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 1st 2019 :: 09/01/2019
Special FOAC Report on Mental Health and Violence by Dr. Charles Gallo, FOAC 1st V.P.
Having been involved in the field of Psychology for almost 50 years and in private practice for 40 years I have seen many positive changes over these years in mental health treatment and resources that are available to all individuals and families. I have seen the development of effective therapy techniques which successfully help people to positively manage problems in living, stress, trauma, symptoms of anxiety and depression, relationship conflicts, parenting difficulties, child behavior problems and so forth. So many people are able to make qualitative changes in their lives as a result of the mental health tools available. In addition, I have witnessed a significant change in individual’s education and awareness of psychological therapy as an effective help and an absolutely drastic reduction of the stigma previously involved in seeking help – thereby encouraging individuals to feel free to actively access mental health resources. Seeking therapy has become common place and accepted and no longer has to be kept as a hidden shameful secret. I have also seen the development of community programs which essentially make mental health resources available to all regardless of their financial situation. While I acknowledge that there exist some individual situations in which appropriate care has been problematic – and these need to be addressed and are best addressed at as local a level as possible – from my vantage point I see a positive and effective mental health system – and I am grateful to have been involved in a profession that has proved to have such a positive impact on so many individual’s and families’ lives.
Tragedies such as Colorado, Fort Hood, Newtown and 911 touch all Americans. Amidst the impact these events have, we are led to naturally raise questions and seek answers. Good people do not want evil operating. What is critical is that we must guard against knee jerk reflexes and outcries which target seemingly easily available factors which in reality have nothing to do with the causes of these events and refrain from establishing policies which in fact punish people who have nothing to do with these crimes and which will lead to a greater loss of lives and more tragedies. We must also strongly and loudly condemn those individuals, groups and politicians who capitalize on the injury and deaths of innocents while using lies, deception and misinformation to push and further their problematic agendas on the American people. We must attend to facts, not personal prejudices in our efforts to seek real and genuine solutions.
Distinctions need to be made between “serious” mental illness and mental health problems experienced by individuals which involve maladaptive learned cognitive and behavior patterns which significantly lessen their quality of life. Distinctions also need to be made between “serious mental illness” and criminal behavior. I do have some concern that linking mental illness and violent behavior can lead to over generalizations in the “public” mind and erode the progress which has been made in the decreased stigma of seeking therapy treatment and assistance – thereby discouraging individuals from seeking out and making use of needed help options.
In reviewing literature and research, I find that this information states that even those with “serious” mental illness are implicated in a small percentage of the total violent crime – around five percent. I also find in the literature that the presence of substance abuse greatly raises the risk of violent and criminal behavior in the mentally ill as well as in the non-mentally ill population – doubling and even tripling the rate and risk of violent behavior. This is compounded by factors such as age and economic and geographic indices. This is clearly a factor that demands careful attention. In addition, the very small percentage of violent behavior that has occurred with those with a psychological disorder have shown a pattern of violent behavior prior to the onset of the mental health condition.
I also propose that the category of substance abuse factor be expanded to a more comprehensive category such as pharmacologically/physiologically altered neurological functioning. This would include the presence of illicit drugs but also legal pharmaceutical drugs (either prescribed or not prescribed) The illicit drug use connection with crime and violence is well established as well as obvious. Nutritional factors also, while greatly significant have seen a paucity of attention. Carl Pfeiffer PhD (Nutrition and Mental Illness) and William Philpot MD , Dwight Kalita PhD (Brain Allergies) document nutritional deficit factors as not only a cause of serious mental disorders such as psychosis or schizophrenia and attentional and disruptive behavior disorders such as ADD and ADHD but when corrected nutritional interventions can serve also as effective treatments for these same disorders – without negative side effects. The commonplace diets of processed and simple carbohydrates, bad fats, increased stimulants while lacking in good proteins, good fats, minerals and other nutrition do not supply adequate material for proper brain functioning and also result in severely agitated nervous systems leading to overwhelming emotions and out of control behavior. This is evident not only in children and teens but also in young and older adults. This needs attention in the form of both open-minded research and education.
