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Guns and Crime

Concealed carry nonsense



Concealed carry nonsense

It was a tough crossing. I couldn’t just wait for the light to turn green. I had to make certain that I was under cover so I wouldn’t be shot by all those concealed pistols around me. After all, Florida had become Dodge City in 1987, and no one would ever be safe again. If I stuck my head out, I’d be a target.

At least that’s what the Left wanted me to believe. And that’s what the Left wants us to believe if the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act that just passed the House becomes law.

The facts are, shall we say, slightly different from that picture. On two major counts. The first is historical. The “Wild West” wasn’t so wild. Careful examination of Aurora and Bodie, Nevada, two “Wild West” mining towns, paints a different picture.

These towns had a host of bars and brothels, with a fearsome homicide rate. Single, transient young males (today’s gang members?) shot each other after microaggressions (Chicago, anyone?). But other crime was virtually nil. Robbery was less than 1/15th of New York’s current rate. Burglary was 1%, and rape was unknown. One resident of Bodie did “not recall ever hearing of a respectable woman or girl in any manner insulted or even accosted by the hundreds of dissolute characters that were everywhere. In part this was due to the respect depravity pays to decency; in part to the knowledge that sudden death would follow any other course.”

Put bluntly, in the wildest part of the Wild West, private carry of firearms kept the peace, and no ordinary citizen had anything to fear.

Returning to my home state of Florida, thirty years of experience shows that “shall issue” concealed carry does indeed result in Dodge City. But it’s the Dodge City of reality. There is less than one criminal event per year related to concealed carry in a state of twenty-one million people. Most of those are misdemeanors. Concealed carry holders are convicted of crimes at one sixth the rate of sworn police officers. It’s simply not a safety issue, at least in the negative direction. And violent crime overall has steadily declined.

Florida does indeed have crime. The Orlando area, where I live, is home to several key tourist destinations. There used to be a lot of crime against tourists. When rental car bumper stickers and license plates were removed, much of that stopped. The bad guys couldn’t tell who was an unarmed tourist anymore.

This same dynamic has been shown numerous times. Burglars prefer to enter unoccupied homes, and when they do go into an occupied dwelling, they prefer an unarmed occupant, not one with a gun. It seems that they value their skins.

But there are still crimes. Within ten miles of my home Omar Mateen shot up the Pulse nightclub, killing forty-nine and wounding fifty-eight. Did I mention that it was a “gun free zone?” By Florida law, if alcohol is served and I go in, my gun stays out. He had a free field of fire. He knew his victims would be disarmed.

This event, the Sandy Hook massacre, and others suggest, but don’t prove that private carry of guns would reduce crime. But that question has been definitively answered by Professor Gary Kleck and others. Guns in private hands are highly effective in preventing both injury and property loss. Bad guys simply do not wish to die in order to steal your stuff. Millions of lives are protected annually by private citizens with guns. A month ago, a private citizen ended a massacre in Texas. Yesterday a woman with a gun protected a police officer. Other examples are legion.

Before we listen to the Lefty scream about… well… whatever… remember that what they are saying fits the answer Tommy Smothers gave when Dick asked him if he knew the Russians had a ballet company.

— Bolshoi!!!

We do not need to refute the counterfactual arguments of those who call us “Neanderthal racist gun lovers.”[i] They have no facts on their side.

If we study the history of the Second Amendment, we find that a large part of the concern was ultimately about the individual’s inherent right to defend himself from the highwayman. This right of self-defense was a widely accepted natural right of the individual, not a right somehow granted by the state. If it did not exist, safe society could not exist. And the application to the larger question of the militia was an extension of this basic right.

This right extends throughout the entire United States. When some states attempted to limit the natural rights of citizens, the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified. Through it, the Supreme Court has now “incorporated” all of the rights in the Bill of Rights to every point in the country. But a handful of jurisdictions have refused to accept this fact.

Illinois, California, New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia are the most notable holdouts. They have made private ownership of firearms very difficult, and often have imposed severe restrictions on who may carry a gun. In 1977, I got a concealed carry permit from the Sheriff of San Bernardino County, California. In 1978, when I tried to renew it, I was told I didn’t have an adequate reason to exercise my Constitutional right, and my renewal was denied.

