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  1. If there is a group that gun folks can easily find common cause with, it’s the knife rights crowd. After all, the right to keep and bear arms isn’t exclusively talking about guns, but any kind of “arms.” Not only that, but we both have a common foe in New York City, which unduly restricts the carrying of any kind of arms. Now, a case over knife rights in the Big Apple is headed to the Supreme Court. Knife Rights is going forward with an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States of the Second Circuit’s decision in favor of New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. in our long-running civil rights lawsuit over their persecution of pocket knife owners. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg last week granted us a 60-day extension until January 13th, 2019, for submission of our petition for a writ of certiorari asking the Court to hear our appeal. While our lawsuit against New York City and DA Vance centers on their abusive enforcement of New York State’s gravity knife ban against owners of common pocket knives, the focus changes somewhat as it moves to the Supreme Court. Keep in mind that the Supreme Court does not generally agree to hear a case just because any particular decision in a case is unjust, irrational or just plain terrible, all of which describe this ruling in spades. Beyond settling major constitutional issues, the Court will sometimes choose to resolve differences in the application of Federal law among different Federal circuit courts when its decisions are not applied the same throughout the U.S. The Second Circuit panel’s ruling regarding our constitutional vagueness claim in this case opens up that possibility with starkly split decisions between it and other circuits, as well as splits between a number of state courts. The writ explains why this case is important and worthy of the Court’s limited time. While all this is important for knife rights activists, there always exists a potential for gun rights to be expanded by the Court. After all, New York City heavily restricts pretty much all arms. Should the Court decide to lower the boom on that as a whole, gun rights open up throughout the city. To call it a significant victory would be a massive understatement. That said, don’t hold your breath. The Supreme Court is notorious for not issuing broad rulings as a general rule and rarely offers decisions that extend beyond the case in question. While the justices may decide to rule in favor of knife rights, I’m unfortunately confident that it will read in a manner where it doesn’t cover anything but knives. Which will be a shame, if I’m right, but not an unexpected one. But this will also be the first test of Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a member of the Court in a case with Second Amendment ramifications, so how he’ll side should be telling for the long run. Especially after his treatment by the left during his confirmation. The post NYC Knife Case Headed To Supreme Court appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  2. In the wake of Sutherland Springs just under a year ago, many churches started looking to have their own security. Many states made moves to make it easier for them to do so, as well. The understanding was that had the gunman met armed resistance earlier maybe he wouldn’t have massacred so many people. I don’t believe that thinking is wrong in any way. With the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh a week ago, it’s clear that not every house of worship has gotten the memo. To that end, the folks at the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) have a proposal. They’re offering free training to protect our houses of worship. The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) announced on Thursday its latest online training event would focus on protecting houses of worship. The group, which sells firearms training and concealed carry insurance, said the recent anti-Semitic attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead and 5 wounded is the kind of attack the training series is designed to defend against. “On behalf of the more than 250,000 members of the USCCA we mourn for the victims, their families and the City of Pittsburgh,” Tim Schmidt, president of the USCCA, said. “They are all in our prayers. Sadly, this latest shooting is a reminder that too many lives have been lost because murderous maniacs know that our places of worship are soft targets where those inside often don’t have the ability to protect themselves.” The series will debut on the company’s website on Monday at 7 p.m. CST. It will feature trainers from USCCA leading students through scenarios with specialized equipment like “stress vests” and simulated UTM ammunition. The company said the training sessions will cover “what to do when there is an active shooter in your church, what you can do to prepare, where your security team members should sit, tips on deadly force decision making, and the proper size of a house of worship security team.” The video series will be followed by a live training event on Nov. 12 that will be broadcast across the company’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Schmidt said the series will be available free of charge and is intended to educate the public and encourage more people to carry a firearm for self-defense. “In countless situations across this country, concealed-carry permit holders have been the front lines of defense against evildoers because they have the necessary knowledge, training and experience to protect those around them,” Schmidt said. “As a society, we should be having an important conversation about whether we are truly doing everything possible to protect ourselves and those around us. This new training offered by the USCCA will hopefully provide life-saving advice for anyone who has to confront an active shooter situation.” The Pittsburgh attack reignited the debate over how to respond to mass shootings and other violent attacks at vulnerable places like houses of worship or schools. In the aftermath of the attack, President Trump said “results could have been much better” if somebody at the synagogue had been armed. Schmidt said he agreed with the president’s sentiment. Gun-control activists took the opposite approach, saying Americans shouldn’t feel the need to be armed when they go to worship and warning that armed civilians could cause more harm than good. Of course, gun control advocates always take the opposite approach. They can’t comprehend that the gun can’t act on its own and thus can’t be responsible for what some jackwagon does with it. The only reasonable response is for armed individuals inside our houses of worship to be there to meet the threat. It may not stop mass shootings entirely, but maniacs will be more likely to look at other targets than churches to unleash their evil upon. I don’t care how you cut it, that’s still a win. The post USCCA Offers Free Training To Protect Houses Of Worship appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  3. In the wake of Sutherland Springs just under a year ago, many churches started looking to have their own security. Many states made moves to make it easier for them to do so, as well. The understanding was that had the gunman met armed resistance earlier maybe he wouldn’t have massacred so many people. I