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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Fourth of July Patriots

I’d like to thank all the patriots in my town who gave a big ol’ fashioned FU! to the crown Saturday night and participated in an impromptu community Independence Day fireworks display. With a 180-degree view, a full moon rising and a thunderstorm passing in the background, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect spectacle. And it was all done without burning the down the countryside. Imagine that… people celebrating freedom responsibly. 

That so many people were setting off fireworks at home this year is due to the insane gathering restrictions put in place by our Governor. With all of the COMPLETELY non-protest/riot related COVID-19 cases spiking, fireworks presentations across the state were cancelled, for our own protection. Protests/riots are of course still approved mass gatherings, as long as they are for the cause sponsored and supported by the angry mobs and extremist politicians. 

Much like mandate to wear non-medical, permeable cloth facemasks in public to stop the spread of a virus that can pass right through them, cancelling Independence Day celebrations across the nation was nothing more than another measure of extremist control and quite frankly, an insult directly targeted at anyone who values our nation’s history and freedom. 

To see so many fireworks in defiance of oppressive, do nothing orders in celebration of our nation’s independence confirms the silent majority is still alive and kicking. While the fringe of the nation continues acting out in violent temper tantrums carefully scripted to divide and distract us, real patriots are celebrating freedom. 

Libertatem diu vivere! 

Bob

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Where’s The Police When You Need Them?!

What better irony could there be than the words of the District of Columbia Delegate after she and a reporter were nearly attacked in the so-called ‘Black House Autonomous Zone’. This while standing on words “Black Lives Matter” painted on the street, looking for the police to protect them while advocating to defund the police. Politicians kowtowing to the mobs are doing all they can to defund, disband and abolish local law enforcement agencies across the country. They are more than willing to sacrifice your safety, but still demand the police protect them. It’s the future of law enforcement and it’s all about who controls it.  

It’s an injustice every Second Amendment supporter can relate to, all law enforcement officers are being blamed and punished for the actions of a single, bad officer. Without proof to support the accusations, and abundant evidence showing the opposite, the entire law enforcement community is being accused of systematic racism so severe that the agencies themselves cannot be salvaged and must be completely dismantled.  The pre-history of police in the Southern states going back to the days of slave patrols is being used as indisputable proof of their continued racial bias and support of white supremacy nationwide today. It doesn’t matter how many years have passed or how much progress has been made since then, the old ties to slavery is considered a fatal flaw that cannot be corrected. 

Again, I’ll state there is nothing more patriotic than exercising your First Amendment protected right to petition the government for redress of grievances along with the right to peaceably assemble. But what was a legitimate protest for justice has become a full-scale effort to erase history and reshape society to conform to some utopian dream. Eliminating local police departments, which has long been the goal of centralized government advocates, was ever so easy to slip into the current mob agenda.  

What we are seeing today are not peaceful protests, they are riots. The MOMENT these so-called peaceful protesters start shooting at police, throwing rocks, bricks, bottles filled with urine and other substances, breaking into stores and looting, vandalizing private property, tearing down statues, vandalizing public property, beating, raping and killing, you no longer get to call it a “peaceful protest.” 

We’ve already seen some of this new vision for our country. Those who can afford it will be protected by well-armed private companies. Example: The Minneapolis City Council’s hiring of a private security company for $4,500/day of taxpayer money to protect themselves, a job formerly handled by Minneapolis Police Department they are defunding. Elsewhere, gangs control their own neighborhoods as they have since the riots. Sharia patrols enforcing Sharia law in their communities. At the same time, private citizens who take up arms to defend themselves are ostracized and severely punished.  

Municipalities defunding their police departments will invest that money in the new “public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach”, “restorative justice” and social services. These massive new government agencies will in very short order, fail miserably.

