COVID-19, The Untouchables

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the inner dictator in many of our nation’s lawmakers, the most draconian rules coming from the far-left extremists. But while they are imposing highly restrictive rules on their constituents, they exempt themselves, their families, friends and associates from them. While you risk getting arrested for opening your business, non-essential travel or being in public without a mask, they are living their lives by different rules. Do they know something about COVID we don’t or are they just willing to take away your natural rights while giving up nothing themselves? Here are some examples of our duly elected representatives, otherwise known as The Untouchables. 

California’s Governor has never been considered a ‘man of the people’. He reinforced this recently by attending a birthday dinner for a lobbyist/friend at one of California’s most posh restaurants where meals start at $350/person. The dozen attendees were from multiple households – including executives from the California Medical Association – at a single table with no social distancing and no masks. While the Governor’s office claimed all state health code rules for COVID-19 were followed and the table was outside, photos of the event prove otherwise. The open-on-one-side room does not meet the California definition of “outdoors”. But even that stretch of the truth was eliminated when the glass door was closed because the Governor’s party was so loud they were disturbing the other restaurant patrons. 

Not to be outdone, members of California, Texas and Washington legislatures recently attended an annual private political conference at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui, Hawaii for five days of policy discussions and schmoozing with the corporate sponsors. Morning meetings were followed by free time to enjoy the islands with their families who were also guests at the event. 

California’s senior United States Representative and Speaker of the House was infamously caught getting her hair done in San Francisco when businesses of this type had been ordered closed. She of course called this a “set-up” and blamed the business owner who was forced to close her business because of the mob backlash. And who can forget her “let them eat ice cream” interview showing off how she is coping with the lockdown by enjoying ultra-premium ice cream from her twin Sub-Zero refrigerators with her grandchildren, from New York, during a travel ban. 

Speaking of haircuts, Chicago’s mayor defended herself getting her hair done while ordering residents of the city to stay in their homes by saying “I’m the public face of this city”, “I’m on national media,” and “I’m out in the public eye.” 

Other notables from around the country include DC’s Mayor exempting herself and her staff to attend a Biden celebration out of the district despite her orders on travel restrictions. New York’s Mayor going for walks in the parks away from his residence despite restricting New York City residents from doing the same. New Mexico’s Governor being able to shop and get her hair done despite ordering these non-essential businesses closed. 

The list goes on and on and on. The common thread is those who make the rules feel they are not bound by them. They exempt themselves, their families, friends and political allies. How many of our elected representatives and other government officials have shared in the pain of losing their businesses, being laid off, losing all their benefits and being forced into poverty?

If you want to take a look at what a socialist regime looks like, look no further. This type of disparity and behavior is normal. The elite ruling class lead a life of privilege unincumbered the oppressive regulations they impose on the people.

Yes, COVID-19 is a deadly pandemic, but it has proven far less deadly than we have been led to believe. What may have started as good faith efforts to contain the spread has been perverted into a system designed to implement full government control over every aspect of our business and personal lives. 

In the name of “public health”, we have been forced to giving up our right to free speech, to peacefully assemble, to practice our religion and to petition our government for redress of grievances. Yes, our basic First Amendment protected natural rights. 

How many people have been arrested – some with inexcusable uses of force and fined exorbitant fees, for simply being out of their homes, not wearing a mask, opening their businesses or peacefully protesting their government? At the same time others are allowed to riot, assault, burn, loot, destroy with impunity because their cause is deemed worthy by local authorities. 

The Constitution and Bill of Rights does NOT say, ‘unless there’s a pandemic’. Our rights do NOT get to be suspended for “two weeks to flatten the curve” or a year or two until everyone can prove they are vaccinated. It does NOT protect these rights for people with an approved ideology while denying them to those who disagree.  It does NOT say these rights are protected for those who are in powerful government positions but not for the people they govern. 

Do you really think they will stop at eliminating your First Amendment protected rights? 

