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Guns and Crime

The heroes and witnesses of the Mandalay Massacre In Las Vegas

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The stories of sacrifice and heroism in Las Vegas during the largest mass murder in US history are truly inspiring. There are many out there, but some of them just grab you by the heart and won’t let go. 59 people are dead and 527 are in local hospitals after Stephen Paddock, a 64 year-old man from Mesquite, Nevada, shot into a crowd of over 22,000 at a country music festival across from the Mandalay Bay where he was located on the 32nd floor. He had a suite with two rooms and had two stands set up as far as I can tell. He had 12 or 13 weapons at his disposal. A number of them were illegally converted to fully automatic weaponry. They also found explosives and triggers in his car and homes, as well as 18 other guns. The guns were purchased in at least four states over time. This was well-planned and premeditated murder on an epic scale.

Heroes and witnesses

Taylor Benge is one of the survivors of the Mandalay Massacre. He attended the festival with his sister. She threw herself on top of her brother to protect him from the bullets as they rained down on the crowd. “My sister and I, we started running to the left and every time they shot, we took cover,” Benge said. “My sister, being as noble as she is, she actually threw herself on top of me,” he added, “and was saying, ‘I love you Taylor, I love you.’ And I’ll never forget that.” They both escaped the death trap unharmed. Benge was an agnostic, but not anymore… “I was agnostic going into that concert, and I’m a firm believer in God now,” Benge told CNN, “because there’s no way that all of that happened, and that I made it, and I was blessed enough to still be here alive talking to you today.”

Chris Bethel is an Iraq War veteran from Fort Worth, Texas. He helped LVPD track down where the shots were coming from on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. He was in Vegas for an IT conference and was staying at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He was staying just two floors underneath the killer. Shots rang out at about 10 pm Sunday night and Bethel knew the sound all too well from combat. He called the police immediately. “I could just hear the gun shots. Continuously. Just full automatic. There’s explosions going off. It was like, a bomb just went off man. And then there were more gun shots,” Bethel said, according to KTVT-TV.

The only explosion to go off that night was the police using a device to blast through the killer’s hotel door. Bethel could see hundreds of people below running for their lives. “I kept looking at the windows to see if I could see any kind of muzzle flash to see if I could see where the shooter was. I crouched by my front door. In hopes that I might get the opportunity to see the shooter if he ran by and I could identify him,” Bethel said. Shortly after that, the police arrived on the scene… about ten minutes after Bethel placed his call. LVPD called Bethel and told him they found the shooter who had committed suicide before they could get to him.

Bethel’s call may have saved many more lives as he cut Paddock’s party short, but he still feels he didn’t do enough. “I feel like I couldn’t get a hold of somebody quick enough to let them know. And it felt like it took them too long to get over there, to take him out, to get him. It’s actually eating me up inside,” Bethel told KTVT. In my book, he’s a hero plain and simple.

Mike McGarry is a 53 year-old financial adviser from Philadelphia. He was at the festival with his family when hundreds of shots started ringing out. His first instinct was to protect his children. “It was crazy–I laid on top of the kids. They’re 20. I‘m 53. I lived a good life,” McGarry said. Reuters reported the back of McGarry’s shirt bore the footmarks of those who had ran over him in the panicked crowd. They all survived and that is the deepest kind of love, being willing to sacrifice yourself for your children.

Sonny Melton with his wife Heather Melton.

Not everyone made it out alive. Sonny Melton, 29, was an emergency room nurse married to a surgeon named Heather Melton. When the shooting began, he ran with his wife, saving her life, but sadly losing his. They were at the festival celebrating their wedding anniversary. “He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back. I want everyone to know what a kindhearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe,” Heather said.

Christopher Roybal was a 29 year-old military veteran who served in Afghanistan. He went to the festival with his mom, Debby Allen. They arrived at different times and were going to meet up. When Debby texted her son, she got no answer. They were on opposite sides of the stage when the gunfire started. “I was trying to run towards wherever I thought he might be,” she said. “This man wouldn’t let me — he kept pulling me away saying, ‘You can’t run towards the gunfire.’” Debby later ran into a firefighter who had been behind her son when he was hit. “He told me my son was shot in the chest — that he said, ‘I was hit, I’m hit’,” Allen said. “They all bent down when the gunfire began and my son just fell back.”

Adrian Murfitt was a 35 year-old commercial fisherman. He visited Las Vegas from his home in Anchorage, Alaska to vacation. Murfitt “was happy to pay some things off and had made some really good money,” his sister, Shannon Gothard, told the AP. He “decided to go out and celebrate and go to the concert and treat himself to something nice and fun.” It would be the last thing he ever did. A friend was with Murfitt as he was gunned down and later notified his family.

