Tag Archives: gun control

Reality Check: Major Corporations Influencing Gun Control?

Major institutions across the U.S. are taking a stand in the debate over gun control.

Many gun control advocates believe this is a great move by American corporations. But what does it mean when corporations are punishing customers for behavior that is not illegal? Could these businesses become moral police?

This is a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

In response to the latest mass shooting event in Parkland, Florida, major corporations and banks are now instituting their own gun control policies. Let’s first look at how banks are getting involved.

Bank of America announced just 10 days after the parkland shooting that it would begin conversations with its customers who manufacture guns to, “examine what we can do to help end the tragedy of mass shootings.”

Then in mid-March Citigroup revealed it would institute its own restrictions on gun manufacturer clients. The bank has since banned its business customers from selling guns to anyone under 21, and from selling high-capacity magazines and bump stocks altogether.

And now, Bank of America will no longer lend to gun manufacturers, including current loan customers Vista Outdoors and Remington.

While banks are private institutions, there are questions here about why banks would not lend to companies that are not doing anything illegal, but that the bank’s executives simply don’t agree with.

According to Bank of America’s annual shareholder meeting in April, a shareholder named Justin Danhof, the director of the free enterprise project, asked CEO Brian Moynihan how much business the bank was sending away, noting that Warren Buffett said he wouldn’t make a similar move in his business.

In response, Moynihan said that the choice was in response to those associated with the bank who were impacted by the parkland shooting. Without citing any figures, Moynihan said, “this comes from our teammates saying we have to help.”

Yet Bank of America, the second largest bank in the U.S., has made a unilateral decision that imposes a political view on its employees and shareholders.

Remember, these banks have trillions of dollars in assets. Bank of America alone serves 3 million small business owners in the U.S. and because their policies affect so many people, these banks can sway policy in our country without a single vote cast.

Now, what about the major retailers in the U.S. stepping into the gun control debate?

According to the New York Times, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, two of the nation’s leading gun sellers, have opted to further restrict customers by raising the age to purchase any firearm to 21.

Dick’s Sporting Goods has removed what it calls assault-style weapons from all of its stores’ shelves.

And Walmart went even further. The retailer will stop selling toy and air guns that resemble assault-style guns.

The actions these major corporations have taken to address gun control highlights the power to punish customers for legal behavior.

But can’t customers vote with their dollar and choose to bank or buy products with a company that highlights their values?

Yes you can vote with your dollar, but it’s very hard when so few corporations are so large and impose their will. And that’s what you need to know.

The problem here is when major, private companies have centralized control. In a free market, corporations should be able to do what they want. If you don’t like it, you support a competitor.

But that’s not the system we have in the U.S.

Instead, it’s a system where cronyism has allowed a few large corporations to have massive control, and there are huge hurdles to anyone trying to create an alternative.

It is why, as I have said before, the decentralization of everything is what is so necessary in virtually every industry. Because it is decentralization that allows freedom.

That’s Reality Check, let’s talk about it right now on Facebook and Twitter.

Reality Check: Are Gun Confiscation Laws Trampling Your Civil Liberties?

A candidate for sheriff in North Carolina has said he would confiscate guns in his county by taking them from the “cold, dead hands” of the people he is supposed to protect. Now, he says he was only joking.

Joking or not, the attitude of gun confiscation is raising concern about the power of law enforcement in this country. And are newly enacted gun confiscation laws violating due process and civil liberties?

This is a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

R. Daryl Fisher’s recent comments about gun confiscation are disturbing. In a video captured March 7, Fisher was speaking to the members of the local Moms Demand Action meeting when he said this:

“What about people that already have weapons? Well, I will tell you now, don’t buy into the scare tactics. Don’t believe the scare tactics. Because you’ve heard people say, ‘You’ll have to pry my gun from my cold, dead hands.’ Okay.”

Now, since that video was released, Fisher has come forward saying he shouldn’t have joked.

Fisher supports tougher gun control. As we reported at TruthInMedia.com, Fisher, like many politicians, wants to raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm, ban “high capacity” magazines and anything that increases a firearms rate of fire.

He also wants to outlaw military style weapons and require firearm qualifications before people can carry guns.

Fisher said it would be unconstitutional to take guns from people before a ban was in place, and that “Responsible gun owners have nothing to worry about.” And yet, the “joke” of killing gun owners for refusing to allow their guns to be confiscated, resonated with the audience. You hear it in their cheers.

That alone raises questions about the mentality about gun confiscation in this country.

Today, lawmakers across the U.S. are looking to implement so-called “red flag” gun laws in order to confiscate guns from owners who are deemed an “extreme risk.” Immediate family or law enforcement file a ERPO, or extreme risk petition order, on a gun owner to confiscate their weapons. A judge can swiftly approve the ERPO as an immediate temporary order or full order, according to TruthInMedia.com

And while the intent is to protect gun owners from harming themselves or others, civil liberties groups and Second Amendment advocates claim otherwise.

Let’s look at the State of Washington, which has a “red flag” law in place in its capital of Seattle. There, the law allows for gun confiscation before an arrest or charge of crime.

According to TruthInMedia.com, “While this has been championed as a valuable tool for law enforcement, due process procedures come into question; under the provisions of an ex parte ERPO, the accused respondent will not have the opportunity to face their accuser or challenge the claim until after a temporary order is already issued. This effectively allows law enforcement take a person’s firearms first, with due process occurring after firearms are removed.”

Yes, law enforcement can take guns away from people they deem “extreme risk” and hold those weapons until a judge decides the owner is not a threat to the public or themselves.

Five states including Washington allow guns to be confiscated before a crime has been committed. Similar measures have been proposed in 18 other states, including Florida, plus the District of Columbia, according to the Washington Post.

What you need to know is that while we can agree that we want to reduce threats of violence in this country, we must consider the rights of individuals and the authority we give those in power.

In the wake of mass shootings, lawmakers rush to push gun control legislation that often duplicates existing laws on the books or tramples our civil liberties.

Let’s take the politics out of it so that we can have a real discussion about whether these “red flag” gun confiscation laws are actually accomplishing what they are meant to do.

That’s Reality Check. Let’s talk about that, on Facebook and Twitter.

WATCH: Joe Rogan Blasts Hollywood’s “Hypocrisy” Over Gun Control

Los Angeles, CA — While interviewing NRA TV host Colion Noir on his podcast the Joe Rogan Experience, the two discussed the the anti-gun “left-wing” Hollywood elite that make millions to billions of dollars on movies that often feature a heavy dose of gun violence. Rogan said that many of the same “liberal actors” publicly rebuking gun violence and advocating for gun control are protected by people carrying guns and wearing flak jackets.

