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 September 15th 2019 :: 09/15/2019
Well, the floodgates are about to open and the right to bear arms, the Second Amendment, and gunowners are about to take center stage! With Congress back in session, the Pennsylvania legislature coming back into session, and the upcoming municipal elections, the multiple political dilemmas facing us are enormous challenges that we either face or watch our freedoms be swept away!
The hearings coming up on September 24th and 25th in Harrisburg are an incredibly important opportunity to defend our rights but it can also be very dangerous if gunowners choose to sit back and ignore the efforts of the anti-gun groups to manipulate politicians!
When you factor in the efforts to silence discordant discussion that goes against the political narrative of the far left, it seems almost sinister in the ways they are trying to silence open and frank debate! We see many conservatives seeming to hold back for fear of being branded with some label or another and, it may sound cliché, that is the tactic of socialism!
In what world has any of us ever foreseen the likelihood that a presidential candidate would get up and say something like this, “Hell, yes,” O’Rourke blurted, “we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47!”??
Thanks to O’Rourke, Democrats have just graduated from being the ‘party of gun control’ to officially being the ‘party of gun confiscation,’ and no gun owner is going to forget that.
After each mass shooting the demand for more gun control rises in proportion to the death toll. Few Democrat politicians forego the opportunity to denounce guns in civilian hands. Even a few Republicans now vie for their place in the line before the microphones. But all this clamor for gun control is another BIG LIE.
Even if that progressive wet dream - repeal of the Second Amendment - happened, gun owners would defy the ban, burying their Cosmoline-coated guns in PVC pipe. Merciless enforcement might scare some, but there would remain hundreds of millions of firearms in patriot hands.
The most remarkable aspect of gun control advocacy is that proponents cannot explain how their “common sense,” “reasonable” measures will reduce gunshot lethality.
Background checks are a perfect example of the unwillingness to acknowledge the ineffectiveness of a gun-control measure. For more than 20 years we have had in place an extensive regime, the National Instant Background Check System+ the Pennsylvania Instant Check System, required of all retail dealers. Lost in the shuffle of the public debate is the fact that virtually all mass killers have passed background checks.
A few stole their guns or bought them illegally, violating state and/or federal laws mandating background checks on private sales. Also, straw buyers routinely buy guns on behalf of prohibited persons — yet these violations are rarely investigated or prosecuted or even mentioned.
We should strive to improve the existing background check system for licensed dealers before expanding its scope, because it produces far too many false positive (and temporary) prohibitions. Universal” background checks will not be the magic bullet that stops criminal ‘gun violence’.
“Assault weapons” bans are another example of a gun-control proposal that doesn’t stand scrutiny. The FBI reports more homicides by hammers, clubs and cutlery THAN BY ALL RIFLES. Yet, no one speaks of banning knives or clubs (except in England, of course).
So, just what would be banned as an “assault weapon” anyway?
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy was asked: “What is a barrel shroud? And why should we regulate that?” She finally famously admitted: “I actually don’t know what a barrel shroud is . . . I believe it a shoulder thing that goes up.” A barrel shroud is just a fore grip that prevents the user burning his hand on a hot barrel. Neither this, nor any fore grip, have any influence on lethality of “military-type guns”.
There is no practical definition of an “assault weapon” that distinguishes it from other types of semiautomatic firearms and it would lead inevitably down the slippery slope to outlawing all semi-automatic firearms. But it’s politically and practically impossible to confiscate the ubiquitous semi-auto long gun in America, while handguns have already been defined by the Supreme Court as in common use and therefore inviolable.
Gun control advocates know this and refuse to debate the effectiveness or economics of implementation and enforcement. When challenged they always retreat immediately behind the shield of “We have to do SOMETHING!”
Stated clearly, we are being lied to. Politicians promise gun control to satisfy their fearful constituents, yet there is never any measurable impact on gunshot deaths or wounding.
Why? Because no gun control measure short of successful nationwide confiscation of all firearms could substantially affect these casualties.
