They’re Coming For Your AR-15s and AK-47s Even Though Handguns Are Used In Nearly All Gun Crimes

AR’s, AK’s, and assault rifles, oh my!

If you watched the last two Democratic Presidential Debates you heard how every candidate wants to get “weapons of war” off the streets in an effort to tackle what they call our country’s “gun violence” epidemic.  These candidates quickly make it clear when they say weapons of war, they mean AR-15s and AK-47s .  Beto O’Rourke even said he plans to have the police go door to door to confiscate these terrifying guns from those who refuse to cooperate with a mandatory buyback, backing up his “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15” promise.

It’s unclear if these candidates are clueless as to how infrequently rifles such as AR-15s and AK-47s are actually used in gun crime, or if they are using these scary sounding trigger words to garner support from a populace that is being brainwashed to believe these particular firearms are responsible for a grossly inflated number of mass shootings. My guess is it’s a combination of the two.

If you haven’t yet learned how the gun grabbers are inflating these mass shooting numbers, you must read this article.

Our research team dug into the latest FBI report on gun deaths and put together some very telling charts.  This first one shows exactly how insignificant rifles are in the larger picture, and in fact, up until 2015, shotguns have been used in more murders than rifles.

Look closely, there are four lines in this graph…and the rifles line is so insignificant it can barely be seen.  

 

In addition, our research team took it one step further to look at the alleged “gun violence” epidemic and how it relates to rifles.  This chart shows that even these small numbers have been declining for years, and continue to do so.

 

Here’s another graph that shows where the firearm murder rate sits compared to all murders via other methods. It’s clear that both have been steadily trending downward for years, and that the firearm murder rate follows an overall murder trend, again emphasizing that the problem is violence, and not the tool one wishes to be violent with.

 

Bottom line: “Assault Weapons” Bans or mandatory buybacks are nothing but knee-jerk, virtue signaling reactions.

Just say NO.

 

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The Delusion of California Gun Control

 

California Governor Gavin Newsom is like the rooster in the fable who says, “Look how wonderful I am. When I crow in the morning, that’s the reason the sun rises.” Simply put, he’s too delusional to see the coincidence.

Governor Newsom just signed 15 new gun related bills into law. During the signing he had this to say:

“California has outperformed the rest of the nation, because of our gun safety laws, in reducing the gun murder rate substantially compared to the national reduction. No state does it as well or comprehensively as the state of California, and we still have a long way to go.”

He also added that between 1993 and 2017, the latest available, there was a 62 percent decline in the gun murder rate in California, nearly double the 34 percent nationally.  What he fails to mention is that in 1993 California’s gun murder rate was well above the national average.  In 1993 the gun homicide rate in California was 9.6 per 100,000 people, while nationally it sat at 6.75 per 100,000.  In 2017 California landed at 3.64, just slightly below the national average of 4.6.  Their decline was in line with the national trend, but steeper due to the how high it was initially.

Likewise, Newsom’s claim that California’s drop in gun homicide has anything to do with the state’s ever more restrictive gun laws. Nationally, the 34 percent drop in gun homicide is the consequence of the crack epidemic declining since 1993. As to California’s 64 percent drop in gun homicide, that’s the result of both the state getting a handle on the drug trade, but more significantly, the effect of gentrification from the mountains of cash brought in by Silicon Valley and high-tech. Large swaths of California real estate have been upscaled and where rich people move in, gang-bangers and drug dealers get pushed out. East Palo Alto, one of the most dangerous communities in California, has been swallowed up by Silicon Valley and no big surprise, its violent crime rate has plummeted. Los Angeles has been similarly gentrified. Boyle Heights, another neighborhood notorious for gangs and violent crime, has been recast as a trendy hotspot for the very well-to-do, and its violent crime and gun homicides have gone down.

So if more restrictive gun laws are really the answer, let’s look at two other states that have pursued aggressive gun-control measures like California’s.

From 1993 to 2017, Illinois experienced a 34.9 percent drop in gun homicide–in keeping with the national average. And Chicago is the murder capital of America.

From 1993 to 2017, Maryland experienced a 15.25 percent drop in gun homicide–well short of the national average by half. And Baltimore is the most dangerous city in America.

The big difference between Maryland, Illinois and California? Neither Illinois or Maryland have seen big influxes of cash and gentrification like California.

Let’s look at another telling example about the impact of gentrification: New York City.

In 1911, the city passed the Sullivan Act which required that anyone who possessed a handgun had to get a permit issued by the police and to have all handguns registered.

