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Guns and Crime

Was Jason Van Dyke convicted to keep the peace?

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Was Jason Van Dyke convicted to keep the peace

Only the twelve men and women on the jury that convicted Jason Van Dyke of 2nd-degree murder will know what motivated their decision. The shooting death of Laquan McDonald and the subsequent release of dashcam video showing the incident has further widened the gap between Chicago police and the people they serve.

There have already been plenty of protests as well as political repercussions. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy was fired shortly after the video was released. Mayor Rahm Emanuel went from being a rising superstar for the Democrats to choosing not to run for reelection. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was voted out of office.

One thing is certain. Had the jury not convicted Van Dyke, Chicago would be a huge riot zone today. Property would be burning. Fights would be breaking out. Guns would be used in a city that’s not supposed to have guns. It would be chaos unlike anything the city has seen in decades.

Did the jury convict to save Chicago?

Compelling video

The two pieces of evidence that made conviction easy were the attempted police coverup of the events and the dashcam video. The coverup will lead to more trials, keeping the wounds from the shooting open in Chicago for a while. But the video was likely all that was needed for jurists to justify their decision.

Here’s the incident itself. Warning: It is graphic.

This appears to be a situation where use of non-lethal force such as a stun gun would seem appropriate. The knife-wielding McDonald was clearly dangerous. He was energized by a false sense of invulnerability by the PCP coursing through his veins. Walking in the middle of the street in a threatening manner meant that he needed to be taken down.

But he could and should have been taken down without 16 bullets being fired at him. He didn’t lunge at the police as was originally reported. He represented a clear and present danger to the police and everyone around, but with multiple officers around and an empty street, the need for lethal force is hard to argue.

A tougher job than most realize

The infamous 21-foot-rule says that a person wielding a knife can kill a person carrying a gun if they’re within 21 feet of their target. This rule applies to holstered weapons with their safety applied. Van Dyke’s and other officers’ guns were out and ready to be fired. Nevertheless, McDonald was much closer than 21 feet when he spun around just prior to being shot.

Did Van Dyke fear for his life? It’s possible. What many citizens do not acknowledge is that situations like the ones police face with assailants like McDonald require extremely difficult split-second decisions. It’s easy to say McDonald was not a real threat for people watching the video, but being tasked with taking him down 14 feet away makes it very difficult to know when to shoot.

Here’s a Mythbusters video that put the 21-foot-rule to the test.

Being a cop is a tough job. I personally support the police and their decision-making the vast majority of the time. This particular incident is challenging to defend. I stand by my assertion that non-lethal force could have been used.

It can be debated whether or not Van Dyke should have been convicted of 2nd degree murder. Chicago is not burning as a result. Should that justify the verdict or did it stand alone on its own merits? Only those in the jury box know for sure.

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Guns and Crime

Let’s subsidize the 2nd Amendment

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Lets subsidize the 2nd Amendment

If there’s one thing that chaps my fiscal conservative khakis, it’s subsidies. Too much in taxpayer dollars is given to people and private businesses through programs designed to “help” them despite the demonstrable reality that most subsidies merely enable continued failure. For example, ethanol subsidies combined with fuel mix mandates artificially inflate demand and price while setting farmers up for a cataclysmic fall when superior alternatives arise. Then, there are sugar subsidies which take money from taxpayers so they can then spend MORE on sugar-based products than they would if the subsidies didn’t exist.

In our welfare state, individual subsidies are often panned by the right and embraced by the left, but there are clear arguments about both perspectives. People really do need help sometimes, and it’s not just because they’re lazy or wishing to live off welfare. Many need help through hard times so they can get themselves back on their feet. On the flip side, the left’s perspective that more people on welfare means they’re helping more people is one of the most backward concepts latched onto by a political ideology known for its backwards concepts.

As a whole, both individual and corporate subsidies need to be reduced by weening as many as possible off the assistance merry-go-round through increased prosperity and opportunity, In many cases, this can be accomplished by pulling government out of the way and letting Americans do what Americans are capable of doing when unhindered.

With my obligatory anti-subsidy rant out of the way, let’s talk about guns. More importantly, let’s talk about crime. As crazy ideas go, this is one that’s certain to be panned by both the right and the left, but it’s crazy enough to work. As I’ve said before, the way to mitigate gun violence is to make gun laws looser, not stricter. A gunman’s favorite venue is a place where there are no other guns present. Gun-free zones are massacre spots waiting to happen.

The argument that more “good guys with guns” would help relieve the so-called gun violence epidemic is demonstrated in places where the opposite is the law of the land. Chicago decided to eliminate “good guys with guns” with obtuse gun laws that restrict law abiding citizens from owning firearms. But their gun problem has consistently been getting worse. This makes no sense to the left who can’t seem to grasp that criminals will do as criminals do. They’ll acquire, carry, and utilize firearms illegally, and in a place where the law abiding citizenry is disarmed, it’s the criminals who will rule the streets.

It’s time to give the people the means by which they can defend themselves against crime and government tyranny. Instead of trying to take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, we should arm them. It’s time for the government to subsidize the 2nd Amendment.

