Gun Control – No Skin In The Game

In the ongoing battle between gun controllers – more accurately described as gun banners and gun confiscators – and Second Amendment supporters, it’s important to recognize who has what at stake. When the gun control zealots lose, they give up nothing except their false sense of security and it costs them nothing. Their rights are never lost and their own personal safety was never on the table. If they win, they gain further control over the unprotected masses that will need to come to them for protection. On the Second Amendment side, we are literally fighting to save our lives and the lives of our families. With each infringement it becomes more difficult to ensure our own safety at home and in public. If we win, we actually gain nothing more; we just get to keep our inalienable rights. 

A case in point is the City of Pittsburg who recently passed new local gun control ordinances place restrictions on so-called “military-style assault weapons” (among other things) despite having no legal authority to do so. Pennsylvania has clear preemption on all firearms regulations in the state. The rational behind preemption is clear. It is to prevent a patchwork of conflicting local laws that change without warning at invisible jurisdictional borders. What is legal in one part of the state becomes felonious elsewhere. Even the most conscientious law-abiding citizen would never be able to keep track of the changes as they travel through the state. Rights taken away locally also lead to second-class citizenship in parts of the state. 

So why did the City of Pittsburg do this? They simply have nothing to lose. In this case, the city council isn’t even using taxpayer money. Not that that would stop them, it’s not like it’s their own money, but in this situation all the legal services are being covered by a national gun control organization. All the city council has to do is listen, ignore public comments and cast a vote. What is at stake is the ability of activist enclaves throughout the state to disarm their citizens. If they lose, they lose nothing and there is absolutely no liability for them – or any lawmaker – for passing or attempting to pass unconstitutional laws.  But if they win, they become the darling of the gun control movement for having the courage to stand up to the evil and heartless “gun lobby”. 

Another example of not having any skin in the game is your local CLEO (chief law enforcement officer – aka politician with a badge) in a non-permissive “May Issue” jurisdiction. You as a law-abiding citizen wishing to exercise your Second Amendment rights and carry a concealed firearm for protection must prove to the CLEO that you have “just cause” and your need exceeds the resources and protection currently provided by local law enforcement. What exactly constitutes “just cause” is often a closely held, non-publicly disclosed secret, but that is the burden of proof you must provide. In practice, it tends to be less about the individual’s need and more about the relationship they have with the CLEO.

So why does the CLEO have no skin in the game? Because if they don’t issue you that elusive concealed carry permit and you are a victim of violent crime, you have absolutely no recourse. This includes situations where the law enforcement agency had specific actionable information about the threat and neglected or refused to take action to stop it. Time and time again, victims of violent crimes have attempted to take legal action against departments and individual officers for not protecting them only to have the courts repeatedly uphold the ruling that law enforcement has no duty to protect you. In fact, the only people law enforcement is duty bound to protect are the criminals in their custody. How’s that for sad irony?

Here’s a question for your permit denying CLEO. If your need for self-defense with a firearm is deemed to not exceed the level of law enforcement services in your locality, and entire state for that matter, are they willing to sign a waiver of their liability immunity? After all, if they aren’t willing to allow you the means to adequately defend yourself because they can do it, doesn’t that imply they can and will protect you?

Of course no CLEO is ever going to waive their liability immunity because they know there is no way in hell law enforcement can ever protect you from violent crime. The only “deterrent” they can offer is to investigate the crime after the fact and pray the perpetrator will be prosecuted and given some form of punishment. In the current age of activist criminal justice reform and the lack of accountability for one’s own actions this environment breeds, fewer and fewer criminals will ever face any meaningful punishment for the violent crimes committed against you. Simply stated, there isn’t really a deterrent any more. 

