, “mostly peaceful”, “largely peaceful” or any other weasel words and modifiers.

Protests that injure thousands of police officers and cause billions in damage are not mostly peaceful.

They are mostly violent.

Carnage on this scale is not an accident or the work of a handful of unrelated people, as the media continues to falsely insist. When riots wound thousands and cost billions, the violence is not the aberration, it defines what the protests are and what they are intended to accomplish.

When marchers at a peaceful protest bring along crowbars, fireworks, and baseball bats, it’s not a peaceful protest. A genuinely peaceful protest would not allow marchers to bring weapons.

“The violence and pain and hurt that’s experienced on a daily basis by black folks at the hands of a repressive system should also be visited upon, to a degree, to those who think that they can just retreat to white affluence,” is not what a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest organizer sounds like.

The calls for violence and the acts of violence that define Black Lives Matter are not peaceful.

If Black Lives Matter were a peaceful organization, it would not draw its inspiration from Assata Shakur, who is wanted for murder by the FBI, and was the first woman on the Most Wanted Terrorist List.

Nationwide riots by a group that draws its inspiration from a domestic terrorist are not peaceful.

The media has covered this up by making a mockery of cause and effect and offering ridiculous euphemisms for violence that explain how mostly peaceful protests have ravaged entire cities.

“Protesters in California set fire to a courthouse, damaged a police station and assaulted officers after a peaceful demonstration intensified,” ABC News offered. According to the media, when a peaceful demonstration “intensifies”, buildings start burning and police officers are assaulted.

But if violence is the result of a peaceful protest “intensifying” then it’s not a peaceful protest. Intensifying a thing brings out its true nature, rather than transforming it into something it’s not.

“Boston’s Peaceful Protests Turn Violent at Night,” a Voice of America headline claims.

Are Black Lives Matter protests werewolves who turn violent when they see the full moon? Does the night have some magical power that turns formerly peaceful protests into violent assaults?

“What changes a protest from peaceful to violent? Aggressive law enforcement,” CNN falsely claims.

If a protest is inherently peaceful, aggressive law enforcement won’t change that. Reopen protests by conservatives faced aggressive enforcement without resulting in rioting and looting.

Some of the worst Black Lives Matter riots have taken place in progressive cities like Portland, Minneapolis, and Seattle, under the watch of lefty politicians and black police bosses. If aggressive policing led to violent riots, the worst rioting should be in the least progressive cities, while progressive cities should be experiencing the least violent protests. Instead it’s the other way around.

The violence of the riots correlates with the left-wing politics of the elected officials in charge.

Cities with the most left-of-center politicians are likely to experience the worst riots. It’s not aggressive law enforcement that causes violent riots, but the lack of decisive intervention against the rioters.

The media has tried to blame the police and the time of day for the riots, instead of the rioters.

A peaceful protest is not defined by the absence of violence, but by the presence of peaceful intent. The repeated false claims that the protests are peaceful completely distort the basic meaning of the word.

The media continually claims that every riot is really a peaceful protest that unexpectedly turned violent. But a peaceful protest wouldn’t turn violent. Only violent protests turn violent. A peaceful protest aims at peaceful change. A violent protest begins with hateful rhetoric and ends with violence.

A Neo-Nazi rally doesn’t turn violent. A Communist march doesn’t turn violent. Black Lives Matter was founded by self-described Marxists. The movement is interlaced with ties to the Nation of Islam. The rhetoric of its marches is violent, punctuated with obscenities, false claims of genocide, and racist taunts aimed at white people. These are not the components of a peaceful, but of a violent racist movement.

Black Lives Matter marches are mostly peaceful in the way that KKK marches were mostly peaceful.

Violent movements are not violent all the time. Not even the most violent fanatic is always violent.

The false claim of “mostly peaceful protests” rests on that strawman. But Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, and Jeffrey Dahmer were mostly not killing people. That didn’t make them mostly peaceful. A murderer can spend 99.0% of his time not killing people, only to be deemed evil for the 0.1% of the time during which he happens to be killing people. Mostly not killing people isn’t peaceful.

