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Guns and Crime

America should consider adopting Israel’s ‘gun control’

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The Left wants a total ban on guns. Much of the right counters with unlimited “Constitutional carry,” anywhere, anytime. Neither of these extremes is feasible.

If we can put aside our narratives and straw men for a moment, and simply be real, we may find some value in commonsense “gun control.” And the most commonsense place to find it is our friend in the Middle East, Israel.

Israel is a very small country, about the size of New Jersey. It is in many ways surrounded by enemies, or at best, tenuous partners bound by treaties and pledges of cooperation. These facts lead to some stark realities. Every able-bodied Israeli–even the ultra-Orthodox Jews–must serve in the military. This is mandatory. The military trains every member in weapons handling, so every Israeli who has served has some familiarity with handling, caring for, and firing guns.

That’s one large difference between Israel, the U.S., and other western countries. Many Americans only know guns from movies. Seeing a real one, or–heaven forbid–firing a gun, can be a frightening experience for liberals and Europeans unaccustomed to it. (In fact, Gersh Kuntzman of the New York Daily News called his virgin experience firing an AR-15, “horrifying, dangerous, and very, very loud.” To which Erick Erickson hilariously replied, “It’s a gun, you idiot! Were you expecting it to tickle you?” This lays to rest the “suppressor” or “silencer” argument, of course, but that is not our topic here.)

Let’s set aside those who believe that real, actual guns, not portrayed on television or movie screens are incarnations of Satan himself. Those people are the burners of straw-men and fantasizers of gun-confiscation. To whom they would entrust the task of confiscating (at gunpoint!) 300 million guns is also not our topic here. Let’s now confine the subject to those who wish to own, use and carry guns.

In America we have a Second Amendment right for citizens to own guns. In Israel, no such right is granted by the government, although it is somewhat brought about by necessity. Where the two overlap: Americans’ rights and Israelis’ necessity, is where we can and should learn from Israel’s form of “gun control.”

There are three planks to sensible gun control.

  1. Determining who can and cannot possess a gun.
  2. Determining where guns can and cannot be carried.
  3. Controlling how guns can and cannot be used.

It’s a far-right straw-man to claim that none of these apply, as even the Second Amendment speaks of “a well-regulated militia.” The government has an interest and a responsibility to regulate (“control”) deadly weapons. Can we all agree that it’s a bad idea to give a loaded gun, unsupervised, to a four-year-old? Can we agree that 16-year-olds carrying concealed, loaded weapons in high schools may not be the best idea? What age is the right age? That’s a matter of debate–but the point is taken that some people should not possess guns.

Who can carry?

In Israel, carrying a gun is a positive privilege granted by the state. Since 2015, IDF officers with the rank of lieutenant or above and NCOs with the rank of staff-sergeant or higher are eligible for firearms permits. Before 2015, there was an additional two-year service requirement, but that was removed to enhance the value of “citizens with firearms training” as “a multiplying force for the police in their fight against terrorism.”

Also, citizens who have served in certain military units, along with those who have passed the Shin Bet’s (Israel’s FBI) security guard training courses, and people who wish firearms training on a case-by-case basis can apply for permits. Permits carry an obligation to remain proficient with the weapons–every few years at a range at minimum.

We should have no problem with states that require some kind of firearms training to obtain a concealed carry permit. We should agree that firearms education should be offered in every high school. It would prevent the “Gersh Kuntzman” reaction, or the tragic case of 19-year-old Pedro Ruiz. Ruiz convinced his girlfriend to shoot him in the chest point-blank with a .50 cal Desert Eagle so he could make a YouTube video showing how an encyclopedia would stop the round. She killed him.

Many times, at super-mega gun stores and big-box retailers, the people behind the counter are incentivized to make the sale, get the background check, and collect the money. Perhaps, adding a few bumps here and there with other people who aren’t trying to sell a product would be a better solution. Waiting periods are fairly useless, except for the occasion where a jilted lover runs to Bass Pro Shops to buy a gun to take home specifically to kill a cheating spouse. On the other hand, there’s not many times where I have a “gun buying emergency” where I simply must have that .454 Casull, and I must have it today!

Gun registries and sales: a uniquely U.S. problem

Oh boy. A hornet’s nest. Is it the government’s business that you own a gun, and is it their (or anyone’s) business that you own a lot of guns, or which guns you own? In Israel, yes, absolutely. There is no private gun sale right in Israel. There’s no way a terrorist can get a legal permit holder to go buy a gun for them without raising all kinds of red flags. You can’t just walk into Academy Sports in Israel and walk out with a handgun.

In the U.S., gun sales is big business. To the tune of $11 billion (guns and ammunition). Gun manufacturers employs 35,165 workers. There are over 50,000 retail gun dealers, which contribute $123 million in tax money to federal coffers, along with over a half billion to states and conservation groups for hunting licenses. In the U.S., 32 percent of households own at least one gun.

