Whenever Travis Haley speaks, it’s worth listening. You should get and watch Art of the Tactical Carbine. You’ll be a better shooter for it. But for the moment, Travis waxes philosophical with his view of the second amendment. Watch all of it.
Kurt Hofmann and David Codrea both note the huge effect that a relatively small group of individuals can have on societal stability. And make no mistake about it – law enforcement in and around Boston believed that they were performing “stability operations” (counterinsurgency) after the Boston bombing. Their operations had all of the hallmarks of stability operations the U.S. performed in Iraq, including signals intelligence, humint and forcible home invasions, in spite of the fact that Americans have the constitution to “protect” us from these tacics.
But most interesting isn’t this evolution in tactics, but that it is defended and even begged for by the collectivists, and not just the rulers.
If the tragedy in Boston proves anything, it’s that it really does take a village.
Investigators now are trying to figure out what happened leading up to the attack – how two brothers could become radicalized, how they managed to build the bombs and set them off without being noticed, and whether they were part of some broader violent mission. But the impressive response of Massachusetts – from the locals who followed directions to stay indoors to the police who hunted down and caught the suspects, one of them alive, to the elected officials who not only maintained public calm but managed to stay remarkably focused and clear-headed themselves – shows that we must act together to maintain our very lives.
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And what would an individual do with an AR-15? Go door-to-door, ferreting out a man who might well have another bomb on him? That’s one way to wind up dead, perhaps taking a lot of other people with you. A single individual with a gun is no match for a suicide bomber. Trained teams of bomb squad technicians and well-protected professional law enforcement officers are a better bet. This, actually, is what the framers of the constitution had in mind when they wrote a Second Amendment referring to “a well-regulated militia.”
Note the fear that grips this pitiful woman, and the reflexive (and incorrect) reaction to equate law enforcement with the militia of the second amendment. I recall having this discussion with my son Daniel concerning his service in the Marine Corps. Granted that was older than was he at the time I said this, but it holds true regardless. Son, I said, there are things worse than perishing, such as perishing without honor.
No man lives forever, but we will have a hand in turning over a country to our children in which they are free or enslaved. This will be the legacy of our horrible generation. Which will we choose?
As for what we would do with an AR-15? I am much more concerned about law enforcement than I am a bomber.
UPDATE: Mike Vanderboegh notes another collectivist arguing for collectivist solutions to collectivist problems.
Nonprofit Quarterly recently carried a commentary on Lindsey Graham and his comments on AR-15s that took a detour into the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Rick Cohen’s thoughts make for interesting reading.
Our impression of American behavior during disasters has been that people generally pull together, that adversity brings out the best in us. Sure, we know that people do very bad things, but the press often notes how people also go out of their way to help and protect their neighbors. In fact, that feeling of mutuality was what we thought undergirded the nonprofit sector in a democratic society.
It must be that we fell for some Panglossian view of America, if we are to believe Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, Graham grilled Attorney General Eric Holder about the proposed ban on assault weapons. We haven’t seen the news reports that verify what Graham says happened—or sort of happened—to spark his support for carrying around military-style assault weapons:
“Can you imagine a circumstance where an AR-15 would be a better defense tool than, say, a double-barrel shotgun? Let me give you an example, that you have (sic) an lawless environment, where you have an natural disaster or some catastrophic event — and those things unfortunately do happen, and law and order breaks down because the police can’t travel, there’s no communication. And there are armed gangs roaming around neighborhoods. Can you imagine a situation where your home happens to be in the crosshairs of this group that a better self-defense weapon may be a semiautomatic AR-15 vs. a double-barrel shotgun?
I’m afraid that world does exist. It existed in New Orleans, to some extent up in Long Island [after Hurricane Sandy], it could exist tomorrow if there’s a cyber attack against [the] country and the power grid goes down and the dams are released and chemical plants are — discharges.
What I’m saying is if my family was in the crosshairs of gangs that were roaming around neighborhoods in New Orleans or any other location, the deterrent effect of an AR-15 to protect my family, I think, is greater than a double-barrel shotgun.”
