PA Bill Number: SB897
Title: In sentencing, further providing for sentences for certain drug offenses committed with firearms.
Description: In sentencing, further providing for sentences for certain drug offenses committed with firearms. ...
Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY
Last Action Date: Oct 15, 2019
Concealed Carry Permit After Hours Hosted by PA State Rep Ryan Warner - 10/24/2019
Connellsville City Hall 110 N. Arch St., Connellsville, PA
Turn It Red Rally - 10/24/2019
19 N (Event Center) 19 N Main Street, Washington, PA
Concealed Carry Seminar Hosted by PA State Rep Bud Cook - 10/24/2019
California Hill Gun Club 150 California Dr, California, PA
FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday August 4th 2019 :: 08/04/2019
The tragedies unfolding this weekend, first in El Paso Texas and, today, in Dayton Ohio, are despicable acts of cowardice and domestic terrorism! The first responders did an absolutely magnificent job in responding to both of these tragedies which would have been far worse without their actions! Considering that Dayton Ohio follows the Texas incident by less than 24 hours we are sure to face a massive number of pundits who focus on gun control and limitations on the Second Amendment instead of real solutions or, even, the facts!
So instead of following the path that most of the mainstream media is certain to pursue let’s take a look at what is very unlikely to be focused on; the contributing factors to these incidents.
One of the common threads for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes goes all the way back to the Columbine school killings in 1998 and the manifesto of the killers wherein they expressed a desire to have their actions inspire others to do the same. In other words, to copycat their actions in more and more mass killings. Many of the killers have idolized the Columbine killers as part of their sick mental state and have created their own manifestoes justifying their actions, much as the New Zealand killer did.
The Copycat effect
The copycat effect is the tendency of sensational publicity about violent murders or suicides to result in more of the same through imitation.
The term was first coined around 1916 due to the crimes that were inspired by Jack the Ripper. Due to the increase of replicated crimes, criminologists soon began to realize that media coverage played a role in inspiring other criminals to commit crimes in a similar fashion, and even for non-criminals to begin committing crimes when they otherwise might not have done so.
There is also a book written by Loren Coleman called The Copycat Effect that describes the effect that the media has on crimes and suicides, which are inspired by crimes that have been widely covered across the media. Coleman's view on the media is that the constant coverage of these events, rather than the events with a positive message, gives these criminals a type of fame. The five minutes of fame, book or movie that is dedicated to these criminals provokes individuals with a tendency to behave in a similar way. Due to this type of fame, the 'copycat effect' takes place.
The US television series CopyCat Killers investigates murders which appear to be based on Hollywood films.
Perhaps one media outlet is slowly coming to grips with the sensationalism and the dangers of memorializing these tragic events and the killers who perpetrate these crimes. Fox News posted this video just today about the El Paso killer: https://video.foxnews.com/v/6067795030001/#sp=show-clips wherein they are refusing to use the killer’s name in their news report.
Gun Free Zones-El Paso
The Simon Mall chain is well known for banning permitted concealed handguns in Texas. The Walmart is on the mall property, where the killer committed his crimes.
“Possession of any weapon at Simon malls, whether concealed or displayed openly, is in violation of mall policy. This policy is intended first and foremost to maintain a safe, secure and comfortable environment at our malls, which has always been our top priority, and to avoid any situation that could potentially place at risk the safety of our shoppers and employees.
Simon malls are private property, and like virtually every other facility in the community that is accessible by the public, ownership/management has the right to prohibit the possession of weapons, both displayed or concealed, other than licensed weapons carried by law enforcement personnel.
Julie Rigby – Longview Mall Manager”
This El Paso killer, just like the others have done, picked a target that he thought would be an easy target (from his manifesto): “Remember-it is not cowardly to pick low hanging fruit. AKA Don’t attack heavily guarded areas to fulfll your super soldier COD fantasy. Attack low security targets. Even though you might out gun a security guard or police man, they likely beat you in armor, training and numbers. Do not throw away your life on an unnecessarily dangerous target. If a target seems too hot, live to fight another day.”
This killer obviously did a lot of planning, despite his claim to the contrary. From the target to the gun and ammunition used, he tried to figure out the best way to kill as many people as possible.
These incidents are very chaotic and it is hard for our authorities to get an accurate picture of what happened! Yet, there are credible reports that there was more than one attacker in the El Paso event:
Adriana Quezada, 39, said she was in the women’s clothing section of Walmart with her two children when she heard gunfire.
