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Charlie T Waite

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Posts posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. In New York City, where the law keeps virtually everyone disarmed, a group of “high end” robbers are making off like, well, bandits robbing some high net worth individuals of their expensive jewelry while they dine at fancy restaurants in the nice parts of town.

    These brazen thieves have struck multiple times at top end restaurants. They’ve even killed one man who dared to resist.

    From the New York Post:

    A Manhattan cop opened fire early Monday at suspected members of a high-end-robbery ring casing a Chelsea restaurant — who are possibly tied to last month’s shooting at Philippe Chow, police sources said.

    The crew tools around in Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs to pull off its heists, which cops believe include at least 12 robberies across Manhattan, Queens and The Bronx — netting more than $4 million in jewelry and watches just since August, sources said.

    The robbers — who call themselves “OED” for “Own Every Dollar” — are affiliated with the notorious Trinitarios gang in The Bronx and suspected in at least one homicide, sources said.

    “They are very vicious,” a Manhattan cop said.

    “After they shot a victim Uptown, they pounced on him and stole his jewelry while he was dying.”

    Imagine the life expectancy of a group like this in, say, Miami, were a high-end restaurant might sport 10% or even 20% of the diners packing heat, given the fact that Florida has issued over 2.5M licenses. Or in Dallas where Texans no longer need a stinkin’ license to carry a gun for a nice dinner while wearing glittering diamonds and flashy accessories.

    Robbers, armed and otherwise, face a real risk of getting their tickets punched in civilized cities and states that maintain the ability for the little people to carry firearms for self-defense.

    Meanwhile gun control laws, like those in force in New York City, only protect the criminal class. They leave the little people helpless against thugs plying their evil trade.

    But people like politicians, the rich, and the well-connected don’t care. They’re among the protected class that can get permits in New York, or operate with their own paid security. The rest of New York’s citizens are forced to deal with the consequences of the civilian disarmament policies they support so vocally.

  2. U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- It has been a month since Texans enjoyed carrying a firearm in public without a permit. At the beginning of September they joined tens of millions of us who already had permit-less carry. Nothing much happened in Texas. A few more honest citizens defended themselves.

    That isn’t what some politicians and law enforcement officers predicted. They said we would see extraordinary levels of violence in the streets after we let our neighbors carry in public. The media never examined those extravagant claims. Now, we can do what the news media failed to do.

    Houston Mayor Sylvester issued another press release about how dangerous honest gun owners can be unless they have a government license to carry concealed.

    “Under this (permit-less carry) bill, even a law-abiding citizen can become a danger.. They could become a danger to themselves and others due to mishandling a deadly weapon.. This flawed new law will have a harmful impact inside our neighborhoods and on our streets. Unregulated guns aggravate our public safety problems.”

    We can look at the news to see if the honest citizens of Houston who are legally allowed to own guns suddenly acted irresponsibly after this law took effect. I looked, and I didn’t see the holocaust the mayor predicted. In contrast, I can find many stories where criminals continued to break the law, but that is what criminals have always done. The mayor owes the honest gun owners in Houston an apology. The news media also owes us an apology for not checking the mayor’s story.

    Dallas police chief Eddie Garcia said that law-abiding gun owners should only be allowed to carry concealed in public if they pass a state-mandated training course. Remember that the open carry of a handgun without a license was, and remains, perfectly legal in Texas. Chief Garcia is saying that ordinary gun owners who were open carrying their personal firearms without a license would suddenly become monsters after they cover their holster with a piece of cloth. I don’t believe in magic shirts, but evidently, some police chiefs do.

    Chief Garcia also said his officers couldn’t tell the good guys from the bad guys without a piece of paper issued by the state. I can only conclude that there is a training issue with the once-great Dallas PD.

    Constitutional carry is already the law of the land in 21 other states. Law enforcement officers in those states learned to base their actions on people’s behavior.

    Speaking personally, I want people to get their carry license and continue training, but the policemen I know considered any stranger as a potential threat, license or no license. I suspect that the chief already knew that, but the chief assumed the reporters wouldn’t embarrass the chief with obvious facts. That says a lot about the chief’s reputation and the reputation of the news reporters too.

    The Austin interim police chief Joseph Chacon said that crime was rising to historic levels. Chacon is right, yet the chief wanted more honest citizens disarmed unless they get a permission slip from the state before they exercised their right of self-defense. Let’s be honest. Law enforcement officers are not interchangeable. Sheriffs are elected by the voters in their county, while Police Chiefs are appointed by politicians. The chief doesn’t have a political opinion of his own. He represents the political opinion of his boss. To be more precise, the chief’s opinion reflects the political leaning of the mayor’s campaign donors.

    We have not seen a surge in violence perpetrated by legal gun owners in Texas. I don’t expect to see one because that isn’t what happened in other states after they adopted constitutional carry.

    We have seen crime increase after big-city prosecutors let criminals walk away. That trend started before and continued after Texas adopted permit-less carry. Perhaps because of that political failing, we’ve seen more citizens protecting themselves and their families with a firearm, and doing a good job of it.

    I asked a few firearms instructors in Texas if they noticed any trends after constitutional carry took effect. The number of people in their licensing classes went up and down slightly, but they saw a large increase in the number of people who wanted training in armed defense. I’m not surprised because we’ve seen this before in other states.

    That is what I’d do if I was a new gun owner in Texas. That is what you’d do, and it turns out that our neighbors did too. Now we have to ask why the news media couldn’t figure that out.

    We’re lucky to have Ammoland.

  3. The state of California loves its gun control. They have for a long, long time. There don’t seem to be many anti-Second Amendment proposals offered up that California doesn’t love.

    Proponents of these measures argue that gun control works to reduce crime rates.

    Well, we just got a new set of statistics from the FBI. If what gun control proponents say is true, then California shouldn’t have seen the same spike we’ve seen throughout the rest of the nation and should have even lower numbers than everywhere else.

    So, what happened?

    The FBI recently released crime numbers that show the disparity between California’s crime rates compared to that of the U.S. is slowly diminishing.

    The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), based in San Francisco, compiled these numbers into graphs to illustrate the rates of different crimes in California and in the U.S.. between 2000 and 2020.

    California and the U.S.. overall experienced a similar violent crime rate in 2020 as they did in 2000, according to the PPIC, noting that while California had a 20 percent higher violent crime rate than the nation in 2000, that number has dropped to 10 percent in 2020.

    The PPIC noted that while California continued to have a higher violent crime rate than the U.S., the state actually had a lower homicide rate. This is interesting because California’s rate is “11 percent below what it was in 2000, while the nationwide rate is up by about 18 percent,” according to the PPIC.

    “HA! See! California’s homicide rate didn’t rise as fast as the rest of the nation’s”

    Yep, that’s absolutely true. Yet what landmark piece of gun control was passed in California prior to last year? Not only that, but did you hear yourself? It didn’t go up quite as much despite still being higher than the national average? That’sthe hill you want to defend?

    Anyway, moving on…

    What we do know, though, is that gun ownership in the Golden State skyrocketed starting in early 2020 amid fears of the pandemic. People flocked to local gun stores, standing in line for hours for the chance to purchase a firearm.

