Editorial O’ The Day

Don’t make gun owners pay for crimes they don’t commit

The city of San Jose in California recently made history, but not for anything good. Gun-owning residents will soon be required to pay a premium price to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Mayor Sam Liccardo, a gun control advocate, recently announced a new “innovative” ordinance in response to the tragic mass shooting that befell the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard in May.

The new law will mandate gun owners pay liability insurance and an annual fee for costs incurred by gun-related violence. And at what cost? The freedom to exercise their right to keep and bear arms legally without being burdened with arbitrary financial burdens.

California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, with 107 restrictive provisions in the books. Last year, there were over 2,220 homicides in the state — a 31% increase from 2019.

Law-abiding gun owners shouldn’t be held criminally or civilly liable for crimes they don’t commit. Since these gun owners aren’t responsible for these acts of violence, how can they be responsible for the wrongdoing of others?

Much to the chagrin of gun control advocates, responsible gun owners already take appropriate precautions and practice gun safety. Across the Golden State, gun owners safely store their firearms and teach their peers to handle firearms with care. How does requiring gun owners to obtain personal insurance for ownership prevent crimes they aren’t responsible for?

What’s “innovative” about punishing innocent people for crimes perpetrated by others and pricing them out of firearms ownership?

If politicians were serious about tackling crimes and preventing future mass shootings, they wouldn’t direct law enforcement to target innocent residents. Law enforcement is already overextended and short-staffed tackling crime. Deploying police to enforce such an ordinance would waste taxpayer dollars and raise Fourth Amendment concerns.

The San Jose mayor erroneously claims purchasing insurance will incentivize safe gun ownership like car insurance does safe driving. He further insists insurance will cost “a couple dozen dollars”—though an exact figure has yet to be determined. Those who are unable to afford it, he said, will have the fee waived, which raises questions about how necessary it is in the first place.

An “innovative” approach to tackling crime won’t incur added costs and make legal gun ownership a privilege. Why? Firearms ownership isn’t conditional on paying the equivalent of a poll tax; it’s a sacred, inalienable right enshrined in the Bill of Rights in our Constitution.

Imposing arbitrary fees on this basic right is not only draconian, it’s discriminatory.

Ordinances like this won’t address illegal activity involving firearms—especially rising violent crime rates befalling the state’s largest cities. Instead, these proposals will price out low-income, minority residents from the market instead making gun ownership a luxury — not a right. That’s not innovative; that’s regressive.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a trade association representing firearms manufacturers, estimates consumers spent an average of $600 on firearms last year. The additional fees that’ll be incurred by this lopsided ordinance will make gun ownership more expensive than it should be.

Mayor Liccardo concedes in an op-ed for CNN, “Skeptics will say that criminals won’t comply. They’re right.”

With increased demand for firearms and ammunition across the country, it’s ill-advised to discriminate against law-abiding residents, including California gun owners, who desire to protect themselves and their loved ones from the very criminals laws should be targeting.

At the end of the day, this sweeping initiative shouldn’t be exported statewide. Policies like it will grossly infringe on the rights of citizens and make firearms ownership a privilege for the wealthy, privileged few.

Tackling crime shouldn’t come at the expense of our civil liberties.

Destroying Our Military from Within

President Joe Biden and the left are doing what no adversary has ever accomplished: destroying America’s military. What has never happened from without is now happening from within. Our armed forces’ ability to deter war and conduct military operations in defense of our nation is being undermined by those responsible for readiness to accomplish these missions.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act. It requires, inter alia, that orders for military operations must pass from the president, through the secretary of Defense and then directly to the commanders of our 11 unified combatant commands. The Joint Chiefs of Staff — the generals and admirals who head each branch of our armed forces — are not in this “chain of command,” but they are responsible for ensuring combatant commanders have adequately trained personnel, weapons and equipment to accomplish their geographic and functional missions. They are also required to provide advice to the president and Defense secretary on strategy, policy, training and readiness.

Today, the readiness of our armed forces is being adversely affected by indoctrinating our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines in politically correct tripe such as critical race theory, systemic racism and “white privilege” in the military. Retention of junior and midgrade officers is dropping like a stone. Reenlistments are down. Recruiters are waiving standards once deemed important. Yet, the Joint Chiefs are going along to get along.

In recent congressional testimony, JCS Chairman Gen. Mark Milley was asked why U.S. military personnel are being required to learn critical race theory. In his response, our most senior military officer claimed he read books by Mao, Marx and other enemies of freedom. So did we — because we wanted to know more about our adversaries.

There are two serious problems with the general’s response. First, our troops are not learning critical race theory voluntarily. They are forced to do so. Second, critical race theory is not being offered as evidence of how our enemy thinks. It is being presented as what’s wrong with our country.

Members of Congress should ask all our senior military officers how teaching critical race theory improves combat ability, preparedness or morale? If it doesn’t, why teach it? How does teaching our troops that the country they swore to serve and protect is evil and unworthy of their loyalty build esprit de corps? How can troops in combat know their fellow warriors have their backs when they have been taught to distrust each other on the basis of race?

In our forthcoming book, “We Didn’t Fight for Socialism,” we asked more than 500 veterans why they volunteered to serve in uniform and go in harm’s way when necessary. Nearly all gave virtually the same response. They joined, served and risked life and limb because they love our country. For them, America means freedom, liberty, opportunity and self-determination; principles encouraged throughout their service. Now, thanks to Biden and the top brass at the Pentagon, our troops are learning just the opposite.

When we served in the Marine Corps, semper fidelis — “always faithful” — was our motto. To this day, semper fidelis is more than a slogan. For us, it is a way of life. We were taught that it meant to always be faithful to God, country, Corps and each other. Fast forward to the present. Our troops are now being asked to be faithful to a leftist belief system that denies God, tears down our country, undermines military preparedness and makes service members distrustful of each other. Biden and his leftist puppet masters are doing what no foreign enemy has been able to do: destroy our military. Sadly, they are being assisted by weak generals and admirals playing politics.