A review of the FDA data by Moore et al done in December 2011 finds a strong and “disproportionate” association between psychiatric drugs, including especially antidepressants, and violence. Violence towards others, homicide, physical assaults, physical abuse, reports of homicidal ideation and “violence related symptoms are seen as associated with the presence of these drugs. Psychiatrist Peter Breggin, the founder of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology in testifying before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs in February 2012 told the committee that the causative links between violent incidents and the drugs in question had already been established by the FDA. “There is overwhelming evidence that the SSRI’s and other stimulating antidepressants cause suicidality and aggression in children and adults of all ages.” School violence and work place violence/killings all show ties to antidepressant use. In addition, this connection is documented on the site www.ssristories.com which includes a plethora of narratives.
A very disturbing statistic is the fact that military suicides have hit epidemic levels. In fact, figures released by the pentagon state that more soldiers are dying by committing suicide than by combat inflicted wounds – the rate is that more than 20 of our vets commit suicide each day. Drug autopsies and toxicology reports done on these vets have shown the presence of multiple pharmaceutical drugs. A serious question must be raised as to whether the combat trauma itself is responsible for these deaths or whether the pharmaceutical drugs used as the first line of treatment for the trauma are responsible. “In light of these findings, the many past shootings at school campuses and other public venues should be investigated anew by government officials with an eye toward ascertaining whether psychotropic use may have in the manner of adverse events triggered that violence.” Moore and his collaborators concluded “These data provide new evidence that acts of violence towards others are a genuine and serious adverse drug event that is associated with a relatively small group of drugs.”
There are other factors related to violence which also deserve serious attention. Upon attending a movie or visiting a video rental store one is struck by the overwhelming amount of Hollywood productions which not only portray but glorify violence and criminal antisocial behavior. My estimation is at least 90 percent do. Violence is shown as cool and an immediate and laudable solution to problems making it very attractive to certain individuals. The criminal is portrayed as the hero. This is social role learning. This content also can be found in video games played by both kids and adults which, through operant conditioning actually teach a killing mindset as well as lethal skills How much of a desensitizing process and learning process is occurring here? The media denies that their products have an effect on violent behavior on one hand yet companies spend billions of dollars in media advertising to alter individual’s attitudes and shape individual behavior to get people to purchase their products. This marketing is done most effectively and successfully. In addition, Hollywood is careful not to show such things as hero’s smoking so as not to increase smoking behavior in youth. In addition, research in a recent Pediatrics journal (2-18-13) suggests a link between excessive television watching in childhood and long term anti-social behavior. Children who watched more TV were found to more likely have antisocial personality traits in adulthood. The study also showed that the risk of having a criminal conviction by early adulthood increased by about 30 percent with every hour that the child spent watching TV on an average weekend. Definitely the impact of the media including movies, television and video games is a topic which needs serious consideration in finding reality based solutions to our society’s problem of violence.
Young children and youth need clear definitions of right and wrong as well as strong moral standards. The universe of grey, which is present in our social institutions such as our schools while at the same time abolishing reference to the religious foundations of morality and individual accountability and responsibility, clearly does not provide this. The lack of clear and strong moral standards where anything and everything can be ok, depending on one’s perspective, leaves children confused, without a firm foundation and easily led off track. This is another factor which needs attention.
The family unit is the foundation of our society. Learning about the world, others and oneself, for all children starts here. Kathryn Seifert PhD in her book, How Children Become Violent: Why Disrupted Attachment Patterns Trigger Pathological Behavior (2006) shows how the etiology of violence can originate early in life and as a consequence of attitudes and relationships formed in family units. When children’s basic needs are successfully met and the child learns “I am good, others are good and relationships are good” strong and positive attachments are formed. While in disrupted attachments the opposite is learned leading to increased risk of violent behavior. Our American family units and the sometimes-arduous work of parenting need to be strengthened and encouraged. Our government organizations and institutions have a long way to go towards this goal. Too many government interventions have instead weakened the family structure by diminishing parental authority and even by replacing the parents as providers and nurturers and the family unit as the successful resource for solving problems with government as the surrogate parent figure. This is another factor which needs attention.
