National Gun News & Other Stuff
Here’s A Shocker: Venezuela Bans Guns, Homicides Skyrocket
Posted at 1:00 pm on April 23, 2018 by Tom Knighton
The country of Venezuela is anything but a free state. While it managed to function as a socialist state so long as the oil industry was propping up its collectivist economy, things were relatively okay (so far as socialist countries go). However, the moment oil stopped keeping everything afloat, the country went to hell in a handbasket faster than you can say, “Oops!”
In response, the country did all kinds of things. At least one of those things may well have resulted in a bump in the homicide rate.
Since April 2017, at least 163 pro-democracy protesters in Venezuela have been murdered by the Maduro dictatorship. Venezuela serves as an example of how gun prohibition can sometimes encourage gun crime.
In 2012, the communist-dominated Venezuelan National Assembly enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law.” The bill’s stated objective was to “disarm all citizens.” The new law prohibited all gun sales, except to government entities. The penalty for illegally selling or carrying a firearm is a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Despite criticism from the democratic opposition, the bill went into effect in 2013.
Ostensibly, the motive for gun prohibition was Venezuela’s out of control violent crime. In 2015, Venezuela’s homicide rate was the world’s highest, with 27,875 Venezuelans murdered that year. More broadly, the Bolivarian Republic is the only South American nation with a homicide rate that has steadily risen since 1995. In the year prior to Maduro’s disarmament initiative, the Venezuelan capital of Caracas had a homicide rate of 122 per 100,000 inhabitants, nearly 20 times the global average of 6.2.
By comparison, the U.S. homicide rate in 2015 was 4.9; the U.S. gun homicide rate was 3.03 (based on calculation from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports).
To make matters worse, however, the Maduro government has given arms to 400,000 “militiamen,” which are little more than pro-government gangs called collectivos. These collectivos use violence to intimidate opposition in the South American country. They’ve apparently also machine gunned protestors.
And, since they’re not officially government troops, there’s a measure of deniability. “Oh, no, that was awful. No, we in the government would never do that,” they can say with a straight face–because they wouldn’t. They just get their thugs to do it for them.
Yet this is an example of why so many of us refuse to give up our arms. Yes, an AR-15 isn’t an M4 or M16. It’s definitely not an M240 or another belt-fed machine gun. But it’s as close as we can get, and we’re not willing to give up even that little bit, because when the populace is disarmed, this is the result.
No, it wouldn’t happen overnight. And I have little doubt that the idea of this happening in America would turn the stomach of many anti-gun activists. Not all, but most.
But without the bulwark of the right to keep and bear arms, we have no protection against such a thing. How can the left, people who remember Kent State with such a vivid memory, not see the error of thinking that disarmament of the civilian population, leaving guns only in the hands of the government, is a sound strategy?
Venezuela is an absolute hellhole right now, and part of the reason why is because civilians don’t have the means to defend themselves. Period.
7 Terrible Liberal Gun Control Arguments … And How To Beat Them
Kurt Schlichter Posted: Feb 22, 2018 12:01 AM
I argue for a living. I often deal with hacks, liars, and agenda-driven fanatics. But never in a quarter century of being in court rooms have I faced such a blizzard of constitutional illiteracy, technical ignorance, flabby reasoning, and outright lies as I have dealing with people who think our Second Amendment rights are up for debate.
Our rights are not up for debate. But, as a courtesy, because talking is the way a free people should endeavor to solve problems, we should debate them anyway. Rational discussion beats the alternative – many of us are vets who saw the alternative overseas – even if the other side prefers emotional blackmail using articulate infants to bum rush their anti-civil rights policies. So, here are seven (it could have been 50) of the most annoying – and dishonest – arguments you will hear, and how you can fight them.
1. You Don’t Actually Have The Right To Own Guns Because You Aren’t In A Militia!
Nope. That’s wrong right off the line because Heller v. District of Columbia (2008) 554 U.S. 570, holds as a matter of settled law that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms regardless of their militia status.
The Second Amendment provides: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Justice Scalia, writing for the majority in Heller, dismissed the argument that this right somehow, despite the clear text, belongs to “militias” and not individuals. Your opponent may not like that, but that’s what Heller says. That’s what the Constitution says.
