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Florida Man Takes His AR-15 To Disney

A 43-year-old Florida resident from Palm Beach was found bringing an AR-15 and a handgun into Disney World Resorts while on vacation with his family, due to fears about Black Lives Matter protesters, according to a Wednesday report from Newsweek.

The man was seen carrying the weapons inside of the Polynesian Village Resort using a large tennis bag. Once noticed, authorities were called and the police arrived, Newsweek wrote. However, this individual was not arrested due to having the needed firearm permits.

Even though the man was not arrested, Disney confiscated the guns because of their strict policy against weapons on their premises.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was notified of this incident by the manager, who stated that the guns were originally noticed by one of the bellmen that carried the tennis bag containing the guns, according to Newsweek.

When asked by police why he brought the guns, the man explained that it was in self-defense in case of any Black Lives Matter protests or riots. There have been no recorded instances of protests on the resort itself according to Newsweek.

COLUMN BY

JOE MILLER

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: Disney Star Brings Gun To Airport

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

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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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.


Two regimes are fighting an ideological war in America today. But what side are you on? And how can you sharpen up on how to defend your position? Learn more now >>


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

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.

Here Are Seven Times Americans Defended Their Property During Protests And Riots

Protests and riots across America, sparked by the death of George Floyd, have brought Americans to arm themselves and defend their property.

Here are seven examples of Americans defending their property:

1. St. Louis Couple Bear Arms As Protesters Trespass

The McCloskeys, whose home resides in a private community in Central West End St. Louis, stood outside the night of June 28 with an AR-15 and pistol facing 300 protesters. The private community’s gate was broken, with protesters marching toward St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home, demanding her resignation. The McCloskeys told KMOV4 that they were “in fear for our lives.” The couple is under investigation for “threat of deadly force” by the St. Louis circuit attorney.

2. Santa Monica Liquor Store Owner Defends Business

Looters in Santa Monica were dissuaded by the sight of the armed owner liquor store owner and his friends standing outside his store, Broadway Wine & Spirits according to CBSN Los Angeles. After hearing reports of looting and fires in the rest of the city the owner took action and potentially saved his business.

3. Cleveland Italian Bakery Resists Looters

As looters attempted to break into Corbo’s Bakery, they were warned by owner Joe Corbo and his two sons who armed themselves, FOX 8 reported May 31. “We weren’t there to hurt anybody or cause a problem, we were just protecting our business,” Co-owner Selena Corbo told Fox8. Protesters then moved on, but not without smashing one of the bakery’s windows.

4. Rooftop Koreans Of The 1992 LA Riots

In 1992, protesters in Los Angeles looted or burned hundreds of businesses in Koreatown. Countless business owners, seeing the absence of police, armed themselves and defended their stores, many from rooftops.

5. Philadelphia Gun Shop Owner Shoots Two Robbers, One Dead

Four men broke into the gun shop Firing Lane early June 2 and were met by gunfire on the second floor by the shop owner. Three shots were fired leaving one robber dead and the other wounded, investigators told FOX 29. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner called the owner’s actions “justified.”

6. Arizona Jewelry Store Resists Jewelry Thieves

In Scottsdale, Arizona a jewelry store was spared from looting and vandalism after the owner’s son and others stood at the store armed, 12 News reported May 31. Many other stores on Scottsdale’s 5th Avenue were looted. “We weren’t here to hurt anybody…after seeing exactly what happened to the Apple store, this isn’t protesting, this isn’t rioting, this is crime,” the owner’s son told 12 News.

7. Washington State Residents Prepare To Defend Small Town

Residents of Snohomish, Washington armed themselves waiting along the town’s main street after hearing rumors protesters were on their way, according to the Seattle Times. While no violent confrontations occurred, there was a “credible threat of civil unrest intent on causing damage to this amazing community,” the Marysville Police, which assisted in patrols, said on Twitter.

COLUMN  BY

SERGEI KELLEY

Contributor

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

Gun Sales In 2020 Are Absolutely Crushing Records

2020 keeps seeing gun sale records beaten month after month, with an all-time high 3.9 million NICS firearm background checks being conducted in June alone, according to FBI statistics.

