Reclaiming NOT Expanding Second Amendment Rights

Perhaps as soon as this week, the United States Supreme Court will issue a decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. The issue before the court is whether the state of New York’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment. However, it is the underlying facts that may ultimately decide whether Second Amendment protected rights are applicable outside the home. This case has the potential to be as significant as Heller and McDonald. 

As with all Supreme Court cases, it could be a narrow decision applicable only to New York’s highly restrictive and discriminatory conceal carry permit laws, or wider to include other states with similar conceal carrying permits that require applicants to show “proper cause” or a “special need for self-protection”, namely California, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. There is also the chance this ruling may even include setting the standard by which all Second Amendment cases are to be decided. 

What it is NOT is an expansion of Second Amendment rights. This is a lie created by the gun control groups to scare people into thinking they will be less safe. None of it is true. 

Despite many people trying to pick apart, redefine, reinterpret or creatively reimagine it, the 27 words of the Second Amendment remain extraordinarily clear. 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

One of the most widespread misconceptions about the Second Amendment is that it grants the right to bear arms. The truth is, it does nothing of the kind. It merely protects that right. The right to bear arms is considered a natural right, one that is not dependent on the laws or customs of any culture or government. Rights of this kind are also called inalienable or even God given rights, inherent to all persons.

Despite this, the nation, states and individual cities and communities have been writing laws to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms since it was adopted on December 15, 1791. In fact, those defending New York’s highly restrictive gun control law in Bruen note that the law is over 100 years old, thus they claim any reversal of it would be an expansion of Second Amendment rights. 

But what the anti-gun zealots call an expansion, is in fact a reclaiming of rights that preexisted BEFORE the unconstitutional gun control law was put in place.

Sadly, Bruen shows how long it can take to reverse unconstitutional laws. If in fact the law in question is over 100 years old, then it took over 100 years for it to be successfully challenged and appealed to the United States Supreme Court to be (hopefully) ruled unconstitutional and reversed. 

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

As is the norm now for cases being decided by the Supreme Court, states and cities around the country who disagree with projected decisions are preparing their response. Not how to fully comply with the decision mind you, that would mean they accept the decision of the highest court in the land. Since they know better than the Supreme Court, they are crafting ways to circumvent the new law-of-the-land and accomplish the very same thing just ruled unconstitutional in a new and creative way. 

This is nothing new, especially in the gun control community. Each time a ruling comes out against a gun control law, the anti-gun zealots come up with new ones to take its place. States with highly restrictive concealed carry laws have been particularly good at coming up with new requirements like physical and mental health exams, training and qualifications, multiple interviews, waiting periods, numerous trips to the police station for appointments, all only available during the day during the work week, and ever-increasing fees, fees and even more FEES to help limit who they have to give a permit to. 

Remember that each and every time a state has proposed eliminating permits for concealed carry, gun control zealots, led by the activist Giffords organization, has flooded the airwaves and internet with “research” and “studies” showing this would directly lead to people settling all their disputes in restaurants, bars, stores and the streets with guns. It would be the wild, wild west and there would be blood running in the streets of American cities. 

Yet each and every time, the exact opposite has happened. Violent crime has gone down and public safety increases. 

As we wait for the Bruen decision, let’s keep in mind what has been happening with regards to conceal carry across the country. 25 states now do not require a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public, otherwise known as constitutional carry. That’s half the country that says you don’t need government permission to lawfully carry a firearm outside your home. The national trend is clearly in the opposite direction from New York’s highly restrictive permitting scheme, and there are at least 25 states where we are all safer because of it. 

It shouldn’t take 100 years to reclaim your Second Amendment protected rights. Only you can prevent unconstitutional gun laws from being enacted in the first place.

Yes, it does matter who you vote for. 

Bob

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USS SCOTUS Succumbs To The Swamp

For the first time in the 232-year history of the United States Supreme Court, the full text of a draft opinion was released to the public in advance of the actual ruling. While there have been other minor leaks of information about pending decisions, there had never been anything like the leak of the draft in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a case which may reverse or severely limit the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. 

For me, the case itself is immaterial. The fact that the confidentiality of the Court’s deliberations has been breached is of more concern. With this leak, the final branch of the United States government has succumbed to the depths of the swamp. I am sad to report the USS SCOTUS has sunk. 