What clearly will not work? There is a plethora of research which documents that a firearm in the hands of law-abiding citizens reduces the incidence of violent crime. (example: John Lott, More Guns Less Crime ,2010 3rd edition) Statistics report, although not covered in the media, that responsible law-abiding citizens use a firearm 6,850 times a day to stop an attack or a crime (The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology).
Other statistics show that when law abiding citizen’s access to firearms is reduced or restricted crime rates increase dramatically. Since the recent changes (Heller decision, etc.) to the firearm laws in Washington DC that resulted in the increase of citizens access to firearms, the murder rate has fallen by 52% (Lott). In Switzerland where each home has a full auto rifle – i.e. a machine gun – the murder rate is so low that most years it is not even recorded (Lott). The fact that a firearm in the hands of responsible citizens decreases crime is no longer debatable. Any further implementations of laws or “gun control” which violate citizen’s right of self-defense do not work and in fact intensify the problem. Simply put they leave individuals vulnerable and defenseless to the whim of the violent criminal. It is also well documented that a violent perpetrator in situations like the above will often break down and cease when confronted with a good guy or woman with a gun.
Punishing law abiding responsible citizens who have played no part in crime or violent incidents and leaving them vulnerable to armed criminals is no rational solution.
Mental health professionals have been mandated to report those individuals clearly at risk to do harm since the 70’s with the Tarasoff Decision – which requires a duty to not only warn but to protect.
Clearly with many perpetrators of violence, warning signs exist long beforehand and in fact with each of those incidents mentioned at the beginning warning signs did indeed exist but were not taken seriously and acted upon. Education needs to be implemented to increase awareness of these signs and the need to take them seriously and take appropriate action. Political correctness for example should not be allowed to stand as an obstacle to appropriate and effective action.
Clearly criminals intent on committing violence do not obey laws, only responsible citizens do. If this were not the case all firearms could be taken from law enforcement officials and they could instead be issues “Stop” signs to hold up to show to criminals in the midst of crime. Clearly this is irrational foolishness. In addition, there exist perpetrators who may show no clear and observable signs but as a result of a convergence of factors, as a perfect storm so to speak, an individual perpetrates a violent action against another or others. Violence most often occurs suddenly, randomly and unexpectedly. In this situation calling 911 to stop a violent crime in progress is completely ineffective. The law-abiding citizen in these cases is always the first responder and needs to be able to be prepared and act appropriately to save his or other’s lives from a violent encounter or to minimize the damage of injuries and lives lost. Self-defense is a natural God given right. Ninety eight percent of mass murders were committed in a supposed gun free zone. Gun free zones are utter nonsense; they are in fact kill zones or victim zones. Criminals, in fact, tend to select these victim zones as crime locations because they know they will meet with little resistance.
Countless situations have occurred when the responsible citizen, obeying the laws, leaves his or her firearm secured in obeisance of the law and ends up being defenseless to an attack by a violent criminal. Again, criminals by definition do not follow laws. Also, in each one of these instances’ appropriate actions by an armed responsible citizen would have aborted or at least minimized the death and injury perpetrated by the criminal who is free to conduct his lethal agenda unimpeded by anyone top stop him. Real life occurrences of this are numerous and frequent. Ron Borsch’s research of over 200 mass murders have documented that of the fifty percent of these murderers who do not commit suicide, two thirds are stopped by citizens on the scene. The legislators and business owners, on the other hand, who have erected these gun free zones, or more accurately victim disarmament zones, share in the blood of the innocents harmed or killed by these criminals. The onus is on Government officials to work towards abolishing these crime and victim zones where criminals are free to operate their deadly behavior.
The rights of the responsible citizen, the first responder, need to be affirmed and strengthened. Foolish, irrational, ineffective and deadly obstacles to the right of self-defense need to be absolutely removed. This is one real and genuine solution to our society’s problem of violence.
