PEW: Majority of Americans Say Gun Ownership Protects Them from Crime

A majority of Americans say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than for the government to limit access to firearms, a Pew Research Center survey conducted this month found.

The nationwide survey was conducted Dec. 3 to 7 with 1,507 adults using landlines and cellphones and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for all respondents. For African-Americans, the error margin is plus or minus 10 points.

The center said that it was the first time in two decades of its surveys on attitudes about firearms that a majority of Americans had expressed more support for gun ownership rights than for gun control.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said it was more important to protect gun ownership rights, and 46 percent said the priority should be controlled access to firearms.

In a 2000 Pew survey, 29 percent chose gun rights over gun control, and in a 2013 survey conducted a month after the Newtown shooting, 45 percent favored gun rights.

The Pew poll on firearms, conducted in early December, also found that African-Americans have become increasingly likely to believe that firearm ownership does more to protect people than it does to threaten an individual’s safety, even as they continue to support gun control measures.

When asked in 2012, 29 percent of African-Americans said guns offered people protection rather than exposed them to greater danger, but in this year’s survey, the number of African-Americans who viewed firearms as offering more personal safety nearly doubled to 54 percent.

By contrast, the views of whites who believe guns are more likely to provide personal protection have changed more modestly rising to 62 percent this year from 54 percent in 2012, the poll found.

Overall, 57 percent of Americans said gun ownership was more helpful in protecting people from becoming victims of crime, and 38 percent said it did more to endanger one’s safety.

Censorship of Drudge, Fox News could happen under Net Neutrality rules

A Washington, D.C., appeals court is set to hear arguments later this year on new net neutrality rules, which critics say could lead to government regulators censoring websites such as the Drudge Report and Fox News.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments against the Federal Communications Commission’s rules on Dec. 4. A panoply of amicus briefs filed with the court last week offer a preview of the arguments.

In its February vote on net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission stated that broadband providers do not have a right to free speech. “Broadband providers are conduits, not speakers … the rules we adopt today are tailored to the important government interest in maintaining an open Internet as a platform for expression,” the majority held in its 3-2 vote.

The rules, which went into effect in June, require that broadband providers — such as Verizon or Comcast — offer access to all legal online content. It did not place such a requirement on “edge providers,” such as Netflix and Google. The FCC defines edge providers as “any individual or entity that provides any content, application, or service over the Internet, and any individual or entity that provides a device used for accessing any content, application, or service over the Internet.”

Church Launches Range Ministry and Builds Gun Range

Rocky Mount United Methodist Church in Jemison Alabama has opened a gun range directly behind its sanctuary in effort to educate its members about gun safety and reach out to the community in the process.

“Really, the whole purpose of this range is to provide recreational and gun safety in a warm, loving, Christian environment,” the church’s pastor Phillip Guin told the Clanton Advertiser. “We wanted to come up with some different ideas to help our church grow, and we thought this would be a unique ministry to offer to the community.”

After the range opened, the church formed the Rocky Mount Hunt and Gun Club LLC, a separate, membership-only, not-for-profit group. To use the gun range, people must be members of the gun club or be guests of a member.

The Jemison Police Department even used the gun range to provide firearm training through annual Citizens Academy, Guin said.

“There are a lot of people that are interested in enjoying themselves in a safe fellowship environment with a gun,” Guin told Mashable. “This is not anything about some radical form of militant Christianity. It is a bit unique out of the box as church ministry goes, but we see it no differently as a church having a softball team or hosting camping ministries.”

Guin said that criticism of the gun range is unwarranted, and that the purpose of the range is sincere and pure.

“The ministry itself is what we’re doing in the name of Jesus Christ,” he told a Mashable reporter. “It does happen to involve guns, but we don’t want it to sound as though we’re forming some kind of weird cult that revolves around guns.”


Gun Registry Necessary to Enforce Background Check Law says Oregon Sheriff

Oregon’s unconstitutional SB 941 legislation requiring background checks for all gun sales went into effect on August 9, but Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp pointed out that the law is unenforceable without an accompanying statewide gun registry.

To be clear, Trapp did not call for a gun registry but simply observed that those who fashioned and passed the law actually heaved new gun control upon the backs of Oregonians which is unenforceable.

Some keen observers point out that the government has to know where every gun is in order to know that one neighbor is not selling a gun to another without a check, or that one co-worker is not selling a gun to another without a check; or that one childhood friend is not selling a gun to another without a check, and so forth.

