Religious Exemption To Mandatory Covid Vaccination

Herschel Smith · 24 Aug 2021 · 16 Comments

I authored this paper for an individual who wishes that the name be removed.  The name has been redacted from the copy provided here. In order to assist the reader with a framework for understanding this paper, it should first be emphasized that it is written from a very specific theological perspective.  The necessary presuppositions are outlined at the beginning. It could of course be objected that there may be other (what I am calling "committed Christians") who do not hold one or…… [read more]

Concerning Kyle Rittenhouse: “Using guns for self-gratification undermines the 2nd Amendment”

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

So says someone named Becky Bennett.

The Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal and the arrival of hunting season are making guns a topic around rural holiday tables.

I’ve written about how guns are a “normal,” even necessary part of everyday rural life. But gun owners need to think hard about our reaction to the debacle in Kenosha—in which Rittenhouse, a teenager with an AR-15, went looking for trouble and found it. Rural people who revere the Second Amendment, but feel joy, or improbably, vindication in the verdict, are in danger of undermining any legitimate place for guns in our society.

[ … ]

Because you never know, acquaintances often urge me to carry a gun while hiking. It’s why, during an office security check after the mass shooting at a newspaper in Maryland, one of my colleagues gestured meaningfully toward her purse and assured me she was prepared.

The problem with Rittenhouse was that he knew exactly what might happen because his behavior provoked the attacks he then defended himself from.

There’s a difference between reasonable defense and a parade. Parades are intended to impress spectators and to make the parader feel big. In the past, no one bragged about owning guns or flaunted them outside a shooting range. They bragged only about hunting prowess.

Rittenhouse loved a parade. If he wasn’t just feeding his ego—if he sincerely believed that waving an assault-style firearm in a chaotic situation improved security—then whoever taught him to behave this way with a gun damaged him immeasurably. No credible rural gun owner would teach children that guns are playthings or props (they teach constant awareness of a gun’s capacity for harm).

Unfortunately, in our presently unhinged society, allowing guns for responsible defense also opens the way for self-gratifying and provocative displays. Not to mention for exploiters like Gun Owners of America, which intends to “award” Rittenhouse an AR-15 like the one he killed with, as a thank-you “for being a warrior for gun owners and self-defense rights across the country!”

When pro-gun organizations and gun owners conflate self-defense and self-aggrandizement, they affirm the weak-minded and guarantee tragedy.

Rural residents, who claim to have their heads on straight about guns (unlike hand-wringing liberals), should know, and do, better. Anyone who cheers the Rittenhouse debacle betrays their rural values of respect for guns, responsible use, and responsibility for yourself and others.

They also risk undermining support for the Second Amendment. The National Rifle Association, untroubled by contradiction or nuance, quoted the amendment after the Rittenhouse verdict. Of course, “well-regulated militia” and “security” were the antithesis of the Kenosha debacle.

Rural gun owners used to take the Second Amendment seriously as the underpinning of responsible self-protection and the freedom that security brings. If we no longer believe these things, why should our urban counterparts support the right to bear arms?

Based on their focus on hunting and support for the NFA, GCA, bump stock ban, assault weapons ban, and universal background checks, this commentary sounds like it could have been written by the NRA.

Note her focus on rural America and hunting prowess.  Guns, for her, aren’t for personal defense in urban areas, nor for the amelioration of tyranny (the Raison d’être for the 2A).

Guns are to be hidden, not seen, and going outside the home with them invites combat.  Never mind that Kyle showed up begging people of both sides to come to his station for medical aid, and that when he was first attacked he ran and yelled “Friendly, friendly, friendly!”

Never mind that the rest of that fateful night as he suffered more attacks, he was running from the threat.  And never mind that this wasn’t a parade – it was known terrorists burning a city to the ground (Antifa / BLM).  Finally, never mind that at least one of his attackers tried to kill him by striking him in the back of the skull, and that at least one of his attackers pointed a gun at him.

To Becky, you invite combat by openly carrying a firearm.  This is the same argument the prosecution used.  And there is no basis for this in law, no basis in fact, and no basis in ethics for a position like this.

Where I live it’s legal to openly carry, as it should be.  No one even looks twice.  Open carry is far more comfortable than concealed carry, and it’s quicker to presentation.  It’s often what I choose to do, and it’s both legal and moral to do so.

Becky lives in another world, one where the police are legally obligated to protect her, one in which they can be there instantaneously, and one in which Antifa / BLM conducts “parades” rather than commits arson, vandalism, theft and rape (in Portland and Seattle).  This is a world of her imagination, for the police cannot be there instantaneously, and are under no obligation to protect her (see Castle Rock v. GonzalezWarren v. District of Columbia and DeShaney v. Winnebago County).

