If you listen to Quinn & Rose, at the "Warroom", 104,7 FM, 6 - 9 AM, you will have heard the announcement requesting that a live donor donate a portion of their liver to save the life of Kim Stolfer. Kim Stolfer has unquestionably been the guiding force in advocating for and protecting Constitutional Second Amendment Rights for Pennsylvanians.
PLEASE read and forward the message below.
U.S. Marine, Activist and Patriot NEEDS YOUR Gift of Life…
Kim Stolfer is a USMC Combat Veteran and Crew Chief of the last Marine helicopter to leave
the American embassy in Saigon at the end of Vietnam War. He is also the Legislative Chairman
for the Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League, Chairman of Firearm Owners Against Crime,
Vice chairman of the PA Sportsmen’s Association and Vice President of Shooters Active in
Firearms Education. Kim is one of the author's of Pennsylvania's "Castle Doctrine"...ensuring
every Pennsylvanian's right to protect themselves in their homes or automobiles. He has also
authored pending legislation to strengthen the existing "Castle Doctrine" and pending Second
Amendment legislation regarding "Disparity of Force". Kim Stolfer has unquestionably been the
guiding force in advocating for and protecting Constitutional Second Amendment Rights for
Pennsylvanians. It is time to step up and give back.
Right now, Kim’s liver is failing and his health is deteriorating. Did you know that a living
healthy person can donate a portion of their liver to someone who needs a liver transplant?
Did you know...the donor's liver and the recipient's new piece of liver both actually grow back
and regenerate to about 95% of the donor liver's original size in about 10 weeks? Recuperation
time for both a live donor and the recipient is about 12 weeks. Dr. Ganesh and his Team of
Doctors at The Starzle Transplant Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in
Pittsburgh, PA will take time to explain everything in great detail and answer all of your
Kim's blood type is B- (negative). We have learned that ANY Donor (B) Type blood or ANY
Donor (O) Type blood could be a potential match for Kim Stolfer . It does not matter if the
donor is negative or positive...just as long as the donor BLOOD TYPE is (B) or (O).
Here are the basic requirements for a Live Liver Donor:
1. You can be a specific Directed Live Liver Donor Only to Kim Stolfer, if you wish.
2. You must be 18-55 years of age to be a donor.
3. You must have a blood type of (B) or (O) to be a donor to Kim Stolfer.
4. You must be in overall good health.
5. Your reasons for donation must be the unselfish desire to help Kim.
6. If you are considering donating to Kim...Discontinue use of all alcoholic beverages or beer now.
For the full details click here: http://www.upmc.com/Services/transplant/abdominaltransplants/
If you have type B or type O blood and you want to be considered to donate a portion of
your liver to save Kim's life...
Please call: Maureen (Clinical Transplant Coordinator at UPMC) at (412) 647-5512 .
For more than 25 years, Kim has dedicated his life to fighting for our freedom, both on the
battlefield and in the PA Legislature. NOW HE URGENTLY NEEDS YOUR HELP.
Liver for Kim Fund
First Niagara Bank
PO Box 326
Clinton, PA 15026................................................Contact: Paul Fedorka (412) 498-7247
2013 Pennsylvania State Envirothon
May 21 and 22, 2013
Juniata College, Huntingdon County
Hundreds of teachers and professionals throughout Pennsylvania guide high school students through this natural resource environmental education program that combines classroom learning and outdoor activities. This exposure to nature and seeing how humans impact the natural world provide invaluable lessons for understanding ecosystems and our environment.
At the Envirothon, teams of five high school students compete in field testing using their knowledge in five topic areas – Soils and Land Use, Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Wildlife, and Environmental Issues. A current environmental issue is chosen each year as the “hot topic” for the focus of this station as well as the oral presentation component.
Students are exposed to scientists and experts in the fields of environmental science and ecology who will coach and guide their learning experience. Teams will first compete in a county Envirothon, with winners advancing to the state contest where over $10,000 in scholarships and prizes are awarded. State winners earn the chance to compete at the North American Envirothon, North America’s largest high school natural resource education competition, and a chance to win scholarships and North American products.
Pennsylvania Envirothon is a 501 (c) 3 Non-profit Organization and a member of North American Envirothon. Pennsylvania is made possible by a host of generous sponsors and partners.
Why Participate in the Envirothon?
Because it is…
Educational! You will learn about a broad range of environmental topics and compete using your knowledge in five key areas.
Exciting! The competitive format generates excitement and helps to develop your skills in teamwork, oral presentation, and problem-solving. Your participation will give you tools to become a future leader in helping citizens make informed decisions about how to live in balance with the natural world that surrounds us.
Fun! Much of the learning takes place through outdoor, hands-on activities from stream hikes to nature centers. Throughout the competitions, you will meet students from other schools and other parts of the country.
Source: PA Department of Agriculture
United Nations Adopts Arms Trade Treaty
NRA Encourages United States Senate to Defend Second Amendment
The United Nations, with the support of the United States of America, voted in the General Assembly to adopt an Arms Trade Treaty.
“This treaty disregards the Second Amendment to our Constitution and threatens individual firearm ownership with an invasive registration scheme,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “It is a sad, yet telling, day when the President of the United States and his administration refuse to defend America's Constitution on the world stage.”
With a passing yet non-binding acknowledgement of individual rights in the preamble, the treaty itself threatens civilian firearm ownership. The NRA has always maintained that any Arms Trade Treaty must respect the Second Amendment right of individual self-defense. This can only be accomplished by expressly excluding civilian firearms ownership from its scope, which this treaty fails to do.
Notably, the ATT includes "small arms and light weapons" among its terms, which cover firearms owned by law-abiding citizens. Further, the treaty’s text urges recordkeeping of end users, directing importing countries to provide information to an exporting country regarding arms transfers, including “end use or end user documentation” for a “minimum of ten years.” Each state is to “take measures, pursuant to its national laws, to regulate brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms.” Data kept on the end users of imported firearms would result in a registry of law-abiding firearms owners in this country, which based on the language of this treaty, could be available to foreign governments.
President Obama’s administration has supported the adoption of this treaty, and the administration is expecting to sign it, despite clear bipartisan opposition in the U.S. Senate. On March 23, the Senate adopted an amendment to its FY 2014 Budget Resolution offered by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) that establishes a deficit-neutral fund for “the purpose of preventing the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.” This effort is in addition to the campaign led by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) to pass concurrent resolutions opposing the treaty.