So far in 2020, three months have sported over 3 million NICS background checks, more than any previous month since the FBI began recording the statistics 22 years ago in 1998. March saw 3.7 million checks, May say 3.1 million, and June 3.9 million.

The sales come amid massive unrest across the country incited by the death of George Floyd at the hands of former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin.

June saw the rise and fall of the so-called ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’ in Seattle (CHAZ), in which protesters took over a six-block area in the downtown area that police were forced to abandon. Several news outlets reported that CHAZ had a peaceful atmosphere, but residents said otherwise, with violence frequently breaking out after sunset.

Conservative Pundit Meghan McCain argued the spike in gun sales was thanks to the violent riots coupled with protesters calling for the end of police.

COLUMN BY

ANDERS HAGSTROM

White House correspondent.

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‘I Want To Hang Him From A F**king Tree, Like He Do Us,’ Protester Yells At New York Cops

‘Defunding … Means Defunding’: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Not Satisfied With Cutting NYPD By $1B

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

VIDEO: Special Gun Rights for Muslims?!

Faith Goldy reports:

When I applied for my Canadian firearms licence after passing my federally mandated PAL and RPAL courses, the RCMP got all of my information. They asked for everything from medical history, relationship history, familial structures, and a photograph.

However, when I recently logged online to renew my license, I noticed something peculiar:

An exception to the usual regulation requiring a photograph, citing religious exemption!

So, I contacted the RCMP, and you won’t believe what happens next.

While I’m no fan of tighter gun control measures, shouldn’t all law-abiding gun-owners be treated equally in Canada?

Why are special rights being granted to members of certain religious sects while other Canadians are held to a different standard?

Think Gays Don’t Need Gun Rights? Check Your Privilege

A predictable response to the horrific massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, in which a gunman murdered 49 people and injured 53 others, mostly Latino, is to restrict gun ownership to police only.

But this response ignores the real relationship gay and ethnic minority populations have had with police. It’s a history of violence, targeted specifically at queer and brown bodies.

When we discuss privilege in America, we rightly point out that straight, white, cisgendered, male Americans have the tremendous advantage of not being directly negatively impacted by institutional, systemic racism, sexism, transphobia and homophobia.

But what we don’t discuss often enough is how American law enforcement privileges the lives of straight, white, cisgendered, male Americans over the lives of others.

Those who dream of a utopia in which only the police have guns must reckon with the reality that to disarm everyone but the police puts marginalized communities at the utter mercy of American police departments who have proven themselves to be more than happy to violate black and queer bodies, and court systems which have proven themselves unwilling to hold them accountable.

A history of racial violence

Despite what you’ve been taught, the fight for equality under the law for black Americans did not start with boycotts and marches. It started with black guys with guns.

Most Americans immediately connect Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks to the civil rights movement. You probably also know Emmett Till. But you may not know Dr. T. R. M. Howard.

Emmett Till was the third black male to be murdered in Mississippi in a three-month span 1955.

After trying to vote in Belzoni, Reverend George Lee was shot and killed at point blank range while driving. Weeks later Lamar Smith succeeded in casting his ballot in Brookhaven before he was shot and killed in broad daylight, before witnesses in front of the county courthouse.

Police made no arrests in connection to either murder. Witnesses rightly feared for their lives and did not come forward to testify.

Then on August 28, 1955 three men kidnapped 14-year-old Emmett Till at gunpoint around 2 a.m. They put Till in the bed of a pickup truck and drove him to various places to pistol whip him and decide what to do. Finally they shot him dead. Before dumping his body, the murderers showed his mutilated corpse to a black man saying, “That’s what happens to smart niggers.”

Till’s crime wasn’t voting, but whistling. A habit he picked up to alleviate his stuttering, a few white men thought it was directed at a white girl.

Till’s mother, Mamie Till Bradley, insisted on an open-casket viewing of Till’s mutilated body and tens of thousands of people showed up to see it. Till’s murder and the sight of his body enraged and activated civil rights leaders at the state and national levels of the NAACP. But everyone still feared for their lives too much to come forward and testify.

That’s when wealthy physician and civil rights leader Dr. T. R. M. Howard came forward. Howard used his considerable wealth to hire armed bodyguards to protect himself, his family, and anyone else willing to come forward to testify against Till’s murderers.

These witnesses made the trial possible, and the trial was “The first great media event of the civil rights movement,” according to the New York Times.

