Free speech is dangerous. The right to petition our government and to own guns is dangerous. Those rights are particularly threatening to entrenched politicians and the special interest they represent. Besides being dangerous, those rights are also the safest way to organize a society. It is time we defended them, not because they are safe, but because they are virtues.
Virtues are how we do good things. Defending your community, the right to bear arms in public, is how you ensure public safety when the police aren’t there. The police are rarely there when you’re attacked by a criminal. We’ve lost much of our right to bear arms. We surrendered it to “public safety”. The right to bear arms was never meant to be convenient for politicians.
Your gun might be “safer” if it was under lock and key. It is also less useful that way. You can’t use your gun to protect yourself and your family if it takes you minutes to put to use. We forget that. We forget that in your hands, guns save lives. Making firearms “safer” and less accessible means we save fewer lives.
I see that every day. I study self-defense week after week, year after year. I also study the statistics of armed defense. I report the stories where ordinary people like you stopped a violent assault. You saved your life. You also saved the lives of your family and other innocent parties. I see it. Unfortunately, you can’t protect the people you love once you’ve made your tools of self-defense “safe”.
Like the police, you will probably never need to press the trigger. Unlike the police who see violence every day, your family will probably see violence once in your lifetime. That is what the FBI statistics tell us. There are about 70 million families in the USA, so the numbers add up. We defend ourselves about once every 30 seconds.
You protect yourself when you go buy groceries and when you fill up your car with gas. You protect yourself at work and at home. You protect yourself on your way to the gym, to school and to church. When the attack is over and you’ve defended yourself and others, then you call the police. That is what good people do. The police show up minutes later and take a report. The fact that you go armed, that you have your self-defense tools with you, that makes all of us safer. Thank you.
About 20 million of us have permits to carry a concealed weapon in public. That is about one-in-ten adults. The number of us carrying in public increases to about one-in-five adults when the government gets out of the way. Government fees and licensing requirements disarmed about half of us. That is bad. Disarming the good guys makes us less safe.
Gun-control disarms us by inches. As we’ve seen in the news, there is no such thing as a “gun-free” zone. Politicians said that honest people should be disarmed so that only criminals would be the only ones with guns. Politicians don’t want your gun to be too big or too small, too old or too new.. except for their bodyguards, of course. Politicians want you disarmed. For many reasons, disarming you is safer for them.
Being disarmed is not safer for you and me. Good women with guns and good men with guns make their families safer and their communities safer. You can’t be a force for good if you don’t have your self-defense tools, and the training to use them.
I have to address a comforting myth about owning a gun. The average defense takes place in seconds. That isn’t enough time for you run to your gun safe, get your ammunition that you stored separately, load a magazine, and protect your family or your employees. Time yourself.* You’ll see that I’m right. A gun you can’t use is dangerous.
We defend ourselves a million times a year with a firearm. We also have thousands of firearms accidents each year. Criminals put their guns under the front steps. Thugs leave their guns under the couch cushions in their girlfriends house. That is where children find them and where children get hurt. I want you to own your firearms responsibly, but I also want you to keep them accessible so you can use your “rescue tools” when you need them. For many of us, that means you carry your gun on your body and then put it in a small, quick-access, gun vault. That is careful storage of a dangerous tool. That is what good men and good women do. I thank you.
I mean you, the average citizen of the USA. I want you to exercise your rights. I want you to have dangerous freedom because I trust you. You have more common sense and honesty than the politicians paraded before us on the news. I trust your wisdom and your motives far more than I trust theirs.
*- I asked my listeners to get their guns from “safe storage”. It takes them over half a minute to access a “safe” gun.
That’s because the Euros that populated NZ never had a constitution that restricted the government from infringing and abridging the people’s rights it was supposed to be protecting. NZ doesn’t even protect the right of free speech and a free press as the police there jailed and charged someone for posting the murderer’s manifesto online.
New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern expressed shock at the lack of action in the United States to implement gun control laws.
“You can draw a line and say that does not mean you need access to military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles. You do not. And New Zealand has by and large absolutely agreed with that position,” Ardern said in a CNN interview.
“Australia experienced a massacre and changed their laws; New Zealand had its experience and changed its laws,” Ardern said, referring to the country’s mass shooting at Muslim mosques in March. More than 50 people were killed during the gunman’s attack
In response to the mass shooting, Ardern pushed for more gun control, saying New Zealand “had pretty permissive gun legislation.” Ardern did say firearms have a use for hunting, but only certain guns should be sold.
“To be honest with you, I do not understand the United States,” she said.
Some of the new gun laws the New Zealand parliament passed after the mass shooting at Christchurch included a mandatory gun buyback, with an amnesty period until September 2019. The Evening Standard reports said there are only two exemptions: If the weapon is used for pest control on private and nonconservation land and if the weapon is a family heirloom.
CBS anchor Anne-Marie Green openly advocated for the U.S. government to censor speech online in a recent segment, prompting the reporter she was interviewing to remind her about the First Amendment.