“We thank Senator Moran, Senator Inhofe, and Representative Kelly for leading the effort to reject ratification of this misguided treaty,” concluded Cox.
Source: National Rifle Association
Firearm Safety in America 2013
The number of privately owned guns in the U.S. is at an all-time high, upwards of 300 million, and now rises by about 10 million per year.1 Meanwhile, the firearm accident death rate has fallen to an all-time low, 0.2 per 100,000 population, down 94% since the all-time high in 1904.2 Since 1930, the annual number of firearm accident deaths has decreased 81%, while the U.S. population has more than doubled and the number of firearms has quintupled. Among children, such deaths have decreased 89% since 1975. Today, the odds are more than a million to one, against a child in the U.S. dying in a firearm accident.
Firearms are involved in 0.5% of accidental deaths nationally, compared to motor vehicles (29%), poisoning (27%), falls (21%), suffocation (5%), drowning (3%), fires (2%), medical mistakes (1.7%), environmental factors (1.3%), and pedal cycles (0.6%). Among children: motor vehicles (34%), suffocation (27%), drowning (17%), fires (7%), environmental factors (2.3%), poisoning (2.2%), falls (1.5%), firearm (1.5), pedal cycles (1.4%), and medical mistakes (1.3%).
Education decreases accidents. Voluntary training has decreased firearms accidents. NRA firearm safety programs are conducted by more than 93,000 NRA Certified Instructors nationwide. Youngsters learn firearm safety in NRA programs offered through civic groups such as the Boy Scouts, Jaycees, and American Legion, and schools.3 NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe program teaches children pre-K through 3rd grade that if they see a gun without supervision, they should “STOP! Don’t Touch. Leave The Area. Tell An Adult.” Since 1988, Eddie has been used by 26,000 schools, civic groups, and law enforcement agencies to reach more than 26 million children.4
The “cars and guns” myth. In the 1990s, gun control supporters claimed that driver licensing and vehicle registration caused motor vehicle accident deaths to decline between 1968 and 1991, and that gun registration and gun owner licensing would reduce gun accidents. However, vehicle registration and driver licensing laws were not imposed to reduce accidents, and did not do so. Most were imposed between the world wars, but motor vehicle accident deaths increased sharply after 1930 and didn’t begin declining until 1970. Also, between 1968 and 1991 the motor vehicle accident death rate dropped only 37% with vehicle registration and driver licensing, while the firearm accident death rate dropped 50% without registration and licensing. Gun control supporters want registration and licensing only to acquire records necessary to make confiscation of privately owned firearms achievable in the future. Handgun Control, Inc. (since renamed Brady Campaign) once said that registration was the second step in the group’s three-step plan for the confiscation of all handguns.5
Also, the purchase and ownership of arms is a right protected by the federal and most state constitutions,6 whereas driving a car on public roads is a privilege. A license and registration are not required to merely own a vehicle or operate it on private property, only to do so on public roads. Similarly, a license and permit are not typically required to buy or own a gun, or to keep a gun at home, but are usually required when hunting or carrying a gun for protection in public places.
Gun control supporters’ “children and teens” deception: In the 1990s and the early part of the 21st century, gun control supporters claimed that firearms (homicides, suicides, and accidents combined) took the lives of a dozen or more “children” daily. To get that figure, they added the number among children (then about 1.7 per day) to the much larger numbers among juveniles (about four per day) and teenage adults (about nine per day), and calling the total “children.”7 Having been called on the deception, gun control supporters now cite a single number for “children and teens,” adding the number for juveniles and teenage adults (now about 10 per day) to the number for children (about one per day).
The CAP law myth: Also in the 1990s, “gun control” supporters pointed to a study (produced by the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, a group active in the HELP Network) claiming that so-called “Child Access Prevention” (CAP) laws (which make it a crime, under some circumstances, to leave a gun accessible to a child who obtains and misuses it), imposed in 12 states between 1989-1993, decreased firearm accident deaths among children.8 Its flaws: Firearm accident deaths among children began declining in the mid-1970s, not in 1989, when “CAP” laws were first imposed. Also, such accidents had decreased nationwide, not only in “CAP” states. And it failed to note that also in 1989, NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program was introduced nationwide.
1. See BATFE, “Annual Firearm Manufacturers and Export Reports” (www.atf.gov/statistics).
2. Statistics from 1981 forward are available from the National Center for Health Statistics’ “Wisqars” website.
Those prior to 1981 are available from the National Safety Council (www.nsc.org/).
3. For more on NRA training programs, visit www.nrahq.org/ (click “Education and Training”) or call 703-267-1500.
4. For more on the Eddie Eagle program, visit www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/ or call 800-231-0752.
5. Pete Shields, quoted in The New Yorker, “A Reporter At Large: Handguns,” July 26, 1976.
6. See Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). (www.nraila.org/media/PDFs/HellerOpinion.pdf)
7. NRA-ILA “Not 12 Per Day” fact sheet, www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=21 .
8. Journal of the American Medical Association, Oct. 1, 1997.
Source: NRA / ILA
Grove and Metcalfe Roll Out Welcome Mat to Gun Manufacturers: ‘We Are Passionate About
Defending the Second Amendment in PA’
State Representatives Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) and Seth Grove (R-York) announced today that they are reaching out to encourage several leading out-of-state firearms and weapons components manufacturers, including Beretta, Magpul and Remington, to relocate their facilities and bring hundreds of jobs to Pennsylvania.
“With America’s single largest per capita representation of National Rifle Association members and more than one million licensed hunters and anglers contributing billions of dollars annually into our state and local economies, Pennsylvania is a natural fit for any of our nation’s major producers of guns, ammunition or accessories that are currently looking for a new home due to the imposition of senseless, gun-grabbing legislation by their state or local governments,” said Metcalfe, who is the prime sponsor of the Right to Bear Arms Protection Act (House Bill 357).
Final enactment of House Bill 357 would make any new federal gun control laws unenforceable within the Commonwealth.
“Pennsylvania is known all over the country for clinging to its guns, and it’s time that we use this reputation to our advantage,” Grove added. “By enticing these three companies to Pennsylvania, we are sending a clear message that we welcome their industry, and we also welcome the hundreds of jobs and multi-million dollar economic impact this would bring to the Commonwealth.”
In February, news reports indicated Maryland gun manufacturer Beretta had begun considering a relocation of its headquarters – and its 300 jobs – to a state where its product hasn’t been made illegal. Its principal location is in Prince Georges County, Maryland, and the Maryland state legislature is advancing a ban on assault weapons. Beretta has a history of relocating operations, as evidenced by moving a significant facility to Virginia after Maryland’s previous attempt to restrict the Second Amendment.
