06/7/21

ATF Nominee And Waco Special Agent Chipman Lied In Pushing For Massacre

By: Daniel John Sobieski

No, that is not David Chipman standing in the ruins of the burnt-out Waco compound, site of the 1993 slaughter of members of the Branch Davidian religious group led by David Koresh. He was too busy back at the office helping to manufacture and disseminate lies about what went on at the compound to justify a brutal, murderous, and unnecessary assault.

The animus he exhibited in his tenure at ATF towards gun owners and gun rights, to the point of using violence as a gun-control tactic, reflects a view he holds today and shares with the likes of Biden “gun czar” Beto O’Rourke, and includes gun confiscation by armed agents of legally purchased guns owned by law-abiding citizens. His definition of an assault rifle is so broad as to include virtually all rifles owned by lawful gun owners.

He is no fan of the Second Amendment which was put in the Bill of Rights to protect the other nine; put there by Founding Fathers as an ultimate bulwark against tyrants and tyranny. It was written to protect individual gun ownership because the British were coming, not because deer were in season. It was written to prevent such tyranny as David Chipman envisions,

The Branch Davidians could be described as an earlier version of Obama’s despised “bitter clingers,” clinging to their guns and their interpretation of the Bible but basically just wanting to be left alone. You might call their compound an early “autonomous zone,” but not set up by the genuinely violent and dangerous Antifa and BLM protesters that looted, burned, and killed at will while law enforcement pursued the law-abiding gun owners of America. As it was, the Branch Davidians could have been dealt with non-violently. Chipman felt otherwise, making up false horror stories to justify a violent assault. As Tiana Lowe notes in the Washington Examiner:

Chipman was indeed a case agent in the Waco siege of the Branch Davidian compound. The incident was a massacre of civil liberties and the rule of law, in addition to the 82 lives, it ended unnecessarily. Rather than bring up credible sexual assault charges against cult leader David Koresh, who could easily have been arrested during his jogs around the compound and jaunts into town, the ATF staged a militarized and performative military action against American citizens.   

The Waco stunt, endorsed by the Clinton administration as a part of its crackdown against the Second Amendment, also found a quiet defender in then-Sen. Biden. Even after evidence emerged that the ATF had whipped up baseless charges about a meth lab in order to secure helicopters and charge firearms violations, Biden proved a partisan, opposing oversight hearings that were certain to damage the Clinton administration.

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05/4/21

Why is the Left so Obsessed with Cancel Culture?

By: Richard Douglas | Scopes Field

The American left has gained a ton of notoriety these last two decades, especially at the tail end of the Bush administration. They were certainly disagreeable then, but cross-party relationships still remained relatively intact and generally non-hostile, at least compared to today. The left has flown off the handle as the Obama administration egged on bad behavior and active hostility toward conservatives. Social justice became a huge topic, even gaining rabid activists that usually started in their teenage years. At first, it started out annoying, but relatively harmless. Then social media blew up. It was all downhill from there. Social media became a staple in American life and gave people incredible influence just for being present on social media. Young people were the first to adopt these platforms and have in turn become some powerhouse for reciting activist rhetoric. What’s worse is that these young people could spout insane nonsense and have other teenagers agree with them. The internet became an echo chamber for off-the-wall beliefs and perpetuated naive beliefs that were carried into adulthood because of the nature of the internet.

When Twitter hit the scene and became one of the most popular platforms in play these people gained genuine power. It first started off with coining terms like “microaggressions” and tens of genders. Then regular people began receiving hate for innocuous actions like enjoying Wild West movies (because Indians were portrayed as the bad guys) or refusing to be active supporters of the LGBT community even if it went against their personal beliefs. They even tried to go after guns for a little while. It evolved further with groups of people getting victims fired for things they said when they were clueless teenagers.

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04/28/21

Nationalism vs. Patriotism: What’s the Difference and Why it Matters

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

what is nationalism vs patriotismThe terms “nationalism” and “patriotism” are often used interchangeably. This is understandable, as they have somewhat overlapping meanings, both of which suffer from a certain amount of vagueness. However, there are a number of key differences between the two that are worth shedding light on. In the final analysis, we believe that the term “nationalism,” while not denoting anything totalitarian by its nature, is not an accurate term for the sentiment that exists in the United States. Nationalism, it would seem, is more suited to Europe or Asia, places with historic nations, united by common language and ethnicity that are necessarily tied with a certain area of land.

There’s a lot to unpack here and the differences are extremely subtle. And to give a bit of a spoiler, we’re not going to be taking the position, as is often the case, that patriotism is fine but nationalism is simply a metastatic and malignant form of patriotism.

First Things First: How Do Both Differ From Libertarianism and Conservatism

Gadsden Flag Don't Tread On Me

Before going any further, it’s worth taking a few minutes to distinguish both patriotism and nationalism from libertarianism and conservatism. We can do this without parsing out the difference between patriotism and nationalism – and for that matter, libertarianism and conservatism.

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04/15/21

Common Sense Gun Control – Prosecute Hunter Biden For His Gun Crimes

By: Daniel John Sobieski

Joe Biden is a liar and a hypocrite. His attempted executive order end-run around the Second Amendment contains nothing that would have prevented recent mass shootings and certainly wouldn’t make people in cities like Chicago safer on any given weekend. For example, restricting people from making guns at home from kits and regulating gun parts accomplishes nothing – no one is being killed with homemade “ghost-guns” Gang-bangers and drug dealers fighting for turf do not spend their time making guns from kits. C’mon, man, get real.

He lies about the lack of background checks at gun shows allowing undesirables to buy any kind of firearm that they want  Name one mass shooting with a firearm purchased at a gun show. And ever notice that no one ever gets shot at a gun show?

A Joe Biden unconstrained by facts or reality nonetheless wants to make background checks more universal than they already are. I have an idea for Joe Biden – how about making the background checks we already have work and how about criminally prosecuting those who violate our gun laws and recklessly threaten public safety starting with Joe’s son Hunter Biden? Those moves would be a powerful antidote and deterrent to gun crimes.

Background checks only work if the databases are diligently populated and maintained. Take the church shooting in Sutherland, Texas which killed 26 people. The shooter, Devin Kelley, should have been flagged in the database for prior infractions but was not. As Fox News reported:

Kelley – who killed 26 people when he opened fire at a church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday – had a domestic violence conviction the Holloman Air Force Base’s OSI unit failed to enter into an FBI database used to conduct background checks on gun buyers, officials revealed Monday.

One wonders how many gun crimes might be stopped by simply hiring a few more clerical workers to follow the requirements of existing law and make the existing system work. And the irony here is that Kelley was stopped from continuing his murder spree by a private citizen who grabbed his AR-15 and helped chase him down.

Stephen Willeford certainly could remind the self-righteous Biden that guns in general and the AR-15 in particular, which has been misrepresented by gun control zealots as an “assault rifle,” can be used by good guys to save lives as well as by bad guys to take them.  He is the hero of Sutherland Springs, Texas, who, hearing the sound of gunfire at a nearby church, grabbed the AR-15 he had taught others to use as an NRA instructor and chased down the mass murderer who had shot up the First Baptist Church before he could continue his murder spree elsewhere:

The hero who last November stopped the gunman behind the deadly Texas church massacre said using an AR-15 enabled him to end the bloodshed.  In an emotional interview with CRTV’s “Louder With Crowder” on Monday, Stephen Willeford described the gunfight and dramatic car chase that ensued to stop the shooter from slaughtering additional churchgoers. The former National Rifle Association instructor was home Sunday morning when his daughter told Willeford she had heard gunshots from the nearby Baptist church, prompting him to get his AR-15 rifle from his safe and load a magazine.  He ran to the church and confronted the alleged shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, who fired shots at Willeford.  While taking cover behind a pickup truck, Willeford fired several shots at the gunman, who sped away in his car. Willeford ran to a truck stopped at a stop sign and asked the driver to help him to stop Kelley, who had a history of domestic violence and had been kicked out of the military.  The two men pursued the gunman, whom [sic] officials say wore tactical gear and a bullet-proof vest, down a nearby highway until the vehicle eventually careened off the side of the road.  When police arrived, Kelley was found dead on the scene with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head as well as two other gunshot wounds – one on his leg and one on his torso.  Officials believe the gunman took his own life.”If I had run out of the house with a pistol and faced a bulletproof vest and kevlar and helmets, it might have been futile,” Willeford said.  “I ran out with an AR-15 and that’s what he was shooting the place up with.”

Willeford is just one of the “bitter clingers” in Texas and elsewhere who shoot back, saving, not endangering lives, by being the good guys with guns stopping the bad guys with guns. Assault is a behavior,  not a weapon, and stopping a bad guy with a gun is not assault.

Joe Biden wants to keep guns out of the hands of the Stephen Willeford’s of the world, guys who prove that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. If Joe Biden had his way, Willeford wouldn’t have stopped Devin Kelley who, like Hunter Biden, got kicked out of the military yet was able to buy a gun. That is the problem that needs to be fixed, Joe Biden, enforcing existing reporting laws and punishing those who lie on their federal applications to hide the reasons they should be disqualified, like Hunter Biden. As Andrew McCarthy writes in the New York Post:

“Lie and try.” That’s what the feds call cases in which people who are disqualified from owning guns under federal law try to get a gun by concealing the disqualification. It is maddening but true that many of these people are not charged….

