Author: <span class="vcard">Steve</span>

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

-Sir Winston Churchill

The passage of H.R. 38 in the House of Representatives does not signal the end of repressive concealed carry laws in the US. It’s but a step along the way to the end. The next step is passage in the U.S. Senate. This will certainly be a difficult, uphill fight. Though there has been true bipartisan support for the concept in the recent past, there’s no guarantee that Democrats who supported it previously will do so again. It’s easy to support a bill when you know it will never get past a President like Barrack Hussein! (Do you remember George W. Bush supporting the Clinton “assault weapon” ban? He did. He promised to sign the renewal if it ever reached his desk; an easy promise to make when you know there’s a pro-gun majority in the House that will protect you from your own stupidity.)

There’s also no guarantee that the entire Republican caucus will support the bill. Soft, squishy Senators like John McCain just live for the attention they’ll get for opposing the rights of law abiding American gun owners. Worse yet, there are more than a few dim bulbs on the Hill who clearly haven’t read the text of the bill. Or if they have, they’re just refusing to see what isn’t there! Some people just can’t accept victory, it seems.

Going forward, now is not the time for American gun owners to let up. You called and wrote your Representatives, now call and write your Senators. Some of you live in places like California and may be thinking “Senators like Feinstein and Harris will never listen.” They won’t, but call and write anyway. They may not pay attention, but their colleagues cannot help but notice the volume of calls and letters in opposition; even those made to other offices. (Staffers talk to one another, you see. What happens in Senator A’s office will eventually be known in Senator B’s office.)

Keep the pressure on! Don’t stop now!

Federal H.R.38 Legislation News Politics Pro-gun Self-defense

You read that right. Whether Sacramento likes it or not, California may soon be getting with the program on CCW. And it’s H.R. 38 that will drag this State kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 will mandate that all States recognize concealed carry permits issued by any other State. But here’s the important part: There’s no requirement that the permit be issued by one’s State of residence. A non-resident permit issued by Utah or Arizona, for example, would be valid in California. This is a feature, not a flaw. The bill’s author, Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) made sure that the language of the bill would protect the rights of Americans stuck in places like California or New Jersey.

Now, to be fair to the State of my birth, most of California is actually “shall issue”. Most counties here issue CCWs to anyone who qualifies. There are still training requirements, but these counties are not like L.A. County or similarly backward jurisdictions who refuse to issue permits to anyone other than the well heeled and connected. It’s also true that the State sheriffs’ organization here opposed H.R. 38. I’m sure that most are concerned about things like training requirements and visitors’ knowledge of our laws. (Though that latter concern isn’t much of a concern. Our laws and legal traditions on self-defense are actually pretty good; superior to some other States, in fact. I can’t imagine how a visitor from, let’s say, Virginia or Tennessee would run afoul of our laws. We’ve had Castle doctrine and Stand Your Ground as long as we’ve been a State!) However, this State has had years to get its act together and to stop violating the rights of its citizens. Now it’s time for the Federal government to step in to protect us. This is what the 14th Amendment is all about and why Congress has the power to do this. Those concerned about Federalism need to remember that the States do not have the power to violate the rights of the People.

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L.A. City attorney Mike Feuer and LAPD chief Charlie Beck took to the pages of the L.A. Times to whine about the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity bills working their way though Congress. The poor little dears. They’re about to lose one of the perks of office: Deciding who is and who isn’t allowed to defend their lives. Heaven forbid that the riff raff should suffer under the delusion that their lives matter!

But, could whiney Mike and Charlie have a point? If they do, then why tell lies to support their case? Shouldn’t a good case be able to stand on its merits and embrace the truth? When whiney Mike and Charlie claim that loose gun laws in other States allow felons to carry concealed guns, they’re lying. It’s always illegal for felons to possess firearms. This is a matter of Federal law. So why did whiney Mike and Charlie need to lie?

In most of California, concealed carry permits are fairly easy to get. California is a “may issue” State, but most counties operate under rules that are closer to “shall issue”. For those who don’t know, the latter means that a permit must be issued to someone if the authorities cannot find a reason not to do so. May issue means that issuance is entirely subjective; the sheriff or police department can issue to whomever they please. In counties like Los Angeles, that means friends of politicians, big donors, and celebrities. Not you, in other words! And if you’re visiting from another State, your permit isn’t valid here. Surprise! Your rights didn’t cross the State line with you.

National CCW reciprocity changes that. Your rights will apply here just as they do in your home State. It’s no different than your driver’s license. Furthermore, and this is what really has whiney Mike and Charlie’s panties in a wad, mere commoners from California would be able to get non-resident permits from others States that would be valid here. This is deliberate. Congressmen from other States want to see Californians’ rights restored. No longer would self defense be a privilege for the well-to-do.

What Feuer and Beck fail to mention is that California’s powers that be brought this upon themselves. Their years of abusing the may issue system were tolerated by the courts because open carry was always an option. (Albeit, a very weird version of open carry!) Now open carry is illegal. That leaves no option for using a gun for self defense outside of the home. That’s not constitutional.

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity will put and end to the abuses Californians have suffered under politicians like Feuer and Beck. It will make us all equal in the eyes of the law. Whiney Mike and Charlie don’t want that to happen. They benefit too much from a system that allows them to dispense permits only to those who can help their political careers.

No wonder they lied.

Federal Legislation News Pro-gun Self-defense

Even the most cursory examination of the news will show that a large number of Americans do not understand the nature and source of their rights; particularly those enumerated rights listed in the Bill of Rights. Worse, many believe in twisted interpretations of those rights. As an example, the 1st Amendment’s protection of Freedom of Religion gets morphed into a Freedom from religion. This viewpoint turns a freedom into a prohibition.

