Briefings  from SCOPE President, Tom Reynolds

  • 06/04/2021 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    SCOPE’s 2021-2022 Officers Elected

    At the May 8th annual meeting, SCOPE elected its officers for the coming year.  They are:

    Chairman Jack Prendergast lives in Geneva.  A US Army Veteran, he got an AAS in Engineering from SUNY Alfred, BS in Chemistry from Hobart College and an MBA from the Simon School of the University of Rochester. He worked 40 years for Ferro Corp., Cleveland, Ohio in Manufacturing, R&D, Globally Sales & Marketing, retiring in 2007.  From 2007 to 2014 he worked at Clarkson University in the Center of Advanced Materials Processing as Deputy Director.  From 2014 to present, Prendergast has been the Supervisor of the Town of Benton, Yates County.  He has been a member of SCOPE for 15 years, the Yates County Chairman for 10 years and Vice President of NY SCOPE since 2012.

    President Tom Reynolds resides in Horseheads.  A US Army veteran, he was a Chief Financial and Business Officer for 30 years in colleges, nursing homes, wholesaling and not-for-profit corporations.  He has also served on 8 boards of directors.  Reynolds was first elected SCOPE’s President from 2016-2017 and served as its Treasurer from 2018-2020.  He was elected President, again, in 2020.

    Secretary Curtis Cappellano’s home is East Greenbush and he is the current chairman of the Capital District chapter.  Curtis is a Professional Geologist and environmental scientist and owns his own company. He was first appointed as SCOPE’s temporary Secretary in 2019 and was elected as Secretary in 2020, and reelected in 2021.

    Treasurer Rob McNally resided in Cattaraugus County. A US Army 30-year retiree and municipal police officer for ten years, he has dabbled in contracting nationwide as well as teaching.  Rob was a Vice-Chairman for the Southwestern District of the Friends of the NRA for 8 years.  He helped get Cattaraugus County’s SCOPE chapter started and served as Chairman between 2013-2016. He has also served as an At Large Director as well as SCOPE Chairman at the state level.

    1st Vice President Steven Getman lives in Watkins Glen.  An attorney for 29 years, Steven has served as counsel for a number of local governments in the Finger Lakes, including the Towns of Seneca Falls, Romulus and Ovid and the County of Schuyler.  In addition to practicing law, Steven is an adjunct instructor at Keuka College, where he has taught classes in Constitutional and Criminal Law.

    2nd Vice President Leigh Williams resides in Vine Valley, Middlesex.  He is a US Army Reserve veteran who worked 30 years for Rochester Gas & Electric, retiring as the Canandaigua Finger Lakes District Manager. Leigh also worked as a Utility Power Broker thru-out NY State. A S.C.O.P.E. member since we started the chapter 18 or 20 years ago. He has also served on many not-for-profit Boards throughout the Finger Lakes.

    All SCOPE officers are volunteers who give their time, talent and energy to protecting and defending the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment.  Their diverse homes show SCOPE’s presence in and representation of many areas of Upstate New York.

  • 05/31/2021 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    Memorial Day

    Dr. Robert Young posted this, last year, on the web site of Doctors For Responsible Gun Ownership.   

    Memorial Day has now come for the 53rd time since it was officially proclaimed in 1967. It has been kept nationwide, though unofficially, since World War II, and as Decoration Day since 1868.  It was born in spontaneous memorials early during the Civil War.  Remembering war dead has been important throughout history, even as the manner of recognition has changed across time and societies.

    As with many things cultural, I wonder about the layers of meaning in this universal expression of respect for those who have died in service to something we consider larger than any of us.

    For those who have lost loved ones to war, the meaning is close and personal. We would remember them no matter what, but losing them in this way blends in pride and at times anger to the usual loss.  No one who dies in war enjoyed their natural span of years in which to fully form and contribute. This is a greater loss the younger they are (and most are not very old).