Moreover, the police are bound by the politics of the administration they serve.  “To Protect and Serve” is a meaningless political jingle.  The prosecutor in the Kyle Rittenhouse case wasn’t just going after Kyle.  He is a gun controller and was going after the 2A.  He was going after anyone who presumes the effect self defense.  His ultimate goal is for there to be no capability of defense of life and liberty.

How Becky feels about my open carry, or whether Kyle showed up with an AR-15 or an M1A1 Abrams tank, is really quite irrelevant.  The businesses of hard working men and women were burned to the ground that fateful night, and many people were injured outside of what happen with Kyle.  The police were told to stand down, as they have been on multiple occasions throughout the U.S. over the last year.

Becky wants a return to the days of yesteryear where men in flannel discuss the latest deer hunt and seldom carry outside the home.  Alas, it will not happen.  There are no “parades” any more.  There is looting and burning and destruction.  But good men are armed, and there are problems on the horizon.

Those problems aren’t a function of what sorts of conversations occurred over Thanksgiving dinner five decades ago.  Those problems are a function of the rejection of God’s law for society.

Becky would do better to turn her attention elsewhere for solutions than whether we celebrate Kyle’s exoneration of charges that should never have been brought to begin with.

Finally, it’s surprising that so many people have turned their attention to making out criminal behavior by criminals (Rosenbaum was a convicted child anal rapist, Gaige Grosskreutz was a career criminal, etc.) to be a “parade.”  Maybe it shouldn’t be, but it’s as if there is no shame left.

Kyle Rittenhouse Interview

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

While I’ve never had to use it, Kyle explains that his AR was out of battery before he tapped the forward assist.  It probably saved his life.  I don’t know why it didn’t go into battery – bad tolerances, failure to lube the gun, bad ammo, or what.

Here’s another part of the interview where it’s simply astonishing the level of unscrupulous behavior the DA got away with.

And finally here’s some more of the interview.

The Difference Between Black Rifle Coffee And The Saddle River Range

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Saddle River Range (via Ken).

The Saddle River Range in Conroe sent a text message to customers about the “Pre-Black Friday clearance sale” which started Saturday and will last through Thanksgiving.

“We would like to clear up some confusion, the post states. “We are celebrating the life that Kyle Rittenhouse now gets to live because he was able to defend himself without being penalized for it. This is a big win for the Second Amendment and cause for celebration. For those of you who think we are celebrating “the death of innocent people”, we apologize that you didn’t take the time to gather and evaluate the actual facts from the case.”

Black Rifle Coffee.

The veteran-founded coffee company had distanced itself from Rittenhouse after the teenager took a post-bail photo wearing a Black Rifle Coffee T-shirt and BlazeTV host Elijah Schaffer posted the photo along with the caption, “Kyle Rittenhouse drinks the best coffee in America.”

Schaffer, whose podcast was sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee, deleted his tweet, and a company spokeswoman said to the Salt Lake Tribune, “We did have a conversation with Schaffer, and he understands that the post was a mistake.”

The company’s CEO Evan Hafer also issued a statement disavowing any relationship with Rittenhouse that said, “We do not sponsor nor do we have a relationship with the 17-year-old facing charges in Kenosha, WI.”

Breitbart News reached out to Black Rifle Coffee on Friday for comment but received no response.

While Black Rifle Coffee remained silent, conservatives torched the company on social media.

Since its disavowal of Rittenhouse, the company has been under fire from the right, which comprises a large portion of its consumer base.

The company has tried to do damage control, only further antagonizing the right.

After its initial statement, Hafer released a video statement saying that the company believed in the Constitution, the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, and that a person is innocent until provided guilty, but reiterated that the company did not sponsor Rittenhouse.

The company then dug itself into a hole further after Hafer and the company’s Executive Vice President Mat Best granted in-depth interviews to the New York Times in July, where they disparaged the right.

Best compared January 6 Capitol protesters wearing Black Rifle Coffee products to “terrorist organizations that wear American brands when they go behead Americans.”

Black Rifle Coffee chose poorly.

Thomas Binger Is Both A Criminal And Gun Controller

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

First off, remember that he suborned perjury among at least one witness.  He failed to turn over proper evidence, and he hid the identity of the so-called jump-kick man who attacked Kyle that night.  Now we learn that Gaige Grosskreutz had charges dropped by the same prosecutor.

Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger was well aware of this when he paraded Gaige Grosskreutz, 28, the third man shot on the night of August 25, 2020, as a paragon of selfless virtue. He was a paramedic, the court heard, just there that evening to provide medical aid, as he claimed to have done at countless other protests across the country.

In fact, DailyMail.com has learned, he is a violent career criminal with a laundry list of prior offenses and convictions stretching back more than a decade.

These include domestic abuse, prowling, trespass, two DUIs, felony burglary and two charges of carrying a firearm while intoxicated – one of which took place when he was banned as a felon from carrying a firearm.

