Category Archives: 2nd Amendment

So you want federal ‘Expertise’ to decide for us?

Mitch McConnell’s short speech at the GOP convention [in August] didn’t receive a ton of attention, but in his understated way the Senate majority leader articulated one of the less obvious issues at stake in November.

“This election is incredibly consequential for middle America,” said Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and the only top congressional leader in either party who’s not from California or New York. Democrats prefer that “all of us in flyover country keep quiet and let them decide how we should live our lives,” he said. “They want to tell you when you can go to work, when your kids can go to school. They want to tax your job out of existence and then send you a check for unemployment. They want to tell you what kind of car you can drive and what sources of information are credible.”

Mr. McConnell was imploring voters to think twice before they turn government over to Democratic elites who don’t look to ordinary people for guidance but rather see longstanding traditions, existing institutions, popular opinion and the like as obstacles to overcome in pursuing their grand visions of how things should be.

In an influential 1945 essay titled “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” the Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek described two types of knowledge. One was “scientific knowledge,” by which he meant theoretical or technical expertise. The other was “unorganized knowledge,” which he defined as “the knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place.” With respect to the second kind of knowledge, he observed, “practically every individual has some advantage over all others,” including the so-called experts. Hayek was explaining the overriding problem with centrally planned economies, which is that no matter how intelligent the people in charge, they’re not omnipotent and therefore can’t possibly know the ever-changing wants and needs of vast numbers of individuals in the marketplace.

A troubling trend in recent decades has been the transfer of decision-making authority to expert intellectuals. Environmental regulations and health-care mandates are two obvious examples. But there’s also the more general nanny state mentality emanating from liberals who tell you that politicians, bureaucrats and academics know better than you do how to live your life and raise your children. The result is fewer decisions made through democratic processes, and more choices determined by an intelligentsia that suffers few if any consequences for being wrong.

Experience tells us that the best way to raise children is with a mother and father in the home, and the most effective anti-poverty program in existence is getting married before having kids. Yet prominent commentators like David Brooks insist that the nuclear family is now passé and that the black underclass needs slavery reparations, not fewer fatherless households. Increases in violent crime have brought calls from the public for more policing, while professional activists call for decarceration and reduced funding for law enforcement. Low-income minorities want to choose where their children are educated, but elite organizations like the NAACP oppose charter schools.

The influence of the intellectual class on our politics is not a new phenomenon—a popular book in the 1960s by the psychiatrist Karl Menninger was titled “The Crime of Punishment”—but it has grown steadily. And given that liberals are far less skeptical of scientific knowledge—as seen most recently in their response to the pandemic—this trend is likely to accelerate if Democrats win back the White House.

In an interview with ABC News last week, Joe Biden criticized President Trump for not being more deferential to the scientific community. “This is about telling the American people the truth, letting the scientists speak, listening to the science . . . and stepping out of the way,” he said. “Let the experts go out and let the American people know what the truth is and what has to be done.” Some of us believe that it’s the job of the president, not the scientists, to decide what has to be done. And while decisions on a Covid response or any other issue should be informed by people with expertise, their views should be weighed against those of others and not accepted uncritically.

In his classic 1980 book, “Knowledge and Decisions,” Thomas Sowell expanded on Hayek’s insight and warned about the “grave implications” of these trends. The “locus of decision making has drifted away from the individual, the family and voluntary associations of various sorts, and toward government,” he wrote. “And within government, it has moved away from elected officials subject to voter feedback, and toward more insulated government institutions, such as bureaucracies and the appointed judiciary.”

On its surface, Mr. McConnell’s speech was a plea to support GOP Senate candidates in November. Underneath, he seemed to be saying that even if you can’t stomach four more years of Donald Trump, it would be a mistake to give Democrats—and the expert intellectuals they hold up as our betters—control of the White House as well as Capitol Hill.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/spare-us-more-of-the-arrogance-of-expertise-11599000757

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Student Interrogated … For Going to Gun Range with Dad

I can hardly believe, and yet I can. This country is going so … PC that some days it is hard to leave the house.
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If it weren’t clear enough where bureaucrats stand in the 2nd Amendment vs. gun control debate, one need look no further than high school student Kyle Kashuv. While the media swarm around left-leaning kids who are propped up as puppets for the gun control movement, Kashuv has come out in favor of gun rights, and he’s paying the price. After going to a local gun range with his father, the “authorities” stepped in to find out why. Welcome to the new America… where you get interrogated for family time at the range.