After Noir finished discussing gun-free zones, Rogan asked Noir what he thought about arming teachers, prompting Noir to explain that “anything we hold valuable in this country is protected with guns.”

Rogan responded to Noir’s commentary by calling out Hollywood:

No one is more anti-gun than Hollywood. When you hear about any sort of crime or gun violence, the left-wing people in Hollywood are the most vocal, the most virtue-signaling, the quickest to jump on their pedestal. Meanwhile, what percentage of their f***ing movies involve gun violence? And if you look at the Academy Awards, did you see the security at the Academy Awards? You see all these left-leaning liberal actors being protected by people with flak jackets on. Carrying guns with fingers outside the triggers. I mean, dogs? It’s crazy.

Rogan, a strong civil libertarian, is no stranger to controversy as he is known for his refusal to comport to political correctness and has vocally waded into public discussion surrounding guns, mental health, liberty, tyranny and more on numerous previous occasions.

During a podcast in 2016, Rogan gave his thoughts on gun control as it relates to the Second Amendment, noting that it largely relates to government tyranny, not crime, stating:

“The whole point of the law is you can’t let some tyrannical dictator decide who can and can’t armed. Because at the end of the day, what we really have to worry about as much as crime, is we have to worry about the government turning into a crime (sic).”

“An armed militia is in the possibility that it all goes wrong. That’s what it’s for. It’s not for when everything is going right, it’s for when it all goes wrong. To deny the possibility that it could all go wrong, to me, you’re lying. You’re lying. You’re pretending we’re better than we are.”

“To say that we’ve reached some utopian place where we don’t have to worry about the government turning into a tyranny – bull$#hit.”

Watch Rogan’s full interview with Noir below where he targets Hollywood’s collective position surrounding guns.

WATCH: Sheriff Candidate “Jokes” About Killing People Who Resist Gun Confiscation

Buncombe County, NC – Democratic candidate for sheriff in Buncombe County, North Carolina, R. Daryl Fisher, made a statement during a campaign event that has stirred outrage among gun owners, which he later claimed was a “joke.”

While speaking during at a campaign event, on March 7, Fisher told the crowd:

“You’ve heard people say: ‘You’ll have to pry my gun from my cold, dead hands.’ Okay!”

Fisher’s implication from his statement appeared to be that if necessary, it was “okay” to kill gun owners that refused to allow their weapons to be confiscated. While it is unclear what specific group Fisher was speaking to, the audience appeared to be proponents of gun control, as his commentary was met with applause and laughter.

During his address, Fisher noted that he was a proponent of stricter gun regulations, and explained that “common sense” regulations include raising the age to purchase a firearm to 21, banning “high capacity” magazines on both rifles and pistols, outlawing weapons designed for military use, requiring firearm qualifications before people can carry guns, only allowing people to carry the weapon that they trained with, and banning anything that increases a firearm’s rate of fire.

While discussing a potential gun ban, Fisher added a caveat, asking, “What if people already have them?”

He then explained that confiscating guns from people who purchased the guns before the ban would be unlawful. After receiving backlash from his “cold dead hands” commentary, Fisher released the following statement on Friday:

This post is for all of the people who have posted false information about my position on proposing sensible gun legislation as a candidate for Buncombe County Sheriff. As a citizen, human being, and Candidate for Sheriff, I would like to recommend the following legislation:

Ban the sale of high capacity magazines;

Ban the sale of any mechanism that will allow a weapon to fire in rapid succession;

Raise the age to purchase any weapon to age 21;

And ensure proper background checks are done for purchase permits.

These are sensible measures and are a big step at protecting our communities. Stop pointing fingers and bring solid and sensible solutions instead of spreading false information and propaganda.

While it is unclear what the “false information and propaganda” is that he refers to, his statement failed to address the “cold dead hands” comment at that time.

[RELATED: Reality Check: The True Meaning of the Second Amendment]

As the backlash over his comments grew, on Saturday Fisher released a second statement which said, in part:

If you want to know what my statements were, listen to all of the videos in their entirety. There is one statement that many up to now have taken offense to. That statement starts out with language similar to, “Don’t believe the scare tactics,” and I say that some gun enthusiast might say, “You will have to pry my gun from my cold dead hands.” This is also a movie quote. The crowd laughed and I made a joke.

I admit the joke was a mistake and I should not have joked. But I go on to relay that the government cannot take away any guns or any items that were legally sold before any new laws take effect. To do this would be unconstitutional because that would constitute what is called an ex post facto law. Responsible gun owners have nothing to worry about. We have to do something different because what has been done is not working.

The video can be seen below. The alleged “joke” begins around the 3:00 mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMDcn97gu2w&feature=youtu.be&t=2m58s

Reality Check: The True Meaning of the Second Amendment

It may be the most controversial, the most contentious right we have as Americans: the right to keep and bear arms. The root of that contention is in the often misunderstood intention of the founders and framers.

So what is the Second Amendment really about?

This is a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

There are so many questions being debated in the media about what rights we have under the Second Amendment. One of those questions that has come up is: is the Second Amendment outdated?

If the founding fathers of this country had been aware of the kind of weapons we would have today, would they have kept the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights?

And is the Second Amendment about protecting yourself, or is it more about hunting and sportsmanship?

Let’s start with the actual language of the amendment. It reads:

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, and the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

Over the years, Politico, The Atlantic, The New Yorker and other media outlets have reported about the National Rifle Association’s efforts in the 1980s that caused the “well regulated militia” part of the Second Amendment to become ignored. And, thanks to an all-out push by the the NRA, the meaning of the Second Amendment was expanded from “militia” to the individual.

Jeffrey Toobin, senior legal analyst for CNN and staff writer at The New Yorker, wrote an article for the magazine in 2012 on this very topic. He writes, “The re-interpretation of the Second Amendment was an elaborate and brilliantly executed political operation, inside and outside of government. Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 brought a gun-rights enthusiast to the White House.

“At the same time, Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, became chairman of an important subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he commissioned a report that claimed to find clear and long lost proof that the Second Amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms.”

Now, Toobin’s analysis may be historically correct in his observation of the change in the public’s understanding of the Second Amendment today. But he gets it wrong when he indicates that the Second Amendment did not grant the right to private ownership of a gun for individuals.

Let’s read the Second Amendment once more, for clarity, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, and the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

So what about well-regulated militias? What were the framers talking about?