Why do progressives risk jeopardizing the rest of their platform for the promise of “reasonable” and “common-sense”, but impotent, “gun control”? Why do they pursue incremental gun control that can’t deliver on its false promise of reducing gunshot mortality and morbidity?
FOAC Successfully Challenges Harrisburg in Commonwealth Court
On September 12th, this past week, Commonwealth Court smacked down the inane arguments of Harrisburg in trying to prevent challenges to their illegal gun laws that violate Pennsylvania preemption. This ruling, in a very opportune moment, has laid the foundation for legal challenge to the Harrisburg ordinances that will ultimately lead to a finding against the city!
In a 7-0 decision, Commonwealth Court ruled that Firearms Owners Against Crime and three of our members may challenge the constitutionality of four Harrisburg gun laws.
The previous precedent on standing, set a decade ago by the court, found that lawsuits challenging local laws could only be brought by individuals who were about to or had already broken the law.
“It makes little sense to wait for appellants to break the law, which we presume they do not want to do, before they can challenge it,” Judge P. Kevin Brobson wrote in the decision. “It also makes little sense to force law-abiding citizens to rely on law breakers to advocate their interests.”
Firearms Owners Against Crime brought our suit against Harrisburg in 2015, challenging five locally passed laws.
As you know, firearms owners against crime has sued the city of Pittsburgh for similar preemption violations. Mayor Peduto signed these three gun control ordinances on April 9th of this year. When the news media contacted Mayor Peduto’s office for a comment on this Commonwealth Court decision it was almost amusing in that the mayor’s office had no comment.
The mayor’s office had no comment on the court decision.
Are Gun Control Groups and Advocates Responsible for Mass-Shootings?
The most powerful tool the Anti-Gunners have is the power of perception. If they can re-direct your focus, they can manipulate public opinion. They do this through the use of terminology like “gun-violence,” “weapons of war,” “assault weapon,” and many other terms that evoke an irrational fear of guns. Along with terminology, the anti-gun crowd will use “statistics” calculated in biased academic studies that are done for the purpose of proving a biased anti-gun result. Often times the “studies” are conducted using anti-gun lobbying money, then reported on in “progressive” publications, and verified by left-wing biased “fact checkers.”
Once these studies are released and made public, groups like Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety, peddle the faulty information to any and every prejudiced media outlet that will regurgitate it. The narrative that makes its way into your living room on the evening news can be very convincing if you’re not paying close attention. If you doubt the narrative, you can bet the most popular search engine will already have supporting articles waiting for you on the first page of search results. The scary gun-narrative is designed to create fear in the hearts of people who don’t know any better, while urging them to support more gun restrictions. The irresponsible people who push that narrative don’t care about saving lives as much as they want to ban guns, even if it means people will die in the process.
The message is always the same. “We must do something,” but do they really want to do something that actually works to save lives and stop crime? That “something” is always implied to be more gun-restrictions, even though we have thousands of gun-restrictions on the books that have proven to be ineffective at stopping human-violence. What if the anti-gun smokescreen is really a cover-up for a much more nefarious culprit?
In an article by Dan Roberts, Dan talks about pharmaceutical drug use often being directly linked to shootings and how mind-altering medications can convince traumatized youth to harm themselves and others.
When referring to a group of mass-killings, Dan Roberts said:
“… all of the perpetrators were either actively taking powerful psychotropic drugs or had been at some point in the immediate past before they committed their crimes.”
A list provided by the Los Angeles Times of the shooters it looked at, clearly reveals that almost every single one was taking Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Effexor, Xanax, Ambien, Lexapro, trazodone, and/or some other similar mood- and mind-altering drug right around the time when they flipped a switch and went on shooting sprees.
“Those focusing on further firearms bans or magazine restrictions are clearly focusing on the wrong issue and asking the wrong questions, either as a deliberate attempt to hide these links, or out of complete and utter ignorance,” Roberts contends.
So why do the Anti-2ndAmendment Radicals refuse to talk about this?
Could it be, they profit monetarily from their anti-gun position? Could it be they really do believe that they can have their Socialist-Utopia by disarming their own fellow citizens? Could it be they really are ignorant to the truth. Or could it be, they would be embarrassed to admit that they have been wrong about the actual causes of human-violence the entire time?
