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Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Gun Hysteria

Without Concealed-Carry Reciprocity, Self-Defense Is A Second-Class Right

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By 
The Federalist
December 11, 2017

While rights like free speech are perceived as universal for all Americans, the right to keep and bear arms is idiosyncratically dismissed as a matter for local determination.

When civil rights advocates on the Left speak of the Bill of Rights, they are generally not referring to all ten amendments. The Ninth and Tenth are frequently forgotten or dismissed as tautologies. The Second Amendment, especially, gets ignored altogether.

This is not just a matter of what legal cases groups like the American Civil Liberties Union will take up. It also trickles down into the general understanding of our rights as Americans.

Equal Citizenship in all 50 States

One major benefit of the U.S. Constitution is that you can travel among the states without leaving your rights behind. The Constitution joined 13 semi-independent former colonies into one united country and, while it preserved a great deal of regional autonomy, it meant that a citizen of one state could not be treated as a second-class resident in another.

If you are married in Georgia, South Carolina cannot consider you unwed. If you are allowed to drive a car in Maine, New Hampshire cannot void your driver’s license. Fundamental rights are even more secure: your right to free speech in California is guaranteed whether you live there or are just visiting for the day from Nevada.

The exception to all this is the right to bear arms. Your concealed-carry permit issued in Pennsylvania won’t do you a lick of good in New Jersey. You might even find yourself in jail, as Shaneen Allen did in 2014, for innocently assuming that states are required to give full faith and credit to the acts of their neighboring states.

The provision that follows that one reinforces the point: “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” As Justice Joseph Story wrote in his “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” in 1833, the “intention of this clause was to confer on [the people] a general citizenship; and to communicate all the privileges and immunities, which the citizens of the same state would be entitled to under the like circumstances.” Courts have generally agreed with Story’s interpretation.

After the Civil War, the idea of national citizenship was expanded and augmented by the Fourteenth Amendment, which declared that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Again, by this language the Constitution declares that any American can travel to another state and not be put at a legal disadvantage compared with citizens of that state.

The main author of the Fourteenth Amendment, John Bingham, said he understood the “privileges or immunities” in question there to be “chiefly defined in the first eight amendments to the Constitution of the United States.” Courts did not agree with this interpretation, with the result being that the states became bound by the Bill of Rights only gradually, with a few parts of them still not deemed to apply to state governments. It was not until 2010 that the Supreme Court held in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment applied to the states, 142 years after Bingham’s language was written.

New Hope for the Second Amendment

Laws about gun ownership have still not caught up with the modern constitutional vision of McDonald and the Fourteenth Amendment. Now that the Second Amendment has been determined to apply to the states, we need a new legal framework to establish what that means for our outdated state gun regulations.

A bill advancing through Congress looks to address part of this, and ensure that Second Amendment rights are honored for non-residents of a state. H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, would allow people who are allowed to own guns and who have concealed-carry licenses in their states keep their rights and privileges when they cross state lines. H.R. 38 passed the House this month by a vote of 231 to 198. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina, rightly calls it “a simple, common sense solution.”

Reaction has been about what you would expect from gun controllers. “Essentially, we are telling states who are responsible in the requirements that they place on their concealed-carry permits that that doesn’t matter anymore,” Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell told the New York Times.

Swalwell’s comments echo those of many ill-informed opponents of concealed carry permits. As has been shown time and again in studies, concealed-carry permit-holders are among the most law-abiding people in America. They are even more law-abiding than police officers, and by a large margin. Leftists love to scoff at the theme of a “good guy with a gun,” but that is exactly the group opponents of reciprocity would ban from their states. Criminals, who do not bother to apply for permits and are ineligible to receive them, would have no such impediment.

Federalism is an important part of our republic, but the need for local control cannot be raised as an objection to the natural rights that the Constitution protects for all Americans. Just as no state could ban free speech for visitors from other states, neither should they restrict any other right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, nor any privilege granted by state governments.

