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Bearing Arms

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Bearing Arms last won the day on April 21 2017

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About Bearing Arms

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  1. When word circulated that two students were suspended for a photograph that showed them at a gun range, it sparked outrage and for good reason. These kids were doing nothing wrong, but they were punished just the same. Further, it was at a time when gun owners are being stigmatized by leftists in an effort to drive us out of political conversations on the Second Amendment. Now, in a big win on a small scale for gun rights, the school in question has amended the policy they reportedly used to justify the suspension. The same week that students across New Jersey walked out of their classrooms for stronger gun control measures, Lacey residents expressed fury over allegations that local students were suspended for sharing photos of a firearms training. The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs said in a letter to Lacey Township School District’s superintendent that school officials took “unlawfully imposed disciplinary action against several students” and violated their First and Second Amendment rights. The association said the students had shared pictures on social media of “lawful participation in firearms practice and training.” Superintendent Craig Wigley called the claims “incorrect.” “It is important to note … that we have not had to invoke Policy 5611 for the unlawful use of a firearm by a Lacey student,” he said in an email to parents. “The recent rumors and social media posts are not related to Policy 5611 as no student has been disciplined for violating Policy 5611.” However, two students were apparently suspended. And, it also appears that as a result of that suspension, a lawsuit was threatened. The superintendent failed to note just which policy the students did violate and why they were suspended. However, that claim didn’t hold water with Second Amendment activists. “Both the actions taken against the students, and the Firearms Policy, are in blatant violation of the First and Second Amendments to the United States Constitution and the free speech protections of the New Jersey Constitution,” the association’s attorney Daniel L. Schmutter wrote in the letter to Wigley. Schmutter threatened legal action against the district if officials did not immediately rescind the disciplinary action taken against the students and erase records that suggested they committed misconduct. He also demanded the school district issue a written apology to the students and their families and amend the district’s Firearms Policy. The Asbury Park Press was not able to reach the affected students or families in order to independently verify the association’s claims that they were disciplined under this policy. Frankly, I won’t say it doesn’t matter because it does–but only to a point. On the one hand, if the story has been misreported, then a number of us including myself reported something incorrectly. That’s not good, and it bothers me. On the other hand, however, the policy in question was a problem and just because it might not have been used in this case doesn’t mean it won’t be later. That being said, I’m inclined to disbelieve the superintendent. That’s just my own opinion, of course, but if the policy resulted in no suspensions, then why scramble to change the policy? It seems unlikely they would react so quickly if no one has been punished for violating it. Yes, there was still the threat of the lawsuit, but it seems that absent someone being punished for breaking that particular rule, there was no standing for anyone to sue. But I’m not a lawyer either. Either way, this policy–and similar policies throughout the country–needed to change. At least this one did. The post School That Suspended Students For Range Picture Amend Policy appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  2. A piece on NPR’s website — a surprisingly balanced piece — entitled “Decline In Hunters Threatens How U.S. Pays For Conservation,” points out a troubling trend, a trend that many of us have been aware of for years: hunting is on the decline. The problem here is that hunting and fishing licenses represent the bulk of wildlife management agencies’ funding. Back in the early 1900s, overhunting and overfishing had reduced many game populations to almost unsustainable levels. As NPR notes: George Bird Grinnell and Theodore Roosevelt, along with others like John Muir and Gifford Pinchot, helped establish the American conservation movement around the idea that wildlife and other natural resources, belong to all Americans – current and future. As such, they needed to be preserved or conserved. That group was able to convince hunters and fishermen they should help pay for conservation efforts so that their children and grandchildren would have better opportunities than they did. And it worked: This user-play, user-pay funding system for wildlife conservation has been lauded and emulated around the world. It has been incredibly successful at restoring the populations of North American game animals, some of which were once hunted nearly to extinction. Indeed, within a few decades, deer numbers had rebounded to the point that they had become a real hazard to life and limb while driving and a pest for farmers. In my home state of Kansas, we were long the best-kept secret in deer hunting, with Whitetail bucks of a size most hunters only dream of and Mule Deer that some out-of-state pheasant hunters mistook for elk, as non-residents were not allowed to hunt big game here. A few years ago, though, Kansas had to start allowing non-residents to hunt deer because the numbers had reached the point where state residents couldn’t keep them at sustainable levels. And not only were cars being heavily damaged, but the deer were in danger of starvation due to overpopulation. As of 2015, Kansas leads the Midwest in the percentage of out-of-state hunters who come here just for big game. (Kansas has always been one of the leading states for Upland Game Birds.) All these gains are threatened by demographic shifts and the number of hunters who are leaving the sport for one reason or another. As NPR explains: But with the slide in hunting participation expected to speed up in the next 10 years, widening funding shortfalls that already exist, there’s a growing sense of urgency in the wildlife conservation community to broaden that funding base. Congress is looking at tapping oil and gas revenues. Some states are adding general sales taxes, while others are looking for ways to tweak the user-play, user-pay model to better represent how today’s society interacts with wildlife, monetizing activities like wildlife-viewing. Those efforts are running into a larger question: Is the greater public willing to pay more to protect wildlife? “Conservationists need to be looking at what is the next step to keep our conservation programs and places strong and healthy,” says Mary Jean Huston, director of The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin. “Things need to evolve.” And they need to evolve fast. Part of the problem is that hunters and environmentalists now view each other as the enemy, as more and more public lands are lost to hunters due to lawsuits. Backcountryhunters.org has more on this: For roughly two-thirds of the 20th Century, hunters and fishers were the bedrock of conservation. But beginning in the early 