The purpose of the law is to prevent lethal weapons from falling into the hands of people who are unstable or dangerous. Thus, some of the disqualifications deal with criminal and similarly suspect behavior, such as prior convictions and dishonorable discharge from the armed forces, while others deal with conditions of instability and mental disturbance, such as narcotics abuse and mental-disability adjudications.

And notice what happened in Hunter’s case. He did not reveal his history of drug abuse, he got the gun, and he handled it negligently, to the point, according to reports, that his then-girlfriend found it in a car and carelessly sought to dispose of it in the trash bin of a local store — obviously because she was concerned about the dangerous potential of his having it.

This is the guy who smoked parmesan cheese he crawled on his carpet to find. Hunter Biden was kicked out of the military due to a drug problem and lied on his federal application to het a gun. He did not buy that gun at a gun show, He did not assemble it from a kit. Yet his careless handling of it could have resulted in another tragedy had the gun, disposed of not far from a school, been found by a child or a criminal.

Why hasn’t Joe Biden said that Hunter Biden should never have been allowed to buy a gun and that he should be criminally prosecuted for lying on his federal application? This is the class act who had an affair with his dead brother’s widow, an affair blessed by father Joe who said he was glad they had “found each other.” And the question is not only whether that was Hunter’s laptop but whether the shocking pictures and videos of Hunter are him. Yet for some reason, he never gets asked. As The Federalist reports:

Hunter Biden was the subject of a strange missing firearm case in 2018 after Hallie Biden, the wife of his late brother and subsequently Hunter’s girlfriend, tossed it into a trash can behind a grocery store near a high school, according to a strange new report from Politico. It appears Hunter, the son of President Joe Biden, might have lied on the federal forms he filled out to purchase the gun a few months prior, forms The Federalist has now obtained.

Hunter answered “no” to a question on the Firearms Transaction Record asking whether he was an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”…

The now-president’s scandal-ridden son was in numerous drug and alcohol rehab programs, including in 2003, 2010, and 2014, soon after being discharged from the military for using cocaine. According to the New Yorker, he also went on a cocaine binge in 2016. His infamous laptop he dropped off for repairs in 2019, a story which tech giants and the media aggressively tried to cover up during the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, included graphic photos and video of Hunter allegedly smoking crack cocaine while engaged in a sex act.

It’s unclear whether Hunter was using drugs around the time of his firearm purchase or what timeframe the question “are you a user of” illicit substances implies. Hunter was, however, suspected of smoking crack cocaine in a Washington, D.C., strip club in late 2018. He purchased the firearm the same year on Oct. 12.

According to Politico’s reporting, Hunter Biden lied on his ATF Form 4473, the firearm transaction record and background check form, on October 12, 2018, when he swore under penalty of a $250k fine and 10 years imprisonment that he was not a drug user. Then, only 11 days later, Hunter’s then-girlfriend (the widow of his not-long-deceased brother, but not the mother of the child he sired with a stripper while he was living with his brother’s widow), Hallie, “disposed” of the handgun in a trash can outside of a grocery store.

First, prosecute Hunter Biden for federal gun crimes, Joe. Then we’ll talk.

*Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

02/21/21

Operation Choke Point 2.0 is Emerging

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

I was just thinking about this old Obama administration program this week as it was a web tag it used years ago. Additionally, there was a time that Congressman Darryl Issa came to Clearwater to speak at an event I attended and he spoke on this disgusting program among other topics.

Well, Kelsy Bolar is on the case and a big hat tip to her for the alarm she is sounding. Let’s keep in mind the moves that Bank of America made in partnership with the FBI to report their own customers’ banking records that they asserted went to Washington, DC to begin a revolution at the Capitol on January 6. You can imagine that this program is quite the talk in the halls of Congress by progressives.

Operation Choke Point: The Government's Covert War on ...

Here goes:

Amongst the record-breaking number of executive actions taken by President Joe Biden was one related to a little-known, frightening Obama-era program called Operation Choke Point. The program, dubbed so under former Attorney General Eric Holder, uses the power of the federal government to target legal yet leftist-disfavored businesses. These include gun sellers, pawnshops, and short-term money lenders.

The Trump administration did its best to end this blatantly unconstitutional program that sought to discriminate against legal industries. In 2017, the Justice Department declared the program “formally over.” At the end of Trump’s term, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency established the Fair Access rule to solidify its culmination.

Operation Choke Point... DOJ Cuts Businesses From Banks

But on Jan. 28, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency under President Biden announced it would pause the Trump-era rule intended to prevent another Operation Choke Point from happening again.

The Backstory of Operation Choke Point

The Trump administration rule appeared innocuous enough, instructing banks to “conduct risk assessments of individual customers, rather than make broad-based decisions affecting whole categories or classes of customers when providing access to services, capital, and credit.”

Under Operation Choke Point, federal regulators instructed banks to do the opposite — to openly discriminate against entire industries the Obama administration found objectionable. Weaponizing the power of banking regulators at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Obama administration realized it could block entire industries from the banking system that it didn’t like. This made it difficult — if not impossible — for politically disfavored businesses such as gun sellers and short-term lenders to operate.

Essentially, by using the power of federal banking regulators to intimidate banks from providing their services to these industries, the administration choked off their access to the financial system, leaving them paying more for essential banking services, or unable to use a bank at all.

The Obama administration claimed the program was intended to root out fraud by cutting off “high risk” industries from the banking system. But the administration didn’t make any differentiation between legal and illegal “high risk” industries, intentionally grouping lawful industries such as firearms sellers with patently illegal activities like Ponzi and credit-card schemes.

Different agencies within the Obama administration denied wrongdoing in various ways. At least one bank, however, admitted to choking off three legal enterprises at the government’s behest. Dozens of business owners — many of them gun sellers and short-term lenders — said their bank accounts and access to credit card processing platforms were suddenly stymied or shut down with no explanation and no opportunity for recourse.

Given its stained reputation, we shouldn’t expect the Biden administration to bring back Operation Choke Point under the same shameless name. But the return of the larger strategy behind Operation Choke Point appears here to stay.

Whereas seven years ago the idea of using the powers of the federal government to choke certain Americans from public life was controversial enough for the Obama administration to deny wrongdoing, in today’s era of social justice and cancel culture, it’s applauded.

Build Your Own Banks

Within corporate America, an employee was run out of Boeing over an article he published 33 years beforehand arguing women shouldn’t serve in combat (a position many Americans hold today). In the media, a Jewish, pro-Israel, pro-choice, bisexual writer was choked from The New York Times for not being leftist enough.

In Hollywood, a conservative actress was choked from Disney for expressing politically incorrect views on her private social media account. In the beauty blogging world, a conservative blogger was ousted from her role as a Sephora representative.

For all intents and purposes, Operation Choke Point is happening every day on a massive scale. Yet instead of “just” choking off access to capital and banking services, we’re witnessing a stranglehold on information, speech, and the broader marketplace of ideas. Concerningly, the government is now playing an active role.

As exemplified by Parler and the recent Twitter purge, Big Tech is choking conservatives off their social media platforms while Democrats cheer it on. In an attempt to choke conservatives out of entire industries of employment, critical race theory training and pledges are being forced on schools, government workplaces, and the armed forces.

This Dynamic Is Now Worse

Signs of Operation Choke Point’s formal resurrection are symbolic of the larger attempt by government actors to choke politically disfavored industries and individuals from the mainstream. While cancel culture has led to a politicized economy, the federal government’s arbitrarily targeting of individuals, groups, and entire companies will increase the politicization of the country, where the only acceptable views are from those in power.

Operating in the dark corners of the federal bureaucracy, Operation Choke Point bypasses public input and the legislative process, leaving politically unpopular individuals and businesses to fend for themselves. If the Biden administration’s rule reversal is any sign, the next four years won’t be about unifying the country to “Build Back Better.”

After being choked from essential services in the economy, conservatives and right-of-center businesses will have no choice but to Build Your Own — if that’s even still tolerated or allowed. Build your own banks, build your own credit card processing companies, build your own web hosting platforms, build your own social media platforms, build your own companies, build your own media, build your own schools, and build your own country — because you’re choked from “ours.”

Of course, all this will do nothing to further the causes of bipartisanship, unity, and healing President Biden claims to desire. Capitalizing on the trend of cancel culture, a return of Operation Choke Point would devastate an already damaged country. By abusing the powers of federal regulators, Operation Choke Point 2.0 would solidify what most right-of-center Americans already know: Instead of unity, Democrats want you choked from everyday life.

Three years ago, former President Obama infamously claimed his administration “didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us.” While it’s tempting to point to Operation Choke Point to refute this, perhaps Obama was right. With Biden sitting by Obama’s side, the Obama administration wasn’t the least bit embarrassed about using its powers to choke legal businesses from existence. Indeed, it was the entire goal and they appear poised to do it again.

12/19/20

Collectible Weapons: How to Protect Your Wealth – and Your Family – With Valuable Guns

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

Collectible Weapons: How to Protect Your Wealth – and Your Family – With Valuable GunsIt’s an unusual means of investment, but one that we think will appeal to our readers on a deep level: collectible weapons.

There are a number of advantages to investing in collectible weapons that will appeal both to those who love weapons and those who keep an eye on their money. Indeed, this is a popular investment category for people who like something a little more durable than stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrency. They can also provide protection during uncertain times.