Over the past few years, states have been forced to reckon with expanded definitions of marriage that courts have discovered in the Constitution. It stands to reason that rights explicitly protected in that document must be given the same treatment. Hudson’s bill is a good step toward treating all Americans as equals in their Second Amendment rights.

Kyle Sammin is a lawyer and writer from Pennsylvania. Read some of his other writing at kylesammin.com, or follow him on Twitter @KyleSammin.

House Passes National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill

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By Matt Vespa
Townhall
December 6, 2017

UPDATE: Shocker—the Democratic reaction has been well…unhinged.

I wish every state were constitutional carry, in which you don’t need a permit to carry a firearm, but we all can’t get what we want. There’s the political reality. To fix this, national concealed carry reciprocity has been one of the major goals for those who support civil rights and the Second Amendment. To put it simply, all law-abiding gun owners with gun permits can carry them in any state that recognizes carry rights. As of 2014, all 50 states recognize concealed carry rights, though some states have different statutes regulating such a right. This bill comes in the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas that left 25 people dead, with another 20 injured.

This tragic incident occurred because the perpetrator, an Air Force veteran, didn’t have his criminal history forwarded to the FBI by the Air Force. They admitted to tripping up. The shooter, Devin Kelley, was a disturbed man who was court-martialed for domestic abuse in 2012, sentenced to a year in jail upon conviction, and was given a bad conduct discharge in 2014. A bad conduct discharge is not the same as a dishonorable one, which would have barred Kelley from purchasing firearms. Still, the domestic abuse conviction and jail sentence still made him a prohibited person; this shooting could have been prevented.

Now, Congress decided to fix the National Instant Criminal Background Check System with this bill, while including a national concealed carry reciprocity provision. It passed earlier today (via AP):

The House approved the bill, 231-198, largely along party lines. Six Democrats voted yes, while 14 Republicans voted no.

The measure would allow gun owners with a state-issued concealed-carry permit to carry a handgun in any state that allows concealed weapons. It now goes to the Senate.

Republicans said the reciprocity measure, a top priority of the National Rifle Association, would allow gun owners to travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state laws or civil suits.

Opponents, mostly Democrats, said the bill could endanger public safety by overriding state laws that place strict limits on guns.

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., called the bill an attempt to undermine states’ rights, “hamstring law enforcement and allow dangerous criminals to walk around with hidden guns anywhere and at any time. It’s unspeakable that this is Congress’ response to the worst gun tragedies in American history.”

Well, criminals already do that, congresswoman, but that’s beside the point. There was some pushback from pro-gun groups that this bill would expand background checks, but Stephen Gutowski at the Free Beacon said no such provision alluding to that exists in the current bill [emphasis mine]:

The Fix NICS provisions now contained in the combined bill establish incentives for states and federal agencies to better comply with current law on reporting disqualifying criminal and mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). They also include punishments, such as stripping bonuses from political appointees, for states and agencies that don’t fully comply.

Some pro-gun groups have opposed the bill claiming it expands the background check system. The text of the bill shows, however, that it does not expand the classifications of who is considered prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, nor does it expand the kinds of criminal or mental health records required to be submitted to the system. The bill also doesn’t expand which agencies are required to report records to NICS.

Despite what appears in the bill’s text, Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights, described it as establishing “a gun control super-database” and “expanding the Brady-NICS gun owner registry.”

“Weak Republicans always push gun control laws under the guise of ‘enforcing the laws we have,’ but only end up pushing the Democrat agenda, giving gun owners more reasons to worry,” he said.

Meanwhile an alert from Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America (GOA), claimed Fix NICS “would require that the rolls of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and ObamaCare be trolled for recipients with PTSD, ADHD, or Alzheimer’s—that is, people who have had guardians appointed,” the group’s legislative council said it was not arguing the bill would create new categories of prohibited people. Instead, he said, the bill’s attempt to gather all of the records required under current law, which dates back nearly a decade, is the problem.