Rioting, burning, looting and throwing explosives only at night or on the weekend is not peaceful.

Racial nationalist groups, whether it’s the KKK or BLM, have a First Amendment right to protest. They have a right to threaten violence in the abstract, to brandish weapons, and to otherwise engage in posturing. But once that posturing turns into real violence, they don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

And they certainly don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt when their hate rallies repeatedly degenerate into violence in cities across the country leading to thousands of injuries and billions of dollars in losses.

The only people who think otherwise are their political allies among Democrats and the media.

Their mostly peaceful protests have devastated cities and they mostly won’t stop lying about them.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

11 Incidents in Which Lawful Gun Owners Made a Difference

As the Supreme Court continued its decadelong silence in protecting the Second Amendment, Americans last month nevertheless proved that they understand the importance of the right to keep and bear arms.

The FBI conducted a record-high 3.9 million background checks for firearms sales and transfers in June. The previous record of 3.7 million was set just this past March.

It is little surprise that, during these difficult and uncertain times, many Americans who never before considered the prospect of gun ownership are coming to appreciate their Second Amendment rights. Even in “normal” times, Americans often rely on their firearms to protect themselves and others.

According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost every major study on the issue has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times a year. There’s good reason to believe that most of these defensive gun uses never are reported to police, much less make the local or national news.


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For this reason, The Daily Signal each month publishes an article detailing some of the previous month’s many news stories on defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place. (Read accounts from 2019 and 2020 here).

The following examples of defensive gun use represent only a small portion of the stories we found in June. You can explore more examples in The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database.

  • June 1, Edinburg, Virginia: A Virginia pastor drew his handgun to protect himself from five trespassers who assaulted him on his property. Police said the pastor had noticed two of them apparently disposing of large items illegally in a dumpster at an apartment complex he owns, and asked the two to leave. They became angry and returned with three others, surrounding the pastor. The five threatened him with racial slurs, and one head-butted him. The pastor defended himself with his handgun and called 911. After an unfortunate mix-up in which police initially detained the pastor, officers arrested the threatening individuals and charged them with hate crimes.
  • June 4, Gustavus, Ohio: A homeowner spotted a man underneath a car in his driveway late at night, and grabbed a shotgun to confront him. The man, who police suspect was trying to steal car parts, rushed at the homeowner, who shot and wounded him. Investigators later discovered that the would-be thief possessed several power tools and had put a jack under the homeowner’s car.
  • June 5, Dudley Shoals, North Carolina: When two armed men tried to rob a convenience store, the clerk drew his own gun and fired at them until they fled. The store’s security camera captured the drama, police said.   
  • June 6, Lake Elsinore, California: A store owner intervened with his firearm to protect a woman from an assailant, police said. The store owner had seen the man punch and kick the woman. The attacker left when the store owner attempted to stop him, but returned minutes later holding a metal object. When the store owner stood between the man and the woman, the assailant pushed him to the ground and began to beat the woman again. The store owner retrieved his firearm and shot the man, who fled. Police later arrested him.  
  • June 13, Ogden, Utah: vengeful ex-boyfriend drove to the residence of his former girlfriend shared with her new boyfriend and, after an argument, opened fire on them. The woman, who police said was the past victim of domestic violence by him, drew her own handgun and fired in self-defense. Police later arrested the man and charged him with numerous felonies.
  • June 14, Rome, New York:  good Samaritan with a shotgun came to his neighbors’ rescue when he realized their apartment had been broken into by an armed intruder, police said. The intruder entered through a bedroom window and pistol-whipped a woman. The neighbor went into the apartment and fired at the intruder, who fled.
  • June 16, Delta Township, Michigan: A concealed-carry permit holder intervened to defend himself and other motorists when a mentally distressed man began firing a handgun at cars on a highway. Emergency dispatchers received at least 10 calls about the man before he jumped in front of the permit holder’s car and pointed a gun at him, police said. The permit holder, who had been on his way to enjoy a round of golf, shot and killed the man.   
  • June 20, Turner, Maine: A homeowner held two suspected burglars at gunpoint until law enforcement could arrive and arrest them. The homeowner, who had noticed a back door was forced open and a lock ripped off, saw the two leaving the residence with items in their hands. He drew his handgun, detained them, and called police.
  • June 23, Spokane, Washington:  An armed mother used her firearm to protect her teenage son after a meet-up to buy a cellphone turned into an attempted robbery. Her son had agreed to meet the[MK1]  sellers in a grocery store parking lot, but the cellphone was not as advertised. When he declined to buy it, the men assaulted the teen and tried to take money from his pocket. Police said the boy’s mother, who had parked nearby, saw what was happening, drew her firearm, and fired at the men—who promptly got into their vehicle and fled.
  • June 27, Louisville, Kentucky: When a man opened fire on a crowd protesting the police shooting of Breonna Taylor in her apartment, armed bystanders fired back, wounding the shooter. Eventually, several protesters were able to hold the shooter at gunpoint and convince him to drop his weapon. Police said the shooter had been arrested twice in previous weeks on riot-related charges. Earlier that day, other protesters had asked the man to leave because of his “disruptive behavior.”
  • June 29, North Freedom, Wisconsin: Parents shot their adult son in self-defense after he fired rounds at their home and broke in during the early morning hours.  Police said the parents called 911 to report that someone was shooting at their bedroom windows. They attempted to retreat to the basement when their son entered the home, but ultimately shot and wounded him. Police charged the son with attempted murder and other felonies. He already was facing charges for other violent offenses.