Of course the industry would be against anything that would spook individuals from buying guns–that’s a no-brainer. However, common sense can prevail here, in a combination of Israel’s tightly controlled ownership registry versus America’s “screw-you-it’s-my-right” ethos.

Nothing good can come of a national gun registry, unless you were a criminal and the police were about to raid your house. And since you fill out an ATF Form 4473 every time you buy a gun from a licensed dealer, they already know you’ve bought a bunch of guns. They aren’t supposed to share that information–but they do.

The fact is, that people who own 30 or 40 or 50 guns–they’re either collectors (and that’s fine) or they’re something else. The something else might be a paranoid prepper, an anti-government arsenal builder, or a murderous nutcase. Either way, people in that category deserve scrutiny. I might be unpopular saying it, but let me give a couple of examples.

If you’re a father, do you want your teenage daughter dating a guy who has dated one or two girls in his class, or one who has dated them all? If you’re hiring for a position, do you want the applicant who has worked at one company for 5 years, or 15 jobs in the same period? There’s a value in knowing when the neighbor down the street has 50 cases (1,000 rounds per case) of 5.56mm NATO ball ammo. That’s enough for a small army.

Can we agree that there’s no problem with the federal government asking “why” in these cases, or telling buyers on the phone that  local law enforcement will be informed of their newly-acquired arsenal? Can we agree that’s not an infringement on Second Amendment rights? It’s a straw-man argument that anyone can own as many firearms as they want without the government taking notice. Can we agree that there’s no problem telling shady gun stores that they’ll face decades in federal prison if they break those rules (they have those rules now, but pawn shops and other dealers who buy and sell weapons sometimes “lose” the transaction records).

Where guns can be carried

Americans want to have our cake and eat it too. We don’t like metal detectors, bag searches and other inconveniences. But we also don’t like being shot at in public places. As the latter increases in risk, resistance to the former becomes weaker.

In Israel, it’s commonplace to have bag searches, metal detectors and security guards. Many employers have gun lockers. Employees come to work, unlock their personal gun safe, deposit their firearm (sometimes an M-16 if the worker is a reserve soldier), and go to their jobs. If you go into an Israeli mall, the security guard asks “do you have a gun?” They might ask for your permit.

Can we agree that in American retail stores and malls, it’s a tremendously stupid idea to ban all guns? It’s just blindingly dumb, but it’s private property. In these businesses, in Georgia, I carry concealed if I feel like it. The worst they can do it throw me out. A smarter way is to employ a couple of trained, armed security guards, who can ask if people are armed (train them to spot telltale signs). If they are armed, they show their permit, and they can come in. This is not an infringement on anything. Private businesses can ask for a gun permit if they want to.

Why is that better? Well, it keeps the idiots at bay–those open-carry-for-the-sake-of-screw-you people. It keeps the criminals at bay–they know there are armed people in the mall. It would likely prevent several tragedies a year. Notice at churches where people can carry guns, mass shootings are rare and generally quashed quickly if attempted. But in Charleston, guns cannot be carried at churches, and Dylann Roof took advantage of that. It’s the same with movie theaters.

Creating unenforced no-gun zones where people gather simply makes it more likely a mass shooting will happen, and succeed.

Walt Disney World used to allow anyone legally permitted to carry concealed in Florida to carry in their parks. Now they don’t. They have metal detectors and bag searches. You have to get there earlier. The moved the “open the gates” ceremony at the Magic Kingdom from the gates to Cinderella’s castle. It’s less convenient. But it’s safer.

We should expect at least some of the hotels at the Las Vegas strip and other touristy places where a killer can infiltrate to set up similar inconvenient barriers. That means some people won’t want to stay at the hotel, and that’s fine. Maybe the hotel can make an exception for permitted concealed carry–one gun on your person. That would prevent someone from bringing in an arsenal. Common sense can prevail.

In Georgia, it’s illegal to carry onto school property, except when picking up or dropping off students. That’s common sense. It should be legal for college students to carry on campus–at any school, in class or in the dorms.

But there should also be limitations.

How guns can and cannot be used

In Israel, one big–huge–difference in dealing with firearms is the concept of positive control. If a citizen carries in Israel, the gun is inextricably tied to them. Many police departments in America use this same concept. Carry everywhere because the gun is yours and you can never let it out of your sight. It’s a major offense in Israel to leave a gun unattended. In the U.S., it can lead to discipline against a police officer (such as the Capitol police sergeant who left a gun in a bathroom). In Israel, leaving a gun in a car unattended will lead to prison.

In Israel, permit holders are required to have government-approved gun safes in their homes. If the gun isn’t in the safe, it’s carried. If it’s carried to work, it goes into a safe locker. Guns are not simply left out.

