Duke University’s Arguments Against A Statutory Second Amendment

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2022 · 11 Comments

The Regulatory Review links a paper by Joseph Blocher of Duke University arguing against state preemption laws that prohibit more restrictive gun control statutes by cities and counties than instituted by the state itself.  The paper is entitled "Cities, Preemption, and the Statutory Second Amendment." He argues: As a practical matter, though, nothing has done more to shape contemporary gun regulation than state preemption laws, which fully or partially eliminate cities’ ability to…… [read more]

Comment of the Week

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

George 1.

“There are no white hats in this conflict except people who are protecting their homes.”

And I would add “loved ones.”

Missouri Prepares to Undo a Bad Gun Control Law

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

I remain extremely happy with their strength of position on the 2A preservation act.  It looks like patriots in Missouri are preparing to shoot down a bad gun law.

Several bills heard in the House General Laws committee Wednesday morning take on pandemic- and church-related restrictions on firearms.

Among the few gun restrictions left in Missouri is a ban on concealed carry in churches, among a handful of other locations. Under current law, legal gun owners with carry permits may bring their guns if they receive permission from church officials.

Two bills, sponsored by Rep. Nick Schroer, R-St. Charles County, and Rep. Ben Baker, R-Neosho, would flip the law, allowing parishioners to legally carry firearms unless the church specifically prohibits it.

I didn’t know about this Missouri law, but the replacement makes perfect sense.  I recognizes the right of carry, while elevating property rights to the top.

If a church is anti-liberty and doesn’t allow firearms, they should have to post like businesses or offices or any other buildings do.  This would also be a convenience for firearms owners.  If a church doesn’t allow carry, it helps them to turn and walk away when seeing the sign at the door.

Georgia Senate passes permit-less gun carry bill

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

News from Georgia.

Georgians would be able to carry firearms without a permit under controversial legislation the Republican-controlled state Senate passed Monday.

Supporters said Senate Bill 319, which passed 34-22 along party lines, wouldn’t change state laws governing who can possess guns or where they can carry them.

“This law is simply to remove an unnecessary burden from law-abiding citizens,” said Sen. Jason Anavitarte, R-Dallas, the bill’s chief sponsor. “Criminals do not care about a carry permit.”

[ … ]

Senators defeated an amendment introduced by Sen. Michelle Au, D-Johns Creek, to require background checks of Georgians seeking to buy firearms in private transactions, including at gun shows or flea markets.

Good.  It’s good that they shot down that amendment, and it looks like constitutional carry will pass into law this year in Georgia.  The governor (who is a putz trying to position himself for reelection) has committed to sign it.

Carry A What With Your Kit?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Interesting idea.  I would never have thought of that.

I don’t get failures like that, but I can see it happening if you use cheap ammunition that is out-of-round or balloons upon firing it.  Or perhaps it might be much more probable with extremely hot weapons after firing a lot of rounds without a chance to cool.

Logistical, Strategic And Tactical Analysis Of The Russian War Against Ukraine

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

The intention is for this to be oriented towards a logistical, strategic and tactical analysis of the current war in Ukraine.  I would like to approach it from the perspective of a more clinical analysis rather than a personal commitment to winners and losers.  However, it’s worth pointing out a few of the main points of contention in the geopolitical scene and briefly weighing in on the morality of the conflict.

Then I’ll provide an extended summary of the strategy Putin’s generals have pursued thus far, followed by a number of observations on tactics, techniques and procedures we’ve seen in use.  I’ve tried to use confirmed sources (usually redundant reports, or reports that intersect with the main points I want to make).  Finally, I’ll close with a number of videos I’ve culled from the news reports available at the time of posting.

It is noteworthy that I’ve tried to ensure the correctness and accuracy of the sources, but I can’t make assurances in every case.  The reader is appropriately warned.  With that said, a number of the sources are obviously correct (e.g., you can be fairly certain that when you hear a British voice and an American voice in a video during fighting, and they refer to a Russian helicopter overhead, the likelihood is that it has nothing to do with fighting in Afghanistan, although I can think of operations in Northern Africa where this might have occurred even though it doesn’t purport to be anything other than Ukraine).  The major things (e.g., strategy) are obvious from looking at the blunders to date.  Some of the videos simply cannot be completely verified without financial resources and backing.  Trust at your own risk.  That’s the best I can do.