Bob

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Two MORE Weeks To Flatten The Curve

Today marks day 255 since the original “Two Weeks To Flatten The Curve”. This week my home state of New Mexico returned to restrictive lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. The same draconian quarantine restrictions from the beginning of the COVID pandemic have been reimposed just in time for Thanksgiving. Non-essential businesses have been ordered to close, no indoor or outdoor dining and of course, masks are mandatory, and you must remain home with limited exceptions. New Mexico’s order is for two weeks, at which time the state will enter a new county-by-county color coded restriction system. Of course, since the beginning of COVID, there are winners and losers to this game. Guess which category you fall into? 

Here are just a few highlights from around the country:

– Mask mandated in public and in your own home with limited exceptions, violators will be fined 
– Stay at home except for essential trips such as for food, water and emergency medical care
– Curfews from 10 pm to 5 am
– Closure of all non-essential businesses
– Businesses allowed to remain open must close between 10 pm and 5 am
– No in-home gatherings larger than six people from more than two households
– No in-person classes for high schools and colleges 
– No organized sports EXCEPT professional sports 
– Restricted religious services without singing, chanting or playing instruments. 
– And… be sure to report your neighbors for violating the rules this holiday season! 

Not to be outdone by anyone, California issued rules for Thanksgiving celebrations in your home. These include no more than two different households, held outside, social distancing and masks are required except briefly to eat and drink, food to be served individually on single use disposable dishes, bathroom breaks may be taken as long as the bathroom is disinfected regularly, and the entire event may last no more than two hours. The host must record the names and contact information of all attendees for contact tracing. 

Various health organizations have added an emotional note to their Thanksgiving guidance by saying if you care for your elderly loved ones and want them to be around in 2021, you must celebrate Thanksgiving alone. To top it off, the self-proclaimed President Elect has applauded governors who have issued mask mandates and lockdowns, calling them patriotic. 

We’ve also been told that negative COVID tests actually mean nothing. Since you may have JUST been infected before you get the test, travel plans for Thanksgiving, should include a 14-day strict quarantine, a COVID test, a properly socially distanced event, then another a 14-day strict quarantine after travel and another COVID test, to be safe. Because… science.

If you were to drive across the country you would find a dizzying array of wildly different health codes, home quarantine restrictions, testing requirements, mask mandates and even travel restrictions state-to-state, county-to-county and city-to-city. All for the same COVID and all because… science. 

But then, there are the exceptions for certain businesses such as airlines. Many have been filling their middle seats (the ones they held open for social distancing at the beginning of COVID) claiming their standard air filtration systems make them safe. This even though they have dramatically cut back on the amount of disinfecting done to the airplanes. I suspect this may have something to do with the expiration of government funding covering their payroll and operating costs in September. Because… science.

BLM/Antifa “mostly peaceful” riots have always been exempt and to date, not a single case of COVID has been associated with any BLM/Antifa riot. On the other hand, according to a Stanford study (so you know it’s accurate), 18 rallies for President Trump were responsible for over 30,000 COVID cases and 700 deaths. Bear in mind this non peer-reviewed research was done ONLY by comparing counties that had rallies vs. ones that didn’t, not by actual contact tracing data available in all 50 states. It should be noted the same researcher would not be conducting a similar study of Biden post-election rallies since he said most of the people appeared to be wearing masks and they were more spontaneous in nature. Because… science. 

But don’t fear, your elected representatives are right there with you suffering through the unemployment, economic losses and restrictions of liberty.  Oh wait… they aren’t. Read about that in the next article; COVID-19, The Untouchables. 

Who are the winners and losers? As it has been since the beginning of the pandemic, the winners have been the big box and big chain retailers who have been selected as essential and granted a monopoly by being allowed to remain open. These companies have once again posted record quarterly profits. The losers have been the small, privately own businesses forced to close, many forever, and the employees put out of work, broke, locked in their homes – if they are lucky to still have them – with no options for their very survival. 

If this all seems arbitrary and pointless to you, you’re right. First we were told the only way to stop the spread was to wear masks and social distance. Now we’re told everything must be closed because masks and social distancing aren’t effective and COVID tests mean nothing. I have yet to see the science of closing businesses and implementing curfews from 10 pm to 5 am. Does COVID become bigger, more aggressive and infectious after dark? 

