Orlando tragedy, gun control, and radical Islam

Jun 16, 2016 by

The radical Islam terrorist attack in Orlando has once again brought the topics of gun control and radical Islam to the national debate. Adding fuel to the furor is the fact that the site of the terrorism was a gay nightclub. This adds homophobia to the debate along with Islamophobia and the second amendment. Sadly, the last 8 years under President Obama has done little to bring clarity to any of these issues. In fact, the various positions on these topics have grown further apart, rather than heading towards some form of consensus.

What is lamentably apparent, especially on social media like Twitter, is the knee jerk jump to conclusions along with the immediate use of the tragedy to promote a particular political agenda or other world viewpoint. In too many cases it is all to apparent that there is little real anguish or grief for the horrendous loss of life. In fact often the first comments posted are immediate references to the NRA, gun control, homophobia, and how fill-in-the-blank needs to be done now to end the senseless slaughter. If my pessimism and dim view of the human condition are troubling, believe me when I say they trouble me as well. I have lived to see the citizens of our country become increasingly divided over far too many issues.

The sad truth is, there are no simple one step answers to gun violence, radical Islamic terrorism, homophobia, or Islamophobia. That should be readily apparent to anyone in light of the fact that none of these issues are simple in nature or origin. I am not going to go into detail on what I think should or can be done to address any of these issues. I am neither an expert on any of them nor do I have the time to address such complicated issues in a simple post.

What I will say is that jumping on tragedies like this and using them to call for the death of the NRA, taking away the rights of lawful citizens to own firearms, blaming Christians for homophobia, calling for all Muslims to be deported or banned from coming into the country, etc., etc., etc., are not legitimate or even rational answers to any of these issues. What needs to occur is rational, honest, civil debate and national discourse. Peoples individual rights and viewpoints need to be acknowledged during the course of this discourse. The rule of law as well as the Constitution of this great country need to be upheld. There can be no room for self-righteous anger, hatred, and intolerance.

Nothing will be resolved in 140 characters on Twitter or in a Facebook post. Communities, churches, local, state, and national government should focus on these problems and try to discern practical answers that can address these issues while still respecting the Constitution, existing laws, and the rights and freedoms of every citizen. It can and has to be done.

 

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Meathead is still a Meathead

Jan 29, 2012 by

One of my favorite shows as I was growing up was ‘All in the Family.’ But from the first the one person on the show that I disliked was meathead. Meathead was played by Rob Reiner who is so typical of the liberals that infest Hollywood to this day. I vividly remember one episode where Archie and meathead get into an argument over the second amendment to the Constitution. Back then I was not a gun collector but I had a deep respect for the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

In the argument meathead took the position that the second amendment meant that only the militia were guaranteed the right to bear arms. He based this on his distorted usage of that term in the amendment. This is a common argument used by liberals today in their misguided attempts to disarm us all and leave us at the mercy of criminals and a possible tyrannical government. For those liberals who are unfamiliar with the second amendment I will reproduce it for you.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Seems pretty straightforward and unambiguous, as the founding fathers no doubt thought. But the founding fathers had never envisioned the modern day liberal. From experience I can say that most liberals arguments are not based on facts but are a twisted perversion of reality. Liberals have taken a single, straightforward sentence and twisted it around in a feeble attempt to foist their beliefs on us all.

First, meathead’s definition of militia is completely wrong. I think he interpreted the modern day militia to be the National Guard.  The definition of militia as given by Merriam-Webster is:

a: a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency

b:the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service

But when the Bill of Rights was written the definition of Militia was somewhat different. Back then the militia was defined as the whole body of able-bodied citizens. This included men and women. Merriam-Webster uses this definition too but has added that this includes men only and declared by law as being subject to call to military service. Even if we accept Merriam-Websters definition to include men only and declared by law, this includes most of the male population as all men are subject to the draft to this very day.

But even with the phrase ‘well regulated militia’ added to the second amendment, this does not imply that a well regulated militia is the sole justification for the right to keep and bear arms. What meathead conveniently leaves out of his argument is the fact that the second part of the second amendment does not say: ‘the right of the Militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’  It specifically states the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. What part of PEOPLE and infringed don’t liberals understand?

My final argument is that when the founding fathers drafted the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the arms that would later equip the militia that won our freedom from the British were in the hands of the people before a militia was ever organized and called into service. The arms were not supplied by the government. If we are ever confronted with a tyrannical government sometime in the future, how is a militia ever going to be formed to defend liberty if the guns needed to defend against that tyranny are in the governments hands and not we the people’s hands? Please answer that question for me meathead.

