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Good for Kelly Ayotte

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In one of the more tragic stories of the 2016 election cycle, Kelly Ayotte lost her senate seat to Maggie Hassan, then-governor of New Hampshire, by a mere 716 votes. In one of the most expensive senate races in history, that works out to $139,664 per vote. In keeping with New Hampshire yankee tradition, Ayotte did not protest the result, thought by state law she could have.

To add insult to injury, it appears that several thousand voters may have come from out of state to cast their vote in same-day registration N.H., then never bothered to get a license or register a car. That is more than enough to have swayed the race.

But Ayotte has taken all of this in stride. One of her new roles is the newest board member of Bono’s ONE Campaign, a humanitarian organization focused on fighting poverty and extreme diseases.

Good for Kelly!

Word on the Hill: Ayotte Joins Bono’s Board | Alex Gangitano, Roll Call

https://www.rollcall.com/news/hoh/word-hill-ayotte-joins-bonos-board?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rollcallheadlines&bt_alias=eyJ1c2VySWQiOiAiYmM5Mzg3ODEtYTYzNy00MzFlLTk3N2ItODFlMjc4NzZlNTMzIn0%3D&utm_campaign=newsletters“Kelly Ayotte proved herself to be one of the brightest new leaders on international affairs during her time in the Senate and is no stranger to our mission of ending extreme poverty,” board Chairman Tom Freston said in a statement.

Ayotte, in turn, said, “In an era of shrinking budgets and growing crises, fighting extreme poverty should continue to be a priority for western governments. During such a complex time, development plays an especially important role in not only helping people climb out of extreme poverty, but in stabilizing and securing our world.”

 

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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Guns and Crime

Gun reform that will actually work

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In the wake of the horrific high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Thursday, Leftists took to their usual diatribes — they called the NRA a terrorist group, Jimmy Kimmel cried on live television (again), and mainstream news organizations touted misleading if not outright false statistics. All of the above pleaded for yet-unspecified “comprehensive” or “common sense” gun reform.

Through it all, I repeatedly asked vocally adamant gun control supporters, “What is your plan? What law would have prevented this from happening?” Many conservative leaders did the same. Still, no one on the Left seemed capable of providing a coherent answer, short of a full-on gun confiscation and/or ignorance of laws that are already in place, such as a ban on machine guns (which weren’t even used in this shooting).

Pointing this out won’t stop Lefties, obviously, but my intent with this article is not to continue debating what hasn’t, can’t, or won’t work when it comes to gun control, nor to debunk recurring arguments and statistics. That’s an important task, but for right now, I’ll leave it to the likes of Steven CrowderBen Shapiro, and Matt Christiansen.

My goal here is to defy perhaps the most frequent accusation pointed at conservatives during any gun debate, which is that we aren’t willing to discuss how to stop this kind of thing from happening again. And I’m not talking about preaching the gospel or inspiring a deeper respect for life — I mean genuine legislation.

Here are four measures that will actually make an impact in preventing mass shootings:

1) Repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, over 98% of mass shootings in America from 1950 to 2016 occurred in gun-free zones. It should be common sense to understand that criminals target the weak, vulnerable, and unprotected — such as groups that are guaranteed to be unarmed.

This 1990 legislation was introduced by none other than former-Vice President Joe Biden and signed into law by Bush Sr., prohibiting the presence of firearms within 1000 feet of public, private, and parochial elementary and high schools.

Some locations might be gun free de facto rather than de jure, such as churches, where it is not prohibited by law but not necessarily common practice to carry a gun, but the unknown always goes in favor of the potential victims. In a room where a shooter has one firearm and the crowd has zero, you do the math.

The way to prevent shootings is to put more guns in the hands of good guys than in the hands of bad guys. In order to discourage mass shootings, killers need to fear the possibility of getting caught on the other end of a barrel.

This is not to say that teachers should necessarily be required to carry weapons, but those who are trained and feel inclined to take that precaution should be welcome to do so in order to protect their students and colleagues — a proposal which 81% of police officers favor, as provided by USA Today.

