10

Father Flakey and the Armed Guard

 

 

 

 

One of the truisms of Catholic journalism in this country is that it is never a waste of time to inquire what “Father Flakey”, as he was christened long ago by legendary Chicago columnist, the late and great Mike Royko, is up to:

 

 

An armed security guard associated with staunch anti-gun and nationally known social activist, Father Michael Pfleger, was arrested on May 27 outside St. Sabina’s Roman Catholic Church on the South Side where Pfleger is a senior pastor. 

The Chicago Police (CPD) charged Henry Eugene Hale, 35, with possessing a firearm without a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. He was released on $150 bond.

Go here to read the rest.  Like most gun control activists Father Flakey wants you to be unarmed while he has an armed guard at his back.  Makes perfect sense as long as one is not bothered by blatant hypocrisy.  Time to take a trip down memory lane for a few of Father Flakey’s greatest hits:

“Pfleger generated controversy by inviting Al Sharpton to speak at a Mass during Black History Month celebrations. Cardinal Francis George disapproved of Sharpton’s appearance, due to Sharpton’s support of abortion. Sharpton was also a presidential candidate at the time, and archdiocese officials were concerned that having a political candidate speak in church would cause them to lose their tax-exempt status. However, George decided that trying to stop Sharpton from coming “would be a futile gesture and a waste of effort”.”

“In May 2007, During a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition protest outside a suburban Chicago gun shop, Pfleger was accused of threatening the life of the owner, John Riggio. The Illinois State Rifle Association released a tape where Pfleger was heard telling the assembled crowd, “He’s the owner of Chuck’s. John Riggio. R-i-g-g-i-o. We’re going to find you and snuff you out… you know you’re going to hide like a rat. You’re going to hide but like a rat we’re going to catch you and pull you out.” Pfleger later claimed his use of the phrase “snuff you out” was misinterpreted.”

“Cardinal George rebuked Pfleger, saying, “Publicly delivering a threat against anyone’s life betrays the civil order and is morally outrageous, especially if this threat came from a priest.” Pfleger claimed that he did not intend to use the word “snuff” as a slang term for “kill”, but rather as a substitute for “pull”, as he used later in his statement.”

“On May 25, 2008, Pfleger gave a sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ, then Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s church, where he made controversial statements concerning Senator Hillary Clinton, Obama’s opponent for the Democratic Party nomination. Pfleger said, “I really believe that she just always thought, ‘This is mine. I’m Bill’s wife. I’m white, and this is mine. I just gotta get up and step into the plate.’ Then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey, I’m Barack Obama,’ and she said, ‘Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show!’” He then pretended to wipe tears from his face, a reference to Clinton’s emotional speech before the New Hampshire primary, and added, “She wasn’t the only one crying. There was a whole lot of white people crying.”

“After hearing about Pfleger’s remarks, Obama said he was “deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric”. Pfleger later released a statement through St. Sabina that read, “I regret the words I chose Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Sen. Obama’s life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Sen. Clinton or anyone else who saw them.” On May 31, 2008, Obama resigned his membership in Trinity Church, saying that his campaign had caused the church to receive excessive media attention. On June 1, 2008, Pfleger released a longer apology to the St. Sabina parish regarding the incident and its aftermath.”

“On June 3, 2008, Cardinal George asked Pfleger to take a disciplinary leave of absence from St. Sabina. George said in a statement, “I have asked Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina’s Parish, to step back from his obligations there and take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties, effective today. Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time. While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church’s regulations for all Catholic priests. I hope that this period will also be a time away from the public spotlight and for rest and attention to family concerns.” Pfleger resumed his parish duties on June 16, 2008.”

“On April 11, 2010, Pfleger delivered a 70-minute sermon in which he said the Apostles “had run out on” Jesus. “They had turned their backs on Him. They had left the One they had been with for three years, 24/7, and they ran away from Him when He most needed them. Only John, at the foot of the Cross and the women. That’s why there should be woman priests. That’s why there should be married priests. That’s why there should be women bishops and women cardinals.” The Archdiocese of Chicago later issued a statement by Pfleger in which he apologized for his remarks but reaffirmed his support for women’s ordination. Pfleger said on his Facebook fan page that he was told to apologize, despite still holding those opinions. Pfleger denounced critics of his comments as “ignorant haters” who took his homily “out of context” and used them “for their own particular motives.”

Will Rogers used to say that he was not a member of any organized political party, he was a Democrat.  In viewing the colorful career of Father Flakey, and how he remains a priest in good standing, I often reflect that I must be no member of any organized religion, I am a Catholic.

 

8

Yep

Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Mississippi, that no freedman, free Negro, or mulatto not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry firearms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk, or Bowie knife; and, on conviction thereof in the county court, shall be punished by fine, not exceeding $10, and pay the costs of such proceedings, and all such arms or ammunition shall be forfeited to the informer; and it shall be the duty of every civil and military officer to arrest any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto found with any such arms or ammunition, and cause him or her to be committed for trial in default of bail.

Mississippi Penal Code, 1866

2

A Good Gal With a Gun

“God created men, Colonel Colt made them equal

Old West Adage

 

 

 

He picked on the wrong mother:

An armed, off-duty Brazilian military police officer was hailed as a hero Sunday after surveillance footage showed how she foiled a robbery on a family near a school.

Katia da Silva Sastre, 42, was standing near a group of women and children outside a Sao Paulo private school when the gunman, identified as 21-year-old Elivelton Neves Moreira, attempted to rob them at gunpoint. The women were celebrating a Mother’s Day event.

Little did the gunman know, Sastre was carrying a pistol of her own and shot Moreira three times in the chest, according to the Daily Mail. The footage showed Moreia falling backward onto the street and kicking the gun out of his reach.

Moreia later died in the hospital, according to The Sun.

Sastre was attending the event with her daughter when the gunman approached.

“I didn’t know if he was going to shoot the kids or the mothers or the security guard at the school door,” she said. “I just thought about defending the moms, the children, my own life and my daughter’s.”

Go here to read the rest.  A gun is a tool, no better and no worse than the man or woman wielding it.

 

 

 

16

Of Transparent Backpacks and Irony

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H. L. Menken

Some of the snowflakes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, among whom are some who have been howling about stripping the Second Amendment from the Constitution, are upset about their deprivation of the right to have opaque backpacks:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students are returning to campus after the March For Our Lives and a week-long Spring Break, but they have yet to adjust to the new security measures put in place.

After a mass shooting on Feb. 14 killed 17 people at the school, increased security precautions are being taken to ensure no acts of gun violence occur in the future. As of Monday, all students are being required to wear transparent backpacks, provided by the school, along with new student ID badges.

In response to the change, many students expressed their disappointment in the backpacks on social media, claiming the clear bags are a violation of privacy and not one of the key issues that should be grabbing the world’s attention.

 

Go to here to read the rest.  My heart bleeds for them.  Welcome to the real world kids.  Have fun.

 

17

Repealing the Bill of Rights

The majority falls prey to the delusion, popular in some circles, that ordinary people are too careless and stupid to own guns, and we would be far better off leaving all weapons in the hands of professionals on the government payroll. But the simple truth, born of experience, is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people… A revolt by Nat Turner and a few dozen other armed blacks could be put down without much difficulty; one by four million armed blacks would have meant big trouble. All too many of the other great tragedies of history, Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few, were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act required here. … If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.

Alex Kozinski, Federal Circuit Judge

 

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.

Abraham Lincoln, September 11, 1858

 

 

 

Well, on the Left in this country, everyone from former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens to Mark Shea, are calling for repealing the Second Amendment.  Now, there is no chance that is going to happen.  Go here to read about such an attempt would entail.  However, think about what the mere calling for this means.  Americans throughout our history have treasured our liberties.  Now, a large portion of the American people are willing to take an axe to the Bill of Rights in order to reach a political end.  The people doing so, I suspect, do not treasure the right to bear arms, and thus their liberty is not at risk, but merely a liberty prized by people they obviously despise.

Dale Price has a good response to this:

The First Amendment’s free speech protections are the relic of a backward 18th Century elite’s preoccupations with protecting the intellectual output of a now-extinct leisure class of slaveowning Deists.

In an age where hate and harassment can be transmitted across the globe with the click of a button and the children of vulnerable groups are being bullied into suicide every day, it is time to repeal the First Amendment.

However, I would caution Dale that many on the Left have no love of freedom of speech for those who disagree with them.  Those with the temerity to disagree with the Left are regarded as purveyors of hate speech and must be shouted down.  It is not fearmongering to assume they will eventually wish to amend the First Amendment.  Perhaps it would read as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, except when a religion discriminates; or abridging the freedom of speech, except when speech is hateful or discriminatory or of the press, except when false news is being purveyed; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, except for those assembling to promote racism and discrimination, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, unless they are petitioning in support of racism or discrimination.