don’t believe that thinking is wrong in any way. With the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh a week ago, it’s clear that not every house of worship has gotten the memo. To that end, the folks at the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) have a proposal. They’re offering free training to protect our houses of worship. The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) announced on Thursday its latest online training event would focus on protecting houses of worship. The group, which sells firearms training and concealed carry insurance, said the recent anti-Semitic attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead and 5 wounded is the kind of attack the training series is designed to defend against. “On behalf of the more than 250,000 members of the USCCA we mourn for the victims, their families and the City of Pittsburgh,” Tim Schmidt, president of the USCCA, said. “They are all in our prayers. Sadly, this latest shooting is a reminder that too many lives have been lost because murderous maniacs know that our places of worship are soft targets where those inside often don’t have the ability to protect themselves.” The series will debut on the company’s website on Monday at 7 p.m. CST. It will feature trainers from USCCA leading students through scenarios with specialized equipment like “stress vests” and simulated UTM ammunition. The company said the training sessions will cover “what to do when there is an active shooter in your church, what you can do to prepare, where your security team members should sit, tips on deadly force decision making, and the proper size of a house of worship security team.” The video series will be followed by a live training event on Nov. 12 that will be broadcast across the company’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Schmidt said the series will be available free of charge and is intended to educate the public and encourage more people to carry a firearm for self-defense. “In countless situations across this country, concealed-carry permit holders have been the front lines of defense against evildoers because they have the necessary knowledge, training and experience to protect those around them,” Schmidt said. “As a society, we should be having an important conversation about whether we are truly doing everything possible to protect ourselves and those around us. This new training offered by the USCCA will hopefully provide life-saving advice for anyone who has to confront an active shooter situation.” The Pittsburgh attack reignited the debate over how to respond to mass shootings and other violent attacks at vulnerable places like houses of worship or schools. In the aftermath of the attack, President Trump said “results could have been much better” if somebody at the synagogue had been armed. Schmidt said he agreed with the president’s sentiment. Gun-control activists took the opposite approach, saying Americans shouldn’t feel the need to be armed when they go to worship and warning that armed civilians could cause more harm than good. Of course, gun control advocates always take the opposite approach. They can’t comprehend that the gun can’t act on its own and thus can’t be responsible for what some jackwagon does with it. The only reasonable response is for armed individuals inside our houses of worship to be there to meet the threat. It may not stop mass shootings entirely, but maniacs will be more likely to look at other targets than churches to unleash their evil upon. I don’t care how you cut it, that’s still a win. The post USCCA Offers Free Training To Protect Houses Of Worship appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  4. For better or worse, we’re in what some have termed a cold civil war. For the last several years, we’ve seen riots aplenty. We’ve seen opponents of President Trump assault their opposition. They’ve thrown Molotov cocktails and bottles with M80s inside, all designed to hurt or kill their opponents. Violence has been bubbling up for some time. While there have been examples of people from what is termed as this side of the aisle being violent, the “bomber” of recent memory and the driver of the car in Charlottesville who killed a protestor, these acts have been dwarfed by the countless acts of violence perpetrated by Leftists. None of that matters, according to one “expert.” I spoke to Daryl Johnson, the former Department of Homeland Security analyst who created a big stir when he authored a leaked report in 2009 warning of a rise in right-wing extremist activity. Conservatives reacted with outrage, and the Obama administration decided it needed to do damage control. But Johnson was onto something, and he has since launched a consulting company that studies domestic extremism and advises law enforcement about it. An edited and condensed version of our conversation follows. Q: Your 2009 report talked about the rise in right-wing extremism as a reaction to Barack Obama’s election and the financial crash. What are the ingredients now? A: We’ve had almost eight years of far right groups recruiting, radicalizing, and growing in strength. Typically during Republican administrations we see a decrease in activity. But under this administration they continue to operate at a heightened level. One reason why is the rhetoric coming from Donald Trump. Building a border wall, deporting immigrants, a travel ban on Muslim countries – these are themes discussed on white nationalist message boards and websites for years, now being endorsed and talked about at the highest levels of the government. He’s retweeted messages about Muslims from conspiracy sites. What keeps these groups energized and active is the fact that the administration has mainstreamed their message and tried to put it forth as policy. Q: Why do these groups usually go into decline during other Republican administrations? A: Militias and anti-government groups get energized under a Democrat because of fear of gun control; the hate groups get active because of liberal Democratic policies extending rights to immigrants, gays, and minorities. During Republican administrations the fear and paranoia get dialed back because they feel the administrations are not going to repeal gun rights or extend rights to minority groups. Q: This is different. A: Yup. Because of the viciousness of the rhetoric painting Democrats as evil and corrupt. And the different themes that resonate with extremists. You’ll note a profound lack of anyone even mentioning the near constant violence from Leftists in this. So why are we really the threat? Why are they saying we are so radicalized? It’s simple. We didn’t want to give up our guns and we still don’t. We recognize that taking away our gun rights means there is no way to defend any of the rest of our rights, so we refuse to budge and are willing to fight to keep them. Literally. Here’s the difference that’s being missed, though. Yes, many on the Right have created groups designed to fight any attempts at gun confiscation and are willing to fight over other potential provocations too, but they were remarkably quiet during the Obama administration. They didn’t like him, and they didn’t trust him, but they trusted the process to keep him more or less in check. They didn’t destroy private property every few months. They didn’t assault people with things like bike locks over political disagreements. They