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Charlie T Waite

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Everything posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. It can be difficult to keep up with the politically correct rules these days. Can we follow the evidence wherever it leads, or may we simply reject it, as the anti-Second Amendment groups do, when it is inconvenient to our politics? Are we permitted to bring religion into politics, or must it be shunned completely? All too often, the answers to questions like these, according to the mainstream media, seem to be: “Whatever helps the gun-control movement at any given moment.” In May of this year, Everytown for Gun Safety announced the formation of what would once have been dismissed by progressive policy groups as a “faith-based initiative.” They formed a working group composed of more than a dozen religious leaders. These activists are hoping to elect candidates in the upcoming general election who want more gun-control laws. On the one hand, this might seem like a natural move: The gun-control movement’s modus operandi has long been to claim the moral high ground, to publish its edicts without expectation of contradiction in the media and to attempt to excommunicate from polite society anyone who has the temerity to dissent, so it was perhaps inevitable that they would glom onto those who have faith. And yet, one cannot help but sense a certain resignation in the move; after all, the data is as clear as day: As the number of guns in private hands has increased and as the gun laws have been loosened in almost every state, violence committed with firearms has fallen. Tens of millions of Americans have become concealed carriers, and, in about half of the geographical area of the United States, state governments have abolished the need for permits completely. Meanwhile, violence committed with firearms has continued to go down. The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004 and the AR-15 has become the most-popular gun in the country. As this has happened, violence committed with firearms has kept going down. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the obvious truth that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, and a host of states saw their restrictive regimes struck down. As this has occurred, violence committed with firearms kept going down. More typically, gun controllers have shouted about “science!” Is this out of fashion now that the results of the great American test are clearly in? Crime statistics clearly show that more guns do equal less crime. When good citizens can carry their freedom with them, as in their Second Amendment freedom, then criminals, who prefer unarmed victims to armed citizens, are less likely to prey on people. That’s not just common sense anymore; we’ve run the experiment over generations here in America; the results are profound: yes, good, old-fashioned freedom does work. Meanwhile, all told, the religious are just as capable as anyone else of recognizing the benefit that gun ownership confers upon the good. Given all of this, the leaders of Everytown’s initiative seem about as confused as you would expect them to be. One of them, the Rev. Rob Schenck, insists that “you never want to pray for something you’re unwilling to be the answer to.” But this help, as in the real life-saving help a law-abiding person who carries concealed can bring, is exactly what people of faith pray for. Jack Wilson, the heroic security guard who stopped the shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ near Fort Worth, Texas, was in a position to be the answer because of a law that Everytown vigorously opposed.
  2. You’ve probably noticed how mainstream-media outlets play up stories of firearms accidents all the time, while usually ignoring stories of citizens using guns properly to defend themselves. This is hardly new; in fact, in an essay in 1882 titled “Advice to Youth,” Mark Twain sarcastically mocked media misinformation about guns by writing: “A youth who can’t hit a cathedral at thirty yards with a Gatling gun in three-quarters of an hour, can take up an old empty musket and bag his mother every time at a hundred. Think what Waterloo would have been if one of the armies had been boys armed with old rusty muskets supposed not to be loaded, and the other army had been composed of their female relations. The very thought of it makes me shudder.” As anyone who follows firearms issues today knows, not much has changed. A story about a gun accident will make the national news; a story about a widow defending her home from invaders is lucky to make the local paper. (The NRA’s decades-long “Armed Citizen” feature was designed to help counteract this bias.) The journalistic profession seems united in its dislike of guns (at least in civilian hands), and unrelenting in its efforts to play up the negatives and dismiss the positives. But why? What is it about guns that incites this sort of negativity? Or is this phenomenon less about guns than about what goes on in the hearts and heads of journalists? I asked a couple of former journalists about this. Former West Virginia newspaperman Don Surber said it was a matter of experience: “Rare is the journalist who owns a gun. Outdoors writers do. And a few photographers do. Other than that, it is very rare. You would think women reporters and copy editors who work late at night would carry, but no. They think mace will protect them. If you don’t own a gun, you don’t see why anyone else would. This reduces their interactions with gun owners because journalists are not hanging out at the range. Also with the disappearance of veterans from the field, you reduce the number of people who have actually fired a gun. After a while people look down their noses at people who are not like them.” Peer pressure also plays a