Complete list of Briefings
By Tim Andrews
On September 3, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution, “declaring that the NRA is a domestic terrorist organization.” We’ve heard similar statements from others but what’s significant about this one is that it is coming from a government body. If you are an NRA member who many of us are, you are now labeled as part of a terrorist organization.
Yes, it’s only the San Francisco Board of Supervisors but how far are we from similar action by New York State’s legislature or our governor? Governor Cuomo has already told us we aren’t welcomed in New York. Even on the federal level, of the current slate of Democratic candidates for president how many of them would disagree with the action taken in San Francisco? My guess is not many, if any.
It’s becoming apparent that radical extremism is ruling the day and its foot is in the door of governments across the United States.
It’s not just guns, it’s issues like illegal immigration and infanticide, even killing babies after they’ve survived an abortion. This is just a sample of the extremism that grips our country today. Make no mistake there is a movement and an effective one, to totally change our culture, our traditions and ultimately our constitution. It is not hyperbole to say the Democratic party is quickly becoming a radical extreme left party.
It’s not just guns, many Democrats are now calling for abolishing the electoral college. If they’re successful, our federal government would look more like San Francisco and New York City. The large urban areas of the United States would likely elect future presidents, and middle America would be forgotten. The Second Amendment would eventually disappear, and American’s gun rights would be gone forever.
It wasn’t long ago when gun grabbers would always couch their rhetoric by telling us they weren’t out to take guns away from law-abiding citizens, some would even claim they supported the Second Amendment. Well, no more, the veil is off, countless politicians and gun control groups are now calling for gun bans and confiscations. Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke in a presidential debate flat out told us if he’s elected, he’s coming for your AR-15’s and AK-47’s. With the unSAFE Act and the recent red flag law, we already have confiscation laws in New York State.
New York’s recently enacted red flag law not only attacks Second Amendment rights, but it also undermines due process rights as guaranteed under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments as well. Think about it, rights given to ruthless criminals are now being denied to law-abiding American citizens. Furthermore, if you are wrongly accused, your accuser under New York’s law, faces no criminal repercussions. Under New York’s red flag law your firearms can be confiscated even if you haven’t been convicted of a crime or even had your day in court. Your day in court will come only after you’ve had your guns confiscated. Whether or not you ever get your guns back may very well depend on your ability to pay for a defense.
For years we’ve dealt with gun prohibitionists in the media as well as politicians using the smokescreen of public safety to advance their agenda. They’ve used emotion over intellect to convince a naive public that guns are the problem. What’s totally ignored is the breakdown in our education system, mental health, and law enforcement. Just about every mass shooter can be connected to one or more of these failures and the gun grabbers have no interest in addressing any of these bureaucratic failures. It’s fair to ask, why not? What is their end goal? If it was really about safety and protecting lives why aren’t they addressing issues other than guns that clearly play a role in crime and violence? It’s simple, it’s about control, every tyrannical government in history began with gun confiscation. That is why we have a Second Amendment.
If you think that’s not true read the following from Democratic Senator and Vice President Hubert Humphrey in 1968, "Certainly, one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. ... the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible." Humphrey was a Democrat who clearly understood the purpose of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment first and foremost is about protecting us from politicians like Beto O’Rourke.
When it comes to the future of our country we live in perilous times. And the sad fact is most gun owners are missing in action (MIA) in the fight for our gun rights. For example, it’s estimated there are well over one hundred million-gun owners in the United States. Of that number, the NRA touts their membership at five million, at best a meager 5% of gun owners. I believe many of those gun owners who are MIA, just don’t recognize the threat. Many are hand gunners, shot gunners or guys with Remington 700 bolt actions who don’t think they’ll ever come for their guns. Well, the game has changed; under red flag laws, all gun owners are in jeopardy of losing their guns. You couldn’t be more wrong if you think politicians like O’Rourke are going to stop with ARs and AKs. If half the gun owners in New York and around the country joined the fight we could win the fight. Politicians like New York’s Senator Kirsten Gillibrand would probably even become pro-gun, again. Excuse my sarcasm but given her record of hypocrisy that’s probably accurate.