    But while gun control laws were passed, they were small changes made to a previously draconian system. That would be the same system that managed to have a violent crime rate 20 percent higher than the rest of the nation.

    In other words, nothing that can be touted as even potentially creating such an impact on crime happened except an increase in gun ownership.

    Even then, despite having the toughest gun control laws in the nation, the state is still 10 percent above the national average for violent crime. That runs counter to literally every defense of gun control you’ll ever hear.

    California is often the example anti-Second Amendment types want the rest of the nation to follow. Well, I suppose if they want us to increase gun ownership so we can see a reduction in violent crime in comparison to the rest of the nation, well, I guess that’s just what we’ll have to do. Sorry, I don’t make the rules, the anti-Second Amendment crowd does. I’m just following them.

    So everyone, tell folks you know to go and buy guns, because that’s the only thing that seems to have helped in California.

  4. As a testimony to the importance of the Second Amendment, the topic of gun control and the right to bear arms spans all levels of society, and takes form in every part of conversation: from talks between friends, to academic debates, to news and propaganda, to public policy. More complicated than Left-vs-Right, while certain factors are clear: some political candidates campaign on taking away your right to bear arms, the landscape is not nearly as defined as a chessboard. Where some moves to restrict the access to or legal ownership of firearms are overt, such as a State government banning the possession of an AR-15, other moves are much more subversive, such as a backdoor registration. One such example is using the CDC to promote, if not produce backdoor gun control.

    What does the Center for Disease Control have to do with Guns?

    As we have seen over the past 2 years, the role of the CDC appears to change depending on the circumstance. Despite the highly political nature of both Covid-19 and the responses of both elected and unelected officials, the appointment of Dr. Rochelle Walensky to the position of Director of the CDC has drawn attention. Unlike the now-withdrawn nomination of David Chipman to the head of the BATFE, appointments to the CDC do not require confirmation by the Senate. 

    The use of the CDC to influence or enforce restrictions has face scrutiny over the past two years. 

    In 1997, during the Clinton Presidency, Congress cut all funding for gun-related research from the CDC. Under Donald Trump, however, a government spending bill was passed to re-open the doors of gun research to the CDC in 2018. The nature of this research is stated as attempting not to limit the possession and access to firearms but to better understand what causes gun violence. Between 2020 and 2021, Congress has allocated at least 25 million to this research through the CDC and the US National Institute of Health. 

    In April, President Biden called gun violence a “Public Health Epidemic,” at a time when the BATFE began pressuring gun owners through a proposed redefinition of receivers to include 80% kits, and reclassification of AR pistols with various brace attachments as SBRs or Short-Barreled Rifles. Dr. Rochelle Walensky took her new position at the CDC during the Covid-19 Pandemic, drawing attention when she extended the eviction moratorium after the US Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. 

    Zeroing in on Gun Violence Research

    In an interview with CNN, Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated that she is not talking about Gun Control, and want's to invite gun owners to be part of a conversation. “This is not a conversation about having them or not having them. This is a conversation about how we can make them being here safe,” is how Dr. Walensky phrased her objective. 

    The CDC lists approved grants and projects on its website. A few of the listed programs are as follows:

    - Firearm Behavior Practices and Suicide Risk in U.S. Army Soldiers and Veterans

    - Exposure to Violence and Subsequent Weapons Use: Integrative Data Analysis Across Two Urban High-Risk Communities

    - Using Small-Area Estimates of Firearm Ownership to Investigate Violence Disparities and Firearm Policy Effects

    - An Evaluation of the Gun Shop Project: Suicide Prevention Led by the Firearms Community

    - Physical, Social, and Economic Environments and Firearm Fatalities Among Youth

    On its Fast Facts page, the CDC lists Firearms Violence as a peer to subjects like Child Abuse and Neglect, Sexual Violence, Youth Violence, and Coping With Stress. It categorizes firearms injuries into:

    - Intentionally Self-Inflicted

    - Unintentional

    - Interpersonal Violence

    - Legal Intervention

    - Undetermined Intent

    When the CDC states that firearms-related violence is a serious health concern, however, is where suspicions arise. When statistics such as suicides are included in a list of firearms-related deaths, and that larger number is conflated with homicides, public trust is lost. 

    Further, the divide between using a statistic and the evaluation of a statistic's data is clearly visible within the public conversation on firearms ownership. 

    Putting It All Together

    Fundamentally, the challenge Dr. Rochelle Walensky will be facing regarding gun violence is two-fold. As she has offered for firearms owners to “come to the table,” she presents herself as extending the olive branch regarding a deeply divisive political subject. Yet in light of her recent disregard for the Constitution when extending the Eviction Moratorium, even after the Supreme Court deemed it Unconstitutional, there's little room for trust between gun owners and her position at the CDC. 

    The second challenge that Dr. Walensky will face is the role the CDC has played in influencing public policy in the last 18 months. Fundamental to firearms ownership in the United States is the belief in self-reliance or self-responsibility. 

    When viewed in light of the last 6 months in Gun Control: the proposed Brace Ban, the proposed redefinition of receivers, the nomination (and withdrawal) of David Chipman, the Russian Ammunition Ban, and most recently, how Gun Control played a major part in why Smith & Wesson is moving to Tennessee, in the short term we have reason to be suspicious about the CDC's latest publicity regarding guns. Further, when gun violence is spoken about as an epidemic, considering that the CDC's response to other things deemed worthy of that descriptor has been authoritarian, and in Dr. Rochelle Walensky's case, Unconstitutional, the concern is further validated. 

    Unfortunately for Dr. Walensky, when she invites gun owners to have a conversation about Gun Control, we simply don't trust her intentions to be honest. 

    Expanding Tactics and Social Pressure

    The manipulation tactic of imposing one's self as an authority, and then inviting professionals into a conversation, will not work here. If the CDC was interested in the opinions of gun owners, it would be coming to gun owners to listen, not inviting them in such as way as to suggest they deserve to be seen as a valid authority on the matter. 

    With all the attacks on the personal ownership of firearms that look like this, it's no wonder why so many Americans are distrusting of the rhetoric coming from the CDC. 

    The suspicion that the CDC will be used as an avenue for backdoor gun control is not a new idea. However, as both firearms ownership has increased in the last two decades, and the role of the CDC in suggesting public policy in the last 2 years, it is not a surprise that the organization would attempt to reassert the legitimacy of its opinion on things like firearms ownership. 

    By inviting gun owners into a conversation, Dr. Rochelle Walensky presents herself as having legitimacy on the subject of Gun Rights, instead of seeking out professionals and learning from them. What Dr. Walensky and the CDC need to understand on the subject is that they don't possess a table to invite gun owners to. Rather, it is the private citizens and their rights which the CDC needs to appeal to. Until Dr. Walensky realizes that the CDC is bound by the U.S. Constitution, any attempt at conversation will run aground on this reality.


  5. Democratic candidate for Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe is proving that once government officials learn they can use a crisis to deny basic freedoms, they’ll find a crisis every time.