Until the government knows where every single gun and gun owner are located, talk of requiring a background check for every single sale is just that—talk.

Sheriff Trapp is making the same point in Oregon.

According to The Register-Guard, Trapp indicated Oregon’s SB 941 is “logistically unenforceable” because “there is no centralized registry of guns in Oregon, only five-year records of gun sale transactions that could be used to track a gun found in a criminal’s possession.” And without a gun registry to demonstrate the origins of a given gun, Trapp explained that “offenders could claim they bought or sold a gun legally in a person-to-person sale before SB 941 became law,” and there would be no legal way of countering them.

Again, Trapp is not calling for a gun registry. Rather, he is making a logical observation. But it highlights the insidious threat posed by expanding background checks inasmuch as those checks will require gun control proponents to push an unconstitutional gun registry scheme to make the system work.

Just a reminder, gun registration always leads to confiscation.

bservation. But it highlights the insidious threat posed by expanding background checks inasmuch as those checks will require gun control proponents to push an unconstitutional gun registry scheme to make the system work.

Just a reminder, gun registration always leads to confiscation.

Armed Texas Dad Protects Wife and 8-Month-Old Son from Two Home Invaders

Two masked intruders forced their way into a Texas home. Then, they met a man ready to protect his wife and baby.

Kenrich Dickson was at his house in East Dallas, Texas, around 11 a.m. Tuesday when he said two men banged on the unlocked back door so hard the key frame broke off. The intruders made their way inside the house from there, coming face-to-face with Dickson’s wife, Amy, and their 8-month-old son.

Dickson said he was in the back bedroom at the time and went down the hallway to confront the intruders on his own — with his gun, KDFW-TV reported.

“I stood right here, because this is the only way to get out,” Kenrich Dickson told KDFW-TV. “I shot one. His friend pushed him down to get out the door.”

It all happened so fast, his wife didn’t know at first who had actually been shot during the confrontation.

“You couldn’t really tell who was gonna pull the trigger,” Amy Dickson said. “I just heard a gunshot. I thought, ‘Is he OK? I’m scared to move because if there’s someone in here, I don’t want to move.”

After the gunshots, both suspects ran out into a nearby alley to their car, blood still dripping. One managed to escape police; the other was taken to a hospital for treatment.

No one in the family was injured.

Unconstitutional Senate Intelligence Authorization Act

August 11, 2015 by Stephen Lendman

Freedom in America is being systematically destroyed one police state law at a time – with most people ignorant and/or indifferent about what happening.

Washington’s criminal class is bipartisan – in lockstep against government representing everyone equitably and fairly, serving privileged interests only.

  1. Res. 1705: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 compromises free expression and privacy rights already gravely eroded.

If enacted, Section 603 will require online companies to inform Washington of any “actual knowledge” of “facts and circumstances” related to undefined “terrorist activity” – meaning warrantless searches and seizures of personal electronic content will be authorized, potentially subjecting countless numbers of innocent people to unjustifiable scrutiny.

Vague language makes independent journalists, political, anti-war, and social justice activists, academics and students doing legitimate research, as well as others vulnerable to being called suspected terrorists.

The possibility could encourage self-censorship. Service providers may over-report to show compliance with the law. Online users could be flagged for using suspect words or phrases.

One definition of terrorist activity can be another’s way of describing freedom fighting. Legitimate government criticism could be misinterpreted and misused.

Anyone ideologically opposed to US policies could become vulnerable to arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment for expressing their views online. Police states operate this way.

Provisions like Section 603 violate fundamental constitutional and international law guaranteed rights. At stake is further erosion of First and Fourth Amendment freedoms.

Senate members overwhelmingly support S. 1705. Before recessing until September, they were set to pass it by voice vote until Senator Ron Wyden objected.

He wants normal debate procedure followed. He noted valid concerns raised by Internet companies about Section 603.

The Internet Association representing dozens of technology companies said vague language about what constitutes terrorism creates “an impossible compliance problem.”

It’ll result in “massive reporting of items that are not likely to be of material concern to public safety.” Wyden said “Internet companies should not be subject to broad requirements to police the speech of their users.”

He knows of no law enforcement or intelligence agencies suggesting Section 603 will help identify terrorists. He urges revision or elimination of this section altogether.