As reported at BearingArms.com, Kashuv is a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He hasn’t become a defacto CNN spokesman or been invited to speak at so-called “school safety” rallies. Kashuv supports the 2nd Amendment, and because of that, he has found himself in trouble.

[H]e’s met with President Trump and the first lady. He’s spent time with Sen. Marco Rubio. He’s gotten to know pundits like Ben Shapiro and others. He’s even had a girl ask him to her prom in Nebraska.

Yet despite his name becoming well known in Second Amendment circles, it seems Kyle had never shot a firearm before in his life.

Luckily, a recent range trip remedied that. It also opened the door for what I can best term as harassment. Kashuv took pictures of his trip to the range, and he posted the pictures on Twitter:

It was great learning about our inalienable right of #2A and how to properly use a gun. This was my first time ever touching a gun and it made me appreciate the #Constitution even more. My instructor was very informative; I learnt a lot. #2A is important and we need 2 preserve 2A pic.twitter.com/4rcOZbpl88

Facts matter. I wish the facts of guns were more known. We need to educate the public and show them why they NEED the 2A. pic.twitter.com/HzjEx9LH2r

The Daily Wire reports that following the trip, other students at the school reported his actions to school officials (as if going to a gun range is now illegal), and the interrogations began.

When Kyle went to school today, his principal informed him that other students had been upset by his posts, but that he hadn’t done anything wrong. But according to Kyle, in the middle of the morning, events took a different turn:

“Near the end of third period, my teacher got a call from the office saying I need to go down and see a Mr. Greenleaf. I didn’t know Mr. Greenleaf, but it turned out that he was an armed school resource officer. I went down and found him, and he escorted me to his office. Then a second security officer walked in and sat behind me. Both began questioning me intensely. First, they began berating my tweet, although neither of them had read it; then they began aggressively asking questions about who I went to the range with, whose gun we used, about my father, etc. They were incredibly condescending and rude.

Then a third officer from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office walked in, and began asking me the same questions again. At that point, I asked whether I could record the interview. They said no. I asked if I had done anything wrong. Again, they answered no. I asked why I was there. One said, ‘Don’t get snappy with me, do you not remember what happened here a few months ago?’

They continued to question me aggressively, though they could cite nothing I had done wrong. They kept calling me “the pro-Second Amendment kid.” I was shocked and honestly, scared. It definitely felt like they were attempting to intimidate me.

I was treated like a criminal for no reason other than having gone to the gun range and posted on social media about it.”

This is the country we live in today. If you own a gun, you are looked at by the media and the left as some kind of kook who should be shunned. If you actually go to a range and shoot, you are to be interrogated and shamed. This is a free country???

The media ignore the fact that guns are used much, much more for protection and defensive purposes than they are for committing crimes. As reported by Blue Lives Matter, our own government’s statistics show that “guns were used defensively by people about 3.6 times as often as they were used offensively by criminals.” Of course, the article goes on to show that those statistics weren’t published by the government, likely because it doesn’t fit the gun control narrative.

No law-abiding citizen should be fearful of going to a gun range for family time. No one should have to justify his or her actions for learning to use a gun or owning a gun. It’s our right. Get over it!

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I’m David Hogg, and I Support Gun Rights

Pretty good for a college student.
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WSJ 4/5/2018
My name is David Hogg and I’m not from Parkland, Fla. I first found out about the other David Hogg from my grandfather. He called and asked my parents to turn on the TV because there was a David Hogg who looked similar to me and was close to my age—I’m 16, he’s 17. We were all saddened by the events in Parkland and found the coincidence of names odd.

But then it turned into something we didn’t expect. My mom and I started getting hate messages through social media because people were confusing me with the David in Florida. They used our pictures from Facebook, used anti-Semitic words (although we’re not Jewish), made fun of our looks and our last name, and said many other hateful and crude things. We contacted them one by one to prove that we were a different family. Some believed us, but some just thought it was part of the conspiracy theory.

It kept snowballing. My younger brother was asked at school if that was his elder brother on TV. One of my professors, in the middle of a lecture, asked if I was the David Hogg from Florida.