    Yet by and large, we experience greater appreciation than distress as we honor our fallen. We are looking beyond the impact of death on them and to their impact on our lives. In many cases, such as the Civil War and World Wars I and II, the men (and, more recently, women) who died, along with the greater number of their fellows who survived, changed the course of history to our benefit.

    Can lives lost always be weighed against lives saved? If we can reckon those numbers, perhaps so. That is, unless there was another, less costly way to save them, which we may speculate on but is ultimately unknowable.

    We may not believe in the justice of a war.  But we don’t blame the dead, because the fallen are victims too. We should have learned by now not to blame the survivors, who could easily have become their guiltless dead friends. Memorial Day is not one on which we call anyone to account.

    Nor is it a day for the dead; their watch has ended. They gain nothing from our praise. It is really a day for the living who remember them.

    So, what does memorializing do for us? Psychologically, a great deal. The act of remembering someone we knew keeps them closer despite the unfathomable gulf between life and death.  It keeps the memory of them fresher, the more it is exercised.  It softens the hard edges of loss by lessening the intensity of their absence. They are still with us, at least this much.

    That makes sense personally, as individuals. What of the cultural pull to gather at cemeteries, to march in and watch parades, to recall and celebrate the gift these people unintentionally made us?  This is the greatest gift of all, that of one’s life and future.

    The sacrifice of so many lives across so many generations of Americans is typically framed as the cost of keeping America free and whole. Freedom isn’t free, as an exceptional epigrammist once said. But is it worth that price?

    One argument in favor is based on outcomes. Winning the Revolution, the Civil War and World War II made America, held it together and kept it safe. The battles for westward growth were probably inevitable given the pressure to expand, and ultimately likely for better than worse for the most people. Other wars may not have affected America’s welfare as dramatically, but have often shown our willingness to try to help others too.  In every case, when America wins, the rest of the world becomes more secure, too.

    However, we don’t subdivide our battle dead by war, theater or era. They all mean the same. I think we are reminding ourselves of something deeper and more fundamental about life on this earth, especially about our lives as citizens of the freest and most democratic and opportunity-filled nation in history.

    It’s not just that our freedom isn’t free, but that this world is not America anywhere but here. It is harsher, more divisive, and much more threatening than we ordinarily contemplate, much less experience. The cost of maintaining our country’s “way of life”, as hackneyed as that phrase has become, actually is constant vigilance and readiness to defend it. Being ready to defend it means finding that we often must, against dangers that our vigilance discovers.

    The consequences of a world without guns or of being unwilling to use them are the same. The mighty prevail. America’s gift that underpins Memorial Day is our willingness to use our Might on behalf of what we, sometimes uncertainly, see as Right, for ourselves and others.

    America is a nation defined by its founding documents and the course of its history built upon them. It is the idea that those principles matter more than anyone’s or any group’s success, which makes it possible for more individuals of more groups than ever before to achieve their own, unique successes. It is the reality that we have something unequalled in the world that can only be maintained by fidelity to our exceptionalism in these ways.

    And, finally, America is the people who are willing to uphold those values by giving themselves to the fight for them. These include all of us who vote, respect our laws and keep faithful to our founding ideals. They are all us who care, who argue, who split apart and come together over how to continue to enact those ideals. And they are those of us who have given energy, toil, blood and tears to provide for America’s security.  Many have done so, some more briefly than others, whose lives were given too soon.

    Memorial Day reminds us of all this—that what is good is not natural, automatic or self-sustaining in a world that is amoral and disinterested in our survival, let alone our success. Many have stepped up to do their bit, and some their all, to ensure that our nation’s good (and so each of ours) can survive, and may thrive.

    Memorial Day reminds us what it takes to live in this world. May we always remember that.

  • 05/26/2021 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    We Don’t Need Your Stinking Jobs!  by Tom Reynolds

    Troy Industries is moving from Massachusetts to Tennessee.

    Beretta, the world’s oldest arms manufacturer since 1526, is leaving Maryland for Tennessee.

    Weatherby left California for Wyoming.