Why they will fail is easy to understand. Criminals, thugs, gang members and terrorists who already don’t fear the police, the courts or prison systems, aren’t going to give a damn about what the community thinks about them or taking responsibility for their actions. These are the same people who attack, rob, rape or kill innocent people on a whim, steal whatever they want  and will fight an armed police officer to death if they get in their way. These are the same people who loot stores and burn down businesses in their own neighborhoods.  A “holistic, public health-oriented approach” isn’t going to turn them into better citizens, ever. 

At some point, the people and any remaining businesses in these communities are going to get tired of being victimized by the criminals, thugs, gang members and terrorists as well as the local government agencies. Local governments won’t ever be able to defund social services, even the ones that aren’t effective, and they won’t have the money to establish police departments again. Everyone then turns to the state for help. 

State law enforcement agencies who have been spared the accusations leveled at the local departments, will be tasked with limited law enforcement in these communities. All policy, direction, oversight, control and accountability will be taken out of the hands of local elected officials by a state level appointee. It will never be as timely or effective as the former local department, but it will be just enough to say the state is doing something. Welcome to the state-controlled local police. 

Of course, this is just my take on what will happen and it’s only one of many possible scenarios. Opening the government wallet to people who have no concept of public safety, criminal justice or history beyond their own vision of an ideal world is going to produce many costly and ineffective plans. When they fail, the lives and property lost can be blamed on the next scapegoat and another plan devised. 

Keeping your community from becoming a government funded sociology experiment where the conclusion has already been written means you have to speak up now. It is your safety and the safety of your family that is on the line, not the politicians or special interest groups who will always be protected. It means taking control back from a vocal minority of moral elitist politicians who are willing to sell their votes to the loudest mob and the biggest contributor, all at your expense. 

What do you want for your community?  

Bob

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Welcome to Mob Rule

In just a few short weeks, the United States, a republic with a Constitution and Bill of Rights guaranteeing individual freedoms unparalleled in the world has digressed to a country where public policy, law, criminal justice and societal norms are being set by the loudest mob. For anyone who still believes these so-called “peaceful protests” where public and private property is looted and/or destroyed and anyone who disagrees with them is beaten and even killed, I invite you to get your head out of your asses and look at what is going on. What began as a legitimate protest for justice has devolved into a full scale assault on American history and culture. No longer is there a grass roots effort to seek positive change, but instead an extremist political wish list to reshape society to meet their utopian dreams. Welcome to Mob Rule in the USA! 

As I’ve said before, when it comes to protesting our government, I fully and enthusiastically support it, even if I don’t agree with the cause. Just as I would expect someone who doesn’t agree with my cause to support my right to protest. There is nothing more patriotic than exercising your First Amendment protected right to petition the government for redress of grievances along with the right to peaceably assemble.

But that’s not what is happening now. We now have mobs of rioters, thieves and thugs doing whatever they please, often with the passive or even active support of the politicians whose only desire is to please them. After all, the mob is doing their work for them, attempting to reshape society into their new ideal image. 

We’ve gone from demanding justice for one individual, to use police use of force reform nationwide, restricting, disarming, defunding and eliminating police departments, eliminating qualified immunity for law enforcement, and eliminating legal due process for law enforcement officers, all to address the alleged systemic racism running rampant in every agency in the country.  And that’s JUST as it pertains to law enforcement! 

But then, when you look at the actual facts, you find it isn’t true. Police departments around the country keep incredibly detailed accounting of enforcement activities and race to combat the very allegations being leveled at them today. Very much like the previous push to put body cameras on all officers to expose bad and illegal police behavior, when the recordings are made public, we find the that vast, VAST majority of contacts were exactly as the officers said and it was the public that was lying. But all that doesn’t fit the emotional narrative. It’s much better to take one bad example and use that undeniable proof that it exists everywhere with every officer. 

And for extremist politicians who have been unable to get symbols that offend them removed through the normal process; they simply have the mobs do it for them. The new woke politicians at the local, state and national level can now get all those Confederate statues and paintings torn down without having to waste public funds. And for those that aren’t torn down by the mob, the extremist politicians can have them removed for “safety”. The end result is still the same, things they don’t like are removed. 