What was the result? Fast forward to 1981, which was the most violent year in New York City’s history with over 2,000 murders, mostly by handguns. The time was known as the “Death Wish” years when the city was one of the most dangerous in the world.

Now New York City is one of the safest? What happened? The government got serious about stopping organized crime and drug dealers but more importantly, it was New York’s “broken windows” policy. The city cleaned itself up. Research any article about the New York City turn-around and gentrification was key. And you’ll be hard pressed to find any mention that gun control was a factor. Why? Because gun control only affects law-abiding gun owners and they are not the cause of violent crime.

Let’s throw more cold water on the more-gun-control-makes-us-safer myth. Let’s look at Colorado. From 1993 to 2017, the state experienced a 26.2 percent drop in gun homicide. (You have to consider that Colorado was safe to begin with compared to California, Illinois, or Maryland.) In 2014, Colorado enacted two of California’s hallowed gun-control measures, Universal Background Checks and the High-Capacity Magazine Ban. Since then, Colorado’s gun homicide rate has increased by a whopping 47.6 percent. So anyone who claims that gun control has made the state any safer is as delusional as the Gavin Newsom rooster.

What else Gavin Newsom fails to mention is that despite California’s very restrictive gun-control environment, four of the most publicized recent mass-shootings happened on his turf: San Bernardino, Thousand Oaks, the Poway Synagogue, and Gilroy. And three of the most dangerous cities in America are in California: Stockton, San Bernardino, and Oakland. That’s nothing to crow about.

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17 Times Government Put Guns In The Hands Of Criminals

The latest buzzword in the anti-gun rhetoric dictionary is “mandatory buyback“, primarily referring to semi-automatic rifles or as the gun grabbers call them “assault weapons”.  Since an outright ban is not a very popular idea, especially with tens of millions of just AR-15’s owned by law abiding citizens, the anti-gun politicians need a new tactic.  Enter buyback programs.

I’ve written about buybacks before, highlighting how they are often used by individuals to sell their crap guns and purchase better ones.  But this latest proposal of “mandatory buybacks” is just ridiculous.

First, they aren’t buying back anything.  They never owned the property in the first place.  They are creating a law that would force citizens to sell their property to the government at whatever price the government deems adequate, and if the property (gun) owner refuses, they become a criminal.  Reminds me of eminent domain.

Second, any responsible gun owner knows if their firearm is in their possession, it will not be used to harm anyone.  That is the safest place it could possibly be. And if an individual owns a firearm with the intent of harming others, they sure as hell won’t sell it to a buyback program.

But this got me thinking about some of the stories I’ve seen where people have taken their rifles in to the police after a tragic mass shooting, saying they don’t want these guns on the streets anymore.  Now, I won’t criticize their intent.  It is their own property.  They can do with it what they chose.  But do they really know what will happen to that rifle after they turn it in?  Is it really safer in the hands of the government than in the hands of a law abiding gun owner?

A little research shows that not only does the government actually run guns to criminals themselves, but they lose them all the time.

Here are a handful of examples in no particular order:

Baltimore: Members of the Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) went rogue and eventually eight officers were convicted of stealing money, drugs and guns from the people they stopped, then reselling those same drugs and guns.

Michigan: police chief created a “reserve officer” unit, but turns out it was just a way to sell firearms, ammo, and body armor to celebrities, many who were barred from owning firearms.

California: police officer left her gun in the restroom, where it was promptly stolen.  She apologized, so it’s okay. 

New Mexico: police chief, along with a town trustee and the town mayor, was busted for running guns to a brutal Mexican drug cartel. 

Missouri: police chief was purchasing firearms with city funds then those firearms went “missing”. 

North Carolina: police chief was arrested for selling confiscated guns that should have been returned to the rightful owners after charges were dismissed. 

New York City: police officer was manufacturing illegal guns and selling them to criminals.

Nationwide: law enforcement and government guns regularly found in the hands of criminals.

Washington DC: police officer sold guns to those barred from purchasing them legally; at least one was used in a murder.

California: two police officers sold more than 100 firearms to convicted felons.

California: gun control proponent, State Senator Leland Yee promised votes and guns in exchange for campaign contributions, as well as participated in a gun trafficking scheme running gun from the Philippines with known mobsters.

California: school board president busted in the same gun trafficking scheme as above.

Nationwide: ATF can’t find “substantial number” of guns stolen from a government disposal facility. 

Nationwide: DEA agents keep losing guns and no one cares. 

Worldwide: 2000 guns were sold by the government to Mexican drug cartels in hopes of tracking the sellers. They lost track of the guns, some turned up in murders, most are still on the streets.  This is known as Fast and Furious. 