“No, we are not arguing that ‘Fix NICS’ adds new categories,” Michael Hammond, general counsel for GOA, told the Free Beacon. “But we are arguing that 18 U.S.C. 922(g), as interpreted by the 2007 NICS Improvement Amendments Act and its regulations at 27 CFR 478.11, is so potentially broad, that, if every eligible name were submitted to NICS, as the bill proposes, the result would be the submission of a large number of names of otherwise law-abiding Americans.”

Despite any concerns it has with the Fix NICS Act, GOA encouraged members of Congress to vote for the combined bill in hopes that the package had a better chance of passing the Senate.

It now heads to the Senate, where it’ll be more of an uphill battle given the 60-vote threshold. For starters, there’s disagreement with having the Fix NICS and concealed carry provision in the same bill. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) supports the concealed carry measure, but told AP, “I think it’s a mistake to try to combine this with the ‘Fix NICS’ background check.”

Democratic Fundraiser Charged With Racially Motivated Gun Crime

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By Matt Vespa
Townhall
December 5, 2017

Well, this is a wild story, albeit a local one, coming from Missouri. A top fundraiser for the Democratic Party has been arrested and charged with a racially motivated gun crime. Matthew Lieberman is accused of drawing a handgun at two locations, firing shots, and shouting racial epithets. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that surveillance footage captured Lieberman with a firearm, along with shell casings at the scene that matched those found in his car. He was arrested on November 29. His bail has been set at $250,000 (via St. Louis Post-Dispatch):

Veteran Democratic fundraiser Matthew Lieberman has been charged with multiple felony gun crimes after allegedly firing a handgun and shouting racial slurs at eyewitnesses at two businesses Tuesday.

Lieberman pointed a handgun at someone at the Amoco gas station on Skinker Boulevard and Highway 40 (Interstate 64) while using racial epithets just after 11 p.m. Tuesday, according to court documents. He then allegedly fired multiple shots at the building from his car.

In court documents, investigators said surveillance footage showed Lieberman with the gun, and bullet casings at the scene matched the make and model of bullet casings found in Lieberman’s car.

Less than 15 minutes later, Lieberman was at the Jack in the Box on Hampton Avenue, shouting racial epithets at maintenance workers, according to court documents. He fired a gun several times from a Mercedes sedan, the documents say.

[…]

Lieberman, 38, was arrested Wednesday and now faces charges of unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action. One weapons charge includes a hate crime enhancement, with officers reporting that Lieberman’s “conduct and use of epithets indicate his actions to be motivated by race.”

The Truth About The 4,000 Guns Sold By Gun Stores To Prohibited Individuals

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
December 6, 2017

Sutherland Springs exposed flaws in the NICS system. Whether you agree with background checks or not, they’re the law and the Air Force blew it on that one. They failed to input the information into the system. Plain and simple.

However, is the lack of data being input the only flaw in the system by any stretch of the imagination. Well, the FBI asked BATFE seize thousands of firearms from prohibited people who bought them in gun stores, most after NICS failed to report that the individual was prohibited.

Federal authorities sought to take back guns from thousands of people the background check system should have blocked from buying weapons because they had criminal records, mental health issues or other problems that would disqualify them.

A USA TODAY review found that the FBI issued more than 4,000 requests last year for agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.

It’s the largest number of such retrieval requests in 10 years, according to FBI records– an especially striking statistic after revelations that a breakdown in the background check system allowed a troubled Air Force veteran to buy a rifle later used to kill 26 worshipers at a Texas church last month.

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) vets millions of gun purchase transactions every year. But the thousands of gun seizure requests highlight persistent problems in a system where analysts must complete background checks within three days of the proposed purchase. If the background check is not complete within the 72-hour time limit, federal law allows the sale to go forward. ATF agents are asked to take back the guns if the FBI later finds these sales should have been denied.

It appears that the claim is that the NICS is overworked and mistakes get made, yadda yadda yadda. A former BATFE agent even called the three-day provision on background checks “reckless.”