“Recent reports have indicated that gun manufacturers are disappointed with the actions of the federal government and several state governments which want to enact legislation undermining the firearms industry,” Grove said. “We wholeheartedly believe in defending our Second Amendment rights, and if other states are looking to legislate an industry out of existence, then we should capitalize on this opportunity to deliver to our constituents good, family-sustaining jobs.”
Metcalfe and Grove are also interested in attracting Magpul, a manufacturer of weapons components and high-capacity ammunition magazines, from its headquarters in Colorado, and Remington Arms Company, a New York-based gun and ammunition manufacturer.
Magpul has threatened to leave Colorado if the state bans individuals from owning magazines with more than 15 rounds. Magpul employs 200 people directly and works primarily with contractors in the state where it is located. Currently operating a manufacturing plant with more than 1,000 employees about 90 miles west of Albany, Remington may also decide to leave the Empire State in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing into law a regulatory package that he called the “toughest gun control laws in the nation” on Jan. 15.
“In Pennsylvania, we are passionate about upholding Article 1, Section 21 of our state constitution which declares in no uncertain terms, ‘The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned,’” said Metcalfe. “This has been the case since 1776 when Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to adopt a formal guarantee of our God-given right to keep and bear arms and this foundational heritage of individual liberty and freedom will only continue to expand with final passage of House Bill 357.”
Metcalfe and Grove are also calling on all Pennsylvania citizens who support Constitutional liberty to attend Pennsylvania’s annual Second Amendment Action Day on Tuesday, April 23, beginning at 10 a.m. in the State Capitol Rotunda, and to sign the all-new Armed Pennsylvania: Say to No Gun Control petition by visiting RepMetcalfe.com.
Source: State Representative Daryl Metcalfe
Is Government Readying For A Shooting War Against Gun Owners?
Gun grabbing lawmakers at both the State and Federal level continue to push forward with their anti-American, anti-2nd Amendment, anti-gun agendas, even as more individuals, State legislatures and manufacturers of weapons, weapons accessories and ammunition push back. It almost seems as if the elected class is itching for a fight.
And when one considers that the Department of Homeland Security has contracted for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition — much of it hollow points or for use in sniper rifles — for its 55,000 armed agents, plus 2,717 armored personnel carriers and 7,000 select fire “personal defense weapons,” it seems even more apparent that’s the goal. For perspective, 1.6 billion rounds is enough to fight the Iraq war for 20 years. It’s enough to shoot every American five times. It’s 28,000 tons, or the equivalent of three guided missile destroyers. It’s almost 30,000 target practice rounds per armed agent — but of course, because they are more expensive, hollow points are not used for target practice.
These purchases have long concerned many of those who pay attention. But only the alternative media talked about it — to derision and catcalls — until Feb. 15. That’s when The Denver Post ran an article by The Associated Press about the purchases. That prompted a column by Ralph Benko at Forbes.com in which he said it’s time for a national conversation about the purchases.
More than that, it’s time for a national conversation on the link between the purchases and the ongoing push by the elected class to collapse the economy and pass legislation against the will of the people.
Recall that Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), speaking for the state, informed us that, “One of the definitions of a nation state is that the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence. And the state ought to have a monopoly on legitimate violence.”
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday on a partisan 10-8 vote. The bill’s primary sponsor, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) — who has said she’d like to see all guns removed from the hands of Americans — knows “the road is uphill” for the legislation’s passage. If that’s the case, then why pass it if not just to poke in the eye a significant portion of the American population already upset over the anti-gun rhetoric and attacks on lawful gun owners by the gun grabbers?
But while the ban on so-called “assault weapons” is more than likely to fail, it’s not unlikely that Republicans who want to go along to get along will glom on to legislation requiring universal background checks, which passed out of the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Universal background checks are the camel’s nose under the tent. As former Attorney General Janet Reno said in 1993 during discussions of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (AWB): “Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal.” Remember that the elites are content with incremental steps that I call gradualism.
Remember also that gun control is not a partisan issue, although it appears so now and conventional wisdom says so. Prominent Republicans (including much of the field for the last GOP Presidential nomination), in a bid to appear “reasonable” to the establishment crowd, have supported various measures that restricted gun ownership. The last GOP standard-bearer, Mitt Romney, said he would have signed the 1994 AWB if it came to his desk. If he were President today, a gun bill would be more than likely to pass because he would provide cover for statist Republicans to go along with a gun ban — as George W. Bush provided cover for Republicans to support anti-liberty measures like expanding Medicare and passing No Child Left Behind and other government-growing legislation.
President Richard Nixon, in a taped conversation with aides, said: “I don’t know why any individual should have a right to have a revolver in his house. The kids usually kill themselves with it and so forth.” He asked why “can’t we go after handguns, period? I know the rifle association will be against it, the gun makers will be against it.” But “people should not have handguns.”
Even more insidious — and likely more harmful to gun rights — are the States that are passing anti-gun measures against the will of the people. New York rammed through legislation banning weapons and large-capacity magazines, violating its own procedures in the process. Since then, 52 of New York’s 62 counties have introduced legislation calling for the repeal of the New York State Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. The legislation has passed in 40 of them. Colorado has passed bans on magazine capacity, and a bill that would require background checks is close to passage. Governor John Hickenlooper has said he will sign the bills despite threats by gun supply manufacturers to pull out of the State if he does.
Sheriffs, other law enforcement agents, some groups and many individuals are vowing to resist gun-confiscation efforts. Twenty-eight States have introduced or passed bills to preserve the 2nd Amendment. Fourteen have introduced or passed Firearms Freedom Acts.
Manufacturers of guns, gun accessories and ammunition have put their financial health on the line by refusing to sell to State and local governments that pass restrictions on gun ownership by individuals. That list is at 136 and growing.
And the Outdoor Channel, a popular cable channel for outdoors enthusiasts, hunters, fishermen and shooters, has told Colorado it will pull its production out of Colorado if gun control measures are signed into law.
If gun grabbers thought the Sandy Hook shooting would cause Americans to stand passively by and allow their 2nd Amendment rights to be snatched away, they have learned differently. The question now is: How far is government willing to go now that it’s getting push back?
President John F. Kennedy once said, “Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life.”
It appears those people are stepping up.
Source:by Bob Livingston
If this bill passes all who have or want to get a concealed carry permit will be required to have a $1,000,000.00 insurance policy.
