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Guns and Crime

Gun grabbing is a process that starts with ‘common sense’ measures and leads to oppression

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Common Sense Gun Control Measures

In today’s world of thousand-page pieces of legislation and 5000-word terms-of-use just to post an image on Instagram, it’s often challenging for people to understand how the 27 words of the 2nd Amendment can suffice. They do.

Let’s read them:

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.

There are sticking points that many will try to debate, particularly gun grabbers. They’ll point to “well regulated” and say that’s the reason we need more gun laws. They’ll say “Militia” is outdated and therefore the whole concept is outdated. They’ll even say that the idea of establishing “security of a free State” means the police and military and therefore shouldn’t apply to citizens.

They’ll skip the last half or, as is more common lately, say that the right to keep and bear arms should no longer apply to Americans.

Those are the talking points of the overt gun grabbers. I’m not as worried about those people. They can neither be convinced that they’re wrong nor bothered by actual facts, though an occasional exception does pop up from time to time:

How one gun-grabber slammed head-first into reality

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/how-one-gun-grabber-slammed-head-first-into-realityLibresco went on to explain how she arrived at the conclusions many on the Right arrived at long ago. Both of these pieces, based on Libresco and her colleagues’ work, are worth the read. They are also worth sharing with your friends on the Left.

When presented with the facts, from someone who once believed as they do, perhaps the liberals you know will change their minds as well.

My bigger concern are the people on the right, left, and in-between who acknowledge the legitimacy of the 2nd Amendment and believe in gun owners’ rights but feel that we need just a little more in the law books to make it safer for everyone. They point to Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, and other mass shootings as examples for the necessity of stricter measures to make sure the “wrong people” don’t get their hands on the “wrong weapons” or any weapons at all.

There are two problems with that. One is big and one is much bigger. The big problem is the challenge with identifying what makes a person or a weapon wrong. Stephen Paddock, the Vegas shooter, was prescribed anti-anxiety drugs in June. He had no psychological issues reported nor did he have a criminal record. The two primary ways that common-sense gun law advocates want to identify potential violent criminals is through their psychological and criminal records. Unless we’re ready to take guns away from anyone in America with anxiety, no law could have identified Paddock as someone who shouldn’t possess firearms.

The other aspect of the argument is in controlling the types and/or quantities of guns and ammunition a person should be able to own. The laws on the books today already do this, often to an extent that some consider TOO drastic. With liberals and the media calling anything scary looking an “assault rifle” and making arguments that you don’t need a machine gun to hunt deer, it’s clear to anyone familiar with the laws as written that many on the left simply don’t understand guns, their applications, or the limits already in place.

If someone is determined to kill people with the type of modified weaponry Paddock used, the only laws that would prevent them from being able to do that are laws that would greatly hamper every American citizen’s rights to protect themselves from harm or oppression. Moreover, people like Paddock would still be capable of achieving their goals through illegal channels while law abiding citizens would by their nature be unable to do the same.

This brings us to the bigger problem: oppression. Two decades ago, it would have been hard to imagine America establishing unconstitutional healthcare mandates on the people. A decade ago, nearly 2/3rds of Americans, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, opposed gay marriage. Two years ago, nobody imagined the primary method of communication for the President would be Twitter. Things change culturally and politically. These changes are dramatic and often universal, just shy of a 1984 scenario where opinions are shifted swiftly and permanently. “Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”

It’s important to understand the speed at which things change in society today because the vast majority of Americans cannot imagine the need to defend themselves against oppression from within. We assume that the government has our back and will always have our back as long as we pay our taxes and don’t rip the labels off our mattresses. It’s unfathomable that circumstances may arise that convinces the government we’d all be better off if they seized more control, Constitution be damned.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist who thinks the government is out to get us. I don’t believe they’re turning the frogs gay. I have a healthy distrust of politicians who want to consolidate power and prolong their membership in the DC country club, but I also have faith that the majority of them don’t want to do us harm. With that said, I’m acutely aware that politicians go in the direction of the political winds. Right now, gun grabbers are blowing as hard as they can to push for totalitarianism whether they know it not. They can’t do it alone. They need the sensible people to embrace “common-sense measures” in order to build the steam necessary to lead to their gun-free utopia.

Those who are giving them steam, even when doing so in order to get just a couple more minor gun laws on the books, are the people who worry me the most. They don’t realize they’re helping to push the first in a string of dominoes that leads to full-blown gun grabbing. It starts with attempting in vain to stop people like Paddock. It moves on to further restrictions on the types and quantities of firearms and ammunition we can own. Background checks turn into competency tests which lead to psych evaluations. Gun registries turn into smart guns that can be turned off by law enforcement. This will continue, domino by domino, until the 2nd Amendment is repealed and replaced by European-style measures.