Dr. Charles P. Gallo PhD (FOAC, 1st V.P.) & Clinical Psychologist firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey Democrats & Media! We Are A Republic, NOT a Democracy
The New York Times has begun a major initiative, the “1619 Project,” to observe the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.
There are numerous challenges one can make about the NYT article, but I'm going to focus on the article's most serious error, namely that the nation's founders intended for us to be a democracy.
That error is shared by too many Americans. The word democracy appears NOWHERE in the two most fundamental founding documents of our nation — the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Instead of a democracy, the Constitution's Article IV, Section 4, declares, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”
Think about it and ask yourself whether our Pledge of Allegiance says to “the democracy for which it stands” or to “the republic for which it stands.” Is Julia Ward Howe's popular Civil War song titled “The Battle Hymn of the Democracy” or “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”?
The founders had utter contempt for democracy.
James Madison, the acknowledged father of the Constitution, wrote in Federalist Paper No. 10, that in a pure democracy “there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.” At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, delegate Edmund Randolph said, “that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.” John Adams said: “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall observed, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”
Universal Background Checks: The Beginning of the End of the 2nd Amendment and Gun Ownership
We hear it all the time. “Universal Background Checks” for all gun transfers are a “reasonable” and “effective” way to stop criminals and the deranged from getting guns. Don’t believe a word of it.
Criminals overwhelmingly get their guns on the black market now and will continue to do so if this law is enacted, and the architects of this backdoor attack on your privacy and civil rights know it.
What’s the real intent of UBCs? Complete surveillance by the Federal Government of every lawful gun transfer.
Remember, the ‘real’ purpose of ‘gun control’ is to ‘control’ the people because government doesn’t trust citizens with ‘rights’ or limits on ‘their’ authority!!
With UBCs, each transferee– except criminals who always skate the system— will have their name, address, birthdate, race, and other personal data entered into a Federal database through the NICS background check system.
The NICS system started in 1998 for transactions with FFLs. Records of successful checks are supposed to be purged from the system within 24 hours. If the check results in a “delay” response, the subject’s identity is kept in the system for up to 90 days. The identity of those whose checks are denied (even incorrectly) is retained in the system indefinitely. At least that is what is supposed to happen under current law and procedure, but given the abuses that occurred within the IRS, FBI, and ATF during the Obama administration, it’s reasonable to be skeptical that the law is always followed and a backup file does not lurk somewhere within the vast Federal IT bureaucracy.
In fact, records of many gun buyers were retained for “Audit Purposes” during the Clinton Administration until the NRA found out and pressed Congress to put an end to it. Who’s to say that another excuse to retain them won’t be fabricated in the future?
When it comes to the gun control mindset, nothing is ever enough and every gun right is a “loophole” right up to and including the Second Amendment. Give them UBCs now, and they will soon be back for much, much more.
But besides confiscation, the consequences for gun owners of eliminating private transactions are disastrous and many. The surveillance of gun owners enabled by UBCs could make a flood of pernicious new laws easily enforceable: purchase limits, waiting periods, licensing, to name a few. An Orwellian nightmare for ordinary Americans, UBCs offer a slice of utopia for statist Democrats who will use them to put every law-abiding gun owner under their oppressive thumbs.
And if those new laws are not dangerous enough to your liberty, UBCs will create felony traps (this is happening right now in the state of Washington) for harmless transactions between gun owners: keeping a friend’s guns in your safe while he is away on vacation; taking your girlfriend’s gun home to clean it after a match; installing a scope for a friend, borrowing a high end shotgun for a sporting clays fundraiser; bartering your gun to a neighbor for repairs done on your house. For these actions to be legal, you will need to access and almost certainly pay an FFL to process the paperwork and NICS check each time the gun changes hands. And a loaned gun will carry two FFL fees: when it’s loaned and again when it’s returned. If you are unlucky enough to live in NYC or DC, a single transfer can set you back $125, according to John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center (https://crimeresearch.org/) who has studied the issue.