Please click on the link HB 521 and read, then write, call or email your legislators.
The link below, courtesy of the NRA, will enable you to find your representatives.
SAF DEFENDS WOMEN’S RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENSE AT UNITED NATIONS
The Second Amendment Foundation defended the right of women to defend themselves with firearms during testimony at the United Nations regarding the proposed Arms Trade Treaty.
Speaking for SAF was Julianne Versnel, who was also representing the American Conservative Union. She told the world body that “the right to life must be given real meaning” and that “A right to life must include the fundamental right to defend that life.”
“The right of self-defense is particularly important to women,” Versnel stated. “As women, we have a right to protect our bodies and to protect ourselves against assault and rape. No one questions that violence against women is endemic.”
There are genuine concerns that any international gun control treaty would ultimately strip individual firearms rights from people all over the world.
“Most of the delegates here know that in the U.S. there is extensive firearms ownership,” Versnel testified. “What they do not know is that almost half of the handguns in the US are owned by women. They are used daily for self-defense. I fully endorse, as should every person in this room, the idea that women must have the means to defend themselves. Nothing that is in an Arms Trade Treaty should affect a woman's right to defend herself.”
She reminded the panel that former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a staunch supporter of the United Nations and the first U.S. ambassador to the organization, also carried a handgun for personal protection while working in the South on civil rights issues.
“Eleanor Roosevelt was known and revered for her beliefs in woman's rights—including the right to defend oneself with a firearm if necessary,” Versnel stated. “Mrs. Roosevelt practiced what she preached. In 1958 Mrs. Roosevelt drove though the American South by herself. The Klu Klux Klan had put a $25,000 bounty on her head and the Secret Service told her not to go. She went anyway and on the seat of the car was her own .38 caliber revolver.
“We can learn from Mrs. Roosevelt,” she concluded. “No one supported the U.N. more than she did, but at the same time she insisted on her right, as a woman and as a person to have the means to defend herself.”
Source: The Second Amendment Foundation
Obama Administration Leads The Way In U.N. Approval Of Global Small Arms Treaty
The National Rifle Association (NRA) and other organizations advocating for the 2nd Amendment are opposing President Barack Obama’s formal endorsement of a treaty limiting the sale of small arms among members of the United Nations.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) strongly condemned an eleventh-hour change in the Obama Administration’s standing caveat — one that Obama’s predecessors also held — that the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty should not be brought to a General Assembly vote until it had the consensus support of all member nations.
That condemnation came after an unnamed representative of the President’s position told reporters Tuesday that the President now believed the U.N. should vote on the treaty regardless of whether all member nations were in agreement on whether a vote should even take place:
It’s important to the United States and the defense of our interests to insist on consensus. But every state in this process has always been conscious of the fact that if consensus is not reached in this process, that there are other ways to adopt this treaty, including via a vote of the General Assembly.
The spokesman also revealed that, if a vote is held, the United States will vote in favor of such a treaty before the General Assembly – whether there’s full international consensus or not.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened later on Tuesday, with the U.N. voting overwhelmingly in favor of the Arms Trade Treaty.
In leading American support for the treaty’s approval, the President ignored outright a 53-46 Senate vote last month that specifically blocks the United States from signing the treaty.
While that measure now appears nothing more than an academic exercise, the Senate still holds ratification power over the United States’ participation in the treaty. Two-thirds of the Senate must now approve the U.N. vote, which is highly unlikely.
The NSSF’s Lawrence Keane blasted the Obama Administration’s reversal that led to Tuesday’s vote, saying it reveals the President’s ulterior desire to place global handshakes above the U.S. Constitution at the precise moment when the Senate is set to wage a largely partisan fight over Federal gun control here at home:
This abrupt about-face on the long-standing United States requirement for “consensus” illustrates that the Obama Administration wants a sweeping U.N. arms control treaty. We are troubled by the timing of the Obama Administration’s decision to abandon consensus on the eve of the Senate debate on pending gun-control measures. The United Nations treaty would have a broad impact on the U.S. firearms industry and its base of consumers in the U.S.
We hope that the Members of the U.S. Senate are closely watching the White House abandon its principles and promises in the rush to ramrod this flawed treaty into effect. Not only will they later be asked to ratify this attack on our constitution and sovereignty, but they will also be lavished with new promises from the administration in its drive to push a broad gun control agenda through the U.S. Senate when it returns from recess. They would be right to question those promises strongly.
Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, celebrated the treaty’s approval before the U.N., pledging the treaty won’t create a slippery slope toward a future in which global policy votes supplant Americans’ Constitutional freedoms:
[The Treaty is] a strong, effective and implementable Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that can strengthen global security while protecting the sovereign right of states to conduct legitimate arms trade.
Nothing in this treaty could ever infringe on the rights of American citizens under our domestic law or the Constitution, including the Second Amendment.
The NRA and NSSF strongly dispute that argument, saying the treaty does cover the civilian firearms market in the United States, and that it will have negative effects on the import of foreign-made firearms presently sold on the U.S. consumer market. They also argue that language in the treaty referring to the “transit” of firearms is so broad it can be applied to anything from mass shipments of weapons to a single person who carries a hunting gun on a trip abroad.
Source: by Ben Bullard
March is License Your Dog month in Pa.
Is your dog licensed?
State law requires that all dogs 3 months or older be licensed by Jan. 1 each year.
You can read about the law on the Department of Agriculture’s website.
To encourage dog licensing, the Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a poster contest.
Students in first through sixth grades can submit posters, and the winning poster will be featured on the 2014 Dog Law Enforcement Office Coloring Book! The entry deadline for the contest is April 30.
To purchase a license, visit the city or county website links listed below. You may purchase an annual license or a lifetime license, and discounts are available if the animal is spayed or neutered. Discounts also are offered to dog owners who are older adults or people with disabilities.
Pittsburgh city residents must get their licenses directly from the city. The city’s website has all the forms and information.
All other Allegheny County residents must go through the county treasurer’s office. You may apply online, but there will be an extra fee added to the cost for the online application.
License fees support the Dog Law Enforcement Office in protecting the safety, health and welfare of dogs.
Your dog can also benefit directly from the license. If it gets lost, the license will help track you down, so your dog can be returned home!
Should you have any questions or comments on this or any state-related issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Source: Rep. Harry A. Readshaw
CCRKBA BLASTS PARTY-LINE PASSAGE OF FEINSTEIN GUN BAN MEASURE
Thursday’s strict party-line vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee to move anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s measure banning so-called “assault weapons” was an insult to millions of law-abiding American citizens who own such firearms and have harmed nobody, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.
