The Second Amendment is helping defend small businesses in the Minneapolis riots

The city of Minneapolis is burning.

Much of the media’s attention has rightfully focused on how the protests-turned-riots undermine the justified outrage over George Floyd’s cruel death at the hands of the police, and the unacceptable arrest of CNN reporters who were trying to cover the developments.

At the same time, these troubling developments should provide a renewed appreciation for the importance of the Second Amendment and how the right to self-defense uplifts minority groups in particular.

During the riots, many minority-owned Minneapolis businesses have unfortunately been looted or destroyed. In response, a number of responsible, law-abiding citizens, both black and white, have exercised their Second Amendment rights to protect their businesses.

“It’s about damned time some heavily armed rednecks stood with fellow citizens,” one pair said. “These guys are out here with machetes and shattered windows trying to keep looters out of their business because cops can’t get in here. And so, you know, I figure, before there were cops there were just Americans … so, here we are.”

“Justice for Floyd, and I hope they stop looting at some point,” the men, who are both white, finished. Behind them, you can see minority business owners engaged in similar self-defense posturing.

In a second video from the scene, we specifically see armed, law-abiding black men deployed peacefully outside their minority-owned businesses to protect them from looters and rioters.

These are just two examples of many.

So, despite all the dark news, it’s worth remembering that the right to self-defense protects all Americans, not just white Christian Republicans, as some gun control activists would have you believe. In fact, gun control actually has a deeply racist history. All of this is worth remembering the next time so-called champions of minorities start calling for restrictions on the Second Amendment.

 

First-Time Gun Buyers Explain How Coronavirus Changed Their Politics

Scott Kane went 38 years without ever touching a gun. That streak would have continued had it not been for the coronavirus. In March, fearful of the harassment his wife and child experienced over their Asian ancestry, Kane found himself in a California gun shop. His March 11 purchase of a 9mm would have been the end of the story, were it not for a political standoff over shutdown orders and background checks. Now Kane, a former supporter of gun-control measures and AR-15 bans, is frustrated by the arduous process that has denied his family a sense of security. The pandemic has made the soft-spoken software engineer an unlikely Second Amendment supporter.

“This has taken me, a law-abiding citizen with nary an unpaid parking ticket to my name, over a month,” he told the Washington Free Beacon. “Meanwhile Joe Bad Guy has probably purchased several fully automatic AK-47s out of the back of an El Camino in a shady part of town with zero background checks.”

Receipts reviewed by the Free Beacon show Kane first purchased a firearm on March 11 from Sportsman’s Warehouse in Milpitas, Calif. Santa Clara County shut down the shop before Kane’s 10-day waiting period was complete. No end date was given for the order, but a California law giving buyers just 30 days to pick up a gun remained in effect. Kane was stuck in a legal limbo that only grew worse.

Unable to do business, the store went belly-up in May. Kane had no way to pick up his gun. He started the process over again at another store in a neighboring county. He returned home with a Springfield XD 9mm and a biometric safe on April 29, 50 days after he first passed a background check and paid for a gun.

“I’m seriously thinking of running for office or something,” Kane said. “This state’s gun laws are insane.”

Kane is not alone. An influx of new gun owners has the potential to permanently alter the politics surrounding guns in the United States. If industry estimates are correct, millions of Americans across the country have become first-time gun buyers since March. If the experience changes their minds about the ongoing debate over gun control it could tip the balance of political power toward pro-gun activists and politicians.

It is not that the new buyers were unaware of the politics of gun control. Several new gun owners who spoke to the Free Beacon—some of whom requested anonymity citing safety concerns—generally leaned toward enhanced restrictions, their positions informed mostly by major news stories. But as they have become more personally invested in the debate, they find themselves more skeptical of gun control. Brian, a 40-year-old Floridian, used his savings to buy a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in March after being laid off—the experience changed his entire approach to Second Amendment issues.

“In the past, I wasn’t against owning a gun. However, I did think that we had suffered enough as a country from school shootings, and something needed to be done. I was for stricter gun laws—no ARs, close the gun-show loophole, better mental health regulations, etc.,” he said. “I would now oppose stricter gun laws.”

While all of the first-time buyers who spoke to the Free Beacon cited safety concerns stemming from the pandemic as their top reason for buying a gun, some said the politics of the moment played a significant role in their decision. But they held differing and even opposing viewpoints on which politicians concerned them the most—suggesting the group of new owners represents a fairly diverse political spectrum……….

First-Time Gun Buyers Explain How Coronavirus Changed Their Politics

Scott Kane went 38 years without ever touching a gun. That streak would have continued had it not been for the coronavirus. In March, fearful of the harassment his wife and child experienced over their Asian ancestry, Kane found himself in a California gun shop. His March 11 purchase of a 9mm would have been the end of the story, were it not for a political standoff over shutdown orders and background checks. Now Kane, a former supporter of gun-control measures and AR-15 bans, is frustrated by the arduous process that has denied his family a sense of security. The pandemic has made the soft-spoken software engineer an unlikely Second Amendment supporter.

“This has taken me, a law-abiding citizen with nary an unpaid parking ticket to my name, over a month,” he told the Washington Free Beacon. “Meanwhile Joe Bad Guy has probably purchased several fully automatic AK-47s out of the back of an El Camino in a shady part of town with zero background checks.”

Receipts reviewed by the Free Beacon show Kane first purchased a firearm on March 11 from Sportsman’s Warehouse in Milpitas, Calif. Santa Clara County shut down the shop before Kane’s 10-day waiting period was complete. No end date was given for the order, but a California law giving buyers just 30 days to pick up a gun remained in effect. Kane was stuck in a legal limbo that only grew worse.

Unable to do business, the store went belly-up in May. Kane had no way to pick up his gun. He started the process over again at another store in a neighboring county. He returned home with a Springfield XD 9mm and a biometric safe on April 29, 50 days after he first passed a background check and paid for a gun.

“I’m seriously thinking of running for office or something,” Kane said. “This state’s gun laws are insane.”

Kane is not alone. An influx of new gun owners has the potential to permanently alter the politics surrounding guns in the United States. If industry estimates are correct, millions of Americans across the country have become first-time gun buyers since March. If the experience changes their minds about the ongoing debate over gun control it could tip the balance of political power toward pro-gun activists and politicians.

It is not that the new buyers were unaware of the politics of gun control. Several new gun owners who spoke to the Free Beacon—some of whom requested anonymity citing safety concerns—generally leaned toward enhanced restrictions, their positions informed mostly by major news stories. But as they have become more personally invested in the debate, they find themselves more skeptical of gun control. Brian, a 40-year-old Floridian, used his savings to buy a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in March after being laid off—the experience changed his entire approach to Second Amendment issues.

“In the past, I wasn’t against owning a gun. However, I did think that we had suffered enough as a country from school shootings, and something needed to be done. I was for stricter gun laws—no ARs, close the gun-show loophole, better mental health regulations, etc.,” he said. “I would now oppose stricter gun laws.”

While all of the first-time buyers who spoke to the Free Beacon cited safety concerns stemming from the pandemic as their top reason for buying a gun, some said the politics of the moment played a significant role in their decision. But they held differing and even opposing viewpoints on which politicians concerned them the most—suggesting the group of new owners represents a fairly diverse political spectrum.