It should also be stipulated that Elon Musk has virtually assured Ukraine of connectivity (Starlink service is now active in Ukraine.  More terminals en route), while Anonymous has declared war on Russia, causing all sorts of hacking, connectivity and banking problems (video embedded below).

At the moment, Ukraine probably controls the information war.  That’s the way of things, and you may want to take that into consideration in your own assessments.  Glenn Greenwald makes some interesting observations concerning the moral certitude some people feel in their position and how it leads to the propaganda campaign.  He mentions such examples as the following.

It may be that the lazier among us see these things through the lens of confirmation bias, but I never saw the first example as anything but a Ukrainian vehicle that had a track seize up (I’m part of a discussion thread where someone pointed out the signs of that).  As for the second example, I couldn’t care less.  I didn’t even read the whole thing.  It sounded like trash to me.  As for the third example, this is the most interesting.  I confess that I fail to see his point.  “Possible.”  Virtually anything is possible.  Moreover, it seems to me that if it’s true that it was a Ukrainian missile that caused the damage to the apartment, it doesn’t change the conclusions one iota.  Ukraine could have very well pointed out that machinery malfunctions and parts fail.  This sort of thing happens in warfare.  In order to have prevented this, Russia could have chosen not to invade, giving Ukraine the opportunity to choose not to launch the missile.

Most of Glenn’s examples invoke the intellects of people who wish to see an outcome and grab for evidence for the chattering class or the ten-second snippet crowd.  In other words, the Twitter crowd with the short attention span.  I mostly loath Twitter except for informative videos, and sometimes I’ll even accept unconfirmed videos if I can learn and hone TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures) from them.

Geopolitical Considerations

Copious Soros cash likely caused the upheaval that led to the election of Zelenskyy.  He has been referred to as a comic, but he is much more than that.  He earned a law degree.  If the data is to be believed, and assuming that there was no corruption in the election, he won his election with 73% of the vote.

For whatever reason his proclivities turn him towards the West for economic cooperation rather than towards Russia.  Whether this is a wise move on his part with the feckless and highly corrupt Western leaders is anyone’s guess at the moment.  But this is Russia’s “near abroad,” and allowing such close cooperation with the West might be compared to the U.S. allowing China to buy up massive amounts of land in the U.S. and Mexico (which is happening as we speak) or ensconce weapons on the Southern border.  Putin has a legitimate concern for the safety of Russia when it comes to an ever-expanding NATO and living with military infrastructure on his border.

That’s not the reason for the current war.  Putin’s real concern is replacing the petro-dollar with the petro-Ruble.  This all has to do with energy – its production, transmission and usage, and the wealth this creates.  NATO is a pretext for the current war.  Putin is certainly corrupt, Zelenskyy may or may not be (time will tell), and the Western leaders are most assuredly massively corrupt.  Most world leaders are corrupt.  Picking one corrupt leader over another corrupt leader from a moral perspective is rather like bathing and smooching with swine.

The most important consideration is the fact that Ukrainians don’t want the Russians there (as I will demonstrate in the data below).  They are uninvited, hated, and considered enemy invaders.  I have always believed in the moral right of secession (including here in the U.S.).  Covenants may be dissolved when the terms and conditions of those contracts have been violated.  In this case, Ukrainians don’t even consider themselves to be Russians or even Russian in origin, much less was there ever a covenant or contract that had to be dissolved.  The fact that the Soviet Union once controlled Ukraine is more evidence for tyranny, not justification for a future contract.  Control of others by force of arms is not a covenant or contract.  The main reason for opposition to secession is the desire to control others, and that doesn’t weigh in the positive for moral considerations.

