Venezuela: Thousands Take to the Streets of Caracas for Rival Protests

I expect sometime in the near future that it’s going to break wide open down there. The only question is which cartel will be supplying the guns.

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido led thousands of his supporters through the streets of the country’s capital on Saturday to demand the departure of President Nicolas Maduro.

In a speech, Guaido called on his supporters to remain in the streets in the upcoming days, reminding them how civilian action ousted Bolivia’s Evo Morales only six days before.

In other parts of the city, Maduro supporters wearing red shirts prepared for a scheduled rally at the presidential palace in the center of Caracas. Maduro’s socialist party also called upon its members to protest in solidarity with his ally Morales, who currently resides in exile in Mexico.

Switzerland’s Plan to Stop Stockpiling Coffee Proves Hard to Swallow

No coffee?!!? Ridiculous!

The Swiss are nothing if not well-prepared. Theirs is a country with a nuclear bunker for every household, a country that tests its air raid sirens every year, and a country that, although one of the wealthiest in the world, stockpiles thousands of tonnes of goods in case of an emergency — including coffee.

But when the Swiss government proposed ending the stockpiling of coffee earlier this year, the plan was met with fierce resistance.

The drink, low in calories and with little nutritional value, did not belong, the government said, on the “essential to life” list.

But this led to a public outcry. The Swiss are among the world’s biggest drinkers of coffee, and many, it seems, do regard it as “essential”. Faced with such a public response, the government said it would reconsider.

Man in hospital after attempted armed robbery at Doraville GA restaurant

A man is in intensive care after an attempted armed robbery at a Doraville restaurant, authorities said.

The man, who police are not identifying, pointed a pistol at the owner of the restaurant in the 5000 block of Buford Highway just before midnight Thursday, Doraville police spokesman Gene Callaway said. The name of the restaurant was not released.The suspect, who demanded cash, was shot in the chest by a restaurant employee, according to Callaway. The injured man fled the scene and was later found in a wood line off Shallowford Road.

Attorney General Barr Shreds The Political Left During Federalist Society Speech

On Friday, Attorney General William P. Barr delivered the 19th Annual Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture at the Federalist Society’s 2019 National Lawyers Convention.

The most significant part of the speech, to me, was when Barr slammed the political left for their endless attacks on Trump, and their bogus narrative that Trump is subverting the Constitution.

One of the ironies of today is that those who oppose this President constantly accuse this Administration of “shredding” constitutional norms and waging a war on the rule of law. When I ask my friends on the other side, what exactly are you referring to? I get vacuous stares, followed by sputtering about the Travel Ban or some such thing. While the President has certainly thrown out the traditional Beltway playbook, he was upfront about that beforehand, and the people voted for him. What I am talking about today are fundamental constitutional precepts. The fact is that this Administration’s policy initiatives and proposed rules, including the Travel Ban, have transgressed neither constitutional, nor traditional, norms, and have been amply supported by the law and patiently litigated through the Court system to vindication.
Indeed, measures undertaken by this Administration seem a bit tame when compared to some of the unprecedented steps taken by the Obama Administration’s aggressive exercises of executive power – such as, under its DACA program, refusing to enforce broad swathes of immigration law.

Barr also specifically called out the resistance.

The fact of the matter is that, in waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of “Resistance” against this Administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law. This highlights a basic disadvantage that conservatives have always had in contesting the political issues of the day. It was adverted to by the old, curmudgeonly Federalist, Fisher Ames, in an essay during the early years of the Republic.

Oh, but he wasn’t done there:

In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion.  Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the state to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection.  Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursing a deific end.  They are willing to use any means necessary to gain momentary advantage in achieving their end, regardless of collateral consequences and the systemic implications.  They never ask whether the actions they take could be justified as a general rule of conduct, equally applicable to all sides.

I strongly encourage you to watch (or read) the whole thing. After eight years of having partisan radicals running the show and turning the Department of Justice into a political weapon for Barack Obama, it’s refreshing to see we have an advocate for the Constitution and the rule of law again.

Know the Opposition: Violence Policy Center

Josh Sugarmann

One of the reasons that we are facing a harder fight for our rights is that anti-Second Amendment extremists have gone beyond the misuse of firearms in the commission of crimes and acts of madness as a reason to take away our rights. This strategy, which has become very effective, had its birth with the Violence Policy Center.