Antique weapons in particular can be an attractive means of investing – after all, like land, they’re not making any more. Like any antique investment, it helps to have an eye for the material at hand. You’ll have to be able to appraise both the current condition of the weapon and have some idea of how its value might appreciate in the future.

Old Guns Aren’t Subject to ATF Snooping

The good news is that firearms made before 1899 are not covered by federal firearms laws, though they might be regulated by your state. This also means that, even in the event that Joe Biden is installed as President and the Senate goes Democratic, that barring a sweeping change in firearms law – certainly not out of the question, but also not very likely – no background check will be required to buy or sell your antique firearms made before 1899, which are covered by a special carveout under federal firearms law.

What’s more, there are a number of weapons on a special ATF list that are not subject to the same background check laws as other firearms. This includes guns like the World War I-era US Military Colt 1911 Pistol .45. These are historically significant firearms that are at least 50 years old – but note that “50 years old” now goes up to the end of the 1960s. With sweeping firearms bans potentially coming down the pike, firearms not subject even to the old rules might well skyrocket in value as other avenues of self-defense are closed off.

The price point for entry in the antique firearms market is about $1,500, though more common and desired weapons go for about $2,500 as of this writing. Knives and swords are also purchased by people looking to invest in collectible weapons and, as far as we know, there are no plans to make sweeping restrictions on the purchase of these.

When you buy an antique firearm, it’s extremely unlikely that the value is going to go down. While it’s true that the broader trends of the weapons market change, there are some models, like the Winchester Model 1873, that never go out of style and are always sought after by people who are trying to get into the market. The condition of the weapon and its rarity always play a role in the purchase price.

From the perspective of someone who is actually planning to use the weapon as well as purchase it, you can’t really do better than the classic weapons that are so sought after by collectors.

How to Begin Purchasing Collectible Firearms

Collectible Weapons: How to Protect Your Wealth – and Your Family – With Valuable GunsYou can purchase antique, collectible firearms at auctions or gun shows, as well as in private transactions. However, as with any private firearms transaction, you need to be cautious when making such a purchase for both legal and economic reasons – the buyer must always beware, but this is doubly true when dealing with private sellers.

There are two types of investors in collectible weapons, broadly speaking, known as “treasure hunters” and “connoisseurs.” Determining which you are will be helpful in terms of figuring out how to begin investing in firearms. Each fits in with a particular personality type.

  • Treasure hunters are the yard sale aficionados of the gun investment. Indeed, you will spend a lot of time at yard sales, estate sales, pawnshops, and little gun shops way out of the way if you’re a treasure hunter. This is because a treasure hunter is constantly on the hunt for the deals to be had. You might buy a classic Winchester for $350 and immediately flip it for $100,000, but chances are a lot better that you’re going to end up buying a lot of weapons with moderate appreciation.
  • Connoisseurs are the niche collectors of the gun investment world. They know a lot about a specific gun, type of gun, or gun manufacturer. For example, a connoisseur might know everything there is to know about one particular Colt revolver, and so they do nothing but purchase that particular weapon.

Which of these should you be? Honestly, the better question is “which of these are you already?” If you like going antiquing or yard saling or picking through people’s junk, you’re already a treasure hunter. If you have an affinity for a particular kind of antique weapon, you’re already a connoisseur. The issue is just figuring out how you’re going to incorporate investing in collectible weapons into your pre-existing personality type.

Much like stocks, there are a number of weapons that are simply always a good purchase because they gain value consistently, if not quickly and wildly. At the very least, they are not going to lose value – meaning that if you ever want to cash out your investment, you will get back what you paid. These weapons include but are by no means limited to:

And then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have weapons that are virtually always bad investments. This isn’t because the weapons are bad guns. On the contrary, you will likely look at this list and think at least once: “Hey, I own one of those and it’s a great gun!” Sure, it’s a great gun, but it’s a lousy investment because it probably lost a lot of value the second that you completed the purchase and walked it out to your car.

The two worst investments? Any kind of AR or AK build. Again, this isn’t because there’s anything wrong with either of these. It’s just that there are so many of them that there’s little chance they will become collectible at any point during your lifetime. There are occasionally spikes in prices due to fears of a ban, but they’re not solid investments.

Evaluating the Value of Collectible Weapons

Collectible Weapons: How to Protect Your Wealth – and Your Family – With Valuable GunsAt some point, you will have to familiarize yourself with and get a working knowledge of the Blue Book of Gun Values. As the name would imply, this is what people use to evaluate their knowledge of weaponry in the investors’ market. Online gun marketplaces can also give you an idea of which weapons are likely to increase in value over the long and short term.

Some of the factors to look at when purchasing weapons include:

  • Branding: There are certain brands that are always going to be worth more than others because of their iconic status. Think Colt, Smith & Wesson, and the like. These have a cachet that is impossible to deny, a status similar to Coca-Cola or Levi’s 501s or the Chevrolet Corvette in terms of recognizability and general interest.
  • Nostalgia: Similar, but not identical, to this is the concept of nostalgia as it pertains to weapons. Dirty Harry’s Smith & Wesson Model 29 or the 1911 from Magnum, PI are two examples of weapons that are almost certainly going to hold, if not increase, in value over time because of their cultural recognition and the nostalgia that comes along with it.
  • Perception: Quality is great, but the perception of quality is even better. Glock and Benelli are two examples of brands that are largely perceived as being of exceptionally high quality. Whether or not the individual weapons live up to that reputation is less important than the fact that they are perceived as such.
  • Rarity: Limited edition weapons are always going to be worth more than weapons made in a totally unlimited quantity. There will always be a market for weapons that were made in extremely limited supply, regardless of how “good” the gun actually is.

One tip? Buy guns that you like. In some cases, it can take decades for a weapon’s value to increase. So if you’re not enjoying the weapon while you wait for its value to appreciate, you’re simply collecting paperweights.

Finally, for those who want to invest in weapons but aren’t interested in the weapons themselves, there’s the stock market. Gun sales were booming in the spring of 2020 and the stock market reflected this boom in prices. This is a particularly attractive option for people who like guns, and like the idea of guns, but aren’t looking to get themselves a safe full of them.

Either way, you decide to invest, one thing is for certain: the future is a bright place for people who put their money behind weapons.

12/12/20

Judge Disqualifies Attorney Prosecuting McCloskey

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

“Ms. Gardner has every right to rebut criticism, but it appears unnecessary to stigmatize defendant—or even mention him—in campaign solicitations, especially when she purports to be responding to others,” Clark wrote in his ruling. “In fact, the case law and Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit it.”

Judge orders Circuit Attorney to comply with search ...

“The campaign emails demonstrate the Circuit Attorney’s personal interest in this case, raise the appearance of impropriety and jeopardize the Defendant’s right to a fair trial,” Judge Thomas Clark wrote in the ruling entered on Thursday. “These email solicitations aim to raise money using the Defendant and the circumstances surrounding the case to rally Ms. Gardner’s political base and fuel contributions.”

Clark’s order only applies to Mark McCloskey’s case. Patricia McCloskey, who has been charged separately, is scheduled to appear before Judge Michael Stelzer in January.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey Charged with Unlawful Use of a ...

Gardner has scheduled an appeal of the ruling for January 7, 2021.

DW: A judge disqualified the Democrat circuit attorney who was prosecuting the gun case against Mark McCloskey from this summer, saying that the attorney’s campaign fundraising activities created the appearance that she prosecuted him for political purposes.

Circuit Judge Thomas Clark II’s order against Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner and her office cited “two fundraising emails that Gardner’s reelection campaign sent in response to political attacks before and after she charged Mark and Patricia McCloskey with felony gun crimes in July,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. “The judge’s order deals a political blow to Gardner, whose office has waged numerous legal challenges to defend her practices and reform-minded agenda during her first term.”

The Post-Dispatch noted that Clark’s order only applied to Mark McCloskey and bars her office from prosecuting the case. The order does not apply to Patricia McCloskey, whose case is assigned to Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer. The order states that the a new prosecutor has to be appointed to the case.

“This court does not seek to ‘interfere with the democratic process’ but strongly believes the present ‘circumstances’ justify disqualification,” Clark wrote. “Deference to precedent, acknowledging the will of the voters, and respecting separation of powers are all vital to a representative government, an equitable criminal justice system and the rule of law. Likewise, campaigning without tainting the right to a fair trial is equally compelling and constitutionally sacred.”

“After considering the arguments of counsel, the pleadings coupled with the attachments, the applicable case law and the relevant statute, the court finds the emails raise an appearance of impropriety and warrant disqualification,” Clark continued. “In short, the Circuit Attorney’s conduct raises the appearance that she initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes. Immediately before and after charging Defendant, she solicited campaign donations to advance her personal interests.”

The Post-Dispatch reported that defense attorney Joel Schwartz indicated that he will file a motion requesting that Stelzer adopt Clark’s ruling in Patricia McCloskey’s case.

“This is what we wanted,” Schwartz said. “We would like a fair-minded prosecutor to take a look at the alleged crimes and reassess the evidence and see what they come up with because we don’t believe any of the evidence supports any of the charges. … As long as that happens, then I think we’ll have the right outcome and that would hopefully be no charges.”

When she first announced that she was prosecuting the McCloskey’s, Gardner said, “It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner at those participating in nonviolent protest, and while we are fortunate this situation did not escalate into deadly force, this type of conduct is unacceptable in St. Louis.”

