Constitutional Carry Moves Forward

Utah and Montana are joining the ranks of those who support permitless carry. 18 states will now recognize their citizens’ right to be armed in public without a license or permit. Several other states are currently working through legislation to remove licensing requirements as well. While this is a very positive step forward in the national recognition of the right to keep and bear arms, it is important to realize that this is not a new or expanded right being granted, it is the removal of laws which previously infringed upon natural rights. This is the way it should be for all law-abiding citizens. 

True constitutional carry is the ability for everyone to carry a firearm openly or concealed, without requiring a license or permit. Some of these 18 states meet this definition while others have limitations such as for state residents only or for concealed carry only. All but one, Vermont, still issue permits for either enhanced carry privileges or for concealed carry reciprocity with other states. Vermont has never had a concealed carry license or permit since it was established as a state in 1791. 

Keep in mind the right to keep and bear arms is a constitutionally protected natural right as written in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

Some contend being able to carry a firearm outside your home is a privilege and subject to any form of “reasonable” regulation, control and fees the government decides to impose. The most frequently used comparison is to that of a driver’s license. Of course, the ability to operate a motor vehicle on a public highway isn’t a constitutionally protected natural right, it is a privilege. But that’s what the gun control lobby want you to believe, that driving a car and carrying a firearm are the same thing. They have always wanted to restrict or revoke your rights and turn them into privileges they can control and restrict. 

If you have to ask for permission to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to pay a fee to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to take training and tests to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to carry a license or permit to exercise a right, it’s a privilege.  
If you can be denied exercising a right, it’s a privilege. 

As the gun control zealots have always done when legislation is being considered to allow permitless carry or for firearm carry on college campuses, they put their propaganda machine into overdrive. These states were no exception. Wild stories abound about how there will be shoot-outs over minor issues, blood flowing in the streets and cities turned into the wild, wild west. On college campuses, students and instructors will be afraid to speak openly for fear of being gunned down. In state capitols, legislators will be afraid to vote on bills for fear of being shot. Vivid, emotionally charged scenarios of violence and death because someone carrying a gun decides to kill people to settle every minor disagreement are spread to instill fear.

They point to “emerging data”, self-funded “academic studies” and “research” showing how violent crime will increase when permitless carry is allowed. They allege that only strong, “may issue” carry laws are appropriate. Only laws where persons applying for permission to carry a firearm in public must prove they have “good cause” or “justifiable need” to carry a firearm as well as demonstrate they are of “good character”. This is usually combined with significant mandatory training, substantial license fees and the ability of the issuing authority to deny their permit for any reason, or no reason at all,  is the only way to allow a precious few the privilege of being able to carry a firearm outside their homes. 

What really happens when more people are allowed to carry concealed firearms? Violent crime goes down. That’s all. No gun fights in the streets, no people shooting up the town or duels at high noon. Maine’s experience is typical. The state went from the third safest state in the nation to the safest state in the nation following their move to being a constitutional carry state.

For those who contend more guns equals more violence and death, recall those long-buried CDC (Centers for Disease Control) studies that found civilian defensive use of firearms outnumbered felonious use by a rate of 3 to 1, to the tune of 2.5 to 3 million uses per year. It is critical to note that not all of the events involved the discharge of a firearm by the civilian. Often times, the mere presenting or challenge to the criminal with a firearm was enough to stop the intended crime. It’s also important to realize this number ONLY includes persons who were not performing defensive duties as part of their employment such as law enforcement or security services.

Eliminating restrictions on who can carry a firearm for protection of themselves and their families in public makes us all safer. When criminals believe someone may be armed and wiling to defend themselves, they are less likely to risk their own lives and move on to an easier target or commit a crime that doesn’t involve person-to-person contact. The more potentially armed law-abiding citizens, the less likely everyone is to become a victim of violent crime. 

Please keep in mind these 18 states are constitutional carry FOR NOW. As fear-based gun control legislation pushes forward in states and in the federal government, constitutional carry and even permitted carry of firearms outside the home are going to come under attack. Only by vigorously defending our natural rights at the local and state level will we be able retain them for ourselves and our decedents. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #ConstitutionalCarry, #GunControlFails, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

Eliminating Law Enforcement Qualified Immunity

Recently I committed the horrible transgression of hitting “Haha” on a Facebook post relating to why law enforcement officers should not be opposed to a new law that would strip them of their qualified immunity. Personally, I thought it was amusing that the article, written by someone with a grand total of three years of reserve officer experience 20 years ago in a small municipality in Washington, was writing an article supporting this new law in my state. The credibility of the phrase “… as a former cop, take it from me… “ rang pretty hollow, but is exactly what you’d expect from a paid political activist. 

Is eliminating police qualified immunity about accountability, integrity, professionalism or trust? No, it’s about finding a way to further restrict law enforcement activities to the point where no officer dares to confront any criminal. But it actually goes deeper than that. It is about eliminating local law enforcement as we know it. 

Along with defunding police departments, eliminating law enforcement qualified immunity is a vogue “do something” act for progressive politicians. It shows they have bought into narrative the entire law enforcement system is broken and has always been broken – even though they actively supported and approved of it until the woke mob showed up at their door. 

Quite simply, the qualified immunity doctrine protects law enforcement officials from frivolous lawsuits and financial liability in cases where they acted in good faith in unclear legal situations. It is important to recognize qualified immunity applies only in civil litigation and does not protect the government itself from suits arising from officials’ actions nor does it apply to criminal actions. 

Still, this doctrine is now being blamed as the major hinderance to police accountability. Certain researchers falsely allege “qualified immunity permits law enforcement and other government officials to violate people’s constitutional rights with virtual impunity”. 

