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New Gun Ownership Study is ‘bunkum — pure fiction’

The NRA-ILA in an email writes, “Once again we owe thanks to reporter Lee Williams, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, for his willingness to expose the agenda of those who are the enemies of Freedom and the Second Amendment.  On the day before Independence Day — July 4th, he released an article exposing the agenda of those who conspire against the Second Amendment.”

Below is the column by Williams which shows a recent study is “bunkum – pure fiction.”


Study: Gun control groups should undermine our ‘gun culture’ to reduce gun ownership

Posted on July 3, 2015 by Lee Williams  Sarasota herald-Tribune

There’s a dangerous scientific study making the rounds, even some pro-gun websites have featured it, titled “Gun ownership and social gun culture.”

It’s bunkum — pure fiction.

It’s an insidious piece of work, written by four academics who used firearm policy information from the Brady Center and the CDC’s Injury Prevention and Control Center — two groups well known for their opposition to the Second Amendment.

The gist of the study appears to say that since gun control supporters’ long term goal is to reduce gun ownership, they ought to consider not only campaigning for gun control laws that make it more difficult to acquire or possess guns — background checks, gun registration, gun owners licensing, etc. — but focusing on policies that could undermine the social aspects of gun ownership.

To be clear, the authors say gun control groups need to undermine our “gun culture.”

The study does not describe these social aspects in much detail, but you can guarantee they mean everything from hunting, to target shooting competitions and clubs, to marksmanship training classes and gun shows.

This is not a new approach.

Since the 1980s, gun control groups have realized that once a person becomes part of the gun culture, they’re likely to become a single-issue voter focused on protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

This is why anti-gun activist groups are now pushing the lie that — even though Americans have been buying guns in unprecedented numbers — gun ownership is declining.

They hope other people will essentially say, “Well, if no one is owning guns, I guess I don’t need to own guns either, or fret about additional restrictions.”

This new tact coincides with an admission by gun control supporters that pushing for extreme restrictions — handgun bans of the 1970s, “Assault Weapon” bans of the 1980s, “cop killer” bullet legislation of the 1990s, and more recent magazine restrictions — has failed.

None of these tactics worked.  In the 1970s, when they claimed more handguns would mean more crime, Americans tripled the number of handgunsthey owned in little more than a generation.

In the 1980s, gun control supporters started trying to stop states from adopting Right-to-Carry laws. But Florida ignored them, adopting its law in 1987, 32 states followed Florida’s lead, and now nearly every state has right-to-carry legislation, and the nation’s murder rate is
at an all-time low.

In 2012, the administration and its gun control supporters in Congress tried to convince Americans that support for gun control was overwhelming, and no further debate over the subject was necessary. But Americans responded by buying guns in unprecedented numbers, and
Congress rejected the President’s agenda.

The Pew Center reported in December 2014 that among nearly all demographic groups, support for gun ownership is rising and support for gun control is decreasing. Gallup showed that self-defense is the primary reason why American own guns.

The ultimate goal of the study is obvious given its use of the anti-gun Brady Campaign’s scorecard to assess the gun ownership culture in the states.

The Brady Campaign gives most states school grades of “F” or “D,” because they don’t have the myriad of gun control laws that Brady wants.

Finally, I should point out that in the 1990s, several anti-gun groups tried to funnel taxpayer money to their like-minded pals in academia — an effort thwarted by Congress.

Maybe now the four academics responsible for this little study are hoping to carve themselves a lucrative niche in the anti-gun research cottage industry.

Hollywood Elite to Erect Memorial to all Dead Home Invaders

HOLLYWOOD, CA – The silver screen’s most elite names and faces gathered at a discrete location, to discuss their disastrous participation in Michael Bloomberg’s first annual Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2nd.

Wear orange

The stars had every reason to be concerned after their collective wearing of orange shirts to commemorate all those who have lost their lives to gun violence went largely unnoticed by the general public. Attended by Sean Penn, Barbara Streisand, Michael Moore, and Jane Fonda, to name just a few, the discussion over cocktails and entrées extended into the late evening, until all celebrities came to a consensus that the best way to raise awareness for the victims of gun violence was to erect a statue of an unarmed man with a flashlight and a bag over his shoulder, climbing through a window.

Wear orangePenn, the leader of the Coalition of Film Actors Against Gun Violence, explained his support for the memorial.

“We live in a nation of small-minded, gun-toting ignoramuses who fail to realize that the reason for economically challenged individuals to enter strangers’ homes is not that they are criminals out to do them harm, but in actuality it manifests the desire of the disadvantaged classes to obtain items of materialistic culture that our capitalist society conditions them to think they need,” he stated.

“Deprived by the system of the means to afford expensive things, they try to acquire them the only way they can, by entering someone’s home and taking it. The so-called ‘burglars’ and ‘home invaders’ are, in fact, nothing more than casualties of America’s perpetual war on the poor and racial minorities,” said the star of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Adorned with a golden plaque saying, “To all those lost to the mindless pull of a trigger,” the memorial is expected to appear in the center of the famous Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which will make it officially the first monument erected at a U.S. cemetery for political motives. Despite objections by locals and right-wing groups, Penn and his celebrity alliance claim that the monument will bear as much dignified significance as any war memorial in American history.

