Election Day 2020 Violence?

Today is Election Day. While a substantial number have already voted early or by mail, many will be voting in person today. As the tallying of votes begins, it should be a day of celebration of our nation’s most basic rights and values, the people’s voice in who will represent them in government as well as decisions on key issues around the country. Instead, our law enforcement and National Guard forces are being called out for threatened post-election violence. In cities all over the country, businesses are boarding up their doors and windows and closing for the day – in some places the entire week – in anticipation of violence, riots, looting and arson.  

I’m at a loss to understand this. I don’t recall in my lifetime ever having the National Guard deployed in anticipation of election and post-election violence. Perhaps someone else remembers a time when this has happened around our country. Third world nations, yes, but here? Personally, I think it’s a sad, sad commentary for our country. 

I suppose it shouldn’t really surprise me considering the violence we’ve seen around the country this year. What started out as genuine protests quickly devolved into the BLM/Antifa riots that have turned downtowns into wastelands that look more like third world war zones than the business districts in one of the most developed nations in the world. 

So-called “peaceful protests”, many over perceived injustices have in fact been nothing more than an excuse for intimidation, wanton violence, destruction, arson and looting. Individuals and businesses who disagree or don’t show the proper support for the mob mentality are targeted and punished with intimidation, extortion and violence. The mobs, given support and cover by the extreme left politicians, withhold police protection for the effected neighborhoods and dismiss criminal charges against the perpetrators. Meanwhile, the news media portrays those who are ravaging our cities and terrorizing our citizens as modern-day heroes. The cause of anything and everything is blamed on systemic racism stemming from the founding of our nation to modern day rules, regulations and laws. 

So where is this thread of election day violence coming from?  If you listen to the news and content allowed on social media, it is being provoked by the President’s actions and white supremacy, which he allegedly supports. All of that is of course untrue. 

The threat of violence is coming from groups and individuals who have been whipped up into a frenzy over the last four years by lies and distortions of truths. The party of peace, love and inclusiveness has been passively and actively supporting those who will include you IF, AND ONLY IF you fully agree with them. If you don’t, you are subject to intimidation, assault and even murder. The threat of violence is from people who have been convinced that everything that is wrong with our country is because of our President, and ONLY our President. 

There are groups who are advocating to “burn it all down” and “take back the country” should the President “steal the election”, a phrase made popular by the losing candidate in 2016. Plans such as “Stopping The Coup” which says “Preventing Donald Trump from stealing the election and remaining in office is likely to take mass, sustained disruptive movements all over the country.” are available all over the Internet. Many discuss the need to remove the President from office by force. 

Of course, none of these left extremist guides, calls to action or manifestos I’ve seen have included anything on accepting the results of the elections. I’ve only seen how the losers; the Trump supporters, will be tracked down and severely punished for their past actions in the new society they will be building.  

Have we seen calls for violence and disruption from the opposing side of the political spectrum? No, of course not. While losing would be devastating, you don’t see these supporters calling for literal destruction of the country if the election isn’t concluded on their terms.  

So there you have it, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies on high alert. The National Guard deployed or on standby in many states. Security companies being hired by anyone that can afford them. Businesses closing and being hardened against looters while sending their employees away to keep them safe. Homeowners stocking up on supplies in case of riots.  All because the most self-absorbed, it’s-all-about-me-and-my-beliefs group of radicalized anti-current administration supporters are threatening violence if they don’t win. 

If you haven’t voted yet, get out and vote today. Be safe, be careful, take care of yourself and your family, and be damn proud you peacefully participated in the one of the most precious rights and responsibilities we have as citizens in the United States. 

When the counting and inevitable, multiple court challenges are all concluded, we will move on to what awaits us as the responsible citizens we are. 

Stay safe and vote wisely. 

Bob

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2020 Gun Vote – Defending The Second Amendment

Some have called me a single-issue voter. Of course, that’s not true. Like everyone else I have strong opinions about the full breadth of issues facing our country. I just happen to place my first priority on Constitutional / Bill of Rights issues. If a candidate or party platform can’t say they support our natural rights UNCONDITIONALLY, then why would I entrust anything else to them?  Call it a shibboleth if you will, but how a candidate responds to a simple question like “Do you support the Second Amendment?” is going to determine if I want to listen to anything else they have to say. 

For me, when the answer to that vital question is “Yes, but… “ or “Yes, and… “ it’s a warning. The but or and is usually followed by ‘I also support reasonable gun safety/gun control laws’. Beyond that you’ll hear the usual lies about how “common sense gun safety” laws being proven to save lives. They are not. 