If You Want to Support Women’s Rights, Then Support their Right to Defend Themselves

I remember what it felt like the first time I had my sense of newly built security ripped from me. I had just turned 19. I was so young. I was just a kid. Like most young people, I never thought that it could happen to me.

At the time I was in the military, living off base in Missouri with a female roommate. After about a week of noticing things were “off” in the house (the back door would be unlocked, then open physically, etc.) I brought it up at work.

Some of my co-workers said I was working too much. They even suggested I go speak to someone in mental health… but I kept listening to my gut instincts as I have done my entire life. That ultimately is what ended up keeping me safe.

Shortly after informing my work about what was happening in our house. The break-in happened. The local police got involved, the base got involved… everyone knew. As a result, my commander ordered us back on base because that was all he could do to keep us safe.

My roommate and I had been targeted and as a result, the only way to avoid us being put directly in danger was to be ordered onto a military installation with 24/7 security.

Soon after, I received orders to move down to Florida. I had gotten married and thought after moving I’d feel safer.

I was wrong. In fact, things got worse. Even at home, I didn’t feel safe. I had no way of defending myself. When it got dark outside, I’d go around making sure every door and window was locked. I couldn’t even sleep through the night. I had regressed to an almost child-like state of being afraid of the dark. I felt weak, afraid, even violated.

My husband was getting ready to deploy, so he was gone most of the time. I bought a big dog, but that didn’t help. I was suffering from a form of trauma, and it was a major problem.

But then a friend, a technical sergeant, explained to me what a concealed-carry permit was — and it changed my life forever.

In the military and law enforcement, guns are a tool that we all learn to use that allows us to defend ourselves. There is a misconception in parts of our society that label guns as “dangerous, evil weapons for destruction,” but that wasn’t my experience.

I quickly applied for my concealed carry and I was (until recently) able to sleep through the night again. I felt at that time that I could defend myself. I finally felt like myself — a young woman able to live her life to the fullest.

It was a wonderful transformation — one that I expanded on recently in an episode of my podcast, “Luna Talks with Anna Paulina.”

With my sense of security restored, I felt I had to share my story. I wanted people, especially women, to know they had an alternative way of dealing with fear and trauma. Little did I know this endeavor would cause such backlash, especially on social media.

My civilian friends didn’t understand why I needed a gun, even though I went through a traumatic experience. And these women’s clothing companies with which I was working wanted to cut ties with me after I began posting online about my story and using firearms.

The strangest response was people saying they didn’t want me to be political. I didn’t think I was being political. To me, the Second Amendment isn’t a political issue. It’s a matter of basic protection. I was simply sharing experiences to get people to realize that self-defense is an option. Was I not exhibiting the ultimate support for women by empowering them to feel safe and secure?

Yet I was being called a “terrorist” and “a baby killer.” But I didn’t care. I knew there were people out there who would benefit from my story.

This issue is especially relevant after COVID-19. According to the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, incidents of domestic violence spiked more than 8 percent nationwide in 2020 following lockdown orders. And mind you, these were just the reported incidents; so many victims don’t come forward.

What I went through was only a fraction of what many women endure. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, one out of every six American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. What a sad and horrifying statistic.

Yet self-defense for women isn’t promoted in mainstream society — especially not in our schools — and there’s often a stigma around firearms (I know firsthand from the demonization I endured).

But if we truly want to empower women to be victors, not victims, shouldn’t we teach women how to defend themselves? Shouldn’t we demonstrate for girls how to feel secure and confident in a cruel world? Isn’t that a better long-term strategy than, say, decrying the patriarchy during a college seminar?

So, let me conclude with this: Thank God for the Second Amendment.

I want to pass this message on to people everywhere — especially women and victims of domestic violence. Because if we truly want to help, we should be empowering them, not hindering their God-given right to self-defense.

A Truly Fraudulent Presidency

Earlier in Joe Biden’s presidency, we wondered if his wife Jill was running the White House, and in effect the country. It’s still not out of the question, but it’s beginning to look more like Chief of Staff Ron Klain, unelected and not confirmed by the Senate, is the real president. This should make all Americans uncomfortable.

Klain, who was the vice president’s chief of staff when Biden held that office, has been called “the man executing Biden’s mission” (which seems to be carrying out the Cloward-Piven model that advocates manufacturing a political and economic crisis so that politicians can accrue more power in order to fix it, and use that power to kill off capitalism). He’s also been called Biden’s “co-pilot and fixer.”

Yes, those descriptions could be used to define the chief of staff for any president of any party. There are times, however, and this appears to be one of them, when a chief of staff wields too much authority.

Klain is no statesman. He’s a confirmed “political animal.” Anyone who thinks that’s a benign label that could be applied to any Washington operative, consider that the Democrats are doing their best to transform America from a civil society into a political society, where government intervention into private affairs is the rule rather than the rare and unwanted exception.

While the Washington press corps and much of the U.S. media are playing the role of Biden’s publicists, the London Times reports, in what has to be an accidental indictment of the White House arrangement, that Klain is “the driving force behind the actual president,” an “operator who knows the business of government inside out.” The reporter who wrote the story, one Sarah Baxter, wants readers to meet “President Klain,” who also happens to be Biden’s “brain.”

Klain, she writes, is “powerful, confident … trusted to exercise power and take decisions, he keeps his boss informed while lifting the burden of office from him.” Making life easier on Biden is necessary because the president is “pacing himself” on the job so he can run again in 2024 – as an 81-year-old.

Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota has met with Biden since he’s become president and from what he’s seen, he believes “his staff is driving him hard left.” Of course, staff members have always influenced the elected officials they work for. In a sense, staff is policy. But what we’re seeing today, outside of the Wilson administration, might be unprecedented in U.S. history. (Though there’s no question that Barack Obama was firmly in the Svengalian grip of adviser Valerie Jarrett.)