1970s, the ground shifted. The accomplishments of the conservation movement, to which hunters contributed mightily, began to pale in the face of new environmental issues and a new environmental movement that had priorities not centered on restoration of game and fish and the habitats on which they depend. Indeed, protection of wildlife and opposition to management practices that enhanced wildlife habitat became dominant. Another issue is finding a place to hunt. Here in Kansas, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find hunting ground as more and more farmers lease their ground to hunters — often from out of state. It’s hard to blame the farmers and ranchers; most hunting occurs in the late fall and early winter when they are often working in the shop and not out in the fields. Leases are easy cash to help tide them over until harvest without having to do much. But ground that used to support several hunters, now may only have one or two on it during the season. There are no easy solutions here. Environmentalists are often opposed to hunting on moral grounds and scientific game management suffers. The increasing age of the population and demographic shift toward urbanization means fewer are growing up with hunting as a tradition, and for those of us for whom it is a part of life, it is becoming harder and harder to find places to take our children or grandchildren and teach them the joy of hunting. What is clear, however, is that a new funding method is going to have to be found or we may find ourselves in the same situation we were in at the end of the 19th century. The post Reduction in Hunting Numbers Threatens Conservation Efforts appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  3. Anti-gun students want their voices to be heard. I get it, and I want them to have their voices heard. The great thing about this country of ours is that everyone’s voice can be heard. That doesn’t mean that there’s not a right way and a wrong way to have your voice heard, though. For example, a group of anti-gun students in Minnesota managed to do everything wrong recently when it effectively shut down the state capitol for a time. The group, led by Josh Groven of the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley, took a microphone at a witness table when the Senate Judiciary Committee was discussing an unrelated topic. The committee recessed for a time before coming back and resuming the other topic, elder care. Groven and other students were removed from the meeting. Those at the afternoon committee meeting were part of a 20-student group that staged a sit-in at the office of committee Chairman Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, Monday morning. He said he told them at the time that Senate Republican leaders were considering their request. Because nothing says “dispell the idea that kids are entitled, spoiled brats” quite like taking the microphone at a witness table for a topic that had nothing to do with gun control. For the record, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka argued last week that gun control wasn’t coming up for a vote because it wouldn’t pass. There just weren’t the votes there for it. So why would Groven and company do this? That answer is easy. They’ve repeatedly been told that if they make a big enough stink, they win. Their older siblings and cousins in college routinely do this, and the administrations cave. Why wouldn’t it work at this level? The problem, however, is that people are tired of that crap. We watch it at colleges and feel ill. It’s enough to make some of us wish our kids wouldn’t even attend college. Bringing that attitude to politics beyond college isn’t going to work, and it’s going to backfire. Antics like this don’t convince people, it pushes them away. There’s a reason why many who identify as liberals are sick of the social justice warrior antics that inspire these tactics. People who should be the SJW’s natural allies want nothing to do with them. Keep this up, and watch the gun grabbers start stepping back. They don’t want to be associated with that nonsense. For their purposes, however, a bigger concern should be those who are a bit more wishy-washy in their attitude toward guns. Those people can be swayed, and stunts like this aren’t going to sway them toward the anti-gun side. It’s just not. So, in that regard, part of me hopes they keep it up. It can only help the Second Amendment if they continue their nonsense. But it’s also distracting. Those kids pulled attention away from another issue, one important to a lot of people, all because they were convinced their preferred issue was the more vital one. That needs to stop. The post Anti-Gun Students Briefly Shut Down Minnesota State Capitol appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  4. Another school shooting took place early Tuesday morning at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland. The shooter, a 17-year-old high school student who will not be named, injured a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. The gunman has died, and the female student remains in critical condition while the other is said to be in stable condition. Due to the courage of the school’s resource officer (SRO), Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill, the gunman was not able to harm more students. According to statements from law enforcement officials, the school resource officer pursued the shooter and fired one round. The gunman fired simultaneously, but the shot did not strike the SRO. It is unclear if the SRO fatally shot the gunman or if the gunman took his own life. “Our school resource officer who was stationed inside the school was alerted…he pursued the shooter, engaged the shooter, during which that engagement he fired a round at the shooter. Simultaneously, the shooter fired a round as well,” official says of Maryland school shooting pic.twitter.com/5nlwZovPkH — CBS News (@CBSNews) March 20, 2018 MORE on Great Mills HS shooting from Sheriff: -school resource officer pursued, engaged shooter—both fired round. -“In the coming days, we will be able to determine if our school resource officer struck the shooter” -school resource officer uninjured, wasn’t struck https://t.co/R6XKLAuYh1 — Kristen Holmes (@KristenhCNN) March 20, 2018 While all of the details of the shooting are not yet known, politicians are saying action needs to be taken to prevent further school shootings. Feinstein on MD high school shooting My thoughts are with the victims, students and families of Great Mills High School. This shooting once again reminds us just how frequent these tragedies occur..Congress must act. It’s long overdue. — Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 20, 2018 Some members of Congress found the time to attack Republican leadership over the shooting. Heartbroken to hear of another school shooting, this time at Great Mills High School in Maryland. How many more children will be shot at school before Republicans turn thoughts and prayers into action? — Dick Durbin (@DickDurbin) March 20, 2018 Thinking of the students, faculty and first responders after yet another school shooting, this time at Great Mills High School in Maryland. Inaction from Republican leadership is shameful. Congress MUST do more to prevent this. — Eliot Engel (@RepEliotEngel) March 20, 2018 Less than an hour after we posted this video, another school shooting took place at Great Mills High School. Paul Ryan accepts this as the "new normal." I reject that. It's not our kids' responsibility to protect themselves. It's our