PA Bill Number: HB726
Title: In sentencing, further providing for sentences for offenses committed with firearms.
Description: In sentencing, further providing for sentences for offenses committed with firearms. ...
Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY
Last Action Date: Jan 23, 2020
Firearms Seminar hosted by PA Rep. Mike Puskaric - 01/25/2020
Carrick Sportsmen’s Club 3301 Ridge Road, South Park, PA
Keep Cook Rally - 01/25/2020
Valley Inn Social Hall 34 Snyder Avenue, Monongahela, PA
Concealed Carry Education Seminar hosted by PA Senator Doug Mastriano - 01/25/2020
South Mountain Fish and Game Club 11547 Loop Road, Fayetteville, PA
FOAC's Weekly Message For Sunday November 24th 2019 :: 11/24/2019
Does the hypocrisy of the Anti-Gun crowd make you wonder if they're actually capable of rational thought? Even the former President of the anti-gun group The Brady Campaign has spoken about this! As an example, I’m sure you have heard some anti-gunner ‘or’ oblivious individual say, “Nobody needs an AR-15,” or “Nobody needs a gun in their home,” or “Nobody needs to carry a gun in public.”
The implication is that if you don't “need” a gun, you shouldn't have one.
As if THEY were the ones to grant you your God-given right, based on “their” interpretation of need. The Anti-Gunners say these things to sway public opinion and make gun-ownership look unreasonable and unnecessary in the modern world.
But let's look at ‘real’ numbers and talk about the “need” to own a gun. Now we all know that the Founders didn't call the Constitutional Amendments, the “Bill of Needs” and although we know that gun-ownership is our right, there may be a significant argument to be made for the need to carry a gun. In our home, at the grocery store or anywhere else for that matter.
According to a study by Dr. Gary Kleck, with confirming data from the CDC, there are approximately 2.5 million defensive gun uses in America every year. That means 2.5 million lives saved because people had guns in their possession when they were attacked. 46% of those were women. That doesn't necessarily mean Good Guys killing Bad Guys. It most often meant the mere presence of a gun deterred an attacker. In other words,
“The attacker knew his potential victim had a gun, and chose not to attack.”
There are just over 300 million people in America (328,835,763 in 2018). There are just over 1 million successful violent crimes in America per year (1,206,836 in 2018 / FBI data). That’s roughly 300 million people|1 million attacks. That's basically a 1 in 300 chance that you'll be the victim of one of those attacks. I don't know about you, but I don't like those odds.
Twice as many violent attacks are prevented than carried out, because the victim had a gun.
- What would the result be if more people were denied their right to carry a gun?
- What would the result be if more people exercised their right to carry?
Many Anti-Gunners will tell you that their odds of being attacked are far less likely because they don't live in the bad part of town, yet they govern those parts of town through the politicians they support and vote for along with the policies they advocate for. The thing the Anti-Gunners ignore is, if their odds of being the victim in a violent attack go down, someone else's odds have to go up because the number of people didn't change and the number of yearly attacks didn't change. They'll tell you that we need more gun-restrictions while watching innocent people die in high crime areas and gun-free zones.
There's more to their hypocrisy.
Rather than admit to the world that gun-ownership is a right and also essential for a safe and orderly society, the gun-grabbers shrug away ‘any’ pretense that they have blood on their hands while using the death-toll numbers from high crime areas to push for more gun-control. They stand on the graves of those they have put in harm's way and they use anti-gun propaganda to fool people who aren't paying attention, into believing that they care. Human-violence in America is not an argument for more senseless gun-restrictions, it's an argument for more armed-preparedness and firearms training. The 2ndAmendment is NOT a privilege. It's our right.
After action report: North Allegheny school District and Moms Demand Action event
We reported, last weekend, on a planned anti-gun event by Moms Demand Action that was scheduled at the North Allegheny Peebles Elementary school for this past November 21 wherein they were purporting to pass themselves off as school safety experts with a panel that was made up of one medical doctor (pediatrician) and the rest anti-gun activists from Moms Demand Action.