“But I thought they were hits, like roof construction,” she said of the shots.
Her 19-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son threw themselves to the ground, then ran out of the store through an emergency exit. They were not hurt, Quezada said.
She said she saw four men, dressed in black, moving together firing guns indiscriminately. Police later said they believed the suspect, who was armed with a rifle, was the only shooter.
This tweet from El Paso law enforcement reflects the same concern of multiple killers:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 3, 2019
Hopefully, updated law enforcement reports are accurate and there was only one killer involved! The inconsistencies between the manifesto and the killer not wishing to be captured alive and his conduct when confronted by police is disturbing!
On top of all of this, the troubles for El Paso and its citizens may not be over because reports are coming in that Antifa is planning on swarming this town over immigration issues. Confrontations between them and ICE agents and local law enforcement are likely to turn violent considering this domestic terrorist organizations actions in other cities across America!
Media Perpetuates Lies about Mass Murders
The day after these two tragedies, the bias attitudes of many of the minions in the media is showing as they are repeating the lies of the anti-gun groups regarding mass murders, nearly verbatim! The hundreds of millions of dollars that have been poured into gun control by Michael Bloomberg, big tech elitists, billionaires and Hollywood know-it-alls have resulted in an entire industry created to manipulate the public and facts. One of the organizations created by these millions of dollars is known as the Gun violence Archive - https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting - which is being quoted by virtually every media source in stating that there have been 253 mass murders in 2019 alone. This organization was created to deceive the American public by mixing intercity crime, gang violence, and real mass killings! When you go to this website what you’ll find is links to the sources and you will see that in nearly all of the cases these links refer to individual violent crimes, which are most often perpetrated by career violent criminals who haven’t been properly prosecuted, in violent urban centers and NOT mass killings but they are portrayed that way! This is unethical at best and immoral and unconscionable at worst because it does not lead to solutions but to emotional advocacy!
Get the Facts on Mass Murders
See the links below for source material on the true background of mass murders in America:
In the final analysis, the quick and dirty answer to this is always going to be the advocacy for restrictions on the rights of all by those in government who ignore the human factor and want to further an agenda rather than analyze and fix the problems! This is a much more complex problem that involves not only the rhetoric coming out of some politicians but also the unscrupulous nature of the media in bathing in the violent reports that come in to make a quick buck and ignoring their role in perpetuating this culture of violence sponsored by the glorification of the killers!
Please take a moment to say a prayer for the victims of these tragic incidents!
Anti-Gun Congresswoman Reinvents the Gun Control Wheel Over the Mass Killing in Gilroy California
The mass killing in Santa Clara County, California at the Gilroy event was quickly capitalized on by the opportunistic Congresswoman from Texas, Sheila Jackson Lee, by her introduction of three different federal gun control bills which surely came from the anti-gun groups which sponsor her.
These bills, shown below, indicate that she is willing to try to impose, nationally, the very same measures that currently exist in California and did nothing to prevent the killer from perpetrating his crimes!
HB4080 – Anti-Gun Democrat – Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas) Requires the safe storage of firearms and ammunition, and to require the investigation of reports of improper storage of firearms or ammunition.
HB4081 – Anti-Gun Democrat – Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas) To provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition.
HB4082 – Anti-Gun Democrat – Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas) To prohibit the private purchase or sale of a firearm or ammunition except through a federally licensed firearms dealer, to impose additional requirements on such a dealer, and for other purposes.
The only item in these three anti-gun bills that California has not adopted yet is the licensing of firearms ownership! This concept (gun licensing) though is already in place in Chicago which has had over 300 murders this year, so this is obviously another failed concept meant to distract the public into thinking something is being done while ignoring its’ failures.
Criminals Break Laws? Fancy That-Gun Laws Don’t Work on Criminals!
A recent study, funded by the National Institute of Justice and conducted by anti-gun researcher Phillip Cook, takes an interesting approach to the question of how long criminals possess a firearm before they are arrested and charged with a firearm-related crime.
It is well known, and acknowledged even in this study, that for firearms recovered by law enforcement many years typically pass between the first retail purchase of the misused firearm and its illegal use or possession. The average “time-to-crime” in the U.S. is over 9 years according to the latest ATF data.
This study doesn’t examine the near-decade between the legal retail sale of a traced firearm and its association with illegal activity. It does use a survey of Chicago inmates to examine the “last link” or “the elapsed time from the transaction that actually provided the offender with the gun in question.”
