Riots & Broken Windows Theory

In a time when rioting, vandalism, theft, looting, arson, assault and murder have become synonymous with the term “peaceful protest”, perhaps we should look at how we got here and who is responsible. Oh, I know, these so-called “peaceful protestors” are simply exercising their First Amendment rights against a systemically racist system. It doesn’t matter that whatever they thought they were fighting against didn’t actually exist in the first place, what is important now is the violence and destruction. As for how it got to this level, we have their supporters, enablers and sponsors in mayor’s offices, city councils and prosecutor’s offices across the country to blame. It could have been stopped a long, long time ago, but they choose to let it go on and grow for political purposes. The destruction, pain and death we are seeing now is on them. It never had to be this way.  

A little primer on Broken Windows Theory. I’m going to steal Wikipedia’s definition since they have such a nice one: 

A criminological theory that states that visible signs of crime, anti-social behavior, and civil disorder create an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder, including serious crimes. The theory suggests that policing methods that target minor crimes, such as vandalism, loitering, public drinking, jaywalking and fare evasion, help to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crimes.

You can probably relate to this with other common phrases such as ‘Give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile’ or for parents the ever popular ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’. The concept is pretty simple, the more you let someone get away with things, the more they are going to try to get away with. In the world of criminal justice, if you interrupt criminal behavior early you will better prevent further criminal behavior. Yes, I’m a believer and properly applied, it does work.

So what does this have to do with riots?? What started out as genuinely peaceful protests, something laudable and in the best traditions of our national spirit, quickly devolved into nothing more than looting, destruction, violence and death. Yet those who support and encourage these now clearly unlawful actions maintain it is still a “peaceful protest” and all about Constitutionally protected First Amendment expression. What a bunch of garbage!

What should have happened?  The MOMENT the actual peaceful protests began to break the law, trespass, curfew violations, vandalism, theft and looting, they should have been decisively shut down. The perpetrators should have been arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

Instead the lawlessness was allowed to grow. What used to be actual protest turned into destruction. First a few businesses were damaged, then looted, then burned. From trying to get bystanders to see their point of view and support their cause to anyone who didn’t bow to the mob’s demands was berated, harassed and beaten. From looking at our nation’s history for lessons to destroying anything that might offend someone. From speeches and signs of unity to rocks, bricks, clubs, lasers, explosives, Molotov cocktails and bullets. From trying to improve the system to “burn it all down”.

It’s not like any of this wasn’t predictable. History tends to repeat itself when ignored, and this one has been a doozy. In the name of political correctness and not wanting to provoke, we’ve allowed people who have zero interest in anything social justice to run rampant in our cities as long as they are holding the ‘correct’ demonstration sign or flag. And it’s not just the so-called “peaceful protests” that have escalated. Crime of all kinds has skyrocketed in these protest friendly cities. Burglaries, robberies, assaults, shootings and murder have been setting new records. It’s apparently okay now to assault someone, anyone, just because. And while you’re at it, how about shooting and killing someone holding their daughter’s hand while walking across the street or a child playing in a driveway. Read a little of the non-filtered news and you’ll see just how bad things have really gotten.

As for who is to blame, look no further than the politicians; the mayors, city councils and prosecutors who have ordered the police out of protest areas, disarmed them of the tools they need to protect themselves and the public and steadfastly refused to pursue charges when law enforcement makes an arrest. Rioters are given a free pass, released without charges in mere hours after being arrested, allowed to go out and continue and escalate their criminal activity. Those who are actually held on charges are immediately bailed out thanks to the funding of celebrities, politicians and rich political influencers who want them back out on the street committing more violence. 

Who hasn’t been spared from charges? The people who have been standing up and protecting their lives and properties from the violent mobs. Activist prosecutors around the country have been quick to charge those defending themselves, especially if they should dare to use a firearm. Even when all of the evidence clearly shows they were lawfully defending themselves or others, prosecutors have made sure they are charged as an example to others. The message is unmistakably clear. If you are committing a crime for the right social cause, you are merely exercising your Constitutionally protected rights. If you are defending yourself against “peaceful protestors”, you are taking the law into your own hands and violating THEIR rights. 

Like many Americans, I am sick and tired of the wanton violence and destruction in the supposed name of justice. What we are seeing now has absolutely nothing to do with any of the names or causes being screamed as justification. It is only for the sake of destruction in order to place political blame and for someone to say, ‘I support you and I can make everything better if you vote for me.’

The unchecked escalation of violence, the destruction of property and lives, the blood and death in the streets, all could have been mitigated a long time ago. Instead politicians chose to surrender to mob mentality and virtue signal their way out of addressing the real problems facing our communities. THAT takes hard work and confronting hard, unpopular realities. It’s much easier to blame everything on someone else and get reelected for another term. 