    McAuliffe has decided that Virginia has a public health crisis when it comes to criminal violence. For him and the rest of Virginia’s gun control politicians, there’s never a problem with rising crime, lack of police resources or willingness to actually prosecute criminals. McAuliffe is proving that gun control politicians know only one cure. Take the blue pill of more gun control.

    With less than a month to go before Old Dominion voters head into the voting booth, McAuliffe conflates crime with public health, co-opting the use of emergency health measures to enact radical gun control. That includes McAuliffe’s demand that modern sporting rifle (MSRs) and standard capacity magazines must be banned.

    “It’s time to Ban the Sale of Assault Weapons, Close Loopholes, and Treat GunViolence as a Public Health Epidemic,” reads McAuliffe’s campaign website.

    Overseeing this, of course, would be McAuliffe’s “Virginia Office of GunViolence Prevention,” a comfortable taxpayer-funded cushion for McAuliffe’s gun control backers to gin up new ways to deny Virginians their God-given rights protected not only by the U.S. Constitution, but the Commonwealth’s constitution.

    Order it Twice

    McAuliffe’s “plan” reads like an a la carte gun control menu. In addition to banning MSRs and magazines, he wants to “strengthen” Virginia’s background checks, without explaining what’s left to strengthen since the state already has a universal background check law.

    He makes a similar demand of wanting a new law where one already exists by demanding local municipalities should be able to create their own gun control measures. Virginia already did that when it repealed the state pre-emption law.

    He would also ban so-called “ghost guns,” or home-built firearms. Never mind that it has been legal in Virginia since it was a colony to make your own firearm.

    What he’s really aiming to do is regulate the sale of precursor parts. That would mean nearly any part of a firearm could be labeled a “firearm,” itself requiring background checks and onerous restrictions and regulations on small business owners and gun owners just to repair or improve a firearm.  It doesn’t matter that an individual prohibited from legally purchasing a firearm is also prohibited from possessing one – even one that is self-assembled.

    A Crisis Over Governing

    McAuliffe’s gun control plan doesn’t sound like much of a plan. It’s an excuse to infringe on Virginians’ constitutionally protected gun rights of those who obey the law and ignores failing policies that defunded police and let criminals run rampant with no accountability.

    McAuliffe continues to demonize the MSR, or AR-15 rifle, using the gun control invented trope “assault weapon” to describe these popular, commonly owned rifles. It doesn’t matter to him that the just released FBI Uniform Crime Report show murder skyrocketing 29 percent in the United States.

    It also showed that knives were used 3.5 times as often in murders than rifles of all types. Virginia State Police reported that murder in the state reached the highest levels seen since the 1990s. Police reported 537 homicides in 2020, up from 455 in 2019, an 18 percent increase in just one year.

    McAuliffe’s gun control crisis plan also masks the failing policies that are contributing to Virgina’s crime problem. Richmond’s progressive, Democratic-controlled city council slashed $3 million from the police budget, eliminated 12 positions at the same time murders in the capital city jumped 40 percent over a year ago.

    McAuliffe’s answer isn’t to end the insanity of yanking police off the streets. He wants to double down. McAuliffe accepted the endorsement of a group that support police defunding. He dressed down a room full of law enforcement for questing his position and willingness to accept endorsements from groups that demand police be defunded and prisons be abolished. “I don’t care what you believe,” McAuliffe said.

    When candidates for office put on blinders and declare God-given rights are secondary to self-declared “crises,” voters have to scratch their heads and wonder why the proposed cure doesn’t even address the symptoms. McAuliffe’s blue pill of gun control only serves his radical gun control agenda.

  6. More evidence of the changing face of gun ownership was presented this week–from the unlikeliest of sources.

    Comedian and actress Sherri Shepherd appeared on “The View” this Tuesday as a guest co-host. During one segment, she described her recent decision to become a new gun owner to a skeptical panel. Shepherd described her feelings during the early stages of the pandemic and summer’s civil unrest as the impetus for her decision.
    “Yes, I did. I bought a 9mm gun,” Shepherd said. “During the quarantine, I felt really helpless. I’d get these little alerts in my neighborhood app about ‘it’s going to be a march through the neighborhood,’ and I started feeling like, ‘How am I going to protect my son if something happens?'”

    Shepherd describes an experience familiar to many who decided to become first-time gun owners in 2020. Uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and anxiety over racial tensions were some of the most commonly espoused reasons for the record surge in new gun sales in 2020. Her experience also aligns with reports of significant increases in first-time ownership among women in particular, a demographic historically underrepresented in gun ownership statistics.

    Shepherd said she got some of her friends together to go to the gun store to purchase her first gun. She said she went to one of two black-owned gun stores in California,

    “I felt very empowered when I bought this gun,” Shepherd said. “I took lessons, I took the test, I go to the range with my girlfriends like every other week, and it just makes me feel like at least if something happens, I can protect my child.”

    However, the other women on the show remained skeptical. Joy Behar argued more Black Americans owning guns would lead to more gun-control laws but also expressed support for those laws. Sunny Hostin said many of her black friends had also recently decided to purchase firearms, but that her experience as a federal prosecutor led her to believe people who own guns are more likely to kill themselves or others.

    “I still believe that in this country, our readiness to sort of allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at will has led to violence and hatred becoming a really popular pastime in this country,” Hostin said.

    Shepherd, however, remained confident in her decision.

    “I hear what you’re saying, but I’m saying as a single woman, the helplessness I felt, and when I looked at my son, he looked at me like, ‘Mom, I’m scared,'” she said. “Physically, I’m not able to combat. I take self-defense lessons to protect my home.”


  7. The NRA’s finances stayed above water in 2020. But only because it continued to make significant spending cuts.

    The gun-rights group ran a surplus of just over $40.5 million last year, according to a copy of its financial statements obtained by The Reload. That makes 2020 the second year in a row where the NRA spent less than it brought in, reversing a years-long trend of operating in the red. But the better books came at the cost of deep cuts to most of its key programs.

    The group’s 2020 spending was down more than $54 million, or about 15.3 percent, from 2019. It’s down over $124 million, or about 29.3 percent, compared to the group’s financial statements from the last election cycle in 2018. The cuts affected core areas of the group’s activities, with tens of millions less being spent on legislative programs, training, and member services compared to the previous election cycle. Revenue fell by eight figures too, down $19.4 million from 2019 and $78.2 million from 2018.

    While revenue and spending fell, the group’s legal expenses rose. The NRA’s 2020 legal spending increased by $245,892 from the previous year to more than $46 million. The NRA noted the total includes audit and tax expenses but declined to break out the numbers more specifically. It also said those fees were spent on a variety of legal costs, including activism.

    “This includes work in support of the Second Amendment, such as the Supreme Court case in which the NRA is involved,” the gun-rights group told The Reload.

    The report provides further insight into the group’s legal spending. While the overall increase in legal spending was modest, the group’s spending on legislative and fundraising legal expenses fell by $8.8 million but its administrative legal costs rose by more than $9 million to over $42.5 million. Those costs are likely associated with the NRA’s failed bankruptcy filing and ongoing fight against a New York corruption suit that threatens its continued existence.

