Second Amendment: 2021 – A New Hope

At the risk of a violent response from the Dark Side (Disney), I’m starting off the new year with an optimistic view of the Second Amendment by referring to 2021 as “A New Hope”. In troubling times when their government turned their back on law-abiding citizens, millions of Americans have recognized the need to purchase, own and use firearms to defend their lives and the lives of their families. This is the absolute opposite to the gun control zealots claim that firearms are being shunned in this country. As we look forward to the challenges emerging on the horizon, I for one am comforted knowing there are millions more exercising their Second Amendment protected rights.  

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

Let’s not kid ourselves about the challenges 2021 will bring. The incoming Harris/Biden [sic] administration has a significant gun control agenda including a ban and removal of so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines”, along with a host of other California inspired draconian and ineffective gun control laws. We’ve already seen the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) coordinating with the yet-to-be administration and making aggressive moves against the 80% market and pistol braces, priorities imported from the west coast. 

The control of the Senate, and quite honestly of all three branches of government, is to be decided tomorrow in Georgia. Winning both seats would place the deciding vote for the Senate in the hands of the Vice President and allow a full, nationwide California style gun control agenda to pass. It would also allow the Senate to reshape the United States Supreme Court by either impeaching a conservative associate justice or packing the Court with liberal appointed justices to “reduce the influence of politics” on the Court. Thus, the final constitutional obstacle for eliminating our Second Amendment protected natural rights would be removed. 

As unchecked violence rages in the extremist left controlled cities and states, mass releases of criminals, including those serving life sentences for murder and rape (to protect them from COVID-19), combined with prosecutors instituting their own versions of social justice reform by not charging those caught breaking the law or essentially eliminating any penalties, life for law-abiding citizens in these areas has become decidedly more dangerous.

So why do I have hope? In response to the violence and destruction caused by the “mostly peaceful” riots around the country, an interesting thing happened. Americans across the country decided to not become victims. As extremist left governors, mayors and city councils turned their cities over to violent mobs, holding back, hindering and defunding the police to give rioters free rein to loot, destroy property and attack innocent bystanders, more people began to realize the importance of the Second Amendment and personally owned firearms in modern society.

Conservative estimates place the number of firearms purchased in 2020 at upwards of 20 million, along with more than a billion rounds of ammunition. At least 40% of these purchases were made by people who have never owned a firearm before, including approximately 40% being purchased by women. The purchases were made by individuals from every walk of life, every level of society, every race, religion and political party. 

The diversity of those purchasing firearms for personal protection in 2020 points out the best part of the Second Amendment. Despite what the gun control fanatics tell you, firearms are not the exclusive tool of a single, stereotypical geographic. The Second Amendment deliberately says, “the right of the people”. Not the government, not any race, gender, political party or location, the people, ALL the people.  

Does millions of new firearm owners automatically equal millions more anti-gun control votes? No, of course not. What it does mean is the party that has for so long stood up and said its supporters are strongly opposed to gun ownership is going to have to come to terms with a lot more of its base recognizing the importance of firearms and the Second Amendment.  

As Second Amendment supporters in 2021, we need to expand our focus from preaching to the choir to welcoming new firearm owners into the community. We need to help them with training, places to shoot, competition, hunting, sports and self-defense information. We need to invite them into our clubs and associations so they can be the best and safest firearm owners they can be. We need to demonstrate to all the new firearm owners that Second Amendment protected rights are as important today as they were when our nation was founded. There are a lot of supporters out there that only need a little encouragement to join in defending our rights. 

This year is going to be a bitch. It’s time for all of us to stand together. 

Bob

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UPDATE: BATFE is the new CA DOJ BOF

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

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

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

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

The fight is not over yet. 

Bob

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob

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BATFE is the new CA DOJ BOF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob

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

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Semi-Automatic Mechanisms – The New Assault Weapons, Updated

With the possibility of a new administration that has promised to ban the manufacture and sale of so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines”, let’s take another look at what a new ban will likely include. While the most commonly mentioned target is the AR-15 & AK-47 pattern rifles – using the completely inaccurate and scary terminology of “weapons of war”, gun control legislation from around the country provides ample evidence that the scope will be much wider. Firearms with so-called “evil features” are commonly included. Now add the latest trend to include the “semi-automatic mechanism” and you can ban many more commonly owned firearms.  And you thought they just wanted your scary black rifles.

