PA Bill Number: HB1423
Title: In school safety and security, further providing for school safety and security training; providing for threat assessment; and, in school health ...
Description: In school safety and security, further providing for school safety and security training; providing for threat assessment; and, in school health ... ...
Last Action: Laid on the table
Last Action Date: Sep 17, 2019
FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday December 23rd 2018 :: 12/23/2018
On December 14th the City of Pittsburgh held a press conference announcing their intent to introduce laws that would ban commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, a ban on common firearms accessories and standard capacity magazines, and a procedure to confiscate firearms without due process. This would place the City of Pittsburgh in open defiance of Pennsylvania state preemption law-title 18 section 6120. Attending this announcement of criminal intent was none other than cease-fire PA supported and endorsed Gov. Wolf, members of city and County Council as well as the anti-gun organizations Moms Demand Action and Cease-Fire PA. It’s important to remember that not only is this an illegal act but that Gov. Wolf, Mayor Peduto, and selected members of Pittsburgh city Council all received significant campaign donations from the anti-gun group Every Town.
On the prior day, a letter from the Firearms Industry Consulting Group, signed by Josh Prince, was delivered to city Council stating the illegality of the gun control ordinances and our intent to seek legal action should the city pursue these clearly illegal laws!
The following week on December 18 Pittsburgh city Council met at the regularly scheduled meeting and introduced all of these ordinances/laws and copies of the proposed laws on assault weapons, accessories/modifications, and ERPOs are available to the public at these links. Interestingly, Council members Darlene Harris and Teresa Kail-Smith, initially listed as co-sponsors of the bills with all other council members, pulled their names from sponsorship until they hear more from their constituents, they said.
In an interview with WTAE-TV I said that that “what the city's doing is illegal and there's very little difference between them and the killer at the synagogue except for a matter of degree." This appeared to cause Democrats to become unhinged
Mayor Bill Peduto and Chief of Staff Dan Gilman fired back at my comments.
"Hard to find words for how horrible this is,” Mr. Gilman wrote on Twitter, in response to the comments.
Let’s be clear, if you don’t like being compared to a criminal, here’s something you should try.
Stop breaking the freaking law. What Peduto and City Council are doing are misdemeanor one crimes under Pennsylvania law!
At the end of the day, that’s precisely what I accurately pointed out, and I am not wrong. I agree, it might not be the most diplomatic of comparisons and I wasn’t trying to be, but it’s factually valid. The only significant difference between what Pittsburgh is trying to do and what the Tree of Life killer did is the degree of lawbreaking.
If Democrats don’t like the comparison, then perhaps they should stop trying to break the damn law.
Oh, but they’re doing God’s work. Just ask them, they’ll tell you. Who cares about laws when you’re trying to make the world a better place, right? And how are they doing that? By trying to pass illegal laws.
I was asked in interviews, if I would repudiate my statements and I ‘absolutely NOT’ and I don’t owe them an apology, and any lawmaker who doesn’t understand the law is someone who needs to lose their seat in the next primary. Democrats just want to play the outrage card because it’s the only card they have in their deck these days YET it is them who are biased against our constitutional freedoms.
They completely ignore the fact that they’re engaged in an effort to break the law. They pretend they’re the victims here. Meanwhile, they completely miss the irony of trying to break the law so they can pass a law that is easily broken.
We are still asking for donations to our legal defense fund and you can still donate through our online donation option at this link: https://foac-pac.org/Donate and marking the subject line Pittsburgh preemption legal action.
If you would like to do more then please the options at the bullet points below.
- Ask the Allegheny County DA ((412) 350-4401) https://alleghenycountyda.us/ WHY he isn't prosecuting Peduto and O'Connor for Criminal Conspiracy and violating the 1995 Consent Decree and Title 18 Section 6120?!
- Contact YOUR PA House and Senate member and insist they strengthen PA Preemption Law!!
- Further, ask YOUR PA house and Senate member why none of these lawbreaking city officials will see the inside of a prison cell for their actions?
At this point, no further information has been released by the City as to public hearings etc. We are keeping close tabs on this and all of a sudden it seems that city officials are open to sitting down and meeting with us which is nothing more than more political demagoguery where they will use any meeting with us as political cover. The City of Pittsburgh has a history of bad faith meetings that obscure their intent to manipulate public opinion.