CBS News released a propaganda segment on Monday featuring New York Times tech reporter Cecilia Kang where they suggested the US government could do an end run around the First Amendment through strict “regulations” in order to suppress “hate speech” and “misinformation” online.
Both the CBS News host and NYT reporter Cecilia Kang said the US should look to countries like Australia, New Zealand, Germany and India — which do not have free speech — as models for suppressing free speech on the internet.
As I reported in November 2018, the New York Times editorial board wrote a propaganda piece comparing right-wingers to jihadists and demanded authoritarian censorship of the internet to stop the spread of “toxic ideas.”
The New York Times last year hired virulent anti-white racist Sarah Jeong in August 2018 as their lead technology writer and made her a member of their editorial board.
Even leftists who don’t hold tight to the ‘correct narrative’ suffer the consequences. The media’s hypocrisy knows no bounds if one of them strays off the plantation.
On Thursday, popular Twitter user and writer known by the alias “Kantbot” found his Medium account suspended in the wake of publishing a piece that went viral regarding school shootings and mental health interventions primarily in public schools.
Despite a somewhat provocative headline — “Guns Don’t Kill People, School Psychologists Do” — the piece gives a nuanced look at the culture of school psychology and mental health interventions in relation to school shootings. Notably, the post veers from talking points supporting gun control measures or, conversely, armed guards at schools — the two competing narratives consistently debated after such attacks.
According to a vague email from the tech platform, the writer’s account was suspended for “hateful text, images, or other content in (his) username, profile, or bio.”
The writer’s bio on Medium featured a photo of a philosopher-esque “Pepe the Frog” and a quote from Friedrich Schiller’s “On the Aesthetic Education of Man.”
Kantbot finds the timing suspect. The writer noted that he’s been publishing posts on Medium for two years using the same bio and photo without ever encountering an issue.
“It seems strange that after I posted a popular story to all of a sudden be cracked down on without any warning,” he told The Daily Wire, adding that he “wasn’t given a chance to remove” his avatar, if that indeed was the issue.
NRA Sues L.A. for Requiring Contractors to Disclose Support for Group
Ordinance ‘does, in fact, chill the speech of current and prospective City contractors with ties to Plaintiff NRA’
This is so risible, the District Judge should rule it unconstitutional so fast it would look like warp drive has been invented.
The National Rifle Association filed suit against Los Angeles on Wednesday after the city passed an ordinance requiring contractors disclose their support for the gun-rights group in order to work with the city.
The NRA, alongside an unnamed business that supports the organization and holds work contracts with Los Angeles, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. They claim the city’s ordinance is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment’s free speech and free association protections as well as the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.
“The Ordinance, on its face and as applied or threatened to be applied, imposes an unconstitutional ideological litmus test for independent contractors, requiring that they disclose information about their political beliefs and associations,” Anna M. Barvir, counsel for the NRA, wrote in a complaint filed by the group. “The Ordinance, on its face and as applied or threatened to be applied, is unconstitutional because it seeks disclosure of Plaintiffs’ political beliefs and associations solely for the purpose of withholding government contracts.”
Los Angeles ordinance 186000 took effect on April 1, 2019. The ordinance requires nearly anyone doing nearly any work for the city to tell the city whether it sponsors the NRA or even if it merely has contracts with the gun rights organization. The ordinance states the disclosure is designed to ensure the city doesn’t do business with contractors that may not support council members’ gun-control positions.
Nancy Pelosi Declares a ‘New Era’ of Internet Regulation; E.U. Threatens Same
Nancy Pelosi wants to gut Section 230
Little wanna-be tyrants…some with dementia.
We’ve all been watching this develop for years now: The internet is being slow-choked, not by rapacious ISPs forcing users to pay for “fast lanes,” but by politicians on both sides of the Atlantic who want to have a bigger role in what we’re allowed to do and say online. To be sure, lawmakers are being greatly aided in their efforts by major tech players such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Tim Cook, who are explicitly calling for regulation to maintain current market positions in a sector defined by creative destruction (all hail MySpace and Blackberry!).
In an interview with Recode‘s Kara Swisher, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) pronounced that in the tech sector, the “era of self-regulation” is over when it comes to privacy and speech rules. Sounding a lot like conservative Republicans such as Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, she zeroes in especially on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as the thing that needs to be torched.
As the title of a new book puts it, Section 230 comprises “the twenty-six words that created the internet.” Author Jeff Kosseff explains that by immunizing websites, platforms, and service providers from “lawsuits over materials that their users upload,” Section 230 “fundamentally changed American life.” Indeed, the internet as we know it is based on both “content created not only by large companies, but by users,” writes Kosseff, who observes that of the top 10 most-trafficked websites in the United States in 2018, only Netflix “mostly provides its own content.” All the rest—Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, et al.—either rely heavily on user-generated content (including potentially actionable reviews and comments about everything under the sun) or exist to guide users to such content (Google, Yahoo).