While Till’s murderers were acquitted, the tide had turned. Armed black people were no longer too afraid to stand up about injustice. Howard made sure Mose Wright, the first man to ever testify against a white man in court and live, was able to escape to Chicago after the trial.

Two months after Till’s murder, Montgomery civil rights activists held a meeting to discuss Till’s case and other recent murders of civil right activists. Rosa Parks attended this meeting, and then one month later she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery city bus.

Police violence against queer Americans

The story of the struggle for gay rights has been similarly sanitized.

Black Americans in the south could not rely on law enforcement for help. In the leadup to the Till trial, Tallahatchie County Sheriff Clarence Strider told the media he believed Till’s body was not Till’s but was a decoy planted by the NAACP. He confined two witnesses to jail to prevent them from testifying. And during the trial he said to black spectators coming back from lunch, “Hello, Niggers!”

The relationship between queer Americans and law enforcement is even worse.

Rampant homophobia and transphobia in the 1960’s meant out queers were unwelcome in most bars and restaurants. That made the places they were allowed extremely important. But it also made them a target for police raids. States adopted anti-sodomy legislation for the purpose of giving police a pretext for mass arrests of queers. By 1960, every state had an anti-sodomy law.

In New York, the gay bars were mostly controlled by organized crime who paid off police to prevent frequent raids. Yet the raids were still pretty frequent, happening once per month for each bar on average. San Francisco gays had it no better. When police showed up to Compton’s Cafeteria to arrest men dressed as women in 1966. This time, the patrons rioted, slinging cups and plates and breaking the plexiglass windows.

When police conducted an unannounced raid at the Stonewall Inn, a mafia-owned gay bar in Greenwich Village, patrons and supporters rioted violently for days. This inspired organized meeting and marches for gay rights. Before two years had passed after the Stonewall riots every major American city had a gay rights group.

The disturbing reality

It would be lovely if equality under the law were a reality in America today. But you only have to look as far as the murders of Freddie Gray or Eric Garner to see that we are not there yet.

Here’s what the Baltimore Police Department tweeted after one of their officers was acquitted in the death of Freddie Gray.

They raised a toast to the fact that the officer who decided not to put a seatbelt on the handcuffed Freddie Gray and drove him around the city, every twist and turn throwing his body against the metal walls, whose actions are directly responsible for his untimely, violent death, would face no criminal penalties.

Gun control puts marginalized Americans at the utter mercy of a police force that has perpetrated thousands of violent raids of gay nightclubs, yet could do absolutely nothing to stop the massacre in Orlando. Gays need guns, not only to protect themselves from cops, but also to protect themselves from being targeted by civilians like the Orlando shooter and the homophobes who threatened Tom Palmer.

The people who posit gun control for the purpose of protecting gays in the wake of the Orlando massacre benefit from tremendous privilege. They get to live in ignorance of the role police have played in hurting gay Americans, and in ignorance of the role guns have played in fomenting the movement for civil rights. And in particular, white, straight pro-gun control liberals can safely advocate for disarming the marginalized while they enjoy the privilege of not being heavily targeted by violent bigots, including cops.

Perhaps it’s within the realm of possibility that disarming people will protect the marginalized. But only if we disarm the police.

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is a D.C.-based writer. She is Editor-in-Chief of Sex and the State and her writing has appeared in The Week, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications.

AR-15 Speaks! A New — and Real — Anti-black Bigotry by AR-15

Hi, my name is AR-15. Some of you know me, but many more of you know of me — through the media. But you may not know the real me.

I’m that cool, sleek-looking black gun you’ve seen profiled by the press. They put me in newspapers and on TV, showing my picture as if it’s a mug shot, even though I’ve never committed a crime. Oh, bad people have at times used (and abused) me to do bad things, but not really that often; as even The New York Times admitted in 2014, firearms such as me — which that paper and others call “assault weapons” — are only used in two percent of gun crimes (most are perpetrated with handguns).

