Kalifornistan vs. Gun Culture

With the election of California’s Lieutenant Governor to Governor, we enter a new era of oppressive and draconian gun control. If you think the past decades of small, incremental Second Amendment infringements was bad, the coming years are going to make what we’ve had up to now look like firearm owner’s utopia. As always, it will be built on the lie that gun control will make you safer. But as we’ve seen over and over again, it just turns law-abiding citizens into law-abiding victims. Welcome to the new Kalifornistan.

With the Lt. Governor’s elevation to the big-boy chair, he’s already planning out how he’s going to take your rights away. Freed from the pre-election moratorium on gun control comments that might have alienated firearm owning democrats or progressives, he’s already ramping up the rhetoric before being sworn in.

Here are a couple of quotes:

“The gun violence that continues to plague our nation is beyond heartbreaking — it’s a societal failure. Simply saying, “enough is enough,” is NOT enough. We must address the root causes of these devastating acts at every level of government.”

“It’s a gun culture. You can’t go to a bar or nightclub? You can’t go to church or synagogue? It’s insane is the only way to describe it. The normalization, that’s the only way I can describe it. It’s become normalized.”

Our governor-elect has promised that he “will raise the bar” on gun control when he takes over in January, and would not have vetoed the gun control legislation the current California governor has in the past.

So let’s pick apart a few of the incoming governor’s comments.  He wants to address the root causes of these devastating acts. By that I would hope he understands that violence isn’t about guns, it’s about violence. Violence has always been committed by whatever means is available and convenient. The use of a gun has never really mattered.

The gun control elitists love to herald the success of the Australian model of gun control, until you point out the homicide rate didn’t change when they took away the firearms from the law-abiding citizens or that the violent crime rate went up. If gun control is so effective, then why did London, England’s homicide rate recently surpass that of New York City, with a population 500,000 larger than ‘firearm free’ London?

Perhaps the fact that all the gun control laws only target the law-abiding citizenry would help explain these inconvenient truths. Or perhaps in California, it’s the effects of Prop 47, 57 and other soft on criminal laws. There are laws that reduce or eliminate the penalties for crimes – or actions formerly known as crimes. Perhaps it’s reclassifying such crimes as assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer; battery with serious bodily injury; solicitation to commit murder and rape/sodomy/oral copulation of an unconscious person or by use of a date rape drug as non-violent crimes.

Our governor-elect has chosen to villainize “gun culture” as the cause of death in public places. It’s never the criminal, the person who carried out the crime; it’s always the culture of guns that is to blame. It’s too bad he doesn’t know anything about gun culture.

The gun culture I know about, the gun culture I am part of, realizes the incredible responsibility that comes along with the inalienable right to keep and bear arms. The law-abiding citizens who keep and bear arms do so to prevent violence, not to inflict it upon others.  The law-abiding citizens I know use lawfully owned firearms to prevent and stop crimes at a rate of three times more than firearms are used feloniously in this country, to the tune of 2.5 to 3 million times per year. Considering 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in gun free zones, maybe we should be encouraging MORE gun culture, instead of less.

Here’s the depressing reality of violence. There are no set of laws that will ever prevent someone from attempting to violently subject their will on someone else. Telling the unarmed masses they will ‘feel safer’ because the law-abiding are disarmed is an absolute lie. Criminals can obtain whatever weaponry they want, they always have and they always will.

Please take special note of the word “attempting” in the last paragraph. While there is nothing that will stop an attempt, there is something that will stop the act; having a law-abiding citizen there who is armed and willing to defend his or her own life.  As Wayne LaPierre so bluntly put it, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.

Gun culture isn’t to blame for violence, but our politicians won’t come out of their firearm protected bubbles long enough to realize that. They want to keep the real safety and control all for themselves, while allowing the unarmed masses to simply ‘feel safe’; right up until they become victims.

Hold on tight law-abiding Kalifornistan firearm owners. It’s going to be a rough road ahead.

Bob

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If It Bleeds, It Leads

First used as the mantra for news programming in the early 1980’s, “if it bleeds, it leads” has become the standard for network, print and social media news.  News after all is a big and prosperous business and the more attention given to the gore, the more viewers will tune in. It’s no wonder that the myth of the United States being the only country in the world to have mass shootings has been so easy to perpetrate. Of course, it is completely false and doesn’t tell the reality of firearm usage.

It’s easy to see why media outlets run 24/7 coverage of every shooting story they can get their hands on. By running these stories first and often, they set up the perception that this is what commonly occurs in our country. Then the gun control elitists come along and say how this only happens in our country and that the only way to make it stop is to implement their “common sense gun safety” laws.  The horrible, gruesome problem and the sensible solution are all presented in the first few minutes of the broadcast.  What could be easier?

Sadly it’s not just the left leaning stations, papers and other news outlets that follow this formula. Even the one major news network that isn’t completely anti-gun / anti-Second Amendment sensationalizes every tragedy, giving the pathetic psychopaths the very attention and notoriety they crave. Each story of a mass shooter who is able to kill X innocent victims inspires the next shooter to kill X +1 so THEY will be the biggest and baddest killer of all times.

Given this one sided approach to the news, it’s easy to believe that mass shootings are common place and the horrible death machines the shooters use – be it semi-automatic rifles or pistols, with or without so-called “high capacity” magazines are ONLY used by psychopaths to kill large groups of people. Since the stories show there is no legitimate use for them, the only way we can be safe is to get rid of them.

Time for a reality check here.