What reason do we have not to require some kind of personal carry and ownership responsibility? We might not require a full-on gun safe (but that’s a good idea, mine is biometric), but there should be stiff penalties for leaving a gun in a car or home unattended without securing it. At minimum, that should be a hearing to potentially suspend a citizen’s right to carry. A right is a right, but if it’s exercised without responsibility and with abandon, it should be suspended. We have a right to vote, but should we be able to vote again and again in the same race? Should convicted felons have a right to vote from prison? Should company insiders have the right to use their knowledge to profit in the stock market?

Can we agree that certain activities should result in suspension or loss of the right to carry a gun?

In Israel, the standard is one of “need.” In Israel about 300,000 guns are licensed to individuals, companies and ministries based on need. That’s about one for every 16 citizens between 15 and 65 years old–or about 6 percent of the population. There are about a half million Israelis eligible to carry weapons because they’re serving in the military or reserves. That brings the number up to 14 percent.

That’s not so far off from U.S. numbers. Though about a third of households own a firearm, most of those don’t carry it, or they have a hunting rifle or other long gun. Hunting in Israel is not nearly as popular an activity as in America, so it’s hard to compare apples-to-apples. In general, there is only one reason to own or carry a gun in Israel, and that’s necessity.

In Israel, the government limits the amount of ammunition people can own; it’s anywhere from 50 bullets for a handgun to up to 700 bullets for a hunting rifle. Generally, in Israel, a civilian gun license is for one gun only. They are very restrictive.

In America, owning is a right. But not an unrestricted right.

The Takeaway

If we want to prevent more mass shootings of the kind we had in Orlando, Aurora, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas, we can’t continue to burn straw-men and shout past each other on the issue of gun control. Some gun control is needed. Gun confiscation, or a total ban, is not feasible, legal, or politically possible.

It’s up to private businesses to determine if they want firearms carried on their property. In many cases, it’s stupid for them to ban guns carried by law-abiding citizens. But it’s even more useless to ban guns without having some kind of enforcement, as inconvenient and expensive as that might be.

Owning a gun should not merely be an entitlement. It’s a right that carries with it a responsibility. It’s up to government to wisely regulate the responsibilities of gun owners, without infringing on the right to become one. How a gun is carried and used should be strictly enforced.

Gun education is key. This is mostly what the NRA is about. The Left paints them as a lobbying organization representing gun manufacturers (yes, the NRA-ILA is a lobbying group, but there’s also the NSSF, NAGR, and others), but much of what the NRA does is training and education. If people aren’t getting firearms education in the military, they need to get it locally, and we should be okay with that as a requirement for concealed carry. Guns are deadly and should not be trifled with.

Finally, we should look at some form of law enforcement flagging for individuals who have accumulated many guns. This will upset the paranoid conspiracy theorists who are preparing for the black helicopters and UN troops marching to take “our guns.” I have news for these people: if the federal government wanted to know who you are, they already do. The flagging is to offer a check against individuals like Stephen Paddock who might accumulate a cache of weapons quickly. Better to have a confrontation with law enforcement at home than to have him do what he did.

Sensible “gun control” is the objective. Israel has a very good and effective system. They do it out of necessity. Maybe it’s time America adopted their ideas.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Doug Olson

    October 4, 2017 at 5:55 am

    None of this addresses the other elephant in the room… criminals and the black market for guns. While I have no objection to requiring training to receive a conceal carry permit, the fact of the matter is that there are a number of guns out there that are sold or traded by illegal means. No gun control legislation will fix that. If you want to reduce American’s dependence on guns, so to speak, you need to make sure they feel safer in their own persons. Further regulating legal and law abiding owners will not do that.

    Yes, the government already knows who the gun owners are… and yes, they should investigate, or at least be aware of, those people who behave out of the ordinary. But so far, they have failed in that task, even though the means exists to execute that. Sometimes just knowing that law enforcement is watching you is enough of a deterrent.

  2. anonymous3

    October 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Wow… So much wrong here…

    First, the government does not “grant” rights. Our rights are intrinsic as being created in God’s image. I was willing to overlook that as most people make that mistake even if they realize the truth. I’m not sure if that’s a product of Liberalism subtly influence the way we think or if it’s just an honest mistake but while this may seem a minor point it is actually crucial to understanding rights. My rights are not subject to the good graces of those in power nor are they at all connected to a document written a mere 200 years ago. Human rights span all times and all national boundaries and are indelibly connected to the fact that we are HUMAN. If you are human, you have the right to defend yourself and acquire tools for that purpose. You have this right because you are created by GOD and that is the only reason necessary.