It is true you can challenge the CLEO’s refusal to issue concealed carry permits, as many have, but very few have gotten very far. To date the United States Supreme Court has not ruled favorably on Second Amendment rights outside the home. So there really isn’t a downside for the CLEO not issuing a concealed carry permit. The only option open to you is to pay more taxes for more officers so you can “feel” safer while the CLEO gains more power and control over the populace. Your actual safety isn’t really their concern. 

If you’re thinking the system is stacked against you, you are correct. The lawmakers can’t be held liable for unjust or unconstitutional laws because they also made themselves immune. YOU mess up and you will feel the full force if the law against you. They mess up and they run for another term based on their courage to challenge the system. 

The chances of getting any elected body to pass laws removing their immunity are basically zero. With no way to get their skin in the game, our only option is to elect representatives who will support and defend our constitutional rights. If they don’t believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, how long do you think it’s going to be before you have no rights left to defend?

Bob

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Semi-Automatic Mechanisms – The New Assault Weapons

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 tomorrow grow to include much more. 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 trendy thing is to call for a complete civilian ban on all semi-automatics. And you thought they just wanted your scary black rifles. 

The latest attempt to massively expand the type of firearms law-abiding citizens can own comes from 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.”

<deep sigh> Really folks? 

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 108 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 “full semi-automatic”, the ludicrous phase 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”. 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 100 million of the estimated 300 million, or 1/3, of all 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. A revamped, far left activist Supreme Court could interpret things completely differently or reverse Heller all together. 

Does it really make a difference what a little group of unknown anti-gun zealots with no knowledge of firearms says is “the most severe gun-related problem facing our society..”? Sadly, yes.  Because once the anti-gun media picks it up and spreads it around the country like it’s the most intelligent public safety idea that ever existed, it becomes mainstream thinking and sooner or later, it winds up in a new law. 

Yes, there are lawsuits being filed in every gun control state over the enactment of unconstitutional, do nothing gun control laws, but even in the absolute best of circumstances, it’s a crapshoot. The chances of getting these laws reversed is slim at best and even when they are reversed, new ones are crafted to take their place. 

The ONLY way to keep these kinds of unconstitutional laws from being enacted in the first place is to STOP electing anti-gun politicians. Regardless of how attractive their other platform items are, if they can’t support and defend the most basic elements of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, how are you going to trust them to do anything else? 

Meanwhile, take your vintage Mannlicher 1885 out for a shoot, while you still can. 

Bob

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Unapologetically Patriotic!

Today we celebrate the birth of our nation on July 4, 1776.  The United States of America is now 243 years old and stronger than ever.  On this day we celebrate as one people. But even as we do, we are told by the uber-politically correct that our patriotism is offensive because it is not inclusive enough. I have a simple question for these people. You do know this is the United States, the melting pot of the world, right?? 

With the exception of the Native American peoples, we are truly a nation of immigrants. This heritage has made us more diverse and stronger through the years. We are each proud of our individual cultures but even prouder of what we as a nation have become together. No matter where we came from, we are now all Americans. 

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

  • Is our nation’s first flag offensive because it came from the slavery era? NO!  
  • Is hanging Old Glory offensive because it doesn’t represent all peoples? NO!
  • Is saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of a government meeting or function offensive because some in the room may not be citizens? NO! 
  • Is saying “U S A” at a sporting event offensive because other nations may be in attendance? NO!
  • Is listening to, singing or standing for the Star Spangled Banner offensive because someone wants a little more attention for their pathetic, self-centered life? NO! 

You want to know what is offensive? Being made to feel ashamed because you are proud of your nation and want to practice respectful actions to show your pride and patriotism. 

I am not going to hide or tone down my patriotism because someone has come up with a new trendy belief that doing so is offensive. I am proud of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution – and damn right I know the difference between them. I am proud of our Bill of Rights and will support and defend them with ever fiber of my being. This IS the United States of America and we are patriots! 

I am unapologetically patriotic!