Of course, that former agent now works for Giffords, so you know where his loyalties lie, and it’s not with the United States Constitution.

Now, 4,000 mistakes sound like a lot, but let’s put this in perspective. According to USA Today, the total number was 4,170 goofs. However, the NICS processed over 27.5 million checks in 2016 alone.

I’m not the only one who sees this perspective.

Larry Keane, general counsel for the firearm industry trade association National Shooting Sports Foundation, noted that the FBI’s seizure directives represent only a small portion in the flood of of transactions that the bureau has been processing in recent years. On Black Friday alone, FBI examiners fielded more than 200,000 background check requests, a one-day record for the system.

“What we support are more resources for the NICS operation to process the volume of requests,” Keane said.

Keane said there has been no discussion in the industry about extending the three-day time limit for completing background checks, adding that more than 90% of all checks are completed almost immediately after the request is forwarded to the FBI. He said less than 1% of all firearms transactions are later referred to the ATF for retrieval.

Unfortunately, looking at the numbers, it appears Keane overstated the problem. You see, we’re actually looking at more like 0.015 percent of all background checks made resulted in a situation like this, not one percent.

What’s happened here is a journalism trick.

Journalists know that people won’t freak about a problem that represents 0.015 percent of the total number. Even if that represented millions of people, that number sounds so small as to be trivial. It simply can’t be presented as being that small a sample.

So what they do is they phrase it such a way that will grab your attention. “Thousands” sounds like so much larger a problem with 0.015 percent, even if it’s the same exact thing. “Thousands” gets your attention, it makes it seem like something you need to be concerned with, makes it a problem you should be talking about with your co-workers around the office water cooler.

But the numbers are what they are.

Does that mean USA Today meant to mislead people? Perhaps.

You see, this trick really has more to do with marketing your story to editors and the readers–yes, this works on editors too–and less with manipulation, as a general rule. If the headline doesn’t grab you, if that happens enough, no one will buy the paper or access the website. It’s something we all do, to some extent. Think of it as an early form of clickbait.

Where USA Today crossed the line, however, is in presenting this information with no reference to just how many total background checks do take place. They failed to provide sufficient information so the reader could discern the scope of the “problem” for themselves.

There are only two reasons to do this: Laziness and Lying.

Laziness is just failing to do it because you couldn’t be bothered. However, the report is done in a manner where laziness doesn’t appear to be an issue. The journalist contacted people from both sides, quoted them, and appears to have done the difficult legwork just fine. It was the minute detail in one aspect missed. Now, that doesn’t mean laziness couldn’t be an issue. After all, everyone overlooks something that might have been revealed with just a bit more work from time to time, right?

Besides, didn’t the reporter quote Keane from the NSSF?

Well, yes. At the end of the piece.

You see, newspaper writers tend to use a format called the inverted pyramid. You put all the most important information at the top of the story, and then work your way down in order of importance. Here’s a visual of what it would look like.

(Public domain image)

This is done so editors can make cuts easily. They just start at the bottom to chop off information so the story will fit in the newspaper space available.

In the age of the internet, this is still in use at many sites because readers lose their attention after a time. You provide the key points at the top, then work your way down in order of importance, ostensibly so the reader gets all the relevant information.

Keane’s quote, however, is at the bottom. It’s where readers are least likely to see it, meaning many will read a chunk of the story and then click away to read something else, all the while believing there’s this epidemic of firearms in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. They have no reason believe this is really a non-issue because they clicked away before that.

Now, couple the placement of Keane’s quote with the lack of information about the total number of background checks–information available with a quick Google search–and it’s really difficult to see any way this is an honest mistake.

This isn’t fake news. This is activism masquerading as journalism, and it’s pathetic.

The fact is that there is no problem with massive numbers of bad guys getting guns and then doing horrible things. USA Today even notes that the BATFE agents charged with recovering these guns don’t view most of these people as dangerous, and that’s because few ever do anything dangerous with those guns.