Note that the very same government officials who are working to strip qualified immunity away from law enforcement officers enjoy qualified immunity themselves. None of them are working to eliminate their own qualified immunity. 

For the application of the doctrine, let’s compare it to a “Stand Your Ground” law. Gun control zealots claim this is an automatic “shoot first, ask questions later” law. In reality, just because someone claims they acted under “Stand Your Ground” doesn’t mean it applies in their situation, it must be adjudicated as such. If it is not, then that particular defense does not apply. The very same concept applies with qualified immunity. If it is not adjudicated as valid, it does not apply. It is up to the courts to decide this. It is not something that simply gets claimed in every case and that’s the end of it. 

Knowing this, if civil cases against individual officers are being dismissed because of qualified immunity, it’s because the courts say this is the correct action under these unique circumstances. Simply feeling wronged by an enforcement action and finding a lawyer, activist or “news” channel to take your side, doesn’t mean your case is valid. 

So, what is behind the push to eliminate law enforcement qualified immunity? It’s the same logic as the defund the police. Take the illegal acts committed by a handful of officers, highly publicized by a certain segment of the news media, and project that as the standard practices of every officer in the nation. 

If you’re wondering where this is all headed, it’s the elimination of the locally controlled and administered law enforcement agency. By slashing agency budgets, they are reducing the number of officers and restricting the tools and techniques available to the remaining officers. Eliminating specialized units such as proactive anti-crime patrols, domestic violence and sexual assault units, community policing and training all serve to make the agency less effective at their primary function of crime prevention and law enforcement.

The answer to the pleas from citizens victimized by thugs glorified as heroes in the woke communities will come from the state or federal level law enforcement agencies. These agencies, who have been spared the media condemnation of their municipal counterparts, will be called in to take over law enforcement in the defunded police communities. And this is a very bad thing. 

Law enforcement is and always has been best served by local officers who are locally funded, directed and held accountable by their communities. Local communities can set their own priorities and be responsive to the needs of their residents.

Eliminating law enforcement qualified immunity will only serve to make police services less effective in their communities. It has absolutely nothing to do with police professionalism, accountability, trust or the effectiveness of police within the community. It is only about intimidating officers to the point where they will not act and to punish those who do by having to defend against frivolous lawsuits. Even when these lawsuits are ruled completely baseless, they will be used to attack their professional credibility.

For the author of this propaganda piece (the link to the full article is below so you can read it for yourself), I give him the same level of credibility as the former Army Lt. General who called an AR-15 a “weapon of war” and coined the ludicrous phrase, “full semi-automatic”. Someone with minimal, part-time law enforcement experience, who enjoyed the protection of qualified immunity throughout the rest of his career, is now saying “trust me” as a paid political activist. 

There is no great secret for law enforcement gaining the trust of the community and being effective. It comes from honesty, communication and involvement.  Call it whatever the current fashionable administrative term you want, but it’s always been good old fashioned one-on-one police work. 

Law enforcement is at best a difficult career. We demand they make instantaneous life altering decisions under extraordinary circumstances most people could never imagine. And while the anti-police activists consistently minimize the dangers and wildly exaggerate the abuses, the truth of the matter is the vast, Vast, VAST majority of law enforcement officers do their jobs every day with honor and distinction, to the tune of millions and millions of public interactions per year. 

I stand unapologetically behind our nation’s law enforcement officers and will continue to call out and oppose the attacks on their ability to do their jobs safely and effectively. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #QualifiedImmunity, #Responsibility, #LocalControl, #Police, #ThinBlueLine, #mewe, #medium, #gab, #parler, #oddstuffing.com

https://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/my_view/police-shouldnt-fear-new-civil-rights-bill/article_6058619c-70af-11eb-a5b8-5fdc49de19be.html

Welcome To DCAZ (District of Columbia Autonomous Zone)

With the new administration transforming the United States Capitol into a fenced, barricaded and heavily armed military zone with its own rules and discriminatory access policies, it is high time to consider changing the Washington DC name to something more appropriate to the way the area is now being run. In the spirit of new militancy inspired by CHOP/CHAZ and the RHAZ (Red House Autonomous Zone), I am officially proposing the new name of DCAZ – the District of Columbia Autonomous Zone. And in a tip of the hat to the Cold War, the perimeter should be posted with historically correct “YOU ARE LEAVING THE AMERICAN SECTOR” signs to warn United States citizens of the censorship and denial of rights and personal liberties to expect if they dare venture inside. 

If you think about it, the DCAZ has a lot in common with CHOP/CHAZ & RHAZ. They all created armed and fortified barriers to keep out anyone who didn’t think like them and support their movement. They all have/had leaders that rule by executive mandate and edict instead of citizen and bipartisan consensus. They all operate/operated by rules and regulations that apply to them, and them only, and exempt themselves from laws of the “outside world”. They all highly censor/censored any information coming out of their zone. They all want/wanted to impose their way of thinking, and ONLY their way of thinking on everyone outside the zone. 

Of course, the full name Washington District of Columbia is problematic and not reflective of the new thinking since it was named after our first president and founding father, George Washington and explorer Christopher Columbus. Washington was a slave owner who committed many other future crimes and Columbus was a colonizer. Given the absolute need to erase all of the names and any history associated with them, DCAZ (acronyms are themselves now considered racist) should be known as the Democrat Controlled Autonomous Zone. 

Many have voiced concerns about proposals granting DC statehood and reversing the Residence Act of 1790 making it a federal district. Personally, I feel autonomous zone status is far more appropriate. Statehood would subject DC to rules, regulations and laws of common, non-privileged states. That would simply never be tolerated. DCAZ stands alone! 

