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Responding to trepidation caused by the Burlington, WA, mass shooting; the violent protests in Charlotte, NC; the Minnesota mall stabbings; and other high-profile attacks, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said, “Being scared is not enough.” Rather, Americans need to have guns with which they are ready to defend themselves.
Speaking live to Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on September 24, Clarke stated:
This is the world we live in now, [and Americans] are scared, but being scared is not enough. I say, you can hide under the bed, you can do all this other stuff, but you can fight back. And the more these individuals, these perpetrators, realize that somebody is going to quickly be able to counter their nonsense, I think you’ll see less [of these attacks]. If nothing else, you’ll be able to play a role in saving your own life.
Clarke said that as things now stand, attackers pick soft targets and “know that they’ll be able to shed a lot of blood before the situation is stopped.” He said Americans need to “wake up and get out of this naive view that the police will be able to protect everybody all the time.” He talked about Public Safety Announcements (PSAs) he runs in Milwaukee County, reminding residents that “they are the front line in their own security.”
Clarke began running the self-defense PSAs in January 2013, while Democrat leaders in Washington, D.C., were using the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack to push more gun control on law-abiding citizens.
On January 25, 2013, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the PSA featured Clarke emphasizing that waiting on police was no longer a valid option, that citizens needed to get “in the game.” He added, “With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back.” He urged residents to take a firearm safety course and familiarize themselves with their guns so they could defend their lives until police arrived.
Clarke added, “You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.
The Assault Weapons Ban Is A Stupid Idea Pushed By Stupid People
According to FBI statistics, you are far more likely to be beaten to death by someone's fists than you are to be killed with a rifle.
by Sean Davis
It happens like clock work: as soon as there’s a mere whisper of a terrorist attack or a mass shooting, the usual suspects kick in to high gear. Their destination is always the same: a faraway land where a so-called assault weapons ban magically eliminates not only guns but also prevents guns from walking of their own volition, without need of human agency, into crowded places and killing people.
The reaction after the terrorist attack in Orlando, in which a radical Islamist who pledged allegiance to ISIS murdered at least 49 people in a packed night club, was as predictable as it was pathetic.
Set aside for the moment the fact that no automatic weapons were used in the Orlando terrorist attack (an automatic weapon is one for which a single trigger pull will fire multiple bullets), and that it is literally impossible for a semi-automatic weapon to fire 700 rounds per minute. Nor, to my knowledge, have automatic weapons ever been used in a mass shooting in the modern era.
When silly people like Seth MacFarlane and Susan Sarandon say they want to ban “automatic weapons,” what they mean is that they want to ban guns that look scary. They don’t understand that you can’t walk into a gun store and walk out with a military-style assault weapon (one that can fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull). That’s because 1) most gun dealers don’t carry the military version of the scary looking gun, 2) you have to jump through an obscene number of hoops with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to even obtain a tax stamp that says you may purchase such a weapon (a process that takes months, if not years), and 3) the actual versions of rifles used by the military are really expensive and unaffordable for the vast majority of prospective gun owners.
What you can buy from your local gun dealer, after that licensed gun dealer has confirmed that you passed a federal background check (yep, that’s required by existing law), is a semi-automatic rifle. And now, a bunch of gun controllers who don’t understand the slightest thing about guns have decided that rifle needs to be banned. Not because it’s more deadly than a typical hunting rifle (it’s absolutely not), but because it looks scarier.
But before we dive into whether the assault weapons ban was merely dumb, or if it was monumentally stupid and counterproductive, it’s important to define what the previous federal ban covered and how it defined an “assault weapon.” The 1994 assault weapons law banned semi-automatic rifles only if they had any two of the following five features in addition to a detachable magazine: a collapsible stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor, or a grenade launcher.
That’s it. Not one of those cosmetic features has anything whatsoever to do with how or what a gun fires. Note that under the 1994 law, the mere existence of a bayonet lug, not even the bayonet itself, somehow turned a garden-variety rifle into a bloodthirsty killing machine. Guns with fixed stocks? Very safe. But guns where a stock has more than one position? Obviously they’re murder factories. A rifle with both a bayonet lug and a collapsible stock? Perish the thought.
