Can You Hear Me Now?

Borrowing the catch phrase from an old TV commercial, this the question those of us in the Second Amendment community have. Censorship of the firearms industry or anyone advocating for Second Amendment protected rights is nothing new, although it has gotten exceedingly worse in the past few years. But now that censorship has expanded to include those who choose to hold and speak out on conservative held values or simply question the government narrative. Although many are speaking out, the message may not be getting through. 

Censorship of the firearms and 2A community by mainstream news outlets and social media companies has been going on for years. Shadow banning, the practice of partially blocking or restricting the content and comments online to limit visibility is commonplace. Pages and commentators with thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions of followers have found their messages only reaching a tiny percentage of them. Why? It’s simply because those who own the platform don’t like their message. That’s all. 

Then there are fact-checkers. Our nation’s free and independent press used to be our fact-checkers since they had an interest in the truth and exposing those who didn’t speak it. But with free and independent giving way to biased and prejudiced reporting, the press simply isn’t trustworthy anymore. Besides, traditional news organizations weren’t set up to handle a 24/7 immediate response model. Enter the fact-checkers. 

These so-called fact checkers have emerged as anonymous, unaccountable, supposedly third-party organizations, often directly funded by the very same companies they are “independently” fact-checking for. It should come as no surprise that the sponsoring organization’s ideology and biases towards those they don’t agree with are mirrored in their checks of facts. All the fact-checkers need to do is find an article with an alternate version of “truth” and that becomes the basis of YOUR facts being wrong. Once tagged with a fact-check, even if the fact-check indicates your article is true, its visibility is further reduced. 

And let’s not forget Terms and Conditions of Use or Community Standards, the ultimate restriction on content. Social media companies can define anything they want as being “otherwise objectionable” and completely ban it and the users who share it. They don’t have to justify it any further than that and they don’t have to apply the standards equally across the board. They get to decide all by themselves what is true, what is false and what is acceptable for YOU to experience on their platform. These convoluted documents are supposed to make you think they are applying their ideology in a fair manner in your best interest.  They are not. 

What kind of power do they have? They can ban the sitting President of the United States of America and a member of the United States Congress for so-called offensive content. Yet, at the same time, they permit those who advocate acts of violence against others, target members of political parties or those of a certain race. They also allow actual, bona fide terrorist organizations. Simply questioning an official government narrative or presenting actual / factual information that may cause others to question it, is enough for a permanent ban. 

Of course, there is the argument that the social media platforms are private property you use for free. As such, First Amendment speech protections do not apply, and you are perfectly welcome to start your own social media platform. Well…. There are some problems with that logic. 

First is the direct connection between one side of the United States government and the news and social media companies. If the White House, members of Congress or members of a political party are contacting these companies and asking them to limit or remove certain content, then you’re damn right the First Amendment applies. The government doesn’t get to do an end run around the Constitution and claim no free speech infringements when they are the ones directing the private companies to do it on their behalf. 

Second, let’s not forget the case of Parler, the free speech alternative to Twitter. Liberal talking heads complained the platform was nothing more than a conversative “echo chamber” that attracted and encouraged extremists. In reality, it was simply getting too popular and didn’t employ the same nanny-level liberal fact-checking the other social medial platforms did. So, using the tenuous at best association with the events of January 6th, Google, Apple and Amazon conspired to take down the platform. Yes, it’s back online now with a new infrastructure and management, but the damage has already been done. 

I’ve seen dozens of my favorite firearms related businesses and commentators have their content removed and the owners banned over the past few years. All their content was 100% legal, but none of that matters. Of course, they can appeal, but it’s a byzantine system of anonymous company drones who have the final say, and it should be no surprise it doesn’t go in your favor very often. 

Keep in mind, banned content doesn’t let people have information that might help them in their own lives. Banned content can’t inspire someone else to speak out in support of a position. Banned content doesn’t allow people to unite around a cause. Banned content can’t question the only “facts” allowed to be shared. Banned content doesn’t exist, at least as far as you know.

There are some new platforms and more coming out soon which may help shift the tide of information sharing to those who have been censored. I believe their success will largely be dependent on the ability to attract the big-name content makers and get them to leave the current social media and news platforms behind. That should start a cascade of others who will be willing to leave and never look back. 

For now, we’re all going to have to be creative and spread our message the best we can. There are a lot of us out there, and that’s exactly what they are afraid of.

Can you hear me now? 