For radical egalitarians, the Left seems to long for a very stratified society where Platonic Guardians will rule over the common people in a progressive utopia  where freedom will be as absent as religion.  This all calls to mind the quote of CS Lewis:

 

17

The Scary AR-15

The MAC-10 submachine gun was practically designed for housewives.

Regina, Night of the Comet (1984)

 

 

Although I believe the Second Amendment is a bulwark against tyranny, I have never personally had much interest in firearms.  The last time I fired a weapon was the final time I was on the rifle range with my M-16 during my Army days, now, and how did that happen?, more than four decades ago in my rear view window.    Fortunately I live in a heavily armed, and peaceful, rural area, where my neighbors more than make up for my lack of interest, and make certain that the peace we enjoy is maintained.  However my co-blogger Darwin Catholic has a strong interest in firearms and at his eponymous blog gives us some information about the AR-15:

 

Reading some of the pieces coming out from major venues such as the NY Times and The Atlantic over the weeks since the Parkland school shooting, it’s struck me that we can see reporters at least trying to write factually accurate stories about the AR-15 type rifles which they clearly believe should be banned, yet not having the knowledge of the subject to allow them to put the facts they report into proper context.

For instance, a NY Times piece I saw the other day tries to make the case that AR-15 rifles are practically the same as the M-16 rifles and M-4 carbines used by the military. It provides the following image comparing an M-16 to models of AR-15 used in various mass shootings, one assumes in order to make the point that they look rather similar.

Then it admits the very significant feature which distinguishes military long arms from their civilian counterparts (selective fire: the existence of a mode in which the rifle can fire multiple shots while the trigger is held down) but argues that this feature is not very important:

The main functional difference between the military’s M16 and M4 rifles and a civilian AR-15 is the “burst” mode on many military models, which allow three rounds to be fired with one trigger pull. Some military versions of the rifles have a full automatic feature, which fires until the trigger is released or a magazine is empty of ammunition.

But in actual American combat these technical differences are less significant than they seem. For decades the American military has trained its conventional troops to fire their M4s and M16s in the semiautomatic mode — one bullet per trigger pull — instead of on “burst” or automatic in almost all shooting situations. The weapons are more accurate this way, and thus more lethal.

What all of this means is that the Parkland gunman, in practical terms, had the same rifle firepower as an American grunt using a standard infantry rifle in the standard way.

The article then attempts to lay out what the author believes are the important similarities between military rifles and AR-15 type civilian rifles:

Like the military’s M4s and M16s, civilian AR-15s are fed with box magazines — the standard magazine holds 30 rounds, or cartridges — that can be swapped out quickly, allowing a gunman to fire more than a hundred rounds in minutes. That is what the police described the Parkland gunman as having done. In many states, civilians can buy magazines that hold many more rounds, including 60- and 100-round versions.

The small-caliber, high-velocity rounds used in the military rifles are identical to those sold for the civilian weapons. They have been documented inflicting grievous bone and soft-tissue wounds. Both civilian and military models of the rifle are lightweight and have very little recoil.

Now, it’s true that both the AR-15 and military rifles have detachable box magazines. However, that’s a trait that AR-15 type rifles have in common with virtually all other semi-automatic rifles and even with a lot of bolt action rifles. Detachable magazines are hundred year old technology. It’s easier to load a magazine when it’s not attached to the rifle, and it’s also easier to make sure that a gun is absolutely safe if you can simply take the magazine out and then work the action to be sure that’s no round in the chamber.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Ignorance and public policy are always a poor mix, and when it comes to firearms the media and the gun grabbers, but I repeat myself, have little to offer but ignorance.

 

 

37

The Second Amendment and Race

Mark Shea, in his never ending effort to paint everyone who disagrees with him on the Second Amendment as racists and anti-semites, has a long screed on his blog that may be read here.  As usual when it comes to history, Mark is bone ignorant and merely parrots what his leftist sources say.  In regard to race and the Second Amendment Shea’s leftist sources gives us a reverse image look at the actual history:

 

Prior to the Civil War there were laws passed in many of the slave holding states attempting to restrict the right to keep and bear arms to whites.  Challenges to these laws by free blacks almost always asserted the Second Amendment.  A passage in the Dred Scott decision indicates what a preoccupation blacks carrying weapons was to slaveholders:

It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.

After the Civil War freed blacks set up Loyal League militias to defend their rights.  Eliminating these militias and taking away from blacks their Second Amendment rights was a key goal of the white supremacist “Redeemer” governments that came to power after Reconstruction.

In the case of Florida v. Stone, 4 So.2d 700 (Fla. 1941), the Florida Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a white man for violating a gun control statute on the grounds that the law violated the second amendment.  In his concurring opinion, Justice Rivers Buford explained that the law was never intended to apply to whites:

I know something of the history of this legislation. The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of negro laborers in this State drawn here for the purpose of working in turpentine and lumber camps. The same condition existed when the Act was amended in 1901 and the Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the unlawful homicides that were prevalent in turpentine and saw-mill camps and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security. The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population and in practice has never been so applied.

Malcolm X, back in the sixties understood that the Second Amendment provided blacks the right to purchase weapons for self defense:

 

So Mark is correct that race and the Second Amendment are linked in the history of this amendment.  Racists have ever been against blacks enjoying Second Amendment rights.  In his tirades against the Second Amendment Mark stands in evil company indeed.

 

A secondary argument of Mark’s rant, is the contention that the proposition that the Second Amendment is the last bulwark of the American people against tyranny is an illusion, and is a made up pretext by the NRA:

 We’ve heard it a million times.  The second amendment was ratified so that portly suburbanites in Lubbock and Butte could make war on Future Hitler when he takes over the government. It is therefore necessary to offer 35,000 real human sacrifices each year in order to prevent the imaginary slaughter that is come.  Never mind that this theory of gun rights was tested from 1861 to 1865 and the results were negative. Never mind that well-regulated militias do not slaughter children in the some 300  school shootings that have happened merely since Sandy Hook. It is a dogma (and therefore a lie) of the rock-headed Gun Cult:  the second amendment was created by the founders of Constitutional order so that disgruntled idiots could make war on the Constitutional order that gave them gun rights.
I can only assume, based upon the above, that Mark has never in his life read any of the Founding Fathers on the Second Amendment.

Many in the states were concerned that the proposed new federal government would have too much power, and Federalist 46 was written by James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, to help allay those concerns.

The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition.

Madison realized that this was a sensitive point.  The American Revolution had only ended five years before, and the attempt by Great Britain to rule through military force was a raw memory for all of his readers.  Madison tackles this fear head on by comparing the military force of a standing federal army to the militias of the states:

Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

A British officer lamented at the beginning of the American Revolution that the Americans were “a people numerous and armed”.  Madison does not simply seize upon militias as an argument against fears of a tyrannical federal government, but he rather views the right of citizens to be armed as a fundamental protection for liberty.

Madison makes this clear in this passage:

Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.

Madison’s views were commonplace at the time.  Justice Story, appointed by James Madison to the US Supreme Court, wrote in 1833 in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States:

“The next amendment is: ‘A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ “

“The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.(1) And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burdens, to be rid.”

 

Mark, like many other leftists with no military experience, pooh-poohs the idea of the American people successfully defending their liberties against the regular forces of the Federal government.  The idea that an armed citizenry cannot be a powerful force against a regular Army  is belied by the American Revolution where the American militia gave invaluable aid to the comparatively miniscule Continental Army.  As for the Civil War, both sides depended upon citizen armies raised from the state militias as volunteer regiments from the states, the miniscule Federal regular army being a non-factor, other than providing a small fraction of the officers in the huge Union army.  The aftermath of the Civil War, Reconstruction, demonstrated how effective even low level civilian guerilla operations could be against an occupying regular force.

As Afghanistan and Iraq have amply demonstrated, insurgencies are difficult to combat even for the most advanced military on Earth.  A widespread insurgency in this country would pose the same problems for our military on a vastly larger scale.  We have a huge country inhabited by some 330,000,000 people.  An insurgency supported by 40% of the American people, with ten percent willing to take up arms, would produce a potential guerilla force in the tens of millions.  National Guard units and segments of the military would quickly line up with the insurgents in a rebellion supported by 40% of the people they are pledged to defend.

The State in which I live, Illinois, is 26th in size, with 102 counties and hundreds of cities, towns and villages. I can just imagine the military effort necessary to hold down just Illinois in a conflict where 40% of the population supported a war against the government.

Modern militaries have immense logistical tails supporting the fighting units, filled with soft targets, all tempting fruit for guerilla units.  The idea that an armed population would not be a check on a tyrannical government in this country badly misunderstands both the nature of modern warfare and the history of this nation.  Mr. Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence wrote of a right of revolution.  The Second Amendment guarantees that if that right ever must be exercised, the people will have the ability to do so.

The Founding Fathers, in all they did, struggled to pass on the blessings of liberty to their posterity.  Ensuring that the American people would remain, in the words of the aforementioned British officer during the Revolution, “a people numerous and armed”, was one part of the safeguards that they gave us against tyranny.  It is the last protection between the people and tyranny. This safeguard is just as effective today as it was in 1789.

