Mirror Mirror

A comment on one of my posts stated that if we could point to one study that backs up our claim that people would be safer armed, he would never say a public word about guns again. This got me thinking about what research is out there. Yes, there are studies showing owning and carrying firearms do make individuals and communities safer. There are also studies showing owning and carrying firearms makes you less safe. So, how can it be both?

Research studies are very similar to expert testimony in court proceedings. Two highly educated and credentialed “experts” examine the very same piece of evidence and come to completely opposite conclusions. The only difference is one is being paid by the prosecution and the other by the defense. Since both sides cannot be correct, the jury must make up their mind on the arbitrary points surrounding the “experts” like personality, appearance and presentation as a measure of credibility as well as their own preconceived notions about the facts.

Somewhere along the line, scholarly research also turned into a paid for results enterprise. It may have been around the last time we believed a network news reporter was unbiased. Sadly there are no more Uncle Walter’s out there.

Governments, private companies and causes all commission their own research. In a perfect world, the researchers are unbiased professionals who take great care to ensure their results are impartial and have sound, verifiable results. Instead, what we usually see are results that are so highly skewed they can’t stand the light of day to say nothing of peer review. Yet, they are held up as ironclad, scientific proof of whatever points someone was trying to make.

Research results that go against a position are quickly attacked to minimize it. The methodology is said to be faulty, the data incomplete and the researchers biased. Anything and everything is done to discredit any study that doesn’t point to someone’s preconceived notion.

For the most part, no research is going to change your mind if you already have an opinion on the topic. It’s either going to confirm what you believe or conflict with it. “Research” is put out to try to influence the unconvinced, the people who’s opinion can be swayed by the all powerful myth of a scientific study.

Every so often you hear about a commissioned study pointing to results opposite of what they were supposed to find. Does this change the minds of the people who paid for this study? Hell no! They simply bury it and commission another one to come up with the ‘right’ results.

If you wonder why the Second Amendment community opposes radically anti-gun administrations in the White House and California funding “gun violence research”, this is why. Let’s just save the time and taxpayer money and publish the results first – guns are evil and their gun control plans are the only way to stop all violence. Just the results they are paying for – even if they do defy logic.

Of course this does not mean all research is biased garbage. True professionals do exist and their work is commendable. What I’m saying is that it is exceedingly difficult these days to sort out the paid for, pseudo-science opinion pieces from the real deal.

So my response to anyone looking for studies backing up my claims is this: Do a little research of your own. We all have access to news and information around the state, country and world at our fingertips. Look at the ‘studies’ from both sides of the argument. Look at the raw data from law enforcement at the local through the national level. Look at news yourself and don’t be lulled into thinking that just because one news outlet reports something it is fact. Be forewarned, the results may surprise you.

Or, you can simply start off your hypothesis with the phrase: Mirror Mirror on the wall….

Bob

#oddstuffing, #2ndAmendment, #2A, #guncontrol, #mirrormirror, #mewe, #oddstuffing.com

Executive Orders & Voter Apathy

Executive orders, the cure all solution when there is no mandate from the people, legislative body or even logic. Most commonly referenced as actions by the President of the United States, executive orders are not dribbling down to the State level.

Following the Governor of Oregon into the realm of non-mandated and abusive anti-gun regulations is this week’s Massachusetts Attorney General’s reinterpretation of the state’s “assault weapons” laws. She felt the sale of “copycat” rifles, semi-automatic rifles that strictly complied with the law, violated the spirit of the state’s 1998 “assault weapon” ban. Massachusetts’ newly defined test is if a firearm’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is therefore illegal.

The Attorney General’s decision certainly isn’t backed up by facts from her own state, which shows only a tiny fraction of deaths from any kind of rifles in the past seven years. In reality it’s just about banning more legally owned firearms.

When the anti-gun elite started going after the so-called “weapons of war”, they focused on the features claiming they made the firearms “more lethal”. Cosmetic qualities like pistol grips, adjustable stocks, barrel shrouds and flash suppressors, all of which have nothing to do with making a firearm more or less treacherous. When the firearms industry responded by producing firearms without these “evil features”, the anti-gun crowd had to adjust. In Massachusetts’s case, it’s now the mechanical features that operate the firearms that are considered “more lethal”.