Pelosi is done with all that, telling Swisher that the freedom of expression empowered by Section 230 is “a gift” and a “privilege” that can be rescinded if major tech companies don’t move in the direction she and other politicians want.
The exercise of a right that’s protected here in the U.S. will get you a jail sentence in ‘liberal’ New Zealand.
Six people appeared in a New Zealand court Monday on charges they illegally redistributed the video a gunman livestreamed as he shot worshippers at two mosques last month. Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll denied bail to businessman Philip Arps and an 18-year-old suspect who both were taken into custody in March. The four others are not in custody.
The charge of supplying or distributing objectionable material carries a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment.
Sanders insults Congress? Well, Congress is insulting.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said lawmakers are not “smart enough” to look through President Trump’s tax returns.
She appeared on “Fox News Sunday” as a battle is being waged over access to Trump’s financial records.
“This is a dangerous, dangerous road, and frankly, Chris, I don’t think Congress, particularly not this group of congressmen and women, are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that president trumps taxes will be,” Sanders said to host Chris Wallace.
A great example is how gun control has become entirely feminized. In the 1970’s, gun control polices were about limiting crime. No one said it, but it was really about making it hard for blacks to get guns. It was a debate around facts about guns and crime. Today, gun grabbing is nothing more than an hysterical reaction by women to what they see on the news. It’s all about safety, by which they mean protecting people from themselves, not reducing crime. It’s mommy putting covers over the electrical sockets.
The selfie-video made by New Zealand shooter Brent Tarrant shows the world once again how shockingly banal an act of mass homicide can be. He went through the various chambers of two mosques in suburban Christchurch exterminating unarmed, helpless worshippers as if they were mere points to be racked up in a video game. They had no personalities or histories. They were just targets. And when they moaned or moved, he shot them again to make sure they were out of the game. The shooter was arrested and lives on in police custody.
He went about his task with exactly the sort of paramilitary efficiency that is portrayed so admiringly in the Mission Impossible or Fast and Furious movies, all business, no emotion. The manifesto he left on the Internet shows his clear and detailed motive for what he didn’t hesitate to label as “a terrorist attack.” He was especially interested in provoking a fresh debate over the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution in the USA, in the hopes of provoking a civil war that would break-up the nation into warring regions divided by race. He calls himself “an eco-nationalist” because he considers overpopulation the leading threat to the planet and non-Europeans to be the most fecund and therefore responsible for the problem. He will go on trial and he says he intends to plead innocent. You’d better take him seriously.
At least half the political class in the USA doesn’t take the immigration issue seriously, except as a gambit for what they think is political advantage. The Left is doing everything possible to confound the issue and muddle it with litigation at every level, from local law enforcement to congress, starting with the longstanding effort to garble the definitions of legal versus illegal immigration. The “conservative” Right doesn’t dare call them on it, out of fear of losing Hispanic votes. So, it is left to the awkward, inflammatory figure of Mr. Trump to demand clarification about what official policy will be, including the enforcement of existing laws, and he has been reviled for it all along the way. He’s not a consensus-builder, to put it mildly.
Last week, coincidental with the New Zealand mosque massacre, Mr. Trump said the following:
“You know, the left plays a tougher game. It’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. O.K.? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
As usual, his syntax is disastrous as well as his habit of placing himself at the center of every issue. But, also as usual with Mr. Trump, and because of his filter-less tongue, he lays out matters that should be extremely troubling to all Americans: that the land is full of men with tremendous potential for violence — and most particularly men with military and paramilitary training in killing and warfare, who have, so far, barely expressed in action their discontent with the tactics of their adversaries on the Left. This Pandora’s box of calamity includes the Left’s recent campaign to denigrate men as toxic and without value, especially white men wearing their scarlet letter “P” for privilege.
The Left had better sober up and join an intelligible good faith debate about US immigration policy and the enforcement of existing laws or this will lead to exactly what Brent Tarrant laid out and what Mr. Trump maladroitly hinted at. Instead, of course, we will more likely commence another bootless campaign over guns. Here are some plain facts about that. There are already enough firearms of every sort loose in this land to commence hot civil warfare and they will not be surrendered by their owners. The horses are out of the barn on that one, even if sales of military-style weapons are outlawed. Any effort to confiscate them from people already possessing them will only provoke more overt antagonism between the two poles of American politics — and would probably lead to exactly the sort of violence that sober observers discern on the horizon.
Our battered American common culture and its expression in political consensus ought to start with the foundation of the social contract: the agreement to not slaughter each other. That is, at least, the one principle that ought to stand on its own as self-evident, without any need for equivocation via “diversity” arguments. The Left is playing with fire on this with its dishonest, bad faith approach to debating the immigration question, and the gun debate will only provide a distraction from it.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday requiring colleges and universities to uphold the First Amendment on campus if they want to receive federal research funding.
President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday to protect free speech on college campuses. The order calls for holding universities accountable “both for student outcomes and for student life on campus,” by withholding federal research funding if a university or college does not agree to respect the First Amendment.