Welcome to your new United States Capitol. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #FirstAmendment, #Congress, #ThePeoplesHouse, #EmployeesNotRoyalty, #DCAZ, #snark, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

Myths and Monsters from The Gun Control ID

This year will see many direct assaults on our Second Amendment protected rights at the local, state and federal level. In order to justify these draconian and ineffective infringements, we’ll see a host of creative flawed logic and half-truths from the gun control zealots. They will try to convince us their laws are necessary by creating myths and monsters of problems where problems don’t exist. As such, I’m comparing these zealots to the human ID as neither are in touch with the external world or are affected by reality, logic or everyday life. They exist in their own closed existence and are attempting to tap into the basic fears of people looking for security in a chaotic world they themselves created. Let’s look at a couple of these myths and monsters from the gun control ID. 

One of the more popular myths being spread by the gun control zealots is the 2020 surge in firearm sales is responsible for more gun violence. Here’s the way it was reported by one far left “news” outlet. 

“An increase in gun purchases in just the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic was associated with a nearly 8% increase in firearm violence in the US, according to an estimate from researchers at the University of California, Davis.”

“That increase translated into an estimated 776 additional shooting injuries in the US from March through May, the researchers found. States that had lower levels of violent crime pre-Covid saw a stronger connection between additional gun purchases and more gun violence.” 

What the reader is led to believe is that because of increased firearm sales, there were more shootings. A cause (firearm sales) and effect (more shootings). This of course is a carefully crafted lie. What really happened is the exact opposite. BECAUSE there were more shootings, more law-abiding citizens purchased firearms for protection. 

If what they were implying was true, you would be seeing reports of about how people have been rushing to gun stores to buy guns and rushing out to commit acts of violence with them. It would be on the front page of every left-wing propaganda outlet and their lead story every night. Obviously, it has not, and the reason is simple. The historic increase in firearms purchases throughout 2020 has been by law-abiding citizens wanting to protect themselves and their families. And who can blame them? 

2020 saw violent crime skyrocket as liberal controlled cities turned their streets over to the mobs. Blaming the police for centuries of so-called “systemic racism”, they slashed law enforcement budgets and reduced police presence and capabilities on the streets. Prosecutors pushed for the wholescale release of convicted criminals, including the most violent, and declined to press charges against new offenders. The result has been easily predictable. Criminals, thugs and “mostly peaceful” rioters have no fear of the police, courts or jails and can commit any crime they want with near impunity. You don’t have to believe me, just look at the news and witness the murders, shootings and assaults committed in broad daylight in front of crowds of witnesses by thugs who fear no consequences. This isn’t BECAUSE more firearms are being sold, this is WHY more firearms are being sold. 

Another monster created by the gun control zealots is that so-called “assault weapons” or the ever-popular misnomer “weapons of war”, are “too deadly for civilian use” and must be eliminated. 

Just for the sake of argument, let’s assume the gun control zealots are correct and so-called “assault weapons” are the most commonly used criminal weapon in the US. They are not, but let’s play along here. Their logic says banning these “assault weapons” will save all these lives.

To understand this logic, let’s compare it to another situation. The most commonly stolen vehicle in the United States is the Ford F-150 pickup at 38,938 per year. In order to eliminate 38,938 stolen vehicles, the government bans Ford F-150 pickups. Their expected result is 38,938 less stolen vehicles. Would this plan work? No, of course not! Banning the #1 vehicle theft target is only going to push thieves to steal more of the #2 vehicle theft target, the Honda Civic, and others further down on the list. 

Likewise, banning one particular category of weapon is only going to increase the use of the next most popular categories of weapons. For those thinking that means we need to get rid of all firearms, please remember people have successfully been killing other people, one at a time and in mass quantities, since the beginning of time. If you eliminate one means, something else will be used in its place. 

That’s because it isn’t the weapon, it’s the act of violence. The act of killing someone else has nothing to do with the tool used, it has to do with the desire to kill that other person. That’s why posting “Gun Free Zone” signs or making it a crime to use a certain kind of weapon will never prevent a single act of violence. If someone is going to kill another person, committing a homicide, the most serious criminal act possible, simply saying you can’t do it here or use this particular tool will do absolutely nothing to stop it.  

So-called “assault weapons” themselves are used in only a small fraction of homicides; it’s just these are the instances the propaganda media highlights. Then of course there is the inconvenient truth that more homicides are committed in this country by knives or cutting instruments OR personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) OR blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) than ALL rifles – a category which includes the most widely used definition of “assault weapon”.

To correct this flaw, gun control zealots have expanded the definition of “assault weapons” to include more cosmetic features and even the semi-automatic mechanism itself, neither of which have anything to do with the so-called “lethality” of the firearm. They’ve also lowered the threshold of crimes to include assault instead of just homicide and included lawful uses of firearms, including by law enforcement, to increase the numbers. 

These myths and monsters from the gun control ID are nothing more than an attempt to frighten people into believing they need to be protected from something which only exists in the dark recesses of disconnected minds. It’s used as justification to strip away rights – and firearms – from the law-abiding while simultaneously decreasing overall public safety. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #MythsAndMonsters, #GunControlFails, #AssaultWeaponBanFails, #ForbiddenPlanet, #Freud, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

The People’s House

There’s been a lot of misinformation, misdirection and flat out lies about what happened at the United States Capitol on January 6th. Let’s be clear about a couple of things. Assaulting law enforcement, destruction of property and violence in the name of legitimate protest is wrong. Those who committed illegal acts should be held fully accountable. At the same time, let’s not forget this is THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE. It does not belong to the elected representatives who infest it, it belongs to the people. As such, there should never be an instance where Congress is in session and working on behalf of the people where the doors are locked and the halls and galleries not accessible to the people. 