Of course this will never end. One of the bills that did not pass this year’s California legislature was to reclassify all semi-automatic, magazine fed firearms as “assault weapons”. Most certainly it and others like it around the country will return next year as the next incremental step in disarming the population.

So where does voter apathy play into this? Sadly, it’s very simple. Since the firearm community is so badly fractured, there is little chance of any of these abusive decisions being reversed. Non-black rifle owners don’t see a threat to their firearms so they haven’t fully engaged. Many who just own deer hunting rifles or duck hunting shotguns are sitting on the sidelines. The same holds true for cowboy action shooters, curio & relic collectors and muzzleloaders. But the truth is, the threat to all of us is real. The political references to Australian-style confiscations, which targeted semi-automatic as well as pump rifles, shotguns and of course handguns, is preview of what is to come for the United States.

There’s one more element of these anti-gun laws and orders to consider. As select anti-gun states around the country are coming up with new and unusual ways of stripping firearms away from law-abiding citizens, other states are strengthening their Second Amendment protections. As laws are challenged around the country and conflicts arise in the judicial Circuits, the inevitable appeals will reach the United States Supreme Court. With the passing of Constitutional Jurist Antonin Scalia, the best any appeal can currently hope for is a four-to-four tie, upholding the lower court ruling brought before it. With the audacity and blatant rights infringements being offered up around the country, you can be sure they are betting on a split court and an anti-Second Amendment majority coming in January 2017.

We also have to consider that the nature of the Court’s rulings can be so limiting in scope as to be little help for the masses. Think of it as betting on which one of the two pigeons sitting on the branch above your freshly washed car is going to poop first. Just because you win doesn’t mean you don’t get crapped on.

All of this brings us to one critical reality for firearms owners. We need to come together right here and right now. We can no longer afford to stay within our circle of like-minded friends and resist only when it impacts us personally. We need to fight each of these infringements on our rights as if the law had our name and our personally owned firearms written at the top of it. We need to fight every law, every ordinance and every executive order like it is our last chance because one day soon, it will be.

Bob

#oddstuffing, #2ndAmendment, #2A, #executiveorders, #gunvote

Baton Rouge Prayers / California’s Powdered Wig Governor

A note before this weeks post:

Once again there has been a cold-blooded, hate fueled attack resulting in the deaths of three law enforcement officers, with three more injured, one barely clinging to life as I write. Elsewhere in this country, other officers have been shot and assaulted in the past 24 hours. While we wait for the details to come out, I ask you please take a moment to keep these offices and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

I also say to not let the coward thugs; punk criminals; terrorist wannabes and idiots of the world dictate our lives to us. If anyone is going to live in fear, it should be them. It IS time for a change.

Bob

California’s Powdered Wig Governor

Unless you were living under a rock over the 4th of July weekend, you heard California’s Governor signed a series of draconian gun control bills into law, then ran off to holiday in Europe. How positively colonial of him.

Less than 24 hours from when the bills were sent to him by the State legislature, the Governor signed six of them into law. Apparently he needed no further reflection, analysis or input on whether or not to strip the Second Amendment rights from the law-abiding firearm owners of his state. It’s almost as if they were predestined to be law and his signature was merely a formality.

The timing couldn’t be more of a slap in the face to citizens of our state and nation. Just days before Independence Day; the day thirteen former British colonies declared their independence from their oppressive British rulers. To top it off, California’s Governor then quickly scuttled off to Europe for a two-week vacation before the ink was even dry on these new authoritarian laws. His British Colonial Governor predecessors would have been proud and even a bit jealous. California’s Governor didn’t have to endure a slow sailing ship across the Atlantic to escape criticism from the commoners; he simply hopped on the private jet of a rich friend.

As is the norm for California’s government, all of the laws were in the name of “public safety” yet not a single one targeted criminals. Each and every one signed by the Governor targets law abiding firearms owners in the state.

So, what happens now?

Some are petitioning for a recall of the Governor along with calls for non-compliance and non-registration, plans to store firearms out of state with family and friends as well as plans to purchase of pallets of ammunition. Several manufacturers have already come up with new workarounds to the bullet button ban and even more hardware to eliminate “evil features”.