A collapsible stock does not make a rifle more deadly. Nor does a pistol grip. Nor does a bayonet mount. Nor does a flash suppressor. And for heaven’s sake, good luck finding, let alone purchasing, 40mm explosive grenades for your rifle-mounted grenade launcher (and remember: the grenade launcher itself is fine, just as long as you don’t put the ultra-deadly bayonet lug anywhere near it).
The complete unfamiliarity with guns and how they work that led to the inept definitions in the 1994 law was on full display in a now-infamous television interview with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a New York congresswoman who backed the so-called assault weapons ban. In the interview, Tucker Carlson asked McCarthy to define “barrel shroud,” a firearm feature regulated by the law. Here’s how she answered:
CARLSON: I read the legislation and it said that it would regulate “barrel shrouds.” What’s a barrel shroud and why should we regulate that?
MCCARTHY:The guns that were chosen back in those days were basically the guns that most gangs and criminals were using to kill our police officers. I’m not saying it was the best bill, but that was they could get out at that particular time.
CARLSON: Ok. Do you know what a barrel shroud is?
MCCARTHY: I actually don’t know what a barrel shroud is. I think it’s the shoulder thing that goes up.”
“The shoulder thing that goes up.” It’s not the “shoulder thing that goes up.” There is no “shoulder thing that goes up.” The “barrel shroud” (a term nobody uses) is simply a hand guard that goes around a barrel. That embarrassing spectacle happened over seven years ago, and yet over that period of time, McCarthy’s fellow gun banners still haven’t seen fit to learn the slightest thing about the objects they wish to regulate.
If the cosmetic features used to define an “assault weapon” in the 1994 law strike you as really stupid ways to define an “assault weapon,” it’s because the 1994 law was a stupid law with stupid definitions written by stupid people. And not only was it a stupid law, it was a stupid law that didn’t even accomplish its stated goal. How do we know? Because today, more than a decade after the law’s expiration, the number of people murdered by rifles is 36 percent lower than it was during the last full year the assault weapons ban was in effect.
The law expired in September of 2004, making 2003 the last full calendar year in which the law was in effect. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime statistics, 390 people were murdered with rifles in 2003, making rifles the weapon of choice in 2.7 percent of murders that year. But in 2014, more than a decade after these vile weapons of war flooded American streets, the number of rifle murders surely skyrocketed, right?
Not so much. Quite the opposite. In 2014, the most recent year for which detailed FBI data are available, rifles were used in 248 murders. And not only are rifles used in far fewer murders over a decade following the expiration of the 1994 gun ban, they’re also used in a smaller percentage of homicides. In 2003, when the gun ban was in full effect, rifles were used in nearly 3 percent of murders. In 2014, they were used in barely 2 percent.
That’s the exact opposite of what gun banners said should happen. After the assault weapons ban, guns were supposed to flood the streets and just start killing people. Crime was supposed to skyrocket. But that’s not what happened. Yes, Americans bought a ton of rifles after the law expired, but rather than going up, the number of homicides in which rifles were used drastically fell. There were way more guns, but way less crime.
Are you ready for a mind-blowing statistic? In 2014, you were six times more likely to be murdered with a knife than you were with a rifle. Knives were the weapon of choice in 1,567 murders in 2014, according to the FBI. It gets crazier. You were also nearly three times more likely to be killed by someone’s fists or feet than you were to be murdered with a rifle. In 2014, 660 people were murdered with what the FBI calls “personal weapons”–hands, fists, feet–compared to 248 with rifles.
In the United States, knives are more deadly than rifles. So are fists. And feet. This is not my opinion. It is an incontrovertible fact. And it’s a fact that highlights a point that far too many people refuse to acknowledge: the human desire to kill is far more deadly than any weapon. Weapons do not of their own volition and agency decide to kill people. That requires human intervention. Humans hell-bent on death and destruction will get their hands on whatever tools they need to wreak their desired havoc. Restricting the use of those tools by innocent people who only want to protect themselves and their families is delusional madness.
Yet here we are. Rather than blaming individuals and ideologies, the leading lights of American society have decided to demonize inanimate objects. Despite the fact that the terrorist in Orlando was a radical jihadi who pledged allegiance to ISIS, progressives have decided to blame the NRA for what happened. Even though the terrorist was registered to vote as a Democrat, his fellow Democrats have decided that Republicans are the true culprits.