role: “For all the bravado about being independent, journalists are rather conformist. And the lefties are good at controlling the conversation. Timothy Crouse described the herd mentality of journalists in The Boys on the Bus, which covered the coverage of the 1972 presidential election. Nearly 50 years later that still holds true, and I would venture to say it held true 50 years earlier. If you will recall, in 1972, all the boys on the bus thought McGovern would win.” Instead, McGovern lost 49 states. And another retired newsman, Jon C. Ham, formerly managing editor of the Durham Herald-Sun, responded: “It’s always been a paradox to me how journalists can talk about ‘keeping government in check’ and ‘being watchdogs and not lapdogs’ but then support authoritarian action by government. I saw this with Ruby Ridge, Waco and Elián González. All of my colleagues reflexively supported extreme government action.” And UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, who writes a lot about both the First and Second Amendments, said, “They tend to travel in demographically anti-gun circles, and even if some of their colleagues are gun owners or pro-gun more broadly, those colleagues are reluctant to speak up because they feel they’re in the minority.” I think there’s a lot to these explanations, but I think there’s something deeper going on. I think it has more to do with the minds and emotions of people who choose to make a living in the media industry. And I say this as someone who’s both a lifetime gun person, and someone who has written for all sorts of national publications, ranging from USA Today to The Atlantic to The New York Times to Popular Mechanics. To understand this, it helps to think about what media people do for a living. And what they do for a living is traffic in images and unreality, often in the service of manipulation. In his famous 1962 book on the media, The Image, Daniel Boorstin wrote about the rise of what he called “pseudo-events,” events whose importance wasn’t that they took place, but rather that they were reported on. He noted that the National Press Club featured racks stuffed with press releases about Washington events, so that journalists could “report” on them without ever leaving the bar. Boorstin noted that “the notice is given out in advance, ‘for future release,’ and is written as if the event had occurred in the past. The question ‘is it real?’ is less important than ‘is it newsworthy?’” Nowadays, of course, things are even less real than in Boorstin’s time. “Video news releases” are sent to TV stations or networks in the form of pre-produced stories, with gaps left for the anchor to fill by pretending to be interacting with an on-the-scene “reporter.” Press releases are not merely cribbed from, but reprinted verbatim—it’s not plagiarism, it was explained when one such case became public, when you’re encouraged to copy someone else’s words. And sometimes they’re even embellished: When a journalism class at my school, the University of Tennessee, sent out a press release about a fictitious event (a student rally opposing “political correctness” that never happened) some outlets not only reported it uncritically, but even added additional details that weren’t in the release at all. And the media outlets, rather than being embarrassed, complained that the fake press release violated the bond of trust between journalists and public-relations people. The result is a world based on manipulation of images and facts that are, at best, loosely related to reality. And that affects how people think. My point isn’t that you shouldn’t trust journalists very far—though you probably shouldn’t—but rather that people who work in that field get used to a world where words and images matter more than reality. It’s a world full of things that often fall somewhere between fantasies and manipulations and that seldom bear a perfect resemblance to the actual truth. (As Paul Newman tells Sally Field in the movie “Absence of Malice” (1981): “You don’t write the truth, you write what people say…. Maybe it’s just what you think, what you feel.”) Guns, and their use, on the other hand, are pretty darn real. You can’t fire a shot now for “future use.” You can’t correct a mistake in a future edition. You can’t do a write-through on a bullet. What’s more, you can’t spin your way out of a mugging or a rape. Guns, simply by existing, are a reminder that there is another, more concrete world out there, one where reality is more fixed, and where actions have inescapable consequences, consequences that can’t be talked out of existence. I suspect that most journalists are threatened by this world, and perhaps by the sense that they wouldn’t do very well in such situations. Their hostility to guns is a way of dealing with insecurity and a form of denial fueled by performance anxiety: If you’re afraid you’re not up to protecting yourself or your family, you compensate by deriding the means of such protection. And, given that it’s a defense mechanism and journalists are herd animals, any colleague who disagrees is a threat who must be shouted down. (Unsurprisingly, of all the journalists I’ve dealt with, the folks at Popular Mechanics—where they write about real things with concrete consequences all the time—were the most comfortable with guns). If I’m right, then there’s not a lot gun enthusiasts can do to win over journalists in large numbers. You may change a mind or two, but most of them hold their opinions because doing so is less threatening to their self-esteem than agreeing with you. Those who wield a pen have a vested interest in believing that the pen is mightier than the sword. And apparently they’ve been that way at least since Mark Twain’s time. (Glenn Harlan Reynolds is Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law, and is known for his American politics blog, Instapundit.)