 

“Let me tell you why I’m a defender of the Second Amendment.”

“I was a little girl growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, in the late fifties, early sixties.  There was no way that Bull Connor and the Birmingham Police were going to protect you.”

“And so when White Knight Riders would come through our neighborhood, my father and his friends would take their guns and they’d go to the head of the neighborhood, it’s a little cul-de-sac and they would fire in the air, if anybody came through.”

“I don’t think they actually ever hit anybody, but they protected the neighborhood. And I’m sure if Bull Connor had known where those guns were he would have rounded them up.”

Condoleezza Rice, March 1, 2018

 

3

Pensees

 

One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.

Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has some interesting thoughts about school shootings and the reaction to them:

 

These are just musings.  They are not based on science or studies.  Just me observing the nation in which I am raising my sons, and the current topic of guns and shootings and the desire to narrowly define the problem based on a single solution.

Did Roe v. Wade have an impact?  The essence of RvW: ‘that is your definition of human life, not mine.’   Could generations raised in a nation coming to that conclusion be impacted by it?  Especially after WWII?  The entire point of legal abortion is that America has officially allowed us to define a human when we feel like it.  I can’t help but think somehow it could be connected.

Divisions.  We are in what many are now calling a Cold Civil War.  Even the Cold War had hot casualties.  My son said that the kids at Parkland will be asked to surrender their freedoms for safety.  I said no, that’s wrong.  We are a divided country.  They will be asked to surrender someone else’s freedoms for their safety.  Increasingly we don’t love our neighbors, but we fear and hate them, just as we feared or even hated the Soviets back in the day.  We’re taught that they are the problem, and whatever happens to them?  Eh.  Being taught that our neighbors are our enemies must make an impact.

Rhetoric.  In following up on the divisions, I’m hearing and seeing chilling things from the Gun Control advocates.  Kill the NRA, exterminate the NRA, Wayne LaPierre is a seriel killer,  Ban guns, Gun owners are next.  And this is from the side ostensibly all bent out of shape by the violence and death at Parkland.  And what’s worse, it’s par for the course. That level of rhetoric exists on the highest levels down about any one of a million topics today.  It’s not just gun control activists of course, nor is such rhetoric new.  Just note the irony of where some of it is coming from and how that must say something bigger about where we are versus where we might think we are.

Mental health.  After Sandy Hook, I heard a fellow on the news (can’t remember the station) say something I’ve not forgotten. He said  that mental health went through a massive overhaul between the 1950s and the 1970s, and in the 1980s, the mass shootings began.  A connection?  I think that’s a bigger elephant in the room than we’re admitting.

Isolate events as universals.  Fact is, if you manipulate any data, you can arrive at different realities. Take the most dangerous cities in America off the burners, and America sounds much safer.  Likewise, many of these school, or mass, shootings were based on specific sets of circumstances that might unpack the stats.  Broward County looks to have dropped a dozen balls.  That would be the same county where educated adults were perplexed by the unsolvable mysteries of the paper ballot.  It could be connected.

American Craftsmanship a thing of the past. Speaking of dropping balls.  Parkland is the latest case where warning signs were missed and the official safeguards that should have been triggered weren’t.  There is a decline in quality in America overall, with everything from the latest household products to the Secret Service being plagued by incompetence and a general lack of care for quality.  Could these have long range connections to any efficacy where new laws or even existing laws are concerned?  If we’re becoming bumblers in making cabinets, will we do any better with laws?

Isolation through technology.  When news came that Amazon was going to have a people-less store, one of those interviewed in the story said he was glad.  A young fellow of likely college age, he was happy not to have to deal with people when he shops.  Several of the students at Parkland guessed who the shooter was before it was announced.  Could it be that we are becoming so isolated that all notions of human interaction are collapsing, and that is a problem?

Violence for fun.  Popular culture of mass violence everywhere. I mean, look at what kids are playing at the age of 5.  I know people who let 9 year olds play first person shooters, or watch rated R blood and guts movies.  I remember seeing old black and white movies when I was little where someone died a particularity gruesome death, and it impacted me.  What do kids today experience?  Also the not so subtle Hollywood meme that people who are really bad (like people who disagree with me) have it coming.

Post-Christian.  We were told America has no right to have a particular culture and moral basis, and so jettisoned it for whatever was nearby.  Could it be that when we say people can make up their own realities those realities aren’t always going to be good?

Fortress Educationa.  If we are talking about having to turn our schools into fortresses with armed teachers and guards, what is next?  Barbed wire fences?  Could it be we’ve turned a corner if this is what we have to do?  And do we think it will really work?

Brats and narcissists.  Kids are raised today to think that if someone disagrees with them, or doesn’t talk the way they want them to talk, or give them what they want, then that person is evil, hates them, and wants them dead, since the world exists to affirm them as gods of their own creation.  Might that make an impact?  Could kids raised in that manner develop unhealthy ways to react to a world that doesn’t treat them way the way they want?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  What would Aretha Franklin say?  Respect, like manners, common sense and common values, went out the window decades ago.  Yes ma’am and no sir are as rare as Cuneiform word processors.  We love it when all the cool people flip the middle one to all those not-cool types who aren’t like me.  Could it be a nation almost proud to not respect anything or anyone and yet told to respect everyone (sometimes) is facing an identity crisis where dealing with people is concerned?

I don’t want to grow up!  Rush Limbaugh once pointed out that the Baby Boomers were the first generation that never had to grow up.  Hearkening back to the point about television and Boomers, could it be a generation of adult children raising more adult children who then raise another batch of children bent on staying children is not a healthy way for a society to function?  Could kids surrounded by and raised by kids have unintended consequences?

It’s the Spirit stupid.  Assuming for a minute that the Christian Faith is actually true, can we expect much from a nation that goes out of its way to purposefully and officially expel it from all corners of our public domains?  That’s what the Soviets did, and look what happened there.

Radical individualism.  In piggybacking on the narcissism above, could it be we’re seeing in individual form what the nationalism of the 20th century saw on the battlefield?  As we allow people to think they are a nation unto themselves, that there is no ‘Our country’, and sure as hell not ‘their country’ (I call it the Kaepernick syndrome), could this be a logical extension of such a view – bad countries (people) warring with their neighbors?

As long as it doesn’t impact me.  Following decades of misusing the notion of being judgmental (mainly, you can’t judge me, or obviously you’re wrong), and convincing people not to care unless it impacts them, could it be that we’ve let this go because it doesn’t impact most of us?  After all, what is our approach to Islamic terrorism (only Islamic, not domestic) but ‘as long as terrorists kill other Americans, it’s the sacrifice I’m willing to make’?  That must say something about us, and perhaps why we’re not really shaken to our foundations and willing to look at the hard realities when these tragedies strike.

The world.  Let’s face it, the world is a violent place.  It always has been.  See the last century for an example.  In the end, gun violence might simply be the logical extension of everything we’ve been doing as the world continues to change.  Change it might, but many of the old characteristics – like sin – will remain and will find a way.  Like my son says, to paraphrase Ian Malcolm, destruction will find a way.

What of legalized drugs? If, in fact, liberals insist that laws against illegal drugs haven’t helped the drug problems of our country, can we believe that more gun laws will do anything about the illegal use of guns in our country?

Car laws. Keeping with that thinking, we hear some gun owners point out that cars kill more people than guns.  But we have laws regulating cars!, is the answer.  Yes we do, and yet cars still kill more people than guns.

A little learning.  A dangerous thing, according to Pope.  We wage ideological warfare and I’m not always convinced we’re as smart about all the topics we spew about as we think we are.  Armed with undergrad degrees and a semester of history 101, we suddenly become experts in every nook and cranny of human history – whenever convenient. I don’t think this causes a society of mass shootings, but could it be what hamstrings our ability to solve the problems?  Or  worse, makes us schmucks easily manipulated by those who see shootings as a step toward some political end?

All those careless gun owners.  Guns are dangerous, look at the accidental shootings! I hear that if there is a story of an accidental shooting.  Gun accidents are, given the tens of millions of gun owners, relatively few.  Accidents happen, and you get the careless ones.  But on the whole, those isolated YouTube videos that show someone doing something stupid with a gun don’t seem to fit the stats.

Wo ist Education?  Speaking of a little learning.  My wife was a teacher, and my undergrad was in secondary education.  I had three boys go through public schools. Let me tell you, it’s a hot mess.  And not just because of STEM scores.  Half of what they teach is rubbish, the rest is based on teaching hatred and contempt for the Christian West, America, the latest designated ethnic groups, traditional values, and common sense notions like sex and babies are related or one’s genitals have something to do with gender – but we can all make up our happy worlds where everyone affirms our self-affirming affirmation of our self affirming selves!  I wouldn’t let those working within the current train wreck of educational philosophy teach a dog, much less kids.  Has to mean something.