As far as we can tell, Graham must be referencing a gang of white vigilantes in New Orleans’ Algiers Point neighborhood who, armed with shotguns and assault weapons, allegedly opened fire on African Americans “with impunity” after Hurricane Katrina; the militia was reportedly on the lookout for anyone who “didn’t belong” in the neighborhood, as reported by ProPublica and The Nation. If so, maybe Graham’s fears would have more of a basis in reality if he looked a little more like Holder and was facing a white militia armed with AR-15s.
It is in vogue to tell this revisionist history of Katrina. We’ll deal with this shortly, but before we do that and in order to set the stage for our response, we will now be the ones to take a detour into another crisis to watch how a nation behaved. We’ll address AR-15s, catastrophies and totalitarian governments, but for now let’s briefly revisit the fall of the Berlin wall, the role of one church, and the actions of the East Gernam Army.
OathKeepers has an interview with Lt. Colonel Gunter Spens, in which he describes the fact that the East German Army simply refused to obey orders to stop the protests at the wall and stayed on base. True enough for part of the story, and as much as I admire Oath Keepers, it isn’t as simple as this and there is more to the story. This is the church that brought down the wall.
In the GDR, atheism was the norm. Churches like St. Nikolai were spied on but allowed to remain open.
“In the GDR, the church provided the only free space,” Fuhrer said in an interview with Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. “Everything that could not be discussed in public could be discussed in church, and in this way the church represented a unique spiritual and physical space in which people were free.”
In the early 1980s, Fuhrer began holding weekly prayers for peace.
Every Monday, worshippers recited the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. Few came at first, but attendance grew as the Soviet Union began opening to the West.
The prayer service, Fuhrer said, “was something very special in East Germany. Here a critical mass grew under the roof of the church — young people, Christians and non-Christians, and later, those who wanted to leave (East Germany) joined us and sought refuge here.”
As a college student in those years, Sylke Schumann was one of the hundreds, then thousands, who joined the vigils in the sanctuary at St. Nikolai and then marched in the streets holding candles and calling for change.
“Seeing all these people gather in this place … from week to week and more and more people gathering, you had the feeling this time really the government had to listen to you,” Schumann said.
In October 1989, on the 40th anniversary of the GDR, the government cracked down.
Protesters in Leipzig were beaten and arrested. Two days later, St. Nikolai Church was full to overflowing for the weekly vigil. When it was over, 70,000 people marched through the city as armed soldiers looked on, but did nothing.
And even this report doesn’t tell the whole story. I was a member of a church during this time that received regular (underground) reports from East German churches about the events of that era. When society has rejected God and embraced totalitarianism, the men can become lovers of power or drunkards and whore chasers. Not all men do, but many succumb to this fate.
But oftentimes the women – mothers and grandmothers who want their children to be raised with a sense of morality and the knowledge of God – toe the line. Secretly they teach their children. Their children learn to love their mothers and the instruction, and like ticking time bombs that explode later in life, that instruction proves determinative.
And toe the line the women did. The crowds were heavily populated with mothers and grandmothers, and the boys who populated the East German Army remembered their instruction. They wouldn’t discharge their weapons at their own blood, and whether it was the instruction in underground churches or the simple fact that the boys wouldn’t kill their mothers or mothers of colleagues, no rounds were fired. It had little to do with orders to stay in garrison. If the East German Army had deployed (as some of them did), they would simply have watched as the wall fell without a shot.
Now, let’s return to the issue of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. Except for the horrible racist, Aryan gangs who abused the black folk, it was a veritable Shangri La indeed. Except for the white folk everyone would have gotten along just swimmingly. White Aryan gangs in the middle of New Orleans. You simply can’t make this up.
Except that this isn’t reality. Revisionist doesn’t even begin to describe that view. That view is an outright fabrication and falsehood. A more accurate and honest accounting shows how rough the time was.
In the City of Vultures, a New Zealander is one of the few remaining police officers who has stayed behind to protect the helpless.
James Gourlie, 30, formerly of Christchurch, is one of six officers who have remained out of a district force of 200.
“This is my district. I will not abandon my district, my county, my workmates or these people,” he told the Herald On Sunday last night.