This event drew a great deal of angst from gun owners in this district as well as throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania because of the reputation of the anti-gun organization and their use of a taxpayer-funded facility to spread their venom.
Numerous FOAC members attended this event, as well as other concerned citizens, to keep an eye on the handling of the issues and the outcome of this event. The report below is from FOAC member Robert Howard and we thank him for his diligence in putting this account together!
Approximately 50 adults attended. I would guess 15 were wearing red T-shirts from Moms Demand Action. Another 10 appeared to be supporting the event and the remaining 25 appeared to be attending to see what was “going down” with most of the 25 being made up of gun owners hoping to be able to provide input.
It should also be noted that the local Democrat committee was helping to sponsor and promote this event as well!
Although advertised as “School Safety Panel Discussion” the literature featured at the table was related to the following:
(1) “School Safety and Responsible Firearm Storage.” From Everytown For Gun Safety
(2) Literature from The Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy
(3) BE SMART (This organization is funded by Everytown For Gun Safety)
The panel was introduced by MOMS DEMAND ACTION.
In summary the event was the “soft side” of the anti-gun movement. There was no legislative or campaign organization promoted or discussed. I note that in the audience there was one elected official and one announced PA House candidate.
The event dealt with the following:
(1) Safely securing guns at home and in vehicles so they are unloaded and not accessible
(2) Responsible behavior around guns (for example, don’t let children touch real or play guns)
(3) When your child goes to other homes to visit or play ask about the presence of unsecured guns
(4) Recognize the role of guns in suicide
(5) The role of the pediatrician in curtailing gun violence (opposed the “Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act --- passed in Florida)
(6) The role and use of school psychologist to recognize and prevent violent behaviors with the following framework to prevent school shootings
- Integrated learning
- Implement multiple systems
- Access to school mental health assets
- Integrate use of staff resources
- Physical & Psychological barriers (did mention only School Resource Officers with guns, not other employees, teachers etc.)
- Positive school discipline
- Takes time
(7) Special needs students may be different, but they are not responsible of gun violence (I think it was stated that mentally ill are responsible for only 1% of gun violence --- however, I was a little startled by this use of terminology so I may not have heard it correctly)
(8) No evidence that active shooter drills are effective --- in fact they harm children --- all children with an IEP should have included in the IEP an exemption from or how to react to drills
Questions from the audience (written only and some were edited) included:
- Why is the School Resource Officer armed?
- Why doesn’t the media show gun shot images so people can see how bad it is?
- How should bullying be addressed?
- How many school psychologists does a school have?
- What can I do about my school not notifying me in advance of drills?
- What about the effectiveness of faith practices in reducing suicide and violence?
- How likely is it that schools have access to psychologists?
(1) The event was a good review of “apple pie.” Who can oppose the proper storage and use of firearms? Who can oppose the identification of mental health issues and constructive correction action to protect others and the individuals at risk? Who can oppose ensuring that all students, including those with IEPs are properly cared for and appreciated as valued children of God?
(2) While I appreciate the knowledge and information provided, I would not want these people making school safety decisions for my employees, staff, and children. They have the best of intentions. However, good intentions will not protect when the unthinkable occurs. When inadequate parental supervision, school psychologists, and even local law enforcement fails (as has been the case elsewhere) I want my child, my teacher, and my administrator protected by more than the good intentions of many professionals. I want employed what works ---- and that may include armed resources within the schools to immediately neutralize and prevent the unthinkable. Anything less is a risk that should not be taken with your children, teachers, and others.
Public interrogation of the panel was NOT allowed and thus genuine interaction with those attending (the public) was stymied by the well-honed reluctance of so-called experts from Moms Demand Action so as to avoid any embarrassment over their one-sided presentation and lack of knowledge of the issues.