And that’s another thing. For a long time I didn’t mind the misnomer; it massaged my ego and made me feel like the big man on the block when I was called an “assault weapon.” But Mr. Duke convinced me that “pride goeth before a fall,” as the Good Book says. He pointed out that the term “assault weapon” was popularized by anti-gun zealot Josh Sugarmann, whose goal was to besmirch my reputation and get me banned. In fact, Sugarmann, not at all a sweet man, actually once said, “Assault weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

And it’s true, especially in my case. The public knows my appearance well; people have seen my cousin and dead ringer, M-16, fired machine-gun style in war movies for decades. But, alas, I, AR-15 — the weapon available to the public — can only be fired semi-automatic. This means that every time you pull my trigger, one shot, and only one shot, is released.

So even if we accept the term “assault weapon,” that’s not me. To qualify, a gun must be capable of fully automatic fire (machine-gun style), and no such weapons are readily available to the public. So unlike cousin M-16, who originally had a select-fire feature allowing him to be shot in various ways, I’m just a one-trick pony. And, by the way, “AR” in my name doesn’t stand for “assault rifle” but “Armalite Rifle,” referencing the company that first produced me.

Despite this, I’ve become a media whipping boy. Even when those rare crimes are committed in which a gun of my class is used, but which don’t involve me personally — such as the horrific Orlando incident, where Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen used a Sig Sauer MCX — my face is front and center. In fact, that’s what finally inspired me to speak out, articles such as this outrageous one from Daily News writer Gersh Kuntzman. Reporting on how he tried me at a Philly gun range, he actually wrote:

The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.

None of the above is true; I know because I was there. Oh, in my younger and more impetuous days I would’ve gotten a thrill out of being portrayed as such a macho guy. But the Truth will set you free (something the propagandizing Mr. Kuntzman should ponder).

And the truth is that I never bruised Mr. Kuntzman. One thing I can rightly puff up my chest over is that I have very little recoil because I’m high-tech — my mechanism is designed to absorb much of the energy of the blast. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Mr. Duke had the opportunity years ago to fire me on multiple occasions, and he says that I have by far the least kick of any firearm he ever used. And if you don’t believe him, trust your own eyes. Below is a video of a seven-year-old girl trying me for the first time (forward to the 25-second mark if you want to see just the actual firing).

Did the little lass say “Ow!” or register discomfort in any way? Did she rub her shoulder? A 12-gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot could have knocked that little tyke on her keister, but me? Also know that Kuntzman fired me only three times before bowing out, grousing that I was a “dangerous weapon.” And that fact, my friends, comes from Frank Stelmach, who was quoted by Kuntzman and who owns the gun range the journalist visited. You see, Mr. Duke actually called Stelmach, and one of the first things the man said to Duke — as he complained of how Kuntzman misrepresented his words and the experience at the range — was “It would be nice if journalists would write what you actually say!”

And by the by, Stelmach said that Kuntzman never mentioned anything about his shoulder or expressed that he was experiencing any kind of discomfort. Stelmach also called the notion that an ultra-low-recoil weapon such as me could bruise a grown man’s shoulder “nonsense.”

As for my “explosions” being “loud like a bomb,” well, I can belt out a song, but not like some other firearms. And no wonder. I fire the .223 cartridge, a small-caliber round the same diameter as a .22 (yes, .22s are those cute little rounds you put in your Marlin as a kid). Of course, my round is a lot more powerful than a .22 (in your face, Marlin!), but just take a look at these “killing power” rankings of rifle rounds. It’s hard to admit, but the .223 round listed — which is still more powerful than my .223 round and which I can’t fire — has the second least power of the 41 cartridges ranked. This is why many states have outlawed my use for hunting big game, such as deer. Imagine, they won’t even let me go after Bambi! In the same vein, when a lady friend of Mr. Duke’s tried me years ago, she remarked that, owing to my almost non-existent recoil, I was “like a toy.” It’s all quite emasculating.

Of course, then there are my magazines; for the Kuntzmans of the world, no, those aren’t things you read that usually contain liberal propaganda. They’re objects loaded with cartridges that, assuming they’re removable, you then insert into firearms. It’s true that high-capacity magazines are available for me. But criminals would always get them on the black market; moreover, with just a bit of effort, any gun’s removable magazine can be modified to hold a large number of rounds. So why am I singled out?

The answer is simple: my looks — and others’ prejudices. Take a gander at me below:

ar15

Am I not a sharp-lookin’ guy? Black is beautiful!