It is rare to see a study published that echoes our message: enforce existing gun laws. Prosecute criminals. But that is just what this study concludes. More precisely, the study concludes that “more effective enforcement of the laws governing gun transactions may have a quick and pervasive effect on gun use in crime.”
That’s because the authors found that the duration of the last link is about two months. Inmates surveyed reported that most of the firearms possessed at their arrest were obtained by buying or trading from a friend or acquaintance. Few obtained their firearms from a gun store, where they would have had to pass a background check, and “none of the respondents mentioned a gun show or the Internet as a source.” This aligns with prior federal surveys of inmate populations. Criminals break the law to illegally acquire firearms.
Oh, Wait, There’s More
Other findings include state laws that require law-abiding gun owners to register their firearms were of no help, as naturally the criminals who obtained the firearm years after the legal purchase, did not register their typically-illegal possession. Also, unsurprisingly, “most or all of the transactions that provided [inmates] with guns were illegal, in that they violated state or federal regulations…The bottom line is all or almost all were disqualified from acquiring or possessing a gun in Illinois at the time of their current arrest. Yet, most of them had extensive involvement with guns at that time.”
Let’s give a slow clap for a gun control promoting academic finally admitting that criminals do not abide by the laws. More enforcement of the existing laws is needed.
These criminals will not be stopped by gun or ammunition registrations, universal background checks, or any irrational bans that the gun control groups demand as knee-jerk reactions to the real problems in our country.
Gilroy, CA-El Paso, TX-Dayton, OH-Lessons Learned, We Are On Our Own...
In the last week, single suspects, armed with ‘some kind of rifle,” started shooting into a crowded…Festival (Gilroy)…Mall (El Paso)…Local bar (Dayton OH) where many fatalities and injuries resulted. Some injuries were caused by the panicked stampede of attendees, rather than from bullet impacts.
In the California and Texas incidents, the perpetrators navigated their way around restrictions in the law to commit their heinous crimes! To their credit, local police were on-hand and reacted bravely and immediately.
Predictably, Democrats are reacting by calling for immediate restriction and/or confiscation of all privately-owned firearms.
They always do.
Here is what the rest of us should be thinking about:
- 1. Never trust “symbolic security,” otherwise known as “security theater.” Terrorists and other violent criminals will always find a way around it, as we see! Any time you hear, “Don’t worry. You’re safe here,” never believe it.
- 2. In our “Age of Terrorism,” significant risk attaches to attending public gatherings, of any kind. Those with political or religious themes are the most dangerous, but even generic “Garlic Festivals” are not “safe, as we see.’
- 3. The pernicious socialist lie that when you trade freedom for “safety,” someone else will protect you is believed only by naive fools.
- 4. It can’t be said too often: You’re on your own.
Make personal security decisions accordingly.
Former Congressman Joe Sestak' Horrible Record on the Second Amendment
When you are judging a public official on Second Amendment issues, the general rule of thumb is that the longer their track record, the more certain you can be. Granted, there can be sudden defections (see Bob Casey as a case in point), but usually, the longer the track record, the better idea you have of where a politician comes down.
With that long track record, you get familiarity. You learn if they are stalwart defenders, or if they need to see a lot of (polite) letters and e-mails opposing anti-Second Amendment legislation. You learn if they are leaders, a vote you can count on, or if they are mushy. It’s why the FOAC’s kept a friendly incumbent policy for decades.
Sometimes, you don’t need much to tell a politician’s views on the Second Amendment. That’s the case with Joe Sestak, who has a grand total of two terms in the House of Representatives and a pair of failed Senate campaigns against Pat Toomey. In fact, Project VoteSmart lists a grand total of three votes on Second Amendment issues.
The first vote involved legislation to repeal the onerous laws in the District of Columbia in the wake of the 2008 Heller decision. The Supreme Court had ruled that Washington D.C.’s gun ban was invalid on Second Amendment grounds. It passed the House by a 266-152 vote – and it had bipartisan support. Sestak was one of the 152 Nays.
The next vote came the following year, in 2009. While President Obama was an anti-Second Amendment extremist, Second Amendment supporters did make a marginal gain in one piece of legislation – expanding the right to keep and bear arms in national parks. The House concurred with a Senate amendment that wiped out a bad on carrying firearms in national parks, 279-147. Again, Sestak voted against the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Sestak did have one minor pro-gun vote in 2010, when it came to exempting guns from bankruptcy proceedings. Financial problems that come from non-criminal activities shouldn’t cause a person to lose the tools for self-defense or to put food on the table. It was a very necessary tweak. But Sestak’s vote here doesn’t cancel out two very awful votes.