From this nation’s 44thpresident to every well-funded and centrally coordinated “grass roots” gun control group, you hear that this doesn’t happen in other countries. They quote statistics saying the United States is the worst among a select group of countries they call “high income” or “advanced” countries. In reality, it’s just a list of countries that happen to have lower crime rates than the United States. If you look at the entire planet using the current FBI definition of mass shooting, you’ll find the United States is really 64th. Now being 64thout of 195 countries isn’t something to be especially proud of, but then you realize there are 63 other countries that have more mass shootings that the United States – and that you’re being lied to.

The other commonly perpetrated myth is that firearms in civilian hands only increase the crime rate and do nothing to prevent violence, only make it worse. Again, a lie.

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

So what we wind up with on the evening news is only one side of the story. The horrible crime, distraught and sobbing relatives grieving for the loss of their loved one and politicians jumping at the chance to celebrate the death of innocents in order to advance their own political agenda.  Lost are the stories of courage and heroism of everyday Americans who stood up to violence with a legally owned firearm and stopped the criminal right then and there.

When is the last time you saw the network news or even your local news station do a story on how someone used a firearm for lawful defense of life?  The stories are out there, but they are damn few and far between.  With three lawful uses to every unlawful use, you’d think it would be far more common.

Why is easy to understand from the business of news point of view. A homeowner pointing a shotgun at an armed criminal who just kicked in their front door before coming face-to-face with the determined homeowner and fleeing doesn’t sell the news. No bleeding – no leading. In fact, no story at all.

What do you think would happen if people saw on the news the courageous and lawful use of firearms by normal citizens on the news every day? What would happen if people saw on the news they could effectively defend their lives and the lives of their family with a firearm? What if people saw on the news how long it really takes for law enforcement to get to them when they really need help RIGHT NOW and that they can save their own lives and the lives of their families with proper defensive use of firearms? And finally – what do you think criminals are going to think when they see on the news a community that chooses to fight back instead of allowing themselves to be victims?

Since the news is never going to show you the good side of defensive firearm use, you’re going to have to seek it out yourself. Look for the local stories around our country – and around the world – of people standing up to crime & violence and taking responsibility for their own safety. Share these stories with your friends, family and neighbors. It’s time the best-kept secret about lawful, defensive use of firearms came out.  It’s time to save someone’s life.

Bob

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Guns and Ballots

Tomorrow is the 2018 Midterm election and it is important to remember the critical association between firearms and ballots. Our Bill of Rights guarantees our individual right to keep and bear arms. Yet while the last four words of the 27 word Second Amendment are “shall not be infringed”, we are seeing our rights slowly and surely infringed. Backed by extremist justices intent on ignoring the Constitution in the name of social agenda.  But guess what, that’s not the way it has to be.

The proponents of gun control have been playing the very long con game all along. It always starts innocently enough with what they call “common sense”, “gun safety” or “public safety” laws that don’t significantly infringe on Second Amendment rights. Minimal infringements are thought to be acceptable as long as it advances the government interest of keeping people safe.  But of course, it never ends there. One minor infringement leads to the next, and the next and the next, since the previous gun control laws were never quite enough to achieve the public safety goals they set.

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

If you’re wondering where it ends, the answer is it only ends when there are no civilian owned firearms. Of course, even this level of gun control will never increase public safety as no set of laws is ever going to prevent criminals from breaking the law. Criminals will always be able to get and use firearms since breaking the law is the actual definition of a criminal. With an increasingly disarmed population, there is very little that will ever deter them from continuing to use guns to gain an advantage over their helpless victims.

Recently some gun control zealots have been more open about their goals. They have been publicly speaking about repealing the Second Amendment, even going so far as to have a former US Supreme Court Justice openly write about repealing the Second Amendment following the protests of children in Washington. He wrote that the concerns that brought about the Second Amendment were “…a relic of the 18th century.” Further that “a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.”

It’s hard to even conceive of how a former Supreme Court Justice, someone whose life has been dedicated to defending the Constitutional could abandon a foundation of our nation and even suggest that.

Yet this is the type of thinking that is now becoming more and more common in places like the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. By ignoring the Constitution, Bill of Rights, previous US Supreme Court rulings and the rule of law, they are finding these new and legally imaginative gun control laws are constitutionally valid. With very little interest from previous US Supreme Courts to revisit the Second Amendment, clearly infringing gun control laws are becoming the law of the land.

Politicians are pushing ever more repressive gun control measures while at the same time trying to block judges who will uphold the Constitution at all levels of our court system. Their goal is simple. Pass unconstitutional laws then have them legitimized by fringe justices.

Simultaneously these very same politicians are passing laws lessoning or eliminating the penalties for those who commit crimes, redefining crimes such as rape, assault with a deadly weapon and drive-by shootings as “non-violent”, eliminating bail requirements, commuting the sentences of murders to allow their release and pardoning an illegal alien convicted of kidnapping, robbery and using a firearm to prevent their deportation. THIS is the type of pubic safety they are pushing.

Firearm ownership and use isn’t the exclusive domain of any one political party or ideology; it crosses all walks of life and ways of thinking. But there is often a disconnect when it comes to defending those rights.  Many who own firearms support candidates who sponsor increasingly draconian gun control laws, even to the point where these laws will make the very firearms they own illegal and them a criminal. Whether they believe they will be (temporarily) grandfathered, they alone will be exempted or they just don’t believe it will impact them, they haven’t decided to fight for the rights they currently enjoy. Sadly, at the point where they do realize this is also their fight, there will be nobody left to stand and fight with them.