As for my personal views, I’ll observe that Putin is a gun controller, and I consider gun controllers to be my enemy, whether in the U.S. or abroad (as for that matter, Ukraine has been fairly strict concerning carrying weapons in public until this war, although not as strict concerning ownership as in Russia).  As far as the desire to control others and the willingness to use force and cause pain and suffering to achieve wealth, I don’t see a dime’s worth of difference between Putin and “the controllers” in American politics.  The controllers only favor gun control because they fear their own people.  They fear their own people because they know they’re doing some illegitimate or immoral.

Logistics, Strategy and Tactics

As best as can be determined, Putin’s original goal was to drive in heavy armor, rush to Kiev, surround the capital city, and then drop paratroopers in to kill or arrest Zelenskyy and his government.  Then install a puppet regime, and leave (or leave some contingency of troops behind for stability operations).  This seems to comport with the actions we’ve witnessed thus far.  But Kiev wasn’t really surrounded and incapable of self-defense, and Russia didn’t control the battle space.

The most amazing thing about this plan is the ability of the generals to sell Putin on the idea.  It’s bad logistically, it’s bad tactically, and therefore it could never work properly from a strategic standpoint.  Meeting resistance, the convoys had to splinter to effect rear guard protection and answer defilade fires.  Eventually, the units splintered to the point that they were no longer a cohesive drive.

Logistically, trains had to move heavy equipment to the front, along with fuel.  Fuel was the limiting factor in much of the main drive through France and into Germany during WWII.  Under such heavy loads, armored vehicles are gas hogs.  They apparently didn’t believe they would encounter much resistance, and that they would either make it to Kiev before their tanks were empty, or refuel along the way, being met with Russian flag-wavers cheering them on as freedom fighters and liberators.

A stationary armored vehicle is a massive risk, and unless it’s a large scale tank battle (such as seen during WWII).  But the column typically goes much slower than a mad dash to an endpoint, with infantry in tow to provide protection for the vehicle.  At least, this is classic armored vehicle TTPs.  It’s what my son learned at 29 Palms.  The Russian army tried to use battle tanks as race cars.  More than that, when they figured out (late to the game) that there was no possibility of refueling because of the impossibility of providing security for refueling trucks, they began carrying additional fuel on the outside of the tanks.  This practice makes for quite the bomb for users of Molotov Cocktails.

Now Putin is having to turn more violent and send in his remaining forces currently deployed on the border (or near it).  He is meeting resistance he didn’t anticipate, but should have if he had listened to anyone outside his echo chamber of yes-men.  Yes-men are dangerous to leaders, but it seems that those are the sort of people who always get promoted.

Years ago at the height of the campaign in Iraq, an anthropologist deployed to Iraq to observe and assist and analyze (for example, they can understand things about tribal loyalties and cultural issues that the military leaders can’t or don’t have time for).  He and I exchanged copious email, and he remarked to me one day that while the military had discussed and even planned for massive hunger during the campaign, it suddenly occurred to him why that could never happen.  In addition to the largest population centers being near the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, he could go outside along the rivers and find ripe Pomegranates freshly dropped from the trees in any quantity he wanted.  It was literally impossible, he told me, for anyone to starve in Iraq.

Similarly, a good psychologist could have explained to Putin why the initial plan would never work.  Ukrainians don’t consider themselves Russians.  Ukrainians want the Russians to leave.  Thus, an elderly lady has the courage to call out a Russian soldier and tell him to put sunflower seeds in his pockets so that they would grow there when he died on their soil.  “You’re occupants!  You’re fascists!”  I have other videos of this same sort of thing occurring.

The tactics are also peaceful, and probably won’t be so peaceful in the future depending upon the tentative outcome of this war.  There is a lot of homemade weaponry being constructed as a result of events.  In spite of UAVs, modern warfare looks a lot like ancient warfare.

Folks trying to leave are living in a line of cars at the Polish border that is 20 miles long and takes three days to finish.  This sort of thing doesn’t happen when people trust the incoming government.  It’s fairly simple, really.  In America we teach our children to hate our elders.  Education at Marxist universities is the capstone of that treachery.  In this part of the world, this isn’t at all true.  We know folks who hail from this part of the world.  They virtually worship their elders.