Mr Gourlie was speaking while preparing for another night patrol from the Hampton Inn, which he and fellow officers took over after their police station was overrun. For its single entrance, and the war zone outside, they have dubbed the hotel “The Fortress”.
It’s been six days and five nights of lawlessness since Hurricane Katrina hit. In the vacuum left by Katrina, anarchy has reigned. Human vultures have preyed on the helpless, pillaging homes and shops, committing murder and rape.
The decision to stay while hundreds of fellow officers fled has left them bitter. Mr Gourlie returned after getting his American wife Jennifer out of New Orleans.
When one fellow officer and friend pulled out for Texas on Friday, taking two automatic rifles and a shotgun, he earned his colleagues’ anger.
“They’re preserving their lives but they’re risking their friends,” said Mr Gourlie, of the “cowards” who have left. “You know what the New Zealand and Australian way is – and that ain’t the Anzac way. You sacrifice yourself for your mates.”
There are incidents every day involving weapons, although Mr Gourlie is thankful he has not yet had to shoot anyone. The times the officers have intervened, those desperate for help have wept and offered thanks.
A fellow officer was killed after warning looters away from a store. A looter pushed a gun against his head and pulled the trigger. “It was heartbreaking to see this police officer lying on his back, blood pouring out of his head.”
There are gangs of armed thugs in the convention centre. One young hood the officers pulled up was carrying a civilian version of a military M-16 rifle.
“There’s shooting. The thugs inside, they have come outside. They are running up and down, disturbing people with impunity. They know we can’t cross the road and engage them because we don’t know where their cohorts are. We are so vastly outnumbered, especially at night,” said Mr Gourlie.
There has also been murder and rape. In one awful case, a 15-year-old girl had suffered both, her body stuffed into an oven with her throat slit.
“I would expect something like this in a war zone in the Middle East. You’d be stupid not to be afraid. It’s how you face it that counts.”
The gangs in the centre have now destroyed the generators, and last night was the first Katrina’s survivors have spent without light. “That’s one of the reasons why people are so afraid today.”
I am certainly no admirer of Lindsey Graham. His criticism of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul over their filibuster was petulant, and his friendship with John McCain shows that he wants to stay in power rather than hold government accountable. But from the mouth of the unexpected sometimes comes wisdom, even if by accident.
Unfortunately like the author says, Ameica is indeed like this concerning violence and danger, even if his intended target – white gangs – is a fabrication of his imagination. And during this period of peril for the citizens of New Orleans did the National Guard keep order? No, to their everlasting shame they spent their time confiscating weapons from law abiding citizens.
And yet, the National Guard had no evidence that New Orleans wouldn’t devolve into something like the L.A. riots, leaving people helpless and defenseless.
America as we have know it is dead. It is no more. The cities are violent and the government totalitarian. America is more bifurcated than it has ever been in history. Ninety million people are out of the labor force, and something approaching half of America pays no income tax. Keynesian economics has failed like a star burning out. The first medium size city has gone bankrupt, taking with it nearly one billion dollars in pensions for state workers. Note that this doesn’t include Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment payments, welfare, social security or any other federal program. One billion dollars – just on state pensions, just with one medium size city.
The ATF doesn’t just want a huge database to reveal everything about you with a few keywords. It wants one that can find out who you know. And it won’t even try to friend you on Facebook first.
According to a recent solicitation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the bureau is looking to buy a “massive online data repository system” for its Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII). The system is intended to operate for at least five years, and be able to process automated searches of individuals, and “find connection points between two or more individuals” by linking together “structured and unstructured data.”
Primarily, the ATF states it wants the database to speed-up criminal investigations. Instead of requiring an analyst to manually search around for your personal information, the database should “obtain exact matches from partial source data searches” such as social security numbers (or even just a fragment of one), vehicle serial codes, age range, “phonetic name spelling,” or a general area where your address is located. Input that data, and out comes your identity, while the computer automatically establishes connections you have with others.
Many other specific requirements are also to be expected for a federal law enforcement agency: searching names, phone numbers, “nationwide utility data” and reverse phone searches. The data will then be collected to help out during investigations and provide “relevant information and intelligence products.”