Thirty-one civil liberties organizations and trade associations expressed opposition to Section 603 in a letter sent Senate leaders.

They include Project Censored, the Media Freedom Foundation, the ACLU, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumer Federation of America, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and American Library Association among others.

They warned of concerns raised above. Innocent people committing no crimes would be at risk. “Complying with Section 603 would create a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech and would impermissibly burden individuals’ First and Fourth Amendment rights,” they said.

“Whether a given comment is a true threat of violence, an expression of a sincerely held religious belief, or a simple joke among friends is a determination that providers are ill-suited to make, particularly when the consequence is reporting a person to the government under the suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities.”

Section 603 is unconstitutional. It way oversteps. Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Internet companies may report any content they believe relates to criminality.

“Section 603’s reporting requirement threatens individuals’ constitutional rights to privacy and freedom of expression and would burden US-based providers without providing a clear benefit to law enforcement. For these reasons, we urge you to reject this flawed provision and to remove it from the Intelligence Authorization Act,” the signatories said.

CCW holder kills robber while protecting his girlfriend

On August 5, a man and woman were getting out of their car at an apartment complex in Las Vegas “when three black males came up” one of whom had a gun and demanded the woman hand over her purse. The man then pulled his own gun and shot the armed robber, causing the other two to flee.

The incident took place at about 9:25 p.m. “near Spencer Street and East Tropicana Avenue.”

According to 3 News, witnesses at the apartment complex confirmed what the couple told police, and “a weapon believed to belong to the suspect also was recovered at the scene.”

Metro police summed up the incident by saying the “three men (allegedly) approached a couple in their car, one of them armed with a gun. He tried to take the woman’s purse [and] the man in the car pulled out a gun and shot that suspect.” The suspect was taken to Sunrise Hospital, where he died.

The two suspects who fled are believed to be “black men in their late teens or early 20s.”

Susan Russell lives in the same complex where the incident occurred, and she said the news convinced her to get a gun. She said the news scared her, so she “went to the gun store.”

Russell said, “I’m not against guns. But I’m against criminals using guns for criminal activities.”


Seattle City Council Taxing Gun Stores out of Business

The Power to tax is the power to destroy – Chief Justice John Marshall

The Seattle City Council adopted the tax on an 8-0 vote Monday The legislation will add new taxes and regulations on firearms and ammunition sold in the city.

The legislation will require a $25 tax on firearms and a 5-cent-per-round tax on ammunition, and would force gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm within 24 hours.


Gun grabbers fantasize that the tax will deter criminals from buying a gun, and tax revenue would go toward violence prevention.


But civil libertarians say the measure would only hurt law-abiding and lower-income individuals.

The NRA’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, wrote Friday, “The burden of regressive taxes like the Seattle proposal falls squarely on those that are least able to afford them,” “Persons of means will simply drive outside the city to purchase firearms and ammunition, while those without such options will be forced to go forego their rights or pay the tax. This is especially egregious considering how those at the lower end of the economic scale also tend to reside in areas where violent crime is the highest. One wonders whether this type of social engineering on the downtrodden is an intended feature of the legislation rather than an unfortunate consequence.”

Sergey Solyanik, owner of Precise Shooter on Aurora Avenue, gave a similar argument. He said his cheapest option is to sue the city, a local CBS affiliate reported. His next cheapest option would be to move the store. If he stays in the city, he will go out of business under the taxes, he told the station.

“A plaintiff could sue the city, probably for a declaratory judgment declaring the city ordinance invalid as being preempted by state law,” Alison Dempsy-Hall, with Washington’s Office of the Attorney General, told CBS. “The Declaratory Judgments Act requires that any party alleging that a local ordinance is invalid give notice of that claim to the attorney general.”


Much talk about a Constitutional Convention

With Republicans controlling more than half the state legislatures across the country, some want to use that power to push for a federal spending limit through a mechanism unused since George Washington’s day.

Their plan: Persuade enough states to call a national constitutional convention so that a federal balanced budget amendment can be added to the Constitution.

It would be a historic move. The United States has not held a constitutional convention since Washington himself led the original proceedings in Philadelphia in 1787.

Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, an outspoken budget hawk and longtime supporter of a federal balanced budget amendment said “Everywhere I’d go at town hall meetings, people would say, `What are we going to do? There’s no hope. How do we fix our country?’ And the fact is, this gives great hope,”

There also are risks if the movement succeeds. A convention could expand to take on myriad issues beyond the federal budget, including limiting freedom of speech and other changes sought by Democrats.