It’s no secret that many of the extremist left politicians and zealots would like to see the Second Amendment repealed altogether. Others simply prefer to assign creative interpretations to it such as, the right to bear arms was only intended to be for those in state militia (today’s National Guard) or that it was never meant to include modern arms, only those in existence (muskets) at the time it was written. Still others believe it was intended only for hunting. They see the Heller and McDonald United States Supreme Court decisions as the first time the right to bear arms was granted to an individual instead of the first time the existing natural right for individuals was upheld. 

So, when I see a political platform threating to infringe on our Second Amendment protected rights like I am now, I become very concerned.  The Democratic platform include such things as: 

A ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “large capacity magazines”. Dealing with those already in circulation includes registering them as NFA (National Firearm Act) items with a $200 fee per firearm or magazine OR turning them into the government at a mandatory buy-back, a.k.a. confiscation. 

The flawed logic for the NFA registration option is because of the background check, NFA items are rarely used in crimes. Of course, this has nothing to do with it. With the exception of submitting fingerprints, there isn’t really a difference in the background check other than the $200 fee and up to a year of waiting for the results. The difference is NFA items cost a LOT more. Legally transferable fully automatic firearms, of which there are a finite number in existence since no more are legally available after 1986, range anywhere from $10,000 to $50,00 or more. 

Registration as a NFA item would of course eliminate anyone who is not wealthy enough to afford to pay for their ‘privilege’ of owning a common firearm. It would also eliminate ownership in states such as California where NFA items are outlawed. 

The other issue there is the ever-expanding definition of “assault weapons”. When the term was first coined, it included only a certain number of described firearms. Then it expanded to firearm types, then the features found on firearms and now in some places includes any semi-automatic firearm. There is no one definition of “assault weapon” and it is always evolving to include more. The popular political misconception of it being a “weapons of war” is a lie and only meant to evoke emotions about how supposedly dangerous they are. 

Another aspect of the proposed gun control plan is nationwide Universal Background Checks. This would eliminate the so-called “private sale loophole” by requiring all sales go through a FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee). With this comes the less advertised Universal Firearms Registration scheme where all firearms are now registered with the government, generally considered a precursor to widespread confiscation. 

Other points of the gun control plan include provisions to: “prohibit all online sales of firearms, ammunition, kits, and gun parts.” Online firearm sales are of course a lie since firearms must be sent through a local FFL, but everyone already knows that.  Banning the online sales of ammunition, kits and gun parts on the other hand is something straight from the State of California. Ammunition there can ONLY be purchased through a licensed “ammunition vendor”, along with the appropriate background check (registration) and fees. Kits and gun parts will soon be treated the same, only being available through FFLs with a background check (registration) and fees. 

There is a lot more, including limiting purchases of firearms to one per month, incentivizing states to enact so-called “red flag” no due process confiscation laws as well as state and local licenses for individuals before they can purchase a firearm.  

As there always is with gun control, there is more.  But 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 this concerns you, then I suggest you take one last read of the Second Amendment before you head into the voting booth. If your government is willing to take away your natural rights, do you really want to trust them with everything else? 

The Second Amendment

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.

Vote wisely. 

Bob

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Vote Correctly vs Vote Wisely

It’s something we’ve all suspected, yet nobody ever really confirmed it.  The COVID-19 pandemic has given extreme left/socialist inclined governors an unlimited opening to subject their citizens to the harshest of business closures, travel restrictions and limitations on their ability to exercise even their most basic constitutional rights. They have been glad to do it too because it allowed them to stand in front of a camera and blame the United States President for all of your health issues and lack of freedom. By causing as much suffering as they can, they hope their citizens will vote for their party’s candidates instead. Of course, nobody came right out and said so, until now. 

During an appearance on the Meet the Press, the Michigan Governor’s comments included the following: (Link to video below) 

“And if you’re tired of lockdowns or you’re tired of wearing masks or you wish you were in church this morning or watching college football or your kids were in-person instruction, it is time for a change in this country, and that’s why we’ve got to elect Joe Biden.”

Keep in mind the President has NOT been the one responsible for forcing people to stay in their homes, for closing businesses, for telling churches they couldn’t hold services, for closing schools, for stopping high school and college sports, for closing schools making primary and secondary education virtual OR for making everyone wear a mask. This has ALL been ordered by our individual state governors. 

So while this Governor says “The Trump virus response is the worst in the globe. I mean, in the world, it’s the worst.”, it has been HER orders and her orders ALONE that have shut down her state and caused the very hardship she is projecting on the President. 

Of course, she’s not alone. The most restrictive states with the most progressive governors have been doing their absolute best to keep their states locked down as tightly as possible. As parts of the state get closer to meeting the goals set for reopening, the goal posts are moved further and further away. 