A lot of what happened and who actually instigated the crowd to storm the Capitol will never be known. It will be buried and covered up like everything else that is politically embarrassing. Calls for a 9/11 style commission to be empaneled to ‘expose the truth’ about who was involved is nothing more than a desire to have a flashy, waste of time and money, political witch hunt where anyone who said or did anything in support of the 45th President will be portrayed as a criminal and traitor. Meanwhile, the hypocrisy for supporting a year of violence, death and destruction all across the country will be ignored. 

Did anyone speaking at the political rally that day “incite” the violence or was there “non-verbal incitement”? No, of course not. There isn’t a reasonable person alive that would watch the speeches or listen to the words and say it was a call to go violently take over the Capitol building. But this isn’t about reason, reality, logic or objectivity. We’re dealing with people who are trying to find any excuse to blame the 45th President for something else he didn’t do and keep him from ever being a political threat to them again. 

It’s also a chance to further promulgate the lie that white supremacy is now the greatest threat to the country and ALL OF THE VIOLENCE was because of racists and white supremacy. Everyone who ever supported the 45th President is now officially a violent racist and threat to the Constitution, democracy and the country. 

As was so eloquently pointed out on the House floor, it was nice to see the Democrats finally supporting law enforcement following the incident. Alas that support was short lived. Within 24 hours the President and Vice President Elect raised the race flag and everything that happened in D.C. was officially about race. From that moment on, white supremacy has been the ONLY reason for everything. They’ve even come up with a new term to explain why non-white individuals are supporting this – multiracial whiteness. 

Following that very brief time where law enforcement was thanked for protecting our elected representatives, the administration elect stated: 

“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protestors yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol,” “We all know that’s true — and it’s unacceptable.”

Odd Stuffing’s Fact Check: False as well as true (but absolutely NOT as intended).

False: This was federal property being protected by federal law enforcement. As we saw during the non-stop BLM/Antifa riots in 2020, federal authorities aggressively defended and sought prosecution on those who were caught, as we’re now seeing with the takeover of the Capitol. 

True (but absolutely NOT as intended): Had this been a BLM/Antifa “mostly peaceful” riot, local law enforcement would have been held back and allowed them to assault, destroy and burn at will. Those few who were taken into custody would have been promptly released without charges by local prosecutors or bailed out by celebrity and politician (including our new Vice President) endorsed funds. Witness what happened on the streets of D.C itself to see how hands-off local law enforcement was. 

The fallout from this was a complete militarization of the Capitol and all of D.C. in preparation for the inauguration. 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country were called in to supplement the thousands of federal, state, county and local law enforcement officers to protect the Capitol from rumored threats. Fences, barricades and checkpoints were setup throughout the city. Special permission was required for residents and employees to move in the few areas of the city not completely off limits. 

So great was this supposed threat of white supremist militants plotting insurrections around the country, state capitols were locked down, boarded up, fenced in and guarded by heavily armed law enforcement and National Guard troops. The public was completely prohibited. 

What happened? Nothing. Not a damn thing happened. Anywhere. It was all a dog and pony show to make the public believe the supporters of the 45th President were SO violent and SO much of a threat, this was the ONLY means to stop them. It was all a lie. Still, at least 7,000 National Guard troops will now be remaining in D.C. through at least March.  

Our elected officials have been acting like royalty ruling over their subjects instead of employees working on behalf of their constituents for far too long. With the new layers of fences, barricades and heavily armed security, they have effectively cut off public access to the Capitol, and more importantly, to them. They can now make their decisions on how to run our country without any input or oversight from the pesky public. 

This is not acceptable. 

There should NEVER be a time when the people’s business is being conducted behind closed doors. No, cameras and video feeds are not an acceptable alternative. The people must have access to where the issues that impact them are being debated, negotiated and decided, and the people who represent them are working. Our elected officials need to look us in the face on a daily basis instead of hiding behind locked doors and having interns reply to emails with a form letter. 

If there is a single hearing, debate, meeting or vote being taken anywhere in the Capitol, the doors should be open, and the people allowed in. There should be no such thing as “visitor hours”. The people are NOT visitors, we are CITIZENS! This is OUR house! If our Congress is working, the doors to the Capitol need to be open. If meetings run all night long, then the public has access all night long. Individual elected officials may set their own office hours, but the Capitol – the people’s house – needs to stay open. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #FirstAmendment #SecondAmendment, #Congress, #ThePeoplesHouse, #EmployeesNotRoyalty, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

The Return of McCarthyism

In the late 1940s and 1950s, even an accused association with communism was enough to get an individual blacklisted from society or charged criminally. McCarthyism is the “practice of making accusations of subversion or treason, especially when related to communism, without any proper regard for evidence” and was a very dark time in our nation’s history. Ironically, in today’s reboot, it is the liberal, democratic socialists who are using techniques of McCarthyism to accuse others of sedition and treasonous acts. It doesn’t matter if there is proof or not, the accusation and association made by a member of the “woke” extreme left is all that is needed for someone to forever be labeled as a racist, white supremacist, insurrectionist or traitor. Woke McCarthyism has arrived!! 

To be clear, the anti-Trump and Never Trump movements have been operating since before the 2016 elections. But following the takeover of the United States Capitol, the Woke McCarthyism machine went into overdrive.

