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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Power To The People

This past year has seen an unprecedented number of gun control bills submitted around the country. While another year of gun control laws that do nothing but punish the law-abiding is nothing new in the nanny states, even traditionally firearm friendly states have seen an influx. Why is quite simple. Politicians put in place by big money special interests are ignoring their constituents and their oaths of office and peddling unconstitutional laws. But guess what? The people are standing up and standing together to say no. And it is working. Draconian gun control bills are being altered, tabled, shelved and defeated. What could be more patriotic than the people taking control of their representatives and their government? But there is still a long way to go. 

If you live in states like California, New York, New Jersey or Massachusetts, you’ve probably grown used to seeing a new crop of gun control laws come out every year. Sold to the public as laws that are “common sense”, will “save lives” or to close “dangerous loopholes” in existing laws, they build on the already oppressive laws that do absolutely nothing to promote public safety. In reality, they make the public more vulnerable to crime and violence. Yet with each additional law, more restrictions and more costs are put on law-abiding citizens. 

But even outside the most restrictive states, extremist politicians swept into office in 2018 by those big money special interests have been busy paying off their debt by introducing anti-Second Amendment bills. Some highlights: 

Arizona: Assault weapon and “high-capacity” magazine ban, firearm registration and transport restrictions 
Nebraska: Proposed waiting period for firearm sales and universal background checks
Maryland: Proposed home firearm storage (unloaded AND locked) and new firearm dealer monitoring requirements
Hawaii: Ammunition purchases limited to calibers of registered firearms
Washington: Ban on “high-capacity” magazines and concealed carry training requirements
New Mexico: A so-called “red flag” law
Connecticut: A 35% tax on ammunition 
Vermont: A 30-day proceed on firearms purchases (vs. the federal three-day default), a ban on carrying semi-automatic firearms in most public places, expanding the “red flag” law
Rhode Island: Assault weapon, “high-capacity” magazine and 3D gun ban 
Virginia: Assault weapon, “high-capacity” magazine, suppressor and 3D gun ban, universal background checks, limit of one handgun per month, “red flag” law, removing state preeminence for firearm laws

Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list. It is simply a sampling from around the country. When you start looking at what is being proposed in the various communities and state legislatures around the country, you start to get a sense of how expansive the assault on our Second Amendment rights really is. And like most things, if you follow the money it leads back to the usual suspects, the fringe left wing extremists funded by billionaire money. 

So how about some good news?  Law-abiding citizens from all walks of life and every demographic imaginable are standing together to fight back against these Second Amendment infringing laws. They are gathering at state houses around the country by the thousands to peacefully protest and let their representatives know they do NOT support these proposed laws. 

Whole communities in states all over the country are banding together to declare themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries. County sheriffs and law enforcement officers are standing up WITH and leading their communities in opposition, even as they themselves are targeted by the rouge anti-gun legislators.  

And it is working.  Not everywhere and not on all bills, but cracks in the gun control foundation are forming and these new gun control laws are being defeated. 

Despite what the media is telling you, Second Amendment protected firearm rights is not a red vs. blue thing. It’s not a rural vs. urban thing. It’s not how much someone makes or the color of their skin. It’s about natural rights for all United States citizens. And that is why protest rallies don’t just represent one part of the population, they represent everyone. 

THIS is why the cracks in the gun control foundation have formed. Representatives are starting to realize they need to be accountable to their constituents in order to keep their jobs. And the people are pissed! Those special interest dollars aren’t going to do a damn thing for them when voters band together to replace them. 

If nothing else, this year’s assault on our Second Amendment rights has gotten people off the sidelines. They are realizing the power of the people who stand together and fight for a common goal. 

Every elected seat at every level in every community in every state makes a difference. Only by standing together to protect our rights will we be able to counter the fringe special interest dollars trying to alter our communities to put their needs above ours. 

Bob

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Goodbye California

You may have noticed the Odd Stuffing pages have been silent for a while. As some of you are aware, the Mrs. & I have recently moved out of the People’s Republik of Kalifornistan. The constant increase in prices, taxes, fees and oppressive laws aimed at the law-abiding while decreasing the consequences of violence and victimization of others, combined with the virtual elimination of the Second Amendment, had become too much for us. When the right opportunities came up for us we made the decision to join the hundreds of thousands of Californians to flee the state. Does this mean we are giving up on fighting for the Constitutionally protected rights in California? HELL NO! 

On a personal note, it was a lot more difficult to move than we imagined. Not only does 25 years together and 20 years in the same house accumulate a lot of ‘stuff’, it also accumulates a lot of very, very close friends.  And, as the Mrs. commented while taking one last drive around our neighborhood, we grew old here. 