Let’s be clear this action on the part of City of Pittsburgh is meant to create a patchwork quilt of gun laws across the Commonwealth and to destroy the concept of equal protections under the Constitution as well as to bankrupt FOAC and other gun rights groups by fostering a myriad of lawsuits. If these laws should pass in Pittsburgh it will have a devastating effect on self-defense, the lawful transportation of firearms, and the crime rate!
Bump-Stock Ban is a FAR Bigger Danger for 2nd Amendment than Most Realize
Think about this, once President Trump is gone, and the next Obama/Clinton/Sanders, etc. holds the reins of the executive branch, there will be no legal barrier to an anti-2nd Amendment Attorney General “recognizing” the “danger” of all those “machine guns” in public hands, and criminalizing them with a stroke of a pen.
Ask yourself, does the 2nd Amendment mean what it says? Do laws restricting access to, or possession of firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories, or other implements of war or personal defense, violate the fundamental right to arms and the 2nd Amendment??
That's the philosophy. Now let's talk about existing law and bump-stocks.
Under the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act, machine guns are tightly regulated, and no new machine guns can be added to the existing pool of legally transferable machine guns. The BATFE has promulgated – at the president's instructions, and with the agreement of the NRA – new regulations “clarifying” the terms “single function of the trigger” and “automatic” as they relate to the definition of “machine gun” under these laws. The effect of these “clarifications” is to support their declaration that “bump-stock-type devices” convert semi-automatic firearms into full-automatic firearms, thus making the devices themselves “machine guns”. Where this ‘new’ regulation goes off the rails is that it calls for confiscation and destruction of ‘bump-stocks’ this far exceeding the restrictions outlined in the NFA and GCA.
See the new BATFE regulations and guidelines here: https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/bump-stocks
What is even MORE alarming is that the new determination has the potential to BAN all semi-automatic firearms, as they all now meet the definition of a weapon that “can be readily restored to shoot” more than one shot with a single function of the trigger. That is a very big problem.
See this video to fully understand how tortured the reasoning is on Bump Stocks:
Unfortunately, we the people have allowed the federal government to restrict certain classes of firearms for over 80 years, and in that time, substantial case law and precedent supporting those restrictions has been built up. The core issue of the constitutionality of these restrictions has never had a serious day in court, and this reinterpretation of the regulations is not going to provide that constitutionality hearing. If it did, we would almost certainly lose. Not because we're wrong and the restrictions on machine guns are right, but because there is not enough jurisprudence and scholarly opinion in place to effectively support our arguments, and most judges and politicians are terrified at the idea of machine guns being legal. They will bend over backward to make sure that doesn't happen. Even the late Justice Antonin Scalia made it a point to exclude machine guns from the Heller decision, on the basis of an “in common use” test. He applied a heavy dose of cognitive dissonance to argue that machine guns are not commonly owned in the U.S. while ignoring the fact that the only reason they are not more common is that they have been heavily restricted for over 80 years, and virtually banned since 1986.
That's not to say we shouldn't try. I strongly support efforts to challenge this new BATFE regulation.
The first challenge case was filed by the Firearms Policy Coalition and is being handled by attorneys Josh Prince and Adam Kraut. Erich Pratt at Gun Owners of America has also announced plans to file a suit.
The argument boils down to whether a firearm employing a bump-stock is “automatically” cycling the action and firing more than one shot with “a single function of the trigger.” Our side says no because each shot requires some manual action on the part of the shooter to actuate the next shot. The counter-argument from the new BATFE Firearms Technical Branch analysis contends that the act of maintaining steady forward pressure with the support hand – which is a critical requirement of all bump-fire-type devices, and is included in all of their operator instructions – constitutes a “single function.”
We can argue among ourselves about these technical distinctions, but until everything goes to hell in a hand-basket, a group of judges reading current laws, regulations, and judicial precedents will be the ones making the final decision, and I see virtually no chance of them agreeing with our side.
While I'm not happy about how this has all gone down, and where it has ended up, an even BIGGER concern is about the broader implications of this new regulation going forward.
Whether you agree with the BATFE's new definitions or not, once this goes into effect, under the color of law, it will be a straightforward thing to technically “convert” any semi-auto into a “machine gun.” And that creates some severe issues because the law also defines “machine gun” to include “any weapon” that can be “readily restored to shoot” more than one shot with a single function of the trigger.