    Outside legal counsel Bill Brewer has masterminded the group’s legal maneuvering over the past several years, but his firm has faced opposition from critics inside and outside the group. It has been accused of charging exorbitant fees and not working in the organization’s best interest. Two NRA members and a former board member who filed a motion to intervene in the dissolution case have argued the judge should bar Brewer from representing the group in the case over those allegations.

    NRA leadership has consistently defended the law firm as worth the money, though. And there is no indication the group has pursued or even considered different legal representation. The NRA’s board of directors has also continued to approve Brewer’s legal strategies during its fight against New York Attorney General Letitia James (D.) as she attempts to dissolve the group over accusations executives ran millions of dollars in personal expenses through the group.

    Overall, the group has spent more than $125.4 million on legal, audit, and tax expenses since 2018, when they first faced legal trouble in New York. Nearly $98 million of that has gone towards administrative legal costs, over four-and-a-half times the amount spent on legislative legal costs.

    The legal spending is up tremendously from just three years prior. In 2017, the NRA spent just $12.9 million on legal, audit, and tax costs, and just $4.6 million of those costs were administrative. Administrative legal costs per year have increased ninefold as of 2020.

    Brian Mittendorf, a professor of accounting at Ohio State University who has followed the NRA’s finances for years, said the NRA’s 2020 financials represented a “strange mix” of good and bad news.

    “Amidst a bankruptcy filing, the organization was actually shoring up its financial position,” he told The Reload. “After years of declining unrestricted net assets, it showed a substantial increase in 2020. And, this improved financial position also permitted the organization to begin paying down debts it had accumulated. This positive financial picture, however, may mask longer-term issues since it came about due to drastic cuts in the organization’s core programs.”

    The NRA said the fundraising crunch and spending cuts were primarily due to fundraising challenges it faced during the coronavirus pandemic.

    “As a result of the pandemic – and much like other major businesses and non-profits, we experienced a major disruption in our events and revenue streams,” the group said. “We had less than half of our Friends events last year and will not be at 100% for 2021. We were not able to have our annual meeting for 2020 and 2021. We are not immune from global economic effects of a global pandemic.”

    The gun-rights group said those challenges were not unique to them and noted many groups struggled even more or shut down entirely. To that point, the NRA avoided taking government assistance from the Payment Protection Program in 2020, while gun-control group the Brady Center took nearly a million dollars in assistance.

    “Like other non-profits, the Brady Center is funded by giving and fundraising events, both of which obviously have been impacted and will be impacted for the foreseeable future,” Liam Sullivan, a spokesman for the Brady Center, told the Washington Free Beacon last year. “We just applied and were approved, obviously, under the same sort of criteria as others with concerns for payroll.”

    The NRA said the group is a “more streamlined, focused and stronger organization” after the 2020 cuts. Mittendorf agreed the group was in good financial shape at the end of 2020 but said the cuts to many of its key programs combined with increasing legal costs would likely catch up with it eventually.

    “Though shoring up financial standing, this also creates a circumstance that may be untenable as a new normal: members continue to pay to support the organization and its mission, but an increasing share of resources is being devoted to the organization’s own legal defense while core programs are being cut notably,” he said.

    “Whether members will permit such an arrangement and for how long is uncertain.”


  8. Tomorrow, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety will hear Senate Bill 584, to improve the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their loved ones while worshipping; and Senate Bill 570, to protect Second Amendment rights from frivolous lawsuits. If you wish to find the time and location of the hearing, click here. Please contact committee members and ask them to SUPPORT SB 584 and SB 570.


    Senate Bill 584 affirms that law-abiding adults with a license to carry firearms for self-defense may do so in places of worship, unless the property is specifically posted to prohibit carry. This ensures that such decisions involving security are left up to individual places of worship, rather than the government mandating a one-size-fits-all solution. So-called “gun-free zones” simply disarm law-abiding citizens and leave them defenseless against criminals who ignore arbitrary boundaries.

    Senate Bill 570 protects firearm dealers, manufacturers, distributors, etc., from frivolous lawsuits for the criminal or unlawful use of their product. While federal law currently has this protection, as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), President Biden has promised to repeal it as a main part of his assault on the Second Amendment. Prior to Congress passing PLCAA in 2005, 34 states passed similar laws on their own. In addition, Iowa passed such legislation earlier this year. With this bill, Wisconsin will add an additional layer of protection to prevent anti-gun extremists from attempting to bankrupt law-abiding businesses by suing them for the third party, criminal misuse of their legal products.

    Again, please contact committee members and ask them to SUPPORT SB 584 and SB 570.


  9. Who is the most out-of-touch gun-hating politician in the United States? Let’s combine that question with another: What anti-gun politician tends to make the most absurd statements that aren’t remotely true, much less provable?

    Of course, in today’s political climate the answer to those questions isn’t easy. After all, gun-ban-loving politicians are a dime a dozen, and it seems we hear more lies from them every day.

    However, since I asked the question, I’ll answer it. Based on some of her recent statements in the Rockland/Westchester Journal News, my money right now is on New York Attorney General Letitia James.

    Before getting to her blatant lies about so-called gun “buyback” programs, let’s take a look at her “big whopper” of the interview, ironically buried in the very last paragraph of the story and apparently left unquestioned by the reporter.

    "What's so tragic,” James said last Friday, “is that in some parts of New York state, you can find a gun more easily than you can find an apple."

    An apple? Whoa, there, Laticia!

    Admittedly, as a resident of a “flyover state” I don’t know much about the status of apple orchards in New York, so I did a little research. (AG James could, too, if she cared about the truth.) According to a New York State Senate news release, apple growers harvest a whopping 29.5 million bushels of apples annually in New York, making it the second-largest apple-producing state in the country.

    In fact, according to the New York Apple Association, “Apple-lovers choose New York apples, not just for their extraordinary flavor, but also because they crave the ‘experience’ of New York apples. Why? Because there’s nothing like picking your own apple in a pick-your-own orchard, finding that special heirloom variety at your local farmer’s market or selecting a delicious New York variety at the grocery store.”

    Unless there are 29.4 million bushels of guns growing on trees in the Empire State, it is not actually easier to find a gun than to find an apple, and James darned well knows it. But gun-ban proponents in high places have become so accustomed to making outrageous claims and not having anyone in the so-called “mainstream” media question them, they just go right on telling whopper after whopper. They don’t care if it’s true, as long as it might turn one more person undecided on the gun issue into an anti-gun advocate.

    The statement was actually made in the context of a recent gun “buyback” in New Rochelle, New York. Concerning the event, James said, “When a gun is turned in at our event, we know that it will be safely disposed of by law enforcement, and we know that it will never fall into the wrong hands or potentially be used for harm. Therefore, any gun that we collect is one less gun that is in a home or in our community that could potentially endanger someone.”

    Aside from the fact that a gun can’t endanger anyone without a dangerous person operating it, such a statement by James also ignores research on the topic. In fact, a recent study proved that so-called “buybacks” are basically worthless. A paper titled “Have U.S. Gun Buybacks Misfired,” authored by Toshio Ferrazares, Joseph J. Sabia and D. Mark Anderson, and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, concluded that such “buybacks” have no measurable impact on reducing violent crime.