In a number of ways, Biden is not the man voters were told they were electing. Not only has he likely abdicated to Klain, he has divided the country far more than united it. He’s not the adult back in charge, as the Donald Trump haters said he would be, nor is he the centrist the party and media promised.

“In short, Biden is pushing more change than some of his voters want. The change they wanted was to get rid of Trump, not elect a new FDR,” says Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York.

Obvious to all is that Biden is cognitively challenged, not the “sharp” alternative to the mad-tweeting Donald Trump. Biden needs a whisperer, someone to guide him through his foggy moments. He’s ended up though with someone who has taken him by the hand away from the middle and down the road to progressive disaster. Whether it’s Klain, First Lady Jill, or someone still unnamed is irrelevant.

The point is the Biden presidency, if not his election, too, is a fraud, an exercise in stagecraft. Someone has his or her hand in his back and is projecting their voice so it will sound like his.

Op-Ed Points Out Disconnect Between Anti-Gun Beliefs And Actions

Anti-gun groups are having a ball these days. Not only does their preferred party control the House, the Senate, and the White House, but a surge in violent crime is making people very, very nervous. The fact that there’s also been a gun-buying surge has only made them giddier.

However, a recent op-ed over at the New York Daily News about the surge in violence brought up an interesting point.

The recent spike in gun violence has brought New York City to a genuine inflection point in criminal justice policy. It’s not yet an existential crisis. While the statistics are bad, they do not point to an all-out loss of control of our streets like the 1980s and early ’90s. But the decisions made by policymakers and voters over the next weeks will determine whether we risk losing control again.

Despite claims to the contrary out of City Hall, the social anxiety of the pandemic is not primarily responsible for the rise in gun violence. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers faced desperate economic hardship and unprecedented disruption. Very few of them shot their neighbor or robbed a bodega at gunpoint. For every young man who has chosen to engage in gun violence, thousands of his peers are looking for work and going to school.

Gun violence is not about poverty. Poor people are not criminals. This current wave of violence is about score-settling. It’s about criminal actors taking advantage of fewer witnesses on the street and the concealing of identities behind masks. It’s about removing the disincentives to criminal behavior, including pretrial detention for violent crime. It’s about the ill-conceived reduction of the NYPD’s gun suppression capabilities with the elimination of anti-crime teams.

Progressive reformers and law enforcement officials agree on almost nothing, except that a very small number of offenders commit the vast majority of crime. Identify and contain these offenders, and crime drops. They also agree that gun crime spreads as quickly as COVID. Each shooting carries the near-certain risk of retaliation. If not contained, this contagion spreads throughout entire neighborhoods, disproportionately impacting communities of color. At-risk groups of young men are uniquely susceptible to the luring excitement of gang life. Call them gangs or crews, they travel together to adjacent neighborhoods or housing developments, shoot at other young men, and flee home. The rival group then retaliates. In some neighborhoods, this back-and-forth continues for generations.

Note the bolded line.

It’s interesting to me that progressive reformers and law enforcement officials can agree on almost nothing except that the number of actual offenders is small. It’s interesting because another thing they agree on, at least in large urban centers, is that gun control is needed.

In other words, the anti-gun jihadists know that the total number of bad actors is minute, yet they still want to enact restrictions on the population as a whole because of the acts of a small handful of people. They know this is the case. They know that law-abiding citizens are law-abiding. They know that the vast majority are law-abiding.

And still, these anti-gun zealots want to infringe on our rights.

Honestly, this doesn’t surprise me, but it does infuriate me. It would be different if they believed there were more criminals than there actually are. That’s not the case, though.

They know it’s not all of us. They know it’s just a tiny handful and I suspect they also know they get their guns through illicit means. They know all of this and still they push their anti-gun agenda.

They know. They just don’t care.

Spiritual Suicide or Righteous Self Determination ~ Carry Guns

When the “mainstream media” refer to “mass shootings,” we never get to know what kind of gun(s) was used. They know, but they won’t tell us, unless of course, it’s an M4, Kalashnikov, et al, one of the ones they want confined to use by their political bedfellows, but banned from ownership by us “ordinary citizens.”

In any event, here is a paragraph or two you’ll never hear, nor read:

“Not one of the murdered/injured, bystanders, nor witnesses at this massacre were armed and thereby able to effectively stop this attack. Both company policy and state law prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons by these aforementioned persons. The sad, but predictable, the result of these manufactured ‘gun-free zones’ is, as always, pitiable carnage.

How did that ‘run, hide, fight (without weapons)’ advice work this time?

About as well as it always does?

And of course, where were our vaunted ‘security personnel?’ Hiding, like everyone else?”

Why are these words never, ever spoken at “mass shooting” scenes?

Meanwhile, boot-licking “woke” CEOs, who are just dying to climb in bed with every Democrat politician they can suck up to, and decry our Second Amendment as they dutifully mouth assorted other classic Communist propaganda.

Americans are buying up the entire retail supply of firearms and ammunition, and then some, but most are leaving those firearms at home, deeply fearful of violating a leftist “malum prohibitum,” issued by hand-wringing, woke CEOs (timidly peering-out from between their cadre of heavily-armed bodyguards), and also mandated by sleazy, hypocritical Democrat-heavy state legislatures, and city councils.

Neither wants American citizens doing anything to take care of themselves. They want only victims, lots of victims. They want all Americans to think of themselves only as pathetic victims.

Indeed, they want you to consider perpetual victimhood to be your sacred civic duty.

They love victims, but only as long as they stay victims.

When you don’t want to be a victim, indeed refuse to be a victim, they hate your guts.

Listen to them!