leaders' responsibility to act on gun reform. https://t.co/edGIoSZiCn — Cathy Myers (@CathyMyersWI) March 20, 2018 But it’s not clear what action or gun control legislation would have prevented this attack from happening. In the state of Maryland, “assault weapons,” which includes “assault long guns,” “assault pistols,” or “copycat weapons,” are all banned, though this fact is irrelevant considering a semi-automatic rifle was not used in this attack. Maryland law and federal law also state that “it is unlawful for any person to sell or transfer a handgun to a person whom he knows or has reasonable cause to believe is under 21…” As the shooter was a student of the school and under the age of 21, it is evident the weapon should not have been in his possession. It would be impossible for him to pass a background check and purchase the firearm legally merely because of his age. It would also be a felony for any individual to give the handgun to the shooter. At this time, it is unclear how the student was able to obtain the firearm and how the student was able to bring it inside the school. One fact is certain though: a good guy with a gun stopped the bad guy with the gun. Whether the SRO’s shot is responsible for fatally wounding the shooter, or whether the gunman took his own life, the SRO’s pursuit and pressure prevented more harm from being done. During a press conference earlier this afternoon, law enforcement officials stated that it appears that a prior relationship existed between the shooter and the female victim. They are currently working to determine if that relationship was part of the shooter’s motive. Law enforcement officials are also looking at the shooter’s electronic devices and social media pages to determine if any red flags went unnoticed. St Mary’s Md school board and superintendent met Feb. 28 to discuss series of threats against schools, including “anonymous gun-related Snapchat post concerning Great Mills High School” (the post later changed to reference Esperanza Middle) — Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) March 20, 2018 In this shooting, gun control laws would not have been effective in preventing the attack. However, some steps could be taken to secure Great Mills High School and other schools across the nation. Bipartisan legislation is working its way through Congress and has garnered support from several members of Congress, the NRA, and conservative Parkland survivor Kyle Kashuv. The STOP School Violence Act would allow the Bureau of Justice Assistance to award grants to states, local governments, and Indian tribes to improve security on school grounds by installing metal detectors, coordinating with local law enforcement, training personnel and students, among other options. Let's work together to secure our schools and stop school violence. We protect our banks, our sports stadiums and our government buildings better than we protect our schools. That must change. #StopSchoolViolenceAct #DefendTheSecond #NRA pic.twitter.com/98dWIv0giM — NRA (@NRA) March 14, 2018 On March 14, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation and now waits for the Senate to do the same. Good news→ By a vote of 407 to 10, the House just passed the STOP School Violence Act, which gives law enforcement, school officials, and students the training, technology, and resources they need to identify and prevent threats. — Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 14, 2018 Today the House took major steps toward securing our schools by passing the STOP School Violence Act. We must put the safety of America's children FIRST by improving training and by giving schools and law enforcement better tools. A tragedy like Parkland can't happen ever again! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2018 Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is taking the lead on the legislation and has the full support of Parkland student Kyle Kashuv. New moment: Schools can't wait for the #STOPSchoolViolenceAct. https://t.co/YsSKxhZf4U #utpol — Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) March 20, 2018 LET'S GET #STOPSchoolViolenceAct PASSED! https://t.co/Js1J6ZcIOc — Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) March 20, 2018 The country now waits to see if the bipartisan legislation will pass in the Senate in the coming days. The post Breaking Down The Great Mills High School Shooting appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  5. We Second Amendment advocates often cite the ability to fend off a tyrannical government as one of the reasons why we need not just guns, but weapons like the AR-15. It’s the most effective tool we have access to in which to defend our freedom. Yesterday, Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi hinted that maybe he gets it. Yes, a Democrat. A Democratic congressman from Long Island implied that Americans should grab weapons and oppose President Trump by force, if the commander-in-chief doesn’t follow the Constitution. Rep. Tom Suozzi made the remark to constituents at a town hall last week, saying that folks opposed to Trump might resort to the “Second Amendment.” “It’s really a matter of putting public pressure on the president,” Suozzi said in a newly released video of the March 12 talk in Huntington. “This is where the Second Amendment comes in, quite frankly, because you know, what if the president was to ignore the courts? What would you do? What would we do?” A listener then blurts out, “What’s the Second Amendment?” The left-leaning Democrat says, “The Second Amendment is the right to bear arms.” The spectators laughed — some nervously. Republicans were not amused. I get why Republicans aren’t amused. Democrats raked any conservative over the coals at the mere hint of insurrection against the Obama administration, yet the moment they get a president they dislike, suddenly it’s all fine? Frankly, though, I don’t have a problem with the concept. That is part of why the Second Amendment is there, after all. However, I don’t think Souzzi’s constituents are equipped to deal with a tyrannical government. For one, he represents Long Island. I’m not sure any of his constituents even have guns, much less the know-how to pull off an insurrection against a government of teddy bears, much less the United States government. Where things get interesting is Souzzi’s hypocrisy on guns. Suozzi’s comment seems to conflict with his recent push for gun control following the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. Suozzi even participated in the March 14 student walkout for gun control outside the US Capitol — and called on the young people of his district to back tightened gun laws. “I think we should engage the high school students of #NY03, and all of Long Island, to promote gun violence prevention legislation,” he said in a Feb. 21 tweet. So…guns are bad except when he wants them? Hmmmm. I’m sure that probably irked some Republicans as well. After all, our Second Amendment rights are rights for everyone, not just our political allies. Yet Suozzi’s comments, when taken with his history, seems to imply the opposite, however. It’s almost like he thinks guns are only good for Democrats. Here’s the thing to remember. If you’re going to believe the Second Amendment is there as a check against tyranny, you don’t get to pick and choose when that applies. It’s binary. It either is for such a thing, or it’s not. Period. For my money, that’s part of what the amendment does, and not just when it’s convenient. And that’s why we need arms that can be used for that purpose. Maybe