The current attacks on our Second Amendment rights are unparalleled in our history. Based on the action taken in San Francisco you, if you’re an NRA member or if you simply support in the Second Amendment, are now considered a terrorist. This is a call to action, in the words of Ben Franklin, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
This is more than a war on our gun rights; it’s a war on America, our culture, and the principles of our country’s founding. I have never seen a time when our rights as citizens have been in more jeopardy.
There’s no question we all deplore mass shootings, and as much as anyone we would like to prevent these horrendous acts. Regrettably, the misguided solution that gets most of the attention is more gun control impacting law-abiding citizens. What we get is more gun control on top of more gun control, none of which ever impacts demented individuals, preventing them from perpetrating evil.
Gun control does not work, there are literally thousands of gun control laws on the books and it’s clear they don’t work. So, what will work? Of late, some media and law enforcement officials to varying degrees have begun withholding the names of the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes. The reason often given is that the perpetrators are often looking for notoriety and it’s felt withholding their names serves the greater good.
There’s merit to that logic and I would propose taking it a step further. I would propose a law not just withholding the name of the perpetrator, but also banning the media from reporting mass shootings. By withholding names, the media and law enforcement have given, perhaps unintentionally, evidence that they believe reporting on mass shootings does contribute to their frequency.
Withholding names is a start but it’s voluntary and the names to some degree still end up in the media. Even if names are withheld it still does not deprive the shooter of the notoriety of his crime or his manifesto. Notoriety and recognition may very well be the principal reason for mass shootings.
Yes, I know, what about that pesky First Amendment, freedom of the press? Well, we’ve been lectured for years by the media that the Bill of Rights are not absolute, that “reasonable” regulations were not only acceptable but reasonable if they can save lives.
The record is clear that gun regulations will do nothing to prevent mass shootings. It’s time we look for real solutions that make sense. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential mass shooter, would you commit a mass shooting if you knew no one would ever hear about it? What would be the point?
Is this proposal radical perhaps, but think of the lives it could save? If the gun grabbing politicians and their allies in the media are sincere about saving lives, they should embrace this proposal with open arms. I’m guessing this proposal will probably be met with silence. If so, it’s proof that saving lives is secondary to them. They need these mass shootings to help promote their agenda to disarm the American people.
Harsh, maybe, but their refusal to consider some restriction on the First Amendment exposes their hypocrisy.
Tim Andrews S.C.O.P.E. At-Large Director
The 2018 elections were a disaster for New York gun owners, and the subsequent 2019 legislative session was gun control in overdrive. How can we turn this gun control freight train around? One of the remedies is the courts. Several cases which may bring relief are currently making their way through the judicial process.
In addition to the courts, we also need to grow support and establish greater influence within the political process. The issue is how this could be accomplished. The answer is we need to get involved in the process. How and where we do this is critical, the gun vote was very divided in 2018. There were many gun owners that were mislead into thinking the Libertarian Party and their candidate for governor was a valid alternative. True, the Libertarian Party platform does describe the party as pro-Second Amendment. However, you would be hard pressed to find anywhere where the Libertarian Party has had any success defeating gun control. For any political party or candidate, it’s not good enough just to say they’re pro-gun. Sure, it’s great to hear a candidate stand up and say all the things we want to hear, but if that candidate has no legitimate chance of winning in the end, they can do nothing for you. Despite Libertarian claims their candidate could win, we repeatedly warned voters that the Libertarian gubernatorial candidate for governor would at best get maybe 1.5% of the vote, in the end he got 1.5% of the vote.