Any adult who is willing to go through gun safety, care, and usage training and who has no criminal record should be offered a “personal firearm” with varying degrees of government assistance. Low-income families can get them for free, one per household. Others can receive a voucher to help subsidize their purchase of qualified firearms from registered dealers participating in the program.

Just because someone can’t afford a gun doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have one. If the government allows easy and often free access to healthcare, education, food, and other necessities, they should also offer free and easy access to the one thing that can protect them when things get really bad.

Many will balk. They’ll say it’s a terrible idea because more guns means more crime. But they’re wrong. More guns in the hands of the right people will mean less crime. Moreover, the knowledge that any given household a criminal may intend to enter has a certain likelihood of having an armed resident is a deterrent in itself.

There are plenty of drawbacks, which is why this concept is practically impossible to implement in America today. The first time a government-subsidized firearm is used in a deadly crime will be the policy’s death knell. As a society, we have a tendency to focus on individual instances rather than the big picture, which is why calls for “assault weapons” bans are so prevalent despite the fact that less than 1% of 1% of AR-15 owners use their firearms to commit a crime.

But wait a second. You’re thinking it’s ridiculous to call for government to help people acquire more firearms because some will be used to harm others. It’s a terrible plan, you’re thinking. But isn’t that the argument made by pro-abortion activists who are calling for government to fund abortion?

Obviously this is article is (mostly) tongue-in-cheek. It’ll never happen. But it’s no less ludicrous than people calling on government to fund abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood. As Will Chamberlain from Human Events noted, the same calls to subsidize Planned Parenthood could be made into calls to subsidize the NRA.

At least with gun subsidies it’s certain that doing so will save lives. With abortion subsidies, it’s all about taking life.

Why should low-income families have to choose between putting food on the table and having access to the tools that can keep their family safe? The left calls for subsidized abortions to take lives. Why not subsidized guns to save them?

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Guns and Crime

Keep attacking gun control. The President is listening.

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Keep attacking gun control The President is listening

We may never know what the President heard. Perhaps it was internal polling that showed his base has no appetite for gun control. Maybe he read an article (we’ve posted about two dozen on gun control in the last month) or watched a video detailing how the bipartisan measures being proposed are both unconstitutional and ineffective. It could have been an adviser or someone close to him not named Ivanka who said gun control is a bad idea.

Whatever prompted the change of heart, the President indicated over the weekend that he has soured on universal background checks and now Democrats are up in arms attacking his apparent backtrack.

Democratic leaders assail Trump’s apparent reversal on background checks

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are lamenting President Donald Trump’s apparent about-face on enhanced backgrounds for firearm sales, with Schumer calling the move “not only disappointing but also heartbreaking.”

Trump told reporters this weekend he will look “very strongly” at ideas from both Democrats and Republicans but said to remember that “we already have a lot of background checks.” Those remarks followed Trump’s Aug. 7 claim that “we can bring up background checks like we’ve never had before.”

In the Senate minority leader’s view, Trump’s remarks amounted to backing away from burgeoning bipartisan talks on reviving and amending the background checks bill by Sens. Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey.

Following a string of three mass shootings in less than two weeks, many Republican lawmakers were joining their Democratic counterparts in calling for one or more of three primary legislative actions: universal background checks (which already passed the House), incentives for states to pass red flag gun laws, and a new “assault weapons” ban. The last one was always very unlikely. Universal background checks were seemingly a foregone conclusion until the President’s remarks over the weekend.

That leaves us red flag gun laws. Hopefully, the President will realize they are ineffective, risky to both law enforcement and gun owners (like Gary J. Willis), and most importantly they’re clearly unconstitutional. This draconian measure shouldn’t just be rebuked by the White House. It should be repealed in the 17 states that already have them in place.

Conservatives need to keep up the pressure and let the White House, GOP, and President Trump know we must focus on real solutions to violent criminals that do not include taking away law abiding citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Conservatism

Why isn’t gun control considered to be sexist as well as racist?

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Why isnt gun control considered to be sexist as well as racist

Liberty [Gun] Control is rooted in racism. It also adversely affects women. Why isn’t it considered to be racist and sexist?

A recent video from One America News Network entitled: ‘Gun Rights Are Women’s Rights’ made this very important point on the topic of Liberty Control. The basic facts of science have one sex at a disadvantage to the other, with guns being the great equalizer.

Why doesn’t the Left have to answer for the sexism and racism of Liberty control?

These days, the national socialist Left wields pejoratives Racism and Sexism like an assault weapon. So why aren’t these labels applied to them for their incessant attacks against freedom? Firearms are the great equalizers, with the Left’s gun confiscation agenda having a disproportionate effect on women and minorities.  Somehow the Left escapes these facts being applied to them, while they exploit those words with abandon.

We’ve already detailed the racism aspect of this issue here, and case for Liberty control being sexist made in this video.

Why the gun is civilization..

We will wrap this up with a column written in 2007 by Marko Kloos on a WordPress blogging site the Munchkin wrangler. It encapsulates the issue of firearms down to one proposition on how human being deal with each other.

MARCH 23, 2007 by MARKO KLOOS
Why the gun is civilization.
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation…and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

[Emphasis added]

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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