In the last few weeks the gun control lobby has essentially gone dark. They have stopped pushing their extremist agenda because they know this is a critical issue for undecided voters. They reason that if undecided voters don’t hear about a candidate’s radical gun control agenda in the run up to the elections, they’ll believe they are a more moderate candidate and their firearm rights are not in jeopardy by voting for them.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Firearms were the tools that allowed us to have a ballot in the first place. Without them, this nation would still be an English colony instead of the republic it now is.  Now ballots are the tools that will allow us to keep our firearms. If we choose not to use our ballots to ensure the rights this country was founded on, no other right can be guaranteed.

Only your vote can defend your right to keep and bear arms. Please choose wisely.

Bob

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Gun Control’s End Game

One of the more popular anti-gun control posters shows pictures of people who want to take your firearms.  Among them are Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot; all leaders who eventually killed significant numbers of their own unarmed citizens.  This implication is the people in our government who want to take your firearms away are following in the same footsteps as these genocidal maniacs and will exterminate large portions of the United States population. That’s probably a bit on the extreme side, but make no mistake what the goal of gun control is… control.

When our nation first emerged from English rule, the Founding Fathers wanted to ensure the new republic they created would never be able to oppress it’s own citizens like they had been oppressed under King George III. They limited the power of the government, they set up checks and balances with three branches of government, they wrote a Constitution and Bill of Rights enumerating the inalienable human rights all citizens would enjoy, preventing the government from infringing upon them.

Since then, firearms have been an integral part of the American culture. From the expansion West to hunting for sustenance to the protection of one’s life and liberty, firearms are as American as eagles, apple pie and baseball. Despite what the gun control zealots tell you, the firearm culture has been a significant part of our nation’s strength.

Still not everyone has been comfortable with the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. The history of gun control in this country has its roots in racism and class structure.  Keeping firearms out of the hands of blacks, Hispanics, Chinese – or any minority – or the poor whites denied them their own safety and the ability to resist those who held power. This was all done in the name of ‘safety’; only it was for the safety of the oppressors not the safety of the people.

Today firearm sales, possession and usage are covered by a patchwork of laws at the federal, state and local level. Decidedly liberal state and local entities are constantly increasing the level of gun control in their jurisdictions as a mechanism to stem the spiraling rate of crime and violence. Yet areas of our country with the tightest gun control laws continue to have the highest levels of crime and violence. The answer to this problem is to implement even more gun control laws.

Think about what firearms provide us with.  They allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families from those who would inflict harm upon them.  Without them, law-abiding citizens are wholly dependent on the government for their protection.

Gun control laws, laws that are supposed to increase ‘public safety’, only impact the law-abiding, never the criminals. The laws limit the type and number of firearms that can be legally purchased, the number of rounds a magazine can legally carry, the ability of a law-abiding citizen to carry a firearm and where they can legally carry it and how a firearm can be legally stored and transported, among many other restrictions. The penalties for breaking these laws and ordinances are supposed to be a deterrent for any would be criminal. Yet somehow, the criminals still ignore them.

Why is very easy to understand. For a criminal, the gun is the tool of their trade, the ability to subject their will upon another. Whether the motivation is murder, robbery, assault, rape, intimidation or terror, the insignificant additional penalty of carrying a loaded firearm in public pales in comparison to the crime they are going to commit or the protection they desire from victims who choose to fight back.

At the same time gun control laws are being tightened, the penalties for crime are being reduced or eliminated and more and more criminals are being released early from jails and prisons to prey upon increasingly unarmed citizens. Crime goes up, even as the new math to calculate crime rate shows it decreasing.

Gun control promises to keep you safe from the horrors of “gun violence”. The simple truth is “gun violence” isn’t the problem; only violence. Guns are simply tools used in violence, and they aren’t even the most common ones used.  Knives and cutting instruments kill four times as many people annually as so-called “assault weapons”.  Suicides count for two-thirds of the deaths attributed to “gun violence” – in other words, violence directed towards yourself rather than another.

So if the so-called public safety laws do nothing to increase public safety, why have them? The answer is simply control.  An unarmed, frightened populace is far more willing to pay more, submit to more government regulation and control in order to ‘feel safe’, even if their safety is less assured now than it ever was.

Being safe is more important than someone’s false sense of feeling safe. Every year in this country, firearms are used lawfully to defend life at a rate of three to one felonious uses. Yet the ever-increasing gun control laws target the law-abiding citizen’s ability to own and use a firearm to defend themselves and their family.

I’m not dark minded enough to believe the current authors, promoters and supporters of gun control laws in our country intend to exterminate large numbers of the United States population who disagree with their politics. However I do firmly believe they intend to use gun control as a mechanism to eliminate self-reliance, personal safety outside of the control of government and impose increased level of control upon a vulnerable population.

I choose to not be vulnerable.

Bob

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Vote For Me, I Own A Gun!

With the midterm elections just 15 days away, candidates have been ramping up the rhetoric and political posturing like never before.  For those of us in the Second Amendment community, there are some tough choices to be made. When it comes to the Second Amendment, many gun control candidates are tempering their message so as to appeal to their pro-gun constituents. But let’s not forget what their real goal is… to take away your right to purchase, posses and carry firearms.