Worldwide: Pentagon lost weapons given to Yemen. This includes: 1,250,000 rounds of ammunition, 200 Glock 9 mm pistols, 200 M-4 rifles, 250 suits of body armor, 300 sets of night-vision goggles, among other things. 

This list was compiled after a 20 minute Google search.  You can only imagine how much more is out there as well as what hasn’t been discovered.  It also begs the question of what will happen with all the guns confiscated through “Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Orders ERPOs.

So yeah, don’t sell your guns to the government.  You never know where they’ll actually end up. 

Have other stories of government corruption or incompetence regarding firearms?  Drop them in the comments.

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Pro-2A Columbine Shooting Survivor Asks Beto A Question, Beto Assumes He’s Anti-Gun

Pro-2A Columbine Shooting Survivor Asks Beto A Question, Beto Assumes He's Anti-Gun

When an attendee at Beto O’Rourke’s town hall in Aurora, CO identified himself as a Columbine High School shooting survivor, it was assumed be was anti-gun.  But he’s not. In fact, Evan Todd is an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment. He only asks Beto one thing – if he thinks it’s time to ban all semi-automatic firearms. Evan prefaces this with the fact no so-called “assault weapons” were used in the Columbine shooting.  And in 1999 when the devastating massacre took place, the country was smack in the middle of the Clinton Era Assault Weapons ban.

Beto’s response is a must-see.  WATCH!

Initially members of the media used this clip to claim a Columbine survivor was there pleading with Beto to ban all semi-automatic firearms.  As soon as that same media discovered Evan was not anti-gun and did not support the proposals Beto is pushing, they went silent.

Beto’s response makes it clear he is perfectly open to removing the means of self defense from millions of people.

Evan’s story of survival is a gruesome one. The day of the Columbine High School Shooting, he was the first person shot in the library, and the last person to speak to the shooters before they took their own lives. He was a sophomore at the time. 

Evan watched as the two killers murdered his classmates, execution-style.

“One of them kneeled down and put a gun to my head and said, ‘Why shouldn’t we kill you?'” Todd told KUNC during a Columbine anniversary interview. “And so when they came up to me, I really thought, this is it, this is the end of my life.”

They didn’t pull the trigger. And Evan survived, although forever changed.

Evan’s experiences that day have shaped his thinking on school safety and guns. Evan believes a teacher who is trained and allowed to carry a firearm can make a difference during a school shooting. He is a gun owner and a concealed carry permit holder himself. He has testified in favor of a bill that would allow people to conceal carry on school grounds, has testified against Red Flag laws, and he is outspoken in his support of the right to keep and bear arms.

Listen to his story in the video below.

Evan Todd is currently the spokesman for Bullets Both Ways, an organization dedicated to firearms and trauma training for school staff and church personnel. He spoke at our Take Back The Second rally last May.

Man, these town halls sure aren’t turning out as planned for Beto.

 

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CO Mom Tells Beto “Hell NO You’re Not Taking My Guns!” At Aurora Town Hall

CO Mom Tells Beto "Hell NO You're Not Taking My Guns!" At Aurora Town Hall

Lauren Boebert drove three hours from Rifle to Aurora, Colorado for one reason and one reason only – to tell Democrat Presidential Beto O’Rourke “Hell NO, you’re not taking my guns” and she did.

The town hall was held Thursday, September 19th on the lawn of the Aurora Municipal Center to a small crowd of a few dozen people, many who attended in opposition of Beto’s proposed gun control.  During the last democratic presidential debate Beto made headlines when he stated “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15!” and immediately released a line of campaign t-shirts with the new slogan on them.

Lauren is a mother of four and owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, a restaurant where you will regularly see staff open carrying and patrons are welcome to carry – open or concealed.  She took Beto to task on everything from his desire to disarm the law abiding to his criminal past.

“We all know that you, sir, have a criminal history and I understand that burglars do not like armed defense. Burglars do not like armed defense yet that is a right that we have that shall not be infringed in America,” Boebert said.

She also brought up why her and staff began open carrying in their restaurant – a man was beaten to death in the alley nearby.

“He lost his life that night, and it kinda shook me up. I was there alone a lot and I thought, ‘what am I gonna do, what am I gonna do if something happens, what if somebody comes in here, my husband isn’t here to protect me, I’m all alone,’ and really, that’s what got me to open-carry,” she said.

MUST WATCH!

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Beto Sells “Hell Yes We’re Going To Take Your AR-15” Campaign Shirts, RFOR Says “Hell No” On New Merchandise

Democratic presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke, released a new line of merchandise to support his campaign.  His official web store is now selling a shirt with red, white, and blue letters with the threat to physically take firearms away from millions of law abiding gun owners.