One of the great distinguishing characteristics of the United States Supreme Court had always been its lack of leaks. Of the three branches of government, SCOTUS has always been unique in that it has never been a source of major political leaks, whereas the other two branches leak like a sieve. Why the Administration and Congress even have press offices is a mystery when more partisan information, and disinformation, flows out the back door than through the official channels.

It’s not that SCOTUS isn’t political, the fact that there are conservative and liberal wings of the Court instead of simply having Justices that rule on Constitutional and rule of law issues without an ideologic filter proves that. 

Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an investigation into the source of the leak calling it an “egregious breach of trust”. The latest news of the investigation indicates some of the Court’s law clerks are seeking legal representation after being asked for phone records. A bit on the ironic side. 

There are some interesting points about the leak itself. That the draft opinion is dated February 10th and the story didn’t publish until May 2nd is part of the intrigue. Did the highly partisan left “news” outlet hold onto the story until a specified time for maximum political impact, or did it take that long for the leaker to get it to them? 

The biggest question is of course who leaked the document. Numerous articles from those with experience in the Court indicate access to this type of information is strictly limited to the nine Justices, each of their four law clerks and a few administrative personnel. As such, the speculation has been wild, including: 

One of the liberal Justices
One of the liberal Justices’ law clerks 
One of the conservative Justices 
One of the conservative Justices’ law clerks
Chief Justice Roberts himself
The President of the United States (although someone would have had to leak it to him)

Most everyone agrees the reason was to pressure one of the conservative Justices to change their minds on a subsequent, final vote. The alternative view is it was done to distract the people from the many issues the country is facing including the out-of-control inflation and price increases, a looming recession, shortages of consumer goods, supply chain issues, skyrocketing crime, an unsecured border, and our disastrous foreign policy (Afghanistan, Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, China, Taiwan, etc.), to name but a few. Either, or both is plausible. 

The Administration has been quick to add fuel to the fire by not only encouraging protests at the homes of the conservative Justices, illegal under federal law, but by refusing to investigate or prosecute these crimes. Congress also refused to pass legislation to increase security for the Justices and their families following the arrest of a man who admitted he was going kill one of the conservative Justices: The Speaker of the House commented: “There will be a bill. But nobody is in danger over the weekend because of our not having a bill.” Confident words of encouragement from someone who lives in a security bubble. 

There has been the usual “Reform the Court” talk that typically follows the news of a potential Supreme Court decision that does not comply with the wishes of the extreme left. The same “pack the court” and “term limits for justices” arguments were dusted off and paraded out to the press. 

It’s not like there isn’t precedent for successful pressuring of the Supreme Court. Recall the Senate Democrats “Heal Thyself” letter threatening to pack the Court if it didn’t moot the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. This letter is widely credited with not only Chief Justice Roberts decision to moot the case but to more firmly side with the left wing of the Court. As a result, the Court was saved from being packed, at least temporarily. But this capitulation showed the Court can be politically influenced and is in danger of no longer being an independent branch of government. 

Will the leaker and anyone involved in the leak ever be identified and brought to justice? I’m going to guess no. I believe the person or persons responsible may already be known but will never be publicly outed. Why can best be explained by quoting Obi-Wan Kenobi. “If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can imagine.” 

Publicly identifying, terminating, and criminally charging the leaker would create a martyr, someone who would become powerful political figurehead for the extreme alt-left. As such, the world may just live with rumors and suspicions, and another asterisk next to Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts. 

What this means to us in the Second Amendment community remains to be seen but I’ll repeat what I’ve said before. Yes, it does matter who you vote for.

Bob

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Sacrificing Our Children 

I am shocked, angry, and disgusted.

As we await the final details of what happened in Uvalde, Texas, I am shocked at the horrific loss of young, innocent life. I cannot even imagine what would possess someone to commit such an atrocity. I am angry that the now commonplace, proven best practices were not followed and for the response that may have cost lives. I am disgusted by the politicians who jumped in front of the nearest camera to push their political agenda while children were still bleeding. Disgusted, but at the same time not at all surprised. 

There are a lot of questions that will need to be answered here and I fear it will be quite some time before all the facts are brought to light. Some are likely to be very disturbing. Like most decent people, I will wait until the investigation is complete. 

What I will comment on now is the disgusting display of anti-gun politicians, activists and talking heads who immediately upon hearing the news of this horrific event, grabbed their prewritten and staged gun control plans, and raced to the nearest willing “news” outlet to spew their lies about how THEIR new gun control laws must be enacted now! All of this while the bodies of those killed are still warm and the injured are still bleeding, fighting for their lives. 

