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Glenn Beck Threatens to Leave NRA if Board Member Grover Norquist Re-Elected

In an unprecedented conversation between Glenn Beck and Center For Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, Beck went on record saying he will leave the National Rifle Association if terrorist-enabler Grover Norquist is re-elected to the Board of Directions.

This is important for many reasons due to Norquist’s massive influence over the Republican Party.

For more detail be sure to watch The United West micro-series “The Wizard of K Street” which is an investigative expose’ of Grover Norquist and his nefarious operations.

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Florida: “Astroturf” groups attack lawmakers who support campus carry (+ video)

Anti-gun “astroturf” groups don’t like guns on campus and they’re demanding an apology from two lawmakers who do.  Currently under attack from these fake grassroots groups are Florida Representative Dennis Baxley and Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore.

In this video Astroturf (fake grassroots organizations) is explained at the University of Nevada by Sharyl Attkisson:

At the top of the list of “astroturf organizations” are groups created and funded anti-gun former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to fight the NRA.  They are “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” and “Everytown for Gun Safety.”

sharyl attkisson

Sharyl Attkisson

In a column titled “Top 10 Astroturfers” Sharyl Attkisson writes: 

The whole point of Astroturf is to try to convince you there’s widespread support for or against an agenda when there’s not.

[ … ]

The groups present themselves as grassroots organizations of “mayors, moms survivors and everyday Americans.” They are spearheaded by former New York Mayor and multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and former PR professional and mother Shannon Watts. Last year, they announced a $50 million political campaign to try to counter the efforts of the formidable gun rights lobby.

[ … ]

The results of an informal, non-scientific poll identify groups related to Gun Safety Action Fund, Inc. as top Astroturf efforts. These groups include Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Everytown, Everytown for Gun Safety, Gun Sense, It’’s Time for Gun Sense in America, Gun Sense Voter, I”m a Gun Sense Voter, Moms Take the Hill and Stroller Jam.

Attkinsson lists the following as the top 10 astroturfers:

  1. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown
  2. Media Matters for America
  3. University of California Hastings Professor Dorit Rubenstein Reiss and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Dr. Paul Offit
  4. “Science” Blogs such as: Skeptic.com, Skepchick.org, Scienceblogs.com (Respectful Insolence), Popsci.com and SkepticalRaptors.com
  5. Mother Jones
  6. Salon.com and Vox.com
  7. White House press briefings and press secretary Josh Earnest
  8. Daily Kos and The Huffington Post
  9. CNN, NBC, New York Times, Politico and Talking Points Memo (TPM)
  10. MSNBC, Slate.com, Los Angeles Times and Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC and Jon Stewart.

Armed and Black: The history of African-American self-defense by B.K. Marcus

In Dallas, Texas, the newly formed Huey Newton Gun Club marches in the streets bearing assault rifles and AR-15s. “This is perfectly legal!” the club leader shouts. “Justice for Michael Brown! Justice for Eric Garner! … Black power! Black power! Black power! Black power!”

Meanwhile, closer to Washington, DC, the venerable National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) responds to the fatal shooting of two New York City police officers in December by repeating its call for tougher gun-control laws.

How, then, do black Americans feel about guns?

They are divided on the issue, as are Americans generally. But that doesn’t mean they’re evenly divided. The 21st-century NAACP represents what one black scholar calls “the modern orthodoxy of stringent gun control,” whereas the members of the Huey Newton Gun Club are a minority within a minority, as were the Black Panthers of the 1960s, from whose founder the gun club takes its name.

It turns out, however, that the gun-toting resistance may better represent the traditional majority among the American descendants of enslaved Africans — including the original NAACP.

Peaceful people with guns

An older and deeper tradition of armed self-defense “has been submerged,” writes scholar Nicholas Johnson, “because it seems hard to reconcile with the dominant narrative of nonviolence in the modern civil-rights movement.”

It is the same tension modern-day progressives see in libertarians’ stated principles. Advocates of the freedom philosophy not only see our principles as compatible with gun rights; we see those rights as an extension of the principles. For a government (or anyone else) to take guns away from peaceful people requires the initiation of force.

“But,” progressive friends may object, “how can you talk of peaceful people with guns?”

What sounds absurd to them is clear to the libertarian: the pursuit of “anything peaceful” is not the same as pacifism. There is no contradiction in exercising a right of self-defense while holding a principle of nonaggression. In other words, we believe peaceful people ought not initiate force, but we don’t rule out defending ourselves against aggressors. And while a few libertarians are also full-blown pacifists who reject even defensive violence, that does not mean they advocate denying anyone their right to armed self-defense (especially as such a denial would require threatening violence).

