• 08/18/2020 12:34 PM | Anonymous

    (NRA-ILA)  In Duncan v. Becerra, a case supported by the NRA, the  United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that California’s ban on the possession of “large capacity magazines”(LCMs) violates the Second Amendment.

    The decision affirms a ruling last March by Federal District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez, who ruled, unequivocally, that the California law was unconstitutional.

    The panel’s lengthy and considered opinion was written by Judge Kenneth K. Lee, joined by Judge Consuelo M. Callahan. Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn wrote a dissenting opinion, arguing that the California ban was constitutional. 

    The case centers on California Penal Code §32310, which prior to 2016, imposed restrictions on the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer, and receipt of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. In 2016, the law was amended to add an outright ban prohibiting nearly everyone in the state from possessing such magazines. California residents who owned LCMs were given the option of removing the magazine from the state, selling it to a firearms dealer, permanently modifying the magazine so that it was incapable of holding over ten rounds, or surrendering it to law enforcement for destruction. Failure to do so could result in imprisonment for up to a year.

    Judge Lee, who was appointed to the Ninth Circuit by President Trump last year, begins by observing that California’s near-total ban of LCMs “strikes at the core of the Second Amendment –the right to armed self defense. Armed self-defense is a fundamental right rooted in tradition and the text of the Second Amendment.”California’s law not only banned standard-issue magazines for many handguns commonly used for self defense, but made  “half of all magazines in America …unlawful to own in California.”  

    Using a two-prong test to determine the constitutional validity of Cal. Penal Code §32310, the court first asked whether the law burdened conduct protected by the Second Amendment; if so, the second inquiry focused on the appropriate level of review (level of scrutiny) to apply in evaluating the law.

    Under the first prong, the court found the law did burden protected conduct. LCMs were “arms”protected by the Second Amendment “for a simple reason”–without a magazine, many weapons, including “quintessential”self defense weapons like handguns, “would be useless.”LCMs were neither dangerous nor unusual, and firearms or magazines “holding more than ten rounds have been in existence –and owned by American citizens –for centuries.”LCMs had “never been subject to longstanding prohibitions”on possession or use.

    Not only did Section 32310 “strike[] at core Second Amendment rights”by prohibiting LCMs for self-defense within the home, “any law that comes close to categorically banning the possession of arms that are commonly used for self-defense imposes a substantial burden on the Second Amendment.”

    Significantly, in the second prong determination of the appropriate level of review, the court selected strict scrutiny, the highest possible level, as the proper standard. Strict scrutiny requires that a state law be narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling interest. While the government interests here were compelling, a “statewide blanket ban on possession everywhere and for nearly everyone”was not narrowly tailored or the least restrictive means. The law failed even if a less demanding level of scrutiny was applied, and for many of the same reasons –a lack of anything approximating a reasonable fit between the restrictions imposed and the government’s asserted objectives. 

    Addressing California’s “implicit suggestion that the Second Amendment deserves less protection”than other fundamental rights, the court rejected this outright. The Second Amendment is not some outdated “relic relevant only during the era of Publius and parchments. It is a right that is exercised hundreds of times on any given day”by law abiding Americans, including women fleeing abusive relationships, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities who are disproportionately the victims of hate crimes, and communities of color that “have a particularly compelling interest”in exercising Second Amendment rights.”The Second Amendment “provides one last line of defense”when the state cannot or will not “step in to protect them.”“We mention these examples,”declared Judge Lee, “to drive home the point that the Second Amendment is not a second-class right,”nor is “self-defense a dispensation granted at the state’s mercy.”

    The ruling is a gratifying one by the Ninth Circuit, a court that, in past rulings, has been not especially protective of the Second Amendment.

    It is anticipated that the State of California will seek en banc review of this ruling. Your NRA will keep you updated on the developments in this important case.

  • 08/14/2020 9:57 PM | Anonymous

    TTAG CONTRIBUTOR , |August 14, 2020

    The Second Amendment Foundation today is hailing a ruling by a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that held California’s ban on so-called “large-capacity magazines” (LCMs) violates the Second Amendment.

    “While this was not our case,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “this is a victory for all gun owners, and the majority opinion reflects our arguments in an amicus brief we submitted along with several other organizations. Most importantly, the panel majority used strict scrutiny to make its determination, and that is a huge milestone.”