But since we’re not dead yet, we had to consider what is best for our future.  Add to the issues listed above, California’s so-called “public safety blackouts”, known to the rest of us as the protect PG&E profit blackouts and businesses being left to fend for themselves against increasingly violent criminals with no hope of intervention by the police and courts. At the same time, your waitress is being arrested for giving customers a plastic straw without asking for it, but it’s okay to leave your used syringes everywhere. Not to worry; they’ll give you more to shoot up with for free. It’s illegal to not clean up after your dog poops in public, but it’s perfectly acceptable for you to poop on the street, sidewalk or any place else you want. In other words, California is train wreck and getting worse by the day. 

Our new home is in the Land of Enchantment. It’s a beautiful state, rich in culture and tradition, with far more Second Amendment rights than are available to those on the left coast. But… that doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. With a Democratic Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and majority in both houses of the legislature, you can be sure gun control will soon be on the agenda here.

While most of the people I have spoken to here agree that firearm rights are taken very seriously here, I’m sure not everyone is aware the New Mexico Attorney General signed a letter of support for California and Vermont’s magazine restrictions.  If the New Mexico Attorney General thinks this is a really good idea in those states, how long do you think it will take before it’s a really good idea in New Mexico? 

My observations of politics have shown me politicians have two main goals once elected to public office. Get reelected and get elected to a higher office. Everything they do while in office revolves on achieving those two goals. The only way they are going to do that is to tow the party line to get the party money. And when the party platform is to enact nationwide, draconian, do-nothing-for-public-safety gun control, that’s what they are going to do. Those who choose to be moderate and not support the gun control party line are soon facing very well funded challengers from their own party who will.  That’s just the way party politics work. 

So if you look at states that are ripe for the introduction of gun control laws, New Mexico starts rising to the top of the list.  It will start slowly and cautiously as it always, but it will start. The top three low hanging fruit laws likely to be introduced first are Universal Background Checks (a ban on private party transactions), magazine capacity (reduced to the national gun control standard of 10 rounds) and so-called “red flag laws” (allowing families, employers, coworkers and the police to strip away your Second Amendment rights based on here say evidence in an ex parte hearing). Other more restrictive laws will follow in subsequent years once the ground has been broken. Then, it will be a slow but steady push towards full elimination of your rights and ability to defend yourself and your family.

Since we moved we’ve had some interesting reactions to people learning we moved from California. From what I’ve gathered, a lot of Californian’s have moved to New Mexico to flee the conditions there, then immediately started working to change New Mexico into the California they left.  I’ve had to assure many people that while I moved FROM California, I’ll be doing everything in my power to not let the state change TO California. 

Overconfidence in the current legal protections and traditions of the state is what has already doomed many formerly pro-Second Amendment states. Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada and Vermont are all examples of not seeing the change coming, and now not being able to stop it.  

How do you stop it? If you think the courts are the answer, they’re not. 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. 

Even if you are in the fiercest, gun loving, Second Amendment protecting part of the state, you still need to be fighting for your rights. That means getting involved in what is going on in your home town/city, county and state RIGHT NOW. If you haven’t called or written a letter to every one of your elected representatives recently, then how do they know what is important to you? You can count on the fact the gun control advocates have been speaking to them, a lot. Do you want that to be the only voice they hear? 

Your rights are in your hands. If you don’t protect them, there is a slippery slope waiting that will turn your hometown into the third world living conditions currently spreading across California. Think it can’t happen here? Californians didn’t think so either. 

Bob

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The Complete Failure Of Gun Control

When our nation is looking for safety, the elitist gun banning politicians always have the same answer, gun control. The problem is it never seems to be enough. No matter how much gun control they impose, there is always ‘one more law’ that will make the difference and keep people safe.  When that one inevitably fails, there is always ‘one more law’ that will do the trick. Each flawed gun control law built on all the previous failures do nothing but oppress the law-abiding, make them more vulnerable and less safe. Gun control is a complete failure. 

Whenever gun control comes up, we’re told “smart gun laws save lives” or that “Gun Free Zones don’t attract shooters, they repel them!”  Yet every time I look at the impacts of gun control laws, I see the exact opposite. 

Take a look at the most heavily gun controlled cities and states in our country. Baltimore, New York, Chicago, St Louis, Los Angeles – or most anywhere in the states they reside. The strictest, most restrictive, most draconian gun control laws in the nation are in play here. Yet, at the same time, they have the worst violence rates in the country. 

Take a look at any week in Chicago and you’ll see what can only be described as horrific body counts from “gun violence”.  And, if you think that’s bad, consider that this is just the “gun violence” numbers. Not reported here are the rest of the homicides from knives, clubs, hands and feet. Not counted are the armed robberies, aggravated assaults, rapes, burglaries or the rest of the crime so rampant in that city. Yet Chicago has among the most restrictive gun laws in the country and ZERO gun stores.  