If you don’t believe it can happen like this, you’re not paying full attention. Here are three points to consider:

  1. America is shifting culturally to the left. This is undeniable.
  2. Politicians generally love extreme measures, particularly those on the left.
  3. The primary methods of media consumption (NOQ Report readers notwithstanding) are controlled by people who wish nobody had a gun other than their bodyguards and law enforcement.

The founders weren’t too worried about gangbangers or rampaging deer. They didn’t install the 2nd Amendment just for defending the home and hunting for grub. They had experienced life under an oppressive regime and were forced to fight for their rights to live free. They installed the 2nd Amendment so we would never fall as a people to an oppressive regime foreign or domestic. The unimaginable scenario where the 2nd Amendment was practically applied to defend against government oppression may seem far-fetched today, but things change quickly. From Spain to Iran to Venezuela to North Korea, we see clear examples of oppression where once it didn’t exist. Let us not be so pompous to believe that American politicians could never go that far or that foreign invaders could never breach our borders. With millions of people pushing politicians to take control, establish socialism, and prevent any “bad” people from committing violence, it’s delusional to think this scenario is impossible.

If you really want the government to reduce gun violence, tell them to do a better job of getting illegal weapons and components out of the hands of potential criminals. We don’t need more laws. We need the current laws enforced. We don’t need fewer people armed. We need law-abiding, responsible Americans to freely carry their firearms. Where gun owners’ rights are protected, crime rates are lower. New laws that “protect” Americans from attacks such as Las Vegas and Sandy Hook are laws that would make us less safe.

It’s understandable for conscientious Americans to want politicians to DO something. When it comes to gun control laws, the emotional responses calling for stricter measures can make even those who appreciate the 2nd Amendment inadvertently assist in weakening or eliminating it all together. We must prevent the first domino from falling because if it does, it’s going to be difficult to stop it from leading to totalitarian oppression.

Christian, husband, father. EIC, NOQ Report. Co-Founder, the Federalist Party. Just a normal guy who will no longer sit around while the country heads in the wrong direction.

Foreign Affairs

The Russian nuclear investigation is all about timing

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The Russian nuclear investigation is all about timing

Senator Chuck Grassley has been on a witch hunt for years. His target has been the questionable Russian nuclear deal that gave them ownership over a company that controlled 20% of America’s uranium deposits. In less than two weeks, he may finally catch his witch… or rather, witches.

Background

A story on The Hill yesterday uncovered a very inconvenient fact about the controversial nuclear deal. Nuclear industry officials involved in the deal were under FBI investigation:

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow | TheHill

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/355749-fbi-uncovered-russian-bribery-plot-before-obama-administrationBefore the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

Why this matters now

This is much more than another Clinton-related scandal, though the details surrounding Bill and Hillary are definitely juicy. The real question is whether or not those who were involved in approving the deal knew of the investigation before letting it through. President Obama’s multi-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) included Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

If they were aware of the investigation before giving approval, this is more than just a scandal. This could be the case that finally puts Clinton, Holder, and other Obama “untouchables” in serious legal trouble. We’re not talking about poor judgment, Fast and Furious, or private email servers. This would be undeniably criminal to knowingly give access to vital American resources to corrupt foreign agents actively working against the nation’s interests.

It’s not out of the question that this could be considered a form of treason.

Grassley’s task

The Iowa Senator who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee must determine the timing of knowledge in this case. He will ask and regardless of whether or not they knew about it, they’ll almost certainly declare they did not. It will be incumbent on Grassley and his team to sift through the data to discern the truth if it’s out there.

It won’t be easy. The severity and undeniable risk of making such a deal with foreknowledge of the FBI’s investigation means there will not be an easy paper trail to follow if ever one existed. His best chance is to locate aides or others who may have had knowledge of communications between the FBI and the CFIUS. Hopefully, they’ll have a paper trail of their own that the committee can follow.

Don’t hold your breath. One does not survive unscathed through all of the alleged crimes the Clintons and Holder have committed over the decades without knowing how to fake knowledge gaps. Grassley will have to use communications from the FBI as any communications have probably been destroyed on the receiving end. All of this is assuming such communications even happened.

One thing can exonerate members of the CFIUS quickly. If they can produce documents showing they were told about the investigation after the deal was approved, that should end it. Of course, there’s a flip side to this. It’s very unlikely that an Attorney General or a Secretary of State would be left in the dark about such an important criminal investigation involving foreign assets. If they cannot produce documents showing they were initially informed of the investigations after the deal was done, then it’s confirmation Grassley’s team should continue to pursue finding the alerts before approval.