From my own local city council to the county, state and federal representatives around the country, I’ve seen and heard preposterous claims of support for the Second Amendment from absolutely hard-core gun control candidates. They make statements like ‘I’m a life long gun owner’, ‘I’m a hunter’ or ‘I grew up in a family of gun owners’. By trying to paint themselves as part of the firearm community they attempt to make themselves more attractive to firearm owners who are concerned about more irresponsible, ineffective and unconstitutional gun control laws.

Ever since the absolutely ridiculous picture of the 44thPresident of the United States shooting a shotgun, politicians have put out campaign ads to bolster their firearm credibility. We’ve seen them in hunting orange holding a rifle. You’ve seen them holding a handgun at a shooting range. You’ve seen them holding a shotgun in a picturesque wildlife habitat. Guess what, it’s all staged bullshit.

Off camera and away from their constituents scrutiny, these candidates continue to promise to take up the most stringent of gun control schemes in exchange for the financial support from the billionaire funded gun control organizations.  Hot mic captured comments often portray a very different view from the campaign promises. This is where you hear how the gun control organizations are coaching their candidates to keep their gun control plans to themselves during the elections in order to get elected.

And of course, there are the qualifiers to their support for the Second Amendment. They generally follow-up the “I support the Second Amendment” with statements like “but I also support reasonable, common sense gun safety measures”.  The Democratic candidate for governor in Alabama follows up his claim of being “pro-Second Amendment” with this:

“[L]et me make my position clear. I will never favor taking any existing constitutional right away from any American unless we, as a people, come to the conclusion that restraint of some rights helps ensure the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by all.”

Does this sound like someone who is going to be protecting your Second Amendment rights?

Whenever you hear the words “gun safety”, realize they are not talking about being safe with firearms; they are talking about imposing draconian legal restrictions on the lawful ownership of firearms. To the gun control zealots, there is no such thing as a ‘safe’ firearm in the hands of the civilian population. Their idea of “gun safety” is when legal ownership of firearms is abolished.  The end goal has always been to slowly and systematically eliminate the right of private citizens to purchase, posses and carry firearm and ammunition.

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

So, who are the real Second Amendment candidates? These are the men and women who have been involved in Second Amendment rights BEFORE they became a candidate for public office. They are the ones who’ve had a hunting license EVERY year, not just election years. They are the ones you’ve been seeing at the local range or gun shop for years, not just since they declared their candidacy. They are the ones who already knew the issues and challenges surrounding the Second Amendment community BEFORE they decided to run for public office.  They are the ones who can proudly say “I support the Second Amendment” with no qualifying statements after it.

At times I’ve been accused of being a one-issue voter, the issue being the Second Amendment. Quite honestly, I’m okay with that because without the basic rights and freedoms protected by our Constitution and Bill of Rights, nothing else is going to stand.

Every elected seat in every city, county, state and federal race is important for the protection of your Second Amendment rights. It doesn’t matter if you live in a constitutionally challenged area or free America, your vote matters.

The midterm elections are Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Choose wisely.

Bob

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2nd Amendment: Not For Those Under 21

With a few strokes of his pen, California’s Governor decided the Second Amendment no longer applies to residents under the age of 21. With this, California becomes just the latest state to strip away rights from 18, 19 & 20 year olds that have never committed a crime or intended to do so.  How easily we forget the United States Constitution no longer applies here in Kalifornistan.

Following the lead of other states after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida, California has determined the only remedy (other than all the other ones they implemented for this purpose) that would have prevented the loss of life in Florida. Therefore, the risk of allowing 18, 19 & 20 year olds to have firearms is just too great and this ‘minor’ infringement is acceptable. Never mind the fact that anyone of ages 18, 19 & 20 is old enough to vote, get married, sign contracts or join the military. In California, they are now not old enough to own a firearm.

The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms. The entire legal argument of restricting handgun purchases to those 21 and older is that this did not violate the Constitutional rights of anyone under 21 since they still could purchase, possess and use rifles, shotguns and ammunition. By now eliminating that right, as private companies, municipalities, states and the nation are now beginning to do, it is a clear-cut violation of the rights of 18, 19 & 20 year olds.

18, 19 & 20 year old adults make up less than 8 percent of our population. And while many claim this age group is more involved in politics than ever, they also vote at the lowest rate of any age group. That makes them an easy segment of society to target.

But being California, there are exceptions – otherwise known as deferred bans – to this rule.  The exemptions are for law enforcement, the military and those with a valid hunting license.  The first two are easy to understand. Unless you carve out exemptions for law enforcement and military, you risk backlash for all your other so-called ‘public safety’ laws, which naturally also exempt law enforcement and military. But why then an exemption for those who have a hunting license?

The hunting license exemption serves a couple of purposes. First, it allows the State to claim there isn’t an all out ban on 18, 19 & 20 year olds owning firearms, thus satisfying the Constitutional requirement of not banning all firearm ownership. Second, and just as importantly, it helps to further the false narrative that the Second Amendment is about hunting.

Our last Presidential election was full of false claims of support for the Second Amendment. It was always ‘I support the Second Amendment but…. ‘ where the but was generally a call for infringing on that Second Amendment right with “reasonable, common sense” gun control measures. Then of course, there was the pledge of support for hunting. Even though most gun control elitists abhor hunting, they conceded that hunting is a long held tradition in our country and until they regulate it out of existence, they’ll support it as a valid reason to own a firearm under the Second Amendment.  Of course, self-defense will never be a valid reason to the gun control zealots.