Bob

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Sacrificing Children For Gun Control

School is officially out for the year and everyone is diving head first into their summer plans. Something we wish our lawmakers and school administrators were doing during the summer months is making school shootings a thing of the past. Instead, come the start of the next school year, all we can expect to see is a bunch of plastic “Gun Free Zone” signs protecting our children from the next active shooter. Why? To be blunt, gun control politicians are using your children as active shooter bait. They know that when children’s lives are lost, they’ll be able to advance their completely unrelated and useless gun control agenda. 

It’s not as if the gun control politicians don’t know any better. The inconvenient truths are out there. 

  • 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in Gun Free Zones. 
  • The duration of most mass shooting incidents is less than the average law enforcement response time, and only after the incident has been reported.
  • Gun Free Zones deny law-abiding citizens their most basic Second Amendment right to bear arms while providing absolutely no protection from predatory actors.
  • Gun Free Zones provide nothing more than a false sense of security for those who enter them.

If you don’t think these politicians understand how to make an area protected and people safe, take a look at where they work. A secure perimeter where everyone has to go through weapons screening to get in. Nobody except them, select staff and their law enforcement and armed security are allowed to possess a weapon of any kind inside. They are protected and they can protect themselves. 

Contrast this to the security situation at your local school. Thanks to the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990, the public isn’t allowed to carry firearms at any public, private, and parochial elementary schools and high schools, and to non-private property OR within 1000 feet of them. The Federal law allows states and localities to grant exemptions to it, but states like California – which used to allow local school districts to decide if they would allow administrators, staff and teachers to be armed – has now completely outlawed the practice. 

Even in the schools that do have law enforcement officers on duty, some school districts like Baltimore, Maryland, do not allow their sworn officers to be armed. The result is sadly predictable. Unprotected schools are targeted by psychopaths who face no opposition in carrying out their plans. 

As the offices of the politicians themselves prove, this is a correctable situation. Schools can be secured, hardened against attacks and unauthorized access restricted. Armed law enforcement and security can be deployed to stop anyone who does try to harm the students and staff. As a last line of defense, volunteer administrators, staff and teachers can be vetted, trained and armed. 

Before you jump on the “teachers are there to teach not shoot” bandwagon, consider a few things:

  • With the exception of suicides or gang violence outside of school hours, no school that allows teachers to carry has experienced a death or injury from a shooting.
  • No student has ever taken a teacher’s gun. In fact, the only accidental discharge occurred outside of school hours and resulted in minor injuries for the teacher in possession of the handgun.
  • Not all teachers are interested or qualified in being armed, and nobody is going to force them to be. 

I’d also like to point out the similarities between airline pilots and teachers. At one point in time, our Federal Air Marshal program was robust and had marshals on many flights in and around our country. Over time, as the threat of hijacking diminished, the bean counters decided they were too expensive and massively cut the program. Then 9/11 happened. Only AFTER the fact, did the Air Marshals get re-staffed and returned to the skies. At the same time, airline cockpits were hardened and the Federal Flight Deck Officer program started to train pilots to carry weapons and defend aircraft against criminal activity and terrorism. 

Why did they do this? Because they knew from history what would, and has already happen. Once the initial shock and threat has faded, the bean counters started looking at the number of arrests the Air Marshals made and decided the program could again be scaled back. What remains is the piece that the airplane can’t do without, the pilot – and the hardened planes. The very same thing will happen with armed law enforcement and security personal in schools. Once the shock and threat has faded, budgets will be cut and they will be gone, but the teachers – and the hardened schools, will remain. 

Politicians and schools know how to fix this, but they are unwilling to spend the time and money to do it. The massacre at the high school in Parkland, Florida could have been stopped before it started if not for massive incompetence by federal, state, county and local authorities. The school itself had not acted on threat assessments that could have stopped or limited the loss of life. 