    Accessories maker Hi-Viz closed shop in Colorado for Wyoming.

    Magpul left Colorado for Wyoming and Texas.

    Stag Arms announced a move from Connecticut to Wyoming.

    PTR left Connecticut for South Carolina.

    Ruger opened manufacturing in North Carolina.

    Kimber has been moving from New York to Alabama.

    Check-Mate has been moving from New York to Georgia.

    Kahr Arms has moved manufacturing from New York to Pennsylvania.

    Smith & Wesson, which was founded in Massachusetts, has been pushing production and distribution to Missouri.

    Kimber expanded production in Alabama over New York.

    LMT (formerly Lewis Machine & Tool) moved over the state line from Illinois to Iowa.

    Ammo maker Olin-Winchester is headquartered in Illinois but has concentrated production in Mississippi.

    Notice any trend in all the above?  Gun manufacturers moving and taking jobs from anti-gun states to gun friendly states?

    No lesson here for NY’s Democrat lawmakers.  They are too busy pushing their anti-gun agenda, no matter how useless.  For instance, the Senate Codes Committee just passed S4116 on a party-line vote of 8 to 4.  This bill would require all new semi-automatic pistols to be equipped with microstamping technology.  This essentially would ban the sale of traditional handguns, the real goal of the left.    

    Microstamping leaves an identifying mark on the cartridge, which is supposed to make it easy for law enforcement to identify the gun in which it was used.  Of course, law enforcement needs the expended cartridge to do identify the weapon.    What if criminals use revolvers, which do not eject casings.  What if criminals pick up casings and even misdirect investigations by dropping other spent cartridges?   Microstamping is also easily defeated with common household tools.      

    This bill has floated around Albany for well over a decade and has gone nowhere for a good reason.  It doesn’t work.  But that doesn’t stop the left, since their goal was never to stop crime but, instead, to indirectly do away with the 2nd Amendment.  If they also indirectly drive jobs from New York State, that is just collateral damage.    

    SCOPE usually focuses on gun control as a threat to the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution.  We should also be focusing on gun control as a threat to New York’s economy.

  • 05/25/2021 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    End of legislative Session  by Tom Reynolds

    Yesterday, SCOPE distributed a list of proposed gun control bills in the New York Legislatures.  It also distributed a similar list at the Members Meeting.  As you should have noticed, there is a huge number of them – 75 and growing on an almost daily basis - and they are overwhelmingly anti-2A. 

    The New York State legislatures adjourn their annual session in June and, in a last-minute flurry of activity many bills get passed, hoping that they will not be noticed and buried in all the activity.  Since the legislatures are overwhelmingly Democrat and, thus, anti 2A, it’s quite probable that some of these bills will be approved and sent to the Governor for his signature into law.  (And you know about him!)

     It’s important that your legislator be made aware that 2A defenders are watching and the usual last-minute shenanigans will not go unnoticed or be tolerated.  Whether your legislator is Republican or Democrat, many may be in competitive districts and they need to know that gun owners are watching and could tip the balance in an election. 

    Toward that end, a draft email / letter is below and also attached.  We encourage you to personalize it and use it - or make up one yourself.  Just do something!  The most influential move would be to email and then mail it, too. 

    Dear Senator / Assemblyman/Assemblywoman_______________,

    As a gun owner and defender of the 2nd Amendment, I am a member of SCOPE, ___________ and ___________ .  (List all 2A’s Conservation Clubs, Rod & Gun Clubs, etc. to let them know you are a serious 2A defender and, thus, serious about this issue.)

    SCOPE recently updated a list of proposed bills in the New York Legislatures - 75 and growing – which appalled me.  Many would, in effect, restrict my Constitutional right to “Keep and bear arms”.  A few – very few – re-enforce or expand my 2nd Amendment rights.  Some anti 2nd Amendment proposals make it more difficult to obtain a firearm or ammunition while others would make it too expensive to own a firearm.  Many would have the effect of criminalizing my behavior while doing nothing to stop real criminals from committing real crimes.  Without any doubt - in spite of political spin to the contrary - all have the same goal of moving another step closer to eliminating private ownership of guns except, of course, for a few “approved” individuals. 