While all of these responses are laudable, there are some problems with them. The chances of successfully recalling the current Governor over this issue alone are exceedingly remote. Non-compliance may not be an option for some, as their professional licenses would be put in jeopardy if discovered. Taking firearms out of state does protect your ability to sell or hand down firearms to your descendants, but only if they move out of California. It also serves the State’s purpose of removing the “evil” firearm from its borders. Buying ammunition in bulk now to avoid the new in State-only purchase and background check system is a stopgap measure at best. How much ammo would you need to buy now to last the rest of your life? And finally, while I applaud the industry for coming up with the next great bullet button workarounds, these too are just temporary measures. Keep in mind one of the bills that did not pass this year would have made ALL magazine fed centerfire rifles a California “Assault Weapon”. Just as they successfully targeted bullet button firearms this year, you can be sure it will be proposed again and again and again until it does pass.

It’s important to remember the long-term goal of the anti-gun movement in California; the complete elimination of private firearm ownership. Each one of these laws moves them closer to that goal. Each firearm registered to become extinct with the current generation of owners and each firearm moved out of state gets them closer to that goal. Each firearm owner who gives up and moves out of the state removes another voice and another vote from California, gets them closer to that goal.

What needs to happen? California needs to stop blaming crime on the law abiding. California needs to stop blaming inanimate objects or irrelevant cosmetic features for the actions of criminals. California needs to punish those who commit crimes instead of those who have done everything by the book all their lives. What California needs is to take back our state in the name of sanity.

So while our Governor is in Europe being fitted for his new powdered wig to go along with his British Colonial way of thinking, it’s time for the citizens of California to start standing up to the government that no longer represents them. It’s time for real leaders who believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the ideals this nation was founded on to step forward. And right now may just be our last opportunity.

Bob

#oddstuffing, #2ndAmendment, #kalifornistan #gunvote, #gunrights, #prayforleos

Morality Lost

Like most normal people in this country, I watched last week’s events in downtown Dallas unfold with horror and disgust. In total 14 were shot, 12 were police officers, five of the officers were killed.  The officers were doing nothing more than protecting a peaceful protest, a protest of the very police who were protecting them – for the actions of other police officers.  My heart is absolutely broken for these officers and their families.

I say “most normal people” here because not everyone reacted this way. A disturbingly large fringe element celebrated these cold-blooded domestic terrorist killings and vowed to kill even more officers. They claim all officers are bloodthirsty racists who deserve to die because of the actions of individual officers. What kind of a nation have we become?

More than any time in my more than half century of life I see a highly polarized “us vs. them” mentality. It doesn’t matter if it is related to race, religion, politics, profession or any of a list of preferences that make up our lives.  It’s as if the moral fabric that bound us together as a nation, as a people, has been ripped away and every conceivable faction is now violently fighting for dominance claiming they ‘matter’ more than everyone else.

Where does this come from? Sadly, I say it comes from the top. Our local, state and national leaders who refuse to hold individuals accountable for their own choices and actions and instead use the publicity of select, hand picked criminal and terrorist events to further their political agendas. They blame public intolerance and a lack of moral sophistication for the criminal actions of one. They blame entire classes of law-abiding citizen for the criminal actions of one. They blame inanimate objects for the criminal actions of one. Our President, once again mere hours after this senseless violence occurred and while victims were still bleeding and fighting for their very lives; called for more gun control.

In 2008 our nation elected our first African-American President. At the time I thought to myself – This could finally bring an end to the racial divide in our country. Instead, I’ve seen the leader of our nation stoke the fires of race and hatred even further. Instead of moving us forward to fulfill the destiny of Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, he has pushed us back 50 years to the era that prompted King to march. One passage from King’s speech seems to have been lost by the current generation of citizens and leaders.

“But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”

We as a nation cannot place the needs of anyone or any group above that of others. In order to be a nation of laws, a nation of morals, a nation of equals, no one must be above the law or subject to a different set of rules than others. Those individuals who break the law – and those individuals alone – must be brought to justice and suffer the consequences of their actions in order for all of us to be equal and free.

There is absolutely no justification in the world for this type of indiscriminate attack on our nation’s law enforcement officers. The vast, vast, vast majority of our officers serve with honor and distinction each and every day; in conditions and through issues most would turn their heads in disgust or flee from. Yet they continue to serve as the thin blue line that separates us from lawlessness, making themselves a target of contempt and bullets.