By why stop there? Let the mob rid us of any other symbol that might offend someone, somewhere, or sometime. Statues of Christopher Columbus, the Texas Rangers, Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as well as General Ulysses S. Grant. Also vandalized, destroyed and removed have been law enforcement memorials as well as memorials for military heroes including Shaw’s 54th Regiment Memorial of Black soldiers marching into battle during the Civil War. If you ever wondered the downside of not teaching American history, well… there you have it. 

Not to be outdone, one Minnesota mayor is moving to remove the word “chief” from all city job titles because the term is offensive to Native Americans. For example, the chief financial officer will now be called the finance director. The mayor is still working on the titles for the heads of the police and fire departments since the usage there is so widespread in the nation. While there have been exactly ZERO public complaints about the titles, the mayor is trying to be proactive about this since “chief” is used as “a racial epithet, and it turns into a microaggression.”

Corporations have been quick to jump on the kowtowing bandwagon to appease the mob. NASCAR has banned Confederate flags at all their events, including those carried or worn by fans. Also banned, any firearm related advertising on race cars. 

Hollywood has done their part by pulling pro-police shows like COPS, Live PD and the pro police animated children’s show PAW Patrol. Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam will both lose their guns in upcoming episodes. Elmer will still be hunting rabbits, but he’ll now use a scythe. Because chasing a rabbit with the big ass sharp implement the Grim Reaper carries is a LOT less violent. 

The iconic product lines of Mrs. Butterworths, Uncle Bens and Aunt Jemima are rebranding their products and following Land of Lakes by removing the long-time symbols on the packaging. While these products and packages are part of Americana, the saddest part is the real-life people whose images and stories were the basis for them were inspirational and heroic figures for their time and beyond.  Look up the story of who Aunt Jemima really was and it makes you sad to realize Nancy Green’s story is being spun and erased for political correctness.  

In the ongoing coverage and glorification of mob riots, one woman’s statement struck me as telling about our current state of racism in our country. “F*ck white people, they owned slaves!” Again, we look to history that tells us slave ownership goes back as far as human history and across all race, color, ethnic and religious boundaries. It also tells us the European slave traders purchased their slaves from the black African tribal chiefs who already had a slave trade themselves. Horrifically, slavery continues to this day not only in Africa but in other parts of the world. Recent reports from Libya show a slave can be purchased for as little as $400. 

Like every other nation, our history has had its share of dark and turbulent times. There are things we look at now and wonder how could this have happened in our land of the free? But our history is just that, history. We don’t have to be happy about the dark times, but we must be proud of how far we have come and where we are going. We cannot – and should never try to – sweep our history away. As painful as the past may be, the only way to not repeat the past is to learn from it. 

Sadly, our nation’s political process is under mob rule. Pointing out logic and facts gets you labeled as a racist. Defending the history of our nation, the good, bad and the ugly parts, makes you insensitive, uncaring and an obstructionist to change. 

There are a few who are willing to stand up and saying no to mob rule. I encourage you to use your own mind, your own heart and your own conscience to decide what is right, not what the mob tells you to do. 

Bob

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Impartial Law Enforcement?

What should have been a week of protest in our nation has been hijacked into riots, vandalism, burglary, looting, assault and murder. What was seeking justice for the life of one individual is now the platform for the extreme socialist fringe agenda. Demands to dramatically rethink, redefine, reshape, defund and even eliminate police departments are all the political rage. With it, local chiefs and sheriffs – politicians with badges – are running scared.  To try to insulate themselves from the criticism and show their “solidarity” with the cause, they are participating in acts of degradation to themselves and their departments before protestors and rioters. This isn’t policing. This is pure virtue signaling by administrators who are willing to throw the men and women of their own departments under the bus to please their political controllers.  It’s pathetic and it will never be enough. 