    “Given our estimated null findings, with 95 percent confidence, we can rule out decreases in firearm-related crime of greater than 1.3 percent during the year following a buyback,” the study’s abstract concluded. “Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, we also find no evidence that GBPs reduce suicides or homicides where a firearm was involved.”

    About the Author

    Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for more than 20 years.

  10. It is no coincidence that the Department of Justice heeded the National School Boards Association’s call for the Biden administration to target parents critical of critical race theory curricula and dubious coronavirus policies in schools by labeling them domestic terrorists and mobilizing the DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The administration’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism mandates just such chilling action.

    That little-discussed but hugely significant document codifies a War on Wrongthink, demanding that the full weight of the federal government and private-sector allies like Big Tech be brought to bear against dissenters from Biden regime orthodoxy. Consider “pillar four” of the strategy, titled “Confront Long-Term Contributors to Domestic Terrorism.” It reads in part:

    …tackling the threat posed by domestic terrorism over the long term demands substantial efforts to confront the racism that feeds into aspects of that threat. We are, therefore, prioritizing efforts to ensure that every component of the government has a role to play in rooting out racism and advancing equity for under–served communities that have far too often been the targets of discrimination and violence. This approach must apply to our efforts to counter domestic terrorism by addressing underlying racism and bigotry.

    On day one of the Biden presidency, the administration issued an executive order lamenting America’s “systemic racism.” In response, it called for the administration to pursue “an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda.”

    It also revoked the Trump administration’s executive order barring training of federal employees in “anti-American race … stereotyping and scapegoating” — an implicit reference to critical race theory and related critiques of America. This revocation could be seen as at minimum a tacit endorsement of CRT, as could the Biden administration’s dissolution of the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, a group whose work could be seen as challenging CRT.

    Administration Backtracked For Now

    A Department of Education proposal in April represented a more direct demonstration of the Biden administration’s pro-CRT position. The rule would have prioritized grants for American history and civics programs that “incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives,” citing as examples The New York Times’ 1619 Project and “anti-racist” par excellence Ibram X. Kendi.

    The rule promoted “culturally responsive teaching,” which Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Stanley Kurtz describes as an “ultra-woke and utterly politicized pedagogy derived from Critical Race Theory.” That rule was ultimately shelved amid a massive backlash, but the administration’s position was made clear: It fully supports critical race theory.

    It stands to reason that the Biden administration would see support of CRT as consistent with its “equity” agenda, and therefore opposition to CRT as an impediment to it. “Equity” is a concept firmly rooted in the “anti-racism” of the likes of Kendi. Kendi asserts that “Antiracist ideas argue that racist policies are the cause of racial inequities.” CRT is therefore an anti-racist idea. To critical race theorists, then, opposing them is racist.

    Whites As Greatest Domestic Threat

    If, as the Biden administration argues, countering domestic terror, the greatest threat of which comes from white supremacism, requires “addressing underlying racism and bigotry,” as the national strategy says; and opposition to CRT is racist; then targeting CRT critics becomes a national security imperative.

    With respect to the Chinese coronavirus, the Biden administration’s purported counter-terror strategy quotes from a March 2021 intelligence community domestic violent extremism (DVE) threat assessment noting that “Newer sociopolitical developments—such as narratives of … conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic … will almost certainly spur some DVEs to try to engage in violence this year.”

    That assessment followed a January 2021 national terrorism advisory bulletin noting that in 2020 “domestic violent extremists” were motivated by “anger over COVID-19 restrictions” and that “Threats of violence against critical infrastructure … increased in 2020 with violent extremists citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions.”

    Subsequently, an August 2021 national terrorism advisory bulletin warned that:

    …anti-government/anti-authority violent extremists will remain a national threat priority for the United States. These extremists may seek to exploit the emergence of COVID-19 variants by viewing the potential re-establishment of public health restrictions across the United States as a rationale to conduct attacks.

    The bulletin cited “continued, non-specific calls for violence on multiple online platforms associated with DVE ideologies or conspiracy theories on…alleged reinstatement, and responses to anticipated restrictions relating to the increasing COVID cases.”

    Questioning the Government Is a Domestic Threat

    The Biden administration of course supports more restrictive coronavirus measures generally, and has vowed to combat policies barring universal masking in classrooms — the kind of policy parents have protested nationwide. Its purported counterterror strategy notes that “domestic terrorists” “espouse a range of violent ideological motivations,” including not just racism but “anti-government or anti-authority sentiment.”

    The Biden administration apparently believes challenges to school boards on its favored coronavirus policies reflect such anti-government or anti-authority sentiment, as the DOJ memorandum responding to the NSBA argues that it is compelled to act given “Threats against public servants.” The NSBA notes that “groups” are “spreading misinformation that [school] boards are … working to maintain online learning by haphazardly attributing it to COVID-19.”

    The Biden strategy calls for “enhancing faith in government and addressing the extreme polarization, fueled by a crisis of disinformation and misinformation … which can tear Americans apart and lead some to violence … Enhancing faith in American democracy demands accelerating work to contend with an information environment that challenges healthy democratic discourse. We will work toward finding ways to counter the influence and impact of dangerous conspiracy theories that can provide a gateway to terrorist violence.”

    Seeking to frighten parents into silence by threatening to sic our nation’s most powerful law enforcement bodies on them for challenging critical race theory, or coronavirus policies, would seem to be perfectly consistent with the Biden administration’s “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism.”

    Its reach is virtually limitless if dissent from the regime’s agenda constitutes a danger to “democracy.” At minimum, it should be clear that critics of the regime’s CRT ideology, and coronavirus policies, have been classified as threats.

    Parents Speak Up, Get Labeled Terrorists

    The irony here, in the case of school boards, is that to justify its call for federal protection, the NSBA cites all of two instances where individuals were arrested at school board meetings for their behavior. Those two arrests concerned disgruntled parents at board meetings, one of whom allegedly struck a school official escorting him from the premises, and another of whom reportedly physically threatened someone and resisted arrest.

    These acts are unacceptable, and anyone who breaks laws ought to be prosecuted accordingly. But is this the stuff of domestic terrorism?

    Otherwise, the NSBA largely substantiates its concerns by flagging a series of disrupted school board meetings, some ending in the face of “angry mobs”; a report of menacing social media posts threatening several schools without any readily discernible connection to school boards and their positions on CRT or Chinese coronavirus policies; and another report that “A resident in Alabama, who proclaimed himself as “vaccine police,” has called school administrators while filming himself on Facebook Live.”

    It appears the NSBA actually got this story wrong. “Vaccine police,” according to the link it includes, was “confronting pharmacists in a Missouri Walmart.”

    Once again, is this the stuff of domestic terrorism? Is the threat so dire that it demands, as the NSBA called for, the intervention of no less than: the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service, National Threat Assessment Center, and U.S. Postal Service, under laws including the Gun-Free School Zones Act, PATRIOT Act, Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, Conspiracy Against Rights statute, an executive order to enforce all applicable federal laws for the protection of students and public school district personnel, and any related measure?