A quote from Dallas Police Chief David Brown in the immediate aftermath of this attack adds some well-needed perspective. “We’re not gonna let a coward who would ambush police officers change our democracy. Our City, our country, is better than that.”

To those five officers in Dallas and numerous more around the nation who have given their lives in the service and protection of others, we salute you and vow to honor your sacrifice by never succumbing to the hate, the rhetoric or the violence of others.

Bob

#oddstuffing, #dallaspd, #moralitylost

Defending Old Glory

On Independence Day, the Fourth of July, we celebrate the birth of our nation. It was on this date in 1776 the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and thirteen former British colonies became the United States of America.

The American flag, also known as The Stars and Stripes, the Star Spangled Banner and Old Glory still has 13 red and white stripes representing the original 13 colonies and stars for each of the states, beginning with 13 and now numbering 50. The first official American flag was adopted on June 14, 1777, a date now celebrated as Flag Day.

Many of us older Americans recited the Pledge of Allegiance daily in school and can still recite it flawlessly today.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”

The American flag is more than just the most recognized symbol of the United States. It has come to represent the freedoms and values that brought this country into existence in the first place. It is proudly worn and revered by our military around the world and as a sign of patriotism for us at home.

With this history in mind, I cannot help but look in disgust when our flag is desecrated. With this year’s Presidential elections, it has become an all too common practice. Our flag is ripped, trampled, burned – and worse – by those wishing to make a political statement. The irony is of course that the symbol of the nation that allows them the right to free speech, assembly and protest is the very symbol they destroy. Unfortunately, desecrating our nation’s flag has been ruled a form of constitutionally protected free speech.

If you have read anything I have ever written you’ll know I am a very strong advocate of our Bill of Rights. I have always maintained the First Amendment is the most difficult of our rights and this is a prime example. When it comes to desecrating our nation’s flag, I respectfully disagree.

While I could care less if someone wants to destroy their own property, the manner in which the desecration takes places is where I feel it crosses the line from protected free speech to inciting a disturbance. Protests staged to create and provoke conflicts are not free speech. Burning flags in the targeted presence of those who have fought to defend our nation, who have lost friends and family to ensure our rights, who have given parts of their own bodies and souls so that we can be a free country is not free speech.

It should be noted that flag desecration around the world is generally illegal and carries various forms of punishment from fines to prison sentences and more. But that’s not who we are as a nation.

While there will always be those who have no respect for our nation or the symbol of it, there are many who choose to defend it. These are the men and women who risk their own safety to rescue our flag. It could be a 75-year-old Vietnam War veteran or his 21-year-old granddaughter just returned from her first deployment overseas who choose to step in. It could be just another proud citizen who still believes in what our flag stands for.

To all of you patriots who stand by our nation’s flag, I salute you and thank you for defending Old Glory.

Bob

p.s. If you’ve never heard Johnny Cash’s Ragged Old Flag, I encourage you to take a listen. It’s a nice little reminder of what our flag has been through, along with the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

The video is just over three minutes long and may be found at: https://youtu.be/a6vwXbQZvJo

#oddstuffing, #1stamendment, #billofrights, #oldglory, #defendingourflag #raggedoldflag

Terror vs. No Fear

Terrorist attacks in America. In all likelihood, there will be more just as there always have been. How we respond to this is what makes the difference.

There is no one single accepted definition of terrorism, however the commonalities include the use of violence, in a surprise attack, to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature. The perpetrators count on soft targets, catching victims unaware, unprotected and unprepared. The shock, the horror, the extreme violence causes us to be in fear for our safety – the very intent of the terrorist act.

While the terrorist commits the act, the instilling of the fear in the population is the part we bring to the table ourselves. After any attack, the broadcast media follows the “if it bleeds it leads” programming plan and covers the gore from every possible angle. Social media spreads uninformed opinions around the world like wildfire. With all of this it’s very easy to be overwhelmed with the violence and be overcome with fear.

So why don’t we approach this in a different manner?

For comparison, every time there is an earthquake around the world those of us in California take it as a warning and an opportunity to better prepare. We check our bug-out bag, our bug-in supplies and our emergency plans. It’s almost second nature. An earthquake somewhere else gives us a chance to make sure we are prepared. Think of a terrorist attack no differently and use this opportunity to learn and to prepare.

