Freedom Friday: Freedom for Shaneen Allen!

shaneen-allenFor this week’s Freedom Friday, we are happy to share that New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, has issued a full pardon to Shaneen Allen.

Allen, a Pennsylvania resident, was in possession of a firearm for which she held a valid and legal conceal carry permit from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Her crime was crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey, home of some of the strictest gun laws.

At a traffic stop, Allen informed the officer that she had a firearm in the car which she was licensed to carry. This triggered her arrest, 40 days in jail, loss of her job, and perhaps most devastatingly, the loss of custody of her children. Due to New Jersey’s Byzantine gun control laws, which some gun control activists continue to push for, Allen would also face felony charges preventing her from owning a firearm in the future as well as a mandatory minimum 3 year prison sentence.

All for exercising what is a black-letter right guaranteed by the Constitution via the 2nd Amendment. In addition to this right, the Constitution requires states to give “full faith and credit…to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.” This should certainly apply to the permitting process whereby states allow law-abiding citizens the right to “conceal carry” firearms.

Allen’s situation is not isolated. And many law-abiding citizens can find themselves in a similar predicament and be victim to overzealous prosecutors and a patchwork of state agreements making a gun permit of one state accepted in a collection of others. To know every possible permutation of what states honor which other states’ permits, you need an interactive map, like this one.

No state has the right to unleash this kind of prosecutorial terrorism on law-abiding citizens. That goes for those who hold the legal right to possess a firearm, and are visiting their state, as well as their own citizens. We prefer to leave it to states to run their own affairs, but each state admitted to the Union shares one federal Constitution. And that Constitution guarantees citizens the right to keep and bear arms.

We tip our hat to the governor of New Jersey and hope that Shaneen Allen’s story will become a call for other states having similar over-the-top gun control laws, like New Jersey (we’re looking at you, Maryland!), to reform their criminal codes to decriminalize the lawful exercise of Constitutional rights!

Our Interview with Emily Miller

EmilyGetsHerGun_CoverNot only did we have the chance to meet Emily at her book signing, but she was also kind enough to join us for an interview after we finished her book.  We focused on questions we thought would help readers interested in helping to support gun rights and other freedoms in a world that seems to be tangled in red tape. If you haven’t read her book, Emily Gets Her Gun but Barack Obama Wants to Take Yours, you can read our review here (and then you should read her book!)

FFP: We love the last line of your book: “A gun is just a tool. The fight is for freedom.” It’s exactly what Freedom Forge Press is all about—preserving and extending freedom for individuals.

Emily: I was struggling to write  the last line. One day, I was running outside to clear my mind, so I thought, “what is the big picture here? Is this about guns?” and it struck me, the Second Amendment isn’t about guns, it is about preventing government tyranny. And we’re witnessing a period in which the federal government has invaded all parts of our lives — our health care, spying from NSA, persecuting through the IRS, taking more taxes to have more spending in Washington. Grabbing guns is part of this whole Obama philosophy of taking power away from the people and putting it into Washington. Whether people individually choose to arm themselves is less important than preventing the federal government from taking over our lives.

FFP: So should everyone have a gun?

Emily: People ask me what guns do I like or recommend. I repeatedly say: owning a gun is a huge responsibility, not one to be taken lightly. It is much more  more responsibility than having a dog. A gun is a lethal weapon—you have to train, store it safely, know where it is when you are home or away. Not everyone wants that responsibility, but those of us who chose to get a gun should not have to fight through red tape set by the government to exercise this right. Personally, I feel much safer having a loaded gun by my bed, but it’s not for everyone.

FFP: Would you say that the right to defend oneself is a natural right? Not one granted to citizens by a government?

Emily: Yes, I put that in my book. I am a Christian. So were the Founding Fathers. When they wrote the Bill of Rights, they believed we had certain rights from God,  which the government had to respect. A lot of people have this backwards. They think the Constitution gives us these rights as opposed to knowing that we, as human beings, were given certain rights by God.

One of these rights is self defense.. That’s why I printed the Second Amendment in the front of my book. It’s short. It’s simple. It’s not complicated: “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.” That’s it.

So if the government infringes on this right, as we have done already in ways like prohibiting felons and drug addicts and the mentally ill from owning gun, it was because as a society we decided these limits made us all safer. But none of the gun control laws — like banning guns, or requiring a reason to get a carry permit or registration – has ever reduced crime. The simple reason is that criminals don’t care what the laws are — that’s why they are criminals. Do you think any criminal is going to go through the 17 steps that I did to register a  gun in DC? Of course not.