Suozzi may want to rethink his positions. Either he needs to back off on the insurrection talk or back off on the anti-gun rhetoric. As it stands, though, he’s best summed up with a single word: hypocrite. The post Democrat Warns Of Need For Armed Insurrection Against Trump appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  6. There are a lot of anti-gun proposals flying around right now. Most have already been addressed, to be sure. However, they’re still out there, and it seems we need a more scientific approach to addressing them. Luckily, someone at the Rand Corporation decided to take a look. They went through thousands of studies, literally, to take a look at the available evidence, just to see if the 13 most popular gun control proposals would actually accomplish anything. Out of those thousands of studies, they really could only use a handful. Most weren’t designed to identify causation, which was a key component necessary for Rand’s evaluation. That left 62 studies that worked. What did they find? Rand found moderate evidence that dealer background checks may decrease firearm-related homicides. Of course, federal law requires every firearms dealer to conduct a background check on everyone purchasing a firearm. Rand deemed evidence concerning the effects of private-seller background checks on firearms-related homicides to be inconclusive and found limited evidence that background checks reduce violent crime and total homicides. Rand identified “moderate evidence that laws prohibiting the purchase or possession of guns by individuals with some forms of mental illness reduce violent crime, and there is limited evidence that such laws reduce homicides in particular.” As such, Rand recommends states should include prohibiting mental health histories in their background checks records and recognizes that the “The most robust procedures involve sharing data…with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.” In other words, dealer background checks and an improved mental health records component of the background check system are two steps that can reduce violent crime and homicides. Rand notably found inconclusive results linking any of the most popular proposals from gun-control advocates with a reduction on violent crime. Of course, part of the problem with mental health records are patient privacy concerns, which would need to be addressed. However, it’s funny how out of 13 gun control proposals, so few of them had any impact, and even those two measures that did only had a “moderate” impact. Why is that? Well, for one, most of the violence in this country tends to be either gang or drug related (and those two are linked). These are people already engaged in criminal activity and, as such, have access to illegal guns. They’re buying them off the street. They’re not getting them from a gun store. They’re obtaining them through illegal means, which means new gun laws won’t have much, if any, impact. This is why we labor so hard to tell people that gun control doesn’t work. It’s because, at best, you get a “moderate” impact on crime and often a massive impact on the rights of the law-abiding who are not and have never been the problem. It doesn’t stop the gangbangers and drug dealers from gunning down entire neighborhoods if they want to. These are people who, even if they haven’t been caught before, are getting guns from the black market and not the local gun store. But gun control advocates will keep pushing, keep pretending that gun control works despite this study showing that it doesn’t. The post Study Calls Popular Anti-Gun Proposals Into Question appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  7. Gun lobbyist Marion Hammer returns to her seat after speaking in the Senate Rules Committee meeting on gun safety in the Knott Building at the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla., Feb 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)For a long time, people called Florida the “Gunshine State,” a play on its official nickname and the relatively pro-gun atmosphere the state fostered. However, in the weeks since the shooting at a Parkland, FL high school, the state has made many wonder if the nickname was still applicable. After all, didn’t Florida Republicans–the party we’ve been told we could trust with our Second Amendment rights–cave? Well-known NRA activist Marion Hammer is one of many who is upset over the new law. With a recent email, she let the Florida House speaker know that he’s in the proverbial crosshairs. The National Rifle Association has already filed a lawsuit challenging Florida Senate Bill 7026, but that is not the only attack they’ll launch against the legislation; today their lobbyist Marion Hammer sent an email blasting Speaker Richard Corcoran (R-FL) for his “betrayal of law-abiding firearms owners.” … “We Were Born at Night But It Wasn’t Last Night, Mr. Speaker,” read the email’s subject line. Hammer blasted Corcoran for calling the bill “one of the greatest Second Amendment victories we’ve ever had,” denouncing it as “adding insult to injury” of “the betrayal of law-abiding firearms owners.” Corcoran “helped engineer” the bill, wrote Hammer, and then “tried to justify his betrayal” by claiming the school marshal provision as a Second Amendment victory. Hammer called this idea “complete nonsense” that “ignores the unconstitutional gun control included in the bill.” Corcoran had been widely expected to announce he was entering the Republican primary for Governor, now that the legislative session has ended. Getting in the cross-hairs of a powerful lobby like the NRA, however, makes an uphill climb against Agriculture Commission Adam Putnam (R-FL) and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) — who are both beating him in terms of fundraising and name recognition — even steeper. Frankly, the idea of anyone calling SB 7026 a victory for the Second Amendment is laughable. It imposed restrictions on who could buy guns. It keeps a lot of law-abiding citizens from being able to purchase firearms. It is not a victory for the Second Amendment, and Hammer is damn right to blast Corcoran for saying any such thing. It’s just adding insult to injury. It’s telling someone the butt-whooping they just took was really a friendly hug and expecting them to believe it. I hope that every Republican who supported this bill finds him or herself ousted in the primary. If the GOP is going to pretend to be the ally of gun owners, they need to act like it. Failure to do so needs to be met with punishment in the form of no more political offices for them. Had Corcoran been an anti-gun Republican from the start, no one would have said anything. It would be another case of a gun grabber grabbing guns. But he didn’t. He said nothing, but like Rick Scott, he turned on gun owners the moment it became politically expedient to do so. Gun owners in Florida shouldn’t forget. The post NRA Takes Shot At Florida Speaker Of The House Over Gun Bill appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  8. YouTube started out awesome. You could post videos of anything you wanted, pretty much. Then, over time, they realized that if they paid content creators, those creators could churn out better content. It was pretty cool. People could make a living entertaining folks or teaching them cool stuff. However, YouTube soon started to turn left politically. They started demonetizing content they disagreed with while turning a blind eye to content they did. This forced content creators–people who often made their living off of YouTube money–to