Regardless of their motivation, which could be a combination of all the above, the gun-grabbers have a responsibility to the families who have lost loved-ones in these avoidable mass-killings. While the Anti-2nd Amendment Radicals perpetuate the gun-lie, ignore the real causes of human-violence and work hard to disarm law-abiding citizens, lives are lost. The question is, are the gun-grabbers in any way responsible for these deaths? The anti-gun media and the dishonest anti-gun lobbying groups have a responsibility to tell the truth. In the meantime, it is the responsibility of all of us, to call them out.
As Red Flag/ERPO Laws Continue To Be Pushed, Here Are 7 Things You Need to Know
With deadly Red Flag laws seemingly cropping up now in every state and the GOP giving every indication of caving at the Federal level, here are seven things you need to know to protect your property and rights in the face of the coming flood of red flag law misuses and abuses.
1) Privately photograph your firearms and record their make, model, type, caliber, serial number and condition, in case they “disappear” if seized by the Government. Store the information “off site.”
2) Have homeowner’s insurance and an umbrella policy. If a family member wrongfully uses a firearm, you may be sued for failing to “Red Flag” them.
3) Know the gun laws and make certain that you do not possess anything prohibited. This includes accessories such as prohibited magazines, bump stocks, etc. If these prohibited items are seized under Red Flag, you may also face criminal charges.
4) Have an attorney knowledgeable about guns and Red Flag laws ready to help you. You might want to consider getting a legal protection plan that may cover Red Flag seizures such as Firearms Legal Protection. (See https://firearmslegal.com/ )
5) Never physically resist a Red Flag raid. Gun owners have been shot and killed by the Government during Red Flag raids.
6) Ask for your attorney and do not make any statement until you first speak with your attorney. You have a 6th Amendment right to counsel – do not waive it.
7) Remember: Due Process now comes AFTER the Government takes your guns first.
The Facts About Rifles and Crime
When it comes to our 2nd Amendment rights, one major flashpoint seems to be over the modern multi-purpose semiautomatic firearms, and in particular, the AR-15. Now, for those of us who are familiar with Justice Department statistics, we know that rifles are rarely used in murders – in fact, you’re more at risk from fists and feet – 696 to 403 in 2017, the last full year of stats available at this writing.
In fact, the total number of people killed by rifles of ALL types (not just the AR-15 that people like Beto O’Rourke and Eric Swalwell are demanding people be ready to turn in) for the last five years is less than the total number of people killed by knives in 2017 alone (1,582 to 1,591). Tell that to an average American in normal circumstances, and they’d come away with a clear sense that the AR-15 is not the problem.
So why are anti-2nd Amendment extremists getting so much mileage from proposals to ban the AR-15? Well, the reason is that mass shootings in public, like those in El Paso and Dayton, get a lot of media coverage. Why? Because they are rare. Recent research by the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that there were 71 such shootings from 1998 through June of 2019. Now, anti-Second Amendment extremists try to mess around with the definition, but CPRC uses the FBI’s definition.
The fact is, in many of the worst mass shootings, like Las Vegas, Newtown, Parkland, and elsewhere, the weapon used is an AR-15 or some similar rifle. It is also rare, as the CPRC research shows. According to their data on mass shootings in public places, the weapon most of the shooters use is a handgun, either on its own, or in conjunction with a long gun. Rifles are involved in one way or another with 28 percent of mass shootings. With handguns, it’s 87 percent. (The figures add up to more than 100 percent because some of the mass shooters will use more than one weapon.)
So, there is “newsworthiness” in those shootings, and under normal journalistic standards, they would generate an outsized amount of coverage. But we are dealing with a national media that outside of some outlets like Fox News, generally imposes double standards to the benefit of anti-2nd Amendment extremists.
However, the real problem is that with media complicity, anti-Second Amendment extremists have managed to paint a picture that is at odds with the facts for the purpose of frightening millions of Americans into unjustly infringing on the rights of fellow Americans. This has been a campaign going back three decades, egged on by Josh Sugarmann, who urged that anti-Second Amendment extremists exploit confusion and the cosmetic features of rifles like the AR-15 to advance the assault on our rights.