Instead of taking concrete steps, or allowing the school districts themselves to take concrete, proven steps to stop the violence, the gun control politicians pre-write their tweets and speeches in preparation for the inevitable next attack on soft target schools with the most vulnerable of our population waiting to become victims. They will repeat their call for laws such as universal background checks / firearms registrations, so-called assault weapons bans and myriad other useless programs that have never done and never can do anything to stop criminal or terrorist violence – or would have stopped the incident that just occurred. The ONLY impact of these gun control laws is to keep firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. 

If these politicians want to “do something”, they should tackle the root causes of crime like the economy, poverty, jobs and mental health in our nation. They might also want to rethink their so-called criminal justice reform efforts that release violent criminals back onto the streets with no punishment or accountability for their actions. 

If you want to keep children safe in schools, stop electing gun control politicians who are willing to sacrifice children in the name of gun control. 

Bob

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Do You Lock Your Doors At Night?

All parts of our country are covered by a law enforcement agency, even if they are a significant distance away. Shouldn’t that be enough to protect your home? The answer is very simply the police can’t prevent your home from being broken into.  They can only respond after the fact to investigate and attempt to bring the perpetrators to justice. That after-the-fact ‘deterrent’ is what is supposed to stop the crime from occurring. That same deterrent effect is what is supposed to be protecting you and your family from assault, rape, robbery, murder or other mayhem in public. The only thing different is you don’t have a locked door between you and criminal. 

Let’s start back at your house. What prevents burglars, robbers and home invaders from getting into your home is having a hard target. That means a house that can prevent criminals from getting in in the first place. Lights outside so their approach can be seen, cameras so they can be observed on your property, sturdy locks properly installed in heavy door jams to prevent them from getting in and alarms to alert you of their unlawful entry if they are able to get inside. These things, and many more, will help prevent the crime from being committed in the first place. 

Criminals may not be the smartest people in town, but they aren’t morons. If there’s a choice between a hard target and a nice soft, unprotected one, they’re going to pick the soft one every time. 

Now let’s talk about you and your family out in public. You don’t have a nice thick, solid core door with deadbolts to carry around with you. You have yourself and whatever you carry with you to keep you safe from harm.  That means how successful you’ll be depends a lot on your gender, size and skills. 

Sad but nonetheless true, the elderly, women and smaller statured individuals are victimized at alarming rates. Quite simply put, without an effective force multiplier, they are not able to defend themselves from larger or better-armed assailants. There are a variety of effective self-defense items available, up to and including firearms. Your choice of what would be effective depends a lot of your physical abilities. 

Even worse, far too many jurisdictions in our country say you are already adequately protected by whatever law enforcement agency is there and that you do not need to carry a firearm for protection. They say you do not have a special need or sufficient ‘just cause’ to carry a firearm. Even though it is the most effective force multiplier available, it isn’t available to you.  

Now take a look at yourself from a criminal’s point of view. Are you hard target? Do you present a confident, strong image each and every time you are in public? That doesn’t mean you walk down the street in your gi, growling at dogs and punching streetlights. It means you are engaged, alert, on the lookout for threats instead of being fully engaged in on social media on your smart phone.  How you conduct yourself is a major consideration for perspective attackers.  

Side note: If you aren’t familiar with Col. Jeff Coopers Color Codes of Awareness, I strongly encourage you to read it and get some quality self defense training. 

So what is going to prevent someone from victimizing you and your family? It’s not the police who are minutes to hours away. It’s not the prosecutor or courts who in many cases aren’t even willing to give criminals a slap on the wrist any more. It’s fear of their potential victim that will stop them. It’s the criminals fear that they will be injured or killed themselves that will keep them from attacking. 

In parts of the country where the average citizen is not legally allowed to carry a firearm for defense, there is very little to prevent them from attacking anyone they have a physical advantage over.  If they are carrying some kind of weapon – and most criminals are – then physical advantage is less important. 