Can we stop using the 33,000 killed by guns.  There are so many parts to that stat, there are so many dimensions that don’t account for the numbers that are never mentioned.  Like saying ‘Four years and 40 million dollars’, it’s a meme, not a fact, and if we care about the problem of violence, we’ll never misuse it again.

The Gun Cult!  Please define.  From what I can tell, this radical bunch of gun nuts is typically not involved in most of the mass shootings.  Same with the dreaded militia (which is the cause of terrorism done in its name).  In fact, the worst killing attributed to the dread American militia movement used a bomb, not guns.

Gun Violence versus Violence.  Do we actually care?  As horrific as they are, mass shootings account for a barely measurable number of overall murders in our country. While murder rates have gone down, they are still far too high.  And yet not only do we hardly ever dwell on it, during the 2016 campaign, I heard the press insist things were getting hunky-dory.  Well, not to those murdered and killed.  Or do they not matter?

Stop comparing the US – to anyone.  We are a unique nation.  It does no good to pick out a dozen countries that help your case while ignoring other countries that don’t.  And why don’t gun control activists ever cite nations like Mexico, but only reference decidedly white European nations to compare America to?

Raising kids.  At the end of the day, it’s not just kids raising kids, but broken homes, fatherless boys, wacked out psychological theories and science that looks common sense parenting straight in the eyes then turns around wand walks the other way.  I have no time to list the connections between broken homes and crime.  Much less screwball theories of raising kids and crime.

Exploiting vs. Memorializing.  If we are using a tragedy to advance certain solutions, then we should at least be able to demonstrate how those solutions would have prevented the tragedy in question.  To me, that’s common sense.  If not common decency.

Sucks to your thoughts and prayers.  I just can’t help but think that when we’ve come to a point where a sizable chunk of our nation now insists prayer and God are only worth a dime if put second to a singular political policy, we’ve officially shuffled off this Christian coil.  That so many Christians appear to agree only makes it that much clearer.  See my point about the truth of the Spirit above.

Those are just thoughts I’ve had over the last couple days in no particular order and with no particular weight or purpose.  Musings only.  Just the idea that maybe the problem of school shooting, that didn’t happen when I was growing up, is beyond limiting a single type of gun.  We can do that, of course.  But I think it’s foolishness to think anything will ultimately change.  The carnage might end up different, but it won’t change until other things change.

Go here to comment.  The Florida shooting has illustrated how difficult to impossible it is to get authorities to do their phony-baloney jobs when a manifestly mentally ill person is involved.  Too often law enforcement looks the other way and hopes that the problem will go away or become the problem of someone else.  Then, in the rare case when one of these nutcases goes berserk, infinite effort is put into attempting to shift blame to some scapegoat like innocent gun owners and to concealing the malfeasance of law enforcement, which was precisely the mode of operation of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Drop-the-Ball:

As to the reaction after the fact, well the Left never lets a crisis go to waste and demonization of their adversaries has become the standard mode of operation on the Left for over half a century.  It is difficult to come to a meeting of minds for effective responses to school shootings when one side is condemning the other as blood stained murderers.  Of course when the goal is political power, a meeting of minds is simply not important:

 

 
 
6

You Mean They Just Can’t Legislate the Pesky Second Amendment Away?

 

 

 

From Instapundit:

 

THEY CAN’T EVEN GET PEOPLE TO COMPLY IN CONNECTICUT: What Will Gun Controllers Do When Americans Ignore an ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban?

But since the point of gun control is to humiliate and grind down flyover people and demonstrate that the Ruling Class is ultimately the, well, Ruling Class — not to control crime — the appearance of submission is probably enough. Plus, a seldom enforced and often ignored law is ideal if you want to be able to target troublesome individuals later.

Go here to read the comments.  We have 330 million people occupying a huge, sprawling country.  If a substantial percentage of these people do not wish to obey a law, especially one regarded by large portion of the population as illegitimate, it is not going to be obeyed.  That gun confiscation control fanatics are unwilling to acknowledge this underlines what Glenn Reynolds is saying.

27

Don’t Worry: The State Will Protect You!

The main purpose behind the Second Amendment is to give the American people a last ditch defense of liberty against tyranny, but guns also come in handy for private defense.  As illustrated by the failure of the FBI, the local school, the Sheriff’s department, and various governmental agencies, to deal with the Florida shooter, who, for years, may as well have been wearing a sign stating: Warning: Ticking Time Bomb!, anyone who thinks government can defend them against this type of threat is an idiot.  Now we have this revelation from Sheriff Drop-the-Ball who has been loudly calling for gun control since the Florida shooting to cover the manifest malfeasance of his own office:

The armed officer stationed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., resigned Thursday after an internal review found he did not enter the school during last week’s deadly shooting.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced Deputy Scot Peterson chose to resign after Israel suspended him without pay.

“Scot Peterson was absolutely on campus through this entire event. He was armed. He was in uniform,” Israel said at a press conference.

“After seeing video, witness statements and Scot Peterson’s very own statement, I decided this morning to suspend [him] without pay pending an internal investigation,” he continued.

Israel said Peterson chose to resign as he had met the necessary requirements for retirement. The sheriff noted that the investigation would continue.

“We’re not going to disclose the video at this time, and we may never disclose the video, depending on the prosecution and the criminal case,” Israel said. “But what I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position — and he never went in.”

When asked by a reporter what Peterson should have done, Israel said the deputy should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer.”

Go here to read the rest.  I have known a lot of cops during my 36 years at the bar for various reasons, and they come in all shapes and sizes, but none of them have been charged with cowardice, which is the likely explanation for the non-action of the Deputy.  Of course, it is possible that he may have only been carrying out departmental standard operating procedures in an active shooting situation, in which case he is being used as a scapegoat by Sheriff Drop-the-Ball, which wouldn’t surprise me in the least.  All will come out, no doubt, in the tsunami of lawsuits about to descend on Broward County.

What this underlines is what the cops I know have told me over and over again, echoed by judges at the hundreds of order of protection cases I have been involved in, people must provide for their own private security because the State cannot, at least not in a timely manner.  As the saying goes, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.   The Second Amendment is all about defense, and this debacle demonstrates how badly it is needed.

 

 

 

 

Update:  This story keeps getting better and better.  Deputy Scot Peterson in a 2016 investigation of the home life of Cruz, the future shooter, refused to share information on Cruz with state agencies.  I doubt if he decided to do that on his own, and he was probably reflecting the policy of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department.  Yep, gun confiscation would be a cure for this type of government bungling.

Update 2:  Now we learn that the Broward County Sheriff’s department had four deputies on site and they did nothing until officers of the Coral Springs police department arrived and went into the school. Go here to read all about it.  It is now apparent that the aftermath of this debacle has been largely an attempt by Sheriff Drop-the-Ball to conceal how badly his office botched this before and during the shooting.

8

CNN: Always the Party Line

Well CNN last night had a little show trial of Republicans and the NRA, disguised as a townhall, in regard to the Florida school shooting.  However, one of the true student heroes refused to participate:

 

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Colton Haab said he was approached by CNN to ask a question at Wednesday night’s town hall but decided not to after the network gave him a “scripted question,” quashing one he wrote himself. Haab, a member of the Junior ROTC shielded students while the school was under attack from the shooter, said he was going to ask about using veterans as armed security guards.

“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab told WPLG-TV.

CNN aired a town hall on the Florida school shooting with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) that included NRA’s Dana Loesch and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel that was moderated by Jake Tapper. Students and parents asked questions about gun control and school safety.

“I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions,” Haab said.

“Colton Haab, a member of the Junior ROTC who shielded classmates in the midst of terror says he did not get to share his experience,” WPLG’s Janine Stanwood explained.

“Colton wrote questions about school safety, suggested using veterans as armed school security guards but claims CNN wanted him to ask a scripted question instead so he decided not to go,” Stanwood reported.

“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab said. “I don’t think that it’s going get anything accomplished. It’s not gonna ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have.”

Go here to view the video.  CNN can always, always be depended upon to carry water for the Democrats.  Dishonest is a weak term when applied to these party hacks disguised as journalists.  If this country had honest news, the Democrats would be lucky to break forty percent in any election beyond inner city urban areas.

16

Gun Confiscation: Go For It Liberals

 

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.

Noah Webster, An Examination Into the Leading Principles of the Constitution (17 October 1787).

 

 

One does not have to read long on most Leftist sites before becoming aware of how popular the concept of disarming the American people is on the Left.  Charles C. W. Cooke at National Review Online has some practical suggestions for the implementation of this cherished Leftist goal:

 

Seriously, try it. Start the process. Stop whining about it on Twitter, and on HBO, and at the Daily Kos. Stop playing with some Thomas Jefferson quote you found on Google. Stop jumping on the news cycle and watching the retweets and viral shares rack up. Go out there and begin the movement in earnest. Don’t fall back on excuses. Don’t play cheap motte-and-bailey games. And don’t pretend that you’re okay with the Second Amendment in theory, but you’re just appalled by the Heller decision. You’re not. Heller recognized what was obvious to the amendment’s drafters, to the people who debated it, and to the jurists of their era and beyond: That “right of the people” means “right of the people,” as it does everywhere else in both the Bill of Rights and in the common law that preceded it. A Second Amendment without the supposedly pernicious Heller “interpretation” wouldn’t be any impediment to regulation at all. It would be a dead letter. It would be an effective repeal. It would be the end of the right itself. In other words, it would be exactly what you want! Man up. Put together a plan, and take those words out of the Constitution.