Aaron Eaton, a former Army MP and current sewer company technician in Alabama, said the increasingly hostile stance many in the Democratic Party have taken toward gun ownership helped push him to make his first purchase.

“I figured now’s the time to buy before, God help us, a Democrat becomes president again,” he said. “Then I would probably never get that chance again. The only view that has changed, and solely because I got into politics because of Donald Trump, is [what I think of] the stance Democrats have regarding guns. I do not find it funny how Democrats are trying to interpret the Second Amendment.”

Andrew, a federal contractor who, along with his wife, bought a Heckler & Koch VP9 on March 21 in Virginia, said the state’s Democrat-controlled legislature pursuing a package of gun-control laws this winter in the face of unprecedented opposition directly contributed to his purchase. He said he and his wife are currently considering buying a number of other firearms they worry state Democrats will try to ban—or even confiscate—in the next legislative session despite those bills being defeated in the last session.

“These are just the first two purchases—sidearms—and when things settle down, we’ll likely get into long guns too,” he said. “We know we want a shotgun and an AR (or similar) platform before the progressives in the Virginia legislature ultimately prevail (as I expect they ultimately will) in tightening up regulations on ownership.”

Kane, on the other hand, said his gun-buying ordeal hasn’t moved him closer to supporting the president but has moved him to consider the California Republican Party—perhaps even as a candidate.

Brian from Florida said he was concerned less about the gun debate and more about President Trump’s competence in handling the coronavirus outbreak. “I’m just concerned, as is my wife, about what the future holds,” he said.

For others, the coronavirus has not changed their views on gun control or either political party. Instead, it pushed them to make a purchase earlier than they otherwise would have or act on pro-gun views they’d already held. Jake Wilhelm, an environmental consultant in Virginia, said he had “always been a staunch 2A supporter.”

Mathew Rosky, a North Carolinian who bought a shotgun for himself and another for his wife last month, said he believes what he always has.

“I’m generally conservative and believe the Second Amendment is clear,” he said. “If you are a citizen that is not a criminal/prohibited by law or has not been adjudicated a danger to yourself or others you should be able to own a gun if you want to.”

Still, for those who have experienced a political change of heart, the effect has been dramatic. Kane fired the first shots with his Springfield XD 9mm on May 15.

“Now I’m 100 percent converted,” he said.

He’s already begun recruiting others.

“I got one of my Asian-American friends to take the NRA basic pistol class with me,” Kane said. “Signed my wife up too for a later session so we can tag-team it. Never thought I’d be that guy taking his clueless-about-guns buddy to the gun store.”

After firing his first shots, Kane bought two more guns—a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver and a California-legal model of the AR-15 he used to think should be banned. He’s hoping this time he won’t have to wait more than two months to actually shoot them.

 

Bob, just what in the wide wide world of sports is going on out there?
People just not have it cross their minds to carry a gun while in the wild?
One of the first things I did when I was posted to Ft Lewis was head to the Sheriff’s office in downtown Tacoma and get a CCW so I could carry anytime I was off post.


Cougar Attacks Mountain Bikers Near Seattle, Killing One and Injuring Another

SEATTLE) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle.

They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and it ran off.

It wasn’t enough, authorities said.

As they stood trying to catch their breath, the cougar returned, biting one of them on the head and shaking him, Capt. Alan Myers of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police said Sunday.

The second cyclist ran, and the animal dropped the first victim and pounced on him, killing him and dragging him back to what appeared to be its den.

“They did everything they were supposed to do,” King County sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Abbott said. “But something was wrong with this cougar.”

The attack Saturday near North Bend, in the Cascade Mountain foothills 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Seattle, was the first fatal cougar attack in the state in 94 years. Myers said Sunday that the cougar was underweight — about 100 pounds (45 kilograms), when a typical 3-year-old male in the area would be 140 to 180 pounds (63 to 81 kilograms).

The 31-year-old Seattle man who was bitten first, Isaac Sederbaum, survived. Rescuers flew him to a hospital, where he was in satisfactory condition Sunday, Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

Myers identified the deceased victim, a 32-year-old Seattle resident, as S.J. Brooks.

After the cougar attacked Brooks, a badly bloodied Sederbaum managed to get on his bike and ride off. He rode for 2 miles (3 kilometers) before he could get a cellphone signal to call 911.

When rescuers arrived, it took about half an hour to find Brooks, who was dead with the cougar on top of him in what appeared to be a den-like area. An officer shot at it, and it ran off. Several hours later, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife agents used dogs to track it to a nearby tree. They shot and killed it.

Authorities plan to match DNA taken from the animal with DNA from the victims to be certain they killed the right cougar. They sent the animal’s carcass to a veterinary lab at Washington State University for a necropsy to determine what might have been wrong with it.

There are an estimated 2,000 cougars in Washington. Until the 1960s, the state paid hunters a bounty for killing them. Now, it allows 250 to be hunted in 50 designated zones.

While they are sometimes known to kill livestock or pets, and though one even found its way into a park in Seattle in 2009, encounters with people in Washington state are rare.

Attacks have become more common as people increasingly encroach on the animals’ territory. In North America, there have been about 25 deadly attacks and 95 nonfatal attacks reported in the past century, but more attacks have been reported in the U.S. West and Canada over the past 20 years than in the previous 80, according to Fish and Wildlife.

Experts say that people encountering the big cats in the wild should stop and pick up small children immediately. Because running and rapid movements can trigger the animal’s prey drive, don’t run. Instead, face the cougar, speak firmly and slowly back away — appearing as large as possible, such as by standing on a rock or stump or opening a sweatshirt or jacket.

Keep your eyes on the animal and become more assertive if it doesn’t back off. And if it does attack, fight back.

“The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger,” Fish and Wildlife advises on its website.

 

When the question answers itself.
What does it mean when they have to twist facts to promote their agenda?

Everytown Ignores Its Own Data to Get Attention

Everytown for Gun Safety produced an “analysis” that sought to tie an “‘alarming’ spike” in fatal firearms-related accidents involving children to the recent surge in firearms purchases across the country. Their point is predicated on the deliberate exclusion and misuse of their own data – they used the tragic deaths of children to push their anti-gun agenda. Their own historical data disproves their claim.

Shannon Watts spoke to CBS News about this analysis and said: “‘We know that there are risks to having guns in the home, and with the surge in gun sales in the last two months, it could create more opportunity for kids to gain access to guns and unintentionally hurt themselves or someone else,’ said Shannon Watts, founder of Everytown’s anti-gun violence volunteer network Moms Demand Action. ‘The numbers show there’s been an increase in these horrible shooting tragedies during the time the pandemic was at its peak.’”

Watts and Bloomberg must be desperate to spin the recent increase in gun sales into a negative. The Everytown research division put together this analysis by comparing the number of fatal accidents involving children and teens (up to age 17) as either the victim or the accidental perpetrator in March and April 2020 to the average number of children and teens involved in fatal firearms-related accidents in the same months for 2017 through 2019. They say that there were 21 such deaths in March and April 2020, and that the average number of such deaths in the same months for 2017 through 2019 is 15.

Watts wants you to think that those additional deaths should be attributed to the increase in gun sales because the 2020 total is higher than the average for the previous three years.

Every accidental death of a child is a tragedy, no matter the means, but Everytown is using these tragedies (and some misinformation) to further their political agenda.