Pamela Geller recently reported on the murders of 120 Christians in Nigeria since February of this year. This is the tip of the iceberg of attacks on churches and Christians throughout the world by Islamists who are crying for the blood of Christian martyrs. Many leftwing atheists then call those who vigorously protest this bloodshed “Islamophobes.” In effect, they are allowing and even encouraging the militant Islamists to continue their violent acting out.
The sympathy with Islamic jihadists is the necessary perverse outcome of a deep mental illness which I diagnose and call Islamophilia. This is the exaggerated love of Islam and of followers of Islam based upon a desire to bring death and destruction to Christians, Jews, and even those secularists who remain loyal to Judeo-Christian morality. It is an overidentification with the mindset that wishes to destroy Anglo/American liberty based on natural rights, and with the deep, Western attachment to personal autonomy and private property. The natural [and inalienable] rights of our Anglo-American civilization are, according to our Declaration of Independence, endowed by our Creator. These rights are Biblical rights found in Scripture, and moved forward by God’s holy providence into the natural realm of human governance.
In short, the leftist brigades of our culture are sublimating their vendetta of hate for natural rights and for Christian faith (deeply tied to Old Testament teachings and faith) through vicarious identification with the violent Islamic jihadist machinations against non-Islamic societies, cultural subgroups, and governments.
Islamophilia, not Islamophobia, is the greatest threat to the peace and tranquility of western civilization. Like many of the other “-philias,” it is a deeply irrational disturbance which functions by exaggerating the merits of a class of beings (Islam) in order to distract from a realistic assessment of that class or aggregate.
Arkansas Legislature Effectively Votes To Abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture
Arkansas joins three other states in requiring police secure a conviction before they can seize a person’s property.
The Arkansas legislature unanimously passed a significant asset forfeiture reform bill Wednesday. The new law will require police and prosecutors to obtain a criminal conviction in most cases before they can seize someone’s property.
The bill, S.B. 308, passed the Arkansas Senate by a unanimous votelast month. On Wednesday, the bill similarly sailed through the Arkansas House by a vote of 93-0. If the bill is signed into law by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas will join four three states—North Carolina, New Mexico and Nebraska—that have severely curtailed or abolished asset forfeiture.
The new law would require prosecutors to obtain a criminal conviction to forfeit property. There are a list of exceptions, however, including if the property owner is deceased, deported, flees the jurisdiction or fails to challenge the forfeiture, or if the property is abandoned.
Jenna Moll, the deputy director of the Justice Action Network, a criminal justice advocacy group, called the passage of the bill “a watershed moment for forfeiture reform efforts in the United States.”
“To see two chambers of the Arkansas legislature pass this legislation unanimously is truly remarkable,” Moll says. “Arkansas has now truly set the marker for other states seeking to protect property rights and improve due process for their citizens.”
Under civil asset forfeiture laws, police can seize property suspected of being connected to criminal activity, even if the owner is never charged or convicted of a crime. Law enforcement groups say it is a vital tool that disrupts drug trafficking and other organized crime by targeting the flow of ill-gotten money.
However, civil liberties groups argue there are far too few procedural protections for innocent property owners, who may lose their car, their cash, and even their house.
As Reason’s Jacob Sullum reported in 2016, an Arkansas highway trooper seized $20,000 from a man during a traffic stop on suspicion that it was drug money, even though there was no evidence whatsoever of illegal activity.
The proceeds of asset forfeiture are often then split between local prosecutors’ offices and police departments. The federal government also partners with state and local police on forfeiture cases, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year for the Justice Department’s asset forfeiture fund.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that state law enforcement agencies rake in tens of millions of dollars a year through asset forfeiture.
Arkansas law enforcement agencies seized nearly $88 million in cash from 2010-18, about $9.7 million per year, according to data collected by Jeremy Horpedahl, assistant professor of economics at the University of Central Arkansas.
That does not include the value for roughly 4,900 vehicles, at least 3,300 weapons and 1,000 other pieces of property confiscated in that span, according to numbers provided by Horpedahl, who has been tracking the data since a former student wrote a thesis on civil asset forfeiture in the state.
Numerous investigations and reports have found that, in addition to big cash hauls and flashy speedboats, police often use asset forfeiture for petty seizures against everyday people, not cartel lords. Asset forfeiture also disproportionately targets minorities and poor people who don’t have the resources to challenge seizures in court. A recent investigation by local newspapers in South Carolina revealed that black men accounted for 65 percent of all citizens targeted for civil forfeiture in the state, despite making up only 13 percent of the total state population.
More than half of all U.S. states have passed some form of asset forfeiture reform over the past decade in response to bipartisan concerns.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 9-0 decision that the Eighth Amendment’s protections against excessive fines and fees applied to the states. The case, Timbs v. Indiana, challenged the seizure of a $42,000 Land Rover—four times the maximum fine for the drug crime that resulted in the seizure.