It is also long-established law, that “readily restored” actually means “easily converted” to fire full-auto, such as the KG-9 pistol, which was classified as a machine gun because it fired from an open bolt, and could be relatively easily converted to full-auto by filing off the secondary sear.
By legally defining “bump-stock-type devices” as “machine guns” that can convert semi-automatic guns into “machine guns,” then by these same definitions, any semi-automatic rifle becomes a “machine gun” because they can all be “readily restored” to be “machine guns.”
The Supreme Court has already allowed a lower court to get away with distorting Justice Scalia's dicta in the Heller case to mean that AR15s are not covered by the Second Amendment. Because they are “like M-16s,” and Scalia himself, made it clear that he didn't want to include machine guns in the protections of the Second Amendment, so we can't expect much support from that quarter.
The bump-stock issue has been mishandled from the beginning, and now it has turned into a matter that can do little more than raise some money for a few groups and reduce unemployment for lawyers while blowing a gaping hole in our future defense of the Second Amendment.
ERPO/Red Flag Laws Education: The Dangers of Deadly “ERPO” Gun Confiscation Laws
For gun control to get passed into law, it requires duping people into thinking the proposed law is constitutional and will stop criminals.
These laws will kill gun owners and they already have.
Red Flag laws, also called Gun Violence Restraining Orders and Extreme Risk Protection Orders, are gun-confiscation laws disguised as “gun-violence prevention” laws that are being pushed hard at both the state and federal levels. Firearms Owners Against Crime expects to be fighting ERPO bills in the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2019, once again.
ERPO/Red Flag laws are unconstitutional “prior restraint” laws that violate our basic civil rights. What's particularly alarming is that to take away a person's Second Amendment rights, such laws violate the protections found in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution! And all of that based on an unnamed person's secret allegation that someone else “might” do something dangerous to themselves or others in the future.
Laws are only supposed to authorize the State to apprehend and punish those who have committed an illegal act, not those who might, based on unsubstantiated allegations.
The person accused of being “dangerous” has no notice there is a problem until the police show up, pre-dawn, with guns drawn and confiscate the accused's firearms [we have already had on gun owner killed in this exact scenario]. The accused is not given due process to defend himself or herself in court from the accusation for weeks or months after the confiscation. It is up to the accused to prove that he or she is not dangerous! Until such proof is provided to the Court's satisfaction, the guns are not returned. This could drag on for months, years, or indefinitely!
If a person is “too dangerous” to own a gun, then why is that person left walking around with the rest of us? Can’t that “dangerous” person still commit suicide or harm others if they have the opportunity?
The answer to both questions is that Red Flag laws are about confiscating guns, not saving lives.
In Maryland, which recently enacted such a law, two-thirds of the requests for confiscation were deemed frivolous. In other words, most of the applications that were denied were from people wanting to “get even” with someone else by making their lives miserable! But how many frivolous requests got through anyhow?
We do NOT want ERPO laws in Pennsylvania!
ERPO laws are a genuine and severe threat to our liberty. If we don't educate as many people as possible on the severity of the danger these laws pose, we could well end up with ERPO/Red Flag laws either here in Pennsylvania, or nationally.
Misleading Headlines and the Murder Rate
We hear a lot about “fake news.” We regularly see data and statistics misused. What we have seen several times over the last several months does not really fit any of those categories.
CBS News published an article last month with the headline, “Gun death statistics: CDC study says gun deaths are on the rise after years of decline.”
Twenty-seven days later, The New York Times published an article last week with the headline, “U.S. Murder Rate for 2018 is on Track for a Big Drop.”
Those two headlines don’t mesh well.
The CBS News headline neglected to mention that the data is from 2016, as the CDC report discussed in the article compared data from 2015-2016 with 2012-2013. The data is two years old, but the CBS News headline framed the rise as current.
The CDC report itself is less sensational but it does use two non-consecutive two-year periods as the time period for the analysis. Compared to the fear-inducing headline used by CBS News, that seems like nitpicking. The more problematic issue with the CBS News headline – and we’re sure there were others like it when the CDC Report came out – is that it is shaping up to be incorrect, when read in the present tense.