Politically defined terms like so-called “assault weapons” have many problems. Among them is the definition tends to evolve over time. It can mean one thing today and grow to include much more tomorrow. These terms also tend to be geographically specific. An “assault weapon” in one state – or even city – isn’t an “assault weapon” in another. Each jurisdiction gets to pick and choose what they think an “assault weapon” is. The new thing is to call for a complete civilian ban on all semi-automatics. 

One of the latest attempts to massively expand the type of firearms law-abiding citizens are restricted from started in Massachusetts. In the wake of the shooting in a gun free zone in Virginia Beach, VA, an unknown group of naysayers came out with the revelation that the .45 caliber handguns used in that shooting shares the same deadly feature as the dreaded AR-15 – the semi-automatic mechanism. Now, “the most severe gun-related problem facing our society is the proliferation of guns containing a semiautomatic mechanism.” 

Their organization “is working to achieve legislation that will ban the semiautomatic mechanism in any gun sold or owned in Massachusetts. These are weapons that were designed for military and law enforcement purposes only and not for the general public. Revolvers, lever-action, pump-action, and bolt-action guns cover the full spectrum of civilian needs, whether they are hunting, personal protection, or home protection. The semiautomatic mechanism for guns has no place in civilian hands.”

Sadly, this absolutely absurd idea was quickly adopted by gun control extremist legislators in numerous states and is now either proposed legislation or has been added onto their list of “assault weapons”. 

Of course, the first successful semi-automatic firearm was designed by Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher in 1885.  The iconic Model 1911 pistol has been in service from – you guessed it – 1911, that’s 109 years old!  There’s nothing horribly sinister or deadly about the mechanism, it simply ejects the fired cartridge and loads the next one to be fired the NEXT time the trigger is pulled. The capacity of the magazine determines how many times you can pull the trigger before the firearm is empty. Massachusetts, being one of the nanny gun control states, says that number is 10. Of course, a standard 1911 magazine is only eight. 

If it’s not a magazine capacity thing, is it the shooting speed the antis don’t like? Of course not.  Semi-automatics don’t fire any faster than revolvers. In fact, the world’s fastest shooter used a revolver to put eight rounds on target in one second.  And no, there is no such thing as “fully semi-automatic”, the ludicrous phrase coined by an anti-gun former Army officer in the employ of CNN. 

Why the new fixation on all things semi-automatic?  It’s merely an attempt to put more firearms on the banned list and get them taken out of the hands of law-abiding civilian owners. The tactic has been used for years in the states that have some sort of “assault weapon” definition. What started as a specific list of firearms “too deadly for civilian use” has been systematically expanded to include firearms with purely cosmetic “evil features” such as pistol grips, adjustable stocks, threaded barrels and flash hiders or the ability to utilize a “high-capacity” magazine. The State of Washington now defines ALL semi-automatic rifles as semi-automatic assault rifles. Massachusetts went so far as to outlaw the mechanism used in AR-15’s and AK-47’s and bans any firearm that has interchangeable parts, such as the extractor or extractor assembly, with the AR-15 or AK-47. 

How many firearms in the United States are semi-automatic?  Depending on how you slice the data, you’d be looking at roughly 150 million of the estimated 400 million civilian owned firearms in this country.

Would an all-out ban on semi-automatic firearms survive a Constitutional challenge, especially in light of the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision and the “in common use at the time” test?  No, of course not. But that’s ONLY with the current makeup of the United States Supreme Court. An expanded Supreme Court packed with far-left activist justices (you know, to “reduce the influence of politics”), would undoubtedly interpret this differently or reverse Heller all together. 

Will a new ban make all these “semi-automatic assault weapons” just go away? Of course not, that will take time. Using a combination of registration through the NFA (National Firearms Act) and mandatory buybacks for those who can’t afford the $200 per firearm and $200 per magazine NFA fee. Of course, NFA firearms are currently fully transferable, so this will need to be changed to the same design as California’s registered “assault weapons”, which cannot be transferred or inherited. 

“Assault weapons” are not just about AR-15 or AK-47’s, or “high-capacity” magazines. It’s about all the commonly owned, and in the vast, Vast, VAST majority of situations in our country, lawfully used firearms. “Assault weapons” is a bottomless pit that will be used to dump an ever-increasing number of banned firearms until the number you can legally own is zero. 