I would be in sooo much trouble today if I was in school. Back in the Pre-Cambrian, I sketched Dad’s guns in high school art class. High end charcoal on parchment grade paper stock sketches at that. The only commentary from the teacher was to take care about smudges and erasures.
(1) A minor who posts or publishes a picture of a firearm, a BB gun, an air or a gas-operated gun, or a device displayed to resemble a firearm to a social media page, post, profile, or account that is openly viewable to the public commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable [by up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $1000].
(2)(a) Any parent or guardian of a minor, or other adult responsible for the welfare of a minor, if the minor possesses a firearm in violation of this section, may, if the court finds it appropriate, be required to participate in classes on parent education which are approved by the Department of Juvenile Justice, upon the first conviction of the minor. Upon any subsequent conviction of the minor, the court may, if the court finds it appropriate, require the parent to attend further parent education classes or render community service hours together with the child.
(3) Any firearm that is possessed or used by a minor in violation of this section shall be promptly seized by a law enforcement officer and disposed of ….
This is an obvious First Amendment violation: The statute isn’t limited to displays that constitute true threats of violence (there’s a First Amendment exception for such true threats), or possession of guns by minors in violation of state law. Indeed, it would be a crime for a minor to post a photo of himself lawfully using a gun at a shooting range.
So would a minor’s posting “a picture of a firearm” (not even a photograph of himself holding a firearm) as part of a pro-gun-rights — or anti-gun-rights — political post. So, for that matter, would be a minor’s posting a photo of soldiers holding guns. But even if the bill were somehow limited to the minor’s posting of photographs of himself holding guns (or BB guns or other perfectly lawful guns), it would still be an unconstitutional content-based restriction on speech.
States Increasingly Police Family ‘Thoughtcrimes’
As homeschooling rapidly grows, so too are state-level efforts to “oversee” families.
Oregon, Washington state, and even Iowa are trailblazing another assault on constitutionally protected individual rights. The state legislature in Oregon is currently mulling over a bill that “directs Oregon Health Authority to study home visiting by licensed health care providers.” The bill contends that home visits are “necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety.”
There’s a similar scheme being conjured up in Washington. In January, Gov. Jay Inslee (now a 2020 Democrat presidential contender) declared: “My budget would also offer universal home visits. This gives every new parent the opportunity to get a visit from a nurse during the first few weeks back home with their newborn to share important information and build confidence.”
“Iowa Democrats are also attempting to gain oversight of families, specifically those of homeschoolers,” The Resurgent’s James Silberman reports. “IA HF272 would mandate quarterly ‘health and safety visits’ to homeschool families by school district officials. The bill states that these visits would be with the consent of the parents but also specifies that parents can be overridden if a judge determines there is probable cause for home inspection.”
PJ Media columnist Paula Bolyard astutely observes, “As someone who has been involved in the homeschooling movement for more than 20 years, I have seen many attempts to increase the oversight of children taught at home by requiring home visits by a teacher or social worker. … Anytime a state or locality has tried to draft legislation requiring home visits for homeschooled children, the immediate response has always been, ‘What are they going to do next, require inspections for children from birth until they enter school?’ The answer to that, of course, is yes. That has been the plan all along.”
This is statism, pure and simple. The Daily Signal this week relayed the story of a parent who said, “I was shocked when my 13-year-old daughter told me she was really my transgender son.” The parent added, “Where did she get the idea she was transgender? From a school presentation.”
This is precisely why more and more families are pulling their kids from public schooling and increasingly homeschooling. And while their reasons for doing so are more than justified, statists are ensuring that no age and no home is off limits when it comes to regulating thoughtcrimes.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that state governments cannot impose excessive court fees, fines and forfeitures as a means of raising money.
The decision, which united the court’s conservatives and liberals, makes clear that the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against “excessive fines” applies to the states.
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, just back in court after lung cancer surgery, wrote the majority opinion and announced it from the bench.
“The protection against excessive fines guards against abuses of government’s punitive or criminal law-enforcement authority,” Ginsburg wrote. Quoting in part from the court’s 2010 ruling that Second Amendment gun rights apply to the states, she said, “This safeguard, we hold, is ‘fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty.’” . . .
The case came to the Supreme Court from Indiana’s highest court, which ruled that the excessive fines clause doesn’t apply to the states. It represents the latest effort to determine what portions of the Bill of Rights apply to the states.
Most rights, such as the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms for self-defense, have been extended. But the right to a unanimous jury verdict under the Sixth Amendment has not.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., warned President Donald Trump that if he declared an “emergency” to build a wall, “think what a president with different values can present. … Why don’t you declare [the epidemic of gun violence in America] an emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would. … A Democratic president can declare emergencies as well.”
Her fellow Democrats, Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., quickly agreed. Warren tweeted: “Gun violence is an emergency. Climate change is an emergency.”
Not every problem in America should be declared an emergency—or used by a president to justify acting without Congress.
But why are guns on the Democrats’ “emergency” list anyway?
One reason is sloppy reporting by lazy media.
Last year, they claimed that there were school shootings at “hundreds of schools.” It was “an almost daily occurrence” in the U.S., some said.