Bob

#Oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #2A, #GunControlFails, #Censorship, #medium, #mewe, #parler, #gab, #gettr, #truthsocial, #TheScore, #oddstuffing.com

The Only Thing Necessary… 

The Only Thing Necessary For the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing.  While this quote is generally misattributed to Edmond Burke, even directly by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, the meaning and intent remain, as does the call to action for people like you and me.  

I’ve been on a little break to deal with some geography issues, and still am, but that’s a story for another day. During this time, a lot has transpired impacting our constitutionally protected rights, and specifically the Second Amendment. As with most consequential things, it’s important to understand what has happened to guide us to the future. 

It’s safe to say that over the past two years, our individual rights have taken a savage beating. In the name of ‘what is best for society’, we have seen our rights to free speech, religion, press, association and to petition our government for redress of grievances stripped away. Our right to keep and bear arms, highly restricted in many places, has been even further regulated and ‘put on hold’. We have been subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures, been denied bail, subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, and denied the right to a speedy trial.  

For the new year, I’m going to need to play catch-up on some past events in order to move forward. While my focus is, and always has been, the Second Amendment, we can’t ignore some other abuses of our rights. We don’t get to pick and choose what rights we want to defend and those we don’t care as much about. For most certainly if we allow rights in one area to deteriorate, then how long will it be for all of them to be nothing more than words on old pieces of parchment. 

If you doubt that by banding together with other like-minded individuals has no chance of success, let me drop another quote on you from cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead. 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 

If you still have an open slot on your resolutions list, let one of them be getting involved in your local, county, state and federal politics. For far too long we’ve let others serve and be involved and we now see the result of that. 

The Odd Stuffing crystal ball tells me 2022 is going to be a bumpy ride. It’s time for patriots to hop in and buckle up. 

Bob

#Oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #GunControlFails, #GetInvolved, #2022, #GunVote, #medium, #mewe, #parler, #gab, #gettr, #oddstuffing.com

Independence Day 2021

Today we celebrate the publishing of the Declaration of Independence proclaiming us no longer subject to Great Britain’s rule in 1776. This year it comes at a time when our nation is being shamed by those who supposedly represent us for not living up to our potential or being a racist, evil capitalist society. Some are offended by the mere sight of the American flag, the sound of the National Anthem or the words in the Pledge of Allegiance. What a crock! 

For those who wish to malign our nation and way of life, to say we are a systemically racist and oppressive society, I support your freedom to do so as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. But don’t expect me or anyone else to promote your lies and indignation while exercising the same guaranteed rights you are trying to deny to others. Your ability to say these things without legal repercussions is due to the very system YOU are trying to destroy.

Our nation is the shining beacon of freedom it is today because 245 years ago today, patriots from the original 13 colonies decided it was better to live dangerously free than under the relative safety of an oppressive government that no longer represented their interests. Our Bill of Rights, those inalienable Rights unique to the United States of America, have never been duplicated anywhere. Why is very simple. Free people with guaranteed and protected rights are difficult for the government to control. And that my friends, is the whole idea. 

Last week I had the occasion to spend some time in several small, rural towns. What struck me was the level of patriotic spirit being displayed in preparation for the Fourth of July. Not only was Old Glory proudly displayed on nearly every home, but also on every single utility pole along the main streets of the towns. Most of these towns will be celebrating with their own small parades and community get-togethers, proudly and respectfully. 

Patriotism is not dead or even declining. It is as strong as it ever was and getting stronger every day. The more we are told to be embarrassed by our patriotism and national pride, the more people are waking up to the words written by our Founding Fathers. 

Independence Day is for every American, even those who are too foolish to realize it. Be proud of our nation and don’t be afraid to show it. You are the majority, and you are among a nation of patriots. 

If you haven’t read the Declaration of Independence lately, today is a good time to do it. https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

Libertatem diu vivere!

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #FirstAmendment, #SecondAmendment, #Patriots, #Community, #Nation, #History, #4thOfJuly, #IndependenceDay, #mewe, #parler, #gab, #medium, #oddstuffing.com

A Direct Threat To Public Safety

This quote was part of the California Governor’s response to the ruling from U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez declaring the state’s 32-year-old ban on so-called “assault weapons” unconstitutional. While this matter is nowhere close to being final, the June 4, 2021, ruling in Miller v. Bonta is a substantial step forward in the restoration of Second Amendment protected rights in the State of California, as well as the rest of the country. 

The first part of this ruling is: 

“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle, the AR-15 is the kind of versatile gun that lies at the intersection of the kinds of firearms protected under District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and United States v Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939).”