In 2013, Shaneen Allen of Pennsylvania was stopped by a traffic cop in Atlantic City. For the officer’s safety, she did what we’ve been taught to do, and informed him of her pistol’s presence. She faced a three year prison sentence. Only a pardon by the governor saved her. We could go on.

State concealed carry laws are a hodge-podge. But one thing is very clear. Concealed carry permit holders are the safest law-abiding citizens that exist. They are safer than the police. And they make the mean streets safer.

No state requires anyone to get its own state driver license while visiting. They all honor your home state license. But motor vehicle accidents cause over three times as many deaths (ca. 37,000) as all firearm homicides (ca. 11,000). When concealed carry holders are the safest of all citizens, and private gun use saves lives, why would states resist national reciprocity?

Their arguments are clearly without merit. If it’s illegal to bring a gun into a bar in Florida, the fact that you are from Kentucky doesn’t change that. But if I can carry in Florida, reciprocity will mean that I can also carry anywhere it’s already legal to carry in New Jersey. I just don’t have to get a New Jersey license. I’m already vetted. I passed the test, just like I passed my driving test.

The next time someone argues that it’s OK for New York to make a criminal out of me for exercising my natural right to self defense with the most useful implement for that task, I want to be able to tell that prosecutor that it’s also my Constitutional right to do so, and Congress has made it clear that he isn’t allowed to take it away from me.

And the next time someone tells you that national reciprocity will turn the whole country into Dodge City, simply say, “You’re right!”

[i] Arlene Eisen, Guns: In Whose Hands? A Portrait of Gunowners and Their Culture, 7 Inj. Prevention Network Newsl., Winter 1989-1990

Guns and Crime

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards charged for leaking financial data on Robert Mueller’s targets



Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards charged for leaking financial data on Robert Muellers targets

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of leaking financial documents to BuzzFeed. These documents contained information about some of Robert Mueller’s targets in his probe of Russian election meddling, including Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Maria Butina, and the Russian Embassy.

Natalie Edwards: Treasury FinCEN official charged with leaking financial records in Russia probe Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement that Edwards “betrayed her position of trust by repeatedly disclosing highly sensitive information.”

“SARs, which are filed confidentially by banks and other financial institutions to alert law enforcement to potentially illegal transactions, are not public documents, and it is an independent federal crime to disclose them outside of one’s official duties,” Berman said.

My Take

There has never been a presidency that had so many government employees attempting to derail it. For a senior Treasury Department employee to be willing to go to jail to help a leftist media outlet post some stories exemplifies how unhinged President Trump’s opponents can be.

Trust of public employees is extremely important and, anecdotally, at an all-time low. It isn’t just people in the White House. There are clearly an large number of unhinged activists working for the federal government.

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Conspiracy Theory

If Keith Ellison wins his election, #MeToo has officially jumped the shark



If Keith Ellison wins his election MeToo has officially jumped the shark

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) should be a prime target for the #MeToo movement. He’s a powerful man who allegedly abused his ex-girlfriend. She has corroboration and evidence to back her claims. She’s a fellow Democrat, so she’s not a political plant by his opposition. She’s a woman with a story of abuse that, by #MeToo movement standards, should be believed.

The problem is Ellison is a powerful Democrat, a Muslim, a minority, and is in the middle of a tight election. Therefore, he’s protected from the people who would have sunk Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation despite no evidence or corroboration.

The hypocrisy of it all is stunning. The message being sent by the #MeToo movement based on their unwillingness to confront Ellison and call for his removal from offices, current and future, is that women are to be believed if they’re accusing the right people. Keith Ellison isn’t the right person. He’s an ally to the #MeToo movement because he’s a Democrat, a Muslim, a minority, and someone who’s in the middle of an important election in Minnesota.

Despite the #MeToo movement looking away, it seems that voters in Minnesota are starting to look closer.

Domestic abuse charges diminishing Ellison’s lead Keith Ellison’s (D-Minn.) lead in the polls – to become Minnesota’s newest attorney general in the midterm elections – has continued to vanish after his ex-girlfriend’s domestic abuse allegations.

Before the Karen Monahan’s charges were made public, the Democratic Muslim candidate was believed to be a shoe-in in the contest to become the deep-blue state’s top cop, but since then, polls show that his once long-shot Republican competitor, Doug Wardlow, has closed in on him – big time.

Misogyny and abuse of power are real problems in America. This is why the initial iteration of the #MeToo movement was so powerful. It worked. That cannot be denied. But what it has become is a shadow of its original self.