The black tradition of armed self-defense

For more than a hundred years, black Americans exemplified the distinction above when it came to gun rights. The paragon of black nonviolence, Martin Luther King Jr., explained it eloquently:

Violence exercised merely in self-defense, all societies, from the most primitive to the most cultured and civilized, accept as moral and legal. The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.

King not only supported gun rights in theory; he sought to exercise those rights in practice. After his home was firebombed on January 30, 1956, King applied for a permit to keep a concealed gun in his car. The local (white) authorities denied his application, claiming he had not shown “good cause” for needing to carry a firearm.

Modern advocates of gun-control laws will point out that King ultimately regretted his personal history with guns, seeing them as contrary to his commitment to nonviolence, but King understood that his pacifism was not in conflict with anyone else’s right to self-defense.

According to his friend and fellow activist Andrew Young, “Martin’s attitude was you can never fault a man for protecting his home and his wife. He saw the Deacons as defending their homes and their wives and children.” The Deacons for Defense and Justice was a private and well-armed organization of black men who advocated gun rights and protected civil rights activists. Even after the Deacons became a source of embarrassment to many in the nonviolence movement, King maintained his support.

“Martin said he would never himself resort to violence even in self-defense,” Young explained, “but he would not demand that of others. That was a religious commitment into which one had to grow.”

While King may have come to see his strategic nonviolence as being of a piece with personal pacifism, most activists in the civil rights movement saw no contradiction between nonviolent strategy and well-armed self-defense.

“Because nonviolence worked so well as a tactic for effecting change and was demonstrably improving their lives,” writes Charles E. Cobb Jr., a former field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), “some black people chose to use weapons to defend the nonviolent Freedom Movement. Although it is counterintuitive, any discussion of guns in the movement must therefore also include substantial discussion of nonviolence, and vice versa.”

Voting-rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, for example, advised blacks to confront white hatred and abuse with compassion — “Baby you just got to love ’em. Hating just makes you sick and weak.” But when asked how she survived when white supremacists so often grew violent, Hamer replied, “I’ll tell you why. I keep a shotgun in every corner of my bedroom and the first cracker even look like he wants to throw some dynamite on my porch won’t write his mama again.”

Black history

In Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms, Johnson shows that the attitudes of King and Hamer go back for well over a century in the writings, speeches, and attitudes of black leaders, even when their libertarian attitude toward firearms was at odds with the philosophy of their white allies.

Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave and the most famous black leader of the 19th century, rejected the pacifism of his white abolitionist supporters when he suggested that a good revolver was a Negro’s best response to slave catchers.

Harriet Tubman, the celebrated conductor of the Underground Railroad, offered armed protection to the escaped slaves she led to freedom, even as they sought sanctuary in the homes of Quakers and other pacifist abolitionists.

Lest you think religious devotion divided the black community on this subject, a mass church gathering in New York City in the mid-19th century resolved that escaped slaves should resist recapture “with the surest and most deadly weapons.”

W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the cofounders of the NAACP in 1909, wrote of his own response to white race riots in the South: “I bought a Winchester double-barreled shotgun and two dozen rounds of shells filled with buckshot. If a white mob had stepped on the campus where I lived I would without hesitation have sprayed their guts over the grass.”

If that sounds like simple bloodlust, consider that Du Bois outlined for his readers an understanding of armed violence that should resonate with advocates of the nonaggression principle: “When the mob moves, we propose to meet it with bricks and clubs and guns. But we must tread here with solemn caution. We must never let justifiable self-defense against individuals become blind and lawless offense against all white folk. We must not seek reform by violence.”

Du Bois was not at odds with the larger organization for which he worked. “While he extolled self-defense rhetorically in the Crisis,” writes Johnson, “the NAACP as an organization expended time, talent, and treasure to uphold the principle on behalf of black folk who defended themselves with guns. That fight consumed much of the young organization’s resources.” Yes, the NAACP originally devoted itself to defending precisely those same rights that it now consistently threatens.

These examples all predate the nonviolent civil rights movement of the 1950s and ‘60s. But as King’s own words show us, support for armed self-defense continued well into the civil rights era. In fact, Charles Cobb argues in This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible, the success of the civil rights movement depended on well-armed blacks in the South. Cobb writes that the “willingness to use deadly force ensured the survival not only of countless brave men and women but also of the freedom struggle itself.” The victories of the civil rights movement, Cobb insists, “could not have been achieved without the complementary and still underappreciated practice of armed self-defense.”

Even Rosa Parks, quiet icon of both civil rights and nonviolent resistance, wrote of how her campaign of peaceful civil disobedience was sustained by many well-armed black men. Recalling the first meeting of activists held at her house, Parks wrote, “I didn’t even think to offer them anything — refreshments or something to drink.… With the table so covered with guns, I don’t know where I would’ve put any refreshments.” The guns didn’t go away after her victory in the Supreme Court. “The threatening telephone calls continued.… My husband slept with a gun nearby for a time.”