Sometimes, lawful gun owners get it wrong and end up in the national news for using their guns irresponsibly. But more often, they get it right and few of us hear about it.

Many of us don’t hear about mothers defending their sons, or good Samaritans coming to the rescue of innocent neighbors.

Many of us don’t hear about the protesters whose Second Amendment rights saved the lives of those exercising their First Amendment rights.

Many of us don’t hear about the countless others whose lives and livelihoods were protected because of lawfully owned firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

As the silence from the Supreme Court reaches deafening levels, we promise to keep telling these stories and highlighting the importance of protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

COMMENTARY BY

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

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The Natural Law of Self-Defense

Man’s right of self-defense did not begin with the adoption of the Second Amendment. It has nothing to do with guns or with the U.S. Constitution. In fact, it has no connection whatsoever to any man-made law or technology. Self-defense by any means is a natural human right that each person enjoys by virtue of his or her humanity. It is the right which guarantees all others.

One of the most provocative statements ever made on how comprehensive our individual right of self-defense is was made by the famed English philosopher John Locke in his Second Treatise on Government. Locke, whose political philosophy greatly influenced our American Founding Fathers, explained how the natural law works and why the individual is justified in defending himself with lethal force when necessary:

“THE state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other’s power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because such men are not under the ties of the common law of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power.

“And hence it is, that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life: for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his power without my consent, would use me as he pleased when he had got me there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for no body can desire to have me in his absolute power, unless it be to compel me by force to that which is against the right of my freedom, i.e. make me a slave. To be free from such force is the only security of my preservation; and reason bids me look on him, as an enemy to my preservation, who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it; so that he who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me. He that, in the state of nature, would take away the freedom that belongs to any one in that state, must necessarily be supposed to have a design to take away every thing else, that freedom being the foundation of all the rest; as he that, in the state of society, would take away the freedom belonging to those of that society or commonwealth, must be supposed to design to take away from them every thing else, and so be looked on as in a state of war.

“This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put himself into a state of war with me, i.e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a state of war, and is aggressor in it.