 

 

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NRA Joint Statement on Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor

Jul 17, 2009 by

Joint Statement
Wayne Lapierre, Executive Vice President, National Rifle Association
And
Chris W. Cox, Executive Director, National Rifle Association – Institute For Legislative Action
On
Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Nomination To The United States Supreme Court

Other than declaring war, neither house of Congress has a more solemn responsibility than the Senate’s role in confirming justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the Senate considers the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Americans have been watching to see whether this nominee – if confirmed – would respect the Second Amendment or side with those who have declared war on the rights of America’s 80 million gun owners.

From the outset, the National Rifle Association has respected the confirmation process and hoped for mainstream answers to bedrock questions.  Unfortunately, Judge Sotomayor’s judicial record and testimony clearly demonstrate a hostile view of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right of self-defense guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

It is only by ignoring history that any judge can say that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right and does not apply to the states. The one part of the Bill of Rights that Congress clearly intended to apply to all Americans in passing the Fourteenth Amendment was the Second Amendment.  History and congressional debate are clear on this point.

Yet Judge Sotomayor seems to believe that the Second Amendment is limited only to the residents of federal enclaves such as Washington, D.C. and does not protect all Americans living in every corner of this nation.  In her Maloney opinion and during the confirmation hearings, she deliberately misread Supreme Court precedent to support her incorrect view.

In last year’s historic Heller decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual’s right to own firearms and recognizes the inherent right of self-defense.  In addition, the Court required lower courts to apply the Twentieth Century cases it has used to incorporate a majority of the Bill of Rights to the States.  Yet in her Maloney opinion, Judge Sotomayor dismissed that requirement, mistakenly relying instead on Nineteenth Century jurisprudence to hold that the Second Amendment does not apply to the States.

This nation was founded on a set of fundamental freedoms. Our Constitution does not give us those freedoms – it guarantees and protects them. The right to defend ourselves and our loved ones is one of those. The individual right to keep and bear arms is another. These truths are what define us as Americans. Yet, Judge Sotomayor takes an opposite view, contrary to the views of our Founding Fathers, the Supreme Court, and the vast majority of the American people.

We believe any individual who does not agree that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right and who does not respect our God-given right of self-defense should not serve on any court, much less the highest court in the land. Therefore, the National Rifle Association of America opposes the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the position of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

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Too many are ready to see others stripped of their rights.

Jun 23, 2009 by

watching-youIt seems another Democrat, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, has found a “terror gap” that must be filled. Democrats are always finding a gap or a loophole in existing laws and policies such that if the gap is not closed or the loophole eliminated “it will threaten our families and our communities.” The “terror gap” that Sen. Lautenberg has ferreted out refers to the government’s terrorist watch list.

The terrorist watch list is a list that is maintained by DHS that contains over a million names of supposed “terrorists” that are a threat to the security of the United States. If you are on the list you can be prevented from flying on a commercial jet and denied a visa. Now it seems that being on the list may prevent you from purchasing a firearm.

No matter that the list contains tens of thousands of names of people who were erroneously added to the list and have broken no laws or committed any acts of terrorism. According to the NRA chief lobbyist, Chris W. Cox, the “integrity of the terror watch list is poor, as it mistakenly contains the names of many men and women who have violated no law.” “In fact, a March 2009 report by the inspector general of the Department of Justice concluded that many people whose names were mistakenly placed on the list remain there even after their cases have been vetted and closed.”

Since 2004 963 background checks for the purchase of firearms using the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System “resulted in valid matches with terrorist watch list records; of these matches, approximately 90 percent were allowed to proceed because the checks revealed no prohibiting information,” the GAO report says. Under current law, there is no basis to automatically prohibit a person from possessing firearms because they appear on the terrorist watch list. This according to the GAO’s director of homeland security and justice issues, Eileen R. Larence.

According to Sen. Lautenberg, this is “proof positive” that known and suspected terrorists are exploiting a major “loophole” in our law. The “loophole” that Sen. Lautenber is apparently referring to is something called the Constitution of the United States, specifically the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. As previously stated by the GAO, unless the person on the watch list has committed a crime or has some other factor that prohibits the purchase of a firearm under existing laws, the simple fact of being on the terrorist watch list does not prohibit you from purchasing a firearm. This is as it should be.