The origins of gun control, public and private

In contrast to the rich black history of peacefully bearing arms, the earliest advocates of gun control in America were Southern whites determined to disarm all blacks. In 1680, the Virginia General Assembly enacted a law that made it illegal for any black person to carry any type of weapon — or even potential weapon. In 1723, Virginia law specifically forbade black people to possess “any gun, powder, shot, or any club, or any other weapon whatsoever, offensive or defensive.”

These were laws from the colonial era, but even after the Second Amendment, we see the same pattern: Southern whites who reacted to the abolition of slavery “through a variety of state and local laws, restricting every aspect of Negro life, from work to travel, to property rights.” Johnson explains that “gun prohibition was a common theme of these ‘Black Codes.’”

Where the Black Codes fell short in their effectiveness, the Ku Klux Klan and an array of similar organizations “rose during Reconstruction to wage a war of Southern redemption.… Black disarmament was part of their common agenda.”

But while many white people were opposed to the idea of black people with guns, black support for gun rights, according to Johnson, “dominated into the 1960s, right up to the point where the civil rights movement boiled over into violent protests and black radicals openly defied the traditional boundary against political violence.”

That violent and radical turn was the catalyst for a dramatic transition, as the movement ushered in a new black political class. Rising within a progressive political coalition that included the newly minted national gun-control movement, the bourgeoning black political class embraced gun bans.… By the mid-1970s, these influences had supplanted the generations-old black tradition of arms with a modern orthodoxy of stringent gun control.

Top-down versus bottom-up

In every large group, there is a division of interests, understanding, and goals between an elite and the rank and file. In American history, those of African descent have been no different in this regard. But for most of that history, the black leadership and the black folks on the ground have been in agreement about the importance and legitimacy of armed self-defense — and equally suspicious of all attempts by any political class to disarm average people.

According to the new orthodoxy, however, any preference that black people demonstrate for personal firearms cannot represent the race — only a criminal or misguided subset. So the black political class consistently supports disarming the citizenry, both black and white — although remarkably, some are even willing to target gun bans to black neighborhoods.

But while the black elite tries to plan what’s best for the black rank and file, some individuals are rejecting the plan and helping to drive history in a different direction. “Recent momentous affirmations of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” writes Johnson, “were led by black plaintiffs, Shelly Parker and Otis McDonald, who complained that stringent gun laws in Washington, DC, and Chicago left them disarmed against the criminals who plagued their neighborhoods.”

What do we make of these rebels? Are they traitors to their race? Are they dupes of the majority-white gun lobby? Or were they, as Cobb describes Southern blacks of the 1960s, “laying claim to a tradition that has safeguarded and sustained generations of black people in the United States”?

Neither Parker nor McDonald will be nominated for an NAACP Image Award any time soon, but perhaps they represent a different black consciousness — a more individualist, even libertarian, tradition with a stronger grounding in black history.

ABOUT B.K. MARCUS

B.K. Marcus is managing editor of The Freeman.

Florida may Expand Use of Silencers for Hunting

Hunting game in Florida could become a little less noisy by the end of the year.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday advanced a proposal that would remove a prohibition on the use of noise-suppressors, or silencers, with rifles and pistols when hunting deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail and crows.

The proposal will now be advertised in the Florida Administrative Register, and the commission is expected to vote on the new rule in November.

While critics said muzzling rifle shots could increase the risk of people being struck by wayward bullets or cause people to wander unaware into hunting areas, backers of the proposal said such concerns are unfounded.

Commissioner Brian Yablonski noted that suppressors take out some of the big bang and recoil, but they don’t silence weapons as depicted in the movies.

“It still makes a very loud sound and this was in all cases,” Yablonski said during a commission meeting in Kissimmee. “We’re talking louder than a rock concert, louder than a jackhammer with the suppressor.”

Commission staff, hunters and a representative from the suppressor industry defended the proposal as a means to protect hunters’ hearing, lessen the impact of hunting on others and even help while introducing people to the sport.

Knox Williams, president of the American Suppressor Association, estimated that 40,000 suppressors are already owned in Florida.

Florida currently allows the use of suppressors on shotguns for game hunting. A suppressor can also be placed on a rifle or pistol when hunting on private lands for non-game wildlife, which includes hogs, bears and armadillos.

Buck Holly, an owner of C&H Precision Weapons in LaBelle, projected that by lifting the ban, sales of suppressors at his Hendry County business would grow from about two to five a month to up to 10 a month. He said that would allow him to add one or two jobs.