“. . . force, or a declared design of force, upon the person of another, where there is no common superior on earth to appeal to for relief, is the state of war: and it is the want of such an appeal gives a man the right of war even against an aggressor, tho’ he be in society and a fellow subject. Thus a thief, whom I cannot harm, but by appeal to the law, for having stolen all that I am worth, I may kill, when he sets on me to rob me but of my horse or coat; because the law, which was made for my preservation, where it cannot interpose to secure my life from present force, which, if lost, is capable of no reparation, permits me my own defence, and the right of war, a liberty to kill the aggressor, because the aggressor allows not time to appeal to our common judge, nor the decision of the law, for remedy in a case where the mischief may be irreparable. Want of a common judge with authority, puts all men in a state of nature: force without right, upon a man’s person, makes a state of war, both where there is, and is not, a common judge” (Locke, Second Treatise on Government, Chapter 3, Sections 17-19).

Elsewhere in his Treatise, Locke explained:

“In transgressing the law of nature, the offender declares himself to live by another rule than that of reason and common equity, which is that measure God has set to the actions of men, for their mutual security; and so he becomes dangerous to mankind, the tye, which is to secure them from injury and violence, being slighted and broken by him. Which being a trespass against the whole species, and the peace and safety of it, provided for by the law of nature, every man upon this score, by the right he hath to preserve mankind in general, may restrain, or where it is necessary, destroy things noxious to them, and so may bring such evil on any one, who hath transgressed that law, as may make him repent the doing of it, and thereby deter him, and by his example others, from doing the like mischief. And in the case, and upon this ground, MAN HATH A RIGHT TO PUNISH THE OFFENDER, AND BE EXECUTIONER OF THE LAW OF NATURE. . . .

“From these two distinct rights, the one of punishing the crime for restraint, and preventing the like offence, which right of punishing is in every body; the other of taking reparation, which belongs only to the injured party, comes it to pass that the magistrate, who by being magistrate hath the common right of punishing put into his hands, can often, where the public good demands not the execution of the law, remit the punishment of criminal offences by his own authority, but yet cannot remit the satisfaction due to any private man for the damage he has received. That, he who has suffered the damage has a right to demand in his own name, and he alone can remit: the damnified person has this power of appropriating to himself the goods or service of the offender, by right of self preservation, as every man has a power to punish the crime, to prevent its being committed again, by the right he has of preserving all mankind, and doing all reasonable things he can in order to that end: and thus it is, that every man, in the state of nature, has a power to kill a murderer, both to deter others from doing the like injury, which no reparation can compensate, by the example of the punishment that attends it from every body, and also to secure men from the attempts of a criminal, who having renounced reason, the common rule and measure God hath given to mankind, hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or a tyger, one of those wild savage beasts, with whom men can have no society nor security: and upon this is grounded that great law of nature, Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” (Locke, Second Treatise, Chapter 2, Sections 8 and 11).

Finally, Locke observed:

“Man being born, as has been proved, with a title to perfect freedom, and an uncontrouled enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the law of nature, equally with any other man, or number of men in the world, hath by nature a power, not only to preserve his property, that is, his life, liberty and estate, against the injuries and attempts of other men; but to judge of, and punish the breaches of that law in others, as he is persuaded the offence deserves, even with death itself, in crimes where the heinousness of the fact, in his opinion, requires it” (Locke, Treatise, Chapter 7, Section 87).

Let’s recapitulate a few of the things we’ve learned from Mr. Locke. Locke explained that there exists a “fundamental law of nature” which gives the individual a right to “destroy that which threatens” him. When someone cuts the common ties, or laws, that bind a society together and protect its members, he becomes “noxious” and dangerous to the society. In fact, he enters into a “state of war” against those whose rights – whether their life, Liberty, and property – are threatened. Inasmuch as a person behaves like a “savage beast” and endangers those around him, he may be put down like a mad dog. This is not only common sense, but a right we each enjoy in the “state of nature.”

Some may argue, however, that we do not live in a “state of nature.” We can all admit that this is accurate. We live in a well-ordered society with laws, a police force, judges, systems of justice, mechanisms to redress grievances, and so forth. However, to deny our individual right of self-defense merely because we live in a society tramples on the very idea of natural rights and the most basic conception of Freedom.