In the end, all the gun-control laws on the books and the new ones in the states from 2013 have to get sorted out by the courts, and I believe you’ll find that they violate the Constitution.

The problem is that the courts take a long time. It took 30 years for the courts to overturn the handgun ban in D.C.

This goes to show how easy it is to take away a constitutional right and how hard it is to get it back. It’s so easy to take away a constitutional right. It took less than six months in Colorado to change the laws in a state that is historically pro-hunting, rural and pro gun with things like like arbitrary magazine size  and so-called universal background checks. These laws are not stopping any criminals. They aren’t going to go to a dealer to get NICS check before transferring a gun.  It’s the law-abiding citizens who will follow them.

And while the lawsuit filed against Colorado is very strong, the citizens there are stuck living under those new laws until it is resolved. They did a great job with the recall elections this summer, but still it didn’t change the laws.

FFP: What can the average citizen do to help [the trampling of individual rights]?

Emily: Stay educated from really good resources.  Journalists are required to source their information first hand and get second sources.  Don’t use random blogs and forwarded emails to get your information. I see this strain of conspiracy theories that really don’t help anyone — like Homeland Security buying up all the ammunition or the Newtown murderer really using a handgun. These are internet rumors that don’t help change the real problem that citizens need to address.

There are real, genuine things going on infringing on the Second Amendment. In California, there’s a ban on traditional lead ammo in hunting, so the price of ammo is going to go through roof; steel ammo is banned, so supply is going to go down, availability is going to go down for everyone who hunts. I wish Second Amendment advocates had been more able to stop this before it became law.

I know there is a bias in the mainstream media, but The Washington Times gives straight news on gun issues. So do other conservative print media outlets, and Fox News for TV.  But you can also get information from the advocacy groups emails like NRA, Second Amendment Foundation, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Gun Owners of America.

There are so many attacks on the Second Amendment right now that people really need call their congressman and get active on the grassroots level. Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were not able to get their agenda to 60 votes last year, but they will keep trying until they do. Pro-gun people need to support those who are getting whacked by political ads paid for by Mike Bloomberg, pressuring them to change their vote.

FFP: You mention this in your book, but do you think people should just vote with their feet, moving to gun-friendly states if they are so inclined?

Emily: Maryland has seen a huge amount of people leave after the recent gun restrictions became law. A lot of them moved to Virginia and saw Terry McAuliffe get elected and are now frustrated with that.

People have different reasons for staying, like having a job. I understand people don’t want to live under governments that don’t have the same views as them. But personally, I’d rather see people stay in those states and fight for change than just leave. My expose on D.C.’s gun registration scam has already forced the city to change the laws twice. You can make an impact if you fight back.

I’d rather live in Virginia and be able to easily exercise my Second Amendment rights, but I also think that fighting and winning for everyone to get their rights reinstated is the ultimate goal there. We all want to bring America back to the intention of the Founding Fathers.

FFP: How do you recommend speaking to liberals or someone who is against guns about gun rights?

Emily: I know how it is extremely frustrating to talk to anti-gun people. This is what I suggest:

First, when dealing with someone who is black-and-white anti-gun, they are going to throw emotional stuff at you and they’ll focus on gun tragedies and the rare mass shootings from the headlines. Their argument isn’t factual. So the way to disarm that is to meet them on an emotional level before anything else. Say: ‘I know, isn’t it horrible what happened in Newtown, those poor children, it breaks my heart.’ Because that is how you really feel, but you need to say it. Be genuine. Then it breaks down the barriers, so they don’t feel like you’re a cold-hearted person who wants to go shoot people. This disarms them a bit, and then you have the opportunity to give them some facts.

There are three facts people can hear to change their minds: First, no gun control law has ever reduced crime. You can look at the two-year study by the Centers for Disease Control or the Harvard study.

Second, more guns does not lead to more gun crime. Gun ownership is the highest it’s ever been — with over 300 million guns in this country and about half the household reporting a gun in the home. However, gun crime rate has gone down continually for 20 years. The murder rate from 1992 to 2013 has gone down 50 percent. Non fatal shootings have gone down 75 percent.  Third, mass shootings have not increased—just because in the past year there have been people talking about it in the media, it’s not fact. Congressional Research Service did a study looking at 30 years of mass shootings and concluded that although they haven’t decreased, they haven’t increased either.