Further, some observers believe that the superintendent and several members of the school board were attempting to facilitate this event due to their bias in favor of gun control.
Our deepest gratitude to the gun owners who were willing volunteer their time to attend this event and keep an eye on the anti-gun misfits!
Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action: Who Are They And Why Are They So Dangerous
The one group at the forefront of trying to take away our right to keep and bear arms today is perhaps the best-funded such group in history. Despite the attempt to have a grass-roots name, this is a group largely funded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor currently running for president.
The Everytown group, which counts Moms Demand Action as its force of grass-roots activists, is proving to be very potent. It’s not hard. Bloomberg’s money has been able to provide a sustained grassroots force that past groups like the Brady Campaign and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence haven’t been able to really build.
Backed by Bloomberg’s billions, Everytown simply will flood a state with wall-to-wall TV advertising. In addition, Bloomberg’s group has a director of “cultural engagement.” In short, if you want to know why the social stigmatization of gun ownership and support for the Second Amendment has taken off, this is the group to thank for it. The fact of the matter is that Bloomberg’s gun-control empire is re-shaping the political landscape – and not in favor of those who support freedom and rights.
Bloomberg’s resources have been a huge game-changer. For the longest time, the biggest strength that pro-Second Amendment groups had was the ability to mobilize thousands of grass-roots supporters in a Congressional district to do all of the little things – really, Democracy 101 stuff – that either supported candidates or who helped educate the public in the legislative and political arenas.
The. Bloomberg has managed to fuse an offensive on not just the political and legislative fronts, but he also leverages Hollywood, and he leverages “research” into gun violence as a public health problem. While the Violence Policy Center long pushed that, Bloomberg has again packaged it in a form that is delivered by Moms Demand Action.
It should be noted that this full-spectrum fight is also being waged with a long-term plan in mind. He is not only an incredibly wealthy anti-Second Amendment extremist; he also is very strategically and tactically astute – far more so than we’ve seen from other anti-Second Amendment groups in the past. Just how good is Everytown’s strategic acuity?
Everytown has shown a cold ruthlessness not seen from other groups. Bloomberg’s group has set in motion a chain of events that poses an existential threat to all pro-Second Amendment groups.
How can Everytown be beaten? The first step is unity. The second step is to hit Bloomberg – and his group – where it is vulnerable. There are three areas: One is Bloomberg’s nanny-state tendencies in general, ranging from the size of one’s soda to his environmental agenda. The other is the fact that he is an out-of-touch billionaire who is more than little hypocritical on some of these issues. The third is that his group peddles phony caricatures about gun owners – and those who support the Second Amendment.
The third step is to begin a long-term effort of our own. The fact is, we must build a pro-Second Amendment culture in this country, to make the thought of punishing millions of Americans for crimes and acts of madness they did not commit repulsive. We must work every day to prove Bloomberg is a liar about us.
If we fail, Bloomberg may well succeed where Sarah Brady, Pete Shields, and other gun control groups have failed.
California Gun Laws Continue to Fail, Exposing the Lie of Gun Control Groups
Once again, the Nation's most ‘restrictive’ gun laws have failed repeatedly, in California, to live up to the billing of anti-gun groups and protect its citizens.
On Sunday night (11/17), around 40 people were gathered at a home watching football at a party in Fresno, CA, when at least two gunmen entered the residence's backyard on foot and opened fired into the crowd standing outside. The killers managed to hit ten of the people, killing four men and wounding six others. Three of the four killed died at the scene of the crime. One victim died at the Community Regional Medical Center.
All the victims were Asian adult men. There were women and children in attendance at the party, but the killers did not shoot anyone besides the adult males. All the victims were between the ages of 23 and 40.
The suspects managed to flee the scene before the police arrived. Police have not been able to determine the getaway car or the exact numbers of suspects. Deputy Chief Reid believes that the shooting was unlikely to be a random act of violence. He thinks the attackers targeted the party or someone at the party. They do not believe the attack to be gang-related but also do not have a motive. They also noted that there is no history of any disturbances at the residence.
