Tyranny – Closer Than You Think

Here in the United States, we often think of ourselves as being immune from tyranny. We sit comfortably knowing our nation freed itself from a tyrannical government and our Constitution and Bill of Rights will protect us. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. A Ronald Regan quote helps to put it in perspective. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Those who would oppress us are actively working to take our rights and freedoms away. And, like before, during the time of our revolution, they are the very same ones in charge of protecting our rights. 

Tyranny doesn’t generally occur overnight. Unless you’ve been conquered by force, it’s going to be a slow yet deliberate process. After all, it’s much easier to subjugate a population a little at a time. And it’s so much easier if you can convince the masses that the slight infringements in their rights are in the best interest of all. Wouldn’t you want to give up a little bit of your own individual rights if it meant society would be safer? Wouldn’t your life be better if you let the government take care of more things? Wouldn’t you want to contribute more so that your community would provide for everyone? 

Take a look at the modernized Communist Rules for Revolution for an example of how this is done. 

1) Healthcare: Control healthcare and you control the people.

2) Poverty: Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

3) Debt:  Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

4) Gun Control: Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

5) Welfare:  Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).

6) Education: Take control of what people read and listen to — take control of what children learn in school.

7) Religion: Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.

8) Class Warfare:  Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

While these steps are pretty clear, I’m going to contend there is a prerequisite in order to accomplish this list, the full control of the government. And control doesn’t just mean having one party in complete control, it means the government has set itself up as a privileged entity with rights, benefits and protections not available to the regular public. 

Take a look at our current federal government. Members of congress enjoy salary, vacation and retirement, weakened insider trading restrictions and many other perks not commonly available to the general public. And, they themselves are in complete control over raises and increase in perks. With no term limits for members of congress, they are free to build their government service into virtual lifetime positions. 

But it’s not just our congress that protects its own interests above that of the people it represents. As examples: California’s primary and general elections have been tweaked to the point where the party in charge is ensured of remaining in charge. Virginia’s legislature responded to the Second Amendment protests and calls to replace their representatives by proposing changing the law governing recalls. Instead of requiring 10% of number who voted in the last election, it would require 25% and must be completed within 60 days. 

Control of the courts is also vital. With our three separate branches of government – executive, legislative and judicial – the courts are supposed to be the independent arbitrator of facts and interpreters of the Constitution. Sadly, this is no longer true. Judicial appointments are made to those who will carry out the will of the politicians who appoint them. These activist politicians-in-robes are in place to approve to any law created by politicians who appointed them, regardless of legal precedent or even Supreme Court rulings. Look no further than the history of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, representing the western United States for vivid examples of judicial activism run amuck. 

This year’s all-out assault on the Second Amendment in places like Virginia, Vermont, New Mexico, California, Hawaii and all points in between have clearly demonstrated our elected officials have no interest in representing our needs, only the agendas set by deep pocketed special interests. We’ve witnessed the hubris of representatives who have used their positions to retaliate against communities and law enforcement officials who have taken a stand against them.  

At the same time, we’ve also seen the results of the pressure brought by masses with representatives voting against draconian gun control laws they once supported. Those results, even if few and far between, are the encouraging news.  We The People still have a measure of control over our own government, if we choose to use it. 

We The People get to decide what kind of government we have and who represents us, IF we stand together and participate.  Tyranny isn’t that far behind us and right now, our best means of defense is our vote.  Make your vote count this year. 

Bob

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New Mexico’s Red Flag Disgrace

New Mexico’s version of the so-called “Red Flag” law (SB5) passed the House last Thursday and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature to become law.  And what a sad, sad spectacle it was.  This law breaks new ground in the nation including never before seen provisions designed to punish law enforcement for noncompliance, expanding the definition of who can petition for an Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order as well as completely giving up any resemblance of being concerned with public safety.  Still, if any version was going to pass and become law in New Mexico, I’m glad it was this one.  Why? That’s simple. This law removes any shadow of a doubt that the purpose behind it is purely about government gun control and nothing else.  Hopefully this will be what unites the New Mexico’s citizens to take back control of their government from the special interest groups. 

The scene that played out in the Roundhouse on Thursday shows how little our current government cares about public safety.  Aside from the live feed inexplicably going out during the final hearings, the Sheriff’s in attendance needed to be “escorted” outside the chamber on bathroom breaks. If that wasn’t enough, they were subsequently ejected from the chamber altogether. What does it say that the government of the people chose to remove the elected sheriffs from the room while this law was being considered? 

Through the multiple revisions that lead to this point, the law strips away law enforcement immunity for failure to enforce these “red flag” orders. This of course is in direct response to 30 of the 33 elected sheriffs signing on to oppose the “red flag” laws and vowing not to enforce them. Also dragged into the loss of immunity are the district attorney’s offices and the office of the attorney general. Potential damages to be awarded were also raised into the millions of dollars. 

Attempts to amend the law to remove the loss of legal immunity for law enforcement and the district attorneys failed. And – bear with me for a minute on this – I’m glad these amendments failed. Keep in mind I’m saying this as a former law enforcement officer who believes this is a slap in the face of everyone who wears a badge. 

