Complete list of Briefings
By Emily Zanotti Aug 6, 2020
Documents and voicemails obtained by a local St. Louis NBC affiliate show that detectives investigating Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple that pointed weapons at Black Lives Matter protesters who entered their gated community in search of the St. Louis mayor’s house, “balked” at prosecutors’ decision to charge the McCloskeys and initially refused to sign off on prosecutors documents.
The lead prosecutor, Sgt. Curtis Burgdorf, also told prosecutors that police believed at least one protester was armed and others were wearing bulletproof vests, based on what they gleaned from security footage and other available videos.
“The lead St. Louis police detective investigating the McCloskey case refused to sign at least two versions of court documents prosecutors drafted, according to a review of those documents obtained by 5 On Your Side,” the NBC affiliate reported late last week, adding that prosecutors appeared to be pressuring police to serve a search warrant on the McCloskey residents — a warrant that eventually turned up the weapons Mark McCloskey was wielding in a now-viral video.
Lawyers for Patricia McCloskey turned in her weapon to authorities days later. It was inoperable when submitted to law enforcement.
“At this point, everything points to these weapons being real and loaded, but no one has asked or confirmed,” the prosecutor wrote to police, demanding that the cops seize the McCloskeys guns. “Come trial, they’ll say they were waiving around a BB gun and an air rifle.”
The prosecutor, Assistant Circuit Attorney Chris Hinckley, also wrote to the lead detective’s commander trying to pressure detectives to move forward with the case.
“Our office is receiving inquiries from the public and press about a warrant application and potential charges. We’ve thus far said the matter ‘remains under investigation.’ I’d really like to avoid pointing to a police follow-up request as the hold-up, but I won’t control the messaging if this goes on any longer. Please see what you can do to help this along. Again, I’m asking for priority on the firearms issue,” he said.
“Hinckley also wrote the document the lead detective did sign, known as the probable cause statement,” NBC reported. “But it went through at least two revisions after Burgdorf outlined 14 concerns he had about the document, 5 On Your Side has learned.”
Specifically, Bergdorf objected to prosecutors’ claim that the McCloskeys confronted a “peaceful protest,” and that prosecutors used the terms “semi-automatic” and “assault” rifle, noting that those were non-specific “propaganda” terms. In addition, Bergdorf also corrected claims prosecutors made that weren’t borne out by evidence available to law enforcement, including that protesters went through an “open gate” and that Mark McCloskey’s gun was “visibly loaded.”
Bergdorf also insisted that the McCloskeys may have been correct in their assessment that protesters were armed and dangerous.
Some of the phrases [Bergdorf] was able to decipher from the footage collected by prosecutors from protesters included:
Some of the phrases [Bergdorf] was able to decipher from the footage collected by prosecutors from protesters included:
“You own a business. Your business is gone.”
“We coming back baby.”
“You ain’t the only (expletive) with a gun.”
“You own a business. Your business is gone.”
“We coming back baby.”
“You ain’t the only (expletive) with a gun.”
“They coming back to your house.”
“They coming back to your house.”
Although the McCloskeys have been charged, there is continuing controversy over the case, much of it aimed at St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, whom McCloskey allies claim targeted the couple for political reasons.
Who / What is Black Lives Matter
S.C.O.P.E. was formed as an educational organization to defend the Constitution and especially the 2nd Amendment. Towards that end, we would like our members to know some facts about what is behind the social upheaval that is attempting to destroy the benefits - such as the 2nd Amendment - that we all have enjoyed under the Constitution.
Black Lives Matter might be viewed as a grassroots movement of concerned people gathering together. It is much more.
Black Lives Matter is a corporation whose real name is Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF). (Yep…it’s one of those capitalistic corporations they profess to hate.)
The following information is on their web site. It’s a nationwide corporation! BLMGNF has chapters in: Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Lansing, Long Beach, Memphis, Nashville, New York City, Philadelphia, South Bend and in Canada in Toronto, Vancouver and Waterloo. (If you were impressed by how all those recent riots erupted simultaneously from a grassroots movement…well…maybe not so grassroots.)