The only real problem here is when supposedly unbiased media outlets present manipulated facts in order to sell a narrative.

House To Advance Two Gun Bills Including National Reciprocity

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
November 27, 2017

National reciprocity should have had an easy time of it. After all, the stars were as aligned in favor of pro-gun legislation as you were going to find. The entire government leans right politically, which should have made it a slam dunk.

Then Las Vegas happened, and everything got turned upside down.

Now, it appears the House is set to move on two gun bills heading out of committee. One of which is national reciprocity.

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider two gun measures Wednesday, including one measure that is a top priority of the National Rifle Association.

The committee will vote on a bill that allows gun owners with permits to carry concealed weapons reciprocity to travel to other states with their firearms. It will also take up another measure that updates the federal background check system after problems were exposed following a mass shooting at a Texas church earlier this month.

Congress hasn’t moved stand-alone legislation after the massacre in Las Vegas in October, when a shooter killed at least 58 people and injured hundreds more. Lawmakers from both parties said it was time to regulate bump fire stocks, accessories that the gunman used to allow his firearms to fire similar to automatic weapons. But top Republican leaders suggested new legislation may not be needed on bump stocks because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives could address the issue administratively. So far the agency hasn’t publicly stated whether it plans to take action on the accessories and bipartisan legislation has been introduced to ban them, but hasn’t advanced yet in the House or Senate.

The new House legislation addressing the background check does call for a study on the devices. The bill directs the Bureau of Justice Statistics to determine how many times a bump stock was used during a crime in the United States and report back to congressional committees in six months.

A study on bump stocks is hardly the worst thing that could happen on that front.

With regard to the background check proposal, this is actually welcome news. While many get annoyed at background checks–and I tend to as well–that’s the program in place now. Having it work correctly means it becomes harder for gun grabbers to make a play for our firearms down the road. After all, it’s the idiots with the guns that are causing the problems, not the guns.

But the big boy is national reciprocity. While I tend to believe constitutional carry should be the law of the land, it’s not. National reciprocity will make it easier for those with concealed carry permits to carry while traveling outside of their home state. As it stands, carriers have to navigate a byzantine labyrinth of reciprocity between states that invariably creates holes because one state doesn’t like the way another state issues their permits.

National reciprocity clears up the whole process for everyone involved.

The fact that it also means states like California that recognize no other permits and won’t issue out-of-state permits can no longer deny individuals from other states their right to keep and bear arms while visiting is just a major bonus.

So…An AK Isn’t For Self Defense, Huh?

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
November 29, 2017

While Second Amendment supporters are often pretty good about not needing a reason to want to own a certain gun, those who oppose that right tend to feel a little different. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told an AK-47 style rifle isn’t for hunting or home defense. As someone who has actually hunted with an AK, I’m living proof that part of that is complete bull.

This gentleman from Ohio is proof that the last is bovine excrement.

Dayton Ohio cell phone store owner Adam Seaton used an AK-47 clone to defend himself and his store. It happened about five a.m. on Sunday, 19 November, 2017.

Store video shows the thieves breaking the window at the front of the store, then trying various strategies to get through the security gate. Seaton was alerted on his cell phone by the security system. He was only a block and a half away.

The store has been open since December last year. This was the fourth robbery attempt, the first that has been stopped.

From wdtn.com:

DAYTON — A 22-year-old Dayton business owner fired an AK-47 at burglars breaking into his cell phone store early Sunday morning.

Dayton police were dispatched to Fix or Cell Now at 619 Watervliet Street around 5:09 a.m. after the business owner called to report the attempted robbery.

According to a police report, owner Adam Seaton was blocks away when he received a notification on his phone from the store’s security system.

As he arrived to the store, Seaton told Dayton police he saw two men running from the store. Seaton said one of the men then stopped, pulled out a gun, and pointed it in his direction.

According to police, Seaton then grabbed an AK-47 from his passenger seat and fired at the men. Seaton told our breaking news team he believes one of his bullets hit a suspect, but he cannot be sure.