Beating back this assault will not be easy. Already we have seen Beto O’Rourke push corporate gun control, particularly the financial blacklisting of gun manufacturers that do not embrace the anti-Second Amendment agenda he is pushing. But if Second Amendment supporters can lay out the facts in a manner that comes across well, they will have a fighting chance.
Here’s an FYI to Democrat Politicians on Gun Control
No candidate or incumbent for office in Pennsylvania has ever lost an election because he/she were too pro-gun but a 'bunch' have lost 'because' they supported gun control! In fact, nationally speaking, it is important to remember that 120,000,000 gun owners vote as a block only when they feel threatened, and Democrats, you’re doing a pretty good job of that.
The “solutions” you offer do much more harm than good and are often seen by those 120,000,000 as provocative fear-mongering. What you find positive to rally your base just pisses off ½ the registered voters in the US and drives up OUR voter participation. The extreme views you use to win a primary doom you in the national elections.
So, let me open your eyes.
Four thousand children die every year from texting while driving. That’s 12 times the number of people who die from all types of rifles nationally. (Only ½ of those deaths are by ARs) Banning cellphones is not a solution. But that is exactly what you are proposing for guns. For the ½ of the country that does not own a gun, it seems like a great idea. To your hard-core leftists, it may seem like a great idea, but to the rest of the nation, you’re idiots.
In the age of Facebook and Instagram, you cannot unring a bell. Once you open your mouth and call for a gun ban your committed and forever tagged. Just ask Mitt Romney.
- Gun Control cost Hillary the 2016 Election. The facts are her weakness here showed up in the primary when she lost Michigan to Bernie.
- The 1994 gun ban cost you the house for almost 30 years.
- Al Gore lost due to his call for a handgun ban.
What seems like a good idea to the looney left that drives your party is not so acceptable to everyone else.
One last thing, only 30% of the electorate are Republicans, out of 200,000,000 people that is about 60 million voters. So, another 40% or so of the 140,00,000-gun owners are DEMOCRATS! They own guns too, and they feel cowed, silenced, and unwelcome in their own party. The lion’s share of them will NOT VOTE for a candidate that supports gun confiscation. They account for the major growth in people registering independent.
Do Something, Or the Gun Grabbers Will Do It for Us
In a Washington Post opinion piece published on-line on the 3rd of September, the Editorial Board calls on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to end his “inertia on gun safety” and do something about what they believe to be daily mass shootings.
Admitting that “no single law would end gun violence,” they nevertheless insist on a “ban on the sale of military-grade assault weapons. Unneeded by civilians, they are a blight on the nation, their ready availability a national disgrace. Eliminating them would slow the growth of this list [of mass shootings]. It would save lives.”
Enough of us have corrected the bogus label of “assault weapon” to make yet another explanation of why it’s a disingenuous term tedious. I am seeing more and more advocates of gun control tell me that I do not need an AR-15, the firearms that these days are the most common example offered for what a “military-grade” gun is supposed to be. When I ask them what their qualifications are for making that assertion, I’m told that it’s common sense—the fallacies of bandwagon appeal and begging the question—and then asked why I’m such a lousy shot. These are dodges to avoid admitting that the people making the argument are not experts in weapons, tactics, or history. There are many answers as to why I or others need—require, want, employ, possess—semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines, but the fact that some politicians and voters want to take them away is the bottom line when the person asking isn’t willing to hear any other responses.
Their claim that civilians don’t need “military-grade assault weapons” deserves attention, especially as it illustrates just how unqualified they are to tell anyone what any of us need.
And then there is the claim about daily mass shootings. The Editorial Board needs reminding that a mass shooting is a single incident in which four or more are killed, not including the terrorist. A Reddit user by the handle of Billy Speed “decided, all by myself, to change the United States’ [sic] definition of a mass shooting.” This was a deliberate attempt to inflate numbers to create the impression that we have many more terrorist attacks when, in fact many incidents that get swept up into the count are ordinary criminal violence.