Of course, the Governor and State Attorney General Rob Bonta immediately attacked this ruling:

“Today’s decision is a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period. The fact that this judge compared the AR-15 — a weapon of war that’s used on the battlefield — to a Swiss Army knife completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon.”

By attacking the analogy used by Judge Benitez instead of the facts of the case, then continuing to perpetuate the “weapon of war” lie, it showed how little understanding the Governor and Attorney General really have about firearms, crime, violence and the Constitution.

The comparison is apt as the iconic Swiss Army Knife is universally recognized as an indispensable, multi-function, multi-use tool. The Judge could have just described the fact that the AR-15 is an indispensable, multi-function, multi-use tool, but he decided to use the common analogy to make the point. Thinking it compared lethality or anything else is absurd. 

Of course, the “weapon of war” lie is one of the most popular myths among the gun control extremists. It attempts to portray the AR-15 as the exact same firearm used by military forces. Naturally it is not, and the incredibly HUGE difference is military firearms that ‘look’ like the AR-15 are select fire; having the ability to fire multiple rounds per trigger pull, either in a burst or fully automatic. The AR-15 has NEVER been used by our military or any other as a “weapon of war”. It is simply a semi-automatic firearm, just like any other semi-automatic firearm without the so-called “evil” cosmetic features. But you already knew that. 

While the full ruling is 95 pages long, I encourage you to take some time and read it. Like all of Judge Benitez rulings, it is extremely well thought out and documented with verifiable, factual evidence, even if the State of California ignores it. The link to it is below. 

The big question is of course, what happens now? Judge Benitez stayed the ruling for 30 days within the ruling itself, ironically expiring on the 4th of July. The State will appeal, as they have promised in their public statements.  

California is the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, well known for its hostility towards and rulings against anything Second Amendment related. Cases in the Ninth tend to be decided by the political ideology of the judges assigned to the case rather than facts or Constitutional issues. 

The success in this case was made possible thanks to generous donations and the member supported organizations behind it. The cost has been significant and will continue to grow as it goes to the next stage. 

Now realize the State of California has unlimited resources to fight this case. Why unlimited? Because they are fighting this with YOUR tax dollars. The highly exorbitant tax dollars you pay to the state not only pay for their socialist agenda items, but to litigate cases like this to protect their ability to strip your rights away from you. If the State needs more money for the effort, they simply shuffle money from one account (like the DROS fund) to another. If they run out of money, well guess what, there’s more of that where it came from, YOU. 

And let’s not forget the billionaire funded anti-gun “grassroots” groups and lawyers who do not want this case to become precedent for the entire country. 

With the ruling stayed pending appeal, the State has everything to gain and nothing to lose by dragging out their appeals. The longer the case go on, the more resources are drained from firearm rights organizations. More dollars spent on this case means less dollars spent in other cases. All they need to do is drag this case out long enough for the 5-4 conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court to be reversed, or the Supreme Court to be packed by liberal appointed Justices, whichever comes first. 

This case is FAR from over and it is going to be years before it makes it to the Supreme Court. Even so, there is no guarantee it will be granted a writ of certiorari OR be heard by a Court supportive of Second Amendment protected rights OR be adjudicated in our favor. Even in the absolute best of circumstances, it’s a crapshoot. The chances of getting any law reversed, even a bad one, is slim at best and the only ones who are certain to win are the lawyers. 

I will repeat what I have said time and time again, the ONLY way to prevent these kinds of idiotic, non-sensical gun control laws from going into effect is to STOP electing people who are promising to take away your rights. 

Bob

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/firearmspolicycoalition/pages/5381/attachments/original/1622850515/Miller_v_Bonta_Opinion.pdf

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Memorial Day 2021

Memorial Day is our nation’s time to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. At least that is what it is supposed to be. However, these are not normal times. The American flag is considered by some to be offensive when flown on our own soil. Patriotism is seen as a threat to our republic. And worst of all, those who fought and died for our freedom are being dismissed and forgotten.

I do not share these views. In fact, I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of our nation still believe in our country and that those who perished to guarantee our freedom were heroes. Memorial Day is celebrated to recognize these men and women’s sacrifice and what it means to all of us. This is not the time for politics, it is a time for honor and remembrance. 

The freedoms we enjoy as United States citizens came at a horrific cost, the blood, flesh, bone and souls of American service members. While they all gave their lives in service to their country, each of their lives were unique and valued. Each had their own family, friends and community that was forced to go on without them. 