Jane Fonda supported Penn’s statement by saying, “It takes a lot of courage to enter a home of a complete stranger. We should honor their bravery, while at the same time recognize their sacrifice as a shameful legacy of conservative policies. Hopefully, this sacred memorial will raise awareness and help end the bloodshed,” said the actress famous for her portrayal of a gun-toting interstellar beauty in Barbarella.

The movement has been able to raise over $250,000 in donations since its inception yesterday, with most of the money coming from California’s wealthiest gated communities, protected by private security companies and teams of armed bodyguards.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

Vince Vaughn Is Actually Right about “Gun Free” Zones

Vince Vaughn, Ron Paul supporter and star of the forthcoming second season of True Detective, has been making waves with his comments on Edward Snowden and guns in a wide-ranging interview with GQ magazine.

One section that has gun control activists fulminating (and many libertarians swooning) is his comments on gun rights and, especially, on guns in schools:

I support people having a gun in public full stop, not just in your home. … All these gun shootings that have gone down in America since 1950, only one or maybe two have happened in non-gun-free zones.

Take mass shootings. They’ve only happened in places that don’t allow guns. These people are sick in the head and are going to kill innocent people. They are looking to slaughter defenseless human beings. They do not want confrontation.

In all of our schools it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these f***ing schools because they know there are no guns there. They are monsters killing six-year-olds. …

Of course [guns should be allowed in schools]. You think the politicians that run my country and your country don’t have guns in the schools their kids go to? They do. And we should be allowed the same rights.

We usually shouldn’t pay any notice when celebrities talk about politics, for obvious reasons, but this is worth the attention because Vaughn actually has a point about “gun free” zones.

The Independence Institute’s David Kopel has pointed out that just saying that an area is “gun free” doesn’t actually make it so. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, Kopel wrote,

The bucolic campus of Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va., would seem to have little in common with the Trolley Square shopping mall in Salt Lake City. Yet both share an important characteristic, common to the site of almost every other notorious mass murder in recent years: They are “gun-free zones.” …

In Virginia, universities aren’t “gun-free zones” by statute, but college officials are allowed to impose anti-gun rules. The result is that mass murderers know where they can commit their crimes.

Private property owners also have the right to prohibit lawful gun possession. And some shopping malls have adopted anti-gun rules. Trolley Square was one, as announced by an unequivocal sign, “No weapons allowed on Trolley Square property.”

In February of this year, a young man walked past the sign prohibiting him from carrying a gun on the premises and began shooting people who moments earlier were leisurely shopping at Trolley Square. He killed five.

Fortunately, someone else – off-duty Ogden, Utah, police officer Kenneth Hammond – also did not comply with the mall’s rules. … He bought time for the local police to respond, while stopping the gunman from hunting down other victims.

At Virginia Tech’s sprawling campus in southwestern Va., the local police arrived at the engineering building a few minutes after the start of the murder spree… Cho committed suicide when he realized he’d soon be confronted by the police. But by then, 30 people had been murdered.

Kopel isn’t anti-gun free zones, however. Rather, he’s anti-fake gun free zones. On the Free Thoughts podcast, he argues, “Gun free zones I think are fine — as long they really exist.”

In Colorado, like most of the country, we have a fair process for law-abiding adults to get a permit to carry a handgun for protection. But the state statute says, “What about government buildings?”

And the answer is, if a government building wants to ban licensed carry in there, they can. They can have a gun free zone. They just have to make it real. Which means, at every public entrance, you have metal detectors, and you have armed guards.

That will work. Once you’re inside the Department of Motor Vehicles, you know that nobody is going to be carrying a gun because we’vechecked to make sure about that.

What is harmful — drastically harmful — is the pretend gun free zone, where you put up a sign that says “no guns allowed.” The only people who will obey that are the law-abiding people. And it means for the criminal you’ve got a great opportunity of unarmed victims.

Real gun free zones are fine; guns really shouldn’t be allowed some places. But pretend gun free zones are a dangerous illusion. Sometimes even Hollywood celebrities can see that.

Check out the rest of the podcast below and Vaughn’s GQ interview here.

Anything Peaceful

Anything Peaceful is FEE’s new online ideas marketplace, hosting original and aggregate content from across the Web.

Here It Comes: Obama’s Final Assault on the Second Amendment

The Justice department is moving forward with a flurry of new rules. according to list of rules the agency has proposed to enact before the end of the Obama administration.

HERE IT COMES FOLKS!

The Hill Reports:

The regulations range from new restrictions on high-powered pistols to gun storage requirements. Chief among them is a renewed effort to keep guns out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable or have been convicted of domestic abuse.

Gun safety advocates have been calling for such reforms since the Sandy Hook school shooting nearly three years ago in Newtown, Conn. They say keeping guns away from dangerous people is of primary importance.

FULL STORY HERE:

Administration preps new gun regulations | TheHill

Michael Moore and the 2nd Amendment by B.K. MARCUS

Would the left support gun rights over police monopolies? 

In the wake of the Baltimore riots and the latest charges of police violence against unarmed suspects, Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore has called for disarming American cops, saying in his Twitter feed, “We have a 1/4 billion 2nd amendment guns in our homes 4 protection. We’ll survive til the right cops r hired.”

Is that an implicit endorsement of private individuals’ right to armed self-defense?

Probably not.