It boils down to this. Your safety and the safety of your family is your responsibility. Just as the locks, lights and alarms at your home is your responsibility, so is your safety in public. If you think you can effectively delegate this to the police because you paid your taxes, you are very, very wrong. To be safe you need to have the most effective self-defense force multiplier that is right for you readily available.

Until our elected officials get off their collective asses and start working on the causes of crime like poverty, jobs and mental health, and parents return to teaching their children about right from wrong, responsibility and accountability– crime is going to continue to increase. 

YOU are the only one who can prevent yourself from being a victim. Become the hard target no criminal wants to deal with.  

Bob

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Just Because They Say It…

Free speech is a wonderful thing, a natural, God-given right of all Americans protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. But with free speech, you inevitably get people who ignore reality and make up their own fantasy world. This is what we face when anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment politicians start talking about guns and “gun violence” in the United States. Just because they say it, doesn’t mean it’s true. 

In a recent speech in Brazil, our 44thPresident made the following comment: 

“Some of you may be aware our gun laws in the United States don’t make much sense. Anybody can buy any weapon any time —without much if any regulation, they can buy it over the internet, they can buy machine guns.”

Our former President of course knows better, but as an ardent foe of the Second Amendment protected right for individuals to keep and bear arms, he gets to make up his own imagined world where only he, his government and other elitists can have firearms. 

Anyone who has actually purchased a firearm knows he is full of the worst kind of BS. The vast majority of firearms are purchased from FFL (Federal Firearm Licensee) dealers who must run a background check before delivering a firearm. And while it is true you can purchase a firearm over the Internet, the part he’s leaving out is unless you are a FFL, it has to be sent TO a FFL to do a background check, just like any other firearm purchase. If you are a felon, domestic abuser, convicted drug user, adjudicated as a “mental defective”, illegal alien, dishonorably discharged from the military or have renounced your U.S. citizenship, you cannot be sold a firearm.

Can you buy a machine gun? Yes, but thanks to the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Hughes Amendment in 1986 there are a finite number of legally transferable fully automatic firearms available in our country. Those examples run in the 10’s of thousands of dollars and require an ATF tax stamp and extensive background checks and notifications, a process that takes many, many months.  

Yet if you take our former President’s statement at face value, it sounds like anyone in the country can log onto Amazon, order a fully automatic firearm and have it delivered to their home in two days, presumably for free if it’s Prime. 

It’s not like our former President hasn’t made up his own reality before. He’s infamously said “… this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.” Of course, you have to keep in mind when they compare worldwide “gun violence” rates; they pick and choose the countries to include so as to make the US look far worse in comparison. They preface their comparison list by referring to it as the list of “advanced” countries.  As an example, our southern neighbor is not on this list. However, if you look at worldwide violent death rates, Mexico ranks 15th and the United States ranks 85th out of 172 nations. Remember, if you are setting up your own gun control reality, adjectives matter.

California’s current governor / wannabe dictator recently added his half cent to the debate following a horrific incident and decided to perpetuate the former President’s myth by saying “Recognize and reconcile that we live in the only country in the world where anything like this happens.” 

Very sadly, neither of these men is telling the truth. Violence, mass violence, so-called “gun violence” and worse atrocities occur at a daily rate around the world. Simply putting on blinders and making up an argument that our nation is the most deadly place in the world as a pretext for eliminating your Second Amendment rights is quite simply a lie. 

It is rather interesting our former President chose to make his latest comment in Brazil, a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world. It could be because Brazil’s new President is making good on campaign promises to ease his nations draconian gun control laws on firearm and ammunition purchases.  During the latest decree signing, he said, “it is an individual right of the one who may want to have a firearm or seek the possession of a firearm… obviously respecting and fulfilling some requirements”.  

More lies and more useless gun control laws that only limit the rights of law-abiding citizens are not the answer. But when you have no interest in solving the real problems that cause crime and violence, it’s the perfect scapegoat to get what you really want – total civilian disarmament and control. 