One “do something” proposal is a requirement that any transfer of a firearm—and of late, gun control advocates are being honest that they don’t want guns to be loaned to friends—must be done with a background check. And there is an easy solution here, one that offers the promise of achieving what gun control advocates claim to desire. Open the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Allow gun buyers to log in and receive a time-stamped go/no go ticket that they can present to sellers, whether licensed dealers or Bubba the Dremel Man. With computer databases and smartphones, this can be both instant and convenient. Of course, it doesn’t tie the buyer’s name to a particular gun, avoiding concerns about a de facto registry, but gun control advocates insist that they want to compromise
Another solution is one that I point out over and over: Treat domestic violence seriously—at least as serious as possession of marijuana in the laws of many states and the federal government, for example. Mass shooters often have a history of violence against romantic partners and other family members. Investigating and prosecuting these crimes offer the best chance to forestall future attacks. And by the way, for the benefit of gun control advocates who don’t realize this, there is no girlfriend loophole. The Lautenberg Amendment makes anyone a prohibited person who is convicted of violence against someone with whom he (typically it is a man) cohabits in a family relationship.
The problem here is that many of us on the side of gun rights do keep offering things that we can do, but the “do something” crowd shows no interest in anything but curtailing gun rights.
Gun Registration is Gun Confiscation - 2019 Version
The holy grail of those who wish us disarmed is gun registration. Once your guns are required to be registered, they are, in effect, already confiscated. A little thought will reveal to you why this is so.
The Government will know who has legal possession of each firearm. They will know where the firearm is stored. When physical possession of the gun is desired, they can order you to turn it in. This has happened repeatedly.
The historical examples include NAZI Germany, Soviet Russia, Red China, and Cambodia. Recent examples include Kosovo, Great Britain, Australia, New York, and California. Not having possession of the firearm registered to you can be grounds for prosecution. If you have reported the gun stolen, and it is found in your possession, you can be charged with obstruction of justice, filing a false report, or perhaps a newly created crime for “gun criminals.”
Once all guns are required to be registered, the only people who will legally possess guns will be those who have registered them, a truism, but necessary to state the case clearly.
If you choose to follow the course of civil disobedience, and not register your firearms, mere possession of an unregistered gun will put you at grave legal risk. Civil disobedience has been the most common course of action in California and Canada, in Maryland and Connecticut, where it has proven impossible to enforce the laws requiring registration.
If you choose this course of action, you would be at the mercy of any informant who discovers you possess a gun illegally. Children are being trained in public schools to inform authorities if there is a gun in the house. Doctors are urged to ask children if there are guns in their home. A warrant was issued in California for a SWAT raid based on the mere picture of people holding unidentified guns which were legal.
Social media is being used to find gun owners. If you are not on the list of those who have registered, you have become a criminal. If you are forced to use the gun for self-defense, you will have committed a serious crime. It will become difficult to train your children in firearms safety or to bring friends or relatives into the gun culture. Any use of the now illegal gun will risk exposure, confiscation, arrest, and other penalties. With digital recording devices in nearly every pocket, in most businesses and homes, this becomes a serious threat. This essay explains how it could work.
New Zealand passed a ban on whole classes of guns recently. There has been massive non-compliance. The proponents of the ban admit gun registration is necessary to effectively confiscate the banned guns. Those pushing disarmament are now pushing for mandatory gun registration.
The theory to produce gradual disarmament is to slowly destroy the gun culture by administratively reducing the number of people who legally own guns. The people who urge gradual or immediate gun registration are attempting cultural genocide of the gun culture.
The practice, once guns are required to be registered, is to incrementally tighten the requirements of registration to reduce the number of gun owners. When the number is low enough to limit effective political action, the remaining legal guns can be confiscated with little political cost. The purpose is not to reduce the number of guns, precisely. It is to reduce the number of legal gun owners, to make sure all those who have guns are politically reliable. All societies have some gun owners. The political elite can always obtain guns. The political elite in San Francisco considers the National Rifle Association to be a terrorist organization. 32% of Democrats agree with them.