“Hell yes we’re going to take your AR-15” the shirt says, available in unisex tee and a women’s cut.

This was following his now infamous line during Thursday’s presidential debate where he promised widespread gun confiscation. Here are his words: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.” This was followed by thunderous applause. Never mind it already illegal to use those gun against our “fellow Americans” unless in self defense.

WATCH:

The fact that he is now gloating this on merchandise that he expects unarmed citizens to wear in public is not just distasteful, but disturbing.

Rally for our Rights immediately launched a “Hell No, You’re Not Going To Take My Guns” line of merchandise as a counter campaign.  Products include unisex tees, tank tops, women’s cut, hoodies, coffee cups and stickers.  All proceeds directly support the fight to defend your gun rights.  Get your gear here.

Longmont, CO Wants to Register Their Gun Owners, Mandate Smart Tech Gun Locks

Longmont City Council Meeting On Extreme "Gun Safety Resolution"

In a Gun Safety Resolution so extreme it puts Boulder, CO’s so-called “assault weapons” ban to shame, Longmont, CO city council is asking federal and state elected officials to implement laws such as gun registration and requiring gun locks so advanced the technology barely even exists yet, among many other things.

On Tuesday, Councilman Tim Waters presented the resolution.  It was voted 5-2 to advance to the next step – deliberation and a final vote which will take place on Tuesday, Sept 10 at 7pm during the weekly city council meeting.  If approved, Mayor Brian Bagley would have to forward this resolution to state and federal elected officials conveying that these are the laws city council believes Longmont’s law abiding gun owners should have to abide by.  It should be noted, Mayor Bagley was one of the NO votes to move the resolution forward, along with Councilwoman Bonnie Finley.

Here is what the resolution calls for: 

1.) Required state issued permits for gun ownership.
2.) Universal background checks on all sales, including the private sale of firearms*.
3.) State issued permits for concealed carry*.
4.) State issued permits for concealed carry within a vehicle*.
5.)  Banning the personal sale or purchase of military grade weapons by non-military personnel.
6.) Limits on magazine capacity*.
7.) Required gun locks that enable only permitted gun owners to fire a weapon.
8.) Prohibitions of gun ownership by convicted felons and individuals convicted of domestic abuse.
9.) Red flagging individuals who have given family members and/or law enforcement reasons for concern about their mental and emotional stability*.

(Read the PDF of the resolution distributed by Councilman Tim waters on Tuesday here.)

According to Councilman Waters, the asterisk denotes laws that already exist in Colorado, although it’s unclear what he means by #4: State issued permits for conceal carry within vehicle.  Is he suggesting Colorado has a separate permit that allows individuals to carry a firearm within their vehicle or is he simply denoting it’s an extension of #3?  Just to be clear, there is no separate law requiring a permit to carry within a vehicle in Colorado.

The others with an asterisk are accurate – #2, #6 and #9.  In 2013 Colorado passed expanded background checks as well as restricted magazine capacity to 15 rounds, although it’s done nothing to curb gun deaths (homicides and suicide combined), and in fact, gun deaths have been rising at an alarming rate in the state since those laws were enacted. You could almost make the case that it’s had the opposite effect of what was intended.  And as for #9, Colorado’s “Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Orders ERPO legislation was signed into law this past April, but the law will not go into effect until January 1, 2020.  I’ve also pointed out that Red Flag laws don’t work in other states that have them, such as Indiana where suicide rates are skyrocketing and they’ve had a Red Flag law since 2005, or California where there has been a public mass shooting yearly since they enacted their Red Flag law in 2014, and Sandy Hook happened in Connecticut after they enacted their Red Flag law in 1999.

But now let’s take a good look at the other laws the resolution calls for…

#1: State issued permits for gun ownership.  This is a gun owner registry plain and simple.  A registry required based off an irrational fear of property we own. Which class of people will Longmont suggest we register next based off an irrational fear? Muslims? Jews? The bigotry of the council is astounding. And how much will it cost to register? Are they also discriminating against poor people who can’t afford to register? Oh, and we all know exactly who will NOT register – criminals. In addition, talk of a registry always begs the question of how it will stop evil people from committing evil acts?  Would someone who wishes to do harm with a firearm not do so because they’ve “registered”, suddenly instilling morals and a sense of right from wrong into the individual? Absolutely not.