This will involve hard work, of course. You can’t just sit online and preen to those who already agree with you. No siree. Instead, you’ll have to go around the states — traveling and preaching until the soles of your shoes are thin as paper. You’ll have to lobby Congress, over and over and over again. You’ll have to make ads and shake hands and twist arms and cut deals and suffer all the slings and arrows that will be thrown in your direction. You’ll have to tell anybody who will listen to you that they need to support you; that if they disagree, they’re childish and beholden to the “gun lobby”; that they don’t care enough about children; that their reverence for the Founders is mistaken; that they have blood on their goddamn hands; that they want to own firearms only because their penises are small and they’re not “real men.” And remember, you can’t half-ass it this time. You’re not going out there to tell these people that you want “reform” or that “enough is enough.” You’re going there to solicit their support for removing one of the articles within the Bill of Rights. Make no mistake: It’ll be unpleasant strolling into Pittsburgh or Youngstown or Pueblo and telling blue-collar Democrat after blue-collar Democrat that he only has his guns because he’s not as well endowed as he’d like to be. It’ll be tough explaining to suburban families that their established conception of American liberty is wrong. You might even suffer at the polls because of it. But that’s what it’s going to take. So do it. Start now. Off you go.

And don’t stop there. No, no. There’ll still be a lot of work to be done. As anybody with a passing understanding of America’s constitutional system knows, repealing the Second Amendment won’t in and of itself lead to the end of gun ownership in America. Rather, it will merely free up the federal government to regulate the area, should it wish to do so. Next, you’ll need to craft the laws that bring about change — think of them as modern Volstead Acts — and you’ll need to get them past the opposition. And, if the federal government doesn’t immediately go the whole hog, you’ll need to replicate your efforts in the states, too, 45 of which have their own constitutional protections. Maybe New Jersey and California will go quietly. Maybe. But Idaho won’t. Louisiana won’t. Kentucky won’t. Maine won’t. You’ll need to persuade those sovereignties not to sue and drag their heels, but to do what’s right as defined by you. Unfortunately, that won’t involve vague talk of holding “national conversations” and “doing something” and “fighting back against the NRA.” It’ll mean going to all sorts of groups — unions, churches, PTAs, political meetings, bowling leagues — and telling them not that you want “common-sense reforms,” but that you want their guns, as in Australia or Britain or Japan. Obviously, the Republicans aren’t going to help in this, so you’ll need to commandeer the Democratic party to do it. That means you’ll need their presidential candidates on board. That means you’ll need to make full abolition the stated policy of the Senate and House caucuses. That means you’ll need the state parties to sign pledges promising not to back away if it gets tough. And if they won’t, you’ll need to start a third party and accept all that that entails.

And when you’ve done all that and your vision is inked onto parchment, you’ll need to enforce it. No, not in the namby-pamby, eh-we-don’t-really-want-to-fund-it way that Prohibition was enforced. I mean enforce it — with force. When Australia took its decision to Do Something, the Australian citizenry owned between 2 and 3 million guns. Despite the compliance of the people and the lack of an entrenched gun culture, the government got maybe three-quarters of a million of them — somewhere between a fifth and a third of the total. That wouldn’t be good enough here, of course. There are around 350 million privately owned guns in America, which means that if you picked up one in three, you’d only be returning the stock to where it was in 1994. Does that sound difficult? Sure! After all, this is a country of 330 million people spread out across 3.8 million square miles, and if we know one thing about the American people, it’s that they do not go quietly into the night. But the government has to have their guns. It has to. The Second Amendment has to go.

You’re going to need a plan. A state-by-state, county-by-county, street-by-street, door-to door plan. A detailed roadmap to abolition that involves the military and the police and a whole host of informants — and, probably, a hell of a lot of blood, too. Sure, the ACLU won’t like it, especially when you start going around poorer neighborhoods. Sure, there are probably between 20 and 30 million Americans who would rather fight a civil war than let you into their houses. Sure, there is no historical precedent in America for the mass confiscation of a commonly owned item — let alone one that was until recently constitutionally protected. Sure, it’s slightly odd that you think that we can’t deport 11 million people but we can search 123 million homes. But that’s just the price we have to pay. Times have changed. It has to be done: For the children; for America; for the future. Hey hey, ho ho, the Second Amendment has to go. Let’s do this thing.

Go here to read the rest.  Reality based community?  Sure!

 

 

 

3

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Tucker Carlson

“The calls we are hearing today for gun control have nothing to do with protecting Americans from violence. What you’re witnessing is a kind of class war. The left hates rural America, red America, gun-owning America, the America that elected Donald Trump. They hate them. Progressives are still in charge of most of the major institutions in this country and they despise the autonomy of an armed population. They want collective punishment for the sins of a few. They seek to obliterate our core constitutional right rather than trying to mitigate its downsides. They call it gun control, but it’s not. It’s people control. For the left, voters who can’t be controlled, can’t be trusted.”

Tucker Carlson, February 15, 2018

 

18

A People Numerous and Armed

Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.

James Madison, Federalist 46

 

 

 

 

 

In the wake of the Vegas Massacre some Leftists have been calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment.  Michael Schermer, in the New York Times, argues that an armed populace is no safeguard against tyranny:

 

If you think stock piling firearms from the local Guns and Guitars store, where the Las Vegas shooter purchased some of his many weapons, and dressing up in camouflage and body armor is going to protect you from an American military capable of delivering tanks and armored vehicles full Navy SEALs to your door, you’re delusional. The tragic incidents at Ruby Ridge, in Idaho, and Waco, Tex., in the 1990s, in which citizens armed to the teeth collided with government agencies and lost badly, is a case study for what would happen were the citizenry to rise up in violence against the state today.

 

Go here to read the rest.  The ignorance contained in that paragraph is stunning.  As Afghanistan and Iraq have amply demonstrated, insurgencies are difficult to combat even for the most advanced military on Earth.  A widespread insurgency in this country would pose the same problems for our military on a vastly larger scale.  We have a huge country inhabited by some 330,000,000 people.  An insurgency supported by 40% of the American people, with ten percent willing to take up arms, would produce a potential guerilla force in the tens of millions.  National Guard units and segments of the military would quickly line up with the insurgents in a rebellion supported by 40% of the people they are pledged to defend.

The State in which I live, Illinois, is 26th in size, with 102 counties and hundreds of cities, towns and villages. I can just imagine the military effort necessary to hold down just Illinois in a conflict where 40% of the population supported a war against the government.

Modern militaries have immense logistical tails supporting the fighting units, filled with soft targets, all tempting fruit for guerilla units.  The idea that an armed population would not be a check on a tyrannical government in this country badly misunderstands both the nature of modern warfare and the history of this nation.  Mr. Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence wrote of a right of revolution.  The Second Amendment guarantees that if that right ever must be exercised, the people will have the ability to do so.

The Founding Fathers, in all they did, struggled to pass on the blessings of liberty to their posterity.  Ensuring that the American people would remain, in the words of a British officer during the Revolution, “a people numerous and armed”, was one part of the safeguards that they gave us against tyranny.  It is the last protection between the people and tyranny. This safeguard is just as effective today as it was in 1789.

9

Gun to a Knife Fight

 

 

Remember the outrage among the media when Obama said this back in 2008:

 

Chozick, June 13, 2008: He [Obama] warned that the general election campaign could get ugly. “They’re going to try to scare people. They’re going to try to say that ‘that Obama is a scary guy,’ ” he said. A donor yelled out a deep accented “Don’t give in!”

“I won’t but that sounded pretty scary. You’re a tough guy,” Obama said.

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

 

Neither do I. Continue Reading

14

Those Scary AR-15s!

 

Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge for directing me to the above video.  Revealing the lack of knowledge about fire arms that has ever been the hallmark of gun grabbers, the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle has been in their cross hairs since the Orlando shootings.  Initially it was claimed that the AR-15 was used by Omar Mateen during his murderous rampage.  Nope, he used a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a pistol.