Too often in the world of gun control laws, state legislators buy the cooperation and loyalty of the law enforcement community by granting them generous exemptions to the laws impacting the regular citizens of the state. What we’ve seen here is a deliberate legislative smack down of any law enforcement discretion or compliance with Constitutional standards. It clearly states they will blindly obey or pay the price.  The fact that is was purposely introduced and left in a so-called “public safety” law should remove any doubt about the true intent, gun control and gun confiscation.  

Other fascinating additions to this law include the expanded list of who can be the reporting party. It includes the usual relatives plus now “… child, person with whom a respondent has or had a continuing personal relationship, employer or public or private school principal.”  There is no definition of  a child here, so supposedly any child able to speak is old enough, nor is there a definition of continuing personal relationship. Exactly how many dates does it take to equal a “continuing personal relationship”. Your anti-gun employer or principal? No problem!  Keep in mind the reporting party incurs no costs to initiate a complaint – actually a reasonable thing since the ability to pay should not be a limiting factor – but there is also no penalty for false or misleading claims.  

Of course, this courtesy doesn’t extend to the respondent, the person being accused of being a danger to themselves or others. Since this is a civil matter, albeit law enforcement, a city, county or state prosecutor and a criminal court judge are involved in getting the order, the respondent has no right for a public defender in these proceedings. And since this process assumes the respondent is guilty until proven innocent, fees are currently running upwards of $15,000 for legal representation.  In other words, justice and restoration of your Constitutional rights is denied for anyone who can’t afford it. 

Then there is the fact that the respondent, accused of being an imminent threat to themselves or someone else, to the point where their Constitutionally protected rights can be stripped away from them without due process, has 48 hours to surrender their firearms to law enforcement or a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). 

Set aside the absolute insanity of thinking that a person who is an immediate threat to themselves or others could not utilize some other form of violence (knives, club, car, chemical, hands & feet, etc. etc. etc.) to carry out their plans, giving them 48 hours to voluntarily comply shows this law has nothing at all to do with public or personal safety. 

Every state in this nation has legal mechanisms to deal with individuals who are a threat to themselves or others. The horrific violent incidents that gave rise to these “red flag” laws all have the same thing in common; a complete and utter failure of federal, state, county and local government officials in multiple agencies to act on clear indications of impending violence. Simply put, the government already has all the tools to save lives but has been criminally negligent in enforcing them. 

New Mexico’s Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order law will soon be signed by the Governor in what is expected to be a made for media event designed to demonstrate how this law, and this law alone, could have saved the lives of those lost to previous violence. 

The signing of the law will also be our wake-up call to the fact that our representatives no longer represent our interests. By enacting a law that has ZERO to do with public safety and is only a back-door method of confiscating firearms and stripping away Constitutionally protected rights without due process or evidence of a crime committed, the New Mexico legislature has shown they are only interested in compiling with the national political party platform and gun control special interests. 

Is this the kind of government you want?  Maybe it’s time to vote for someone else. 

Bob

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New Mexico Is Second Amendment Proud

I’m a little behind due to a bad case of the SHOT Show crud, so let’s catch up quickly. 

On Friday, January 31, 2020, Second Amendment supporters from around New Mexico gathered at the Roundhouse to protest House Bill 7 / Senate Bill 5 (SB5). These are the so-called “red flag” laws that allow your firearms and Second Amendment rights to be taken away without due process and without a crime ever being committed. A peaceful crowd estimated between 300 and 1000 were in attendance to let those in the Roundhouse know they were opposed to this latest infringement on our rights. Following the speeches outside, the attendees went inside to speak to their representatives. It was an amazing day. 

Since then, there have been numerous rallies and Second Amendment supporters attending committee hearings on SB5. Sadly, through numerous revisions, SB5, now SB5.5, has passed committees and the Senate. It is now destined for the House.

Here’s what I saw at the rally. A peaceful gathering of strong and independent people who are concerned about their rights being taken away. I saw a diverse crowd, some openly carried handguns or long guns, others concealed. There were men and women, old and young, just about every race you could imagine including members of Native American tribes, professionals, tradesmen, business owners and employees, local and state level politicians, democrats and republicans – isn’t that a shocker. 

Of the most encouraging groups was the elected sheriffs from around the state. 30 of the 33 county sheriffs have signed on to oppose this “red flag” legislation and by my count, the majority of them, along with a number of their deputies, were in attendance. Notably, these men and women were standing side-by-side with those protesting SB5, not standing in-between the protestors and the legislators as we’ve seen in other states. 

All in all, it was a polite crowd, as most groups of Second Amendment supporters are. Nobody was pushing, yelling or threatening anyone, no property was damaged, no laws were broken, no arrests were made, and the capitol property was picked up and left the way it was found. All of which is typical of Second Amendment protest rallies. It was a pleasure to be there, meet and speak to some of those involved in the New Mexico Second Amendment community. 

But… what did the gun control community see? Oh, something radically different.  Among my favorite articles from the day was one entitled: “The Face of Trump: Scary NRA Roundhouse Rally”.  It started out with the paragraph: “It was actually pretty frightening, the guns, the faces, the signs, the words, the anger. This is the Trump army and it is scary to think of what happens when he loses.”

Some highlights: 

“The Scary Underside of the US”

“Yesterday was NRA day at the Roundhouse, drawing a large crowd of people seething with anger and armed. First, they rallied outside with speeches filled with fury, misinformation, and threats.”