To do this and similar things they are spending the wealth of your children and children’s children. Ben Bernanke is trying ever so hard to keep hyperinflation under control and interest rates low in order to keep the deficit from exploding, but sooner or later America’s unfunded liabilities will come due and no amount fiat money will suffice. Fractional reserve banking will prove to people when hard times hit that their money doesn’t exist and cannot be withdrawn from their accounts. It’s just a waiting game, because the system cannot be saved.
The American experiment – subtended by wealth redistribution, race baiting, totalitarianism and the creation of taker class that leeches off of workers – is over. It has been replaced by Fabian socialism. But all is not lost. America will be reborn in a different form. Hard times are approaching, and there are some salient and hard questions that are a function of those hard times.
Will police, soldiers and Marines raise their weapons against American civilians? The Louisiana National Guard did. To each and every officer, soldier and Marine I tell you, you’d better not. God will condemn you for it. Your orders must be legal and moral to require your fealty, and notwithstanding the [il]legality of such an order, it would be immoral. Will you confiscate weapons if so ordered? You’d better not – God will condemn you for it. Each man lives his appointed days, and then he will face judgment. Do not face God having removed means of legitimate protection of the family. And do not face God having been the stooge for a tyrant. It matters little how long you live. It matters much how you live, and how you perish.
To parents, you must teach your children and instill in them a reverence for and love of liberty. Even for the old among us, you may very well end up training the very men who would otherwise be your tyrants, but who will remember their upbringing instead. Mothers and grandmothers, you essentially saved the day in East Germany. Don’t underestimate your role. Teaching the children is the most important job on earth.
Men, don’t be naive. God apparently granted a special dispensation to East Germany for a bloodless coup. It won’t happen that way anywhere else. The National Guard in many states has already shown that they will assist totalitarianism. The race riots in Los Angeles were nothing compared to what it will be like in the event of an economic collapse in America.
Teach the children. Defend the family. It isn’t just a right, it’s your God-given duty. And never, ever relinquish your weapons. That would be as immoral as the actions of totalitarians in confiscation. You shall not cooperate with the totalitarians and be approved by God. Never give up. God is on your side.
It was only a matter of time before New York’s draconian new gun law, the obscenely misnamed “SAFE Act,” claimed its first victim Since the oppressive new law was forced through with such haste (and “under a veil of secrecy in the dark of night,” as the NRA put it), and signed by Governor Cuomo (who is already scrambling to change this “Most Stupid Gun Law Ever Made“) into law immediately (because the required three-day public comment period apparently frightened supporters of the law), it ends up not having been much time for that first victim.
Our alleged “gun criminal” is Benjamin M. Wassell, and his supposed “crime” is selling both an AR-15 pattern rifle and a (similar, but larger) AR-10 pattern rifle, both of which had supposedly been upgraded by Mr. Wassell with such now-verboten “assault features” as a pistol grip …
Read it all at Examiner. The question now is what will New Yorkers do? You know, the riflemen? You have a fellow rifleman who has been charged under the new communist law, so what will you do now?
On February 26, the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Center for Human Rights issued a white paper on the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which concludes that “the proposed ATT is consistent with the Second Amendment.” This conclusion neglects important facts about the treaty and the processes surrounding it, which we have explored in this four-part series.
We have shown that while we agree with several of the ABA’s contentions, it ignores the fact that the ATT—like many treaties—is not designed for a nation with a federal structure like the U.S. The ABA also ignores the fact that the ATT goes beyond import restrictions on firearms by requiring signatories to prevent the domestic diversion of imports. The treaty may also invite the executive branch to take executive actions to restrict and control the import of firearms into the U.S., imports which comprise about 35 percent of the new firearms market.
Finally, the treaty raises broader concerns about the application of transnational law to the U.S. These concerns are heightened by the fact that both foreign nations and some prominent legal scholars have identified treaties like the ATT as a mechanism to pressure the U.S. to change its domestic policies, and even to change the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, including the Second Amendment.
The question, then, is what the U.S. should do about this. The U.S. is sensitive to allegations that it is failing to fulfill treaty commitments, and it rightly takes its treaty obligations seriously. Because the ATT is a process that is designed to evolve and grow, it is impossible to know where it will lead.