Do not let the innocent-sounding name fool you. The Violence Policy Center is responsible for not only creating the “assault weapons” myth that is regularly used to beat Second Amendment supporters over the head, especially in the wake of mass shootings, but it is part of an overarching long-term strategy that is responsible for a paradigm shift in the debate over our rights.

You see, to the Violence Policy Center, mere ownership of any type of firearms threatens the “public health” of the entire country. By moving it to this angle it allows them to hammer law-abiding American citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights – even when they have done nothing wrong. It is part of a pattern of anti-Second Amendment innovation – one that has been a hallmark of the organization’s founder, Josh Sugarmann.

Sugarmann, as Second Amendment supporters should know, is the one who initially suggested that the future of anti-Second extremism was shifting the focus away from handguns and on modern multi-purpose semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. His infamous quote is one that Second Amendment supporters should point to when trying to convince our fellow Americans that they are being misled.

But it goes beyond modern multi-purpose semiautomatic rifles. The Violence Policy Center has also sought a complete ban on handguns over the same years. Again, the refrain is they are a danger to public health. We also saw them hype of alleged dangers from rifles that used the .50 BMG cartridge, and it has waged a relentless war on concealed carry laws, often highlighting the very rare times concealed carry permit holders were charged with crimes. The group even targeted subcompact pistols like the Glock 26 calling them “pocket rockets.” There is one very common denominator in all of this: The Violence Policy Center was trying to create fear about gun ownership and modern firearms technology.

But the Violence Policy Center has not stopped there. In addition to the fear-mongering, the Violence Policy Center has proposed to give career bureaucrats the right to impose gun bans. This is, in fact, precisely what the Violence Policy Center advocated in 1994. Their model legislation was introduced in 19931995, and 1997 by then-Representative Major Owens.

The group calls it “regulating the gun industry” – ignoring the many federal, state, and local laws on firearms already in existence. At the link, you will note that they will claim teddy bears are regulated for health and safety, while guns aren’t.

Putting guns under the model of consumer product regulation would, in essence, allow anti-Second Amendment extremists to ban guns – leaving Americans with little recourse against such a ban. It would even apply to accessories like laser sights. And all from a bureaucrat’s edict – with no effective response. When was the last time a federal government bureaucrat got fired for abusing power?

While the Brady Campaign was dangerous in its ability to harness emotional stories, and to separate a lot of well-meaning gun owners from defending the Second Amendment, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has added a more religious fervor that many groups adopt, the Violence Policy Center has literally put forth the nuts and bolts of a plan to take away our rights. They also have played a role in creating the climate of fear used to fuel efforts to take our rights away.

While that approach has been brushed off easily in the past, these days, it is becoming more and more effective – and we are paying for that in terms of losing elections. Eric Holder’s long-sought brainwashing of Americans against guns has begun to take hold, and the Violence Policy Center’s work has been the crux of that campaign. How else do you explain the way an advice columnist can tell a father to put his hatred of guns over love for his daughter, and then double down on it?

Overcoming this climate of fear will be a full-spectrum fight over the long haul that will require the right approach and much attention to not just strategy and tactics, but how Second Amendment supporters come across to their fellow AmericansSupreme Court rulings will only be of temporary respite rather than the beginning of the end of infringements on our rights if the fear created by the Violence Policy Center is not overcome.

After Another Mass Shooting, California Must Recognize Its Gun Control Laws May Actually Be Part of the Problem

Another school shooting, this time by a 15-year-old at Saugus High School in California, another quest for answers. Yet, 20 years after Columbine, the United States is still looking for how to stop mass public shootings. The rest of the world, where mass public shootings are actually much more common, is also looking for solutions. Russia, France, Finland, and Norway are among the European countries that have experienced far more deaths per capita from these attacks.

Change is coming, if slowly, in the United States. Earlier this year Florida and Texas passed major improvements to their laws that are significantly increasing the number of teachers with guns at school. Both bills received strong support from those states’ Republican governors.

Florida’s bill removed a limitation that only allowed non-classroom-based teachers to defend the classroom. Texas removed the cap on the number of school personnel that can carry firearms at schools.

It isn’t by coincidence that every mass public shooting in Europe since at least 1990 has occurred in an area where general, law-abiding citizens are banned from carrying firearms for protection, and for recent mass public shootings in New Zealand, Brazil, and the Netherlands. That has also held true for 94% of such attacks in the U.S. since 1950.