find alternative avenues for revenue. Gun channels ran into this occasionally as well, among other things. YouTube, despite being a great place to find gun content, began to crack down on gun channels. Now, they’re at it again, except now they’ve ramped it up to 11. Policies on content featuring firearms YouTube prohibits certain kinds of content featuring firearms. Specifically, we don’t allow content that: Intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales (e.g., private sales by individuals) or links to sites that sell these items. These accessories include but may not be limited to accessories that enable a firearm to simulate automatic fire or convert a firearm to automatic fire (e.g., bump stocks, gatling triggers, drop-in auto sears, conversion kits), and high capacity magazines (i.e., magazines or belts carrying more than 30 rounds). Provides instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, high capacity magazine, homemade silencers/suppressors, or certain firearms accessories such as those listed above. This also includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities. Shows users how to install the above-mentioned accessories or modifications. Over at Recoil, they had the following to say about the new rules at YouTube: If you skim through the policy, it appears YouTube is attempting to limit knowledge-sharing of what they think has caused several recent tragedies. One very important portion of verbiage states, “…links to sites that sell these items.” This means if a gun channel links to any company that sells firearms, that channel can be found in violation of the new YouTube firearms policy. RECOIL has taken a step in the other direction by housing video content on its own platform. To check out uninhibited gun-friendly content, head over to RECOILtv. Unfortunately, that only helps out Recoil. It does nothing for the masses of informational channels out there on similar topics. Now, let’s be clear. I have no issue with YouTube cracking down on channels that show people how to do things that may well be illegal under most circumstances. Things like suppressors and converting to full-auto are probably not going to be legal for most of us out there, and so I see their point. But high capacity magazines and bump stocks are still legal in the vast majority of states, for crying out loud. While the left may wish they aren’t, they are and I really don’t see that changing despite the anti-gunners best efforts. When YouTube decided to lump those in as well, they made it very clear where YouTube and, by extension, Google, stands on the subject of guns. Not that there was any doubt, mind you. Google had previously made that pretty clear. Hilariously clear. The thing is, the technology is out there now. While potential competitors to YouTube have had a rough row to hoe so far, it’s only a matter of time before YouTube finds itself on the outside looking in. Each move that like will speed up that eventuality, so keep it up. I can’t wait to see it happen. The post YouTube Cracks Down Further On Gun Channels appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  9. We gun rights advocates claim we’re the defenders of the Second Amendment. This is usually something even the anti-gunners don’t dispute. They may argue about the relevancy of the Second Amendment, or how it should be interpreted, but they don’t argue that they’re somehow the real defenders of the Second Amendment. But that’s not to say no one thinks that way. In any debate about guns in America, there’s one aspect that’s seemingly inescapable: the moment when the National Rifle Association (NRA) or other defenders of an anything-goes gun policy recite the second amendment from memory. Perhaps no subsection of a political movement is so passionately animated by a clause of the US constitution. As many a gun enthusiast is eager to say, gun regulation is a non-starter; the second amendment is the law of the land, so the government can’t tell me what to do with my guns. But those seeking sensible gun regulation – like the 83% of Americans who support a mandatory waiting period for buying a gun and the 67% of Americans who agree with a ban on assault weapons – should not just accept the distortion of the second amendment as fact. Instead, they should loudly respond that gun regulation’s proponents, not the NRA, are the true defenders of the second amendment. In fact, both supreme court case law and the text of the second amendment itself support reasonable regulations on guns. As written, the constitution and the second amendment permit precisely the kind of regulation Congress should enact. In 1991, former Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Republican appointee, explained why the text of the Second Amendment affirms the importance of gun regulation. The first words of the amendment, Burger pointed out, are “a well regulated Militia.” This language presupposes the idea that the militias should be regulated. So, Burger reasoned, if the amendment rests on the assumption that well-trained state armies could be regulated, then it is sensible to think it also allows Congress to regulate guns among the general citizenry. The constitutional argument for gun regulation also goes beyond the Second Amendment. The Constitution’s preamble speaks of the need to “insure domestic Tranquility”—a fundamental task of any government that can be aided by regulating deadly weapons. The recent tragedy in Florida—merely the newest in a line of one numbing bloodbath after another, a crisis that no other developed country on earth suffers from—has made it clear that our schools, hospitals, and military are anything but tranquil. In places where they once would have thought themselves safe, citizens fear another attack. It goes on like that for a while, but mostly focuses on the phrase “well-regulated.” Oh, how I wish I had a time machine so I could warn our Founding Fathers of what future generations would make of that phrase. First, let’s focus on that phrase for a moment. Burger’s argument is predicated on the modern understanding of the term. If something is regulated, it means there are rules about it. There are procedures for things. Basically, there’s some kind of bureaucracy surrounding it. That wasn’t true in the Founding Fathers’ day. Back then, the phrase “well-regulated” meant “properly functioning.” That’s why there are references to well-regulated clocks and similar such things. It wasn’t that there were rules around it, but that it worked like it was supposed to. What the Founding Fathers meant was a militia that did what it was supposed to do. Further, Burger’s argument also requires one to completely dismiss the remaining words in the Second Amendment, namely, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That bolded phrase alone negates any claim that our Founding Fathers approved of and supported the idea of gun control. There is no misunderstanding possible. It means that our right to have guns should never be touched, and there’s been a whole lot of infringing going on in the last couple of centuries. It’s a simple fact that our Founding Fathers never wanted the government to get in the way of us having guns. Their writings tell us of their feelings on the matter and that they supported the American citizen being armed and ready to go to war, whether it was against a foreign power or a tyrannical government. It didn’t matter. They believed it was our right to prepare for such potential eventualities. Burger’s argument, and thus the argument from so many gun control activists, is