proposed laws

PA Bill Number: HB79

Title: In the State System of Higher Education, further providing for definitions and for powers and duties of councils of trustees.

Description: In the State System of Higher Education, further providing for definitions and for powers and duties of councils of trustees. ...

Last Action: Removed from table

Last Action Date: May 24, 2023

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FOAC's The 'Blast' Newsletter & October 13, 2019 Meeting Notice w-Agenda :: 10/12/2019

The October FOAC Membership Meeting (Oct. 13th) is going to follow the Fall FOAC Gun Bash (Saturday) and we will cover in detail the hearings in the PA Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 24 & 25 as well as the final preparations for the 2019 General Election. It is clear that with the legislature coming back into session this month that gun owners will have to be especially alert for developments in the House and Senate at the state and federal levels. Furthermore, there is a continuing effort to push an Article V Constitutional Convention through a state call for a Convention of the States – HR 206. On October 22nd the PA House State Government Committee will be holding a hearing that FOAC has been invited to testify at. This upcoming hearing and issue will be a focus of the FOAC October Membership Meeting.

The continuing debate over Gun-Control is, at its’ heart, the belief that disarming honest people will somehow stop criminals. That may be, at a superficial level, an emotionally appealing theory, BUT does gun-control work in practice? Now that we have new FBI crime data at hand, we don’t have to guess if gun-control reduces violent crime. The answers might surprise you as we look from coast to coast. So, DOES gun control save lives or cost them?

We’ve looked at city after city and the evidence is clear. Gun-control laws do not make us safer. In fact, these laws, in many cases, put honest citizens in greater danger from violent crime. The data below was found with a few hours of study so any honest journalist could have tested the theory of gun-control if they wanted to know the truth.

Gun-control is getting us killed. The sad news is that unscrupulous, self-serving politicians will continue to call for violations of our Freedoms through gun-control as long as it gets them elected. Fortunately, we can put a stop to that.
(national rate of 369 per 100 thousand)

The Art of Mis-Direction

Anti-Gun groups and their supporters continuously argue that the Second Amendment does not make gun ownership a right, when in all reality, it’s about FAR MORE than that.

The true heart of the Second Amendment is protection of the natural rights of the citizenry. It ensures the right of self-preservation and acts as a means to secure that right.

This right of self-preservation was described by John Locke in his 1690 “Second Treatise on Government,” from which the Framers drew heavily. Locke argues that this right allows men to live freely without interference by anything or anyone, including government.

It’s important to understand this point. Many of the Framers were students of Locke’s philosophical thinking and others of the time. It is ingrained into the very fabric of the Bill of Rights.

It even influenced Alexander Hamilton when he wrote in Federalist No. 28 that, “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that natural right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of government.”

The Second Amendment is not a right bestowed by the government to the people. Quite the opposite. It secures the citizenry’s natural right of self-preservation from anything and anyone who wishes to take away their other natural rights or their liberty, including their own government.

To think that we, as free citizens, must ask the permission of our government for the right of self-preservation is simply ludicrous on its’ face.

Is Official Paranoia Driving Mass Shootings

Mass shootings are firmly rooted in the public mind as the definitive example of gun violence in America, having replaced the infamous drive-by that was the obsession of the 80s and early 90s when crack cocaine menaced the country.

And despite the reality that handguns remain by far the weapon used in such incidents, politicians such as Beto O'Rourke insist that the AR-15 and other semiautomatic rifles must be banned for sale and possibly confiscated to deal with the problem.

This particular focus of public attention is, in part, the result of confusion over the definition of a mass shooting.

The Gun Violence Archive, a website used frequently by news media, considers the term to mean an incident in which four or more are shot, not including the terrorist, whereas federal law since 2013 has declared a mass shooting to be a case of “3 or more killings in a single incident,” again not including the murderer, modifying the definition from the previous four or more. This lack of commonality in language usage has created the impression that such attacks are happening much more often in recent years, and I suspect that this is the GVA's intention, but even sticking with the federal definition, we have to acknowledge that there has been an increase in frequency and fatality of mass shootings.

The new attempts at an “assault weapons” ban are a tacit acknowledgment that the 1994 law did not work as advertised. The new approach, as I said above, is to toy with the idea not only of banning future sales, but also to remove legally owned examples of the firearms in question in the hopes that this time, a bad law will suddenly work. Mass shootings did happen during the ten years of the ban, and the acceleration of such events is a recent phenomenon.

Ever since the 9/11 attacks eighteen years ago, we have been told to be afraid, either explicitly or through the implications of our policy choices. We have had to remove our shoes to board an airplane. The phrase, “see something, say something,” was the watchword, though the government didn't include the warning that no one can be vigilant at all times, as the Boston Marathon bombing illustrates. As a country, we have accepted the government peering over our shoulders and listening to our conversations, despite many of us speaking out against such intrusions. And through all of this, from the president down to the local store owner, the message has been to buy more, an addictive response to calm our anxieties.

In other words, we are in a state of official paranoia: The Other is coming, and we must fight back. Is it any wonder in this atmosphere that some unhinged persons decide to act, whether that action is taking a rifle to a pizza shop to gain access to the supposed sex-trafficking ring or is a mass shooting for the purpose of keeping a country white?