We hoped things would settle down, but they didn’t. After a while, I decided it was time to tell my story and where I stand on the subject, even though this isn’t my fight.

I feel for Mr. Hogg, his classmates and the community of Parkland, as they have gone through a horrific atrocity. I wish that nothing like this would ever happen again. At the same time, I believe in protecting everyone’s constitutional rights and liberties, and I feel that the Second Amendment is important.

I believe that gun education needs to be improved for buyers and gun-safety instruction should be mandatory in school, much like CPR in health class. Even if you do not personally want a gun, you should be educated on the basics of firearms and what to do in different situations. To help make schools safer, an obvious improvement would be to have more trained, armed security officers at schools and have limited outside entries. Many schools have all doors locked to outsiders; everyone enters through the front area.

The answer is not to take away guns from law-abiding citizens, because that would result in less protection. In theory taking away guns sounds like a good idea, but it’s more complicated than that. Not everyone abides by the law. The law tries to prevent incidents and punishes offenders when crimes occur, but it can’t stop people from hurting others. And it is unjust to punish the majority of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of criminals.

The other David Hogg and I have similar goals but disagree on the means for accomplishing them. He puts more blame on the gun and the National Rifle Association than on the criminal. Still, I applaud him and his fellow activists for exercising their First Amendment right to speak out, without which nothing would ever get accomplished. In order for America to do something about a problem, people must discuss the issue and find the best solution for it.

I am no political scientist, activist or journalist, but I have a viewpoint too. I urge Florida’s Mr. Hogg to listen to people with differing views, because he would want them to listen to him. I recommend he be less demanding and more open to other ideas. People who are not willing to budge from their goal make it harder for change to occur. Also, some of his recent actions— like calling sponsors to stop advertising on a commentator’s program because she was rude to him—come across as bullying, as he claims the NRA is doing to Congress.

I would like to see him soften his tone and be more respectful in delivering his message. Teenagers are smart, but we certainly don’t have all the answers. Both the Florida David and I have a long way to go in life and a lot to learn.

Mr. Hogg studies engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Who is Really to Blame?

I thought this “update, request” was informative enough to post. Especially with all the “gun control” hype that is going on.
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As I have pointed out to you before, controlling the public narrative is the most important tool of propaganda. And after the horrendous Florida school massacre, the public narrative in the mainstream media and “correct” political circles has been to portray guns as the villain, and to call for more restrictive gun-control laws. It is all so predictable.

And so tragically wrong-headed. From what we already know about the situation, the gun-control laws under consideration would not have stopped this massacre. What we have here is the total failure of government at all levels, as well as associated agencies that work with them, to protect the students. Instead of guns, look at the failures of the FBI, the Obama Justice Department, state and local laws governing education, local school officials, local law enforcement, and local juvenile rehabilitation agencies. Some of these failures were due to deep corruption, others to unintended consequences of well-meaning but deficient “reforms.” This is what Congress at the national level, legislatures at the state level, and local governmental, police, and civic entities should be investigating. Elected conservatives and grass-roots conservatives-you-must be part of this conversation.

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who has confessed to killing 14 students and 3 faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, was no stranger to any of the local authorities. Excellent reporting by the Miami Herald (see here and here), which managed to obtain school disciplinary reports, reveals that Cruz engaged in disrupting class, unruly behavior, insulting or profane language, fighting, and an assault on January 19, 2017, that resulted in a referral for a “threat assessment.” He brought a backpack with bullets to school, which got him banned from bringing a backpack to school in the future. He told a fellow student “I’m going to go there [the high school] and shoot it up.” Local police made at least 18 visits to the Cruz home because of his actions, including holding a gun to a relative’s head. Last November the police got a tip that Cruz “could be a school shooter in the making,” but deputies did not even write up a report on that warning. And the FBI has admitted that it received at least two tips, one warning that Cruz was a possible violent threat. But the Florida Department of Children and Families determined that Cruz was not a threat to himself or others at the time of their investigation because he was in therapy.

We citizens are admonished, “If you see something, say something.” But what if the authorities then do nothing about our warnings?

Indeed, looking at Cruz’s record, what does it take today to get a student expelled? According to the Miami Herald, “Contrary to early reports, Cruz was never expelled from Broward schools. Legally, he couldn’t be . . . Under federal law, Nikolas Cruz had a right to a ‘free and appropriate’ education at a public school near him . . . . In general, school districts are required to provide kids with physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities a free education in the ‘least restrictive’ setting . . . .”