In an appearance on Hardball during the 2010 general election for the Senate seat then held by Arlen Specter, Sestak laid out what he really thought of Toomey and our rights: “Congressman Toomey once said that his idea of gun control is a steady aim. And he’s opposed to an assault weapons ban for military weapons,” Sestak said.
When it comes right down to it, Sestak didn’t need to say much to give Second Amendment supporters enough information. His disdain for our rights is more than enough to make his presidential ambitions a non-starter.
Criticism of Media Bias on Mass Murders from a Surprising Anti-Gun Academic
Many gun owners know that a great deal of gun policy research is explicitly funded by individuals hostile to the Second Amendment. Gun owners are right to be skeptical of academics but there are times when well-respected academics have proven confident enough to challenge the prevailing left-wing orthodoxies on gun control. Such is the case with a recent piece from Northeastern University Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy James Alan Fox.
In a July 23 item for USA Today, Fox wondered why a recent mass killing in Kyoto, Japan did not garner significant attention in the U.S. media? On July 18, a man entered the Kyoto Animation studio and doused parts of the building with combustible material and screamed “drop dead” or “die!” The individual then set the building ablaze. The resulting fire killed 34 people and injured more than thirty. According to a BBC report, the attack was “one of Japan's worst mass casualty events since World War Two.”
A cognizant adult would have expected such a heinous attack perpetrated in a notoriously peaceful country to get the attention of the press, but as Fox explained, the “Kyoto Animation arson killings didn't get much attention because we couldn't demonize guns.”
Comparing coverage of the Kyoto massacre to the March shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, Fox noted, “U.S. newspapers and wire services featured the Christchurch massacre five times as much as the Kyoto mass murder.” Fox went on to explain that a significant portion of massacres are carried out with weapons other than firearms and that “It is the politics and controversy surrounding gun control that highlight mass shootings above the rest.”
In short, if a mass casualty event doesn’t fit a preconceived political narrative and policy prescription the media does not consider it worth covering.
In closing, Fox pointed out,
Whatever the reason, the lesser attention given to mass killings that do not invoke guns is disrespectful to the victims whose lives are tragically cut short. Is the crime any less serious if there were no gunshots? Are the victims any less dead? In fact, victims of burns, suffocation or stabbing often suffer a much slower and painful death than gunshot victims.
It is surely fruitless to assess the relative severity of mass killings on the basis of weaponry. Our sense of outrage and concern for the victims should be the same whether they died from a firearm or fire.
Fox is not pro-gun, but has long served as a voice of reason in the hysterical aftermath of high-profile shootings. Since 2012, Fox has repeatedly made the case that common gun control proposals, such as so-called “universal” background checks and semi-automatic firearm bans, are unlikely to curtail high-profile shooting incidents.
In a 2018 research piece titled, “Schools are safer than they were in the 90s, and school shootings are not more common than they used to be,” Fox provided concrete data for his conclusion that “there is not an epidemic of school shootings.” Pouring cold water on the gun control policies advocated in the wake of school shootings, Fox noted, “The thing to remember is that these are extremely rare events, and no matter what you can come up with to prevent it, the shooter will have a workaround.”
Fox’s more reasoned analyses of the gun issue expose the divide between the reckless rhetoric and policies peddled by gun control advocates and what might emerge from a more thoughtful approach to curbing violent crime.
Presidential Candidate - Julian Castro Doesn’t Habla the 2nd Amendment
When it comes to locking down a politician’s track record on the Second Amendment, sometimes it can be easy, especially when they are members of Congress. Their voting record is public, and they are often presented with the issues on a “yes” or “no” basis. Not much wiggle room there. Julian Castro, though, is a little tougher to nail down.
Here’s the scoop. In 2012, Castro and his brother were interviewed by ABC News in the wake of the Sandy Hook mass shooting.
“There is a feeling that the Second Amendment is there in the Constitution, folks will have the right to bear arms,” the then-mayor of San Antonio and now-presidential candidate said, providing lip service to our rights. “At the same time, like every other freedom, there are reasonable limits, regulations to be placed on it.”
Castro’s true feelings may have been exposed when he touched on Second Amendment issues in a 2016 speech while serving as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (the same post once held by Andrew Cuomo). In that speech, he stated, “We are long past the time for decisive action to protect innocent Americans from the epidemic of gun violence.”