    So far, the Biden administration has only enlisted a subset of these agencies, but perhaps more is to come. One thing is clear: The Biden administration’s War on Wrongthink, masquerading as a domestic counterterrorism mission, will inflict infinitely more terror on America than will loving and impassioned parents concerned about the education and health of their children in the taxpayer-funded schools.

    Ben Weingarten is a Federalist senior contributor, senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and fellow at the Claremont Institute. He was selected as a 2019 Robert Novak Journalism fellow of the Fund for American Studies, under which he is currently working on a book on U.S.-China policy. You can find his work at benweingarten.com, and follow him on Twitter @bhweingarten.

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  11. Data collection is usually not a bad thing, so long as the data being collected isn’t personal information that the party collecting it has no business with in the first place (looking at you, President Biden, and the whole “$600 in the bank” thing). Yet when you start talking about gun data, I get concerned.

    It’s not that there’s no legitimate use for such data in and of itself. The more knowledge we have about guns and how they might be misused, the more we can do to curb that misuse.

    But when these four states band together to share data with one another, how can you not get a little nervous about the goal.

    Gov. Phil Murphy, joined by three other northeastern governors – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont – announced this afternoon that their four states would share gun violence data with one another as part of a larger initiative against gun violence.

    “As we’ve noted before, when we work together as regional partners to enact regional solutions, we’re far better off than if we all go on our own,” Murphy said in the livestream of the announcement. “And a critical piece of this is sharing information so we can put smart policies to work.”

    Murphy added that, while New Jersey may have strict gun laws, crime guns can still flow into the state from other states that have looser restrictions; the same is also true in other northeastern states like New York and Connecticut.

    Of these four states, only Pennsylvania isn’t rabidly anti-gun. Its governor, on the other hand, most definitely is, so this kind of fits.

    Let me spell out for you what I think will happen with this. They’ll collect data for a little while, then they’ll release a report all about how the guns in criminal hands in their state came from other states. This will be, in turn, used by members of Congress from those states to try and justify some infringement on our right to keep and bear arms.

    This isn’t about finding out the truth or anything of the sort. This is really just to create a cudgel with which to try and beat the rest of us into accepting gun control.

    Unfortunately for them, though, if their claims about the validity of gun control were true–that more guns somehow correlates to more crime–then the states those guns came from should be awash in violence. They’re not. Not any more than cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Newark are, anyway.

    Yet that won’t matter.

    Look, this focusing on the tool used and not the tool using it is never going to get us anywhere. Especially when we watched decades of violent crime reduction with no expansion of gun laws to speak of. The only gun law passed at the federal level sunset and crime continued to drop.

    In other words, it had zero impact on anything.

    Instead, we should be focusing our attention on proven law-enforcement strategies that have led to a reduction in crime time and time again. Unfortunately, some of the best ones aren’t allowed to be discussed because they’re supposedly racist. It’s a shame, too, because those strategies appeared to have saved a lot of black lives.

    I guess those didn’t matter.

    Regardless, I’m nervous about where they’re going with this data-sharing thing. This will bear some careful watching.

  12. To say 2020 wasn’t a particularly good year is putting it rather mildly. It kind of sucked for most everyone, when you really think about it, and that was without the riots and all that crap.

    One of the dumbest ideas that came out of 2020 was “defund the police.”

    That was the mantra for so many rioters–and yes, plenty who didn’t burn down entire neighborhoods supported the idea as well–and, in many places, these folks got their way. Departments were, indeed, defunded.

    And now, according to the New York Times, those departments are getting their money back.

     The demonstrators came at night, chanting and blowing whistles outside the home of Mayor Eric Johnson, protesting in occasionally personal terms his staunch refusal to cut funding to the Dallas Police Department.

    “Defund! Reclaim! Reinvest!” about two dozen people called out from the darkened Dallas street. A few weeks later, the police chief resigned over her handling of large-scale protests. Then the City Council voted to cut how much money the department could use on overtime and hiring new officers.

    That was last year.

    This year has been very different.

    In cities across America, police departments are getting their money back. From New York to Los Angeles, departments that saw their funding targeted amid nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd last year have watched as local leaders voted for increases in police spending, with an additional $200 million allocated to the New York Police Department and a 3 percent boost given to the Los Angeles force.

    The abrupt reversals have come in response to rising levels of crime in major cities last year, the exodus of officers from departments large and small and political pressures. After slashing police spending last year, Austin restored the department’s budget and raised it to new heights. In Burlington, Vt., the city that Senator Bernie Sanders once led as mayor went from cutting its police budget to approving $10,000 bonuses for officers to stay on the job.

    Funny how stuff changes, ain’t it?

    See, the “defund the police” crowd wanted the money diverted toward programs that would, in theory, reduce crime and thus reduce the need for police. Well, some of them did. Others just think the police are bad and wanted them to go away because they were petulant children who didn’t like the police for some inane reason.

    Regardless, the idea itself wasn’t awful. Trying to stop crimes before they start is something I’ve been harping on since my early days here at Bearing Arms. However, taking money from the police to pay for it was beyond stupid. Many of these programs may take years to deliver any measurable results. Taking money from law enforcement to pay for programs that will take that long to actually do anything is a recipe for disaster.

    As a result…*gestures wildly at everything.*

    Plus, I want private parties to fund those programs in the first place, not tax dollars, but that’s a separate issue.

    Regardless, what we’re seeing right now is a correction. Lawmakers did what the mob demanded, but the mob didn’t really understand what it was asking for. Now, many of that mob are begging for more police and don’t even remotely remember that they’re getting what they asked for previously good and hard.

    Unfortunately, a lot of other people are getting it too, people who had enough sense to recognize just how stupid some of this stuff was and weren’t part of the mob. They’re getting shot too.

    So, now those departments are getting that money back because it turns out that yes, you actually need police. Not only do they arrest criminals, but they also deter crime.

    Who knew?

    Now, maybe we can start to see the stupid settle down a bit and get past this violence surge that’s been plaguing us over the last couple of years now.

  13. NEW YORK, NY (October 5, 2021) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit challenging New York City’s ban on electronic arms, such as stun guns and tasers. The lawsuit seeks a judgment declaring the City’s ban unconstitutional, a preliminary or permanent injunction against enforcement of the law, and attorney’s fees and costs. Case documents in Calce v. New York City can be found at FPCLegal.org.

    “Stun guns and tasers are bearable arms, and further, they are in common use for the purpose of self-defense,” the complaint states. “Indeed, the Superintendent of the New York State Police stipulated in litigation that hundreds of thousands of tasers and millions of stun guns are owned by private citizens in the United States.”

    The complaint details that despite multiple courts finding that similar laws are unconstitutional, the City of New York continues to enforce state and local bans on stun guns and tasers, trains its officers that the devices are illegal, and continues to arrest individuals found to be in possession of them.

    “As many courts have properly held, electronic arms are commonly kept and carried for self-defense. Under the Supreme Court’s precedents, New York City’s ban on these common arms is categorically unconstitutional,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations. “The City may not like the Second Amendment, but it cannot opt-out of the Constitution. FPC looks forward to vindicating the rights of the plaintiffs and our members in this and our dozens of other cases throughout the United States.”