“Instead of banning the most popular firearm in the country,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “we need to ban politicians who assault our rights. We are appalled and disappointed that Sen. Feinstein and her cronies have advanced this measure, which demonizes firearms that are used thousands of times each year to protect lives and property from criminal attack.”
Gottlieb noted that FBI crime data says that rifles of any kind are used in only a fraction of violent crimes annually, “yet Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have allowed this legislative travesty to move forward.”
“Demonizing certain firearms, and by default the people who own them, has become a scapegoat strategy by politicians who have allowed a broken justice system to release violent offenders back on the street while disarming their potential victims,” Gottlieb said. “By focusing their energy on disarming law-abiding citizens, politicians like Sen. Feinstein are perpetuating a myth that firearms cause crime. That’s as foolish as believing that cars cause drunk driving.”
Sen. Feinstein acknowledged that her legislation faces an uphill battle when it reaches the full Senate.
“We will encourage our members to contact their senators about this legislation,” Gottlieb said. “Public policy and constitutional rights should not be subject to the whims of gun prohibitionists who are quick to exploit the crimes committed by a few crazy people, in order to advance their agenda of public disarmament.”
With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at www.ccrkba.org or by email to InformationRequest@ccrkba.org.
Source: Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
DEP Turns on New High-Definition Falcon Cam in Time for Mating Season
The Department of Environmental Protection today launched its annual live, 24-hour webcast of a nesting pair of peregrine falcons who live on a ledge on the Market Street side of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg.
For the first time, three high-definition cameras will chronicle the falcons’ activities while streaming the footage live on the internet to viewers around the world.
“The falcon cam has become synonymous with the Rachel Carson State Office Building and our agency,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “We are delighted to host these unique birds of prey and look forward to presenting them in a way that more vividly shows their daily activities.”
The new high-definition (HD) cameras include a personal-computer-operated zoom and pan and light/color balance capabilities. This new technology creates a crisper, more detailed image that enhances wildlife viewing opportunities. Around the time the first egg is laid, an additional HD camera will be set up for an intimate view into the nest.
In recent weeks, another male peregrine has challenged the resident male, who has been at the ledge since 2005. Despite that, the resident male has defended the ledge and started mating with the resident female, who has been at the ledge since 2012. Breeding activity typically takes place this time of year, so territorial battles can be fierce.
“The popularity of the streaming video has made the falcon page one of DEP’s most visited webpages,” DEP Environmental Education Director Jack Farster said. “By watching the young peregrines grow and develop, we can appreciate how our actions can have a direct and positive impact on endangered wildlife and their habitats.”
In the 13 years falcons have been nesting at the building, the nest has produced 48 eggs and 40 hatchlings. Of these, 29 falcons survived—13 males and 16 females. The gender of one of the nestlings who hatched in 2008 could not be determined. That bird was the runt of the clutch, or set of offspring.
Last year, the female falcon laid a clutch of four eggs and only one hatched. The first egg of the 2013 breeding season should be laid the first week in March. The eggs should begin to hatch around mid-May and the young falcons, also called eyases, will begin to take their first flights, or fledge, in mid-June.
While their numbers are increasing, the Pennsylvania Game Commission still lists peregrine falcons as an endangered species at the state level. Nationally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the bird from its list of endangered and threatened species in 1999.
The birds’ population in Pennsylvania has increased since the early 1990s as a direct result of conservation efforts like this one. According to the Game Commission, there are now 32 pairs of peregrine falcons nesting at various locations across the state.
For more information, to sign up to receive the Falcon Wire e-newsletter or to watch the falcons live, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on the Falcon Cam button on the homepage.
Source: PA Department of Environmental Protection
Pennsylvania County Latest Local Government To Tell Feds ‘Don’t Touch Our Guns’
The three-member, bipartisan County Commission of Susquehanna County, Pa., passed a resolution last week to abrogate any future “Federal act, bill, law, rule or executive order that in any way infringes on our Second Amendment rights by attempting to reduce the private ownership of any firearm, magazine or ammunition,” according to a Times-Tribune report.
Commissioners said the measure was intended to send a message that any potential Federal gun ban or restrictions being pushed by the Administration of President Barack Obama won’t be taken as law in their county.
“The Constitution is in place to protect us from the government,” said Republican County Commissioner Michael Giangrieco, who proposed the resolution after neighboring New York passed unConstitutional gun control legislation. “They’ve got it backwards.”
As in other instances, such ceremonial resolutions lack legal teeth. But the Susquehanna County Commission’s vote is just the latest gesture upholding citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights, adding another link to the growing chain of similar acts by local governments across the Nation.
Some States are also getting in on the game, taking up legislation this year that, if passed, will essentially reaffirm powers already enumerated in the 2nd Amendment.
In areas where unrestricted gun ownership enjoys avid support, such moves certainly serve the self-interest of politicians. The recent cavalcade of gun-rights resolutions are easy political scores for State legislators and local elected officials where gun owners dominate the political culture.
Then again, what else would constituents ask of their leaders but for their interests to be mirrored in those whom they’ve elected and their rights represented fairly?
And, while the passing of so many laws and resolutions — as well as defiant pre-emptive strikes from other local officials — may be legally redundant, it does send a signal that there are plenty of individuals throughout the Nation ready to stand in defense of the liberties guaranteed them by the Bill of Rights, even if the threat carries the force of a State or Federal law.
Source:by Ben Bullard
Senate Judiciary Committee Begins Consideration of Feinstein's "Assault Weapons" Bill
On March 7, the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), began consideration of several bills, including anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein's S. 150--the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013."
The controversial bill has already been met with much resistance. During debate on the bill, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) pointed out that "Congress and President Clinton tried a so-called assault weapons ban 19 years ago and we have the benefit of hindsight as well as some research to examine the lackluster results of that decade-long experiment. According to the Department of Justice's own study it was completely ineffectual in reducing murder or violent crime rates."
Cornyn continued, "So, are we really going to pass another law that will have zero effect, and pat ourselves on the back and say 'We've accomplished something wonderful?' Well, we tried this experiment once and it failed, and I think it promotes symbolism over seriousness to repeat that mistake."
Sen. Cornyn also offered an amendment to exempt all U.S. military personnel and veterans from Feinstein's proposed ban, but the measure was rejected by a 9-9 party-line vote. During this portion of debate, Feinstein argued that a military veteran could be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (which she bizarrely claimed was a "new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq war"), and suggested that they should therefore be prevented from buying or "having a weapon like this."