Moms Demand Action, a gun control advocacy group funded by Michael Bloomberg, argues that the bills in Texas and Florida “would make school a much more dangerous place for our children.” By contrast, President Trump keeps proposing arming teachers and staff at schools, saying: “I’m telling you that would work.”

But 20 states currently allow teachers and staff to carry guns to varying degrees on school property, so we don’t need to guess about how safe these schools are. Some states have had these rules for decades. In recent decades, only California and Rhode Island have moved to be more restrictive. The Crime Prevention Research Center, of which I am the president, has just released a new report looking at all the school shootings of any type in the United States from 2000 through 2018.

During these years, Utah, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and parts of Oregon allowed all permitted teachers and staff to carry, without any additional training requirements.  Other states leave it to the discretion of the local superintendent or school board. As of December 2018, teachers carried in more than 30 percent of Texas school districts. And in September 2018, Ohio teachers were carrying in over 200 school districts.

Roughly 5 percent of Utah teachers carry permitted concealed handguns at school, according to Clark Aposhian, the senior member of Utah’s Concealed Firearm Review Board. Support staff — including janitors, librarians, secretaries, and lunch staff — carry at a higher estimated rate of between 10 and 12 percent.

Carrying in a school is no different than in a grocery store, movie theater, or restaurant.  Seventeen million Americans have concealed handgun permits — which is 8.75 percent of the adult population outside of permit-unfriendly California and New York. Nobody knows whether the person next to them might have a gun, unless it happens to be needed………..

Not a single person has been injured or killed by a teacher’s gun. But even more amazing, not a single person has been shot during school hours. Gun control groups may paint fearful pictures of what might go wrong with teachers carrying, but that fear gets harder to push given these programs’ successes. This research provides evidence that armed teachers deter attacks.

It is past time for us to do something that really works. With another mass public shooting in California, it is time for California to recognize that its gun control laws might actually be part of the problem. Let’s stop leaving our schoolchildren as sitting ducks.

 

Elise Stefanik’s Stardom is Born
“President Obama’s own State Department was so concerned about potential conflicts of interest from Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma that they raised it themselves while prepping this wonderful Ambassador nominee before her confirmation. And yet our Democratic colleagues and the Chairman of this Committee cry foul when we dare ask that same question that the Obama State Department was so concerned about.”

Elise Stefanik is from New York’s 21st District.
We’re not talking Manhattan here, it’s the north country, covering the Adirondack Mountains from the Vermont border to the east and the Canadian border to the north and west……….

Stefanik won the seat in 2014, at age 30. At the time, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress…………

First, she took on Schiff. But because she’s Republican, Schiff received media cheers not scorn for trying to shut her up.

She scored a substantive home run by pointing out that the Obama administration was concerned about Hunter Biden’s actions in Ukraine, so much so that she was prepped on the subject in advance of her Senate confirmation hearings. So why, she asked, is it wrong when Republicans to have the same concerns about Hunter Biden that the Obama administration had?

 

Appeals Court Denies Qualified Immunity To Cop Who Argued Citizens Have No Right To Defend Themselves Against Armed Intruders

Remember, I’ve said more than once, I’m not anti-cop. I’m anti-stupid cop. This is one that qualifies.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied immunity to a cop involved in a no-knock raid that left the raided house’s resident, Julian Betton, paralyzed. This case was touched on briefly in a previous post discussing legal arguments made by law enforcement officers that attempt to portray people in their own homes as dangerous aggressors when police crash through their doors unannounced.

In this case, South Carolina police officer David Belue’s legal rep tried to tell the court Betton’s response to a bunch of heavily-armed men rushing through his door — grabbing a gun and moving into the hallway from the bathroom — created a situation where Betton deserved every bullet fired at him by officers. In other words, if Betton didn’t want to get shot, he shouldn’t have been in his own house when it was invaded by officers who never informed him they were police officers.

Here’s a recap of the events leading to the lawsuit, from the Fourth Circuit’s decision [PDF]:

In the afternoon of April 16, 2015, a team of plain-clothed law enforcement officers armed with “assault style rifles” used a battering ram to enter Julian Ray Betton’s dwelling to execute a warrant authorizing a search for marijuana and other illegal substances. The officers did not identify themselves as “police” or otherwise announce their presence before employing the battering ram. From the rear of his home, Betton heard a commotion but did not hear any verbal commands. Responding to the tumult, Betton pulled a gun from his waistband and held it down at his hip.