The primary targets of Woke McCarthyism have been anyone associated with the President of the United States, or any of his policies. As has been going on for four years, there are organized efforts to deny anyone who worked in the administration any form of employment. Demands have been made to educational institutions to revoke these individuals’ degrees. Extremists have gone so far as to demand the high school one Republican Representative attended over 20 years ago, to “condemn” his actions. 

Of course, Congress has its own special form of discrimination and hypocrisy. Left-wing extremists are demanding that any member who supported the vote to not certify the electoral college be expelled from Congress. Some are even calling for a commission to “rein in” media “disinformation and misinformation” and funding programs for “de-programming of white supremacists and conspiracy theorists.” 

With the takeover of the Capitol, the goal of identifying and targeting individual supporters has been greatly boosted. Anyone who was simply in attendance at the Save America Rally are being targeted. Federal, state and local governments, schools and private employers have disciplined and terminated attendees. College and universities are being pressured to expel attending students. These actions have been done not because they committed illegal acts, but just because they attended a rally the Woke McCarthyism extremists disagree with. 

Side note: I make no excuse for anyone who broke the law at the Capitol. They should be held accountable for their actions in a court of law. Period. 

Airlines are now banning travelers, not only for what they call tumultuous behavior on planes, but for simply being part of the rally. Airlines have also unilaterally decided to not transport law-abiding citizens firearms into DC area airports until well after Inauguration Day. The TSA is looking to add rally attendees to the No-Fly-List. 

The takeover of the Capitol has also provided an excuse to severely restrict access to the legislative buildings and curtail Constitutional rights across the country. Under the guise of supposed threats, new fences and barriers are being constructed. Access into the legislative chambers has been suspended. Severe restrictions on carrying firearms in and around legislative buildings have been enacted. They have even used this as an excuse to restrict their own members Constitutionally protected natural rights within the Capitol. While all the warzone like security precautions is being called temporary, it is doubtful meaningful access to our elected officials will ever be restored. 

Large portions of the District of Columbia have been closed off and 25,000 National Guard troops have been added to the local and federal law enforcement officers in the area. Of course, the troops are being screened to “weed out any whiff of domestic extremism”.  The definition of “domestic extremism” has not been disclosed.  

Add this to what is going on with the technology we use every day. Big Tech has taken it upon themselves to determine what is and isn’t “truth” and “fact” as well as what information you are allowed access to. Anyone that speaks out against something Big Tech in their indisputable wisdom says is correct has their content removed and their voice silenced. Their interpretations of their own Terms & Conditions are final. All this while the Big Tech companies decry the censorship of individuals and political groups in foreign countries.

It’s not just end users; other tech companies have had their services terminated under pressure from the Big Tech companies for not implementing the same draconian rules as they do. Firearm related sites and services have been delisted and had their services cut off without warning because their hosts have been pressured into dropping them. 

It doesn’t take too much vision to see where this is heading. A look at China’s social credit system is probably the best indicator of our future. China’s highly intrusive system punishes what it considers improper behavior including supporting certain religions, making late payments, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, smoking or simply not sweeping in front of your house or store. 

Consequences in the social credit system include bans on leaving the country, using public transportation, checking into hotels, hiring for high-visibility jobs, or acceptance of children to private schools. It can also result in slower internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist. In this system, there is no legal representation and no appeal. The listed goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.”

Perhaps our new democratic socialist society won’t be as harsh on those who speak out against unconstitutional and illegal actions by their government and its private industry enablers. But so far, it looks like Woke McCarthyism will be more than happy to punish anyone who doesn’t believe and act as they do. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #FirstAmendment #SecondAmendment, #WokeMcCarthyism, #BigTech, #Censorship, #CCP, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

The First Amendment vs. Terms and Conditions of Use

The last few days have seen an unprecedented level of blatant censorship targeting the conservative community. Those who dare to speak anything other than the current politically correct propaganda are being systematically silenced. Politicians, companies and users are all being targeted. But of course, your government would never write a law to eliminate your right to free speech, that would be unconstitutional. So how did they eliminate your First Amendment protected rights? Easy, they outsourced it to private companies! Enter the Terms and Conditions of Use. 

When the Founding Fathers crafted the First Amendment to the Constitution, they wanted to ensure the autonomy of the press. I have no doubt the expectation was a free and independent press would be another check and balance against the possibility of a tyrannically government. 

The First Amendment

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

But what happens when the government and the press are working together? There is no dissent, there is no critique, there is no check and balance of what the government says or does. The press becomes nothing more than a tool of the government for distributing officially sanctioned information or preventing access to it. 

Now add in the world of social media, online communities where the individuals and businesses communicate and share information, usually free of charge to the user, and the provider profits by selling access to the user’s information and habits. We don’t consider these private platforms “press” in the traditional sense and, as they argue, they are not publishers since the users are providing the content. 

A quick look at Section 230 (47 U.S. Code § 230) – Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material – shows us the technology providers have NO liability when it comes to their ability to restrict and control content. 

(2) Civil Liability
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—
(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or
(B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1). 

With this protection, social media and internet content providers have unlimited and irrevocable discretion of what content they want to allow on their platforms. They can define anything they want as being “otherwise objectionable” and completely ban it and the users who share it. They don’t have to justify it any further than that and they don’t have to apply the standards equally across the board. They get to decide all by themselves what is true, what is false and what is acceptable for YOU to experience on their platform. It’s called Terms and Conditions of Use, or Community Standards or some other concoction that is supposed to make you think they are applying their ideology in a fair manner. They are not. 

Is this censorship? Absolutely! Especially when you look at the fact the rules are applied strictly against some groups and not at all against others. One political party and faction of the government gets their message across while the other does not. You can now see why the current administration was working so hard to eliminate these protections, and why Big Tech and their allies in Congress were working so hard to defend it. 

