Thomas Massie

Massie Amendment Prevents ATF from Banning Bullets

bullets

It’s become increasingly clear that we shouldn’t trust President Obama’s friends at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Earlier this year, the ATF proposed a rule that would have banned commonly used rifle ammunition. In an attempt to scare the American public, the ATF claimed that “armor piercing (AP)” ammunition was being used to kill police officers and should be banned. In reality, the specific ammo in question—M855 5.56x45mm NATO—is just an average sporting rifle cartridge used by sportsmen, hobbyists, and firearm enthusiasts alike. It turned out that the ATF had no basis for its cop-killing claims.

Fortunately, freedom-loving Americans pushed back. Over 310,000 comments were submitted to the ATF about this backdoor attempt to unilaterally ban M855. Realizing that Congress wouldn’t allow the ban to stand, the ATF backed down.

However, the ATF left the door open to banning the ammunition in the future.

Enter Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY), a staunch defender of our Second Amendment rights, Chairman of the Second Amendment Caucus, and a strict adherent to the U.S. Constitution. Sensing that the ATF may attempt a similar ban in the future, he decided to propose an amendment that would prevent similar ploys to restrict our ammo options.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopted the Congressman’s amendment – House Amendment 341– to H.R. 2578, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016.

The language of the Amendment reads as follows:

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.

Among growing dissent, Boehner braces for re-election

Speaker Boehner

House leadership elections will be held later today, amid growing concern among conservatives for John Boehner’s leadership as Speaker. The hard truth for conservatives is that it looks like Boehner will eke out a victory over any would-be conservative challenger. In the 114th Congress (this one), the Republican caucus has swelled by more than a dozen Members, making victory from the right close to impossible.

In the 113th Congress, Boehner faced uncertainty when his safe Republican margin was almost totally diminished by a handful of defectors — conservatives like Raul Labrador, Thomas Massie, and Justin Amash. The blog FiveThirtyEight revealed the Republican defection in 2013 was the largest act of defiance against an incoming Speaker since at least 1991, where records became available.

With the Republican caucus even larger, it would take 29 votes to stop John Boehner from becoming Speaker — and then the defectors would have to find a viable alternative. Names being floated now are Ted Yoho or Florida and Louie Gohmert of Texas.

Among UL readers, South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy has considerable support, but he has not indicated that he would break with party leadership.

ALERT! Massie won’t vote for Boehner for Speaker

Massie wont' vote Boehner for Speaker

“For years I watched Washington from afar and suspected that something was broken.”

This is a sentiment we hear often from individuals who run for Congress. They see a broken system, and then run on a platform that promises to change the business-as-usual politics within the halls of Congress. More often than not, these same members fall in-line with with the leadership of their party and forget their real reasons for running.

Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie likens this change in behavior as Members being attacked by zombies. Once they’re bitten with the “big government, go-along-to-get-along” bug, they’re lost forever.

Thankfully, not all members have chosen to blindly follow the leadership of their party. Some Members have decided to put party aside and vote based on their convictions. Massie is one such Congressman.

In a recent press release sent out today, Congressman Massie indicated that he would not be voting to re-elect John Boehner as Speaker of the House in the coming weeks.

This came just days after Massie tweeted a picture, likely a veiled jab at the Speaker:

Food Freedom Fest and the War on Our Food

This past weekend, a small mountain town in Southwest Virginia was the site of a meeting of radicals. They looked like mild-mannered citizens, some even literally and obviously just off the farm, but behind the friendly handshakes and smiles you could see the light of fighters in a war most people don’t even realize exists: the right to grow and eat what you want, free of burdensome government regulation and intrusion.

The ideological heart of this gathering is one Joel Salatin, a man pushing 60 who looks a decade or more younger, who knows first hand what it looks like when the government decides it wants to shut you down and drive you out of business for encroaching on their self-styled food provision empire. His manifesto is summed pretty handily thus:

Food freedom is even more basic than gun, religious, or speech freedom,” says. “In fact, I would argue that the reason the founders of our country did not write it into the bill of rights was because it was so basic they couldn’t conceive of any society abrogating it.  It would have been like guaranteeing citizens the right to watch the sun rise or sit on their porch.  The way it relates to other small government initiatives is that once we actually have food freedom, it destroys the assumptions that led to its demise.

Big Business Republicans are going to outspend grassroots conservatives every time; but there’s a way we can defeat them.

Phone Banking

Soon-to-be-former Congressman Eric Cantor spent more campaign cash at steakhouses than Dave Brat spent during his entire primary challenge. And leading up to the May 21 pre-primary filing deadline, Cantor outraised Brat by a stunning 25-to-1 margin.

For those who bemoan big money in politics, this is an unexpected lesson in the power of the grassroots over campaign cash. The steakhouse statistic isn’t the reason why Cantor lost, but it is indicative of the culture of entrenched incumbency. Most Members of Congress — both Democrat and Republican — believe to some extent that they are entitled to their position.

Perhaps that’s the nature of power.

Unfortunately for grassroots conservatives, victories like Brat’s are not the norm. Open Secrets has tracked incumbent re-election rates since 1964, and 9 times out of 10, these guys get re-elected with very little opposition. There are very few instances where re-election rates dip below 90%, and most of them are on the Senate side.