The little old lady who busted the Russian soldier feels that way because she remembers life under the Soviet empire.  She doesn’t want to repeat that.  She wants to be left alone.  She has taught the younger kids around her, and they listened.  The vast majority of the Ukrainians see the Russian troops as invaders, occupiers and terrorists.  This is especially true when they target power plants, gas pipelines, oil depots and apartment buildings.

So the Russian generals misunderstood the culture, allowed their columns to splinter, overestimated their own resolve and underestimated the resolve of the Ukrainians, didn’t allow for protection of lines of logistics, and didn’t communicate very well with their own troops concerning TTPs or overall goals.  When my son deployed to Iraq, the Lt. Col. for his Battalion trained them using PP overheads on ROE (as a reminder for the training they had received), goals, comms, and general standing orders (among many other things).  He issued a ‘no surrender’ ‘die in place’ order, and explained why he did it.  He shared the full presentation with me.  So not only did my own son understand all of this, the Lt. Col. made sure that I did too.  The Russian troops seem confused as to why they are there.  In fact, one has to wonder if they are considered fully deployable units who have been trained, range certified and fully briefed.  Did they undergo the full workups required for deployment?

Here I wanted to embed a picture of what I believe to be Russian troops (and I believe to be accurate and timely), but I could not assure it so I didn’t do so.  Anyway, it shows virtually an entire platoon of Russian soldiers (along with multiple armored vehicles) securing a bridge.  My son remarked to me that it shouldn’t have taken any more than a fire team to do that, and that you would never park armored vehicles that close together ifs you follow proper protocol.

Concluding Thoughts

I think this has been a fair assessment.  Naive belief in the capability of long term victory against Russia is probably a pipe dream without more weaponry and more well-trained men.  It can be done without air assets (witness what goat herders did to the U.S. in Afghanistan), but it will require much more anti-tank weaponry.  Russia planned poorly.  Ukraine was late to prepare.  Putin is basically a thug who wants control of oil and energy.  Putin believes in gun control.  The Ukraine isn’t far behind in its limitation on the right of self defense.  I do not advocate U.S. involvement in the conflict.  I have never advocated for foreign misadventures.  I will not change my views on that.  In fact, I do not even advocate that the U.S. send weapons to foreign buyers without first rescinding the NFA, GCA and Hughes Amendment and legalizing ownership and manufacture of machine guns for the general population in the U.S..  We have human rights problems at home before we tackle problems abroad.  Before we send machine guns to foreigners, we need to send them to Americans.

Russia clearly hasn’t engaged all of its armor and troops, nor even its air assets.  There is more to come, proven by the fact that more is on the way as I write.  It would be wildly inaccurate (or at least without basis) to assert that Ukraine can hold out against all of Putin’s assets for any protracted length of time without more hardware.

But his strategy at the beginning of the war was retarded.  Ukraine was unprepared for the conflict, apparently believing that Putin was bluffing.  I never for a second believed that Putin was bluffing.  Putin has always wanted control over Ukraine.  Despite Ukraine’s laziness to become involved in preparations and in engagement of a civil defense force (acquiring weapons and training the fighters), they are more prepared now than they would have been a few days ago.  Putin’s retarded plan now ensures a much more violent campaign and many more lives lost, both Russian and Ukrainian.  His generals should be hung from the nearest lamppost, along with most U.S, generals.  Putin will not give up – and neither will Ukraine.

As for the armored column approaching Kiev, this is what it looks like.

For a quick analysis, in order to defeat this column, weaponry is needed, a lot of it, and immediately.  On the other hand, my son says, “Give me just one good IED to stop the lead tank and force the others to come to a stop or splinter off from the column.”  You can ask him how he knows what happens when an IED destroys the lead tank in a column.  There is an “oh f***” moment after recovery of your senses if you’re still alive when SAW gunners are expected to lay down massive suppressive fires while others seek cover and concealment.  No other vehicle moves, and the entire operation is at risk.  Everyone is a sitting duck until they can muster a squad rush or something else.

Video & Continuation of TTPs

This will be a stream of consciousness regurgitation of things with running (and brief) commentary.