#5: Banning the personal sale or purchase of military grade weapons by non-military personnel.  What does this even mean? If they’re referring to banning access to firearms such as AR-15’s or AK-47’s that civilians can legally purchase from a gun store in the United States, it certainly wouldn’t be included under #5 as those firearms are not used by military.  Maybe they mean they want to eliminate the ability for civilians to spend $30k and purchase a full auto through the NFA?  Considering the latter is still legal in Boulder where they banned “assault weapons” in 2018, it’s more likely that Councilman Tim Waters has no idea what he is even talking about, but still supports sending men with “weapons of war” to confiscate “weapons of war” from people who have done absolutely nothing wrong.  I bet he claims to be against police brutality too, even though he’d support police enforcing his ban up and to the point of brutal force.

#7: Required gun locks that enable only permitted gun owners to fire a weapon.  Now we’re not just talking about access to firearms via a smart technology safe, but the actual requirement that the gun cannot be fired unless by the registered gun owner.  This kind of smart technology barely exists, and what does exist is incredibly expensive.  For example, German firearms manufacturer Armatix LLC manufactures RFID enabled guns that are only activated by those with an authorized watch. But the pricetag is through the roof at $1800 for it’s most basic .22 caliber iP1 pistol.  So again, we’re talking about laws that limit access to self defense only to those who can afford it, blatant discrimination against the poor.  The technology also doesn’t come without flaws, and dangerous ones at that.  Even though the manufacturer says the bracelet must be within 1 foot of the firearm to function, multiple videos have proven that all it takes to bypass the safety block is a simple magnet held next to the firearm, rendering it an overpriced and awkward .22 handgun.  Plus RFID jammers are easy to make, creating a whole new black market where stalkers and rapists can obtain the means to deactivate a potential victim’s instrument of self defense.

#8: Prohibitions of gun ownership by convicted felons and individuals convicted of domestic abuse.  This is already federal law, with felons and domestic abusers being entered into the NICS database, prohibiting the legal purchase of a firearm, and it’s simply illegal for them to own one.

If there is one word that comes to mind after reading this, it’s privilege.  This is what privilege looks like.  Councilman Waters, along with council members Marcia Martin, Polly Christiansen, Aren Rodriguez, and Joan Peck who joined him in his support of this resolution, are so privileged they don’t understand why someone could possibly ever need to defend themselves.  And those who are underprivileged and live in poverty would have their right to self defense stripped of them, even though statistics show people living in households in the US that have an income level below the Federal poverty threshold have more than double the rates of violent victimization compared to individuals in high-income households.  And because the poverty rate of African Americans is almost double of that of Caucasians, you could almost call Councilman Waters proposals white privilege. I mean, he must believe only rich white people should be allowed to defended themselves, right?

Now, some may say resolutions are worthless; simply a statement with no teeth.  I don’t see it that way.  What I see is a city council who will be voting September 10th on whether or not they believe these laws should be forced upon the 94,000 people in their city. And if their vote is yes, what’s to stop them from doing an ordinance next?

Please speak up, especially if you are a Longmont resident.  You can email the entire council at once at: [email protected] and telephone numbers can be found here.  Attend the next city council meeting:  Sept 10th at 7pm, Civic Center 350 Kimbark St. Longmont, CO 80501.  If you are comfortable doing so, come with a 3 minute prepared speech to give during public comment (it’s easy). If you don’t want to speak, please still come and offer support to others.  Questions?  Contact us.

 

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Parkland One Year Later: The Government Has Blood On Their Hands

Parkland One Year Later: The Government Has Blood On Their Hands Rally for our Rights Colorado
Today marks one year since the United States saw a school massacre that broke the hearts of a nation, ignited a fire in new activists, and if you’re paying attention – shattered your trust in government.  That massacre being the Parkland, Florida school shooting where 19 year old Nikolas Cruz took the lives of 14 classmates and three teachers.

On February 14th, 2018 Nikolas Cruz took an Uber with a backpack equipped with an AR-15, grenades, and ammo to his old school.  He walked past the school security monitor, Andrew Medina, who knew he wasn’t allowed on school grounds and found his presence “suspicious”, although did nothing.  Cruz walked past the building where school resource officer, Scot Peterson, was talking with another student.  Peterson was employed as a sheriff’s deputy with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, but his charge was to protect the students at Parkland High School.  It should also be noted that Peterson was the only armed person permitted to be on school grounds.  Cruz walked through the unsecured school doors into his former high school from which he’d been expelled.  In this gun free zone not one person attempted to stop him, nor was there any security measures in place.  At 2:21 pm he opened fire.  It was a rampage that would last at least 20 minutes before Cruz simply walked out of the school and into a nearby neighborhood, where he was eventually captured and confessed.

Heartbreaking.  How can this kind of tragedy happen?  It shouldn’t have.  And it wouldn’t have if the government had done their job.  