“I know in most counties one to two jobs isn’t a big blip on the radar, but in Hendry and Glades counties, one or two is a tremendous economic boost,” Holly said.

Patricia Brigham, chair of the League of Women Voters’ Gun Safety Committee, cautioned that a proliferation of silencers would reduce public safety.

“They’re going to be used in such a way that they’re not intended to be used, which is to harm other human beings,” Brigham warned. “There are more important things than protecting the hearing of a hunter, than encouraging a young person to hunt … the more important thing is the errant bullet catching the sleeve of a nearby hiker, penetrating the skin of nearby hiker, penetrating the heart of a nearby hiker.”

Katherine McGill, a founding member of the National Urban Wildlife Coalition, said more time should be given to the review.

“I have no problem with suppressors personally. If someone is target-shooting near my property I’d be glad that they are using them. I’d like them to be put on fireworks, too,” McGill said. “But I don’t want to be riding my horse in the woods and not hear that hunter out there.”

Suppressors are allowed in 32 states for all hunting.

Division of Hunting and Game Management Director Diane Eggeman said lifting the prohibition isn’t expected to lead to a widespread proliferation of the use of suppressors. She estimated a rifle suppressor costs between $750 and $2,000, while individuals also have to pay $200 for a federal criminal background check.

Holly placed the cost for most suppressors between $450 and $1,000.

EDITORS NOTE: This column is courtesy of the News Service of Florida.

Colorado’s Experience Soundly Refutes Common Anti-gun Talking Point

Last month, while addressing a group of Colorado sheriffs, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper spoke on the topic of the state’s 2013 measure outlawing almost all private transfers of firearms. According to the Denver Post, Hickenlooper told the sheriffs, “I think we screwed that up completely… we were forming legislation without basic facts.”

A new Associated Press report examining Colorado background check data in the first year of the new law proves the accuracy of Hickenlooper’s statement, and should (although likely won’t) end the repetition of an already discredited anti-gun background check factoid.

The report states that the Colorado Legislative Council, an offshoot of the state legislature that is tasked with analyzing legislation, estimated that 420,000 additional background checks would be conducted in the two years following the new private sale restrictions. This led the Colorado legislature to allocate $3 million to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to handle the anticipated increase.

However, the AP notes, “officials have performed only about 13,600 reviews considered a result of the new law — about 7 percent of the estimated first year total.” The article goes on to state, “In total, there were about 311,000 background checks done during the first year of the expansion in Colorado, meaning the 13,600 checks between private sellers made up about 4 percent of the state total.”

How did the Colorado Legislative Council get their estimate so wildly wrong?

They relied on the same bogus statistic (that 40 percent of gun transfers occur between private parties) which gun control advocates and the White House have been using to advocate for expanded background checks all over the country.

The 40 percent statistic is from a Police Foundation survey, the results of which were published in a 1997 National Institute of Justice report titled, Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms. The figure has been debunked repeatedly by the NRA and others, and even earned the President “Three Pinocchios” from the Washington Post’s fact-checker for his repeated use of the misleading stat.

Unfortunately, these public admonishments haven’t deterred gun control supporters from using this absurdly inflated figure. In November, Sen. Dianne Feinstein repeated the factoid in an opinion piece for the San Jose Mercury News. As recently as early July, the Brady campaign asserted in a press release, “Approximately 40 percent of all guns sales go unchecked.” A May press release from Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety reiterated estimates “that 40 percent of gun sales occur without a background check in the U.S.” Even President Obama’s official website, whitehouse.gov, has a page for his “Now is the Time” gun control campaign that continues to claim, “Right now, federally licensed firearms dealers are required to run background checks on those buying guns, but studies estimate that nearly 40 percent of all gun sales are made by private sellers who are exempt from this requirement.”

The data from Colorado’s first year of restricted private transfers makes continued use the 40 percent figure untenable. Still, some gun control advocates might seek to blame Colorado’s low increase in background checks on scofflaws, and those unaware of changes in the law, circumventing the new restrictions. Even if these factors did have a role to play in the underwhelming check numbers, they could hardly be expected to raise the percentage of undocumented private transfers by a factor of 10. Even if they could, it would merely weaken the case of the efficacy of private transfer restrictions. Evidence of background check avoidance would simply underscore NRA’s position that background check laws cannot affect the behavior of those who intentionally or unknowingly violate them.

Colorado’s expensive foray into background check expansion should serve as a warning to state and federal legislators as to the limited effect these laws can have, and the importance of collecting the “basic facts” before crafting legislation that inhibits the rights of their constituents.