The answer lies in the history of our country. Of all the fears held by the founding fathers, none was stronger than their fear of standing armies.

As constitutional scholar David E. Young has observed, “The necessity of an armed populace, protection against disarming of the citizenry, and the need to guard against a select militia and assure a real militia which could defend liberty against any standing forces the government might raise were topics interspersed throughout the ratification period.”

Now this likely a very foreign concept to many Americans, but understand this: the very first battle over the Second Amendment was not about whether or not the people should be armed. It was a given at the time of writing the Bill of Rights, as everyone was armed.

No, the battle was over whether we would have a standing army, a battle between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.

The Anti-Federalists, among them George Mason, Patrick Henry, and Samuel Adams, were staunch advocates of the inclusion of a Bill of Rights in the Constitution because they did not trust the power of the federal government to be self-restrained.

Don Kates, a constitutional and Second Amendment scholar, explains, “During the ratification debate, the Federalists vehemently denied that the federal government would have the power to infringe freedom of expression, religion, and other basic rights – expressly including the right to arms. In this context, Madison secured ratification by his commitment to support and to safeguard the fundamental rights that all agreed should never be infringed.”

On the other side of the debate were the Federalists, which included John Jay, James Madison and George Washington. These men supported a Second Amendment because, they believed, that a central, federal government would be capable of controlling a standing army.

Instead of a standing army, Anti-Federalists wanted every able-bodied man in America to be armed in the event that a federal government, or America’s own standing army, turned against its own people.

What you need to know is that, for many Americans, this is a very difficult and uncomfortable truth. The Second Amendment is not about hunting. And it’s not about defense of your property.

The Second Amendment was written by men who ultimately believed that governments and armies would turn on their own people, as a way to guarantee that that would never happen.

That’s Reality Check. Let’s talk about that, right now, on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Producer’s Note: In the slides quoting the Second Amendment, the quote should read: “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.” The quote on screen includes an  “and” that should not be there.

CNN Cancels Interview With Kyle Kashuv

(DCNF) CNN’s Brooke Baldwin canceled her scheduled interview with Kyle Kashuv, a Parkland High School student and survivor of the horrific Valentine’s Day shooting.

Kashuv has separated himself from the rest of the Parkland student advocates in his strong support for the Second Amendment and alternative safety proposals beside gun control or the banning of specific types of weapons.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, Kashuv accused CNN of canceling his appearance because he linked an article that was critical of Baldwin, along with saying that he was excited to appear on her show.

Kashuv accused CNN in a subsequent tweet of using the article as an excuse to avoid having an even-sided discussion of gun control.

Kashuv confirmed the cancellation with The Daily Caller News Foundation and said he has yet to hear back from the network.

A spokeswoman for CNN did not offer a comment.

 

 

 

Written by Joe Simonson: Follow Joe on Twitter.

This article was republished with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Under 21 ‘Assault Weapon’ Ban Requiring Gun Surrender Clears Illinois Senate

The Illinois State Senate passed HB 1465 on Wednesday, a bill banning the sale of certain types of semi-automatic weapons to individuals under age 21. The bill would also make owning such a weapon below that age a Class 3 felony for a first offense and a Class 2 felony for a second offense.

The bill deviates from the traditional military definition of assault rifle, requiring the weapon to be capable of selective fire options like three round bursts and fully-automatic, and instead defines it as any semi-automatic rifle or pistol with a belt or magazine fed system capable of more than 10 rounds or featuring a folding stock or the ability to accept tactical attachments such as scopes. The definition also includes some .50 caliber rifles. Those individuals currently owning the weapons would be required to surrender them within 90 days.

According to WAND-TV, the bill passed by a vote of 33 to 22. It previously passed the House, but must go back to the House for reconciliation after lawmakers added an amendment that would allow individuals who owned such weapons prior to the passage of the law to use that fact as an affirmative defense when facing felony charges under the legislation.

[RELATED: Seattle Police Achieve State’s First “Red Flag Law” Gun Seizure]

The amendment was added to attract Republican votes to the bill, but Mahomet Republican state Sen. Chapin Rose told Watchdog.org that the amendment would not necessarily protect owners of the weapons from facing felony charges if they do not surrender them. He believes the bill should have exempted current owners of the weapons from facing charges, rather than just offering them an affirmative defense while under arrest.

“Never mind the fact that you’re an innocent person and you’re in shackles and have been taken to jail and booked and your mugshot is now on TV,” said Sen. Rose.

The Illinois State Senate also passed HB 1467 on Wednesday, which bans bump stocks and trigger cranks in the state, and added an amendment to that bill allowing localities to ban what it defines as assault weapons, potentially creating different gun laws on a town-by-town basis in the state.

In addition, the Illinois House of Representatives recently passed HB 1468, which would impose a 72-hour waiting period on purchases of items defined as assault weapons under the bill. The Senate has yet to vote on the measure.

The Illinois General Assembly is controlled by a Democratic majority. Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner recently vetoed a bill that would have required gun retailers to be licensed by the state, claiming that to be “unnecessary, burdensome regulation.”

Gubernatorial vetoes can be overturned by a three-fifths majority vote in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly.

Watch: Rep. Massie Warns Gun Control Measure Is Hidden in New Bill

Washington, D.C.— Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) took to social media to sound the alarm about gun control legislation he first warned about last year, which at the time was coupled with H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, in an effort to amend the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to “require each federal agency and department, including a federal court, to certify whether it has provided to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) disqualifying records of persons prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm.” 

“We’ve got about a week to act,” Massie warned on March 6 in a video posted to social media. “I want to let you know what’s going on in Congress as far as gun control goes. You’ve heard a lot of ideas floating in the news—raising the legal age to buy a long gun, for instance—or a new assault weapons ban. Any number of bad things have been mentioned. But I wanted to boil it down for you.”

Back in December 2017, Massie revealed a bait and switch using the concealed carry legislation, which stated that its purpose was to amend the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.”

“What you don’t know, and what virtually no one in Washington wants you to know, is that House leadership plans to merge the fix-NICS bill with popular Concealed Carry Reciprocity legislation, HR 38, and pass both of them with a single vote,” Massie wrote last year. “Folks, this is how the swamp works. House leadership expects constituents to call their representatives demanding a vote on the reciprocity bill, when in fact the only vote will be on the two combined bills.”