But it’s also seen as “menacing,” especially by liberals in the media. Face it, since I’m functionally no different from other legal firearms — semi-automatic just as most guns sold in America are — I can only conclude that I’m profiled as dangerous because of my sleek military-like appearance and my color. If I looked like those much more powerful hunting rifles, would you really be troubling over me?

As Mr. Duke likes to put it, this is standard liberal style over substance. Never sparing my ego, he points out that assuming I’m a machine gun because I look like cousin M-16 is akin to putting a Porsche body on a Yugo chassis and expecting to go 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds. Of course, my self-image will survive, but being misunderstood, mischaracterized and discriminated against is a bit depressing.

It’s enough to make me want to shoot myself.

This piece was written by AR and edited by Selwyn Duke for grammar, punctuation and style

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com. To contact the author, email the above and write “Attn: AR”.

No Surprise That Gun Prohibitionists Endorse Clinton

BELLEVUE, Wash. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today’s endorsement of Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton by two major gun prohibition lobbying groups should come as no surprise, considering her highly-publicized attacks on the Second Amendment, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said in response.

As reported by the New York Times, Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt declared in a prepared statement, “Gun Sense Voters have a champion in Hillary Clinton. Our litmus test is simple: does a candidate side with the public or with the gun lobby? Hillary Clinton passes that test with flying colors.”

“It’s no surprise that the gun prohibition lobby has a litmus test based on erosion of the Second Amendment, and it is less of a surprise that Hillary Clinton passed it with flying colors,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “If there were any remaining doubts among American voters about Clinton’s intentions if she wins in November, these endorsements make it clear that she is determined to rip the right to keep and bear arms from the American fabric.”

Early last fall, Clinton was caught on audio at a private fund raiser declaring that “The Supreme Court was wrong on the Second Amendment.” Gottlieb said today’s endorsements by Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – two organizations supported by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg – amount to “damning proof” that a Clinton presidency would pose a direct threat to the individual right to keep and bear arms.

“Today’s Washington Examiner noted that Clinton has promised to push gun control on her very first day in office,” Gottlieb noted. “That’s not a sign of leadership. It’s a symptom of fanaticism against a fundamental individual civil right.

“Throughout her public career,” he observed, “Hillary Clinton has never been a friend of gun owners, and today’s double endorsement merely confirms that she is their avowed enemy.”

ABOUT THE CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of the National Rifle Association.

Obama’s Executive Clemency Program Putting Firearm Offenders on the Streets

We’ve often mentioned that President Obama, despite his insistent shaming of America over its supposed lack of gun regulation, has shown little interest in enforcing the gun control laws already on the books.

But it gets worse. A lot worse.

Information has now arisen that the Obama administration is granting executive clemency to dozens of felons imprisoned for firearm-related offenses, some whose crimes involved possessing or using a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes. These criminals will for the most part be released back into the very communities that they exploited and victimized with their offenses.

The revelations were detailed in a March 31 letter from Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. According to the letter, of more than 200 federal inmates granted release under the president’s initiative for executive clemency, “33 were convicted of firearm-related offenses.”

These include, according to the letter:

  • Seven convictions of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime;
  • Four convictions of possession of a firearm by a felon; and
  • Two convictions of use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Sen. Shelby expressed his frustration with the administration’s actions:

Communities in my state, like other towns and cities all over America, are working hard to clean up their streets and make their communities safer. This is a constant struggle for some areas. Yet, this announcement from the President sends an unfortunate and resounding message to criminals everywhere: if you are convicted of a crime involving a gun, the federal government will go easy on you.

The president’s moves seem to be a glaring contradiction to his assertion last year that “the one area where I’ve been most frustrated and most stymied … is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common sense gun laws.”

Surely Obama’s advisors have apprised him of the hundreds of federal gun control laws already on the books. So you would think he’d be using every tool at his disposal to deal with the violent crime that, for example, plagues his own home town in particular.

But rather than focus on violent criminals, Obama’s most recent and highly-touted gun control offensive targeted hobbyists and collectors who make occasional gun sales, licensed dealers, and expanding the attack on veterans to include Social Security recipients. 

But rather than focus on violent criminals, Obama’s most recent and highly-touted gun control offensive targeted hobbyists and collectors who make occasional gun sales, licensed dealers, and expanding the attack on veterans to include Social Security recipients.