Do you want to keep the lawfully owned and legally used firearms you have today? Do you want your children and grandchildren to have access to the same modern and effective firearms you have today?  

This is why the Georgia Senate runoffs and the independence of the United States Supreme Court are so important. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #SCOTUS, #semiautomaticmechanism, #assaultweapon, #GunControlFails, #Georgia, #2020Elections, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #oddstuffing.com

A Shot Across The Bow of the USS SCOTUS

In case you missed it, the incoming congress just fired another warning shot across the bow of the United States Supreme Court. This warning specifically targeted the most vulnerable member of the court, at least in the eyes of the hypocrite extremist left. Funneled through a less than unbiased newspaper as a ‘breaking news’ story, it is another blatant attempt to influence litigation before the Court. It also presents a compromise scheme for forcing political control of the Supreme Court to those who are a little squeamish about packing the Court. Either way, this highlights the importance of the Senate runoff elections in Georgia are for the future of an independent Judicial branch. 

This latest attempt to influence the court comes from a New York Times review of a book – by two New York Times staffers – that contains “new” allegations of sexual misconduct by Justice Kavanaugh while he was in college. The “new” allegations, introduced in the 11th paragraph of their story, involves a woman who declined to be interviewed by the Times reporters and has through friends indicated she did not recall the event. It’s important to know that this incident, the supposed witnesses and the woman’s denial of it occurring, were all known to the reporters in 2018, during Justice Kavanaugh’s hearings. The story resurfaced briefly in 2019 during the Democratic Presidential primaries but did not result in any action. Now, in 2020, it surfaces again as a “new” story. 

It’s not as if his Democratic party detractors haven’t done their level best to destroy Justice Kavanaugh’s reputation and life based on the unsubstantiated accusations leveled against him during his confirmation hearings. 

Of his coaching his daughter’s high school basketball team, a Time magazine reporter wrote: “Ford’s charge shattered Kavanaugh’s carefully crafted tableau, calling into doubt the image he projected. The row of young girls, legs bare in their private-school skirts, looked different now.” 

Of his teaching at Harvard, a letter from staff, students and alumni organized by friends and family of Congressional Democrats was sent that said: “We believe that Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment as an HLS lecturer sends a message to law students, and in particular female students, that powerful men are above the law, and that obstructive, inappropriate behavior will be rewarded.”

With this “new” allegation resurfacing yet again, members of the new administration’s transition team are calling for a congressional investigation into the matter. “If accurate, this would represent a big mistake on the part of the FBI. Without the truth, a cloud will hang over Kavanaugh’s head and an asterisk will accompany his decisions. The only way to repair the damage is for Congress to pick up where the FBI left off.” Note that Congressional investigation in this context of course means impeachment proceedings.

Having members of the Democratic party threaten the United States Supreme Court is nothing new. Remember the Senate Democrats who sent the “Heal Thyself” letter threating to pack the Court if it ruled incorrectly in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. That letter is widely credited with flipping Chief Justice John Roberts to the liberal wing in an attempt to save the structure of the Court. Of course, that threat has now been revived into an action plan should the Democrats retake the Senate. 

In this situation, there does not appear to be one case to be influenced but rather a series of cases now under consideration and likely to be taken up by the Supreme Court regarding the 2020 elections. The not-so-subtle implications are for Justice Kavanaugh to vote ‘correctly’ or face impeachment. But as anyone can see from the “Heal Thyself” letter, voting correctly won’t make this threat go away. 

There’s also another side of this “new” accusation and call for Congressional investigations. It represents an alternative plan to take over the Supreme Court. The well-advertised threat to pack the Court with liberal appointed justices to “reduce the influence of politics” has been unpopular with many non-extremists in the Democratic party. This plan, removing just one originalist Justice, one that has been demonized by the Party, and allowing a liberal appointee would cement a solid 5-4 liberal majority. 

If you’re wondering what the big deal is with the Senate runoff elections in Georgia, this is it. A Democrat win of both seats results in a 50-50 tie in the Senate which would be broken by the (possible) new Vice-President who is the most extremist left politician to ever be elected. This is a grandstanding, elitist politician who has already stated her position on Justice Kavanaugh as being “He must be impeached.”

What else is at stake? Only the ability to have free and fair elections, the Electoral College, the future of the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment and the independence of the Judiciary branch. 