Who have these gun control zealot politicians, activists and so-called journalists blamed for this shooting? The Texas Governor (for making it easier to carry concealed firearms to protect yourself in public); Republican politicians at the local, state and federal level (for supporting the Second Amendment); The firearm manufacturer, distributor and retailer (who all followed the absolute letter of the law); The NRA (who held their annual convention the weekend following the shooting and have yet to have a member responsible for a mass shooting); And every responsible firearm owner who’s ever owned a AR-15 pattern rifle (since AR-15’s only exist to kill innocent people en masse). 

Notably absent from the to blame list for this tragedy, and every other shooting that doesn’t fit a certain left-wing narrative, is the actual person who committed it, the killer. It’s almost as if a deraigned psychopath who commits murder isn’t important in the greater push for more gun control. 

So why haven’t schools been hardened and secured, with armed police/security on duty at every school? Here’s my theory, and it’s not very nice: 

The anti-gun zealots are willing to sacrifice our children to get more restrictive gun control passed. What better way to get votes than to have sensational news and social media coverage about dead children killed by GUNS. They categorically refuse to consider any other option to prevent the loss of innocent lives. It is ONLY about the GUNS, and little coffins make that happen.

Don’t believe it? California had already banned properly trained and licensed teachers and administrators from carrying firearms on school grounds. This reversed a previous law allowing local superintendents to decide if and who could be armed. Now California is considering a bill, passed in the Senate two days AFTER the shooting in Uvalde, which would allow schools to not report threats or attacks against employees or officials to law enforcement.  

There has been a nationwide left-wing push to remove police officers from schools because of alleged police “explicit and implicit racism” and an imagined “school-to-prison” pipeline. Thus, the very people who should be working inside schools to protect students and staff from those who mean them harm are intentionally kept away. Meanwhile, schools are protected by signs declaring them as a “Gun Free Zone”. 

Keep in mind 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in a “Gun Free Zone”.

The final word comes from the President of the United States who refuses to consider hardening schools since only guns are the problem. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says proposals that deal with “hardening schools…is not something that” President Biden “believes in” b/c “the problem is with guns” in America.

What would help? Schools hardened against threats, single entrances, locks, alarms, surveillance systems and armed law enforcement on site and trained/armed teachers and school staff. None of this is new. Following the Columbine massacre more than 20 years ago, everything about school security and law enforcement response to active shooters changed. There are programs all across the country to evaluate school security and create a plan to bring them up to date. Elected officials only need to ask for the help.

It’s not like politicians don’t like hardened buildings and armed police on site. Look at the offices and buildings our United States Representatives and Senators work in. Look at every state capitol around the country after the fictional threat of a nationwide attack circulated. Look at local school board meetings where law enforcement officers are in the aisles to protect the school board and arrest parents who dare to question them. Look at the FBI who, despite denials, are investigating concerned parents as domestic terrorists. 

Would it cost a lot? Yup, it sure would. But while our federal government is sending billions of dollars overseas, it defers school security decisions, and costs, to the state and local levels. Meanwhile, our same federal government is more than willing to impose new draconian gun control laws across the country to every state and local jurisdiction. 

Several states, including California and New York, as well as the federal government, are rushing to ram through massive gun-control packages while emotions are still raw. This repulsive effort is directly out of the playbook of former Presidential Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, which states: “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.  The tragic loss of life is simply an opportunity to progress an agenda that couldn’t get traction before. 

Naturally, none of the proposed new laws would have done anything to prevent this tragedy or any other criminal act. They only impact the law-abiding, making them less safe. 

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

Our nation doesn’t need new laws, it simply needs to enforce the ones we already have. We need to hold those who commit crime accountable for their actions. Social justice district attorneys across the country are refusing to do their jobs and prosecute people who break the law. This has directly led to massive increase in violence and crime. On the rare occasion criminals are actually caught by a defunded police force, they are seldom held more than a few hours and rarely go to prison anymore. That’s not much of a disincentive to committing any type of crime and the results of these social justice experiments can be seen across the country. 

And what about fixing our mental health care system? That’s a whole nother story. 

Something does need to be done, and it’s getting rid of politicians willing to sacrifice our children in order to push their dangerous and irresponsible gun control only agenda. 

Yes, it does matter who you vote for. 