Police are urging anyone with information should come forward and speak with them.
“What we do know is that this was a gathering, a family and friend gathering in the backyard,” Lt. Bill Dooley, a spokesman for the Fresno Police Department, told reporters during the press conference. “Everyone was watching football this evening when unknown suspects approached the residence, snuck into the backyard, and opened fire.”
At least two of the victims shot were famous Hmong singers. Xyy Lee died at the scene, and JN Vang underwent surgery for the injuries he sustained in the attack. Lee's videos have garnered over 17 million views on YouTube. The Hmong are an ethnic group that originated in the mountainous region of East and Southeast Asian. Many immigrated to California after the Vietnam War.
Ohio Supreme Court to Hear Gun and Alcohol Case That Could be a Precedent Setting Case Putting ALL Citizens at Risk in Their Own Homes
“The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments in February to decide whether a law prohibiting gun owners from carrying firearms while intoxicated should be applied inside a gun owner’s home,” the Associated Press reported Saturday. Seeing an opportunity for a new and intrusive way to catch more gun owners in the disarmament net, the gun-grabbers are arguing that upholding an arrest is necessary for “the safety of Ohio residents and responding police officers.”
That dovetails nicely (for them) with an overall strategy to disarm citizens convicted of driving under the influence. And it moves things from the public setting right into the home, which is where the long game goal has always been.
As a report, maddeningly few details are given for something with such potential for disenfranchising citizens from a fundamental right.
We’re talking State v. Weber, a case where despite the defendant’s wife telling police there was no longer a problem, they pressed their way in. There they found her admittedly inebriated but nonthreatening husband who, while he did have a shotgun, told police it was not loaded, which they proved for themselves. Had the man been intent on violence, they’d have known.
Nevertheless, the narrative from the appeals court opinion affirming the appellant’s conviction raises a major concern, aside from those of legality and probable cause:
“Furthermore, R.C.2923.15 does not, as suggested by appellant, criminalize the mere presence of a firearm in the home of an intoxicated person. Nor does the statute, as suggested by appellant, prohibit a person from carrying or using a firearm after consuming alcoholic beverages. Rather, the statute only prohibits the use or carrying of a firearm by a person who has imbibed to the point of intoxication.”
What’s unreasonable about that?
The “point of intoxication,” as defined by Ohio’s OVI laws is a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.08, or 0.02 if under 21. Significantly, a citizen old enough to serve in the military can reach that level after only one drink. And it’s fair to ask how many of us, especially with the holidays approaching, will be inclined to consume several adult beverages over the course of a family gathering. What if you’re carrying, and not all blurry-eyed and speech-slurring like the hapless Mr. Weber was reported to be, but just right there at the legal limit for driving? Where is the “compelling state interest” to define that as the limit point?
But no big deal, right? What are the chances you’ll be caught? Plus, most of us behave, even if we’ve had a few. But that’s hardly the point because we know from experience that what the gun-grabbers do is take their incremental gains and from there press on for more. Why not add court-sentenced “AA” meeting attendees to the other “watch lists” the prohibitionists are demanding?
Still, this isn’t a “popular” case for most “gun rights” lobbying groups to make a big noise defending—who wants to endure the optics of arguing “guns for drunks”? Regardless, the fact remains that there are already ways to deal with people who brandish, and who attack others with weapons.
This isn’t about public safety, it’s about another inroad to citizen disarmament. As for people who have proven they can’t or won’t control themselves, taking their tools but leaving them able to harm others is never the solution.
How is it that Judges Can Ignore the 2nd Amendment?
For as long as I can remember, I have been hearing or reading versions of this argument:
The Second Amendment is clear. All we have to do is bring a case before the court(s) and we win. Why doesn't the NRA, local lawyer, local defendant or whoever, just push a case forward? The law is clear!