Three officers, including Myrtle Beach, South Carolina police officer David Belue, fired a total of 29 shots at Betton, striking him nine times. Betton suffered permanent paralysis resulting from his gunshot wounds.

This shooting was immediately followed by a bunch of lies. Officer Belue first claimed Betton fired his gun at officers. The ensuing investigation showed Betton’s weapon was never fired. Faced with this direct contradiction of his statement, Officer Belue revised his, claiming Betton pointed his gun at officers. According to Betton, he never got the chance to point a gun at anyone. The moment he appeared with his gun, officers opened fire.

Officers also lied about their entrance to Betton’s home. They claimed they knocked and announced their presence. Betton’s surveillance camera told the real story. Nine seconds elapsed between the officers’ arrival on Betton’s lawn and their entrance into his house. None of the officers present appeared to announce anything before bashing down his door and swarming inside.

Officer Belue also initially had asserted that the agents had knocked on Betton’s door and announced their presence, and had waited before forcibly entering the home. However, footage from the video cameras on Betton’s front porch showed that the officers had not knocked on the door or announced their presence, and had not waited any length of time before using the battering ram to gain entry.

To the contrary, the video recordings showed that the officers ran up the front steps and immediately began using the battering ram. Moreover, Garcia confirmed that the officers did not announce that they were law enforcement personnel before entering the home. The record before us also contains a statement from a former DEU agent, who related that the DEU agents “almost always forcibly entered [residences] without knocking and announcing” their presence.

Despite this — and despite inverting the Castle Doctrine to say its the invaders of a home who need protection from the home’s occupants — Officer Belue still sought qualified immunity. The district court denied his request, pointing to the facts still in dispute, as well as the officer’s actions.

Regarding Betton’s unlawful entry claim, the magistrate judge found that the officers had not knocked or announced their presence before entering, and that there were no exigent circumstances warranting abandonment of the “knock and announce” procedure. The district court adopted the magistrate judge’s recommendation to deny qualified immunity on the unlawful entry claim, and Officer Belue has not challenged this ruling in the present appeal.

With respect to Betton’s excessive force claim, the magistrate judge found that there were material facts in dispute regarding whether Betton had pointed a gun at the officers before Officer Belue fired his weapon. Thus, the magistrate judge concluded that a jury could find that Betton did not pose an immediate deadly threat to Officer Belue or others justifying the use of deadly force.

The Appeals Court sees no reason to upend this finding, especially when there’s precedent on point saying actions like this clearly violate Constitutional rights.

[A]s of 2015, the law in this Circuit was clearly established that a person is entitled to be free from excessive force when the person “is on his property or in his residence, is in possession of a gun that he is not pointing at police officers, and is not given a warning or command to drop the gun before he is shot.”

Officer Belue also argued Julian Betton was so inherently dangerous it didn’t matter whether officers announced themselves or ordered him to put his weapon down before opening fire. This claim basically turns Betton’s mere existence into an exigent circumstance where Constitutional rights no longer apply. The Appeals Court isn’t interested in advancing this terrible legal theory.

[N]o information in Betton’s criminal history suggested that he was inherently violent to a degree that the officers would have been justified in storming into his home unannounced and in firing their weapons at him when he did not present a current threat. Notably, the search warrant was based on Betton’s conduct of selling small amounts of marijuana on two occasions. And, although the informant observed security cameras and two firearms in Betton’s home, there was no evidence indicating that Betton had engaged in threatening or violent conduct toward the confidential informant.

Betton’s case goes back to the district court and Officer Belue will have to face a jury if he doesn’t attempt to settle this lawsuit first. Denying immunity preserves the rights of homeowners to defend themselves from unexpected intruders in their homes. Officer Belue’s attempt to separate one action (his shooting of Julian Betton) from another of his actions (entering a home unannounced) is soundly rejected. Even when an officer subjectively “fears for his safety,” context matters. If officers want to use the element of surprise to their advantage in no-knock raids, they can’t turn around and claim residents have no right to react with alarm to armed intruders.

Homeowner shoots and injures attacker in her Port Charlotte home

Florida – Deputies say an accused burglar was arrested Thursday night after she was shot by a homeowner.