Gun registration has proven ineffective in reducing crime. Those who wish us disarmed often cite European countries' crime rates. But crime rates in European countries were low before gun registration was implemented.
The primary purpose of gun registration has always been to reduce the political power of the people rather than reduce the crime rate.
There have been three significant attempts to require gun registration in the United States. The first attempt was during the regime of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). In the original bill, all handguns were to have been registered, with a $200 ($3,800 in today's dollars) federal tax. The provision was defeated by the NRA. FDR got the booby prize of requiring registration of a few seldom used or owned firearms and accessories. The people were saddled with the ineffective National Firearms Act of 1934, which registered machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and rifles, and silencers.
The second attempt at requiring gun registration started in 1968. Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) tried to pass a bill requiring all handguns to be registered. It was opposed by the NRA, and the registration requirement taken from the bill. As a compromise, Congress required gun dealers to obtain a federal license. Purchasers of guns from federally licensed dealers were required to fill out a form 4473 to take possession. Congress forbid the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms from constructing any national gun registration list from this data.
The third, ongoing, scheme was initiated in 1994. Congress passed the Brady Bill, which required handgun purchasers to undergo an instant check or a five-day wait to purchase a handgun. While parts of this act were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, a little-known part of the bill went into effect in 1998, requiring all purchasers of firearms from licensed dealers to undergo an “instant check” before taking possession.
Two safeguards were built into the bill to ensure it would not be used to develop a national registration of firearms. First, the FBI is forbidden to keep any records of instant checks that allow the purchase. Second, the instant checks only applied to dealers, not to private sales. Since gun owners could sell their firearm without government permission, no registration list could effectively be developed. Effective gun confiscation was prevented.
Both of these safeguards are, and have been, under attack. The FBI refused to immediately destroy the instant check information, although required to do so by law. Their refusal was struck down in court. There is an ongoing campaign to eliminate the other safeguard, private sales. The campaign has been pushed as a requirement for “universal” background checks. Once private parties are forbidden from selling guns without government permission, universal registration comes from making those records permanent. The final step is to make possession of a gun that is *not* registered illegally.
Particularly troubling is the emphasis on guns seldom used in a crime, but which are very useful in militias. Groups who promised they only wished to limit handguns, now call for limiting the ownership of semi-automatic rifles and standard capacity magazines.
This desire to remove power from the people is reflected in the push to place severe restrictions on the sale of .50 BMG caliber rifles. The authors of the legislation don't claim these guns are significant in crime.
Only one homicide in the United States appears to have been committed with a .50 caliber rifle, in the case of Adam Wickizer, in Moosic, Pennsylvania. The case likely involved a muzzle-loading rifle, not a .50 BMG caliber. The murderer was a convicted felon. Articles about the case do not identify the rifle.
The most explicit reason for the Second Amendment is to ensure the people retain a large measure of military power, to balance the power of the government. It is stated in the present participle of the Second Amendment, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,” The people are to have the right to keep and bear arms, in part so that they can form militias. The Republic is in grave danger when congressmen openly state they fear military power in the hands of the people. Gun registration is advocated by people who want the power of government to be unlimited.
Governments that push for gun registration distrust their people and have earned the people's distrust.
Why Do American CEO's Feel They Have the Right to Lecture Us on The Second Amendment and Freedom?
Not surprisingly, Al-Qaida’s CEO, Ayman al-Zawahri, recently implored his fellow Muslims to seek-out and murder unarmed and unaware infidels (Christians and Jews) in the USA, UK, Israel, and Europe, via martyrdom when possible.
In fact, he denigrates some of his “backtracking” fellow jihadis for confining their attacks to Western military interests, assuring them that Western civilians are also legitimate targets for their righteous wrath.
“Who hold ‘important’ positions in society are commonly labeled ‘somebodies,’ and their inverse, ‘nobodies, -both of which are, of course, nonsensical descriptors, for we are all, by necessity, individuals with distinct identities and comparable claims on existence. Such words are nevertheless an apt vehicle for conveying disparate treatment accorded to different groups. Those without ‘status’ are all but invisible. They are treated brusquely, their complexities trampled upon, and their singularities ignored.” ~ Alain de Botton.