The Second Amendment was never about protecting the rights of hunters or having a “valid reason” to own, posses or carry a firearm.  The Second Amendment was written to preserve the preexisting, inalienable right to possess and bear arms – period. It was written as a limitation on the government, not on the individual, hence the terminology used is “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

For those of you wondering why the fight for the latest appointment to the Supreme Court has been so important, I’ll remind you to take a look at laws like this. Denying an entire class of law-abiding people their Second Amendment rights because of the actions of a deranged individual – unless they have a hunting license – is not constitutionally valid.

The first of what I hope is many lawsuits against these unconstitutional laws have already started their way through the lower courts on their way to a Supreme Court who may now be receptive to hearing it. At the same time, lets also hope that every firearm and hunter education trainer out there is planning an expanded schedule to help our 18, 19 & 20 year olds obtain their hunting licenses so they can continue to exercise their right to bear arms while this is sorted out.

Bob

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Modern Jurisprudence – What’s At Stake?

I’ve purposely held off writing about the Supreme Court nominee hearings as it has been such a divisive spectacle and I thought it would be best to wait until the process had wound up.  With the 114th Justice of the Supreme Court now confirmed and sworn in by the Chief Justice, I want to say a few words about this process and why this seat has been so contentious.

To understand why this Supreme Court nomination was such a big deal; you have to look at who was being replaced.  Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy was often seen as the swing vote between the liberal and conservative justices on the bench.  He most often sided with the liberal justices, which skewed the court more to the left.

Of course, the whole idea of liberal and conservative justices on the Supreme Court is an abomination in the first place. There should be no political skew in either direction. There should be no other consideration at play other than the Constitution and the law.  By the time any case reaches the highest court in the land, politics and the justices’ personal views should be long gone and only the law should enter into their decisions.  Sadly, this is no longer the case and ‘legal’ decisions that should be 9-0 are now split along political lines.

With that in mind, you can see how any non-liberal appointee to the court would be a threat to the left. The ability of politicians to impose new and constitutionally ‘flexible’ laws would be dramatically curtailed with a Supreme Court that would apply proper Constitutional standards to the case, to say nothing of simply hearing them in the first place, something the Court has not been willing to do.

Stop and think about how many cases just related to the Second Amendment the Court has rejected because it didn’t have enough votes to hear it. This has resulted in conflicts between the Circuits and left standing abhorrent rulings from the runaway Ninth Circuit. With a Supreme Court unwilling to step in, the Circuit Courts have been ignoring legal procedure and precedent and unconstitutional laws have become the defacto law of the land.

Given the politics involved, you can see why the thought of a more conservative justice, or simply one who deeply respects the Constitution and the rule of law would be a threat to a particular agenda. The stage was therefore set for the media spectacle that followed.

Even before the nominee’s name was announced, opposition statements were crafted, speeches were written, signs made up and counter arguments against the nominee’s record created – all with a blank spot left for the name to be filled in.  It didn’t matter who the nominee was, it only mattered that the nominee wasn’t someone they approved of. Once the name was announced, dire predictions that his confirmation would kill millions of Americans, implement Sharia law, ban contraception, reduce wages and destroy voting rights were spread.

The meetings and hearings that followed were filled with arguments against the nominee’s record and views. Opposition Senators called for a delay until after the mid-term elections with the hopes they would be able to take back control of the Senate and block the nominee. They staged highly coordinated and choreographed interruptions and protests to delay the confirmation hearings beyond the start of the Supreme Court opening and the end of the Senate calendar.

Then, with all written questions answered, individual meetings with all of the Senators conducted, the public and private hearings concluded and all of the delay tactics failed, and only then – did allegation of sexual assault emerge through leaks to the media of an allegation known long in advance of any of the Senate hearings.

What followed was a media fueled mass hysteria and more ‘spontaneous’ allegations of far fetched, unprovable and eventually discredited misconduct. The nominee had to prove his innocence because his past judicial opinions were enough to strip him of his Constitutional rights and presumption of innocence. If you supported the nominee, you hated all women and supported rape. Yet the objective of this tactic was the same – to add more hurdles to delay the confirmation.

With no substantiations to the allegations found in the supplemental background investigation, the investigation itself became the target as the strategy now shifted to the nominee’s ‘stability’ from his last testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee. Now with the confirmation concluded, the strategy has once again shifted to impeachment proceedings as soon as the Democratic Party wins a majority in the House of Representatives.

If you would like to see an excellent speech on the nominee and what transpired through the Senate hearings, I suggest the floor speech of Maine Senator Susan Collins.  I’m normally not a fan of Senator Collins and I more often than not disagree with her politics and tactics, however her speech was probably the most well reasoned and articulated I heard throughout this whole debacle. The speech is 45 minutes long, but it is well worth the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXzzmjgyO9k

While the politically staged national outrage of a new Associate Supreme Court Justice who is still accused of being a “serial rapist” continues to be fed by the political puppet masters and media outlets, where are the Senators who championed these protests? Are they advocating for the voices and rights of victims of sexual assaults? Hell no! They’ve moved their mock protests onto their own reelection or pre-Presidential campaigns. Instead of asking for donations to the organizations that aid survivors of sexual assault, exploitation and domestic violence, they are using these allegations to fill the coffers of their own campaign accounts.

Despite what the media has been feeding to millions of impassioned and impressionable Americans, this whole farce of our political and judicial appointment process was never about women’s rights or believing the victims of sexual assault. It was simply a political strategy to discredit a nominee and delay his confirmation until after the Mid-Term elections.