This Ukrainian soldier is self-confident.  Perhaps too much so.  He has a false sense of security.  But it shows that morale is high among the troops.

Ukrainian soldiers engaging Russian troops after abandoning damaged armored vehicles.  This is an example of why infantry is usually in tow with armor.  We discussed that.  These aren’t conventional tactics.  At least at the moment, the Russians are trying to engage in conventional warfare.

This video shows Ukrainians making homemade weaponry.  These are civilians, not army.

This video shows what appears to be a dead Russian soldier, or what’s left of him.  When bodies can’t even come home in body bags and there is nothing left to bury except a rib cage, it’s easy to lose support of the people.  The value of including graphic images such as this is that it shows the horror of war.  It’s not a pretty or clinical thing.  Warning: graphic images.

This is what appears to be a saboteur caught in a non-military vehicle.  From the pictures it’s hard to see if he has insignia, but if not, he won’t even be treated as a POW.

This is the video posted by Anonymous.  Thus far it’s causing massive problems for Russian TV and banking.

This is a discussion where retired Major John Spencer, chair of Urban Warfare Studies at West Point’s Modern War Institute gives practical advice to the Ukrainians.

In this video, you hear the voices of both British and American fighters (this is certain from the accents), presumably volunteers.  They discuss a Russian helicopter, so it seemingly cannot be of different origin than the front in Ukraine.

Reddit Thread

In these two videos, what appears to be Russian soldiers stole a money vault or safe from a Ukrainian bank and looted a grocery store.  This is exactly the sort of thing you do when you want to “win hearts and minds.”  Steal wealth and food from the population in a time of shortage.

My assessment at the moment is that Russia failed with their initial strategy.  They are calling up more armor and troops, and this is a perilous time for Ukraine.  It’s equally perilous for Russia.  They haven’t won hearts and minds.  Ukraine doesn’t want them there.  Their campaign is going to have to become much more brutal and full scale if they are to win.  If reports are to be believed, they have thus far lost 3500 troops.  That’s 70% of the deaths the U.S. lost in the entire campaign in Iraq during a ten year occupation.

Continued losses with boys coming home in body bags risks loss of the Russian public and continued cyber attacks risks loss of the Oligarchs and their business.  It will also cause a run on the banks, and could quickly tank the financial system.  Here consider what Trudeau did in Canada and how the banks and people responded.

When the dust settles, Putin cannot leave his troops in Ukraine.  They simply cannot stay there on a permanent basis, any more than the U.S. could remain in Iraq or Afghanistan on a permanent basis.  They will be hated, they will sustain a tremendous rebuilding burden, they will drive the psychology even more sour than it already is, and eventually they will be burned with gasoline or shot.

The financial burden will become too great (similar burden bankrupted the Soviet Union), and Russia should consider the experience of the U.S. in our foreign misadventures (where it cost the taxpayer multiple trillions of dollars to sustain the occupation).

War is expensive.  So is occupation.

Of Rulers, Men And Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

This is a blog that covers rulers, weapons and warfare.  This is a picture of modern warfare.

It looks much like ancient warfare.  This isn’t a commentary on Russia or Ukraine or the machinations of who is doing what or why.  What I’m saying has nothing to do with international politics.

The requests for rifles prior to the invasion have been so ubiquitous that it stands as commonly assumed knowledge.  Everyone was training with a rifle, including little old ladies.

This shows what gasoline and bottles will do.  Observation: Men with rifles, who are willing to use them, cannot be dominated by any ruler.

You Have No Right

BY PGF
2 months, 3 weeks ago

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” -Titus 1:2

Before there was a before, God made a promise in the counsels of Heaven, all the holy angels with Him; He promised Himself, since there is none higher, that He would make a way for you to enter into eternal life. The only thing that God cannot do is lie. God is truth. This promise stands good for you today. You must take knowledge of two inheritances and two promises that affect your eternal station.

God created you to bring glory to Himself. He created man, the first man Adam, to have eternal life. But man sinned against God. This is the problem. Sin is the problem with the whole world; it’s the problem with you.