Most likely you’ve seen images of law enforcement agency heads kneeling, and ordering their officers to kneel, before crowds of protestors. Add to this lying face down for a symbolic eight minutes and 46 seconds and washing the feet of protestors. This they say is meant to show unity for their cause and “ask for forgiveness for their white ancestors enslaving, mistreating and oppressing African Americans”.

What’s the problem with this? Aside from the fact that kneeling is generally perceived as a sign of submission not solidarity, we’ve already heard the cries “IT’S NOT ENOUGH”. No matter what these politicians with badges try to do now, it will never be enough. 

Look at the escalation of demands since the initial protests for justice in the death of Mr. Floyd. Since the arrests of the four officers, the demands now include use of force reform for police departments nationwide, the immediate termination and charging of officers without due process, defunding and eliminating entire police departments, eliminating qualified immunity for law enforcement, the end of all “systemic racism” in the nation, removal of all historical symbols of anything or anyone who had anything to do with slavery, as well as affirmative action and slavery reparations. 

As local police chiefs and sheriffs dust off their copies of the previous administration’s President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and try to prove they are as woke as the protestors, local politicians are cutting police budgets promising to redirect the money into social programs or, as in the case of Minneapolis, disband the police department and invest in as of yet defined “community-based public safety programs”. 

Anyone who has studied law enforcement history knows what happens when a police department closes down. The only modern-day example of this is the Montreal (Quebec, Canada) police strike October 7, 1969 in what is known as the Murray-Hill Riot or Montreal’s Night of Terror. In just 16 hours after all police officers in the city walked off the job, six banks were robbed, a hundred stores looted, 12 fires set, at least two people killed and over a million dollars of property damaged. It took the Army and Canadian Mounties being called in to restore order. Keep in mind this is in 1969, long before every thug, terrorist, criminal and rioter carried a way to coordinate with other thugs in their pocket. 

The utopian vision planned to replace modern police departments is 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”.  

What’s really going to happen? It’s already happening in cities ravaged by riots.  Those who can afford private security will be protected by well-armed companies. Gangs will control their own streets and neighborhoods. Businesses will be looted and destroyed. Business owners who own firearms and are willing to stand up to the looters stand a better chance of being able to protect their property but will be seen as provocateurs by the community. Fires will burn out of control as the fire department refuses to act without protection. 

Large and small businesses alike have already announced they will close and leave Minneapolis permanently as they have no confidence in the City to be able to protect them, their business or their employees. As more businesses leave, residents of the city will be unable to get the basic necessities of life like food, medicine or fuel, further depressing the area and thrusting it into more lawlessness. 

With the City of Minneapolis unable to protect them, the residents will appeal to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota State Police and the National Guard for basic protection. If this is unsuccessful, the federal government will step in with a federal police force, a long-time goal of big government politicians. 

So what should law enforcement agencies do when they are called out to support any group?  That’s the easiest question of all, BE IMPARTIAL!! 

There’s a reason why the symbol of Justice in the country is blindfolded. The blindfold represents impartiality, the ideal that justice should be applied without regard to wealth, power, or other status. In order for law enforcement to be effective, to be seen as fair by all, to be seen as applying the law to everyone in an equal manner, it absolutely must be impartial. 

There should NEVER be a case where you need to pledge support for any group. For true law enforcement professionals, it is ALL LIVES MATTER, period. 

As a former law enforcement officer, I am unapologetically a law enforcement supporter. And I can say without reservation that nobody in the world hates bad cops more than cops themselves. They are a stain on their departments and on society. The vast, Vast, VAST majority of law enforcement perform their sworn duties every day, under the worst conditions possible, admirably and respectfully, and will continue to do so, despite the verbal, physical and political attacks against them.  

In 2016, then Dallas Police Chief David Brown responded to protesters by saying this: “Join us. Become a part of the solution. We’re hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in. And we’ll put you in your neighborhood, and we’ll help you resolve some of the problems you’re protesting about.” 