bogus. But to pretend that adhering to that argument somehow makes you the true defender of the Second Amendment and the constitution in general? Ridiculous. The post The Guardian: Gun Control Advocates The TRUE Defenders Of The Second Amendment appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  10. A Tacoma, WA woman is breathing a little easier after the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office decided not to file charges against her for the shooting of a motorist following a fight between the two. It seems the woman, while riding a motorcycle, somehow angered 60-year-old Bruce Jones over how she was riding the bike. Then, things got ugly. The incident took place Feb. 8 in Milton, and the woman, who had been on a motorcycle, said she acted in self-defense when she shot 60-year-old Bruce Jones to death. The Prosecutor’s Office said that it could not prove that she didn’t act in self-defense because of the evidence in the case. Witnesses said Jones became upset with how the woman was riding her motorcycle on I-5. He boxed her in, and she couldn’t drive away. He got out of his vehicle and aggressively approached her on the shoulder of I-5, the Prosecutor’s Office says witnesses report. The Prosecutor’s Office says Jones initiated the fight. While it sounds like a heck of a brawl, it appears Jones threw the woman to the ground and started to get on top of her. That’s when she shot him in the chest. I can’t say that I’m surprised by that. Not only would that be a terrifying predicament for any woman–after all, how many rapes are portrayed just like that?–but would be scary for anyone in general. That was the same position Trayvon Martin was in when he began pounding George Zimmerman’s head into the concrete sidewalk. It sounds like some definite risk to life. What’s probably the scariest part of this was that it was basically road rage. A 60-year-old man got out of his car and tried to fight a woman. Now, I have no problem with the idea of responding to a violent woman with force if need be, but starting a fight with a woman over how she supposedly drove her motorcycle? Again, had she started the fight, it would have been one thing, but that’s not what prosecutors say happened. What is wrong with this world? The fact that this woman had to defend herself in a situation like this makes me feel like the world really is going to hell in a handbasket. At least for this woman, this aspect of the nightmare that began on that road is over. While she may well still have a lot of trauma to work through, at least she won’t be trying to work through it while also being prosecuted for protecting her own life. Instead, she’ll be free to make her way through life and get some sense of normality without worrying about lawyers, legal fees, and all of the other nightmares that can come about. They say it’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by six, and I agree. It’s even better not to have either. The post Tacoma, WA Woman’s Shooting Of Motorist Ruled Self-Defense appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  11. The idea of teachers carrying firearms completely freaks out the anti-gunners. They already hate the idea of people carrying firearms and are opposed to the concept of self-defense as a general rule, but they really hate the idea of teachers carrying guns. It terrifies them, the idea that anyone other than a police officer might be carrying a firearm into a school. As a result, they’ll try any tactic they can manufacture to make that point. Most recently, that teachers will apparently be gunning down students of color. In response to the growing calls for action to prevent gun violence in our schools, President Trump has proposed arming teachers to keep kids safe. I’m not alone in being alarmed and terrified at that proposal. As a black mother who has had a child killed by gun violence, I know all too well how this dangerous proposal would add to the worries of other black and brown parents, and entire communities. My son, George Jr., was shot and killed in 2013 when he was only 20 years old. Like many Texans, his life revolved around his family, football, his horse and country music. He had finished one year of college, and we had big dreams for his future. Losing George, my only son, knocked me down to the point that I thought I’d never get back up. Like so many black victims in our country, George’s life story was completely rewritten by the defense attorneys for his murderers. They ignored the stories shared by people who knew and loved George, and instead painted my son as a “gang member”—a mischaracterization the media was all too ready to amplify. Here, I want to interject something. Her son, George Kemp, was murdered by a 17-year-old who witnesses say Kemp had already challenged to a fight over a “personal matter.” In other words, he showed up looking for violence. While that doesn’t excuse his murder by any means, he also wasn’t some guy standing on the street corner minding his own business. While I can’t speak on whether her son was a gang member or not, it’s worth noting that some racist white guy didn’t shoot him, but another person of color did. There was no racial motivation in the shooting, and while she may not like the characterization of her son as a “gang member,” it does sound like he was looking for trouble. Not the “good boy” she seems to want to portray him as–not on that night, at least. Kemp continues, though. Already, students of color are being pushed out of their classrooms and losing out on the education they need to succeed after graduation. When guns are involved, this kind of bias has life or death consequences. Like it did for Tamir Rice, who was playing with a toy gun when he was shot and killed by police at just 12 years old. If teachers are allowed to carry handguns in classrooms, Trump’s proposal will only make black and brown children like mine less safe—facing an increased risk of gun violence in the places they go to learn and grow. Even in the face of a school shooting, arming teachers is unlikely to keep any child safe. Armed civilians are almost never successful in active shooting situations and in many instances make it harder for law enforcement to intervene. It’s not surprising that teachers overwhelmingly oppose Trump’s plan. First, the Tamir Rice situation was tragic. No one is going to argue that. However, let’s also keep in mind that a different kind of person is attracted to being a police officer than a teacher. Further, teachers are going to know the kids far better than a police officer who sees hundreds of faces every day. That makes them less likely to shoot. Now, let’s talk about how “civilians are almost never successful” against active shooters. What that particular publication says is that armed citizens stop 3.1 percent of active shooters. What doesn’t get taken into account is that most active shooter situations take place in gun free zones. Schools account for almost a quarter of all locations for such shootings, with businesses–including malls, which are gun free in many states–making up more than 45 percent. In other words, armed civilians only stop 3.1 percent of shootings because they’re not at most of the others. That’s it. However, instead of picking apart Kemp’s flimsy supporting evidence, let’s get right to the meat of her claim that teachers will gun down students of color. Um…no. You see, we have data already. The great thing about this country is that each state can serve as a testbed of ideas, and this time it’s no different. Several states have already allowed