According to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, 40-year-old Jessica Gutzler forced her way into a residence on Strasburg Drive around 7pm. The victim, who says she knows Gutzler, says she was physically attacked by her. During the attack, the homeowner fired a shot from a handgun, striking Gutzler in the lower back.

Gutzler fled the home and later called 911 for medical assistance. Gutzler was found two blocks away and taken to a medical facility.

She will be charged with Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling – Unarmed, Making an Assault or Battery upon her release from medical care.


Would-be thief flees when Cope woman fires shots

South Carolina – A Cope woman almost lost her van’s catalytic converter to a would-be thief, but he ran away after she fired shots, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.

The woman called deputies at 12:33 p.m. Thursday after she heard someone knock on the door of her Ember Drive home. She then checked on her surveillance cameras and saw a male with a blue sedan.  She said the man stood in her yard as if he was checking to see if anyone was at home.

A moment later, the man appeared to be underneath her 1996 white Ford Econoline van. The woman “felt as if she needed to take action,” the incident report states.

She walked out of her front door and shot her Hi-Point 9mm handgun toward the man’s direction. The man fled.

When a deputy arrived, he discovered a yellow saw blade wedged in the exhaust of the van “as if the subject was trying to remove the catalytic converters,” the incident report states.

The woman showed the deputy where she discharged her firearm and the two bullet holes on her screen porch.


North couple thwarts burglary; husband shoots at would-be thief’s vehicle

South Carolina – A couple arrived at their daughter’s Waters Ferry Road residence just before noon on Wednesday only to find a suspicious vehicle in the yard of her North home.

The couple drove to the front yard and honked their horn. Moments later, a man opened the front door, looked at them and slammed the door closed, an incident report states. Not long after that, a man came running from behind the house and got into the mysterious green vehicle in the front yard.

As the man entered the green vehicle, the husband stood in front of it. The man attempted to flee the scene, but the husband pulled his .380-caliber handgun and told the man not to leave. The wife called 911 and the husband told the man he had to wait for deputies to arrive.

The man told the husband he was trying to find Gaston and begged him not to call law enforcement, the report states.

As the man drove forward, the husband stepped to the driver’s side of the green vehicle. He continued to tell the man not to leave, but the man put the vehicle in reverse and backed up quickly. The husband then fired a shot at the man’s tire to try and stop him.

As the man continued to drive, the husband fired more shots at the vehicle. The man got away.

A deputy and a North police officer made sure no one was inside of the home and found an open window in the rear of the house. A deputy was able to locate evidence at the scene. It was secured. A neighbor showed the deputy video surveillance from her home security system.

The burglary task force is investigating the incident.

Americans Reject Democrat Gun Control, Set Background Check Records

While Democrat presidential candidate after Democrat presidential candidate has pushed gun control, Americans have been filing into retailers to purchase firearms.
In fact, FBI figures for firearm purchase background checks–performed via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)–show that October 2019 was the third consecutive month of record checks.

And October 2019 saw 2,393,609 background checks, for the third consecutive record month this year.

It is important to note that background checks numbers are not an exact indicator of the number of gun sales that occurred, and there are many reasons for this.

For one, a background check is done on the purchaser not the gun, and the purchaser could purchase multiple guns with each background check.

Secondly, some background checks are done for concealed carry licenses, etc., so they do not represent gun sales.

However, the recording setting rise in background checks does indicate that gun sales rose, and did so at a time when candidates like Robert “Beto” O’Rourke were saying, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.” Which was the same time frame in which Joe Biden was pushing firearm registration, gun owner licensing, and lawsuits against gun manufacturers and Elizabeth Warren was pushing an excise tax to reduce firearm sales.

Veteran Proposes Shredding Constitution To Stop School Shootings

Yep, that’s right. Just a “commonsense” law allowing the police to enter your home and check to ensure that your firearms are being stored properly. Shaw bases his argument on what’s called an “appeal to authority,” in this case his status as a veteran. His column is even called “Take It From A Veteran: Gun Control Will Actually Protect Our Right To Keep And Bear Arms.”

I appreciate Mr. Shaw’s service, but being a veteran doesn’t make you an expert on gun control laws. I wanted to call this column “Take It From A Guy Who’s Been Covering The Gun Issue For Fifteen Years: Gun Control Will Not Actually Protect Our Right to Keep And Bear Arms”, but it’s a little wordy.