“Self-pity is spiritual suicide.” ~ Anthon St Maarten

I’m sorry. Until Wayne and the Directors that backed him have ridden off into the sunset, nothing is going to really change. Mr. Knox has a plan, and even though I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, it’s a good read.


Reorganizing the NRA, the Goal …more Accountability to the Membership

Jeff Knox:

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- There’s been a lot of discussion in recent years, and especially in recent weeks, about reorganizing the NRA.

The NRA itself filed a “Reorganization Plan” with the bankruptcy court, but, as I mentioned in a recent article, that “plan” was a joke, mostly just declaring that the new, reorganized NRA would have all of the same assets and liabilities of the old NRA, and that the new, reorganized NRA would have a dedicated “Compliance Officer” to make sure they obeyed all the applicable laws and rules, and that it would be reorganized in various ways yet to be determined.

That’s not a plan. It’s a proposal to think about making a plan.

Many have opined that the Association needs a smaller, Board of Directors, more accountability, less follow the leader, more member control, but they generally don’t have much of an idea of what they want the final product to look like. So here are my ideas for an effective, responsive, accountable NRA. These are just ideas for discussion and improvement. Debate and discussion are good, as iron sharpens iron.

First, I suggest three different boards with three different areas of responsibility:

  1. An Honorary Board.
  2. An Advisory Board.
  3. A Managing Board.

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Gun control lacks common sense
Estimates of the number of incidents annually where guns are used for defensive purposes overwhelmingly outweighs how often they are used for crime.

The Biden administration has proposed a myriad of “commonsense gun safety laws” which have little to do with common sense. While there is little evidence that supports a correlation between gun control legislation and a decrease in violent crime (in many cases, the opposite is true), Biden has falsely characterized gun violence as a “public health epidemic” and is using this caricature as a springboard to enact new policies that will do little to solve violent crime. Solving gun violence is a complex issue, and putting in place more gun control is not the answer.

Many arbitrary and overreaching gun control measures have already been enacted at the federal and state levels and do not historically improve violent crime rates. The number of murders and the overall violent crime rate nationally have declined substantially for decades, and although the rate of gun-owning households has declined, the number of guns owned by private citizens has steadily increased to roughly 120 per 100 people. The United States clearly does not have a “gun problem,” only a crime problem.

A study conducted by Gallup showed that opinion polls on gun control over the years varied dramatically depending on how the questions were worded. Anti-gun activists frequently portrayed in the media are well-aware that crime data shows no correlation between violent crime and gun ownership rates, however it has become all-too-common for them to blame all gun owners and guns in general whenever a mass shooting occurs.

These activists regularly cite mass shooting events as being indicative of a problem of gun violence that can only be solved with stricter gun control, while conveniently ignoring events where guns are used in self-defense. “Defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual [defensive] uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million,” according to a study conducted by the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. Although defensive gun use is not uniformly tracked, even the lowest estimates significantly outweigh the number of times when guns are used in homicides and crime in general.

Chicago, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, is already on pace to exceed last year’s homicide numbers with 227 homicides so far in 2021, according to the Chicago Tribune. Shootings are attributed to a substantial amount of violent crime in the Windy City and are unforgivably common, despite already having many of the “common sense” reforms regularly pitched as federal policy proposals. If strict gun control laws prevented crime, or even shootings, Chicago would be one of the safest places in the world. But Chicago is largely regarded as one of the most dangerous cities in the nation and certainly has not even come close to eradicating its problem of violent crime.

The reason for this is simple: criminals, by definition, do not follow the law. It is entirely illogical to conclude that establishing prohibitive laws on gun ownership will prevent violent criminals from obtaining and using guns in violent crime, the same way drug prohibition doesn’t prevent addicts from obtaining and using heroin.

Of course, while we all want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, any new gun control measures will inevitably have widespread effects on law-abiding gun owners who use guns strictly for self-defensive purposes.

It is critically important to defend the Second Amendment, as the right to self-defense is one of the most basic and fundamental human rights that also serves to protect all of the other rights we hold dearly. We should all reject Biden’s gun control scheme and any other new gun control legislation and leave law-abiding gun owners alone.

Hero cop saves African-American teen from knife attack
But Twitter activists and Democrats insist it’s another George Floyd incident

‘Let them kill each other’ is now the message coming from the White House, the activist left and mainstream media pundits in the wake of the police shooting death of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. After several hours of speculation, Bryant was shown on police body camera footage attacking multiple people with a long kitchen knife outside a residence. Bryant was shot when she charged a girl up against a vehicle with the knife. The officer fired four times, mortally wounding Bryant, who was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Twitter activists, cable news hosts and even the White House should have admitted their error in jumping to the conclusion that this incident was somehow linked to Derek Chauvin being found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. A more fair headline for the story, after the video came out, might have read: ‘Hero cop saves African-American woman teen from knife attack.’

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BLUF:
Let’s completely abolish the city police departments and leave only the sheriff’s departments in outlying areas. What you will see in America is that police have nothing to do with what ails our cities. It will bring the fight directly to the people without the police as the punching bags. Perhaps that is the only way to awaken the people from their slumber and force them to confront this corrupt system.

Horowitz: Why I’m now in favor of abolishing the police
Now that we only have mob rule, the police will be used against us

The KKK would be proud. Their version of street justice and terrorizing jurors with threats worked splendidly in the Chauvin trial. Now that we only have mob rule, why even have police, who can only be used against We the People but not to defend us?

The standard of evidence in our post-constitutional mob rule is not “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” but ensuring that Black Lives Matter doesn’t come to the juror’s house and lynch his family. That is essentially the message to America. If the political system, the media, and the street mobs want a conviction, they will get a conviction regardless of the evidence. However, this will reverberate far beyond the defendant himself.