So how do they explain this? Simple – the guns are coming from OTHER states that have less restrictive gun laws than Chicago. The current Chicago mayor, as did her predecessors, blames other states for causing Chicago’s gun violence.  The thinking is they are only as safe as the gun laws in neighboring states.  In other words, it’s not OUR fault, it’s someone else’s. We’ll just ignore the federal and state laws (in both states) that may have been broken in the process or the act of murder committed in Chicago, not the other states. 

California’s governor is also quick to blame other states for the violence in his own. After doing photo ops with young victims of violence, he also blamed the White House, the Republican Party and of course, the NRA for the violence.  It has nothing to do with his own state’s failed policies of disarming law-abiding citizens and letting violent criminals out of jail to prey upon them. It has nothing to do with ensuring more and more gun free / victim rich environments are established in the state and that less and less criminal acts will ever be prosecuted. 

The Brady United gun control group echoed the Chicago mayor’s and California governor’s blame of other states saying “California is not an island” and “they are only as strong as their neighboring states”. Perhaps all these folks need to look at actual islands and gun control to learn the truth. 

Australia and England, both islands and both with extremely strict gun control laws. Yet somehow, both continue to have severe violence  – including “gun violence” – problems.  Both continue to have new, state-of-the-art-yet-completely-illegal firearms flooding into their countries.  Go take a look at what just the City of London seizes every month and you’ll get the picture.  How is this possible??

The answer can be found in the lack of success in stemming the flow of illegal drugs. Drugs, people, merchandise – including cars, trucks and boats – are smuggled out of and into countries around the world. Do you really think smuggling firearms is going to be that difficult? 

So let’s say the gun control craze is able to take over all the neighboring states, who then will they blame? Two states over? Three states over?  Even if EVERY state gives in and the nation repeals the Second Amendment, who will they blame then when the violence doesn’t stop?  Oh I know, Mexico! Except Mexico has far stricter gun control laws than any state in this country and they have only ONE gun store in the entire country. Besides, the previous Presidential administration got Mexico to blame the US for its gun violence problem, so that’s not going to work. 

The truth is the only thing gun control laws are successful at is turning law-abiding citizens in to law-abiding victims. When you legislate away peoples rights and ability to protect themselves and their families at home and in public, while giving criminals a free pass to continue committing crimes and escalating violence with no repercussions, you are going to get exactly what you see happening – every terrorist, criminal and thug targeting your helpless residents. 

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

For all you elitist gun banning politicians, it’s time to stop lying to the people about gun control and just admit their safety means nothing to you. 

Bob

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Sacrificing Children For Gun Control

School is officially out for the year and everyone is diving head first into their summer plans. Something we wish our lawmakers and school administrators were doing during the summer months is making school shootings a thing of the past. Instead, come the start of the next school year, all we can expect to see is a bunch of plastic “Gun Free Zone” signs protecting our children from the next active shooter. Why? To be blunt, gun control politicians are using your children as active shooter bait. They know that when children’s lives are lost, they’ll be able to advance their completely unrelated and useless gun control agenda. 

It’s not as if the gun control politicians don’t know any better. The inconvenient truths are out there. 

  • 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in Gun Free Zones. 
  • The duration of most mass shooting incidents is less than the average law enforcement response time, and only after the incident has been reported.
  • Gun Free Zones deny law-abiding citizens their most basic Second Amendment right to bear arms while providing absolutely no protection from predatory actors.
  • Gun Free Zones provide nothing more than a false sense of security for those who enter them.

If you don’t think these politicians understand how to make an area protected and people safe, take a look at where they work. A secure perimeter where everyone has to go through weapons screening to get in. Nobody except them, select staff and their law enforcement and armed security are allowed to possess a weapon of any kind inside. They are protected and they can protect themselves. 

Contrast this to the security situation at your local school. Thanks to the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990, the public isn’t allowed to carry firearms at any public, private, and parochial elementary schools and high schools, and to non-private property OR within 1000 feet of them. The Federal law allows states and localities to grant exemptions to it, but states like California – which used to allow local school districts to decide if they would allow administrators, staff and teachers to be armed – has now completely outlawed the practice. 

Even in the schools that do have law enforcement officers on duty, some school districts like Baltimore, Maryland, do not allow their sworn officers to be armed. The result is sadly predictable. Unprotected schools are targeted by psychopaths who face no opposition in carrying out their plans. 

As the offices of the politicians themselves prove, this is a correctable situation. Schools can be secured, hardened against attacks and unauthorized access restricted. Armed law enforcement and security can be deployed to stop anyone who does try to harm the students and staff. As a last line of defense, volunteer administrators, staff and teachers can be vetted, trained and armed. 