The New York Times article is forward-looking, to say the least. Using city-level data on the 66 largest cities in the country, crime analyst Jeff Asher predicts “the country is moving toward the largest national drop in murder since a 3.6 percent decline in 2013.” Asher notes that estimating national trends from city data is difficult, but the cities used in his analysis accurately predicted the movement of the national murder rate every year except 2002. The extent of the drop is less clear than the likelihood of a drop. Asher predicts that, if the cities in his analysis hold their average 7% decrease in murder rate from 2017 through the end of this year, then the national murder rate should be down somewhere between 4%-5% from last year.
Asher dutifully notes that “there is still no consensus on why murder rose nationally in 2015 and 2016…” and offers a handful of possibly contributing factors for a drop in the murder rate this year, including better technology, community intervention programs, and, interestingly, cold weather. Asher provides links to actual research backing up each possible factor.
We understand that data analysis can take time. It takes time for federal agencies to collect, aggregate, and analyze data from state and local agencies all over the country. The CDC only recently published data for 2017, and the FBI won’t release 2018 data until sometime next September.
However, reporting on years-old data while also combining all firearms-related deaths regardless of intent – homicide, suicide, accidents, or unknown intent – with a present-tense headline is more than misleading. The CDC report includes this statement: “It is too soon to know whether recent increases in firearm homicide rates represent a short-term fluctuation or the beginning of a longer-term trend.”
Media Hype Questionable Gun Control Study Stossel & Lott Report VIDEO
One of the more important claims in the gun control debate is that the United States has more mass public shootings than any other countries. Dr. Lott got some news coverage when his research came out through op-eds in the New York Post and the Chicago Tribune, but this issue and the true facts have gotten only a tiny fraction of the media coverage still given to the other side.
In addition, since the media understandably gives enormous news coverage to attacks in the US, but either gives slight coverage or completely ignores such attacks in the rest of the world, it isn't surprising that most people believe this claim. This video is Dr. Lott’s attempt to reach out and educate people who he previously hasn’t been able to get to.
Dr. Lott needs our help in getting attention for this. John Stossel has kindly agreed to post this video as one of his own and has even provided an introduction and a conclusion for it, and that is significant because Stossel has ONE million Twitter followers and 532,000 on Facebook. But your assistance can help reach many more people. Please post the link on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media platforms that you have. CPRC will retweet Stossel's two Tweets that he is planning on putting up (@CrimeResearch1 and @JohnRLottJr). Retweeting Stossel is the best way of getting this information out because Stossel has a special exemption that allows him to embed the entire long video in a Tweet. Twitter throttles tweets that link to Youtube since it is a competitor, so more people will see your retweet of Stossel's post (@JohnStossel).
These videos are expensive. When Dr. Lott previously sent out a request for this video to be funded, donations brought in $2,500, covering just a fraction of the cost of the video. Despite that, and because so much of the gun control debate rests on this, he went ahead and produced the video.
Both the Wall Street Journal and NPR have used Lott’s reports on the number of concealed handgun permit holders. Why is this important? So much of the gun control debate is about things that might go wrong with letting people carry concealed handguns. By telling Americans that it is legal in 28 states for teachers to carry concealed handguns (though they only carry in 20 states because in many states the local school districts have to approve), it makes it harder to scare Americans about what might go wrong with letting teachers protect themselves and others. The Wall Street Journal article noted that there were a few lawsuits against a gun company over the last couple of decades over claims that their guns supposedly went off on their own. NPR's story hyperventilated about the 3,896 guns found at airports in 2017. Both of these numbers are put in their proper context when you realize that this last year there were 17.2 million concealed handgun permit holders.
The CPRC has also done many radio interviews covering everything from the new gun control laws that Democrats will be pushing to numerical claims by gun control advocates to states moving to get rid of gun-free zones.
Securing Second Amendment Support in the Suburbs
When they write the accounts of how the battle for the Second Amendment was decided, it’s not just going to be about the court rulings. It’s also going to focus on whether those court rulings took hold, or if they got overturned down the road.
Yes, folks, the Supreme Court has been known to change its mind. In 58 years, the Supreme Court changed its mind on the legality of “separate but equal.” While Brown v. Board of Education overturning Plessy v. Ferguson was a good change, it is also a warning with regards to the Heller and McDonald rulings.