didn’t do any of that. They just quietly prepared in case they needed to act. Now, we can talk about how well they prepared some other time, but we all know that’s what they did. Yet somehow, the Right is still the dangerous ones? Really? Look, if you follow history, you’ll see that the Left has always been more violent than the Right. The Left sees its opponents as less than human, thus willing to hurt or kill to advance its agenda. It’ll even use the guns it decries to help advance its cause. But if you or I want to hold onto our guns, we’re right-wing extremists. Some things never change. The post Despite Constant Left-Wing Violence, The Right Is ‘Real’ Threat appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  5. For a gun rights advocate, there may not be a phrase that’s more annoying than one that starts with, “I’m a hunter, but…” These are people who will support the gun control agenda, at least as it currently stands, and ignore anyone who points out that the gun control crowd’s M.O. means they’ll be coming for hunting rifles eventually. They figure since the current debate leaves their guns alone, the rest of the firearm-owning community can go pound sand. Now, Vice is giving them a platform as a way to try and counter the National Rifle Association. Jim Low grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri, a town that still boasts fewer than 50,000 residents. There, he spent his boyhood trampling through a deep, unkempt forest with his brother, training his BB gun on anything that moved. “There was something that spoke to us, drew us down into those creek bottoms and had us chasing squirrels and rabbits,” he told me. “As adults, [hunting is] something that feels very right, and we think it’s rooted deep within us.” Now that he’s retired from 24 years at Missouri’s Department of Conservation, and free to express his opinion, Low is adding his name to a very short list of American hunters: those advocating publicly for gun reform. Amid a spasmodic debate over gun violence in America, hunters have often been conspicuously absent. That’s because they face a real price—in terms of lost community, and possibly even lost jobs—for speaking out. But they’re also uniquely potent messengers. “We are Republican, Democratic and independent,” began an open letter Low signed with 11 other hunters in early May. “We are Americans; we are gun owners; we are hunters; and we support responsible firearm regulation.” The letter offered a list of reforms, from higher gun-purchasing age rules and mandatory background checks to the prohibition of “new sales of semiautomatic shotguns or rifles (except .22-caliber rim fire) that can hold more than 10 rounds.” Hunters don’t need AR-15s or assault-style weapons to hunt, it argued, and the hunting community shouldn’t be used as a “shield” by those keen to shut down the debate. But hunters represent a mere fraction of gun owners. Less than five percent of Americans hunted in 2016, by the federal government’s official tally—compared to roughly 30 percent who owned guns. Gun owners were almost twice as likely to say they owned guns for protection rather than hunting, and while the NRA might be the best-known organization that represents hunters—roughly half of its members were estimated to hunt—only 19 percent of gun owners belonged to the NRA, according to a Pew Research Center 2017 survey. … But gun owners are divided—especially on gun control. The Pew survey found that those who didn’t belong to the NRA and those who identified as Democrats were far more likely to favor a number of gun-law reforms, and far more likely to agree with Low. “They certainly don’t speak for me,” he said of the NRA, “and I don’t like the assumption that because I’m a hunter I’m against any kind of gun control and against even talking about gun control.” “I have heard for decades that hunters all have to stand together or we’ll hang separately,” he added, “and I don’t buy that.” Whether you buy it or not is irrelevant. It’s the truth. The reality is that Fudds like these are a problem, in part because of their oblivious nature. First, who gives a damn if no one needs an AR-15 to hunt? The Second Amendment is strangely mum on the issue of hunting, making it clear that our right to keep and bear arms is a matter of national defense, not about putting food on the table. The AR-15 isn’t bad for defending yourself, your home, or your nation with and that’s really what the Second is about. Second, you’re an idiot if you think things will stop with a ban on semi-automatic weapons (which isn’t going to happen anyway, even if the Blue Wave is bigger than even Nancy Pelosi believes). It’ll start there, sure. But tomorrow, your hunting bolt-action rifles will be termed as “sniper rifles” and maybe even “weapons of war.” There will be a push to ban those after some idiot uses one to do something like the Beltway Sniper incident. The airwaves will be filled with talking heads going on about how these weapons are just too powerful for civilian hands. And you’ll be there, wondering just how in the hell it happened, and the rest of us will point out how you did this. You let it get to this. For a century, gun owners compromised with gun control advocates. We gave up ground to appear reasonable. What did the gun control crowd ever give up? What did they ever offer to show that they were reasonable? Nothing. So we stopped giving up ground. We held firm because it was clear that it was never going to be enough for them until we were all disarmed. But the Fudds aren’t capable of grasping that reality, and this is all the proof you need of that fact. The post Vice Gives Platform To Gun Control-Supporting Hunters appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  6. One of the arguments we routinely use is that the gun is not to blame for a mass shooting. Pro-gun advocates will tell the world that the gun has no mind of its own. It doesn’t make people kill, and it can also stop attacks if used, so let’s stop pretending guns are to blame. However, in light of the most recent mass shooting, it seems that a large number of Americans disagree. Americans are closely divided over whether more stringent control of guns could have helped prevent this weekend’s massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue. But one-third of Americans think access to guns is more at fault than the killers in incidents of this kind. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 46% of American Adults believe stricter gun control laws would help prevent shootings like the one in Pittsburgh. Nearly as many (43%), however, disagree. Ten percent (10%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) A year ago following a mass shooting in Las Vegas, 43% said more gun control would help prevent incidents like this; 46% disagreed. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Americans say that in crimes involving use of a gun, the shooter is more to blame than the availability of guns in America. But 31% disagree, saying the availability of guns is more to blame. Democrats (51%) are much more likely than Republicans (13%) and those not affiliated with either major party (25%) to blame the availability of guns for mass shootings more than the person who pulls the trigger. … The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on October 29-30, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. So, let’s go and look at that statement in bold type for a moment. Thirty-one percent of the people surveyed say the availability of guns is more to blame than the person who pulls the trigger. To put it another way, the Rassmussen Poll found that 31 percent of Americans are apparently total morons suffering from some kind of severe mental disability. We can disagree about whether gun control is the answer to whatever problem, but only an idiot would think that guns are somehow responsible for incidents like the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. The gun had no volition, no free will to act on its own. Guns aren’t cursed magical items from a fantasy novel that urge their owners to commit atrocities. They have no opinion of their own. They’re tools which people will sometimes use to carry out heinous acts. In the last week, we’ve seen the constant push against gun control continue to intensify, but the sad truth is that this constant push is all the anti-gunners know how to do. They can’t imagine addressing anything else in our society that might be a contributing factor. They don’t even want to address that. It’s because they don’t actually care about mass shootings. They don’t care about mass murder. They’re so hyperfocused on guns that it becomes clear they’re scared of a device that can’t do anything on its own that they forget that the maniacs will resort to other means to slaughter the innocent. But now we can see just how many idiots we have running around. Maybe it’s time to support idiot control instead. Hat tip: NRA-ILA The post 31 Percent Of Americans Blame Guns, Not The People Killing appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  7. If there’s one thing the American left loves more than gun control, it’s identity politics. They love to put people in little boxes and expect them to vote a certain way because of they’re ethnicity. They don’t like to think of people as individuals who make decisions about their politics based on their own experiences, observations, and understanding. That’s why they get so angry at black Republicans, for example. Yet they can’t help themselves. They don’t see how someone can’t identify with the identity group in every way. Which may explain an op-ed basically trying to push Jewish Republicans to embrace gun control in the wake of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. Jewish Republicans, your brethren have a critical assignment for you – pressure your fellow Republicans to establish strong gun control measures. … Advocates have long professed that gun control legislation is required to keep firearms out of reach of these assassins. New laws might not prevent all these incidents, but it will likely thwart a great many of them. These measures will not take firearms away from responsible gun owners. Only Congress can accomplish this, and most Republicans have repeatedly refused to vote for such laws. That’s where you, Jewish Republicans, enter the picture. The pro-Israel community and the firearms lobby are known as the top two funders of political campaigns. Republican members of Congress and presidential candidates rely on both lobbies. Jewish Republicans are hardly monolithic about firearms. The Republican Jewish Coalition makes that clear as part of its mission statement: “Social issues such as abortion, gay rights, gun control…are topics that generate strong emotions on all sides. The RJC membership and Board of Directors are as divided as the rest of America on these issues. The RJC recognizes that many good people hold opposing views on these matters and we respect the differences of opinion among our membership.” That statement affords Jews in the GOP a foundation for applying their influence with and access to the President and Republicans in Congress. Honestly, this disgusts me. Jewish Republicans who oppose gun control oppose it based on a number of issues, including the fact that the Constitution of the United States of America clearly says that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Others recognize that gun control doesn’t actually work to thwart these attacks. At most, they transform the attacks as killers use different tools…and they successfully disarm the only people who might have had a chance to stop it. A far better use of everyone’s time would be to combat the anti-semitism that was the driving force behind Saturday’s attack. That’s something we can universally agree has no place in our world today. Where are the calls for bipartisan efforts to combat that? Of course, that doesn’t serve the leftist narrative, the very same narrative that routinely opposes any effort to support Israel. The same narrative that seems focused on supporting Israel’s enemies, enemies that want to see the Jewish state completely destroyed. The writer here is nothing more than an identitarian who seems to believe that his politics should be the politics of the entire Jewish population. He expects Jews to stay on the leftist plantation, and when they get uppity and go off, he’ll use anything he can to get them back on. That includes blaming guns for the actions of a hateful maniac, apparently, rather than the hateful maniac in question. The post Op-Ed Writer Urges GOP Jews To Embrace Gun Control appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  8. When you’re on this side of the gun debate, you get used to understanding that the media is against you. It’s one of the first things you learn. After a while, it’s hard not to see that bias everywhere. But a lot of people never notice it. They don’t pay that much attention and never realize how the media is heavily biased against roughly half of the country. I’ll admit that I used to deny it even existed myself. However, Hollywood has a definite anti-gun bias despite their reliance on firearms to make a product people want to watch. Recently, they decided to offer more proof of that. The ending credits for the most recent episode of NBC’s hit drama This is Us promoted the Michael Bloomberg-funded gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety. Newsbusters published a screenshot of the ending credits, which referenced the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, saying, “Our hearts are broken. We stand with our television hometown of Pittsburgh. To learn more about ending gun violence visit Everytown.org.” When viewers go to Everytown.org they are urged to vote for gun control candidates in the upcoming midterm elections and they’re told about “America’s unprecedented levels of gun violence.” Voters are not told that America’s surge in homicide rates occurred 2014-2016, the last two years of the gun control presidency of Barack Obama, nor are they told that Democrat-run cities like Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis, and others, had so much gun crime that they drove the numbers up for the whole country. Look, I don’t have any issue with them saying their hearts are broken over the shooting in Pittsburgh. In fact, I think that is a nice thing to add at the end of an episode of a TV drama. It’s good for the people of Pittsburgh and the Tree of Life Synagogue to know that people are with them. But that’s where it should have ended. The fact that it didn’t means one of a few possible things. Either they knew precisely what they were doing and didn’t give a damn about how people would feel about the push for gun control or they didn’t, in which