Simply look at what campaign promises have been made and ask yourself what will happen if the final check and balance of power, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, were no longer a hinderance? What if every law that brazenly infringes on your Constitutionally protected natural rights was deemed fully Constitutional in the name of the new socialist agenda by a Court more interested in social reengineering than Constitutional rights? 

If you have a few bucks to spare, sending it down to support the Republican candidates in Georgia might be in all of our best interests. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #FirstAmendment, #SecondAmendment, #SCOTUS, #Politics, #Georgia, #2020Elections, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #oddstuffing.com

My Home, My Heath, My Choice – Interrogating Our Children At School

Last week Vermont’s RINO Governor announced changes to the program that monitors the symptoms of students and teachers in the state’s schools. Following the Thanksgiving break, students will be grilled on if they had Thanksgiving with anyone OTHER THAN their immediate family. Anyone who has will not be admitted for in-person education and must quarantine for two weeks, or one week followed by a negative COVID test. While this sounds like a simple addition to the state’s daily symptom check, it represents another HUGE intrusion into the personal lives of the state’s residents. If we allow this, what will be next the question asked in the name of health? 

Vermont’s daily online Wellness Check Survey, plus a temperature check at the school, is required to be admitted to all schools in the state. Anyone whose symptoms match what the state considers a COVID symptom is given a big red X on their computer screen and will not be allowed to attend that day. A green check mark means you are cleared for the day, pending having your temperature taken and any follow up questions at the school. 

So why does this bother me so much?  Because I wouldn’t appreciate any school questioning my child about what goes on in our home. For the record, I no longer have any children in school in Vermont, but that doesn’t mean I no longer care OR that parents in the state should allow their children to be subjected to this line of questioning. 

Simple questions like “Did you see your grandparents for Thanksgiving” or “Did you go anywhere for Thanksgiving” can lead to a kid being evicted from in-person school for two weeks. This comes as the state says they recognize how vital in-person classes are to educational and emotional development.

Of course, you could tell your child not to answer this question, but do you really think the health screener and principal are going to allow that? No, of course not. They’re going to berate the kid until they get an answer or just kick them out based on their refusal. Do you really think Fifth Amendment protections apply to your children in school? Alternatively, you could tell your child to lie. What a great life lesson that would be for your child to not tell the truth to teachers, principals and health professionals. 

Oh I know, this is only for the pandemic. It’s a public health emergency. But what else has been declared a public health emergency? Alcohol, drugs and of course gun violence have all been given this label. It’s not a stretch at all to believe other questions aren’t going to be included in the “health screening” as kids come into school. 

Do your parents drink adult beverages?  
Have you ever seen any drugs in your house? 
Do your mommy and daddy have guns? 

COVID-19 has given socialist / dictator inclined governors and mayors a once in a lifetime opportunity to intrude into and control our daily lives, all in the name of protecting public health. They have clearly shown your natural, constitutionally protected rights are of no concern to them. 

Among the ridiculous rules we’ve been given this Thanksgiving, we’ve been told who can come into our own homes, if any at all. That we have to eat outside, on single use disposable dishes. That we can’t allow anyone to serve themselves. We can only allow people to use our restroom if we disinfect it often. That we must social distance outside and wear masks except to briefly eat and drink. That we cannot sing or play music. That we can only gather for two hours. That we must report our friends and neighbors if we see them gathering with family and friends.

Across the country, businesses deemed “non-essential” have been closed while big box retailers have been allowed to remain open. With their competition eliminated, “essential” businesses have reaped record profits while their “non-essential” counterparts have been forced out of business, many forever. Families have been thrown into poverty and lives lost. 

Meanwhile, our elected officials scheme and debate over how much social change COMPLETELY UNRELATED to COVID and helping people survive they can cram into relief programs designed to keep you dependent on government handouts forever. 

And just how well have the government restrictions worked so far? Apparently, they’ve done nothing because we’re told our COVID infection rates are now higher than when we started the original “Two Weeks To Flatten The Curve” over six months ago. 

We were told masks and social distancing was the only way to stop the spread. We were told that closing businesses and staying home was the only way to stop the spread. We were told political rallies infected thousands and killed hundreds UNLESS it was a “mostly peaceful” riot or celebration for the right candidate, and then there was no spread. We were told testing is the only way to stop the spread, then told you can’t really rely on tests to say you don’t have COVID. 