  3. Earlier this year, Gov. Ralph Northam said he had no plans to confiscate guns. A long with the sweeping success of the Right-to-Carry movement, strong state firearms preemption laws have been among the most important developments over the past half-century in the way average Americans own and use firearms. To open a circa 1970 edition of ATF’s State Laws and Published Ordinances is to encounter an incomprehensible patchwork of county and city regulations that made it impossible for otherwise law-abiding gun owners to confidently exercise their right to keep and bear arms. Understanding how uniform statewide firearms regulation has benefitted gun owners, gun control activists are doing their best to undermine existing state firearms preemption laws. Gun control backers and local officials have determined that they are able to pass stringent gun controls in politically homogenous local jurisdictions that cannot be enacted at the more ideologically diverse state level. Moreover, there are local anti-gun officials that seek to exploit gaps in state firearms preemption laws to attack Second Amendment rights. The most visible attack on state firearms preemption in 2020 has occurred in Virginia. As part of a raft of gun control measures pushed by disgraced Gov. Ralph Northam, the state enacted HB 421. The legislation weakened the state firearms preemption statute and Virginians’ right to carry by granting local authorities the power to prohibit “firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof” in a host of locations. Specifically, the locations are: (i) in any building, or part thereof, owned or used by such locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality, for governmental purposes; (ii) in any public park owned or operated by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality; (iii) in any recreation or community center facility operated by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality; or (iv) in any public street, road, alley, or sidewalk or public right-of-way or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public and is being used by or is adjacent to a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit. The locations listed in (i)-(iii) empower localities to create a hodgepodge of local gun-free zones that will encumber law-abiding citizens as they move about the state. However, the implications of location (iv) are even worse. Under that change, localities are empowered to create roving gun-free zones that may change by the day or hour. Such authority has the potential to create an indecipherable mishmash of gun-free zones that would ensnare even the most well-meaning and diligent gun owner. The change in Virginia’s preemption law goes into effect on July 1, but the fashionable D.C. suburb of Alexandria hasn’t waited. In May, the city council drew up legislation to restrict firearms to the full extent allowed under the new legislation. A violation of the city’s proposed ordinance would be punishable as a Class 1 Misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. Knowing the importance of strong state firearms preemption laws to the exercise of Second Amendment rights, gun control advocates and anti-gun politicians are working to erode the hard-fought protections gun owners have achieved over the last several decades. Gun rights supporters must work to equal and better their efforts in order to maintain and strengthen these vital laws.
  4. Deep in a survey of likely voters, paid for by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers, is the startling fact that most people don’t realize Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president, is a gun-control extremist. While 95% of likely voters said they are “very likely” to vote in the upcoming election, only 17% of gun owners in the survey said “gun-related issues” were one of their three top policy areas going into this election (15% did say “crime” and 18% said “civil rights”). The truth that Biden is no moderate on guns clearly isn’t getting out enough. The thing is, it isn’t speculation that Biden wants our guns. This fact isn’t even just informed opinion based on Biden’s previous policy positions. The glaring truth is, Biden has actually published a long list of his desired gun bans and restrictions on his 2020 campaign website. The survey did find that nearly 66% know that a ban on popular semi-automatic rifles wouldn’t reduce crime (25% thought it somehow it would—these people don’t appear to be aware that under 3% of homicides in any given year in the U.S. are committed with any type of rifle). Media misinformation does taint some of the questions; for example, one question asks voters whether they would support a candidate who is for “gun safety and education.” It’s not even worth quoting the numbers the survey found on this question because gun-control groups have deceptively adopted the phrase “gun safety” and, in fact, now use it as a synonym for “gun control.” This has confused the public. The mainstream media hasn’t helped, as they’ve characteristically been happy to repeat this deception; today, for example, CNN, The New York Times, and more, habitually use the phrase “gun safety” when they’re referring to all sorts of bans on popular firearms and other restrictions on our freedom. Meanwhile, answers to other questions did indicate that the vast majority of voters know that gun owners already must undergo background checks when they buy guns from stores. Also, clear majorities of voters said they are opposed to restrictions on semi-automatic rifles, commonly owned rifle magazines and more. Interestingly, this election has a lot going on beneath this and other poll numbers. For example, since January 2020, more than 10.3 million background checks have been conducted on people seeking to buy one or more firearms. Also, an NSSF retailer surveys found that between March and May of this year, there have been more than 2.5 million first-time gun buyers in the U.S.—40% of whom are women. Also, as voters traditionally don’t really engage until after Labor Day, there is still time for the Trump campaign, responsible media members, and us to inform the public that our freedom is clearly on the ballot this November 3. This NSSF survey asked voters in 18 election battleground states 15 questions about gun ownership, their views of gun control, and more. The survey results can be found on the NSSF’s website.