case they were so completely oblivious to what’s going on in the world today that they have no business opining on much of anything. Like it or not, a large chunk of the American public doesn’t believe in gun control. They understand that gun laws make us less safe and empower criminals to act with impunity because there’s no one left around to dissuade them from their activities. Good people die because they don’t have the means to defend themselves while the bad guys keep arming themselves in defiance of the law. Whoever’s bright idea it was to include that at the end of the show is an idiot. The only real topic up for debate is just what kind of an idiot he or she is. Are they so wrapped up in their bubble that they’re surprised to find out that people don’t agree with them, or are they the kind of moron who thinks it’s alright to preach to people? Who knows. What I do know is that it’s yet another reason to not watch that particular show. The post ‘This Is Us’ Provides More Evidence Of Media Bias appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  9. I’m not a lawyer. I’ve never pretended to be one, either. I want to put that out there right off the bat because I’m about to take serious issue with something a supposedly actual attorney said and I think it’s important to understand that I’m not pretending to be an expert. Of course, this prosecutor from Miami, who has a law degree, doesn’t sound like much of an expert either. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle wants the Florida Supreme Court to know that she believes the latest version of the state’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law is just flat out unconstitutional. According to the Miami Herald, Fernandez Rundle is a member of The League of Prosecutors, a South Florida organization that recently requested that the law be struck down because it unlawfully compels state attorneys to try cases involving self-defense claims before a judge, instead of a jury. “There is nothing specialized or unique about this defense that the common juror cannot understand,” said the brief filed Friday. Fernandez Rundle also filed a brief joining in the effort, making her the first state attorney to break from Attorney General Pam Bondi, whose office is defending the updated “Stand Your Ground” law passed by the Florida Legislature in 2017. Oh, boy, where do we start. First, there is nothing in the Constitution that requires all legal matters to be tried before a jury. It guarantees the right to a jury trial, but that doesn’t mean every single matter in a trial must go before a jury. Especially if the defendant is fine with that. Remember, the jury is there to preserve the rights of the defendant, not to make the prosecutor’s life easier. Second, a lot of things are dealt with before a judge without the presence of a jury. Hearings are a routine part of the process, and this is no different. Further, I’d argue that the common juror may well not be able to understand the nature of the defense. After all, despite the law being available for politicians to read, they still mischaracterize Stand Your Ground laws as somehow legalizing the murder of minorities. It’s nothing of the type, and the law applies to people of all ethnicities equally and offers no protection for those who panic due to racial prejudices. If people who are supposed to know better–people who are often lawyers, I might add–can continue to mischaracterize the law, what hope does anyone have that the common juror will understand it just fine? What Fernandez Rundle fails to note in her brief, based on my understanding of it, is why Florida law is written the way it is. She fails to mention that the law was changed to its current form due to the malicious and politically-motivated prosecution of George Zimmerman for the self-defense shooting of Trayvon Martin that pushed lawmakers to make changes. While Zimmerman was acquited, he was also on the hook for massive legal fees because of a prosecution that never should have happened. My guess is that Fernandez Rundle wants to dismantle the Stand Your Ground defense so she can prosecute anyone who acts in self-defense but happens to be of the wrong ethnicity in her mind. Especially if they Stand Their Ground against a minority. After all, how many times have we seen people labeled as racist because they defended themselves against an attacker of the wrong ethnicity? The truth is, the law is there to protect everyone equally from malicious prosecution after they defend themselves. If progressive prosecutors weren’t so hellbent on trying to punish people who use a firearm in self-defense, the law wouldn’t have been needed in the first place. All Fernandez Rundle is trying to do is return us to those bad old days, and she isn’t making much sense in her efforts to do so. The post Miami Prosecutor Argues ‘Stand Your Ground’ Unconstitutional appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  10. A while back, a good friend of mine was a contestant on the History Channel’s show, Forged in Fire. He finished as a runner-up in that episode, but I kind of think he got robbed. Then again, Trenton Tye and I go way back. In fact, we’ve known each other almost 20 years now. So, I was kind of stoked to hear about his new gig, and when you guys hear about it, I think you’ll be pretty stoked too. DISCOVERY TO PREMIERE ALL-NEW COMPETITION SERIES ‘MASTER OF ARMS’ Premieres Friday, November 2 at 10 PM ET/PT on Discovery Channel (LOS ANGELES) – Over the course of history, skilled craftsmen helped shape the fate of mankind by constructing the most iconic weaponry known to man. Inspired by age-old traditions, Discovery Channel is gathering the best builders to battle it out in a head-to-head competition to re-create the armaments that have changed the course of history. MASTER OF ARMS premieres Friday, November 2 at 10 PM ET/PT on Discovery. Centuries ago, the greatest empires leaned on the backs of weapon craftsmen to create the blades, bows and ballistics that would win wars and alter history forever. Now, modern weapons smiths will put their technical knowledge and ingenuity to the test giving insight into age-old building techniques — and the traditions, methods and craftsmanship that define them. Each episode, three builders will face-off in two historical challenges that call upon era-specific weaponry, from the firearms of the frontier to the blades of the Vikings. But these aren’t just quickly fabricated weapons – each tool will be heavily researched and crafted pieces of art. Weapons will be tested by a decorated military marksman and judged by four experts: Ashley Hlebinsky, one of the leading firearms historians in the country. Ashley has dedicated her life and career to the study of weaponry. She is currently the Chief Curator of one of the largest firearms collections in the country, the Cody Firearms Museum, in Wyoming. Nicholas Irving, a former Sergeant within the Special Operations unit, 75th Ranger Regiment 3rd Ranger battalion, served as an assaulter, machine gunner, designated marksman and sniper. He is also The New York Timesbestselling author of The Reaper, Way of the Reaper andReaper: Ghost Target. Zeke Stout, a certified firearms specialist. He has served as an executive at one of the largest firearms, technology, and gunsmithing schools in the country. In that role, he was certified as a higher education professional in