A Direct Threat To Public Safety

This quote was part of the California Governor’s response to the ruling from U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez declaring the state’s 32-year-old ban on so-called “assault weapons” unconstitutional. While this matter is nowhere close to being final, the June 4, 2021, ruling in Miller v. Bonta is a substantial step forward in the restoration of Second Amendment protected rights in the State of California, as well as the rest of the country. 

The first part of this ruling is: 

“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle, the AR-15 is the kind of versatile gun that lies at the intersection of the kinds of firearms protected under District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and United States v Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939).”

Of course, the Governor and State Attorney General Rob Bonta immediately attacked this ruling:

“Today’s decision is a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period. The fact that this judge compared the AR-15 — a weapon of war that’s used on the battlefield — to a Swiss Army knife completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon.”

By attacking the analogy used by Judge Benitez instead of the facts of the case, then continuing to perpetuate the “weapon of war” lie, it showed how little understanding the Governor and Attorney General really have about firearms, crime, violence and the Constitution.

The comparison is apt as the iconic Swiss Army Knife is universally recognized as an indispensable, multi-function, multi-use tool. The Judge could have just described the fact that the AR-15 is an indispensable, multi-function, multi-use tool, but he decided to use the common analogy to make the point. Thinking it compared lethality or anything else is absurd. 

Of course, the “weapon of war” lie is one of the most popular myths among the gun control extremists. It attempts to portray the AR-15 as the exact same firearm used by military forces. Naturally it is not, and the incredibly HUGE difference is military firearms that ‘look’ like the AR-15 are select fire; having the ability to fire multiple rounds per trigger pull, either in a burst or fully automatic. The AR-15 has NEVER been used by our military or any other as a “weapon of war”. It is simply a semi-automatic firearm, just like any other semi-automatic firearm without the so-called “evil” cosmetic features. But you already knew that. 

While the full ruling is 95 pages long, I encourage you to take some time and read it. Like all of Judge Benitez rulings, it is extremely well thought out and documented with verifiable, factual evidence, even if the State of California ignores it. The link to it is below. 

The big question is of course, what happens now? Judge Benitez stayed the ruling for 30 days within the ruling itself, ironically expiring on the 4th of July. The State will appeal, as they have promised in their public statements.  

California is the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, well known for its hostility towards and rulings against anything Second Amendment related. Cases in the Ninth tend to be decided by the political ideology of the judges assigned to the case rather than facts or Constitutional issues. 

The success in this case was made possible thanks to generous donations and the member supported organizations behind it. The cost has been significant and will continue to grow as it goes to the next stage. 

Now realize the State of California has unlimited resources to fight this case. Why unlimited? Because they are fighting this with YOUR tax dollars. The highly exorbitant tax dollars you pay to the state not only pay for their socialist agenda items, but to litigate cases like this to protect their ability to strip your rights away from you. If the State needs more money for the effort, they simply shuffle money from one account (like the DROS fund) to another. If they run out of money, well guess what, there’s more of that where it came from, YOU. 

And let’s not forget the billionaire funded anti-gun “grassroots” groups and lawyers who do not want this case to become precedent for the entire country. 

With the ruling stayed pending appeal, the State has everything to gain and nothing to lose by dragging out their appeals. The longer the case go on, the more resources are drained from firearm rights organizations. More dollars spent on this case means less dollars spent in other cases. All they need to do is drag this case out long enough for the 5-4 conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court to be reversed, or the Supreme Court to be packed by liberal appointed Justices, whichever comes first. 

This case is FAR from over and it is going to be years before it makes it to the Supreme Court. Even so, there is no guarantee it will be granted a writ of certiorari OR be heard by a Court supportive of Second Amendment protected rights OR be adjudicated in our favor. Even in the absolute best of circumstances, it’s a crapshoot. The chances of getting any law reversed, even a bad one, is slim at best and the only ones who are certain to win are the lawyers. 

I will repeat what I have said time and time again, the ONLY way to prevent these kinds of idiotic, non-sensical gun control laws from going into effect is to STOP electing people who are promising to take away your rights. 