The Senate’s version of the Fix NICS Act designated $625 million to expand the national background check database. Massie stated that of the most startling aspects of the legislation is that “it compels administrative agencies, not just courts, to adjudicate your second amendment rights,” which Massie said fulfills an Obama administration agenda of obligating other governmental agencies to add names of people banned from gun purchases to the NICS database.

In reference to the Fix NICS legislation, Congressman Massie noted:

The bill encourages administrative agencies, not the courts, to submit more names to a national database that will determine whether you can or can’t obtain a firearm. When President Obama couldn’t get Congress to pass gun control, he implemented a strategy of compelling, through administrative rules, the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration to submit lists of veterans and seniors, many of whom never had a day in court, to be included in the NICS database of people prohibited from owning a firearm. Only a state court, a federal (article III) court, or a military court, should ever be able to suspend your rights for any significant period of time…

If we continue to give the executive branch more money and encouragement to add names to the list of people prohibited from buying a firearm (without a day in court) and if the gun banners achieve their goal of universal background checks, one day, a single person elected to the office of President will be able to achieve universal gun prohibition.

According to Massie, Congress is now attempting to include the Fix NICS Act within H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act, which comes to the floor for a vote next week. Massie warned constituents that calling their representatives to express support for “stopping school violence” will unwittingly cause them to be supporting a bill that would task unqualified government agencies to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

In terms of how this plays out in the real world, Massie warned, “If you tell someone at the VA that somebody else manages your money, they can take away your right to own a gun. They put you in the NICS database. Not only can you not go to a store and buy a gun, it’s illegal for you to possess a gun or even possess ammunition. And veterans are getting thrown into this system everyday. They’re having their right to own a gun stripped merely because they say they don’t manage their own finances.”

Massie went on to say that “leadership has announced they are bringing FiX NICS to the floor next week. That’s why we only have about a week. They are going to sugar coat it. They’re going to put like a gel capsule around this gun control bill. The sugar coating is HR 4909… what they’re doing is wrapping this horrible gun control — Fix NICS… and puts a wrapper around it called the STOP School Violence Act.”

Northeastern Study: Schools Safer Than in ’90s, Shootings ‘Not an Epidemic’

A new Northeastern University research study claims that mass shootings are happening at a historically typical pace and that shooting deaths in schools have been on the decline since peaking in the 1990s.

The study entitled “The Three R’s of School Shootings: Risk, Readiness, and Response” by Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy James Alan Fox and doctoral student Emma Fridel, which is set to be published in The Wiley Handbook on Violence in Education: Forms, Factors, and Preventions in June of 2018, compiled data on school shootings from USA Today, the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, Congressional Research Service, Gun Violence Archive, Stanford Geospatial Center and Stanford Libraries, Everytown for Gun Safety, a Mother Jones compilation of shooting statistics, and an NYPD active shooters report.

While each of those reports define a mass and school shooting differently, Fox said that according to his examination of the totality of the data, since 1996, 16 multiple-victim shootings have taken place in schools, defined as shooting incidents in which there were 4 or more victims and at least 2 fatalities excluding the perpetrator. Fox defined 8 of those shootings, involving deaths of 4 or more victims excluding the perpetrator, as mass shootings, which mirrors the 1980s FBI definition of mass murder, The Washington Post noted.

Fox also said that, including school shootings below the threshold of a mass shooting, four times as many children were fatally shot in schools in the 1990s compared to the present day. He also added that an average of 10 students per year die to gunfire in schools in the United States, meaning that bicycle accidents and pool drownings are significantly greater threats to the lives of schoolchildren.

 

School Shootings
source: Northeastern University

“There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” said Fox.

Incidentally, Professor Fox is a supporter of gun control legislation and said that he believes that banning bump stocks and raising the legal age to purchase tactical rifles from 18 to 21 could help reduce overall gun crime. However, he claimed that these policy changes would do little to impact mass shootings.

“The thing to remember is that these are extremely rare events, and no matter what you can come up with to prevent it, the shooter will have a workaround,” he said. Fox also noted that there have only been five times in the past 35 years in which a person between the ages of 18 and 20 used a tactical rifle along the lines of an AR-15 to carry out a mass shooting.

Fox slammed the idea of arming teachers, calling it “absurd” and said, “I’m not a big fan of making schools look like fortresses, because they send a message to kids that the bad guy is coming for you—if we’re surrounding you with security, you must have a bull’s-eye on your back. That can actually instill fear, not relieve it.”

Emma Fridel pointed out that many security policies aimed at stopping mass shootings have been ineffective. She said that mass shooting drills have not been shown to work in studies and that students find them traumatizing. She also noted that many mass shootings have taken place at schools with metal detectors and other security precautions, as shooters have found ways around them, such as targeting students outside during fire drills or ambushing security guards at the front door to gain entry.

“These measures just serve to alarm students and make them think it’s something that’s common,” Fridel claimed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVws4ohBHH8

 

CNN’s Chris Cuomo Retweets and Defends Bogus News Story

On February 19th, CNN host Chris Cuomo retweeted an article, written by Cody Davis and published by The Tab, which bore the headline “I was able to buy an AR-15 in five minutes.”

In the 2-year-old article, Davis described a visit to a Virginia gun shop. He wrote that he approached an employee for assistance in picking out “something for home protection and target practice.” According to Davis, an employee later let him look at an AR-15 and obliged Davis’ request to take a photo of Davis with the weapon. Davis claimed that the employee didn’t notice that his license was expired and that he’d tried to share his drivers’ license renewal receipt, and was asked to provide his vehicle registration for verification. Later on, according to Davis:

After he walked me through the paperwork, all five pages of it, I told him I changed my mind and wanted to think more before I bought an AR-15. He told me it wasn’t a problem and listed the store hours if I wanted to come back. I then said thank you and walked back to my car.

Seconds. It took seconds for the salesman to take an AR-15 off the shelf and begin selling it to me. If I had stayed for maybe three minutes longer to fill out less paperwork than I did for the hiring process at my school’s bookstore, I would’ve driven home with an AR-15.

No delay. No extensive background check. Just my recently expired driver’s license, my vehicle registration, and filling out some paperwork.

The headline of Davis’ story claims that he was able to purchase an AR-15, but the content within the article itself revealed that he was not actually “able” to do so, due to his admission that he left the store without completing any paperwork that would have triggered a background check.

Days after Cuomo retweeted the article, backlash began to mount.

https://twitter.com/Chet_Cannon/status/966176686931959813

https://twitter.com/andyndelaney/status/966290309821927425

In response to National Review editor Charles Cooke, Cuomo claimed that his motivation for retweeting the article was to call attention to the man’s lack of identification and his belief that “the system should be better.”

https://twitter.com/charlescwcooke/status/966281123348320257

Cuomo continued to respond to criticisms throughout the day.