Democrats piously proclaim they advocate for “the little guy.” What a crock.
UBCs also exacerbate the consequences of a technical shut down of the NICs system that will derail all FFL transfers. Not realistic? Well, it happened in NJ when a Verizon telecom glitch took the whole system down, and it could easily happen in cases of civil unrest or natural disaster– precisely the occasions when the need for self- protection is at its highest. And what if there’s a government shutdown and Congress doesn’t fund NICS? Then what? Does the 2nd Amendment cease to exist??
BIDS System Can Prove ‘Universal Background Checks’ are Really about Registration
If “universal background checks” are really just about stopping “prohibited persons” from buying guns, the antis would embrace BIDS and allay gun owner fears of registration.
“A dangerous gap in our federal gun laws lets people buy guns without passing a background check,” Giffords Law Center claims. “Under current law, unlicensed sellers—people who sell guns online, at gun shows, or anywhere else without a federal dealer’s license—can transfer firearms without having to run any background check whatsoever.
“Because of this loophole, domestic abusers, people with violent criminal records, and people prohibited for mental health reasons can easily buy guns from unlicensed sellers with no background check in most states,” the Gungrabby Gabby group elaborates. “In fact, an estimated 22% of US gun owners acquired their most recent firearm without a background check—which translates to millions of Americans acquiring millions of guns, no questions asked, each year.”
We could argue with their numbers and their claims, including how you’d stop such acquisitions, especially when no less a source than the Bureau of Justice Statistics tells us:
“An estimated 287,400 prisoners had possessed a firearm during their offense. Among these, more than half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%). Most of the remainder (25%) had obtained it from a family member or friend, or as a gift. Seven percent had purchased it under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer.”
Is there ANYONE who thinks that will change and that criminals will suddenly become “law-abiding” if new edicts are passed, do they? Still, the fact that the gun prohibitionists are mentioning the “millions of guns” already out there beyond government cognizance, corroborates another official assessment, this one from the DOJ’s National Institute of Justice in its “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies”:
“Universal background checks … Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration…”
That and fear of subsequent confiscation are the biggest objections most gun owners have to background checks, with a smaller subset of us “shall not be infringed” types objecting because those words are pretty clear. But what if there were a way to validate that a gun purchaser was not a “prohibited person” without creating a record of who he is or what he bought—if anything?
That’s what the Blind Identification Database System, or BIDS, is all about.
“In BIDS, the word ‘blind’ refers to the fact that the government cannot detect who is attempting to buy or has bought a firearm and thus cannot add this person's name to a registry of gun owners. Nor can gun dealers randomly view a list of persons who have been denied the right to buy, own, and use firearms.”
So, the question for anti-gun groups pushing “background check” edicts is; “Why not BIDS?” After all, they say the reason they want background checks is to stop dangerous people from buying guns.
None will embrace it, even though they have known about BIDS for years. Here’s proof. (And yes, the deliberately indifferent “gun rights groups” have known about it for even longer.)
BIDS provides an opportunity to expose the background check frauds for the liars they are, and to prove they are really after registration. Perhaps if more were aware of that, some of those Republicans, gun owners, and NRA members we’re “told” support background checks might get a clue as to how they’re being swindled out of their birthrights.
Current U.S. Gun Registration That No One Seems Concerned About
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- In reading Andy Massimilian's letter, dated August 26, 2019, concerning Universal Background Checks and the Federal Registry they would create, I am surprised that no one is concerned about the current “firearms registry” that already exists (in a form).
When a gun sale is handled at an FFL, the ATF Form 4473 we all fill out is then maintained (BATF requirement) by the FFL for “not less than 20 years.”
If the FFL goes out of business, the forms must be transferred to the BATF for their keeping. I wonder how many FFL's actually take the time and effort to “clean out” their records when they have exceeded 20 years.
Law enforcement uses these records when a gun is recovered at a crime scene. They go first to the manufacturer with the model and serial number to find out which dealer received the gun. Then, an inquiry with the dealer reveals who they sold the gun to.