The truth is within the data that Everytown scraped (on which their analysis is based). There were, according to Everytown’s data, 21 deaths resulting from a firearms-related accident involving children or teens. The average for March-April over the last three years is, in fact, 15.  Why use an average, and why use three years of data when five is available? Let’s look at the annual totals for March-April, according to Everytown’s data:

Sadly, the 21 fatalities in 2020 is not the peak for the March-April period according to Everytown’s data. It is tied for second with the year 2016. Everytown focuses on averages to avoid the year-to-year comparison that shows that the 21 fatal accidents in 2020 is similar to – and even lower than – other years in their own data. The time period used for their average was deliberately chosen because it gives the smallest average possible. The victims of these tragic accidents from 2015 through 2020 range in age from 1 to 28 years old, with the age of one victim unknown to Everytown.

Everytown’s deliberate misrepresentation of their own data is disgusting. These are people – including young children – who lost their lives in tragic ways. Everytown is treating them as a means to an end.

No one wants children to be hurt or killed. The NRA developed the Eddie Eagle program to teach kids to stop, don’t touch, run away, and tell a grown-up if they come across a firearm. More than 30 million children have participated in this program since 1988. The firearms industry trade group NSSF developed Project Child Safe in 1999 and has distributed more than 38 million cable locks and safety kits to gun owners.

Everything with Shannon Watts and Everytown comes back to their desire to strip away the gun rights of law-abiding Americans. Why else make a baseless and inaccurate claim that is obviously designed to score political points by pulling emotional levers?

These children and teens deserve better than to be weaponized by Shannon Watts and Everytown.

School District’s Fight For Armed Teachers Heads To OH Supreme Court

Officials in an Ohio school district are appealing a decision that struck down its policy of arming volunteer, trained teachers to carry firearms in the classroom, and the decision by the Ohio Supreme Court will have an impact on dozens of districts across the state.

The Madison School District in Butler County, Ohio first adopted a policy allowing for teachers to volunteer for training that would allow them to carry on school grounds as a first line of defense against an active shooter, but shortly thereafter, several parents filed suit with the help of Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun legal firm, Everytown Law. A district judge upheld the policy, but earlier this year the 12th Appellate Court in Ohio ruled that armed teachers must have the same training as police officers before they can carry. Now the school district is appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court, and the case could upend existing policy in districts across the state if the Supreme Court upholds the appellate court’s decision.

The district filed the appeal to the high court Thursday and several other school districts and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office have filed briefs in support. They said “it would be difficult to argue that this case does not present issues of public or great general interest.”

“This is more than a picayune squabble about how much training should be required when a school district exercises its right under the authorizing statute,” attorneys for the district wrote. “As a practical matter, this decision eliminates the ability of a local board of education to decide that the best way to protect students and staff from a hostile actor is by allowing some staff to carry concealed weapons on school grounds.”

The brief by attorneys for Madison Schools argues that the 12th Appellate Court panel erroneously read Ohio law as requiring armed staff to undergo law enforcement training, and Sean Maloney, an Ohio attorney who’s part of the FASTER Ohio organization that has trained thousands of educators in the state, told Bearing Arms back in April that the state legislature has actually approved funding in recent years for the FASTER program. If lawmakers are approving money to provide training for armed teachers, clearly the legislature must believe that these school districts have the ability to set their own training requirements.

The state’s Attorney General agrees, and says if teachers are required to undergo hundreds of hours of law enforcement training, it will simply result in a ban on armed school staff.

In addition to arguing Gabbard’s attorneys and the 12th District Court misinterpreted laws governing armed staff, Attorney General Dave Yost’s staff said there are practical reasons the decision must be overturned. He said it would cost the district $7,265 to send a staffer through peace officer training at Butler Tech. Plus the program is eight hours a day, five days a week, it would take a little over eighteen weeks to complete.

“The reality is that few if any teachers or school administrators can train to become police officers while maintaining their day jobs,” the brief reads. “Thus, as a practical matter, the Twelfth District’s erroneous decision strips schools of an effective means they have to defend schoolchildren from a school shooting.”

I suspect that Everytown Law is going to have their rear ends handed to them by the Ohio Supreme Court on this issue, but if for some reason the state’s highest court upholds the lower court’s decision, expect a quick response from the legislature in the form of a bill making it crystal clear that school districts have the right and power to establish policies and procedures for armed school staff.

Why Gun Rights Are Essential In a World of Uncertainty and Scarcity
Firearms are the most practical and effective way for the average American to secure his or her life, liberty, and property.

A common joke in the American gun community goes something like this:

Q: Why do you carry a gun?

A: Because carrying a cop is too heavy.

This humorous quip should not detract from the fact that many individuals in the United States (including me) own and carry a firearm for purely pragmatic reasons. The simplest case for the right to keep and bear arms can be summarized in one sentence: You are ultimately responsible for your own safety and security.

This sobering pill can be difficult for many people to swallow but that’s reality. Evil exists in this world. Under the right circumstances, people can and will do unspeakable things to each other as any student of history or psychology will know. Those fortunate to live in gated communities and can afford armed security are often oblivious that most other people do not enjoy the same luxuries.

Many violent crimes take place and are over in a matter of seconds (and stopped in seconds that prevent the worst). As another popular saying goes, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” In the United States, depending where you live, police response time ranges from nine minutes to over an hour. Right now, one in five New York police officers are currently out sick due to COVID-19. Police in multiple states have announced they will no longer respond to theft, burglary, and break-ins. Given the current climate, it’s not unreasonable to assume police will take much longer to arrive, if they do at all, should someone dial 911.

Furthermore, Americans need to understand there is no legal obligation for the police to protect you, which is affirmed by the Supreme Court and multiple lower courts. (See Castle Rock v. GonzalesWarren v. District of Columbia, and Lozito v. New York City). Should the police fail to arrive or protect you when needed, you can’t even sue for neglect.

Thus, given the legal and logistical realities, taking the initiative to protect yourself should be as sensible as any other proactive measure such as having a fire extinguisher in the home or jumper cables ready in the back of the car. Should disaster strike, preparedness will make all the difference in the world. Protecting your one and only life deserves no less preparation and investment, especially in our increasingly complex and uncertain world.

Americans are fortunate to live in a country with mostly stable institutions. But there are vivid examples when segments of society break down, many in not-too-distant memory. In widespread civil disturbances such as the 1992 LA riots or the aftermaths of Hurricane KatrinaFlorence, and Harvey, the authorities were overwhelmed and unscrupulous individuals took advantage of the chaos to prey on others.

Going by sheer numbers, almost all of us will encounter at least one black swan in our lifetime. The current COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath are already the most trying times on the lives and livelihoods of Americans since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Should an even deadlier natural or man-made catastrophe take place, if the authorities haven’t been incapacitated, displaced, or destroyed completely, whatever personnel and resources are left will be prioritized to protect high-ranking government officials, their inner-circle, and critical government facilities and infrastructure.

The economist Thomas Sowell reminds us, “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it.” Security also happens to be a scarce resource. There’s simply not enough boots on the ground that can guarantee all 300 million Americans will be protected at all times from all threats. In every emergency, tough decisions will have to be made. From what we know about past and present “continuity of government” plans, ruling elites will be evacuated to a secure bunker in some undisclosed location while John Q. Public will be left to fend for himself.