  5. Since I've had several PM's on my phone asking, I am scheduled for my 1st Surgery in - Bismarck in the morning at 10:00am., Heading to bed now for some sleep as to get up early for the long morning drive to get there 30 min before. Nite all Charlie
  6. I think we can conclude that the “time out” generation didn’t produce as good of citizens as “ass woopen” generation.
  7. BELLEVUE, WA – Faced with certain loss in court, defendants in a California lawsuit challenging a gun show moratorium at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County have settled with the plaintiffs, including the Second Amendment Foundation and California Rifle & Pistol Association. In addition, plaintiffs included B&L Productions, Inc., Crossroads of the West, South Bay Rod and Gun Club, Maximum Wholesale/Ammo Brothers and five private citizens. “This is a victory for the First Amendment as well as the Second,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We’re delighted the 22nd District Agricultural Association and fairgrounds board decided against prolonging a legal action.” SAF was represented by attorney Don Kilmer, who observed, “The gun culture belongs on Main Street and that is what this lawsuit was all about.” A preliminary injunction against the fairgrounds moratorium was issued in June 2019. “Gun shows are considered a First Amendment activity as well as a Second Amendment event,” Gottlieb stated. “Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we haven’t been able to see a show held at the fairgrounds, but we’re looking forward to hearing from the gun show promotor that a date is set for another gathering sometime this year, hopefully.” Under the agreement, the defendant will pay SAF’s attorney fees and costs, Kilmer said.
  8. Democrats Push Socialist Agenda Without Restraint
  9. BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today advised residents and especially Minneapolis business people to arm themselves after the City Council voted to disband the police department, yet is spending thousands of dollars providing private security for three council members. “What’s happening in Minneapolis is a reprehensible act of hypocrisy,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “While council members are planning a lengthy process of developing what they call a ‘new public safety model,’ what are the citizens supposed to do? They’re not getting private security protection. That’s apparently a perk only for three council members who claim to have received threats since the killing of George Floyd last month. “Even more ironic,” he continued, “is that the council members, Andrea Jenkins, Alondra Cano and Phillipe Cunningham, have been outspoken about defunding their city’s police department. One report said this private security has already cost taxpayers $63,000. The police department is reportedly not providing security services because those resources are needed in the community. “It’s time for Minneapolis business people and private citizens to arm themselves,” Gottlieb said, “because the city certainly won’t pay for their private security. It’s the common sense response to a city council that appears to have lost perspective, if not their collective minds. “The death of George Floyd was a tragedy,” he added, “but working to defund and disband the police department and reinvent it with some sort of new public safety model is overkill. In the meantime, the public has a right to be safe in their homes and businesses, and they don’t have the luxury of hiring private security. “People should put their personal safety, and the safety of their families, first,” Gottlieb said. “What they should not do is allow the city council to con them into being guinea pigs for some Utopian social reform effort. Buy a gun, learn to use it safely and competently, seek competent instruction and practice safe storage. “Maybe members of the Minneapolis City Council should do likewise,” he concluded. “After all, it would be far less a burden on taxpayers than the $4,500 a day the city is reportedly paying for the security details.”