Sen. Shelby’s letter raised questions about whether the administration is following its own guidelines in the granting of executive clemency. These include prioritizing applicants who “are non-violent, low-level offenders without significant ties to large scale criminal organizations, gangs or cartels” and who “do not have a significant criminal history.”

The administration’s actions would seem to point inescapably to two possible conclusions. One possibility is that the president really is allowing dangerous criminals back out on the streets of their communities. If that’s the case, then his actions are reckless and irresponsible and gamble with innocent lives for the sake of politics.

Another is that he genuinely believes that individuals who use or possess guns to perpetrate drug crimes are not really a threat to public safety. If that’s true, then he is dangerously misinformed. It also makes his obsessive focus on purely technical violations of gun control laws – e.g., re-categorizing hobbyists as “dealers,” banning veterans from possessing firearms, and recently expanding the attack on veterans to include Social Security recipients – seem even more like political persecution and less like serious crime control.

Whatever the case may be, President Obama’s latest moves merely add to his reputation as more interested in style than substance.

This November, voters should carefully consider whether Obama’s would-be successor really has their best interests at heart or whether, like Obama, the next president would vilify his or her political opponents, while simultaneously coddling the very criminals that put innocent lives at risk.

VIDEO: Gun Control Propaganda Debunked

A thorough debunking of the propaganda presented by Vox in their video on gun control and “mass shootings” in the U.S.

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You Can Take the Word Liberal From Me When You Pry It From My Cold, Dead Mouth by Jeffrey Tucker

I was in the middle of  a nice discussion with the man behind the counter at the firing range. He was surrounded by semi-automatic weapons and hundreds of handguns in the display case that separated us. I used the opportunity to tap his expertise, mostly because I don’t keep up with gun issues enough.

He explained to me the absurdity of the ban on automatic weapons, how and why it is that there is really no such thing as an “assault rifle,” and a bit about regulations on magazine size. He informed me that Clinton’s partial ban on assault rifles expired in 2004 due to a sunset clause.

This is where the conversation became interesting.

I asked: “So the law has been liberalized since Clinton?”

He raised his eyebrow and there was a long pause.

Finally he said in a deep Southern drawl, “I don’t know about no liberalism. I don’t like liberals.”

“Ok,” I said, “that’s not what I mean. I mean ‘liberalized’ in the sense of more liberal: like more freely available.”

That didn’t help. He just said, “I’m just saying that I don’t like much about what liberals are saying or doing.”

So I tried again.

“Well, more precisely, what I mean by liberalization is that American citizens are now more free from restriction than they once were to import and use certain kinds of weapons. We are more liberated to choose than we were before.”

Still, he stood there in silence, staring. Finally a co-worker walked by and said to him, “This customer means liberal like in the old way: a different way than you mean the term.”

I piped in and said, “yes, just the English-language ‘liberal’ meaning less government control over what we do.”

Even then, this nice man couldn’t understand what the heck I was talking about. The word “liberal” to him was like the Mark of the Beast. He somehow thought I was standing there promoting evil. Nothing I said would overcome his sense that I was somehow on the enemy side, simply because I was uttering this word.

Are we really so far down the path? Has our political terminology become so confused that we can’t even use regular English words and be understood?

Demonizing Liberals

Maybe this was an extreme case. Maybe it is not so bad all over. But I do wonder.

For years, right-wing radio commentators have been using “liberal” as a swear term: the worst epithet you could ever hurl at someone, indicating an individual hell-bent on destroying your life. They have contrasted the malice of “liberals” with the greatness of “conservatives,” who favor God, country, and free enterprise (with a bit of war thrown in). And book after book are published for conservative consumption using the term “liberal” to identify the most depraved values.

To be sure, this is not new. It has gone on since after World War II, when Russell Kirk’s Conservative Mind appeared and was promoted on the cover of Time Magazine. This  kicked off a long-running demonization of one of the great words in the English language.

Now, you might correctly point out that the “liberals” started it. About a century ago, everyone knew what a liberal was. A liberal favored free speech, freedom of action, a free economic order, and religious freedom. A liberal opposed war. A liberal favored the ever-increasing liberation of the world from oppression, poverty, suffering.