Every American schoolchild is taught that everyone is equal before the law. Given this fundamental axiom, it’s not unfair to demand that the average American citizen have access to the same means of security and protection that government officials—who are our servants, not overlords—insist on having for themselves (while using taxpayer money). Under the American political system, the right of self-defense cannot be limited to only a privileged few. No one, regardless of their socioeconomic status, can deny fundamental rights to others.

The right to life is closely intertwined with the right of self-preservation. John Locke, a major influence on the philosophical foundations of the US Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, described the right of self-preservation as a “fundamental law of nature” in his Second Treatise of Civil Government:

The state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other’s power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because such men are not under the ties of the common-law of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power.

The political philosophy of John Locke and other Enlightenment thinkers contributed a unique element to American political theory: Fundamental rights do not come from the government. Human beings possess them already simply by virtue of being free and that includes a pre-existingnatural right of self-defense and self-preservation. As the Declaration of Independence memorably emphasizes, these natural rights are “unalienable” which means they cannot be taken or given away. They are permanent and apply in all times and all places to all human beings, with or without the Second Amendment or any other statutory pronouncement.

Self-evident truths” and similar conclusions are found in other schools of thought. The ethical intuitionist philosopher Michael Huemer also highlights an interlocking relationship between the right of self-defense and the right to own a gun:

It is possible for a right to be both fundamental and derivative. Derivative rights are usually related to fundamental rights as means to the protection or enforcement of the latter, though this need not be the only way in which a right may be derivative. I claim that the right to own a gun is both fundamental and derivative; however, it is in its derivative aspect—as derived from the right of self-defense—that it is most important.

Even without the existence of absolute rights (which Huemer declines to acknowledge for guns or any other right), he nevertheless persuasively argues:

  1. There is a strong prima facie right to own a gun
  2. Prohibiting private gun ownership constitutes both a major interference in gun owners’ plans for their own lives as well as a significant violation of their right of self-defense

Using a memorable thought experiment, Huemer shows how gun control laws that prevent a person from accessing or exercising the means of self-defense is akin to a criminal accomplice who holds a victim down while the actual murderer carries out the foul deed. By preventing the victim from escaping or exercising his right to self-defense, the accomplice’s action is still “if not equivalent to murder, something close to murder in degree of wrongness, even though he neither kills nor injures the victim.” In a follow-up thought experiment, Huemer adds:

…except that the victim has a gun by the bed, which he would, if able, use to defend himself from the killer. As the killer enters the bedroom, the victim reaches for the gun. The accomplice grabs the gun and runs away, with the result that the killer then stabs his victim to death.

Most reasonable individuals will intuitively recognize what the accomplice did was morally wrong. In both scenarios, the accomplice’s actions purposely prevented the victim from defending himself. If gun control laws have the same effect, it logically follows that they are “about equally serious as a violation of the right of self-defense.”

Fortunately for Americans, most of us still have access to a wide range of choices when it comes to self-defense. While it is understandable to be reluctant to pick up a gun, it is worth mentioning alternatives such as martial arts, tasers, and pepper spray are often severely limited by range, efficiency, or effectiveness.

Even if she is proficient in martial arts (which requires years of training), a 5-foot, 100-pound woman will be overwhelmed if she faces multiple attackers who weigh twice as much. On the other hand, she can ably defend herself with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, which is a popular weapon for many Americans, including women, because of its light weight, low recoil, accuracy, reliability, ergonomics, and ease of customization to fit any shooter regardless of size and stature.

Compared to other options, firearms are the most practical and effective way for the average American to secure his or her life, liberty, and property. As I emphasized in a previous essay:

From the colonists winning independence from Great Britain to African-Americans vindicating their civil rights, the role of the gun is inseparable from American identity. The gun is the ultimate multipurpose tool that empowers its user with the means to put food on the table, as well as preserve one’s life, whether against common street criminals or government tyranny.

In these uncertain times, both the pragmatic and philosophical case for gun rights are as strong as ever.

Many Americans, especially minorities, have realized the need for self-protection in times of social upheaval and breakdown. It is unfortunate that it took a tragedy as extreme as the COVID-19 pandemic to remind people that we should never take peace, prosperity, and freedom for granted. But millions have now taken the first steps to defend themselves and their loved ones. They should know they are in good company.

From what I’ve witnessed firsthand and experienced to date, the American gun community is strongly supportive and always welcoming towards first-time gun owners and anyone remotely curious about firearms regardless of their background. (See our plethora of welcome and orientation videos for newcomers brought in by the recent gun-buying surge). Our country’s gun culture and people’s civic virtue reinforce each other. In the spirit of Tocqueville, civil society has stepped up in the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrated exemplary acts of charity. It’s only natural that the gun community is also actively participating by sharing knowledge with their fellow Americans and ensuring new gun owners are comfortably onboarded.

I am confident these new gun owners will learn how to handle their weapons responsibly, discover the joys of shooting, and become future staunch defenders of the Second Amendment (and hopefully the rest of the Bill of Rights as well). Our past is full of inspiring examples of Americans emerging stronger and freer after overcoming crises that tear the fabric of society and test our ideals. In these “times that try men’s souls,” let us not forget the precious legacy bequeathed to us.

THE 2A ACID TEST
HOW TO MAKE A FOOL OUT OF A “GUN SAFETY ADVOCATE”

Earlier this year, there were two occasions when this correspondent wound up in broadcast discussions with gun prohibitionists trying to pass themselves off as “gun safety advocates.”

In one of those encounters, it seemed necessary to remind the listening audience there was one certified firearms instructor in the room and it wasn’t the other person who was representing a Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group.
Take this as a learning experience because the elections are on the horizon, you’re a voter with an opportunity to question candidates and you might wind up in a debate with some gun grabber who claims to be an authority on gun safety or a member of some so-called “gun safety” organization. This is when you can put them on the spot and they will unintentionally help you do it.

NRA Certified firearms instructors have a card identifying them as such. Mine has been protected with a laminated plastic cover. A friend who used to be a lobbyist was also an instructor and he habitually pulled out his instructor’s card to ask opponents, “Do you have one of these? If you don’t, you probably shouldn’t be here talking about gun safety.”

If you can’t say you’re a certified instructor, the next best thing is to challenge these anti-gunners to recite the four rules of gun safety as set down by the late Col. Jeff Cooper, the “Father of the Modern Technique.” The founder of the American Pistol Institute, now known as the Gunsite Academy, Cooper kept it simple and his rules have withstood the test of time:

• Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.
• Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
• Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made the decision to shoot.
• Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it.

There may be a moment of silence, possibly a blank stare as your opponent’s try to figure out who Cooper was and maybe offer a remark about “not being the point” before they scramble to change the subject. This is when you’ve got them. They can’t answer directly since they don’t know. Whatever else is said after this point, just keep reminding your opponent — and anyone else listening — your question wasn’t answered.

These self-appointed arbiters of firearms etiquette don’t really know anything about guns or safety, other than they don’t like them and don’t want anyone to have them. It’s up to you to set it in concrete so people remember it. You’re the expert, not them.

If or when one of these people claims to be a gun owner, it’s easy to make them stammer by asking, “Oh, how many guns do you own?” Or better still, “How many guns have you owned? If you sold one or two to someone else, did you require the buyer to go through a background check?”

It’s not unfair to ask when was the last time they went to the range to practice? Have you taken a gun safety course? The same questions apply to anyone running for local public office.