  10. BELLEVUE, WA – The recent gun-buying surge that began with the COVID-19 pandemic panic and continued through the civil unrest and riots following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody has created millions of new gun owners who will now eagerly protect their right to protect themselves and their loved ones, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms predicts. “Look at all of the new people who suddenly decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms,” observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change, and in some cases might approach the level of epiphany, about gun ownership. We’ve heard anecdotal reports from all over the country about people flocking to gun shops who had never before owned a firearm. Now that they are gun owners, we expect them to be very protective of their rights.” March, April and May saw record numbers of background checks, according to FBI data and information from industry sources. June data should be out within days, and CCRKBA expects the trend to continue. “As we’ve said before,” Gottlieb recalled, “we welcome all of these new gun owners to the firearms community. We know many of them are minorities, especially Black and female citizens from literally all age groups, and they will find gun owners have a big tent with lots of room for newcomers. They can take advantage of training opportunities, meet new friends who share more interests than they might have suspected, and gain a new understanding of our efforts to protect the one fundamental right that actually protects all of the other rights. “We’re not surprised to hear about new first-time gun buyers who have discovered how much enjoyment they get out of shooting,” he added. “We’ve seen this with generations of new gun owners who may never have had any previous experience with firearms. Many of them discover a sense of empowerment that allows them, maybe for the first time, to understand they can take care of themselves, and that they are responsible for their own safety. “This new wave of gun owners could become a formidable force during this year’s election,” Gottlieb noted. “From now on, we expect millions of new gun owners to pay closer attention to candidates, and reject those who would trample on their Second Amendment rights. With legions of new gun owners ready to protect these newly-discovered rights, it could be a pretty scrappy election year with lots of surprises.”
  11. Despite making a commitment to working on COVID-19 related legislation and budget issues, anti-gun legislation continues to move forward in the Hawaii legislature. HB 1902 and HB 2744 were passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and are now eligible for floor votes. SB 2635 and SB 3054 passed in a joint meeting of the House Judiciary and Public Safety Committees. SB 3054 will be eligible for a vote on the House floor and SB 2635 has been sent to the Finance Committee for further consideration. Contact members of the Senate to oppose HB 1902 and HB 2744 and members of the House to oppose SB 3054. Eligible for Votes on the Senate Floor: House Bill 1902 prohibits the manufacture, possession, sale, barter, trade, gift, transfer, or acquisition of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. Possession of magazines acquired prior to the ban will remain legal, but will be prohibited from any transfer other than inheritance. HB 1902 was passed with amendments by the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 30 and will soon be eligible for a vote on the Senate floor. House Bill 2744 places severe restrictions on certain firearm parts in an effort to ban home built firearms. The language is vague and overly broad as to what can subject a person to felony penalties. It fails to recognize that prohibited persons cannot lawfully possess any firearm, whether home built or produced by a licensed manufacturer. Additionally, the bill uses your tax dollars to create a commission to research “gun violence.” While the NRA does not oppose objective research, this is likely to produce biased advocacy instead of sound science. HB 2744 was passed with amendments by the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 25 and will soon be eligible for a vote on the Senate floor. Eligible for a Vote on the House Floor: Senate Bill 3054 SD 2 requires individuals to provide notice of permanent removal of a firearm outside the state with the registering county within five days. A penalty of $100 per firearm will be assessed for non-compliance. SB 3054 was passed with amendments by the House Public Safety and Judiciary Committees on June 24 and will soon be eligible for a vote on the Senate floor. Referred to Finance for further consideration: Senate Bill 2635 SD 2 requires anyone wishing to buy ammunition to provide proof of firearm registration for the particular caliber of purchase. The owner of a firearm may also designate an alternate person who, after fingerprinting and a background check, will be issued a permit to purchase ammunition for that firearm. In the case of firearms capable of firing multiple calibers, the bill leaves the decision to include any additional calibers on the permit up to the discretion of the police, with no outlined process for appeal. SB 2744 was passed with amendments by the House Public Safety and Judiciary Committees on June 24 and has been referred to the Finance Committee for further consideration. Continue to check your inbox and NRA-ILA for updates concerning your Second Amendment Rights and hunting heritage.
  12. The record numbers come at a time when the U.S. is gripped in a pandemic, an economic downturn and a racial reckoning over police brutality that has erupted at times into civil unrest
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