Sen. Lautenberg is introducing legislation that would give the U.S. attorney general “authority to stop the sale of guns or explosives to terrorists.” But the problem is that many of those who are on the terrorists watch list are not in fact terrorists at all. In most cases they are people who are vocal in their support of certain issues that run contrary to the current policies of the government. They are not terrorists, have not committed any crimes, and are protected by the Constitution as are all other citizens. Simply being on a watch list does not and should not strip you of your Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The legislation proposed by Sen. Lautenberg would deprive innocent people of due process as well as illegally strip them of their rights. I am sure that the existing laws and procedures that apply to all citizens when applying for the purchase of a firearm are more than adequate to prevent any real terrorists on the watch list from acquiring firearms, even if they were not on the watch list. All Sen. Lautenberg’s bill would do is deny everyone else on the list who is not a terrorist and has not committed a crime the right to purchase a firearm.

Lists of citizens who are “suspected terrorists” based solely on their political beliefs date back to the days of J Edgar Hoover. Hoover had extensive files on many Americans, including Elvis Presley, whose only crimes were that their political beliefs ran counter to what Hoover thought they should be. But the most disturbing thing to me about this whole issue is a CNN poll in which readers were asked whether people on the terrorist watch list should be allowed to purchase firearms. An amazing 89 percent thought it was perfectly acceptable to deny someone their Constitutional rights based solely on an inaccurate, outdated and politically motivated list maintained by an organization who is notorious for trampling on the rights of citizens.

I can only assume that the vast majority of citizens actually think that the terrorist watch list really contains the names of a million known terrorists who have committed crimes against the United States. Of course if this were true you would think that there would be a huge federal manhunt under way to apprehend these “threats to our families and our communities.” But the real facts are that the majority of the people on the terrorist watch list are our families and our communities and are no more a threat to the security of our nation than you or me. In fact I would submit that Sen. Lautenberg and AG Holder are more of a threat to this great Republic than most of those on the list. I hope that when I go to board my plane this August for our trip to Hawaii that my name does not show up on the list. After all, writing this article is probably grounds for being added to the list. (Not to mention being involved in 2 Tea Parties.)

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First they register your guns, then they confiscate them.

Jun 11, 2009 by

confiscationLately I find myself writing more and more about second amendment issues. Despite what the Democrats and the Obama administration are saying publicly, their ultimate aim is to take away guns from law-abiding Americans. Despite a recent Gallup poll which shows that only 29 percent favor handgun bans, even the will of the people will not deter the Democrats from their objective of disarming Americans and making a mockery of the second amendment.

It has been stated that the second amendment is the most important amendment because it ensures all the other amendments. A disarmed America will not be able to resist a tyrannical, socialist government bent on subjugating its citizens. And if you think the idea of a tyrannical dictatorship happening in America is ludicrous, you need look no farther than what happened in Germany with Adolf Hitler. Something similar could all to easily happen here.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she wants to register guns. When asked about the prospect of new gun-control laws she responded:

It’s a Democratic president, a Democratic House. We don’t want to take their guns away. We want them registered.

But why do Democrats want to register guns? They have long claimed that registration helps solve crimes. Yet in places where gun registration is required, few if any crimes have been solved through gun registration. When guns are left behind at a crime scene, which rarely happens, they are almost always registered to someone else, whose gun has been stolen. Those who use guns to commit major crimes are unlikely to have a firearm that is registered to them.

Hawaii has had licensing and registration of guns for about 50 years. Yet despite all the costs and inconvenience imposed on gun owners, police in Hawaii cannot point to a single crime that has been solved by gun registration.

Canada, which has required registration of handguns since the 1930’s, admitted recently in a parliamentary debate that only 3 crimes in 70 years had been solved as a result of registration. Of those 3 cases, 2 of them had other independent evidence which helped solve the crimes.

Since it is obvious that registration does not help to solve crimes, it is necessary to ask why governments want to register your firearms. Once again all you have to do is look to history for the answer. In countries like England and Australia gun registration has been used to create lists of owners whose guns were later confiscated by their governments. Fears that gun registration in America will be used for the same purpose are well founded. California has already used existing registration lists to confiscate so-called “assault weapons” just six years ago.

And despite the recent Supreme Court DC v. Heller 5-4 decision which struck down the District’s handgun ban, all it takes is another liberal justice (Sonia Sotomayor comes to mind) appointed to the bench by Obama to change all that.

So the next time your hear a liberal Democrat say “ all we want to do is regsister your firearms” what you really should be hearing is “ all we want to do is confiscate your firearms.”

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