And, as usual, Justice Scalia’s reasoning was incisive and compelling. He dismissed the militia reference as merely announcing just one purpose of the Second Amendment, not its only purpose. The prefatory clause does not limit the scope of the right, but even if it did that interpretation would not change the nature of the right. The “militia” is, by statute (10 U.S. Code § 246), “all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and … under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States….” This demonstrates the Founders’ intention that “able-bodied” citizens must protect their communities and Constitution. History teaches, and Justice Scalia observed, that these citizens maintained their personal weapons at home, and were ready to act when needed – whether it was to stop Redcoat gun control activists at Lexington and Concord or to mobilize to defend Korean stores during the Los Angeles riots in 1992.
I was there with the Army in LA, by the way. Don’t tell me chaos can’t happen here.
2. But Wait – It Says “Well-Regulated Militia.” Doesn’t That Mean The National Guard?
No. Guard soldiers and airmen are part of the militia, but the Guard is a component of the United States Army or Air Force. During my time in the Guard, my uniform’s service tape read “U.S. Army” and I held a U.S. Army Reserve commission. Guard members are part of the standing military; the interpretation liberals assert would render the Second Amendment meaningless, which is what liberals want, but that’s not how one interprets a legal text.
Well, aren’t citizens with guns not “well regulated?” No. Congress regulates the militia – Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution provides that “The Congress shall have Power To ...provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia….” And Congress has decided what “well regulated” means. It means the current level of regulation, since that is what Congress has imposed. It could enact further regulation, if it wished. If the Congress feels like decreeing that every member of the militia (which Congress can expand as it wishes to better reflect society) must be armed with an AR15, it can. (Hint hint).
And no, the rest of the Amendment limits the ability of Congress to disarm “the people,” so it can’t “well regulate” the right out of existence.
3. Well, Scalia Still Says Guns Can Be Regulated, So We Can Ban Modern Weapons!
No. What the anti-civil rights crowd likes to do is cite language from Heller that recognizes a few traditional exceptions to when and what arms may be kept and borne – in other words, gun banners try to have narrow exceptions swallow up the rule.
Always pivot back to and demand that these people recite the basic holding: The Second Amendment recognizes the right of citizens to individually keep weapons in common use for lawful purposes, including self-defense.
Liberals hate when you do that, especially when you confront them with the fact that Heller protects weapons “in common use.” In that case, it was handguns. However, the fake assault weapons that liberals hate (which are involved in a tiny fraction of crimes) numbers in the millions. AR15-style weapons are in common use. Deal with it.
4. We Just Want Common Sense Gun Regulations Since There Aren’t Any Now!
Oh, I guess they never filled out a Form 4473. You know, all the lies about it being “easier to buy a gun than a Pepsi” do not exactly inspire us to believe that the gun banners’ pleas for “common sense reforms” are anything but the first steps toward confiscation and disarming our citizenry. Lying demonstrates a lack of good faith.
Nor does the fact that none of these “commonsense gun regulations” addresses the problems they cite. Ask your gun banner pals which reforms they want that would have stopped any of the recent killing sprees by people who are not conservative observant Christian or Jewish NRA members. Background checks are their usual go-to. Those are already a thing, and the scumbags all passed, except for the one scumbag whose check the FBI screwed-up.
You know, instead of hassling citizens who have committed no crime, maybe we ought to demand our law enforcement agencies start doing their damn jobs.
5. You Have Blood On Your Hands!
Actually, don’t stop them when they go this way. Scummy drama queen invective like this is proof that our stubborn defense of our rights is working, and that they have nothing else but to lie about us. Their hysterical shrieking helps motivate other people who may not have been paying attention to protect their rights. After all, “You support murdering children!” is a super-effective way to alienate normal folks and highlight the essential dishonesty of the gun banners.
6. No One Wants To Take Your Guns!
This is another classic lie. In fact, that’s exactly what liberals want to do. How do we know? They tell us when they think we are not looking – and, with more frequency, when we are. It’s fun when they say they don’t want to take your guns, then say you have to give up your ARs. If your opponent is getting wistful about Australia’s gun confiscation, he wants to take your guns.
Let’s get serious. They all want to take your guns. Why? Two reasons. First, it takes power from the citizenry. Liberals love that.
Second, gun rights are important to normal Americans because the fact we maintain arms means we are not mere subjects. We are citizens, with the power to defend our freedom. Liberals hate that we have that dignity; taking our guns would humiliate us, and show us who is boss. They want to disarms us not because of the gun crime – name a liberal who wants to really do something about Chicago as opposed to hassling law-abiding normals – but because they hate us and want to see us submit.
Even the Fredocons are getting into the act, which is no surprise since Never Trumpism is always the first step downward to active liberalism. Pseudocon Bret Stephens demanded that America repeal the Second Amendment in the New York Times in October 2017. Fellow puffcon Ross Douthat simpered something similar, and the Captain Stubing of Conservatism, Bill Kristol, tweeted his concurrence.