Remember, gun control does absolutely nothing to increase public safety and the answer to fix that shortcoming is always to implement more gun control.

Bob

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The Lunatic Fringe of Gun Control

When it comes to gun control, there is no shortage of bizarre ideas that are supposed to put an end to “gun violence”. With this in mind, I’d like to share with you a couple of my favorite new additions to the mix and their likelihood of success. I present to you speed bumps, flowers and magic!

The first is from a Seattle Councilmember, a member of the Socialist Alternative party, who wants the city to use raised flowerbeds and speed bumps to reduce drive-by shootings in the Central District. Of course, she’s also calling for the standard “common sense gun measures,” which includes banning all semi-automatic firearms. Keep in mind this Councilmember is looking for gun violence reduction measures that do not involve more policing of the areas where it has been occurring.

Apparently the logic behind these ideas is that people who are considering committing murder on a public street will be deterred because they may scrape the bottom of their getaway car on the speed bumps. Likewise, the calming effect of flowers planted along the sides of the streets will induce such a feeling of peace and calmness that the thoughts of murder will be purged from the shooter’s mind. 

Of course, speed bumps might have been a good idea years ago when most people drove sedans, but today’s car buyer prefers pickup trucks and SUVs, which have a lot more ground clearance. Speed bumps just aren’t going to be as much deterrence to the modern and trendy drive-by shooter.  

Now, it’s hard to argue with bright, colorful flowers being calming. But if beautiful flowers calm, dead flowers may just trigger the opposite reaction. Taking care of these flowers is going to be a stressful job for the new army of city-funded florists. 

The raised flowerbeds however are an idea I can get behind, literally.  Made with thick wood frames and filled with dirt, they would be a great source of cover from incoming rounds.  This will be especially important since the Councilmember doesn’t want additional law enforcement resources in the area. I’m assuming some “duck and cover” training for the residents will come with the new flowerbeds. 

Hopefully Chicago, Baltimore and Los Angeles, cities with some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation – the same “smart gun control laws save lives” being pushed everywhere else – will realize the power of speed bumps and raised flowerbeds. 

Then we have an anthropology professor at Dartmouth College who claims that magic could influence people to use guns to kill other people. She based this on her studies of street politics, insecurity, and social performance in contemporary urban Haiti. Her own quote is the best way to describe this: 

“It would be shortsighted to dismiss these claims as the misguided logic of a ‘superstitious people…That racially inflected trope, long used to marginalize and demonize Haitians, among others, blinds observers to the way in which guns do exhibit a power akin to magic: the power to create a change in someone’s state of mind.”

Folks, I cannot stress this enough. Do NOT let the magic in your firearms turn you into a homicidal maniac. For this very reason, I’ve insisted on having a proper exorcism performed on all of my firearms. Purists – and 1911 shooters – will insist on a Haitian Vodou (Voodoo) priest for this job. Yes, it costs a little bit more but ya know, that peace of mind is worth it.  

Okay, enough of that nonsense. 

In all seriousness, how do these ideas differ from the other useless theories coming out from gun control zealots?  These are the same people who believe putting up a Gun Free Zone sign will actually “repel” homicidal maniacs intent on committing mass murder against defenseless victims.  

You want to make people safer? Address the root causes of poverty and crime. Address mental health and treat it like physical health, something society doesn’t scorn and ridicule. Address parenting, morals and respect for others along with the other basic life skills we seem to be ignoring. Address taking responsibility for ones own actions and holding people accountable for what they do. Address punishment for those who actually commit crimes instead of punishing the law-abiding.

There are no easy fixs to societal problems. But instead of doing the hard work, we have nitwits like this and the rest of the gun control groups saying ‘this one law / one new thing will save lives’. And when that fails, it’s another new law that will save lives. And another. And another. And another. 