Our greatest leaders in their moments of greatness have called us to rise above our fears rather than to give in to them. We are a nation defined not by one cultural or ancestral heritage but by the motto “out of many, one.”

If we insist on ignoring or actively rejecting this, mass shootings will be an unsurprising consequence—as will calls to “do something” to make us feel safer.

2018 FBI Data Kills Beto's Gun Confiscation Scheme

IF Beto O’Rourke was hoping that the latest FBI crime stats would bolster his call for an Australia-style gun ban, he’s got to be feeling very disappointed. O’Rourke has been talking down to anyone who falls short of his demands for gun confiscation – really a wholesale denial – of the right to keep and bear arms.

But, as we mentioned in the opening remarks, the FBI has released data for 2018 which makes O’Rourke’s push to make America like Australia on guns look like the unreasonable and arbitrary injustice that it is. And yes, injustice is the right word to use for what O’Rourke wants to do. If he gets his way on guns, he would impose a collective punishment in the form of diminished liberty on millions of Americans who committed no crime, and who are not mentally incompetent or a danger to themselves or others. If that is not a textbook example of injustice, then the word loses any meaning.

Those who are resisting that injustice are not in the wrong when they do so. Beto O’Rourke, Michael Bloomberg, and other anti-Second Amendment extremists calling for these gun bans – or even bans on future sales – are the ones in the wrong.

The data shows that O’Rourke’s justifications are so weak that calling them flimsy overstates their strength. In fact, the latest data shows that the modern multi-purpose semi-automatic firearms he seeks to ban are very rarely misused for murder. When he paints the picture of children being gunned down by maniacs with AR-15s as an everyday occurrence, he is gaslighting the country.

Here’s the real scoop: The misuse of rifles and shotguns of any type is extremely rare.

The FBI’s newest edition of Crime in the United States reveals that in 2018, rifles of all types were used to commit 297 murders. This is a decline from 2017’s revised figure of 390 (in the 2017 edition of Crime in the United States, the FBI had initially reported 403 murders). The years 2014, 2015, and 2016 also saw the murder figures involving rifles revised. 2014’s revision saw it go down from 258 to 235. The 2015 figure went down from 258 to 215. The revision from 2016 was very stark – it went down from 378 to 300.

The figures for shotguns are even lower for 2018. Those were only used in 235 murders last year. The figures for the previous four years were also revised. The 2017 figure stayed steady at 264. The 2016 figure was revised down to 247 from 264. 2015 saw a similar revision, from 272 to 247. 2014 saw a downward revision from 264 to 238.

By comparison, let’s look at the 2018 numbers for some other weapons. Knives were used in 1,515 murders, or roughly three times the number of murders involving rifles and shotguns combined (532). What the FBI calls “personal weapons” – really fists and feet – were used in 672 murders in 2018. That’s more than rifles and shotguns combined. You’re also more likely to see a murder committed with a blunt object like a baseball bat (443 in 2018) than either a rifle or shotgun.

This trend has held for years down the line. The 1995 edition of Crime in the United States showed the rarity of rifle and shotgun use (go to page 18). In fact, rifles and shotguns are used fare less often today than they were in the early 1990s, and the number of killings have gone down as modern multi-purpose semi-automatics have become more popular – totaling at least 16 million, per the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

By comparison, Chevrolet has produced roughly 10.3 million of its Suburban SUVs over the years, based on recent sales figures and a release from the automaker. If someone thinks the Chevy Suburban is in common use, then it is quite clear that modern multi-purpose semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15 are also in common use, with all of the legal implications that come with that acknowledgment.

The numbers are there in black and white. Is it any wonder, when looking at the data, that many Americans, when subjected to the injustice of semi-auto bans in states like Connecticut, New York, and California, have chosen what amounts to civil disobedience? The federal bump stock ban’s compliance is arguably at less than one percent, according to the Washington Times.

The facts are on our side, we just need to ensure our fellow Americans will be willing to listen to them.

FOAC in the Media:

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: “THAT is why law-abiding citizens buy millions of these firearms.” Amy Swearer to House Judiciary:

Quote of the Week: "We are in a virtual civil war, and the Left believes that it can win over the hearts and minds of 20 to 30 percent of the swing voters in the United States with therapeutic tales of racism, sexism, unearned white privilege, and right-wing greed and selfishness, and also by destroying the elected president." —Victor Davis Hanson

1st Point to Ponder: Allegheny County medical examiner Dr. Carl Williams says a bullet from a semi-automatic weapon literally explodes when it hits the human body.

2nd Point to Ponder: "Some of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's electronic surveillance activities violated the constitutional privacy rights of Americans swept up in a controversial foreign intelligence program, a secretive surveillance court has ruled." (The Wall Street Journal)

3rd Point to Ponder: "The CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods told CBS News that his decisions to stop selling certain guns and hire lobbyists to push for new gun bans have cost his company roughly $250 million. ... [Ed] Stack also said the company destroyed $5 million worth of rifle inventory because Stack believed no one should be allowed to own them." (The Washington Free Beacon)

Founding Father’s Statement on Freedom: "In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasoning must depend." - Alexander Hamilton (1788)

Yours in Freedom!

Kim Stolfer, President

As a reminder, every gun owner can participate in the October 13, 2019 FOAC Monthly meeting from any PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android phone by clicking on the link below:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

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Meeting ID: 134 200 286

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