The thieves fled in a silver truck.  Seaton pursued them. He was on the phone to the dispatcher, who urged him, repeatedly, to pull back and let them go.

The fact of the matter is that no matter how much gun grabbers claim otherwise, so-called assault rifles are an ideal tool for personal defense.

Seaton finally did pull back after the crooks took a shot at him, deciding it was too dangerous to continue his pursuit.  That was probably a smart move, because had he caught up with them, it’s possible that a judge might not have viewed his actions all that favorably.

However, that’s a different subject for another time.

The big takeaway here is that yes, the AK platform is a viable weapon for self-defense. In fact, it makes a lot of sense to use a modern sporting rifle for personal defense because it gives you range, accuracy, and a better round count than the handgun most criminals are using. While it’s not practical for day-to-day carry, if you suspect you’ll need a gun, then a so-called assault rifle is hard to beat.

Democratic Fundraiser Charged With Multiple Gun Felonies

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
November 30, 2017

Democrats, as a general rule, want to limit yours and my access to guns. They may give you all kinds of justification, but the truth is that almost all of them want to limit what kind of guns you can buy to some extent. They would have the average American believe they’re all about responsibility and that guns in private hands are the real problem.

It looks like the issue is really guns in Democrats’ private hands.

Veteran Democratic fundraiser Matthew Lieberman has been charged with multiple felony gun crimes after allegedly firing a handgun and shouting racial slurs at eyewitnesses at two businesses Tuesday.

According to court documents, Lieberman reportedly pointed a handgun at someone at the Amoco gas station on Skinker Boulevard and Highway 40 (Interstate 64) while using racial epithets. He then allegedly fired multiple shots at the building from his car.

In court documents, investigators said surveillance footage showed Lieberman with the gun, and bullet casings at the scene matched the make and model of bullet casings found in Lieberman’s car.

In a separate incident at the Jack in the Box on Hampton Avenue, Lieberman became irate, shouting racial epithets at multiple people performing maintenance work on the restaurant, according to court documents. He discharged a gun multiple times from a Mercedes sedan, the documents say.

Lieberman was arrested on Wednesday and is charged with unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action charges, but because he acted like a racist schmuck and started yelling racial slurs, he gets what they’re terming a “hate crime enhancement.”

Isn’t it amusing to see Democrats hoisted by their proverbial petards?

Of course, this may explain why so many leftists think ordinary Americans can’t be trusted with firearms. They know that many of their friends can’t be trusted with firearms, and since they’re so much “better” than ordinary Americans because they hold all the right opinions, how can the average Joe possibly be trusted?

The thing is, 99.99999 percent of all Americans look at the antics Lieberman allegedly pulled and shake their head in disgust. We all know that unless he was legitimately in fear of his life, there was no reason to pull that gun. Further, we know that being approached by a minority doesn’t constitute being in fear of losing your life by any stretch of the imagination.

While we only have part of the picture at this time, we’ll have to see what exactly was going on here, but it seems that Lieberman–assuming he actually did these things, of course–may have some mental health issues. Either that or he’s the racist that the left has been looking for.

It’ll be interesting to see who all he raised money for. More importantly, it’ll be interesting to see if the Democrats he raised funds for will do anything about that money. After all, if anyone on the right were in that boat the media would be all over them to either donate the money or return it or something.

But the left usually gets to play by a different set of rules.

It just seems that their set of rules doesn’t keep them from being arrested for a firearm related felony with a hate crime enhancement. Who knew?

Are Gun Control Advocates Liars, Or Just Stupid?

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
November 30, 2017

Are gun control advocates liars, people who willfully tell falsehoods, or are they just complete and total idiots? It’s a fair question and it could go either way. I’ll also concede that the word “or” in that first sentence may need to be “and” as well. It’s certainly possible that they’re both.