Bob

#oddstuffing,  #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #GunControlFails, #LunaticFringe, #SpeedBumpsFlowersMagic,#Voodoo, #RealSolutions, #mewe, #medium, #oddstuffing.com

p.s. In honor of speed bumps, flowers and magic, please enjoy Red Rider’s 1981 hit, Lunatic Fringe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqUa_G1h3pw

Sanctuary

The concept of sanctuary dates back thousands of years. Sanctuary was usually in the context of a religious organization providing a place of safe refuge for someone accused of some type of crime. Throughout the years, the legal significance of sanctuary within the walls of a place of worship diminished, however the concept mutated to political jurisdictions where sanctuary is granted against allegedly unjust laws. As you might expect, you can only support sanctuary for a politically correct cause, otherwise you’re just a criminal.   

Sanctuary cities in the United States got their start in San Francisco, California in 1985 with the “City of Refuge” resolution. It was followed by an ordinance prohibiting the use of city resources to assist federal immigration enforcement.  In the eyes of supporters, so-called sanctuary cities are better off when residents are not in fear of being deported. There are now more then 500 such sanctuaries across the United States.

While there is some logic to the argument, the contention that these individuals haven’t broken any laws is completely invalid. Federal immigration laws exist for many reasons. Less the Native American peoples, we are a nation of immigrants and millions upon millions have jumped through the proper legal hoops to join our nation. 

The federal government, who is responsible for the security of the nation and to oversee immigration, is obviously not supportive of these sanctuary cities. Efforts to force them to comply with federal law have been mixed. Threats of withholding federal grants and funds to sanctuary cities have been met with lawsuits and injunctions, which are still winding their way through the courts. The cities and states that support immigration sanctuary call the federal government racists, the laws unjust and say they have the moral obligation to provide refuge. 

But what happens when a jurisdiction within a sanctuary state says they do not agree and decline to be a sanctuary area? You then see the state threatening to withhold state funds and grants, or those involved face prosecution if they do not comply. If this sounds a lot like the same ‘evil tactics’ the federal government is being accused of, you’re right. The only difference is it is the state imposing its will on the cities and counties. In other words, if you support the politically correct cause, you are okay. If you don’t, you’re a criminal. 

Left wing politicians call the supporters of sanctuary cities and counties in non-sanctuary states heroes for doing what is right for their counties and say the state should stay out of the way of these localities. 

Fast forward a bit and you now have gun control zealots in charge of many state legislatures. Their so-called “common sense public safety measures” tend to trample the Second Amendment to death. But, since they do this in the name of public safety, activist/politician judges have ruled these infringements acceptable and provide the legal stamp of approval.  This has given rise to a new type of sanctuary, the Second Amendment Sanctuary City/County/State.

Second Amendment sanctuaries have adopted resolutions prohibiting the use of city, country or state resources to enforce gun control measures that violate the Second Amendment. Much in the same way immigration sanctuary cities are refusing to cooperate with laws they see as unjust, Second Amendment sanctuary areas are refusing to cooperate with laws they see as unjust. And the movement is spreading. At last count, three states and many jurisdictions within 11 more have declared themselves as Second Amendment sanctuaries. 

As you might expect, the reaction within gun control states has not been favorable. Threats of withholding state funds and grants as well as prosecution for not following state laws are leveled at those responsible for declaring themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary. 

Left wing politicians call the supporters of Second Amendment sanctuary cities and counties in non-Second Amendment sanctuary states rogue politicians, sheriffs and police chiefs who are out of touch with their communities and the call for the state to force them from office or prosecute them for disobeying state laws. 

A little hypocritical? You betcha! 

On one hand, you have supporters of immigration sanctuary openly defying federal immigration laws they believe are unjust. They call the efforts of the federal government to deny them federal dollars illegal and immoral. 

At the same time, and most often the very same group of people, say there is no justification for Second Amendment sanctuary against the gun control laws THEY enacted and vow to withhold state dollars, as well as threaten Second Amendment sanctuary supporters with prosecution for defying them. 