Post-attack we will do what needs to be done. We will care for those who are injured. We will mourn those who did not survive. We will seek justice for those who were responsible. But we must, and I mean MUST learn and prepare. Please note the “we” I am referring to is not the government, military or law enforcement, although they too must learn as well. I’m referring to ALL of us – the people who are actually in harms way, the ones who are the targets.

What did you think about after the attacks in Orlando or San Bernardino? You probably asked yourself – what would I have done if I was in that club or office building? If you did, that’s actually a good thing. It may sound morbid to try to learn from the death of innocent people, but ignoring it isn’t going to help keep you alive. You need to be prepared. Being prepared means having the tools and knowledge on what to do.

If you’re counting on someone else to protect you while you’re out in public, you are wrong. First responders are going to get there after the worst has already occurred. If you’re at a restaurant, theater, store or just walking down the street, you need to know how to take care of yourself. How are you going to respond to an active shooter? Do you have the means to fight or escape? Do you know how to take care of yourself if you are injured?

If you haven’t had training in self-defense, now is the time. If you haven’t had training in first-aid, now is the time. If you haven’t included training in situational awareness and not becoming a victim that you can use in your every day life, now is the time.

Remember, YOU and ONLY YOU are responsible for ensuring the safety of you and your family. When something happens, YOU will be the one to take care of EVERYTHING until help arrives.

Let me add one more component to this. What if while you were getting the knowledge and tools to prevent or stop attacks and deal with the aftermath of the attacks that do occur, others were doing the same? What if you were in a restaurant, theater or store with others who were able and willing to defend themselves?

Maybe it’s time the terrorists feared us.

Bob

#oddstuffing, #2ndamendment, #training, #nofear

National Disarmament Day?

Without question, the ultimate goal of the gun control movement is complete civilian disarmament. While feigning respect for the Second Amendment, they have been working tirelessly towards their goal for years with incremental “common sense” restrictions to “keep the public safe”. Limits on the types, brands and styles of firearms you can own, how many you can purchase, where and when you can carry your firearm for protection and limits on the type and amount of ammunition you can purchase are common. Add in a host of new laws on who can be stripped of their right to own a firearm without due process of law and they are well on their way towards the presumptive Democratic nominee’s desire to abolish the Second Amendment.

So, why not give them a day to try this grandiose plan out? We’ll call it National Disarmament Day and it will be on Monday, November 7, 2016, the day before the general elections. It will be 24 hours of gun control paradise.

Since the law abiding firearm owner is the only target of all the current and proposed gun control laws, on National Disarmament Day all lawful firearm owners will leave their firearms at home. You may have and use your firearms at HOME only. Outside the home, there will be no open or concealed carry. No carrying your firearm in your vehicle or at your place of business. No armed guards and no bonded, licensed or private armed security of any kind. The only ones legally armed in public will be law enforcement.

Understandably, there are some who will not want to go along with this plan. The good news is this is several months away and you have time to put in for the time off or close your business for the day. You may want to stock up on a few essentials ahead of time.

What will November 7, 2016 look like? One of two things will happen.

The first possibility is nothing will occur. There will be no crime, no violence and zero shootings. All of the legally owned firearms normally circulating in public will be gone. It will be the most peaceful day this country has ever seen.

The second possibility will look a little like the movie The Purge. Those who have the ability to protect themselves in their own homes will do so successfully. Those who venture out will be subjected to the wrath of an unchecked criminal element that will not hesitate to victimize anyone they come across. Businesses will be unable to protect themselves and will be looted. Law enforcement will quickly be overwhelmed and the National Guard, put on standby by the Governor of each state, will be activated to restore order. The number of injured and killed will be staggering.

Ready to sign up? Just go to www ARE YOU FREAK’N NUTS!?!?!

NONE of the “common sense”, “for the children”, disarm the law abiding citizen laws will ever do anything to disarm or discourage any criminal. In fact, it only emboldens them further. We are already at the point where the criminal or thug-terrorist has no fear of the law, the police or the courts. The only element they still fear is their victim. If that potential victim can adequately defend themselves, they will move on to a softer target. There is always a softer, easier target. They will go to a place and to people who do not have the ability to defend themselves. They will go to a “gun free zone” where they can act with impunity.