Like it or not, the Democrat and Republican parties hold all the power in New York. The Libertarian Party is nowhere near being anything more than a fringe party. Beware, the Libertarian Party is very deceptive in how they present themselves. Their website does state they hold three elected offices in New York State. They have a city council position in Binghamton, where that candidate ran as a Democrat and as a Libertarian, 80% of his votes coming on the Democrat line. The second office is an obscure school board office in New York City where candidates run as non-partisan. The third is a councilor’s office in the town of Cicero. That candidate was never elected as a Libertarian. He was elected as a Republican and later left the GOP and became a Libertarian. He is no longer in elective office. The Libertarian website claim that they hold three elected offices in New York is erroneous and an embellishment, they hold two obscure local political offices in New York and none in Albany. They are light years from having any influence in New York State.
You should also be aware where the Libertarian Party is on other key issues of our day. Taken directly from their platform, section 3.4, they support open borders, section 3.1 they oppose the military draft, section 1.8 states they oppose the death penalty and they support abortion rights. From the New York Libertarian website, they specifically state they support a “Less strict immigration policy” and a “easier pathway to citizenship.” SCOPE has no position on any of these non-Second Amendment related issues, however, most gun rights supporters align themselves with conservative voters and given the Libertarian positions on these issues many conservative voting gun owners could never support a Libertarian candidate.
If we are ever going to win the fight in New York, the pathway to victory is not the Libertarian Party. The pathway to political success is through the parties who hold all the power, the Democrat and Republican parties. I know you’re screaming they’re the ones that created this mess, they’re never going to change it. As the parties stand today that may be true, however, change needs to come from within the parties. We need good people to get involved in the parties at the local level. Doing that is not a difficult thing to do, most parties are begging for volunteers, call your local party tell them you want to serve on your town or county committee. Truly this is where change can begin, if you really want to create change this is what we must do. Investing your time in fringe parties is fools gold and if anything will only help elect more gun grabbers to office.
You have the power to change the direction of New York State, but it is going to take hard work and commitment. Especially with the Republican Party We have a chance to make change but it’s going to take you getting involved. If you’re a Democrat or a Republican get involved in your party and serve on your county and town committee, you will be amazed at the influence you can have. If you’re an independent and not registered to any party, register as a Democrat or a Republican and get involved in that party.
Yes, there are plenty of reasons to be critical of the two major political parties. However, if we as individuals refuse to get involved, we need to recognize that we are part of the problem.
I know Libertarians will likely be infuriated by this column. But keep in mind who was correct when we spoke about the anticipated results of the 2018 election.
By Harold Moskowitz
President Obama misused the power of his office to create conditions for justifying increased Second Amendment restrictions. From October 2009-2011, the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) facilitated illegal gun sales to Mexican drug cartels. In fact, the government began instructing gun shop owners to break the law by selling firearms to suspected criminals. Dozens of AK-47 style rifles were bought during each transaction. Agents involved were ordered not to intercept the smugglers before the weapons crossed the border. Some of these weapons were paid for with taxpayer money. After purchase, ATF agents sold the weapons to “straw men” for resale to the smugglers.
The scandal only surfaced because two of the illegally sold rifles had been used in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry (Dec., 2010.) Three ATF agents became “whistle blowers” and testified before Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) House Oversight Committee. The agents told of being forced by supervisors to let waves of guns pass to Mexican cartels. As the story threaten to involve key Obama officials such as Attorney General Eric Holder, the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s excuse was that it was all part of an “investigation” into where Mexican drug cartels were active and that agents “lost track of some of the firearms.”
As agent John Dodson told the committee: “I cannot but think of how the risk of letting guns fall into the hands of known criminals could possibly advance any legitimate law enforcement interest.” A DOJ Inspector General report indicated that hundreds of the untracked guns were later used in the U.S. and Mexico. Documents were eventually released to both Issa’s committee and Charles Grassley’s (R-IA) Senate Judiciary Committee despite “stonewalling.”