Feinstein, herself, was quoted as saying, "I've been very concerned because the calls have been coming in as if this is some kind of wild eyed scheme." We couldn't agree more.
The committee recessed in the midst of debating the bill and will resume markup of the bill next Thursday, March 14.
Please continue to contact your Senators and tell them to oppose S. 150--the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013." To identify and contact your legislators in Washington, D.C., you can use the "Write Your Reps" feature at www.NRAILA.org, or you can reach your member of Congress by phone at 202-224-3121.
Source: NRA / ILA
OBAMA MISSES TARGET DELIBERATELY
WITH ANTI-GUN AGENDA, SAYS CCRKBA
President Barack Obama has deliberately missed the target with his proposed gun control scheme, announced today at the White House, because it is now clear he wants to blame law-abiding gun owners for the actions of criminals and madmen, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.
“Suddenly Mr. Obama wants to get more criminal and mental health records into the NICS background check data base and get a permanent director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,” observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Where has he been for the last four years?”
Gottlieb noted that these proposals have been suggested in the past and supported by the firearms community, but they have repeatedly fallen on deaf ears. But now, as he exploits the Sandy Hook school tragedy, these items are high on his anti-gun agenda.
“Perhaps he was too busy during his first term, while his administration was running thousands of assault rifles, millions of rounds of ammunition and countless high capacity magazines to violent criminals and drug cartel thugs through his administration’s Fast & Furious program,” Gottlieb observed. “Now he wants to take away our Second Amendment rights when he and his friends have put more assault weapons in the wrong hands than all of organized crime?
“These firearms have been used not only to kill a Border Patrol agent, but also hundreds of people including women and children,” he added. “This policy has resulted in more deaths and carnage than all the mass shootings in the United States in last ten years.
“The measures being proposed by the president will not prevent a repeat of the Sandy Hook tragedy, and he knows it,” Gottlieb continued. “The initials ‘B. O.’ stand for more than Barack Obama. They stand for the bad odor of his blame game.”
Source: Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
SAF SAYS FOES OF SELF-DEFENSE SHOULD GIVE UP THEIR GUNS, GUARDS FIRST
The Second Amendment Foundation challenged the nation's leading opponents of gun ownership to "lead by example" and give up their own firearms and armed security before expecting the citizens, for whom they work, to surrender their ability to defend themselves.
"It seems clear from the direction the administration is going that it wants to severely restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners to purchase the firearms of their choice, "said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, "and we think they should demonstrate their belief in their own programs by giving up their firearms and security first.
"That would include Joe Biden's shotguns," he added, "and the armed security now enjoyed by Senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.
"It would especially apply to President Obama," he continued, "who just signed legislation giving himself Secret Service protection for life, at the expense of taxpayers he wants to disarm."
Gottlieb said the same principle should apply to anti-gun celebrities who have bodyguards while supporting legislation that would deprive average citizens from owning firearms for personal protection.
"For example," he noted, "when I appeared with CNN's Piers Morgan recently, he asserted that nobody needs an AR-15. The other day near Houston, a Texas teenager used an AR-15 to defend himself and his 12-year-old sister from a home invasion by shooting two burglars. Piers can choke on that."
Gottlieb believes that public figures have no right to suggest gun bans for private citizens unless they first voluntarily give up their personal security.
"These anti-gun politicians were not elected to positions of royalty," Gottlieb said. "They are citizens, with no more rights than any other citizen. They were elected to serve the public, not treat the public like serfs. If they want us to put our safety at risk, they should drop the pretense and give up their guns and guards before daring to suggest that anyone else do the same."
Source: Second Amendment Foundation
Feinstein Holds Hearings on Gun and Magazine Ban
On Wednesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has been advocating banning one sort of gun or another for over 30 years, held Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on her new gun and magazine ban legislation, S. 150, the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013."
Among those testifying in support of the bill were John Walsh, the U.S. Attorney for Colorado, representing the Obama Department of Justice, Milwaukee police chief Edward Flynn, and Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter. Testifying against the bill were former U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Fla.), Fordham University law professor and longtime Second Amendment scholar Nicholas Johnson, and attorney and constitutional scholar David Hardy.
Feinstein insisted on holding her own hearings because hearings held a month ago by Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) didn't produce enough support for her bill. In the earlier hearings, NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, University of Denver law professor David Kopel, and attorney Gayle Trotter spoke against banning "assault weapons" and magazines that hold 11 or more rounds, and also against criminalizing private sales, gifts and trades of firearms. Sen. Feinstein and most of her supporters at this hearing demonstrated ignorance, hypocrisy, and bad behavior from start to finish, and never offered evidence to support the restrictions they advocated.
Incredibly, Sen. Feinstein began the hearings with a video showing an after-market device that helps a person pull a semi-automatic rifle trigger faster, citing the existence of the contraption as a reason to ban the rifles themselves. That would be akin to banning automobiles because someone might soup them up to make them go faster. Tellingly, Feinstein proposes to ban the guns themselves, as well as the device.
After Walsh and Flynn advocated the gun and magazine bans, and "universal" background checks, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked both of them if they knew how many murders are committed with rifles of any type, and how many prosecutions they had undertaken of criminals who failed background checks when illegally trying to buy guns from dealers.
Easy questions, one would think, but Walsh fumbled his answers like a third-string running back playing his first game of the season in an ice storm, saying that he didn't know for sure about rifle murders and that his prosecutions had numbered zero.
Flynn then interrupted Sen. Graham to say that prosecuting criminals who illegally try to buy guns was irrelevant. The chief's attempts to cut Sen. Graham off were so disrespectful that Sen. Feinstein herself intervened, banging the gavel and insisting on civility during the proceedings. By stark contrast, Sen. Graham did the people of South Carolina proud, by distinguishing himself with truly remarkable restraint. And for the record, Sen. Graham noted, rifles of any type are used in only about 2.5 percent of murders, half the percentage accounted for by murders with bare hands.
Prosecutor Walsh may not have had much to say about prosecutions, but he had quite a bit to say about banning guns, and it didn't help Feinstein's cause. Asked by the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), whether S. 150 would be constitutional, Walsh said that it would be constitutional only if the guns that are banned are not common, are "dangerous and unusual," and are not relevant to the right of self-defense. Of course, the firearms that would be banned by S. 150 are common, and are not "dangerous and unusual" in the sense in which that term has been used historically in the law. And it should go without saying that magazines that hold 11 or more rounds and firearms designed to use them are certainly relevant to self-defense.