BLMGNF is a not-for-profit corporation but not tax exempt, so donations are not tax deductible. Except...if you go to its website and want to donate, you are transferred to ActBlue Charities which will take your donation, give you a tax deduction, and then distribute your donation to BLMGNF. Sort of…
Who is ActBlue?
Taken directly from ActBlue’s web page, “Our (ActBlue) platform is available to Democratic candidates and committees, progressive organizations, and nonprofits that share our values for no cost besides a 3.95% processing fee on donations. And we operate as a conduit, which means donations made through ActBlue to a campaign or organization are considered individual donations”.
ActBlue consists of three parts: ActBlue Charities facilitates donations to left-of-center 501(c)(3) nonprofits; Act Blue Civics is its 501(c)(4) affiliate; ActBlue is a 527 Political Action Committee. These three have raised over $5 billion dollars in the sixteen years since it started. If its 3.95% transaction fee has been applied to all donations, that equates to over $197 million.
So, ActBlue is a Democratic Party front affiliated with BLMGNF. If only it was that simple and stopped there.
Per Business Insider Australia, “ActBlue…distributes the money raised to Thousand Currents, which is then granted to Black Lives Matter”.
What is Thousand Currents (Formerly International Development Exchange)?
Again, per Business insider Australia, “Thousand Currents is a 501(3)(c) non-profit that provides grants to organizations that are...developing alternative economic models…”. (Is anarchy now an alternative economic model?)
“Thousand Currents essentially acts as a quasi-manager for Black Lives Matter: ‘It provides administrative and back office support, including finance, accounting, grants management, insurance, human resources, legal and compliance,’ (Executive Director Solome) Lemma said”. (Finance, insurance, human resources, legal and compliance? It sounds like General Motors!)
What’s the significance of the above?
Black Lives Matter is not some fly-by-night fad that is going to loot and destroy and then disappear into the ash heap of history. It’s a multi corporation, big business which is heavily associated with and supports the Democratic Party and it is here to stay. Arguing whether Black Lives or All Lives Matter is meaningless and distracts us from what it is trying to achieve. It is a left-wing political movement that will have a significant impact on the Democratic Party programs for the foreseeable future.
Socialism and Communism are intimately linked to these efforts while the US Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights have no place in their plans. Patrisse Cullors, one of Black Lives Matter’s co-founders is widely reported as saying, “We are trained Marxists”.
The president of Greater New York Black Lives Matter said that if the movement fails to achieve meaningful change during nationwide protests, it will “burn down this system.” Not the peaceful change we celebrate under our Constitution but violent change. For those of us who like our Constitution, this is a challenge thrown in our face.
If you have wondered why politicians have danced around criticizing Black Lives Matter, now you know.
Sources of this information: *HTTPS://INFLUENCEWATCH.ORG/NON-PROFIT/BLACK-LIVES-MATTER-FOUNDATION/
* HTTPS://BLACKLIVES MATTER.COM (Chapters; Current Chapters)
* HTTPS://BLACKLIVES MATTER.COM (Donate)
* HTTPS://SUPPORT.ACTBLUE.COM/DONORS/ABOUT-ACTBLUE/WHAT-IS-THE-DIFFERENCE-BETWEEN- ACTBLUE-ACTBLUE-CIVICS-AB-CHARITIES-AND-ACTBLUE-TECHNICAL-SERVICES/
David HarsanyiJuly 27, 2020 4:12 PM
Politicians blame out-of-state sellers, but the real problem lies at home.
The tragically incompetent mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend to deflect attention from the horror show unfolding in her city by blaming interlopers for its spiking murder rate: “We are being inundated with guns from states that have virtually no gun control, no background checks, no ban on assault weapons — that is hurting cities like Chicago.”