Yet the tactics of gun control supporters are nothing if not shameless, so don’t expect them to relinquish the 40 percent myth any time soon. President Obama has openly embraced the confiscatory gun bans of Australia and Great Britain, and he and other gun control radicals realize they can’t achieve that goal without registration. “Universal” background checks are the next step in that direction, so for their proponents, the ends justify their dishonest means.

For everyone else, however, Colorado’s example is a resounding reminder that the war the proponents of “universal” background checks are waging is one of ideology, not one of facts, and it is certainly not in the service of “gun safety.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column is by the NRA-ILA with accompanying graphic.

Hunting on Public Lands at Risk!

You may have seen the news that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), along with other anti-hunting groups and individuals, filed a petition with the Interior Department demanding rules against hunting with traditional ammunition on public lands – one-fifth of the total land area in the U.S.

The National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF) warned this was coming after the HSUS playbook was discovered. After all, this is the same HSUS that is run by Wayne Pacelle, who has made his goals known:

“If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.” (The Kingman Daily Miner, 30 December 1991).

“We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States. We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state.” (Full Cry Magazine, 1 October 1990).

The 50 page-petition is littered with junk science and fails to make the case that the use of traditional ammunition is a threat to wildlife populations or to humans that would warrant such a drastic action. Are we really to believe USUS finds hunting acceptable just so long as hunters use alternative ammunition?  Hunters, sportsmen and target shooters aren’t gullible.  We know better than to trust HSUS with setting hunting policy for the entire country. But we can’t assume the Obama Administration’s Interior Department is on our side.

Call Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today at 202-208-3181 and tell her to reject this scientifically baseless petition from HSUS to ban traditional ammunition. Let the Department of the Interior know that requiring the use of alternative, non-lead ammunition, is nothing more than a back-door way to ban hunting by raising the price of participating in an American sporting tradition. Make sure to tell them:

  • There is no sound science to support banning traditional ammunition used by hunters for centuries.
  • Don’t allow the Humane Society and other anti-hunting groups to advance their end game of banning all hunting through the tactic of by banning the use of traditional ammunition for hunting on public lands.
  • There is absolutely no adverse wildlife population impact that warrants such a drastic measure.
  • There is no evidence that consuming game taken with traditional ammunition poses a human health to hunters and their family.
  • Hunters are the original conservationists.  Excise taxes (11%) raised from the sale of traditional ammunition the HSUS and others unfairly demonize is a primary source of wildlife conservation funding. Banning traditional ammunition will harm the very animals HSUS claims to care about.

Call your officials today: DOI Office of Communications: 202-208-6416   DOI Executive Office: 202-208-3181 FWS Public Affairs: 703-358-222

TAKE ACTION: Republican Immigration Reform will lead to 8 million more Anti-gun Voters

“[A] Pew poll suggests that illegal immigrants, if given citizenship, would vote for liberal, anti-gun candidates by an 8-to-1 margin.” – GOA’s Erich Pratt, commenting on Pew poll findings as reported in The Washington Post (7/22/13)

Gun Owners of America (GOA) in an email states, “Next Wednesday, the House Republican leadership will announce a set of “principles” for immigration reform.  Supposedly, if these ‘principles’ are not well-received, the House will shelve the issue for the remainder of the year. To be blunt:  The health of the Second Amendment relies on demolishing these ‘principles’.”

“Immigration reform will add over 8,000,000 anti-gun voters to the voting rolls.  There may be as many as 11.5 million persons illegally in the United States.  And, a Pew poll from last year indicated that if illegal immigrants were given citizenship, they would vote for liberal, anti-gun candidates by an 8-to-1 margin,” notes GOA

Pratt notes, “This is exactly what happened to California — which was once a Red State.  Because of the Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty bill of 1986, the state lurched violently to the left and now can’t pass gun control restrictions fast enough. If this were to happen at the national level, we would lose the ability to stop massive gun bans and gun registration schemes.  And all of this occurs at a time when a Fox poll shows the American people oppose Obama’s immigration policies by a margin of 36% to 54%.”

The first reality is this:  If the House passes ANYTHING, the Senate will tack on its amnesty bill and send it to conference.  And the national conversation will turn off of ObamaCare and onto immigration.

And guess what?  Every gun-hating institution which moved heaven and earth to pass gun control will move heaven and earth to get the House to retreat — if not to a “pathway to citizenship,” to a “pathway to legalization.”

They will have created the biggest and most motivated Obama-loving movement in the country — devoted to electing anti-gun politicians and retaining Harry Reid’s control of the Senate.

What will Republicans get, in exchange for creating an army of pro-Obama election warriors?

Very little.  (Be sure to read GOA legislative counsel Michael Hammond’s analysis, which shows, in great detail, how the Republican leadership’s “principles” will end up backfiring on gun owners.)