His use of the term “epidemic” shows that he may well see our constitutional right to keep and bear arms as a threat to public health. This has been the same approach pushed by the Violence Policy Center – which seems its own extreme agenda of not just gun bans, but in giving unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats the ability to ban guns on their own.
Now, the presidential candidate is saying, “In an ideal world, people would not own handguns.”
Never mind that we do not live in an ideal world, and many Americans, including Kamala Harris, have made the decision to purchase a handgun for personal protection with that reality in mind. But Castro’s target of handguns not existing goes beyond those who seek a viable tool for the personal protection of themselves and their loved ones. Maybe he should talk to the millions of Americans who own handguns for other reasons.
Julian Castro is a longshot to win the Democrat nomination, thankfully. However, his lip service is something ‘all’ Second Amendment supporters should keep in mind.
President Trump’s Statements About Baltimore's Homicide Rate Is Spot On
President Trump has repeatedly, in recent days, attacked the city of Baltimore for its very, very high homicide rate. Trump's RIGHT!
The most recent homicide data from the FBI (2017) shows the city of Baltimore with a homicide rate of 55.8 per 100,000 population. That's a homicide rate comparable to El Salvador (60 per 100,000) and Venezuela (56 per 100,000). Baltimore has more homicides, per capita, than Honduras, Guatemala, South Africa, and Brazil.
In other words, Baltimore's homicide problem is worse than those in many of the world's most violent countries.
In contrast, the US homicide rate in 2017 was 5.3 per 100,000 making Baltimore homicide rate ten times larger than that in the US overall.
Moreover, the gap between the US homicide rate and the Baltimore homicide rate has gotten worse over the past decade. The US rate has fallen since 2007, but it has gone up significantly in Baltimore over that time.
For examples, if we look at homicide rate in metropolitan Baltimore, but remove homicides from the core city, we find the homicide rate was 3.5 per 100,000 in 2017. That makes metro Baltimore — excluding the core city — one of the safest places in the Western hemisphere, similar to that of Manitoba or Saskatchewan in Canada.
Maryland Gun Control Has Failed
Not coincidentally, Baltimore is located in a state which 'boasts' of having some of the nation's most stringent gun laws.
According to the ‘anti-gun’ Giffords Center, Maryland is the 'fourth strongest' in terms of gun restrictions.
These restrictions were substantially strengthened in 2013 with the adoption of the Firearms Safety Act of 2013. But, as researcher Brian Bissett has noted, shooting deaths in Baltimore increased significantly after 2013, even as the population decreased:
Shootings were TRENDING DOWNWARD and Population loss was leveling off in Baltimore City prior to the Passage of the FIREARMS SAFETY ACT OF 2013 ...
In 2015, DEATHS by SHOOTINGS in Baltimore City roughly doubled and have not fallen since. Baltimore has on average 275 to 300 people shot to death each year, up from about 150 to 175 prior to the passage of the FIREARMS SAFETY ACT OF 2013. Population flight from the City of Baltimore has also resumed as people are fleeing from the sharp increase in violence permeating every area of Baltimore City.' [emphasis in original.] In 2017, for example, the 'clearance rate' for homicides in Baltimore was just 27 percent.
The Need for Self-Protection in Baltimore
Under conditions like these, it becomes increasingly clear why there's a correlation between gun control and rising homicides. Personal ownership of a firearm, which is continuously being made more and more difficult, may very well be the only thing a person can rely on a defense against being a victim of homicide.
1st Point to Ponder: Do Congressional Democrats Oppose Self-Defense? HR 38 is Congressman Hudson’s National Reciprocity legislation that would ‘require’ all states to recognize a License To Carry Concealed Firearms from ‘all’ states. YET, there are ONLY 3 Democrats in the House of Representatives signed on to this bill as co-sponsors.
Gun Control Quote to Remember: Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg - The Democratic candidate stopped short of calling for repealing the Second Amendment, but indicated that it should not be used so broadly as to prevent the government from protecting Americans.
Founding Father’s Statement on Freedom: 'These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.' Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No 1, 1776
Yours in Freedom!
Kim Stolfer, President
As a reminder, every gun owner can participate in the August 11, 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: https://zoom.us/j/982061878
One-tap Mobile: US: +19292056099,,982061878# US (New York)
Dial by location: +1 929 205 6099 US
Meeting ID: 982 061 878