‘Oh, Where Do You Offer Classes?’

If you’re in a discussion with somebody who says he or she is a member of a “gun safety” group, stop them cold by asking, “Oh, where do you hold classes on gun safety?”

When they respond, “We don’t really hold classes,” (and they will) this is the moment to remind them they’ve got no business preaching gun safety if they’re not teaching gun safety.

This same strategy applies to meeting candidates because the next eight weeks should provide plenty of opportunities to attend at least one of these sessions. Any candidate who claims to support “gun safety” legislation should be challenged to recite Cooper’s Four Rules.

Here’s another way to make these people look foolish: Offer to take them shooting. If they’ve claimed to be gun owners, invite them to bring their own firearms.

In one of those encounters, it seemed necessary to remind the listening audience there was one certified firearms instructor in the room and it wasn’t the other person who was representing a Seattle-based gun prohibition lobbying group.
Take this as a learning experience because the elections are on the horizon, you’re a voter with an opportunity to question candidates and you might wind up in a debate with some gun grabber who claims to be an authority on gun safety or a member of some so-called “gun safety” organization. This is when you can put them on the spot and they will unintentionally help you do it.

NRA Certified firearms instructors have a card identifying them as such. Mine has been protected with a laminated plastic cover. A friend who used to be a lobbyist was also an instructor and he habitually pulled out his instructor’s card to ask opponents, “Do you have one of these? If you don’t, you probably shouldn’t be here talking about gun safety.”

If you can’t say you’re a certified instructor, the next best thing is to challenge these anti-gunners to recite the four rules of gun safety as set down by the late Col. Jeff Cooper, the “Father of the Modern Technique.” The founder of the American Pistol Institute, now known as the Gunsite Academy, Cooper kept it simple and his rules have withstood the test of time:

• Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.
• Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
• Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made the decision to shoot.
• Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it.

There may be a moment of silence, possibly a blank stare as your opponent’s try to figure out who Cooper was and maybe offer a remark about “not being the point” before they scramble to change the subject. This is when you’ve got them. They can’t answer directly since they don’t know. Whatever else is said after this point, just keep reminding your opponent — and anyone else listening — your question wasn’t answered.

These self-appointed arbiters of firearms etiquette don’t really know anything about guns or safety, other than they don’t like them and don’t want anyone to have them. It’s up to you to set it in concrete so people remember it. You’re the expert, not them.

If or when one of these people claims to be a gun owner, it’s easy to make them stammer by asking, “Oh, how many guns do you own?” Or better still, “How many guns have you owned? If you sold one or two to someone else, did you require the buyer to go through a background check?”

It’s not unfair to ask when was the last time they went to the range to practice? Have you taken a gun safety course? The same questions apply to anyone running for local public office.

‘Oh, Where Do You Offer Classes?’

If you’re in a discussion with somebody who says he or she is a member of a “gun safety” group, stop them cold by asking, “Oh, where do you hold classes on gun safety?”

When they respond, “We don’t really hold classes,” (and they will) this is the moment to remind them they’ve got no business preaching gun safety if they’re not teaching gun safety.

This same strategy applies to meeting candidates because the next eight weeks should provide plenty of opportunities to attend at least one of these sessions. Any candidate who claims to support “gun safety” legislation should be challenged to recite Cooper’s Four Rules.

Here’s another way to make these people look foolish: Offer to take them shooting. If they’ve claimed to be gun owners, invite them to bring their own firearms.

‘Do You Take Money From …?’

A couple of years ago, as a private citizen and constituent, I attended a public forum with three local legislators. A woman in the audience demanded to know if the Republican state representative had taken money from the National Rifle Association.

It’s a fair question, but the savvy activist should immediately counter by asking whether the politician or candidate has accepted contributions from Everytown for Gun Safety or a regional or local gun control group. We discussed this last month………

Meet the gun safety instructor holding ‘office hours’ on Zoom
Gun rights advocates are promoting safety training in response to record-breaking numbers of arms sales amid Covid-19

On a recent afternoon in San Jose, California, Chuck Rossi held up his AR-15 in front of his computer camera, talking through how to hold the weapon safely, and how to load it with ammunition.

“AR-15s are modular. They’re like Legos for men,” Rossi said. The man on the other side of the Zoom call chuckled.

Rossi is an activist turned safety instructor, one of the many gun owners across the country who are using Zoom or social media to teach new gun owners how to use their weapons.

The coronavirus pandemic has driven record-breaking numbers of gun sales in the United States, as gun sellers have succeeded in being categorized as “essential businesses”. At least anecdotally, many of the millions of guns sold during the pandemic have gone to first-time gun buyers, sparking concerns about potential increases in domestic violence, gun accidents and child gun deaths. Gun control advocates say the panic-buying during a time of anxiety, uncertainty and economic distress has also made gun suicide a particular concern.

In response, gun rights advocates have focused on safety training, with some offering free sessions to make sure new gun owners understand how to operate their weapons – and feel welcomed to the gun community.

Rossi was an early Facebook employee who left the company in 2018, and still lives in San Jose. He co-founded Open Source Defense, a Silicon Valley gun rights group. The group’s founders live across the country, but many of them are current or former tech workers. Between 20% and 30% of Americans say they personally own a gun, a number that has fallen for decades, and the group aims to grow the base of American gun owners by being friendly, digitally savvy and “zero percent” focused on culture wars. Zoom “office hours” for new owners is one of their initiatives.

When he signed up for a Zoom gun safety session, one new gun owner, a 40-year-old tech company worker from San Jose, said he expected he would be chatting with “some hillbilly NRA guy”.

“Is he even going to be nice to me?” the tech worker, who is black, wondered. Instead he got Rossi, who works in the same industry and lives in the same town. Just a few years ago, the new gun owner, who asked that his name not be used, said he was someone who had believed that AR-15s should be banned.

In early March, as concerns about coronavirus grew, his company told employees not to worry, that “the government has it under control, there’s going to be a vaccine.” Then he went to grocery store, “and there was nothing” so he had to go to his parent’s house to get toilet paper.

He starting thinking about stories of civil unrest during the Los Angeles riots or Hurricane Katrina and said he worried about desperate people, hungry people, who might see homes in his nice San Jose neighborhood as soft targets.

“People take from those who have,” he said. How likely was it that he would ever be a target? “One in a million,” he said. “I consider it an extreme impossibility. But why not be prepared?” In mid-March he went to buy self-defense weapons: a handgun and, because shotguns were sold out, an AR-15, which retails for about $1,000.

The new gun owner’s parents were appalled, and worried about the safety of his young children, ages three and one. His mother tried to get his brother to intervene. Instead, his brother bought himself three guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The new gun buyer said the Zoom session was part of his attempt to be responsible. Rossi, hefting his own high-end AR-15, recapped the principles of gun safety: always keep the weapon’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire. Be aware of what might be behind the target you’re shooting at. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded.

They did some troubleshooting: what should he do if an ammunition round got jammed inside his gun? How long would his military-surplus ammo be usable? Ammo didn’t go bad, Rossi said. He was still “shooting rounds” from the second world war and “surplus from the Korean war”.

While “white Americans tend to be more vocal about their gun ownership”, the new owner said, being a black gun owner didn’t feel special. But it came with different concerns. He was more afraid a police officer might shoot him than that someone else might attack him on the street; he would “never” carry a gun in public.