Sadly, the unintended consequences from this disgusting display of partisan politics will haunt us for years. Sexual assault victims may be less likely to come forward knowing they may be judged in the context of the accusers from the Supreme Court nominee’s hearings. Highly qualified judges and others in the political arena may also be less likely to seek public office knowing the potential of having to prove their innocence against anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations about their distant past.

For all those who have protested against politicians, judges and anyone else who doesn’t support their view of this issue, what have you done to help? Here’s a hint, screaming in someone’s face at the top of your lungs isn’t helping; it just makes you look like a kook.

Instead, how about doing something positive? How about donating your time or money to your local rape crisis center? How about sponsoring self-defense classes for women? How about helping provide positive alternative activities to teen drinking parties? How about helping parents be positive, respectful role models to their families? How about teaching your own children to respect women so rape and violence can be a thing of the past.

Among the most telling arguments was that this nominee would threaten our nation’s modern jurisprudence. In other words, it would inhibit the unchecked ability of judges to legislate from the bench while ignoring legal precedent, judicial procedure and the Constitution. I certainly hope that is true.

Bob

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No Easy Button For Infringing on Second Amendment Rights

California’s Governor recently vetoed for the second time a massive expansion of the state’s Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO), or so-called “Red Flag” laws.  He did sign other useless gun control measures, including a couple of minor additions to the GVRO law, but not this one.  While some are calling it a victory, I call it sad that we are celebrating when only minor incremental infringements on our Second Amendment rights are signed into law.

I’ve ranted about this before, the first time imbecilic bill crossed the governor’s desk.  This year’s version was no different.  The vetoed legislation would have expanded the list of who can secretly petition the courts to confiscate all your firearms and ammunition without your knowledge or ability to contest it ahead of time. The expanded list would have included employers, co-workers, teachers, professors and ANY other employees of secondary and post-secondary schools the person has attended in the last six months.

Pushing for these so-called Red Flag laws have become popular gun control tactics since the shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida. Using Las Vegas and Parkland as their rally cry, proponents claim that had these laws been in place then they could have stopped these events from every happening.  In other words, lies.

Las Vegas is easy; there were no red flags. Nobody in this sicko’s circle of family or friends had any inkling of any of his intentions to harm anyone else. Even after a year of investigation by local, state and federal authorities, no motivation has been found. The only ‘odd behavior’ anyone can come up with is legal purchases of firearms and ammunition.  But then, that’s kind of the point. He was legally purchasing firearms and ammunition, something the gun control fanatics think is a positive indication of future violence.

Parkland of course is another story.  There were so many missed opportunities to stop this from ever happening it is absolutely nauseating. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office had received literally dozens of complaints about the suspect in the years leading up to the shooting. Any number of them in and of itself would have been sufficient to charge him criminally. The FBI ignored two credible reports identifying the suspect by name where he claimed “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The Florida Department of Children & Families determined he was receiving adequate support from his school and outpatient care from Henderson Behavioral Health in Broward County. A team from Henderson found the suspect “stable enough not to be hospitalized.”

The Parkland school’s progressive anti-disciplinary polices could have removed him from the school and initiated criminal proceedings numerous times, but that would have made the school look bad. The school had even commissioned and received it’s own threat assessment of the facilities ahead of the incident, and chose not to act on them.  In the moments leading up to the shooting itself the school security guard who saw the suspect going into the school did not sound the alarm and a second guard locked himself in a closet.  And of course, when the shooting began, responding Broward County Sherriff’s deputies cowardly hid outside instead of going to confront the shooter.

So you tell me. Does it look like nothing could have been done to stop this incident without some new law? Given the utter incompetence of the agencies involved – the very same agencies who are claiming they did everything by the book and couldn’t have done anything to stop the shooting without a new so-called Red Flag law – wouldn’t screw up that as well?

All of these laws relate back to the 2014 Isla Vista, CA attack that resulted in six dead (three from stabbing) and 14 injured near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Much like Parkland, all of the information necessary to make an appropriate interdiction was there; it was just ignored. Now as a result of the inept police work of the multiple agencies involved, we now have new and improved ways to strip people of their Constitutional rights.

The basis to initiate firearm confiscations under the so-called Red Flag laws were set purposefully low. It can be as simple as conversation between two people where one hears what they think is someone contemplating suicide or violence towards others. Following the ex parte hearing, all firearms, ammunition and magazines – magazines just added by the California Governor – are confiscated. The order may now be issued verbally by the Judge, the other new addition to the law.

As is the latest fad, the person accused, the one who had their firearms confiscated now has the burden of proof to show they are innocent and not a threat to others. Legal costs, time and wages lost from work, mental health evaluations, costs related to the return of their property – if the law enforcement agency will even return it after a legal order to do so – are all born by the person accused, even if accused unjustly. The legal recourse for being falsely accused is of course up to the very same people who are advocating for the removal of your firearms in the first place.

Why should it be easy to strip away someone else’s constitutionally protected rights? Why should anyone have such as low burden of proof to strip you of your Second Amendment rights in secret? Why should the person accused then be responsible for proving their innocence to avoid permanent infringement of their rights?  Why should they be financially responsible for the costs incurred by someone else’s accusations?

GVRO’s are nothing more than an Easy Button for gun control fanatics who don’t believe anyone other than themselves should have firearms.  Stripping away someone’s firearm rights, even temporarily, should be hard as hell. It should require no less burden of proof than a criminal conviction. Yet to compensate for the inadequacies of investigatory prowess at all levels of government, we grant them the easy way out.