“I had to pass through the throng to fetch some lunch. Going out and returning, passing through these people, was a very uncomfortable experience. When their eyes caught my Retake Our Democracy button, I was met with scowls, with one guy smirking and pushing forward his assault weapon. He was wearing a flak jacket and MAGA cap.”

Others called this a rally of “Nazis”, “white supremacists”, “Trump supporters” and “Second Amendment extremists”.  Some called for law enforcement to sweep the attendees at the rally as it was “obvious they couldn’t pass a background check”. 

Of course, none of this was true, starting with the fact it wasn’t an NRA rally, it was organized and sponsored locally by Pro-Gun Women. Were there supporters of President Trump there? Yes. But there were also those who are not his supporters. Where there NRA members there? Yes. But there were also those who are not NRA supporters. It’s almost as Second Amendment supporters cross all political lines and all those people showed up to peacefully protest together. 

Although there is one characterization I will agree with, but not in the context it was stated. Yes, the people at the rally were “angry”, but it wasn’t the mad, pre-violent, scowling, hostile type of angry the gun control lobby implies, but more the determined, motivated and empowered type of anger. Think about it, how would you feel if your natural, God-given rights were being threatened? You’d probably want to do something about it, and that’s what’s happening here. 

They claimed it was all sneers, sinister and threatening faces, not a smile in the group. I want to know where the hell these people were!!  I saw nothing BUT smiles and good natured, positive attitude people. But then, that doesn’t go along with the narrative of hostile, unstable and violent hordes the gun control lobby wants everyone to see.  

SB5 has mutated a few times since this rally and includes more people who can petition to have your rights and firearms stripped from you as well as provisions to make the sheriffs liable for NOT enforcing these unconstitutional orders. It also gives the person who is being stripped of their rights 48 hours to surrender their firearms – so much for the immediate threat argument. The next stop is at the House Consumer and Public Affairs committee on Tuesday, February 11th

It is abundantly clear SB5 has nothing to do with public safety and has everything to do with finding a back door means of stripping away your rights without due process and grabbing as many firearms from law-abiding citizens as possible. It is also quite clear the illogic of all this is completely lost on those who are promoting it. 

The ONLY hope I see at this point is to convince the political hacks in the Roundhouse that the ONE thing they cherish above all else will be lost to them if they vote for SB5. That one thing is their jobs. We the people hold the power to evict them as our representatives and replace them with someone who will serve our interests, not those of the national political party and special interest fringe activists.  

The time to contact your representatives and let them know where you stand is now! 

Bob

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Virginia, Proud. New Mexico, ______?

Last week, Second Amendment supporters from all over Virginia and the United States showed what it means to peacefully protest the Constitutional infringements being proposed by the increasing tyrannical left fringe Virginia legislature. An estimated 22,000 attended Lobby Day at the state capital, most lawfully armed. Now it’s New Mexico’s turn. A Second Amendment rally is being held on Friday, January 31st at the Roundhouse (the state capitol building) in Santa Fe. Many of the same issues and concerns in Virginia are up for consideration by the Democratic controlled legislature here. It’s time to step up New Mexico. Will you be there? 

Virginia’s Lobby Day couldn’t have been a more textbook example of a peaceful, law-abiding firearm owner protest. The vast majority of those in attendance were lawfully armed, yet there was no violence. There were individuals from all walks of life; men, women and children; different races, ethnicities and religions. Yet there was no violence. Uniformed and off-duty law enforcement officers standing side-by-side with other Second Amendment supporters, even a Hong Kong flag flying (the man holding it said, “It only seems fair. They’re holding ours”), yet still, there was no violence. 

Fences and metal detectors restricted access to the capitol grounds itself due to an emergency declaration and gun free zone enacted by Virginia’s gun control governor. Citing so-called ‘credible threats’ from Second Amendment extremists, the Governor said it was to prevent a repeat of the violence in Charlottesville in 2017. Of course, the only deadly violence was committed by someone with an automobile and NO firearms were used. The only arrest from the Lobby Day came from someone violating Virginia’s prohibition on wearing a mask in public. 

Virginia’s Governor wasted no time in taking credit for the lack of violence due to the de-escalation measures he put into place. Left fringe politicians went into hiding for the day rather than face their constituents and listen to what they had to say at the Capitol.  Gun control groups cherry picked through the photos of the protestors to find ones that supported their narrative that this was a white supremacy rally and only older white males were in attendance. Others called the attendees carrying firearms terrorists because they themselves were “terrorized” and called for the firearms of all those in attendance to be confiscated under the new proposed “red flag” laws. It was called a racist act of domestic terrorism, locking the city down in fear while trying to intimidate the duly elected representatives of the state from enacting “commonsense gun control”.  It’s as if any opinion other than the one the left fringe wanted to hear is considered terrorization.

Yet still… no violence. And not because of the Governor’s so-called emergency declaration or the lack of racial stimulus to kick off a firefight from all the itchy trigger fingers, it was because the people were there to protest the proposed infringements on their rights. Each and every one of them knew violence was the last thing they wanted. But then, that’s kind of the point of being armed. Armed citizens are lousy victims of violence since they have the ability to fight back. That’s why criminals, and politicians prefer unarmed victims. 