Walsh had even more to say about banning guns when Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) asked him to explain what makes a gun an "assault weapon." According to Walsh, any rifle that has a "very high" rate of fire and that uses a "very high-capacity" magazine is an "assault weapon." Assuming that Walsh thinks semi-automatic rifles have "very high" rates of fire, and that any magazine that holds 11 or more rounds is "very high-capacity," his description might fit with S. 150's ban on detachable magazine semi-automatic rifles that have any "characteristic that can function as a grip"--in other words, all of them. It wouldn't, however, explain S. 150's proposed ban on almost every semi-automatic shotgun, some handguns, and various fixed-magazine rifles.
Sen. Cornyn expressed doubt that S. 150 would reduce crime, for at least two reasons. First, as he pointed out, the congressionally mandated study of Feinstein's 1994 ban determined that "The evidence is not strong enough for us to conclude that there was any meaningful effect [of the ban on crime]; i.e., that the effect was different from zero." Second, he noted that "out of 76,000 denied background checks, the FBI referred to the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco, Firearms, a verdict or plea was reached in 13 cases," a track record he described as "abysmal."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) disputed Walsh's claim that Feinstein's 1994 ban had not been sufficiently evaluated--a claim that put Walsh at odds with Feinstein, who claims that studies show that the 1994 ban reduced crime. Sen. Cruz said, "The Department of Justice has funded at least three studies, on whether that bill had any positive effect. In 1999, the DOJ had concluded that the Assault Weapons Ban, quote, 'Failed to reduce the average number of victims-per-gun incident, or multiple gunshot wound victims.' In 2004, the [National] Institute for Justice concluded that the Assault Weapons Ban produced, quote, 'No discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.' And then, in 1997, the [congressionally mandated study by the Urban Institute] likewise concluded that there was no evidence to say any meaningful effect different from zero.' Are you aware of any empirical data to the contrary? We have three studies concluded from the Department of Justice that the prior ban had no effect."
Smart enough to realize that he had been cornered, Walsh simply contradicted the clear evidence, claiming "there's certainly enough evidence that assault weapons are used disproportionately in attacks with multiple victims and victims with multiple wounds." In fact, however, the Urban Institute study stated just the opposite--that under the ban, researchers "were unable to detect any reduction to date in two types of gun murders that are thought to be closely associated with assault weapons, those with multiple victims in a single incident and those producing multiple bullet wounds per victim."
Prof. Johnson explained in considerable detail why S. 150's definitions of "assault weapon" are "unsustainable under the lowest level of constitutional review [and] fail even to meet the rudimentary, rational basis requirement." Attorney David Hardy focused on explaining the difference between fully automatic rifles used by the military and semi-automatic rifles that S. 150 would ban, explained that rifles like the AR-15 are not particularly powerful, and showed how S. 150 would ban guns that are functionally identical to guns that would not be banned.
Former Rep. Adams summarized the findings of the congressionally mandated study of Feinstein's 1994 ban, saying that "the banned weapons, and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders" and summarized a follow up study's conclusions, saying that "assault weapons were used in a particularly small percentage of gun crimes, and that assailants fired less than four shots on average, a number well within the 10 round magazine limit imposed by the ban." She also cited the success of measures she had sponsored in the Florida Legislature to prevent the purchase of firearms by those whose mental illness might create a risk of violence, and concluded "It is not time for feel-good legislation, so you can say you did something, but it is time for a true discussion on the culture of violence, and how to prevent more violent crime."
Then, to the regret of every civil human being in the room, came Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Durbin began with a disrespectful attack on Prof. Johnson. After calling the Second Amendment "a suicide pact," and saying--with apparent reference to commonly owned firearms like the AR-15--that "what has become common in America is unacceptable in a civilized country," Durbin repeatedly refused to let Professor Johnson answer the questions thrown at him, and then falsely claimed that AR-15s and similar firearms had been "excluded by [the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v.] Heller."
Eventually, Durbin allowed Professor Johnson to respond, at which point Johnson politely and articulately handed Durbin his hat, concluding, "If you go before the Supreme Court with what is ultimately a piece of legislation that really just generates more demand for the very type of gun that you're trying to ban, ultimately you're going to have the same failure that you had [with the 1994 ban]."
Then, in the most despicable comment of the day, low even by anti-gun zealots' often subterranean standards, Durbin went after Rep. Adams.
After Rep. Adams acknowledged that her husband--a fellow law enforcement officer--had died in the line of duty, Durbin sarcastically said, "I'm sure you'll now support the universal background check to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals, won't you?"
In days gone by, such a heartless attack wouldn't have been tolerated by fellow senators. But Rep. Adams displayed the cool head that served her well both in law enforcement and in politics, looking Durbin straight in the eyes and saying, "No, sir."
Some comic relief would have been welcome at that point, but Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), the comedian-turned-politician, instead made a few comments pretending to respect Minnesota's firearm traditions, then listed several shootings in which semi-automatic rifles or magazines larger than 10 rounds were used, and said he doubted that anyone needed the same kinds of firearms and magazines for self-defense. Franken had apparently missed the comments of Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) earlier in day; Sen. Lee had cited statistics showing that in nearly half of defensive firearm uses, there are two or more attackers, and in nearly 25 percent, there are three or more attackers.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) challenged Professor Johnson's assessment of S. 150's constitutionality, saying that legal challenges to the 1994 "assault weapons" ban had been unsuccessful and that "the courts have a responsibility to deem constitutional, to presume constitutional, valid acts of the legislature."
Professor Johnson disagreed, pointing out that under the Supreme Court's decision in Heller, declaring the Second Amendment to protect a fundamental, individual right to keep and bear all bearable arms for defensive purposes, for gun-ban legislation to survive "requires something far more than simply rational basis. That is, it's not an automatic deference to whatever the legislature does, because now, what we're talking about is a constitutional right."
The next attack on that right at the federal level is scheduled for next week, when the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet again--this time to mark up several pieces of gun-related legislation including S. 150 and a bill criminalizing private firearm transfers.
Take action now to block those bills. Please contact your elected officials, and respectfully urge them to protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. To identify and contact your legislators in Washington, D.C., you can use the "Write Your Reps" feature at www.NRAILA.org, or you can reach your member of Congress by phone at 202-224-3121.