    The case is known as Duncan v. Becerra. The 66-page majority opinion was written by Circuit Judge Kenneth K. Lee.

    SAF was joined in its amicus brief by the California Gun Rights Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Armed Equality, San Diego County Gun Owners, Orange County Gun Owners, Riverside County Gun Owners, and California County Gun Owners.

    In his ruling, Judge Lee observed, “We understand the purpose in passing this law. But even the laudable goal of reducing gun violence must comply with the Constitution. California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs infringes on the fundamental right to self-defense. It criminalizes the possession of half of all magazines in America today. It makes unlawful magazines that are commonly used in handguns by law-abiding citizens for self-defense. And it substantially burdens the core right of self-defense guaranteed to the people under the Second Amendment. It cannot stand.”

    California had banned possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than ten cartridges.

    “This was a fantastic ruling,” Gottlieb observed. “The court went into considerable detail about the history of magazine development and essentially follows the logic of our amicus, for which we are all very proud.”

  • 08/14/2020 8:39 PM | Anonymous

    By TERI FIGUEROA, August 14, 2020, 12:59 PM

    Judges Rule California High-Capacity Magazine Ban Unconstitutional
    Moving Forward

    In a resounding win for West Coast gun owners, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court threw out the California high-capacity magazine ban Friday, calling it unconstitutional. A three-judge panel said the rule violates Americans’ right to bear arms.

    The ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an earlier decision by U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez in Duncan v Becerra. That decision ruled California’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds violated the Second Amendment. The National Shooting Sports Federation, NSSF, among others, also submitted an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs’ challenge.

    “This is a tremendous victory for all who value the rule of law and preservation of individual liberties protected by the U.S. Constitution,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President of General Counsel. “The firearm industry trade association was confident that possession of these accessories is protected by the Second Amendment and that California overreached to infringe upon the fundamental civil liberties of law-abiding citizens. This serves as notice to antigun politicians that their campaign to trample on constitutional rights and advance a radical agenda to deny citizens’ their Second Amendment rights will not go unchallenged.”

    “California’s near-categorical ban of LCMs strikes at the core of the Second Amendment — the right to armed self-defense. Armed self-defense is a fundamental right rooted in tradition and the text of the Second Amendment. Indeed, from pre-colonial times to today’s post-modern era, the right to defend hearth and home has remained paramount,” wrote Judge Kenneth K. Lee.

    “California’s law imposes a substantial burden on this right to self-defense,” Lee continued.

    The ruling obviously represents a big step for California as far as gun rights are concerned. The Associated Press reported:

    California Rifle & Pistol Association attorney Chuck Michel called it “a huge victory” for gun owners “and the right to choose to own a firearm to defend your family.”

    The ruling has national implications because other states have similar restrictions, though it immediately applies only to Western states under the appeals court’s jurisdiction.

    California AG Xavier Becerra didn’t confirm whether he would ask the full appellate court to reconsider the ruling, reported However, industry experts expect continuing litigation to keep the California high-capacity magazine ban legally considered unconstitutional.

  • 08/07/2020 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    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:

    “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.”

    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.

  • 08/06/2020 8:29 AM | Anonymous

    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 3.95processing 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://BLACKLIVES MATTER.COM  (Chapters; Current Chapters)










  • 07/29/2020 10:05 PM | Anonymous

    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.

  • 07/22/2020 10:40 PM | Anonymous

    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:

    • §  “More than 20 years of research funded by the Justice Department has found that programs to target high-risk people or places, rather than targeting certain kinds of gunscan reduce gun violence,” states David M. Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  Check the source:  “The Assault Weapon Myth,” The New York Times, Sept. 14, 2014
    • §  Harden the Schools — we protect airports and government buildings, don’t we?  Here are specifics:  7 Simple Steps to Eliminate School Shootings Overnight,  Townhall, Feb. 18, 2018                                                                
    • §  Raise your voice about the connection between media and violence — here’s a secret: the news industry knows there is a connection when it comes to teen suicide, because all evidence indicates such coverage triggers more suicides.  They don’t talk about it; so ask them.  For years, the news industry has followed a self-imposed restriction to NOT give extensive coverage to teen suicides.  If you acknowledge that, the rest of the train comes with it (i.e., hyped news coverage of other violent acts triggers more violence).  Reference:
    • §  Be proactive:  Recommend where society should put its resources — that is a teachable moment.  For example, if we assess social risk factors, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) does not even list homicide among its top 10 causes of deaths.  According to the CDC, the top 3 causes of all annual deaths (about 2 million) are:      
    • o   Heart disease (633,842)  
    • o   Cancer (595,930) and  
    • o   Chronic lower respiratory diseases (155,041) -- bronchitis, emphysema, COPD.
    • §  What about firearms?  According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports for 2016, there were an estimated 17,250 total homicides (by all means).  How many homicides were committed with a firearm: 15,000 (in round numbers).  Reference link:  FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 2016
    • §  What about other risk benchmarks — such as prescription drugs and lethal medical mistakes.  If society wants to target significant public health risks, the combined estimate of deaths due to lethal medical mistakes and overdosing on prescription drugs is as high as one-half million per year — 33 times greater than total homicides (by all means).  A staggering public health risk.
    • §  Prescription Drug Painkillers — DEA link:
    • §  Lethal medical mistakes — Reference link: Journal of Patient Safety --

    • 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.

    • §  Sixty-eight percent of Americans now say they have little or no trust in the press, according to Gallup which has tracked response to this question annually since 1997 (long before President Trump’s tweets, by the way).  Tracking polls are a big deal.  Gallup calls that “a stunning development for an institution designed to inform the public.”   Polls often make "front page" news — except this one.  Why?  Reference link:

    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.
  • 07/20/2020 12:49 PM | Anonymous

    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 FacebookTwitter, or email him at Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Controlhere.

  • 07/11/2020 10:09 PM | Anonymous

    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.


    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.


    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.

  • 07/08/2020 6:17 PM | Anonymous

    “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.

    1. AR-type rifles simply shoot more accurately than handguns. If you have any doubts, simply run a quick experiment at your local outdoor range. Talk to gun owners of varying skill levels—from complete novices to experts—and ask them to volunteer for a fun course of fire. Set three IDPA silhouette targets, or something similar, at 10 yards from the shooter and about 2 yards apart. Tell them to shoot each target with two rounds, center mass, as accurately and fast as they are able. Use a shot timer and have them run the course with an AR-15, a handgun and a shotgun. No matter your sample size, almost all people will shoot the course more effectively (combination of time and accuracy) with the AR-type rifle.
    2. AR-type rifles can have a greater magazine capacity. Joe Biden and his gun-ban-supporting friends think they know exactly how many rounds of ammunition you will “need” if you are ever in a fight for your life. The truth is that no one knows this anymore confidently than they know how many gallons of water will be needed to douse the next house fire in the neighborhood. No survivor of a life-or-death fight has ever said, “I wish I had had less firepower!”
    3. These rifles give superior terminal performance. Rifles of appropriate caliber are much better fight-stoppers than handguns, and rival the effectiveness of shotguns in this department. Lawful lethal force is deployed by citizens when a violent threat must be immediately stopped before the bad guy takes a life. Long guns are simply better than handguns at quickly incapacitating violent threats.
    4. These rifles readily accept accoutrements. Almost all modern ARs come from the manufacturer equipped with handguards that allow the convenient attachment of accessories, like lights and lasers, that can be helpful—often essential—in self-defense scenarios. Lights, whether attached to a gun or not, are a must to positively identify a threat in low-light scenarios. Lasers can help with quick and easy target acquisition, and they can also be the reason an attacker turns and runs. Suppressors are also easy to attach to ARs, and they can make the difference for your hearing if you are ever forced to discharge a rifle inside a home.
    5. Finally, for decades there was an assumption that firing rifles in homes would present unacceptable risks to innocent parties on the other side of internal walls due to “over-penetration” issues. This is the reason many law-enforcement organizations used pistol-caliber submachine guns like the HK MP5 when going into homes in high-risk situations. But this over-penetration argument was based on a flawed assumption. The FBI decided to put this assumption to the test, and study this matter. It found that 5.56 NATO self-defense ammunition posed no greater risk of over-penetration than rounds fired from pistols and shotguns. While the myth remains, good people should not be deterred by it. Be safe and always assume all bullets will pass through all walls.

    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.

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

PO Box 165
East Aurora, NY 14052

SCOPE is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.

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