Before that was revealed, Gersch Kuntzman of the New York Daily News ran this unintentionally hilarious post about his experience firing an AR-15:

I’ve shot pistols before, but never something like an AR-15. Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection).
The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.Even in semi-automatic mode, it is very simple to squeeze off two dozen rounds before you even know what has happened. If illegally modified to fully automatic mode, it doesn’t take any imagination to see dozens of bodies falling in front of your barrel.All it takes is the will to do it.Forty nine people can be gone in 60 seconds.
Go here to read the rest.  For an amusing takedown on the histrionics of Mr. Kuntzman I recommend the following:

As a fellow member of the patriarchy, I worry about Mr. Kuntzman’s masculinity and self-image. I have, on numerous occasions, introduced females, including little girls no older than 10 and no more than 70 pounds, to the awe-inspiring power of the AR-15. Granted, they had to fire from a supported position, lacking the strength to support the 7-pound rifle for long otherwise, but after firing many rounds, their universal reaction was one of delight–they found the little rifle’s accuracy and ease of use pleasing–and not a bruise among them. The same is true of adult women, many no more than 110 pounds sopping wet.

Continue Reading

18

Justice Breyer, the Second Amendment and Federalist 46

(This post was originally published in 2010.  Since the Democrats are making renewed attempts in the wake of the Orlando shootings to amend the Bill of Rights, I thought I would publish it again.)

 

Justice Stephen Breyer of the US Supreme Court has never been a fan of the Second Amendment.  On Fox News on Sunday he made an historical claim that I would like to analyze in this post.

Madison “was worried about opponents who would think Congress would call up state militias and nationalize them. ‘That can’t happen,’ said Madison,” said Breyer, adding that historians characterize Madison’s priority as, “I’ve got to get this document ratified.”

Therefore, Madison included the Second Amendment to appease the states, Breyer said.

I assume that the Justice is referring to Federalist 46 written by James Madison, and which may be read here.  (I apologize in advance to our resident blog expert on the Federalist papers Paul Zummo.  Paul, if you see any mistakes on my part in the following, please let me have it!)

The Justice is correct that many in the states were concerned that the proposed new federal government would have too much power, and Federalist 46 was written to help allay those concerns.

The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition.

Madison realized that this was a sensitive point.  The American Revolution had only ended five years before, and the attempt by Great Britain to rule through military force was a raw memory for all of his readers.  Madison tackles this fear head on by comparing the military force of a standing federal army to the militias of the states:

Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.

So far so good for Justice Breyer.  However, he misses completely the import of other things that Madison says in Federalist 46.

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Continue Reading

48

Gun Free America!

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.

Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural

 

 

From Reason TV.  Language advisory in regard to the above video.  Of course I am sure that leftists watching the video think:  “BS!  All we need are a few more votes on the Supreme Court and we can wipe the Second Amendment out from the Constitution in one lawsuit.”  And you know something, they are right.  A Court which can create rights to abortion and gay marriage is obviously a Court that can read anything into, and anything out of, the Constitution.  However if leftists ever did attempt this, and they are feckless enough to eventually attempt to do precisely that, I suspect that American Revolution II or Civil War II would be on.

8

Alexander Solzhenitsyn Explains the Importance of the Second Amendment

 The amendment, like most other provisions in the Constitution, has a history.  It was adopted with some modification and enlargement from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, where it stood as a protest against arbitrary action of the overturned dynasty in disarming the people, and as a pledge of the new rulers that this tyrannical action should cease.  The right declared was meant to be a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and as a necessary and efficient means of regaining rights when temporarily overturned by usurpation.

Thomas Cooley, Principles of Constitutional Law (1898)

(Whenever the usual suspects are in full cry for gun confiscation control, as they are now, I am going to repost this.)

 

Hattip to Babalu Blog. 

 

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria [Government limo] sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked.

The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!

–Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The GULAG Archipelago

124

Rebecca Frech Schools Mark Shea on Guns

Mark Shea has a habit of saying that unless people do x, x always being a policy he endorses, they really are not pro-life.  This of course is simply an attempt, at least among pro-lifers, to stop debate on x and says nothing about the merits of x as a policy.  His latest attempt to do so is on the issue of smart guns, technology that purports to prevent a firearm from being fired, unless the owner is the one pulling the trigger.  Go here to read one of his posts on the subject.  Blogger Rebecca Frech, at her blog Shoved to Them, relates an incident to describe why Shea is wrong as a practical matter:

The argument seems to center around smart gun technology. Shea reasons that if gun owners were truly pro-life then we would support all efforts to create guns which would only fire for their owners, and then the world would be a better place. People who don’t support such legislation and research, even if they support the protection of life from conception to natural death, are not truly pro-life because they participate in a culture which accepts the possibility of death by gun shot (Mark and his readers haven’t mentioned how they aim to prevent people from being bludgeoned with a rifle butt or pistol whipped with a handgun).

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Continue Reading

22

Tell Us What You Really Think Greg

Greg Gutfeld unloads on Jim Carrey, an aging Canadian comedian whose career is currently in the process of tanking, over Carrey’s remakably unfunny “Hee-Haw” attack on the late Charlton Heston and anyone who supports the Second Amendment.  Nothing is sadder than a professional funnyman who does not realize that his time in the limelight has passed him by.  I have two words for Mr. Carrey:  Jerry Lewis.  Oh well, perhaps the French will hail him as a genius too.

2

What Is In the Water In Colorado?

 

 

I have had two prior posts on Democrat Colorado legislators, here and here, who apparently would prefer to see women raped then armed.  Ace, at Ace of Spades, brings to the fore a third Democrat, Senator Evi Hudak.

 

You’re a dumb little girl and you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Why don’t you stop talking, dumb little girl?

Katie Pavlich previously reported her story.  I’m going to quote some of it, but you should probably read it all.

Amanda Collins is a young rape survivor. While in college in 2007, she was raped 50 feet away from the campus police department office at the University of Nevada-Reno and was lucky to get out alive. Her attacker was James Biela, a serial rapist who raped two other women and murdered another. He attacked her at gun point in a gun free zone. At the time of the attack, Collins was in possession of a concealed weapons permit but was not in possession of her firearm due to university policies prohibiting carrying concealed weapons on campus.

“I was legislated into being a victim,” Collins said.

 

Well, that’s a hell of a story, and a hell of an inconvenience for the Bullets-Don’t-Work-On-Criminals crowd.  Fortunately, Democratic State Senator Evi Hudak was there to propagate this theory:

Well, I just want to say statistics are not on your side, even if you had had a gun. You said that you were a martial arts student, I mean person, experience in taekwondo, and yet because this individual was so large and was able to overcome you even with your skills, and chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get than from you and possibly use it against you,” Hudak said.Collins responded by saying, “Respectfully Senator, you weren’t there…I was there, I know without a doubt in my mind at some point I would have been able to stop my attack by using my firearm. He already had a weapon of his own, he didn’t need mine.”

 

Ms. Hudak probably doesn’t know what “semi-automatic” means, given that she seems unclear that a gun is a projectile weapon usable at range.  She seems to not understand the rapist was interested in a live girl, not a dead body, and that Collins, however, would have been quite interested in a dead rapist.  As rape must be conducted at touching distance, but shooting can occur at touching distance to hundreds of yards away, I’m a bit flabbergasted by this notion that a rapist would obviously just take a gun away from a woman.

Is he going to deflect bullets with his Sith hands, too? Continue Reading

16

America Meets Dale

 

 

As long time readers of this blog know I have long been an admirer of the work of Dale Price at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings, and I frequently go there to steal borrow blog ideas.  Dale turned his attention recently to the editorial at America, the Jesuit heterodox rag, which called for the repeal of the Second Amendement:

That their grief may not be compounded.

At long last, the editors of America endorse a constitutional buttress to the culture of life.

 

Supporting the Human Life Amendment? Surely you jest. Politics is strictly about the art of the possible when it comes to abortion.

 

No, no–one must be realistic about such things.

 

Instead, we need to repeal the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The reason: something must be done so that urban, left-leaning Jesuits can feel better about themselves:

 

The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.

 

For some reason, there are exceptions:

 

This does not require an absolute ban on firearms. In the post-repeal world that we envision, some people will possess guns: hunters and sportsmen, law enforcement officers, the military, those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes.

 

As an aside, please, please, I beg you: stop pretending you give a rat’s fanny about hunting. Deep down, we know you hate it, but somehow you feel compelled to offer insincere boilerplate respect. You can stop now. Besides, hunting firearms are more devastating than ones that make you queasy. Just flop your cards on the table and admit you don’t approve of any significant private ownership of firearms. Dialogue requires openness, don’t you know?

 

Anyway, there’s a yawning logical inconsistency here: why should an off-duty approved firearm owner be allowed to keep it when he is off the clock? At the end of the day, such individuals should turn them in to a secure area until they punch back in. Even soldiers aren’t toting weapons around all the time outside of combat zones. As the editors note, original sin (!) ensures bad things will happen, and cops are quite capable of misusing firearms, as we have been recently reminded. Thus, in Americaworld, there is no reason for anyone to own a firearm off duty.

 

Go after violent media? Nah. That’s Legion of Decency, Catholic-ghetto stuff. Shudder.

 

Revisit our oft-idiotic drug war? Piffle. Nope. What it boils down to is that nobody at America owns a firearm or likes anyone who owns one. In policymaking, this is known as the It’s Time We All Start Making Sacrifices, Starting With You, Of Course! maneuver.