At the end of the day, everyone went home peacefully. On their way out, they stopped and collected their trash, including scraping up stickers that had stuck to the pavement. Imagine that. A 22,000 strong group of armed protestors taking the time to pick up after themselves and clean the streets as they left. Congratulations to the Virginia Citizens Defense League and every single law-abiding firearm owner who was in attendance. You’ve set the bar on what a Second Amendment protest can be. 

While New Mexico is not considering the full rash of draconian gun control measures during this year’s 30-day session that the Virginia legislature is considering, infringement is still infringement. Compromising your natural, constitutionally protected rights on one issue only makes it easier to have more rights taken away later on. 

The most significant issue for New Mexico this year is House Bill 7 / Senate Bill 5, the so-called “red flag” laws that allow your firearms and Second Amendment rights to be taken away without due process and without a crime ever being committed. The accused then bears the burden of proof, and all costs associated with the significant legal fees and medical / legal experts to show that they are NOT dangerous to themselves or others in order to get their Second Amendment rights restored and firearms returned. 

How much “public safety” and “suicide prevention” is being achieved when the accused – the person who is supposed to be a threat to others or themselves – is left with unrestricted access to every other kind weapon and NO access to any kind of support services? These “red flag” laws are nothing more than a mechanism to remove firearms from law abiding citizens and make them struggle to get them back, IF they can ever get them back at all. 

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. If you are protesting their consideration, you are playing a dangerous game of catch up. 

But guess what? Catch up we can! We can show the gun control politicians we do not support their gun control legislation AND we do not support politicians who try to pass gun control laws. 

New Mexico’s Second Amendment rally is at the Roundhouse on Friday, January 31, 2020 at 11:00 am.  If you can’t be there, write and/or call your representatives this week. It’s time to stand up for your rights while you still can. 

Bob

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Vegas & Virginia

Starting today, two very important events in the world of firearms begin. In Las Vegas, the annual SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade) Show kicks off. This is the industry show where the manufacturers, distributors and dealers come together to show off and see the latest and greatest products that will lead the industry into the future.  In Virginia, it is Lobby Day at the state capitol in Richmond. Here Second Amendment advocates and firearm owners from around the state and patriots from the rest of our nation will be gathering to protest the Constitutional infringements being planned by the Virginia legislature. On one side of the country, the best of the firearms industry future is on display. On the other side, people are fighting for their very right to retain their firearms against an increasingly tyrannical state government. Can you guess which one is going to have the most influence on the firearms marketplace in the foreseeable future? 

If you haven’t been paying attention, Virginia’s Governor and Democratic controlled legislature have been cranking up the heat on Virginia’s law-abiding firearm owners. In addition to all the previously proposed Second Amendment infringements I listed in Sic Semper Tyrannis on January 6, 2020 (http://oddstuffing.com/archives/610), they’ve added more. 

  • Closing all private / non-government shooting ranges (an admitted attempt to close down the NRA’s indoor range)
  • Virginia’s electoral college votes to be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote
  • The governor to be elected by majority of votes in congressional districts, not by statewide majority
  • Increase the number of signatures to initiate a recall petition from 10% to 25% of the voters
  • Restores voting rights to convicted felons
  • Allows felons and those declared mentally incompetent to vote
  • Eliminates photo ID requirement for voting
  • Increases the term limit of the governor from four to eight years

If these aren’t blatant attempts to impose a tyranny, I don’t know what is. 

And let’s not forget, the Governor has made the capitol complex a gun free zone in anticipation of Lobby Day. He justified this because of supposed ‘credible threats’ from Second Amendment extremists. He said he doesn’t want to have a repeat of the violence in Charlottesville in 2017 – where the only deadly violence was committed by someone with an automobile and NO firearms were used. Yea… I’m gonna call BS on this one. 

Yes, there are people who are speak strongly and emotionally about their Second Amendment rights. And why shouldn’t they? You’re talking about a government that is trying to take away rights from law-abiding citizens. But this is Lobby Day at the legislature and the people are there to let their representatives know what matters to them. It serves nobody’s interest to do so violently, and the gun controlling elitists know it. So.. so-called ‘credible threats’ have been introduced. I have no doubt threatening messages were sent and received, I’m just saying the senders may very well be the same people wanting to implement gun control. In other words, a false flag operation. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before in this country. 

A bit tinfoil hat’ish for you? Maybe. But we’ve all seen attacks on minority, religious and political sites that have turned out to be committed by the very people being attacked in order to gain political sympathy and legal action against others.  

Today the eyes of the country will be on Richmond waiting for the slightest provocation for the Governor to declare the Second Amendment rights groups domestic terrorists and send in the troops to clean them out. Sadly, you can count on agitators from the gun control side to be onsite trying to make it happen.  

It is very unfortunate that the best and most influential in the firearms industry will be in Las Vegas today instead of on the ground in Richmond, Virginia. If there was ever a time when the industry should be standing side-by-side with their customers and supporters, the very people who have made them successful in the first place, it is today. The timing more than sucks on this one. 