He also has a history of showing disdain for the law by lying to, and failing to co-operate with, police.

But the Rittenhouse jury heard none of this.

Because just six days before he took the stand, Grosskreutz was before a judge himself at a hearing at which a pending DUI charge – a second offense that saw him three times over the legal limit – was dismissed on a technicality.

To no one’s surprise, he is also a gun controller.

The issue is whether you can drive with a loaded handgun within reach, even without having a concealed carry permit.

Guy A. Smith, a 52-year-old commercial truck driver from Merrill, believes, as does a gun rights organization, that you can. That’s why he said he made no effort to hide his revolver when inspectors entered his big rig at a weigh station in Pleasant Prairie in June 2016.

Inspectors saw it on the floor of his cab via an overhead camera, then approached Smith and cited him for carrying a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor, and seized his gun.

Smith was represented by John Monroe, a Georgia-based attorney who has successfully defended many gun rights advocates, including those charged with openly carrying guns before Wisconsin’s passage of Act 35, which first allowed for concealed carry with a license.

The organization Wisconsin Carry Inc. was paying for Smith’s defense because it thought it might eliminate some law enforcement confusion about the statutes.

“The charge should never have been filed because in 2011 the Legislature changed the law to allow handguns in cars to be unencased and loaded,” Monroe said in an email Monday. “Carrying a concealed weapon is no longer a crime applicable to handguns in vehicles.

[ … ]

The first time Smith was set for trial, last fall, Kenosha County prosecutors asked for more time after learning Smith planned to argue that a different Wisconsin statute specifically approves of carrying a loaded handgun in a vehicle.

The statute on transport of weapons reads, ” … no person may place, possess, or transport a firearm, bow, or crossbow in or on a vehicle, unless one of the following applies: 1. The firearm is unloaded or is a handgun.”

Monroe had prepared a second defense as well: Wisconsin’s so-called castle doctrine that lets people use a gun — without a permit — to protect themselves in their home, car or business. For a truck driver like Smith, his cab is at times all three.

The assistant district attorney at November’s hearing, Thomas Binger, suggested Smith could easily have gotten a concealed carry permit.

After that hearing, Smith said he didn’t get one because he didn’t need to.

“I’m just a trucker trying to stay alive,” he said.  “I want my gun back, and I don’t want a record, and I’m not paying a fine. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Doing something wrong or violating the law has nothing to do with it when Thomas Binger is involved.  He’s on a mission.

Just To Remind You Of How Idiotic The Rittenhouse Prosecution Was

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

A deer.  With a hollow point.

There’s a difference between a pointed soft point and a hollow point.  But don’t leave it to soy boy to understand that.

Actually, I’m sure he did.  He was just trying to scare the women on the jury.  Maybe some “men” too.  Never mind that he had FMJ loaded into his mags.

Kyle Rittenhouse: Not Guilty On All Counts

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Somehow, in spite of the circus show this turned out to be, in spite of juror #54 potentially going rogue, justice has been served and Kyle Rittenhouse has been found not guilty on all counts.

The charges should never have been filed to begin with.

Fill in with comments as you see fit.

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds observes, “This is a big deal not only because of the merits of the individual case, which manifestly shouldn’t have been brought, but because all the effort around it by the left was aimed at establishing the principle that their thugs could riot in the streets, but that normals don’t dare resist. This is a huge setback for that effort.”

UPDATE #2: Now it’s time to hold the prosecution accountable for their malfeasance.  They knew who one of Kyle’s attackers was (the so-called jump-kick man), and didn’t tell the defense.  Then there is the little issue of the compressed video.  Send them up before the BAR, and then put them in jail.

UPDATE #3: Zero Hedge.

“Prosecutors were visibly crestfallen after the verdict was read.”

UPDATE #4:

Seen in the comments at Legal Insurrection.

Pleasantly surprised. Good that the National Guard is standing by. They will be needed.

Well, not unless they’re under arming orders.  I’ve brought this up many, many times before, especially when the NG was deployed to the border.  They’re deployed without weapons, or without ammunition, and with no ROE/RUF.  Someone has to sign arming orders for them even to be able to effect self defense.

Arming orders.  Remember those two words.  Find the orders, send them to me and I’ll post them.  If they aren’t under arming orders, they’re just window dressing.

Kyle Rittenhouse Prosecution Refusal To Turn Over Evidence To The Defense: A Total Lack Of Proper Control Over Evidence

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Here is some of the high resolution video they didn’t turn over to the defense.  I don’t know if there’s more than this.  It clearly shows that Kyle’s life was in danger.  He would have been entirely within his rights to have shot earlier than he did.

But frankly, it doesn’t show any more than the previous analysis we’ve done, which was also conclusive.  Here is a much more comprehensive video.