Moore, who became the darling of the gun-control movement in 2002 for the movie Bowling for Columbine, is an outspoken critic of the 2nd Amendment, saying that the Founders themselves would have excluded gun rights from the Constitution if they had known what firearms would become over the next two centuries:

If the Founding Fathers could have looked into a crystal ball and seen AK-47s and Glock semiautomatic pistols … I think they’d want to leave a little note behind and probably tell us, you know, that’s not really what we mean when we say “bear arms.”

It’s tempting, therefore, to dismiss Moore’s April 30th tweets as conscious hyperbole — perhaps confronting law-and-order types with the logic of their own support for gun ownership.

But if you look at the full set of Moore’s tweets on the subject, a consistent libertarian logic is evident:

  1. Government agents currently do more to endanger private citizens than they do to protect us.

  2. That oppression can only continue while the government holds a monopoly on armed violence.

  3. We need to shift the balance of power away from the state and back to the people.

Is that too much to read into one angry Twitter rant?

If Moore’s goal was to outrage the American public, he has certainly succeeded. Pro-police conservatives are jerking their knees at the far-left filmmaker’s provocations. But advocates of liberty can find at least a sliver of common cause with those who see the visible fist of government power in Baltimore and too many other American cities in recent months.

Many libertarians consider the police to be among the few legitimate roles for a night-watchman government; defense and security are necessary to protect the rights of individuals. But there is no question that the government’s most heavily armed agencies have grown well beyond the role of night watchmen, if that was ever really their function. And then there is the proliferation of armed agents to organizations like the Fisheries Office, NASA, the EPA, and the Department of Education.

As the sharing economy chips away at other cartels in our over-regulated economy, we need to accept that the police, too, need competition — and we have the opportunity right now to ally with many on the American left who are beginning to suspect the same thing.

When government agents hold a monopoly on the tools of violence, is it any wonder when they behave like a cartel? Privately owned firearms are part of the decentralized solution to both looting and the police violence that triggers the protests.

By allowing individuals to defend themselves, their homes, their businesses, and their communities from crime and rioting, they need not rely exclusively on police forces that may be ineffective or corrupt. (The famous defense of Koreatown by armed shop owners during the LA riots shows this principle at work.)

If you don’t recognize the right to armed self-defense in principle, you are either dogmatically opposed to private guns, or you think the question is pragmatic and that there is a calculus of trade-offs: which is more dangerous at the moment, armed citizens or a police monopoly?

There isn’t much say to dogmatists on the matter. But the question of practical trade-offs may resonate with those on the left who currently see the police less as protectors and more as a danger.

Would such an alliance evaporate as soon as our allies perceive themselves to be in power again? Probably. Moore doesn’t see the problem as permanent: “We’ll survive til the right cops r hired.”

But we have the opportunity right now to drive home the point that the government needs more than checks and balances within itself. The people must have the ability to defend themselves independently of the state, and that’s harder to do when the government has all the guns.

B.K. Marcus

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

Veteran Administration Systematicly Disarming Veterans Brings Further Shame to Troubled Agency

Last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) brought renewed attention to the plight of a growing number of veterans who have been unjustly stripped of their Second Amendment rights. In an April 14 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. Grassley takes the Department of Veterans Affairs to task for overreaching policies that have resulted in the names of well over 100,000 veterans and dependents being placed in the FBI’s National Instance Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as prohibited from possessing firearms.

Federal agencies are required to forward information to the FBI about individuals who have been disqualified by agency action from legally possessing firearms. This includes information about disqualifying mental health “adjudications” and “commitments.” The VA’s interpretation of what constitutes a disqualifying mental health “adjudication,” however, has resulted in widespread, unjustified deprivation of Second Amendment rights and Fifth Amendment due process rights.

As Grassley’s letter points out, federal regulation allows the VA to determine whether its beneficiaries need a “fiduciary” to manage their benefits. Veterans who the agency determines need help administering their VA compensation are then labeled “mental defectives” and reported to NICS to be barred from firearm acquisition and possession, alongside the likes of felons, fugitives, and the dishonorably discharged. The process of assigning a fiduciary, however, does not require the VA to consider whether the veteran actually poses a danger to himself or others or is seriously functionally impaired in any other respect. Indeed, the VA’s own website states, “The determination that you are unable to manage your VA benefits does not affect your non-VA finances, or your right to vote or contract.”

Needless to say, it’s completely untenable that America’s military men and women must choose between what’s best for their medical care and financial management and the fundamental civil liberties their own service protects. The fact that a veteran’s spouse or other loved one is more financially astute or is simply more accustomed to maintaining the household finances is completely irrelevant to the veteran’s ability safely and responsibly to handle firearms. That the VA claims otherwise reveals nothing so much as its own systemic, institutional anti-gun bias and its distrust of the very people the agency serves.

For veterans who choose to contest the appointment of a fiduciary, VA procedure offers scant protection. Typically, deprivation of a fundamental constitutional right requires significant due process, as required by the Fifth Amendment (for example, a criminal trial). As Grassley’s letter makes clear, the procedure VA employs falls well below acceptable due process standards and places the burden of proof upon the veteran to seek redress after the fact.

