Religious Exemption To Mandatory Covid Vaccination

Herschel Smith · 24 Aug 2021 · 15 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]

David French On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

Seen at TTAG.

What a foppish, effete, dainty man.  He and Robert Bateman may want to meet and have some egg plant and bean sprouts together.

I was sitting in a casual seafood restaurant on the Eastern Shore of Virginia not long ago. It is a place well known for the quality of their crab and inshore fish. It was early on a quiet Sunday morning. The brunch hour approached and, more importantly, we were hungry. We were passing the Delmarva Peninsula at the time, an area I know well from my youth. My wife sat opposite me across a plain varnished pinewood table and my baby daughter sat in a high-seat next to me. Three tables of this roughly sixty-table restaurant were filled.

As we ate, looking over the beautiful waters at the Island House Restaurant in Wachapreague, I noticed over my wife’s shoulder the large man sitting in the table next to ours. It is not all that often that I notice people significantly larger than I am, but this guy qualified enough so that one could not help but look when he got up a few feet away. Going I know not where, I also noticed something else, the obvious presence of a concealed weapon at his hip, nominally, loosely “concealed” beneath his oversized T-shirt.

Really? A gun, at Sunday Brunch? Are you seriously that afraid of the 75-year-old farming couple, the only other people in the restaurant, who probably raised the daughter who babysat you 30 years ago? Or is it the middle-class transient family of three, with the baby, us, who frighten you? I mean, really, there were eight people in that restaurant at the time.

Then, over the next hour, as the 30 or-so retirees and perhaps 20 more obviously in for a post-Church-service special Sunday Brunch folks came in, I came to realize how absolutely delusional the fellow must be. What kind of idiot carries a gun in a family restaurant for family brunch? Well, that would be one of the folks influenced by the NRA-approved “Molon Labe” movement.

He can’t even hide his disdain for the man, not even as it pertains to his weight.  Of course, he didn’t have the guts to tell the man he thought he was fat, nor to ask him why he openly carries.

I have always believed, and continue to, that gentlemen carry their weapons openly.  The founders and their sons did, with John Adams carrying a rifle to shoot squirrels on the way to school in the morning.

Criminals try to hide their weapons.  As for everybody else, it’s all psychological.  The fact that a weapon isn’t in plain view doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  Notice that Bateman begins with his disdain for open carry (or loosely concealed, as he called it), and then to the fact that he had a firearm at all.

It isn’t really open carry to which they object – it’s carry at all.  They don’t want you armed.  As for French, well, it’s David French.  What do you expect?  Realistically, though, he should replace “designed to be menacing” with “he obviously hates IWB carry and sweating and corroding his weapon.”

Sometimes a rose is just a rose.

South Carolina Tyrants Self Identify

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

News from South Carolina.

An ordinance restricting the open carry of firearms passed its first reading with the Anderson City Council on Monday night.

The ordinance would prohibit residents from openly carrying firearms during events that take place on public property. These events include protests, according to the officials.

The background for the ordinance states, “While the City recognizes and appreciates the First and Second Amendment rights of its citizens and visitors, the presence of firearms at protests can serve to escalate tensions.”

The council will discuss the amendment again before it becomes a part of the law.

There’s always an excuse, isn’t there?

“While the City recognizes and appreciates the First and Second Amendment rights of its citizens …”  No, of course it doesn’t.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t be debating the prohibition of open carry at events.  They always have to declare their support for your rights while they refuse to recognized them, don’t they?

As for the reason – “the presence of firearms at protests can serve to escalate tensions?”  They don’t believe that, otherwise they would be trying to ban concealed carry, because there is no difference between concealed and open carry except for the fact that the firearm can be seen with open carry.  The reality of the firearm is still there.

The good thing about the declaration of tyranny among the cities (Spartanburg, Greenville, Charleston, Columbia, and now Anderson have made it clear they intend to ban open carry) is that the tyrants self identify.

That’s good.  It gives patriots information on who to cast out of office next.

South Carolina Cities Prohibit Open Carry During Permitted Events

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

It’s all the rage.

First, to no one’s surprise, Columbia did it.

The city of Columbia has banned openly carrying guns during events, such as festivals and parades, in the wake of a recent state law.

City officials approved a measure Sept. 7 to banning the open carry of firearms during permitted city events and from carrying a gun of any kind into city buildings or facilities without permission from the city manager or police chief.

Next up, Greenville.

The city may ban guns from being carried openly at events and by people picketing after South Carolina changed its law to allow open carry of firearms.