Reality Check: Trump Did Not Make It Easier for Severely Mentally Ill People To Buy Guns

Vote in our poll about gun control. Click here to vote.

The latest mass shooting at a school in Florida is once again reigniting the debate over gun control and mental health.

But now the media headlines are blaming President Trump because, they say, he signed a bill that actually made it easier for people with severe mental health problems to get guns.

Is that true?

Let’s give it a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, police say, is the man responsible for gunning down at least 17 teenagers at a Florida high school.

We now know much more about Cruz’s background, which include a number of very disturbing reports of police calls to his home.

According to police records obtained first by CNN, police responded to Cruz’s home 39 times over a seven-year period.

Details about the calls to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office have not yet shown if all involved Cruz.

What do we know about the calls police were responding too? According to KTLA, those included calls of a “mentally ill person,” “child/elderly abuse,” “domestic disturbance” and “missing person.”

We also know that, according to the New York Times, “Last fall, a bail bondsman in Mississippi spotted a disturbing comment on his YouTube channel.”

‘Im going to be a professional school shooter.’

“The bondsman, Ben Bennight, took a screenshot and flagged the comment to YouTube.” And he even “left a voicemail message at his local F.B.I. field office alerting it to the comment.”

The name of the person who wrote that comment? Nikolas Cruz.

And there is more. ABC News reports that law enforcement sources say Cruz claimed “he heard voices in his head, giving him instructions” for the attack. And those “voices were described as ‘demons’.”

So to summarize, at this point it appears that Cruz very likely suffered from extreme mental health issues.

And yet, he was able to legally buy a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 .223, according to Peter Forcelli, special agent in charge of the Miami office of the ATF.

According to USA Today, “Federal law allows people age 18 and older to legally purchase long guns, including this kind of weapon. With no criminal record, Cruz cleared an instant background check via the FBI criminal database.”

According to the Gun Control Act of 1968, if somebody is “‘adjudicated mentally defective’ or has been ‘committed to a mental institution’,” he is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law.

Cruz had not been flagged by the proper authorities. So what was the response from the media?

That it is President Trump’s fault because, they say, he and the Republican Party have actually made it easier for people with mental health problems to buy assault weapons.

So is that true? Did the GOP pass, and then President Trump sign, a repeal of an Obama-era directive to keep guns out the hands of people with severe mental illness?

No, that’s not actually what happened.

What did happen?

HJ Resolution 40 was signed by President Trump on February 28, 2017, days after his inauguration.

According to the BBC, “It repealed an Obama-era rule that would have affected about 75,000 US citizens who are too mentally ill to handle their own disability benefits.”

The Obama measure covered those of “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”

“It also ordered the US Social Security Administration, which administers benefits, to add these names to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”

And this is what media is jumping all over.

But what they are not telling you is the incredible groundswell of opposition to the this rule from at least 15 mental health organizations, including American Association of People with Disabilities. And even the ACLU led the charge against this measure, saying it was unconstitutional and wrong.

Wrong, because, according to the Seattle Times, about 2.7 million people currently receive disability payments from Social Security for mental health problems. Another 1.5 million have their finances handled by others for a variety of reasons, according to the LA Times.

Those reasons may have nothing to do with mental illness. And they, those 1.5 million people, are who would not be allowed to purchase a gun.

Dr. Marc Rosen, a Yale psychiatrist who studied how veterans with mental health problems managed there money, points out, “Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe.”

And the ACLU’s opposition letter rule states:

“We oppose this rule because it advances and reinforces the harmful stereotype that people with mental disabilities, a vast and diverse group of citizens, are violent. There is no data to support a connection between the need for a representative payee to manage one’s Social Security disability benefits and a propensity toward gun violence.”

So what you need to know is that the Obama-era rule allowed one federal agency, the Social Security Administration, to be judge, jury and executioner of whether millions of Americans can purchase guns, based upon whether some else handles their finances.

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old who has the police come to his home 39 times in seven years somehow goes unflagged.

At the 11th hour, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of the FBI and DOJ for mishandling tips about Cruz, stating “It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures.”

What will result from this investigation remains to be seen. But if legislation is created to protect against people with violent and dangerous mental health conditions buying guns, then it needs to be crafted in a way that actually works.

That’s Reality Check, let’s talk about it right now on Twitter and Facebook.

Stabbings Spike By 20 Percent in New York City

New York City has experienced a 20 percent increase in stabbings this year, including a series of high-profile apparently-random stabbing attacks that has sparked fears among the city’s residents.

According to NBC New York, there have been 151 more stabbings as of March 13 of this year than the number that occurred by the same date last year.

Describing some of the apparently-random stabbing attacks that have taken place this year, Bloomberg’s Henry Goldman wrote, “In January, a surveillance camera captured video of a man striding beside a 24-year-old woman on a sidewalk in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and, without warning, slicing her face twice. In another attack that month, a 71-year-old woman required 30 stitches after a man with a razor opened a four-inch gash on her left cheek as she sat on a subway train in lower Manhattan. On March 10, a man rushed up from behind and slashed a 53-year-old woman’s neck on a residential street in Brooklyn. … Thursday, police searched for a suspect who stabbed to death a 53-year-old man in the East Harlem subway station the day before who was illegally selling MetroCard swipes for access to the trains.

[RELATED: Sheriff Tells Citizens to Defy NY SAFE Act’s Pistol Permit Renewal Rule at Oath Keepers Meeting]

At a Monday City Council Public Safety Committee meeting, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said, “Slashings, stabbings, cuttings, whatever the terminology, what we’ll be doing this year is putting more precision on the definitions that we use to describe these cases that we’re investigating.” He added that the number of attacks is “much lower than we experienced back in the ’90s and much lower than we experienced even a few years ago, but as other crimes have gone down, there’s increased focus there.

The uptick in stabbings comes as crime in general is declining in the city. Homicides have dropped by 23 percent during the same period of time.

Commissioner Bratton claimed that the spike in attacks stemmed mainly from an increase in domestic disputes in public housing. “We have not identified patterns or any idea that any one person is doing multiple. We’ve had several where two or three were attributed to one individual,” he said.

[RELATED: Veteran’s Guns Seized Due to Insomnia Diagnosis Under New York’s SAFE Act]

Criminologist David Kennedy of City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice believes that the spike in media reports of random stabbing attacks might be inspirational to potential copycats.