Over the course of 30 years, mass shooters kill 18 people a year. Even though you hear about them all the time, it seems more frequent because of the news coverage; it’s not increasing. In studies, it’s proven that mass shooting events are completely unavoidable. No one sees it coming. These severely mentally ill are completely unpredictable, but we do need better treatment. I also believe in making it easier to put people inpatient mental hospitals when they are a threat.

Finally, give the anti-gun people something actionable that they can do. Tell them to fight to get the mental health records into the NICS [National Instant Criminal Background-check System]. So many states are not doing this, and every state needs to. Their records need to be put into the system so gun dealers can know not to sell to the mentally ill who have been adjudicated or forced inpatient.

The world is broken. Unfortunately, people do want answers to all things that are sad and awful in the world. Why can’t we cure cancer? Why did someone get into a car crash? You always want to find an answer to things that are uncontrollable. Part of life is accepting that bad things can happen, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s just part of life.

We can look at the mother of the Newtown shooter and say she should have had him in more treatment, but she didn’t know he was violent. None of his doctors knew he was violent. It’s hindsight. It’s hard to say to people, and this is why I won’t talk to people about this who are anti-gun, but as much as you feel so strongly about these types of bans, they think they will solve the problem, but it’s not going to. It’s been proven over again. Every time we make a new gun control law, crime does not go down in those places.

There is evil in the world. We can fight it where we can. I wish that day, there had been a police officer parked at front when the shooter showed up, but there was no reason to suspect a shooter that day, so we’re left in that uncomfortable place. It’s that bad things happen in the world.

FFP: Do you believe teachers should be allowed to have concealed-carry permits to have guns in the classroom?

Emily: The NRA had supported this idea. For me, it goes back to the teachers. I don’t think you want to put that onus on the teachers. If they want to be, if they’re trained, that’s fine, but I don’t think overall we should put the onus of safety on the teacher. They have enough to do.

But we have this great program, a Clinton program actually, where we put former law enforcement and armed guards in schools, and it’s become defunded over the years, but I think it’s something to look into. Over half the schools in this country have armed guards. Schools are a major place where we want to have protection, especially over vulnerable children. An armed guard’s presence alone can deter crime. It’s a great program and should be considered. I think every community should have the right to armed guards at schools.

Most offices have armed guards. Schools should have the same right.

FFP: In your book, you mention many veterans who get into legal trouble—civil and criminal—for having ammunition or weapons somewhere, like at the bottom of a travel bag, just because they didn’t know the gun laws. What can people do to help these veterans, who volunteered their lives for ours, and who now have a legal mess because of a legislative mess?

Emily: There are so many more cases like Sgt. Corrigan or Spc. Meckler, who I write about in my book. A lot of people don’t want to go public. It does change your life when you’re featured in a newspaper story. I’m grateful to those who told me their stories and gave permission for me to use them in my book.

They’re the ones who did the thing that needs to be done, which is tell others so they don’t make the same mistakes. I was so proud of those guys. The chairman of the city council read aloud my stories in a hearing about a new law that would have let them get civil disposition. I emailed each of them afterwards, telling them that the laws changed because of you, and that was so admirable to come forward with your stories. I thank those vets so much for what they’ve done so that someone who gets caught in one of these bizarre laws in DC doesn’t have a criminal record.

I’m covering a story now about someone – Mark Witaschek– who is charged with possessing unregistered ammunition in his house. He’s facing two years in jail! There’s no way these laws can hold up in court, and they are being challenged.  I’m glad these guys have come out publicly so more people are aware of these crazy laws and that pressures the courts to rule that the registration requirement and the lack of carry laws is a violation of both the Heller decision and the Second Amendment.

 

Emily Miller is the Senior Editor for Opinion with The Washington Times.  You can (and should!) like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and of course check out her Washington Times articles.

Emily Gets Her Gun is published by Regnery Publishing, Inc.

Freedom to Defend Yourself: Recent Events from New York and Florida

As New York was digging out from a significant snowfall, a Greenwich Village building superintendent was clearing snow from his truck. In broad daylight a man approached, pulled out a gun, and stole the truck.  Fortunately the victim was not physically harmed.