In my state of New Mexico, when counties began meeting the requirements set for expanded openings, the Governor changed the numbers but refused to disclose where the new numbers came from. Just implemented rules dictate restaurants must complete a new state training program in order to remain open at 25% capacity. This program for all types of businesses, requires consent to a new state monitoring program which includes spot employee COVID testing. Failing or having an employee test positive can lead to temporary or permanent closures. The results are on the state’s “watchlist” or “closure” list. But the good news is being “certified” gets you on the state approved list. Yea!! 

In case you’re curious, both the Michigan and New Mexico Governor were on the Democratic Presidential candidates short list for his Vice-President running mate and have now been listed as candidates for Cabinet level positions in his new administration.  

Of course, California can’t be left out of the news. As counties were coming close to meeting the criteria for the coveted next level of non-restricted business openings, the Governor added an “Equity” requirement to the formula. 

“Equity Metric. Ensure that the test positivity rates in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods, as defined as being in the lowest quartile of the Healthy Places Index census tracts, do not significantly lag behind its overall county test positivity rate, as described… “ 

California’s Governor has also set up a state board to independently review any COVID-19 vaccines developed by the federal government or vaccine developers prior to approving them for distribution in the state. “Of course we won’t take anyone’s word for it,” the Governor said.   New York’s Governor had already committed to doing an independent review of COVID-19 vaccines prior to approving it for use in New York. 

Many have called the COVID-19 pandemic a “scamdemic” because of the constantly changing rules and regulations, the radically unequal treatment of businesses and individuals and exceedingly harsh and aggressive enforcement tactics against those who’ve dared to question these orders. Even when the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization) updated their recommendations, the rogue governors point to the so-called science of staying closed. 

We’ve already seen the cost of the never-ending closures. Millions unemployed, businesses closed forever, families destroyed, and countless lives sacrificed. But that seems to be a small price to pay to win an election. Today is day 228 of two weeks to flatten the curve. 

Michigan’s Governor has finally laid it out quite clearly. If you want the pandemic shutdowns to end, you have to vote for a certain candidate. In other words, you have to vote correctly. 

There is a lot more at stake than ending the state governors scamdemic restrictions. This is about forcing a new vision for our country. A new vision that does not include Constitutional rights.  A new vision that rejects our nation’s history, accomplishments and strength. A new vision that allows the government to make your choices for you. A new vision that doesn’t include your freedom. 

Vote wisely. 

Bob

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Michigan Governor on Meet The Press: https://twitter.com/i/status/1317835010599227392

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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A Warning For Semi-Free Americans

California defending its unconstitutional gun control laws is nothing new. They write laws intended to strip law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights while simultaneously writing laws to keep criminals from being punished and releasing those who are already in jail. When these laws are challenged, activist judges put in place by extremist politicians rubber stamp them with some of the most outrageous legal rational to ever come out of a court. 

After having their laws against so-called large capacity magazines (LCMs) ruled unconstitutional at the District Court and with a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Duncan v. Becerra, California has requested a hearing by an en banc panel. Nothing new here, it’s the state just prolonging the fight and running up the bills for the opponents. But what might have gone unnoticed is the 18 Attorneys General who sent a friend-of-the-court in support of California’s law. While some of these states already have a form of magazine restrictions in place, others do not. If you live in one of these states, what do you think this means for the future of your standard capacity magazines?

Attorneys General from Washington D.C, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington all signed onto the brief. 

Of the states with magazine restrictions, most limit them to 10 rounds, a couple are 15 or mixed 10 & 15 for rifle & handgun. Others, like New Jersey, were at 15 and recently cut that to 10. A couple of these states have “grandfathered” clauses which allow those who possessed them to keep them after the law change. Of course, we all know that “grandfathered” just means deferred confiscation as California residents found out when the state changed its mind on legally possessed “grandfathered” magazines and decided they were now illegal. 

The other states, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington do NOT have laws against so-called large capacity magazines. BUT… their Attorney General supports them. What do you think this means for the future of magazine capacity laws? It means sooner or later, like it or not, these states WILL restrict magazines to 10 rounds. 

Why 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 rational from extremist gun control think tank & quasi law center, you see how careful wording is used to justify it. It explained 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. 

California argues to the Court that the majority of citizens voted for Proposition 63 which, among other gun control measures, outlawed magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds, and as such should be considered valid. Of course, this has ZERO bearing on the legality of this case, and that’s a very good thing. 

Despite the popular misconception, the United States is not a democracy, it is a republic, or better known as a democratic republic. The distinction is critical.  In a democracy, the majority rules on every issue and there are no protections for the minority opinion. If 51% of the population decides there is no right to free speech, then there is no right to free speech, period. 

In a republic, there is a constitution which protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if a majority of the population votes for it. So even if 99% of the population votes there is no right to free speech, then the law is unconstitutional and invalid. 