This method was used by authorities to discover the origin of a handgun, sold to an American farmer in 1985 (who died many years ago), disappeared, and now is responsible for use in 9 murders in Jamaica.
Of course, the ultimate movie scene that is more reality than fiction is from the original “Red Dawn” where the invaders send a person to the local gun store to get the records and then all arrest the gun owners and confiscate their guns (a liberal Socialist-Democrat dream).
Nothing Illustrates the Political Divide More Than The Issue Of Firearms
The Radical New Progressive Left abhors guns as much from an aesthetic standpoint as from an ideological, political, social, and ethical one.
Thus, they never fail to use a particularly tragic albeit rare instance of misuse of a firearm by the criminal and the occasional lunatic to denounce firearms ownership and possession generally, vociferously, and this is reflected in the question they ask and the manner in which they ask it: How can society protect itself from the “scourge” of guns?
Radical New Progressive Leftists don’t respond rationally to this question, because they accept their premise as a given, even if statistically untrue; and the assumption is untrue that more innocent lives will be spared once guns are removed from the citizenry.
Although the idea is false, one may reasonably ask if the premise is even plausible since millions of average law-abiding, rational Americans do use semiautomatic firearms for self-defense. Statistically, in any given year, hundreds of thousands of people and, according to some studies, over one million people, use firearms successfully for self-defense.
See, e.g., See, Guns, Crime, And Safety: A Conference Sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for Law, Economics, and Public Policy at Yale Law School: Safe-Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides, and Crime, 44 J. Law & Econ. 659, 660-664 (1991) by John R. Lott, Jr., American Enterprise Institute and John E. Whitley, University of Adelaide.
Who will protect the lives of the people when they are denied the best means available for defending their life and the lives of family members?
On the issue of gun violence, the Conservative, asks a different question entirely. It is this: “How can the citizenry best protect itself from violent acts, generally?”
Framed in this way, the real issue, for the political and social Conservative, has less to do with guns and more to do with a desire to curb those elements in society that are the cause of violence, whether those elements cause violence by means of guns, knives, bombs, or any other implement, including the use of bare hands.
For Leftists though, the very idea of arming the citizen is anathema. They willingly accept, and many of them gladly accept, the loss of innocent lives as long as the greater society, the Collective, the Hive, is secured. Societal order, as they see it, can only come about through the presence of a powerful Government overseeing the Left’s vision of a well-ordered, well-engineered society. The armed citizen is, as they see it, a dire threat to the preservation of that, as well as to the very existence of a well-ordered, well-engineered society.
This means that any potential threat to the authority of Government must be checked. An armed citizenry is perceived as an ominous, direct threat to the authority of Government, just as our Founding Fathers intended. Of course, Leftists know full well that, for what they have in mind, criminal misuse of firearms will continue unabated, regardless of the insincere messaging they spew to the public, directly or through their fellow traveler, the media.
It is no mistake then, that the vast majority of firearms laws—federal, State, and local—that presently exist, and the many more the Radical Progressive New Left wants to enact, are directed to restricting the average, law-abiding citizens’ exercise of their fundamental, immutable, unalienable right to keep and bear arms—more than simply preventing the criminal and lunatic.
Philadelphia Gun Owners’ Guns Seized, Results in Anti-Gun Hysteria, Propaganda
This past Wednesday, 8/28/2019, a family member of a former gun dealer called the police because they said, they were concerned the 72-Year-old man might be depressed and/or suicidal. It is not apparent if the man was suicidal or not, but old white men commit the largest percentages of suicides. They tend to use guns to do the deed. The police raided the house, on the authorization of the family member. It appears to be a nice home in a nice neighborhood. Bustleton is home to many of Philadelphia's police officers and firefighters.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=K9xUb8rpmb8
The mental health wellness check turned into a full-blown media circus. Swat was called “to assist in clearing weapons.” The bomb squad was called. Hazmat was called. Why? Because the man involved, who had been a gun dealer, according to relatives, had a modest gun collection, some inert grenade bodies (easily and legally purchased), a smoke grenade (totally legal), some mercury (totally legal), and about a thousand rounds of ammunition. From abc.com:
According to investigators, officers encountered a 72-year-old man whom relatives expressed concern that he may be depressed or suicidal. The man was taken to the hospital for evaluation. Relatives said the man used to be a gun dealer.