Both of those rulings were 5-4 rulings in support of the Second Amendment. But even then, it was difficult. We know now that during the Heller deliberations, then-Justice John Paul Stevens was working to water down that landmark decision, if not thwart it completely. To an extent, he succeeded in getting some throwaway lines, but those lines have been used to justify semi-auto bans by the Ninth and Fourth Circuits. So, the Supreme Court situation, while better, is still precarious. This doesn’t include calls on the Left to pack the court.
Now, carrying out such a packing is theoretically possible. There is nothing in the Constitution limiting the Supreme Court to only nine members. But to do that, there would need to be an anti-Second Amendment majority in the House, an anti-Second Amendment supermajority in the Senate, and an anti-Second Amendment President.
The first of those three requirements are already in place. The other two could very well happen by 2025. You can bet that the packing would be designed to neutralize pro-Second Amendment appointments since January 2017. Imagine, if you will, multiple new justices with the John Paul Stevens mindset on the Second Amendment, and also willing to rule in favor of laws that restrict political speech.
These would not be mere setbacks for Second Amendment supporters, these would be kill shots. Not only would a radical and onerous agenda be passed, but efforts to campaign against it could be effectively criminalized. How do we stop this?
The answer is to win elections, and right now, while Second Amendment supporters dominate in the rural areas – especially “flyover country” – they have steadily lost ground in the suburbs. As such, Bloomberg, Schumer, Feinstein, and others who seek to take away our Second Amendment rights for no good reason are closer to being able to say, “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them in.”
Why is this the case? Well, one of the reasons has been the incessant coverage mass shootings have gained. Now, we know the facts about mass shootings, how they are rare events, that “gun-free” zones are prime locations for such events, that concealed carry helps stop them, that other countries have worse ones than the United States, and often there are numerous missed chances to prevent them long before the terrible event happens.
That’s not the picture that the media and anti-Second Amendment extremists have painted. Bloomberg has helped make that false picture stick, especially in the minds of the proverbial “soccer moms” – suburban women, usually who were also balancing their kids with careers. These women, who place the safety of their kids as a top priority, have been hit with years of claims that the NRA is a threat to their kids’ safety because of its defense of the Second Amendment.
Sadly, the NRA’s response far more timid and weaker than it should’ve been. In addition, the social stigmatization of the Second Amendment has, as its purpose, to make the suburbs a bastion for Bloomberg’s agenda. The fact is, Second Amendment supporters will need ways to convince a bunch of soccer moms who have the poop scared out of them that they have been lied to. How can we do this?
The first step needs to be some very smart advertising. Yes, the national media are biased, but local stations sell ad revenue, too. Run ads that get the facts out, show demonstrable lies by those who wish to take our rights away, and which humanize Second Amendment supporters.
We can talk about the attack on our rights, and yes, fire up those in flyover country, but it is in the suburbs where the future of our Second Amendment rights will be decided.
Gun Control - Do Facts Matter to Politicians and Judges?
The people with the greatest need for self-protection are denied the tools they need to keep their family safe. That is the real face of gun-control, but that isn’t what we were sold by politicians. That isn’t what judges tell us. We’re told that disarming you and leaving guns in the hands of criminals is acceptable as long as politicians meant well. Do facts matter anymore?
You’re welcome to your own opinion, but let’s look at what we know. We were told that gun-control saves lives, but that isn’t what we see. Sociologists and criminologists published a report in the Annals of Epidemiology They said mandatory background checks and firearms prohibition for misdemeanor crimes failed to lower gun homicide and suicide in California. No other state does gun-control as much and as hard as California, and gun-control isn’t disarming the criminals.
California has an “A” rating from the Gifford’s gun-control group. California is rated the first in the nation for gun control.
The homicide rate in California increased by 18 percent from 2014 to 2016. Rather than saving lives, disarming honest people with gun-control is getting us killed.
More of us want a firearm to protect ourselves and our families from crime. My friends in law enforcement told me I should learn to use a gun and carry it. In contrast, anti-rights politicians say civilians don’t know how to defend themselves. An article published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons came to a very different conclusion.
They looked at violent crime and murder in every state over the last 30 years. Concealed carry and constitutional carry laws did not lead to an increase in murder or other violent crimes.