In June, 2012, when El Chapo Guzman was arrested, agents found a Barrett .50 caliber rifle linked to Fast and Furious. A total of 34 Barrett .50’s had been “exported” by the ATF. There was eventual confirmation that the murder of “ICE” agent Jaime Zapata in 2011 was directly linked to ATF gun trafficking. In the U.S., one of the untracked weapons was in the hands of Nadir Soofi. He was one of two Muslim terrorists who tried to shoot up anti-Islamic Jihad activist Pamela Geller’s “Draw Mohammed” contest in 2015. In June, 2012, Eric Holder became the first Attorney General to be declared in contempt of Congress. This step was taken after Holder refused for months to turn over subpoenaed documents related to ATF gun trafficking. By the time of Holder’s contempt of Congress vote, at least 300 Mexicans had already been murdered or wounded by Obama’s gun scandal weapons. In addition, agents Terry and Zapata had been murdered in the line of duty with those AD-47 style rifles. The DOJ Inspector General also reported that a total of 2000 semi-automatic weapons had been illegally transferred to criminals.
Massive amounts of evidence indicated that Holder’s “investigation” was actually a criminal operation aimed at blaming the Second Amendment for violence in the U.S. and Mexico. Congressional investigators found the operation was intended to push forward the gun control agenda. The scheme only failed because of three courageous ATF agents with consciences.
In June, 2017, the investigating Congressional committees released an incriminating report regarding the Obama administration’s scandal and its attempted cover up. Obama had tried to claim executive privilege to deny Congress access to related documents even though he denied having been personally involved in the scandal. A federal judge forced the release of more than 20,000 pages of emails and memos previously denied by Obama to Congress.
The documents revealed that top Obama officials deliberately obstructed the Congressional probe into Fast and Furious. Internal documents confirmed ATF agent John Dodson’s Congressional testimony regarding the total lack of attempt to track the firearms after they left the U.S. The real goal was to hopefully create a crisis of gun violence requiring a crackdown on firearms in the U.S.
Operation Fast and Furious has a “political angle.” Emails gotten by C.B.S. News in 2011 showed ATF officials discussing the operation to push through a regulation requiring gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” ATF allowed certain gun shops to make desirable sales to dangerous people to use those sales as justification for new reporting requirements. At the same time, the mass media dutifully carried “news stories” about how loose U.S. gun laws lead to shootings in Mexico. In August, 2011, the Obama administration instituted new reporting requirements for the southern border states.
As Ian Tuttle of the National Review expressed it: Under Operation Fast and Furious, the U.S. government became a de facto illegal arms dealer to Mexican drug cartels and Islamic criminals.” Obama and Holder oversaw this scandal while they lectured to the nation about the need for more gun control. Apparently, for the Progressive Left’s goal of severely weakening, if not outright destroying, the Second Amendment, “the end justifies the means.” That reality should never be lost sight of when voting on any Election Day. We must always look beyond the deliberately moderate/central sounding campaign rhetoric of candidates. This is especially true for candidates claiming to be staunch defenders of the Second Amendment before reminding us of the need for some “common sense” gun control measures.
One opinion is that Obama and Holder were both guilty of Congressional oversight obstruction regarding the investigation of Fast and Furious and that both have blood on their hands from their illegal gun trafficking. One fact we can state is that both have walked away from their unconscionable scandal unscathed to this day!
by Steve Piatt
(Opinion piece published in New York Outdoor News, Vol 15, No 10, May 17, 2019)
A western New York man convicted under the SAFE Act has seen that conviction overturned by the New York State Supreme Court.
The ruling, however, wasn't an indictment of the SAFE Act itself; the court instead ruled that the now former New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had no jurisdiction to handle the case.
Benjamin Wassel of Silver Creek (Chautauqua County) had been charged with selling an AR-15, an AR-10, ammunition and magazines shortly after the January 2013 passage of the SAFE Act. In May of 2014 he was convicted in Chautauqua County Court of third-degree criminal possession of a firearm and two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a firearm. He was sentenced to probation and fined $375.