A new ATT conference begins today in New York, and we will be blogging from the conference.
Supporters of the ATT frequently defend it as entirely unrelated to the Second Amendment. Some opponents of the ATT criticize it as a nefarious plot against the Second Amendment. The truth is more complicated …
Listen carefully. No, the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty isn’t really that complicated. It is a nefarious plot against the second amendment.
We’ve covered this in detail before. All that rubbish and claptrap about the treaty excluding civilians because it excludes civilian arms is a ruse. What it does is what Feinstein and Obama want to do within the framework of U.S. law, and distinguish between so-called “military weapons” and “civilian weapons.” Again – it doesn’t distinguish between you and a member of the professional military, it distinguishes between military arms and civilian arms.
It would make illegal all sorts of firearms currently in circulation, as well as subject you to a set of rules, licensing and governmental checks that would make what Obama has proposed look like free utopia.
Some things really are as they seem. Can Heritage at least try to get it right next time? Otherwise, it’s just wasted space and bandwidth.
NYDN’s Bill Hammond sees fit to lecture gun rights advocates about the need to temper our “blind fury” about the latest infringements on that which shall not be infringed–specifically, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s draconian new gun ban (which Hammond describes as “Gov. Cuomo’s landmark law”). Hammond particularly objects to the notion that the Second Amendment is intended to protect the people’s right to the means of effective resistance against a tyrannical government:
The audience applauded heartily in tribute to the many veterans who were there. But it also loudly cheered the speaker who said, “We need guns to protect us from government.”
Maybe that thinking made sense at the time of the Founding Fathers — who had just succeeded in overthrowing the rule of a monarchy. Back then, ordinary citizens living on the frontier faced the very real threat of violent confrontations with Native Americans or British invaders.
But applying that logic to today — after more than two centuries of stable, democratic and mostly non-tyrannical government — is crazy talk.
Notice the change of subject mid-stream. From overthrowing the Monarchy to the very next thought, which is “ordinary citizens living on the frontier.” I’m all for pointing out the utility of firearms, from hunting to self defense to sporting value. But the doctrine embedded in the second amendment pertains to tyranny, not any of the other utilities associated with being armed.
“Mostly non-tyrannical” doesn’t cut it–doesn’t come close, and aspiring “mostly non-tyrants” have no right to be surprised when they find themselves staring down the muzzles of the “mostly non-insurrectionist” people’s guns.
I have no idea whether or not Bill Hammond has daughters of dating age, but if he does, I’m sure he’ll have no objection to them dating “mostly non-rapist” boyfriends.
Right. Girls don’t get mostly pregnant, a person doesn’t mostly have a job, and I don’t mostly have a dog. Mostly is a bad descriptor. If a regime is mostly non-tyrannical, then there is some degree to which it is tyrannical. That means that the ruler is a tyrant at least some of the time. It’s as simple as that. And tyranny is never acceptable. Not mostly unacceptable – always unacceptable.
My relationship with Rock River Arms has been an interesting one. I first purchased an Elite CAR A4 several years ago, and in the thousands of rounds I have put downrange with my rifle, I have yet to have a failure of any kind, FTF or FTE. My former Marine son has shot it before and tells me it’s far better than the rifles he had to shoot in the Marines. I am proud to have my rifle, and you should be proud to make them.
However, I sent a note to you several years ago (a month or so after I purchased my rifle) when I realized that I had lost my registration card for the warranty, and you informed me that you could not send a replacement registration card, meaning that my rifle wasn’t under warranty.
That mattered a lot to me then, but matters little to me now. My rifle has had no problems and I expect none from it. It is a fine, precision machine. But I must say that this was less than stellar customer service, especially when I offered to send you my receipt of purchase from Hyatt Gun Shop. Your refusal to help me puzzled me then and does so to this day.
Letting “bygones be bygones,” we should move on to more pressing matters. There is the issue of the firearms manufacturers boycott that we need to discuss. I understand that these are serious issues, not only because of the gravity of the subject, but because you have a fiduciary responsibility to your employees.
As you know, several states are enacting draconian gun laws that infringe on our second amendment rights. A number of firearms manufacturers have decided to boycott these states, allowing law enforcement to purchase only those weapons allowed to non-law enforcement.