2) Place armed security at all public schools

Most federal buildings feature an armed guard of some kind, and many have additional security measures such as metal detectors. So why are our children left unprotected on public (meaning federally operated) school grounds? As Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh contends, there is no sensible argument for abandoning our children to such a clear threat.

Some have argued that the presence of police officers or guns might traumatize young children, but do you know what’s even more traumatizing? Watching your friends get slaughtered by a homicidal maniac with a psychotic vendetta.

The Parkland shooter was previously expelled from the school and prohibited from carrying a backpack on campus, yet somehow that ban didn’t work, as the shooter mosied onto an unsecured campus with a backpack toting a rifle and ammunition — after all, who was going to stop him?

3) Reform the mental health system

Not all people who suffer from mental illness are violent — not by a long shot. Nor are all murders committed by the mentally ill. But the fact is that mass shootings account for a miniscule percentage of total gun homicides in the U.S., and many if not most mass shootings are executed by mentally unstable individuals.

Our country needs to reform its mental health system and consider increasing the amount of people who are institutionalized in mental health facilities.

Ironically, the same groups calling for common sense gun reform immediately backstep when mental illness is brought into the conversation, obfuscating relevant data on two fronts: firstly by falsely claiming that this will lead to a witch hunt of anyone with depression or anxiety, which is simply not true — we’re talking about those who present a danger to themselves or others — and secondly by conflating all gun killings with just mass murder, which is defined by wholly different parameters.

The Atlantic ran the latter kind of piece in October 2017 following the Las Vegas shooting, which cited a statistic that fewer than 5% of gun homicides are committed by a person with a previously diagnosed mental illness. That could very well be true, but it’s beside the point, first marginally because this doesn’t account for undiagnosed illness, but primarily due to the fact that mass shootings only account for 2 or 3% of gun murders anyway, so we’re talking about a completely different set of facts. In the same article, The Atlantic tries to play off a statistic from 2001 and another from 2016 that peg the rate of mass shooters with mental illness closer to one in four, or 25%. By their own admission, if we reform involuntary commitment laws to allow for easier institutionalization of the severely ill, then we can immediately cut down on mass shootings by a quarter.

One might call that statistically significant.

On The Rubin Report, Ben Shapiro links the rise in mass shootings to the large-scale emptying of mental facilities in the 1960s and 70s, leading to an upsurgence in homelessness, violent crime, and, yes, mass shootings, because even if only 25% of mass shooters are previously known to have been mentally ill (this coming from the same folks who claim we’ve had eighteen school shootings this year when the answer is closer to four), every single one of the viral shootings in recent memory, if it wasn’t committed by a terrorist, was brought about by someone who is mentally ill, from Parkland, to Sutherland Springs, to Las Vegas, and so on.

And for those squawking about Trump weakening prohibitions on the mentally ill buying guns, this is a lie. He repealed an unconstitutional gun ban on senior citizens who needed help documenting their Social Security finances, which is a far cry from violent schizophrenia. The ACLU, not known for its conservatism, supported Trump on this action.

4) Audit the Fed(eral Bureau of Investigation)

This issue is far more pressing than anything related to the Federal Reserve.

As reported by CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a review into the FBI’s process for handling tips following its admitted failure to properly address notification given in early January of a potential threat from the Parkland shooter.

According to the FBI’s statement, the tipster informed them about “[the shooter’s] gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” yet “no further investigation was conducted at that time.”

This kind of negligence certainly ought to raise eyebrows, and Florida Governor Rick Scott has called for Christopher Wray, the FBI director, to step down.

Now, in fairness, how many credible tips does the FBI receive on a regular basis? Probably a lot. How many of those threats does it successfully neutralize? Probably a lot.

But as Stephen Gutowski of The Washington Free Beacon tweeted on Friday, this is the fourth mass shooting in recent years where “the FBI was informed of significant warning signs beforehand.” Gutowski doesn’t mention, by the way, the federal oversight on the Sutherland Springs shooter, whose dishonorable history of military service should have disqualified him from gun ownership during his background check.

In addition to the tip itself, the shooter also gave off red flags by way of social media comments that he wanted to become a professional school shooter and take vengeance against police, as well as 39 home responses from police in only seven years.