On the first of two readings, and without public discussion, City Council voted 7-0 to ban open carry of firearms at permitted public events like Fall for Greenville and Saturday Market or by individuals seeking to protest. It still must pass a second vote.

Ah, Fall for Greenville where all the crappy hot dog vendors get to sell their awful food.

Finally, Spartanburg has had its first reading of the same sort of statute.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg City Council has moved ahead on the first reading for a ban on openly carrying a gun at city-permitted events in Spartanburg.

During the first reading of the ordinance at Monday evening’s city council meeting, council members voted unanimously to prohibit the open carrying of firearms during city-permitted events on public property.

Councilwoman Erica Brown told 7 News, the ban applies to citywide-permitted events, like festivals and protests. Council is able to do this through a clause in the Open Carry with Training Act.

Brown said the vote couldn’t be timelier.

“Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would see that the City of Spartanburg has had quite a bit of gun violence as of late,” said Spartanburg City Councilwoman, Erica Brown.

Kyle Marlow is passionate about guns. He told us, especially using them safely. In fact, he calls himself a Second Amendment advocate.

“South Carolina is doing it the right way. It’s an Open Carry with Training law so they still have to go through all that training and background checks,” said Manager at T & K Outdoors, Kyle Marlow.

But with that being said, he told us he understands the intent behind the ban for protests.

“Just encourage all these people to follow all laws, whether that’s in the city, state or federal level,” Marlow told us.

In spite of his slow venture towards freedom, Kyle Marlow loves his enslavement.  Open carry with permit – still a government permission slip.  Open carry, except when we say not to.

We in N.C. don’t have much room to talk.  We’re under the same restrictions concerning permitted events.  Here’s one solution.  Don’t go to permitted events.

SLED issues guidance on open carry law as start date nears

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

News from S.C.

Openly carrying a firearm will be legal in South Carolina starting Aug. 15, and the State Law Enforcement Division is trying to make sure gun owners and law enforcement officers understand this upcoming change.

[ … ]

“Anything as far as protecting our Second Amendment rights, I’m all for any time it comes up,” said state Rep. Cal Forrest, R-Saluda, one of the bill’s early sponsors. “I think what is lost on most people is that it makes South Carolina a Second Amendment sanctuary state.”

A section of the law requires the state Attorney General to review any federal regulation related to the concealed carry of weapons. If the state Attorney General decides the federal action seeks to limit the carrying of weapons, the law says no state funds or employees will be used to enforce it.

[ … ]

In preparation for the act going into effect, SLED worked alongside the state Criminal Justice Academy to develop a training video for law enforcement officers. The video, available through the academy’s online training portal, is required viewing for any law enforcers by Aug. 13.

Greenwood Police Chief T.J. Chaudoin said he’s viewed the video, which goes over the details of the new law. It presents scenarios where officers encounter people openly carrying a firearm, and emphasizes what people’s rights are under the new law. It also went over de-escalation techniques when encountering someone openly carrying a gun.

Deescalation techniques?  Why would they need to learn about deescalation techniques?  Do they intend to harass open carriers?  In spite of the fact that S.C. isn’t a stop and identify state, and the fact that the open carry bill contains no proviso for being stopped by LEOs while openly carrying, do they intend to making unlawful demands of open carriers?

If so, then there will be problems, and they’ll end up in court.

SLED Slow To Figure Out South Carolina’s New Open Carry Law

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 1 week ago

Index Journal.

The Index-Journal fielded several questions about the open carry law to Crosby the day after McMaster signed it, but the agency has not answered these questions. What is SLED having to do to adjust for the new requirement to offer handgun education courses? The law says if an applicant is unable to comply with the section requiring them to get training, that SLED will offer a course that does qualify. Who qualifies for those SLED-issued courses, and what will these classes look like?

How will local law enforcement go about enforcing a law that allows CWP holders to openly carry handguns?

McCormick Police Chief Bo Willis said he has received numerous phone calls from people asking about the open carry law. While he hasn’t had any problems with people openly carrying before the law’s enactment date, he said last week he’s still waiting on guidance from SLED on how to enforce the law.

Since SLED’s day-of news release summarizing the law, they’ve published one press release that only clarifies the implementation date of the law. Crosby couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday via email or phone call.

The Index Journal hasn’t gotten answers from SLED because SLED doesn’t yet understand.  I’ve tried to explain it.

That’s what LEOs in Texas thought as well – we’ll just walk up and demand to see permits when a call comes in.