    Second, speaking of straw men, the right of the people to possess weapons is not contingent on the existence of or necessity for a militia. The right of the people to possess weapons is PROTECTED because a free state requires a militia but the right of the people to possess weapons is recognized as being intrinsic, preexisting and independent of anything to do with the government. The Constitution might have said–and many state constitutions simply say–“The Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” and it would carry the same force. That the 2nd Amendment gives a practical reason for that right–the existence of a militia–even if that reason becomes obsolete, the right perpetuates because it is intrinsic to us as people.

    In Israel, carrying a gun is seen as a “positive privilege.” In America, it is not a “privilege.” It is a right. Privileges can be taken away for any reason or no reason at all. Rights can only be taken away based upon actual committed actions by an individual. (i.e. you forfeit your right to life when you kill somebody). 

    As it relates to individual state laws, the US Constitution is a restriction on the scope of power to be exercised by the NATIONAL government. If a state wants to utterly ban guns, it can do that: provided its constitution doesn’t prohibit that kind of tyrannical act. States can make any laws they want regarding the subject of firearms. That’s why “national right to carry” is so dangerous: a national government which can so trample the rights of the States as to “grant” the right to carry a weapon can also make that right impossible to exercise by requiring unreasonable demands to be met before it will allow you to carry. If New York is forced by law to recognize a Texas carry permit, then why doesn’t New York get to tell Texas how to get that permit? Thus, while where we can carry weapons becomes broader, it is suddenly MUCH more difficult–perhaps impossible–to feasibly acquire those weapons.

    “The fact is, that people who own 30 or 40 or 50 guns–they’re either collectors (and that’s fine) or they’re something else. The something else might be a paranoid prepper, an anti-government arsenal builder, or a murderous nutcase. Either way, people in that category deserve scrutiny.”

    No, that is not a “fact.” That is your opinion. What about competition shooters? What about recreational shooters who just like a wide variety? Also, your permission (“and that’s fine”) is not required. I don’t require your approval to exercise my rights. And I happen to be one of those “paranoid preppers” and “anti-government arsenal builders.” So, by your logic, I should be scrutinized? In what way exactly should I be scrutinized? My phones tapped? My conversations cataloged? I guess it shouldn’t surprise but it nevertheless is still incredible that those who think so little of the 2nd amendment should also publicly disparage so many of the other rights we enjoy as free people. I guess people who own 5 computers should also be scrutinized because “who knows what they’re saying” and “who really needs all those computers?” Right?

    “If you’re a father, do you want your teenage daughter dating a guy who has dated one or two girls in his class, or one who has dated them all? If you’re hiring for a position, do you want the applicant who has worked at one company for 5 years, or 15 jobs in the same period?”

    What that heck do those two things have to do with owning a weapon or even owning dozens of weapons? Is a prepper “cheating” on his AR-15 when he buys an AK-47? Although the idea of a “harem” of firearms is rather evocative, I’m not sure of the moral equivalency there. And similarly with holding a job. How does having 10 jobs in two years relate to buying 10 guns in 2 years? How are those the same? At all? I’m usually pretty good with a metaphor but that thought is so disconnected that even I can’t think of a like comparison. I guess it would be like saying: “You shouldn’t drive too fast. After all, fishing is a great pastime.” Wait…what? Completely random connection.

    “There’s a value in knowing when the neighbor down the street has 50 cases (1,000 rounds per case) of 5.56mm NATO ball ammo. That’s enough for a small army.”

    Yeah, there is value in knowing that. If you intend some sort of malicious action against him. As long as he keeps those rounds confined to the range or self-defense, I am not advantaged at all by knowing that. That’s not my business nor is it the business of the government. And if he decides to use that ammo for something else, I also have a healthy pile of ammo that I’m willing to trade with him at muzzle velocity.

    “Can we agree that there’s no problem with the federal government asking “why” in these cases, or telling buyers on the phone that local law enforcement will be informed of their newly-acquired arsenal? Can we agree that’s not an infringement on Second Amendment rights? It’s a straw-man argument that anyone can own as many firearms as they want without the government taking notice. Can we agree that there’s no problem telling shady gun stores that they’ll face decades in federal prison if they break those rules (they have those rules now, but pawn shops and other dealers who buy and sell weapons sometimes “lose” the transaction records).”

    No, we can’t agree. As I am still FAR more threatened by the possibility of democide than homicide, you will never get me to agree on that point.

    “Americans want to have our cake and eat it too. We don’t like metal detectors, bag searches and other inconveniences. But we also don’t like being shot at in public places. As the latter increases in risk, resistance to the former becomes weaker.”

    Speaking of straw men arguments, although everyone complains about these things, that is in the nature of human beings: to complain. I’ve heard VERY few people actually suggest doing away with those things. Equating the belief that people should be allowed to carry guns anywhere with the idea that metal detectors serve no function in society is called “conflation.” Walking into an airport with a weapon shouldn’t bother anybody. Even getting on a plane with a weapon shouldn’t bother anybody. But, if you pass through the metal detector with a weapon on, expect a little scrutiny: a request for ID and carry permit. Nothing wrong there. Again, provided that ID and permit are issued by that provided that ID and permit are issued by that person’s State of residence rather than the national government.