This was nonsense. NPR reporters looked into the 235 shootings reported by the U.S. Department of Education and were only able to confirm 11 of them.
It turned out that schools were added to the list merely because someone at a school heard there may have been a shooting. Good for NPR for checking out the Education Department’s claims.
Economist John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (and the father of one of my producers), spends much of his time researching gun use and correcting shoddy studies.
A few years ago, much of the media claimed that the U.S. has “the most mass shootings of any country in the world.” Then-President Barack Obama added it’s “a pattern now … that has no parallel anywhere else … .”
CNN and the Los Angeles Times wrote about “Why the U.S. Has the Most Mass Shootings.” (“The United States has more guns.”)
But the U.S. doesn’t have the most mass shootings, says Lott. It’s a myth created by University of Alabama associate professor Adam Lankford, a myth repeated by anti-gun media in hundreds of news stories.
“Lankford claimed that since 1966, there were 90 mass public shooters in the United States, more than any other country,” says Lott. “Lankford claimed ‘complete data’ were available from 171 countries.”
But how could that be? Many governments don’t collect such data, and even fewer have information from before the days of the internet.
A shooting in say, India, would likely be reported only in local newspapers, in a local dialect. How would Lankford ever find out about it? How did he collect his information? What languages did he search in?
He won’t say.
“That’s academic malpractice,” says Lott in my video about the controversy.
I’m not surprised that Lankford didn’t reply to Lott’s emails. Lott is known as pro-gun. (He wrote the book “More Guns, Less Crime.”) But Lankford also won’t explain his data to me, The Washington Post, or even his fellow gun control advocates.
When Lott’s research center checked the data, using Lankford’s own definition of a mass shooting—“four or more people killed”—the center found 3,000 shootings around the world. Lankford claimed there were only 202.
Lankford said he excludes “sponsored terrorism,” but does not define what he means by that. To be safe, Lott removed terrorism cases from his data. He still found 709 shootings—more than triple the number Lankford reported.
It turns out that not only did the U.S. not have the most frequent mass shootings, it was No. 62 on the list, lower than places like Norway, Finland, and Switzerland.
There was also no relationship between the rate of gun ownership in different countries and the rate of mass shootings.
If journalists had just demanded Lankford explain his study methods before touting his results, his “more mass shootings” myth would never have spread.
So if Pelosi, Harris, and Warren ever follow through on their threat to declare gun violence a “national emergency,” be sure to check their math. Or just remember the wisdom of the Second Amendment.
Government’s desire to control us—and to lie to make its case—is the real emergency.
I have a different solution for gun-grabbers in any state.
Tired of voter-approved restrictions on gun rights, a group of Second Amendment supporters want to create a 51st state from the 20 Washington counties that are east of the Cascade mountains. They call the new state Liberty.They rallied Friday in the state Capitol rotunda, upset about the age limits and safety rules for guns passed by voters in Initiative 1639.
Nick, who declined to share his last name with KIRO, came from Longview, Washington, with his semi-automatic rifle.
“I want to defend my rights. Make sure that my children won’t get molested by a group of illegals,” he said.
Betsy Keller-Zal also lives in Longview. She told KIRO, “We follow the Constitution and they’re just chipping away at the Constitution on all our rights, not just the Second Amendment.
Both joined others who want to form their own state that doesn’t include the liberal Seattle voters who pushed I-1639 over the top.
Their leader is Spokane-area Republican Rep. Matt Shea, who spoke with the prospective new state’s flag featuring the outstretched wings of an osprey.
Shea is known for his support of rural ranchers defying federal regulations and for calling journalists “godless.”
Asked if the First Amendment would be respected in the new state, he responded, “The First Amendment is absolutely critical, especially religious freedom. The right of conscience in the Washington constitution, perfect toleration of religious sentiment and a lot of people are feeling right now that their right of conscience are being violated right now in Washington state.”
Creating a new state is a complicated process involving the Congress and the state Legislature. Some supporters here don’t want it limited to eastern Washington.
Los Angeles Demanding That City Contractors Disclose Ties to the NRA
But the new ordinance violates the First Amendment, because it tends to deter (and deliberately so) association with an advocacy group.
While I’ve found Mr Volokh pretty good on the 2nd Amendment. In my -admittedly limited- correspondence with him I think he’s much more in love with the 1st as he couldn’t understand why passing laws keeping newspapers from publishing lists of people who had a CCW permit was a good thing.
The ordinance, enacted yesterday, states:
Each [contract] Awarding Authority shall require that a Person fully disclose prior to entering into a Contract, all of its and its Subsidiaries’ contracts with or Sponsorships of the NRA.
The disclosure required under this section shall continue throughout the term of the Contract, thereby obligating a Person to update its disclosure each time the Person or its Subsidiary contracts with or enters into a Sponsorship with the NRA.