Although these accusations have leveled by Chicago politicians for decades now, they are a myth.
For one thing, there is no state in the nation with “virtually no gun control” or “no background checks.” Every time anyone in the United States purchases a gun from a federal firearms licensee (FFL) — a gun store, a gun show, it doesn’t matter — the seller runs a background check on the buyer through the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) database. In some cases, the FFL checks to see if the buyer has passed a background check via a state-issued concealed-carry permit. In states that allow individual private sales, it is illegal to knowingly sell to anyone who you believe is obtaining a firearm for criminal purposes.
Those who cross state lines to buy guns undergo the same background check, and the sale is processed by an FFL in the buyer’s home state. The exact same laws apply to all online sales.
The vast majority of Americans obtain their guns in this manner, and they rarely commit crimes. Around 7 percent of criminals in prison bought weapons using their real names. Fewer than 1 percent obtained them at gun shows. As the Heritage Foundation’s Amy Swearer points out, there have been around 18 million concealed-carry permit holders over the past 15 years, and they have committed 801 firearm-related homicides over that span, or somewhere around 0.7 percent of all firearm-related murders. Concealed-carry holders not only are more law-abiding than the general population as a group; they are more law-abiding than law enforcement.
Studies of those imprisoned on firearms charges show that most often they obtain their weapons by stealing them or buying them in black markets. A smaller percentage get them from family members or friends.
On top of all this, federal law requires every FFL license holder to report the purchase of two or more handguns by the same person with a week to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This is one of the reasons straw purchasers — people with a clean record who buy for criminals — spread their operations to other states. This is not unique to Illinois or Chicago. It has nothing to do with strict or lenient laws. It has mostly to do with cities and states failing to prosecute straw purchases.
Lightfoot claims that 60 percent of the guns used in Chicago murders are bought from out of state. I assume she is relying on 2017’s suspect “gun trace report,” which looked at guns confiscated in criminal acts from 2013 and 2016. Even if we trusted the city’s data, most guns used in Illinois crimes are bought in-state. If gun laws in Illinois — which earns a grade of “A-“ from the pro-gun-control Gifford Law Center, tied for second highest in the country after New Jersey — are more effective than gun laws in Missouri, Wisconsin, or Indiana, why is it that FFL dealers in suburban Cook County are the origin point for a third of the crime guns recovered in Chicago, and home to “seven of the top ten source dealers”? According to the trace study, 11.2 percent of all crime guns recovered in Chicago could be tracked to just two gun shops.
The only reason, it seems, criminals take the drive to Indiana is because local gun shops are tapped out. There is a tremendous demand for weapons in Chicago. That’s not Mississippi’s fault. And Lightfoot’s contention only proves that criminals in her city can get their hands on guns rather easily, while most law-abiding citizens have no way to defend themselves.
Lightfoot may also be surprised to learn that California borders on states with liberal gun laws, such as Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon. Yet no big city in California has quite the murder and criminality of Chicago. New York borders on states with liberal gun laws, such as Vermont, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. Yet NYC’s murder rate is only fraction of Chicago’s. Texas gets an “F” from Gifford Law Center, yet Houston and Dallas have murder rates that are half of that in Chicago. The rates in Austin and El Paso are tiny when compared to Chicago.
Then, of course, the “assault-weapons bans” that Lightfoot brings up have absolutely no bearing on Chicago’s murder rate, even if such prohibitions actually worked. There were 864 murders in the state of Illinois in 2018 (the last year for which the FBI has full stats). Of homicides where the type of weapon is reported by law enforcement, 592 were perpetrated using handguns, 14 with rifles, and four with shotguns. Over 100 murders were committed using knives, other cutting instruments, hands, feet, and other types of weapons. And of the 14 “rifles” used, it’s almost surely the case that not all of them were “assault weapons.” Among the illegal guns recovered by Chicago law enforcement in 2018, 12,220 were handguns of some kind and 1,769 were rifles and shotguns.