If you’re asking who in their right mind would go along with something like this, just look at the laws in place and being enacted or proposed in places like California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. This is the utopian vision of the gun control. It is brought to you by a group of political and economic elite who will never have to worry about their own security or the safety of their families.

Would you send your family out in public on National Disarmament Day? If the answer is no, then don’t allow your community, your state or your nation to become National Disarmament Day EVERY day.

Bob

#oddstuffing, #2ndamendment, #righttobeararms, #nationaldisarmamentday #getoutandvote!

Who is The Armed Citizen?

I am your family, your friend, your neighbor and your store clerk. I am the person you say hello to on your morning walks. You see me in the store, the restaurant, on the street and in your neighborhood.

Depending on your political point of view, you may think it odd I own or am carrying a firearm. You probably don’t understand why. Let’s clear up a few misconceptions you have about me.

I am not a remnant of the Wild, Wild West and I don’t fancy myself a junior G-man, secret agent or super hero. I am not a conspiracy theorist and I don’t wear a tinfoil hat. I am not compensating for alarmingly small genitalia. I don’t go around trying to get into fights and I certainly don’t want to put myself or anyone else in danger.

What I have done is gone through numerous background checks, completing many Federal and state forms along the way for the legal purchase of my firearms and the ability to carry them. I have completed every required training program and have gone well above and beyond that level of education. I train and practice often and take very good care of my firearms. I keep track of the latest legal cases to make sure I do not inadvertently run afoul of the law. The absolute last thing I ever want to do is use my firearm against anyone and I will do everything I possibly can do to avoid it.

I am also very well aware in the case of a self-defense incident where I have to discharge my firearm; my life will be turned upside down. Even if fully and unquestionably justified, I will very likely be handcuffed by the police, arrested and jailed until the situation is cleared up. My case may be taken by the prosecutor to a Grand Jury to determine what charges to bring. My entire life, every social media post, every letter, every comment to someone at a party will be scrutinized for possible indications of bias or callous intent. My training and my mental state will be evaluated. Some may wish to ‘make an example’ out of me, and my actions will be used to judge other armed citizens. I will incur significant legal expenses and my family will be harassed by those who feel that I was wrong to do what I did.

Why then am I an armed citizen? The answer is as simple as simple can be. Despite of the negative that may follow, I choose to live. My family chooses to live. I for one refuse to allow a criminal or thug-terrorist to decide it is my time, or my family’s time to bleed to death on a public street or in my own home.

Are there people who legally own firearms and use them irresponsibly? Of course. Just as there are people who drink too much, drive poorly, stand on the top steps of ladders and run with scissors. They are a minuscule population within the firearm community and I have as much problem with them as you do.

It is estimated that defensive uses of firearms outweigh felonious uses by 30-80 to one or between one and two million times per year in the United States. There isn’t an accurate number since this isn’t a metric collected in police reports. Nobody from the “gun control/gun safety” movement even wants to look for those numbers. They say they are statistically insignificant or simply don’t exist.

While you may not know I am a legally armed citizen, you still benefit from me being here. We are long past the days where any criminal fears the law, the police or the courts. The only thing they still have to fear is their victim. If they believe their potential victim is armed and can defend themselves, they will move on to someone who can not. They will find an easier target. (They’re criminals, not morons.) The more people like me, the more armed citizens there are, the less likely someone will be made a victim

In case you don’t remember me, let me give you my description. I am male, female or gender nonspecific. I am young, middle aged or retired. I am tall, medium height or a little short. I have a full head of brown/red/blond/black/purple/green hair or am bald. I am thin, fit & muscular or overweight. I’ll be wearing shorts & a tank top, jeans & polo shirt or a suit or long/short dress.

I am the armed citizen.

Bob

#oddstuffing, #2ndAmendment, #armedcitizen

Shame On Us

2016 will be a pivotal year for Second Amendment rights in this country. A Presidential contest between a pro & anti 2A candidate awaits us this November. The incoming President will select a successor for Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and will likely place another three Supreme Court justices during his or her term in office. The balance of power in the U.S. Senate is up for grabs. At the state level, even traditionally pro-2A states are being forced to fight gun control initiatives. In my own State of California, the Assembly is rushing through an unprecedented list of anti-firearm owner laws to beat the legislative deadline. Citizens along with state and national groups have been fighting furiously against what has been termed Gunpocalypse and Gunmeggedon and are hoping for some small reprieve from the Democratic Governor when the bills reach his desk.