As a result, the Broward County school district-sixth largest in the nation, with over 265,000 students-expelled only 8 students between 2010 and 2014. And apparently those 8 were expelled only because they refused to go to one of those remedial school programs…

That “least restrictive” setting, in Broward County, consisted of stints lasting 3 to 10 days in an alternative school seeking to modify their behavior in that short period. Obviously it didn’t work with Nikolas Cruz.

This Assault on Discipline Was Planned

You can almost feel sorry for school authorities, hindered from expelling violent students by federal and local laws-until you learn that they were willing and active participants in a scheme to put such a program into being.

The website Conservative Treehouse and its Twitter thread reported how the school district to Broward’s south, Miami/Dade County, learned how to collect federal and state aid (taxpayer funded, of course) by reducing juvenile arrests-instead placing these miscreants in those alternative schools, for example, or just issuing them a citation (compared to “a traffic ticket”). This was a priority program promoted by the Obama Justice Department.

Broward authorities figured they could collect these rewards too, and soon became the Obama Administration’s national poster boy for reducing school arrests. In 2011, Broward had the most juvenile arrests in the state, with 9,034, but by 2015 this was cut to 4,777.

Of course, as noted by Mark Greenwald, director of research at the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the drop in arrests is not necessarily due to a drop in crime. But it looked good on paper. School superintendent Robert Runcie, who had been imported from the Chicago public school district (surprise!), was a hero. In 2015 he was invited by the Obama White House to address a school discipline conference and explain his success. And the next year he was named Florida’s Superintendent of the Year.

But that was before Nikolas Cruz demonstrated the dark side of a policy of total permissiveness.

Worst of all: The Broward Sheriff’s Department

But if you think the school authorities were derelict in their duties, I’ve saved the worst for last.

The nation is now familiar with how a Broward sheriff’s deputy hid outside the school building while Cruz shot students and teachers for four long minutes, and how three other deputies hid behind their cars rather than rushing inside to confront the shooter. It was a shameful disgrace to good cops in the Broward force and around the nation.

But back to Conservative Treehouse for information they gathered partially through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests:

“Well, it didn’t take long for criminal gangs in Broward and Miami-Dade to realize the benefit of using students for their criminal activities. After all, the kids would be let go…so organized crime became easier to get away with if they enlisted high-school kids.

“As criminals became more adept at the timing within the offices of the officials, they timed their biggest crimes to happen after the monthly maximum arrest quota was made . . . .

“Again, over time, the most corrupt police officers within the system became the police inside the schools. These officers were those who are best skilled at identifying the political objectives and instructions.”

These accusations need to be verified by Congress and/or state and local investigators, of course, but are they up to that task, against certain opposition from the politically correct forces?

Broward County voters have an opportunity this year to bring Sheriff Scott Israel to account, as he is up for reelection. Even before the school massacre, he was under heavy attack for putting political cronies on staff for “outreach” (read: public relations for Israel). According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, “A log of employees hired by the sheriff shows 10 workers were hired since 2013 into ‘outreach’ roles, their salaries totaling $634,479.”

Israel has cited the issuing of thousands of civil citations – rather than arrests – for juveniles as a sign of his success as sheriff. But that was before Nikolas Cruz.

One of his well-worn sayings of bravado as a candidate is, “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.” But this may be the year the Broward sheep rebel.

The liberal response to all this: blame guns

The horrendous example of the Florida school massacre shows malfeasance by government authorities and agencies from the federal to the local level, all according to the politically correct playbook. Decreasing the juvenile arrest rate is a worthy goal, but not at the expense of common sense and a total abandonment of school discipline, not to mention the police corruption that allowed all this to happen. The crime wasn’t that Nikolas Cruz used a gun (rather than, say, a bomb), but rather that he was not stopped despite dozens of incidents demonstrating that he was a danger to public safety.

The Florida school massacre is a poster board for political correctness run amok.

Once again, the liberals have proven that they are incapable of reason or common sense on this topic. It is up to conservatives-The Trump Administration, the Republican-dominated Congress, and (most important) the grassroots, you-to supply that reason and common sense.

Sincerely,   Richard A. Viguerie,  Chairman, FedUp PAC

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