leadership, an Armorer in several platforms, including the 1911 and Penn arms grenade launcher. Trenton Tye, a professional blacksmith with over 20 years’ experience. His specialties include casting, gunsmithing, knife making, and ancient arms and armor. In each episode, blade, ballistic and bow weapons will be rigorously tested as well as judged on their design, historical accuracy, and abilities. With an elimination after each challenge, only one smith will walk away with the grand prize of $10,000 and be crowned the “Master of Arms.” MASTER OF ARMS is produced for Discovery Channel by Matador Content. For Matador Content, Todd Lubin, Jay Peterson and Brian Nashel are executive producers. For Discovery Channel, Matthew Vafiadis and Bill Howard are executive producers and Cameron Doyle is Coordinating Producer. About Discovery Channel: Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com Here’s a sneak peek at some of the non-firearm weapons they’ll be making this season: However, don’t think they’re just making sharp pointy things either. Other promos include reproductions of some seriously cool antique firearms, as well. Frankly, I can’t wait to watch it–and not just because an old friend is a judge. If you like watching craftsmen at work and have an interest in historical arms, this might just be the show for you. Since I’m a history geek and a gun nut, I can’t help myself. We’ll have to see how the show itself shakes out, but color me intrigued, especially since it’s a show that portrays firearms as pieces of fine craftsmanship rather than unspeakable evil. In this day and age, that’s a nice change of pace from what we usually see portrayed in the media. Granted, cable has been more open to gun-related content than network television tends to be. It’s unlikely that the program will take any stand on political issues, but that’s alright. We don’t need that. What we need is quality entertainment featuring firearms, and now we’re getting it. The post Discovery Channel’s ‘Master Of Arms’ Series Premieres Friday appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  11. In the immediate aftermath of the Parkland massacre, gun control advocates jumped up on their soapboxes and declared that November’s election was going to be all about gun control. Anti-gun groups started spending money like there was no tomorrow. They were bound and determined to make this election a referendum on gun control versus gun rights. Like most things the anti-gunners try to do, it failed. Gun control groups are on track to outspend the National Rifle Association in federal races for the first time in years, yet even post-Parkland they’re struggling to make headway in this year’s midterm elections. Less than one out of every 50 broadcast campaign TV ads run in federal races over the last two months has dealt with gun control, lagging far behind the big issues of health care and taxes, according to a new study by the Wesleyan Media Project. “It’s just not getting much attention,” said Travis Ridout, a co-director of the project, which has been tracking midterm campaign ads. After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, gun control activists vowed to force the issue into this year’s races. Students from the school led national protests and promised to punish the NRA and its candidates. … But the gun control groups’ message is being drowned out by other issues, and it’s unclear how much of a difference that spending will make. There’s probably a very good reason for that. In most people’s day-to-day lives, they don’t see the gun violence that is supposedly plaguing the nation. They see the news, and that’s troubling, but after a while, they start to realize that despite the rhetoric, guns aren’t that big of a problem. Instead, they recognize other things as much larger issues. After all, odds are they’ll never experience the horrors of gun violence, but something like the economy impacts everyone. The same is true for health care and education, and those are three of the top four issues voters are expressing concern over this election cycle, the fourth being terrorism. Guns aren’t that high of a priority for many voters, except for those who support the Second Amendment, anyway. For us, gun control is a vital issue because it tells us a lot about a candidate. One who is willing to accept new regulations in one regard is one who will accept more of them later. Not only that, but they’ll accept new regulations on just about anything. After all, look at the number of people who support gun control and also want to ban so-called “hate speech.” This should be especially troubling in a world where anyone who disagrees with these folks is called Nazis as a default position. In other words, it’s likely that anti-gun groups are wasting their money. Even if a blue wave happens, it’s unlikely that gun control played any significant factor in the win, but if it fails to materialize, just how much of that lays at the feet of gun grabbing groups? But hey, if they blow their cash now, they won’t have it when it might actually make a difference. A big win for our side at least. The post Despite Parkland Promises, Gun Control Not The Big Issue This Election appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  12. Tedra Cobb, the Democratic Congressional candidate for New York District 21, got caught on camera saying she supported an “assault weapon ban.” She said she couldn’t campaign on it because she’d get her butt handed to her, but Cobb still said she supports it. Now, Cobb had to get a newspaper endorsement “corrected” because it said that she supported such a ban. In its Monday endorsement, the Times Union promoted Cobb’s apparent support of a ban as part of the reason for endorsing her. “On gun rights, she favors universal background checks, including on gun show sales and private transactions, enacting ‘red flag’ laws that would allow courts to take guns away from people exhibiting dangerous behavior, and reimposing an assault weapons ban while addressing criticisms about inconsistencies and loopholes in the last one,” the paper originally wrote, according to a cached copy of the editorial. The campaign disavowed the endorsement’s description of Cobb’s position on an assault weapons ban. “She did not explicitly say she supported an assault weapons ban,” Brian Phillips Jr., Cobb campaign spokesperson, told the Press-Republican, despite what Cobb said in the video. “Tedra explained the inconsistencies and unanticipated consequences that arose from the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban,” Phillips told the paper. “It did not work.” In response, the Times Union issued a correction for their endorsement. “Correction: An earlier version of this editorial stated that Tedra Cobb favors reimposing an assault weapons ban. She says she wants to address gun violence through widely supported gun control measures but not repeat the errors of the previous federal ban,” the correction reads. So how did this happen? That’s a good question. Many newspapers sit down with candidates to discuss issues prior to giving endorsements. I find it difficult to believe that one video from months ago triggered the paper to believe that Cobb supported an assault weapon ban. Instead, I find it far more likely that she admitted the same thing again to the friendly audience of newspaper editors and asked that they not mention it. They