Famed Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz is correct in asserting that what was done during this trial is akin to what the KKK did during the Jim Crow era. “It’s borrowed precisely from the Ku Klux Klan of the 1930s and 1920s when the Klan would march outside of courthouses and threatened all kinds of reprisals if the jury ever dared convict a white person or acquit a black person,” Dershowitz said in an interview with Newsmax.

However, where Dershowitz is wrong is that he thinks this conviction will be overturned on appeal. Show me the judge who will be willing to have his life destroyed by the new KKK mob justice. This will now happen with any white defendant — a cop or civilian — who has an altercation with someone who is black. Like the black defendants in the Jim Crow South, white defendants can no longer get a fair trial in America’s major cities when the media and the elites turn it into a proxy for a race war.

We no longer have individual justice in America. We have mob rule incited by “the system” in pursuit of a transformational political agenda. The defendant in any case that is considered transformational — whether it’s the case of George Floyd or of the Jan. 6 Capitol protesters — will be a human sacrifice for the greater cause. When the system makes a call for what it wants, that outcome will never be in doubt. The system gets what the system demands.

No serious person can believe that any sane juror would have placed principle over his own life and judged the evidence in this case properly. With the media, the president, and every state official gunning for a guilty verdict under the threat of doxing individual jurors, the outcome here was never in doubt. That should disturb us all, because this is not just about cops. It’s about being on the wrong side of our two-tiered mob justice system.

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‘Police’ were often termed ‘Peace Officers‘. It indicated they would keep the peace (stop blood feuds and riots) by presenting complainants and offenders before a  ‘Justice of the Peace‘ where, as far as possible, impartial, fair handed justice would be dealt out.
Police aren’t really there to protect the people, but to protect criminals from vigilante justice dealt out on the street.


Go ahead and defund the police, but get ready for vigilante justice
Those who are calling to end or radically alter the way this country is policed don’t have a good grasp of American history.

There was a time when vast swaths of this country were not policed, or were extremely under-policed.

In the late 19th Century, just three Deputy U.S. Marshals — Bill Tilghman, Chris Madsen, and Heck Thomas — were responsible for patrolling what would later become the State of Oklahoma. Their exploits are legendary.

For most Americans living outside of the large eastern metropolitan areas at that time, justice simply didn’t exist unless they meted it out themselves.

The first American police department wasn’t established until 1844 in New York City.

Boston and Philadelphia didn’t follow suit until a decade later.

These early departments were modeled upon the British police — the forerunner of the London Metropolitan Police was formed in 1789 — but they did not have detectives and were more concerned with preventing civil disorder and deterring thievery through visible patrol than investigating and solving crime.

In the West things were different.

Law and order were late in coming.

As a result, groups of citizens would band together to combat a specific threat — usually cattle rustling, horse thievery or a murder spree.

These extrajudicial citizen groups were called regulators, although today they would certainly be called vigilantes.

In Western towns without a police force, businesses would fund some of these vigilance groups to protect their property at night when the shop owners slept.

Nationally at this time, state governments granted authority to local businesses to create their own police forces — such as the Coal and Iron Police of Pennsylvania — which were accountable solely to the local CEO.

These “police departments,” which were routinely used as strike-breakers, further eroded public confidence in law and order, and were little more than vigilantes themselves.

Then, as now, when civil society broke down, Americans chose to arm themselves.

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D.C. Statehood? How About A Declaration Of Independence From Washington Instead

The Democrats are agitating for a 51st state that would be the District of Columbia, not for reasons of fairness but to build their party into an unchallengeable political power. America would be better off declaring its independence from the capital.

As it says in this nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, we believe our Creator endowed us with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But the ruling class in Washington does not believe as we do. It believes only in the expansion of its power. The facts, “submitted to a candid world,” speak for themselves.

  • America’s ruling class has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass and tax out their substance.
  • It co-opted the military to gaslight the nation with the ultimate goal being the crushing of dissent.
  • It has endeavored to foment civil war by enabling and encouraging racial division, riots, wokeness, and the relentless cancel culture.
  • It has plundered our future with unnecessary aid in the present.
  • It has constrained our fellow citizens through counterproductive, falsely premised lockdowns.
  • It has excited domestic insurrections among us in service of its objectives.
  • It has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving its assent to acts of pretended legislation.
  • It wishes to abolish our most valuable election laws, and alter fundamentally the forms of our governments.
  • It wishes to suspend our Constitution, and declare itself invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • It has repeatedly attempted to dissolve elections legitimately won by political rivals.

The Founders gave us a republic in which we were to be independent from the national capital. The 10th Amendment explicitly says “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The federal government’s authority is by design limited.

We’re not advocating secession, partition, or nullification. We’re simply reiterating what many already know: Washington has grown too big, too powerful, and too intrusive into private affairs. It has usurped the authority of the states, homogenized their individualism, and extorted them. Washington puts it thumb on the scales that balance power in this nation, its boot on the throat of liberty. It is much too energetic in its exercise of government in a way that would have deeply concerned Thomas Jefferson.

We borrow – and slightly amend – another Jeffersonian principle to make our final point: The tree of liberty needs to be watered by a bloodless revolution of patriotic voters who will use their ballots to oust the tyrants that crave ruling over governing. That’s our road back to independence.

BLUF:
“So we have 10 years of data on how a national ban works. How do you think it worked? It is tough to prove causation, but I haven’t seen anyone even make a reasonably believable case it did anything at all.”

Words Mean Things: Grown Up Talk about the AR-15

Despite the fact that there are (certainly) millions of AR-platform rifles in the hands of (probably) millions of American civilians, they only draw significant attention outside of gun culture occasionally. Following mass homicide events in which they are used, I am bound to hear: “AR-15s are weapons of war that have no business in civilian hands.”

Although I will have a chapter called “Living with AR-15s” in the book I am currently writing, rifles are not really in my wheelhouse. So, I have tended to ignore them on this blog, though on my Gun Curious blog back in 2019, I re-posted an essay by Jon Stokes on “Why I ‘Need’ An AR-15”.