For everyone in Las Vegas, I hope you (actually we, since I’m here to) don’t forget that people in Virginia are fighting for their natural, God-given, Constitutionally protected rights today. What happens in Richmond is going to influence the rest of the country in ways we can’t even imagine yet. If we can’t be there with them, let’s hope and pray for their safety and success. Then:

GET OFF YOUR ASS AND STOP ELECTING PEOPLE WHO PROMISE TO TAKE AWAY OUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!!! 

Bob

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Six Seconds

That’s how long it took for an armed civilian to take down an active shooter in a church in Texas.  Six seconds.  As many have noted, the duration of active shooter events is determined by the arrival of the SECOND firearm on the scene, be it by law enforcement or an armed civilian. In all cases, unless law enforcement is already on the scene, the armed civilian response will ALWAYS be the fastest response. So why do gun control politicians insist on disarming law-abiding armed citizens in public and private places?  Sadly, the answer is because they would rather sacrifice the lives of you and your family in order to promote the false narrative that gun control is the only way you can ever be safe. Guess what? A 71-year-old man in Texas just proved them wrong. 

Facts and videotapes are hard things to ignore. While the shooting in Texas was caught on video, it hasn’t stopped the anti-gun zealots and politicians from making up their own facts about the incident. For one, they claim that this shooting would never have occurred if the Texas Governor hadn’t signed a law allowing firearms in churches. Of course, the facts they are conveniently burying is that 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in “Gun Free Zones”. Infamously, the only protection most of our schools have is a little sign declaring it to be a Gun Free Zone. THIS is all the protection your children receive under gun control. 

So too do they attempt to dismiss the heroism of the man who stopped the shooter in Texas by claiming he is not an ‘ordinary’ armed citizen. Yes, he was a former reserve deputy sheriff (for six years), as well as a firearms instructor. But note reserve deputy; not full time. And let’s also look at the situation. He had just witnessed two of his friends shot at close range with a shotgun by the shooter who was moving away from him. He drew from concealment, while moving, and… having to wait to take his shot because of innocent people between him and the shooter, took a single shot to the shooters head from about 50 feet and ended it in six seconds. It doesn’t matter if you are a firearms instructor, former reserve deputy, full time law enforcement, SWAT, special forces or Spetsnaz, that was a masterful shot! And have you forgotten the guy is 71 years old. 

Yes, he had more training than most, but that’s not why this shooting ended in six seconds. It ended because he was prepared. It ended because the church was prepared. There was a security team in place who had planned and trained extensively for exactly this kind of remote possibility. Let’s not forget that two members of the volunteer church security team also lost their lives in the first few seconds of this shooting. And had the one shot not stopped the shooter, at least five others in the church were armed, drawing firearms and prepared to stop him themselves. 

There too the gun control zealots say is something that shouldn’t happen. They say only the police should have guns and only they should be able to take someone’s life.  In this particular case, the citizens in the church should have just waited for the police to get there and deal with the shooter. Of course, in every gun free zone mass shooting, we’ve seen how many people die waiting for the police to show up. That didn’t happen here because there were people ready and able to defend their lives and the lives of others already there. 

After every shooting (that meets the political criteria the anti-gun politicians are looking for), there is an immediate call for more gun control. They claim only more gun control laws, taking away guns from the law-abiding firearm owners, will keep people safe. But what do the people actually think? 

Look at the most recent shooting in El Paso, Texas. The police response was about five minutes, which for a major city is actually pretty impressive. Yet by the time they got there the shooter was done, either out of ammunition or had just killed enough people and was taken into custody without incident. Following this incident and the politician’s call for gun control, the people started preparing to protect themselves. Firearm sales increased and concealed carry training classes in the area, which usually ran at about half capacity, were sold out. The people realized that they were their own best protection and first responder. 

Still, the hypocrites behind the gun control movement claim you do not need a firearm for protection in public. And every day they show how much they believe in this by surrounding themselves with small armies of heavily armed law enforcement and private security professionals, all carrying the very firearms they say you don’t need to protect yourself and your family. Perhaps gun control isn’t about “public safety” at all. Perhaps it’s really just about control. 

Later today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott will award Jack Wilson with the Texas Medal of Courage at the Governor’s mansion in Austin. The highest award the Governor can bestow on a civilian, it is given to civilians who display great acts of heroism by risking their own safety to save another’s life. I can’t think of a more fitting description for Jack Wilson’s actions. 

If you haven’t seen the video from inside the church, there is a link to at bottom of the page. It is raw and graphic, but not bloody. Still, it shows two men losing their lives before the shooter is stopped. It is a striking reminder of how quickly a violent incident unfolds, and the courage of ordinary men and women who are willing to stand up to evil and stop it in its tracks. 

I encourage you to use this horrific incident as inspiration to be a better defender of your own life and the lives of your family and friends. Train like your life depends on it, because that’s exactly what is at stake. Don’t be afraid, be prepared and be ready. And don’t ever let anyone tell you an ordinary law-abiding firearm owner can’t make a difference. You know better. 

Bob

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https://files.catbox.moe/r84gof.mp4

2020 – Time To Get On The List

In the past, my New Year message has included a call to go out and introduce a friend or family member to the shooting sports. After all, only by breaking down the barriers and showing others what a responsible, law-abiding firearm owner is really like can we hope to gain support in battling oppressive, unconstitutional gun control laws. But this year, I’m asking for something different. I’m asking for you to get off your ass and get involved in stopping these anti-Second Amendment laws.  It’s time to get on the list! 