Before you jump on the “teachers are there to teach not shoot” bandwagon, consider a few things:

  • With the exception of suicides or gang violence outside of school hours, no school that allows teachers to carry has experienced a death or injury from a shooting.
  • No student has ever taken a teacher’s gun. In fact, the only accidental discharge occurred outside of school hours and resulted in minor injuries for the teacher in possession of the handgun.
  • Not all teachers are interested or qualified in being armed, and nobody is going to force them to be. 

I’d also like to point out the similarities between airline pilots and teachers. At one point in time, our Federal Air Marshal program was robust and had marshals on many flights in and around our country. Over time, as the threat of hijacking diminished, the bean counters decided they were too expensive and massively cut the program. Then 9/11 happened. Only AFTER the fact, did the Air Marshals get re-staffed and returned to the skies. At the same time, airline cockpits were hardened and the Federal Flight Deck Officer program started to train pilots to carry weapons and defend aircraft against criminal activity and terrorism. 

Why did they do this? Because they knew from history what would, and has already happen. Once the initial shock and threat has faded, the bean counters started looking at the number of arrests the Air Marshals made and decided the program could again be scaled back. What remains is the piece that the airplane can’t do without, the pilot – and the hardened planes. The very same thing will happen with armed law enforcement and security personal in schools. Once the shock and threat has faded, budgets will be cut and they will be gone, but the teachers – and the hardened schools, will remain. 

Politicians and schools know how to fix this, but they are unwilling to spend the time and money to do it. The massacre at the high school in Parkland, Florida could have been stopped before it started if not for massive incompetence by federal, state, county and local authorities. The school itself had not acted on threat assessments that could have stopped or limited the loss of life. 

Instead of taking concrete steps, or allowing the school districts themselves to take concrete, proven steps to stop the violence, the gun control politicians pre-write their tweets and speeches in preparation for the inevitable next attack on soft target schools with the most vulnerable of our population waiting to become victims. They will repeat their call for laws such as universal background checks / firearms registrations, so-called assault weapons bans and myriad other useless programs that have never done and never can do anything to stop criminal or terrorist violence – or would have stopped the incident that just occurred. The ONLY impact of these gun control laws is to keep firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. 

If these politicians want to “do something”, they should tackle the root causes of crime like the economy, poverty, jobs and mental health in our nation. They might also want to rethink their so-called criminal justice reform efforts that release violent criminals back onto the streets with no punishment or accountability for their actions. 

If you want to keep children safe in schools, stop electing gun control politicians who are willing to sacrifice children in the name of gun control. 

Bob

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Sanctuary

The concept of sanctuary dates back thousands of years. Sanctuary was usually in the context of a religious organization providing a place of safe refuge for someone accused of some type of crime. Throughout the years, the legal significance of sanctuary within the walls of a place of worship diminished, however the concept mutated to political jurisdictions where sanctuary is granted against allegedly unjust laws. As you might expect, you can only support sanctuary for a politically correct cause, otherwise you’re just a criminal.   

Sanctuary cities in the United States got their start in San Francisco, California in 1985 with the “City of Refuge” resolution. It was followed by an ordinance prohibiting the use of city resources to assist federal immigration enforcement.  In the eyes of supporters, so-called sanctuary cities are better off when residents are not in fear of being deported. There are now more then 500 such sanctuaries across the United States.

While there is some logic to the argument, the contention that these individuals haven’t broken any laws is completely invalid. Federal immigration laws exist for many reasons. Less the Native American peoples, we are a nation of immigrants and millions upon millions have jumped through the proper legal hoops to join our nation. 

The federal government, who is responsible for the security of the nation and to oversee immigration, is obviously not supportive of these sanctuary cities. Efforts to force them to comply with federal law have been mixed. Threats of withholding federal grants and funds to sanctuary cities have been met with lawsuits and injunctions, which are still winding their way through the courts. The cities and states that support immigration sanctuary call the federal government racists, the laws unjust and say they have the moral obligation to provide refuge. 

But what happens when a jurisdiction within a sanctuary state says they do not agree and decline to be a sanctuary area? You then see the state threatening to withhold state funds and grants, or those involved face prosecution if they do not comply. If this sounds a lot like the same ‘evil tactics’ the federal government is being accused of, you’re right. The only difference is it is the state imposing its will on the cities and counties. In other words, if you support the politically correct cause, you are okay. If you don’t, you’re a criminal. 

Left wing politicians call the supporters of sanctuary cities and counties in non-sanctuary states heroes for doing what is right for their counties and say the state should stay out of the way of these localities. 