But wait, wasn’t the recently passed SAFE Act demanded by Governor Andrew Cuomo and hastily passed by the New York legislature designed to make it “SAFE’r? The politicians even thought REAL hard and put “safe” in the law’s name in order to make it extra effective.

But contrary to the beliefs of opportunistic politicians in the State of New York, their law didn’t have the desired affect of keeping criminals from getting guns.  This reveals an arrogant flaw in the way people think who want to give the government more power. Passing laws does not turn evil people into good people. Thinking otherwise is foolish.

The only thing the SAFE Act did for the victim in this case was to legislate a tactical advantage for a criminal over a law-abiding citizen who did not have the legal means to defend himself. Would a carjacker, arming himself with a gun, really stop to make sure he only had the requisite number of bullets in it?  No more! Of course not.

AK47Turn now to Florida where a man was severely beaten by three armed home invaders who entered his property.  The homeowner was able to get his AK-47, and began shooting at his attackers, killing one and chasing the other two out of his house.

What if the Florida man actually lived in New York?  Or what if anti-gun fanatic Michael Bloomberg had been successful in buying enough Florida state elections to export New York’s lunatic gun laws to Florida? Again in this situation, the intruders were armed. Criminals seeking to invade homes, steal property, and beat homeowners probably don’t care if they have an unregistered gun, or even a gun with 9 rounds in it instead of 7.

The freedom to defend yourself and your family is fundamental. That is why the Second Amendment exists. Government at the local, state, or federal level has no business restricting the freedom of law-abiding citizens to legally own firearms in the interest of self defense.

The Greek philosopher Demonax the Cynic once remarked, “probably all laws are useless; for good men do not need laws at all, and bad men are made no better by them.”

These two recent news stories well illustrate this point.

Book Review: Emily Gets Her Gun…But Barack Obama Wants to Take Yours by Emily Miller

Emily Gets Her Gun: But Barack Obama Wants To Take Yours (Regnery Publishing) is the story of Emily Miller’s personal experience and observations in navigating the convoluted, hostile, and even incompetent District of Columbia bureaucracy in order to secure her constitutional right to legally own a firearm in her home of Washington, D.C. The book is definitely worth your time, especially if you value your Second Amendment rights to own firearms.  You’ll learn a lot of “need to know” facts about legal gun ownership and information needed to effectively defend your right to “keep and bear arms” when dealing with political figures and “reasonable gun control” advocates who propose policies that are anything but reasonable.

Emily Miller is a journalist and a resident of Washington, D.C. One day she found herself defenseless as criminals broke into a friend’s home as she was house-sitting. Emily decided to follow the District’s process for purchasing and possessing a legal firearm in Washington, D.C., which turned out to be no small feat. The book is a nonfiction account of her journey (of several months) to navigate the city’s red-tape aimed at making legal handgun possession too difficult for most people to achieve.

The narrative is told in alternating chapters. Miller alternates retelling her personal journey for firearm possession with commentary on recent incidents involving politicians and the media, many of whom seem to be aimed at grabbing the guns of law-abiding Americans. Emily’s writing style is easy to understand—it’s almost as if she’s sitting down with you for a one-on-one chat about her experiences. The speeches, laws, and documents she cites are extensively documented, so it’s easy to do further research on any of the points she makes and references she uses.

As an example, here are some statistics she provides in her book:

  • 1 of 4 registered voters believes stricter gun control laws will reduce firearm-related violence. Nearly 1 in 3 Americans owns a gun. There are also 8 million concealed-carry permit holders in the U.S., according to a Government Accountability Office study released in July 2012. (p. 19)
  • Rank and file law enforcement do not support more gun-control laws. PoliceOne did an extensive survey of 15,000 active and retired law enforcement officers across the country in March 2013. When asked what kind of effect a ban on “assault weapons” would have on crime, 71% said “none.” Another 21% said such a ban on guns based on cosmetic appearance would make crime worsen (p. 45)
  • All rifles, whether or not they have the cosmetic features, accounted for only 323 of the 12,664 homicides in the United States in 2011.…Twice as many people—728—were killed by attackers using hands and feet as by all types of rifles. Yet no one is calling for an assault-fist ban. (pp. 46-47)
  • The CDC task force concluded that “evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness” of the “high-capacity magazine” ban. According to a Justice Department study released in May 2013, the number of criminal shootings (fatal and nonfatal) has decreased 7% since the decade-long federal ban on “high-capacity” ammunition devices expired in 2004. (p. 65)100 million gun owners own 300 million firearms in our nation. 47% of Americans self-report having a gun in the home, according to a Gallup poll released in October 2011. That number was up from 41% a year earlier and the highest Gallup has recorded since 1993. (pp.155-156)
  • Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s stock was $5.29 on the day Obama was elected in 2008.  On June 3, 2013, the Ruger stock was at $51.02. That is a jaw-dropping 864% increase. Don’t you wish you’d bought that stock? (p.159)
  • About 30,000 people are killed by firearms a year—two-thirds are suicides—while guns are used to prevent crimes as often as two million times a year. (p. 193)
  • The two cities with the stiffest gun control laws—D.C. and Chicago—had increasing crime. Murders in the Windy City were up 16 percent in 2012 to 506 people. And there were 2,460 shooting incidents—a 10 percent increase from the previous year. (p. 199)
  • By a 2 to 1 margin, Americans favor armed security guards and police in more schools, according to the Pew Research Center. (p. 275)
  • 2 out of 3 voters say the Second Amendment was, in fact, intended to protect them from tyranny, according to a Rasmussen poll. Only 17% disagreed. (p. 276)
I met Emily Miller at a book signing earlier this fall. I was amazed by how crowded her signing was!

We met Emily Miller at a book signing earlier this fall. We were amazed by how crowded her signing was!

Her personal journey to legally register a gun is frustrating, to say the least. She had to spend hundreds of dollars in fees (not counting the purchase of the actual gun), take time off work, navigate through a web of city officials ignorant of the actual laws and regulations, and jump through many hoops—when in the very same city, criminals and non-criminals alike refuse to register their guns. Emily proves time and again, that only the law-abiding citizens are being punished by strict gun-control measures.

But the focus isn’t just about guns. The last paragraph summarizes Emily’s primary purpose for writing the book. While the main topic is her fight for personal gun rights, the last line (and our favorite!) is, “A gun is just a tool. The fight is for freedom.” Before experiencing the frightening break-in at her friend’s house, Miller had never shot or even held a gun before. Her motive throughout the book is emphasized as wanting to help law-abiding citizens secure the same rights that criminals seem to have—the ability to own a firearm. She notes how anti-gun legislation doesn’t make anyone safer; it simply removes freedoms.

Throughout the book, she also explains how many of the politicians and “anti-gun” advocates seem to know little, if anything, about guns. For instance, many anti-gun lobbyists seem to believe that Americans can still purchase automatic weapons (think: Rambo). She reminds the reader that the most “dangerous” weapons Americans can possess are semi-automatic, meaning one trigger pull equals one bullet.

She also points out that many gun laws seem arbitrary. For instance, when legislation was recently passed in New York, politicians mandated that residents could possess magazines able to hold no more than seven bullets. Had they done their research, they would have seen that seven-bullet magazines generally don’t exist for most handgun caliber models. The law was amended to allow residents to legally possess magazines that hold ten rounds, but lawmakers still restricted law-abiding citizens to only filling the magazine with no more than seven bullets. As she points out—a criminal will not abide by the law and will (a) secure even higher-capacity magazines by any means possible and (b) will not think twice about placing more than seven bullets in the magazine.

This point, that laws restricting gun rights only hurt law-abiding citizens, is a common theme running through the book. Emily provides examples to illustrate this point time and again in her book.

She also discusses the arbitrary nature of some of the “assault weapons” legislation aimed at limiting the types of weapons people may purchase. But non-functional, even completely cosmetic features of some guns are sometimes enough to earn them a place on an “assault weapon” ban list as defined in some state or city laws.

The gun Emily chose to purchase, for instance, is permitted in the District of Columbia in all black, or in black with a silver accent. But the same exact model was not allowed in the “Scorpion” version. The difference is cosmetic. The “outlawed” version is earth-toned tan. Imagine going to a car dealership to purchase a car, but finding out that you can only buy a white or gray one–red, and black, forget it–too dangerous!

The same is true for rifles. Many assault weapons are banned simply for having one or more cosmetic features. The type of grip, for instance, could make one gun outlawed but another, of the same exact caliber and functionality, would be legal. Adjustable stocks are also a big “no no” when it comes to a weapon’s legal status. It’s ironic that an adjustable stock simply makes it easier for a smaller person—such as a female—to comfortably hold the gun. Things like adjustable stocks and variable grip positions do not give criminals any advantage. Rather, they help people most in need of protection—such as petite women—hold the gun more safely and effectively if the weapon has to be used against a criminal. Once again, the people creating the laws seem to have no practical knowledge of guns, or what specifically makes them dangerous.