teachers to be armed, and guess what’s happened? Not a blasted thing. That’s because of several reasons, up to and including that teachers don’t want to harm their students, they want to protect them. No amount of Kemp’s fear-mongering will change that, either. The post Latest Hysterics From Anti-Gun Left: Armed Teachers Will Kill Minority Students appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  12. By now, we’ve already discussed the numerous failures of law enforcement in the Parkland shooting. At multiple levels, there were things that should have been done, things that would have blocked the alleged killer from being able to purchase the rifle he used on his deadly rampage. Any of the domestic violence calls made to the authorities, for example, would have done more than enough. Now, it seems there was an effort to have the killer committed prior to his rampage. Officials were so concerned about the mental stability of the student accused of last month’s Florida school massacre that they decided he should be forcibly committed. But the recommendation was never acted upon. A commitment under the law would have made it more difficult if not impossible for [the killer] to obtain a gun legally. [The killer] is accused of the shooting rampage that killed 14 students and three school employees at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14. In addition, 17 people were wounded. But more than a year earlier, documents in the criminal case against [the killer] and obtained by The Associated Press show school officials and a sheriff’s deputy recommended in September 2016 that Cruz be involuntarily committed for a mental evaluation. The documents, which are part of [the killer’s] criminal case in the shooting, show that he had written the word “kill” in a notebook, told a classmate that he wanted to buy a gun and use it, and had cut his arm supposedly in anger because he had broken up with a girlfriend. He also told another student he had drunk gasoline and was throwing up. Calls had even been made to the FBI about the possibility of [the killer] using a gun at school. The documents were provided by a psychological assessment service initiated by [his] mother called Henderson Behavioral Health. The documents show a high school resource officer who was also a sheriff’s deputy and two school counselors recommended in September 2016 that [the killer] be committed for mental evaluation under Florida’s Baker Act. That law allows for involuntary commitment for mental health examination for at least three days. However, nothing happened. Nothing happened, which is apparently the mantra for this particular case. At every level, people saw the warning signs. Worse, they recognized the warning signs. They saw them, recognized them, and did nothing at all. I’m sorry, but this is pathetic. This shooter does everything you expect out of a killer before they act, including breaking numerous laws, yet the authorities did jack squat. Then, when he shoots up a school, what do we hear? We need to ban the gun and that the rest of us need to pay for the act of another. In other words, the people who dropped the ball so egregiously aren’t the ones who should have to pay, but you and me, the average citizens. We should supposedly pay for their failures. No. Just no. I’m not about to give up my rights because officials in Broward County, Florida can’t find their rears with both hands, a compass, GPS, and a neon sign saying, “IT’S RIGHT HERE, MORONS!” At every level, people failed to do their jobs. This monster was allowed to roam free, to buy a gun, and to do everything he did because people didn’t do their jobs. There’s no other way to cut it. I’m sorry, but the system that’s in place is more than sufficient to have prevented this tragedy. The problem is, the system only works if people do their jobs and adding to the system isn’t doing anyone any favors. The post Parkland Shooter Should Have Been Committed? appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  13. Ever since Parkland, we’re told over and over and over that school shootings are a deeply troubling problem that needs to be addressed. We’ve been led to believe that it’s a massive problem that’s only growing. But, are our kids really at risk the moment they go to school? Well, one report claims that they’re not, and since this is from left-leaning NPR, perhaps anti-gunners won’t dismiss it so easily. The Parkland shooting last month has energized student activists, who are angry and frustrated over gun violence. But it’s also contributed to the impression that school shootings are a growing epidemic in America. In truth, they’re not. “Schools are safer today than they had been in previous decades,” says James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University who has studied the phenomenon of mass murder since the 1980s. Fox and doctoral student Emma Fridel crunched the numbers, and the results should come as a relief to parents. First, while multiple-victim shootings in general are on the rise, that’s not the case in schools. There’s an average of about one a year — in a country with more than 100,000 schools. “There were more back in the ’90s than in recent years,” says Fox. “For example, in one school year — 1997-98 — there were four multiple-victim shootings in schools.” Second, the overall number of gunshot victims at schools is also down. According to Fox’s numbers, back in the 1992-93 school year, about 0.55 students per million were shot and killed; in 2014-15, that rate was closer to 0.15 per million. In other words, school shootings aren’t a growing problem. However, that’s not to say we shouldn’t take a look at how we can better protect our kids. After all, my concern is the same as it’s always been. They’re soft targets with, at most, one or two school resource officers there to protect the kids but are otherwise undefended. Take out the SRO, and you’ve got open season on school kids. We should take steps to prevent that. But that doesn’t mean stripping ordinary, everyday Americans of their Second Amendment rights because some maniac might do something. That’s the wrong approach. Instead, the approach should involve making schools less tempting targets for these killers. We’ll never get rid of potential mass murderers, but we can make our children less tempting targets for them. Potentially armed teachers, for example, would do that very, very well. Yet if we do nothing, it seems our children are still pretty safe, as NPR notes. And that makes sense. Most of these shootings are perpetrated by kids who attend that school, and contrary to what the anti-gunners like to think, kids generally don’t have ready access to firearms. It makes school shootings more difficult. Past years–particularly in the 1990s–taught parents how important it was to keep your weapons secure. During that time, plenty of kids snatched Dad’s handgun and went on a rampage at their school. As a result, parents started locking up their guns. They didn’t need laws to tell them to do it, they just did. While they knew their son or daughter was a good kid, they worried some friend might grab a pistol. Whatever they needed to tell themselves, they still took steps. And it seems to have paid off. But that won’t stop the anti-gun zealots from trying to use it to take away our sacred right to keep and bear arms. The post Why School Shootings Aren’t The Threat We’re Told They Are appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  14. Last week’s anti-Second Amendment walkout has been touted as some great moment in American