    Since there are too many bills to address individually, I am writing to tell you that I oppose any bills which would limit my 2nd Amendment rights.  I will be watching your voting record on these bills as well as the record of your party.  Each legislator is also responsible for the actions of your leadership since you - not I – voted to put them in that leadership position.

    It is especially important that you are aware of my opposition since, historically, the legislature’s end-of-session activity results in many bills being approved and lost to the general public in the tumult of activity.  Many of the organizations to which I belong help me to track voting records on the bills that have been proposed.  Their outcome will not be lost.  I vote and I pay attention to who supports the 2nd Amendment and who opposes it.  Which one are you?  Your actions will define that for me.


    Name, address and contact information

  • 05/19/2021 12:40 PM | Anonymous

    SCOPE held its annual meetings in Montour Falls on May 8th.  by Tom Reynolds

    The Members Meeting featured a presentation by Congressman Lee Zeldin to the more than 80 people who were present.  Many believe Zeldin is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for governor in 2022.  In a little more than a month since he announced his run for Governor, he has made several campaign tours through the Southern Tier. (Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Lewis County Sheriff Michael Carpinelli have also announced their candidacy for the Republican nomination.)

    Congressman Zeldin spoke on a wide variety of subjects and held a long Question-and-Answer Session.  Among the topics discussed were Governor Cuomo’s Nursing Home Scandal and the tax increase included in the latest New York budget, which Mr. Zeldin criticized as making New York State the highest taxed state in the nation.  He encouraged everyone to oppose HR1, the attempted federal power grab to take election regulation away from the states. He also criticized cashless bail and reiterated his belief in term limits for elected officials.  Zeldin pointed out that he was pro Second Amendment, in obvious contrast to Governor Cuomo.  Mr. Zeldin used a humorous anecdote to criticize the Democrats in Congress for their attempt to injure the Second Amendment by repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

    State Senator Tom O’Mara also spoke to the audience and he, too, held a Question-and-Answer Session.  Senator O’Mara took the audience through a variety of state issues and was especially critical of the $2.1 billion set aside for unemployed illegal aliens that was approved in the latest budget.  O’Mara echoed his support for voter ID and other voting reform measures.  Several current and proposed New York State gun control laws were discussed in detail.  The Senator also discussed the upcoming redistricting and the Democrats attempt to repeal a fairly recently enacted Constitutional Amendment on redistricting - before it has ever been used.      

    During the past year’s election, both Mr. Zeldin and Mr. O’Mara received “A” ratings from SCOPE for their stance on the Second Amendment.

    Tom King, Second Amendment advocate and President of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA), spoke and introduced the other speakers.  King explained about the lawsuit, NYSRPA v Corlett, which deals with the right to carry a concealed handgun outside the home; the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to take up this important case and it should be heard in the Fall.  Mr. King’s presence at the SCOPE meeting demonstrated how Second Amendment defenders are coming together to fight for their constitutional right.

    Other speakers were a representative of State Senator George Borrello and Steuben County Republican Chair Joe Sempolinski.

    Several speakers and audience members emphasized the theme of getting gun owners to vote.  It is estimated that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 New Yorkers are gun owners and if they voted they would be a powerful political force to counter the radical gun control lobby and the billionaires behind it.  To date, 75 gun related bills have been introduced in the New York Legislatures and 19 of them are two-house bills proposed in both legislatures.  This list was distributed at the meetings.

    At the Board Meeting, SCOPE also held its annual election of officers and the results demonstrated its statewide presence.  Elected were: Chairman Jack Prendergast from Yates County; President Tom Reynolds from Chemung County; Treasurer Rob McNally from   Cattaraugus County; Secretary Curtis Cappellano from Rensselaer County; 1st Vice President Steven Getman from Schuyler County and Second Vice President Leigh Williams from Yates County.  Dave Colburn from Wayne County was elected to an At-Large SCOPE Board position.