In an April 21st, 2015 article for the Daily Caller, entitled, “VA Sends Veterans’ Medical Info To FBI To Get Their Guns Taken Away,” journalist Patrick Howley puts a human face on this tragedy. In one instance, disabled veteran Henry Wrobel was categorized as unable to handle his own finances, triggering the firearm prohibition. The VA’s actions followed Wrobel’s conversation with a VA counselor during which he mentioned having recently opted to receive his benefits by direct deposit in an attempt to simplify his life. In another case, a Vietnam War widow receiving VA benefits was deprived of her right to bear arms after making a request to the VA for assistance in obtaining someone to help with her household chores after she suffered a mild stroke.

Beyond this matter’s constitutional concerns is that the VA’s “mental defective” determination process and forwarding of records to NICS have contributed to a deep distrust of the agency among those it serves. Rumors abound regarding VA measures to strip gun rights from veterans, and current VA practices regarding fiduciary appointments, along with  highly suspect efforts, substantiate these concerns. Undoubtedly, some veterans have chosen to forego vital benefits and medical treatment, or have been less than candid with VA personnel, due to a fear of losing their Second Amendment rights.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Congressmen with America’s Most Popular Rifle: A Cause for Panic in D.C.

Gun Grabbers High on Hillary, Look to Her to Enact Controls Where Obama Failed

D.C. Shifts from Defending Total Ban on Carrying Firearms, to Defense of Near-Total Ban

A President, Not a Potentate

In 2010, before the midterm elections, President Obama said, “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends.”

Instead, it was the Democratic Party that got punished as voters rejected its candidates, rendering it some of its biggest losses since the Great Depression. The Republican Party gained 63 seats in the House of Representatives, recapturing the majority, the largest seat change since 1948.

In November 2014, the voters gave complete control of Congress to Republicans for the first time in eight years as they retained every one of the GOP Senate seats up for reelection and added six more to ensure a Republican majority.

What was apparent before the 2010 election and since has been a President who regards himself and his powers as that of a potentate, a monarch scornful of the Congress in the same way English kings scorned their parliament until forced to relinquish total power and grant individual freedom to their subjects.

In the twenty-two months before Obama’s second and final term ends, I am, I confess, increasingly fearful of what he has in mind for America. The voters have already made it clear they oppose his gun control efforts, his views on illegal immigration and they want ObamaCare repealed.

As this is written, Americans are growing increasingly concerned over the outcome of the negotiations with Iran. Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, has written to Bob Corker (R-TN), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, harshly criticizing the notion that the Senate should have anything to say regarding the negotiations and suggesting that Obama has the authority to lift the sanctions imposed by Congress on Iran. He doesn’t.

A White House that believes it has powers that a simple reading of the Constitution tells them are limited is dangerous place. Obama’s White House has been gaining a reputation for lawlessness and we have seen this in the way the IRS denied conservative groups the right to tax-exempt status to which they were entitled. Then, not so mysteriously, the emails that would reveal this were “lost.”

In the wake of the Benghazi tragedy in which our ambassador and three other staff were killed on September 12, 2012—the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon—the emails of the then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have gone missing along with all the rest of those wiped clean from her personal server. I still recall seeing her stand beside the President when he blatantly lied to Americans and the world that the attack was the result of a video no one had ever seen.

Cover - Our Lost ConstitutionIn his book, “Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document”, by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) he devotes a chapter to the Fourth Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Colonial Americans had watched a famous case in England in which John Wilkes had led the fight to ensure that the King could no longer arbitrarily search and seize the property of anyone. They had fought a Revolution to be free of such tyranny. In the effort to secure the ratification of the Constitution, in 1789 James Madison began drafting the Bill of Rights that several of the states said had to be part of the Constitution if they were to ratify it. It was introduced to the First Congress that same year.

Sen. Lee expresses concern that “for the past eight years, the federal government has relied on an excessively broad interpretation of an excessively broad provision of the USA Patriot Act to collect and, in some circumstances, search through vast amounts of information that most Americans would consider both private and entirely unrelated to national security.”

Noting the intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency that routinely gather enormous information about all our electronic communications, telephone calls and email, Sen. Lee says that “One could argue, however, that that far greater threat to government of the people, by the people, and for the people is the near certainty that those who wield this power will eventually use it to identify and punish anyone whom may disagree with them. This type of abuse could weaken or even destroy constitutionally limited government as we know it.”

That’s what has me worried specifically about Barack Obama. I have no doubt at all that he would and probably has used the vast information gathering capacity at his disposal to “punish” those he regards his enemies.

Consider what he did to Iraq War hero Gen. David Petraeus who he had appointed as Director of the CIA. He drove him from that post and threatened him with jail for an infraction that likely was discovered by monitoring his private communications. By contrast, Hillary Clinton’s email server was, according to intelligence experts, likely hacked to the point where our enemies knew exactly what she and the State Department was doing. And she wants to be your next President.

My ultimate concern is that Obama might declare martial law for whatever spurious reason he would give. It would suspend the Constitution and leave us with no rights at all, subject to arrest for resisting his takeover of the nation. It would also mobilize the largest army in the world…America’s hunters and gun owners!

Obama has been working to federalize police authorities around the nation. He has purged the military of any officer that was deemed to disagree with his policies. All that stands between us and him is the Constitution and Congress. And the fact that millions of Americans, thanks to the Second Amendment, are armed in the event he tries to assert dictatorial powers.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Armed American Women

A salute to the real women of America who stand for our Constitution and put the liberals to shame. Learn more at Armed American Women.