His attorney, James Ostrowski, says the felony charges against Wassell will be wiped off his record. The widely criticized SAFE Act, however, lives on. While the state Supreme Court ruled that the attorney general can prosecute a case "only on request of the head of a department, authority, division or agency of the state." That request was not made, the court ruled.
The same five-judge panel didn't address Ostrowski's contention that the SAFE Act is unconstitutional, among other arguments."In light of our determination, we do not address defendant's remaining contentions," the court wrote.
Wassell's sale of the firearms to an undercover officer came just days after the late-night, rapid fire passage of the SAFE Act by the state Legislature. Wassell, a Marine veteran who served twice in Iraq, said he was unaware of the new law.
But the SAFE Act remains intact, and the Wassell ruling serves as more of an individual victory than one that puts a nail in the coffin of the SAFE Act. The ongoing court battles - as well as some long-shot legislative efforts - to overturn or repeal the SAFE Act will undoubtedly continue.
****** As we count down the days to the end of the legislative session in Albany, sportsmen and gun owners are keeping a close eye on several bills that are, at last check, thankfully stalled in committee. Among them are a proposal to end the pheasant rearing program in New York, and another that threatens the popular Scholastic Clay Target League.
Bottom line: we're going to breathe a sigh of relief when this session comes to a close.
Original article shortened for brevity email@example.com
(Opinion piece published in New York Outdoor News, Vol 15, No. 09, May 3, 2019)
The invitation came via email, and I immediately chuckled.
Then I got angry.
It was an invitation to attend the New York Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus Annual Sportsman Legislator Breakfast in Albany.
On May 1.
The lawmakers apparently are unaware that May 1 is the opening day of the state's spring gobbler season, and generally regarded as a big deal for many sportsmen, including myself.
And these are the folks who are supposedly in our corner - as the invitation stated, a bipartisan "group of state legislators united to protect and advance our time-honored sporting traditions in the Empire State."
They've been around now for 15 years, so let's look at their track record of "advancing" hunting and fishing in New York state.
Sure, it was a major victory a few years back when the state lowered its minimum hunting age for big game with a firearm from 16 to 14. Let's keep in mind, however, that this improved regulation remains the most restrictive in the country.
Crossbows are now allowed during a portion of the regular archery season, but lawmakers have been unable to "advance" legislation that would expand it into the entire archery season, notably for seniors and physically challenged hunters.
Environmental conservation officers and forest rangers are generally regarded as operating short staffed. The state's fish hatchery system - which has, in fact, seen millions of dollars funneled into much-needed upgrades - needs further work, especially at the Salmon River hatchery, where water problems persist.
Do we really need to mention the SAFE Act and other gun restrictions passed by the Legislature this year? Or the proposal to shutter the state's last remaining pheasant rearing facility?
Thanks, for the breakfast invitation, folks. But wouldn't it be more productive to invite some of your downstate, Democratic colleagues and educate them as to the importance of hunting and fishing New York, our traditions, and the economic impact our sports provide?
That's what the breakfast agenda is offering: an opportunity to outline the positive impacts hunting and fishing provide in New York state and "the role our sporting traditions play in providing critical conservation dollars" through the American system of conservation funding for the DEC.
I already know that, and I don't need to drive to Albany on the opening day of the spring gobbler season to hear state lawmakers outline all that and use those time-worn phrases like "I pledge to you" and "working together" and "our great pastimes."
Thanks, but instead I'll "advance" hunting in New York state by taking afield a youngster or newbie hunter who may not otherwise have a pathway to the sport. They may even harvest their first-ever gobbler.
If they do, we'll go to the local diner for breakfast.
Tom Reynolds S.C.O.P.E. Treasurer
I recently saw some interesting information about ancient Rome and politicians that offered “free stuff” and where the giveaways eventually ended up.