    “Private businesses can ask for a gun permit if they want to.”

    Again with the straw men. No one suggests that private businesses not be allowed to have any rules they want on their property. It’s THEIR property. Anyone who claims their 2nd amendment rights trump other peoples 4th amendment rights doesn’t understand how freedom works.

    “In Georgia, it’s illegal to carry onto school property, except when picking up or dropping off students. That’s common sense.”

    No. No it’s not. By your own admission in this very article, anywhere people gather in numbers is a target for mass shooting and anywhere that is a threat it is wise for other people to be permitted to carry weapons as well. You refute your own argument and just come off as a fool.

    “What reason do we have not to require some kind of personal carry and ownership responsibility? We might not require a full-on gun safe (but that’s a good idea, mine is biometric), but there should be stiff penalties for leaving a gun in a car or home unattended without securing it. ”

    And now you reveal that you have no idea what you are talking about. There is responsibility. If you leave your gun accessible and your child shoots himself, YOU are held responsible for that. If you leave your gun accessible to a mentally ill person and they use it to kill a bunch of people YOU are held responsible for that. You can be held responsible for anything from negligence, child endangerment up to and including reckless use and storage of a firearm–all of which carry SEVERE penalties. And they should.

    “At minimum, that should be a hearing to potentially suspend a citizen’s right to carry.”

    Any suspension of rights should be a suspension of all rights. Either you deserve to be a free and independent citizen or you don’t. If you don’t deserve to be free, you should be in jail or dead. Period. Once you have paid your debt to society, whatever that debt is, you should have restored the full scope of your Constitutionally-guaranteed rights. If you have done something that society believes warrants a response of “you NEVER get those rights back” then you should either be executed or spend the rest of you life in prison.

    “In America, owning is a right. But not an unrestricted right.”

    EVERYWHERE owning a weapon is a right. The only thing that changes is whether or not the government recognizes and protects that right or if it habitually violates that right. And all rights are restricted: they are restricted by the concept of “consistent with a free society.” A jihadist doesn’t get to blow up a bus and say “But the 1st amendment protects my religion.” You don’t get to yell “fire” in a crowded room and claim “freedom of speech.” But that’s not what we’re talking about. Your right to own a weapon is restricted: because you have to pay money to exercise it. Beyond that, the restriction comes because other people carry weapons too. Your rights stop if and ONLY if they trample the rights of someone else. That’s called living in a free society and if that is unacceptable to you then there are other countries with varying degrees of freedom that will be more to your liking.

    “If we want to prevent more mass shootings of the kind we had in Orlando, Aurora, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas, we can’t continue to burn straw-men and shout past each other on the issue of gun control.”

    I agree. My gun is my right. Period. And you can’t have it. Now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about real-world practical solutions that don’t include violating the liberty of law-abiding citizens.

    “Some gun control is needed.”

    No, it’s not. Gun control isn’t about guns: it’s about control. And as that is and has always been the case, WHO that control belongs to is of primary importance. Even with all the death caused by the private ownership of firearms, history demonstrates quite clearly that control over our personal defense is ALWAYS better off in the hands of the People than the Government.

    ” Gun confiscation, or a total ban, is not feasible, legal, or politically possible.”

    True. So stop supporting the gateway to those things. Gun control is merely the foundation to gun confiscation and those of us who realize that aren’t to be duped by your “reasonable” appeal.

    “Owning a gun should not merely be an entitlement. It’s a right that carries with it a responsibility. It’s up to government to wisely regulate the responsibilities of gun owners, without infringing on the right to become one. How a gun is carried and used should be strictly enforced.”

    Owning a gun is not an “entitlement.” It is a right but an “entitlement” means that someone is obligated to provide one to me. That is not the case. I am entitled ONLY to the right to acquire one, keep it in my home and on my person for the purpose of defending myself and my freedom from those who threaten them. Yes, ALL rights carry responsibilities: that’s actually why we have them in the first place. You have the right to free speech–like this crap-laden puff piece–because you have the responsibility to speak out against injustice and be socially and politically engaged. I have the right to own a weapon because I have the responsibility–the CIVIC DUTY–to defend my nation, my home, my family, my freedom and myself against all that would come against them. That being the case, NO: it is not the government’s job to regulate my responsibility because the government itself is one of those potential enemies. That would be like saying we should let felons regulate how complicated the lock on my house is. What nonsense is that?

    “Finally, we should look at some form of law enforcement flagging for individuals who have accumulated many guns.”