The latest example that makes me ask the question comes from the New York Times. In particular, columnist Gail Collins, who writes this bit:

The House Judiciary Committee just voted to make it impossible for a state to always keep people convicted of violent offenses from carrying concealed weapons.

With a beginning like that, you just know it’s going to be good. You know that you’re going to read a reasonable discourse on the topic of national reciprocity, right?

Let’s continue.

That was just a detail in a very long day and really dreadful debate about the right to bear arms. In a normal world it might be the talk of the dinner table, but really, this week hardly anyone noticed.

On the one hand you had Garrison Keillor and Matt Lauer getting canned for sexual harassment. On the other there’s the president of the United States circulating a picture of a Muslim beating up a statue of the Blessed Virgin. About which, the presidential spokeswoman said, “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real.”

And I haven’t even gotten to the tax bill. Or North Korea. Good grief.

But still, guns. Attention must be paid. If you count every gun crime that involves four or more victims as a mass shooting, we’ve had 397 so far this year, including the ungodly tragedies in Las Vegas and the small Texas church. You’d think the National Rifle Association would go away and be quiet for a month or two. But no, its minions in the House of Representatives were busy on Wednesday getting committee approval for a bill that would make it impossible for states to impose their rules about carrying concealed weapons on people who are visiting from someplace else.

Instead, we’re supposed to respect the judgment of the state whence they came. People, do you have this kind of confidence? We are having this conversation two weeks after Wisconsin eliminated the age limit for hunting licenses. So far there are 1,800 happy Wisconsinites under the age of 10 with the right to put their little fingers on the trigger, several less than a year old.

First, Gail, there’s a huge difference between a concealed carry permit and a hunting license. National reciprocity has nothing to do with hunting, and Wisconsin’s decision to eliminate the age for a hunting permit doesn’t mean that small children will be running around the woods unsupervised. In fact, it’s kind of impossible for most kids to go hunting on their own anyway, what with needing a ride to the hunting land in the first place.

But let’s not let facts get in the way of an argument.

Kind of like that opening line. You see, Gail’s worried about “people convicted of violent offenses” walking around with concealed guns and police being unable to do anything about it. However, what she misses is that people with concealed carry permits? You know what they’re not? People convicted of violent offenses.

That’s right. You can’t get a permit if you have been convicted of a violent offense, and the background check process is more detailed for concealed carry permits in every single state than even the background check to buy a gun. It’s why the Sutherland Springs killer could buy a gun at a gun store, but not get a carry permit. It’s because the system works.

Further, people with concealed carry permits are the least likely individuals to commit a crime.

And this information is out there, so I’m left wondering if Gail Collins and people like her are just dumb, or if they’re willfully lying in the pages of the nation’s largest newspaper in order to sway people to their way of thinking. I mean, it’s possible they’re repeating someone else’s lies, of course, but that just puts them in the dumb camp. Do a little research for yourself, for crying out loud. Get both sides of the story. At least try and find out what the other side is saying.

At least then you’d know that no one wants violent criminals walking the streets with concealed firearms and that this bill won’t allow them to.

But that might blow the narrative away. Can’t have that.

Austin Hero Pulls Gun On Rapist

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
November 15, 2017

A lot of people don’t take their guns with them when they’re doing certain things, particularly on a run. After all, even a lightweight pistol is going to cause issues with your everyday running shorts, and no one wants to wear a fanny pack, especially one loaded down with a firearm, right?

Well, Josh Williams of Austin, Texas didn’t worry about any of that. Eventually, anyway, and at least one area resident is thankful for that.

Josh Williams has been licensed to carry a gun for about 10 years and takes his Glock 43 almost everywhere he goes, KVUE-TV reported.

But on the morning of Sept. 15, Williams almost didn’t take the gun along for his weekly run on the Hike-and-Bike Trail in Austin, Texas — but a voice inside him said he might need it, the station said.

Did he ever.

It was about 5:30 a.m. and still dark when Williams heard a woman’s screams on the trail over his earbuds, KVUE reported.