RELATED ARTICLE: “Gun-Free Zone” New York City Experiences 22% Increase in Shootings

We take aim at Nasty Nancy’s attack on Chris Kyle and Christianity

Nancy writes a typical left wing screed against American Sniper Chris Kyle and Christianity. We fire back!

RELATED ARTICLES:

American Sniper Chris Kyle: A Man with a Purpose Driven Life

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Was Chris Kyle’s killer a converted Muslim?

Honoring American Sniper Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield

Washington State Rep. Shea demands Apology after Deputy says Armored Vehicles needed to combat Gun Owners

The video below of Washington State Representative Matt Shea demanding an apology, after a deputy said Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles are needed for gun owners, is a quick study of leadership by an elected official.

shea

Representative Matt Shea, Washington State (R-District 4).

The Great State of Washington has a leader in Representative Shea, but he is more than a public official. Matt is an attorney, and proudly served in our military two tours of Iraq in military intelligence. Thoughtful, studious, and passionate about a person’s freedom and the sovereignty of a city, county, or state, Representative Shea is not about worrying over his next election or committee assignment or building a resume. Representative Shea knows the citizens of this Nation are in a war for the very survival of our country, and the enemy is “behind the wire” and determined to collapse this Republic we call home. I also know Representative Shea personally, and call him “friend” and colleague, in that, we both are working to preserve these exceptional United States.

Moments after concluding his speech, Matt, Sheriff Richard Mack, and I were on a conference call. One of the topics discussed was rallying elected officials to stand against the growing juggernaut, which is the Federal Government and its many agencies. Since the near disaster at Bundy Ranch almost a year ago, we are aware of a growing list of elected officials who have come forward and placed their responsibilities to their Oaths of Office and representation of citizens first, and concerns with re-election a distant second. These elected officials embrace the foundational concept:

People are free and equal, and they voluntarily transfer some of their rights via a social contract to a government – mostly to protect them from violence, so they may enjoy their freedoms and their lives.

Governments exist by the consent of the people in order to protect the rights of the people, and therefore, governments that fail to do so can be resisted and replaced with new government. Listen to Representative Matt Shea speak truth and speak as a leader. We need this in those we have elected to represent us. American voters will trust a leader who believes in right and wrong and acts on it, even at his own seeming expense. And the reverse is also true: a leader must trust the American people, believing they are both good and gifted, equal to almost any challenge thrown at them.

Politics for those in office so they can remain and get internally promoted to this coveted chairmanship of a committee, or the corner office, or bigger title is crude and rude, we are losing our country and do not need such office holders. We need leaders who are willing to publicly place the people above themselves, above ideology, above political agendas. We need leaders who will stand and speak straight with the citizens, as you will see when you click on the below link and listen to Representative Shea; leaders who will call-out those abusing their positions of trust; those in public office who, for whatever reason, have forgotten their Oaths of Office, much less that all positions of public trust are but temporary, and an honor to hold – not a right.

If you elected official is not coming close to the ideals I have mentioned, or those you will see and listen to then put them on notice! Enough! We are losing our country and this is NOT a drill!!

UN Small-Arms Treaty: A Major Second Amendment Threat

The assault on Americans Citizen’s rights to own and bear arms in accordance with provisions of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution is being threatened by the Obama administration’s support for the UN Small Arms Treaty  This UN Small-Arms Treaty threatens individual firearm ownership with an invasive registration scheme.

The below listed Op-Ed by Admiral James A Lyons’52 USN (Ret) (former Commander of the US Pacific Fleet and the Senior US Military Representative to the United Nations)  is a warning all Americans of the threat ;posed by Obama to void provisions of the Second Amendment by signing the UN Small-Arms Treaty, allowing the UN to control small arms in the United States.

Obama has the support of the elected Democrat Senators to approve the UN Small Arms Treaty.  Those Democrat Senators who agree with Obama, standing for re-election in November should be defeated at the polls.   The endorsed Combat Veterans For Congress in the attachment, running for election in 2014 (three of whom are running for the US Senate), support the rights of all Americans to acquire and bear arms in accordance with the US Constitution. .

Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat

Ceding Senate constitutional authority to the U.N. would be unwise

By James A. Lyons

In a little-noticed action, the U.N. General Assembly on April 2, 2013, adopted by “majority vote” an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with the objective of regulating the international trade in conventional arms from small arms to major military equipment. The treaty’s lofty objectives were to foster peace and security by limiting uncontrolled destabilizing arms transfer to areas of conflict. In particular, it was also meant to prevent countries that abuse human rights from acquiring arms.

While the record of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty discussions makes no mention of it, the genesis for regulating the unrestrained transfer of conventional arms to conflict areas, Third Worldcountries and human rights violators was a key policy of President Carter’s administration. Shortly after his inauguration in 1977, he initialed a policy of restraint on conventional-arms transfer and linked such control to the human rights record of potential recipients, particularly in Latin America. To implement this policy, the Carter administration proposed to the Soviet Union, the world’s second-leading supplier of arms, that it open negotiations to conclude such an agreement. These meetings were known as the Conventional Arms Transfer Talks.