Bob

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Washington’s Starter Magazine Ban

Following in the footsteps of other anti-Second Amendment states, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed three new gun control measures last week. The bills include a ban on so-called “ghost guns”, further bans on carrying firearms in public places and of course, banning magazines over ten rounds. With this, the Evergreen State joins nine other states who have restricted magazine size in the unfounded claim of public safety. 

In the Governor’s announcement, Inslee boasted, “The NRA’s stranglehold on this state has been broken. And the reason is because of the courage of the parents, and the courage of legislators, too …” Here we see the Governor evoke the past reputation of the NRA. Like all politicians who want to sound a little tougher than they really are, he adopted the ‘I took on the NRA and won’ lie. 

In a further ridiculous move, the Governor attempted to imply a threat of violence from law abiding firearm owners, closing the state capital for several hours before and after the bill signing. The Washington State Patrol said there was no specific threat, but the closure was a “prudent precaution”. 

News stories of the signing attempted to link the new laws to increases in public safety by noting the completely unrelated information that robberies with a firearm in Los Angeles, California, are “up 44 percent from 2021” and “57 percent from 2020. Missing from the story is California’s decades old ban on so-called “high capacity” magazines (the enforcement of which is being held up pending the resolution of Duncan v. Becerra) or that California has the “strongest gun control laws in the United States”, boasting a Gun Law Scorecard Grade of A. 

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

Limiting the ability of law-abiding citizens to effectively defend themselves under the guise of making everyone safer implies everyone who buys a firearm with a standard capacity magazine is the next mass shooter in waiting. The vast, Vast VAST majority of the 400 million plus personally owned firearms in this country are owned and utilized lawfully. They prevent crime and defend their owners an estimated one to two million times per year in the United States, with defensive uses of firearms outnumbering felonious uses between 30 and 80 to one. 

In the title I referred to Washington’s new law a “starter: magazine ban. I call it this because it includes a grandfather clause. Grandfather clauses are a popular way to get gun control legislation to pass. It’s illegal now, but since you already own it, you won’t have to give it up. This makes it easy to sell the ‘nobody is coming for your guns’ line when you don’t have to give up what you already have. But there’s a lot more to it than many realize. 

One of the biggest problems with the grandfather clause is your property can never be passed along to your family. How many of us have been bequeathed a firearm or accessories from a parent, grandparent or other relative? Other than the actual monetary value, those items represent a passing of heritage from one generation to the next.  Except now, your too-dangerous-to be-in-your-civilian-hands magazine will never see the light of day again. Hopefully your descendants will be satisfied with what they are allowed to own in the future. 

The other, less publicized consequence of a grandfather clause is it is nothing more than words on a piece of paper. At some point, a gun hating politician is going to look at all those grandfathered items out there and simply say – let’s get rid of them.  The grandfathered exemption is taken away and your property, the property they promised you could keep for as long as you lived, is now illegal for YOU to own and you must turn it in or be criminally charged for possession of illegal items. 

Think it can’t happen? Way back in 2000 California outlawed so-called “high capacity” magazines. Anything over the arbitrary 10 rounds was ruled as too-dangerous-to be-in-your-civilian-hands unless you already owned them – the grandfather clause. Then in 2016, they changed their minds and removed that exemption. Go ahead and turn them in please. 

Grandfather clauses are nothing more than deferred confiscation notices. It may not be for a few years or a few decades, but that grandfathered item is going to be taken and destroyed.

Washington absolutely will update their so-called “high-capacity” magazine law one day and possession of any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds will be made illegal. Count on it. 

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

Bob 

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And Indiana Makes 24!

On Monday, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed the bill which removed the permit requirements for open or concealed carry in the state. Indiana now becomes the 24th constitutional carry state in the nation, the third to do so in 2022. Are you noticing the trend yet? 

As always, the gun control zealot groups opposed this but were joined by the Indiana State Police, officers and representatives from the Fort Wayne Police Department, Evansville Police Department, the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police. 

Opponents, many of whom involved in the now defunct, “Defund the Police” movement, claim to be backing the police by saying it will put law enforcement lives in danger. They also falsely claim “Weakening permitting systems has increased gun violence in other states and is broadly opposed by law enforcement, including law enforcement in Indiana.”

Again, I highlight the opposition from law enforcement groups. While the official stance of the “department”, it typically reflects only the opinion of those at the top, the chief law enforcement officers, and their rulers-in-waiting staff, whom I collectively refer to as politicians with badges. Meanwhile, survey after survey of the rank-and-file officers dramatically opposed to gun control laws. Still, public policy and enforcement priorities are set by the politicians, not those who are actually working the street. As such, many are faced with the choice of following orders of dubious constitutional validity, and not having a job. Sadly, it is the citizens who lose in this situation. 