The answer is no. The so-called “science” is to socially condition people to accept more and more government control over the way we do business, the way we interact with others, the way we live our lives and the way we think, even inside the privacy of our own homes. 

Do you really think it will stop here? 

Bob

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Expand vs. Defend the Second Amendment?

Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court begin this week and it is sure to be a spectacle of epic proportions. As a preview of the line of questioning we’ll see regarding the Second Amendment, the billionaire bankrolled “grass roots” “community organization” gun control group released a statement opposing Judge Barrett’s nomination on the grounds she “would dramatically expand the Second Amendment”

Dramatically expand…  A better and more accurate description would be Judge Barrett would actually defend the Second Amendment. But their description should give you some idea of how the gun control extremists view the Second Amendment as a second-class right. 

Let’s be clear about what the Second Amendment is. The twenty-seven words read: 

“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.”

The reason for the gun control extremists’ concern is quite simple and outlined in their statement. They are afraid Judge Barrett will vote to overturn their so called “gun safety” laws by “invalidating gun control measures around the country”.  

Gun control measures around the country are an utter failure and continue to target only law-abiding citizens. The cities and states with the strictest, most draconian gun control laws in this country are also the most violent, least safest places. They constantly blame other non-gun controlled areas for their own crime rates while refusing to hold the actual perpetrators of violence accountable for their actions. As always, they claim they are just one gun control law or one closed loophole away from their citizens being safe. 

The article claims that these “lifesaving policies has repeatedly withstood legal challenges in the lower courts”. 

These lower courts where they have withstood legal challenges are the ones where left extremist politicians have appointed like-minded political activist judges who will ignore the rule of law, legal precedent and rules of evidence to rubber stamp blatantly unconstitutional gun control laws. 

They also point to Judge Barrett’s “dangerous views” through her dissent on a case involving a man convicted of a “serious felony” appealing for restoration of his firearms rights. 

Of course, this “serious felony” was a single count of mail fraud and Judge Barrett’s dissent was that nonviolent felons should not be subject to the same gun restrictions that apply to violent criminals. 

Keep in mind these are the same zealots who believe the District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago decisions granted an individual right to own a firearm for the very first time in United States history.  In reality, it simply took until 2008 for a government entity to create an unconstitutional law, have that law successfully challenged AND have that case appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The individual right to keep and bear arms always existed. 

Just as the Second Amendment does not grant the right to keep and bear arms – it restricts the government from infringing upon what is considered a Natural Right – the Supreme Court DOES NOT have the ability to expand, dramatically or otherwise, Second Amendment rights. The court may ONLY rule on the constitutionality of existing laws that have been appealed to them. 

So, while the gun control extremists and their hand selected politicians claim the appointment of an originalist, constitutionalist jurist to the Supreme Court will somehow dramatically expand Second Amendment rights, what they are really concerned with is that their ineffective, unconstitutional laws may be overturned and simple, basic natural, constitutionally protected rights will again be available to their citizens. The People with their Second Amendment protected rights means government control over whom they chose to provide basic safety and security to will be lost forever. 

If we’ve learned anything from Justice Kavanagh’s hearings, these confirmation hearings will feature the worst behavior, accusations and insinuations politicians can muster. We’ve already seen lies, smears and exaggerations along with gloom-and-doom predictions about how our very democracy is at stake if Judge Barrett is confirmed. 

What can we do as ordinary, everyday citizens? We can let our Senators, the people WE elected to represent US, know we want them to support the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. 

If you live in a blue state like me and think your opinion won’t matter in what will undoubtedly be a party line vote, I say BUNK! If we don’t let our representatives know what we want them to do and remind them that they are accountable to us, NOT their political party, then the ONLY voice in their ear will be from the political party. It’s time to be clear and loud about what WE THE PEOPLE demand from them. 

A list of United States Senators and their contact information may be found here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact

Bob

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It’s The End Of Democracy!!! (And Other Supreme Threats)

With the sudden passing of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a whole new dimension has been added to this year’s elections. Completely dismissing any resemblance of respect for the Justice’s life or service, the vile political rhetoric began almost immediately following the news of her death. Lies, exaggerations, hypocrisy, threats of violence and political consequences are the new norm – even more so, if you can believe it, than we’ve seen so far in this election.  The future of the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is being determined and the results are critical for every American.  