McCloskey has repeatedly defended his actions as self-defense and lawful protection of private property. “I went inside; I got a rifle … because as soon as I said ‘this is private property,’ those words enraged the crowd,” he said in an interview. “Horde, an absolute horde came through the smashed-down gates, coming right at the house. And then I stood out there, the only thing we said is, ‘This is private property, go back, private property, leave now.’ At that point, everybody got enraged, there were people wearing body armor.”

“One person pulled out [some] loaded pistol magazines and he clicked them together and he said, ‘You’re next,’” McCloskey continued. “We were threatened with our lives, threatened with the house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog’s life being threatened. It was about as bad as it can get. You know, I really thought it was the storming of Bastille, that we would be dead and the house would be burned and there was nothing we could do about it. It was a huge and frightening crowd and they broke in the gate and they were coming at us.”

As The Daily Wire reported, multiple Republicans have expressed support for the McCloskeys:

Republicans have stood up for the McCloskeys as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) sent a letter to United States Attorney General William Barr urging him to action against Gardner. Twelve Republican members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Barr, in which they specifically named the McCloskeys, demanding that he take “decisive action” to protect Americans from “mob rule.” Missouri Republican Governor Mike Parsons signaled last week that he would likely pardon the McCloskeys if they were charged.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) responded to the charges by writing on Twitter, “St. Louis’s Soros-funded prosecutor let dozens of violent rioters go free, she sued her own police department, and murder has skyrocketed under her watch. Yet despite refusing to arrest violent criminals, she targets a family with a felony for guarding their home.”

08/22/20

Woke Capitalism: How Huge Corporations Demonstrate Status by Endorsing Political Radicalism

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

Woke Capitalism: How Huge Corporations Demonstrate Status by Endorsing Political RadicalismIt’s a rather strange claim of the American far left that their interests are opposed to that of corporate America because there’s virtually no evidence to support it. Quite the contrary: During the wave of Black Lives Matter rioting that took place during the early summer of 2020, American corporations marched in lockstep. Not only did they use social media to swear fealty to this political movement, but they also made massive internal changes in conformity with BLM propaganda.

It’s called “woke capitalism” and while it’s not necessarily new, it’s certainly more prevalent than it ever has been. The term itself was coined by conservative editorial writer Ross Douthat in 2018. He succinctly summed up what woke capitalism is: superficial nods toward cultural leftism that allow the company to do what it really exists to do – make money.

You might be confused or think that there’s something ironic or askew about major corporations backing supposed “rebel” ideologies. However, this stems from a very superficial understanding of the topic. When we delve deeper into it, the motivation for large corporations siding with ostensibly “anti-capitalist” groups will come clearly into focus.

What is “Wokeness?”: Understanding “Critical Theory” and The Frankfurt School

Before going any further, we should spend some time defining what “wokeness” means.

Wokeness is a kind of shorthand for an area of the American political left that is obsessed with identity politics. This is, as the name would imply, the politics of identity. Thus, people are not rational actors, nor are they necessarily economic units. Rather, they are little more than a collection (or, in the parlance of this ideology, the intersections) of skin color and séxuality.

The socioeconomic class might enter into this, but if it does, it’s generally as an afterthought. While Marxism might play some influential role, the wokists are far more likely to locate the revolutionary subject in, for example, trans-identified black men than it is the working class.

One can understand the hostility of the “woke” to the Bernie Sanders campaign in this context: it is much more revolutionary under the guidelines established by wokism, to put more racial minorities with unusual séxual identities on the board of Lockheed-Martin and Goldman-Sachs than it is to provide for greater economic equality on behalf of their workers.

The bedrock of wokeness is not classical Marxist socialism, but something called “critical theory” and in particular its variant “critical race theory.” This has its roots in the Frankfurt School and an early 20th-century Italian philosopher and politician named Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci’s big idea was that cultural power preceded political power. Thus, to have a Marxist political revolution, one first needed a Marxist cultural revolution. This was to be accomplished by a “long march through the institutions.” What this means is that leftists were to infiltrate every institution of significance and gain power within them.

We can see the result of this idea today. While American leftists bear little, if any, resemblance to Marxists of old, they have penetrated our institutions and dominate culturally – in academiain entertainment and increasingly in the economic sphere as well. If one were to read the Communist Manifesto, there are a series of demands at the end, most of which have come to fruition such as universal public education, a progressive income tax, a national bank, and the industrialization of agriculture.

This isn’t to say that there is a massive Gramscian conspiracy with thousands of members. Such a thing would be completely impossible to prove or disprove. However, the kernel of the idea has taken root, in part thanks to bona fide promotion in academia, and in part because it simply seems to have largely been a successful operation.

Thus “critical theory” is effectively a sociological philosophy and method that involves constant ideological attacks on Western civilization. Its guiding principle is that Western civilization is based on subjugation, dominance, and tyranny. This takes many forms including “racism,” “patriarchy,” “heteronormativity” and “cisséxism” – all of which are predicated upon weaponized guilt.

Weaponized guilt is essentially taking those elements of Western and Anglo-Saxon culture, which prize even-handedness and “fair play,” and turning them against the culture itself. Indeed, the selection of the name “Black Lives Matter” is a masterstroke in weaponizing guilt: The only possible disagreement (or so say the advocates and allies of the movement) is that you don’t think black lives do actually matter. But, of course, except for extremely isolated, marginalized, and numerically insignificant pockets, virtually everyone agrees that all lives have the same value. Indeed, it is a cornerstone of Western civilization and Christian teaching that this is true. It is nearly axiomatic. The Declaration of Independence declares that the basic equality of men is “self-evident.” No one would even know where to begin “arguing” this, simply because it is so accepted as a fact.

It’s worth noting that wokeness largely entered the American political vernacular after the fall of the Occupy Movement. This is not an endorsement of either the Occupy Movement specifically, nor economic reductionism and confiscatory tax redistribution schemes more generally. However, it is worth noting that the corporate affinity for a seemingly “radical” form of politics requiring nothing in the way of actual financial sacrifice began after the death of a political movement demanding corporate accountability and economic redistribution starting at the very top.

The Business Side of Things

Woke Capitalism: How Huge Corporations Demonstrate Status by Endorsing Political RadicalismA “conspiracy,” or however we wish to define it, is not the only reason that Wall Street loves wokeness. Beyond the misdirection, there is also a lot of money to be made catering to the woke. This has nothing to do with what “most people” in America want or need. Rather, it has to do with catering to those on the coasts and within bigger cities in the interior of our nation.

Almost all of the income growth in America over the last ten years has been concentrated in cities in Southern California, Silicon Valley, and the Pacific Northwest, hotbeds of leftism in general, and wokism in particular. However, even places outside of these regions that have seen income growth tend to be far left-leaning. Examples include Austin, TX, Denver, CO and Nashville, TN.

What this means is that the larger companies in America, including the big banks in New Yorkthe tech companies in Silicon Valley, the entertainment industry in southern California and the cable news companies that cover the goings-on in Washington, D.C., are all interested in chasing after the dollar of urban wokes. Increased wealth concentration, including the massive transfer of wealth that happened under the COVID-19 panic and subsequent lockdown, has made big companies increasingly the only game in town, with smaller, more responsive Main Street American businesses becoming more and more marginalized where they continue to exist at all.

It’s not that big companies think they’re too good for your money – they just know that you don’t have anywhere else to go.

The Colin Kaepernick sneaker incident is an excellent example of woke capitalism in action. In times past, companies generally avoided wading into controversial social issues. After all, in the words of Michael Jordan, “Republicans buy shoes too.” But in an attempt to appeal to Generation Z (also known as “Zoomers”), many companies are deciding that it’s worth alienating rural and exurban flyover people in favor of courting the woke dollar.

For Nike and many other companies, this commitment to “social justice” doesn’t run much deeper than marketing. Nike knows it has a disproportionately black customer base. But only 8 percent of their vice presidents are black. What’s more, the company is notorious for using sweatshop labor in the third world to produce its expensive sneakers.

Some other quick notes on the purchasing power of the woke left: While there is certainly no direct overlap between a college education and being a radical wokist, the woke are certainly clustered around America’s college campuses and the cities that they move to after graduation. (The average college graduate is going to earn over $1 million more than their less-educated counterpart over the course of their life.)

There is also the specter of the unmarried and the childless: these people will also have significantly greater disposable income than married couples with children living in smaller flyover cities.

All of this adds up to a very lucrative market, both for catering to the woke and pillorying the unwoke. There is no shortage of examples of either on your television during commercials.

Wokeism’s Radical Evangelism: Diversity Training Seminars

One of the most disturbing elements of wokism is its evangelistic quality. As we saw during the riots of 2020, it was not enough simply to not be racist. One was now required to be an active “anti-racist” under the definition and terms established by the woke. Those who failed to comply were often attacked in a way that went far beyond simply being hassled online. People’s jobs and livelihoods were attacked in a manner befitting a Communist dictatorship.

The very notion of dialogue and civil debate isn’t just missing. There’s deep hostility to the notion that there is any point of view other than the most woke possible. There is a line in the sand: On one side, there are the people who believe that America is a profoundly racist country and that this colors every aspect of our history. On the other side, there’s anyone who is even mildly skeptical of this – and the people on this side are “white supremacists.” By the logic of wokism, these people deserve anything that happens to them (including being “canceled”).