What can you do?  You can contact each and every one of your elected representatives from your local town/city/county councils to your state and federal representatives. Don’t know who they are? FIND OUT!! The internet is your friend here folks. Figure out who they are and what their address, email address and phone number is. Pick the medium and send a message. 

What should you say? It doesn’t have to be long or particularly artful. All you have to do is let your representatives know you DO NOT support gun control legislation and you DO NOT support elected officials who do support gun control legislation. Urge them to vote NO on any proposed gun control laws.  That’s all there is to it! 

For those who resist doing this because they don’t want to get put on a list of some kind, guess what… You are already on the list. If you’ve purchased firearms and ammunition, belong to a gun group or range, read a pro-Second Amendment blog, liked a picture of a firearm on social media, you’re already on ‘the list’. Get over it! 

And if you’re not on a list, why they hell aren’t you?? The ONLY way we are going to stop these local, state and national infringements on our Second Amendment protected natural rights is to stand together. Just the few people who make a lot of noise isn’t going to cut it anymore. We ALL need to stand up and get counted. 

Trust me, there are worse things than being on a list of pro-Constitution, pro-Second Amendment, pro-independent thinkers, pro-freedom loving patriots. 

Take a look around you. Look at what is happening in Virginia, Texas, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. Look at what’s already happened in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii.  How much of your rights or your family’s rights are you willing to give up staying off the list? 

There isn’t one state in this country where our Second Amendment rights are not being challenged. If you think you are safe where you are because of long standing traditions and state level protections, think again.  Everything and everyone is in play here. 

You are the only one who can make a difference here. Make 2020 the year you get involved and get on that list. 

Bob

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Mooting the US Supreme Court

While the Second Amendment community anxiously awaits a decision in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, we have to consider if a moot decision in this case will effectively moot the United States Supreme Court itself.  On the other hand, any ruling other than moot will likely see the extreme left wing of congress working to reshape the Court itself. Either way, there is a whole lot more involved in this case than just the case itself. 

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York is about the draconian Premise Licenses issued by the City of New York. It allowed Licensees to legally possess their firearms at the single permitted home or transported unloaded and locked to one of seven authorized ranges in the City. ANY transportation to ranges or homes outside the city was strictly prohibited, as was any travel not directly  between their home and the approved ranges. 

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association has been fighting this law for seven years. During this time, the City of New York has vigorously defended this law through the courts as a completely Constitutional restriction. After all, they claimed it was in the interest of “public safety” and that was all that was necessary.  That all changed once the case was granted cert (a writ of certiorari) for review by the United States Supreme Court.  Following this action, the City made a number of attempts to nullify or moot, the case including claiming they would relook at the law, amending the law administratively and finally reversing and revising the law so it gave the petitioners the ability to leave the City with their firearms. They even went so far as to have the State of New York loosen the state laws to back this up.  All of this happened at a speed unheard of in New York for pro-Second Amendment legislation. 

So that should be the end of it, right? Well, not really. There are a number of questions still remaining including the entire judicial process of how it got there. For seven years, the City of New York has been ardent in their defense of this law. Only after the highest court in the land, a court now leaning slightly more conservative, do they pull the plug and say mea culpa. Why? Because a ruling against the City of New York could have a far reaching and devastating impact on gun control legislation around the country. 

This isn’t the first time in recent history where the gun control community has decided to bite the bullet (sorry, bad pun) and accept less gun control than see a conservative leaning Supreme Court make a nationwide ruling. Washington DC became “Shall Issue” following Wrenn vs. District of Columbia where the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia court ruled the ban on open carry and “good reason” restrictions on concealed carry were unconstitutional. In order to protect the gun control laws of states like California, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Connecticut, Washington DC did not pursue further appeals. Of course, DC continues to change their rules to make it extraordinarily expensive and difficult to obtain and keep a “Shall Issue” permit, but you wouldn’t expect them to just follow the law now would you? 

So what would a non- moot ruling mean? Other than getting a ruling on the original case itself, it would prevent the City and State of New York from simply reversing the law again and reinstating the exact same restrictions they had in place. But what the gun control zealots fear the most is the Court will rule favorably on firearms possession outside the home OR that Second Amendment cases must be examined under “Strict Scrutiny”. 

Some quick notes on Rational-Basis, Intermediate Scrutiny, and Strict Scrutiny

  • Under rational-basis the government must have a legitimate interest and the law must be “rationally related” to the interest. 
  • Under intermediate scrutiny, the government must have an important interest and the law must be substantially related to the interest. 
  • Under strict scrutiny, the government must have a compelling interest and the law must be narrowly tailored to the interest. 

Note that the likelihood of a law being overturned increases as the level of scrutiny increases. 

It’s also important to note that even when the district courts have examined cases under intermediate scrutiny, they have relied on shady, unreliable and incomplete “evidence” to reach their biased opinions in Second Amendment cases. 

What was the evidence in favor of the NYC travel ban? An affidavit with nothing more than a series of conclusory statements. The entire evidence in support of the travel ban was an affidavit from a former gun-licensing official. He speculated that licensed New York City handgun owners transporting unloaded handguns outside the city might perpetrate “road rage.”  Without a strong, definitive ruling from the US Supreme Court, logic like this is what will determine whether or not you get to keep your natural rights. 