forgot, included it in their endorsement, and created embarrassment for Cobb. She may well have also explained issues with the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban, but I somehow suspect her issues with that law were far different from mine. After all, many on the anti-gun side argue that the law didn’t work because it wasn’t comprehensive enough. Either way, I find it fascinating that the very same candidate who was caught on film saying she wanted an assault weapon ban had something like this happen. After all, we already know how Cobb feels on the issue of gun rights. She’s not a supporter of the Second Amendment, no matter how her campaign tries to spin it. I can’t help but feel that somehow, this is yet another example of Cobb being caught saying what she really believes rather than the sanitized version she presents to the public. The truth is Cobb is as anti-gun as any Democrat you’ll find. That much is clear based on her own words in the past. If anything, this newspaper endorsement should serve as a reminder for Second Amendment supporters in that district that Cobb doesn’t care about your sacred and protected constitutional rights. The post Paper Corrects Endorsement Of Candidate Over Anti-Gun Remarks appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  13. I get it. After a horrific mass shooting, people want to “do something.” For community leaders in Pittsburgh, the pressure is on them to “do something,” even if the pressure all comes from within. As I said, I get it, especially when you consider that Pittsburgh city officials seem to lean somewhat toward the anti-gun side anyway. With that in mind, you know there’s only one acceptable “something” in their minds, and that’s gun control. Too bad for them that their state legislature doesn’t have a history of going along with that. City Councilman Corey O’Connor said now is the time for Pittsburgh to take bold action on gun control, even if it means confronting lawsuits and the ire of a Republican-controlled state Legislature and powerful gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association. “We will fight this. Pittsburgh will take a stand,” O’Connor said, holding back tears at a Council meeting three days after a heavily armed man killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue. “And we will get sued… You want to fight? We’re here to fight. Our community is here to fight.” The NRA has unsuccessfully sued Pittsburgh twice already over a 2008 ordinance that requires gun owners to tell authorities when they realize their guns are lost or stolen. Republican state lawmakers have also tried twice to make Pittsburgh and other cities easier to sue over local laws that infringe on gun access and ownership. The Statehouse has long been hostile to stricter firearms legislation, making a notable break earlier this fall by passing a law to force quicker surrender of firearms owned by convicted domestic abusers or subjects of protection-from-abuse orders (PFAs). More than a dozen other gun control measures stalled in the current legislative session, including two proposed bans on assault weapons that languished in committee. … Like most states, Pennsylvania broadly prohibits municipalities from passing local gun rules, making any move by Pittsburgh likely to draw aggressive challenges from gun advocates. “I don’t give a s**t about that either,” Councilman Anthony Coghill said about potential court challenges. “Sue us. They’ll sue us, we’ll sue them back. We don’t want to be liable for big money here, but stand for your principles.” Now, let me get this straight. There’s a law that Coghill doesn’t like. It says he can’t do something he wants to do, so he’s going to do it anyway? But I thought laws actually stop people from doing things. You know, like…say…a law that says certain people can’t have certain kinds of firearms. We’re constantly told that we need more gun laws to stop bad people from getting guns. Yet Coghill here has shown precisely why those laws don’t work. Laws only work to dissuade people from breaking them if people are both concerned about getting caught and fearful of the repercussions. In this case, Coghill knows he’ll be “caught” violating Pennsylvania’s preemption law, but he has no fear of the consequences. So, he’s fine with breaking the law and proceeding anyway. How is that any different than the criminals who decide they want a gun regardless of what the law says? The only difference is in the degree to which they’re ignoring the law based on their whims. The fact is, state preemption laws have a valid reason for existing, and it’s one that makes sense if you consider it. If each locality has its own laws, its own regulations, it creates a patchwork of rules that make it extremely difficult for any one person to navigate without significant difficulty. By placing the power to create those laws in the hands of one body, you take away the chance of someone accidentally breaking the law because they crossed the county line somewhere. But Coghill doesn’t care about that. He’s too busy showing us exactly why gun control is a losing proposition. So, thanks for that, I suppose. The post Pittsburgh Ready To Fight State Over New Gun Control Measures appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  14. Most of us who own a gun and opted to list our reasons for having one would rate “self-defense” as being right at the top. I’m definitely in that camp. Personal defense is on my list right after, “Freedom, MoFos.” It’s important. Many of us have taken the stance that anyone who is in our house without permission is dead meat. This is, of course, for those of us who live in states with Castle Doctrine laws that permit the use of force during such occasions. Again, I’ve been in that camp. However, Greg Ellifritz has some things for people to think about before just deciding that pulling the trigger is the right move for all seasons. I hear it all the time from shooters I train… “If someone is in my house at night, they are getting shot.” My new students justify their actions by telling me how they “know their house” and are keenly aware of the difference between the sounds of a family member and the sounds of an intruder. They also tell me how they are justified under state law, especially in states that have “Castle Doctrine.” Here’s the problem… Being legally justified doesn’t mean being right. If you can avoid shooting someone (even where it is legal to do so), you should. There are tremendous complications that could arise once you pull that trigger. You will face legal scrutiny, you will likely be sued, your gun will be taken for evidence, and many of your neighbors and friends will stop talking to you because they don’t know how to act around a “killer”. Have you ever thought how much the crime scene cleanup will cost you? Even if you do everything right and win in court both civilly and criminally, you are likely to have to spend a whole lot of money on your defense. Is it worth it? Set your ego aside for a minute and think about whether you would be willing to pay $50,000 in legal fees to win your trials if you shot someone in your home. I know I don’t have a spare fifty grand laying around that I want to donate to an attorney’s BMW fund. I have a defense plan from the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, but I’d prefer not to have to use it. Ellifritz brings up some good points, ones