Gun Rights

Thomas Massie sets sights on inaptly-named “Gun Free School Zones”

Gun Free School Zone

Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) has decided to take aim one of America’s biggest public policy failures: the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990.

The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 was introduced by then-Senator Joe Biden and signed into law by George H.W. Bush – hardly a conservative hero. The intent of the Act was to prevent individuals from possessing a firearm in a school zone. It was, as many of these bills are, sold to Congress as way to make our schools a safer place for our children.

If the intent of this Act really was to create a safe environment for America’s children, then it has failed, and failed miserably.

Individuals, not guns, are responsible for committing acts of violence. However, since the anti-gun crowd believes that bills like the GFSZA actually reduce violence, it is worth noting how much of a failure this policy has been over the past few years. The Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety has put together a convenient list showing just how ineffective the GFSZA has been.

According to Everytown chart, there have been at least 96 school shootings since Sandyhook.

This is unacceptable. America’s children should not be subject to dangerous environments in order to appease the anti-gun crowd. Thankfully, Congressman Massie wants to make sure our children are no longer subjected to these target-rich environments.

Support for gun rights is at an all-time high — especially among black Americans

Shooting a Gun

A recent Pew Research poll suggests more Americans are concerned about protecting gun rights than restricting gun ownership. 52 percent of Americans — the highest percentage since Pew began asking the question 20 years ago — favor greater gun freedom, compared to 46 percent of Americans who support stricter regulations. The twenty-year trend shows support for gun rights steadily increasing, while support for restrictions on the decline.

Two Years After Newtown, A Shift in Favor of Gun Rights

The study finds:

For the first time in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, there is more support for gun rights than gun control. Currently, 52% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, while 46% say it is more important to control gun ownership.

Support for gun rights has edged up from earlier this year, and marks a substantial shift in attitudes since shortly after the Newtown school shootings, which occurred two years ago this Sunday.

The balance of opinion favored gun control in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown tragedy in December 2012, and again a month later. Since January 2013, support for gun rights has increased seven percentage points – from 45% to 52% — while the share prioritizing gun control has fallen five points (from 51% to 46%).

Support for gun ownership is up across nearly every demographic.

Ukraine Wants Gun Rights

Ukraine

It’s only mentioned in passing under the Gun Report blog at The New York Times, but apparently the Ukraine Gun Owners Association is drawing up plans in an effort to include something like a Second Amendment to their constitution following the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovich.

After violence erupted in Kiev on Feb. 18th, over 70 people died, many shot by government snipers. As both the Times and Breitbart report, the citizens and gun rights groups in Ukraine seem to believe they are held nearly captive to a government that retains 7 million weapons, while the citizenry has only 3 million, many of those illegally (compare that to the US where citizens privately hold 310 million firearms and police and military hold slightly less at 3.85 million).

What’s interesting about this is that in an effort to frame the disparity of gun ownership in Ukraine as somehow negligible, and simultaneously suggest that US gun rights groups are “pouncing” on the Ukraine uprising to push their pet cause, the more liberal pundits are capable only of offering a pretty good defence of increased gun ownership and the Second Amendment in general.

Georgia mulls protecting gun owners

Politico is reporting that Georgia politicians are mulling broader protections for gun owners. The latest plan is to ensure that people licensed to carry a gun will avoid arrest if they accidentally bring their firearms into the security checkpoint at Atlanta’s airport and if they willingly leave the security line, acknowledging their mistake.

It seems to be pretty commonsense legislation that would protect law-abiding citizens who make an honest mistake.

So is it any wonder the union that represents airport security screeners opposes the measure?

“The public has had 12 years’ notice that guns are prohibited,” said a statement from David Borer, general counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees. “Sooner or later they need to take responsibility for violating the law that’s meant to protect our officers and the traveling public.”

Really?

So the public cannot be allowed to make a mistake without having lives, livelihoods and records ruined by an agency that has had so many abuse allegations leveled against it that it has become a sad joke? This same agency that forced a cancer survivor to pull out her prosthetic breast, whose employees frighten small children, and whose employees sexually assault women at gunpoint, wants a zero tolerance policy for law-abiding citizens who make an honest mistake!

Obama wants to restrict guns in Nashville, Beretta wants to make them

President Obama was in Nashville yesterday paying a visit to McGavock High School on the heels of Tuesday’s State of the Union address. It’s no accident he chose this school at this time, reeling as McGavock still is after a recent shooting there.

Given Obama’s focus on gun control in Tuesday’s speech — even going so far as to suggest he will work around Congress if they refuse to pass legislation that restricts 2nd Amendment rights — it’s a very focused move to test the temperature of a community that may be ready for the discussion in a way they haven’t been in the past. Tragedy has a way of doing that:

“It’s a tragedy, a terrible tragedy,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One. “The president will obviously speak about matters of education at the event, but I think you can expect he will have something to say about the tragedy at the top of his remarks.”

The shooting that left 15-year-old Kevin Barbee dead happened Tuesday. Another teenager was playing with a pistol when it discharged, striking Barbee in the face.