When I was young and naive, I wondered the same thing. Why wasn't the NRA bringing a Second Amendment case before the courts, and specifically, to the Supreme Court?
A more general question is: How do judges routinely escape consequences when violating their oaths of office; when implementing their preferred policy instead of enforcing the law? How are they able to escape consequences when they do this instead of enforcing the U.S. Constitution and state constitutional protections of the right to keep and bear arms?
The designers and writers of the Constitution set up a system to limit governmental powers through checks and balances inside and outside the government. The legislature has the power to set up courts and impeach judges; the President has the power to appoint judges; Judges have the power to judge cases, which involves an intrinsic ability to interpret the law, as written by the legislature.
In addition to internal governmental checks and balances, the writers of the Constitution depended on the people to limit governmental power through elections and by petitioning the government, informed by a free press and freedom of speech. That depended on people's understanding the governmental processes and having a common understanding of natural law and Judeo-Christian moral law. Public outrage can result in a check on judges who put their political preferences above the law. A final check against tyranny was the right to keep and bear arms.
An insidious ideology undermining of all these concepts crept into the United States about 1900, though it had beginnings much earlier, and has always had a following. It was the philosophy known as Progressivism, or more generally Leftism. Secular Humanism contains many of its elements.
Progressive ideology has been accepted by most of the knowledge elites in the United States for decades. It has taken over academia, particularly the “elite” colleges. It has taken over the mass media for 50 years or more. It has taken over almost all the educational establishment, and most of the entertainment industry. Here are some key Progressive themes:
- Man is not limited by God.
- There is no absolute right or wrong.
- Limits on government power are bad.
- Rule by administrators is better than rule by representatives
- Policy should be made by experts, not politicians
- The elite have the right and duty to rule.
- The elite have the right and duty to create public opinion and control the flow of information.
One of the most insidious ideas, promoted by Progressives, is the concept of a “living Constitution”. This eliminates effective Constitutional restraints on government. Judges are to implement Progressive policy preferences that exist at the time the ruling is made. Those preferences change with time and whim.
In the American judicial system, Judges are to follow the law fairly and impartially, with reference to the written law and deference to the legislature. They are *not* to create their own law, or to work to advance a particular agenda, or to advantage or disadvantage particular groups. When they create law contrary to the U.S. Constitution or state constitutions, they violate their oaths. When they advance a political agenda by their selective interpretation of law, they violate their oaths.
Honorable people expect the legislature to impeach judges who violate their oaths. Most of the legislature has been accepting Progressive premises for 40-50 years or longer. Those who have not accepted Progressive premises are fearful of the outrage of the Progressive media.
Just imagine how different appellate and supreme court decisions would be if the legacy (progressive) media consistently and routinely castigated judges for violating their oath of office. Image how different the decisions would be if the legacy (progressive) media called for judges who violated their oaths to be impeached.
It is easier for a population to change its elite than it is for the elite to change their population.
President Donald Trump is appointing a record number of Article III judges. Article III judges are those in the federal district and circuit courts, and at the Supreme Court. He has appointed 160 out of 870 Article III judges so far. He will likely appoint another 40 during his first term. He may appoint another 100 during his second term. That would be 320, or 37% of all the Article III judges. There are already some judges on the bench who are originalists and textualists. Originalists and textualists cannot be ideological Progressives, without constant conflicts in guiding principles.
As Progressive judges are replaced with honorable judges, an expectation of judicial rulings consistent with the Constitution will no longer be naive.
No elite gives up power willingly. The media elite are fighting to keep their power with all their might.
Armed Citizen in Oklahoma Stops Walmart Killer
On Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, at about 9 a.m., a man, confirmed as Yayo Varela, Jr. killed two people in the Walmart Parking lot in Duncan, Oklahoma.