And it makes clear that it is motivated by the NRA’s political advocacy, as you can see from the recitals at the start of the ordinance (e.g., “the NRA leadership, with the financial support of its dues paying members, continues to lobby against gun safety regulations”).
But the Supreme Court has made clear that the First Amendment generally bans (see O’Hare Truck Service, Inc. v. City of Northlake (1997)) the government from “retaliat[ing] against a contractor, or a regular provider of services, for the exercise of rights of political association”—precisely what the ordinance implicitly threatens.
And the Court has also made clear that compulsory disclosures of political association is also presumptively unconstitutional, precisely because they deter such association, see Shelton v. Tucker (1960), a case requiring such disclosures of schoolteachers:
Even if there were no disclosure to the general public, the pressure upon a teacher to avoid any ties which might displease those who control his professional destiny would be constant and heavy. Public exposure, bringing with it the possibility of public pressures upon school boards to discharge teachers who belong to unpopular or minority organizations, would simply operate to widen and aggravate the impairment of constitutional liberty.
That case involved government employees, but the logic of O’Hare, which applied government employee First Amendment precedents to government contractors, makes clear that it applies to government contractors, too.
So the ordinance violates the First Amendment just because of its disclosure requirement alone. And it also invites First Amendment discrimination lawsuits by individual contractors who are denied contracts after they disclose that they deal with the NRA, just as an employer’s asking applicants to disclose their religion would invite religious discrimination lawsuits by applicants who aren’t hired (and even in the absence of specific regulations barring such question).
Naturally, the same would be true if a city asked companies whether they do business with or sponsor the NAACP, the ACLU, or any other group because of the group’s political advocacy. But note that this principle applies only when the disfavored groups are selected because of what they say or what laws they support; the analysis would be different if an ordinance focuses on nonspeech actions. Asking companies where they have any contracts for building a border wall, for instance, would not violate the First Amendment, because such building isn’t protected by the First Amendment. (Some such queries might in some situations violate other rules, such as those related to federal preemption, but that’s a separate matter.)
“The governments of Europe are afraid to trust the people with arms. If they did, the people would certainly shake off the yoke of tyranny, as America did.”
— James Madison, The Federalist #46
You want to see tyranny? We got your tyranny.
The Green Raw Deal.
Ocasio-Cortez may be backtracking and trying to disavow her too-truthful “FAQ,” but it was published on her own site and the metadata lists Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, as the author. The FAQ is consistent with the House Resolution she also published. The FAQ is simply a little blunter in stating their end goals.
If implemented, the GRD would fund the enslavement of the nation through hyperinflation. You would work for the government, or in whatever remaining government-approved jobs might survive her purge. You would live in approved government housing, subsisting on a vegetarian diet for as long as the food held out. Not long, since the nation’s power infrastructure would be gutted. But you might freeze to death in the winter first, as the wind gennie-powered electric heaters sit idle.
What land isn’t needed for “renewable energy” factories spewing out corrosive, toxic sludge that would horrify even the Chinese would be “afforested.”
THIS IS WHY THE PEOPLE MUST BE ARMED
Ocasio-Cortez and her merry band of psychopathic slavers have a plan for us that makes Ayn Rand’s Anthem look bright and cheery.
Compliance rates with their little registration and turn-in programs are already laughable. Do they expect better compliance now that they’ve explicity told what they mean to do to us?
I think not.
More evidence that Roberts is the new ‘squish’.
The passing of Darth Bader can’t come too quickly.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday stopped a Louisiana law imposing strict regulations on abortion clinics from going into effect in its first major test on abortion since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy last summer.
The court on a 5-4 vote granted an emergency application by Shreveport-based abortion provider Hope Medical Group for Women to block the Republican-backed law from going into effect while litigation continues.
The four liberal justices were joined by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority, suggesting that Roberts, as Kennedy used to be, is now the key vote on the issue.
Kennedy backed abortion rights in two key cases. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who President Donald Trump appointed to replace Kennedy, joined the court’s four other conservatives in dissent.
Hope Medical Group challenged the law’s requirement that doctors who perform abortions must have an arrangement called “admitting privileges” at a hospital within 30 miles (48 km) of the clinic.
Kavanaugh, writing for himself, said it was not clear whether doctors would be unable to obtain the admitting privileges were the law to go into effect. He said that he would have favored allowing them to bring a later legal challenge if their efforts were unsuccessful.
As I mentioned the other day, the website sponsored by a coalition of civil rights groups was threatened by prosecution if they didn’t take down certain code files. CodeIsFreeSpeech.com was put up after the anti-gun Attorney General of Washington State and a host of fellow traveler AGs went to court to suppress computer codeassembled by Defense Distributed. These groups were not a party to that lawsuit and were not enjoined from distributing them on the Internet.
It turns out that the threat of prosecution came from New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. Grewal had demanded server company Cloudfare delete CodeIsFreeSpeech.com’s files or charges would be filed for them being in violation of a NJ state law.