Samuel Adams explained that we always retain our rights regardless of whether we enter into civil society. A person, if he chooses, may exist society at any time. When he does, he takes all his rights with him. We cannot, according to Mr. Adams, renounce our rights because they are endowments from Almighty God. He explained:

“All men have a right to remain in a state of nature as long as they please; and in case of intolerable oppression, civil or religious, to leave the society they belong to, and enter into another.

“When men enter into society, it is by voluntary consent. . . .

“The natural liberty of man, by entering into society, is abridged or restrained, so far only as is necessary for the great end of society, the best good of the whole.

“In the state of nature every man is, under God, judge and sole judge of his own rights and of the injuries done him. By entering into society he agrees to an arbiter or indifferent judge between him and his neighbors; but he no more renounces his original right than by taking a cause out of the ordinary course of law, and leaving the decision to referees or indifferent arbitrators. . . .

“The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule. . . .

“In short, it is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or any number of men, at the entering into society, to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights; when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defence of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property. If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave” (Samuel Adams, “The Rights of the Colonists,” November 20, 1772).

Please note that Adams said people do not “renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights” when they agree to live in society with others. These prerogatives – to enjoy one’s natural rights and to defend them – always remain with the individual. It is “the greatest absurdity” to say we do not have a right to defend and preserve our other essential rights.

We allow police and others to defend us because, on paper, this system operates more efficiently. However, law enforcement personnel have no inherent right to police our neighborhoods. They have no intrinsic power to stop criminals just as courts have no inborn authority to punish criminals. Every power and authority a police officer posses comes directly from you, the individual. And this authority is merely on loan and can be reclaimed at any time – such as when no police are present or when public servants abuse the authority you have loaned them. The same is true with any and all powers claimed by government. They belong, of right, to individuals first and foremost.

Furthermore, there are many times in society when the individual does not have immediate access to society’s collective means of self-defense – whether law enforcement, the courts, or the nation’s armies – yet must immediately address a threat to his life, Liberty, or property. Such instances may include a woman walking down the road who needs to defend herself from sexual assault, a man defending his family from a home invader during the middle of the night, a store owner protecting his property and livelihood from arsonists or vandals, a person being carjacked by a criminal while driving to work, or a church-goer who suddenly find himself faced with a maniac attempting to shoot up his congregation. In these and myriad other scenarios, there is no possible way to reach out to society for help; there is no time to wait for the police to arrive, for the sheriff to investigate the matter, or for a jury to deliberate.

All of these instances share at least one thing in common; namely, that the victim’s rights are being violated. In the case of the woman, someone is trying to violate her body and free will or, in other words, her Liberty. In the case of the store owner, someone is trying to destroy his property. In the case of the church-goer, his and other innocent people’s right to life is threatened. In the case of the man defending his family or the person being carjacked, he doesn’t know the intention of the perpetrator is – kidnapping, murder, robbery, rape, etc., – and must act as if any of these is a distinct possibility.

Consider what John Locke said in the quote above: “He that, in the state of nature, would take away the freedom that belongs to any one . . . must necessarily be supposed to have a design to take away every thing else, that freedom being the foundation of all the rest.” We don’t know the intention of someone who is attacking, robbing, or otherwise assaulting us. All we know for certain is that a person is trampling our precious rights and clearly has no respect for us, the law, or morality.

A person who would violate any of your cherished rights automatically shows that he holds all your other rights in contempt. Such a person, theoretically, is capable of any thing – including taking your life. Since you do not know his intention, but simply know that he is willing to violate your rights, you must treat him as an existential threat to all of your Liberties. Remember, Locke explained:

“This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put himself into a state of war with me, i.e. kill him if I can.”

It is lawful, according to the law of nature, to kill one who attempts to violate your right to life, Liberty, or property. This is the most basic and fundamental principle in the book of Liberty. “In the state of nature every man is, under God, judge and sole judge of his own rights and of the injuries done him,” as Samuel Adams said. When a state of war and hostility is commenced against you by an assailant whose intentions are unknown, you become the “judge and sole judge” of your rights and have a just right to defend yourself, your life, your Freedom, your family, your dignity as a human being, and your property. I would even argue that you have a duty to defend your rights since they are gifts from Almighty God.