Comically, over here 145 “company CEOs,” cautiously peeking- out from behind their cadres of heavily-armed bodyguards, are united in demonizing American gun-owners and pressuring politicians to take guns away from all their fellow citizens forcibly.
It manifestly frightens them to think that “ordinary” Americans can possess guns equivalent to theirs. Of course, their proposed gun-bans will never apply to them, nor their bodyguards, only to us, “the Great Unwashed.”
I’m not sure if it offends everyone as much as it does me that these self-proclaimed elitist snobs think they’re so much better than the rest of us, that they deserve “gun privileges” not available to “ordinary” Americans.
“Assault weapons” (whatever that means) are apparently just fine, so long as they’re protecting the lives of politicians and assorted others among the “ruling class,” but they apparently must be snatched from the hands of us mere peons (who can’t afford legions of bodyguards).
Far more “ordinary” citizens are murdered every day than are “company CEOs” and politicians.
We need the means to protect ourselves every bit as much as they do.
Top Three "Safe States" are Constitutional Carry States
US News and World Report rates the states for public safety. The rating takes both property crime and violent crime into account. The ratings use the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data from 2017 for the article this year, as the latest data available.
The top three states for public safety this year are Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. All three are Constitutional Carry states, which means no permit is required to carry a loaded handgun in most public places, openly, or concealed. That was the state of the law in the nation when the Constitution was ratified on 4 March, 1789. Constitutional carry existed in all states for the first four decades of the Republic. Then states and the courts started chipping away at the Second Amendment.
Vermont has always been a Constitutional Carry state. No permit has been required to carry handguns there since the Constitution was ratified.
Maine became a Constitutional Carry state in 2015. At the time, those opposed claimed that Constitutional Carry would increase street violence. From pressherald.com:
Tom Franklin, president of Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence, predicted that passage will lead to more street violence and deaths. The group works to prevent gun violence through gun safety and education.
“I believe this bill reflects the current state of dysfunction in Augusta,” Franklin said Monday night during a telephone interview. “It does not reflect the wishes of Maine people.”
He said his group is deeply concerned about allowing people to carry handguns without a permit.
It hasn't happened. Maine followed the same script as has happened in other states that restore Constitutional Carry. Mostly, nothing but a restoration of personal freedom.
New Hampshire restored Constitutional Carry in 2017. Opponents said the law would result in dead kids. From nhpr.org:
Although those in favor of the legislation argued the bill would not be a safety hazard, Rep. Wayne Burton of Durham told his colleagues it was too risky.
“I think a few inconvenient people is far less important that 12 dead kids,” Burton said Wednesday.
It did not happen. New Hampshire continued to be a very safe state.
Of the top ten states on the US News and World Report list, five of them are in Constitutional Carry states. Those states include Idaho and Wyoming. They are shown in bold print. The top ten are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts are “may issue” states. Carry permits are issued in those states at the discretion of the authorities. Virginia and Connecticut are “shall issue” states. Idaho restored Constitutional Carry in 2016. Opponents said it would endanger the public and law enforcement officers. From freebeacon.com:
“If signed into law, SB 1389 would dismantle our current system and put Idahoans at risk, including law enforcement officers who risk their safety to protect us,” Sharp said. “Moms across Idaho will continue to fight against this bill and to advocate for safer gun laws—our families’ lives depend on it.”
Idaho followed the same script as New Hampshire. Nothing much happened. That has been the story across the United States as 13 states joined Vermont as Constitutional Carry States. The right to keep and bear arms is restored back to what it was at the nation's founding. People who are not prohibited from owning arms can carry them most places without worrying about being arrested, fined, and jailed.
Other than an increase in personal freedom, greater respect for the Constitution and the rule of law, very little happens.
According to this poll, about 20% of United States registered voters oppose any limits on government power. The Second Amendment is all about limits on the power of government.
The history of Constitutional Carry shows there is nothing to fear from restoring Second Amendment rights to what they were when the Second Amendment was ratified.
The Last Word: For those Doubters out there, LISTEN UP!