In the states in Illinois’s neighborhood with no bans on “assault weapons,” the number of murders committed with a “rifle” is correspondingly small — ten in Indiana, eight in Tennessee, six in Kentucky, four in Wisconsin, and three in Mississippi.
It’s also worth pointing out that gun homicides dropped sharply in most cities after the national “assault weapons” expired in 2004, even though the AR-15 would correspondingly become one of the most popular weapons in the country. The AR-15 is an excellent home-defense weapon, but long guns aren’t conducive to criminality, despite what we see in movies. Tragically, AR-15s are often favored by psychotic mass shooters, but rarely by the murderers who plague Lightfoot’s city.
It keeps getting worse. Nearly 400 people have already been murdered in Chicago this year, around 100 more than in the entire year of 2019. On the night of May 29, 25 people were murdered and another 85 wounded by gunfire, more than any day in 60 years. And yet the mayor is appearing on TV to blame Mississippi and Texas. It is far more likely that black-market guns find their way to Chicago because the place has been a poorly run criminal mecca for decades.
Both the Constitution and the Gun Control Act allow Americans to manufacture their own firearms for their own personal use. “Personal use” is the key. Such guns are often referred to as “ghost guns” since they have no serial number and do not need to be registered.
The fact is only 5 out of the 50 states require registration of firearms which might fall into this category. New York is one of these states. Counties have long been established as the centers of handgun registrations and the system works well. Let's leave well enough alone.
There is no registration system [nor should there be] for long guns in New York. Unfortunately, NY State became involved in the registration of rifles following passage of the so-called “SAFE” Act in 2013. These are commonly owned semi-automatic rifles misconstrued as “assault weapons” by many. Statistics show that the most common “assault weapons” utilized in crimes are actually body parts…hands, feet and even sneakers according to a judge in one Upstate county.
The state lost a court case and was forced to divulge that a mere 5% of the estimated number of so-called “assault weapons” in NY were registered. Undoubtedly this was an embarrassment to state officials.
Law-abiding NY State citizens are not fond of registrations, regardless of the item being registered. Firearms are considered private property and these citizens resent any government regulation of such.
“Ghost gun” parts can be used to fabricate a handgun or even an AR-15. The parts are widely available across the country in stores and online. Law-abiding citizens can legally buy an unfinished lower receiver without a background check. Ghost guns have been mainly popular with gun enthusiasts but have also become a weapon of choice for criminals. But such behavior is not the fault of law-abiding citizens.
Criminals by nature do not obey laws. Why make law-abiding citizens pay the price for criminal behavior? Why must layer upon layer of gun control laws be passed when many are never enforced or are valueless?
Legislators commonly ask: “what type of gun control laws can I support.” Sorry, but this is the wrong question to ask. Consider the following as an aid to decision making:
1) Start with principle: No one’s freedom should depend on the behavior of the lawless or the ineptitude of government.
Liberals, the Left, Progressives offer one solution — ban “assault weapons” which, in video clip after video clip, they cannot define. The Florida shootings show the failure of government agencies at every level: federal, state, and local. And the proposed fix is to give more power to the institutions that drove the truck into the ditch?
2) So what can we do? Address root causes of violence — but this requires hard work! Remember “assault weapons” were banned under President Clinton, with no impact. Begin with facts:
3) What about the news media? Worried about negative coverage if you don’t get in line? In fact, the news industry has more to worry about — collapsing trust & collapsing business model.
Finally, looking for a role model for how to respond to questions when you defend freedom? Watch Governor Bevins of Kentucky handle a question about “school violence.” No dancing, no bluster, but a firm, polite response — bone-deep belief. Wow. We need more like him in office.
By: José Niño
In 2020, gun owners have many enemies.
It’s no secret that government entities pose threats to those of us who exercise our Second Amendment rights. Just taking a look at the bills filed in your state legislature can give you an idea of the lengths anti-gunners will go to strip us of our civil liberties.