There’s been a lot of examples of mini-epidemics of so-called copycat behavior, where press attention makes incidents like suicides and school and spree shootings contagious. As I watch the coverage unfold my hope is this attention isn’t causing more of them,” Kennedy said.

Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

Eagles of Death Metal Vocalist Says Gun Control Did Not Save Lives in Paris Attacks

After living through a deadly terrorist massacre at the Bataclan theater in Paris, France where 90 people lost their lives and hundreds were injured, Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes’ opinion on gun rights has not changed.

Hughes, a politically-conservative, Donald Trump supporting National Rifle Association member, responded emotionally to a question about gun control posed during a Monday television interview on the French network iTélé.

Gun control kind of doesn’t have anything to do with it, but if you want to bring it up, I’ll ask you,” he said to reporter Laurence Ferrari, “Did your French gun control stop a single f***ing person from dying at the Bataclan? If anyone can answer yes, I’d like to hear it, because I don’t think so. I think the only thing that stopped it was some of the bravest men that I’ve ever seen in my life charging head-first into the face of death with their firearms.

[RELATED: France Declares State of Emergency, Military Enacts Full Control]

Maybe, I know people will disagree with me, but it just seems like God made men and women, and that night guns made them equal,” Hughes added, fighting back tears, “And I hate it that it’s that way. I think the only way my mind has been changed is that maybe until nobody has guns everybody has to have them, because I don’t ever want to see anything like this ever happen again, and I want everyone to have the best chance to live, and I saw people die that maybe could have lived. I don’t know, but I wish I knew for sure if they could have had a better chance, because there were some real angels, real wonderful people in that show that aren’t alive today, and I really wish they were.

The Guardian notes that Hughes also told Agence France-Presse, “I don’t go anywhere in America without a gun anymore. That sucks. And I’m not paranoid. I’m not a cowboy… but I want to be prepared.

[RELATED: French Prosecutor: Suspected ‘Mastermind’ of Paris Attacks Killed in Police Raid]

Eagles of Death Metal is set for a defiant return to Paris on Tuesday for the band’s first concert in the city since the coordinated November 13 terror attacks. The concert will take place at the Olympia and will feature additional security. The band invited surviving victims of the previous attack at the Bataclan to attend the show, and psychologists and psychiatrists will be on hand to help those individuals if the need arises.

According to The New York Times, Hughes told the French cable channel Canal+, “[Tuesday’s] Paris [concert] isn’t just a show. It is not a rock show; it is a lot bigger than that. It has a much bigger purpose than just entertaining this time around.

Survivors’ groups say the concert is an opportunity for some victims to heal and move past the event.

Hughes, who emphasized that he is “pro-freedom,” told iTélé, “I’m not a hero, but I love my friends. And I was raised that you have to be willing to give your life, or else it is not worth living, and you are not a member of a community. I’m not a hero, but if I had had a gun I could have changed something, and I would have been willing to do it.

Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

Poll: 2 Percent Placed ‘Guns/Gun Control’ on 2015 List of ‘Most Important Problems’

When asked to write the “most important problem facing this country today,” an average of only 2 percent of Americans listed “Guns/Guns Control,” according to a recent Gallup poll.

The poll found that the most frequent responses were “Congress/Government/Politicians,” which were listed by an average of 16 percent of respondents.

President Obama announced a series of executive orders on Tuesday that would enforce gun control by requiring licenses for all gun sellers and background checks for those purchasing guns. It would also require the hiring of over 200 new NICS examiners by the FBI to conduct the background checks and over 200 new ATF agents and investigators to “help enforce” the new laws.

[RELATED: President Obama Outlines, Defends Gun Control Executive Orders]

However, while Obama called for a national “sense of urgency” on the importance of enforcing gun control, it was listed 19th out of the top 23 “most important problems facing this country,” according to Gallup’s poll.

Gallup conducted monthly polls throughout 2015, interviewing 1,000 adults each month via cellphone and landline calls, with a margin of sampling error of ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level.

CNS News noted that while “only one percent of respondents mentioned guns/gun control as a concern for most of the months in 2015,” mentions increased to 7 percent with mass shootings in Roseburg, Oregon, in October, and in San Bernardino, California, in December.

[RELATED: Oregon Shooting Suspect Identified; Obama Calls for Gun Control]

 Other problems that were listed at the same average rate as “Guns/Gun Control” were the “Judicial system/Courts/Laws,” “Environment/Pollution,” “Lack of Respect for each other,” “Lack of money,” “International Issues or problems,” and “War/Fear of War.”

While “Government/Congress/Politicians” was listed the most frequently, the “Economy in general” came in second at 13 percent and “Unemployment/Job” and “Immigration” were tied for third at an average of 8 percent.

Responses such as “Race relations/Racism” and “Terrorism” were listed by 5 percent of respondents, while responses such as “Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness,” and “The situation in Iraq/ISIS” were listed by 3 percent of respondents.

President Obama Outlines, Defends Gun Control Executive Orders

On Tuesday, President Obama announced and outlined the executive orders that he will sign to unilaterally implement new gun control regulations.

Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking,” said President Obama in a White House address according to CNN.

He added, “We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.

Obama’s orders will mandate that anyone who sells firearms at all, including online or at gun shows, obtain a license and perform background checks. The New York Times notes that the White House claims that this rule could even affect individuals selling only one or two guns.

[RELATED: New California Law Allows Seizure of Legal Guns Without Notice in 2016]

Another order will mandate background checks when guns are purchased through a trust or corporation.

Obama’s executive actions include steps that he claims will improve criminal record sharing between states to beef up the nation’s background check system. He will also hire 200 more ATF agents and over 230 more National Instant Criminal Background Check System examiners to enforce gun regulations.

The Social Security Administration will also begin analyzing recipients of mental health disability payments to determine if their gun rights should be suspended.

[RELATED: President Obama to Announce Executive Action for Gun Control]

Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan issued a statement on the orders and said, “From day one, the president has never respected the right to safe and legal gun ownership that our nation has valued since its founding. He knows full well that the law already says that people who make their living selling firearms must be licensed, regardless of venue. Still, rather than focus on criminals and terrorists, he goes after the most law-abiding of citizens. His words and actions amount to a form of intimidation that undermines liberty.

Ryan continued, “His executive order will no doubt be challenged in the courts. Ultimately, everything the president has done can be overturned by a Republican president, which is another reason we must win in November.”