The response give to us by some manufacturers, i.e., that there is concern for the ability of law enforcement to do their jobs in the face of the boycott, rings hollow. If this is true, it is true of non-law enforcement as well, and the only way to drive this point home is to allow everyone to reap the consequences of what they sow.
I would like to say that RRA had worked well with me in each and every interaction. That would not be true, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t purchase a RRA firearm in the future.
But this decision is important to me and millions of other gun owners and defenders of the second amendment. Please let me know the decision made by RRA concerning this matter so that I may pass it on to my readers. Believe me when I tell you that I have been your local ambassador for RRA. I wear a RRA hat on my walks and at the gym, discuss my rifle over my web site, and recommend your company to people asking me questions about AR-15s. I would like to continue this advocacy.
They thought it would never happen here… Seemingly ripped from today’s headlines, Essential Liberty is an action-filled, thought-provoking work of fiction about governmental overreach and the abuse of power. Through believable characters and words that could have come from our current political debate, Essential Liberty asks, “What if?”…and then provides the answer. The United States government has banned and begun confiscating firearms from its citizens. Insurance executive Don Williams has never owned a gun and is part of the majority of Americans who initially favored “Collection” (the official term for confiscation), yet he’s shocked to see his fellow countrymen being rounded up on the evening news. Don’s good friend, former Marine Mike Niculescu, owns many firearms and has refused to surrender them. The son of immigrants from Communist Romania reveres them as symbols of liberty. Bill Payne, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, commands an ATF Hazardous Operations Team. These elite new teams are reserved for Collection operations with a high level of risk. Payne wants his unit to be the first to make headlines. As the story unfolds, Don is forced to make a choice: Will he turn a blind eye to the abuse of power, or will he choose—for the first time in his life—to make a stand on principle that will put everything he cares about at risk?
The first chapter reads very quickly, and Mike is taking actions that I have soberly discussed with my sons, only Mike is better prepared and more thoughtful that I am. As I read through the chapter, I thought, “This isn’t a novel, this is prescient.” David Codrea also has a good review. It’s worth the time and money, both David’s review and Rob’s book.
One of Washington state’s largest gun-rights groups is negotiating with lawmakers on a deal that would simultaneously boost a controversial gun-control proposal and remove one of gun owners’ biggest fears.
Alan Gottlieb, of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said Tuesday night he has offered to support mandatory background checks for all firearm purchases if state lawmakers agree to end what some see as a de facto database of handgun owners.
“I need to see the final version, but we’re working with the sponsors of the bill to try to get one that’s workable,” said Gottlieb, who also runs the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation. “If we can accomplish that, it’s a win for all sides.”
No. It is not a win for all sides. It’s a win for the totalitarians and a loss for law abiding citizens. I don’t want to hear another damn thing about how the NRA waffles and turns against our interests. At least – so far – Wayne hasn’t turned to this kind of pandering.
“To tell you the truth, Dave, we’re not worried about it,” John Grebert says. He is the executive director of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, a group that supported the new gun law in New York State.
But, he adds, “I think it’s pretty unfortunate that any business thinks they can bully us.”
Because people in law enforcement deal with criminals every days, Grebert thinks they have, “a greater right” to weapons, “to deal with potentially violent situations.” And Grebert says he’s confident police will still have access to the equipment they need “to get the job done right.”
He could be discussing the popular progressive notion that the militia doesn’t exist today because it’s an antiquated idea, or if it does, it consists of law enforcement. Thus, the second amendment gives them rights that it doesn’t give us, or a “greater right,” if you will.
But even though this takes on the trappings of erudition, it’s still ignorant and illogical. There were constabulary officers in the eighteenth century America that produced the constitution. And besides, if the second amendment applied only to constables, then we would have no right at all, not less right to weapons.
The reason he did give was that they deal with violence. You don’t, or if you do, it isn’t as necessary for you to be capable of dealing with it. Don’t ever forget this sentiment, and how it leads to an “us versus them” mentality in law enforcement. This is rich and wonderful because of its honesty. I’m thankful that he brought it up.