To me this boils down to a single key concept: the lack of respect for the rule of law. 

Despite what many believe, this nation is a republic, a nation of laws. If we were a pure democracy, 51% of the population could vote to take away the rights of the minority 49% and it would become the law of the land. But our republic says you have to obey certain basic rights principles – the Constitution – from which our entire system is built. Even if 99% of the population votes to take away the rights of the remaining 1%, the 1% would be protected, as the law must still pass Constitutional muster. 

The Constitution and Bill of Rights aren’t optional documents. You don’t get to pick and choose the rights and laws you like, while ignoring the ones you don’t. You don’t get to implement your own interpretation of other people’s rights just because it better fits your social agenda.  And lastly, we seem to have forgotten the concept that nobody is above the law. If the law applies to one person, it applies to every person. Yea, I’m looking at you US Congress.  

I admire people who see an injustice and want to correct it. But you don’t get to do that by making up your own laws to follow, and then punish those who do the very same thing with the laws you are unjustly imposing on them. 

Perhaps we should choose our representatives a little bit more carefully. 

Bob

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A Word Of Thanks

A slight diversion from my usual rants to do some thank you’s. For the past two years I’ve been in the Lassen Community College Gunsmith program in Susanville, CA.  I am proud to say my time there is now complete. This was an extremely intensive program covering all aspects of the classical gunsmith trade and I can now look forward to applying the skills and experience learned here with confidence. But it would have never happened without the incredible friendship and assistance of my compatriots.  

I was very lucky on so many things associated with this program. Not just to be able to get accepted to the program when I did, but to be able to come in with such a great group of fellow students.  Not that any group of incoming students wouldn’t be good, but I believe this was an exceptional group.  Not only that, but to be able to get into a work group with talented and supportive friends. 

Gunsmith students are an interesting lot and not what you would expect the typical community college student to be. Most are older – or a lot (damn) older – and working towards second or third careers. Single, married, some with children, even adult children of their own. Each uprooted and relocated from their homes, families and lives all over the western US.  All with their own unique love of just about every kind of firearm. 

Now imagine cramming all of these talented and opinionated oddballs into limited shared spaces, 12 & 13-hour days with long lists of skill development deliverables and homework. Homework?!?! At my age?!?!  What the hell!!! Yup, in addition to learning the trade, it is still a college course. So, homework. 🙁

Throughout these two years we all went through a lot, both in the program and in our own lives. An African proverb says it takes a village to raise a child. Well, I’m going to say it takes a great group of fellow students to raise a gunsmith. 

I know for me, I would never have been able to make it through this without the support and assistance of my teammates. I know there were many times where I ran full speed into a brick wall and if I didn’t have someone to toss stupid questions by, ask for a fresh set of eyes and a clearer mind, give me a helping third hand or 11thfinger, or simply a kind word, some understanding and a bit of encouragement to continue on, I would have never made it.  I know I learned as much from my teammates as I did through the course curriculum. We shared lessons learned, bad experiences and issues with guns likely designed by Satan himself.  My success through the program, and now being able to take what I have learned out into the world is a direct result of the exceptional people I was lucky enough to work with here. 

To say that I am beyond ecstatic of being able to be home with my own family now is an understatement, but I am also sad that our time here is over. Over the past two years, I’ve spent more time with my teammates here than I have with my own wife. During that time we became very good friends and I will miss this group of insane characters more than I ever would have expected. 

While I am sad that we are all going our separate ways to different corners of the country, I am also confident that we will keep in touch and continue to share our personal and professional adventures as we have here. I know in my heart that I will see my teammates again as the thought of not doing so would be intolerable to bear. 

Thank you my friends. It was a hell of an adventure and I can’t imagine going through it with anyone else but you.  I’m proud of what we accomplished together and know that we will continue to learn, innovate and achieve based on what we did together.  

Godspeed to you all. 

Rodd

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