At the same time, nobody seems to want to address the amount of crime, the amount of violence or the number of suicides committed with weapons other than firearms. If you were really interested in saving lives or public safety, wouldn’t you address the actual behaviors and indicators for ALL violence?  It’s as if your life doesn’t matter unless you are killed by a gun.

So while the celebrations continue for the brief moment of sanity from California’s Governor, consider this. This massive expansion bill has come from the legislature twice before and with sparse opposition to stop it; it will be back on the Governor’s desk again next year.  With California’s Lt Governor’s coronation to the big chair virtually assured in this year’s mid term elections, what do you think the chances that one of the biggest gun control advocates in the history of state will veto it?

Maybe it’s time you got out to vote.

Bob

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The Second Amendment – A Second Class Right

When we think about the foundations of our nation, we naturally think about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Yet sadly, not everyone believes in these documents relevance today. Nowhere is this more evident than in the obstructionist view of the Second Amendment.  It has been called irrelevant, misunderstood and out of date for the modern world. Slowly but surely, the Second Amendment has become the redheaded stepchild of the nation.

Picking the Second Amendment apart isn’t a new thing, but it has become far more fashionable since the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions. The gun control extremists even claim it was these two court decisions that gave individuals the right to own a firearm, instead of what they really were – decisions affirming the individual right always existed and it just took that long for an infringement case to get to the Supreme Court.

Still, that doesn’t stop the gun control crowd from claiming the Second Amendment to mean you can only bear arms while in the state sponsored militia, the modern day National Guard.  History of course doesn’t support this creative reinterpretation when in fact every able bodied man of the time was part of the militia of the day, some well organized, some not so much. The common defense of self, home and community was just part of being in the community.

One of the most popular Second Amendment attacks is that it only grants you the right to bear arms that were available at the time, in other words muskets.  The rational is that there is no way the Founding Fathers could have foreseen the type of modern weaponry we have today. Again, the argument completely ignores history and that there were far more advanced weaponry available when the Second Amendment was written. It’s also important to remember that muskets WERE the “weapons of war” of the day. The United States and British troops were issued muskets to go into battle with, clearly a point well understood when the Second Amendment was written.

Then of course there is the interpretation that the Second Amendment only covers hunting, and therefore is invalid in modern times when sustenance can be purchased from a grocery store. Only in rural areas do the gun control zealots concede the tradition of hunting should be tolerated, and even there they are trying to regulate hunting out of existence. Hunting might have been a more essential skill at the early years of our country, but nowhere in the Second Amendment text does it say or even imply hunting for food.

Even more creative are the recent additions to the ‘not covered by the Second Amendment’ crowd’s argument. This includes saying  “arms” does not include ammunition or magazines.  While it boggles the mind that someone would try to separate the fact that arms use ammunition and that it’s okay to infringe on the right to possess the very item the arms were intended to fire. The same illogic is extended to magazines. This historical equivalent to a modern magazine limitation would be that you could only possess a small power horn or tiny cartridge box with your musket.

Modern gun control elitists also contend the Second Amendment does not include the right to sell or purchase firearms. This is the main argument for banning firearms retailers in NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) communities.  So while the local government proudly says they “support the Second Amendment, but…” the but includes many limitations and exceptions where they feel it is okay for them to regulate firearms retailers out of existence. Absolutely unsupported “safety” guidelines of not being within 500 feet of places like residential areas, parks, schools, day cares, another firearm retailer or so-called “high risk alcohol outlets” are designed to eliminate the ability for stores to operate in their area.

The latest trend is to subject firearms retailers to a Conditional Use Permit application. With this new costly and protracted bureaucratic process, a city or county has unlimited discretion to approve or deny a new firearm retailer’s application based on an undefined and arbitrary “fit” to the community and perceived impact to the surrounding properties. The notification portion of the process also ensures the NIMBY’s from inside and outside the community will mount a popularity contest to the Planning Commission to determine if a legally responsible retailer should be allowed to operate, simply because they do not like firearms and don’t believe they should be allowed in the community.

If that’s where gun control has been and where we are now, a hint into the future comes from the confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. California’s Senior Senator argued that common possession does not equal common use as describe by the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s writing of the majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller. Here he wrote the Second Amendment protected the sort of weapons “in common use at the time.”  The Senator’s direct quote was “You’re saying the numbers determine common use? Common use is an activity. It’s not common storage or possession, it’s use. So what you said is that these weapons are commonly used. They’re not.”

This sets up all kinds of new legal buffoonery. In highly gun controlled states like California, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey, among others, will they be able to argue that so-called “assault weapons”, which are highly regulated or even outlawed, are no longer in “common use” there? If you possess but don’t regularly “use” your firearm, does the Second Amendment not cover it? And what would be a fair test of “use”? If you use your firearm for self defense like the approximately three million others in the United States every year but don’t fire it, is that enough “use”?

While the Second Amendment has been beaten up, carved into pieces, minimized, misunderstood and creatively reinterpreted, it has survived to this day – at least in most of the country. In other areas such as my current home state of California, it is a mere shadow of what it once was and getting dimmer and dimmer every day.

Unless we are out protecting it and ensuring our elected representatives will no longer stand for the incremental elimination of our rights, the Second Amendment will fall. It’s on all of us to stand up and be counted before we have no rights to fight for.

Bob

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A Legitimate Reason?