Sandy Casey also came from Manhattan Beach, CA. She was a special education teacher and a country music lover. She went to the festival with her fiance and some friends. They were near the stage when she was shot in her lower back. Her fiance tried carrying her to safety, dodging gunfire, but it was too late. “This is unbelievably sad and tragic,” said the district superintendent, Mike Matthews, according NBC Los Angeles. “We lost a spectacular teacher who devoted her life to helping some of our most needy students.”

Carrie Barnette was a 30 year-old longtime worker from Disneyland. She went to Vegas to celebrate a friend’s birthday. “She was always generous and helping everybody in every way,” her mother, Mavis Barnette said. “She loved her nieces and nephews and her sister and brother.” Disney CEO Robert Iger confirmed that Barnette had died on Twitter. “A senseless, horrific, act, and a terrible loss for so many,” he wrote. “We mourn a wonderful member of the Disney family: Carrie Barnette. Tragic.”

Quinton Robbins was only 20 years-old. He took his girlfriend on a date to the festival and would never go on another. She saw him clutch his chest and she thought that since he was a diabetic, it was low blood sugar. She couldn’t have known at that point he had been shot in the chest. He was the oldest of three children and was a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, my alma mater.

Angie Gomez was also 20 years-old. She graduated high school just two short years ago and her whole life was ahead of her. She had landed a job as a certified nursing assistant and was celebrating at the festival. She was shot three times… once in the shoulder and twice in the arm. She passed away before her longtime boyfriend could get her to a hospital. School officials in Riverside, California, described her on Monday as a determined, but convivial student who loved theater and choir. “We are shaken and saddened by this news,” the district said in a statement. “Angie was a loyal friend who loved her family and will be forever missed by all who knew her.”

Neysa Tonks worked for a southern California-based technology company and had three children. Her employer was Technologent and they confirmed her death yesterday. On a fundraising page, friends recalled her humor and posted photos of her wrapped in toilet paper or flashing a goofy grin for the camera. “Neysa was always down to be silly,” one friend wrote. “More memories than I can count are of her laughing and she had the BEST laugh!! She will be GREATLY and DEEPLY missed!!!”

Susan Smith was 53 and an elementary school office manager and district fixture in Simi Valley, California. She always had a smile for people and never missed a dance recital. “It’s numbing,” a family friend, Suzanne Smith, told NBC Los Angeles. “It doesn’t seem real.” She was at the festival with friends when she was shot down.

The Takeaway

There are a lot of stories out there and many are inspiring. Many more are tragic. I spent a lot of time crying over this yesterday… it breaks my heart. I’d like to leave you with the message my friend Councilwoman Michele Fiore put out yesterday:

Pray and Give

As we wake up this morning the sunrises over the greatest tragedy to visit our city since the MGM Grand fire, it is heartbreaking to hear the casualty numbers get higher and higher. It is just hard to wrap your head around this kind of evil existing in the world.

But we are not only Americans we are Las Vegans. We take care of our own. So let’s start by doing a few simple things.

Give blood today with me. There is an urgent need for all types. The donation locations are listed below.

Reach out to any friends or families of the victims you may know and offer your help any way they need it; a ride to the hospital, sitting with them in the waiting room, looking after a child or just being there to listen and letting them know they are loved.

Check in on your friends and family that were there and not injured. They may need a person to talk to.

Take a moment when you see a first responder to thank them for their service.

And finally, take the time to hug your children and loved ones a little tighter. To let the people in your life know you love them. Eat a meal tonight as a family. Truly appreciate the people in your life. They are your true blessings.

We are not only strong; we are Vegas Strong. We will get through this together.

As Elder Ellis said yesterday, “The world is dangerous, and the Lord has commanded his people to not act out of a spirit of fear. The Lord’s answer to hard times is to go forward with faith”.

You can give blood at UMC Hospital, Delta Point 901 Rancho Lane, Las Vegas as well as the following locations through Nevada.

All my love,

Michele

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton owns and blogs at NoisyRoom.net. She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political, national and international issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - trevorloudon.com and a writer and editor at Right Wing News. She also does research at KeyWiki.org. You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

Culture and Religion

Our List of Demands for the Conservation of Liberty – Part II

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Our List of Demands for the Conservation of Liberty Part II

Leftists incessantly issue lists of demands for the restriction of Liberty, It’s time to reverse the trend towards freedom.

This is our second part of our series of what we on the Pro-Liberty Right want for the preservation of Liberty. Part I is here.