The first region selected was Latin America, because there was less competition there than anywhere else in the world between the United States and the Soviet Union. As the director of political-military affairs, I was the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative in the U.S. delegation, which was headed by Les Gelb from the State Department. Suffice to say, after four meetings over a 12-month period and the “delusion” that a successful agreement could be achieved, the talks collapsed. The esoteric objectives may sound good in the faculty lounge, but they fail to pass muster in the real world.

The Soviets were always the reluctant suitors in this enterprise. They were not about to restrict the transfer of arms in areas that they viewed to be in their political interests. Certainly, there was not unanimity of purpose in the Carter administration. The Joint Chiefs of Staff viewed the objectives as an unnecessary infringement on our strategy and sovereignty.

For the record, the Obama administration’s Conventional Arms Transfer policy issued on Jan. 16embraces many of the objectives of the Carter administration’s policy, as well as the current U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. However, it makes no mention of either one.

A number of major defects in the U.N. treaty were detailed in a letter sent to President Obama in October 2013 by 50 senators — both Republicans and Democrats. The first problem was that the treaty was adopted by majority vote in the U.N. General Assembly, not by consensus, a condition called for by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. After entry into force, the senators contend, the Arms Trade Treaty can be amended by majority vote of signatory countries, effectively negating the Senate’s constitutional treaty power and handing it to foreign governments. Even the State Department concedes, the senators wrote, that the treaty “includes language that could hinder the United States from fulfilling its strategic, legal and moral commitments to provide arms to key allies such as the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the State of Israel.”

Of most concern is the infringement on our constitutional rights, the senators charged. The Arms Trade Treaty “includes only a weak nonbinding reference to the lawful ownership, use of, and trade in firearms, and recognizes none of these activities, much less individual self-defense, as fundamental individual rights.” When coupled with the treaty’s ceding of interpretive authority to other countries, this poses a direct threat to the Second Amendment.

It should be noted that neither of Virginia’s senators, Mark Warner or Tim Kaine, signed the Senate letter against a U.N. treaty that threatens Americans’ right to keep and bear arms, and undermines American sovereignty.

Failing to sign the letter is not the first time Mr. Warner went AWOL on the Arms Trade Treaty. In January 2013, before Secretary of State John F. Kerry signed the treaty, the Senate passed a budget amendment sponsored by Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund for the purpose of “upholding Second Amendment rights, which shall include preventing the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.” Mr. Warner and Mr. Kaine were among the 46 voting “nay” on the amendment.

Supporters of the treaty say there’s nothing to worry about, because the Second Amendment is a constitutional protection, and nothing in a treaty can undermine it. Gun rights champions strongly disagree. “The Obama administration is once again demonstrating its contempt for our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, following Mr. Kerry’s signing of the treaty. “This treaty threatens individual firearm ownership with an invasive registration scheme. The NRA will continue working with the United States Senate to oppose ratification of the ATT.”

With 50 senators opposed to the Arms Trade Treaty, we can hope its prospects for Senate advice and consent are small — with or without the support of liberals such as Mr. Warner and Mr. Kaine. The Joint Chiefs of Staff also need to indicate clearly their concern, as it affect our strategy and sovereignty.

ABOUT JAMES A. LYONS

James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations. 

Florida: Appeals Court OKs “Docs vs. Glocks” Law by Brandon Larrabee

A federal appeals court has upheld the state’s controversial “Docs vs. Glocks” bill, overturning an earlier court ruling that had blocked part of the law from being enforced.

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state Legislature had the right to pass the law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.

“In order to protect patients, physicians have for millennia been subject to codes of conduct that define the practice of good medicine and affirm the responsibility physicians bear,” Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote. “In keeping with these traditional codes of conduct — which almost universally mandate respect for patient privacy — the Act simply acknowledges that the practice of good medicine does not require interrogation about irrelevant, private matters.”

The majority found that the National Rifle Association-backed law, known as the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act, “has only an incidental effect on physicians’ speech.”

The appeals court rejected a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Cooke, who ruled last year that the law was built largely on anecdotal evidence, and that legislators couldn’t prove that gun rights would be jeopardized or that patients who own firearms might face discrimination.

Supporters of the 2011 law say doctors might turn away patients who own guns or who wouldn’t answer questions about whether they did. Critics argue that doctors need to know what’s in a patient’s home so they can offer safety advice.

In a sharp dissent significantly longer than the majority opinion, Circuit Judge Charles Wilson said the law was an unconstitutional “gag order” that infringes on doctors’ rights.

“The holding reached today is unprecedented, as it essentially says that all licensed professionals have no First Amendment rights when they are speaking to their clients or patients in private,” Wilson said. “This in turn says that patients have no First Amendment right to receive information from licensed professionals — a frightening prospect.”

Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the law, said in a statement that his organization was “astounded” by the ruling.

“Today’s decision will keep doctors from asking reasonable questions and providing advice that could very well save lives,” Simon said. “We expect the doctors who filed this case to appeal this decision and that this decision will ultimately be overturned.”

The doctors could seek a full appellate court review or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This column is courtesy of the News Service of Florida from the Capital, Tallahassee by correspondent Brandon Larrabee, dated July 25, 2014.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Gun-maker Beretta Relocates U.S. Headquarters in Response to State’s New Firearms Restrictions
Colorado’s Experience Soundly Refutes Common Anti-gun Talking Point – Dr. Rich Swier

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of BeforeIt’sNews.com.