BLOOMBERG ‘HALF-RIGHT,’ SAYS CCRKBA
SELF-DEFENSE DESERVES PRESS COVERAGE, TOO
Anti-gun New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was “half-right” when he told NBC’s Jimmy Fallon that there is “scant coverage” of other firearms news, because there is virtually no coverage of self-defense uses every day, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
Bloomberg complained about the lack of attention paid by the press to “people who are killed by guns every day,” according to Yahoo News.
“Press coverage of justifiable gun use in self-defense is almost invisible,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “yet firearms are used in successful self-defense situations hundreds, if not thousands of times every day. It is disingenuous to talk about crime without mentioning the lives saved because an intended victim was armed.
“We know that hundreds of thousands of lives are saved in this country every year because someone had a firearm,” he continued. “In most cases, a shot is never fired, but the display of a gun sends criminals running.”
He noted examples such as the shooting at a Florida internet café last year, and the intervention by an armed citizen at the Clackamas mall in Oregon last month that stopped a gunman.
“Most of the time,” Gottlieb noted, “if they are reported at all, such stories rarely get beyond local media coverage, and quickly vanish from the headlines. It would be a refreshing change to see the press pay more attention when an armed citizen defends himself, his family, his home or total strangers by being in the right place at the right time.
“While Bloomberg would ignore these people,” he observed, “they really are first responders and they sometimes perform acts of remarkable heroism in saving innocent lives. The press only pays attention to tragedies while ignoring triumphs.
“Mayor Bloomberg is famous for telling half a story,” Gottlieb concluded, “and he wants the press to continue as his surrogate in this campaign to demonize firearms and the people who own them. In truth, gun owners are our friends, neighbors, doctors, the people who teach our children, and many others who have sometimes been called upon to use a firearm to save a life, and we out number him.”
Source: Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Guns and Evil
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. I’ve also read a lot of articles and opinions from others regarding gun control and how it could be more effective. I understand how people from different backgrounds and life experiences will have opinions about guns that may never be changed, no matter how much evidence is presented from either side of the issue. For example, I grew up in a small, rural town where there is a gun in almost every household. I still live in the same small town and the exceptionally low occurrence of gun-related crime would surprise a lot of people. I think the reasons for this are many and complex, but they obviously don’t have anything to do with the volume or types of guns present in our community.
After tragedies like this, a lot of people say it should be much harder to get guns than it is, that there should be more laws, more background checks, and more registration systems. Surely, that would keep guns out of the hands of “bad” people. This seems intuitive at first, until you consider that Adam Lanza simply took the guns he used in his crimes from his mother, who he was willing to murder in order to get them. As has been reported, Adam’s mother obtained her guns legally and they were all registered. And my guess is that she would have also been able to pass any new background check or registration process that any legislator could think up.
Despite the unsettling notion that “bad” people will likely be able to steal or illegally obtain guns if they want them badly enough, a lot of people will still say that “good” people should be allowed to have guns. Many of these people already own guns themselves and our Constitution guarantees them that right. I think that need is justified and critical, but not because I think we can ever effectively determine if people are “good” or “bad” or “responsible” or “reckless” or “insane”.
Tragedies like the one that occurred in Connecticut happen because the fundamental force of evil exists in this world and it has very real consequences. Evil manifests itself in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s horrific and in your face and makes you furious, ready to fight it to the death. Other times, it’s subtle and you seldom muster the energy or fortitude to even acknowledge it for what it is. But when evil overcomes someone, whether they’re “good” or “bad”, they will find a means to inflict harm on our communities whether they use their bare hands, a gun, or a truck loaded with fertilizer.
We will never be able to eliminate evil in our world, only fight it as best we can. And we all have our own ideas about the best way to fight it. A lot of people, especially those who haven’t grown up around guns and assume their primary purpose is to harm people, will say that more and better laws targeting “assault” rifles like the one used in Connecticut are the best way to stop these events from occurring. However, this seems like a futile and misguided approach when you consider that very few random shooters utilize “assault” rifles, and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows that only 2.6% of murders in 2011 resulted from any rifle, including hunting models and the “assault” rifles on which the media has focused.
For me, as a gun owner and a concealed carry permit holder, I only wish I would have been in Sandy Hook Elementary when Adam Lanza shot through that window and walked inside. Knowing that wasn’t possible, I simply wish there would have been a single employee in that school who would have been encouraged by the administration to prepare himself or herself to defend the students from the real threats that evil produces. I know that the dreadful outcome would have been much different that day if that would have been the case.
Adam Lanza immediately took his own life when he met the first sign of resistance. He never engaged law enforcement, simply heard them coming in the building and turned the gun on himself. No one will ever be able to convince me that Adam would have attempted his crimes if he thought for a second that he would immediately meet resistance from someone within the school. And if society’s only line of defense against people like Adam is to rely solely on law enforcement, because some believe they’re the only ones who should have guns, then we’ll continue to experience evil and all of the creative ways evil people can inflict harm in the typical time it takes police to arrive on the scene.
In the end, we all just want our families to be safe. We strive especially hard for ways to guarantee the safety of our children because they are the most defenseless. I think all of us would love to live in a world absent of violence and evil. But in our hearts, we know that such a world will never exist. No amount of longing or dreaming for it will make it a reality. Likewise, wishing for a world without guns is also a fantasy. Recent estimates tell us that there are currently over 300 million non-military guns in the United States. And regardless of any number of new laws or restrictions, criminals who refuse to obey them will gain access to guns, much in the same way drug addicts currently obtain illegal drugs.
Although many will disagree, I can’t see the logic in seeking security through increased legislation, background checks, metal detectors, or any other methods that assume evil people will behave predictably or comply with any new laws or restrictions. And although I am tremendously grateful for the service and sacrifices that our law enforcement personnel provide on a daily basis, I will never feel that they are adequate to protect my family or my community from the variety of ways evil can bring harm to our lives. The only thing that will make a real difference to future victims when the next evil person attacks is the speed with which that person meets resistance. Ask any of the grieving parents in Connecticut if they wish that a teacher or administrator had been armed and taken action that tragic day.
Personally, I feel an individual responsibility to be prepared if I ever find myself in a crisis situation, and that preparation involves owning and carrying a gun. I can understand why others do not share this feeling. But I also suspect they might feel differently if they ever found themselves lying helpless on the floor while someone gripped by evil harms or kills innocent people. We all have a responsibility to protect our communities against evil, and I’m thankful that our forefathers realized that private citizens and their guns are a critical first line of defense.”
Source: Kyle Schwabenbauer of the Camo Cares organization.