The Attorneys General friend-of-the-court brief is much the same argument. 18 party loyal extremist prosecutors who don’t believe the Second Amendment right to a standard capacity magazine exists for the average citizen believe their opinion should sway the court.  Guess what, it means DIDDLY SQUAT!! But then again, this is the 9th Circuit, so any extremist view will likely be taken into consideration. 

Where do these Attorneys General opinions matter? In your home state. These are the people who will help draft the anti-standard capacity magazine legislation and give it their stamp of approval. These are people who will lobby the legislature from within to get this law on the books. These are the people who will ensure law-abiding citizens who defy them are prosecuted to the full extent of the law as an example to others. This is YOUR Attorney General. 

Why am I directing this as a warning to semi-free Americans? Because if your state has already started down the gun control path, this is in your future. Gun control starts slowly with the least objectionable, easiest to pass infringements like universal background checks. After all, who could object to something that will keep firearms out of the hands of criminals? It doesn’t matter that the universal background checks have been shown to be completely ineffective means of curbing crime or violence, it’s a toe in the door to more infringements.

While the Duncan v. Becerra directly relates only to California’s magazine ban, it would provide precedent for other western states to appeal their magazine bans, and indirectly those in the rest of the country. While this is important, I’m going to repeat what I’ve said time and time 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 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.

If you live in Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Washington, your Attorney General has already cast his vote on your Second Amendment rights. It’s time for YOU to cast your vote to stop them. 

Vote wisely.

Bob

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Un-Happy Labor Day

Today is Labor Day in the United States, a time we should be taking to celebrate the American worker. We should be, but this year is a very different. With the twin plagues known as COVID-19 & election politics in full bloom, millions of Americans are out of work, their “non-essential” businesses shut down or only able to open at a small fraction of their capacity.  In my state, today is day 180 of the mandatory Two Weeks to Flatten the Curve of COVID-19 economic shutdown.  Businesses closed, many forever, means workers idled, dependent on emergency government assistance to provide them with enough money to simply survive. Too many businesses are closed, families broken, and lives lost for not being able to endure the anguish.  This is not the way to celebrate Labor Day.

I don’t believe for a moment American workers want to be dependent on the government for their existence. American workers want to work. They want to provide for their families themselves. They want to be independent and make their own choices about the safety of their families, but they are not allowed to. 

A little reminder on what Labor Day is. 

The modern observance of the holiday seems to have forgotten the roots that brought Labor Day into being. Following the Pullman Strike of 1894 where 30 workers died and 57 were injured at the hands of the United States Army and Marshals Service, Congress approved Labor Day as an official holiday. It was an attempt by President Grover Cleveland to gain support among the trade unions following the strike. While it is disputed who first proposed the holiday, Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners or machinist Matthew Maguire, the intent was to create a “workingmen’s holiday”.

Recently the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) revised their numbers to show the number of sick and dead from COVID-19 were never as bad as they had been reported. Also revised has been the guidance for travel indicating the mandatory 14-day quarantines are not necessary. Still further evidence shows the economic shutdowns have been overly broad and unnecessary. Yet extremist governors refuse to revise their shutdown orders and let people go back to work. Those who attempt to defy these orders have been issued shockingly excessive fines for simply opening their businesses. 

The longer this pandemic shutdown goes on, the more we see it has not been a health-related emergency but a political exploitation. The purpose has been crystal clear, to cause as much economic disruption as possible to influence people to vote against an administration THEY blame for the economic turmoil and promise to rebuild the economy THEY themselves are responsible for destroying. 

When the U.S. Congress comes back into session this week, we’ll see if they are willing to work towards helping those who have been shut out of their jobs or holding them hostage until they can pass a full agenda of socialist reform measures. 

Better yet, how about some encouragement to the states to get them to reopen their economies. Perhaps if the politicians who have yet to go without a paycheck from the economic shutdown lost their income too it would prompt them to action. Perhaps a complete shutdown of all federal dollars to any state that hasn’t reopened would get them to take a fresh look at the economic impact vs. their political positioning under the pretext of a health emergency. 

American workers deserve the opportunity to work and celebrate their Labor Day as actual workers. 

Bob

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Not Well-Suited for Self-Defense?

As expected, the State of California filed an appeal of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit three-judge panel that upheld the ruling that the State’s ban on Large Capacity Magazines (LCM) was unconstitutional in the case of Duncan v. Becerra. Nothing about the request for a rehearing by an en banc panel was a surprise, from the arguments being made to the appeal being filed on the final day. California will do anything and everything to protect one of its signature gun control measures and bleed the opposition dry while doing it. And just because you’re not from People’s Republik of Kalifornistan doesn’t mean this case shouldn’t be important to you. 

All of the materials, filings and rulings on this case are available at the link below. It’s worth your time to read and understand what is going on since California likes to export its bad, expensive and unconstitutional policies to the rest of the country. 