In 136 BC, Tiberius Gracchus redistributed land to the landless (Income redistribution and social justice Roman style). He limited the amount of land one could own to 310 acres. (Government deciding someone is too wealthy). He was killed by political enemies.
In 123 BC, Tiberius’ brother Gaius tried implementing his brother’s plans and found that many of those given free land couldn’t actually farm! (Imagine that!) To correct a government program that did not work, the government instituted another program of subsidized grain for all. (A bit like subsidizing college loans and then proposing to forgive the loan because people took out too much!) Gaius was also killed by political enemies.
In 100 BC, the grain program was expanded in exchange for votes. (Gasp! Buying votes. It’s a good thing that could never happen in the U.S.A.!)
In 62 BC, Lucius Catiline, promised his “Clean Slates” program which would eliminate all debt and let people start over again. (The Roman version of Bernie Sanders.) He was also charged, but not convicted, of adultery with a Vestal Virgin. (Who does that remind me of… hmmm?) When he lost an election, he tried to seize power and was killed.
In 59 BC, Publius Clodius Pulcher granted free grain to all free citizens and - who could have guessed - the mobs of unemployed in Rome grew larger and larger. (Who could have foreseen that some people would rather get “free stuff” than work.) Publius was also tried on charges of incest – but the fix was in for acquittal. Publius Clodius was killed by his political enemies.
(Tiberius, Gaius, Lucius and Publius could definitely have used laws against sword ownership! Could their last thoughts have been wishing they had licensed swords and put limits on a sword’s length -capacity?)
Julius Caesar, passed his own land redistribution law, which helped get him elected to a succession of offices as well as to his dictatorship. He was assassinated in 44 BC. (Like today’s London Mayor, Caesar needed laws against knife ownership!)
Because Rome didn’t have laws prohibiting swords, demagogues could be stopped. (Not so good for demagogues, of course.)
Our Founding Fathers were well acquainted with history, especially Roman history, which is why they created the 2nd Amendment for protection against government tyranny. (Deer hunting was okay with the Founding Fathers, too.)
The Roman far-left created a dependency class in Rome that could be manipulated for political purposes. It started with promises of “free stuff” and it ended in death and tyranny. Is it possible that today’s far left sees some parallel between the killing of Roman demagogues and wanting limits on magazine capacity?
By Don Smith Wayne County Chair
The new California “Instant Background Check” system was part of Proposition 63 passed by voters in 2016. It may set a standard for other states and is actually more restrictive than our unSAFE Act. Gun owners should understand the key points as NY may attempt to adopt similar tactics. Some legislators in NY also want to register our long guns.
The purpose of the CA law was to force ammo buyers to undergo an "instant" background check each time they buy a round, box, flat or any amount of ammo. Two purchases on the same day means two background checks. Recall the unSAFE Act contains a similar provision but has not yet been implemented. However, NY recently announced it was closer to establishing the database required to operate the system. Here's how the California [CA] system works:
CA handgun owners have for many years received a “gun I.D. #” with the purchase of a permitted gun (handgun). Registration of long guns began in 2014 and either type of purchase lists them in the CA "Automatic Firearm System" (AFS). [Note that a convicted felon is automatically disqualified from buying ammo in CA].
If a qualified buyer goes to a dealer for ammo, they are not allowed to handle the ammo prior to a background check and have 3 background check options:
1. “Instant Background Check”- Only for residents listed in the California "Automated Firearm System" (AFS) (meaning they have purchased a firearm from a CA dealer). They pay $1 and can make an ammo purchase if they pass the background check. They must also provide: name, address, telephone #, drivers license #, type of ammo and name of the sales person. This info is maintained by CA. [Some claim it is not a registration of ammo. If not, then why require the ammo to be listed ???]