Attorney General William P. Barr Releases First-Ever Semiannual Report on the Fix NICS Act

On Nov. 14, 2019, the Attorney General published and submitted to Congress the first semiannual report on the Fix NICS Act. The report, required by the Fix NICS Act passed by Congress in March 2018, reflects strong compliance with the Act and demonstrates renewed efforts at all levels of government to improve the sharing of records and information that are vital to the effective operation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

“An effective NICS system is critical to ensuring that we keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “I am encouraged by the results of this initial report. Fix NICS implementation is still in its infancy, yet already we’re seeing great strides being made across government – state, tribal, and federal law enforcement – to strengthen the NICS. Given the preliminary data, it is clear that the Fix NICS Act is well on its way to doing exactly what it was intended to do – make the NICS better.”

The NICS is a computerized system designed to help determine if a person is disqualified from possessing or receiving firearms by conducting a search of available relevant records. The databases searched by the NICS contain records with information relevant to the legal prohibitions against firearm possession and purchasing under both federal and state law. To function effectively, the NICS must have access to complete, accurate, and timely information submitted by relevant agencies in all levels of government across the country.

The 2018 Fix NICS Act was passed to encourage government agencies to improve their records submission processes and further strengthen the NICS. Under the Fix NICS Act:

  • Federal agencies:
    • must report certain record submission metrics to the Attorney General in semiannual certifications; and
    • must establish four-year implementation plans to improve records submissions.
  • States and tribal governments:
    • are incentivized with grant preferences to establish four-year implementation plans.
  • The Attorney General:
    • must publish and submit to Congress a semiannual report on federal agency compliance with the Act; and
    • must determine whether federal agencies, states, and Indian tribal governments have achieved substantial compliance with the benchmarks set out in their implementation plans.

Report Highlights:

Compliance:

  • 45 federal agencies submitted certifications and implementation plans
  • All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Indian tribal governments established implementation plans and
  • Another 44 federal agencies certified they do not have any relevant records

Early Results:

The efforts by federal agencies, states, and Indian tribal governments under the Act are already paying off. Between April 2018 and August 2019:

  • There was an increase of over six million records in the three national databases searched with every NICS check—a 6.2 percent increase. In addition, there was a 15 percent increase in records in one of those databases, the NICS Indices.
  • The number of Firearm Retrieval Referrals (FRRs) (where a prohibited person is able to purchase a firearm because the background check could not be concluded within three business days due to incomplete records) decreased each month in comparison to the same month during the previous year, for an average monthly decline of 102 FRRs.
  • With the exception of June 2018, there was an increase in the percentage of NICS checks resulting in an immediate determination (not requiring a delay for further research) compared to the previous year. Specifically, there was an average increase of 0.51 percent for each month when compared with the same month of the previous year.
Graph on Fix NICS
  • From May 2019 through July 2019, the military branches enhanced their record reporting by increasing entries into the Controlled Substance category by 10 percent, with an overall increase in multiple categories of 2.63 percent.
  • The U.S. Customs and Border Protection entered approximately 13 million illegal or unlawful alien records into the NICS Indices in October 2019.

Although the implementation plans have been in place for just a few months, these early indicators are encouraging. As the plans are executed over the next several years, the Department of Justice expects to see a real and lasting positive impact on NICS records and operations.

The complete report can be accessed here: https://www.justice.gov/ag/fix-nics-report-2019.

Netherlands: Mosque’s Amplified Call to Prayer Silenced by a Cut Cable

Yes, just a ‘boyish prank’, I’m sure.

The intensely amplified call to prayer at Amsterdam’s Blue Mosque, which was set to be heard for the first time last Friday in the New West district of Amsterdam, was silenced by someone who cut the sound system’s cable. Tomorrow there’s a retry.

The Blue Mosque was set to be the first mosque in the Dutch capital where the call to prayer broadcast would be amplified over loudspeakers, Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf reports……

Worshippers, alongside members from the national and local press, were waiting outside the Blue Mosque at 1:00 pm when the loudspeakers were turned on to broadcast the prayer, but to everyone’s surprise, no sound was heard.