As is proven many times in the book, none of the laws deter criminals from possessing or using guns. The point is—criminals are criminals. Murder and theft are already illegal. Criminals ignore those laws. Even police officers surveyed admit that gun bans and stricter gun laws have little impact on criminals using guns. In fact, politicians usually ignore the most important points, which is that there already is a background system check in place for gun purchasers. The “gun show loophole” only actually allows an extremely small percentage of people to buy guns without a background check. Mental health checks—largely ignored, as states fail to upload important mental health data into a  national background check system that already exists—are the most important factor of keeping guns out of the hands of people who would most likely misuse them.

There’s also the argument that gun-free zones become like a playground for criminals. Knowing they won’t be confronted by any citizens who can lawfully conceal-carry a handgun, criminals feel free to shoot as many people as they like without fearing consequences. Just look at the crime rates in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Miller also makes the point that even though gun sales have skyrocketed lately (with the threat of gun bans), crime has been steadily decreasing. Increased gun ownership has not increased gun-related crime.

The examples go on and on. (Someone could write a book! Oh wait, someone has!)

Toward the end of the book, Miller cites examples of seemingly arbitrary and capricious enforcement of gun laws, some aimed at veterans arrested for arbitrary reasons—one for having three unregistered guns in the city, one for having several loose rounds in the bottom of a backpack (but having no weapon). She also demonstrates how celebrities and people with political connections do not have to go through the same scrutiny. For both examples above, veterans were subjected to extensive legal fees, undue stress, even jail time though they committed no actual crimes and were eventually cleared of (most of) the charges.

Miller notes that she could easily move to Virginia, where gun laws are much more fair to law-abiding citizens, but she chooses not to: she wants to stay in Washington, D.C., and continue her fight for gun rights. She notes that, although she is allowed to keep her gun in her home, she is not allowed to carry it outside, even into the lobby of her apartment building. Along her journey to become legally armed, she has met many people who have confided in her, and her goal continues to be helping others exercise their Second Amendment Rights without unnecessary restrictions. Emily is truly a freedom fighter, and one worthy of two thumbs up from Freedom Forge Press.

Published by Regnery Publishing.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million

Cover Courtesy of Regnery Publishing

Gun Crime Down; Democrats Stubbornly Promise Renewed Assault on Gun Freedoms

Despite gun crime decrease of 49 percent; Obama, Reid promise further gun control actions.

Freedom Forge Press

Do you remember Chris Rock’s well thought out reasoning for supporting President Obama’s push for tighter controls on the freedoms of law-abiding gun owners? Let’s rewind the tape for you!

Thank you, Chris, for that thoughtful and well-reasoned justification for why law abiding citizens should surrender their Second Amendment freedom. We’ll come back to this in a moment.

A Pew Research Center report released yesterday detailed a 49 percent decrease in gun-related crimes in the United States since 1993. The trend line shows a decline from 1993 to 2001, a leveling off, then resumed a downward movement in 2007. Interestingly, the same report shows the public is woefully uninformed about the trend. A public opinion poll showed 56 percent of respondents thought gun crime was up from 20 years ago. Twelve percent correctly identified the trend as lower; the rest, sadly didn’t know.
These results are interesting to note along side a recent Gallup poll. The poll asked what issues are most important to the public. Gun control came in at a respectable…4 percent, well behind the economy and unemployment (which really represent the same issue, no?), dissatisfaction with the government, and government spending. None of these items seem to draw much attention or interest from the Obama Administration.
Yet assaulting the freedom of lawful gun owners continues to be a fascination of the president and Congressional Democrats. Following the Senate pulling gun control bill, the president’s official Twitter account had the below message:
It probably doesn’t help that the “90 percent” figure is pure fantasy. The Gallup poll above shows the number is about 4%. And reality tells us that gun-related crime is on a downward trend without further government “help.” But as if taking his cue from the president, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reportedly stated on April 26 that gun control will “definitely” be back again this year.
Returning to Chris Rock’s comments above, that gun owners and the country should listen to the president because he is “our boss” and like our “dad of the country.” And when your dad says something, “you listen…when you don’t it usually bites you in the ass later on.”
Well Chris, and those who shared the “Demand a Plan” platform with you, nodding and laughing with you, we see it differently. We’d like to introduce you to a group of people known as the Founding Fathers. You can think of them also as founding “daddies” or “daddies of the country” if that helps. They wrote things like, “no free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms,” and “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
See these “daddies” of the country lived in another time when their government was attempting to take away basic freedoms too. Based on their experience with this tyranny, they put checks and balances on government power in place, like the Bill of Rights, to safeguard against future government mischief.
We’d like to see our current president and virtually all Members of Congress–from BOTH parties–get reacquainted with our founding fathers/daddies and relearn the principles of limited government that are illustrated in the Constitution that they have taken an oath to protect and defend.