  14. For many decades, gun control proponents who saw their fortunes wane in legislatures from coast to coast and who were unable to get traction with Congress could at least console themselves with the thought that activist courts had their backs. The Second Amendment, after all, had been all but written out of the U.S. Bill of Rights by law professors and politically-minded judges, as cities and even the U.S. Congress increasingly adopted gun control in the Twentieth Century.

    But none of that could change the text, history, or tradition of the Second Amendment, which led to an unbroken and uniquely American embrace of private gun ownership as a defense against crime and tyranny and also gave rise to the popular understanding of bearing arms as a birthright of U.S. citizenship.

    Those facts and that understanding were formally recognized as constitutional doctrine by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Heller case in 2008. 

    But the anti-gun orthodoxy, which by then had taken hold of the U.S. legal establishment, would not relent easily. For over a decade courts have generally ignored the holding and reasoning of Heller (and its 2010 follow-up McDonald) to uphold most of the same gun control whose passage was predicated on the idea that the Second Amendment had nothing to say about individual gun ownership or use.

    Now, however, the Second Amendment is back before a U.S. Supreme Court that features the strongest majority of originalists in modern times. An originalist is simply a judge who believes that constitutional provisions should be interpreted according to the way they were understood by the public at the time of their adoption (as opposed to proponents of a living constitution, who basically believe the U.S. Constitution has no fixed meaning and should always yield to what the elite consider the necessities of progress and good” policy).

    This does not bode well for the respondents in the current Supreme Court case, who are stuck with arguing that the right to bear arms” somehow allows for state and local officials to impose a special need” for exercising the right that effectively screens out most of the law-abiding population.

    With a dubious chance of prevailing on the merits, anti-gunners have adopted a tactic of not-so-thinly-veiled threats to delegitimize and even dismantle the U.S. Supreme Court itself if they dont get their way.

    Proposals to pack the court, to establish term limits for justices, to reduce the Supreme Courts jurisdiction to hear cases, or even to abolish the court in its current form are now in vogue on law school campuses, in opinion pieces of far left media outlets, and even in the U.S. Congress and White House. 

    These efforts intensified with President Trumps appointment of three established originalists to the U.S. Supreme Court. They are now reaching a fever pitch as the court embarks on a new term with numerous high-profile issues before it, including the scope of the right to bear arms.

    Part and parcel of these efforts is trotting out luminaries of the legal world to lecture the public about the supposedly radical changes these justices are about to unleash on the country. Ironically, however, even these arguments usually devolve to the idea that the court will simply revert to an earlier status quo that was itself disrupted by activist decisions that disregarded public opinion, to say nothing of laws enacted by democratically elected legislatures.

    For example, a recent op-ed by Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Berkeley School of Law, ominously suggests that the Supreme Courts current make-up is the result of a sinister plot that dates back to the Nixon administration.

    Besides its over-the-top rhetoric, the article contains blatant legal falsehoods that belie the authors prestige and notoriety.

    The biggest whopper is Chemerinskys statement, From 1791, when the 2nd Amendment was ratified, until 2008, not one federal, state or local gun regulation was struck down.”

    That statement is demonstrably false. Numerous cases invalidated various gun control laws during that time period.

    For example, the Vermont Supreme Court found a license requirement for the carrying of firearms in public invalid under the state constitution in the 1903 case of State v. Rosenthal. The Green Mountain State has left the public carry of firearms essentially unregulated ever since.

    The Heller decision itself catalogs others examples, including the 1846 Georgia Supreme Court case of Nunn v. State (invalidating a ban on the open carrying of pistols).

    Then there are cases that found gun laws invalid for reasons other than the Second Amendment or a state right to arms, including United States v. Lopez (Supreme Court in 1995 finds Gun Free School Zones Act exceeded Congress Commerce Clause Power) and Printz v. United States (Supreme Court in 1997 invalidates certain provisions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act under constitutional principles of federalism).

    It doesnt take a law degree to debunk Chemerinskys false statement. A simple Internet browser search would suffice.

    The fact that he would make such a statement therefore shows a brand of arrogance that can only come from one who sees others as inferior to himself and incapable of drawing their own rational and well-research conclusions.

    There is no sense in which Chemerinskys statement is literally true.

    But even if Chemerinskys statement is generously interpreted to apply only to laws invalidated under the Second Amendment, it is still false and materially misleading.

    First, the above-mentioned Nunn case did rely on the Second Amendment (although its true it didnt invalidate the act in question in its entirety, but only as it applied to open carry). 

    But the more fundamental point is that any constitutional law professor should know that courts throughout U.S. history would have seldom had occasion to consider the meaning of the Second Amendment until well into the 20th Century.

    The right to keep and bear arms wasnt particularly controversial or heavily regulated during the Founding and pre-Civil War eras.

    Gun control first gained major traction in the U.S. as Southern states attempted to use prohibitory and licensing laws to selectively disarm freedmen during the Reconstruction era.

    New York later followed suit in 1911 with passage of the Sullivan Act requiring a license for handguns. This time, however, the law was primary aimed at discriminating against Italian immigrants and other newly-arrived supposed undesirables.

    Moreover, in 1875, the U.S. Supreme Court specifically held that the Second Amendment applied only to actions by the federal government, which wouldnt impose any significant gun control law until the 1930s. The Supreme Court reaffirmed that decision in 1894. Thus, courts were essentially barred by Supreme Court precedent from judging any gun control law under the Second Amendment for a period of over 50 years.

    Heller makes this point itself:

    It should be unsurprising that such a significant matter has been for so long judicially unresolved. For most of our history, the Bill of Rights was not thought applicable to the States, and the Federal Government did not significantly regulate the possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens. … It is demonstrably not true that, as JUSTICE STEVENS claims, … “for most of our history, the invalidity of Second-Amendment-based objections to firearms regulations has been well settled and uncontroversial.” For most of our history the question did not present itself.

    When the U.S. Supreme Court finally revisited the Second Amendment in the 1939 case of U.S. v. Miller, there was no one even advocating on behalf of the defendant, much less on behalf of the civil right contained in the Second Amendment. It was a bizarre, one-sided case, with argument presented only by the government. But even at that, the court still issued a narrow opinion that focused only on what sorts of firearms are protected by the Second Amendment, not on the people actually protected by the right or the scope of the rights protection for various activities.

    Indeed, the courts opinion assumed that Miller as a private individual not serving in a militia had standing to raise the right in a case that concerned his transportation of a firearm across state lines. If he or his public transportation of the firearm were outside the scope of the Second Amendment, the court could have easily resolved the case on those grounds.

    Simply put, there is nothing radical or activist about the U.S. Supreme Court now considering whether a person has a right to bear arms for self-defense under the Second Amendment.

    What is radical is that any state would claim to have the authority effectively to abolish that right. Indeed, the vast majority of the states (42 out of 50, accounting for about 75% of the population) and even the District of Columbia make that right readily available, either through shall-issue licensing schemes or simply by withholding penalties for those engaging in it.

    New York was determined to be an outlier, and it now may face the comeuppance it so richly deserves, one that may ironically liberate citizens who live in other restrictive states to again exercise their rights to bear.