President Obama said in his address, “Congress still needs to act. … Because once Congress gets on board with common-sense gun safety measures, we can reduce gun violence a whole lot. But we also can’t wait. Until we have the Congress that’s in line with the majority of Americans, there are actions within my legal authority that we can take to help reduce gun violence and save more lives.

The Blaze captured screenshots of a White House fact sheet outlining the executive actions in detail, which can be seen below.

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President Obama to Announce Executive Action for Gun Control

Washington D.C. – President Obama is starting off 2016 with a strong call for gun control measures through the use of presidential executive orders. In 2015, Obama made several promises and appeals to lawmakers and the American people regarding the need for tighter restrictions on purchasing firearms.

US News reports that White House aides stated that Obama will exercise his executive authority later this week and possibly change the background check policy for small-scale gun dealers. This is known as the “gun show loophole” because small arms dealers often able to sell at gun shows without conducting background checks on prospective buyers.

Although Congress would still need to change the current laws before background checks become universal, the Obama administration is attempting to find a provision in the law that could allow unilateral action.

Republican presidential candidates were quick to criticize the potential executive order. Presidential candidate and Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, told Fox News Sunday: “The president is a petulant child. Whenever he doesn’t get what he wants… this president acts like a king.” Fellow presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, also told Fox News, “The president has a pattern of taking away rights of citizens.”

In addition to anticipated action on guns, CNN reported that the news station would host a town hall meeting on Thursday to discuss gun control action. CNN’s Anderson Cooper will host a one-hour live town hall meeting with Obama at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The event, titled “Guns in America”, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Eastern Thursday night.

CNN also reported that although plans for the executive orders are not complete, President Obama is attempting to reveal the plans before his annual State of the Union address on January 12.

In President Obama’s weekly radio address he said he has received “too many letters from parents, and teachers, and kids, to sit around and do nothing” about the issue.

“Change, as always, is going to take all of us,” Obama said in his address. “The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone. The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in our defense of our kids. That’s the work of citizenship — to stand up and fight for the change that we seek.”

Democratic Presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told “State of the Union” that he wishes there was another way but supports President Obama.

“I would prefer that we could have bipartisan support, but the truth is Republicans aren’t interested in doing anything on gun safety,” Sanders said.

Former Secretary of State and current front-runner in the Democratic presidential race Hillary Clinton said she worries that a Republican president would repeal executive actions, “including one that we expect (Obama) to make in the next weeks to try to do more to have background checks for more gun buyers by requiring more sellers to do them.”

Conservative advocacy group Freedom Watch told Reuters on Sunday that the group will “sue to block any executive order on gun control.”

President Obama could take action that does not require executive order. As Reuters recently reported, Obama “could direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to redefine its guidance on who is considered a dealer under federal gun law.” However, this would only be advisory and not strong enough to enforce the law.

“The guidance could be used as evidence that prosecutors made a reasonable interpretation that a dealer needed a license, but it’s not binding,” James Jacobs, law professor at New York University and author of the 2004 book Can Gun Control Work?, told Reuters.

The outcome of such an attempt could be that Republican lawmakers attempt to defund the ATF in order to combat such a guidance change.

However, Stanford University law professor John Donohue told Reuters that he does not think requiring background checks would be great enough to warrant a legal challenge. “There are very few things I’d say with 100 percent certainty about what the Supreme Court and other courts would do, but I’m 100 percent certain that no court would say requiring more background checks violates the Second Amendment,” said Donohue.

According to the latest CNN/ORC poll, “fifty-one percent of Americans oppose more stringent gun-control laws and 48 percent favor them. Thirty-nine percent say Obama has gone too far in changing gun laws; 38 percent say he hasn’t gone far enough, and 20 percent say he has done about the right amount.”

Focusing on whether or not requiring background checks is illegal seems to ignore the larger question: is President Obama’s unilateral action legal or constitutional?

Activists, media, and political pundits were quick to call out President George W. Bush’s unilateral action on war-making, surveillance and torture, but seem less inclined to call out a Democratic president for unilateral actions, especially when the actions favor their causes, like gun control. Lovers of liberation should do their part to remain principled in the face of government oppression and media lies.

Stay tuned to Truth In Media for more on this developing situation.

GOP State Senator to Propose Defunding Va. Gov. McAuliffe’s Armed Guards

In retaliation for Democratic Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s recent push for tougher gun control laws, State Senator Bill Carrico (R-Dist. 40) says he intends to introduce a budget amendment in the next session that would strip the governor of his armed State Police executive protection unit.

Sen. Carrico told The Bristol Herald Courier, “A lot of the governor’s power is deferred to the General Assembly at that point and I’ll be getting with my colleagues to circumvent everything this governor has done on this point. I have a budget amendment that I’m looking at to take away his executive protection unit. If he’s so afraid of guns, then I’m not going to surround him with armed state policemen.

He added in comments to Fox News, “It’s easy for someone who is surrounded by armed state policemen to tell someone else they can’t carry a weapon to protect themselves. It’s just equal treatment, that’s all I’m saying.

[RELATED: New California Law Allows Seizure of Legal Guns Without Notice in 2016]

McAuliffe’s administration drew ire with Republicans by resorting to executive action to implement gun control measures, including a ban on firearms in state buildings. The issue reached a fever-pitch when Va. Attorney General Mark Herring announced that the state would no longer honor concealed carry permits from 25 states, including neighbors North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee, placing concealed carriers in border towns like Bristol, Tenn. under threat of being arrested, jailed for up to 12 months, and issued a fine of up to $2,500 if they carry concealed in the wrong part of town.

I think it’s a crock. I think this is a political play that will have a greater impact on Bristol, Tennessee residents than Virginia residents. If a Tennessee resident has a conceal-carry permit and has their firearm they won’t even be able to cross the street,” said Virginia resident Rob Culberson.

Attorney General Herring says those 25 states have weaker restrictions on concealed carriers that do not meet Virginia’s standards.

Strong, consistent enforcement of Virginia’s laws and safety standards can prevent disqualified people who may be dangerous or irresponsible from utilizing a concealed handgun permit, and it’s what the law requires,” he said.

Sen. Carrico argued, “I absolutely think it’s absurd. I think it’s a threat to the people of Virginia that have concealed carry handgun permit reciprocity from other states. … This is all political and I hope people see that.

Virginia’s concealed carriers will no longer benefit from handgun permit reciprocity in 6 of the 25 affected states, which require reciprocity as a condition of accepting another state’s permit.

Republicans in the GOP-led Virginia General Assembly are working on a bill that would reverse Herring’s policy shift on concealed carry permits from other states.