As if teachers calling the police based on what is inside children’s rooms during Zoom classroom sessions, and barring parents from observing online classes wasn’t enough, we will now have health professionals, teachers and principals grilling our children about who they spent their holidays with and punishing them for their parents making decisions the government doesn’t like. 

Maybe the government doesn’t actually know what is best for everyone’s health and welfare. Maybe the people know what their own risk factors are and how to best provide and care for their own family. Maybe the government should stop trying to control every aspect of the people’s lives inside and outside their homes. 

And maybe the government should just provide an education to our children and not use them as a means to intrude on people’s Constitutionally protected rights inside their homes. 

Bob

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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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A Republic, If You Can Keep It

This often-debated quote is attributed to Benjamin Franklin following the creation of the United States Constitution in 1787.  Franklin’s message underscored this form of government would be difficult to maintain. Greed and the lust for power in the hearts of some would seek to alter our nation to suit their own needs vs. the needs of the nation. This is the underlying struggle behind the rhetoric and noise of our current elections. Do we abandon the very foundation of our nation or do we fight for the structure and the natural rights protected by our Constitution and Bill of Rights? 

The most complete version of Franklin’s quote indicates the person asking the question was Mrs. Elizabeth Willing Powel, a prominent society figure and the wife of Philadelphia Mayor Samuel Powel, and goes as such:

Powel: Well, Doctor, what have we got?
Franklin: A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.
Powel: And why not keep it?
Franklin: Because the people, on tasting the dish, are always disposed to eat more of it than does them good.

It is important to remember where our new country was at this point. Having just freed itself from the oppressive rule of England, the Founding Fathers were insistent on establishing a government which would not devolve into the same monarchy they had just freed themselves of. They were also highly concerned about “the tyranny of the majority” in a democracy. 

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. 

This is why the Founders chose to create our country as a republic. In a republic, a constitution protects 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.

It would sound like a done deal then, right? It can’t happen here because of our natural rights are protected by the Constitution. But that’s not what is happening. Our Constitutionally protected rights are being eroded at an alarming rate and the process is relatively easy.  

Lawmakers who enjoy a ‘flexible’ interpretation of their oath of office appoint like-minded judges on the bench to validate the laws they enact. If a new law is challenged, it can be upheld as “Constitutional” by judges who are willing to ignore the original text of the Constitution, Supreme Court precedents and the rule of law to create new precedents. Each new precedent builds on the last until you have a set of laws that has NO resemblance to anything Constitutional. 

The protection for our rights is supposed to be in the checks and balances provided by the three branches of government. But when the courts are subverted by political appointees who are willing to legislate from the bench and utilize highly creative interpretations of the Constitution to advance a radical ideology, our individual rights easily, and legally disappear. 

Maintaining the balance of power and independence of the Judiciary is one of the reasons the elections are so contentious this year. One political party is vowing to expand the United States Supreme Court with liberal appointees deemed ideologically compatible in order to “reduce the influence of politics”. Put another way, they want the high court to validate whatever law they put forward and a conservative, originalist / constitutionalist majority court would most certainly prevent that. 

How do they get around this? Easily, just by having politicians (who see the Constitution as a systemically racist construct that is standing in the way of implementing socialistic changes) controlling both Houses of Congress and the White House.  It allows them to eliminate the Senate filibuster, stack the Supreme Court, eliminate the Electoral College and add additional left leaning states to ensure a long-term, unbreakable liberal majority. 

Oh, I know… I’m just a right-wing conspiracy nut who’s trying to invoke fear among conservatives and maintain a white supremist dominated country. EXCEPT, all these plans have originated FROM left-wing zealot politicians already in office, both as threats against the judiciary branch and promises to their constituents. 

It is unfortunate that so many in our country have bought into the belief that our nation was so fundamentally flawed from the beginning it must be torn down and rebuilt in a new, reimagined way. What they seem to forget is their natural rights of freedom of speech, the right to peacefully assemble and the ability to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, the very rights they are exercising to demand the complete restructuring of our country, are the rights protected by what they want to get rid of. 

Whether history’s recording of Benjamin Franklin comments is accurate or not, the call to action it evokes is important to us all. Do we allow the underling principles of our country to be swept away in a wave of lies and political correctness or do we continue to build on that foundation in a way that protects our rights now and into the future? 

Bob

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