The bottom line is that there is a reason why Barack Obama and his “puppet press” have been campaigning for a year to force the Republican House to wade into “immigration reform.”  It is nothing but benefits for anti-gun politicians, and nothing but pain for pro-gun legislators.

Who would be stupid enough to inflict that level of pain on themselves?

ACTION:   Contact your Representative.  If he is a Republican, the pre-written letter will ask him to reject the ridiculous “immigration principles” being hawked by the leadership — principles that will eventually destroy the pro-gun movement in America.  The pre-written letter for Democrats is a generic opposition letter.

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:  Remember that clicking on the first “submit” button on the GOA Engage site (where you input your name and address), only submits your information so that your correct legislators can be identified. Hence, the first “submit” button does not actually send your letter.  Instead, it brings you to the next page where you can actually review the pre-written letter. The second “submit” button actually sends the letter.

RELATED COLUMNS:

‘Homeland’ Head: Illegals Have Earned Right to be Citizens…

Republicans ready to roll dice on amnesty…

Florida HB-89 — “Threat of Force to Stop Attackers” Bill Passes

House Bill 89, Threatened Use of Force, introduced by Representatives Neil Combee (R-Auburndale) and Katie Edwards (D-Sunrise) was favorably amended and passed the Florida House Criminal Justice Committee by a bipartisan vote of 12-1. The bill currently has 29 cosponsors and with the number growing.

According to NRA-ILA, “HB-89 is a bill to stop abusive prosecutors from using 10-20-LIFE to prosecute people who ‘threaten to use deadly force’ against an attacker as a means of self-defense and to stop an attack. Some anti-gun, anti-self-defense prosecutors have been abusing the 10-20-LIFE law to prosecute average citizens who displayed a weapon or gun in self-defense to make an attacker back off.”

“Average citizens who never would have been in the system if they had not been attacked and in fear for their own safety, are being prosecuted for defending themselves. Because citizens took responsibility for their own safety, some prosecutors treat them like criminals and make them victims of a judicial system that is no longer about justice but rather about the whim or politics of prosecutors. 10-20-LIFE was passed to be used against criminals who use guns in the commission or attempted commission of crimes — NOT average citizens who rightfully defend themselves against threats of force,” notes NRA-ILA.

Voting In Favor of HB-89 were Florida Representatives Matt Gaetz, Ray Pilon, Irving Slosberg, Randolph Bracy, Mike Clelland, Dane Eagle, James Grant, Gayle Harrell, Dave Hood, Travis Hudson, Dave Kerner and Charles Van Zant.

Kionne McGhee voted Against HB-89.

FOLLOWING IS THE TESTIMONY OF MARION P. HAMMER:

HB-89 by Rep. Neil Combee & Rep. Katie Edwards
House Criminal Justice Committee
Thursday, November 7, 2013 3:00pm – 8:00pm

Thank You Mr. Chairman and Committee Members. The NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida support the Proposed Committee Substitute.

The simple truth is the intent of the 10-20-Life law is being violated.

10-20-Life was intended to lock up criminals who use guns during the commission or attempted commission of a crime.

10-20-Life was designed to put criminals behind bars and keep them off our streets – and to stop plea bargaining and sentence reductions for gun wielding criminals.

It was designed to stop prosecutors and judges from slapping gun-toting criminals on the wrist so they could quickly clear cases.

Folks, I was here in 1999 when we passed 10-20-Life – and NRA was a part of helping pass the law. I know what was intended and why.

10-20-Life was never intended to be used against citizens who, in an act of self-defense, threatened the use of force to stop an attacker.

It was never intended to be used on citizens who, in fear for their own safety, threaten to use force to stop an attack.

Yet that’s how some prosecutors are using it. Depending on the seriousness of the threat, they’ll try to put you in prison for 10 years or 20 years for threatening to use deadly force to protect your own life or the lives of your loved ones.

So the message from those prosecutors seems to be, if you actually use force in self defense — the law protects you But threaten to use force in self-defense, and they’re going to put you in prison for 10-20 years.

That is the cold hard reality of how some prosecutors are treating law-abiding people who never would have been in the system if they had not been attacked and in fear for their own safety.

There are people sitting in prison today who should not be there – but they are because prosecutors abused their discretion and violated the intent of 10-20-Life. This bill will stop that. Please support it.

Thank you.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law Stood Its Ground against attack – for now

By an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 11-2, the Florida House Criminal Justice Committee defeated House Bill 4003 by Representative Alan Williams (D). HB-4003 would have repealed Florida’s Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law.