Fast forward a bit and you now have gun control zealots in charge of many state legislatures. Their so-called “common sense public safety measures” tend to trample the Second Amendment to death. But, since they do this in the name of public safety, activist/politician judges have ruled these infringements acceptable and provide the legal stamp of approval.  This has given rise to a new type of sanctuary, the Second Amendment Sanctuary City/County/State.

Second Amendment sanctuaries have adopted resolutions prohibiting the use of city, country or state resources to enforce gun control measures that violate the Second Amendment. Much in the same way immigration sanctuary cities are refusing to cooperate with laws they see as unjust, Second Amendment sanctuary areas are refusing to cooperate with laws they see as unjust. And the movement is spreading. At last count, three states and many jurisdictions within 11 more have declared themselves as Second Amendment sanctuaries. 

As you might expect, the reaction within gun control states has not been favorable. Threats of withholding state funds and grants as well as prosecution for not following state laws are leveled at those responsible for declaring themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary. 

Left wing politicians call the supporters of Second Amendment sanctuary cities and counties in non-Second Amendment sanctuary states rogue politicians, sheriffs and police chiefs who are out of touch with their communities and the call for the state to force them from office or prosecute them for disobeying state laws. 

A little hypocritical? You betcha! 

On one hand, you have supporters of immigration sanctuary openly defying federal immigration laws they believe are unjust. They call the efforts of the federal government to deny them federal dollars illegal and immoral. 

At the same time, and most often the very same group of people, say there is no justification for Second Amendment sanctuary against the gun control laws THEY enacted and vow to withhold state dollars, as well as threaten Second Amendment sanctuary supporters with prosecution for defying them. 

To me this boils down to a single key concept: the lack of respect for the rule of law. 

Despite what many believe, this nation is a republic, a nation of laws. If we were a pure democracy, 51% of the population could vote to take away the rights of the minority 49% and it would become the law of the land. But our republic says you have to obey certain basic rights principles – the Constitution – from which our entire system is built. Even if 99% of the population votes to take away the rights of the remaining 1%, the 1% would be protected, as the law must still pass Constitutional muster. 

The Constitution and Bill of Rights aren’t optional documents. You don’t get to pick and choose the rights and laws you like, while ignoring the ones you don’t. You don’t get to implement your own interpretation of other people’s rights just because it better fits your social agenda.  And lastly, we seem to have forgotten the concept that nobody is above the law. If the law applies to one person, it applies to every person. Yea, I’m looking at you US Congress.  

I admire people who see an injustice and want to correct it. But you don’t get to do that by making up your own laws to follow, and then punish those who do the very same thing with the laws you are unjustly imposing on them. 

Perhaps we should choose our representatives a little bit more carefully. 

Bob

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Election Theater Act 1, The Lightning Rods

Much like a lightning rod on a building, political lightning rods are sacrificial elements designed to protect the main candidate from damage. Shoved out front and to the top of the candidate pool, the press, opponents and voters focus all of their energy on them, keeping the actual candidate from unwanted scrutiny and potential harm in advance of the general election. Who is the actual candidate? It’s way too early for us to have that information, but we do know whom it is not, the ones who are taking the heat right now. Election Theater Act 1 is now on stage. 

A word of warning: What follows is my opinion and my opinion alone. It is based on my observations of far too many elections and the political process as I currently see it. 

As of today, 22 Democrats are in the running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 elections. There are an additional 23 potential candidates who have discussed but not yet ruled out running on the Democratic ticket. With such a crowded field, it’s only possible to focus on the lightning rods. 

The lightning rods also serve another function, to throw out as many potential policy ideas as they can to see what sticks. If the ideas are well received, it becomes part of the party platform. If it crashes and burns, there’s no damage done to the candidate waiting in the wings.  After all, lightning rods are sacrificial. 

Why don’t I believe the current front-runners will be the ones on the ballot in 2020? The answer is in the voters being targeted by the DNC (Democratic National Committee) for a number of elections. The candidates they would likely support en masse are not two elderly, white male millionaires with more ugly baggage than the Kardashian’s on a weekend trip to Las Vegas. 

It all comes down to the illusion of choice. We believe all of the candidates have an equal chance to succeed and our opinions as voters are essential in the process. Instead, the pre-election campaign process is merely a smokescreen for the chosen few to determine who their favorite candidate is and what will be the winning platform issues. As we saw in the 2016 elections, and the lawsuits against the DNC by DNC’s own members, the DNC has the right to choose whomever they want, regardless of the will of the voters. 

Who is the actual Democratic candidate for President in 2020? Since the DNC hasn’t released their decision yet, we can only speculate.  I have my favorite, as I’m sure you do too. I’ve placed my first and second choices in an envelope, sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall’s back porch to be opened following the Democratic National Convention. 