6. The Left needs to stop trying to control private property with Intergalactic Background Checks. [aka ‘enhanced’ or ‘Universal’]

If there is one constant in the Liberty grabber universe, it’s that half of them are incessantly calling for gun confiscation while the rest deny they are calling for gun confiscation. They also love to parrot the line that it would be impossible to round-up everyone’s guns as a way of deflecting the issue. Except that those on the Pro-liberty side thought the same thing in the UK and Australia. Their Liberty grabber nightmare began with gun registration, under the solemn promise that it wouldn’t lead to gun confiscation. [Sound familiar?] Then of course at the next occasion of a serious crisis, this registration data was used for gun confiscation.

The fact is gun confiscation takes several precursor steps, the most critical being the assertion of government control over private property with Intergalactic Background Checks. Curiously enough, the Liberty grabbers tend to want language inserted into these laws mandating the reportage of lost or stolen firearms. Those types of rules are of primary importance only if the point of these measures is to turn them into a registration scheme.

7. The Liberty Grabber Left needs to stop pushing for even more controls on freedom.

It is also axiomatic that Leftists will exploit any opportunity to start ever-expansive controls over Liberty. The Left is a virtual fountainhead of new and more creative ways of clamping down on freedom. Having run out of new and improved ways of making it difficult, embarrassing and expensive to buy a firearm [While also lying about it at the same time] the Left has moved on to imposing controls over the purchase of ammunition. Then of course they also are making demands on how these are stored.

8. Stop attacking those who only wish to defend themselves.

There is nothing more loathsome than Leftists who excel at hurling insults at the country’s estimated 150 Million innocent gun owners. We’ve been labelled with almost everything from being Terrorists to baby killers for wanting nothing more than to be able to defend our families and ourselves.

Those who incessantly work overtime to demonize the innocent should keep one word in mind: Deterrence. The widespread ownership of weapons in most areas deters criminals since they don’t know who can fight back. This also explains why places with tight controls on Liberty tend to have higher crime rates. Curiously enough, for people who love the term ‘Commonsense’ they certainly don’t seem to well versed in it.

9. The Left needs to become educated about that which they want to control.

Granted, it might be too much to expect the Liberty Grabbers from knowing the difference between a direct impingement and gas piston actuation, but they should at least know the difference between a semi-auto and select fire. Nothing screams uninformed more than someone who confuses a clip with a magazine or some who uses them interchangeably in a claim that one can fire off 30 rounds in half a second.

Lack of knowedge is usually a negative in most cases, but in the realm of Liberty Control, the Leftists wear it as a badge of honour.

10. The Left needs to stop lying about guns.

We made these two separate items to prove a point. While some gaffes of the Liberty grabber elite are relatively harmless, there are those that are a danger to Liberty. It should go without saying that we live in an age in which the knowledge of the world is literally at one’s fingertips. There is no rational excuse for a lack of knowledge on the most rudimentary aspects of certain subjects. By the same token, there is no excuse for the propagation of deliberate false impressions and Lies particularly on the subject of self-defense.

One of the most infamous examples stems from the creation the phrase “Assault Weapon”:

The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

The Takeaway.

The nation’s Left has gone on for years demanding compromises on the part of the Pro-Liberty Right. It is time that they step up to the plate and show they can be ‘bi-partisan’ for once. These steps aren’t really that extraordinary, in fact they merely bolster Liberty. Some Leftists still purport to be Liberal, supporting these items would go a long way in showing that is truly the case.

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Guns and Crime

Will Elon Musk face criminal charges over his Tweet?

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Will Elon Musk face criminal charges over his Tweet

Elon Musk is in deep trouble over a Tweet. Nine little words could land him in court and possibly even in jail.

By Tweeting in the middle of the day, it’s a red flag to the SEC. The other, more important question that Musk must answer is whether or not he committed fraud by claiming he had the funds to buy the shares. He didn’t, and that alone could make his Tweet criminal.

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Culture and Religion

Our List of Demands for the Conservation of Liberty – Part I

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Our List of Demands for the Conservation of Liberty - Part I

Leftists incessantly issue lists of demands for the restriction of Liberty. It’s time to reverse the trend towards freedom.

Every ‘serious crisis’ involving firearms sees the same pattern of exploitation by the Liberty grabber Left. They immediately mount their gun confiscation hobbyhorse issuing lists of demands for restrictions on freedom. As soon as they get these new limitations, Leftists reset the rhetoric for the next go around. The pattern has always been one of compromise on behalf of the Pro-Liberty Right, only to see new demands made whenever the Left can exploit any new crisis.

Now is the time to reverse the trend of the incessant attacks on Liberty.