I’m going to start off with painfully obvious elephant in the room, politics on the bench. The whole three equal and separate branches of government thing our country was built on relied on the courts being the non-political, independent arbitrator of fact, the Constitutional and rule of law. However, that seems to be a wildly outdated notion. At the local, state and federal level, the litmus test for judges is now their political party affiliation and wiliness to rule favorably on issues brought before them by the political masters who appoint them. That is absolutely wrong. 

Judges should be guided by the Constitution and the law, period. Yes, there may be different interpretations of how the law should be applied but that’s the whole function of the appeals process up to United States Supreme Court. There should NEVER be situations like we have now where the Constitution and the rule of law is viewed through a political lens in order to progress a social agenda. 

We are being told filling the vacant judicial seat with a nominee from the current administration will be catastrophic for the nation. We’re told it will delegitimize the court itself and cause irreparable damage. Lives and liberty will be lost.  Really?? 

The SCOTUS is now pretty equally divided politically. The Chief Justice had been considered a conservative and swing vote, but it’s widely accepted now that he capitulated to the threats from the extreme left Senators last year that threated to restructure and stack the court if it didn’t “heal thyself”. 

“Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.'”

The irony of course is adding a ‘conservative’ justice now would tip the court just slightly to the right, something the left just cannot tolerate. It’s not the reduction of the influence of politics they seek, it’s the reduction of the influence of politics THEY don’t agree with. Interestingly enough, it was a Second Amendment case that had the potential to define standards for Second Amendment cases around the country the brought the threats by the Senate Democrats. 

If the Senate attempts to fill the seat before the elections, we are being told there will be violence and riots like we’ve never seen before. Arson in the form of “burn Congress down” and “burn it all down”. The Democratic party has promised retaliation in the form of eliminating the filibuster in the Senate and restructuring and stacking the SCOTUS as soon as they retake the Senate, presumably to reduce the influence of politics. The Speaker of the House of Representatives has come out to say she won’t rule out impeachment of the President or the Attorney General as an option to prevent filling the seat, as well as other options. One of the more likely options is attempting to impeach Associate Justice Kavanaugh, a threat made during the “heal thyself” intimidation campaign by the Senate Democrats. 

A friend recently posted a definition that bears repeating:  Terrorism: The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. 

Of course, hypocrisy and politics go hand in hand. The people who are demanding the seat be left vacant until after the elections are the VERY SAME ones who demanded the Senate fill a vacant seat in 2016. It seems fulfilling constitutional responsibilities is only important when it serves a certain political need. 

The political focus has already shifted to the most vulnerable votes from Republican Senators in Alaska, Maine, Utah and Arizona to block a nomination. Expect the political posturing, campaign contributions and no holds barred back room bargaining to be at historic levels in these states. 

Whomever is nominated by the President to fill this vacancy is sure to face excessively hostile confirmation hearings in the Senate. Much like the Kavanaugh hearings, we can expect the rudest, most obnoxious behavior from the Senate Democrats along with demands for delay after delay after delay for ‘just discovered’ surprise information. In the end, whenever a vote is called, expect grandstanding from both sides of the aisle. 

If you’re wondering why filling this seat is so important, simply look at how this election is being set up to be the most litigated in history. With mandated mail in voting and the potential for widespread voter fraud, the final result will very likely be decided by the United States Supreme Court. Assuming a split along Justice’s political lines, an appeal by either campaign will fail to a four-to-four split. 

Based on what has happened in the two days since Associate Justice Ginsberg passed away, what do you expect to see in the 43 days leading up to the 2020 elections?  

Vote wisely. 

Bob

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A Warning For Semi-Free Americans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vote wisely.