I should note that while I’ve been talking about the DNC with all this, it doesn’t mean I believe the RNC (Republican National Committee) is any different. I am firmly convinced the denizens of the D.C. swamp are so entrenched in their own little world that they will do anything to protect it and themselves.  Until we as a nation come together to kick them out, impose term limits on congress and ensure that the people who pass the laws are not exempt from them, it will continue. 

You may be wondering why is the pre-nomination process so important to a Second Amendment supporter. For me, it’s not so much the candidate as the platform they and their party are running on. In order to gain the support of the party, each candidate has proudly bought into the myth of gun control as public safety policy. Restricting your right to buy, use and carry firearms, taking your firearms from you, while doing nothing to curb criminal use of firearms against you, is what they are pushing. 

When political policy includes stripping away our Constitutional rights, I become very concerned and very involved. And I’m not just talking about Second Amendment rights, I’m also talking about the First Amendment and every other one of the rights we hold so dear. 

If you don’t think your rights and liberty are at stake, take a look at what has been happening in Venezuela. After being stripped of their arms, the people are at the mercy of a brutal and unjust government. But of course, this could never happen in a modern society like ours, right?  I’m sure that’s what the Venezuelan people believed too. 

If you value your rights, you’ll start paying very close attention to what’s going on. Not just want is being reported by the news or on social media, but all the things behind the scenes.  Get involved now and stay involved. 

Bob

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Farewell To Arms

I’m feeling a little literary today as I look at the impact of all the upcoming gun control laws.  At one point very early on in the world of gun control, there might have been a resemblance of a genuine public safety goal. While it was never the actual intent, at least they feigned the interest. Fast forward to today and it’s clear the intent is to rid our country of as many civilian owned firearms as possible, as quickly as possible.  The Second Amendment is no longer a barrier to every conceivable, irrational and nonsensical gun control scheme our gun-hating politicians can come up with.  The time to say farewell to arms is getting closer by the day. 

If you want to see how close we are to the end game, just take a look at the type of laws and ordinances being pushed around the country this year. Law makers are emboldened by support of political activist judges in the most liberal parts of the country who will rubber stamp anything that restricts law-abiding citizen’s access to firearms, ammunition and accessories. Combine this with a United States Supreme Court who hasn’t had any interest in taking Second Amendment challenges, political hacks around the country are redefining what a so-called “assault weapon” is to the point where – literally – any semiautomatic firearm, rifle or pistol, will be included. 

Of course, the latest and greatest is the attempt to make so-called “assault weapons” subject to National Firearms Act (NFA) registration. HR 1263 introduced in the US House of Representatives would include ANY semi-automatic rifle or shotgun that is capable of accepting a detachable magazine. While the most obvious targets of “assault weapon” bans, the AR or AK pattern firearms would be included, it would also include firearms such as the vintage M1 Carbine, the Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, the Remington 742 hunting rifle and Ruger 10/22, a .22 caliber plinking and varmint hunting rifle. Caliber or magazine capacity wouldn’t matter, only the fact that the firearm accepts a detachable magazine. NFA registration would bring with it all the same restrictions and fees, including the $200 tax stamp PER firearm now only associated with items such as fully automatic firearms and suppressors. 

But of course, that won’t be the end of it. The follow-up law being pushed by the behind the scenes architects would “Ban the future manufacture and sale of assault weapons to reduce the easy availability of such weapons to civilians.” Patterned after the 1986 ban on new fully automatic firearms, it would put a hard cap on the number of so-called “assault weapons” available in the country. A bill for this has yet to be introduced, and likely won’t be introduced until the NFA Assault Weapons bill is passed.  After all, it’s difficult to convince the people, and those all-important swing votes in Congress, that you’re not after an all out ban when you show all your cards at once. 

If you’re thinking the US Supreme Court’s Heller and McDonald rulings are going to protect your Second Amendment rights, you are sadly mistaken. Gun control states like California, Washington, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois and Vermont – along with a long list of municipalities contained therein, have been thumbing their nose at Heller & McDonald since before the ink was dry on the rulings. The reason they can is quite simply, who is going to stop them? 

The gun control lawmakers and their political activist judges know the US Supreme Court only hears arguments on about 80 cases per year, and decides about 50 more without oral arguments. This is out of the roughly 7000 requests to hear cases per year. And that 7000 represents the best of the best cases with the highest likelihood of success before the court, thus worthy of the time, money and effort needed to litigate them. Knowing this, the chances of any particular gun control law getting overturned, to say nothing of setting a national legal precedence, are slim to never. 