  • 05/17/2021 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    The Senate and Ghost Guns  by Tom Reynolds

    On May 7th, the Department of Justice published its proposed new rules for 80% lowers and frames, what politicians have derisively dubbed “ghost guns”, in order to demonize home-built firearms. The proposed rules would significantly broaden the definition of a firearm; any part that can be “readily completed” into a receiver will now be treated as a receiver and regulated as a functional firearm, complete with serialization and background check requirement.

    The very next week, on May 11th, in the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on The Constitution’s hearing titled “Stop Gun Violence: Ghost Guns”, there was some interesting testimony surrounding so-called “ghost guns” and the Department of Justice’s proposed rule to redefine a firearm; testimony you will not hear about in the main stream media.

    Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) led the pro-gun charge by challenging the idea that the hearing was intended to reduce crime because it was really about gun registration and eventual confiscation.  He said, “They want a registry of every firearm in America…when you see countries enact registries of firearms, the next step is confiscation. And numerous Democrats on this committee have advocating confiscating firearms.”

    Anyone doubting Cruz’ statement about confiscation only needs to see California Senator Dianne Feinstein 1995 “60 Minutes” TV interview in which she said about guns, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them…turn them all in.” 

    Cruz continued his attack from a legal standpoint, “Homemade firearms…are treated like any other firearm under the law.  If a person commits a crime with a homemade gun, they will be prosecuted just the same as anyone else. If a felon makes a homemade gun, he’s a felon in possession of a firearm and will be prosecuted. If a person sells a homemade gun to a criminal, that person will be prosecuted.”

    Ashley Hlebinsky, a noted firearms historian, demolished the anti-gun left’s use of language as a weapon in her keynote testimony.  She said, “I will not be using the term ghost gun and that’s because as a historian I try to be as precise as possible and the term is used more as a rhetorical tool, a marketing tool and because of that, it can create a false sense of authority on the subject.” 

    Of course, the left wants to use the “ghost gun” because it creates the impression of being untraceable.

    Both Hlebinsky and Senator Mike Lee of Utah pounded on the point that innovations and improvement have, historically, gone through private experimentation before a product is developed that is patentable.  Hlebinsky said, “I know a lot of people here don’t necessarily like some of the technology that exists today, but I really want to make the point that innovation also means making firearms safer.”

    Hlebinsky and Lee also pointed out that these changes only affect the law-abiding citizen and not the criminal.  Lee summarized this well when he said, “I’m convinced that proposals like the proposed rule the Biden administration issued on Friday will affect those law-abiding Americans who use 80 percent lower receivers or receiver blanks while doing very little to stop criminals who want to use guns in order to hurt other people”.  Hlebinsky added, “It’s interesting and important to understand that these things can affect both sides, criminalizing those that would otherwise be considered innocent and opening the door for loopholes and litigation, and worst of all, continued violence.”

    Hlebinsky and Lee had reiterated what SCOPE has always saying about gun control laws, “Criminals don’t obey laws”.  That, of course, comes as a shock to many on the left.  

    There can be no doubt that the Biden administration is radically anti-gun and will continue to use every weapon at their disposal to neuter and eventually destroy the 2nd Amendment and the right it protects.

  • 05/13/2021 9:29 AM | Anonymous

    Proposed Anti-Gun Bills  per Senator Pam Helming

    State Senator Pam Helming sent out the following notice to alert gun owners.  The two proposed laws cover microstamping and mandatory liability insurance of $1 million.  The links take you to the actual bills.  There are at least 79 gun related bills introduced into the NY Legislature this year. 

    “Gun owners need to keep a close eye on both of these bills. They have plenty of votes to pass the Assembly already, so push should be stopping in Senate. The GOOD news is that there are only 16 days left of legislation and they have not even been put through committee”. 

    Senate Bill S4116

    “This link should be shared.  Gun owners click on it and it brings them right to their Senators page to send an email or find their number”. 