In condemning constitutional carry, the gun control crowd always point to self-funded “research” which shows how strong gun control laws make the public safer and weak gun laws spur violence. Of course, they fail to mention that the violence is in the most gun-controlled areas and they always blame the weaker gun laws of OTHER states, which DO NOT have the same violence levels as the most gun controlled areas. 

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

Congratulations Indiana! 

Bob

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And Ohio Makes 23!

On Monday, March 14th, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill removing permit requirements for carrying a concealed firearm in the state. His action follows last week’s adoption of constitutional carry in Alabama. 

As was expected, the usual suspects of gun control / anti-gun zealots were involved in trying to defeat the bill. And, just as troubling as it was in Alabama, a number of law enforcement groups aligned with the gun control community. 

The Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Ohio Fraternal Order of Police and the Ohio Mayors Alliance joined a number of sheriffs in opposition. 

Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey said, “It’s a fantasy to think this is going to make us safer.” “The shooting accuracy of trained deputies and police officers drops to about 40% in high stress situations. And that’s for an expert shooter. You are going to have people carrying that have no training.”

In another article at another time we can talk about how sad and inaccurate Sheriff McGuffrey’s comments are, both on referring to deputies and police officers as “expert shooter”s and that the general public has no training and would not be able be as accurate. 

But this shouldn’t surprise any of us as the same false rhetoric about shoot-outs over minor issues, blood flowing in the streets and cities turned into the wild, wild west was being spread in Ohio. 

In case you haven’t noticed, when it comes to gun control, the chief law enforcement officers, those I refer to as politicians with badges, have little need the constitutionally protected rights of the citizens they are supposed to be protecting. If the solution doesn’t involve THEIR department, THEIR discretion and THEIR officers, it is unnecessary and dangerous. 

This should concern each and every one of us, in every state. The gun control zealots are going to do everything they can to reverse these laws and bring back the arbitrary, expensive, and discriminatory practice of having someone decide who is deserving of being able to defend their own life and the life of their families.  

Every seat in every election is important. Those who cannot defend the entire Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution instead of just the rights THEY agree with, do not deserve to represent us. 

Meanwhile, our attention is now turned to Georgia who may become the 24th to become a constitutional carry state.

On a sad note, the Republican supermajority legislature of the State of Florida has closed their 2022 session without passing constitutional carry. 

Congratulations Ohio! 

Bob

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Constitutional Carry in Alabama!

On March 10, 2022, Alabama became the 22nd state to eliminate the need to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm. 

Fun fact: On March 1, 2021, I wrote about Utah and Montana joining the ranks of constitutional carry states, making for a new total of 18. I like the way this is heading. 

Alabama now joins Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming in recognizing citizens right to concealed carry a firearm for self-defense.

As the gun control / anti-gun zealots have done every time legislation is considered to allow permitless carry for firearms, they put their propaganda machine into overdrive. Alabama was no exception. Wild stories spread about how there will be shoot-outs over minor issues, blood flowing in the streets and cities turned into the wild, wild west. 

Among those who spoke against constitutional carry was the Alabama Sheriff’s Association, who worked with the ultra-anti-gun group Moms Demand Action to attempt to defeat the bill. When asked if he would support an amendment to the Constitution explicitly limiting Second Amendment rights to the home, Alabama Sheriff’s Association director Robert ‘Bobby’ Timmons said, “Oh yeah…I’d be in favor of that. But, I mean, it would never get passed.”

Mobile Sheriff Sam Cochran even made the often used false suggestion that constitutional carry would create an environment where a criminal who currently cannot carry a gun would be able to do so.

Many contend being able to carry a firearm outside your home is a privilege and subject to any form of “reasonable” regulation, control, and fees the government decides to impose. The most frequently used comparison – and used again in Alabama – is to that of a driver’s license. Of course, the ability to operate a motor vehicle on a public highway isn’t a constitutionally protected natural right, it is a privilege. But that’s what the gun control lobby want you to believe, that driving a car and carrying a firearm are the same thing. They have always wanted to restrict or revoke your rights and turn them into privileges they can control and restrict. 

If you have to ask for permission to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to pay a fee to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to take training and tests to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to carry a license or permit to exercise a right, it’s a privilege.  
If you can be denied exercising a right, it’s a privilege. 