That’s not the way this worked out in Texas, and it’s not the way it will work out in South Carolina.  You see, in order to conduct a stop, LEOs need to ensure that it’s a valid “Terry Stop.”  In other words, you have to suspect that a crime has been or is being committed, or else the stop isn’t legal.

It’s not good enough to say that the individual is openly carrying a weapon.  To be sure, if someone is openly carrying and commits a crime leading to detention or arrest, and you ascertain that the individual has no permit, then you can charge him with a crime under the new law.  But then, you could have charged him with a crime under the concealed handgun law as well.  Nothing has changed.

You need to pretend that you can’t see the weapon, because that’s the way the carefully worded law is written.  This is what’s going to happen the first few times such a stop is conducted by LEOs for open carriers.

LEO: “Sir, I need to see your permit.”

Person A: “Sure, but you’re being videoed and this video will end up in court, and I need to ask you two questions.  First of all, am I being detained, and if so, do you suspect me of a crime?  In other words, is this a so-called “Terry Stop?”  Second question.  Does S.C. have a “stop and identify statute?”

The LEO is in a very hard place.  If the LEO says that person A is suspected of a crime, the proper response is, “What crime?”  To which he can give no valid response.  If the LEO says that person A is not suspected of a crime, question #2 becomes salient, and I assure you, S.C. has no stop and identify statute.

In other words, it is not legal for a LEO to conduct this stop for openly carrying.  Finally, you should read the bill again.  The open carry bill approved into law by the governor does not expand S.C. to include any sort of stop and identify stipulation, either under this statute or any other.  You can read it again for yourself.

Here is a much better idea.  Train your 911 operators to respond to callers with this information: “Ma’am, open carry is now legal in S.C.  Are you calling to report any other criminal activities?  Is this person brandishing the weapon or threatening anyone?  If not, we need to hang up.”

If you don’t follow this counsel, the two questions I posed above will be heard in court very soon.

SLED doesn’t know how they’re going to enforce the new law because South Carolina has no stop and identify statute, and neither should it.

You cannot (and should not be able to) stop someone who is doing nothing illegal.  The law as signed stipulates that a permit is required to be able to legally openly carry in S.C.  But there is no provision in existing statutory framework or in the recently signed open carry bill that makes provision for stopping people who are openly carrying to demand identification and permit.

But despite my best efforts, I cannot seem to interest anyone in the coming problems.  It’s not a problem to me, especially since I believe the S.C. legislature should have passed constitutional carry.  No permit should be required.

But it will soon be a problem with law enforcement if they think they are going to stop every open carrier they see to demand identification.

And by the way, try to reach any South Carolina law enforcement via email, whether Sheriff’s Association, city law enforcement, county law enforcement, or SLED.  It cannot be done.  They do not make their email addresses known to the public.

Open Letter To South Carolina Law Enforcement Concerning Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

First of all, there are good, healthy views among South Carolina LEOs concerning the recent changes to S.C. law concerning open carry.

“I think this can definitely be a very positive thing. I think as the sheriff, you know I believe that guns could certainly be a deterrent for a bad guy when considering committing a crime upon a victim,” Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride said. “It’s going to be something new that we have to get used to and the public will have to get used to of course. Walking into a location or at a location where it is allowed to carry and seeing that and it not being a law enforcement officer.”

“I love it because it’s the second amendment. Our second amendment right guarantees us the right to keep and bear arms,” Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said. “If you are going to be responsible enough to carry something of that magnitude it is your responsibility to train with it right.”

But then there is massive confusion and lack of mental preparation.

Greenville City Police Chief Howie Thompson has some fear about South Carolina’s open-carry law that was signed into law Monday.

Gov. Henry McMaster signed the “Open Carry with Training Act” bill, which will allow people with concealed weapons permits to openly carry firearms.

One of Thompson’s fears is for those carrying guns.

“Everyone will see it, and if someone who is committing a criminal act goes in and sees someone carrying a gun, well now the person who is carrying becomes a threat,” he said.

Thank you for your concern sir, but it’s misplaced.  Open carriers can handle the pressure.  But this next part is more likely to get someone hurt.

Another concern Thompson has deals with law enforcement officers. Thompson said if someone saw another person who is carrying legally and calls law enforcement to investigate, law enforcement  will not know if  the person has a permit to carry. Thompson thinks service calls for visible guns will increase.

They’re going to ask for the permit, and maybe the person feels harassed, but in reality the police are just following up on a service call and making sure the person has a permit,” he said.

So this is a massive problem.  Allow me a moment to explain.