“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” -Ecclesiastes 7:20

You might consider yourself to be a pretty good person. You might even do good things. You can give to charity and raise your family well, educating your children and teaching them right from wrong. You can be kind and helpful, but that wrong exists at all is not God’s fault; it’s yours. You are a sinner. You’ve told a lie, taken that which doesn’t belong to you, cheated, and very likely worse than these. No matter how hard you strive to be just and do good, you are still a sinner. All sin is ultimately against God. The greatest sin of all is rejecting Christ, who was tortured to death that you might go free.

“Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” -Ecclesiastes 7:29

God made you for worship and service of Him, but you have sought every invention to make of yourself a god. Religion is sending more lost souls to hell than all the beer joints, nightclubs, whorehouses, and dating apps combined. Humanism, which is self as a god, is destroying civilization and you with it. Men desire to make of themselves a god so desperately that he makes a myriad of ways to promise himself eternity, and thereby you have rejected the simple promise and truth of Jesus Christ that God made from the beginning. Hell is full of pretty good folks. That’s the dirty shame of it, for it doesn’t have to be that way.

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” -Ezekiel 18:4

Almighty God declares in Ezekiel 18:4 that all souls belong to Him! He made your soul. He gave you self-awareness and a desire for things higher and more significant than yourself. He made you to seek after Him. He created you in His own image. You have no right whatsoever to seek a god other than He that made heaven and earth and knit you in your mother’s womb. He made you and owns your very soul. The only right you have is to seek the forgiveness of Him that is holy, by the blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

In Ezekiel 18:4, Holy God further declares that the soul in sin and open rebellion to Him will die. Now, we know that all men die. Hebrews 9:27 makes it plain: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” You have an appointment with death after which you will stand before the throne of holy and Almighty God to be judged for your sin and when you’re found guilty, and you are guilty, your soul will suffer eternal death. Your soul is His to do with as He pleases to bring glory unto Himself. Your stubbornness and pride will get you an eternity in torment. Ezekiel 18:4 says that your soul will die. Under the weight of the curse of sin, your body will expire. And your conscious soul will enter into eternal torment dying all the day long, day after day, tortured for your sin forever and forever and ever again. You have no right to object; it’s the mercy of God, who is the Judge that you need. You don’t own yourself; God made you, He owns you but know too that you were bought with a price by Christ.

You inherited death, not of your own choosing; this we understand. But God made a promise to make a way, through His Son, for you who would be forgiven. You see, God is holy and perfect. To allow sin in heaven would defile Him. He won’t have sin defile His holy name. You must be forgiven and made blameless.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” – Romans 1:18

Having read this far, it’s too late. Now you know the truth. Now you must choose. The wrath of eternal damnation abides on all who reject God’s way of grace and mercy through Jesus Christ, who died for your sins and rose again from the grave in power and glory the third day. You don’t have to suffer the wrath of God. You can be restored, forgiven. You who are ashamed of your sin and need the grace of God’s promise can have eternal life.

These are the two inheritances; the choice is yours: eternal death or eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. Consider wisely your eternal station.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” – 1 Peter 1:3-5

Now is the time; today is the day of the revelation of salvation in Christ come unto you. You, too, can be kept by the power of God through faith if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. An eternal inheritance that never fades and won’t corrupt and that no man can take from you is God’s offer to all who put their hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We have a living hope, Jesus rose from the grave. It’s by the mercy and grace of God that all who call upon Him by faith, chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, are begotten again according to the abundant mercy of God our Father by the Lord Jesus Christ. God loves you and doesn’t want hell for you but offers this day eternal life. Blessed be God the Father!

Jesus declares in John 3:3, “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” God desires to give you a new heart and make you a new creation, to fill you with joy and hope, charity and a desire to serve Him, and above all else to pursue the truth of Holy God for a life that brings peace to you and glory to the Father through His Son. In a world besieged by sin, you can rest on one certain truth, one sure hope, and that is the hope of eternal life by the simple fact that you are Christ’s; if that is, you indeed are His.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9

The promise spoken of in 2 Peter is that of Christ’s return. The Lord is not slack. Generation after generation, the Lord is making those that He chooses by faith to be His own. Christ is bringing in His kingdom with enduring patience that you too would come to Him by repentance from your own understanding. He doesn’t want you to perish in eternal torment. It’s not the will of God that you die. God is the judge and offers a way for you to be no longer condemned. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

He’s coming back to separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares, the just from the unjust, the holy from the wicked, the living from the dead; you must be numbered among those that belong to Christ.