There are a few things I found particularly interesting in the State’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc.

First, the State sees no reason or need for any civilian to have so-called large capacity magazines. In fact, the filing indicates “The record here demonstrates that LCMs are not well-suited for self-defense.” It rationalizes that Californian’s can have as many 10 round magazines as they want, and (currently) as much ammunition as they want. 

The photo that accompanies this article is from a home security system in a Fremont, CA home invasion burglary on August 28, 2016. It shows five armed men coming into the house, at least one carrying a handgun with a magazine extending below the pistol grip, a LCM. Fortunately, the residents were not home at the time. Even if the resident was armed with a California 10 round magazine, he would most certainly have been killed in this encounter. In this burglary the homeowner was able to call the police while watching the burglary on his home cameras remotely. Unfortunately, the armed home invaders left before the police arrived and were not caught.

The State has never explained why a so-called LCM is not-well suited for self-defense, but it’s the exact opposite of the training and advise of every reputable self-defense instructor I’ve ever known, including my own. It has also never offered any explanation why 10 rounds is the magic, safe enough for civilians number, but 11 is way too dangerous. 

Let’s also keep in mind that in some places like New York City, firearms that simply have the capability to accept a so-called LCM are banned. So, if even one magazine is made for it with a capacity over 10 rounds, the firearm itself is banned.

The State also references the Fyock v. Sunnyvale, a local California ordinance banning magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds, which was upheld by a three-judge panel, as a binding precedent. 

There are several issues that come from Fyock, not the least of which is that California does not have a preemption law banning local jurisdictions from passing their own more restrictive firearm regulations. As we’ve seen in states without preemption, this results in a patchwork of laws throughout the state that are impossible for any law-abiding citizen to understand or comply with. Virginia recently removed its preemption for firearm regulations and now anti-gun cities are drafting unique and highly confusing laws regulating use and possession within its borders. 

Fyock was also decided under what is known as Intermediate Scrutiny, which is what the State believes is the correct level for Second Amendment cases. Duncan’s ruling utilized Strict Scrutiny. 

A quick note on Rational-Basis, Intermediate Scrutiny, and Strict Scrutiny

Under Rational Basis the government must have a legitimate interest and the law must be “rationally related” to the interest. 

Under Intermediate Scrutiny, the government must have an important interest and the law must be substantially related to the interest. 

Under Strict Scrutiny, the government must have a compelling interest and the law must be narrowly tailored to the interest.

Note that the likelihood of a law being overturned increases as the level of scrutiny increases. Few government laws survive a Strict Scrutiny test since they are generally far broader than need be. 

The argument for the use of Strict Scrutiny review of Second Amendment cases has been going on for years. Government agencies don’t like that because it severely restricts their regulatory powers, something most of us would argue is appropriate in a case involving the Bill of Rights. 

For the next step, the 11-member en banc panel to hear this will be randomly drawn from the Nineth Circuit Court of Appeals. While there has been significant progress in helping to balance the court with justices appointed by the current Presidential administration, it still has a 16 to 13 liberal slant. Of course, that ANY judge should be considered liberal vs. conservative is absolutely asinine. The law, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights should be interpreted by every judge each and every time WITHOUT regard for political party platforms, but that’s a topic for another time. For this case, the outcome will likely be decided by the draw instead of the legal arguments in the case. 

Why is this case important? A successful appeal by the State reverses the initial District Court ruling and magazines with a capacity higher than 10 rounds are once again illegal in California. The only hope for a reversal comes from the United States Supreme Court which has not been willing to hear Second Amendment cases. 

In the unlikely event of Duncan being upheld, the State will have to decide if it wants to risk an unsuccessful appeal to the Supreme Court where it has the potential to impact magazine bans around the country or find another way to restrict them in California. 

However, in my opinion the most important thing this case points out is the importance of our local and state elections. Laws like this are enacted by the people we elect to office. When we elect gun control politicians, we enable them to restrict our Second Amendment protected rights and the only recourse we have is to have them overturned in the courts. 

And guess what, you and I are paying for both sides of this fight. Our taxes pay for the lawyers to defend the laws that take away our rights and our dues and donations pay for the lawyers to try to get them back. The only ones who win regardless of the outcome are the lawyers. 

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 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.

Vote wisely this year. 

Bob

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Gun Buys vs. Gun Votes

It’s election season and everyone is trying to predict how people will vote. Now mix in COVID-19, a near complete national shutdown of the economy, millions of people thrown out of work, business and lives destroyed and lost, violent criminals being released from prison ‘for their safety’, police departments being defunded and services cut, and the ongoing “peaceful protests” a.k.a. riots around the country. It’s no wonder we’ve seen absolutely unprecedented firearms and ammunition sales around the country, many of them by first time buyers. But does this mean more votes for or against gun control politicians as some are predicting? Sadly no, but you know what, that’s not what is important. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 spread, and the politically motivated shutdown that has lasted MONTHS beyond the initial “two weeks to flatten the curve”, there has been a run on firearms and ammunition unseen in this nation’s history. NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) inquiries, the federal background checks used to estimate firearms sales, have broken records for months with no signs of letting up. 