So where does this leave your Second Amendment rights? Without an incredibly strong and wide reaching intervention by the US Supreme Court, something they are NOT known for, your rights are going to continue to erode away to nothing. What was legal last year is going to be illegal this year. What you used to be able to freely own will need to be registered or outright banned. What is registered today will be banned tomorrow. 

Today’s article was inspired by a section of George Orwell’s book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the book, Newspeak was the controlled language of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, meant to limit the freedom of thought, personal identity, self-expression and free will. It was under constant revision to eliminate terms, and thus any resemblance of resistance to the ruling party. 

‘The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition. We’re getting the language into its final shape — the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we’ve finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again. You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone. The Eleventh Edition won’t contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050.’

All you need to do is substitute ‘guns’ for ‘word’ and you can see where our laws are headed. In our real life edition of banning the civilian ownership of guns, I don’t see it taking until the year 2050 to happen. However, I can envision the 11thEdition of California Gun Laws looking something like the photo with this article. 

Unless…

Each and every person in this nation who believes in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, whether or not they own firearms, gets up off their ass and says NO MORE! Systematically eroding our rights for the enrichment of the ruling class and their concept of an ideal society is what lead our nation to be formed in the first place. Why would we want to allow that to happen again? 

Bob

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A World Without Guns

While discussing the ever-increasing nonsensical gun laws with a close friend, we deliberated what would happen if the gun control elitists were granted their ultimate wish, to have all of the guns in the world just go away.  And while there are some pros and cons to such a question, it’s also clear the one group who would never let it happen is the same group openly advocating for it, the gun control elitists.

For a moment, let’s just imagine it was possible for all of the guns in the world to just go away. With the push of a button, each and every gun around the world immediately and permanently disappears. Guns in the hands of civilians, criminals, security guards, police, federal agents, bodyguards and the military all vanish.  The world is now free from guns. How would you feel about that?

For me, there are two answers. First off, the elimination of all guns would put everyone on a level playing field. Nobody would have a force advance over anyone else. The ability to impose your will upon someone else would revert back to close quarters impact, cutting or personal weapons.  Physical ability or superior numbers would determine dominance or the ability to resist it. In other words, that playing field isn’t as level as we might think.

And that leads to answer two. Removing all guns would mean anyone weaker or less physically capable would be even more defenseless.  Firearms allow anyone to be able to protect themselves from others of who are bigger, stronger, more physically capable or from multiple adversaries.  Naturally, the wealthy elite would still be able to build barriers and hire small armies to keep themselves safe. But removing all firearms would mean smaller individuals, or those who are older or have physical limitations, or less well off would be at a huge disadvantage attempting to defend themselves.

There was an old Western saying that “God Created Men and Sam Colt Made Them Equal”. It is no less true today than it was then. A firearm evens the force playing field in a way that no other defensive weapon can. Yes, in an completely unarmed world, there are options but all require a lifelong commitment to physical fitness and ability.

Of course, there are also many reasons why making all guns go away wouldn’t work. To begin with, the genie is already out of the bottle on how to make firearms. Someone with little mechanical ability can easily fashion a crude firearm from common components at Home Depot in an hour.  Someone with machining skills can create just about any modern firearm from raw metal.

Again, let’s imagine that at the same time you rid the world of guns you also wiped out the information and knowledge of how to build them. (Hey, you magically got rid of all guns, so is wiping everyone’s mind too much of a stretch?). You now have a clean slate to work with.  So how long do you think it would take for someone to come up with the novel idea to push a projectile with gunpowder?

But the biggest reason why even if that magic button existed that would rid the world of guns once and for all, it would never be pushed; the gun control elitists would never allow it. They realize that not only do they need their guns to protect themselves; they need them to effectively maintain control over you.  When these people talk about getting rid of guns, they are talking about getting rid of YOUR guns, not theirs.

History provides many horrific examples of what happens when a population is disarmed. Unable to defend themselves, they are easily exterminated if they do not submit to the will of their armed dictators. Venezuela is a current example of this playing out with a population unable to speak out against the abuses of the brutal totalitarian government.

Mexico is another current example of runaway gun control. So restrictive are the laws that very few Mexican citizens are able to gain the necessary permits to acquire a firearm for self-defense from the one gun store in the entire country, run by the military. Even fewer are able to use them to defend their lives, families and businesses from a unchecked criminal population with the very best weapons money can buy. All while the citizens are safely disarmed for their convenience.

There is also the one flaw with making all guns go away that nobody wants to admit. While you might eliminate ‘gun violence’, you are not going to eliminate violence. Remove one tool and another one will be used. The United Kingdom for all its claims of success against guns has seen historic rises in violent crime and victimization. Of course, the UK still has an incredible and growing illegal gun problem, but they now are imposing Knife Control laws to deal with the next category of weapons.