And let’s not forget the attacks on the US Supreme Court members themselves. After the disgraceful attacks during Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, the possibility of his impeachment was openly discussed. This, as well as the so-called “grassroots” movement by graduates to remove him from his position as a lecturer at Harvard Law School and other positions, is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate him into tempering his rulings. 

Even more blatant was the brief five Democratic Senators filed in response to the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York case itself. They argued: “The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it,” said the brief, filed in August by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.'”

The threat is crystal clear.  If the court rules against the City of New York, it will be restructured to a more liberal point of view.  If that isn’t the definition of political influence of a Supreme Court case, nothing is.  

So there you have it. If the case is ruled moot, the City of New York will be free to un-reverse their regulations and restrict law-abiding citizens in new and creative ways until another case makes it back to the US Supreme Court, just in time to be moot again. OR, the court can rule against the City of New York and establish the proper procedure for all Second Amendment cases – and risk being restructured to the point where it is no longer able to make any non-politically approved ruling. 

Who is to blame for having a non-independent judicial branch of our government?  We are… all of us citizens / voters who have allowed our representatives to make a mockery out of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Who we vote for has consequences and we’ve only begun to see how bad it can be. 

Bob

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PSPS = Profit Saving Power Shutoff

This week Californians were thrust back into the 19thcentury as electrical power was cut for a high wind event that triggered a so-called “Public Safety Power Shutoff”. Over 800,000 utility customers, an estimated 2,000,000 plus people, had their power shut down because it was dry and windy in their area. In reality, this was nothing more than the utility company doing everything they can to protect their profit margins regardless of the cost to the residents they serve.  Of course, the reality is they aren’t the ones who are really at fault for this. 

Yes, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is a heartless, greedy monopoly that would rather spend its record profits on hiking executive compensation, bonuses and donations to Sacramento politicians than on equipment maintenance, upgrades and utility corridor maintenance, but that’s about what you’d expect from them.  It’s the people who have for decades allowed them to get away with it and protected them with laws, administrative rulings and rubber stamp approvals from activist judges in the state. Who are these people? They are your duly elected representatives in Sacramento and these unnecessary power outages are 100% on their heads. 

California’s Public Utility Commission (CPUC), appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate has long been recognized as just another unaccountable government bureaucracy whose cozy relationship and backdoor dealings with PG&E only confirm its lack of independence and willingness to work in the best interest of California residents. It’s role in the so-called “California Energy Crisis of 2000” and later following the San Bruno disaster in 2010 are just two prime examples. 

None of this is possible without the support and groundbreaking legislative work of the California Legislature and Governor’s office on behalf of the power companies and their shareholders. Time after time when the utilities could have been held accountable or could have been made to spend profits on equipment, upgrades and safety, the State of California has instead created laws protecting them. Instead of the companies profits being used for badly neglected safety upgrades over decades, the costs are passed on directly to the customers in the form of ever increasing rates for the now “emergency” upgrades to make the power and gas systems safe. 

The impetus for the new so-called “Public Safety Power Shutoff” program came from the California wildfires of 2018. Some, such as the Camp Fire, which killed 86 people, incinerated 19,000 homes and caused over $10 billion in damages, were directly caused by PG&E equipment. In response to the fire investigation results, PG&E quickly declared bankruptcy to protect itself and its shareholders. 

Let me ask you this. Does it seem normal or appropriate that in 2019, 140 years since the first electrical lines were hung to supply customers with power, that there is no way to keep these lines safe when it’s windy? No, of course not. That’s why power companies invest in new equipment and technology and do maintenance along the power transmission corridors.  Everyone except PG&E it seems. 

PG&E now faces billions of dollars of liability for the fires it caused because they themselves didn’t properly maintain and upgrade their equipment or do the proper maintenance along transmission corridors.  The irony of course is that if they had spent just a small fraction of those profits over the years on safety upgrades and maintenance, they wouldn’t be facing the billions of dollars in losses now… or have killed so many innocent people. Except now, that cost will be passed on to you. 

As far as what brought on this latest outage, it is attributed to dry weather, the presence of dry vegetation near power lines and winds. In other words, absolutely normal daily conditions in many parts of California. 

So what do Californians in the effected zones do?  Scramble to buy generators, overpriced coolers, gas and the last couple bags of ice in the community before the power goes out. Larger businesses were able to secure commercial generators to keep their products from spoiling during the outages. Smaller businesses, the vast majority of those in our communities, aren’t so fortunate. Aside from being out of business for a couple of days, entire stock and inventories were lost.  No power and no burglar alarms means easy going for the state’s criminals. 

For those paying close attention to the outage maps, you may have noticed the tech corridor through Silicon Valley and the immediate area around Sacramento were unaffected. Yes, it’s true. Silicon, computer code, pork and good old-fashioned greenbacks are effective deterrents to wildfire danger. 

The City of San Jose alone estimates it’s loss from the power outages at over $1 million dollars, and this is only the government loss, not the business and personal loss of San Jose residents. Nobody seems to be tallying up the costs for Californian’s, but hundreds of millions to a billion is a reasonable estimate. 