    You are a statist. What does “many” mean? More than one? More than five? More than…you? Of course, that’s what it’s all about: getting the government to police anyone YOU have a problem with. Your statism has been tried throughout all of human history and has been found wanting.

    “I have news for these people: if the federal government wanted to know who you are, they already do.”

    Yes, and that’s a problem. Considering the state of affairs in this country, if you aren’t on a government watch list, you should be ashamed of yourself. As you seem to have no concept whatsoever of why the 2nd Amendment exists in the first place, perhaps you aren’t the best person to be commenting on its scope.

    “The flagging is to offer a check against individuals like Stephen Paddock who might accumulate a cache of weapons quickly. Better to have a confrontation with law enforcement at home than to have him do what he did.”

    Except that, at home, he’s hasn’t done anything yet. He hasn’t broken any laws!!! What’s next: are we to arrest people with unacceptable ideas because of what those ideas MIGHT do? Evil ideas have done FAR more damage than “evil” guns. No, fool. It is not “better” that the government arrest someone when he hasn’t done anything wrong. I know that seems cold and heartless but far colder and far more heartless is using the blood of those victims in Law Vegas to write this self-serving rag.

    “Sensible “gun control” is the objective. Israel has a very good and effective system. They do it out of necessity. Maybe it’s time America adopted their ideas.”

    CONTROL is the objective and you are fooling yourself if you think that’s what it won’t turn into. Israel has some good points but “necessity” is the excuse of EVERY tyrant from throughout history. To you, control–order–is of paramount importance but this isn’t “the land of the ordered and home of the cowed.” This is “the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE.” To live free takes the utmost courage: it means being willing to stare the ugliness of life in the face, recognize it for what it is and step out of your house again the next day. It means taking responsibility for your own fate and enduring the constant threat that others may abuse their freedom. It means recognizing your duty as a free individual to act in defense of that freedom and the freedom of others.

    If you are too much a coward to live free, then leave. Go to Israel. Go to England, France, Canada—any of these places which are “safer” than the United States (even though statistically they’re NOT actually safer). For the rest of us, we recognize that free is the only moral way for man to live and that that freedom comes with the highest of costs and that that cost is not always paid by a person in uniform but must daily be paid by the common man who chooses in his daily actions to hazard himself so that he and others may continue to live free. If you’d rather be safe than free, then you shame yourself and cheapen the sacrifice of blood that has been paid for that freedom. As Samuel Adams put it:

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your council nor arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you and my posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

    • Steve Berman

      October 4, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Thank you for the comments. I think you mischaracterized my piece. I am for the Second Amendment. I am in general for Constitutional Carry. However, when someone builds an arsenal, I see them as a potential threat to liberty. Private armies is not what the founders envisioned with the Second Amendment.

      Either we use common sense, or we will end up with Ruby Ridge and Waco all over again.

      • Dallas H

        November 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm

        I’m a bit late to the conversation, but I’m in alignment with anon here. I’m not sure where Steve Berman gets his odd and surprising ideas on American citizens Second Amendment rights, given his normally rational writings and even his support and affiliation for the Federalist Party. This opinion piece is bizarre for that alone. Israel has some fine things about it, but it is still a socialist nation. I’m not at all interested in following their lead in their laws and practices toward citizens use and possession of firearms. I suppose Mr Berman would be fine with a few more government oversights of his First Amendment rights, since constantly writing of God, criticizing the Government, and advancing (some, obviously now) Constitutional ideals could possibly convince an individual to act outside the law…

        Oh, and Ruby Ridge and Waco were government extreme oversteps that had little to do with firearms, and much more about simple control of the citizenry. Much the same as the Bundy Ranch imbroglio. But the citizenry decided to take a hand in the last one. Think the government would have backed down there (and back to the courts) if all those citizens had arrived unarmed, with only their First Amendment rights ready to use?

        This one opinion piece has definitely colored (darkened) my opinion of Mr Berman’s writing, past and future. I’m very disappointed to see this.

  3. Liam

    October 4, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Do you really think our rights come from the government or the Constitution? SMH

    • Steve Berman

      October 4, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Neither. Our rights come from God. The Constitution was drafted as best imperfect mortal men could come up with for government to vouchsafe God-given rights from the tyranny of others.

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Culture and Religion

First they came for the gun owners….

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First they came for the gun owners

…but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t own a gun.

One of the more infuriating aspects of the Left’s game of denying reality with their little ‘That wasn’t really socialism’ is that there are distinct parallels between their agenda and that of other socialist nations, past and present. They all have a similar process of imposing socialistic slavery with a specific national agenda. A key part being the deprivation of the means of self-defense to their citizens and those who posses these means.