Then again, given a recent decision to expand into the state by firearm manufacturer Beretta, he may have more of an uphill climb than he suspects. Economic tragedy has a way of doing that:

Moms Demand Action seeks to make more Americans victims of gun violence

Every once in a while, America experiences a tragedy that is so heinous and agonizing, that the sheer unimaginable horror of it sends the nation into a tailspin of shock and tears on a mass scale. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America were just such an event – an event where every one of us watched our televisions in horror, as planes filled with innocent people flew into buildings filled with innocent people, killing thousands.

The mass murder of innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 was another such event. We watched in horror as the details of the mass murder by Adam Lanza filled our television screens. America held its collective breath as the body count mounted. Little children… how could this happen?

Almost immediately, the calls for gun control began.

The media screeched about a gun violence epidemic.

Sports retailers buckled under gun control pressure and began to “re-examine” their gun sales policies.

CNN’s Piers Morgan beat an obnoxiously loud drum to destroy the Second Amendment of a nation for whose Constitution he has nothing but disdain.

Military service doesn’t legitimize anti-gun positions

From time to time, gun rights advocates find themselves in a discussion of the Second Amendment with someone who claims to be a military veteran that supports gun control. Most of the time, it’s easy to dismiss these people as pretenders or whatever, though military service doesn’t make one automatically pro-gun.

That’s the case with Lt. Col. Robert Bateman in a piece over at Esquire:

People, it is time to talk about guns.

My entire adult life has been dedicated to the deliberate management of violence. There are no two ways around that fact. My job, at the end of the day, is about killing. I orchestrate violence.

I am not proud of that fact. Indeed, I am often torn-up by the realization that not only is this my job, but that I am really good at my job. But my profession is about directed violence on behalf of the nation. What is happening inside our country is random and disgusting, and living here in England I am at a complete loss as to how to explain this at all. In 2011 the number of gun deaths in the United States was 10.3 per 100,000 citizens. In 2010 that statistic in the UK was 0.25. And do not even try to tell me that the British are not as inclined to violence or that their culture is so different from ours that this difference makes sense. I can say nothing when my British officers ask me about these things, because it is the law.

Bateman makes his desire for gun control amply clear throughout the rest of the piece, yet he manages to make Army officers as a whole look like complete and total idiots. After all, he can’t understand basic sentence structure:

Senators announce opposition to Obama-backed U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) faces a nearly impossible road to ratification after half of the United States Senate reiterated their opposition to the measure in a letter to President Barack Obama.

The letter, which was spearheaded by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and signed by 50 senators, meticulously explained the reasons for opposition, including the lack of consensus at the U.N. and weak recognition of the lawful use of firearms.

“[T]he treaty was adopted by a procedure which violates a red line laid down by your own administration. In October 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the U.S. supported the negotiation of the treaty only by ‘the rule of consensus decision-making,’” noted the senators in the letter to President Obama.

“But in April 2013, after the treaty failed to achieve consensus, it was adopted by majority vote in the U.N. General Assembly,” the senators wrote. “We fear that this reversal has done grave damage to the diplomatic credibility of the United States.”

President Obama supports the treaty, which was signed last month by Secretary of State John Kerry. Many Second Amendment supporters believe that the treaty will serve as a backdoor for gun control regulations, including gun registration, as a provision of the measure requires countries to track gun ownership of small arms to the “end user.”

The senators noted that the treaty’s lack recognition of lawful ownership and tracking requirements played a factor in their opposition.

Congress’ 10 Worst Infringements on Personal Liberty

The focus in on the NSA controversy and ObamaCare got us thinking — what are the worst laws passed by Congress? So we did some thinking and came up with some of the most egregious laws to be passed by Congress. The list was so large that we had to cut it into two posts one on personal liberty and the other dealing with economic liberty, which will be posted next week.

The following list isn’t in any particular order, so don’t take one bad law being ahead of another as anything significant.

Espionage Act (1917)

The Espionage Act, passed nearly two months after the United States entered World War I, has had startling ramifications for free speech in the United States. Shortly after becoming law, Eugene Debs, a socialist and labor leader, was arrested and convicted for giving a speech that “interfered” with the recruitment of soldiers for the war effort. The law primarily used for prosecution of alleged spies and whistleblowers working in the government. For example, the government tried to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame under the act, but the jury declared a mistrial. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has also been charged under the Espionage Act. Both Ellsberg and Snownden’s disclosures were embarrassments for the government.

Indian Removal Act (1830)

Facts of Navy Yard shooting undermine gun control arguments

Media Guide to the AR-15

In the initial flurry of hasty, largely incorrect reports about the horrific Navy Yard shooting this week, the infamous AR-15 again reared its evil, black, “military-grade” head. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it was not in the deadly bogeyman fashion the media expected and reported. An AR-15 rifle was later said to be found at the scene, but no one has seen one since.

CNN and many other outlets seized upon the initial report of the AR-15 and ran with it, even calling the weapon an “AR-15 shotgun”, which does not exist. In fact, the shooter did attempt to purchase an AR-15 rifle last week in Virginia, but he was prevented from doing so by state law, since he was from out of state. Instead, he bought a shotgun, which is legal to purchase for out-of-state residents, and went about his murderous ways. This stunning sequence of events undermines nearly every gun control talking point being used right now.


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