7. The Second Amendment Is Obsolete And This Stuff About Defending Against Tyranny Is Crazy!
Obsolete? Isn’t our Constitution a living document that should change with the time? Well, in the last couple decades gun rights have expanded massively across the country via legislation – faster and more thoroughly than gay marriage did – so the Constitution is evolving toward recognizing more gun rights. Anti-civil rights holdouts like New York and California are failing to recognize that the Constitution changes with the times and stuff, and those states must conform to the new consensus about the freedom to keep and bear arms. That’s how this works, right? Right?
Did you liberals say that our government is always going to be benevolent? Sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of the revelations of government misconduct and oppression of individual citizens for their views. Also, since Trump is totally Hitler for real, isn’t giving him a monopoly on force a bad idea?
Finally, there is the claim that “a bunch of violent country guys with rifles couldn’t take on the government anyway.” First, at the threshold this is a disgusting slander. Violence is a last resort justifiable only in cases of outright, active violent tyranny where no political or judicial processes are available. The idea that American citizens, many veterans, are somehow chomping at the bit for a civil war is right up there in the Liberal Slander Top 10.
American citizens do retain the right to use force to stop such tyranny. If some government decided to say, round up Jewish citizens, violence would be appropriate to protect our fellow citizens as a last resort. Luckily, our street level law enforcement personnel and military would never do such a thing, but that does not mean a situation could never arise where people acting under the color of authority might seek to violently violate the Constitution and deprive citizens of their rights and lives. The Founders were wise to recognize our citizens’ right to have the ability to resist violent tyranny.
But could citizens effectively resist violent tyranny? That’s a long story – someone ought to write a novel on the subject – but the short answer is, “Yes.” As Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan all teach, a decentralized insurgency with small arms can effectively confront a modern police/military force. Of course, in America’s case, the police and military rank and file are much more likely to sympathize with their fellow citizens and freedom than with some hypothetical tyrant, making such a horrifying scenario highly unlikely – though not utterly impossible.
But the bottom line is that two untrained idiots with handguns shut down Boston. What do you think 100 million Americans – many trained and some battle-tested – could do with their rifles? (To get a feel for the level of utter dishonesty among our opponents, just scroll down to the comments and count the lies about me somehow supporting civil war in this column).
The liberals want to have a conversation about guns. So should those of us who love freedom. We have the facts. We have the law. We have the right. And we have a choice.
Citizens bear arms and hold a veto over tyranny. Serfs obey their masters because they have no choice. Pick one.
House Passes Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Fairfax, Va.—The National Rifle Association applauded the United States House of Representatives on Wednesday for passing the most far-reaching expansion of self-defense rights in modern American history. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 passed with bipartisan support in a 231-198 vote.
“This vote marks a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is the culmination of a 30-year movement recognizing the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves, and their loved ones, including when they cross state lines.”
The bill, H.R. 38, ensures that those Americans who can legally carry a concealed firearm in one state will legally be able to do so in every other state. It eliminates the confusing patchwork of state laws that have ensnared otherwise law-abiding gun owners, and have forced law enforcement to waste their precious time and resources enforcing laws that don’t do anything to reduce violent crime.
The bill also makes improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, NICS. All Americans, including law-abiding gun owners, agree that violent criminals should not have legal access to firearms. However, the system is only as good as its records, and recent events have shown that sometimes the correct information is not entered into the system. This bill incentivizes states and government agencies to update the NICS with legitimate records of prohibited persons.
Additionally, the bill creates an expedited process for removing records that are erroneously put in the system. Currently, when a person discovers they have been wrongly added to the NICS, it can take up to a year to get their name removed. This bill requires a response to an appeal within 60 days.
“This bill ensures that all law-abiding citizens in our great country can protect themselves in the manner they see fit without accidentally running afoul of the law. We now call on the Senate to take up and pass this critical legislation,” Cox concluded.
The National Rifle Association would especially like to thank Rep. Richard Hudson, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise for their extraordinary efforts to pass this important legislation.
Accidental Gun Deaths hit Record Low, Even Amid Recent Boom in Firearm Sales!
Gun sales are up, and accidental gun injuries are down, according to a report released this month by the National Safety Council.
The NSC’s “Injury Facts -2017 Edition” shows a 17 percent decrease in accidents involving firearms from 2014 to 2015, a period when gun sales soared.