Who is responsible for these losses?  That’s easy, you are. PG&E is not responsible for any losses from a so-called “Public Safety Power Shutoff”. Your lost groceries, store inventory, loss of income, loss of business, accidents, injuries, deaths or crime, are all your responsibility because PG&E warned you ahead of time. Thank you Sacramento!! 

For the PG&E apologists who point out that PG&E is bankrupt and had no choice or ‘would you rather have your community burn to the ground’, I simply point out that this crystal ball reading response to prevent the slim probability of a possible wildfire is purely California utility thing. Everyone else seems to be able to operate in all weather conditions because they do upgrades and maintenance. 

Do I blame the public utility employees? For the most part, no. Most are honest, hard working people who are far removed from these kinds of decisions. At the same time, I take notice of the employees who respond to the electric utility caused wildfires wiping communities off the map by saying ‘hey, I’m on the gas side’. Similar to those who responded to the gas line explosion in San Bruno that incinerated 38 homes and eight people by saying, ‘hey, I’m on the electric side’. Perhaps if those on the inside of the company were to stress safety from within instead of “just doing their jobs”, the company would change from the inside vs. having to be mandated to do normal safety and maintenance operations. 

For his part, California’s Governor said residents should be outraged and infuriated by news of a widespread power shut-off to prevent deadly wildfires but that the utility had no choice. 

As with far to many things, the Governor is completely wrong. The utility did have a choice, in fact many of them over the years. They could have spent money on safety upgrades and maintenance instead of executive bonuses, but they didn’t and this is the result. At the same time, the State of California and the Governor of California could stop giving political and legal cover to PG&E who continue to dip into the bottomless pockets of the California ratepayer. 

If you want this insanity to stop, simply look at who is sitting in Sacramento collecting contributions from the utilities and passing laws to keep them protected from not doing their jobs or investing their millions in profits in upgrades and maintenance. If you don’t want this to continue, it’s time to vote them out. 

Remember; PSPS means Profit Saving Power Shutoff, and you are paying the price. 

Bob

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Gun Control: Hypocrites & Their Followers

In the world of gun control, there are two distinct groups; the hypocrites and those who blindly follow them.  There are those who set the direction, and those who are pushed in that direction. There are those who create and control the narrative and those who obey it.  If you think the gun control movement is this massive spontaneous grassroots movement it pretends to be, think again. Those in control know it’s a lie and actions expose them as hypocrites. 

I often refer to gun control advocates as elitists because that’s exactly who they are. They are the uber-rich, busy bodies that subtly bankroll the movement around the country. These elitists, and their favorite pet politicians, are in fact hypocrites.  While advocating for ever more draconian gun control measures for the public, they themselves are surrounded by small armies of heavily armed law enforcement and private security.  

Take a look at the people who are sponsoring and passing these laws. They live and work in buildings protected by armed security who screen everyone – except them – for weapons. When they are out in public, their armed security goes along with them to keep them safe from threats.  THIS is what they do to keep themselves safe. 

What do they do to keep you safe? They say you will be safe if they post a “Gun Free Zone” sign at public schools, theaters and restaurants.  They tell you these signs “don’t attract shooters, they repel them”. They say that firearms in the hands of the public are dangerous. They say you will be safe by outlawing certain types of scary looking firearms, ammunition and magazines. They tell you by limiting the type and number of firearms law-abiding citizens can possess, criminals will no longer have access to them. 

They pass laws mandating more licenses and fees to buy keep or carry firearms, plus mandatory training and registrations, all designed to keep firearms and ammunition out of the hands of everyday citizens. For those who can afford them, they pass laws to ensure they are limited, restricted, tightly controlled and disabled from use. 

They tell you a lot of tales about how you will be safe in a world without guns, while their heavily armed law enforcement and private security – paid for with your tax dollars – are making sure they are safe, with guns. 

They are hypocrites. 

Then there are the followers. Sadly, grieving parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless acts of violence are paraded out for the cameras to mourn the victims and influence the public.  The public is shocked and looks for someone to blame and an immediate answer to how it could be prevented. The answer is always gun control. 

Ever tightening gun control (with the eventual goal of complete civilian disarmament) is put out as the ONLY answer to the “gun violence epidemic”.  Only by getting rid of the guns will the public ever be safe. Anyone that advocates for firearm rights is seen as heartless, complicit and just as responsible as those who actually pulled the trigger and killed others. 

The followers are the true believers of the gun control and spread the myth for free. Even if they live in communities where gun control has proven itself to be completely ineffective, they push for more gun control. Even if they live in areas of the country with the lowest crime and violence rates, they push for more gun control. It doesn’t matter the location or the circumstances, there is only one solution, gun control. 

The followers and the public at large are being fed a carefully crafted story designed to keep the gun control elitists safe, and the public unsafe. An unsafe public will cry out for safety and security, and the answer is always gun control. 

Inconvenient truths such as 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in Gun Free Zones or that the areas of the country with the strictest gun control laws have the highest crime, murder and “gun violence” rates don’t seem to matter. Only emotions, feelings and blaming inanimate objects for the complex societal problems at the root of poverty, mental health, crime, violence and social injustice matter to the gun control movement. 

Remember, gun control does absolutely nothing to increase public safety and the answer to fix that shortcoming is always to implement more gun control.

Bob

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