Obviously many are not open to information and discussion about AR-platform rifles, believing they are only good for hunting helpless people. But some do reasonably wonder why civilians should own these rifles. As someone who knew nothing about guns for most of my life, I appreciate this authentic wonderment, so I jumped at the opportunity to bring forth another set of answers to the question that I found in my social media.

The following open letter of sorts includes some technical information about AR-platform rifles, some thoughts on their use and usefulness, and some points of political philosophy concerning government regulation.

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Portland cut police funding and got a 2,000% surge in murders

Last June, the city of Portland, Oregon, hopped on the “defund the police” bandwagon. Now, it is flooded with gun violence, and the mayor is already backtracking from his support for the cuts.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has requested $2 million in emergency funding for the police department, pointing directly to the surge in gun violence. By the end of February 2020, Portland had seen just one homicide year to date. This year, that number was 20, with 208 shootings in the city so far.

Wheeler backed the Portland City Council’s decision to cut $15 million from the police budget last June, which included disbanding police units that investigate gun violence. Predictably, that move backfired in a city that saw 100 consecutive days of violent rioting last year.

Riots are back once again in the city, thanks to Wheeler’s spinelessness. Rioters have once again targeted a federal courthouse in the city, a reprise of the violent storming of the courthouse last July. In June, it was reported that the city lost around $24 million due to the riots. Damage to federal buildings totals roughly $2.3 million.

Portland, like Minneapolis, doesn’t have and never did have an overpolicing problem. The city has an underpolicing problem, compounded by cowardly city leaders who pander to anti-police activists. Portland city leaders, just like their Minneapolis counterparts, humored these leftist ideologues while turning a blind eye to riots. Now, they reap the whirlwind in the form of a surge in violent crime.

And this is Portland, so there is no Republican to blame for this issue. Wheeler is a Democrat. So are the city council members, with one independent who was endorsed by the council’s Democratic members. Gov. Kate Brown, who said that former President Donald Trump was “provoking confrontation for political purposes” by protecting the courthouse, is a Democrat. So is President Biden, who currently has federal agents trying to protect the courthouse.

Nor is there any plausible way to blame the availability of guns in Oregon or in neighboring states. Guns are exactly as available today as they were before this 2,000% surge in murders.

This is what happens when people who are tasked with actually running a city embrace ridiculous ideologies to please activists. I would say that Portland residents deserve better, but this is the leadership they chose for their city. Given the failures of Wheeler and the city council to this point, the voters are the only ones who can change course.

If the 2020 election is any indication, it won’t be happening any time soon.

For US, Gradual Ruin Is About to Become Sudden

Roger Kimball Commentary
I am not a particular fan of Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises.” 
But there is one exchange between two of the characters, Bill Gorton and Mike Campbell, that has stuck with me.
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”
That passage has been running through my head a lot recently.
I thought of it last week when I learned that Dr. Seuss Enterprises had decided to stop selling six books by the famous children’s author because—according to the bureaucrats at the concession—they depict various ethnic groups in ways that are “hurtful and wrong.”
I thought of it again last week when Disney decided that some of its most popular shows did not pass muster with the woke wardens of political correctness and restricted access to Dumbo, Peter Pan, and other children’s classics because they, too, were “racially insensitive.”
Closer to home, Amazon, the self-described world’s largest bookstore, joined the censors by delisting a book I published a few years ago at Encounter, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.”
The book is a thoughtful and scholarly analysis of the psychological costs of treating gender dysphoria with drugs and surgery, but Amazon suddenly and without any explanation dropped the book because, they said, they no longer “sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.”
Mr. Anderson’s book does no such thing, but no matter. Amazon is in this respect like the Lord: man proposeth, Amazon disposeth,
These little cultural markers—and there are plenty more where they came from—suggested to me that we were about at an end of the gradual phase of cultural decay and were about to embark on the sudden part of the journey.

Elections

Then there is the more serious stuff: the nearly $2 trillion so-called “Covid relief” package that all-but-guarantees a spike in inflation but shovels much, much more money to teachers’ unions and favored racial groups than to people who have suffered from the government lockdowns during the CCP virus pandemic.
There is the passage in the house of H.R. 1, the so-called “For the People” bill, which would effectively assure that were was never another fair election in this country.
It would do this by all-but-obliterating voter ID requirements—you need an ID to board a plane but not cast a vote—mandating same-day voter registration and at least two weeks of early voting, and by requiring states to provide unsupervised drop boxes to receive completed ballots.
In other words, H.R. 1 would centralize presidential elections, taking responsibility for oversight away from the states, where the Constitution placed it, and arrogating it to the clutches of the federal government and its sprawling bureaucracy.
If, as seems almost certain, H.R. 1 becomes the law of the land, it would be the final nail in the coffin of electoral integrity.
The widespread irregularities (that’s polysyllabic periphrasis for “fraud”) that attended the 2020 election would be codified into law assuring that, for as long as anyone could envision, 2016 would have to be counted as the last free, fair, and open presidential election.
It used to be that American was the land of the free and home of the brave. A robust culture of free speech was every American’s birthright.
We had free and fair elections, unlike the banana republics we were always called upon to bail out or police.
We also had borders, and even politicians eager to increase immigration understood the difference between entering the country legally and opening the floodgates to the hordes massing on our Southern border.
That’s all behind us now, or at least those traditions appear to be on life support—no, the patient was on life support, but someone came to euthanize him and pulled the plug.
The signs and portents are many and they are not encouraging.
Perhaps the most disturbing episode last week was Joe Biden’s alarming performance when he announced the elevation of two women to the status of combat generals.
Biden went on to underscore the “intensity of purpose” with which his administration would be pursuing “body armor that fits women properly, tailoring combat uniforms for women, creating maternity flight suits, updating their hairstyle requirements.”
This was not from a Saturday Night Live skit: it was the President of the United States live in front of the cameras.
I say “live” but I really mean “not prerecorded.”  Joe Biden is “live” only in the sense that he cannot legally be interred.
He went on to demonstrate that sad contingency when he strained, unsuccessfully, to remember the name of his Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, who was standing right behind him, or the building where Austin worked, the Pentagon.