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.

Amnesty, legalizing marijuana and gun control: Creating a “cartel of death” in America

There has been much discussion about amnesty for illegal aliens in Congress. Democrats, led by President Obama, want amnesty at all cost. I recently had a conversation with Kelly Kirshner, the former Mayor of Sarasota, FL. He is planning a demonstration to promote “immigration reform”, which is code for amnesty. Kirshner believes he is doing good, when in fact he is promoting policies that will bring violence to America.

Dr. Lawrence W. Reed from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, created the Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy. Reed’s third principle states: Sound [public] policy requires that we consider long-run effects and all people, not simply short-run effects and a few people.

Amnesty (immigration reform) is inextricably linked to efforts to legalize drugs and control gun ownership in America. These three movements are joined at the hip and will, in the long term, lead to a “cartel of death” in America. By not taking into account the long-run effects and all people these policies will wreak havoc on our society, especially our youngest and most vulnerable.

Mexican_drug_cartels_2008

The major Mexican drug cartels. For a larger view click on the map.

Many have documented how our borders are not secure. Dennis Michael Lynch in his documentary “They Come To America” focuses on the land border between the United States and Mexico. Many ignore the border states along the Gulf of Mexico. Drug cartels, like the Gulf Cartel, use these porous borders to come to America transporting not only illegal aliens but also drugs and the certain violence that is part and parcel of the drug business.

There is a push by Libertarians, Democrats and some Republicans to legalize medical marijuana. This effort is only the first step, like in Colorado, to the full legalization of marijuana, like in Florida. By legalizing marijuana you legalize the cartels and the culture of death that comes with them and their drugs. President Obama gave banks permission to do business with marijuana distributors.

Sheila Polk in her op-ed column “Legalized marijuana: Colorado kids are paying the price” writes:

On Jan. 1, Colorado opened its doors to this nation’s first legal sale of recreational marijuana. Lost in the buzz is the documented impact of legal marijuana on Colorado children.

The reality about today’s marijuana, an addictive substance whose average potency has dramatically increased from 3 percent THC in the 1990s to almost 15 percent, should change everything that people think they know about the drug.

[ … ]

Past 30-day use of marijuana by teens 12 to 17 is highest in medical-marijuana states. In Denver between 2004 and 2010, past 30-day users of marijuana ages 12 and up increased 4.3 percent, while the increase for the nation was 0.05 percent.

By 2010, past 30-day use for this age group was 12.2 percent, compared to 6.6 percent for the country. One in six kids who start using marijuana becomes addicted.

Read more.

The below video is by the National Rifle Association. It is a different approach for the NRA in that it links the violence and the effort to demonize guns by President Obama, Michael Bloomberg, candidate for Florida governor Charlie Crist and others. We now know due to the work of bloggers and authors like Katie Pavlich, that these guns were provided by our own government in an operation named “Fast and Furious.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABCDEFGH[/youtube]

Polk concludes with:

What can Arizona learn from this?

Lesson Number 1: We should not rush to experiment with an entire generation of our young people by legalizing marijuana. Use of marijuana by Arizona’s 8th, 10th and 12th graders has already increased by 14.4 percent from 2008 to 2012.

Lesson Number 2: We must build an environment in which every child can learn and thrive. That must include funding public education to heighten awareness about the harms of marijuana. Every child can succeed when adults believe in them and create safe communities for them.

Marijuana is never part of that equation.

A wise warning indeed. Drugs, children, violence and guns make for a toxic combination.

EDITORS NOTE: Sheila Polk is the Yavapai County Attorney and co-chair of MATFORCE, the Yavapai County Substance Abuse Coalition. The featured image is courtesy of  activist Thomas Good, who is in costume – “recruiting” for the military as the Grim Reaper, October 2007. The photograph was taken by the subject’s 14-year-old son, Nathaniel Good. In March of 2007 the photo was reprinted as the cover shot on “Peacework” magazine, a publication of the American Friends Service Committee.

RELATED COLUMN: Swiss model helps curb heroin addiction | FLORIDA TODAY | floridatoday.com

The Fallacy of “Reasonable” Gun Control Laws

The Second Amendment clause, “The right of the people,” indicates that the framers were acknowledging a right rather than granting a right. Therefore, this right “to keep and bear arms” is an inherent and intrinsic right that predates the Constitution. A preexisting right cannot ever be malum prohibitum – wrong because legislatures, courts or political correctness says it’s wrong.

Regardless of recent Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decisions supporting this legal fact, our detractors have continued to work to disparage our right. Their next assault might be to the effect that, though the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) is an individual right, it is not absolute. They will contend that even a SCOTUS mandate is not absolute and thus is subject to restrictions.

Contrary to what some over zealous pro-gunners want to believe, the antis are correct inasmuch as the RKBA is not an absolute. Stay with me, now. If it was, we would have to allow little children and prison inmates to keep and bear arms. Therefore, some limits must be acceptable. But limits do not mean anything the legislature/courts want it to be. Bearing arms is not an absolute right under all conditions anymore than free speech allows one to yell fire in a crowded building when there is no fire. The constitutional right to bear arms does have limits, but these confines are only limited to two factors: Citizenship and Other’s Rights.