They point to “emerging data”, self-funded “academic studies” and “research” showing how violent crime will increase when permitless carry is allowed. They allege that only strong, “may issue” carry laws are appropriate. Only laws where persons applying for permission to carry a firearm in public must prove they have “good cause” or “justifiable need” to carry a firearm as well as demonstrate they are of “good character”. This is usually combined with significant mandatory training, substantial license fees and the ability of the issuing authority to deny their permit for any reason, or no reason at all, is the only way to allow a precious few the privilege of being able to carry a firearm outside their homes. 

What really happens when more people are allowed to carry concealed firearms? Violent crime goes down. That’s all. No gun fights in the streets, no people shooting up the town or duels at high noon. Maine’s experience is typical. The state went from the third safest state in the nation to the safest state in the nation following their move to being a constitutional carry state.

Note that I mentioned the anti-constitutional carry Sheriffs and Sheriff’s Association here by name because it is important for the citizens of Alabama to understand where their elected officials stand on protecting their constitutionally protected rights. Reserving rights for themselves and those they determine worthy of being able to defend their lives and the lives of their families falls far short of their oath of “… support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Alabama…”. Hopefully the citizens of Alabama will remember this the next time they see these names on a ballot. 

Congratulations Alabama! 

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Yes, The Second Amendment Is Still Relevant

The world is focused on Ukraine right now and the heroic efforts being made there to remain a free, sovereign nation. While the Ukraine military is putting up a valiant battle against a larger and more technically advanced military force, everyday Ukrainian citizens have been called up to fight. There is no fiercer and more determined fighter than one who is defending their own soil.

Just before the Russian invasion, Ukraine’s parliament granted permission for Ukrainians to carry firearms and act in self-defense. It then began distributing assault rifles and ammunition to anyone who would help defend the country. Everyone, from politicians, teachers, businesspeople to mothers and grandmothers have answered the call. 

Even prior to this last-possible-moment shift, civilians across the country were joining up with the military and reserves for as much firearms and medical training as they could get to help out. Militias are being formed around the country. Everything from makeshift vehicle barriers to Molotov cocktails are being produced in homes, garages, and businesses. The people themselves are forming the last lines of defense and the first stages of insurgency against a potential occupying army. 

The effectiveness of these last-ditch efforts remains to be seen. Waiting until the very last moment to introduce your citizens to firearms and prepare them to fight for their lives is probably not the best course of action, yet it is more common than not. Very few countries engage their entire population in their plan for defense. 

Firearms in the hands of the civilian population have proven time and time again to make the difference between freedom and oppression, between unchecked violence and safety, between life and death. 

While we’re waiting for the results of what happens in the Ukraine, it doesn’t take too deep of a look into history to see the effectiveness of civilian owned firearms in war torn places like Vietnam or Afghanistan. Likewise in civil disturbances like the 1992 Rooftop Koreans in Los Angeles or the South African business owners in last year’s riots. 

In the United States alone, a CDC (Centers for Disease Control) study 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 the events involved the discharge of a firearm by the civilian.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution spells out the protection for this natural right quite simply. 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Free nations are praising the Ukrainian citizens and both sides of the US political aisle are applauding their tenacity, resourcefulness, and their willingness to take up arms for their country. 

Therein lies the rub. 

This same self-reliance and self-organization being praised in Ukraine is frowned upon here at home by gun control zealots who call those who choose to protect themselves and their families as gun nuts or crazy preppers, the result of toxic masculinity and white supremacy, regardless of gender or race. 

The United States of America exists today because of citizen soldiers who chose to take up arms to defend their own soil. They owned and used their own firearms and formed their own militias. They carried firearms for self-defense. Not unlike what has gone on for generations all over the world. 

More and more law-abiding citizens in the United States are purchasing firearms and getting training. The last two years have seen record numbers of firearm purchases, 40% of which are to first time gun owners. These people are realizing the Second Amendment is still relevant today and that now, more than ever, you are and always will be your own first responder.  Your safety and the safety of your family is your responsibility, just like it always has been. 

We hope and pray that the tenacity and guts of the Ukrainian people, backed up with sufficient arms from their government and the international community, will keep them a free people. 

Meanwhile, let us never lose focus on the fact that we too someday could be in the very same situation as they are. So yes, The Second Amendment is still relevant. 

Bob

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Maine Scores a F – HURRAY!! 