According to NRA-ILA, “House Speaker Will Weatherford kept his word.  He gave Representative Williams and his Dream Defenders the hearing they requested. Committee Chairman Matt Gaetz kept his word.  He skillfully and expertly ran a fair, open and orderly 5-hour hearing. In a structured format, each side was allowed 30 minutes for Legislators who were not on the Committee to speak on the bill. Speaking in opposition to repeal were Representative Jason Brodeur (R), Representative Marti Coley (R) and Representative Katie Edwards (D). Representative Alan Williams was the only Legislator who spoke in the 30 minute time slot allocated for legislators to speak in favor of repeal.”

Karl Etters in The Tallahassee Democrat writes, “Florida was the first state to adopt the extension of the Castle Doctrine in 2005, which includes a clause stating that a person who feels threatened has no duty to retreat, but instead can lawfully use deadly force anywhere they are lawfully allowed to be. But with more than 10 bills filed in the Florida Legislature addressing some form of self-defense, lawmakers say even without a full repeal of Stand Your Ground, there is room to make tweaks.”

Etters notes, “At a Wednesday press conference, he [Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale] said instead of focusing on a full repeal, effort should be diverted toward bills like SB 130, which denies aggressors the chance to use self-defense. Gaetz said ‘what the Senate has proposed is an exercise in style over substance. I think you’ve got a couple of senators who just want to see something pass even though it doesn’t fundamentally alter the rights of Floridians in a favorable way.’ National Rifle Association and the Unified Sportsmen of Florida President Marion Hammer said this bill ‘wipes out part of the statutes. It doesn’t tweak it; it doesn’t amend it. It doesn’t adjust it. It is a repeal’.”

Allison Neilson from Sunshine State News reports, “On their Twitter page, the Dream Defenders brought in the issue of race at the hearing, saying that every single supporter of the Stand Your Ground bill at the hearing was white. ‘Every. Single. Opponent. testifying in support of #StandYourGround has been white. Everyone.’ read the tweet. But several lawmakers dismissed the claim that the law was about race, including Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, and Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. Eagle dismissed the claims, saying instead the law was an issue of human rights.”

Speaking for 2 minutes each were 59 speakers from around the state (24 in support of repeal and 35 opposed to repeal). Following speakers on both sides of the issue the vote was as follows:

Voting Against the Bill To Repeal Stand Your Ground:

Representatives Matt Gaetz, Ray Pilon, Irving Slosberg, Mike Clelland, Dane Eagle, James Grant, Gayle Harrell, Dave Hood, Travis Hutson, Dave Kerner and Charles VanZant.

Voting in Favor of the Bill to Repeal  Stand Your Ground

Randolph Bracy and Kionne McGhee.

Currently twenty-two states have some form of an expanded self-defense law that extends to public places, while others only cover a person’s vehicle or business.

Infographic: As gun sales rise gun crimes plummet

Florida has over one million citizens with concealed carry permits. This does not include the millions more who own a firearm in the state. Florida has come under scrutiny for its Stand Your Ground laws, which protect citizens who are protecting themselves. Gun rights are embedded in America’s history, a part of the Constitution and a right of law abiding citizens.

This infographic is from the National Shooting Sports Foundation says it all.

Gun Crimes Plummet Even As Gun Sales Rise

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

About the National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 8,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers.

Firearms Freedom Act coming to Florida?

The SWFL Citizens Alliance has been working to get Florida to be one of the next states to pass a Second Amendment Protection and Firearms Freedom Act. This is happening while Democrats are trying to repeal Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

A Firearms Freedom Act passed in Kansas this year. Proponents see it is a strong statement of “State Sovereignty” based on both the Commerce Clause and the 2nd, 9th and 10th Amendments of the US Constitution.

Map of states that have passed, introduced or are considering a Firearms Freedom Act. For a larger view click on the map.

In an email the SWFL Citizens Alliance states, “We have met with and have the support of 7 of our 8 FL House and Senate delegation from Southwest Florida. Rep Matt Hudson submitted the Kansas bill to Florida House Bill writing team and we have a Florida Draft of the bill – see attachedRep. Dane Eagle volunteered to sponsor this bill and our SWFL delegation strongly supports him to sponsor the House version of this bill.”

“We have had lengthy conference calls with the Kansas Sponsor of their bill, Rep. John Rubin and the NRA Affiliate, Patricia Stoneking, who was co-author of their KS Bill,” notes the Alliance.

The Alliance had a booth at the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) Summer Conference. Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk introduced the Florida draft legislation during the conference. The sheriffs agreed by consensus to ask their Legislative Committee to consider including this in their 2014 Legislative Agenda. The FSA Legislative Committee meets on August 30th.

The Alliance is seeking a Senate sponsor, with “several Senators contacted who are reviewing the draft legislation”.