Bob

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Election Theater Act 2, The Candidates

Way WAY back on May 6th, 2019, I wrote Election Theater Act 1, The Lightning Rods. At that time, I placed my first and second choices for the official Democratic Party candidates in an envelope, sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnalls’ back porch to be opened following the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The convention is over, we have nominees and direct descendants of both Funk & Wagnalls have delivered my jar. My guesses at the time were: First choice: Kamala Harris. Second Choice: Hillary Clinton.  I’m claiming a “damn close” with a big honk’n asterisk for things to come. 

I’ll repeat my previous 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. 

That Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee for President is shocking, to say the least. With the Party focus on the vote from youth, minority, immigrants, progressives and the newly “woke”, the Democratic party has chosen an elderly white male millionaire establishment candidate with 47 years in the D.C. political swamp. A candidate who has already failed twice as a Presidential hopeful and at age 78 would be the oldest President to ever take the oath of office. 

Somewhere along the line, the plan seems to have gone astray. And not for trying either. The nominee has made more gaffes than can even been listed. Things so serious any other candidate would have been tossed to the side like yesterday’s fish wrapped newspaper. These include sexual misconduct allegations that seem to have been swept away along with his involvement in his family’s misdeeds and his own history of racism and questionable cognizance. 

Which brings us to his choice of running mates, Kamala Harris. A former Presidential hopeful herself who crashed and burned badly during the Democratic debates. Yet Biden’s made a promise to choose a black female candidate to fill his Vice President slot and he chose the former top law enforcement official of California during the Defund The Police movement supported by the Party. 

As you can see from my predictions, I always thought Harris would be the nominee. She had all the right supporters and backers but was never able to get over her own poor showing or her highly dubious history as a prosecutor and politician. 

Now here’s my big honk’n prediction asterisk. Should Biden be elected and not be able to fulfill his full term as President, Harris would become the President, a reality many now believe as a given. 

But what of my second choice, Hillary Clinton? My prediction backup was the leading candidate would fall from grace so badly that a demoralized Democratic party would turn to her as their savior and, bypassing all scrutiny of the pre-election theater, nominate her as their Presidential candidate once again. It’s still not outside the range of possibilities but early voting is starting soon, time is running out fast. 

Clinton has recently said she would be open to serving in a Biden administration. But what position would someone who to this day still thinks she was robbed of the presidency be willing to take? Certainly not something subordinate to the President, it would have to be something decidedly superior. The only thing I can think of would be an appointment to the United States Supreme Court. It’s not outside the realm of possibility, and extraordinarily terrifying. 

So let’s take a preview of what will certainly be Election Theater Act 3, The Elections. 

With COVID-19 still making it too unsafe to vote in person – even though mass riots are perfectly safe – mail in voting will be the key to making this election the most hotly contested and litigated in United States history. 

Those of you who are old enough will remember the absolute CF that was the 2000 Presidential elections, how long it took to resolve and the intervention of the Florida Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court in determining the end result. 2020 is going to make that look like a walk in the park. 

Imagine late ballots, non-postmarked ballots, boxes upon boxes of lost then mysteriously found ballots, defective but still certified ballots, ballots from the dead and many, many ballot recounts – in every state around the country. This election is being set up to be contested for MONTHS by armies of lawyers on both sides. Which brings up the nightmare scenario where the Electoral College is unable to declare a winner by January 20, 2021. 

In that case, the election would go to the House of Representatives for a vote by state, with each state voting on their own, independent of their state’s election results. Whatever candidate (and it could be anyone) has a majority of 26 states would become president until Jan. 20, 2025.

If you think the elections have been nasty and stupid so far, you haven’t seen anything yet. 

Of course, this is only MY opinion. 

Bob

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Not Well-Suited for Self-Defense?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A quick note on Rational-Basis, Intermediate Scrutiny, and Strict Scrutiny

Under Rational Basis the government must have a legitimate interest and the law must be “rationally related” to the interest. 

Under Intermediate Scrutiny, the government must have an important interest and the law must be substantially related to the interest. 

Under Strict Scrutiny, the government must have a compelling interest and the law must be narrowly tailored to the interest.

Note that the likelihood of a law being overturned increases as the level of scrutiny increases. Few government laws survive a Strict Scrutiny test since they are generally far broader than need be. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vote wisely this year. 