What this means is that wokism does not simply operate in the background of the rest of society. You cannot simply ignore the cringe-inducing woke commercials on your television and not click the frankly hateful and racist articles of the woke online. Your compliance is a required aspect of wokism. Think back to the social media phenomenon of large companies denouncing alleged “white supremacy” with a black square. Compliance with this was required as if one were painting blood over their threshold to avoid the plague of the firstborn in ancient Egypt.

Corporations have begun echoing this rhetoric on social media, but there is a far more insidious element of wokism’s radical evangelism: the “diversity training seminars” that are now de rigueur in the workplace. While often positioned as some kind of politically neutral gathering to increase workplace cohesion, these are in fact little more than Maoist struggle sessions – for all employees. We categorically reject the assumption that these are any more comfortable for non-white employees than they are for the white ones.

So what goes on at these seminars? There was a taxpayer-funded seminar in Seattle that acts as an excellent exemplar of such.

It was called “Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness.” This has nothing to do with eliminating racism as is commonly understood. If we’re being frank, we can probably agree that individual racism has largely been eradicated in America, especially among educated people. This seminar and others like it are about pillorying whites and eroding workplace solidarity – and also about cushy little gigs for those giving the seminars, which aren’t cheap.

The seminar includes instruction in qualities that allegedly represent “white supremacy.” These include objectivity, perfectionism, and comfort. They also ascribe some rather insidious qualities to whites in toto: arrogance, violence, and anti-blackness. These are the exact words used by the seminar.

Employees are urged to engage in “self-talk” that “affirms complicity in racism.”

As is often the case, there is not really a “right” answer for whites taking the seminar. Talk too much at one of these events and you’re imposing yourself and dominating the conversation. Talk too little and “silence is violence.”

The Seattle seminar was only for white employees. So to be clear, the City of Seattle used taxpayer dollars to propagandize at and pillory white employees in a segregated forum. While investigating the seminar using public records requests, City Journal editor Christopher F. Rufo was unable to find any information about who ran the seminar or how much it cost the taxpayers.

While the seminar might sound extreme, it’s not. In fact, these are happening all across the country in America’s workplaces and on our college campuses – and many times even in elementary schools. They are totalitarian in nature but are increasingly a requirement of continued employment. Employees who push back against them can expect disciplinary measures up to and including termination of their employment. There is also the specter of “racism” hanging above anyone with even the slightest opposition or skepticism: they must be secret racists or else they’d be as gung ho as everyone else.

Many have noted the religious aspects of wokism that go beyond its evangelical zeal. This includes a concept of “original sin” (whiteness), holds blacks and (to a lesser degree) indigenous peoples as a sort of “holy” race, and has a process for confession. However, one aspect of religious thought is missing – there is no process for redemption in the world of the woke. One may “do the work” as the saying goes, but there is no way to complete it and be redeemed. The fallen are simply fallen and constantly repaying their debt in a sort of state of karmic bankruptcy.

White Fragility: The Communist Manifesto of Woke Capitalism

Woke Capitalism: How Huge Corporations Demonstrate Status by Endorsing Political RadicalismEvery ideology and movement has its foundational text. In the case of woke capitalism, this is White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. She earns a whopping $12,000 a day to lecture white people on their alleged racism. That doesn’t include travel expenses, meals, or accommodations. Good work if you can get it and she does: DiAngelo has worked with companies such as Amazon, Netflix, Nike, Facebook, Under Armour, CVS, Goldman Sachs, and American Express.

DiAngelo’s critics are not restricted to the right. Socialist journalist and podcaster Matt Taibbi has described her writing as espousing a “Hitlerian race theory.” Others have criticized the book for robbing black people of agency or condescending to them in other ways.

The term “white fragility” itself works a kind of magic for DiAngelo and the proponents of this theory. It is, for them, axiomatic that all white people are racist simply for existing. Any words or actions whites take in their defense are de facto evidence of white fragility.

While $12,000 a day might sound like a lot of money, we should compare the corporate cost of a DiAngelo seminar to increasing wages for workers, or offering additional benefits, or providing mentoring programs for new employees or literally anything that might benefit employees in the long term. Such programs would be extremely costly in comparison to the piddling cost associated with a day of lost productivity spent on indoctrination, which also has the important side benefits of eroding worker solidarity and providing a cheap and easy PR win for woke consumers.

Woke Capitalism and Governance

It hardly seems worth explaining how much power large corporations have over the United States. However, we should take a moment to examine the power that woke capitalism wields over public policy.

Consider the proposition, totally uncontroversial within living memory, that biological séx is a real thing. Note that this does not require some rigid enforcement of social expression of gender: one does not need to believe that “boys wear blue and girls wear pink” to accept the existence of biological séx. But states have been targeted by large businesses for the crime of codifying this belief, again, totally uncontroversial in recent times. North Carolina was brought to heel by a coordinated corporate boycott of the state after it passed a law barring trans-identified men from women’s bathrooms. All told, the boycotts cost the state nearly $4 billion.

The 2017 boycott of North Carolina is hardly the only example of woke corporations bringing state governments to heel. For example, when Georgia passed a law defending the rights of the unborn, Hollywood leaped to action. Because a lot of television shows and movies are filmed in Georgia – for the cheap labor and tax incentives – the entertainment industry quickly declared that it would boycott Georgia if it passed a law restricting abortion.

Even state flags aren’t safe from the attack of woke capitalism. The SEC and the NCAA publicly discussed a boycott of the state of Mississippi, as did other companies. This was during the moral panic about “racism” that followed the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

One political entity that woke capitalism does not see fit to challenge? The People’s Republic of China. Indeed, the NBA brought a general manager to heel over his support of Hong Kong democracy protesters. The normally outspoken coach Steve Kerr was strangely silent on the topic. And while the NBA has now approved political statements on jerseys, “Free the Uighurs” isn’t one of them.

The Woke Corporate Stasi

If the only problem were state governments being undermined, woke capitalism would still be a serious problem. However, there are numerous examples of private individuals being targeted by woke mobs with quick compliance from their corporate overlords. Indeed, socialist podcaster Aimee Terese has likened the woke mob to a sort of HR department vigilantism. The language of these totalitarian mobs is often remarkably similar to that which is used by HR departments, particularly when they roll out diversity training seminars.

A graphic designer at the Washington Post was fired after it was revealed that she attended a 2018 party in blackface. She was confronted at the party, left in tears, and apologized to her hosts the very next day. None of this was enough for the woke mob. The designer was fired after a large – and largely manufactured by the Post itself – outrage. Many editors at the Post found themselves deeply uncomfortable with the decision to run an article outing the woman. Around the same time, a 62-year-old communications chief at Boeing was fired for comments he made in 1987 at the age of 29. The man was very clear that these were not his opinions today. For reference, Barack Obama opposed same-séx marriage until 2015, which means he opposed it during both of his presidential campaigns.

In what is perhaps the most outrageous example of woke mobs getting a man fired, a truck driver was terminated after he flashed an “OK” hand sign, which is claimed by many to now be a symbol of white supremacy. Even after an investigation into the matter by his employer, he was fired.

Why Woke Capitalism?

Woke Capitalism: How Huge Corporations Demonstrate Status by Endorsing Political RadicalismIf all of this has you wondering “why,” you’re not alone. Many have pondered the question of why corporations want to take a stake in politics. It goes without saying that there is a massive political advantage to corporations being able to throw their weight around in this way and that there is little reason for them to not attempt to claim power whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself. What’s more, diversity training seminars and woke mobs make it much easier to fire – and thus control – employees.

The best part is that this kind of progressive posturing comes at absolutely no cost to the company. They don’t have to pay their younger workers in expensive cities higher wages, thus opening up the possibility of employment to those whose parents cannot subsidize the first few years of their careers. They don’t have to offer onsite childcare or other tangible – and expensive – benefits that might actually address some of the issues that these corporations feign concern about. Instead, they can pay the relatively inexpensive annual fee for a diversity training seminar, throw out some woke branding on social media, and be done with the matter.

But don’t expect the Washington Post to demand that Amazon start paying taxes anytime soon.

There is a sort of cliche online about corporate wokeness: “get woke, go broke.” But the Quillette did some research into this and found it to not be true: In fact, all metrics point toward wokeness having absolutely no impact on the company’s bottom line either way. So why do they do it?

We’ve hinted at the reason for woke capitalism throughout this article. It is a form of misdirection whereby huge companies can avoid dealing with thorny labor relations issues by throwing a bone to leftist cultural interests. Remember that the left and the Democratic Party are formerly fixated on issues of economics and class rather than social issues and race. The former is a much more expensive position for large corporations than the latter.

But we should also mention that there are potentially toxic unintended consequences of woke capitalism. It’s not our contention that whites in America are an oppressed class, but it’s clear that anti-white racism is socially acceptable: You’re not going to get banned from Twitter for tweeting out “I hate white people.” What’s more, whites believe that they are increasingly the target of racism.

Whether or not this is true is entirely beside the point. The perception is far more important than the reality when discussing this topic. Inflaming racial animosity between whites and everyone else will have dire consequences for the nation as a whole, especially during a time of declining wages, increased political instability, and eroding social solidarity. The end result of goading the American public into viewing their problems as largely stemming from race, rather than economics, might well have profoundly dire consequences for both the social fabric and for the individuals that constitute it.