This is apparently how 2016 is going to go. If a boy tells you he’s a girl, then he’s a girl. If an Islamic terrorist who pledges allegiance to ISIS tells you he’s killing for Allah, then he’s probably a Republican with a lifetime NRA membership. After all, Islamic terrorists don’t kill people; peaceful, law-abiding citizens who believe the Second Amendment means what it says kill people.
Collective leftist denial about the existential, radical Islamic threat facing America is not going to prevent Islamic terrorism. Gun bans that ban guns based on nothing more than scary-looking cosmetic features are not going to prevent radical jihadis from murdering innocent people. Pretending that Republicans and the NRA are the real villains is not going to prevent ISIS from killing more Americans. Ignoring the fact that these attacks seem to only happen in gun-free zones won’t prevent violent psychopaths from waltzing into those gun-free zones and gunning down the unarmed civilians who congregate there.
But all those things will make progressives feel better about themselves, and who are you to deny them that right?
Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist
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Washington State Gun Owners stage the largest Felony Civil Disobedience Rally in American History
At the end of the rally, gun owners burned their concealed weapons permits and signed a petition vowing to refuse to follow the new gun control law. The petition ended with the text, “We pledge our blood. We will not comply.”
This certainly isn’t the first large scale act of civil disobedience by gun owners in defiance of gun laws. Earlier this year in Connecticut hundreds of thousands of gun owners refused to send in their gun registration forms, also becoming felons. Similar numbers of gun owners in New Yorke have also refused to send in their registration paperwork and some even video taped themselves burning the forms.
Fed up with the passage of an 18½-page incoherent, rambling, unconstitutional gun control initiative that was bankrolled by billionaires, gun owners across Washington state held the largest felony civil disobedience rally in the nation’s history, brazenly titled “I Will Not Comply.” No one was hurt and no stores were looted. Between 1,000 and 3,000 lawful gun owners showed up openly armed at the state capitol in Olympia, Wash., on Saturday to defy the newly passed gun control law, I-594.
Organizer Gavin Seim made the extraordinary nature of the rally very clear, “This isn’t just a protest. We are here to openly violate the law.” Attendees publicly transferred their guns to each other in violation of I-591’s background check provisions, and some even bought and sold guns just a few feet away from law enforcement. A fire pit blazed throughout the rally, and at the conclusion, gun owners lined up to burn their concealed weapons permits. A petition was circulated affirming gun owners’ refusal to follow I-594, which ended with, “We pledge our blood. We will not comply.”
As the RSVPs in advance of the rally grew to over 6,000, the police – most who probably detest I-594 – decided not to enforce the law. The Washington State Patrol announced there would be no arrests for exchanging guns – not even for selling guns. Seim refused to obtain a permit to hold the rally, citing the right of people to peaceably assemble.
The rally could not be dismissed as fringe elements. Several lawmakers and lawmen spoke, including former Graham County Sheriff Richard Mack of Arizona, Washington State Rep. Elizabeth Scott (R-Monroe) and Rep. Graham Hunt (R-Orting), who sported an AR-15 during his speech.
Mack advised gun owners engaging in civil disobedience to “put your sheriff next to you to keep it peaceful.” Scott defiantly explained in her speech, “I will not comply with I-594 because it is unconstitutional, unenforceable and unjust. It is impossible to enforce this law unless there is a police officer on every back porch and in every living room. So it will be enforced selectively.” She noted that Founding Father Alexander Hamilton said any law that violates the Constitution is not valid, and there is a moral obligation to disobey unjust laws.
Seim, a political activist and congressional candidate, wrote on his website, “Today I become an OUTLAW! Arrest me! I will NOT comply.” He led the rally peacefully, and at one point asked everyone attending to kneel with him in prayer. As he led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, he stressed, “I am not pledging obedience to the government, it is to the Republic. We don’t ask for our rights, and we don’t negotiate for our rights. We will take America back.”
Another speaker explained what was happening this way, “We no longer consent nor comply.” Mike Vanderboegh, whose Three Percenter movement is modeled after the three percent of the colonists who fought in the American War of Independence, said that those at the rally are the resistance behind enemy lines. The resistance is also taking place in a handful of other states with strict gun control laws, where patriots are now smuggling in weapons illegally.
Vanderboegh told attendees, “This is the tyranny the Founding Fathers warned us about. Tyranny can be voted into existence by a majority. We will not fire the first shot, but if need be, we will fire the last.”