That began to change in the Progressive Era and especially with the New Deal. Liberals had to make a choice between the free economy and the fascist model of the New Deal. They chose poorly. Yet they kept calling themselves liberals. Ten years later, it had begun to stick.

Conservative Is Not What We Are 

So when William F. Buckley set out to, as he alleged, “stand athwart history and yell stop,” he needed a different name for his “anti-Left” movement. The name he chose was Kirk’s “conservative.”  The new “conservatism” differed from that of the old English Tories in that it had affection for free enterprise. Yet it harkened back to those bygone reactionaries by favoring war, the cops, and social control. The new “conservative movement” co-opted the classical liberal remnant of the time.

Already distorted, the conservative acquiescence to the left on terminology made a bad situation worse. And it has only worsened further over the decades, to the point that today the word liberal has become practically unusable in some corners, in spite of its rich and glorious history.

And yet this is mostly true just in the United States. In most places in the world, the word “liberal” still means what it is supposed to mean. More substantially, it is the right word. It has a beautiful tradition. And I agree with Mises who said there is no suitable replacement.

“This usage is imperative,” he wrote in 1966, “because there is simply no other term available to signify the great political and intellectual movement that substituted free enterprise and the market economy for the precapitalistic methods of production; constitutional representative government for the absolutism of kings or oligarchies; and freedom of all individuals from slavery, serfdom, and other forms of bondage.”

I’ll say it again: Don’t give up the term liberal. You might even be one.

Despite the gruff gun salesman behind the counter, I won’t give up the term “liberal.” The way I feel about that grand word is the same way he feels about his guns. You can take “liberal” from me when you pry it from my cold dead mouth.

Jeffrey A. TuckerJeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE and CLO of the startup Liberty.me. Author of five books, and many thousands of articles, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook. Email.

Womans ‘Get off me’ Guns

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Bloomberg for President?

Amid reports that the FBI is close to recommending that the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecute Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified materials, and that FBI Director James Comey and other agency personnel investigating Clinton may resign if the DOJ refuses to do so, sources close to Michael Bloomberg say the billionaire former mayor of New York City may run for president if Clinton appears unable to win the Democratic Party’s nomination.

CBS New York reports, “[t]hey say Bloomberg would strongly consider running if the general election looked like it would be a contest between Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.” Bloomberg, who has let on that he would be willing to spend 1 billion dollars on a campaign, is expected to make his decision by March. Four states are holding their presidential primaries and caucuses in February, and another 14 will do so on Super Tuesday, March 1st.

Appearing unfazed by her troubles, Clinton insists “nothing that I did was wrong” and said of the Bloomberg news, “the way I read what he said was if I didn’t get the nomination, he might consider it. Well, I’m going to relieve him of that and get the nomination, so he doesn’t have to.”

Unfortunately, from Clinton’s perspective, that may be a fairly big “if.” Polls show her being trounced by Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire and also losing Iowa, where the country’s first presidential primaries and caucuses will be held, and that her national figures are dropping. Other polls show that more Americans view her unfavorably than favorably.

Fox News reports, “[t]he FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state has expanded to look at whether the possible ‘intersection’ of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws.” Fox followed up on the story on Tuesday, saying, “The security investigation is now part and parcel with the criminal [public corruption] investigation.”

Bloomberg must theorize that he could appeal to voters on the basis of his success as a businessman and his time as the mayor of the nation’s most populous city. But he faces a difficult “if” of his own. Clinton been casting herself as the most anti-gun presidential candidate in American history, a distinction Bloomberg would certainly want to challenge if he threw his hat into the ring. Also, and perhaps for the same reason, a Morning Consult poll released this week found Bloomberg at 13% in a hypothetical three-way race against Donald Trump and Clinton, 11% when the Republican candidate is Sen. Ted Cruz, and down to 10% when the Republican is Sen. Marco Rubio.

Bloomberg might be able to bump those numbers up among Democrats a bit, if he promised to pardon Clinton on the first day of his presidency. That would not only endear him to Clinton’s most fanatical supporters, it would wipe the slate clean, at least legally-speaking, for someone who shares his deep antipathy for guns. With public opinion trending steadily against gun control, a President Bloomberg couldn’t afford to have one of his strongest anti-gun allies in court or in prison.