After minutes of silence, the spokesperson for the mosque board, reluctantly addressed the media, saying: “This is very painful. The sound system has failed. It feels very uncomfortable. ”

Google Will Offer Checking Accounts, Says it Won’t Sell the Data

Won’t sell the data? This is Google, the mass data seller to the highest bidder. Who do they think they’re kidding?

The Google empire is enormous and ubiquitous, covering basically the entire Internet in one way or another. There is, however, one lucrative business the company does not yet have a foothold in: banking. And now it has plans to change that.

Google is working to launch consumer checking accounts next year, The Wall Street Journal first reported this morning. The project, code-named Cache because apparently nobody can resist a pun, is expected to launch next year, sources told the Journal. CNBC, also citing “sources familiar,” confirmed the WSJ’s reporting.

One dead after shooting Wednesday morning

VICTORIA, Texas – On November 13th ,2019, 12:35 a.m. Victoria Police Department officers responded to a residence in the 200 block of Monterrey Dr. in response to a shooting, according to a statement from Victoria Police.

Preliminary investigation revealed that prior to police arrival, an altercation occurred, and as a result gunfire was exchanged.

The resident, 31 year old Andrew Guzman shot 42 year old Kyle Kirby of Victoria, in what appears to be self-defense. Kirby succumbed to his wounds at the scene.

After conferring with the Victoria County District Attorney’s Office, no arrests have been made at this time.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Impeachment Hearings: New Whine in an Old Battle

The Diplomad: “W. Lewis Amselem, long time US Foreign Service Officer; now retired; served all over the world and under all sorts of conditions. Convinced the State Department needs to be drastically slashed and reformed so that it will no longer pose a threat to the national interests of the United States.”

Despite having just bought a new Sig P226 Legion and a Sig P365 (both excellent), I spent much of the day listening to the so-called impeachment hearings . . . sigh . . . gotta get a life.

I don’t know what was more depressing, the hearings themselves or the comments afterwards by the so-called punditry class. These pundits, left and right, were chattering on and on about “take-aways” from the testimony. Yes, Bill, there was this and there was that, and, of course, that there . . . PLEASE STOP!

Let me give you the one take-away y’all need, and remember this comes from a former denizen of the Foggy Bottom Swamp, one who used to swim and crawl with all them swamp creatures.

What you saw were a couple of career dips–neither of whom I know personally–whining a familiar whine that one can hear echoing in the halls of Foggy Bottom and just about anywhere else where “PROFESSIONAL” civil servants congregate. What is it? Simple: THEY are not paying attention to us!

You saw Ambassador Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary Kent all in a knot because the President had an “irregular” channel he used to conduct foreign policy in Ukraine. Wow! I didn’t realize that we had elected Taylor and Kent!

Let me put it in nice simple terms so that the Swamp Beings will understand: The President sets and conducts foreign policy, not State, not the NSC, not the DOD, not any other alphabet agency. He does not have to go through State or NSC to conduct said policy; he does not have to consult with Kent or Taylor or anybody else on Ukraine or any other aspect of foreign policy.

All Presidents have used “irregular” channels going back at least to Woodrow Wilson and Colonel House. All have used messengers and negotiators outside the established bureaucracy for different diplomatic missions. There is nothing unusual or illegal or impeachable for doing this. The bureaucracy doesn’t like it, so what?

More of this “impeachment” nonsense to come.

2 Confirmed Dead in Southern California High School Shooting

The police reports are that the shooter shot 5 fellow students then turned the gun on himself, shooting himself in the head. Unattributed remarks were that he’s brain dead (not that he wasn’t already).
Politicians were already squalling for more gun control, even with the example of the gun grabber’s dream of California laws not making one bit of difference.

Update: 2:59 p.m. Eastern:

So to recap: The Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Department just held a press conference and confirmed that two students aged 16 and 14 have died in the hospital. The shooter is alive but gravely injured and under medical care. The shooter’s social media accounts are being investigated. The weapon used was a semi-automatic .45 caliber pistol. Thursday is the shooter’s 16th birthday.

Not sure if AOC is finally being honest or if she’s too dense to realize she just gave the whole thing away?

Embrace the mighty power of ‘And’. 

Ocasio-Cortez: Impeachment Could Prevent a ‘Disastrous Outcome’ in 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Wednesday said that impeaching President Donald Trump is necessary to prevent a “disastrous outcome” in 2020.

“This is not just about something that has occurred, this is about preventing a potentially disastrous outcome from occurring next year,” she said.