If he ever had to call the police to his home, he said, he would emphasize: “The black guy with the gun is the homeowner.” Owning guns had already shifted some of his political opinions. He said he still supported limits on larger-capacity ammunition magazines. But when he bought his guns, he said, he had to wait 10 days to get them. “That was an eternity to me,” he said. “Are these really common sense gun laws?”

Rossi was encouraged to hear this, and said he’d try to persuade the new gun owner about why he actually needed larger-capacity magazines next. The two men made a plan to go shooting in person as soon as possible.

The Long-Term Failures Of Violence Prevention Programs

As a Second Amendment supporter, I tend to believe that the answers to solving the issue of violence in our inner cities aren’t gun control. Obviously, I’m biased to a significant degree, but my bias is based on observation. After all, look at the 10 safest states and the 10 most dangerous states. You have gun-controlled states in both lists and you have gun-friendly states in both lists as well.

That suggests the issue is a bit more complicated than something that can be solved with a simplistic answer like gun control.

However, it also seems that popular gun violence reduction programs aren’t producing the long-term results proponents hope for.

In 2018, Portland started to rethink how it addresses gun violence. The police bureau sent representatives to Oakland, California, to observe Ceasefire, that city’s gun violence prevention program. Oakland’s program, which targets social services at people most likely to commit violence, is credited with dramatically reducing Bay Area gun violence.

“That is something that we’re using as a foundation to try to build something similar to that here in Portland,” Shearer said in an interview with Guns & America.

Cities across the country — from Baltimore to South Bend, Indiana and Stockton, California — have adopted similar models. And while these programs often have an impact in the year or two after launch, long-term reductions in gun violence can be fleeting.

Ceasefire is based on the idea that even in cities with high homicide rates, the number of people committing acts of violence is actually very low.

“About 70% of all gun violence includes people who are in their 20s to early 30s who has significant criminal justice histories, seven or more arrests, who are part of some sort of crew or clique or gang,” said David Muhammad, executive director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, a nonprofit that helps cities implement gun violence reduction programs like Oakland’s.

Typically, Muhammad says, people who commit gun violence have been victims of gun violence themselves, or someone close to them has been a recent victim. Intervene with this small group directly by providing social services or an alternative to violence, the theory goes, and you can have a major impact on gun violence. At least in the short term.

“Ceasefire is about immediately reducing gun violence,” Muhammad said. “And the type of community transformation that is desperately needed is a very long-term prospect.”

Now, this approach actually makes a fair bit of sense. You target people who are most likely to end up committing violent crimes and offer them alternatives to the kind of lifestyle. The idea is to stop violence at its source.

It should work, right? Well, it has and it hasn’t. Maybe.

The problem is that it’s hard to see any long-term results from these programs. It doesn’t help that some communities stop funding the program once violence decreases, thus allowing it to flourish once again.

To me, that suggests the solution isn’t really a solution, but a band-aid. It’s not really getting to the root of the problem, it’s simply hiding the problem like a toupee.

In some cases, though, it doesn’t even do that.

Elsewhere in the country, in city after city, declines in the near term evaporated over time.

In 2014, the first-year South Bend had a program in place, homicides dropped from 78 to 66. The next year, that number ticked back up to 85, down to 81 in 2016 and in 2017 was over 100.

Detroit, where city leaders have credited Ceasefire with reducing violent crime, started rolling out its program to police precincts in 2015. That year it had 295 homicides. Since then homicides have bounced up to 302, down to 261, and back up to 272, according to FBI data. Meanwhile, the city’s population shrank by 1%, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Those aren’t the other places, either. Stockton, CA has been heralded as a success after the program did wonders there. Then they cut off funding and the number of murders returned. Now, the average number of homicides is pretty much right were it was to begin with.

So what gives?

Clearly, there are a lot of theories, some of which are going to be dismissed by many typical Bearing Arms readers outright. I know I rolled my eyes when I read this:

“The whole approach is, ‘This is a problem person,’” said Aaron Roussell, an associate professor of sociology at Portland State University. “Not ‘We have systematically and intentionally underfunded these communities and we refuse to deal with issues of race and classism that actually keep these places marginalized.’”

But Roussell said the focus on data can distract from deeper societal issues that cause violence in the first place.

“It’s a weird idea that you just want less crime in poor neighborhoods,” he said. “They don’t want to change anything else about the world, but you want to just bring that down. Because it’s basically a series of crimes that made those neighborhoods poor to begin with and we don’t ever deal with that.”

Roussell attributes many of those dips noted before as potentially being cyclical variations rather than evidence they worked.

Like I said, it’s hard not to eye-roll at this kind of thing, but Roussell may actually be onto something. These high-violence neighborhoods are typically places that most folks otherwise don’t care about. They wouldn’t care about them now if folks there would just behave. No one really does seem to care about changing anything else about those neighborhoods. They just want the crime to go away.

And yet, what do we do?

Programs like Ceasefire seek to address these neighborhoods and the individuals most likely to become violent criminals which should, by extension the neighborhoods in question. Yet it’s not working.

Roussell would seem to say that racism and classism are to blame, but I find that a simplistic answer yet again for a complex problem. Or, more specifically, adding a couple of complex issues as the cause for another complex issue is simplistic.

So what’s the answer?

I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that we need to figure it out because people are being killed and that’s being used to justify infringing on the civil liberties of others. That shouldn’t be tolerated by anyone, regardless of what neighborhoods they live in.

Felon Lives Matter

Cutting violent felons loose while simultaneously disarming law-abiding citizens sounds like an over-the-top BabylonBee parody. It’s actually a fairly standard leftist fantasy, and I can only imagine their frisson at seeing it come true. Leapfrog compassion* for the incarcerated dovetails nicely with the cops’ preference to bust up lemonade stands rather than confront dangerous criminals.

This phenomenon is well-understood as anarcho-tyranny, but we feel like a snappier moniker is needed. This is not quite a Darwin Award, since the murderous toll of such policies is never paid by those enacting them. So yeah, anarcho-tyranny. Oh, and pitchforks.

* As in: leaping right over the gated community walls.

Giffords’ and Democrat Mayors’ Plea to Congress Can Only Make Urban Violence Worse

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Four people were killed and 41 others were wounded in shootings across Chicago so far over the first weekend of May,” Sun-Times Media Wire reported Monday. “Twenty-one of the weekend’s victims were shot in a seven-hour period from Saturday night to Sunday morning, including five teenagers wounded in a drive-by in Lawndale on the West Side.”

“As Chicago struggles to treat the flood of COVID-19 patients, a surge in gun violence continues to disproportionately affect the city’s most vulnerable communities and further puts a strain on the city’s resources,” Mother Jones complains. “[G]un violence is surging in several major cities—including Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Dallas—and many of those cities’ resources to address the issue are dwindling.”

Several levels of fraud are being perpetrated here, which isn’t surprising, considering the source. The most obvious is the use of the pejorative term “gun violence,” meant to transfer blame from human actors to inanimate tools. Firearms aren’t the issue, nor are people having access to firearms. If they were, we’d be reading about daily bloodbaths perpetrated by members of the National Rifle Association, who number five million strong and are arguably the most heavily armed civilian population on the planet. When was the last time you read about an NRA member committing a “gun crime,” a hold-up, a drive-by or a rampage? Is there any doubt such an event would be headline news, played for all it’s worth, and shoved in gun owners’ faces at every opportunity?