Police say family members authorized them to enter the home, and upon entering, they found more than 50 guns, hundreds of rounds of ammo, 10 hand grenades, a pipe bomb and liquid mercury. The grenades are believed to be inert.
Here is the headline from cbslocal.com:
Philadelphia Police Find More Than 50 Guns, Grenades And Liquid Mercury In Bustleton Home, Officials Say
Watching video of the raid by Philadelphia's finest, I winced as the nice long guns were unceremoniously, dumped on top of each other in the back of a police van “to have their serial numbers checked to be sure they were legal”. In today's digital age, serial numbers can easily be checked in the field. The former firearm dealer had been taken to the hospital for an evaluation.
This does not require the guns to be taken from the home. Once impounded by the police, try to get your guns back, especially in Philadelphia. The mayor is notoriously biased against gun ownership. The modest collection of pistols, rifles, and shotguns, say, 55, as the number was over 50, and almost certainly less than 60, or the reports would have said “more than 60”, is likely worth 20-30 thousand dollars. It might take more than $30,000 in lawyer’s fees to fight the city to have the guns returned. The city will be using other people's money, and the city attorneys to prevent the return of the guns.
50-60 guns is a modest gun collection. Many people have hundreds of guns. A thousand rounds of ammunition is only 20 rounds per gun. It could be two bricks of .22 ammunition that sells for less than $40, total.
Hopefully, the rule of law will be followed, and the guns returned immediately if the former gun dealer is not adjudicated as a threat to himself. Proving yourself to not be a threat to yourself, is not clear cut and obvious. Some in our society would say merely being old, white, male, and a gun owner shows you to be unfit to have guns.
It only takes one relative who is disgruntled or overly cautious to create this nightmare for the former gun dealer.
In this case, it was the police who turned an ordinary welfare check into a media, anti-gun ownership circus.
Worse, much worse, is the possibility the police are *competent*, but in this case, and others like it, are malicious in order to secure media propaganda and political kudos. They know the guns, inert grenade bodies, ammunition, and mercury are legal, but see a great opportunity to grandstand, create a media circus, and gain political credit from a rabidly anti-gun ownership mayor. That seems to be the attitude of Chief Inspector Scott Small, in the video.
This country has a serious problem of legal firearms theft from gun owners, by police departments.
Maybe, in a few days, we will see a followup where the former gun dealer was found competent, all his guns and legal possessions are returned, at no cost to him, and the police offer an apology for overreacting, but, of course, claim it was all in concern for his safety.
I will not be holding my breath. The suspicion of potential suicide should not override our Constitutional rights. The suspicion of relatives should not trump all the careful protections provided for in the Constitution, yet that is precisely what is happening. It may take a Supreme Court case to stop this insanity.
Finding a Way to Reach Out to the Vast Pool of Non-Involved Gun Owners
When it comes to defending the Second Amendment, the only thing that is possibly more infuriating than anti-Second Amendment extremists are the gun owners who don’t get involved. The numbers are there to make this issue a deal-breaker for any politician. According to Pew Research, 30 percent of Americans admit they own at least one firearm. Another 11 percent say they know someone who owns at least one firearm.
This comes to about 99 million admitted gun owners, plus another roughly 36 million who say they know a gun owner. That comes to 135 million people. To put that into perspective, 136,669,276 people voted in the 2016 presidential election.
Far too many gun owners are not involved. Why is that? In some ways, they haven’t given the issue much thought – they don’t see the issue as affecting their hunting guns. Or the ones handed down from their parents, grandparents, or through past generations.