Grewal had been recently successful in getting a lawsuit against him by Defense Distributed filed in the State of Texas dismissed on the grounds that it should have been brought in New Jersey. Mind you, that the dismissal was not on the merits of the case but rather merely whether a US District Court in Texas had jurisdiction.
He should have remembered the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for”, as suit has now been filed in US District Court for the District of New Jersey. Now he will not be facing just Defense Distributed but also the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Firearms Policy Foundation, the Calguns Foundation, and CAL-FFL. The individual plaintiff in the case is Brandon Combs who is executive director of the Calguns Foundation and president of both the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Firearms Policy Foundation. So now Grewal is not facing merely one plaintiff but six institutional plaintiffs and one individual plaintiff.
In a press release sent out yesterday, the groups had this to say about the lawsuit:
TRENTON, N.J. (February 5, 2019) — Today, attorneys for six advocacy organizations and one individual, Firearms Policy Coalition founder Brandon Combs, filed a new lawsuit and a motion seeking a restraining order and preliminary injunction against New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. The case was filed just days after Grewal’s Office of the Attorney General sent a threat of prosecution to Cloudflare, a major Internet services company headquartered in San Francisco, about www.CodeIsFreeSpeech.com. A copy of key court filings can be viewed or downloaded at www.codeisfreespeechlawsuit.com.
According to the complaint, on Saturday, February 3 the CodeIsFreeSpeech.com website’s act of republishing some of Defense Distributed’s digital firearms information “was met with yet another of Grewal’s Orwellian take-down orders,” demanding that Cloudflare “delete all files described within 24 hours or [Grewal’s Office] will be forced to press charges.”
“By issuing a takedown demand against” the entire website, “Grewal sought to compel the complete and total suppression of the political speech at CodeIsFreeSpeech.com, the links to other advocacy websites and their educational and political resources, links to political tee shirts, and even the very text of the United States Constitution itself,” the plaintiffs said in the filing. Attorneys for the plaintiffs also filed a motion seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Grewal. The Attorney General’s threats of prosecution and other civil enforcement actions under New Jersey laws, the plaintiffs say, violate their constitutional rights.
Last November, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a new speech crime into law, in Senate Bill 2465. Among other things, it created a new “third degree crime” for “a person to distribute by any means, including the Internet, to a person in New Jersey” certain kinds of speech, including “digital instructions in the form of computer-aided design files or other code or instructions stored and displayed in electronic format as a digital model that may be used to program a three-dimensional printer…”
CodeIsFreeSpeech.com “is a publicly available website for the publication and republication of truthful, non-misleading, non-commercial political speech and information that is protected under the United States Constitution,” the complaint says. “Its purpose is to allow people to share knowledge and empower them to exercise their fundamental, individual rights. It was created and developed during the week of July 22, 2018—long before the State enacted Senate Bill 2465.”
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Chad Flores, Daniel Hammond, and Hannah Roblyer of Texas-based Beck Redden LLP and Daniel L. Schmutter of New Jersey law firm Hartman & Winnicki.
The CodeIsFreeSpeech.com website can be additionally accessed through URLs GurbirGrewalisaTyrant.com and PhilMurphyisaTyrant.com.
The plaintiffs have filed a suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Moreover, at the same time they also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. They are asking the court to declare the New Jersey law in violation of the First and Second Amendments, the Commerce Clause, and the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. Moreover, they want the court to declare Federal law preempts the New Jersey law and immunizes the plaintiffs from prosecution.
A bill set to make its way through the Arkansas legislature would alter the state’s self-defense laws and allow for people to use “stand your ground” provisions in deadly confrontations.
State representative Aaron Pilkington (R – Clarksville) says House Bill 1059 will clear up ambiguities and make Arkansas law line up with our neighboring states.“there’s nowhere in there where I call it a “stand your ground” bill,” Pilkington said. “I call it a right to protect yourself. Other people are calling it a stand your ground bill.”
The label is controversial because Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman avoided jail after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a black teenager, in 2012.
Unlike Florida, Arkansas would not have allowed Zimmerman to use the defense, and that’s surprising to some in Pilkington’s district.
“I had a constituent reach out to me letting me know that we weren’t a stand your ground state and after kind of looking at the laws and how they were he was right,” Pilkington said. “We’re one of the few states that are duty to retreat.”
Pilkington would take the retreat requirement out of the law. After the Martin shooting, critics predicted similar killings across the country.
“This basically gives someone the right to shoot and kill even if there is a safe way to get out of the situation,” said Eve Jorgensen, chapter leader of Moms Demand Action, a group that advocates for gun control. “Arkansas already has a strong self-defense law and there’s no evidence to show that it doesn’t work.”
But Pilkington said people in his rural district shouldn’t have to worry about these legal questions if they are in danger.
“Sometimes police response times are a lot longer than you would hope they are and there’s situations where you don’t feel like you can retreat,” he said. “But local prosecutors may feel differently that you can and this kind of ambiguity puts us in a bad situation.”
The Bill goes before the House judiciary committee Tuesday morning, Feb. 5.
Pilkington expects it to head to the Senate without too much trouble.