There were 489 unintentional firearms-related fatalities during that time period, the lowest total since record-keeping began in 1903, accounting for less than 1 percent of accident deaths. This decrease, which was the largest percentage decline of any category cited in the NSC’s report, came in a year that saw record-high firearm sales.
But Kelly Nantel, National Safety Council’s vice president of communications, noted that gun violence is still a problem in the U.S.
“While it is accurate that unintentional firearm deaths have reached an all-time low, National Safety Council Injury Facts data also show gun violence and intentional shootings, including suicides, claimed an additional 34,997 lives in 2015,” Nantel said. “A person’s lifetime odds of being fatally shot intentionally are 1 in 370, which is substantially higher than the odds of being accidentally shot (1 in 6,905.)”
Andrew Patrick, media director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told Fox News that while his group is pleased to see there were fewer unintentional gun deaths, 489 unintentional deaths, with minors comprising nearly 20 percent of the fatalities, is still “far too many.”
“The gun lobby is deceptively cherry picking this statistic to imply that overall gun deaths are down. In fact, the opposite is true,” Patrick told Fox News, saying that only “unintentional gun deaths” decreased. “It is obvious that the gun lobby is using this statistic because it’s the only one they can use to support their bottom line—the bigger picture reveals a steadily growing gun violence epidemic and the gun lobby is desperate to distract citizens from the truth.”
While the government does not publish an official number of gun sales, background checks gauge how many people try to buy guns –a number which skyrocketed under President Obama. In 2016, more than 24.7 million criminal background checks for gun transactions were processed, according to data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.
But pro-Second Amendment organizations are touting the results of the NSC report as a win for the firearms industry.
“This latest release from the National Safety Council shows that the vast majority of the 100 million American firearm owners meet the serious responsibilities which come with firearm ownership,” said National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “They store their firearms safely and securely when not in use, and follow the basic rules of firearms safety when handling them.”
NSSF took credit for the “ever-downward trend” in firearms accidents, citing its program, Project ChildSafe, one of many firearms safety education programs sponsored by the firearms industry.
“We will continue to work with organizations interested in genuine firearms safety,” Sanetti said, “to help reduce the number of firearms accidents even further in the days and years ahead.”
Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News.
The Loophole in Background Check Thinking: Criminals Obey the Law
Gun control groups expend an awful lot of ink, time and money advocating for “common-sense public safety laws” like “universal” background checks because such restrictions, they claim, will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people.
It’s peculiar, then, that many of these entities don’t do a better job of background-checking their own adherents and associates. Not too long ago, then-California state senator Leland Yee (D), whose staunch support of gun control measures earned him a spot on the Brady Campaign’s “Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll,” was accused of committing various felonies, including illegal firearms trafficking and money laundering offenses. Following a plea agreement in which he acknowledged his participation in a firearms trafficking conspiracy, among other offenses, Yee was sentenced to five years in jail.
Members of the Michael Bloomberg-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), now reconfigured as Everytown for Gun Safety, popped up in the news with such embarrassing regularity due to arrests and convictions for crimes, including gun crimes, that the New York Post ran an editorial in 2013 titled “Illegal mayors against guns.”
And last month, a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Illinois alleges that a certain Francisco Sanchez violated a federal gun law that prohibits possession of a firearm by a felon. The snag is that at the time, Mr. Sanchez (a.k.a. “Smokey”) was apparently working as a supervisor at CeaseFire Illinois, as highlighted in a February feature by the Everytown-funded website, The Trace.
The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint states that Mr. Sanchez was convicted of murder and aggravated battery in 1986, and adds the more disturbing allegation that he is the “national leader of the Gangster Two-Six Nation,” a street gang “prevalent throughout Chicago” and in other states. Mr. Sanchez’s arrest occurred as part of a larger federal investigation of gang-related gun and drug trafficking in which other suspected gang members or associates were apprehended and over 100 firearms were seized.
Of course, the complaint contains only allegations, not evidence, and Mr. Sanchez and his fellow defendants remain innocent until proven guilty. However, the arrests – which took place shortly before the Memorial Day weekend – coincided with a drop in gun homicides as compared to last year’s holiday weekend.
We’ve written before about how criminals get guns, including this study at Chicago’s Cook County Jail that concluded criminals bypass legal sources in favor of guns obtained from “family, gang members, or other social connections.”
Expanded background check laws won’t stop criminals because criminals ignore the law. Nonetheless, Everytown and others of its ilk will continue to call for ever-increasing restrictions and laws affecting law-abiding gun owners in the name of prohibiting felons, violent criminals, and gang members from obtaining guns. Honest gun owners will continue to do what they’ve always done: obey the law.