Which brings us to today. The dominant social media platforms decided to censor and ban the sitting President of the United States based on wild and unsubstantiated allegations from other politicians. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, they are the sole arbitrator of truth in their world. The masters of Big Tech have come right out and said if you don’t like it, go build your own. 

Alternative social media companies have been around for years but have yet to gain widespread usage, until now. With the largest social media platforms cutting off scores of users and eliminating content, they have started to grow. What Big Tech considered nothing more than “ankle biters” are becoming relevant and becoming a threat to their monopoly on speech and thought. We now see other Big Tech companies exerting their influence to ban and eliminate these smaller companies that don’t restrict content they want eliminated. 

If you think it will stop here, think again. A great deal of your world comes through information services and devices controlled by companies protected by Section 230. What happens when they deem certain website content as objectionable and blocking access to it? What happens when certain email content is deemed objectionable and they refuse to deliver it? What happens when certain books, magazines or political content is deemed objectionable and they start preventing you from buying or reading it? What happens when they determine that certain phone numbers belong to objectionable persons or companies and they don’t allow you to call them on their devices? 

The Second Amendment community has been a target of Big Tech social media censorship for years. Legal content has been filtered or removed, distribution strictly limited and access to the tools and programs other content providers enjoy eliminated. The broader conservative movement has only recently begun to feel the rath on a large scale. The exodus from these Big Tech platforms has begun and they are not happy about it. Those who believe as they do are calling for even more censorship and suppression across all social media platforms and the internet. They want all content they find offensive or objectionable to be eliminated. 

Like many others, my days on the major social media platforms are numbered. I’ve been on the alternate platforms for years in some cases and I’ve always maintained my own website. It will take a while for a critical mass of content providers to move to these alternative platforms, but it is happening. As we’ve seen, these platforms will be attacked and harassed, but the more users, the more content, the more communication we do there, the better off we all are. 

What we now are seeing is the United States version of The Great Firewall of China. Censorship of technology, information and speech which is not approved is blocked. Only that which is official and approved will be allowed to reach you. Big Tech may be writing the code, but it is the government who is writing the specs for it.

The First Amendment is rapidly being replaced by private companies’ Terms and Conditions of Use where you have no input, no right to object, no right to appeal. You may only think, speak and act within the ever-changing and restrictive rules and regulations or face expulsion. 

Welcome to the Democratic Socialist States of America. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #FirstAmendment #SecondAmendment, #Censorship, #BigTech, #SocialMedia, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

Addendum:

Some comments and my reply from the Odd Stuffing Facebook page I wanted to keep with the original post material.

RE: 
Jeffrey W. Hill

No Bob. It’s not censorship. If you don’t like it, buy some servers, connect them to the internet and start hosting.

Jeffrey W. Hill

Nathan Taylor Inciting violence was unacceptable long before the internet. Back then people who had interests in violent acts complained because TV news was controlled by monopolies and Newspapers could control what was distributed by thousands of paper boys across the country every morning. The Associated Press, United Press International and Reuters news services had as much control over the content of the news as Google and Facebook, and people who wanted to present their alternative views of reality complained continuously about the press services blocking them out. Bottom line, it has always taken a ton of money, vision, organization and smarts to build a big communications system, and that doesn’t change the fact that the systems are and should be controlled by the people successful enough to have built them. If “you” want “the press” to cover your alternative views, buy a printing press and get started.

—-

Jeff W. Hill, I’m going to bet the reason why you don’t feel any of this is censorship is because you and your ideology were not impacted. If it has been, you’d be screaming bloody murder like the rest of us. For heaven sakes, even the ACLU – a group who is absolutely no friend of the President or Second Amendment rights – has raised concerns about the social media censorship.

So, I tell you what I’m going to for you. I’m going to make it personal for you and ban you from commenting on my page for no other reason than you have disagreed with me.  

Truth be known, I enjoy having people disagree with me and commenting with their point of view on my posts. This is how I and everyone else gains a greater understanding of the issues we face today. I absolutely abhor blocking or banning people or deleting posts. I think it squelches the free exchange of ideas and only makes matters worse. Of the VERY few people I’ve banned from my page, it was for harassing, threatening or belligerent behavior. But for you, I’m making an exception. 

What do I expect as a reaction? After the obligatory <expletive deleted> you!, you and others with your point of view will report me to Facebook and other platforms, ISP’s, etc., for violating their Terms and Conditions of Use or Community Guidelines or whatever. Of course, nothing I have ever posted has ever violated the ever-shifting landscape of rules and regulations, but that’s not going to stop you or the Big Tech folks from punishing me for disagreeing with you and the cancel culture. After all, it’s okay to censor people who don’t think like you do, right? 

That’s the funny thing about the First Amendment, it was written to protect ALL speech and views, even the ones you disagree with. As is often quoted, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend till death your right to say it.” 

Restricting the ability of individuals or groups to freely and legally communicate, even if done by private companies, for political purposes and on behalf of a portion of the government is still censorship. And at a time when most people communicate through the Internet, it smacks of First Amendment infringement.  

Sorry you won’t be able to respond here in my little corner of the internet Jeffrey W. Hill. You’ll have to make your own opinion page, fire up your own web servers or dust off that printing press to make your thoughts known because you’ve been censored here. My apologies to others whose comments were hidden as a result of banning Jeffrey W. Hill. 

UPDATE: BATFE is the new CA DOJ BOF

On December 23, 2020, the ATF withdrew the “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces”. The document and call for comments originally published on December 18th gathered more that 60K comments, and according to antidotal evidence, the VAST majority of the responses opposed the proposed regulation. The link to the notice is below. 