Calling such an assembly would require approval from 34 states. The GOP now controls both legislative chambers in 30.

Convention proposals were introduced or discussed in about three dozen legislatures this year and approved by three of them. Over the past four decades, 27 states have endorsed the idea at one time or another.

Still, successfully calling a constitutional convention is a longshot.

Unlike other parts of the conservative agenda that have sailed through GOP statehouses, the convention debate is complicated because it involves three separate proposals that have overlapping – but not identical – goals. And even some leading Republicans consider a possible convention too unpredictable to support.

Backers of the idea hope the presidential race will stir more interest. Five of the Republican candidates have spoken favorably about it.

GOP hopefuls Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee and John Kasich all have recently endorsed convening a constitutional convention. Rand Paul has said he “wouldn’t have a problem” with the states calling one under Article V. Ted Cruz said via Twitter in 2013 that “the possibility grows more and more” for a constitutional convention.

“It’s becoming a presidential issue,” said Mark Meckler, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots. “Candidates are being asked about it.”

Every state except Vermont has a legal requirement for a balanced budget, but Congress does not.

Under Article V of the Constitution, adding an amendment can be done via a two-thirds vote of Congress and then ratification by three-fourths of states, or 38. That’s the way all the current constitutional amendments came about, but few could imagine Congress passing a balanced budget amendment.

That leaves a second option: calling a constitutional convention. Two-thirds of the states, or 34, would have to request a national assembly to draft amendments. Any amendments would subsequently have to be ratified by at least 38 states to go into effect.

Three different proposals seeking a constitutional convention have been circulating in statehouses.

The one discussed most often this year was the “Convention of States” plan supported by Coburn and Meckler. It seeks an assembly with an agenda that would include the balanced budget amendment, term limits for offices that include the U.S. Supreme Court and broad caps on congressional taxation authority.

Alabama this year became the fourth state to approve it, and it was discussed in at least 35 legislatures. But the risk that Democratic priorities also could be considered during a constitutional convention was too scary for some, including in Texas, where the proposal died in the state Senate this session after passing the House.

“I was surprised at how strong the fear of a runaway convention was,” said state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Houston Republican who sponsored the proposal.

A more limited effort, named the Compact for America, is backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which provides model legislation for conservative lawmakers. It includes only the balanced budget amendment, which, at least theoretically, could discourage amendments on other topics. So far, it has been passed in Alaska, Georgia, North Dakota and Mississippi.

The third initiative is the oldest and closest to its 34-state goal, but also is the most unpredictable. In May, North Dakota became the 27th approving state. But that group also includes socialist -Marxist leaning states that would like to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision from 2010, which upheld the First Amendment right of corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts during political campaigns.

Also, some states approved the initiative decades ago, when their political composition was much different. That means some of them could rescind their approval if the initiative draws closer to the 34-state threshold.

Mark Levin constitutional scholar and radio host explains the entire processes in his bestselling book The Liberty Amendments.


Obama’s First Steps to Federalizing Local Police

Federal agents have joined with Baltimore police as part of a wide-reaching effort to curb the recent spike in the murder rate.

But there is no surprise here, Obama stated last May: “We have a great opportunity… to really transform how we think about community law enforcement relations,”

“We need to seize that opportunity… this is something that I’m going to stay very focused on in the months to come,” Obama said, as he touted a new interim report from his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the effort, launched today, involves personnel from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Secret Service and a few clowns from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Two agents from each agency directly embedding with the Baltimore police department’s homicide unit.

The collaboration, which Davis dubbed “B-Fed,” is the result of the deadliest month in decades with a night in which 10 people were shot — seven of them in one incident. A total of 191 people have been killed in Baltimore in 2015. Forty-five people were killed in July alone, matching the all-time monthly high from 1972, when the city had 275,000 more residents. Forty-two people were killed in May, the month after the death of Freddie Gray who may have killed himself in police custody but was blamed on the police by their elected leaders, sparking riots.

Obama also instructed his media allies back in May to help federalize policing, and to sideline the critics of centralized policing rules. “I expect our friends in the media to really focus on what’s in this report and pay attention to it,” he instructed.

The only question is, will the Federal Agents be immune from prosecution by the district attorney if accused of wrong doing by the political elite?