history, the moment a bunch of school kids stood up to the horrible NRA or something. It’s basically being treated like this momentous event that will change the course of history. However, I’ve been saying that it’s not that clear from the start. Students took part in the walkout for various stated reasons, after all. In most school districts, it seems the school provided some level of support for these walkouts. Few students faced any punishment for leaving class last Wednesday. Meanwhile, it seems one student faced punishment for not walking out. An Ohio high school student says he tried to remain nonpolitical during school walkouts over gun violence and was suspended for a day because he stayed in a classroom instead of joining protests or the alternative, a study hall. Hilliard senior Jacob Shoemaker says school isn’t the place for politics, and he wasn’t taking sides Wednesday. The district says it’s responsible for students’ safety and they can’t be unsupervised. This leads me to wonder just how many students were pressured to walk out simply because the school figured the logistics would be easier. After all, if everyone walks out, no one has to keep an eye on the kids inside, right? But this is the problem with the whole idea of schools supporting the walkout. They essentially pick a political position to support. Since these schools, the public ones at least, are taxpayer-funded, this creates a massive problem. Many of us found ourselves funding organizations that are now using part of those funds to campaign against our natural rights. In other words, we’re paying people to help campaign against our own political positions. Young Mr. Shoemaker, in contrast, wanted nothing but to stay seated. Yes, he probably should have gone to the study hall, but the walkout was only for 17 minutes, supposedly. One minute for each victim. Forcing all students to vacate the class and head to different points created far more upheaval than just letting kids stay in place, even if you have to merge a few classes for the short time the demonstration was involved. And that was if the school supported it. However, it’s also worth noting how little these kids gave up to protest. Once upon a time, a walkout came with punishment. After all, it was a classroom disruption. But that was the point, as was doing so in the face of punishment. Civil disobedience requires actual disobedience. Otherwise, it loses much of its meaning. With schools onboard with the walkout, or even requiring some degree of participation like young Mr. Shoemaker’s school, it becomes an easy moment for kids to just go along with the crowd or to succumb to peer pressure or worse, teacher pressure. Others just wanted to get out of the classroom for a little while. And yes, some were true believers. But we don’t know. It’s impossible to tell, and stories like this muddy the waters of the whole thing even more. Which is why it’s probably not a good idea to make policy about a basic civil right based on one demonstration by people who, just a handful of weeks earlier, we all thought were chomping down on Tide Pods. The post Ohio Student Suspended For Not Taking Part In Anti-Gun Walkout appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article
  15. In the last month, we’ve heard a lot of horrible things about the NRA. It’s important to understand a few things that are taking place that may not be obvious, however. These are things that directly impact you as a gun owner and as a gun rights supporter. First, let’s understand that when one of the Parkland kids or some other gun control advocate says “NRA,” they’re using that as a proxy. They mean every one of us. They lump us in as the NRA only because it’s the biggest group of us, but make no mistake; they’re talking about every single gun owner. After all, how many NRA supporters would still support gun rights if they stopped being members? None. That’s because the NRA is reflective of the membership, not the other way around. They may or may not get that. But, it’s worth remembering that the NRA means all of us, regardless of membership. So whenever someone says the NRA has blood on its hands, it means we have blood on our hands. When some progressive governor claims the NRA is a terrorist organization, he’s saying we are terrorists. These insults aimed at the NRA are really aimed at every single one of us. And when they do talk about us directly, it’s rarely flattering. Progressives claim we’re “stockpiling” guns. They claim we’re doing it because we’re afraid of black people. Then again, a number still think we’re racist, too. Others will claim that we think gun control is an attack on our masculinity. And they’re aimed at us for a specific purpose. You see, they’re trying to stigmatize gun ownership. Progressives want to make it taboo to own a gun, or at least to talk about it. The idea is to shift public opinion to such a point that something once socially acceptable – owning a gun – is now socially unacceptable. Then, people will either keep quiet or they’ll be pushed out into the fringes of society. Basically, to use their terminology, they’re trying to “other” us. You see, when you successfully “other” a group, you’re capable of doing any horrible thing. You essentially classify a group as something other than human, thus it becomes easy to commit atrocities against those people. It’s how the Nazis were able to do such terrible things to the Jews. They’d already “othered” them to such a great degree. The idea is to do the same to us. The difference being, we’re a self-selected group. People choose to be gun owners. That means we can decide to be non-gun owners as well. Thus, they try to demonize us. Progressives paint us as terrorists and child murderers. They claim we’re responsible for every atrocity despite the fact that the majority of us have done nothing wrong and vehemently oppose anyone committing these horrific crimes. After that is accomplished, they try to silence us. They lash out and try to de-platform us, take away our ability to speak. Remember those walkouts earlier this week? Remember how it was all about kids exercising their free speech? It wasn’t about that. It was about pushing one particular line of argument that guns are bad. Look what happened when one kid tried to present a different viewpoint. This wasn’t just a single case of this either. Conservative actor Nick Searcy reported a similar case on his Facebook page. In other words, it wasn’t about free speech. It was about a certain kind of speech. Those with a contrary point of view were punished. They’re trying to silence them. It’s like people lashing out that the NRA had the nerve to post a pro-gun picture on Twitter on Wednesday. They’re supposed to be silent so they can be “othered,” for crying out loud. Meanwhile, high school students are punished for posting pictures of themselves shooting at the range, completely in compliance with all applicable laws. This all because someone somewhere got the idea that they had the power to dictate what people can and can’t do in all aspects of their lives, especially when it came to firearms. The goal is to purge the gun owner as a factor from American politics. Although, I’d be surprised to find many admitting it. That’s why we have to step up and combat this. We need to let them know that we’re not going to move to any fringes quietly and we’re not about to let them have their way by getting rid of our guns. When we say “not one more inch,” we mean it. The post The Stigmatization Of Gun Owners appeared first on Bearing Arms. View the full article