Self-defense is not a new concept – wherever there is Liberty, there exists the right to defend it and those who enjoy it. Self-defense is an eternal law recognized by enlightened people in all ages.. Anciently, the Roman statesman Cicero explained:

“[T]here exists a law, not written down anywhere but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right. When weapons reduce them to silence, the laws no longer expect one to await their pronouncements. For people who decide to wait for these will have to wait for justice, too – and meanwhile they must suffer injustice first. Indeed, even the wisdom of the law itself, by a sort of tacit implication, permits self-defense, because it does not actually forbid men to kill; what it does, instead, is to forbid the bearing of a weapon with the intention to kill. When, therefore, an inquiry passes beyond the mere question of the weapon and starts to consider the motive, a man who has used arms in self-defence is not regarded as having carried them with a homicidal aim” (Stephen P. Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, 13).

I repeat: Self-defense is part of the “natural law.” The natural law written in our hearts by the finger of God permits us to defend ourselves against “plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies.” Literally “every method” and means to defend ourselves when endangered is “morally right.” Not only is it morally correct to defend ourselves, our lives, and our property, but the Declaration of Independence and Constitution both support the idea and enshrine it in the regal robes of legality.

Let’s leave behind the realm of the hypothetical and discuss a real example. Two nights ago, in Hunter, Oklahoma, a man shot a woman who entered his property at 3 A.M. and attempted to steal a flag. The flag was the National Socialist flag bearing the swastika. Whether or not you think he should have been flying the flag is not on trial here. What is being discussed, however, is the actual situation – that is, an individual trespassing on someone’s property at 3 A.M., attempting a robbery, and being shot in the process of fleeing with stolen property.

Since the incident, the local “authorities” have confiscated the man’s fourteen firearms and have charged him with “shooting with the intent to kill and assault and battery with a deadly weapon.” They are holding him without bail despite the fact that he was compliant with police and has never caused any trouble. One anonymous individual, in fact, said the man was very nice and would mow neighbors’ lawns and smile and wave. In spite of all this, he is being treated as a murderer.

The woman, by the way, survived the incident and is being treated for her wounds. Amazingly, the district attorney has not yet decided whether to charge her with a crime despite the fact that no one denies she was trying to steal property from the man’s home! I doubt whether the criminals who previously stole the man’s flag’s were charged with theft or trespassing either.

If I was on the jury that will try this case, given the information we know at this point, my conscience would not allow me to convict the man of anything. I’m quite sure John Locke would also vote “not guilty.” It was he, after all, who said, that it is “lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life.” How can we refute his logic?

When you examine stories like this one from Oklahoma, don’t fall into the trap of asking whether the man should have fired his weapon. That’s not the point. That’s irrelevant, in fact. That is between him and his God. What you need to decide, rather, is whether or not the man had a right to defend himself and his property with force.

I contend that each of us has a natural right of self-defense which no earthly force, no government, no majority, no law, can ever erase. I hold it as sacrosanct that the laws of nature give me, the individual, a right to protect my life, my Liberty, and my property – and those of my family and innocent people – with lethal force whenever and wherever necessary. I further affirm that the benefit of the doubt should always be given to the victim of an illicit act, not to the criminal who was fortunately thwarted in his or her attempt to violate the victim’s sacred rights.

You may not care about swastika flags, but you should care very much about property rights. You may not agree with the personal viewpoints of the shooter in this case, but you should care about whether his right to defend his home and possessions is held inviolate. You may have sympathy for the woman who was shot, but you should never let your judgment become so clouded with emotion that you can’t label her a thief and a criminal. You will rarely go astray in your judgment if you always keep in mind the importance of our natural rights and our paramount right of self-defense. Self-defense, even when it means ending the life of an offender, is part of the “perfect freedom” with which man is born.

©Zack Strong 2020. All rights reserved.