 

Did it ever occur to them to, you know, actually talk to an actual gun owner before promulgating this un-papal bull? Apparently not. Dialogue’s only for people the Catholic left respect, I guess. Nope–it’s time to tear an Amendment out of the Constitution and unchain Caesar to kick doors in to remove unapproved firearms from our midst. If you like the drug war, you’ll plotz over the gun war. Continue Reading

19

Rape and Kung Fu

The hits just keep on coming regarding guns and rape courtesy of Democrats in the Colorado legislature.  Democrat Representative Paul Rosenthal opines in the above video that women do not need guns to protect themselves from rape;  citing mace, taser, the buddy system and judo as gun substitutes.  Rosenthal apparently is so afraid of pistol packing mamas that any other alternative is preferable.  Gun “control” has always had a touch of the irrational about it, as the focus is placed on an inanimate object instead of the people who wield it either for good or for ill.  To keep guns out of the hands of the general public, gun “control” advocates are quite willing to see people go without the single most effective response to a violent confrontation.  If this isn’t a restriction on the individual liberty that most Americans prize, no restriction on liberty, in principle, can be opposed.  This is government treating citizens like children who cannot be trusted to make their own decisions for their own good. Continue Reading

12

Better to be Raped Than to be Armed

At least that is what Joe Salazar, a Democrat State Representative in Colorado, apparently believes:

 

“It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody.” Continue Reading

29

America Hates the Second Amendment

 

No, not that America.  America the heterodox Jesuit rag.

Repealing the Second Amendment will not create a culture of life in one stroke. Stricter gun laws will not create a world free of violence, in which gun tragedies never occur. We cannot repeal original sin. Though we cannot create an absolutely safe world, we can create a safer world. This does not require an absolute ban on firearms. In the post-repeal world that we envision, some people will possess guns: hunters and sportsmen, law enforcement officers, the military, those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes. Make no mistake, however: The world we envision is a world with far fewer guns, a world in which no one has a right to own one. Some people, though far fewer, will still die from gun violence. The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.

The Supreme Court has ruled that whatever the human costs involved, the Second Amendment “necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” The justices are right. But the human cost is intolerable. Repeal the Second Amendment.

Go here to read the predictable rest.  It is good to see the Jesuits at America suddenly in favor of a “culture of life”.  Considering their editorials in support of the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history, I will take their “conversion” with a boulder of salt. Continue Reading

10

Battle of Athens

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.

Abraham Lincoln

The veterans of World War II are now old, and mostly frail.  It is hard to remember them as most of them were during the War:  young, tough and determined.  After they got home, those who made it through the War, they would make many changes in our society, as they proved themselves to be one of the most consequential generations in American history.  On August 1-2, 1946, veterans in Athens, Tennessee demonstrated just how consequential.

Athens is the county seat of McMinn County in Eastern Tennessee, between Knoxville and Chattanooga.  Since the Civil War, up to the 1930s, McMinn County, like most of Eastern Tennessee, was largely Republican, reflecting the pro Union stance of their ancestors during the War.  With the coming of the Great Depression, Democrat political machines began to take power in much of Eastern Tennessee.  Many of these local machines were quite corrupt.  Paul Cantrell was elected Sheriff as a Democrat in 1936.  Cantrell came from a family of power and influence.  Many locals suspected that his election was a fraud, with ballot boxes having been switched to give Cantrell the victory.

Cantrell after the election became virtual dictator of McMinn County.  He and his deputies collected vast sums by shaking down citizens for petty offenses.  Buses passing through the County would be stopped by deputies and the passengers subjected to on the spot fines for pretended misdemeanors.  Cantrell fostered prostitution, gambling and bars throughout the County, carefully receiving his cut of the proceeds.   After 1936 elections were farcial with ballot boxes confiscated from precincts by Cantrell’s deputies and the counting, supposed to be done in public under Tennessee law, conducted behind locked doors in the McMinn County jail.  With the Tennessee Democrat governor a firm political friend of Cantrell, the citizens opposed to Cantrell and his de facto dictatorship were helpless.  The Justice Department investigated the County on charges of vote fraud in 1940, 1942 and 1944, but without any prosecutions.  Cantrell was elected to the State Senate in 1942 and 1944.  His deputy Pat Mansfield was elected sheriff.  Whatever office he held, everyone in McMinn County knew that Cantrell continued to call the tune.

However, change was coming.  McMinn County had a military tradition.  It had sided with the Union in the Civil War, and in 1898 it had declared war against Spain two weeks before Congress did!  During World War II, some 3,526 of McMinn County’s young men went off to fight, representing some ten percent of the entire population of the Country.  When those who survived the War came back they had changed, as Paul Cantrell was going to find out. Continue Reading

4

The Second Amendment and Racism

Actor Danny Glover recently stepped outside of his role as an actor and assumed the roles of historian and constitutional scholar:

I don’t know if you know the genesis of the  right to bear arms,’ said Glover, well known for his roles in the ‘Lethal  Weapon’ franchise. ‘The Second Amendment  comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from  uprisings by Native Americans,’ he said.

‘A revolt from people who were stolen from  their land or revolt from people whose land was stolen from, that’s what the  genesis of the second amendment is.’

Glover should stick to his day job.  The main concern of the Founding Fathers in regard to the Second Amendment was to provide the citizenry the ability to resist a tyrannical government.  As James Madison noted in Federalist 46:

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.

Prior to the Civil War there were laws passed in many of the slave holding states attempting to restrict the right to keep and bear arms to whites.  Challenges to these laws by free blacks almost always asserted the second amendment.  A passage in the Dred Scott decision indicates what a preoccupation blacks carrying weapons was to slaveholders:

It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State. Continue Reading

23

Tell Us How You Really Feel Dale!

Priests check the firearms of Marines who will be sent to Basilan province in southern Philippines during the 110th founding anniversary of the Philippine Navy in Manila

 

My friend Dale Price writes insightful posts at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings.  I stop by there regularly to steal borrow blog ideas.  Dale is always very good, but when he lets himself go he is magnificent.  Herewith is his post on the scape goating anti-NRA hysteria that some on Saint Blogs have been participating in:

Being marginalized in the culture war.

 
This is not directed at the people of good faith who I have spoken with about firearms since Sandy Hook. Hopefully, you know who you are. But I do have to unburden myself, and unfortunately in a burdensomely-verbose manner.
It doesn’t matter, but I didn’t sleep for s–t in the ten days after the Sandy Hook massacre. I was up until at least 1 am every night, trying to distract myself from the horror of the butchery committed by that evil garbage. It’s not much, but my wife made sure to send a card to the Newtown priests facing the horror. When I started talking about the issue, I expressed my interest in solutions like smaller magazine capacity, biometric safes and trigger locks and the like. Productive, civil conversations. Or so it seemed.
As it turned out, none of that mattered. The tone changed from one of wanting to prevent another Sandy Hook into a two-months hate against gun ownership in general and NRA members in particular. Solutions fell by the wayside, and de-legitimization began in earnest.
You see, I’m an NRA member. I do not own a Bushmaster, or any other semi-automatic weapon. As is my wife. I–and Heather–collectively own several firearms. Including–as will be set forth below–a completely-legal, bona-fide military weapon currently used by our military right now. Unlike what [damnatio memoriae] used at Newtown.
Nevertheless, because of our membership in Satan’s Own Rifles, prominent people of culture hope we get shot. Hope really hard! [Which strikes me as an odd spin on the Hope™ being offered in 2008, but I digress for the first time.] Continue Reading
3

When Seconds Count, the Police Are Only Minutes Away

Bravo to Sheriff Dave Clark of Milwaukee who tells the absolute truth in the video above.   I have been involved in many orders of protection where the judge issuing the order admonishes the person seeking the order that it merely is a piece of paper and that they must take precautions for their own safety.  The Law is a powerful tool, but it cannot provide protection from armed assailants night and day. Continue Reading

13

Prayer When It Suits Them

 

Pro-abort Senator Diane Feinstein, (D.CA)  at her press conference yesterday at which she displayed the guns she wants to ban, had it begin with a prayer by Episcopalian Canon Gary Hall, who runs the laughingly entitled Episcopalian “National Cathedral” in Washington, DC.  Canon Hall made news for himself earlier in the week by announcing that same-sex “marriages” would be performed at the “National Cathedral”.  I found it intriguing that a representative of a dying church would be tagged to baptize Feinstein’s gun grabbing efforts.

The Episcopal Church is clearly rotting away.

Self-reported statistics provided by the denomination this month show that the church has dropped from 2,006,343 members in 2009 to 1,951,907 in 2010, the most recent reporting year. The loss of 54,436 members increases the annual rate of decline from 2 percent to 3 percent, outpacing the most recently reported declines in most other mainline churches. The church’s 10-year change in active members has dropped 16 percent.