The Constitution Was Meant to Be Everlasting
From the Progressive movement in the early 1900s to today, the chief criticism of the Constitution, created this week (Sept. 17) in 1787, is that it is outdated – it may have been germane to the late 18th century, but not to modern times. The Founding Fathers never anticipated such technologically advanced changes as computers, ATM machines and cellphones.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, “I would not look at the U.S. Constitution if I was drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” but instead look at Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedom, because it’s “more recent than the U.S. Constitution … it dates from 1982.” Another judge wrote there is “absolutely no value” in studying the Constitution, because the Founders “could not foresee the culture, technology, etcetera, of the 21st Century.”
Except that the Founders did clearly foresee that one thing never changes, and that foresight is embedded in the Constitution.
What never changes is human nature. The Founders believed their new nation would require some civic virtue, in which citizens voluntarily obeyed the law and contributed to the betterment of their neighborhoods, communities, cities, states and country. But the Founders understood that the primary motivator of human behavior is, always has been, and always will be, self-interest. Therefore, we need government to protect us and our God-given rights from the self-interested depredations of others. Without government, what is to stop the worst of us from robbing and killing to obtain the things we want and need?
But as the Constitution’s chief creator, James Madison, wrote, that same self-interest principle requires we also restrain government by giving it only those powers absolutely necessary to protect our rights. Governments are run by self-interested humans who will often attempt to use government power to further their self-interest. This is why our Constitution has so many checks on power – three governmental branches checking one another, a division of power between the national and state governments, frequent elections, a free press, a judicial system to uphold the law, and more. “If men were angels,” Madison wrote, “no government would be necessary.” But we aren’t, so it is.
The point being, someone robbing us with a musket in 1792 is no different fundamentally from someone committing mass murder today. The technologies are vastly different, but the threat to our constitutionally guaranteed right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the same, and the Constitution ensures that both perpetrators are punished accordingly, all the while respecting the core freedoms of all law abiding citizens.
So, time marches on, and change is the result. But human nature and the self-interested behaviors that spring from it are timeless, and because our Constitution was created with that in mind, it too is timeless.
Truly Magnificent US Senate Exchange on Term Limits:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Media LIES About Mass Murders, Promote Junk Academic Science
John Stossel and John Lott join forces to show the lies perpetrated by the mass media about America and Mass Murders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXGgI2E5JUw
Quote of the Week: Sen. Ted Cruz warned Republicans not to pursue expanded background checks Thursday at an event sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, saying that it could jeopardize their chances in 2020. . . . “The Democrats’ proposal would not have prevented any of these mass murders. We ought to be focusing seriously, substantively on how you stop these horrific crimes and what they’re proposing wouldn’t do it,” he explained.
1st Point to Ponder: NJ Attempts Confiscation Of My Friend's Guns!!! Red Flag Law Gone Wrong!!!
2nd Point to Ponder: Ventura – Government and the Constitution
3rd Point to Ponder: “If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim.” Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper
Gun Control Quote to Remember: CeaseFire PA (9/13-E-Mail) - We need you to help us fight back.
Yesterday, the PA Commonwealth Court issued a ruling that could open the floodgates to gun lobby lawsuits against PA cities. In a case involving several Harrisburg ordinances, including a requirement that gun owners report when their guns go missing, the Court held that individuals and an association of firearms owners have standing to sue before any of the ordinances — many of which have been on the books for decades — are enforced. Not surprisingly, the greedy gun lobby is celebrating today. We need your help to fight back.
(Ed. Note: The above CeaseFire PA quote is directly related to the FOAC win against Harrisburg regarding the preemption violations they have had on the books for years. So, CeaseFire PA is upset because ‘we’ were forcing Harrisburg to obey the law when even the District Attorney and Attorney General would not! Hmm……!)
Founding Father’s Statement on Freedom: To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, counties or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws. John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States, 1787-1788
Yours in Freedom!
Kim Stolfer, President
As a reminder, every gun owner can participate in the September 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/134200286
One-tap Mobile: US: +19292056099,,134200286# US (New York)
Dial by location: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 134 200 286
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adSioEAVyf