That’s what LEOs in Texas thought as well – we’ll just walk up and demand to see permits when a call comes in.

That’s not the way this worked out in Texas, and it’s not the way it will work out in South Carolina.  You see, in order to conduct a stop, LEOs need to ensure that it’s a valid “Terry Stop.”  In other words, you have to suspect that a crime has been or is being committed, or else the stop isn’t legal.

It’s not good enough to say that the individual is openly carrying a weapon.  To be sure, if someone is openly carrying and commits a crime leading to detention or arrest, and you ascertain that the individual has no permit, then you can charge him with a crime under the new law.  But then, you could have charged him with a crime under the concealed handgun law as well.  Nothing has changed.

You need to pretend that you can’t see the weapon, because that’s the way the carefully worded law is written.  This is what’s going to happen the first few times such a stop is conducted by LEOs for open carriers.

LEO: “Sir, I need to see your permit.”

Person A: “Sure, but you’re being videoed and this video will end up in court, and I need to ask you two questions.  First of all, am I being detained, and if so, do you suspect me of a crime?  In other words, is this a so-called “Terry Stop?”  Second question.  Does S.C. have a “stop and identify statute?”

The LEO is in a very hard place.  If the LEO says that person A is suspected of a crime, the proper response is, “What crime?”  To which he can give no valid response.  If the LEO says that person A is not suspected of a crime, question #2 becomes salient, and I assure you, S.C. has no stop and identify statute.

In other words, it is not legal for a LEO to conduct this stop for openly carrying.  Finally, you should read the bill again.  The open carry bill approved into law by the governor does not expand S.C. to include any sort of stop and identify stipulation, either under this statute or any other.  You can read it again for yourself.

Here is a much better idea.  Train your 911 operators to respond to callers with this information: “Ma’am, open carry is now legal in S.C.  Are you calling to report any other criminal activities?  Is this person brandishing the weapon or threatening anyone?  If not, we need to hang up.”

If you don’t follow this counsel, the two questions I posed above will be heard in court very soon.

Listen to me when I say this.  Ask your prosecuting attorney about what I’ve said.  They’ll back me up because I’m right.

South Carolina Governor Signs Open Carry Bill Into Law

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

News from South Carolina.

Gov. Henry McMaster said Monday he signed into law a bill allowing people with concealed weapons permits from the state to carry their guns in the open.

McMaster posted on Twitter that he was keeping his promise to sign any bill that protects or expands gun rights.

The proposal allows so-called open carry of guns for people who undergo training and background checks so they can keep guns hidden under a jacket or other clothing or in their vehicle anywhere there isn’t a sign prohibiting it.

The law takes effect in 90 days. Thus, in mid-August, South Carolina will no longer be with California, Florida, Illinois and New York to prohibit any type of open carry.

The law eliminates a $50 permit fee to get a concealed weapons permit and lowers the number of bullets that someone must fire at a target in an accuracy test to get a permit from 50 to 25 shots. Requirements remain that a permit holder be 21 or over, take eight hours of training and pass a background check that includes fingerprinting.

My S.C. Open Carry tag has dozens of columns, articles and commentaries, which I’ve sent around hundreds of times to fellow gun rights activists in South Carolina, S.C. members of the House and Senate, and readers.  Additionally, I’ve met people face to face to discuss this, sent other letters to politicians, both local and state, and sent letters to CLEOs to rebut their efforts to deny open carry to South Carolinians, pointing out in excruciating detail on every point how they were wrong and disloyal to the constitution.

This is a big win, a hard fought victory.  I’m celebrating tonight over this.

But the fight isn’t over.  They denied constitutional carry this time around.  We’ll go in baby steps as incrementalists.  I have no objections to incrementalism.

Open carry this year, constitutional carry next year.

Gov. McMaster to sign new Open Carry bill soon, says spokesman

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

News from South Carolina.

The House approved the Open Carry bill 83-34 on Wednesday and then signed off on the changes made by the Senate.

It now heads to Gov. McMaster’s desk where he will sign it “soon,” says a spokesman.

Why not today, governor?  What are you waiting for?

South Carolina ‘Open Carry With Training’ gun bill passes, heads to governor for signature

BY Herschel Smith
7 months ago

News from South Carolina.

South Carolina’s legislature has passed a bill changing state gun laws to allow open carry of guns for people who completed training and pass a background check.

The state’s House of Representatives passed the “Open Carry With Training” bill by an 83-34 vote on Wednesday, following the state Senate’s approval of the bill a week earlier.