A story circulating in the local news and media this weekend reports the Giffords Law Center has given the State of Maine, my new forever home, a score of F in its 2021 Annual Gun Law Scorecard. You know what, that’s a damn good thing and I couldn’t be prouder. 

For those of you who don’t know them, the Giffords Law Center, formerly known as the Legal Community Against Violence and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, is an ultra-left-wing activist and legal support center for gun control. Under the guise of “gun safety”, Giffords is known for assisting states and municipalities create highly restrictive gun control laws. They also provide pro bono legal services, so government entities have nothing to lose by implementing ever tighter gun control regulation. Chances are if your state or community is trying to implement some form of gun control, the Giffords Law Center’s fingerprints are all over it. 

So why did Maine score so badly? 

Giffords says of the “The State Of Gun Violence In Maine”: “Maine’s lack of basic gun safety laws puts its residents at grave risk, and lawmakers owe it to their communities to stand up to this crisis.” “Maine passed a reckless permitless carry law in 2015 that allows residents to carry loaded, concealed handguns in public without a permit or background check.”

One would think that with a score of F, Maine would be one of the most crime ridden, violent states in the country. In reality, the exact opposite is true. Maine has always been an extremely safe state, routinely ranked as # 1, 2 or 3 with New Hampshire and Vermont. It’s important to note that New Hampshire and (until recently) Vermont also have the same ‘dangerous’ lack of gun control laws. 

Giffords makes a big deal of Maine’s 2015 decision to allow a “reckless permitless carry law in 2015”. As they always do when any state or institution proposes Constitutional / permitless carry, Giffords flooded the public with messages that predicted it would be the wild, wild west in Maine and people would be settling all their disputes in the streets with guns. Of course, EACH and EVERY time Constitutional / permitless carry is implemented, the opposite occurs. Crime goes down, as it did in Maine, placing the state firmly as #1 on the safest list. 

What does Giffords want Maine to implement? 
Universal background checks
Gun owner licensing
Extreme risk protection orders
Most domestic violence gun laws
Assault weapon restrictions
Large capacity magazine ban
Waiting periods
Concealed carry permit
Open carry regulations

Giffords also notes “More than 88% of gun deaths in Maine are suicides, and nearly 54% of all suicide deaths in Maine involve firearms.” 

To this I respond as I did in my September 12, 2016, article, “Gun Control vs. Suicide Prevention”, suicide is NOT gun violence. 

The gun control lobby has forever included suicide numbers in their counts of “gun violence victims”. They’ve also infamously included mass shooting perpetrators who took their own life after killing others or were lawfully killed by law enforcement. Why wouldn’t they, it increases the numbers. However, I don’t see an individual taking their own life and an act of violence towards another person – by any means – as being the same thing. One is done voluntarily to oneself; the other is done involuntary to another.

In case you’re curious who scores the best on Giffords Scorecard? California (A) and New Jersey (A) with Connecticut (A-) Illinois (A-) New York (A-), Maryland (A-), Massachusetts (A-) and Hawaii (A-) following closely behind. 

Perhaps those draconian gun control laws the Giffords Law Center are pushing are contrary to what is needed for actual safety. Yes, Giffords and the rest of the gun control zealots point to evidence from research (funded and directed by gun control advocates) that says, “gun laws save lives”. At the same time, they ignore the skyrocketing violent crime rates in the most gun-controlled states and cities. Perhaps allowing law-abiding citizens to carry firearms for their own protection and the protection of their families is the deterrent the rest of the country should be modeling. It seems like Maine is the state doing things right. 

Note: The official Maine motto is Dirigo, Latin for “I direct” or “I lead”. I’d say it’s time for those gun control states to start following Maine’s lead.

A final thought for you to ponder. You want to go someplace safe with your family. Are you going to choose A ranked California or New Jersey, or F ranked Maine? 

Bob

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Smart Guns – They’re Ba-ack!

Much like the evil that came from beyond the static in Poltergeist, so-called smart guns are trying to reach out and take over your gun safe. No, that’s not an over exaggeration. Despite no interest from the firearms community, the smart gun concept is being pushed by gun control groups and the government as the greatest advancement in “gun safety”. That should be a clue. 

As I wrote on May 6, 2016 – “Not So Smart Guns”, the technology these so-called smart guns are based on has been around for years, but with huge limiting factors. Hollywood loves to showcase this kind of technology as being 100% accurate in only allowing a designated person to fire the gun. In the real world, it is sketchy at best. 