Finally, it’s worth noting that woke capitalism is very much the free market in action. There is a benefit to the erosion of certain social values that have maintained Western civilization for hundreds of years. Woke capitalism is an attack on the nuclear family and Western civilization while providing nothing in its place. After all, who makes for better consumers than childless automatons whose only values are the prevailing cultural diktats of the day?

08/15/20

Joe Biden on Gun Control: Understanding Biden’s 2020 Platform and the Second Amendment

By: Sam Jacobs | Ammo.com

Joe Biden on Gun Control: Understanding Biden's 2020 Platform and the Second AmendmentThe one-two punch of the Wuhan Coronavirus explosion, and the civil unrest of early 2020, led to unprecedented growth in firearms ownership in America. All told, there were about two million firearms sold in the month of March 2020 alone. Between March and July, an additional three million were sold, with about half of those happening in the month of June.

Ammunition sales have similarly spiked, with record sales occurring on this website. However, gun owners don’t need a report to know that there has been a massive surge in demand for ammunition. They need only go down to their local gun store and see that all of the most common rounds are in short supply, sold out, or being rationed at the point of sale.

But it’s not just guns and ammo. There has also been a significant increase in the number of Americans obtaining their concealed carry weapons permit and packing on a daily basis. Forbes magazine estimates that 20 million Americans are now carrying as part of their everyday life.

The flipside of this is that Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign has been perhaps the most radically anti-Second Amendment campaign on record. Former Vice President Biden is very proud of his role in spiriting the 1994 gun ban into passage. If he’s elected, we will see an expansion of the power of the federal government and attacks on the rights of Americans that will not be restricted to the ownership of firearms. As president, Biden would resume the Obama-era attacks on the suburbs ended by President Trump, give citizenship (and voting rights) to nearly 30 million illegal aliens and use the Federal Reserve to address a “racial wealth gap.”

However, Biden’s desire to erode the Second Amendment deserves special attention. It is a radical agenda that will gut the right to bear arms in this country. Does that sound like bluster and hyperbole? It’s not.

Joe Biden’s Record: What He Says vs. What He’s Done

Joe Biden on Gun Control: Understanding Biden's 2020 Platform and the Second AmendmentThere are two ways to determine how a potential President Joe Biden would govern with regard to the Second Amendment: What he says and what he has done. As Joe Biden has been out of government since 2017, we will start with his history as a legislator and as Vice President of the United States.

Joe Biden has a very long record of being anti-Second Amendment. He voted for the 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act, which was primarily a series of gimmes to gun grabbers in exchange for getting the ATF to leave law-abiding gun owners alone. If you’ve ever wanted to own an M-16, but can’t afford one because of the high price of the related tax stamp, you can thank Joe Biden for that.

Biden was also instrumental in the passage of the Brady Bill. This law, until the creation of the NICS background check system, provided for a five-day waiting period to purchase a firearm. He brags about his role in passing this bill into law on his campaign website, saying “In 1994, Biden – along with Senator Dianne Feinstein – secured the passage of 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As president, Joe Biden will defeat the NRA again.”

Far more concerning, however, is that, as a Senator, Joe Biden literally wrote the bill that banned so-called “assault weapons” in the United States for 20 years. This assault weapons ban defined “assault weapons” in an extremely broad sense. Under the law, the definitions of an assault weapon were as follows:

Rifles:

  • Flash suppressors or barrels threaded for them
  • Pistol grips
  • Folding and telepathic stocks
  • Bayonet mounts
  • Grenade launchers

Pistols:

  • Semi-automatic versions of any automatic firearm
  • An unloaded weight of over 50 ounces
  • Threaded barrels designed to accommodate flash suppressors, barrel extenders, suppressors and handgrips
  • Barrel shrouds

Shotguns:

  • Pistol grips
  • Detachable magazines
  • Folding and telescopic stocks

The law likewise targeted a number of specific firearms that were widely popular with American gun owners. This included the Colt AR-15, the INTRATEC TEC-9 (which were popular with the Roof Koreans who defended Koreatown during the LA riots of 1994), and the Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil.

Not only were most of these restrictions unconstitutional, they were also largely useless. Many gun companies continued manufacturing virtually identical versions of firearms that had been banned by the law, removing only minor cosmetic features to get themselves into compliance. Numerous studies found that there was virtually no impact on violent crime throughout the United States.

If we are being generous, this can be seen as a misguided attempt to curb urban violent crime. If we are being more cynical, it was little more than a power grab.

The law expired on September 13, 2004. There have been several attempts to reintroduce the law, all of which have been unsuccessful.

Joe Biden’s 2020 Platform

Joe Biden on Gun Control: Understanding Biden's 2020 Platform and the Second AmendmentFor most of his political career, Joe Biden has operated as a sensible centrist within the Democratic Party. While one can argue that his positions are outside of conservatism, they have certainly not historically been outside the mainstream of American political thought. However, Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign is a whole different animal.

Joe Biden is running for president on a highly radical platform. There are a number of reasons why the former personal envoy of the credit card industry, the man who made it impossible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy, has pivoted toward appealing to the woke crowd. The reasons are unimportant, however. We can definitively say, without speculation as to motive, that Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign is perhaps the most radical political campaign in modern American history. Nowhere is this more clear than on the subject of firearms.

Why Language Matters

The official website for Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign defines gun violence as a “public health epidemic.” This might sound like boilerplate, but in fact, it is language designed to lay the groundwork for moving firearms restrictions under the purview of the FDA. This alphabet organization has broad leeway to ban, tax, and regulate anything deemed a danger to public health.

He also cites a commonly used weasel statistic to advocate for such: that 40,000 Americans die from firearm-related injuries every year. This includes every firearms-related death – suicides, accidental discharges, shootouts between gangland figures where no innocent bystander is killed, self-defense actions. And while any death is certainly tragic, this is simply not what anyone means when they talk about “gun violence.”

All told, there were 14,542 gun homicides in 2017, less than half of the statistic that Biden cites in his platform. This doesn’t even crack the top 10 causes of death in the United States, according to the CDC. More Americans died of septicemia in 2017 than gun homicides, yet there is no public health crusade against this.

Removing Protections for Gun Manufacturers

In a related campaign promise, Biden says that he will “hold gun manufacturers accountable” for the use of their products. This means that the families of shooting victims will be able to file civil suits against gun manufacturers to obtain damages related to the misuse of their products in crimes. This is an attempt at corporate gun control through the backdoor. When facing such liability, gun manufacturers will be inundated with frivolous lawsuits that will cause them to either go out of business or discontinue their civilian lines entirely. Biden has previously voted to repeal these protections, which is another point he brags about on his website:

“In 2005, then-Senator Biden voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, but gun manufacturers successfully lobbied Congress to secure its passage. This law protects these manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products – a protection granted to no other industry. Biden will prioritize repealing this protection.”

Banning “Assault Weapons” by Executive Order

Even if a President Joe Biden cannot get a new “assault weapons” ban to be passed, he plans to use an executive order to ban the importation of such weapons into the United States. His campaign website boasts that he will accomplish this “while working to pass this legislation… using his executive authority.” This would end the market for a number of lower-cost imports into the United States, restricting the Second Amendment rights of many low-income Americans who cannot afford high-priced domestic options. He also states that any new gun ban would be informed by the last one, meaning that it would be far more sweeping and ban a far greater number of weapons features than the 1994 bill.

Regulating Existing “Assault Weapons”

But what about the AR-15 you already purchased? Biden plans to use the National Firearms Act to regulate the possession of these firearms. His language on his website is vague and this is probably intentional. “Regulate” can mean just about anything, allowing him to either do something minor and claim victory or to enact sweeping changes without the hurdle of legislative approval.

When it comes to buybacks, his language becomes more clear: Those who now own “assault weapons” – whatever that means, either under newly passed legislation or executive fiat – will have to either sell them back to the government or register them with the ATF under the National Firearms Act:

“As president, Biden will pursue legislation to regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act.“

Registration, of course, will be a prelude to confiscating these arms, either under the Biden Administration or future administrations even more hostile toward the Second Amendment. He would also seek to limit the number of firearms a person can purchase in a single month to one and close the so-called “gun show loophole.”

Using Mental Health to Ban Firearms Ownership

Joe Biden on Gun Control: Understanding Biden's 2020 Platform and the Second AmendmentThis should all be alarming to you. But unfortunately, it gets much worse. A Biden Administration would attempt to prevent Americans from owning firearms on the basis of “mental health” reasons. While this might sound reasonable (who wants a paranoid schizophrenic with a cache of AR-15s?), it is, in fact, a very troubling development. There are millions of Americans seeking treatment for anything from depression to anxiety. Oftentimes this isn’t representative of any underlying medical condition. People are simply having a hard time and reaching out for a little help – precisely what they are supposed to do.

This initially will only exclude people that have been adjudicated by the Social Security Administration as being unfit to manage their own affairs. But it is extremely unlikely that this will not be quickly expanded.