These are the two promises: eternal life and the return of Christ for you who are forgiven by His grace and sanctified by the Holy Spirit to inherit His kingdom with Him.

He’s coming back for those that are His. Christ is putting all enemies under His feet, and the last enemy He will conquer will be death. Then death and hell and all those who have rejected Christ as King of kings will burn for eternity. But His people are those made holy by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The offer from Holy God to you: to be born again by the resurrection of Christ Jesus, given a living hope, gathered all together with the faithful when Christ will hand us up with His kingdom unto the Father that God may be all in all. Amen.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” –Romans 10:9-10

The Local Gun Control Fight

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

ZeroHedge is late to the game, discussing the fact that since gun control has stalled nationally, the new fight will be state and local.  Readers of TCJ have seen me discuss this as far back as perhaps two years ago (or maybe more).  Anyway, I’ve always said that the real fight was state and local, while stipulating that the harm that could be done by FedGov has always been directed towards bans of categories of weapons and shutdown of manufacturing sectors.

But what a difference a new governor makes.  Thus far I’m quite impressed by the new governor of Virginia, whether liberty for students from the Covid mandates, to right to life, and virtually everything else I’ve seen from him.  I doubt that the House and Senate would be going to the trouble they are if in fact they knew this new governor would veto these bills.

Bad laws can always be undone.

On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear a number of pro-Second Amendment bills previously passed by the House. These bills are an ongoing effort to roll back infringements upon Second Amendment rights passed during the last two years.

House Bill 204 repeals the five business day delay for firearm transfers and restores the three day delay that was previously in place. The three day delay for state police to complete a background check was already considered appropriate for the technology level of the time when Virginia created its computerized background system decades ago. It is also what federal law considers appropriate in other states that use the federal NICS background check system.

House Bill 325 repeals the law that victimizes gun owners who suffer loss or theft of their property, with a fine if they do not report lost or stolen firearms within 48 hours of discovering them missing.

House Bill 509 restores due process protections in Virginia by repealing the so-called “red flag” scheme that allows the seizure of an individual’s firearms on baseless accusations, without a hearing or other opportunity for the person to be heard in court.

A person subject to the suspension of a Constitutional right should be entitled to high evidentiary standards, an opportunity to be heard, and the right to face his or her accusers. Civil liberties advocates from across the political spectrum have expressed concerns about these schemes and how the procedure may lead to abuses, due to insufficient due process protections.

House Bill 827 prevents localities from passing their own restrictions on lawful carry. Ever since the General Assembly allowed them to do so, anti-gun jurisdictions have created a confusing patchwork of carry restrictions that are difficult to know and obey and result in arbitrary boundaries that disarm law-abiding citizens without doing anything to keep armed criminals out.

It also prohibits localities from filing lawsuits against the firearm industry for lawful activities. It does not prohibit lawsuits for breach of contract or negligence from firearms or ammunition purchased by localities.

Some of this could be much stronger, but it’s a good start.  I have always focused on local, local, local, and I will continue to do so.  Your fight is immediately around you.  Look no further than your city hall, your local Sheriff, your local police chief, your board of county commissioners, and your state government.

The Tangled Web Of Analysis On The Russian Military Operations In Ukraine

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

I consider it to be virtually impossible to get real news or even good analysis of the situation in Ukraine from the legacy media.  The propaganda and disinformation is far too thick – from all sides, including our own.  You can safely ignore most of it.

But this may be the most tangled analysis I’ve ever seen, and it’s symbolic of the sort of thing you’d read at the Small Wars Journal.  I’ll only give you the summary paragraph.