Denying the right of self-defense is a fundamental aspect of socialism

It is a fact of history that gun confiscation is an integral part of implementing of a socialist national agenda. The USSR required the people to turn in their guns, as did the German national socialist worker’s party. As was Fidel Castro’s response in the question of whether the people should have guns as or the United Socialist Party of Venezuela confiscating guns from the people for their own safety, of course.

These have all taken place at the onset of socialistic slavery, but somehow the new version isn’t the same because reasons. Leftists aren’t really trying to set up a governmental monopoly on the use of force, they are just trying to protect the children* [ *unborn and under 9 months old excluded ]. Even though it has been proven time and again that their repression of Liberty does not work as advertised.

The liberty grabber left is now celebrating the destruction of basic civil liberties

Where this subject not so deadly serious, it would be comical to still witness leftists parroting the ‘No one is talking about gun confiscation’ or a variant thereof. Meanwhile they can scarcely contain themselves in the glee over New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern seizing on their ‘serious crisis’ to confiscate guns with tweets looking to replicate the destruction of a basic human right in the states.

It is more than a coincidence that the tempo of the drum beat for liberty control has increased while the ideological fraud of socialism is being forced on the people. After a long winded piece gloating about leftist victories over liberty, an opinion piece in Bloomberg has even suggested that Chief Justice John Roberts seize on the serious crisis in New Zealand, using it to destroy this basic civil liberty.

Citizens turned into subjects with a change in the relationship between the people and the government

The genius of the founding fathers is that they recognized that down through history, people have had varying relationships with government. In most cases it was one of the government having a monopoly on the use of force. On occasion the people would challenge this monopoly and change the government, but only after an ensuing orgy of carnage and death.

The founders set forth a new paradigm, that of government by the consent of the people with a semblance of parity via a distributed ability to use force. The nation’s Socialist-Left would like to change or ‘reform’ that paradigm back to the old-fashioned version of the government being the sole purveyor of force. Please note that we are dispensing with the tired old line of the left that this is not what they want. They have made this quite clear over the past few years to the point that anyone that is informed of the issue recognizes that this is just another lie on their part.

“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression.” – Thomas Paine

Relegating gun owners to 2nd class citizenship

Those of us who haven’t traded, sold or lost all of our guns in a boating accident are a persecuted class these days. The situation is much akin to a baseball pitching machine throwing fastballs over and over again without let-up. With all kinds of new laws being proposed at state and federal levels that range from invasive Intergalactic Background Checks, liability insurance requirements, gun registration and of course, gun confiscation SWATing legislation.

The destruction of basic civil liberties will only begin with gun owners

Every citizen of the nation is protected with basic Constitutional principles and civil rights including due process, the presumption of innocence and the right to face one’s accuser.

The gun owner has been excluded from these basic civil liberties in some states, and if the liberty grabbers had their way, such would be the case nationwide. With just the flimsiest insinuation of being ‘dangerous’ a gun owner [or those who are merely accused of being a gun owner] will be subjected to gun confiscation raid from the authorities.

This will be just the beginning of the ordeal – if they survive the SWAT team coming at 5:00 AM without warning. Our 2nd class citizen will have to prove they aren’t ‘dangerous’ after they have effectively found guilty in a star chamber. It will only be after spending thousands of dollars in legal fees that they may get their property back in less than stellar condition. The trend is to set gun owners below the legal status of accused criminals in the eyes of the justice system.

We’re just starting on the slippery slope

Fresh from their moves against the basic human right of self-preservation, the chief censor of the government of New Zealand has arbitrarily decided that certain ideas are beyond the pale, sparking a debate over free speech as reported by the Associated Press. This of course is another ongoing controversy in the states over the issue of political correctness and ‘Hate speech’. This shows that isn’t just about ‘military style assault weapons’ or whatever is the phrase at the moment, this is a question of liberty, something the people who use a similar sounding label used to pretend to support.

Make no mistake, the legislative mechanisms and regulations used to deprive gun owners of their commonsense human and civil rights will be used on others if they are allowed to stand. A civil liberties group in California made the point that one doesn’t have to be a gun owner to be subjected to gun confiscation SWATing. If they can go after the property of a gun owner in one instance, because they don’t like their attitude, what’s to stop them from going after a journalist or other type of activist? These orders only have to allege someone is dangerous with little evidence, much less proof that they own a gun. What’s to stop them from deciding free-speech is dangerous or ‘offensive’ necessitating that their computers or cell phones should be seized – at gunpoint no less?

The Takeaway

The whole point of the ‘first they came for’ series is that authoritarians rarely go after everyone at once. They are very careful in picking their targets for their oppression with the tactic of divide and conquer. Today it’s the people who own guns, tomorrow it will be those who don’t conform to the precepts of ‘political correctness’.