So perhaps the issue is the “wrong” people having access to firearms? If you advocated racist policies, like Everytown and Demanding Moms bankroller Michael Bloomberg, you’d be pointing to the numbers for “male, minority and between the ages of 15 and 25,” and using that as an excuse to disarm them all, regardless of who they are as individuals endowed with certain unalienable rights. It disregards the racist roots of gun control and the strides for freedom made by leaders of groups like Deacons for Defense and Justice and undermines the needed messages from important contemporary voices.

Still, there’s no arguing which communities the problems with violence are coming from. The anti-violence groups themselves admit as much, as does the Giffords group and a coalition of mayors petitioning Congressional leaders for more money. While they claim to be all about “violence interruption and targeted outreach,” it’s inescapable that every signatory to the letter is a rabid gun-grabber and a Democrat.

So while Giffords’ executive director Peter Ambler offers pandering weasel words like “In the midst of a difficult situation, violence interrupters and street outreach workers are providing hope and lifelines to communities who need it,” never doubt for a moment that his goal is citizen disarmament, and the goal of the mayors is a monopoly of violence. What such urban wealth redistribution programs really do is keep a handful of manageable voices parroting a narrative that the problem is with guns. They make it look like the “political leaders” are “doing something,” helping them retain and grow their power.

Having Congress provide more money for that will only make everything worse. That means more people will die. With “progressives,” every day is Opposite Day.
Think about what it would really take to “end urban violence” using guns – especially since those committing the acts of violence invariably are already breaking every “gun law” in the books, starting with having them in the first place. It would take nothing short of the complete elimination of all guns outside of “authorized” possessors to achieve the goal, and that’s clearly not going to happen – first because there aren’t enough enforcers to kill all of us who will not disarm, and also because anyone trying to do so legislatively would see the same “success” as the so-called “war on drugs.”

No doubt the ones who would profit the most would be cartels, which would add a whole new turf war dynamic.

The truth about urban “gun violence” is it’s not about guns, but about “progressive” fraud that keeps charlatans in power through a seemingly endless cycle of dependency and manipulation. True, race is a factor—not as a cause of violent crime, but as an indicator of populations most influenced and thus victimized by a continuing history of destructive collectivist controls over the economy, over education, and over the lives of those trapped in a corrupt system.

As Gun Sales Rise, Education and Training Are Critical

What I am about to say may surprise some people, especially considering that I am the president and founder of the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA). Despite the fact that I have been pleasantly surprised by the large swath of Americans who are working to improve their preparedness in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic — indeed, the last two months have seen record firearms sales — I want to emphasize that going out and purchasing a gun is not the sole requirement of actually being prepared. Rather, it’s a small step at the beginning of a lifelong and life-changing journey for millions of Americans who want to keep their loved ones safe.

As the coronavirus pandemic has spread in recent weeks, many Americans have begun truly evaluating their own levels of personal security and preparedness for the first time and are also considering what they would do if they were ever forced to protect themselves or their families.

The result of such evaluations? Record firearms sales in virtually every state and municipality across the country. Gun sales in the states most affected by the virus thus far (California, New York and Washington come to mind) have been particularly high. Images of Americans — many of them first-time gun owners — lined up at gun stores and sporting-goods stores have become commonplace.The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) reported a 168 percent spike in ammunition shipments for the week ending March 14. Figures from the FBI show 3.7 million background checks were done that same month—the most for a single month since the system began in 1998.

Perhaps not surprising in a world where seemingly everything is politicized, particularly when it comes to firearms, anti-gun groups and politicians have predicted that rising gun sales, coupled with schools being closed, will lead to more accidental shootings and deaths. Kris Brown, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, recently claimed, for example, that an “unintended consequence of these panic-induced purchases in response to COVID-19 could be a tragic increase of preventable gun deaths.”

Try again, Mr. Brown. The reality is that this type of fearmongering and effort by some to use the pandemic to further erode gun rights is not rooted in fact. Even as gun ownership has consistently risen year after year — with roughly 100 million gun owners in the U.S. today — preventable accidents have steadily decreased; there was a 44 percent decline from 1999 to 2018. A recent report from the National Safety Council, a reference resource for safety statistics, shows that preventable or accidental gun-related deaths totaled only 458 cases in 2018, which was the lowest figure since the organization began keeping record in 1903. This represented just 1 percent of all firearms fatalities in 2018, even as concealed carry permits have soared by more than 215 percent in recent years.

One key reason for this is that responsible gun owners take firearms safety very seriously. Many of these individuals have proven that they are willing to comply with the law by fulfilling all of the requirements associated with obtaining a concealed carry permit. In fact, a recent report by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding demographic of Americans today.

All of this aside, the bottom line is that all of us share the common goal of working to reduce future tragedies. Being a responsibly-armed American does not stop with your constitutional right to bear arms. In fact, making the decision to carry a firearm, or even to simply keep a gun for home defense, is where the real responsibility begins.

In addition to firearms safety, education and training must be top priorities for all gun owners, particularly for the thousands of Americans who have purchased a firearm for the first time in recent weeks. There’s no substitute for live-fire training, and many gun ranges have closed their doors during this pandemic, but gun owners still have the option to access countless online training materials and courses from knowledgeable instructors.

Safe firearms storage is also critical. Every new gun ships with a gun lock. A gun owner should use that lock or another secure storage device any time he or she is not either training at a range or carrying said sidearm. Many police and fire stations offer free gun locks — no questions asked. Again, when not in use, a firearm should be stored in a secured lockbox to which only the lawful owner or another authorized individual has access.

There will continue to be political and policy disagreements about gun ownership in the coming days — and beyond — and that’s OK. But right now, as millions of Americans continue to embrace their right to self-protection and others still are just starting to open their minds to the responsibly-armed lifestyle, we need to remember that education, training and safety must remain the uncompromisable tenets on which we all stand.

Revisiting RAND’s Gun Law Research Review

As with the initial report, the key takeaway is that there is no solid body of empirical evidence to support the common gun control wish list items such as bans on modern sporting rifles, magazine size limits, minimum age requirements for purchasing a firearmuniversal background checks, licensing and permitting requirements or mandatory sales reporting and registration.

Also, the methodological quality of the existing body of research is low at best. As the report concludes, “the scientific literature we reviewed shows that many of the best recent studies suffer from important methodological limitations that should be addressed in future research,” and, “with a few exceptions, there is a surprisingly limited base of rigorous scientific evidence concerning the effects of many commonly discussed gun policies.” We know this already, of course.

Accidental Poisoning Is on The Rise in The US as People Try to Sanitise Their Homes.

With so many people experiencing heartbreaking losses in this pandemic, it’s only natural we all want to do everything in our power to protect ourselves and those we love. Unfortunately, in some instances, our desire to defend against COVID-19 is creating even more health problems.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just released a report revealing a rise in calls to poison helplines. This rise coincides with increased media coverage of COVID-19, as the first case was reported in the US on 19 January 2020.

While the researchers stress they cannot yet demonstrate a direct link between these chemical exposures and efforts to prevent COVID-19, the CDC reports 20 percent more calls about concerning exposures to cleaning products and disinfectants, compared with calls made in early 2019.

They compared the number of calls to 55 poison control centres between January and March 2020 to the same periods in 2019 and 2018. By comparison, reports made in early 2018 were lower than this year’s, by around 16 percent.