that all of us should take our time considering. I’ll add that you need to think about them now. After all, when you’re looking at someone on the other side of your sights, it’s a bad time to start thinking about all the ramifications of pulling the trigger. Do it now while you can be rational. But, and this is most important, be rational. One thing I often do is wargame the hell out of things. I start looking at what I could do in a given situation. Can I get my family out of harm’s way? Do I have to engage to protect someone’s life? For example, if someone tries to carjack me and I’m alone, I don’t need to shoot them. I can get a good description of them, notify the police, then call my insurance company. Put my kids in the car, though, and the math changes. Now I’m protecting them. There’s no reason to hesitate because I already know I have no choice here. Same scenario, but one requires action while the other doesn’t. There’s also psychological trauma from pulling a trigger that many don’t think about. Not everyone feels it or even feels it the same way. Yet it can exist and can create serious problems. There’s a reason police departments require officers who shoot someone in the line of duty to undergo a psychological evaluation. None of that means you should be afraid to shoot when it’s necessary. When it’s your life or theirs, there’s no question about which is preferable. But on the same token, it might be a good idea what to consider when you find a situation where you might be legally justified in shooting, but it’s not truly your life or theirs. For your own sake, even if you’re not legally culpable. The post Some Things To Consider Well Before Pulling The Trigger appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  15. The ATF isn’t any gun owner’s favorite agency. There are a number of reasons for why this is true, including a long history of hyper-aggressive actions by its agents trying to enforce unconstitutional gun laws on the American people. Who am I kidding, that’s mostly it. And while I catch a lot of flak here for supporting the enforcement of laws that I generally disagree with and think are unconstitutional, there is a line even for me. Stuff like what is being suggested here, for example, is about a mile on the other side of it. Although I cannot disclose all of the occasions where ATF has recently reversed its prior determinations or devised a new interpretation of the law or regulation, I can disclose a recent prosecution, of a veteran, where ATF devised a new interpretation out of whole cloth and was successful in convincing the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio to prosecute. The case is U.S. v. Wright, 3:18-CR-162 and it should have the entire Firearms Community alarmed. Although many of the documents have been sealed by the Court (that should tell you a good bit already), the superseding indictment is publicly available and suggests that Mr. Wright had an unregistered short-barrelled rifle (SBR) that was not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). Regardless of whether you believe the National Firearms Act is constitutional or appropriate, at the time of writing this article, the courts have not yet found it to be unconstitutional and if merely inappropriate, one’s proper recourse is to seek a statutory deletion or revision. Thus, the possession of an unregistered SBR is unlawful. So, why is this case concerning? Unfortunately most of the informative documents have been sealed…that is, except for the Government’s Motion in Limine. (For those who don’t know what a motion in limine is, it is a motion filed by a party which asks the court for an order or ruling limiting or preventing certain evidence from being presented during a trial). When you review the Motion in Limine, you quickly learn that the Government is seeking to preclude ATF FATD (Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division) determinations from being used in any way during trial. These determinations appear to have been part of a discovery dispute, which is also sealed and is evidenced by the Government’s statement that “[t]he Government produced the letters under the protection of a protective order that the Court authorized on August 1, 2018.”. For the reasons that follow, I find it extremely comical that the Government actually contended that “ATF FATD letters at trial creates a grave risk of confusing the issues and misleading the jury,” but I digress…for now. We quickly learn from the Government that: The critical issue in this case will not be possession, registration (or lack thereof), or barrel length. Ultimately, the primary issue in dispute at trial will be whether or not Kelland Wright’s firearm meets the definition of a “rifle,” that is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, see 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a). Part of this issue will center on the implications modifications that Kelland Wright made or had made to the firearm, including the addition of an extension piece to the rear of the firearm. Hmmm, so now we know that the issue is whether the piece added to his Ar-15 pistol constituted a “stock” or not. The Government further contends: Wright’s expert, Richard Vasquez, is expected to testify that the extension piece functions as a cheek rest. The Government’s expert, Firearms Enforcement Officer Eve E. Eisenbise, is expected to testify that the extension piece makes the firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder. Officer Eisenbise is an employee of the ATF FATD. Richard Vasquez formerly was employed by the FATD. … The relevant issues at trial relate to the specifics of Wright’s firearm, an AR pistol platform that was modified with an angled foregrip and collapsible stock. Now, we’ve seen that the ATF has previously ruled that an extension piece doesn’t count as stock. The angled foregrip is in the same category. So what gives? Well, my interpretation based on the evidence presented is that the ATF determined that because the defendant used a collapsible arm brace, it counted as a collapsible stock and was somehow forbidden. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that Mr. Wright even shouldered the weapon. It just decided to prosecute him. And that’s where you lose me. Every item on his weapon is one that is consistent with what the ATF has ruled previously and publicly. Now, however, it has decided it can change its mind on a whim and, with no warning, prosecute people for that undisclosed change of mind. If that’s the case, something stinks to high heaven. At this point, anyone with an AR pistol equipped with an arm brace is subject to potential prosecution just because the ATF decides, “What the hell.” It’s way past time that we take the power to essentially create law out of the hands of bureaucrats and place it back in the legislative branch’s hands as the Constitution intended. Even if this case isn’t what’s being presented here–and don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this is misrepresented in the least. I’m merely allowing for the possibility of either that or someone just being wrong–the fact that it’s even possible for this to happen should be troubling to every American. The post Is The ATF Just Making It Up As They Go Along On Prosecutions? appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
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