This is why President John F. Kennedy stated that: “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”

This is why everyone should be concerned at the headlong rush to denigrate the right of self-defense. And why everyone should be horrified that the government could even consider jettisoning the basic civil liberty of due process and the presumption of innocence. The loss of basic civil rights for some will mean the loss for everyone.

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Guns and Crime

Illegal alien crimes are getting more frequent, more heinous, and the media’s ignoring it

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Several communities have been shocked by slayings attributed to illegal immigrants

If you’re watching any mainstream media channels other than occasionally Fox News, you’ll notice the rash of slayings allegedly committed by illegal immigrants that we’ve been covering aren’t making national news the way they should. It goes against their narrative to report that there are people who aren’t supposed to be in this country who are killing American citizens.

Nevertheless, we’ll continue to report on them. Fox News occasionally does. Other conservative media outlets have been trying to keep up as well, but there have been so many it’s actually getting difficult to keep track. Here are the three mentioned in the Fox News video above, duly reported by NOQ Report. We rely on the generosity of our readers to allow us to keep reporting this important news.

But it doesn’t end with the three Fox News reported on. There have been so many heinous crimes allegedly committed by illegal immigrants in the past couple of months, we could fill our pages with stories about them alone and still have a full-blown news outlet.

Yes, it’s that bad. Here’s a sample:

Keep in mind, this is just over the past two months.

It isn’t just reporting the news that’s important. We are clear and bold in the way we report it. You won’t find flower language like “undocumented migrant” or “asylum-seeking snowflake” when we describe these criminal illegal immigrants or the crimes they allegedly commit. We use the proper terminology warranted by the White House. Those who enter the country illegally or stay longer than they’re supposed to stay are illegal aliens. Period.

Another important note is that we’re very much in favor of legal immigration. In fact, as a legal immigrant myself, I’m all in favor of increasing the number of legal immigrants who can enter the country just as soon as we stop the flow of illegal immigrants. We must deport those who are a risk to citizens, every last one of them. Then, we must fund ICE and border patrol to be able to detain those who are captured. Catch-and-release must be a thing of the past.

On top of that, we have to secure the borders with a strong combination of a wall, advanced LiDAR technology, much more border patrol agents, and more detention centers to accommodate the overflow we’re currently experiencing.

Visa overstays are arguably a bigger problem. There must be accountability for those who enter the country and either fail to extend their stay legally or ignore their visa expiration altogether. If that means weekly check-ins via mobile devices and instant warrants the moment their visas expire without record of them leaving or extending, so be it.

When all of these things are done, THEN let’s talk about immigration reform. Until then, we have too big of a problem with illegal immigration to even remotely consider expanding legal immigration in this country.

There is nothing wrong with having compassion. That means requiring they enter legally. It means those who deny our sovereignty by coming or staying illegally must be dealt with properly. The safety of American citizens must come first.

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Guns and Crime

Meth mules arrested in desert near Tucson

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Meth mules arrested in desert near Tucson

Drugs are smuggled into the United States through multiple means. Some comes through ports of entry by land or see, which gives border patrol the easiest opportunity to thwart their efforts. But much of the drugs are brought over by foot or boat, entering the United States where there is no wall or protection against foreign incursion.

Border patrol announced a bust this week of just such a type of incursion. The smugglers were carrying bags of methamphetamine across the desert, far from a part of entry and from areas where there is no border wall separating the United States from Mexico.

Agents from the Tucson Sector Mobile Response Team (MRT) aboard a National Guard helicopter responded to a report of six men walking in a desert area frequently utilized by drug smugglers. MRT agents found and arrested six Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States, after a tracking operation with a K-9 team.

One of the men was carrying four packages of methamphetamine concealed in a cardboard box inside his backpack. A search of the immediate area resulted in the discovery of a two-way radio, a communication method commonly used by smuggling organizations.

My Take

One of the main narratives being pushed by the left against building a border wall is their claim that nearly all arrests of drug smugglers are made at ports of entry. While this is true, it’s not a very good way to support their case. Drug smugglers who do not use ports of entry are simply not captured as often because… wait for it… there’s no wall in so many areas and border patrol can’t comb the entire desert looking for them.

Drugs are being smuggled into the United States, and not only through ports of entry. Those who use vehicles to try to smuggle drugs in do so because the loads may be too big to carry on foot, but whether it comes in on truck full of hundreds of pounds of drugs through ports of entry or by foot with hundreds of mules crossing the border illegally where there’s no wall, it’s getting here nonetheless.

It’s ignorant to believe our success in sniffing out drugs in vehicles means the smugglers are going to give up, especially when transit across our porous borders is so easy. Walls aren’t just to prevent illegal immigrants. They’ll help stop crime.

Don’t let the left use the “port of entry drug bust” claim to confuse the issue. Not all smugglers are dumb enough to drive their drugs through ports of entry. Most of it’s coming through places where there’s no wall. Build the wall.

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