Tack on growing suspicion of the FBI’s integrity in the handling of recent investigations, and at the very least, we ought to support Sessions’s decision to figure out what’s going on in the Justice Department.

No legislative action will ever fully solve this problem, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find reasonable improvements while still respecting natural and constitutional rights. But we’ll never move forward if all we can resort to is virtue signalling and name-calling on Twitter.

If you want gun reform and you don’t like my ideas, then tell me your plan — just know I’m giving up hope that anyone on the Left really wants to have that conversation.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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Guns and Crime

The Top 5 Reasons Gun Control is Dead.

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Time to bury the non-functional authoritarian idea of people control that has been negated by circumstances and technology.

It’s the same pattern every time, within minutes of a mass murder attack, calls for Intergalactic Background Checks or Gun confiscation are heard throughout the media. To be clear, these repeated assaults against our common sense civil rights by those who are supposedly ‘Liberal’ are contrary to the very precepts of individual Liberty, but that has become all too commonplace these days.

One should be extremely suspicious of ‘solutions’ that have to be passed in the heat of the moment, on the basis of a ‘serious crisis’. Were these ‘solutions’ of good quality and worthy of rational support, they could be discussed in the context of an open debate without the inclusion of useless emotional appeals.

The fact is the world has passed by the gun grabbers without their notice. Americans today own an estimated 600 million guns, they also are wise to the incremental attacks on their fundamental liberties. Advancing technology and the fact that gun control has never worked have also contributed to the death of this old tyrannical idea. Finally, this common-sense civil right is an integral part of the truly Liberal philosophy of individual Liberty.

1). Millions of gun owners and millions of guns in circulation make the ultimate gun grabber goal of Confiscation impossible.

A few months ago The Washington Free Beacon ran an analysis using data from a recent poll and census data and determined that ‘Nearly 120 million Americans have a firearm in the home’

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of 1,200 adults found 48 percent of Americans said they or somebody else in their household owned a gun.

The United States Census Bureau estimates there are 249,454,440 adults currently living in America. If the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey is accurate, that equates to 119,738,131 Americans with a gun in their home.

In addition, the website ‘WeaponsMan’ ran an analysis of ATF and came up with an estimated 412-660 Million firearms.

2). Gun grabber mendacity over the issue of People Control.

Nothing epitomized the sheer lack of honesty on the part of the gun grabbers on the nation’s Socialist-Left than statistic supposedly showing 18 school shootings this year or that the New York Times reported 430 People Have Been Shot in 239 School Shootings.

If they truly had a righteous cause that made sense, they would have no need to lie about it.

The plain fact is that most, if not all people control proposals are predicated on trust. For example, there really is no justifiable reason for Intergalactic Background Checks other than to force citizens to get permission to exercise their Civil rights and as a precursor to gun confiscation. But the gun grabbers will solemnly attest that this further infringement will not lead to that obvious end result. We are supposed to trust them not to use purchase data to create a registration and confiscation database. Well, they are perfectly willing to Lie about school shootings as well as other issues, so what is to stop them from doing so in this case?

3). Gun Control has Never Worked as advertised.

Gun control has never worked – as is most, if not all of the Left’s Socialist national agenda. There are plenty of examples that range from Chicago to Caracas. Basic logic will inform those who thoughtfully consider the issue. People control laws only impact those who obey it anyway. These are people who don’t really pose a threat, so these impositions on personal liberty only serve to help criminals and the government.

Of course, a further analysis of these measures would show that they were never meant to work in the first place. They merely set up the next infringement without ever solving the problem, as intended.

In recent years the gun grabber set has openly and freely admitted their goal of Gun confiscation – whether they dress it up in euphemisms of ‘Gun buy backs’, Gun bans or merely getting rid of the 2nd amendment. They all mean the same thing.
It should be clear that any proposals to ‘Just do something about guns’ are but precursors to gun confiscation, whether it’s Intergalactic Background Checks or Registration. It’s ‘All or nothing’ with the anti-civil rights crowd, so they get nothing.

4). The Rapidly advancing technologies CNC machine tools and 3D printing will make gun control impossible.