It all comes down to timing. If they didn’t know until after the deal was approved, this is just a scandal that highlights their incompetence. If they knew about the investigation before they approved the deal, there were severe crimes committed.

Further Reading

Obama administration knew about Russian bribery plot before uranium deal | New York Post

http://nypost.com/2017/10/17/fbi-uncovered-russian-bribery-plot-before-controversial-nuclear-deal/The Obama administration knew that Russia had used bribery, kickbacks and extortion to get a stake in the US atomic-energy industry — but cut deals giving Moscow control of a large chunk of the US uranium supply anyway, according to a report Tuesday.

The FBI used a confidential US witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather records, make secret recordings and intercept ­e-mails as early as 2009 that showed the Kremlin had compromised an American uranium trucking company, The Hill reported.

With Bribery, Russian Nuclear Officials Made Bill and Hillary Clinton Richer – Katie Pavlich

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2017/10/17/russiaclinton-hill-story-n2396220Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

FBI’s failure to stop Obama nuclear deal despite Russian plot ‘reprehensible’: Napolitano | Fox Business

http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2017/10/17/fbis-failure-to-stop-obama-nuclear-deal-despite-russian-plot-reprehensible-napolitano.htmlDespite its discovery of that plot, which was designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic power through kickbacks, extortion and money laundering, the Department of Justice spent nearly four years investigating the matter, according to The Hill, which first reported the story.

“It is remarkable not that the Obama administration didn’t indict anybody, but that the Trump administration is sitting on this material as well. It’s the same Justice Department,” Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano told FOX Business’ David Asman on “After the Closing Bell.”

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Guns and Crime

The ‘bump stock’ ban in Congress is really a semiautomatic rifle ban in disguise

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Sunday marked the two-week anniversary of the tragedy in Las Vegas, which was the worst mass shooting in American history, leaving 59 people dead and over 500 injured. Even after two weeks, no one really knows with certainty the timeline leading up to the massacre, with new theories sprouting almost daily. Since the massacre, Americans throughout the country held vigils and prayed for days after. Even Las Vegas’ new NHL team, the Golden Knights, held a moment of tribute before their first-ever hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes to honor the victims of the attack.

Background

But, predictably, the Left wasn’t so gracious, to say the least. Their instinctual reaction, as usual after a mass shooting, was how to further encroach on the Second Amendment and push for more gun control.

For example, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) immediately jumped to this all-to-common reaction, saying that “[c]ongress must get off its ass and do something.” Murphy continued to call for Congress to take on the “gun industry.” Another is Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who, even after admitting on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that no law would have stopped the mass shooter from obtaining his weapons or murdering those people, is still a long-time advocate for gun control and is now pushing legislation in light of the Vegas massacre—banning bump stocks.

As of last Friday, there is a new bipartisan bill in Congress to ban bump stocks, which is a spring-like piece that increases the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle. The bill, drafted by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and cosponsored by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), states that “[i]t shall be unlawful for any person…to manufacture, possess, or transfer any part or combination of parts that is designed to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle.”

However, as Sean Davis at the Federalist notes, this would actually ban semi-automatics altogether, for the reason that the legislation has no specificity on the base rate of fire, so the bill technically can ban any weapon that has an increase of rate of firing from zero. The National Rifle Association opposes this bill as well.

Reports

NRA Opposes New Bump Fire Stock Ban Bill

The National Rifle Association announced on Wednesday its opposition to a new bill that would ban any firearm part that effectively increases the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle.

“We are opposed to the Feinstein and Curbelo legislation,” Jennifer Baker, a spokesperson for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told the Washington Free Beacon.

Bipartisan Bump Stock Bill Would Actually Ban All Semi-Automatic Rifles

http://thefederalist.com/2017/10/13/new-bipartisan-bump-stock-bill-would-actually-ban-all-semi-automatic-weapons/?A new congressional proposal to ban bump stocks in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting would actually ban all semi-automatic rifles and parts. A new gun control proposal in Congress that is being pitched as a bipartisan bump stock ban would actually ban all semi-automatic rifles in the United States, according to an analysis of the proposed bill. The legislation, which was drafted by Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican, never bans bump stocks by name.

Analysis

The only thing more astonishing than the Republicans accepting the premise that gun control would have stopped this heinous mass murder is that Democrats clearly don’t care.

Feinstein admits that the killer wouldn’t have been stopped by any legislation, and anyone can come to the logical conclusion that someone willing to kill will also be willing to break a gun law. But for the Left, it isn’t about stopping mass killers. It is, and always was, about confiscating guns from law-abiding Americans, and eventually gutting the Second Amendment altogether.