But there’s something different about this spike vs. previous ones. Most of the time firearm purchases increase after a horrific event and there is fear of political knee-jerk reaction laws to limit access to firearms and ammo. The fears are of course well-founded as gun control extremists and their political allies realize they can cram through otherwise unobtainable laws under the mantra of “never let a crisis go to waste”, even if it means politicizing the victims while they are still bleeding and acting before the cause is actually known. 

This spike has been different. With COVID-19 national shutdown of the economy, convicts being released en masse into the community, law enforcement services being curtailed, daily riots and destruction around the country and random, unchecked violence everywhere, people are genuinely and rightfully concerned for their safety and the safety of their families. In many places, the fear of not being able to get a law enforcement response for hours, if at all, to a plea for help in a crisis has many who have never before owned firearms flocking to gun stores. 

I’ve seen estimates around the country of anywhere between 40% to 70% of purchasers are new to firearms. They come from all walks of life, races, ages, religions and political affiliation. Far more than the normal amount are women. Many of these new purchasers also have no idea what it really takes to purchase a firearm leading to a host of amusing, yet very sad, stories from around the country. 

So, what does this mean politically? Do all of these new firearm owners mean a sweep for Republican or anti-gun control Democrat candidates? No. It means absolutely nothing. And, that’s okay. 

Purchasing or owning a firearm has very little to do with political party affiliation. During my time in the firearms industry, managing a firearm retailer, gunsmithing and operating a small private shooting club and range, I’ve met firearms owners from every point on the political spectrum from off the scale left to the hardest of hard-core right. Just because you own firearms, doesn’t mean you don’t support gun control. I’ve met people you would think to be anti-gun control such as law enforcement, ex-military, a gun range operator and even the owner of a firearm manufacturer who are very pro-gun control. At the same time, one of the biggest anti-gun control advocate I know is a Democrat. 

Modern political party affiliation, especially in urban areas, generally means you have bought onto the full party platform. For Democrats, that means you support gun control. For a politician, if you don’t support the party platform, you’ll very quickly find your Party support and money gone and a new Party supported Democrat running against you.  In rural areas, where there is less focus on the national party platform, politicians from both the major parties are more reflective of their constituents. 

The other thing to remember is very rarely does the citizenry directly vote on gun control measures. There are exceptions, but for the most part we vote for representatives, who then vote for or against gun control. As we’ve seen, many politicians run on a very strong anti-gun platform, at least during the normal campaign season. Then, in the final run up to the elections, gun control is purposefully faded to the background so as not to discourage those who may hold strong firearm rights views.  Sadly, as the State of Virginia found out, once elected, gun control becomes the primary focus with politicians claiming their victory is a mandate for gun control. 

What this all boils down to is firearm purchases are going to mean very little, if anything at all, to the elections. People are going to vote for the party or person they feel best represents their values. Gun rights and gun control is a part of that, but it is very unlikely to switch someone from a blue to red vote. 

My take on this is that’s okay. While I wish more people would place the Second Amendment and firearm rights higher up on their priorities, it is not a requirement for firearm ownership. Second Amendment protected rights apply to EVERYONE equally, no matter their political party affiliation, just as it should be. People owning and using firearms makes them and their families safer, just as it should be. 

So what do we do? We welcome new firearm owners into the community. We help them with training, places to shoot, competition, hunting, sports and self-defense information. We invite them into our clubs and associations so they can be the best and safest firearm owners they can be. If we can also help them to see how important their Second Amendment protected rights are at the same time, then maybe sometime, someday, somewhere, they’ll bump that a little higher up on their priorities. In the meantime, we simply welcome them. 

Bob

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California Freedom Week V2 – NOT!

For a very brief period, law-abiding California residents were free from the draconian ammunition purchase restrictions imposed by Proposition 63. A federal judge ruled the ammunition restrictions were unconstitutional and issued an injunction.  But alas, that freedom was quickly taken away. After being denied a stay from said federal judge, the State appealed to the Ninth Circuit who issued a stay the very next night. Of course, if this was about keeping ammunition from prohibited persons as the State argues, it would be one thing. But California’s motives and design behind their so-called “ammunition background check system” are more far reaching than they admit. And it is all designed to strip more of your rights away from you. 

By the by, for those of you who don’t think this will impact you since you don’t live in California, think again. Ammunition restrictions are the future of gun control and every gun control extremist in every state wants it. 