Bob

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Gun Buys vs. Gun Votes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob

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Re-fund The Police

For two months we’ve heard the call to “Defund The Police” and “Reimagine Public Safety” from extremist city councils, mayors and governors who have labeled all law enforcement agencies and every officer a racist. Police budgets are being ‘defunded’ while some cities are actively working to completely abolish their police departments. In the meantime, the remaining officers are being prevented from doing their jobs. While many of the budget cuts have yet to go into effect, we are already seeing the result in these American cities. Every category of crime has skyrocketed. Brutal, random violence has become commonplace. 

Maybe it’s time to stop living in this fantasy dreamland and recognize that evil will always exist and if you don’t have the police, that progressive model of a community love is going to be a war zone. Maybe it’s time to stop experimenting with people’s lives and re-fund the police.

The numbers speak for themselves. Chicago homicides have increased 50%, 139% in July alone. Atlanta 240%. New York City 277%. Houston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland and Seattle have all seen significant spikes in homicides and shootings. And this is ONLY homicides and shootings! 

Yet contrast these numbers with areas of the country that have NOT given in to the ludicrous accusations of systemic racism within their law enforcement agencies and you find no increases. Amazing. It’s almost as if giving the mob what it wants makes life for every citizen in that city worse. 

But it’s not just the act of crime, it’s the fact that some people now feel it’s perfectly acceptable to simply beat the crap out of anyone, or just outright kill them, if they disagree with the current mob position. 

What kind of violence have these “defund the police” politicians enabled?  Shooting and killing a man walking across the street with his daughter holding his hand. Beating a pregnant woman and head stomping her toddler daughter. Shooting and killing a woman who had the nerve to say “All Lives Matter”. Killing an eight-year-old passenger in a car driving through a BLM controlled intersection. Beating airline employees because a flight was delayed. This is to say nothing of the extortion demanded out of stores and restaurants who don’t give into the social and economic demands of the mob movement.  

Why is this happening? Because there is nobody there to stop them. Criminals, anarchists and thugs are able to do whatever they want because there are no consequences.  Even if the police are allowed to apprehend them, they know there is little chance of being charged or held as extremist prosecutors have been dropping charges against rioters as quickly as they are arrested. Should they ever find their way into a courtroom, as long as they say “systemic racism in the justice system” they will never have to pay for their crimes.  

But now there’s an interesting trend happening. Citizens in these ultra-liberal cities are fed up with the violence, the extortion, the discrimination and the disruption caused by these social justice warriors and the governments that support and sponsor them.  They are starting to demand their police departments be re-funded and re-enabled to actually fight crime in the streets. 

New York City residents are demanding the NYPD anti-crime unit be reinstated. Seattle residents are demanding their police department not be abolished. Minneapolis residents are demanding police protection in their neighborhoods. These people, along with others around the country, have already seen what happens when the police are pulled back just a little bit and they don’t want anything to do with it. 

For whatever problems any law enforcement agency has, sacrificing the safety of the general public for some false utopian vision of an ideal society is not the way to solve it. Law enforcement has made incredible progress from where it began in this country, and it will continue to do so. Allowing the very same city councils, mayors and governors who have always been responsible for these departments to suddenly declare them as being too systemically racist to continue to exist is not the answer. 

And for anyone who missed it the last time, I’ll say it again:

Just in case you’re thinking that because I was a law enforcement officer, I’m going to support officers no matter what, you need a reality check. Nobody hates bad cops worse than other police officers. Each and every professional officer out there wants nothing more than to see bad cops stripped of their badges and held accountable for their unlawful actions. Period.

It’s time to support the good men and women of law enforcement and enable them to do their job. It is NOT acceptable to kill, rape, assault, burn, steal or extort others in your community. If you make the conscious choice to break the law, you should be apprehended and face the full consequences of the law. It doesn’t matter your race, gender, nationality, religion, vocation, status, wealth or appearance. If you break the law, you should pay the price. 

It’s time to let justice be revered in our country once again. It’s time to re-fund the police. 