  15. While being driven around recently in the gun-control utopia of Chicago, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) claimed the driver of a car next to his leaned out the window and shot a gun into the air. He could have just as easily been shooting the gun at us! said the senator, possibly rattled by the reality gap between the A minus” rating Illinois has for its strict gun laws from anti-gun group Giffords, and the impact those laws appear to have on criminal behavior.

    A year ago, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced an ambitious new Our City, Our Safety plan. This comprehensive violence reduction plan was based on expanding access to jobs and housing, revitalizing neighborhood economies, increasing police legitimacy,” and facilitating coordination between city and private agencies within the 15 most violent communities in the city. A preliminary analysis of these neighborhoods by the Chicago Sun-Times reveals that many of these areas have since become even more dangerous  nine had higher rates of homicides by shooting than in 2020 (one was similar to” 2020); eight areas had higher homicide rates (one was similar to” 2020); and only three experienced lower shooting rates than they did in 2020.  

    Approaching the violent crime problem from another angle, last month Chicagos Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) launched Safe Chicago,” a new program in partnership with the citys police and fire departments. It calls for the installation of hundreds of bleeding control kits throughout public buildings, including City Hall, Chicago Public Library locations, and the Chicago Cultural Center. According to the announcement, the objective is to enable ordinary citizens to treat life threatening bleeding emergencies resulting from falls, penetrating injuries, gunshot wounds and more pending the arrival of first responders. Each kit consists of a tourniquet, gauze, shears, gloves and an instruction manual to be used in an emergency involving up to eight victims.

    Speaking about the program, Rich Guidice, the OEMC Executive Director, was quoted as saying that, were doing our best to adapt to the environment that were living in.

    That environment, it seems, is one of rising criminality.

    Chicago Police Department (CPD) crime statistics posted for the week of September 27 to October 3 indicate that incidents of all eight listed crimes showed significant increases in 2021 as compared to the same week in 2020. Reported murders rose by 29%, robberies increased by 36%, and criminal sexual assaults jumped a staggering 53%. And ordinary citizens are not the only ones facing the spike in lawlessness  the CPDs 2020 annual report states that the Department saw a 339 percent increase in the number of its members shot or shot at last year—rising from 18 in 2019 to 79 in 2020.” 

    The causes of crime are undoubtedly complex, but one factor feeding the crime wave may be the failure to keep individuals charged with serious felonies in custody. CWBChicago, a local source covering crimes across the city, has been informally tracking the number of persons who, while on bond for a pending felony offense (including gun charges) have been charged with murder, attempted murder, or shooting another person. So far this year, approximately 45 cases have been identified, but the source cautions that the actual number of murders and shootings committed by people on felony bail is undoubtedly much higher.

    And then theres the failure to bring criminal charges at all. Last year, the Chicago Tribune compared Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxxs first three years in office with the last three years of her predecessor, Anita Alvarez, and reported that Foxx is dropping felony cases involving charges of murder and other serious offenses at a higher rate than her predecessor. The Tribunes analysis found that the dropped cases included violent offenses like homicides, felony sex crimes, aggravated battery, aggravated battery with a firearm, and aggravated battery of a police officer, as well as narcotics offenses and weapons crimes. Overall, Foxxs office had dropped all charges on close to 30% of felony defendants, compared to the 19.4% rate of charges dropped by the office under Alvarez.

    Mayor Lightfoot took the unusual step of publicly criticizing Foxx after Foxxs office declined to charge five suspects in a recent gang-related daytime shootout. According to a news report on the October 1 incident, two Dodge Chargers driven by members of the Body Snatchers faction of the Four Corner Hustlers drove to the 1200 block of North Mason Avenue and exchanged words with members of the gangs Jack Boys set.” Three individuals subsequently jumped out of the vehicles and began to shoot into a brick house using handguns equipped with switches that made the weapons fully automatic Members of the Jack Boys who were inside the home then began firing back. Three people were shot, including one who died. The report describes both cars as likely stolen, adding that police later located one of the vehicles and apprehended its driver after a police chase, finding an AK-47” in the car. 

    Mayor Lightfoot responded to the prosecutors decision by warning that the failure to pursue accountability means were going to see a level of brazenness that will send this city into chaos, and has reportedly asked that federal prosecutors look into possible charges.  

    By now, the futility of expecting criminals to obey the law, while restricting the Second Amendment rights of honest citizens, should be obvious. Law-abiding residents of the Windy City are caught in the crosshairs between a violent criminal class and draconian laws pushed by progressive politicians to make obtaining a firearm for legitimate self defense an increasingly cumbersome and time-consuming process.

    Its likely to be a small comfort indeed to Chicagos beleaguered residents (and visitors like Senator Durbin) that, should the worst happen, a tourniquet and some gauze may be at hand.

  16. Despite lawful gun ownership and gun shows already being highly regulated by California law, Governor Gavin Newsom once again signed legislation targeting law-abiding citizens, while doing nothing to address violent crime. On October 8th, he signed Senate Bill 264 into law, restricting gun shows in Orange County.

    Senate Bill 264 prohibits officers, employees, operators, lessees, or licensees of the 32nd District Agricultural Association from entering into any agreement to allow for the sale of any firearm, firearm parts, or ammunition on property or buildings that comprise the OC Fair and Event Center, or properties in Orange County and Costa Mesa that are owned, leased, operated, or occupied by the District. This imposes a one-size-fits-all restriction to prevent officials from deciding how to use venues. In addition, this prevents businesses from renting taxpayer-funded venues for lawful activities.

  17. As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association V. Bruen on November 3—a case in which the justices are poised to answer whether the Second Amendment protects a right for law-abiding citizens to carry firearms outside their homes (this is the “bear” in the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms”)—the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) is reporting that the number of Americans with concealed-carry permits has reached 21.52 million.

    This, says CPRC, is “a 48% increase since 2016. It’s also a 10.5% increase over the number of permits we counted a year ago in 2020.”

    Incredibly, this increase took place even though the number of states with some form of constitutional carry increased to 21 this year. As these 21 states no longer require permits, they no longer have precise data on exactly how many people are legally carrying concealed.

    These new numbers were gathered by John R. Lott, Jr. and Rujun Wang, and published in a report titled “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2021.”

    It is further evidence that Americans are exercising this critical constitutional right. With over 100 million gun owners in America, and now with over 20 million Americans with concealed-carry permits (and perhaps millions more carrying in the 21 constitutional-carry states), attorneys representing New York in this critical U.S. Supreme Court case can’t honestly argue that citizens don’t want and need this particular constitutional freedom. Americans are clearly saying they want and need this right.

    So, in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association V. Bruen, the justices will answer the fundamental question: “Whether the State’s [New York] denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”

    The answer should unequivocally be “yes, New York is violating citizens’ Second Amendment rights.”

    For more, read the New York State Rifle & Pistols Association’s (NYSRPA is the NRA official state affiliate in New York) brief on this case. It is clear that the Second Amendment, as articulated in Heller and applied to state and local governments in McDonald, does restrict government from infringing on American citizens’ individual right to keep and bear arms inside and outside the home.

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