In the Trump era, there have seen some interesting changes in the way the gun control crowd has changed their strategy. Having been largely shut out of power in D.C., gun control organizations have logically shifted their energy to lower levels of government, such as state legislatures and city councils.
Seasoned political operatives understand the importance of building political power bases at all levels of governments. This kind of work is what leads to major victories further down the line. But the forces of gun control have not just limited their efforts to traditional political activism. They are now operating outside of the conventional realm of politics by using corporate America to advance anti-gun causes.
Big Tech has been at the vanguard of this privatized form of persecution levied at Second Amendment supporters. Just look at Karl Kasarda, who ran the YouTube channel InRange TV. Fox News reported his channel “was wiped without warning in early 2018.” Kasarda pulled no punches when he talked about Big Tech’s suffocating control over political discourse:
"The issue of oligarchical control over the Internet and all the impact over the ability to use it for free speech is going to only get worse.”
Kasarda referred to the "big five" — Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube — as the main actors behind the recent wave of digital censorship directed towards the Second Amendment community and similar right-wing groups.
"It is unclear what the rules are," Kasarda said. "Specifically, with YouTube, they pretty much enforce whatever they feel based on their bias of the day. Regardless of your personal belief, firearms and their accessories are legal in the United States. So why are we seeing continuing restrictions and challenges towards content about something demonstrably legal yet not against that which is clearly illegal?"
Starting in 2018, after the Parkland mass shooting, YouTube began to ban videos that "promote or link to websites selling firearms and accessories.” In addition, it prohibited instructional on how to build firearms.
"Content intended to sell firearms, instruct viewers on how to make firearms, ammunition, and certain accessories, or instruct viewers on how to install those accessories is not allowed on YouTube," the company’s policy stated. "YouTube shouldn't be used as a platform to sell firearms or accessories noted below. YouTube also doesn't allow live streams that show someone holding, handling, or transporting a firearm."
Google classifies firearms content as "non-family safe," and Twitter has boasted about its prohibition of "the promotion of weapons and weapon accessories globally."
Facebook, which is the parent company of Instagram, also bans the "sale or trade of firearms, ammunition, and explosives between private individuals."
Due to the arbitrary nature of Facebook policies, there has been a noticeable chilling effect that has affected firearms companies big and small.
Tom Taylor, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of commercial sales for SIG Sauer, believes the social media censorship of firearms companies is getting way out of hand.
"Instagram and Facebook, Google and YouTube, Twitter, Yahoo – or virtually any mainstream search engine – is not allowing firearm manufacturers to advertise or promote via paid activities,” Taylor said. “No sponsored or paid posts are allowed. These platforms are built to be optimized by paid advertising so, the firearm industry is almost completely dependent on organic reach and grassroots efforts.”
Taylor revealed that the situation is only getting worse as these companies find more avenues to manipulate social media algorithms to censor gun-related content.
"Many companies attempt to use hashtags that are unrelated to restricted categories/topics or work with non-firearm specific partners," Taylor explained. "Even then, if it is used at a high enough rate, a company may be warned, flagged, and/or blocked, that is shadowbanned."
The threats gun owners face in 2020 are unconventional. With Big Tech jumping on the anti-gun craze, gun grabbers have plenty of ways to attack our freedoms.
Although private enterprise has America great, it can be used to advance political causes that are detrimental to our liberties. But not all hope is lost. Gun owners can flex their economic muscles by boycotting businesses that participate in the anti-gun-frenzy. Similarly, firearms organizations and business will have to adapt and turn to snail mail, email marketing, and other forms of promotion that are not as reliant on traditional social media platforms.
It’s tough, but that’s the way things are in 2020 gun politics.
José Niño is a Venezuelan American freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at email@example.com. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.
Missouri couple who defended home have rifle seized during police search: report: Authorities in St. Louis executed a search warrant Friday evening at the home of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who made headlines last month when they took up arms to defend their home from protesters.