“The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Justice Louis Brandeis, 1927.”

CITIZENSHIP: At the time of the Constitution’s inception the framers, “all men in a man’s world,” clearly gave little thought to anyone other than the man as the defender of family, property or country. Whereas, in Eighteenth-Century England, only the landed rich were empowered to defend honor and country. This concept of all men being full citizens and having the right, empowerment and obligation to self-preservation was unique to America.

A citizen, circa 1785, was considered to be any white, American, male over the age of 21 and not a felon. The idea of civilian gun controls was unconscionable. It is was also inconceivable that a Thomas Jefferson or a James Madison would refuse to take a musket away from a drunk, a child or someone conspicuously deranged. Had one been able to ask these learned, most-sacred-document framers of the conflict of such a restrictive action; they most likely would have replied with words to the effect that the drunk or mental incompetent were, at least temporarily, not citizens. A child was, of course, not a man and a felon had forsaken his citizenship.

The controversy of the 2nd Amendment exists because, erroneously, some have insisted that the right to keep and bear arms is a state (as in Ohio, Texas, Florida) right and not an individual right. However, it is clear that the first clause: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, means a free America. The word “state” also means nation/country, such as “the State of Israel” or “the Arab States” or “Secretary of State”. In other words, the nation can best form a well regulated militia (army/navy) if its militia (originally, men between the ages of 18 and 45) are free to keep and bear arms.

With the ratification of the 13th, 14th and 19th Amendments all of-age Americans were recognized as full, ruling-class citizens. Arms possession was, AND STILL IS, the signature of being a citizen – not a subject to some monarchy and most assuredly not mentally inept, a child, a felon, or a substance abuser.

OTHER’S RIGHTS: Violating the rights of others is cause to restrict gun rights. Allowing certain persons, such as children, felons, drunks, etc., to possess firearms most assuredly creates a substantial risk of loss of someone’s life or liberty. However, restricting the RIGHT of a law-abiding, bona fide citizen from carrying a firearm that is concealed from public view where it can not induce panic or be available to a snatch-and-grab thief, does not present a substantial risk of damage to anyone. Likewise, machine guns, assault rifles, or short-barreled shotguns, while in the possession of law-abiding citizens, are of no danger to others.

Constitutional rights are only such when they don’t infringe on the constitutional rights of others. One’s right to swing his fist ends where the other person’s nose begins. Of course, if one keeps his fist concealed in his pocket he is violating no ones rights. On the same token, if a law-abiding citizen goes about his legal business with a firearm concealed in his pocket he is no more infringing the rights of any other person than the theater-goer who keeps the word “fire” concealed in his mouth.

Some citizens might wish to exercise their right to the “pursuit of happiness” by not wanting to be in the presence of guns. On their own property, not accessible to the public, they can do as they please. However, where public property is involved such as court houses, police stations and legislatures guns can be restricted by instituting the use of metal detectors and storage boxes that the carrier can store his/her gun until he/she leaves that secure area.

But, what about the reasonableness factor? Other “rights” such as those found in the Third, Fourth and Eight Amendments are subject to this doctrine of reasonableness – why not the Second? Our enemies might argue, that, under the reasonableness doctrine, it is reasonable to ban certain types of arms or exclude bearing of arms into specified locations without incorporating metal detectors/lock boxes.

Unlike other Articles and Amendments there is no such provision for “reasonableness” in the Second Amendment. Discretion is not part of the right to bear arms. In other portions of our Constitution we see the following discretionary wording:

Article I, Section 4: “Each house may determine the rules….”

Amendment III: “…but in a manner prescribed by law.”

Amendment IV: “…against unreasonable searches…upon probable cause.”

Amendment VIII: “Excessive bail….nor excessive fines…nor unusual punishments”

If the framers of the Constitution had intended for the bearing of arms to be anything other than what it says, they would have included in the Second Amendment subjective words or terms such as “reasonable,” “excessive,” “prescribed-by-law,” “upon-probable cause,” “unusual,” or “may”.

Reading discretionary or reasonableness provisions into the Second Amendment of our Bill of Rights, is no different than reading the First Amendment to say: “Congress shall make no UNREASONABLE law respecting an establishment of religion…” If the legislature or the courts are permitted to insert reasonableness into the Second Amendment, what’s to prevent them from saying a national church or attending church only on Tuesdays is not unreasonable. Not in America, not yet anyway!

SUMMARY: The Second Amendment RKBA is a conditional absolute right. Conditional, insomuch as restrictive conveyances can only be based on citizenship and the rule of other’s rights. In other words, if you are not precluded from owning a gun and your exercising of this right does not infringe on anyone else’s right, you can bear any type of arm anywhere you wish.

Until such time as the Constitution is amended, keeping and bearing any type of arms is an intrinsic and absolute right for all citizens. While on the other hand, non-citizens do not have an absolute right to a firearm. However temporary that condition might be. The “American ruling class” (aka voters), if they so desire, can change the definition of citizen or establish some restrictions – but ONLY by amending the Constitution.

Though voters may change the Constitution and are empowered to repeal portions or amendments thereof, they may not abolish intrinsic and fundamental rights such as the right to self-protection and the means to maintain that right.

Copyright 2014 Chuck Klein