The Takeaway

Our Second Amendment is designed to protect us from tyranny, and a powerful, overgrown government, which is the Left’s overall goal, is a prime example of this. This amendment is so important that it is the only one in the Bill of Rights that adds the words “shall not be infringed.”

Nevertheless, for the Left, the ends justify the means. Liberty and freedom be damned. Even if what we do won’t help curb mass murders, let’s take advantage of this tragedy to further pursue our life’s work of a statist, centralized leviathan of a government.

The Left likes to say that conservatives are greedy, selfish and don’t care about anything but money. However, their reaction to the evil that took place in Las Vegas two weeks ago today shows that they embody the ultimate in selfishness.

Follow Jeremy Frankel on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to his Youtube channel.

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Entertainment and Sports

We are doing a very poor job protecting child actors from monsters. We must do better.

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I am sitting here gobsmacked reading Corey Feldman’s latest story about Hollywood. It’s not the first time I’ve read the allegations of child sexual abuse, but this time it hit me in a new way. Feldman mentioned his own 11-year-old boy and compared it to his childhood actor friend (and, according to him, rape victim) Corey Haim, who he alleged was abused when he was eleven. Then Feldman said he can’t name names because he would be sued and the law prevents his abusers from being prosecuted.

This is wrong on so many levels.

Background

If an adult abuses a child, that stays with the child for the rest of his or her life. But the abuser has the advantage of threatening the youngster–especially when the abuser is in a position of authority, and heaping shame and fear to silence the child. In California, according to law firm Wallin & Klarich (that has a video posted on their blog titled “what do do if you are accused of child molestation” so we know what they are advertising for their practice), child molestation must be reported within 10 years of the child’s 18th birthday (until the child turns 29), or within one year of the police report.

But the bar to use the “within one year” exception is that the crime must have involved substantial sexual conduct, AND there must be independent evidence supporting the victim’s claims. That means someone like Corey Feldman, who is obviously over 29, and by his own admission lacks the evidence to meet the bar for prosecution, would only be subject to a lawsuit from his abusers for libel if he published names.

Hollywood’s Other ‘Open Secret’ Besides Harvey Weinstein: Preying on Young Boys

https://www.thedailybeast.com/hollywoods-other-open-secret-besides-harvey-weinstein-preying-on-young-boys?source=twitter&via=mobile‘This is a place where adults have more direct and inappropriate connection with children than probably anywhere else in the world,’ claimed former child actor Corey Feldman.

Protecting whose rights?

Other states have even more stringent rules to protect the rights of the accused, but some, like Georgia, have repealed them for certain crimes against certain minors. For certain sexual or other crimes committed on or after July 1, 2012 against minors under 16, Georgia removed the statute of limitations. DNA evidence can be used anytime to expand the prosecution window.

Yet California seems to err on the side of protecting the molesters. The Wallin & Klarich website states that “false allegations of child molestation are very common.” That may be so in family situations, but who protects child actors? (I’m not even going to get into church leaders, scout leaders, etc.)

There must be a way to protect the rights of adults in the film industry from false accusations while protecting the children, even after they’re grown up, from what Corey Feldman is going through.

Whistleblowers?

Maybe the answer is to treat these kids, even when they’re grown, as whistleblowers. Why can’t California and other states with a growing film industry (Georgia actually produces more films than Hollywood right now) have a whistleblower law for child actors? Why should these now-grown actors be punished for naming names? And why can’t the cases be prosecuted without a statute of limitations?

In Georgia, according to the Atlanta-based Brody Law Firm‘s website, O.C.G.A. § 16-16-4, enticing a child for indecent purposes, has no statute of limitations (after 2012, based on victim’s age). But the state has to prove the offender’s “asportation” of the victim–meaning taking the victim somewhere for the purpose of an act of indecency. If it happens that the child actor is on set alone with the offender, that’s going to be hard to prove since it’s part of both of their jobs to be there.

In other words, a good lawyer is capable of making an excellent defense against these charges, and the industry has a tendency to protect itself. That means a child actor making an accusation will almost certainly have their career suffer if the case can’t be proven, or the prosecution is unsuccessful.

Add to that the element of authority, the promise of more roles, etc., and there’s a perfect storm favoring the abuser and disadvantaging the abused.

The Takeaway

This is why it’s so important to remove statutes of limitation and grant whistleblower protections to adults who were abused as children. Just like the Catholic Church, which hid molesters for decades, Hollywood needs to be held accountable for its terrible monsters. With rich, powerful, lawyered up moguls, the only way to do that may be to protect the grown children from lawsuits and retribution.

If California would amend its laws to be more like Georgia, and states would treat child actors (and former child actors) as whistleblowers, abusers would be deterred from their monstrous behavior, or exposed and removed from the industry.

We have to do better to protect these young and vulnerable actors.

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