The best bodyguards don't wear a suit and tie.
That is consistent with other information we’ve collected. Some states provide data on people who have a concealed carry permit and are then convicted of a violent crime. From what we can tell, people who get their concealed carry license are unusual. They are the most law-abiding and non-violent segment of our society. Concealed carriers are among the most law-abiding and non-violent group of people on the planet.
Why are anti-gun politicians against you having a permit to carry given that you are so extraordinarily law-abiding?
If gun-control isn’t taking guns from criminals, then who are we disarming? Women and minorities are the most likely to be denied concealed carry permits. That data is from Los Angeles County, and LA is known as a multicultural melting pot. When your sheriff has a choice of who to arm, he chooses his friends. That means politicians and judges get their permits, but you don’t.
Gun-control laws limit who may be armed. They also limit when and where people may have a personal firearm. Honest gun owners follow those laws. Criminals don’t, and almost all mass murders happen in gun-free zones where the victims are disarmed. If facts matter, then why do gun-control politicians want more gun-free zones?
Gun-control politicians pass more laws because they want us disarmed. Gun prohibition only applies to the little people like us, not to politicians, judges, and law enforcement. Gun-control laws have exceptions for the elites. These elite members of our society also have armed men guarding them.
Those are the facts that matter. That is why politicians, sheriffs, and judges won’t end gun control. Don’t expect our laws to change until gun laws apply to all of us, everywhere, and all the time.
When the Haters Target YOU and Your Freedom
It’s not guns they want to ban, it’s us. After the November elections, a group of local California politicians came out for closing down local gun shows and other gun banning measures.
Here’s the thing. California has already banned AR variants, has universal background checks, one gun a month rule and a 10-day waiting period. Add to that the need to have passed a safety test, a gun handling test and storage requirement and no one can buy a gun at a gun show. California has no gun show loophole.
So given all this why ban gun shows?
The politicians are VERY open and honest as to why. Their goal is to destroy the “gun culture” in America. That means an end to all recreational shooting and hunting.
It’s NOT the guns that are evil, it’s the PEOPLE who support freedom that need to be silenced.
The fact is that to many people, the concept of freedom and private firearms ownership are just concepts. Even though there are 120,000,000 gun owners in the U.S., we are mostly in the rural sections of the Country. The fact is, in our big urban centers, the populations are not assimilated, and in many Cities, you are hard pressed to find a place to shoot or learn about firearms. This is all part of the goal of the left, to kill off the shooting tradition in America.
The power base of the left in America is made up of people who know little to nothing about America or our traditions and what keeps us free. Civics and the constitution are not taught in schools.
With almost 50 million Citizens foreign-born, and 25 million illegal aliens, liberals have a 75 million person voting base whose interest is free stuff, welfare, and open borders. This base almost exclusively comes from non-gun owning cultures, and without outreach will not vote to defend a right they don’t understand or respect.
So banning gun shows has nothing to do with access to a gun, given California’s laws how could it? The goal of the anti-gun left is to block the free association of like-minded people. The goal of the left is to silence people like you and me. They’ve already done as much damage to the 2nd Amendment as the constitution will allow, now it is time to go after the 1st Amendment and silence people they disagree with.
So, what can you do about it? Well, most will just do nothing, thinking the battle is unwinnable or justify their inaction with this or that issue will ‘never’ impact them. However, if you are reading this you can do like me. I intend to work to organize gun owners in my City and County. To rally to our cause and say, not here, not now, not ever. We the gun owning community of America ARE the voting majority. Get off your asses and get involved. Use the ‘Grassroots Strategies’ on the FOAC Website as a guide to getting involved. Start now, 2020 is not all that far away.
Defend our Republic, use the tool of the Republic to get out the vote, register new voters and educate elected leaders about how many of us there really are. Most elected officials are cowards, let’s show them our numbers and our resolve and help enlighten them as to the meaning of patriotism and respect for our constitution. Now people! Get moving!
You have nothing to lose but America herself.
Church Killer would have been a Threat Even if Air Force had Reported Him
“The DoD Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigated the circumstances surrounding the United States Air Force’s (USAF) failure to submit Devin Patrick Kelley’s criminal history information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in its databases,” a redacted December report advises. “Because his fingerprints were not submitted to the FBI CJIS Division, Kelley was able to purchase firearms, which he used to kill 26 people at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on November 5, 2017.”