September 23, 2013 is the first Florida Committee week in Tallahassee. The Alliance hopes to get teams from 8-10 counties to meet with various Committee heads to insure the Second Amendment Protection and Firearms Freedom Act is a priority for both House and Senate in the 2014 cycle.

Read the SWFL Citizens Alliance mission and vision statement here.

New Government Report Undercuts Anti-Gun Agenda

report issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS-a component of the Justice Department) shows that firearm homicides in general, and violence at schools, have decreased substantially during the last two decades; the percentage of homicides committed with firearms has decreased; and only a tiny percentage of state prison inmates imprisoned for gun offenses obtain their guns from gun shows.

As the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin characterizes it, the report is “wonderful news for the country and rotten data for anti-gun advocates.” 

To make matters worse for anti-gun advocates, the story has been picked up by the national news media. In an article for U.S. News and NBCNews.com, veteran reporter Pete Williams points out that the BJS report shows that 40 percent of criminals get their guns from friends and family members, and another 37 percent get theirs from theft or other illegal sources. Lest gun control advocates accuse the BJS or Williams of having a pro-gun political agenda, Williams notes that “The report is strictly factual.”

In his article for the Washington Post, Jerry Markon says that while “gun shows were central” to the recent debate in the U.S. Senate over expanding background checks to cover private firearm transactions, “Less than 1 percent of state prison inmates who possessed a gun when they committed their offense obtained the firearm at a gun show,” according to the report. The figure reported by the BJS is 0.8 percent.

NRA members probably are not surprised at the gist of the BJS report.

In the NRA’s magazines and NRA-ILA’s Grassroots Alerts, we’ve been reporting the decline in violent crime, the relative safety of schools, and the relative rarity of criminal acquisition of firearms at gun shows, for nearly 20 years. But for the general public, the contents of the BJS report may come as a revelation, especially given the way that many in the media have reported on the gun control issue over the last few months.

As another U.S. News article and a Fox News article that covered the BJS report point out, a recent Pew Research Center poll found that while “The gun homicide rate in 2010 was the lowest it had been since [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] began publishing data in 1981,” 56 percent of respondents believe that gun crime is higher than it was two decades ago, against 12 percent who believe it is lower.

To be clear, 2010 is the most recent year for which the CDC has released homicide data. For the record, FBI data show that the murder rate dropped again in 2011, and again in the first half of 2012.

Miami, FL: Good guy with a gun, stops bad guy with a gun

This story is courtesy of Michael Dorstewitz from BizPac Review:

National Rifle Association spokesman Wayne LaPierre recently remarked, “The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Florida man made this point crystal clear over the weekend.

At a Burger King on Miami’s Biscayne Blvd., a robber walked in, displayed his gun and demanded that a family turn over its valuables, according to NBC-6 News Miami.

What the robber didn’t consider is that Floridians respect the Constitution, including the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The father pulled out his own firearm and shot the robber in the leg.

Read more.

View more videos at: http://nbcmiami.com.

Grassroots movement to arm teachers gains momentum

Long before Wayne LaPierre held his press conference the internet was alive with practical solutions on how to prevent another Newtown, CT like attack on schools. Most comments coalesced around arming school based administrators and teachers. One idea is to provide concealed carry training to school based administrators and on a voluntary basis to teachers. The school district would cover the costs of the training, license and purchase of an approved weapon.

Virginia is considering legislation requiring teachers be armed.

Several photographs and photo-shopped signs were circulated graphically demonstrating the popularity of this solution. Two stand out and were the most often received by WDW. Below is a widely distributed photo allegedly depicting an Israeli teacher and her class of elementary school students:

armed teacher in israel

This photo-shopped sign with the caption “Which sign is most likely to deter a school shooting?” is widely circulating on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites:

 GunFreeZoneSign

Comments on these images may be best represented by a common sense approach to the issue. The argument goes something like this – if there is something valuable that society wants to protect and defend then society must have armed guards in place. Examples of protected areas include: government offices at every level, sensitive installations such as military bases or nuclear power plants, airports, banks, prisons and national parks.

Many are asking why we are not similarly protecting our most precious natural resources – our children?

USA Today reports, “About 70% of public schools don’t have [a] police officer and almost 60% don’t have any security staff. Those with police tend to be big and urban schools, according to a USA TODAY data analysis.” Clearly at some point schools decide to have an armed guard present. The only restriction is cost weighted against the potential threat.

Political opponents focus on taking away guns, not on protecting the children as is done for most politicians. History and statistics work against opponents to arming those most responsible for the protection of our children – school based administrators and teachers.

PLEASE TAKE OUR ONLINE SURVEY ON THE QUESTION OF ARMING SCHOOL STAFF:

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