But with all our focus on national and state matters, we seem to have forgotten to keep track of what’s been going on in our own backyard.

Last week in my own hometown, the City Council passed a one-year extension to a so-called urgency ordinance for a moratorium on new commercial operations engaged in the sale of firearms, ammunition and / or explosive devices.

A little background: The original Urgency Ordinance was passed on September 2, 2015 establishing a temporary 45-day moratorium for new firearm business licenses. It was the result of concerned citizens discovering there were four firearms retailers in the city and a fifth was in the process of being established. An initial attempt to regulate current and future retailers with a wide-ranging licensing ordinance, which in effect zoned the entire city out of bounds, failed. A much simpler local licensing proposal was successfully implemented and the zoning requirements were pushed over to the Planning Department.

On October 14, 2015 the City Council extended the moratorium for an additional 10 months and 15 days to allow the City staff time to adequately study the appropriate land use regulations. This extended the original date to a full year. Combined with last week’s extension, the City now has a two-year temporary, urgency moratorium.

The four existing firearms retailers in the City were notified of this extension, including one, which was planning a relocation that would not be possible during the moratorium period.

Included in the justifications for this extension were the retirement of the Community Development Director in February 2016 and the retirement of the City Manager in December 2015. Also noted was the potential impact of the recent Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling regarding zoning and gun shops in Alameda County – a restriction on firearms retailers within 500 feet of a residential area.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling is significant as it held the Second Amendment extended to the buying and selling of firearms. “The panel held that the Ordinance burdened conduct protected by the Second Amendment and that it therefore must be subjected to heightened scrutiny—something beyond mere rational basis review.”

Back here with my hometown City Council, there was no discussion of the progress made to date on the new zoning regulations or whether the delay was in fact reasonable. There was no commitment to any milestones or whether it would be completed by the next moratorium expiration date. There was no public comment. There was no debate. The ordinance passed unanimously.

The erosion and subsequent elimination of our Second Amendment rights come from all levels. It occurs not only in the legislative chambers in Washington D.C. and Sacramento C.A, but also in our local town halls. Each incremental intrusion on the Bill of Rights, each “common sense” regulation, each new rule, restriction, license and fee, pushes us further down the path of losing our rights all together. We all need to pay very close attention to what is going on at every level.

Shame on us. No, scratch that… shame on me.

Bob

#oddstuffing, #2ndAmendment, #moratorium, #shameonus

Memorial Day

Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 30 this year and it is a time for all of us to look back and pay tribute to the members of our armed services who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it was a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. It is generally believed the date was chosen as flowers would be in bloom all across the country.  Waterloo, New York is officially recognized as the birthplace of the ceremony on May 5, 1866; although many communities around the nation have the tradition dating back this far or further. Union and Confederate armies originally celebrated on separated days but later merged to honor all Americans who died in military service. The name Memorial Day was first used in 1882 but it was not official until 1967. In 1968 it was moved from May 30th to the last Monday in May, where it is celebrated today.

On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers those who have passed in service. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

The federal three-day holiday weekend sees traditional observances in large cities and small towns with parades and bands. In the current day, Memorial Day also marks the unofficial beginning of summer and has become a time for sporting events, sales, picnics and barbeques with friends and family.

You may also notice veterans and others wearing small, artificial red flowers known as the Remembrance Poppy. Beginning in 1921 to commemorate those who died in war, it is still worn by many today. It is based on the field poppy, Papaver rhoeas, and inspired by a World War 1 poem entitled “In Flanders Field”.

Growing up in a small town with parents who both served in the U.S. military, traditional observances are near and dear to my heart. Our local cemetery, like most others around the country, had small American flags planted in front of each veteran’s headstone. We were there every year to see the flags, read the names and remember.

If you have never visited any of our 134 national cemeteries or a state veteran’s cemetery, I encourage you to do so.  It is easy to not realize just how many of our men and women, our bothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers, our sons and daughters, have given their lives so we can live free. When you see the rows headstones and flags, it begins to sink in what the cost of freedom really is.

In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act. It encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.  Please consider this in your plans for the Memorial Day.

For all of us who live free for your service, we celebrate your memory, we honor your sacrifice and we shall never forget.

Bob

#oddstuffing, #memorialday