Bob

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Mostly A Protest

One of the most patriotic elements of the American way of life is the ability to protest your own government. So important, the Founding Fathers enshrined the right to petition the government for redress of grievances along with the right to peaceably assemble in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights along with freedom of speech and religion. It is just as critical today to support and defend those who choose to exercise these rights, even if we disagree with their message as the right applies to everyone or it applies to no one.  Yet what we are seeing in the streets of our major cities has nothing to do with protest, with redress of grievances or peaceable assembly.  What we are witnessing is pure agenda driven greed and violence. It does nothing but further drive a wedge into our communities and keep them from working together. But then, isn’t that the point? 

From what I’ve seen, there was an actual peaceful protest in Minneapolis following the release of the video. But that’s where the protests ended, and riots began. The “cause” was taken up by others who have been waiting for the right timing and event to push their agenda. Knowing the emotions of the community were raw, it took very little to spur them into violence.  The rage quickly engulfing and destroying their very own communities, neighbors, friends and families. 

How exactly does looting and burning your neighborhood businesses, the same ones that are owned by and / or employ the people around you help the cause of social justice?  How does  looting a stack of big screen TVs, appliances, cars, clothing, food or cash promote change in the criminal justice system?  How does burning cars and buildings help the community come together for solutions?  How does savagely beating shop owners trying to protect their property or innocent motorists trapped in traffic while rioters swarm the streets help heal your community? How does killing other people help the cause of justice for the person whose name you are rioting in? 

Naturally, there can’t be a national crisis without a political blame game. Big city mayors and governors have been quick to point to out-of-town/out-of-state agitators as being the ones responsible, even as they have been encouraging their own citizens to act out. Blame has been placed on white supremacists, criminal gangs and even drug cartels “trying to take advantage of the chaos”, all without proof on the ground. 

Of course, nobody wants to blame Antifa, even as they claim to be involved and in control. The irony of Antifa is the very same progressive, far left politicians who have supported and protected them, now realize they can’t control them or the violence they bring as they destroy their own cities.

Thank goodness for the media who have been on scene with critical, non-biased reporting. As an example, one on camera report said, “I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally unruly” as he stands in the middle of a riot with a building burning behind him. The press has also been quick to condemn any use of force by law enforcement even as they demand more be done to quell the violence and officers are assaulted and literally dragged through the streets. Politicians have also blamed people who have been forced to defend themselves, since law enforcement is unable or unwilling to help them right now, for instigating more violence.  

Personally, I am disgusted at the actions of people who choose to riot in the name of justice. But I’m more disappointed the people are so easily lead into senseless, random violence believing that this is the way to achieve peace in their community. You can blame outside agitators all you want, but it takes a voluntary conscious decision on the part of those in the community to attack and kill innocent, non-involved bystanders, loot their businesses and burn their buildings to the ground. 

What isn’t being commonly reported are those who have chosen to protect their lives, the lives of their families, and their properties with firearms. As with every day, non-riot life, very few will every have to discharge their firearms, but they are nonetheless effective.  About the last thing in the world any law-abiding firearm owner wants to do is use it against another person. But they all know this is just one step below allowing someone to harm them or their families. 

As for why this has erupted so quickly across the country, sadly I fear it has nothing to do with justice for Mr. Floyd, it has everything to do with politics and power.  Just as the country was beginning to turn the corner from the COVID-19 economic shutdown, this incident – not other earlier ones with equal or greater social and radical injustice – was chosen to ignite the next fire. I’d like to say we as a nation are better than this, but it really appears we are not. Those who wish to fan the fire for their own purposes are still given far too much attention.  

In the meantime, we all need to stay safe. Your safety really is up to you. Nobody is every going to be there to protect you and your family, in times of riot or otherwise. All lives are important, but you are the only one who can, and will, take care of you. 

Bob

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