Closing the “Loopholes”

Biden also seeks to close a number of “loopholes” in the law that aren’t actually loopholes at all, such as:

  • The “Hate Crime” Loophole: This would deprive the right to bear arms from anyone who has received a politically motivated “hate crimes” enhancement to a misdemeanor – potentially making petty crimes like vandalism a pretext for depriving Americans of their Constitutional rights anytime an overzealous left-wing prosecutor decided to pursue a “hate crimes” enhancement. Please note that flags such as the Betsy Ross flag and the Gadsden flag have become labeled as “white supremacist” images in recent years, so don’t think you need to be wearing a swastika armband to receive such an enhancement.
  • The Charleston Loophole: This alleged “loophole” allows people to purchase a firearm if they have not received authorization to do so under the NICS system in three business days. Biden seeks to extend this to ten business days – effectively making Americans wait up to two weeks to purchase firearms.
  • The “Fugitive From Justice” Loophole: Biden wants to remove the right to keep and bear arms from 500,000 Americans who were declared by the Trump Administration to not actually be “fugitives from justice.”

As we can see, none of the above are actually “loopholes.” They are simply laws that Biden and his constituents do not care for. We should all be troubled by the Biden Administration working within legitimate legislative channels to roll back the rights of our fellow citizens. However, Biden isn’t even promising to do that: He plans to erode and cripple American Second Amendment rights through executive fiat.

Banning Online Sales

Get your ammunition and firearms online? Not under a Biden Administration. Beyond ammo and guns, Biden seeks to ban the online purchase of gun “kits,” such as 85 percent lowers or even parts for your weapons:

“Biden will enact legislation to prohibit all online sales of firearms, ammunition, kits, and gun parts.”

Those who have exotic or antiquated weapons will have an extremely difficult time finding the parts they need to keep their weapons operational. So-called “ghost guns” will likewise be banned under a potential President Biden.

Gun Confiscation and Licensure Requirements

Joe Biden on Gun Control: Understanding Biden's 2020 Platform and the Second AmendmentThe Biden platform includes creating a gun confiscation framework overseen by the ATF and the FBI. Ostensibly, this is to remove weapons from the hands of people who are no longer legally allowed to own them, such as felons and those awaiting charges. However, it is important to note that even if this is restricted to removing guns from the hands of felons and those awaiting charges now, that it can easily be used, in tandem with the new gun registration apparatus, to confiscate firearms from law-abiding Americans.

“As president, Biden will direct the FBI and ATF to outline a model relinquishment process, enact any necessary legislation to ensure relinquishment when individuals newly fall under one of the federal prohibitions, and then provide technical and financial assistance to state and local governments to establish effective relinquishment processes on their own.”

Biden does not seek a federal “red flag” law, but he does seek to “incentivize the adoption of these laws by giving states funds to implement them.” He would also seek to “incentivize” licensure requirements for Americans to own firearms.

Using Big Tech to Spy on Americans

A Biden Administration would spend government time and resources digging up threats on the taxpayer’s dime. He would create a “Task Force on Online Harassment and Abuse” to identify the “connection between mass shootings, online harassment, extremism, and violence against women.” This amounts to little more than a politically motivated creation of a committee to partner with Big Tech to snoop on Americans with the aim of depriving them of their Second Amendment rights.

Expanding the ATF and Other Gun Control Tactics

The Biden platform would move to require all gun manufacturers to eventually manufacture only so-called “smart guns.” He would pass a law that would require all gun owners to keep their firearms in a gun safe, dramatically increasing the cost of ownership of firearms. The Biden DOJ would prioritize the prosecution of “straw purchasers” – a stark departure of Obama-era policy where the DOJ worked closely with them, eventually allowing narco-terrorists and Islamic terrorists access to heavy firepower. Local and state law enforcement would be informed whenever someone failed a background check. The State Department would take measures to block code from the Internet that might be used to 3D print a gun in someone’s home. He seeks a far more robust ATF than already exists. Finally, he would prohibit state and local governments from training teachers in how to defend their students with firearms.

The bottom line to all of this is that the Biden Administration would work to further erode American Second Amendment protections than any other before it. It is just one component of a radical agenda that has taken over the Biden campaign. Whether or not Biden actually believes any of this and whether or not he has simply had his campaign hijacked by more radical forces is beside the point – which is that the Biden Administration would actively pursue police-state measures against law-abiding gun owners in the United States.

If you have a friend who is a new gun owner, who is unaware of the stakes in this election, we urge you to share this material with them.

08/12/20

Harris and Biden Spell Doom for Americans’ Gun Rights

By: Editorial Staff | The Gun Study

If there was any question why gun sales have shot through the roof (pun intended) in 2020, it’s not just Coronavirus and national protests. Election years stoke the flames that fuel Americans’ pursuit of the Second Amendment. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who today became the Democrat nominee for Vice President, may be two of the most radically ‘progressive’ candidates ever nominated. They’ve both proposed draconian gun control measures. Harris herself believes Americans don’t possess the individual right to own a gun. She thinks it conflicts with public safety, but more on that later. These two candidates’ gun control measures dowse those constitutional flames with kerosene. While we hurdle chaotically toward November 3rd, 2020, let’s unpack some of the anti-gun statements and campaign promises made by Democrat front-runners Kamala Harris and Joe Biden.

Riding the liberal energy that has swept the nation this year, Joe Biden’s campaign website proudly displays a long list comprising the various gun control measures he promises to institute if he wins the Oval Office. Before getting into those initiatives, though, Biden’s web page introduces a damning figure: Forty-thousand Americans die as a result of firearm injuries every year (the data cited only cover 2017). It’s a smart tactic by Biden’s propagandists; briefly glossing over this number sets up just how justifiable the Democrat candidate’s gun control policies must be. We think it’s important to note that six in ten of 2017’s gun-related deaths were suicides, leaving approximately 14,542 cases of murder with a firearm.

If Biden wants to justify gun control with this number, let’s put it into context. The Department of Justice says almost 70,000 Americans use a firearm in self-defense every year. A comprehensive survey conducted by Gary Kleck in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology found between 2.1 and 2.5 million Americans use a gun defensively each year. Going by the DOJ’s figures, firearms are used for lawful self-defense, that is, to save lives, five times more than they are used in a murder. Going by Kleck’s peer-reviewed study, the figures aren’t even comparable. Even though more than 10,000 Americans die each year from drunk driving, no one is discussing a new prohibition. Certainly not Joe Biden. Blaming alcohol for DUIs and banning it doesn’t make sense nor does it work, remember? We digress. Biden’s gun control plan, straight from the dog-faced pony soldier’s mouth:

  • Hold gun manufacturers accountable. In 2005, then-Senator Biden voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, but gun manufacturers successfully lobbied Congress to secure its passage. This law protects these manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products – a protection granted to no other industry. Biden will prioritize repealing this protection.
  • Get weapons of war off our streets. The bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that Biden, along with Senator Feinstein, secured in 1994 reduced the lethality of mass shootings. But, in order to secure the passage of the bans, they had to agree to a 10-year sunset provision and when the time came, the Bush Administration failed to extend them. As president, Biden will:
  • Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Federal law prevents hunters from hunting migratory game birds with more than three shells in their shotgun. That means our federal law does more to protect ducks than children. It’s wrong. Joe Biden will enact legislation to once again ban assault weapons. This time, the bans will be designed based on lessons learned from the 1994 bans. For example, the ban on assault weapons will be designed to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that don’t limit the weapon’s lethality. While working to pass this legislation, Biden will also use his executive authority to ban the importation of assault weapons.
  • Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. Currently, the National Firearms Act requires individuals possessing machine-guns, silencers, and short-barreled rifles to undergo a background check and register those weapons with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Due to these requirements, such weapons are rarely used in crimes. As president, Biden will pursue legislation to regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act.
  • Buy back the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already in our communities. Biden will also institute a program to buy back weapons of war currently on our streets. This will give individuals who now possess assault weapons or high-capacity magazines two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act.
  • Reduce stockpiling of weapons. In order to reduce the stockpiling of firearms, Biden supports legislation restricting the number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to one.
  • Keep guns out of dangerous hands. The federal background check system (the National Instant Criminal Background Check System) is one of the best tools we have to prevent gun violence, but it’s only effective when it’s used. Biden will enact universal background check legislation and close other loopholes that allow people who should be prohibited from purchasing firearms from making those purchases. Specifically, he will:
  • Require background checks for all gun sales. Today, an estimated 1 in 5 firearms are sold or transferred without a background check. Biden will enact universal background check legislation, requiring a background check for all gun sales with very limited exceptions, such as gifts between close family members. This will close the so-called “gun show and online sales loophole” that the Obama-Biden Administration narrowed, but which cannot be fully closed by executive action alone.
  • Close other loopholes in the federal background check system. In addition to closing the “boyfriend loophole” highlighted below, Biden will:
  • Reinstate the Obama-Biden policy to keep guns out of the hands of certain people unable to manage their affairs for mental reasons, which President Trump reversed. In 2016, the Obama-Biden Administration finalized a rule to make sure the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends to the background check system records that it holds of individuals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms because they have been adjudicated by the SSA as unable to manage their affairs for mental reasons. But one of the first actions Donald Trump took as president was to reverse this rule. President Biden will enact legislation to codify this policy.
  • Close the “hate crime loophole.” Biden will enact legislation prohibiting an individual “who has been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime or received an enhanced sentence for a misdemeanor because of hate or bias in its commission” from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
  • Close the “Charleston loophole.” The Charleston loophole allows people to complete a firearms purchase if their background check is not completed within three business days. Biden supports the proposal in the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019, which extends the timeline from three to 10 business days. Biden will also direct the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to put on his desk within his first 100 days as president a report detailing the cases in which background checks are not completed within 10 business days and steps the federal government can take to reduce or eliminate this occurrence.
  • Close the “fugitive from justice” loophole created by the Trump Administration. Because of actions by the Trump Administration, records of almost 500,000 fugitives from justice who are prohibited from purchasing firearms were deleted from the background check system. The Biden Administration will restore these records, and enact legislation to make clear that people facing arrest warrants are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms.
  • End the online sale of firearms and ammunition. Biden will enact legislation to prohibit all online sales of firearms, ammunition, kits, and gun parts.
  • Create an effective program to ensure individuals who become prohibited from possessing firearms relinquish their weapons. Federal law defines categories of individuals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms, and the federal background check system is an effective tool for ensuring prohibited persons cannot purchase firearms. But we lack any serious tool to ensure that when someone becomes newly prohibited – for example, because they commit a violent crime – they relinquish possession of their firearms. There are some promising models for how this could be enforced. For example, California has a mandatory process for ensuring relinquishment by any individual newly subject to a domestic violence restraining order. As president, Biden will direct the FBI and ATF to outline a model relinquishment process, enact any necessary legislation to ensure relinquishment when individuals newly fall under one of the federal prohibitions, and then provide technical and financial assistance to state and local governments to establish effective relinquishment processes on their own.
  • Incentivize state “extreme risk” laws. Extreme risk laws, also called “red flag” laws, enable family members or law enforcement officials to temporarily remove an individual’s access to firearms when that individual is in crisis and poses a danger to themselves or others. Biden will incentivize the adoption of these laws by giving states funds to implement them. And, he’ll direct the U.S. Department of Justice to issue best practices and offer technical assistance to states interested in enacting an extreme risk law.
  • Give states incentives to set up gun licensing programs. Biden will enact legislation to give states and local governments grants to require individuals to obtain a license prior to purchasing a gun.
  • Adequately fund the background check system. President Obama and Vice President Biden expanded incentives for states to submit records of prohibited persons into the background checks system. As president, Biden will continue to prioritize that funding and ensure that the FBI is adequately funded to accurately and efficiently handle the NICS system.
  • Put America on the path to ensuring that 100% of firearms sold in America are smart guns. Today, we have the technology to allow only authorized users to fire a gun. For example, existing smart gun technology requires a fingerprint match before use. Biden believes we should work to eventually require that 100% of firearms sold in the U.S. are smart guns. But, right now the NRA and gun manufacturers are bullying firearms dealers who try to sell these guns. Biden will stand up against these bullying tactics and issue a call to action for gun manufacturers, dealers, and other public and private entities to take steps to accelerate our transition to smart guns.
  • Hold adults accountable for giving minors access to firearms. Biden supports legislation holding adults criminally and civilly liable for directly or negligently giving a minor access to a firearm, regardless of whether the minor actually gains possession of the firearm.
  • Require gun owners to safely store their weapons. Biden will pass legislation requiring firearm owners to store weapons safely in their homes.
  • Prioritize prosecution of straw purchasers. “Straw purchasers” buy a firearm on behalf of an individual who cannot pass a background check. Biden will end those loopholes by enacting a law to make all straw purchases a serious federal crime and ensure the U.S. Justice Department has sufficient resources to prioritize their prosecution.
  • Notify law enforcement when a potential firearms purchaser fails a background check. Too often, when prohibited persons attempting to buy a firearm fail a background check, state and local law enforcement is never informed of the attempt. As president, Biden will direct the FBI to set up a process to ensure timely notification of denials to state and local law enforcement, and he’ll support legislation to codify this process. This empowers law enforcement to follow up and ensure prohibited persons do not attempt to acquire firearms through other means.
  • Require firearms owners to report if their weapon is lost or stolen. Responsible gun owners have a responsibility to inform law enforcement if their weapon is lost or stolen. Biden will enact legislation to make this the law of the land.
  • Stop “ghost guns.” One way people who cannot legally obtain a gun may gain access to a weapon is by assembling a one on their own, either by buying a kit of disassembled gun parts or 3D printing a working firearm. Biden will stop the proliferation of these so-called “ghost guns” by passing legislation requiring that purchasers of gun kits or 3D printing code pass a federal background check. Additionally, Biden will ensure that the authority for firearms exports stays with the State Department, and if needed reverse a proposed rule by President Trump. This will ensure the State Department continues to block the code used to 3D print firearms from being made available on the Internet.
  • Reform, fund, and empower the U.S. Justice Department to enforce our gun laws. Biden will direct his Attorney General to deliver to him within his first 100 days a set of recommendations for restructuring the ATF and related Justice Department agencies to most effectively enforce our gun laws. Biden will then work to secure sufficient funds for the Justice Department to effectively enforce our existing gun laws, increase the frequency of inspections of firearms dealers, and repeal riders that get in the way of that work.
  • Direct the ATF to issue an annual report on firearms trafficking. This report will provide officials with critical information to better identify strategies for curbing firearms trafficking.

Exhausting, isn’t it? Those are twenty-seven comprehensive gun control measures. Half or more of these proposals are capable of gumming up the Supreme Court for a year or two. Of course, the list got too exhaustive and some less impactful measures aren’t even included. Biden also promises to throw money at firearm research and seeks to prevent any public school system from paying for teachers to carry confidently. Even the staunchest liberal or Democrat foot soldier must admit that some of these proposals are pure rhetoric meant to energize a base. “Biden will enact legislation to prohibit all online sales of firearms, ammunition, kits, and gun parts.” Really?

Other promises made by the 77-year-old candidate, such as a reinstatement of the federal assault weapon ban and high-capacity magazine ban (which did not work), forced registration of all “assault weapons” as NFA items, national red flag laws, bans on 3D printers and firearm kits, restrictions on monthly gun purchases, and incentivizing states to begin issuing unconstitutional licensing schemes for Second Amendment access, are just as draconian as a brash attempt to ban online gun sales. Except these other measures have a very real chance of making their way to Biden’s potential new digs at the Resolute Desk, especially if Congress is swamped anew with blue.

The running gag is, of course, that Biden’s VP pick could very well be required to … Step in suddenly. So, what kind of person does Kamala Harris seem to be when guns are the topic? “Upon being elected, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the Courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws. And if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action.”

If I’m elected President, I will skip Congress and make my own gun control with executive orders.

Oh.

It gets worse. Harris once quipped that, “Well, the ATF has been doing a lot of the ‘A’ and the ‘T,’ but not much of the ‘F.’ And we need to fix that.” You mean the ATF that ran guns to Mexican drug cartels for the Obama administration? The ATF responsible for Waco and Ruby Ridge? The ATF that created so many convoluted policies and legal opinions since its inception that a judge almost ruled against the agency by declaring the AR-15 can’t legally be considered a firearm? Because That ATF certainly doesn’t need to be doing anything more about “the ‘F’.”

In 2008, Harris argued that Washington, D.C.’s clearly unconstitutional ban on handgun ownership did not violate the Second Amendment. When she was DA in San Francisco, she signed an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court over the Heller case. The brief, written by then-Attorney General for D.C. Adrian Fenty, argued “that for nearly 70 years courts have consistently sustained criminal firearms laws against Second Amendment challenges by holding that, inter alia, “i” the Second Amendment provides only a militia-related right to bear arms, (ii) the Second Amendment does not apply to legislation passed by state or local governments, and (iii) the restrictions bear a reasonable relationship to protecting public safety and thus do not violate a personal constitutional right.” The intent of the brief was to uphold the District’s ban on handgun ownership and a firearm storage law requiring all privately owned guns to be kept locked or disassembled with ammunition stored separately, when not in use.

Illustrating an active disagreement with the purpose of the Second Amendment, Fenty, Harris, and other prosecutors concluded that to rescind these laws would “create a broad private right to possess any firearm that is a ‘lineal descendant’ of a founding-era weapon and that is in ‘common use’ with a military application today.” Is that not the purpose of the Second Amendment? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas agrees that the text of the amendment and the Supreme Court’s prior case law creates a fundamental right that is violated by a ban on assault weapons, a waiting period for gun purchases, and limits on high-capacity magazines. “[W]e hold,” the Court wrote in Heller v. District of Columbia, “that [D.C.’s] ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.”

What does it say about the state of the Constitution when the next potential Vice President can say she argued against the Second Amendment’s core premise with the Supreme Court (and thankfully lost)? Before losing her bid in the Presidential race, Harris also said, “Supposed leaders in Washington, D.C., who have failed to have the courage to recognize, you know what, you want to go hunting, that’s fine, but we need reasonable gun safety laws in this country, starting with universal background checks and a renewal of the assault weapon ban. But they have failed to have the courage to act.” Harris implied the purpose of the Second Amendment is to support hunting. Should any Vice President be allowed to hold office with such gross misinterpretations of the Bill of Rights? A well-regulated militia was not guaranteed to the American people for the sake of getting a trophy buck. Driving home the scope of her Constitutional misgivings, Harris reiterated Biden’s calls for a renewed assault weapon ban and made the promise on her campaign trail that an executive order made by her would include such a ban.

Harris was only today announced as Biden’s running mate for November, so the VP candidate’s website is not yet live for us to review her official gun control proposals. At best, her past statements and her now-destined alignment with Biden’s proposals make Kamala Harris another elected opponent against gun rights in America. At worst, Joe Biden (and less likely, Kamala Harris) could next year be the president who turns millions of Americans into felons with a signature. Kerosene, indeed.