What has the UK not dealt with? Victims who are unable to defend themselves against criminals who continue to use illegal firearms and knives to commit their crimes – just as they always have.

Firearms are used by everyday people around our country at a rate of 3:1 over felonious uses, to the tune of approximately three million per year.  In most of these incidents, the firearm isn’t even fired. Imagine that… Just demonstrating the ability to be able to adequately defend yourself against a criminal is enough to stop the crime in its tracks.

So when someone says they think all guns should go away, remind them that there is far more good firearm use than there is bad and that if they think the world is a scary and violent place now, imagine what it would be without the ability to defend yourself against a larger, stronger or multiple criminals.

Bob

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Refilling The Swamp – The 116th Congress

Today is a special edition of Odd Stuffing in honor of the One Hundred Sixteenth United States Congress, which includes the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It begins today and runs through January 3, 2021. With a new Democratic House majority and an expanded Republican Senate majority, we can expect our elected officials to do what they are the very best at – JACK SH!T!

Keep in mind this has less to do with what political party controls the House or Senate – or both – it has more to do with the goals, ambitions and willingness of the individual politicians who make up the parties to work together and with the Administrative branch. Both parties have made it abundantly clear they have no intention of doing anything bipartisan or in partnership with the President.

Separately, each party has displayed nothing but contempt for anyone other than themselves. The Republican Party, despite holding a majority in the House, Senate and having a Republican President hasn’t been able to get out of its own way for the past two years. Yes, they were able to confirm two new Associate Supreme Court justices, but look at what a fiasco those hearings were. The second one, instead of being a relatively clear process, was held up as much by individual members of the Republican Party as it was by the Democrats. Each one had to make sure the spotlight was on them instead of the job at hand.

So instead of being able to pass critical government reforms, the party in charge of both chambers clashed amongst themselves and with the Administration. No healthcare repeal and replace. No immigration reform. No border security. Of significance to those of us in the Second Amendment community; no Hearing Protection Act or National Concealed Carry reciprocity.  And we have a partial government shutdown since nobody wants to take a stand for national security.

The Democratic Party for their part has had just one agenda item for the past two years – resist. Anything put out by the Administration or the Republican Party was opposed, even if it was something they previously campaigned, championed and sponsored legislation for themselves. Instead of finding common ground, if it came from the White House or the other side of the aisle, it was wrong. Facts didn’t matter, lives didn’t matter, just being able to stand up and say “I RESISTED” mattered.

Sadly, what we’ve seen the last two years has been the fully entrenched Washington DC establishment, lifelong politicians and career bureaucrats, who have been more interested in protecting the status quo against an outsider than working for the benefit of their constituents. This is the swamp.

So who is responsible for allowing this to happen?  Guess what, it’s our own damn fault. You, me and every other citizen of this country who has allowed our government to become so completely unaccountable to us.

Where were we when our elected officials started passing laws that governed our behavior, which they were exempt from? Where were we when they set up special privileges for congressional members only, that we are not entitled to? Where were we when they voted for ever increasing pay, benefits and perks while voting against increased pay, benefit and perks for their constituents? Where were we when they set up a special process that handled sexual misconduct accusations against congressional members confidentially and paid out settlements funded by our tax dollars, for crimes we would have gone to jail for? Where were we when they violated their oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States – in it’s entirety, not just the parts they agreed with, when we are losing our rights at an ever increasing rate?

What should we have been doing? We should have been marching to their offices with pitchforks and torches demanding they start acting on our behalf instead of their own or we toss them out and replace them with someone who will. BUT NO! We’ve been sitting on our asses letting this bastardization of our government continue unabated.

History tells us that following the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia spoke to Benjamin Franklin and asked,  “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Mr. Franklin was right to be concerned as a republic is the most difficult form of government to maintain. Despite this, our Founding fathers were well educated on the history of governments around the world and knew this would be the best for their new country. They knew we needed to be a nation of laws, from the United States Constitution down to the local level. They knew if the law didn’t apply to everyone, it applied to no one.

What can we expect for the next two years of the 116thCongress?  We can expect partisan bickering, accusations and investigations, grandstanding and backroom wheeling and dealing. We can expect both parties to claim the other is standing in the way of progress and everyone pointing the finger at the Administration. We can expect the 2020 Presidential hopefuls to focus on bolstering their campaigns by doing everything they can to look like THEY ALONE are the leader we have been looking for, even if it doesn’t make any sense.

In other words, we can expect exactly what the denizens of the swap have been wanting all along, a chance to puff up and get into a mudslinging smack down with the other party, all the while knowing it will all end in a stalemate.

Welcome to the 116thUnited States Congress! It’s going to be a long two years.

Bob

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