‘Ruin in a Nation’

Adam Smith once remarked to a disconsolate correspondent that there’s a “deal of ruin in a nation.” I quoted that remark to a friend some years ago when America was reeling from the twin assaults of the financial meltdown and the ministrations of Barack Obama.  “Especially this nation,” my friend replied, and I had to agree.
For a moment, during Donald Trump’s tenure, it seemed as though we’d returned to the sunlit uplands. Leave aside his partisan successes, the judges and tax cuts, for example.
Concentrate instead on what he did to secure the borders, to upgrade the military, to make America energy independent.
It’s only mid-March 2021.  In just six weeks, and with 60-odd executive orders behind him, Joe Biden has largely unravelled all that and more.
This is the reality: Joe Biden has set us on a collision course with tyranny at home and armed conflict abroad.
He has denominated his political opponents “domestic terrorists” and directed the FBI to harass and arrest them. He has done everything in his considerable power to surrender the country to the woke mob.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is not standing still.  Look for a kinetic clash with Russia, China, or Iran soon. It’s coming to a theater near you by the end of this summer, and I do not mean a movie theater.
Expect the velocity of our declivity to increase—the gauge is set to move from “gradually” to “suddenly” now, and there will be plenty of shock and awe when it does.
Is this alarmist? Maybe, but that is appropriate when the situation is alarming.
Expect also to hear many people quoting the poet Delmore Schwartz: “Even paranoids have enemies.”
It’s going to be a wild ride.

Banning whole categories of popular guns will lose in Supreme Court

On Feb. 14, President Biden marked the third anniversary of the deadly shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, with an announcement that he is calling on Congress to enact “common sense gun law reforms.”

As always, the details matter. The president defined “common sense” as a requirement for background checks on all gun sales, a ban on “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” and an end to “immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”

The U.S. Supreme Court held in 2008, in the District of Columbia v. Heller decision, that the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” is an individual right that is not contingent on service in “a well-regulated militia.” That means the U.S. Constitution limits the federal government’s power to pass laws restricting that right.

Exactly where are the limits? That’s always a matter of interpretation. The Heller opinion, written by the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, held that the District’s law prohibiting the possession of handguns was over the line, as was its law requiring residents to keep their lawfully owned, registered long guns “unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device” unless the guns were located in a place of business or in use for lawful recreational activities.

Scalia wrote that the handgun ban “amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of ‘arms’ that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society” for the “lawful purpose” of “the inherent right of self-defense.” Under any standard that the court has used, he wrote, “banning from the home ‘the most preferred firearm in the nation to keep and use for protection of one’s home and family,’ would fail constitutional muster.”

So if the president’s definition of “assault weapon” and “weapons of war” includes commonly owned firearms and magazines, it’s likely that new laws banning these or seeking to create new legal liability for their manufacturers will be found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, should these laws be challenged.

And there’s no doubt that such laws would be challenged. After Biden’s statement was released, the Firearms Policy Coalition responded, denouncing what it called “unconstitutional and immoral policies including bans on common semi-automatic firearms and ammunition magazines.” A number of lawsuits over various state laws related to firearms ownership are already working their way toward the high court.

The Heller decision was 5-4, with Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer in the minority.

Former President Donald Trump campaigned as a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights, and it would not be surprising, to say the least, if the three justices he appointed to the high court share that view to some extent. Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett likely have created a solid majority to strike down broad bans on semiautomatic weapons and laws that flatly prohibit law-abiding citizens from exercising the right to carry a gun. In Scalia’s words, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.”

That won’t stop the Democratic majorities in Congress, together with the president, from enacting doomed laws, or from sending fundraising letters attacking their opponents. It’s always about the next election. It remains a fact that constitutional rights cannot be overridden by a majority vote, except on the Supreme Court.

 

The Government Censors Are Here.

Congressional Democrats are demanding to know what communications giants such as Comcast and AT&T are going to do about “the spread of dangerous misinformation.” How quickly this country is descending into an authoritarian regime where the government controls speech and the flow of information.

Ahead of a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday, California Democratic Reps. Anna G. Eshoo and Jerry McNerney wrote a letter to Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum, Dish, Verizon, Cox, Altice, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Hulu. According to the New York Times, which says it has reviewed the correspondence, the pair is not pleased that “the cable, satellite and over-the-top companies that disseminate these media outlets” – likely referring to Fox News, One America News Network, and Newsmax – “have done nothing in response to the misinformation aired by these outlets.”

The hearing was called to focus on “disinformation and extremism in the media.” In practice it’s a stage for peacock strutting, spin, and projection (a diversionary tactic Democrats are well-practiced in) with the ultimate goal of gaining full control of the flow of information.

The Democrats telegraphed their intentions when Eshoo and McNerney assumed the role of prosecutors to ask the companies what steps they took “prior to, on and following the Nov. 3, 2020, elections and the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks to monitor, respond to and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans?”

Eshoo and McNerney further exposed their repressive intentions when they asked the companies if they are “planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN and Newsmax” on their platforms “both now and beyond the renewal date?” and “if so, why?”

Is this not chilling? The Democrats care nothing about misinformation and disinformation, nor freedom of speech. Their objective is to use the Jan. 6 Capitol trespass-and-vandalize ruckus, as well as legitimate questions about the 2020 election, to shut down the speech of their political opponents. They lust for raw political and social power, to rule, not govern under constitutional limits, forever. It is that simple.