There seems to be a growing trend where anyone who owns a firearm has to justify their need to own it. Simply wanting one or being guaranteed the right by the Second Amendment isn’t a valid reason. Self-defense is no longer a good enough reason. In the mind of the gun control elitists, you have to have a “legitimate reason” to justify why you “need” to own a firearm, and according to them, there will never be a legitimate reason. But guess what? That’s not the way the Second Amendment works.

Recently in Monterey, California, a probation search of a felon’s rented room at a residence produced an inert practice hand grenade, among other illegal items. Based on this, the police department obtained a search warrant for the remainder of the house. That search turned up, among other illegal things, 112 firearms and more inert practice hand grenades.  The owner was arrested for charges of illegal assault weapon possession, improvised explosive devices and maintaining a drug house.

All well and good, and I have ZERO problem with the convicted felon or the home owner – a former police officer and relative of the Panetta political family – being arrested. By all accounts both were breaking the law with the drug possession and deserved to have their asses carted off to jail.

My problem is with the characterization from the Monterey Police Department who said, “We obviously have a large quantity of firearms and evidence. We are trying to track down where these items came from, what is the reasoning behind them, and is there a legitimate reason for possessing this quantity of firearms.”

Following the arrests was the requisite photo op of all the firearms laid out on tables for the press to click and spread. The two so-called “assault weapons” were ones that met the California definition based on their “evil features”. Still, the press reported the man “faces charges related to keeping an arsenal of illegal weapons and operating a drug house.”

This case is just one of so many examples of the police and the press portraying anyone with more than one firearm as a dangerous gun nut.  It doesn’t matter if it’s two firearms and a dozen rounds of ammunition in a parking garage or 1200 firearms and seven tons of ammunition from a dead man’s house, the implication is if you own multiple firearms and more than a few rounds of ammunition, it’s an arsenal, stockpile or weapons cache and there is no valid reason for it other than planned illegal activity.

While the press and social media are spinning fables of sinister plots being created at every kitchen table, let’s deal with a few facts. While we do, keep in mind firearm ownership is often a very private topic and a lot of people are unwilling to disclose their ownership to anyone conducting a survey, especially in today’s hyper-politically correct society.

The latest estimate of privately owned firearms in the United States is about 400 million for a population of 327 million – a little more than one for each US resident. Of course not everyone owns a firearm and the estimates as to how many do ranges from 25% to over 50%. The average number of firearms owned is estimated to be between four and eight. Fortune Magazine even came up with the term “super owners” who have anywhere between eight and 140, with the average of 17.

Ignoring the obvious preliminary question of why people own a firearm at all (see the Second Amendment), why do people own multiple firearms? The reasons vary from each firearm having a distinct purpose such as conceal carry, target shooting, hunting large, medium, small and flying game, home defense, plinking, practice, competition, disaster prep, etc. etc. etc.) to a simple love of shooting and collecting. And then, there is the one reason that trumps every other, because they can and they don’t have to justify it to anyone.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is unique in the world. No other country guarantees the right to bear arms the way we do. Some countries do grant the right to possess firearms, but more often than not there are serious restrictions on that right, or privilege as they see it.  Most common are restrictions on the type of firearms that can be owned (shotguns vs. rifles vs. pistols), the number that can be owned, the legally allowed calibers (most common is no military calibers) the amount of ammunition that can be purchased and possessed in one year (i.e. 50 rounds of handgun ammo/year), the storage requirements (locked, unloaded in residence, stored in a gun club / government safe or ammunition kept at a different premises).  Carrying firearms in public is generally restricted to the military, police, government officials and VIP’s.

If laws like these make you bristle at the mere thought of them, then it’s time to start looking around at what’s happening in our own country. City by city, state by state, gun control zealots are chiseling away our right to own and bear arms.  Every little infringements brings us closer to a time when our “right” is sold back to us as a “privilege” that very few will be able to afford or access.

In some states, restrictions on the ability to even purchase or own a firearm already exist. Restrictions on the type of firearms you can own already exist. Restrictions on the caliber of ammunition you can have already exist. Restrictions on the number of firearms you can purchase in a given time frame already exist.  Restrictions on how firearms are stored and whether or not they are allowed out of the home and where they can be transported to already exist. Restrictions on who can carry a firearm in public, and where they can go already exists. And in each of these cases, the gun control elitists are working to make the rules for law-abiding citizens more restrictive, more expensive and further out of reach for everyone – except themselves.

And how do they sell these so-called “common sense gun control” measures to the unknowing? By portraying everyone who owns firearms, or heaven forbid multiple firearms, as dangerous gun nuts. When they showcase criminals with multiple firearms they imply only dangerous, violent druggies, thugs and terrorists have THAT many guns and THAT much ammo. When they refer to any number of firearms as an arsenal, a stockpile or a weapons cache, they are trying to shift the narrative of what the law-abiding firearm owner is and paint them as the next potential active shooter.

Well guess what? Millions upon millions of regular, law-abiding firearm owners know the difference. Whether they own one, eight, 17 or a couple of hundred firearms each, they know they are not only among the safest, more responsible, law-abiding citizens out there, they know the fact that they do own firearms is a deterrent to violent crime. They know they are responsible for their own and their family’s safety, day in and day out.

So if you don’t think it matters who you vote for this year, then just go ahead and turn in your firearms now and trust your personal safety to the people who want to disarm you, but are doing nothing to disarm those who are preying upon your family.

And the next time someone asks if you have a legitimate reason for having ‘so many guns’, just look them straight in the eye and say – because I can.

Bob

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