Bob

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/firearmspolicycoalition/pages/5381/attachments/original/1622850515/Miller_v_Bonta_Opinion.pdf

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The REAL Strength of the NRA

The NRA’s 2020 Annual Meeting begins today in Tucson, Arizona. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, attendance has been strictly limited. That is unfortunate as this is the time members should be present to make sure their voices are heard. There is good, bad & ugly going on with the NRA right now and the timing is far from coincidental. Not only are our Second Amendment rights being threatened in every corner of the country, but our ability to organize and fight for our natural rights is as well. But guess what, the real power isn’t the NRA, it’s us. 

To the gun control extremist, the National Rifle Association is the 800-pound gorilla everyone wants to take down. In order to be taken seriously within the anti-gun rights community, you have to say you’ve taken on the NRA and won, true or not. To them the NRA is the gun industry spokesman, stands for violence and against “gun safety”, each point of which is untrue. 

The gun control zealots see the NRA as something that once eliminated, “common sense gun safety laws” will prevail. It’s a similar logic to always being one more gun control law away from everyone being safe from “gun violence” in our communities. Of course, that one more gun control law never works, so they have to make just one more gun control law. 

Sadly, the NRA has been battling its own internal demons lately as well as trying to defend itself from well-timed and coordinated attacks from left wing prosecutors. Allegations of out of control spending, self-enrichment and cronyism have been plaguing the leadership and Board of Directors. Add to this the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the Attorney General for Washington, DC have both filed suits to dissolve the NRA completely over its mismanagement of funds.  

The Attorneys General from New York and Washington DC are of course politically motivated and have timed their legal actions to coincide with the run up to the Presidential elections. The NRA is a major contributor to Second Amendment supporting candidates around the country. By embroiling the NRA in lawsuits they need to defend themselves from, the NRA will have less funds to spend around the country. 

Above and beyond the internal issues that have come to light recently, many complain the NRA has lost its way. Some say the NRA has been too rigid and aggressive when it comes to gun control issues. Others claim the exact opposite, that the NRA has been too lax and not done more to fight gun control measures at the local, state and national level. I’m more on the later side, but then I just recently moved from California where the Second Amendment is fast becoming nothing more than a memory. 

The NRA continues to be the largest provider of firearms safety and firearms training in the world. It provides specific training programs for new and experienced shooters, women, law enforcement as well as safety programs for children. It even provides non-firearm safety training. The NRA provides expertise, grants and education for clubs and ranges helping them be safer, better parts of their communities. 

For me, I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken classes to further my instructor skills in non-firearms safety, range safety, civilian and law enforcement firearms use. I’ve taken club leadership and range development programs to make the club I helped run, run better. The range services program helped us identify potential issues with our range and, through NRA grant programs, helped us update our range to keep our members and community safe well into the future. I later joined this program and with NRA supplied training, have helped other ranges improve their own facilities and operations. 

My Mrs. started a program for new women shooters in our area, something I and many other volunteers in the community were very happy to assist with. The NRA program itself was extremely generous, but my Mrs. was able to get a grant from the local chapter for firearms and supplies after the State of California made it illegal for us to borrow firearms for use in our program. 

Through all of this, I’ve found the real strength of the NRA isn’t the lobbying, the legal efforts or the money, it’s the members. It is members coming together for a purpose, coming together for their community and coming together for each other. 

The NRA has some of the finest, most dedicated and conscientious people I’ve ever met, both paid and volunteers. There are also a few jerks who are there for themselves. But guess what? That’s the same in every organization everywhere, government, private sector or charity. We need to not judge the entire organization by the actions of a few, a lesson important to remind ourselves of lately. 

I know many have had enough and are leaving the NRA. That’s okay, there are many other solid, reputable organizations to join such as the Gun Owners of America, the National Association for Gun Rights, the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition and more along with special interest groups such as Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International and the Pink Pistols. 

Note: Beware the imposters such as Gun Owners for Safety, a group initiated the biggest anti-gun rights organization to recruit firearm owners to push their gun control agenda. 

For me, a NRA Life Member, I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to advocate for change internally and getting the Board and leadership to resolve the issues, make the necessary changes, and get back to work. 

Our Second Amendment protected natural rights are in serious jeopardy this election year. We, the law-abiding firearm owners of the United States, are the real strength behind the NRA and every other Second Amendment rights organization. It’s time to stand together for our rights. 

Vote wisely.

Bob

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