During the search, police seized the rifle that Mark McCloskey was shown holding during the June 28 incident, KSDK-TV of St. Louis reported, citing information from a source.
The couple claimed the pistol that Patricia McCloskey held during the June confrontation was already in the possession of their attorney, the station reported.
INVESTIGATION INTO ST. LOUIS COUPLE WHO DEFENDED THEIR HOME AGAINST PROTESTERS IS 'ABUSE OF POWER,' SAYS SEN. HAWLEY
There was no immediate indication the McCloskeys were arrested or charged with a crime. The warrant applied only to a search for the guns, KSDK reported.
On Monday, the McCloskeys appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” and disclosed that protesters had returned to their neighborhood July 3 – but the couple was alerted in advance and hired a private security company to protect their residence.
The previous night, “we started hiding valuables and securing the house,” Mark McCloskey told host Sean Hannity.
Last week’s protest was loud but non-violent, the homeowner said.
In the June incident, Patricia McCloskey said, the couple was startled just before dinnertime when “300 to 500 people” entered the gated community where they live.
"[They said] that they were going to kill us," Patricia McCloskey told Hannity on Monday night. "They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house. They were going to be living in our house after I was dead, and they were pointing to different rooms and said, 'That’s going to be my bedroom and that’s going to be the living room and I’m going to be taking a shower in that room’.”"
The couple said protesters also threatened to harm their dog, which was outside the home at the time.
The protesters claimed they were passing the McCloskeys' home while heading toward the home of Mayor Lyda Krewson, to demonstrate there.
Soon after the June incident, Kimberly Gardner, circuit attorney in St. Louis, announced that her office and the St. Louis Police Department would be conducting an investigation into the McCloskeys’ display of firearms.
WHO IS KIMBERLY GARDNER, ST. LOUIS PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATING GUN-TOTING COUPLE?
The couple’s attorney at the time, Albert Watkins, said in a statement that the couple did not arm themselves until after they began feeling threatened.
"My clients didn't sit on their front stoop with guns. ... No firearms were on them at the time that they, were, as property owners standing in front of their home," Watkins said at the time. "It was not until they basically were in a position of seeing and observing violence, recklessness, lawbreaking, and knowing that the police were not going to be doing anything."
Late Friday, KSDK reported that Watkins was no longer representing the couple and had been replaced by attorney Joel Schwartz, who confirmed a search warrant was issued at 8 p.m. Friday.
Schwartz would not confirm if authorities took anything from the home and said he was unaware of the location of the couple's handgun, KSDK reported.
The couple's new lawyer also said he hopes to meet with Gardner's office next week but said no appointment had yet been scheduled, according to KSDK.
“Should I buy a handgun or a shotgun for home defense?” is a question I often get from friends. These people often overlook AR-type rifles. Regardless, I often recommend an AR. Here’s why.
If you have friends come to you asking about home defense options, make sure you do them the favor of having them consider an AR-style rifle. For many people, it’s a superior home-defense arm that should not be ignored.
For your listening pleasure~~
"Star Spangled Steel"
(who says gun folks aren't cultured?!~~ ;)
Always remember, give people something to vote for. Here’s an excellent example from a young mother in Colorado.
Health care professionals misusing their patients’ trust to push a political agenda of gun control is called an ethical boundary violation.
You may encounter the question in your health plan’s standard health appraisal questionnaire. Even though it may not be of your doctor’s making (your doctor may very likely just be going along with the guidelines of his or her gun-hating medical organization such as the AAP or ACP), it’s still part of your permanent medical record. Or your doctor may have a personal prejudice against gun ownership, shaped by her training in medical school or residency. Either way, it is important for people to know some very important facts:
Download the DRGO Resource Document “What to Do When Your Doctor Asks About Your Guns” here
—Timothy Wheeler, MD is the founder and former director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, and a retired head and neck surgeon.
All DRGO articles by Timothy Wheeler, MD.
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