The previous state of the art was German made Armatix iP1, a 22 LR pistol which required a special watch be worn on the shooting wrist to communicate through RFID and unlock the gun. It also featured a time out lock feature and an optional Target Control module which would allow it to fire only at permitted targets. While the battery life and questionably l o n g time required to connect and unlock and the RFID were all reasons to not trust something like this with your life, it was very quickly discovered the security could be defeated quickly and effectively with… a small magnet. They didn’t even have to hack the perpetually insecure RFID technology, they just had to know where to place the magnet.

Fast forward to 2022 and we have three companies leading the new smart gun charge. SmartGunz, LodeStar and Biofire. These ‘new & improved’ smart guns use much of the same technology that has been tried before. SmartGunz uses RFID technology, albeit passive (but still hackable) with a ring containing an RFID chip. LodeStar also uses RFID technology with a ring or bracelet RFID chip, but also adds a fingerprint reader, pin pad and Bluetooth for smartphone activation. Biofire utilizes a fingerprint reader. 

The downsides to all this tech? Well, the most obvious is battery life. All the tech in the world only works when there is sufficient charge to run the computer chips. Then of course there is the hackability of RFID, Bluetooth and the smart phone itself. Rings and bracelets get lost or simply not worn and anything that reads fingerprints doesn’t work with gloves or sweaty or bloody hands. Advertised limitations also include ONLY being able to shoot right-handed or with the hand with the RFID ring or bracelet on it.  

The SmartGunz offering is reported to be in testing by an unnamed law enforcement agency, in the corrections field.  In a recent video demonstrating the SmartGunz product, a range officer clearly says he’s going to fire two rounds but is unable to get the firearm to shoot the second one. The SmartGunz’s one model, with one magazine/battery, will retail for $2,195 or $1,795 for law enforcement.

SmartGunz was at the 2022 SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show, but despite claiming their product will be available for consumers by April 2022, did not bring a working model. Perhaps because they intend to sell directly to consumers but ship to a local FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee) to run the background check and deliver, they didn’t feel the need to show off a working model at SHOT. But then you’d think they’d want the industry’s leading manufacturers, wholesalers, dealers, trainers, and firearms experts in the civilian, law enforcement and military fields to be able see and potentially recommend what they are bringing to the market. Perhaps. 

There is still no word on if the new smart guns will have GPS and remote lock capabilities, something built into the previous generation. The real danger surfaces when those two features are combined. Like the GPS software in newer drones, geofencing allows a virtual barrier to be placed around sensitive areas disallowing operation. The most common areas for drone operators are airports. Now move this into firearms restrictions. Government buildings, Post Offices and courts are the first to come to mind. But what about schools? Since anything within 1000 feet of a school is already a federally defined gun-free zone, your smart gun probably won’t work there. If you live within 1000 feet of a school, the Second Amendment won’t apply to you.

Now consider a riot, protest or disturbance of any kind in your neighborhood. The beauty of connected systems is a geofence can be set up anywhere, anytime. The first action taken to an incident in your neighborhood can easily be a gun-free geofence set up around it to protect the first responders. It won’t matter if you are the one lawfully defending yourself at the time, all smart guns will be shut down.

Like most people in the firearms industry, I have no issue with the development of new firearms technology. However, I do get concerned when it has the potential to be mandated. A 2002 New Jersey law banned the sale of any handgun EXCEPT so-called smart guns once they became commercially available. That law was replaced by a 2019 law that required all firearms retailers to offer smart guns for sale when available. While New Jersey is leading the way here, I expect other firearm restrictive states will jump on the bandwagon soon. 

As a reminder, firearms are supposed to do ONE THING and one thing only, sending projectile out the end of the barrel every time the trigger is pulled. Anything that has even the remotest possibility of preventing that from happening is a threat to your life. Safety, security, and marksmanship are the sole responsibility of the owner, not a computer chip.

For someone like me who has invested many years of his life into the promotion and training of firearm safety, that ONE THING is EVERYTHING. Adding not-ready-for-prime-time electronics into something that is designed to be a last chance to save your life is unwise. I would hate to see a situation where someone bet their life or the lives of their family on a smart gun only to have it fail. 

Remember, just because the government says something is safer and better for you, doesn’t mean it is. If you don’t believe that, go out and buy a new government approved design gas can. The good news is at least you won’t have to defend your life with it.  

Bob

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