A branch of the otherwise fast-growing 80 million member worldwide Anglican Communion, the third largest family of Christian churches globally, the Episcopal Church had also seen a steady decrease in the number of parishes, losing or closing over 100 in 2010, as well as a drop in attendance from 682,963 in 2009 to 657,831 in 2010, a 4 percent drop. Fifty-four percent of all U.S. Episcopal Churches suffered attendance loss over the prior year. Over the last decade, attendance was down 23 percent.
The denomination, which once claimed over 3.5 million members as recently as the mid-1960s, has lost over 40 percent of membership even while the U.S. population grew by over 50 percent.

 

 

Why this is occurring is easy to determine by reading an article on Canon Gary Hall at The American Spectator.

Unlike some of his predecessors, Hall is not content to host conversational forums with authors and poets or preside over high-profile funerals like those of Gerald Ford and Neil Armstrong. From calling in December for new firearms restrictions, to announcing last week that the massive gothic church is available for gay weddings, Hall embraces liberal causes as easily as he dismisses traditional Christianity.

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Previous generations of liberal Episcopal clergy often spoke in layers of obfuscation; discovering the heretical teaching buried in their writing and preaching required hours of decoding. Hall represents a younger generation of liberal Episcopalians who resemble nothing so much as Unitarian Universalists decked out in stoles and surplices; they are quick to denounce those who advocate historic Christian teaching—especially moral teaching—as intolerant perpetrators of injustice who must be silenced.

In an October interview with the Detroit Free PressHall announced that he is, “not about trying to convert someone to Christianity. I don’t feel I’m supposed to convert Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists or Native Americans to Christianity so that they can be saved. That’s not an issue for me.”

Hall was also forthcoming about the fact that he finds common cause with those who do not profess a faith in Jesus Christ.

“I have much more in common with progressive Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists than I do with certain people in my own tradition, with fundamentalist Christians,” Hall declared. “The part of Christianity I stand with is the part in which we can live with ambiguity and with pluralism.” Continue Reading

10

Guns and “All Men Are Created Equal”

Few issues demonstrate better that liberal elites and the rest of us might as well live on different planets than the Second Amendment.  Frequently living in gated communities, usually working in institutions that have armed guards, and sending their kids to elite schools that have elaborate security, liberal elites are quite good at proclaiming that other people should disarm and rely on the police for protection who, as most cops will readily admit, are minutes away when seconds count.  James O’Keefe, the master of conservative undercover journalism, and his Project Veritas, expose liberal hypocrisy in the above video.  Contemporary liberalism is all about implementing rules for the majority to live by, rules which liberal elites themselves, and their friends and colleagues, can freely ignore.  Such a system, with one set of rules for the masses who live under the laws, and another set of rules for those who effectively live above the laws, is an essential component of a tyranny in the making.  It makes a mockery of the words of Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence:  “all men are created equal.”   Let us recall these words of Abraham Lincoln: Continue Reading

13

A Guide to the 23 Edicts for the Perplexed

 

We at The American Catholic, among our many other missions, aim to translate Governmentese into English with color commentary.  Herewith is an example of our service in regard to President Obama’s 23 executive orders on gun control, better termed edicts:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

Do what the agencies have been supposed to be doing all along.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

The maze of laws and regulations belched out by Congress and the Executive branch each year, and which I have overwhelmingly supported, have a deleterious impact on background checks, as they do with accomplishing anything in these United States.  Shazam!
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

Fall in line States or we will deprive you of Federal money.  Federalism, what’s that? Continue Reading

22

Piers Morgan on Domestic Thermonuclear War

 

 

Hattip to Jim Treacher.  CNN talking head Piers Morgan, desperately trying to hold on to any shreds of credibility after his shellacking by Ben Shapiro, emitted this email:

America has over 5000 nuclear warheads. Quite hard to defend against a ‘tyrannical U.S. government’ with that kind of firepower.

 

Where to begin?

First, it is unlikely that even the most mad US President would decide to use nukes to put down a rebellion in these United States.  Too many of his own supporters would be killed and the overall reaction would likely be for the rebellion to grow as a result of his action.

Second, a wide spread rebellion in the United States would likely have the sympathy of factions within the US military, if not their active support.  The order to nuke Americans might lead to an active revolt by the military.

Third, in the event of a widespread rebellion, the rebels would probably quickly have nukes of their own.  In the case of Obama, most ICBMs and tactical nukes are located on bases in Red states. Continue Reading

21

Laws Are For Our Enemies, Not Our Friends

The District of Columbia, one of the worst governed jurisdictions in the United States, has a law on the books, placed there for political purposes by the uber liberals who run it, banning “high-capacity” ammo clips, of the type waved around by NBC unpaid Obama press flack reporter David Gregory in the above clip.  He did it in DC.  No intent is needed for the criminal prosecution.  It is a strict liability offense.  For the past few weeks the question has been whether Gregory would be prosecuted.  Not a chance I thought, and I was proved correct when Irvin Nathan, the attorney general for DC, released a pompous letter yesterday explaining why Gregory would not be prosecuted  The letter runs to three turgid pages, but I won’t inflict all of that on you.  Instead, here is the money quote: Continue Reading

9

Molon Labe

 

 

“While Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the Great King’s army and demanded that the Greeks lay down their arms and submit to the might of Persia. Leonidas laconically told Xerxes, “Come and get them.(Molon labe).”

                              Plutarch, Leonidas

Vice President Joe Biden revealed that President Barack Obama might use an executive order to deal with guns.

“The president is going to act,” said Biden, giving some comments to the press before a meeting with victims of gun violence. “There are executives orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”

Biden said that this is a moral issue and that “it’s critically important that we act.”

You know, if we have domestic unrest during the second term of this administration, I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts from Joe Biden shooting off his mouth and giving us glaring insight into how Obama would proceed if he thought he could get away with it.  Obama has nothing but contempt for American liberties and Biden merely idiotically repeats what he has heard. Continue Reading

11

Justice Breyer, the Second Amendment and Federalist 46

Justice Stephen Breyer of the US Supreme Court has never been a fan of the Second Amendment.  On Fox News on Sunday he made an historical claim that I would like to analyze in this post.

Madison “was worried about opponents who would think Congress would call up state militias and nationalize them. ‘That can’t happen,’ said Madison,” said Breyer, adding that historians characterize Madison’s priority as, “I’ve got to get this document ratified.”

Therefore, Madison included the Second Amendment to appease the states, Breyer said.

I assume that the Justice is referring to Federalist 46 written by James Madison, and which may be read here.  (I apologize in advance to our resident blog expert on the Federalist papers Paul Zummo.  Paul, if you see any mistakes on my part in the following, please let me have it!)

The Justice is correct that many in the states were concerned that the proposed new federal government would have too much power, and Federalist 46 was written to help allay those concerns.

The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition.

Madison realized that this was a sensitive point.  The American Revolution had only ended five years before, and the attempt by Great Britain to rule through military force was a raw memory for all of his readers.  Madison tackles this fear head on by comparing the military force of a standing federal army to the militias of the states:

Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.

So far so good for Justice Breyer.  However, he misses completely the import of other things that Madison says in Federalist 46.

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Continue Reading

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Supreme Court Holds That the Second Amendment Applies to the States

In the case of McDonald v. the City of Chicago, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Second Amendment applies to the states.  Read the decision here.  The decision was 5-4 which is absolutely stunning since I think that there was no intellectually respectable argument to be made that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states.

The bill of rights applies to the States due to the Fourteenth Amendment.   In the opinions written by the majority justices, emphasis is given to the importance that the drafters of the Amendment placed upon the rights of freed slaves after the Civil War to keep and bear arms for their defense.  A good day for the Constitution at the Supreme Court.

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6

Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 16

In light of the fascinating discussion of personal and social sin kicked off most recently by Darwin here (make sure and read the comments) and followed up by Joe here, I thought it would be worth posting article 16 of John Paul the Great’s post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, entitled “Personal and Social Sin”. It’s obviously very pertinent, yet unless I missed it, no one has referenced it yet. The actual text is below the break. As the reader will note, one point relevant to the discussion here is that sin properly speaking is an act on the part of an individual person. Yet while social sin is such only in an analogous sense, JPII makes clear that it does describe something real. Now, on to the text.

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4

Another Day, Another Kmiec 180

Apparently Doug Kmiec’s change of heart last year was not limited to topics pro-life. As noted at the Volokh Conspiracy, he also reversed his position on the recent Heller decision, which overturned the DC handgun ban, in a span of about five months.

In February, Prof. Kmiec joined an amicus brief to the Court which argued “the [Second] Amendment secures to individuals a personal right to keep and bear arms and that the decision below correctly interpreted and applied the Amendment in this case.” When the Court affirmed the lower court decision overturning the ban as the amicus brief he joined suggested, Kmiec took to the pages of Slate to criticize the decision, arguing that the Heller majority misconstrued the Second Amendment, and their ruling had no basis in “Constitutional text, history, and precedent”. Here is Kmiec’s explanation for the switch as provided to the popular Volokh Conspiracy legal blog:

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