While many in the firearms / Second Amendment community are considering this a victory, we all know this will return. Instead of a victory triggered by our comments, it is very likely the posting, comments and withdrawal were part of the original plan to get input on where the proposed regulation would be attacked to help make it stronger. 

Think of it as beta software released into the user community to assess and locate its vulnerabilities. Improvements can then be made based on the feedback to make it better, stronger and more bulletproof. 

If we have learned anything about the gun control zealots prior work at the CA DOJ BOF, it’s that they are persistent. Rejection, be it by governmental regulators, the courts, the firearm industry or the public mean nothing to them. They will be back with a bigger, badder version of the exact same thing, and with a plan to push it through no matter what. 

The fight is not over yet. 

Bob

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/general-notice/sb-criteria-withdrawal-notice-12-23-20pdf/download

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #stablizingbrace, #80% #assaultweapon, #ATF, #NFA, #GunControlFails, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #oddstuffing.com

Trauma-Informed, Gender-Affirming, Anti-Racist Praxis, a.k.a. The New Police

As we conclude 2020, the Defund Police movement continues their quest to dismantle law enforcement as we know it in this country. The utopian vision planned to replace police departments includes a “community-led public safety” program where “an unarmed urgent responder trained in behavioral and mental health comes within 5 minutes” or in response to incidents of rising gun violence, “a trauma informed crisis intervention team works with community activists to disarm and deescalate conflicts”. Of course, all of this ignores the skyrocketing increases in violence and crime in these pre-utopian cities. And what’s worse is that the mayors and city councils have no idea they are enabling an authoritarian takeover of their own cities. The future is state control. Welcome to the future. 

In Minneapolis, the epicenter of the movement to eliminate the police, and extremist left cities around the country, city councils are trying to outdo each other coming up with the most outlandish plans to appease the mobs now running their cities. Minneapolis still sets the bar by announcing to gain police department funding, groups must show they are “well-versed in de-escalation skills” along with “trauma-informed, gender-affirming, anti-racist praxis” according to the proposal. 

Not to be outdone, Seattle hired a felon, ex-pimp (convicted of running a prostitution ring which included underage girls) as a $150,000 per year “Street Czar” to provide the city with “expertise and support services in de-escalation, community engagement, and alternatives to policing.” Equally insane and dangerous proposals around the country include sending unarmed social workers and therapists alone on emergency calls involving the mentally ill, drunk and drugged as well as a host of other historically violent situations including unarmed city workers for the enforcement of traffic laws.

Meanwhile, these pre-utopian cities are slashing police budgets to the tune of millions of dollars and restricting the tools and techniques available to the remaining officers. Gone are such things as proactive anti-crime patrols, domestic violence and sexual assault units, community policing, training, overtime and basic patrol and emergency response services. Departments are losing their most senior and experienced officers to agencies who realize the importance of strong law enforcement in public safety and actually train and support their officers. 

But it’s not just the mayors and city councils, it’s the local prosecutors too. By immediately releasing the “mostly peaceful” rioters without charges or simply refusing to pursue charges against them, they’ve started their own personal social justice reform programs. In some areas, lower-level crimes are no longer prosecuted, or police have to take into consideration the suspect’s reason for looting to justify a prosecution. These same prosecutors are also pushing for the release of anyone incarcerated including those serving life sentences for murder and rape, to protect them from the social injustice of COVID-19.

What is happening in these communities is a disgrace. Violent crime, property crime, crime of all kinds is absolutely skyrocketing. In Minneapolis, what is left of the police department actually sent out letters to residents in one district warning them to “be prepared to give up your cell phone and purse or wallet.” The Minneapolis City Council was recently forced to contract with other area agencies just to cover the 911 responses in the city. 

If you’re wondering where all this is leading, look at what is happening in these pre-utopian cities. Police departments are being gutted of the resources and personnel needed to provide even the most basic level of services. Residents and businesses are fleeing in droves and those who remain are begging for protection and justice. EVEN IF the mayors and city councils were to reverse course and try to restore law and order in their communities, it would take years or decades to bring back the level of experience and service they have cut of out of their police departments. 

The answer, the expected savior of the cities, will come from the state level law enforcement agencies. These agencies, who have been spared the media condemnation of their municipal counterparts, will be called in to take over law enforcement in the defunded police communities. And this is a very, very bad thing. 

Law enforcement is and always has been best served by local officers who are locally funded, directed and held accountable by their communities. Local communities can set their own priorities and be responsive to the needs of their residents. 

Minneapolis is already marching down this road by contracting with outside agencies, including the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Metro Transit. The State of Texas has already introduced legislation to take over the Austin Police department after the city council there defunded the department by $21 million. 

So what’s the problem of having the state or another agency take over local law enforcement services? Quite simply, it’s a matter of accountability. Another agency, state or otherwise, is responsible to someone else. It takes its direction and priorities from someone else. The local community’s needs are determined by someone else. While this may not sound too bad in a (currently red) state like Texas, what kind of local law enforcement would you anticipate from a department that reports directly to the governor of California or New York? 

The mayors and city councils who are now vowing to completely dismantle local law enforcement due to hundreds of years of so-called “systemic racism” and create non-police “community-based public safety programs” seem to be forgetting one thing. THEY are the same ones who have been in control of their cities and police departments all along. Only recently, with the mobs banging on their doors, did they become “woke” and decide everything they’ve always supported was always wrong. And only when their naive utopian vision fails and their citizens have suffered enough, will they realize they were just part of the plan to give control of their city to someone else. 