Our lost service members’ remains are buried in our national and state veterans cemeteries, and countless city, town and private cemeteries around our country. Many are interred on foreign soil, in the ocean or scattered to the winds. The final resting places of others are known only to God. 

In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act. It encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. I ask you to please consider this in your own plans this Memorial Day.

In the end, the most important thing we can do is to not let these brave men and women’s sacrifice be in vain. We must continue to cherish and protect the rights, the freedom and the country given to us. 

For all of us who live free for your service, we celebrate your memory, we honor your sacrifice, and we shall never forget.

Bob

#honor, #respect, #sacrifice, #memorialday, #memorialday2021, #oddstuffing.com

If Gun Control Works, Why Hasn’t It?

If gun control works, why are parts of our country with the strictest gun control laws the ones with the most violence and crime? 

If gun control works, why are the parts of our country with the least restrictive gun control laws the ones with the least violence and crime? 

If gun control works, why are they always telling us we need more gun control?

If gun control works, why are they always telling us there are “loopholes” in the gun control laws they created that need to be filled in with new gun control laws? 

If gun control works, why do the gangs, terrorists, criminals and thugs always have guns?

If gun control works, why are American citizens buying firearms to protect themselves and their families in record numbers? 

If gun control works, why are the areas with the strictest gun control blaming the areas without strict gun control for the crimes and violence committed in the strictest gun control areas, when the areas without strict gun control don’t have the same level of crime and violence? 

If gun control works, why are more and more cities, counties and states doing away with gun control laws and passing laws to further protect our natural right to keep and bear arms? 

If gun control works, why hasn’t it? 

Bob

#OddStuffing, #BillOfRights, #Constitution, #SecondAmendment, #2A, #GunControlFails, #medium, #mewe, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

A Presidential Three Envelope Joke

There’s been a lot of speculation of what was in the envelope POTUS #45 left on the Resolute Desk for POTUS #46. Well, now is the time to reveal it. It was in fact three envelopes. POTUS #45 pulled the Three Envelopes joke on the incoming administration. 

If you’re not familiar with it, the Three Envelope joke goes like this. 

On the way out, the previous administration leaves three envelopes. The instructions say when things are bad and you don’t know what to do, open the envelopes in order and they will help guide you through the tough times. 

Upon entering the White House Oval Office, the POTUS #46 sees the envelopes and, not knowing what else to do, opens the first one. It says, “Blame the previous administration”.  Badakathcare, he exclaims! The current administration proceeds to blame everything not going well on the previous administration. 

Time goes on and this strategy wears itself out. The country is looking for answers and the administration has none. With a bit of relief, he opens the second envelope, and it says, “Reorganize”. C’mon man, he cries! Despite this, the administration reorganizes and POTUS #46 is quietly slipped out the back door and the VPOTUS is now POTUS #47. The newly woke and reorganized administration goes about undoing and reorganizing everything into a new, “better” way. 

A short time later, the reorganization strategy loses steam, and the country is once again looking for leadership. POTUS #47 having none to offer, opens the last envelope. It reads, “Make up three envelopes.” 

Bob

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When Mr. Right is Wrong!

Today’s slightly off-topic rant is dedicated to Bob Right of Saline, Michigan. Mr. Right came to Odd Stuffing, blocked me – the author & owner of this page – then proceeded to post insults on my posts. His Facebook profile page and “comments” are attached. 

It’s almost as if Mr. Right wanted to be able to post his abuses with impunity and not have to face any response from me. How very Facebook of him. For this juvenile attempt at a monolog, he has been banned. 

As I’ve said before, I enjoy having people disagree with me and commenting with their point of view on my posts. This is how I and everyone else gains a greater understanding of the issues we face today. I absolutely abhor blocking or banning people or deleting posts. I think it squelches the free exchange of ideas and only makes matters worse.

What I post are my opinions and I stand behind what I write. If someone doesn’t agree with them, that’s okay. I encourage you to reply with your own thoughts on the subject. But if the best you can do is insults and name calling, the lowest type of argument, how am I or anyone else expected to take you seriously? 

So, for coming on my page, purposely blocking the owner/author, then hurling insults, I reply to you with something you can easily understand, the universal intellectually superior comeback that trumps any argument; C’mon man! 

Bob

#OddStuffing, #BillOfRights, #Constitution, #SecondAmendment, #2A, #GunControlFails, #Cmonman, #medium, #mewe, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com