The biggest surge in reports occurred at the beginning of March 2020. For the cleaning products, bleaches account for the largest percentage of the rise, while non-alcoholic disinfectants and hand sanitisers dominated the disinfectant category.

“The timing of these reported exposures corresponded to increased media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports of consumer shortages of cleaning and disinfection products, and the beginning of some local and state stay-at-home orders,” they wrote.

Even before the current rises, concerns for children under the age of five represented the largest portion of calls. This continues to be true, as chemical exposure cases across all ages increased this year, with up to half of all calls concerning young children. The case study provided by the CDC report shows just how frightening such a situation can be.

After eating an unknown amount of an ethanol-based hand sanitizer, a preschool child became dizzy and hit her head in a fall. Paramedics found her unresponsive when they responded to her parents’ 911 call and rushed her to hospital.

There, staff found her blood alcohol level to be 273 milligrams per decilitre, over triple the legal driving limit for adults in most US states, which is 80 milligrams per decilitre. Luckily, after overnight admission to the paediatric intensive care unit, the young patient recovered.

Earlier in March, Rutgers University microbiologist and food safety expert Donald Schaffner warned how dangerous washing food with soap could be.

“There’s a bunch of people out there recommending you wash your fresh produce with soap. This is not a good idea. Soap is known to cause vomiting and or diarrhea,” he explained on Metafact.

And in their other case example, the CDC report illustrates just how perilous fears of contracting COVID-19 through groceries can become.

After hearing on the news that groceries should be cleaned before eating, an adult woman tried to clean her produce with diluted bleach and hot water; unfortunately, heat increases the release of chlorine fumes. She experienced coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing, ending up requiring oxygen and bronchodilators in hospital to restore her blood oxygen levels back to normal…………..

For now, when it comes to clearing and disinfectant products, the CDC advises the following:

  • always read and follow directions on the label;
  • only use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label);
  • avoid mixing chemical products;
  • wear eye and skin protection;
  • ensure adequate ventilation;
  • store chemicals out of the reach of children.

It is also important to be aware that there is no evidence of anyone contracting COVID-19 through food. And, as Schaffner advises, only use cold water to wash your fruit and vegetables. Take care out there.

These findings were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In Canada, possession of a firearm in ready condition for self defense is against their law. In fact the Canadian gubbermint idea of just how the people can use force to defend themselves is so different from here in the U.S., I wouldn’t live there even if you paid me.
Those killed didn’t stand a chance and the word is that Canadian gubbermint is simply going to do nothing more but use this crime to enact more gun control, like what they’ve got now isn’t enough.

CANADA RAMPAGE PROOF GUN CONTROL WON’T PREVENT TRAGEDIES

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today said the weekend rampage in Nova Scotia provided more proof that strict gun control laws will not prevent determined individuals from committing mayhem.

Authorities now say at least 22 people were killed, as more victims have been discovered by investigators. Many were apparently killed in their own homes while obeying “stay home” mandates due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We offer our sympathies to our Canadian neighbors, and especially to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for their loss,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “But we do not believe adding more restrictions on gun ownership for law-abiding Canadian citizens will to anything to prevent such tragedies in the future.

“For decades,” he continued, “we have been on the front lines in the battle to protect our Second Amendment. We’ve listened to repeated claims that the next new gun law is going to prevent violent crimes and make people safer. The only people made safer by restrictive gun laws are criminals and crazy persons who attack honest citizens, even in their own homes, and to whom ‘gun-free zone’ signs translate to a risk-free environment.”

Gottlieb noted that the presumed Nova Scotia killer apparently fooled at least some of his victims by dressing as an RCMP constable, and driving around in what apparently was a decommissioned patrol vehicle he had restored.

“Canada has very strict gun policies, but those regulations did not prevent the murder spree,” Gottlieb observed. “We find it appalling that many in the U.S. gun prohibition movement have argued in support of Canadian-type gun laws for this country. It is time for gun control extremists on both sides of the border to admit their strategies have consistently failed, and in some cases have even cost lives.

“Instead of allowing anti-gunners to exploit this tragedy,” he said, “let’s learn from it. The very first lesson may be hard for some to accept, but it is this: Extremist gun control laws do not prevent unspeakable crimes and they perpetuate a false sense of security that often has tragic results. Adopting new restrictions will not change that dynamic and may even make things worse. We cannot allow what happened in Canada to influence our policies here. We must zealously protect our right to keep and bear arms.”

 

5 CCW Tips For Older Armed Citizens

By Sheriff Jim Wilson

As we get older, we must keep in mind that we can still be a target for criminal attack. In fact, we may become even more of a target as the years catch up with us. The crooks see the gray hair, the wrinkles and figure that we will be less likely to resist and less likely to be armed. Age may cause us to have physical problems to deal with, but many of them can be overcome. We owe it to ourselves and our families to be as tough a target as is humanly possible. Here are a few ideas to help older defensive shooters deal with their issues.

5. Increase Mobility With Exercise.

The older we get, the more important exercise is to our maintaining our body strength and mobility. If you have health issues, it is critical that you do not start an exercise program without consulting with a physician. Just as with the optometrist, you may find it a bit more comfortable to find a physician who enjoys the shooting sports.

When you start hunting for a doctor who is a member of our shooting fraternity, you will be amazed at just how many of them there are. I don’t want to sound “New Age” here, but the fact is that a yoga class, especially one for older folks, is a great way to increase your agility and mobility. However, if you have any doubts about your ability, take the time to consult with a physician.

First-Time Buyers Explain Why Coronavirus Drove Them to Gun Stores in Record Numbers

Aaron Eaton learned how to shoot in the Army back in 2006 but holstered a pistol for the last time when he left in 2009 and took a job as a technician for a sewer company. That all changed on March 26 when the father of four walked out of an Alabama gun store with a Beretta 92FS, the same gun he handled as a military policeman at the height of the Iraq war.

“Simply put: I wanted peace of mind when it comes to the safety of my family,” Eaton said.

Eaton’s pistol was one of 2.3 million firearms to fly off the shelves in March, the single busiest month for gun sales ever. The Washington Free Beacon spoke to half a dozen new gun owners who purchased a total of six handguns and two shotguns. All of the new gun owners provided proof of purchase, though some asked not to have their last names published because of potential career backlash.

“To me, it’s all about protecting my family, and if a gun makes that easier, so be it,” Scott, a California tech worker with a wife and daughter, said.

Many of the new gun owners cited concerns about personal protection as states began emptying jail cells and police departments announced they would no longer enforce certain laws. Jake Wilhelm, a Virginia-based environmental consultant and lacrosse coach, purchased a Sig Sauer P226 after seeing Italy enact a nationwide lockdown on March 9.

“[My fiancée and I] came to the conclusion in early March that if a nation like Italy was going into full lockdown, we in the U.S. were likely on the same path,” Wilhelm said. “Given that, and knowing that police resources would be stretched to the max, I decided to purchase a handgun.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s trade group, said new customers represented a large swath of new gun sales even as gun stores faced depleted stocks and shutdown orders from state and local governments across the country. “A large portion of the 2.3 million sales during the month of March were to first-time buyers is what we’re hearing back from our retailers,” Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the group, said.

Retailers told the Free Beacon they’d never experienced anything like the recent surge of new buyers.