Despite the political influence of Ukraine’s veteran constituency, popular support for Ukraine’s far-right paramilitary forces is negligible. Biletsky and other members of far-right parties lost their seat in Ukraine’s Parliament—the Verkhovna Rada—in 2019. However, fascist paramilitary organizations could expand significantly in the wake of a Russian invasion. Ongoing civilian resistance training grant these organizations the opportunity to create widespread recruitment pools in the general populace. Further to that, a defeated democratic Ukraine would face a legitimacy crisis that extremist organizations like Azov and Right Sector could exploit to establish themselves politically, not unlike the Yugoslav Partisans in the Second World War. In this event, while NATO should refuse to recognize any Kremlin-appointed regime, it should likewise refuse to recognize any rebel Nazi government. Even if a strong opposition government led by Nazis may be enticing for the purpose of undermining a puppet regime, it would be a catastrophic mistake that would further destabilize the region and provide legitimacy to other far-right movements globally, particularly in the US.

The word Nazi is used about a 100,000 times in the commentary (I exaggerate only a little), and yet when trying to understand what a Nazi really is, there is only one URL which in effect subtly denies the very claim that the author is making.  The very best one can conclude is that a Nazi is an “ultra-nationalist.”

Um … okay.  I guess he means not a globalist.

Anyway, this author has a bit of twisted thinking in the summary, recommending that the U.S. take certain actions and recognize certain groups based on what he sees as a budding ultra-nationalist movement in the U.S.  Literally.  He recommends certain foreign policy actions based on what it might portend for groups he’s afraid of in the U.S.

You can’t make this sort of thing up.  This passes for “analysis” at SWJ.

I think he should give his college degrees back and sue them for breach of contract.  I’ve seen bad stuff before at SWJ, but never anything quite like this.  It sounds like a college freshman at Georgetown wrote it.

The Mind and Heart of the Believer

BY PGF
2 months, 4 weeks ago

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

You that are afar off, you that have gone out of the way, you that have succumbed to the spirit of fear, return to God.

If you failed the test and became fearful these past couple of years, it’s not too late for repentance toward God to be forgiven and restored. The spirit of fear is not of God; it is the spirit of antichrist. You need to get settled in your heart. Return to the assembling together with other believers as we are commanded of God. If you are genuinely saved but did stumble, you must understand what happened and prepare for more trouble. We all must prepare.

As we are well instructed in 2 Timothy 1:7 above, fear takes your power and turns love into confusion and this, in turn, is the cause of an unsound mind in the believer. That’s not pop psychology; that’s what the true and living God says.

You must return to Holy God because this thing isn’t over by any stretch. The testing of the American Church is just getting started. You need God; you need your fellows.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” – 1 John 2:16

More challenges with the lies and manipulation of the global order are underway. The tactics aren’t new. They are the same as at the fall in the garden; it’s sweet-sounding lies, offers to satisfy the needs of your body, and the ridiculous notion that you can be wiser than God himself while living under your moral compromise. It’s the same way Eve was tempted and similarly was the three-fold attack against our Lord in the wilderness after His baptism by the prophet John. Jesus overcame, and you too can overcome the accuser. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – Revelation 12:11

Only a group of believers can be strong together. The likeness of a wolf in scripture is not by mistake. Wolves hunt by cutting the weak from the flock to devour them. It’s a classic pack hunting tactic.

“The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” Proverbs 4:19

But now you know. Reject wickedness and come back into the Light.

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1

Serve in the righteousness of Christ because self-righteousness will fail you every time. Understand that you’re not alone. The Christian life is one of trials and temptations. Isolation one from another allows the enemy to win. Don’t continue in the lies. Shake it off by seeking the Father and get back up to serve Him again. It’s a trite cliché because it’s true: when a fall comes, it’s about what you do next that matters.

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” – James 4:8

Set your mind on Christ with singleness of purpose and set your heart on faith; get back in the fight for His holy name. Don’t be remembered in the halls of heaven as having left the field, during an opening skirmish, never to return. Be of sound mind and pure heart in the power and love of Christ Jesus. Draw nigh unto God, for He is faithful.

 

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