With the General Assembly’s approval, the bill now heads to Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk for his signature. The governor has said he will sign it.

So remember that the S.C. Senate passed open carry with amendments to the House bill.  This was a House vote on acceptance of the Senate amendments.  It succeeded with lots of margin.

The next step is the signature of the governor, who has said he will sign it.  His political future would be in shambles if he didn’t.

South Carolina Senate Passes Open Carry Bill

BY Herschel Smith
7 months ago

News from South Carolina.

Gun owners permitted to carry concealed weapons in the state of South Carolina are soon likely to join residents in 45 other states who can carry their hand guns openly in public — a proposal that has frustrated gun-control advocates, doctors and top law enforcement leaders but was a resounding win for many Republican lawmakers.

With three days left on the legislative calendar, the Senate voted 28-16 mostly down party lines after a more than 12-hour debate to pass H. 3094, a House-sponsored bill that would allow only concealed weapons permit holders the right to carry their hand gun in the open.

Charleston Sen. Sandy Senn was the lone Republican to vote against the legislation.

The Republican-controlled Senate made a handful of changes to the bill. They ranged from removing the $50 cost of the permit application fee, to limiting the federal government’s intervention and to requiring clerks to report pertinent information to the State Law Enforcement Division within five, not 30, days that would prohibit someone from buying or owning a gun.

But senators also rejected dozens of amendments that included a Republican-pushed attempt to expand the measure by eliminating the law’s existing permit and background check requirement entirely, and also Democrat-led efforts to enhance background checks.

“I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t a little bit disappointed, but I actually, I have absolutely no regrets,” said state Sen. Shane Martin, R-Spartanburg, who pushed but lost 25-21 his effort to remove the permit requirement. “I won’t give up advocating for it. I was so close.”
Obviously, Martin said, “the Senate’s not ready for it yet.”

The bill goes back to the House, likely to reject the changes, triggering a six-member joint panel to hammer out differences.

Congratulations to senators Massey and Martin.  Shane Massey was the S.C. senator who successfully got the bill pulled from the SC senate judiciary committee where they intended to stall it until dead this calendar year, aided by turncoat SC senator Luke Rankin.

Actually, the attempt to remove the permitting requirement entirely, i.e., constitutional carry, was opposed by Shane Massey.  I don’t know if the opposition was real, or if the attempt to amend the bill to remove permitting would have been a poison pill for the bill, losing S.C. senators who would have otherwise been in favor of open carry.  But at least Mr. Massey did his part to strip the bill from the hands of Mr. Rankin, who needs to be primaried and thrown from office.

Also to senator Martin, who led a valiant effort for constitutional carry this term.  As you might expect, I approve of his goals and I hope for the best during the next legislative season.

As I observed before, “The ninnies, frightened and the tepid must see for themselves when the state is let out of its cage that the sky doesn’t fall like law enforcement and “The Karens” said it would.  They’re like a frightened, psychologically stunted animal who has been caged its entire life, afraid to leave the confines of its own imprisonment.”

When the world doesn’t end and blood doesn’t run in the streets as predicted by law enforcement and “Karens against Everything,” the time will be ripe for this again soon.

I listened to much of the debate today.  Most of it was ridiculous.  The ninnies tried everything in the book, from stalling tactics to endless yapping, to poison pill amendments.  One awful senator, an obvious law enforcement sycophant, worked hard for an amendment that would have had LEOs confiscating weapons in any encounter for the sake of “officer safety.”

So he would have had men handling others’ weapons, a stupid, awful, terrible idea.  I’ve discussed this before.  Weapons might be modified, the officer may never have seen that particular weapon before, rounds might be chambered, or they might not be, safeties might be engaged, or they might not be, hammers may be cocked, they may not be, striker fired pistols may be half cocked, or they might not be, trigger jobs may have lightened the pull, or maybe not, the pistol might be single action, or it might be SA/DA, guns could drop if they’re handled (causing people to try to catch them), and all manner of NDs can occur.  Some holsters are retention, others not, and on and on the variations could go.

It is a profoundly, terribly, incredibly stupid thing to begin handling weapons just because someone likes authority, walks up and demands it.  It’s a great thing that amendment was defeated.

Now.  It’s important not to let up.  First, the little differences between the House and Senate versions must be hammered out, and that, quickly so.  Then finally, the governor’s office must be flooded with mail, email and phone calls to ensure he keeps his word and signs the bills into law.

This has been a long slog, but it’s not over just yet.

Then next session we’ll focus on constitutional carry.


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