The Parkland High School Shooting spurred a gun control movement this country hasn’t seen in decades.  March for our Lives formed under umbrella groups Moms Demand Action and Everytown For Gun Safety, all which are funded by Michael Bloomberg, have taken to the streets and the halls of congress.  Frantic and misguided students, parents, teachers and individuals have exploited the Parkland tragedy calling for massive gun control across the nation – from city ordinances to federal laws.  What they should be acknowledging instead is the complete and utter government failure that allowed Parkland to happen in the first place. More laws were not needed. The current laws simply needed to be enforced.

The government has blood on their hands, and as a mother I say that unapologetically.  

• Nikolas Cruz was not a stranger to Broward County law enforcement.  In fact, police had been called to his home at least 37 times over the course of only a few years. 37 TIMES!  The reasons ranged from harming animals (shooting chickens with a pellet gun), assault on his mother, assault on his siblings, harming himself, threatening to harm himself, threatening to harm others, and more.  Not once was he charged.  Not once did the police take any action, even though action on almost all of these would have required his name to be entered into the NICS database preventing him from legally being able to purchase a firearm.

• In addition to the 37 reports law enforcement did follow up on (although ultimately ignored in the end), in February 2016 a tipster called Broward Sheriff’s Office to say Cruz ‘could be a school shooter in the making’ and had been making threats on Instagram, but deputies did not write up a report on that warning, instead they forwarded it to School Resource Officer Scot Peterson. That report came just weeks after a relative called urging Broward Sheriff’s Office to investigate if he should have the weapons he had, and possibly seize them.  In the end, both reports were ignored.

• Late in 2016 a “peer counselor” reported to School Resource Officer Scot Peterson that Cruz had possibly ingested gasoline in a suicide attempt, was cutting himself and wanted to buy a gun. A mental health counselor advised against involuntarily committing Cruz.  In Florida, such action can be done under the Baker Act, which allows the state to involuntarily commit individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others. People committed under the Baker Act are legally barred from obtaining firearms.  This event was followed up on by Florida Department of Children and Families, and even though he had fresh cuts from “cutting” and his mother shared her fear that he constantly talked of wanting to buy a firearm, he was deemed stable and, once again, ignored.

• In September 2017 a YouTube user named “nikolas cruz” postsed a comment stating he wanted to become a “professional school shooter.” The comment was reported to the FBI in Mississippi, but was not followed up on.

• In November 2017 a family member called Broward County Sheriff’s Office to report that Nikolas Cruz was dangerous, had made legitimate threats, and had weapons.  Her concerns were ignored when Cruz told them he’d give the weapons to a family friend.  This again would have been a legitimate use of the Baker Act.

• Also in November 2017, after Cruz’ mother died, he was taken in by a Palm Beach County family.  They contacted the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office to report a fight between Cruz and their 22 year old son. A member of the family said that Cruz had threatened to “get his gun and come back” and that he had “put the gun to others’ heads in the past.” The family did not want him arrested, so the report was ignored.

And again in November 2017 a caller from Massachusetts reported that Cruz is collecting guns and knives and was threatening to be a “school shooter in the making.” A Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy advised the caller to contact the Palm Beach sheriff.  If the caller ever did contact Palm Beach, it’s not on record.

• In January 5, 2018 a report came in to the FBI’s tip line claiming that Cruz has “a desire to kill people” and could potentially conduct a school shooting. The information was never passed on to the FBI’s office in Miami.  The FBI has even publicly acknowledged their failure.

And these are only the failures BEFORE the incident.  Since the incident it has come to light that:

• The only other armed person on school grounds, resource officer Scot Peterson, hid behind a concrete wall during the rampage.

• School Security Monitor, Andrew Medina, had a long history of sexually harassing female students, all which was swept under the rug.

• Broward County Sheriff took 26 minutes to enter to the school.

• Nikolas Cruz was easily able to walk out of the school, blending in with other students and walked into a nearby neighborhood, where he was later arrested.

• After a lawsuit against the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, the school district, and Parkland High, a judge determined that NONE of these entities had a responsibility to protect the students.

You would think after all of this, those closest to the tragedy would be asking why – and how – this kind of failure is possible.  You would think that in the change they wish to see, the government would be the last place they’d be seeking it.  I mean, what makes them think anything will change?  History shows it won’t and it doesn’t, and, in fact,  nearly every mass shooting the US has seen government failure like this exist behind it.

Even last summer during a counter protest Rally for our Rights held while March for our Lives was staging a “March on the NRA”, a conversation afterward between myself and the organizers of the other event resulted in agreement that these failures exist, and that before we discuss new laws, we should be discussing why our current laws are failing.