Vote wisely. 

Bob

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A Warning For Semi-Free Americans

California defending its unconstitutional gun control laws is nothing new. They write laws intended to strip law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights while simultaneously writing laws to keep criminals from being punished and releasing those who are already in jail. When these laws are challenged, activist judges put in place by extremist politicians rubber stamp them with some of the most outrageous legal rational to ever come out of a court. 

After having their laws against so-called large capacity magazines (LCMs) ruled unconstitutional at the District Court and with a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Duncan v. Becerra, California has requested a hearing by an en banc panel. Nothing new here, it’s the state just prolonging the fight and running up the bills for the opponents. But what might have gone unnoticed is the 18 Attorneys General who sent a friend-of-the-court in support of California’s law. While some of these states already have a form of magazine restrictions in place, others do not. If you live in one of these states, what do you think this means for the future of your standard capacity magazines?

Attorneys General from Washington D.C, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington all signed onto the brief. 

Of the states with magazine restrictions, most limit them to 10 rounds, a couple are 15 or mixed 10 & 15 for rifle & handgun. Others, like New Jersey, were at 15 and recently cut that to 10. A couple of these states have “grandfathered” clauses which allow those who possessed them to keep them after the law change. Of course, we all know that “grandfathered” just means deferred confiscation as California residents found out when the state changed its mind on legally possessed “grandfathered” magazines and decided they were now illegal. 

The other states, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington do NOT have laws against so-called large capacity magazines. BUT… their Attorney General supports them. What do you think this means for the future of magazine capacity laws? It means sooner or later, like it or not, these states WILL restrict magazines to 10 rounds. 

Why 10 rounds? There really isn’t any rhyme or reason to it. 15 was apparently too many and seven as implemented and ruled unconstitutional in New York was too few. There certainly isn’t any science or research to support it. If you read the rational from extremist gun control think tank & quasi law center, you see how careful wording is used to justify it. It explained how few self-defense shootings “needed” more than 10 rounds and how many firearms from unlawful shootings were found with “large capacity magazines”. No mention of the fact that more rounds HAVE in fact saved the lives of law-abiding citizens or the ACTUAL number of shots fired by criminals, just the capacity of their magazines. Facts matter, unless you’re trying to infringe on constitutionally protected natural rights. 

California argues to the Court that the majority of citizens voted for Proposition 63 which, among other gun control measures, outlawed magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds, and as such should be considered valid. Of course, this has ZERO bearing on the legality of this case, and that’s a very good thing. 

Despite the popular misconception, the United States is not a democracy, it is a republic, or better known as a democratic republic. The distinction is critical.  In a democracy, the majority rules on every issue and there are no protections for the minority opinion. If 51% of the population decides there is no right to free speech, then there is no right to free speech, period. 

In a republic, there is a constitution which protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if a majority of the population votes for it. So even if 99% of the population votes there is no right to free speech, then the law is unconstitutional and invalid. 

The Attorneys General friend-of-the-court brief is much the same argument. 18 party loyal extremist prosecutors who don’t believe the Second Amendment right to a standard capacity magazine exists for the average citizen believe their opinion should sway the court.  Guess what, it means DIDDLY SQUAT!! But then again, this is the 9th Circuit, so any extremist view will likely be taken into consideration. 

Where do these Attorneys General opinions matter? In your home state. These are the people who will help draft the anti-standard capacity magazine legislation and give it their stamp of approval. These are people who will lobby the legislature from within to get this law on the books. These are the people who will ensure law-abiding citizens who defy them are prosecuted to the full extent of the law as an example to others. This is YOUR Attorney General. 

Why am I directing this as a warning to semi-free Americans? Because if your state has already started down the gun control path, this is in your future. Gun control starts slowly with the least objectionable, easiest to pass infringements like universal background checks. After all, who could object to something that will keep firearms out of the hands of criminals? It doesn’t matter that the universal background checks have been shown to be completely ineffective means of curbing crime or violence, it’s a toe in the door to more infringements.

While the Duncan v. Becerra directly relates only to California’s magazine ban, it would provide precedent for other western states to appeal their magazine bans, and indirectly those in the rest of the country. While this is important, I’m going to repeat what I’ve said time and time again.

It’s a fool’s errand to believe that once a law has been enacted, it can successfully be drawn back. Of the thousands of gun control laws passed around the country, precious few are successfully appealed and reversed. The best way – the ONLY way to stop them is to prevent them from being enacted in the first place.  And the only one who can do that is you.

If you live in Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Washington, your Attorney General has already cast his vote on your Second Amendment rights. It’s time for YOU to cast your vote to stop them. 