On Thursday, April 23rd around 3:00 pm, United States District Judge Roger T. Benitez issued a preliminary injunction against the State of California in Rhode v. Becerra prohibiting the enforcement of the ammunition restrictions imposed by Proposition 63. This included the requirement for a background check for the purchase and transfer of ammunition as well as the restriction on the purchase of ammunition from out-of-state vendors delivered to the purchaser’s home. 

It is worth noting this is the same federal judge who ruled against California’s so-called “large capacity” magazine ban in March 2019. For one week before Judge Benitez issued a stay on his own ruling, Californians were free to possess, sell, purchase, trade, give and most importantly, use standard capacity magazines. Conservative estimates place the number of magazines acquired by Californians at between one and two MILLION. While selling and purchasing standard capacity magazines is once again banned while the stay is in place, the possession and use of them is still allowed in the state. 

In this case, Judge Benitez issued another masterfully worded 120 page ruling against the state, essentially picking apart the State’s argument piece-by-piece, calling out “onerous and convoluted” regulations that violate the constitutional right to bear arms. It’s lengthy, but it’s worth reading to understand the reasoning behind the injunction. A link to the document is at the end of this article. 

But the State was ready this time. The following morning, the State filed a motion to stay the preliminary injunction with Judge Benitez. It also set a time limit of 3:00 pm that day, for Judge Benitez to issue a ruling or the State would consider an appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Judge Benitez denied this motion, again with a well-crafted rejection of the State’s argument. Not to be outdone, the State did appeal to the Ninth Circuit and a stay was issued at 9:54 pm on April 24th.  Thus the duration of the stay, and California ammunition buyers freedom, lasted only about 30 hours. 

So why is this NOT about keeping ammunition out of the hands of prohibited persons? If that was the objective as the State insists, they would have adopted a simple check of prohibited persons similar to what most states use with NCIS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System). Instead, California chose to piggyback the existing DROS (Dealer Registration of Sale) system which is tied into a number of sub-systems including the error prone APPS (Armed and Prohibited Persons System).  Other than creating a system with an error rate of 16.4 % and blocking over 101,047 law-abiding citizen purchases over 10 months, it allows the state to register each and every ammunition purchase to the buyer.  Now why in the world would they want to do that? 

To answer that, look no further than previously proposed legislation in California that was unable to be implemented as the system to support it was not in place, until now. 

Limits on the amount of ammunition you can purchase in a given time period

California has long wanted to limit how many rounds you can buy in a day/week/month, etc. Cries of ‘You shouldn’t be able to walk in and buy an arsenal’ have been around for years. The state has successfully implemented limits on how many handguns and semiautomatic centerfire rifles you can purchase thanks to the DROS entries. Ammunition registration enables this. 

Limits on the type of ammunition

California has outlawed the use of lead ammunition for hunting and has proposed that ban be extended for all shooting ranges. They’ve even proposed that only lead-free ammunition, as certified by the State DOJ (Department of Justice) be available for sale. In other words, think handgun roster for ammunition. Without a registration system for all approved ammunition, this would not be possible. 

This also allows bans of other non-desirable ammunition such as so-called “assault bullets”, otherwise known as common defensive hollow point rounds, or ammunition in certain calibers such as 5.56, .223, 7.62×39 or 5.45×39, ammunition commonly used in AR or AK pattern rifles. 

Limit ammunition purchases to calibers matching your registered firearms

Let’s say of all your firearms registered with the state, none shoot 5.56 / .223. So why then would you need to purchase ammunition in that caliber? The logical conclusion from the state is you have an unregistered firearm. Never mind that it’s possible and completely legal to have firearms that were never registered or even required to be registered now, but that means the state doesn’t know about it. By limiting your purchases to firearms registered in DROS, you can either not shoot that firearm, or you have to register it to get ammo for it.  

Ammunition bans and restrictions are the new promised land in the world of gun control since firearms without ammunition are just expensive clubs. They also know this area is currently very lightly regulated and small, incremental steps to restrict and eliminate it, such as licensing ammunition vendors, restricting internet purchases with consumer direct shipments, background checks and registration will dramatically increase the costs and give them more control over how much ammunition you can have and use.  

Of course, you can’t help but appreciate this short-lived ammunition law injunction being a cruel joke on so many levels. Not only did it only last for about 30 hours, but it occurred at a time when a lot of Californians were out of work and didn’t have any money, many of state’s guns stores were closed as non-essential, ammunition was scarce because of the panic buying over the last month and what was available was priced so high it wasn’t affordable.

As with all legal cases, this one will not play out for years to come. During this time, California resident’s Second Amendment rights will continue to erode and the only ones enjoying the ride will be the lawyers. The ONLY way to keep this from happening again in other states is to STOP electing people who will not protect our natural, Constitutionally protected rights. 