A witness at the Walmart double murder in Duncan, confirms the murderer was stopped by an armed citizen. The murderer killed a man and a woman in a parked red sedan in the parking lot. The woman is reported to have worked in the Walmart in question.
A witness told ABC news: “He told him to stop, then after that, he did stop, and then the gunman turned the weapon on himself.”
The Daily Mail has reported the woman was the estranged wife of the murderer. From the dailymail.co.uk:
A man shot and killed his estranged wife and her new boyfriend in a Walmart parking lot in Oklahoma before turning the gun on himself when an armed citizen intervened.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, a man wearing all black opened fire outside the supercenter in Duncan, which is located at 3393 North 81 Highway. Duncan is about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City.
Officers from the Duncan Police Department said the wife and her boyfriend were found dead inside their car.
So far, it is impossible to know if this was the start of a mass public killing. Some mass killings have included domestic killings. Both domestic killings and mass public killings are stopped with armed intervention, often by privately armed individuals. It is common for both domestic and mass killers to commit suicide when confronted with armed force.
The windshield of the car shows nine bullet holes, three on the driver's side, six on the passenger's side.
The FBI, which only recently started tracking intervention by armed citizens, states that concealed handgun permit holders stop 8% of active shooters. The Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) reports the FBI only catches one half of the incidents.
In the United States, people with carry permits number over 18.66 million. That is over 7 percent of adults in the United States. The number of people who can legally carry handguns is much larger, because sixteen states now have Constitutional Carry.
CPRC Updating Cases Where Concealed Handgun Permit Holders Stopped Mass Murders:
Anti-Gun Quote of the Week: Mom’s Demand Action leader, Shannon Watts, said, in a prolonged interaction between Watts and Bethany Mandel, the latter of which wrote an op-ed in The New York Times about why she became a gun owner.
Bethany: when I was a kid, a man tried to climb in my bedroom window and my mother scared him off with a gun
Shannon Watts: that’s because you’re white pic.twitter.com/zbOl4SFUwu
1st Point to Ponder: Anti-Gun Presidential Candidate Joe Biden recently told a crowd of supporters in New Hampshire, “I believe in the Second Amendment, but nobody says you can have a round…a…a magazine with a hundred clips in it.”
2nd Point to Ponder: Speaking of Presidential Candidates and ‘Stupid Statements’, Elizabeth Warren said in a Tweet, “Traffic violence kills thousands and injures even more Americans every year. On World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Crash Victims, I'm sending my love to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones. It's time to #EndTrafficViolence.
This is the woman/candidate/US Senator who complains about Trump’s Tweets? Really??
3rd Point to Ponder: Anti-Gun Illinois State Rep. arrested for violating the gun laws he supports: Curtis J. Tarver II, is an Illinois state representative. His accomplishments include voting to make it tougher to get a Firearm Owner Identification Card, letting his FOID expire, and then getting arrested for failing to surrender his revoked CCL permit.
Tarver was busted in a routine traffic stop Thursday night on Chicago’s south side. One of his headlights was out. When asked by the officer if he had any weapons, he turned over his concealed handgun and his CCL.
A CCL which he’d been notified had been revoked, due to his lapsed FOID. A CCL he had been ordered to surrender to the State Police, but hadn’t.
From the Chicago Tribune . . .
In his statement, Tarver said he renewed his concealed carry license this summer and when his Firearms Owner Identification card later expired Tarver said he renewed it too. Under Illinois law, a person must have a valid FOID card to have a concealed carry license.
Founding Father’s Statement on Freedom: 'Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us.'- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Francis W. Gilmer, 1816
Yours in Freedom!
Kim Stolfer, President
The December FOAC meeting is a special meeting and details can be found at this event link: https://foac-pac.org/Events/256
Additionally, and as a reminder, every gun owner can participate in the December 8, 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/156448331
One-tap Mobile: US: +19292056099,, 156448331# US (New York)
Dial by location: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 156 448 331
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adSioEAVyf