Vote wisely.

Bob

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Not Well-Suited for Self-Defense?

As expected, the State of California filed an appeal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit three-judge panel that upheld the ruling that the State’s ban on Large Capacity Magazines (LCM) was unconstitutional in the case of Duncan v. Becerra. Nothing about the request for a rehearing by an en banc panel was a surprise, from the arguments being made to the appeal being filed on the final day. California will do anything and everything to protect one of its signature gun control measures and bleed the opposition dry while doing it. And just because you’re not from People’s Republik of Kalifornistan doesn’t mean this case shouldn’t be important to you. 

All of the materials, filings and rulings on this case are available at the link below. It’s worth your time to read and understand what is going on since California likes to export its bad, expensive and unconstitutional policies to the rest of the country. 

There are a few things I found particularly interesting in the State’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc.

First, the State sees no reason or need for any civilian to have so-called large capacity magazines. In fact, the filing indicates “The record here demonstrates that LCMs are not well-suited for self-defense.” It rationalizes that Californian’s can have as many 10 round magazines as they want, and (currently) as much ammunition as they want. 

The photo that accompanies this article is from a home security system in a Fremont, CA home invasion burglary on August 28, 2016. It shows five armed men coming into the house, at least one carrying a handgun with a magazine extending below the pistol grip, a LCM. Fortunately, the residents were not home at the time. Even if the resident was armed with a California 10 round magazine, he would most certainly have been killed in this encounter. In this burglary the homeowner was able to call the police while watching the burglary on his home cameras remotely. Unfortunately, the armed home invaders left before the police arrived and were not caught.

The State has never explained why a so-called LCM is not-well suited for self-defense, but it’s the exact opposite of the training and advise of every reputable self-defense instructor I’ve ever known, including my own. It has also never offered any explanation why 10 rounds is the magic, safe enough for civilians number, but 11 is way too dangerous. 

Let’s also keep in mind that in some places like New York City, firearms that simply have the capability to accept a so-called LCM are banned. So, if even one magazine is made for it with a capacity over 10 rounds, the firearm itself is banned.

The State also references the Fyock v. Sunnyvale, a local California ordinance banning magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, which was upheld by a three-judge panel, as a binding precedent. 

There are several issues that come from Fyock, not the least of which is that California does not have a preemption law banning local jurisdictions from passing their own more restrictive firearm regulations. As we’ve seen in states without preemption, this results in a patchwork of laws throughout the state that are impossible for any law-abiding citizen to understand or comply with. Virginia recently removed its preemption for firearm regulations and now anti-gun cities are drafting unique and highly confusing laws regulating use and possession within its borders. 

Fyock was also decided under what is known as Intermediate Scrutiny, which is what the State believes is the correct level for Second Amendment cases. Duncan’s ruling utilized Strict Scrutiny. 

A quick note 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. Few government laws survive a Strict Scrutiny test since they are generally far broader than need be. 

The argument for the use of Strict Scrutiny review of Second Amendment cases has been going on for years. Government agencies don’t like that because it severely restricts their regulatory powers, something most of us would argue is appropriate in a case involving the Bill of Rights. 

For the next step, the 11-member en banc panel to hear this will be randomly drawn from the Nineth Circuit Court of Appeals. While there has been significant progress in helping to balance the court with justices appointed by the current Presidential administration, it still has a 16 to 13 liberal slant. Of course, that ANY judge should be considered liberal vs. conservative is absolutely asinine. The law, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights should be interpreted by every judge each and every time WITHOUT regard for political party platforms, but that’s a topic for another time. For this case, the outcome will likely be decided by the draw instead of the legal arguments in the case. 

Why is this case important? A successful appeal by the State reverses the initial District Court ruling and magazines with a capacity higher than 10 rounds are once again illegal in California. The only hope for a reversal comes from the United States Supreme Court which has not been willing to hear Second Amendment cases. 

In the unlikely event of Duncan being upheld, the State will have to decide if it wants to risk an unsuccessful appeal to the Supreme Court where it has the potential to impact magazine bans around the country or find another way to restrict them in California. 

However, in my opinion the most important thing this case points out is the importance of our local and state elections. Laws like this are enacted by the people we elect to office. When we elect gun control politicians, we enable them to restrict our Second Amendment protected rights and the only recourse we have is to have them overturned in the courts. 

And guess what, you and I are paying for both sides of this fight. Our taxes pay for the lawyers to defend the laws that take away our rights and our dues and donations pay for the lawyers to try to get them back. The only ones who win regardless of the outcome are the lawyers. 