The authoritarian ideas of gun control are almost as old as the guns themselves. As soon as the common man was able to get a means of self-defense, potential tyrants tried to keep this from taking place. Back then, not many had access to the technologies to manufacture their own weapons. In recent years, this has drastically changed to the point that almost anyone can manufacture a firearm completely free from governmental control. Reason recently profiled the pioneers in this field and how it has rendered a death knell to any hope of controlling guns.

For those who may be logically challenged, please try to follow along: It is becoming easier and easier to make weapons. Thus any restrictions on our common sense civil will only have an impact on the innocent. So any future attempts at people control will be negated by everyone and anyone manufacturing their own without government interference. But of course, we have outlined this issue on these pages as well.

5). The Common Sense Civil Right of Armed Self-defence is an integral part of the cause of Individual liberty.

There is a reason the Liberal founding fathers set out the Civil Right of Armed Self-defence at the top of the Bill of rights. They had just fought and won a war where the possession of the common ‘weapons of war’ was crucial to victory. In fact, the possession of these arms by the colonials was the spark that set off the American revolution. The founders knew that the possession of firearms was the only way the new nation would be able to maintain it’s security. These were the ‘weapons of war’ commonly held by the infantrymen: The ubiquitous AR-15 of today as was the musket of the colonial time period.

The Right to keep and bear arms was also an integral part of the philosophy of individual rights. The right to ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ is meaningless without a self-defense capability.

There also a reason that the Liberal founding fathers used the word ‘unalienable’ – meaning they cannot be taken or given away by the possessor of these rights. In other words, even if people were persuaded by slick marketing or Leftists, they could not give up the right to life and by extension, the common sense civil right of self-defense.

The Takeaway

Therefore, it should be quite clear that millions of gun owners, possessing millions of guns will not fall for Leftist lies or their fantasy world of safety by disarmament. Furthermore, it should be clear that advancing technologies and civil rights that cannot be given away signifies that gun control has metaphorically drawn its last tyrannical breaths.

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Culture and Religion

Don’t Ever Let Anyone Mock You For Praying

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Yesterday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, was a tragedy beyond words. As a parent myself, I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to lose a child. It almost sounds trite and overused to express our sympathy and express that the victims and their families remain in our thoughts.

And yes. They remain in our prayers.

One may ask, what can prayers do? Many on the Left question the benefits of prayer and even stoop to mocking it. After all, prayer is just a bunch of words, and represent a fig leaf for us creating real solutions to overcome gun violence.

But condemning prayer and assuming it means nothing misses its value entirely. The concept of prayer, particularly in Jewish philosophy, is recognition of our impotence and lack of control of the world. And that control or power rests, as I and others believe, with God.

Only He can regulate evil.

The great Jewish sage and philosopher Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) states it this way:

“We are told to offer up prayers to G‑d, in order to establish firmly the true principle that G‑d takes notice of our ways, that He can make them successful if we serve Him, or disastrous if we disobey Him; that success and failure are not the result of chance or accident.”

In more banal terms, God does not need our prayers. Prayer is for our own benefit, to acknowledge that we depend on God for everything, from wealth to the food we eat every day.

How much more so for our lives as a whole.

However, it is also true that we do have free will. And the age-old question arrives, how can we exact free will if God controls the world and all its outcomes?

Countless commentaries tackle this question, but I believe that the answer is that we merely possess free will to control ourselves and our own actions. We cannot control the actions of others, because that would impede on their free will. It ultimately lies with each of us to be the most righteous or most evil people we can, or want to, be.

And sadly, but understandably, this is why we cannot control evil, and only God can.

But our power rests in connecting with our Father in Heaven, and beseeching Him for guidance in dealing with life situations and the pervasive evil that exists in our world. And that is through prayer.

Prayer is the closest thing we can do to regulate evil. And by reaching out to God, evil may be eradicated one day. We don’t know, precisely because we cannot control this. But at least, in our darkest hours like those our nation faced yesterday, we can depend on prayer to be the way we shape our outlook on the world. And that is indeed something worth praying for.


Follow Jeremy Frankel on Twitter @frankeljeremy.

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