The only ones who can stop this are the residents of these pre-utopian cities. Hopefully they will come to that realization before too many have left or they become too weak to stop it. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #ThinBlueLine, #Responsibility, #LocalControl, #Police, #Justice, #PoliceMemes, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #oddstuffing.com

BATFE is the new CA DOJ BOF

Let’s face it, there aren’t a whole lot of people who love the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or simply ATF). In the world of federal enforcement agencies, they’ve never been high on the ‘warm and fuzzy’ scale. Then along comes their recent moves against companies who make 80% firearms and suppressor kits, and now pistol braces. Let’s not forget their previous administrative actions to ban bump stocks and you have an agency most would now put into the ‘hated’ category. For those of you who think it can’t get any worse, just ask any firearm owner in California how their own DOJ BOF (Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms) evolved. The same thing, using the same tactics, is now occurring at the ATF. A coincidence? Hardly… 

We all know the incident that caused bump stocks to become illegal in this country. A horrible tragedy with no known motive or individual to take responsibility, so bump stocks were blamed and banned. Not an unprecedented move in the gun control world, but it highlighted the ability of the ATF to reverse previous determinations based on political pressure. What we are seeing now is the same thing. 

The ATF recently served warrants, or raided, depending on how you look at it, an 80% firearms manufacturer. The target was a packaged kit of supplies to manufacture your own firearm, as well as the people who had purchased them. Note that all these individual parts are available from this and numerous other manufacturers and can be purchased separately or even purchased at the same time, but it was the “kit” that caused the ATF to act. The logic is the “kit” can be used to put together a firearm in minutes (which is absolutely not true unless you count your hours in minutes) and as such, should be considered a firearm. Somewhere in the noise it appears a “kit” had been purchased by a prohibited person to build a firearm, which would be illegal for them to possess. 

Among the no surprise things going on here are that a prohibited person is going to acquire a firearm, something ILLEGAL for them to do, or that the ATF might consider a “kit” a firearm. As little as two years ago another manufacturer received a ruling from the ATF that while the 80% frame was not a firearm, “This classification does not apply if the polymer frame-blank is marketed, sold, or distributed as part of a kit.” We can debate the lack of logic behind this, but it is there in black and white. It seems the 80% industry isn’t very good about sharing knowledge.  

Not only was the 80% firearm manufacturer subject to an ATF search and seizure, but also an 80% suppressor manufacturer, and apparently for similar reasons. It also appears the ATF is now visiting customers of these products demanding “voluntary” forfeiture to avoid them securing a search warrant to seize the property. That last part is a whole different argument for another time. 

And now, we have the ATF putting out a notice and request for comment entitled “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces””. The link to the notice and where you can make a comment is listed below. It’s only five pages long and I highly recommend you read it for yourself. 

In short, the document fails at the first word, objective. Instead, it is highly subjective and lacks the critical details that would allow a manufacturer or consumer to make an informed decision about the legality of a product they produce or possess. Instead, a firearm is “subject to the NFA (National Firearms Act), on a case-by-case basis.”

It highlights considerations like type and caliber, weight and length, length of pull, aim point and sights and scopes as items to be evaluated, but provides absolutely no details on what is and isn’t acceptable under the proposed rules. The very subjectivity of it could lead the same firearm owned by one person to be considered legal but subject to NFA rules if owned by another person. 

If you’re wondering where this is heading, the document outlines the options you’ll have for a stabilizing brace firearm. They are “registering the firearm in compliance with the NFA” “permanently removing the stabilizing brace from the firearm and disposing of it, replacing the barrel of the firearm (16’’ or greater for a rifle, or 18’’ or greater for a shotgun), surrendering the firearm to ATF, or destroying the firearm.” Note the carrot for registering your firearm under the NFA is a waiver of the $200 / firearm fee. 

So why are Californians having a case of déjà vu? Because the CA DOJ BOF has used very similar tactics in their war on so-called “assault weapons”. This includes the use of “emergency” regulations that dramatically reduce the amount of time comments are taken. In this case, instead of the usual, regulatory mandated 30 days, the ATF has limited the amount of time to just 17 days, over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, another one of CA DOJ BOF’s tactics. 

Some are saying this is a blessing since it will allow people to register their firearms as a SBR (short barreled rifle) without having to pay the $200 tax stamp. This of course ignores the obvious issue of having to register in the first place, as well as having to register a pistol as a SBR. There are also a host of other restrictions that come with NFA firearms. And if you’re going to have to register your stabilizing brace firearm as an SBR, why not put on an actual firearm stock instead of something that doesn’t work well as a stock?

The CA DOJ BOF may provide us with some insight here. During the last round of “assault weapon” laws, Californians could register their so-called “bullet button assault weapons” but were not allowed to remove the bullet buttons to be like the other “registered assault weapons”. Registration also meant they could not sell or pass on their firearm to heirs. 

Looking into the Odd Stuffing crystal ball, I’m seeing many changes coming to the NFA, including a separate category for stabilizing brace firearms that will preclude their ability to be altered, transferred or inherited in the future. I’m also seeing a lot of so-called “semi-automatic assault weapons” being added to the NFA as well. Although that’s not really a crystal ball thing since the probable incoming administration has vowed to place “assault weapons” under the jurisdiction of the NFA. 

What we are seeing is the first steps towards making the ATF like the CA DOJ BOF. This strategy to get more and more firearms registered though through the NFA will only make their eventual outlaw, confiscation and destruction on a nationwide basis easier in the future. Can you guess where this idea came from?

This is just another step to administratively diminish the protections of the Second Amendment into nonexistence, just like they’ve already done in California. 

Bob

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/12/18/2020-27857/objective-factors-for-classifying-weapons-with-stabilizing-braces

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