So he took out his earbuds and pointed his flashlight in the direction of the screaming — and quickly realized a woman was being sexually assaulted, the station said.

“I came up, pulled my gun and told him to get off of her,” Williams told KVUE, adding that he ordered the man to get on his knees and show his hands.

The man ran off, leaving him with the victim, safe and sound.

A few days later, 22-year-old Richard McEachern was arrested for the assault. He remains in the Travis County Jail.

Williams said that he’d never thought he would point the gun at another person, but that’s how it goes. Most of us never really do, but then something happens and a number of gun owners actually do. What matters is what you do when confronted with a situation that requires it, and Williams did what most of us would have done.

He protected another.

“It’s dark, and I don’t know what’s out there, so I have it to protect myself and other people,” Williams told KVUE. “That’s what it’s all about anyway — to help other people with it, not just myself.”

For a lot of gun owners, it’s exactly that.

Most gun owners don’t want to just protect themselves, but others as well. However, contrary to what the anti-gun crowd likes to think, we’re not a bunch of wannabe heroes itching for the opportunity to pull their guns and feel like a badass. We’re just people who don’t like to see others getting hurt.

Yet some would have seen Williams and others like him left unarmed and unable to help others. They would rather see an innocent woman raped and possibly murdered than to see someone like Williams be able to step up and protect another.

They’d rather see women raped and possibly murdered than to allow women to have the most effective means to defend themselves out there. They operate under the warped belief that a violated and potentially dead victim is preferable to a live woman and a dead scumbag.

Kristen Gillibrand Proposes ‘Gun Trafficking’ Bill

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
November 22, 2017

Kristen Gillibrand is hardly a rare breed. After all, an anti-gun Democrat is about as rare as air. However, the senator from New York who took Hillary Clinton’s seat is trying to make a name for herself. Her most recent proposal would do just that, she apparently believes.

A New York lawmaker is making a bid to bring back federal legislation that would make selling guns to a prohibited possessor worth 20 years in federal prison.

The measure, proposed by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, would make it a crime to sell two or more guns to someone whom the seller knows is prohibited from legally possessing them. It is a repeat of legislation proposed by Gillibrand in 2013 and 2015 that never made it out of committee.

“Over the last year and a half, our country has suffered through three of the five biggest mass-shootings in our history and thousands more Americans have been victims of gun violence on a much smaller scale, but Congress has done nothing to solve this crisis,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

The bill, termed the Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking and Crime Prevention Act, is named after two teens killed in New York with guns traced to out-of-state origins.

The problems with this are obvious. After all, it’s difficult to prove what people know and what they don’t know.

Further, Gillibrand’s argument regarding the mass shootings is complete bollocks. Neither Orlando, Las Vegas, nor Sutherland Springs were cases of people selling guns to anyone they knew to be prohibited. The shooters in Orlando and Las Vegas weren’t prohibited, and the Sutherland Springs killer passed NICS background checks, so it’s unlikely anyone would have had any reason to believe he was actually prohibited.

All Gillibrand is doing is grandstanding, which is par for the course.

If she wanted to actually make an impact on mass shootings following Sutherland Springs, then why not look at legislation that would push the Department of Defense to add relevant information to the NICS? That might actually make a difference.

Alright, probably not much of one, but at least it would deal with something that actually happened.

Instead, Gillibrand wants to pretend that there’s this epidemic of people just selling their personal firearms to people they know can’t legally own them, but offers no evidence.

Instead, what’s happening are straw sales (which are already illegal) and people breaking other laws in the process. We don’t actually need yet another law, one that could land innocent people in hot water for selling a firearm in good faith to the wrong person. No good will actually comes of a law like this, only a lot of heartache.

But Gillibrand doesn’t care. She simply wants to look like she’s tough on crime without having to actually do anything at all about the actual problem of crime.

Par for the course from our political elite. We should be used to it by now, but since there pathetic efforts usually impact us gun owners more than the criminals, it’s kind of hard to let it slide.

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