While some like to deride people in that position as “Fudds,” it’s a very short-sighted course of action. In many cases, these are people who, with the right approach, could be convinced to get involved in defending the Second Amendment. Why don’t they? Part of the problem is the fact that there are some Second Amendment supporters who manage to convince people who don’t like gun control to not get involved, or worse yet, to support the Bloomberg agenda.
Why are these potential supporters choosing to sit on the sidelines, or worse yet, going along with anti-Second Amendment extremists? Because some Second Amendment supporters are more interested in contests of philosophical purity rather than effective advocacy, and rather than educate those who have honest questions, they preach to the choir with the same sense of moral superiority we get from the likes of Bloomberg. It’s just as off-putting, and what is worse, media outlets like CNN will blast it out – with the appropriate commentary from hosts as biased as Chris Cuomo – whose brother is Andrew Cuomo.
This is why poorly thought-out Second Amendment advocacy can be much worse than no Second Amendment advocacy at all.
How do we get gun owners who aren’t involved to get involved in the fight for the Second Amendment? It’s about outreach, it’s politely correcting misconceptions, building bonds, finding out why they are not involved, and then making sure our words and actions reflect ourselves and the Second Amendment in a way that they will want to be involved in the defense of our freedoms.
FOAC in the Media: the Commonwealth Foundation Interview with FOAC President Kim Stolfer: http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com/commentary.php?title=Newsmaker_Interview
Video of the Week: The Dangers of Universal Background Checks AND Registration:
Red Dawn & Gun Control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OaF-j8x5Vc
Minority Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQWbMSdhCw4
Quote of the Week: “Bernie Sanders owns three homes. Joe Biden rents a house for $20,000/month and owns two others. Barack Obama has a mansion and a $15 million compound in Martha’s Vineyard. How did they make all their money? Lecturing average Americans on income inequality.” —Charlie Kirk
1st Point to Ponder: Did the Founding Fathers know anything about repeating rifles? As it turns out, yes, they did - and they even sought to equip Continental soldiers with them! Watch and learn about the gunsmith who tried to get the Continental Congress to buy his repeating rifle!
2nd Point to Ponder: Never forget moment: Sylvester Stallone: As Stallone gears up for his newest (last?) installment of ‘Rambo: Last Blood, scheduled for a September release. It won’t just be his muscles put to use, but plenty of ILLEGAL weapons, including guns. How he’ll keep and bear them in Mexico without violating almost as many gun laws as ATF’s Phoenix Field Division is left unstated.
Of course he’s special and his rights are not for the little people. If you don’t think so just remember his other position on YOUR rights; “Until America, door to door, takes every handgun, this is what you're gonna have,” Stallone declared after comedian Phil Hartman was murdered by his wife. It wasn’t just an observation; it was a recommendation:
“It's pathetic. It really is pathetic. It's sad. We're living in the Dark Ages over there. It has to be stopped, and someone really has to go on the line, a certain dauntless political figure, and say, ‘It's ending, it's over, all bets are off.’ It's not 200 years ago, we don't need this anymore, and the rest of the world doesn't have it. Why should we?”
That pretend warrior Stallone should call on government raids to disarm millions of real veterans and the rest of his countrymen goes beyond hypocritical. It’s contemptible.
3rd Point to Ponder: After a shooting At High School Football Game in Mobile, Alabama (8/30) Police Chief Lawrence Battiste said, “We’re going to have to be more aggressive on our end, the city, as to HOW WE HOLD THE INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTABLE when they go before the courts." (Editor: Lenient courts are turning monsters loose all over our country and the innocent are paying the price for government failure.)
Gun Control Quote to Remember: Thank you to the first responders who risked their lives to stop the threat.@senatemajldr should bring up H.R. 8 the week Congress returns. We must #endgunviolence. — Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 1, 2019
Founding Father’s Statement on Freedom: The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. Thomas Jefferson
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/702096306
One-tap Mobile: US: +19292056099,, 702096306# US (New York)
Dial by location: +1 929 205 6099 US
Meeting ID: 702 096 306
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adSioEAVyf