Political Coercion in the Windy City

Several sources are reporting that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel penned a letter to the CEOs of Bank of America and TD Bank. The letter encourages the banks to stop providing banking services to gun manufacturers unless they begin supporting government gun control measures.

Where do we begin?

First, guns are constitutionally protected. So for an elected official, a mayor of one of America’s major cities, to be engaging in this behavior goes beyond the pale. A reasonable question is why would Emanuel want the banks to stop providing services only if manufacturers refuse to support government gun control proposals? Why not just encourage the banks to shut off services to gun manufacturers until they stop production and sale of weapons to any entity other than government agencies?

We’ll tell you why. Because the mayor knows that what he’s doing is wrong. Guns are legal to manufacture and sell to individuals, and the process already requires a background check to search for previous violent criminal behavior that would disqualify a person from owning a gun. But he knows that as a constitutionally protected right, he can’t stop the manufacture and sale of weapons to individuals. At least, not without getting individuals to willingly give up their rights. Rather than expend political capital on seeking a gun ban, Emanuel employs a Machiavellian strategy of trying to get the banks to willingly apply pressure to coerce gun manufacturers to stop selling their products (legally!) to civilians.

Why Emanuel? Why Chicago’s mayor? As it turns out, Illinois (not Chicago) has four gun manufacturers based within the state borders: ArmaLite, Lewis Machine and Tool of Milan, Rock River Arms of Colona, and Springfield Armory of Geneseo.

We assume Emanuel, like most other politicians, has an agenda of securing a political future rather than actually fixing problems. Let’s assume the banks give in and gun manufacturers are brought to their knees and agree to stop selling their products to civilians. This would play well in a variety of political theaters: an Illinois governorship, a senatorial campaign, perhaps even a White House run in 2016 (note other politicians with presidential aspirations include the governors of Maryland and New York, both of whom recently launched anti-gun rhetoric at a screech-level decibel).

But voluntarily giving the government what it wants is far easier than passing a law, or, worse yet, the government taking what it wants by force.

Assuming Emanuel were successful in his bid to politically terrorize gun manufacturers, and assuming other banks didn’t fill the void (perhaps not wanting to become political targets themselves), it would be easier to achieve a goal of making weapons unavailable to the public.

It would also be easier if gun manufacturers willingly adopted “gun control” by not making their products available to non-government customers.

And it would be far easier to get people to accept government “gun control” on their own and voluntarily turn in their weapons rather than deal with such pesky things as constitutional rights and trying to amend the Constitution.

We hope Bank of America and TD Bank’s answer is a resounding, “NO!” Attempting to coerce private banks to kiss the mayor’s ring and implement “gun control” via back door and under-the-table tactics is disgraceful. Chicago’s mayor has disgraced himself and the city he represents. But he’ll likely not be held accountable for such behavior.

We hope gun manufacturers understand the role they play in the private lives of citizens. They provide a tool that is used in sports, hunting, and most importantly, self-defense. It is legal. It is constitutionally protected. And if the mayor should come calling hoping that they will willingly stop selling a legal product to a law-abiding public, we hope that answer is also a resounding, “NO!”

And lastly, if the mayor should come to law-abiding citizens, asking them to turn in their lawfully purchased and owned weapons, we hope the answer they give is a clear and resounding, “NO!”

It’s far easier for the government to take away its citizens’ freedoms with a willing and cooperative public. But the time has come when We the People must put our foot down and say, “NO!”

No, you can’t take away our freedom and our rights.

No, you can’t coerce us to give them up willingly.

No, you cannot come to the back door attempting to sell what you would dare not sell at the front door.