2. Possibly millions in CA have never purchased a gun but may have one via inheritance etc. Thus, they would not be on the AFS list. They can apply for a “Certificate of Eligibility” (COE) from the Department of Justice (DOJ). It costs about $100 and may take 30 days to have fingerprints checked and complete a background check. If they pass, they are then put into the AFS system and are eligible for an Instant Background Check in the future. Each ammo purchase thereafter costs $1 and also requires all contact info with each purchase.
3. If neither of these two options are available to a resident, then the third option is a direct dealer transaction where they must pay $19 and expect at least a 10-day waiting period for completion of a background check. The DOJ sends them a transaction # so they can track the progress of their background check. If they pass the check then they have 30 days in which to make the ammo purchase. This is a one-time purchase and the process must be repeated for future purchases unless they decide to purchase a gun and become listed in the AFS or apply for a COE. They must also supply the same contact information as in #1 or #2.
I assume the NY system will be linked to our drivers’ licenses like CA. Some say it is now. A NY gun owners I.D. card could also be required.
The CA bill was meant to simply require an instant background check for ammo purchases. However, the CA DOJ has expanded the requirements to include additional fees, waiting periods and transaction (tracking) #s with no legislative authorization. This could occur in NY.
Non-CA residents can no longer purchase ammo in CA unless they apply for a COE.
Residents of CA can no longer purchase ammo out of state directly from a dealer. The out-ofstate dealer is required to deliver it to a CA dealer. The resident obtains the ammo from the CA dealer after passing a background check.
However, a nonresident can legally bring ammo into CA and give it away but cannot sell it. I suspect the ammo black market in CA should do quite well.
By Tom Reynolds
A popular saying has arisen about the far left’s free giveaways, “Mice don’t understand why the cheese is free until it is too late”.
What does all this free stuff have to do with the Constitution and in particular the Second Amendment? Power and control! Politicians giving away stuff they label as “free” has been a path to obtaining and keeping power even before Franklin Roosevelt made it into a science in the 1930s.
When the government gives away something “free”, it always comes with strings attached. Those strings make the recipients into government puppets and the primary string is forcing the recipient to agree with and support government policies. It is understood that, if the recipient does not go along with the government, the “free stuff” will end.
Put another way, the government powerful enough to give you everything is also powerful enough to take everything away.
Politicians love to define the parameters of an issue in limited terms and avoid looking at the bigger picture effects; a view that might reveal problems with their plans. They need the voters to focus narrowly on only what the politicians want the voters to focus. The results of this bigger picture failure are called unintended consequences and these consequences can run far afield of just the “free stuff”. Again, the “free stuff” is only a path to power, it is not the goal of the politician. Once in power, the politician’s goal is to impose their will in other areas, especially the far left and their anti-Second amendment laws.
Imagine if the far left were to seize power in 2020 because they were elected on a “free stuff” platform. Actually, you don’t have to imagine what would happen. Look at New York State as an example of one party using unchecked powers over a broad spectrum of issues. We are in the sixth term for the liberal Cuomo's that sandwich the three terms of RINO Pataki and the disgraced Eliot Spitzer. During these 30-something years, the NY Senate was usually in Republican hands and while they were less than arduous in pursuing conservative and constitutional goals, they did serve to stop most – but not all - of the craziness that was proposed by the NY City liberals. Now, the voters have put the Senate, Assembly and Governorship all in the far left hands, for whatever reason. There is no stopping the craziness: a 2 nd SAFE Act (check); liberalize abortion (check); anti-business laws (check); use government powers against their opponents (check); free stuff for illegal’s (check).
And if New York State isn’t bad enough, California provides another example. Need I go on?
The far left response to “Keep America Great” is “Vote for me and get it free.” As Rush Limbaugh once asked, “How can you vote against Santa Claus?”
Gun owners must educate the public about politicians proposing giveaways and explaining that these are nothing more than a path to power for those that oppose our traditional American values and our 2nd Amendment rights. When debating against the “free stuff” giveaways, it’s not just the cost of these that make them impossible – and the cost really does make them impossible. Voters need to understand the bigger picture; that once the far left are in power, they will do much more than just give away “stuff”. They will impose their deepest, darkest far left desires on the people and one of their most cherished desires is to abolish the 2nd Amendment.