To understand something, it’s often necessary to first understand where it comes from. This leads us to Lesson 1:

  • Rights do not come from the Constitution.

Nor do they come from the State. What a State or one of its documents grants can be just as easily taken back by the State or edited out of said document. The rights listed in the Bill of Rights are rights that the People already held. In fact, they’ve always held them and they always will. Amending the Constitution would not extinguish those rights.

The 2nd Amendment reads…

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.

This construction recognizes that the right protected predates the Amendment, the Constitution, and the government itself. How can we know that this is true? Here’s what the text would look like if it were creating or granting a right…

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the people shall have the right to keep and bear Arms.

See the difference? In both cases, the State’s interest in maintaining the country’s militia capacity is defined in the prefatory clause. In neither case, is the right contingent upon the existence or efficacy of the militia.

The meat of both versions is in their operative clauses. In the alternative reality version, the verb is have. More specifically, have in the future tense. In the real version, the verb is infringe, present tense. If we say that someone will have something in the future, the implication is that they do not currently possess it. In the alternative version the right does not yet exist. In the case of real version, the State cannot infringe upon what doesn’t exist. A prohibition against doing something that’s impossible makes no sense. Thus, the right already existed at the time the amendment was written and was not brought into being by the amendment.

  • Rights often spring from other rights

The most basic of human rights is the right to one’s own life. This means that you have the right to live your life as you see fit, not as the State or some other entity sees fit. It follows that you have a right to the use of your own body. No one has a right to claim the use of your body. This is the heart of what slavery is; the use of one person’s body by another. It further follows that you have the right to protect your body from harm. In turn, it follows that you have the right to the means to protect your body from harm. Furthermore, you have the right to the most effective technologies available to protect your own body from harm: firearms. (Saying that the 2nd Amendment only protects the right to a Brown Bess musket is like saying that the 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Speech doesn’t apply to recordings of speech.)

  • You have some rights whether you like it or not

What are inalienable rights? Let’s start by defining “inalienable”. This is something that can not be made alien to you. Your liver is a fine example of something that cannot be made alien to you. You cannot decide that you don’t like your liver anymore and get rid of it. You could try, but you wouldn’t last very long. Inalienable rights have the same nature. You can try to push them away, but there will be consequences; often fatal ones.

This also means that rights are not subject to a popular vote. A majority of voters might decide that they don’t like their livers either, but that doesn’t make them right! Your lever remains inalienable despite popular opinion. Similarly, a majority might oppose the right of the individual to engage in armed self-defense; however, the individual still possesses that right. The majority and their government can pass all the laws they please on the matter, but that right will still exist.

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In the wake of the Las Vegas shootings people are asking “what could have been done?”. The answer might be unsettling.

The solution to a problem, of course, depends on the root cause of that problem. If your transmission is having a problem, fixing the brakes won’t help. To find a potential solution in this case, we need to understand the root causes of the event.

Some people are suggesting that background checks on gun purchases are the answer. But, the shooter passed background check after background check. So that’s not the solution.

Perhaps he was, as ISIS claims, a radicalized Muslim. If that’s the case, then better surveillance of fringe Muslim groups might be the answer. But there’s no evidence that he converted to Islam, so that’s not the answer.

He had a lot of guns. Could limiting purchases to one per month have stopped this? He seems to have purchased the guns over a long period of time. So that’s not the answer either.

Magazine size limits? He had dozens of guns. He could have, and did, switched guns as easily as magazines. No answer there.

Better monitoring of the mentally ill? There’s nothing to suggest that he was diagnosed with mental illness. Was he a member of an extremist group like Antifa? Nope. Past episodes of suicidal behavior? None. Anything in his online presence? Not a thing.

In short, there was nothing in the guy’s background that provided a clue as to what he was very carefully planning. No law, either currently on the books or proposed, could have stopped him. So says California Senator Dianne Feinstein. Even she says that there is no legislative solution that would have prevented this killer from doing what he wanted. (But don’t think that’s stopping her from proposing more gun laws!)

The unsettling answer is that there are no right answers here.

News

Legislation is very often like trying to swat a fly with a wrecking ball. You might actually get the fly, however, you’re also going to get a lot more; particularly more of what you really didn’t want to smash. Gun laws are nearly always legal wrecking balls. Not only do they fail to address whatever problems their supporters claim will be fixed, but they go on to create new problems. At FiveThirtyEight blog, researchers looked into gun laws and their effects. They didn’t look at the rosy predictions of anti-gun activists, nor did they look at the dire predictions of pro-gun activists. They looked at the statistics of gun related homicides in the US and found that one size truly doesn’t fit all.

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Oh sure, they’ll tell you that their donation is to help prevent “gun violence”. In fact, they probably believe that wholeheartedly. But, the end result will be more attempts to relieve law abiding gun owners of their rights. Why? Because they’re giving that money to people like the Brady Campaign and Michael Bloomberg’s mommies.

If they really wanted to prevent violence perpetrated with illegal guns, then they’d use that money to promote proven methods like Project Exile. The search engine giant is probably aware of the project. (Just a wild guess there!) Instead, they’re giving that money to groups who consistently view the law abiding gun owner, and not criminals, as the source of “America’s gun problem”. And of course, when you ignore a problem’s root cause, you can’t solve that problem. It gets worse when you dogmatically insist that there’s another root cause!

If Google really wants to do some good in this area, here’s another place that they could spend their money: The NRA’s Eddie Eagle program. Unlike the Mommies and their screeching, this program really does protect children from gun accidents; over 29 million thus far! Perhaps they should Google it to find out more.

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