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The Constitution and Supreme Court set a high bar for gun control

On February 14, President Biden marked the third anniversary of the deadly shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, with an announcement that he is calling on Congress to enact “commonsense gun law reforms.”

As always, the details matter. The president defined “commonsense” as a requirement for background checks on all gun sales, a ban on “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” and an end to “immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
The U.S. Supreme Court held in 2008, in the District of Columbia v. Heller decision, that the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” is an individual right that is not contingent on service in “a well-regulated militia.” That means the U.S. Constitution limits the federal government’s power to pass laws restricting that right.

Exactly where are the limits? That’s always a matter of interpretation. The Heller opinion, written by the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, held that the District’s law prohibiting the possession of handguns was over the line, as was its law requiring residents to keep their lawfully owned, registered long guns “unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device” unless the guns were located in a place of business or in use for lawful recreational activities.

Scalia wrote that the handgun ban “amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of ‘arms’ that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society” for the “lawful purpose” of “the inherent right of self-defense.” Under any standard that the court has used, he wrote, “banning from the home ‘the most preferred firearm in the nation to keep and use for protection of one’s home and family,’ would fail constitutional muster.”

So if the president’s definition of “assault weapon” and “weapons of war” includes commonly owned firearms and magazines, it’s likely that new laws banning these or seeking to create new legal liability for their manufacturers will be found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, should these laws be challenged.

And there’s no doubt that such laws would be challenged. After Biden’s statement was released, the Firearms Policy Coalition responded, denouncing what it called “unconstitutional and immoral policies including bans on common semi-automatic firearms and ammunition magazines.” A number of lawsuits over various state laws related to firearms ownership are already working their way toward the high court.

The Heller decision was 5-4, with Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer in the minority.
Former President Donald Trump campaigned as a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights, and it would not be surprising, to say the least, if the three justices he appointed to the high court share that view to some extent. Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett likely have created a solid majority to strike down broad bans on semiautomatic weapons and laws that flatly prohibit law-abiding citizens from exercising the right to carry a gun. In Scalia’s words, “the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.”

That won’t stop the Democratic majorities in Congress, together with the president, from enacting doomed laws, or from sending fundraising letters attacking their opponents. It’s always about the next election. It remains a fact that constitutional rights cannot be overridden by a majority vote, except on the Supreme Court.

Gun Control is a scam aimed at people control. It has been aimed at specific groups of people who were deemed a problem by the powers that be in historic and modern times. In the past its goals were not hidden. In our times it falsely hides behind the guise of safety and security.

I have been watching it closely for over 40 years, since they started with Handgun Control Inc. They have a play book that they keep going to over and over again, with minor variations. The end game is the elimination of all civilian gun ownership, which is the only thing that stops them from wholesale implementation of EU style “progressive” government and policies.

The whole anti-tyranny, 2nd Amendment thing is the only thing that stops them from making the US part of their “world community”, and it drives them nuts. So they will create false crises and scream, “the children”, “epidemic and scourge”, “reasonable compromise”, and “gun safety”, when the facts don’t support it, their laws don’t make sense, and they have no intention of compromising.

They lie to take every inch that gun owners give to make it as difficult as possible to be a law abiding gun owner, and use it as a stepping stone for their next push. They don’t care that the laws don’t effect criminals, or reduce mass shootings or crime, ’cause that’s not their goal.

The slippery slope is not a myth. It is a real anti gun/anti freedom strategy. It is here. —–CAD007

Biden’s Banana Republic.

A New York Times reporter has suggested the president appoint a “reality czar,” who would lead “a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism.” Please tell us, comrade, when the show trials begin. We don’t want to miss them.

The author of this idea is Times technology reporter Kevin Roose, who was writing about “how the Biden administration can help solve our reality crisis.” His is not a lone recommendation on how the ruling class should re-educate, curb, and cancel the unruly masses to the right of center. Others want the Biden White House to establish various versions of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, which was itself a ministry of propaganda. The Democrats and allied activists are itching to shut down speech they don’t agree with, but do it under the cover of preserving and honoring “truth.”

Odd, isn’t it, that the same people who claim to be so interested in truth and reality today for four years couldn’t stop talking about how the Russians put Donald Trump in the White House? Maybe they’re engrossed only with their version of the truth – their own fantasies and efforts to indoctrinate an entire population.

A country and a culture are in trouble when those in authority allow only one voice to be heard, when they decide what is acceptable speech and what isn’t, when the controversial and the unpopular are treated as crimes to be punished. Biden hasn’t bitten – yet – on a reality czar or ministry of truth. But under his administration, this country is shaping up as a banana republic. Think about:

  • How the Democrats want to turn the economy into one that’s “operated as a private commercial enterprise for the exclusive profit of the ruling class.”
  • The Democrats’ retribution-filled, Reichstag-fire response to the breach of the U.S. Capitol by a group made up mostly of odd characters and some everyday Americans who got overheated and were shocked by their own behavior, all of them apparently unarmed.
  • How a summer of real riots was tacitly, and at times, overtly supported by Biden’s party.
  • The second impeachment of Trump that is not an attempt to seek justice but a campaign to prevent him from running again for president and marginalizing his supporters.
  • The lies about the promise of unity.
  • Phony charges against political opponents designed to dehumanize them. See: “Biden accused Trump of being a mass murderer, of killing hundreds of thousands of coronavirus patients because he ‘did nothing’ to fight the virus.”
  • Government by executive command rather than through proper legislative channels.
  • Shutting down politically unfavorable businesses. See: Biden’s Keystone XL pipeline decision.
  • The leader of a national government deciding alone what the property role of that government is. See: “Biden Proclaims ‘Racial Equity’ as Goal ‘Of the Whole of Government.’ ”

From any reasonable point of view, it’s clear America is in a decline that might not be as steep as Biden’s cognitive fade, but is just as real.