What is the solution?  We need to acknowledge our society has a violence problem and a suicide problem, but to call it a gun problem is disingenuous.  To create gun control laws that disarm and effect only the law abiding is a false sense of security.  Mental health is a strong component of this issue.  Any individual who will walk into a school and execute students is mentally ill, even if not previously diagnosed.

We have soft targets in schools such as Parkland, where someone like Cruz can simply wander in with nothing in his way, and not one person inside the school is legally given the ability to defend the students they care for as their own.  Programs such as FASTER Colorado provides no cost or low cost intensive training to school staff who voluntarily choose to be armed and is approved by their school board.  They are also provided with deep concealment training, trauma training, and psychological training.

In the end, we will never eradicate evil, but we can defend ourselves from it.  

 

A Pro-Gun Minority Calls Out Tom’s and Gifford’s On Their Gun Safety Town Hall Agenda

Tom's Giffords Town Hall Denver Rally For Our Rights Colorado
On Saturday January 26, I attended the Gun Safety Town Hall held in the Washington Street Community Center of Denver. I’ll admit I approached with trepidation, into the belly as it were.

The anti-gun lobby is flush with cash and it shows. They can hire expert IT types to exploit social media and develop catchy websites, and they can afford big vehicles with custom paint jobs. My RSVP invitation was seamlessly handled through Eventbrite.

To enter the venue, I had to pass through unarmed security using wand metal detectors. Inside I couldn’t tell who were event sponsors or volunteers because they all wore identical flashy badges. Video cameras flanked the stage, complete with a big banner. About a hundred and fifty or so from the public filed in to occupy the rows of folding chairs arranged in the main meeting room. The crowd included the usual suspects: a few middle-aged women in MDA or Cease Fire Colorado t-shirts. One man wore a Parkland High School t-shirt, although I never found out if he hailed from there or wore it out of solidarity.

The event was moderated by a rep from the Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, who shared the dais with an anti-gun writer from New York City, someone from Tom’s Shoes (who was footing the bill, pun intended), Congressman Joe Neguse from Colorado, and Tom Mauser. The town hall began with the speakers discussing mass shooting to include the usual hate speech against the NRA.

The actual point of the town hall was to drum up support for HR 8, the new bill for expanded background checks, advertised as needed to close the infamous gun-show loophole, because as you all know, as we were told, any Colorado resident can simply drive to New Mexico or Wyoming and buy a gun, no questions asked. Ignoring of course that such an act is already a violation of federal law.

The town hall was scheduled to last an hour and at the halfway point, the public was invited to approach a microphone and share. One young woman said she was a Parkland survivor. A couple of older speakers expressed their gratitude for the campaign’s effort to end gun violence. A young man said he was from New Hampshire and rambled on about that state’s proliferation of guns, but I couldn’t tell if he was anti- or pro-gun.

Finally it was my turn. My question was that since both the DOJ and the FBI have established a direct correlation between drug trafficking and gun violence, how come the Giffords campaign, or MDA, or Everytown for Gun Safety, or any of the prevent-gun-violence groups do not once mention drug trafficking as responsible for gun violence?

I could tell my question blind-sided them. The only one who answered was the woman from the Giffords campaign, who said that they are focused on gun violence, not drug trafficking. My rebuttal was that even the CDC concludes that the highest risk factor for homicides, especially those with guns, is drug trafficking. I stressed that the anti-gun people were ignoring one of the biggest causes of gun violence. Though I went way over my three-minute time limit, the brief back-and-forth exposed a gaping hole in their agenda.

After the meeting, I did attempt to debate HR 8 with the woman from the Giffords campaign, but she wouldn’t let the facts interfere with her talking points. She’s paid big bucks to toe the company line, not acknowledge the truth or promote effective policy that provides for public safety.

Interestingly, on my way out, one of the event’s African-American volunteers, a big man named Stevon, congratulated me for my comments. Before the town hall, he had brought up the same points, which were summarily dismissed.

So what did I learn?

ONE: these public venues are a great opportunity to make our case. Unlike in social media or through the news outlets, the anti-gunners can’t easily delete our comments. They have to respond.

TWO: focus on an issue that exposes the weaknesses of their agenda. What I noted at this town hall but didn’t mention was that they got everyone stirred up over mass shootings, then segued into expanded background checks even though they admitted that these checks wouldn’t stop mass shootings. It was a bait-and-switch that needed to be spot lighted.