I watched the proceedings today for about 30 minutes of the stupidest stuff I’ve ever seen.  The prosecution explained that they tried to airdrop the video to the defense, but since her phone was an Android rather than an iPhone, it must have compressed the data.  The clerk for the defense tried to explain that she had nothing to do with airdropping anything, but she received a video in an email (an email!) and that’s what she submitted into evidence.  It consumes about a third of the memory that the uncompressed video does.

She tried to explain file size, and help calling it millibyte rather than Megabyte, and then talked about metadata in terms only of file date and time stamp.  The prosecution responded, she responded, the judge was confused by it all and said that there will be a recompense over this but not now.

I was flabbergasted.  I was just floored.  The entire gaggle of them are either ignorant or pretending.  What on earth is so hard about this?  Even for the technically challenged?  A man’s life is at stake.

You don’t treat evidence that way.  You ensure a chain of custody, from person to person, with a signature from everyone who touched it, witnessed by a Notary.  If it’s electronic evidence, it must be put on a drive with nothing else, date and time stamp published on the drive, and a checksum generated on the file and put on different media so that the user can verify authenticity of the files.  If every letter and number of the checksum doesn’t agree in the right order, the evidence is tainted and must be rejected without further consideration.

What … is … so … hard … about … this?

Idiotic Arguments By The Rittenhouse Prosecution

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Just to pile on (because it’s so easy), you can add these to your list of reasons to despise men like this.

They claim that Kyle lost his right of self defense by bringing a firearm.  So the actual thing to be used as a means of self defense obviates in perpetuity the exercise of the action for which the implement was carried to begin with.

Next, they will claim (and have), that Kyle shouldn’t have been there.  Here is a reddit/Firearms thread where that is discussed.  They’re right.

Same argument as “she was asking for it”

Yep. “You shouldn’t have been at that bar if you didn’t want to get raped”, “you shouldntve (sic) been out after dark if you didn’t want to be raped”.

“She shouldn’t have gone out dressed like that” is directly comparable

Yes, this kind of thinking can only lead to, ‘why did you live in that neighborhood, it’s clearly a bad part of town, just look at these crime rates’ and ‘why are you wearing that, you’re just asking for it’.

The prosecution is a bunch of bigots.

Another Stupidity In The Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

The judge [correctly] dropped the weapons charge.

The problem with the Wisconsin statute is not a problem of pluralization but definition. It is not clear that the statute actually bars possession by Rittenhouse. Indeed, it may come down to the length of Rittenhouse’s weapon and the prosecutors never bothered to measure it and place it into evidence.

In Wisconsin, minors cannot possess short-barreled rifles under Section 941.28. Putting aside the failure to put evidence into the record to claim such a short length, it does not appear to be the case here. Rittenhouse used a Smith & Wesson MP-15 with an advertised barrel length of 16 inches and the overall length is 36.9 inches. That is not a short barrel.

Of course it’s not an SBR.

One might claim that he found a gunsmith to shorten the barrel for him, reinstall the flash hider, and not inform Rittenhouse that it was now an SBR.  But of course that would be stupid.  Kyle would gain nothing whatsoever from losing an inch or two off his barrel length.

Besides, I can look at it and tell that it’s not an SBR.  And besides again, I know how to use a tape measure.

And besides one more time, the entire team of prosecuting attorneys needs to be flogged in broad daylight, stripped naked, and marched to the town square and put in stocks as an example to children everywhere.

Thomas Binger, Kyle Rittenhouse Prosecuting Attorney, Is A Dangerous And Stupid Man

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

I have previously called for criminal charges against Thomas Binger, the PA in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, for having suborned perjury in the case.  He’s an awful man without scruples or ethics of any sort.

Now we find out that he’s just plain dumb.

Prosecutor takes the AR (an admitted exhibit), says his assistant has “ checked it to be sure it isn’t loaded.” Then, without himself opening the action to confirm unloaded, raises it and points it in the direction of the jury!

Source.

Folks, this isn’t a game, show or circus act, even though the PA’s been allowed to turn it into that.

Let’s make it clear.  It wouldn’t have even mattered if he had performed a chamber check himself, or if 100 people had done that.

It’s called defense in depth, where there are redundant means of ensuring safety.  Nuclear Power Plants are designed that way.  Commercial aircraft are designed that way.

Gun safety is managed that way.  Perform a chamber check, and then handle the weapon as if it’s loaded.

Do not point the weapon at anything you don’t intend to destroy, and know your backstop.  In this case he has his finger inside the trigger well on the trigger.  He’s violating two of the most sacred rules of gun safety.

It would have been entirely legitimate had someone from the jury stood up and shouted, “Stop pointing the gun at us, you moron!”

Source via TCJ correspondent, WiscoDave.


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