Those failures were summarized:
“DoD policy required the submission of Kelley’s fingerprints to the FBI at several points. The first time that the USAF should have submitted his fingerprint cards to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division was after probable cause was determined in an investigation by the AFOSI Detachment 225 that Kelley assaulted his stepson and [first wife] Tessa Kelley. Additionally, a final disposition report should have been submitted to the FBI at the conclusion of Kelley’s court-martial. The USAF was also required to submit to the FBI Kelley’s fingerprints at other times, including when Kelley entered post-trial confinement following his court-martial.”
The bottom line:
“As a result of the investigations, Kelley was convicted by General Court-Martial of an assault on both his wife and stepson, which is reportable to the FBI in accordance with DoD policy. This conviction should have prevented Kelley from purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer.”
“From a licensed firearms dealer” is the crux. Anyone who believes a determined individual can’t obtain a firearm from other sources needs to explain recent headlines from Baltimore or Chicago.
The inescapable truth is anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. There are plenty of other ways to mass kill. As long as those who do evil walk among us, they will find a way. Remember that mass killings that racked up the highest death tolls, 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Happyland Dance Club fire, were all committed without guns.
While some are learning details of what a violent misfit the killer was from the IG report, there’s really not much new in it, at least for AmmoLand readers. Regulars will recall an exclusive from last May featuring the transcript of Kelley’s court-martial obtained after first filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Air Force, and then filing a lawsuit to get them to comply. You’ll find many of the details contained in this new report were made public over half-a-year ago.
What reporting failures acting as catalysts for “Fix NICS” and other legislation fail to account for is that ultimately, being a “prohibited person” cannot stop anyone so inclined from obtaining a gun. No so-called “commonsense gun safety laws” or record reporting enhancements can change that reality.
The way the citizen disarmament lobby processes and spins that is to demand “universal background checks,” that is, to end private transfers. Aside from the fact that no less an authority than the National Institute of Justice admits “Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration” (which would still only impact the ‘law-abiding”), experience shows us every time gun-grabbers get “concessions,” they always move on to the next set of infringement demands.
In this case, they change the focus and ensure an important takeaway from the Sutherland Springs story remains ignored by the general public:
Scott Peterson Had No Duty to Protect Shooting Victims
A few days ago, cowardly Broward Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Peterson, thru his attorney, filed a motion to have the wrongful death suit against him filed by Andrew Pollack (father of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Mass Shooting Victim Meadow Pollack) dismissed. Peterson's attorney argued he had no specific legal obligation to provide protection and therefore the suit must be rejected.
The judge hearing the motion denied it, and Pollack and his attorney had very strong (and well deserved in my opinion) criticisms of Peterson's willful refusal to act, openly calling him a coward, and rightly so.
Unfortunately, the Judge is wrong, and Peterson's attorney is correct from a legal standpoint.
There is long-standing and well-established legal precedent from both the Fed Courts as well as the Supreme Court that makes it crystal clear that the Police/Govt has NO specific duty to protect individual citizens or groups of Citizens and CANNOT be sued or held liable for failing to have done so.
See Supreme Court decisions in Castle Rock v Gonzales as well as DeShaney v Winnebago County and DC Court of Appeals in Warren v DC.
Warren v DC is probably one of the most well-known to those that pay attention to this stuff. The following is the relevant excerpt from that ruling.
“the duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists”
The language used in the other cases is somewhat different, but the blurb from Warren best encompasses the overall tenor of these long-standing decisions.
Earlier I mentioned, “for those that pay attention to this stuff” meaning its almost exclusively those who are attorneys and/or Pro 2A advocates, which have used these rulings to add significant weight to their arguments for the right to be armed inside or outside the home for self-defense.
Sadly, based on a review of the overwhelming majority of comments from the general public on various social media and internet news sites, far too many people have found this to be a truly shocking revelation that they were completely unaware of.
Almost all of the comments expressing outrage and horror. Horror at Peterson's attorney's argument for dismissal of the suit, as well as the responses to those like myself that point out the aforementioned cases invariably respond with reference to the popular “To Protect and Serve” motto (or variations of it) that is or used to be nearly ubiquitous on the side of Police vehicles.