Bob

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Apparently, I’m A Racist

Like so many others across our country, I have been labeled a racist. Like so many others, it has nothing to do with who I am, my heritage, my history, what I believe in, the life I’ve led, my values, my thoughts, my words or my actions. Like so many others the label was given to me by people who do not know me. Like so many others the label was given because of my appearance. Like so many others I was given the label because of my current or past vocation. Like so many others the label was given because I refused to buy into the current mob mentality and kneel to it in some form of mock submission. And most importantly, like so many others it is not a reflection of who I am but who the accuser is. 

I’ve come up with two definitions of racism, one is factual and the other is from the mob mentality point of view. 

  1. The belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another.
  2. Disagreeing with anyone about racism.

While you can also be labeled a racist based solely on the color of your skin and the color of your ancestors’ skin, anyone regardless of their skin color can be labeled a racist if they violate rule #2. Of course, the only surefire way to not be considered a racist is to admit you are a racist. It’s the 2020 version of Catch-22.            

Calling someone a racist is the simple solution to pressure them to think or act the way you want them to. We have become a world where simply disagreeing with someone makes you a racist. Presenting an opinion, even one backed up with research, well documented facts and credible witnesses, that goes opposite to the current mob mentality says is “truth” makes you a racist. 

If you think, so what, I am entitled to my own beliefs. Consider that people have been fired, had their businesses ruined, looted and burned to the ground, ostracized from their communities, extorted, had their lives, families and properties threatened, been assaulted – and worse for speaking out against the mob mentality. Imagine having the sheer audacity, or if you are white, the caucasity to dare say “All Lives Matter”. It’s no wonder so many people are afraid to speak their mind these days. 

I would never suggest that racism does not exist in our nation. It has existed since the beginning of mankind and exists in every corner of the world today. Anyone and everyone, from any race, gender, religion, vocation, status, wealth or appearance can be a racist. What I will suggest however is that not everything is racism and not everyone is racist. The epitome of human understanding is not being able to find racism in every situation, it should be to respect every human for who they are. 

The sad truth is I’ve been called a racist, and far more horrible things, in many languages, many times throughout my life. Each time it followed the same pattern of hate and anger used to deflect the blame from something they did to someone else, hoping for a better result for themselves. 

These are people who take one look at me or see something I have written or said which goes against the popular narrative of the time and immediately know enough about my life, my history, my beliefs to say, YOU ARE A RACIST. Which, in order to follow the stereotypical racist accuser pattern, is followed up by a litany of personal insults. 

Now if someone who actually did know me, who has spent time with me, has seen me interact with others, were to come to me and say, ‘Bob, I think you’re being a racist’, then I might have to take stock of what they are saying and take a good look at myself. Am I doing something that is being misinterpreted or am I really being racist? 

For me, the way I was raised, the values I was brought up with, it simply would not have been tolerated. Like so many others, I was raised to treat everyone the way I wanted to be treated, equally and with respect. You know, basic Golden Rule stuff. Race, gender, religion, vocation, status, wealth, appearance or anything else that could possibly set us apart are never an excuse for treating anyone else less than what we expect for ourselves.  It’s really that simple. 

I am by nature a very private person. Even among those who know me, very few know many details of my own or my family’s history. Even fewer know my original family name or the circumstances that caused it to be changed because of…. racism. But that’s okay because that is my own personal history and history is what you make of it. You can learn and grow from it, or you can attempt to erase it and pretend it never happened. But no matter your past or the collective past of our nation, you – and you alone – are responsible for your actions today.  

So, what am I going to do differently now that I have yet again been called a racist? NOT A DAMN THING! Like so many others the only kind of racism I am actually guilty of is the kind that doesn’t agree with the current mob mentality on racism. And that’s not racism, that’s integrity. 

I am going to continue to advocate for basic human rights, for everyone. I am going to continue to advocate for Constitutional protection of our inalienable rights, for everyone. I am going to continue to work for solutions to issues with family, education, employment, inequality, crime, justice, accountability and responsibility – for everyone. 

Like so many others, I’m proud of who I am and the nation I have been brought up in. I will continue to fight for the rights our nation was founded on, for everyone. Not because it’s easy or because it’s politically correct, but because it’s the right thing to do and what I would want for myself.

Bob

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