Gun control zealots have finally gone too far. Gun owners are now discovering that the police in New York are using gun control laws to confiscate guns from family members within days after their owners pass away. Hundreds of thousands of gun owners in Connecticut and New York who failed to register their AR-15s earlier this year are nowfelons. Requiring the registration of guns or requiring background checks, as I-594 does, allows the government to compile a list of gun owners, which can be used later for confiscation.
If guns cause crime, then why wasn’t there a single mishap, considering there were 1,000 or so guns present and hundreds of violations of felony law taking place? Tellingly, Washington State Trooper Guy Gill predicted beforehand, “”Most of these folks are responsible gun owners. We probably will not have an issue.” The truth is, the state capitol was probably the safest place in the state last Saturday.
Patriots have had enough. The Second Amendment is gradually being eroded, state by state, and gun owners are not going to lie down and give up their arms. A handful of billionaires and elitists in blue cities like Seattle do not respect the Constitution nor represent the vast majority of Americans. Another rally in Olympia is planned for January 15, and another one in Spokane on December 20. The Second Amendment Foundation, headquartered in Bellevue, intends to sue the state over I-594, and will be lobbying the legislature to get the law changed or repealed. Washington state is now ground zero for patriotic gun owners resisting tyranny, which is at a tipping point since law enforcement does not intend to enforce I-594. What happens next
When will politicians finally recognize that they can’t protect all the possible shooting targets?
Possibly the largest mass public shooting in US history occurred early on Sunday morning, leaving 50 dead. On Friday, also in Orlando, singer Christina Grimmie was murdered after a concert.
Both of these shootings had something in common: They both occurred in places where private citizens were banned from carrying permitted concealed handguns.
With the exception of Donald Trump, over the last few days politicians have talked about everything but gun-free zones.
Hillary Clinton and President Obama have been talking background checks on the private transfers of guns or banning people who are on the “no-fly lists” from buying guns.
But not one of the mass shootings since at least 2000, including Sunday’s, would’ve been stopped by these laws. Nor would renewing the federal “assault weapons” ban solve the problem; even research paid for by Bill Clinton’s administration found no evidence the ban reduced any type of crime.
Just a couple of months ago, a young ISIS sympathizer planned a shooting at one of the largest churches in Detroit. An FBI wire recorded him explaining why he had picked the church as a target: “It’s easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus it would make the news.”
Police are probably the single most important factor in stopping crime, but stopping a mass public shooting is an extremely dangerous proposition for officers and security guards alike. Attackers will generally first shoot any uniformed guards or officers who are present. During the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris last year, the first person killed was the guard who was protecting the magazine’s offices.
Being able to choose the time and place of the attack gives terrorists a major strategic advantage. Last year, France learned that the hard way. In a city of 2.3 million people, there are simply too many possible targets for the police and military to protect. Parisians could take cellphone videos of terrorists just 12 yards away, but could do nothing but watch the slaughter. In the United States, we have about 628,000 police to protect 320 million Americans.
PoliceOne, a private organization with 450,000 members (380,000 full-time active law enforcement and 70,000 retired), polled its members in 2013 shortly after the Newtown, Conn., massacre. Eighty percent of respondents said allowing legally armed citizens to carry guns in places such as Newtown and Aurora would have reduced the number of casualties. Another 6 percent thought the presence of legally armed civilians would “likely” have prevented the innocent casualties altogether.
According to police and prosecutors, there have been dozens of cases of permit holders clearly stopping what would have been mass public shootings. It’s understandable these killers avoid places where they can’t kill a large number of people.
Research I have conducted with economist Bill Landes looked at 13 different types of gun-control laws. Right-to-carry laws were the only type that made a difference in the rate and severity of these mass public shootings. Such laws are like those that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against last week, when it determined that California’s citizens didn’t have the right to protect themselves in public with concealed guns. (The open carry of guns is already illegal in California.)
President Obama has said mockingly, “Some here believe that having more guns makes us all safer.” He says we wouldn’t have these mass public shootings if that were true. However, just because there are a lot of guns in the United States doesn’t mean that people always have access to them for protection.
It ought to be common sense — even the most ardent gun-control advocate would never put “Gun-Free Zone” signs on their homes. Let’s finally stop putting them elsewhere.
John R. Lott Jr. is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of the “War on Guns.”
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