By Nelson Prince AMAC Magazine
Vol 13 Issue 2
On February 13, 2016, the American people awoke to the unfortunate news that 79-year-old Justice Antonin Scalia unexpectedly passed away while on a hunting trip in Texas. A stalwart conservative, celebrated for his sharp legal mind and unfailing sense of humor, Justice Scalia left a lasting and indelible mark on the Supreme Court for generations to come. However, as the 2016 Presidential Election entered its final stages, and as the American people prepared to elect a new president, the legacy and future of the Supreme Court became a major focal point of the 2016 election.
Then-candidate Trump, for the first time in US Presidential election history, produced a list of names he would pick from in nominating a replacement to the late, great Antonin Scalia. Concurrently, then-President Barack Obama nominated DC Circuit Judge Merrick Garland to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy. Following Judge Garland’s nomination, and the release of President Trump’s list of potential picks to fill the spot on the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court was on the 2016 Presidential ballot just as much as Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
We all remember President Trump’s historic upset on November 8, 2016. Even more importantly we remember that President Trump kept his promise to nominate and confirm a judge from the list he released during the campaign. Eleven days after his inauguration, President Trump kept his promise and nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy. Following complete Democratic obstinacy to his nomination, Senate Republicans invoked the ‘Nuclear Option’ to end filibusters for Supreme Court nominees, and Justice Gorsuch was confirmed to the High Court by a vote of 54-45.
Just a few months later, Justice Anthony Kennedy shocked the world when he announced that he would retire from the Supreme Court after 30 years of service. President Trump, yet again, delivered on his 2016 campaign promise to nominate a qualified replacement from the aforementioned list. On July 9, 2018, President Trump nominated DC Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. Following a tumultuous confirmation process (to put it nicely) Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Court on October 6, 2018 by a vote of 50-48.
While the Supreme Court has occupied the public mind for the last two years of the Trump Presidency, many Americans are unaware of how much President Trump has done to restore the Judicial Branch to its rightful place as a co-equal branch of government. President Trump has nominated and appointed several Constitutionalist judges at every level of the Federal Judiciary, from the High Court, to the circuit courts, to the district courts, to the military courts, to the tax courts. As Washington, DC embroils itself in controversy after controversy, President Trump continues to nominate, and Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continues to confirm dozens of judges who are committed to the Constitution and rule of law.
At the end of the first two years of the Trump administration, President Trump has nominated, and Leader McConnell has confirmed 92 judges across the federal judiciary, including two Supreme Court Justices, 30 Circuit Court judges, 53 District Court judges, and several other administrative and military judges. In fact, President Trump has far outpaced any of his other predecessors in nominating judges to the federal circuit courts. Think about this, five of the country’s 12 Circuit Courts are now occupied by more than 25-percent of Trump appointed Judges - twenty-five percent.
Most recently, on January 23, 2019, President Trump renominated 51 old judicial nominations from the previous Congress – including two nominations to the notoriously “liberal” Ninth Circuit Court. With Republicans in firm control of the Senate, and with President Trump eyeing the 140+ vacancies still remaining at all levels of the federal judiciary, we can expect both the President and the Senate to continue their tireless work on restoring the Judiciary to its equal, constitutional footing with the other branches of government.
As we head into the 2020 election cycle, it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen. But, one thing is certain; President Trump will leave a lasting imprint on the Federal Judiciary for generations to come. With strong, dedicated, and Constitutionally-minded judges on every bench in the United States, President Trump will be remembered for his commitment to the Constitution and a return to the rule of law.
A 2nd Amendment Defense
Organization, defending the
rights of New York State gun
owners to keep and bear arms!
PO Box 165East Aurora, NY 14052
SCOPE is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.
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