The highest ranking law enforcement official n the state of Minnesota may be a many accused by his ex-girlfriend of physical and mental abuse. Unfortunately, #MeToo doesn’t believe her.

#MeToo will only go after people like Keith Ellison if there’s incontrovertible evidence against them. They’ll go after Brett Kavanaugh no matter what. #MeToo is not the women’s empowerment movement they claim to be. It’s a political activist front.

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Guns and Crime

Why isn’t Katie Brennan’s #MeToo accusation getting national attention?



It’s the type of story that should have received national attention immediately. It was sourced by a respected major news outlet, the Wall Street Journal. Both the accuser and the accused are high-ranking public official in New Jersey’s government. The accused stepped down two weeks ago when approached by WSJ for comment. Katie Brennan’s story is a major newsworthy scandal.

As of Monday morning, a day after the story officially broke and four days after it was leaked to other major news outlets, both mainstream media and the #MeToo movement are essentially silent.

That will change soon, possibly today. Brennan, a prominent volunteer for Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign and current Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, released this statement:

On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken.

I have pursued every form of justice available. But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.

The details of the assault portrayed in reporter Kate King’s Wall Street Journal report published today are accurate. But to date, I have received no justice.

I decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence.

New Jersey residents are only given a two-year window to file a civil suit. After spending an entire year pursuing a criminal case before hitting a dead end, I am left with less than one year to pursue civil action.

It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have. I urge Gov. Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil action related to sexual assault, and to direct prosecutors to be more aggressive in taking on these criminal cases. Further, the Murphy administration and the General Assembly should pursue legislation to ensure New Jersey’s police and other first responders are better trained to handle sexual assault victims.

Finally, sexual predators like Al Alvarez are only able to stay in power when those around them do nothing. Several senior level members of the Murphy administration were aware of my assault and failed to take meaningful action. Al Alvarez remained employed at a senior level in the Murphy administration until just a few weeks ago, when he knew the Wall Street Journal article was coming out and opted to resign. The failure of members of Gov. Murphy’s staff to respond in an aggressive, proactive fashion is unacceptable.

To other sexual assault survivors in New Jersey, I urge you to join me in coming forward if you are able. I will stand with you, because when we stand together, we are safer and stronger. Our voice is our power. Together, we can finally receive the justice we all deserve.

Murphy has not commented other than saying Alvarez should not have been hired. He was made aware of a “sensitive matter” that needed to be discussed by Brennan in June and claimed his staff would set up a meeting. That was the last Brennan heard from Murphy.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s handling of aide sex assault allegation questioned accuser, Katie Brennan, was a Murphy campaign volunteer who said she spent more than a year seeking action against Alvarez for the alleged sexual assault before directly emailing Phil and Tammy Murphy in June. Phil Murphy responded within the hour, according to the Journal.

“Hang in,” he wrote. “We are on it.”

But Alvarez remained in his $140,000-a-year position until October. The alleged assault happened in April 2017.

Standards set by the #MeToo movement dictate that credible accusations should be believed. Brennan appears to be extremely credible, having reported her rape immediately after it allegedly occurred. Alvarez offered a $15,000 settlement that would have been attached to a non-disclosure agreement, which Brennan refused.

Where is MSNBC? Where is CNN? Where is Alyssa Milano?

Social media is starting to take notice. In particular, they’re going after Murphy and his wife for speaking out in support of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Katie Brennan

My Take

I am a strong proponent for what the #MeToo movement once promoted and how it started. The original intent was to embolden women who had experienced sexual misconduct at the hands of men in power over them. The goal was to give courage to those who were in very tough situations.

Recently, the #MeToo movement has been weaponized. I’m not going to draw comparisons between accusations against Kavanaugh and Alvarez. That would be unfair to Ford since Brennan’s accusations against Alvarez are much more recent and have the benefit of an immediate report to the authorities. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that as of now, either the story hasn’t reached the right people or the right people have chosen to ignore it.

We can’t let them.

It’s not as if this is a political hit job against Democrats. Brennan’s image was used in Murphy’s campaign handouts and she was outspoken as a “Young Democrat of the Week” in New Jersey as a result.

Katie Brennan NJ Democrat

I don’t like when something as heinous as rape gets politicized, but silence from mainstream media and the #MeToo movement is deafening. Would they be avoiding the story if Brennan had accused a Republican?

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