Bob

https://michellawyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-04-23-Order-Granting-MPI.pdf

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United Socialist States of America

In a little over a month into our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen our entire economy shut down resulting in 26.5 million Americans, representing 20.6% of our workforce, losing their jobs.  It is currently the highest level of unemployment in our country since 1934 following the Great Depression. With each passing week of our workers being locked in their homes and out of their jobs, it becomes worse. You would think at a time like this our government would be doing everything they can to get us back to the robust economy we had before. Instead, what we have seen is a systematic loss of our rights, our jobs, our freedom and our way of life as opportunistic, power hungry politicians have seized the chance to implement extreme progressive changes they could never have done before without this crisis. The mantra of “never let a crisis go to waste” is quickly turning our nation into the United Socialist States of America. 

At first, the media stoked fear of COVID-19 convinced us that the only way to effectively react to this unknown was to shut down the country except for so-called “essential services”. The first hints of socialist favoritism came when the definitions of essential services varied across the nation. Large and small communities alike granted themselves extraordinary powers to shut down commerce, restrict purchases of goods and services and even permanently seize private property. Statewide restrictions followed and the essentials list grew more restrictive, even to the point of what products could be purchased. Shortages of basic food and other staples spread across the nation. While big box, large chain stores were allowed to remain open, smaller family owned businesses were forced to close. Permitted commerce now only benefits these large stores. 

Health care was limited to essential, COVID-19 relates services. Any other health services are prohibited. Hospitals were cleared out and huge field hospitals were constructed in preparation for the huge influx of patients that never arrived. 

At the same time, shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders were introduced and it became a crime to leave your house except for a strictly defined list of essential needs. Travel outside your immediate neighborhood was outlawed. Travel between some states was restricted. Roadblocks on the highways questioned everyone with out-of-state plates. National Guard troops in one state went door-to-door looking for out-of-state residents who had left their home state.  Those breaking the rules have been fined, arrested or put into mandatory quarantine. 

Traffic and cell phone data have been collected so authorities can determine if people are staying in their homes. Law enforcement agencies have been using drones to monitor the public. Newer drones can now determine if someone has a fever, is coughing and their heart rate from hundreds of feet away. Heavy handed police tactics have been used to deal with mothers, fathers, families and others who dare to break the most minor of state or local rules.  

In the interest of public health, prisoners have been released on mass. Over 17,000 in 21 states, many times as the result of secret, non-public hearings or rulings, with some prisoners even provided with free cell phones and hotel rooms. Keep in mind, this isn’t a temporary furlough where they’ll be coming back when the crisis ends, this is a permanent, get out of jail free card. 

This comes as law enforcement agencies are reducing the type of calls they respond to. The results are what you would expect. Burglary and violent crimes including rape, robbery and murder have increased, many committed by these released convicts. Under the new rules, most who are now arrested must be immediately released. 

“Snitch lines” have been established so you can report non-essential businesses who are open and your neighbors who are defying social distancing rules. One mayor has even proudly proclaimed that ‘snitches get rewards’. 

In different parts of the country, law changes have been administratively altered including such things as extending the time frame for an initial hearing following a red-flag firearms seizure from 10 days to 100 days (California) and eliminating the right to open carry a firearm (Mississippi). 

Perhaps the most egregious rules are those that directly infringe on First and Second Amendment rights. Prohibiting the free exercise of religion, the freedom of speech, the right to peaceably assemble, the right to petition the government for redress of grievances and the right to keep and bear arms. 

Still waiting in the wings is a proposed follow-up to the one-time stimulus payment, is monthly payments to all residents, legal and illegal, for at least a year – in other words, a universal basic income. 

If you’re wondering how this all equates to socialism, it’s really rather simple. The government is determining who is allowed to work and who is not. The government is determining what goods and services can be offered and by whom. The government is determining who can make a profit and who will be required to live on government payments. The longer the economy is shut down, the more small businesses will close forever and the more people will be forced into poverty and will need to rely on government assistance. 

As with all socialist economies, there is an elite class that thrives. As we’ve already seen, the wealthy and the high-level politicians are not only exempt from the daily restrictions placed on the rest of the population, they are able to profit from it too. The politicians pick and choose what industries and what businesses are allowed to operate and which are not. The restrictions on the population keep them at arm’s length and the elimination of their rights keep the elites safe. 

Is this the future you want for yourself and your country? Are you willing to give up not only your natural, constitutionally protected rights as well as your ability to provide for yourself and your family as you see fit?

Yes, COVID-19 is a serious health issue, but it can be mitigated without the draconian control measures being used in some areas of the country. The most basic level of personal responsibility, social distancing and sanitation, is enough to stop this, without giving up our rights.

Bob

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