People are genuinely shocked to learn that this motto or slogan, while certainly a respectable and honorable ideal to live up to, is NOT expressing a legal obligation.
Peterson's actions( or profound lack thereof) are without a doubt cowardly, detestable and morally reprehensible. Let me be clear, the cowardly dereliction of his moral duty is not and should not be inferred to apply to 99 percent of cops, including those from Coral Springs, who immediately rushed into the building as soon as they arrived.
But there is a distinct difference between a moral obligation and a legal one. And unfortunately, legally speaking, Pollack's lawsuit against Peterson is highly unlikely to prevail.
If there is any measure of “good” that could be derived some such an unspeakable horror is that more and more people are waking up to the reality. Not only can the Police NOT be everywhere at once and in fact very rarely actually stop a crime in progress, but that they have no actual duty to protect or defend individual citizens from predators or the mentally ill. Reawakening people to the idea that they are their own first responders and ultimately the ones responsible for their and their loved ones safety and self-defense.
New Study Shows NO Relationship Between CCW, Homicide or Violent Crime
A new study of violent crime and concealed carry law found no correlation between them.
The study compared homicide and violent crime at the state level with changes in concealed carry law over a 30-year period, from 1986 to 2015. During this period there were substantial changes in the laws regulating the carry of concealed weapons. From the study:
During the study period, all states moved to adopt some form of concealed-carry legislation, with a trend toward less restrictive legislation. After adjusting for state and year, there was no significant association between shifts from restrictive to nonrestrictive carry legislation on violent crime and public health indicators. Adjusting further for poverty and unemployment did not significantly influence the results.
This study demonstrated no statistically significant association between the liberalization of state level firearm carry legislation over the last 30 years and the rates of homicides or other violent crime. Policy efforts aimed at injury prevention and the reduction of firearm-related violence should likely investigate other targets for potential intervention.
The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
This study confirms what a number of other studies have found: Having more people without criminal records, carrying concealed firearms, does not increase violent crime.
The study examined the levels of homicide and violent crime when states moved from “no carry” to “may carry” to “shall issue” to “unrestricted carry.”
It is a significant finding to be published in a medical journal, as most papers I have read about the subject, in health-related journals, make apparent errors in data selection and the scope of the study.
This study avoids the errors of scope by looking at the data over all the states for a 30-year period. It avoids selection bias by considering all homicides and violent crime, not just those involving guns.
This study only looks at detail down to the state level. The studies were done by Dr. John Lott. Lott looks at data down to the county level, not just the states. Lott examines concealed carry by looking at the number of actual permits issued, not only when the law changed. That level of examination is likely to find subtle differences.
Only a small number of studies claim that homicides or violent crime go up as more people carry concealed weapons legally. They suffer from limited scope and/or data selection bias.
Dr. Lott has debunked studies that claim more guns equal more crimes.
This study differs from studies done by Dr. Lott. It attempts to examine the effect of “unrestricted carry” also known as Constitutional Carry. Dr. Lott's methods have difficulty with measuring the impact of Constitutional Carry. There are no permit numbers to track with Constitutional Carry.
This paper will be used to counter the claims of studies of limited scope, which suffer from data selection bias.
Limiting data to only “gun deaths” or “gun violence” is a clear data selection bias as it prevents any consideration of a weapons substitution effect or deterrence from self-defense cases.
Limiting the scope of research to only one state, or just a few years, allows researchers to pick a state or years that agree with their favored thesis.
Public health journals have generally been willing to publish poorly researched studies if it validates preconceptions that “guns are bad.”
Perhaps public health researchers will read this paper, and see the effect of biased data selection and limited scope in the other studies.
Important Quote: If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28, 1787
Featured FOAC Video#1: Atty. Adam Kraut Reveals the Truth Behind the Bump Stock Ban: https://foac-pac.org/Videos/25
Featured FOAC Video#2: Nancy Pelosi Exposes Democrat Smear Tactics: https://foac-pac.org/Videos/22
On behalf of myself and the officers of FOAC we hope that the spirit of Christmas and the echo of the carols and the lights of the Tree bring happiness and Joy into your life and home!
Have a blissful and happy holiday!
Yours in Freedom!
Kim Stolfer, President