ABOUR: Why Didn’t Open Carry Apply To Tamir Rice?

Ohio is one of the 30 states that allows open carry without a permit throughout the state. When a state has an open carry policy, it allows its citizens to carry guns in public without fear of being arrested, let alone killed.

So why did the open carry rule not apply to Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was in possession of a toy gun at a park? Within two seconds at the scene, Cleveland Police officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed Rice. Many through social media have argued that because Rice was a minor, the open carry rule does not apply to children because they shouldn’t be in possession of guns. However, Loehmann told the dispatcher that Rice looked “maybe 20.” With that presumption, why didn’t Loehmann respect the open carry law in Ohio? Was it because Rice was a black male? Rice was never even given an opportunity to show the officers that it was a toy gun. He was executed before given a chance to explain.

Whereas earlier this week, a 66-year-old white woman in Connecticut stood outside a police station pointing a BB gun at officers shouting “Boom boom boom” and “Shoot me!” is alive and unharmed.

The woman, Elaine Rothenberg, pointed the gun at civilians asking if they were police. She also blocked an employee-only doorway where police enter and exit to get to their police cruisers and stood with the gun raised in a shooting stance attempting instigate the officers. Rothenberg eventually threw the gun and was arrested. Why was she given due process and Rice was not? Connecticut is also an open carry state, but has even stricter gun laws than Ohio. Why was Loehmann able to shoot and kill a 12 year old right on the spot while Rothenberg was given her due process?

Never mind that Loehmann resigned from a previous police department just as he was about to be fired for incompetence with firearms and repeatedly displaying emotional disturbances.

As Truth in Media previously reported:

A memorandum, written by Independence Deputy Chief Jim Polak, expressed concern over Loehmann’s emotional issues during his poor performance at a state range qualification course for handgun training. Polak wrote that he was notified of Loehmann’s emotional issues by Independence Police Sgt. Greg Tinnirello:

“I was notified by FTO Sgt. Tinnirello of the following circumstances related to our recruit, Ptl. Loehmann. A written statement was included. On this date, during a state range qualification course Ptl. Loehmann was distracted and weepy. He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal. Sgt. Tinnirello tried to work through this with Ptl. Loehmann by giving him some time. But, after some talking it was clear to Sgt. Tinnirello that the recruit was just not mentally prepared to be doing firearm training.”

Polak concluded that “due to this dangerous loss of composure during live range training and his inability to manage this personal stress, I do not believe Ptl. Loehmann shows the maturity needed to work in our employment. Unfortunately in law enforcement there are times when instructions need be followed to the letter, and I am under the impression Ptl. Loehmann, under certain circumstances, will not react in the way instructed. Ptl. Loehmann’s lack of commitment for his future here at Independence is disconcerting.” Polak recommended that Loehmann be released from the department and wrote that neither “time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies.”

In that case, why on Earth did the Cleveland Police Department hire him?  Lt. Gail Bindel and Sgt. Edwin Santiago, the two officers in charge of hiring Loehmann, failed to perform a thorough background check on him. They were later suspended and reprimanded for it. Not only are the militarization tactics of police a major issue, but now we also have to worry about improperly evaluated cops and the open carry laws that are supposed to protect us. So who does open carry really serve to protect?

Rand Paul Introduces Bill to Block Obama from Executive Action on Gun Control

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul re-introduced a bill on Monday that would prevent funding for any executive order from President Obama that would enact gun control measures.

The Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act, which is currently being fast-tracked through the Senate, and could see a vote as early as next month, is an updated version of a bill that was introduced in the 2013-14 session.

The bill states that any “existing or proposed executive action that infringes on the powers and duties of Congress under section 8 of article I of the Constitution of the United States of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States shall have no force or effect.

[pull_quote_center]It is the sense of Congress that any executive action issued by the President before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act that infringes on the powers and duties of Congress under section 8 of article I of the Constitution of the United States or the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or that would require the expenditure of Federal funds not specifically appropriated for the purpose of the executive action, is advisory only and has no force or effect unless enacted as law.[/pull_quote_center]

The bill would also give Americans the right to launch a civil lawsuit, if they were affected by an executive action on gun control.

“In the United States, we do not have a king, but we do have a Constitution,” Paul said in a statement. “We also have the Second Amendment, and I will fight tooth and nail to protect it.”

In October, reports claimed that Obama was considering using an executive order to circumvent Congress, in order to mandate that anyone who sells more than 50 guns a year has to have a federal license, and any potential customers must have federal background checks.

Conn. Gov. to Ban Gun Sales to People on Terror Watch Lists via Executive Order

Democratic Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced at a Thursday press conference that he intends to sign an executive order banning the sale of guns to individuals who have been placed on a federal anti-terror watch list.

We intend to prevent, by executive order through my powers as governor, those on government watch lists from obtaining a permit to purchase a firearm in Connecticut. The executive order would add an additional level of protection and require those who apply for a permit to be screened against government watch lists,” said Gov. Malloy according to NBC Connecticut.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: Abolish the Unconstitutional No-Fly List Before It Is Too Late]

Connecticut requires all gun purchasers to first submit to a permit process involving a background check, and Gov. Malloy’s executive order is intended to block anyone found on federal watch lists from purchasing pistols, rifles, shotguns, or ammo.

According to WFSB-TV, Gov. Malloy is not yet sure which government watch lists he intends to use as his basis for banning guns. “We are working with federal authorities to gain access to these lists… whether it be a no-fly list or some combination of people who should not have weapons,” he said. “Congress has failed to act, so in Connecticut we shall act. If you can not fly due to being on a government watch list, you should not be able to buy a weapon.

Gov. Malloy added, “If [the request for access to federal watch lists is] approved, we will sign an executive order. We will take action. Like all Americans, I’ve been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in California and Paris. This should be a wake-up call for all of us. This is a moment to seize here in America, and today, I am here to say in Connecticut, we are seizing this moment.

The Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau wrote, “The federal government maintains several databases of people suspected of links to terrorism, including a no-fly list barring certain individuals from boarding airplanes in the U.S. Those databases, especially the no-fly list, long have been challenged by civil libertarians regarding the lack of transparency about how and why people are included. Most individuals in the databases have never been charged with a crime and are only suspected of being involved with terrorism.

In April of 2013, a few months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., Gov. Malloy signed into law one of the strictest gun control bills in the nation, requiring universal background checks for all firearms purchases and banning the sale of magazines that hold over ten rounds of ammunition.