And as Molly Ball reports in The Atlantic, “No sitting majority leader has lost a primary since the position was invented in 1899.” The fact that fewer and fewer House seats are competitive in a general election means that to defeat most of these incumbents, someone will have to take them out in the primary.

Thomas Massie, Justin Amash to Participate in War On Youth Town Hall

YAL War on Youth Townhall

The current prevailing political trends have been failing the predictions of their original proponents.

Higher minimum wages and the implementation of health care mandates that force companies to spend more to maintain employees on the payroll are just a few of the many policies that have been linked to the many difficulties that teens and young adults have been facing in the past decade.

The current job market for teens is the toughest on record and the type of solutions that are now being supported by the Obama administration do nothing to solve the problem but aggravate it. Once higher minimum wages kick in, the current administration’s solution will prove to be yet another impediment to the entry of inexperienced or young individuals with little or no experience in the workforce.

Because these policies lead to constant harassment that young Americans are forced to struggle with daily, Congressmen Justin Amash (R-MI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) will be participating in a “War on Youth” town hall, which will take place in Arizona.

The Glendale Community College chapter of Young Americans for Liberty will host the event. If you can’t make it, YAL will be broadcasting the event live online on April 3, at 7 p.m. EDT or 4 p.m. PDT.

Viewers can send in their questions to both congressmen by using the hashtag #WarOnYouth.

Massie Drops Two Bills in Defense of Raw Milk Distribution

raw milk

Farmers across America continue to be harassed and fined for distributing unprocessed milk. This has been a problem to hard-working American families even before former congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced his Unpasteurized Raw Milk Bill, HR 1830, in 2011.

Now, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has announced he is dropping two separate bills addressing the same issues with the goal of restoring the farmers’ right to distribute milk, and the consumer’s right to choose what he or she wants to put in their own bodies.

Dairy farmers across the country find themselves in trouble with the law over the Food and Drug Administration’s strict guidelines, which end up pushing the raw milk business to the sidelines, turning it into a black market and thus increasing the risks associated with the poor processing quality. When laws are too strict, farmers can no longer make use of the protection of an open market where they compete freely. Consumers are the ones who lose.

While many doctors continue to defend the reasons why people may prefer to drink raw milk, many others will say that raw milk is in fact hazardous and must be kept from consumers, for their own good.

While the open debate is always important, banning a consumer item solely on the premises that it may eventually cause somebody harm is just not compatible with living in a free society, where individuals are aware they might have to face certain risks every now and then but are also entirely free to opt out.

Gohmert blasts National Journal for “libelous,” “sleazy” coverage of Liberty Karaoke

A large group of DC-area liberty activists gathered last Tuesday at O’Sullivan Irish Pub for what they call “Liberty Karaoke,” or #LibertyKaraoke, if you’re on Twitter. This weekly event was a little different on this particular night because the group was throwing a fundraiser for Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), one of the growing number of libertarian-leaning Republicans in Congress.

The event was a resounding success. The 80 to 90 liberty activists, most of whom are in their 20s, raised $9,000 for Massie’s campaign coffers, surpassing the $6,630 they raised for Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) in December.

“I think Massie’s reelection is important because we need leaders that are willing to stand up in the name of liberty,” Leah Courtney, a DC-area liberty activist, told United Liberty. ”Young people are drawn to liberty-minded Republicans because they are the ones with spines, and will speak up for their constituents. There’s no hidden agenda, just Congressmen doing their jobs.”

“We’re a generation that has grown up in a rocky economy. We’re the ones that have excessive student loan debt, and we have had to walk into a world where jobs are not necessarily the easiest to find,” she said. “We need a REAL change. Massie and Amash are what we’re looking for in candidates, and this is just the beginning.”

Liberty movement activists sing praises of anti-establishment Republicans

In a town known for power-hungry establishment politicians and lobbyists who are constantly trying to exert their influence, there is a burgeoning group of young liberty movement activists who are working behind-the-scenes to change the status quo in the nation’s capital.

Mostly in their 20’s and early 30’s, D.C.-area liberty-minded activists hold jobs in congressional offices on Capitol Hill or in some of the town’s most well-known grassroots organizations. These young people have made their presence felt in the Washington-area political scene, and they’re doing so in an unorthodox way.

Many from this crowd meet-up at O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Arlington, Virginia for what they call “Liberty Karaoke,” a weekly tradition started a few years ago by a group of like-minded friends. It’s not unusual to find 50 or more activists hanging out and singing some of their favorite tunes on any given Tuesday night.

“D.C.-area liberty movement young people have been attending weekly karaoke for over three years,” Matthew Hurtt, a 26-year old grassroots activist, told United Liberty. “It was really organic. It’s been a weekly place to unwind and hang out.”

But the group has found another purpose for Liberty Karaoke by using it as a fundraising opportunity for certain candidates whom they support.

In early December, for example, the group hosted a fundraiser for Rep. Justin Amash, a 33-year-old Michigan Republican who has become one of the most vocal critics of the Obama Administration, domestic surveillance programs, and, at times, his own party’s leadership.


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