Millions of innocent gun owners in the country deserve a break in seeing ever tightening restrictions on their freedom because of the actions of criminals or terrorists. There are estimated to be 150 Million innocent gun owners that have upwards of 400 to 600 million firearms with trillions of rounds of ammunition. As the saying goes, if they were a problem, we would have known it by now. Despite the oft-repeated emotional argument foisted by the Liberty grabber Left, It is patently obvious that more guns in the hands of the innocent means less crime or governmental tyranny.

The past few years have seen record-setting gun sales, while that type of violence has diminished. The story has always been one of the Pro-Liberty Right compromising, while the Socialist-Left responds with new demands. It is time that they ‘gave back’ (to coin a phrase), for once they should be the ones making the making the compromises.

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson

The degradation of Liberty should in no way be considered to be ‘progress’ or ‘progressive’. Those who claim to be ‘Liberal’ should be advocating Liberty instead of tearing it down. It should also be patently obvious that depriving the people of their means of self-defense does nothing to protect them.

Recent events here here and here, should also make it patently obvious that people will find a way to inflict violence on others. The ever-increasing limitations on Liberty pushed by people who are supposedly ‘Liberal’ on serves to make the situation far worse, with an example of an attack  in a place with severe restrictions on the possession of firearms.

Our List of Demands to reverse the trend towards Liberty.

In light of the recent ‘serious crisis’ that clearly demonstrated that Liberty Control only serves to endanger the innocent, this is our list of demands for the Conservation of Liberty.

1. Background checks should only be on the purchaser, leaving off the data on the firearm.

Ostensibly, the purpose of a Federal background check is to ‘Keep guns out of the hands’ of a laundry list of prohibited persons. So why does the 4473 form include information on the gun being purchased?

If this is supposedly only for the buyer of a gun, why do they need that information? If it is a true ‘background check’ on the purchaser, the information on the gun should be irrelevant. And yet that information is collected under tight controls, why?

Federal law “specifically forbids the government from creating a national registry of gun ownership”,  so why are they collecting that data? Unless they are lying about the purpose of the program.  It is time for the government to be finally true to it’s word, a Background check on a purchaser should just a Background check on a purchaser, nothing more.

2. The Left needs to stop wasting everyone’s time on provisions that violate the commonsense human right of self-preservation.

This includes trying to repeal or virtually rewrite the 2nd amendment based on their twisted interpretation of it’s wording. The Liberty grabber Left needs to be aware of two important points:
One, the 2nd amendment isn’t going anywhere.
Two, it only affirms the common sense human right of self-defence. This means that even if it were to carry out the Herculean task of repealing the 2nd amendment, it would have no effect.

3. Media: Stop pretending snapshot polls taken at the height of hysteria represents steady state opinions.

Any news coverage of a ‘serious crisis’ will invariably include some sort of instant poll, exploiting the raw emotion of the moment that will have ‘90%’ supporting Intergalactic Background Checks or some other restriction on Liberty. It should be obvious that a snap shot glimpse into the psyche of the moment will have wildly inaccurate results, but these are subsequently trotted out to show that ‘everyone’ wants just about every limitation on Liberty under the sun. It is also axiomatic that polls taken during normal periods that don’t exhibit the desired results will be ignored.

4. Liberty grabber Leftists need to acknowledge that background checks already exist.

Those notorious instant polls will also display the anomaly of high polling numbers on ‘background checks’. Often times this vague phraseology will be used to exploit confusion on the issue. This provides an entry for the Liberty grabber Left to interpret this to mean that just about everyone (even NRA members) are demanding Intergalactic Background Checks [Or whatever terms the Left uses to exploit this issue – enhanced, universal, etc].

In point of fact, Federal Background checks have been around for over 25 years, so when a pollster asks about ‘background checks’ many will answer in the affirmative since they know they already exist. While many on the Left will answer the same, not knowing that fact, but are desirous of even more controls on Liberty.

5. Implement the reforms on suppressors.

Despite all the research they’ve done on the subject in the movie theatres, guns with suppressors do not emit a soft ‘Phft’ with each shot. While they cut some of the noise associated with the discharge of combustion gases in the firing of a weapon, they do nothing for the mechanical noise of the cycling of the weapon or the noise emanating from the passage of the round through the air.

So while they can’t turn every handgun into a silent killer, they do protect the hearing of those practising their marksmanship as well as keep the ancillary noise level down for the neighbours of firing ranges. This is why there is no reason to restrict the sales of essentially a muffler for a firearm .

Part II will detail the rest of the items to reverse the trend away from Liberty.

 

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