It’s a fool’s errand to believe that once a law has been enacted, it can successfully be drawn back. Of the thousands of gun control laws passed around the country, precious few are successfully appealed and reversed. The best way – the ONLY way to stop them is to prevent them from being enacted in the first place.  And the only one who can do that is you.

Vote wisely this year. 

Bob

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Gun Buys vs. Gun Votes

It’s election season and everyone is trying to predict how people will vote. Now mix in COVID-19, a near complete national shutdown of the economy, millions of people thrown out of work, business and lives destroyed and lost, violent criminals being released from prison ‘for their safety’, police departments being defunded and services cut, and the ongoing “peaceful protests” a.k.a. riots around the country. It’s no wonder we’ve seen absolutely unprecedented firearms and ammunition sales around the country, many of them by first time buyers. But does this mean more votes for or against gun control politicians as some are predicting? Sadly no, but you know what, that’s not what is important. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 spread, and the politically motivated shutdown that has lasted MONTHS beyond the initial “two weeks to flatten the curve”, there has been a run on firearms and ammunition unseen in this nation’s history. NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) inquiries, the federal background checks used to estimate firearms sales, have broken records for months with no signs of letting up. 

But there’s something different about this spike vs. previous ones. Most of the time firearm purchases increase after a horrific event and there is fear of political knee-jerk reaction laws to limit access to firearms and ammo. The fears are of course well-founded as gun control extremists and their political allies realize they can cram through otherwise unobtainable laws under the mantra of “never let a crisis go to waste”, even if it means politicizing the victims while they are still bleeding and acting before the cause is actually known. 

This spike has been different. With COVID-19 national shutdown of the economy, convicts being released en masse into the community, law enforcement services being curtailed, daily riots and destruction around the country and random, unchecked violence everywhere, people are genuinely and rightfully concerned for their safety and the safety of their families. In many places, the fear of not being able to get a law enforcement response for hours, if at all, to a plea for help in a crisis has many who have never before owned firearms flocking to gun stores. 

I’ve seen estimates around the country of anywhere between 40% to 70% of purchasers are new to firearms. They come from all walks of life, races, ages, religions and political affiliation. Far more than the normal amount are women. Many of these new purchasers also have no idea what it really takes to purchase a firearm leading to a host of amusing, yet very sad, stories from around the country. 

So, what does this mean politically? Do all of these new firearm owners mean a sweep for Republican or anti-gun control Democrat candidates? No. It means absolutely nothing. And, that’s okay. 

Purchasing or owning a firearm has very little to do with political party affiliation. During my time in the firearms industry, managing a firearm retailer, gunsmithing and operating a small private shooting club and range, I’ve met firearms owners from every point on the political spectrum from off the scale left to the hardest of hard-core right. Just because you own firearms, doesn’t mean you don’t support gun control. I’ve met people you would think to be anti-gun control such as law enforcement, ex-military, a gun range operator and even the owner of a firearm manufacturer who are very pro-gun control. At the same time, one of the biggest anti-gun control advocate I know is a Democrat. 

Modern political party affiliation, especially in urban areas, generally means you have bought onto the full party platform. For Democrats, that means you support gun control. For a politician, if you don’t support the party platform, you’ll very quickly find your Party support and money gone and a new Party supported Democrat running against you.  In rural areas, where there is less focus on the national party platform, politicians from both the major parties are more reflective of their constituents. 

The other thing to remember is very rarely does the citizenry directly vote on gun control measures. There are exceptions, but for the most part we vote for representatives, who then vote for or against gun control. As we’ve seen, many politicians run on a very strong anti-gun platform, at least during the normal campaign season. Then, in the final run up to the elections, gun control is purposefully faded to the background so as not to discourage those who may hold strong firearm rights views.  Sadly, as the State of Virginia found out, once elected, gun control becomes the primary focus with politicians claiming their victory is a mandate for gun control. 

What this all boils down to is firearm purchases are going to mean very little, if anything at all, to the elections. People are going to vote for the party or person they feel best represents their values. Gun rights and gun control is a part of that, but it is very unlikely to switch someone from a blue to red vote. 

My take on this is that’s okay. While I wish more people would place the Second Amendment and firearm rights higher up on their priorities, it is not a requirement for firearm ownership. Second Amendment protected rights apply to EVERYONE equally, no matter their political party affiliation, just as it should be. People owning and using firearms makes them and their families safer, just as it should be. 

So what do we do? We welcome new firearm owners into the community. We help them with training, places to shoot, competition, hunting, sports and self-defense information. We invite them into our clubs and associations so they can be the best and safest firearm owners they can be. If we can also help them to see how important their Second Amendment protected rights are at the same time, then maybe sometime, someday, somewhere, they’ll bump that a little higher up on their priorities. In the meantime, we simply welcome them. 

Bob

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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