THREE: we can’t rant about rights because that gets little traction with this crowd. You have to call them out on their failures to address the big problems stoking gun violence such as drug trafficking, gangs, and incompetent bureaucrats. Use government sources such as the DOJ, FBI, and CDC to back you up.

FOUR: we must actively engage the various communities to make our case. For example, meet with communities of color to explain that since less than one percent of violent criminals get their guns from a gun show, and more than forty percent get their guns through the black market, then why are we wasting time on expanded background checks to close the gun show loophole? Emphasize that when the local government and the police pursue effective programs that address violent crime, as opposed to gun control, then homicides decrease and as a result we get safer communities.

FIVE: meet with our legislators and make our case. Make them explain why they endorse flawed proposals while ignoring effective policy.

Preserving our Second Amendment rights will take work, but we have truth and reality on our side.

Questions Everyone Should Be Asking About Red Flag Emergency Risk Protection Gun Laws

Questions Everyone Should Be Asking About Red Flag Emergency Risk Protection ERPO Gun Laws : Rally for our Rights Colorado

If you’re not familiar with Red Flag Laws, also known as Emergency Risk Protection Orders (ERPO),  you’re not paying enough attention.  And if you know what Red Flag Laws are and support them, you’re probably also not paying enough attention.

Red Flag Laws allow an intimate partner, former intimate partner, or family member to make a report to the courts with claims that an individual is going to either hurt themselves or others with a firearm.  Within 24 hours the court hears a preponderance of evidence and issues an order to have the persons gun confiscated.

To some people, this sounds good on the surface.  I mean, who doesn’t want to save lives?  But feel good laws like these do more harm than good, and this one is no exception.  In fact, it may be one of the worst.   These laws lack due process, they grossly violate our right to keep and bear arms, and they would have a chilling effect on free speech.  Not to mention they would prevent people who truly need help from seeking it – especially those who are suicidal.

There are many questions we should be asking.  Here are some that I’ve developed after reading through the language in these proposed bills in many states.

• How can lawmakers ensure a stalker or domestic abuser is prevented from using an ERPO to disarm their victims, potentially putting those in our society who need protection the most in harms way?

• Are there safeguards in place to prevent this from being used as a form of retaliation or as a hate crime – for example being used to disarm a transgender person, a person of color, or a certain religion?

• Why is all information such as accusers, allegations, accusations, etc sealed and require a court order for release?

• Many of these ERPO’s allow the accuser to report via telephone, as well as attend the initial hearing via telephone – making these easier to obtain than a Temporary Protection Order, opening the door to rampant abuse.

• What kind of proof is required that the accuser is or has been in an intimate relationship with the accused, or is a family member?

• What kind of punishment would be in a Red Flag Bill for false accusers?

• Will requiring police to confiscate the guns of people who could be innocent, put law enforcement officers in harms way?

• When these confiscation orders are being carried out, quite likely against someone who is innocent, will that put families and children at risk?

• Why are these laws being promoted as “mental health” laws when in fact they have no mental health components?

• Because the accused who would have their firearms confiscated has not been accused of a crime, they would not be eligible for a public defender to get their firearms back, leaving the poor in our society at a disadvantage.

Do you have other questions that I have missed?  Drop them in the comments.  

Here is how these laws would work:

Step 1: A petitioner (either a current or former intimate partner, or a family member, with no proof required) makes a report via telephone or in person that you have firearms, have bought firearms, or have bought ammunition – and that they have heard you make a threat that you may harm another or yourself.

Step 2: A court hearing is scheduled within 24 hours either over the phone or in person with the petitioner to determine if an Emergency Risk Protection Order (aka Red Flag Order) should be issued.  The one most important person notably missing from this hearing is YOU.  You are not even so much as informed that this hearing is taking place.  During this hearing the judge will hear a “preponderance of evidence” from the petitioner, and only the petitioner, with the goal to convince the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true.

Step 3: An Emergency Risk Protection Order (ERPO) is issued.  The sheriff’s department will visit your home and demand you turn over your firearms, and if you refuse to comply, they will be confiscated by force (placing everyone present in a dangerous situation).  YOU will be left alone, without what may be your most important means of self defense – your firearm – because someone just had it confiscated.  It doesn’t matter if you bought that firearm to protect yourself from a stalker, an abuser, or simply to walk home from work late at night. It also doesn’t matter if the person who requested your firearms be confiscated is that same abuser or stalker.

Step 4: Then, and only then, will you be given instructions as to how to defend yourself in court and get your firearms back.

You can read more about Colorado’s 2018 version of the Red Flag Bill here.  A new bill has not yet been introduced for the 2019 legislative session, but it undoubtedly will be.

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