  • 05/11/2021 8:39 PM | Anonymous

    Proposed Bill A5728: No Lead Ammo  by Tom Reynolds

    NYS Assembly bill A5728 prohibits the use of lead ammunition in the taking of wildlife on state-owned land and on land contributing surface water to the NY City water supply.

    SCOPE opposes this bill as it would hamper gun owners. 

    The actual bill reads as follows:

    Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 11-0901 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new paragraph h to read as follows:

    h. Wildlife shall not be taken with the use of lead ammunition on:

    •    wildlife management areas, state forests, forest preserves, state parks or any other state-owned land that is open for hunting; and
    •    the land area contributing surface water to the New York city water supply. 

    For the purposes of this paragraph "lead ammunition" shall mean any ammunition that contains one percent or more of lead by weight.

        This act shall take effect January 1, 2023.

    Presently the proposed law would be a prohibition of lead ammo usage on any NY State public land and on any land contributing water to NY City regardless of the likelihood of adverse health impacts on people or the general environment.  The second part about land area contributing surface water to the NY City water supply is the “gotcha” in this bill. The next step would be to ban lead ammo on land contributing water to any municipal water supply thus eventually banning it anywhere in NYS. 

    The current ammo shortage will eventually end. But the shortage of lead-free ammo will not! Even before the current ammo shortage began, lead-free ammo was, reportedly, very hard to get - if it was available.  If this trend of lead-free ammo shortage continues, you will not be able to hunt on state land after the effective date. This includes not being able to use rim-fire lead ammo for small game hunting. Obviously, this a backdoor hunting ban because of the scarcity of lead-free ammo.

    If the lead-free ban is expanded – and you can almost bet on that - the government might permit us to use any lead ammo we already own for a year or so and after that possession of our current supplies will probably be declared illegal.  (gun owners again become criminals.)  Imagine if any current supplies you possess are declared to be illegal and you can't find new, non-lead ammo for your guns; they wouldn't need any further laws to just about eliminate gun use by law abiding citizens. 

    NRA-ILA reports that alternatives to lead ammunition are cost prohibitive for hunters in New York.  But this is by design.  Animal extremists want to drive up the cost of hunting to reduce participation and thereby reduce the number of hunters, which remain the financial backbone of conservation efforts throughout the state.  Animal extremists want hunting out of the picture and hunters off the landscape.  The simple truth is that there is no credible evidence that lead ammunition has a negative impact on wildlife species. But the goal of the extremists is to remove hunting, not promote wildlife. Consider the loss of these advantages of lead:

    ·       Lead is a pretty heavy metal, therefore capable of carrying more force on impact. Therefore, smaller size projectiles can cause greater harm when compared to other metals of same size/dimension.

    ·       Lead is soft, especially when it comes out hot from the barrel, making it malleable enough to transfer complete impact on the target, without passing through the target.

    ·       The softness of lead greatly helps in inducing ‘rifling’ on itself, thus ensuring better accuracy, without damaging the otherwise harder metal barrel.

    ·       The softness of lead also plays a great part in expanding itself at the rear end, to properly engulf the circumference of the barrel (when fired), so that full impact of the power of the explosion (or air pressure in air guns) is rendered on the projectile with minimum leakage.

    ·       And when lead enters a target, like a human body or animal, its impact on harder parts like bones, etc., will cause it to splinter, sending delicate shrapnel in various direction - leading to mode damage and higher probability of death.

    And if you are worried about wildfires, certain non-lead ammo hitting flammable materials could create sparks which can produce forest fires.

    A5728, is progressing fast!  It passed the Assembly's Environmental Conservation Committee on 4/27/2021, and was referred to the Assembly's Code Committee.  A5728 passed the Codes Committee on 5/4/2021. 
    This bill may go to the Assembly floor shortly for the full Assembly to vote on once it gets assigned to the calendar!

    Please contact ALL NYS Assembly members to let them know your stance on this bill. The NYS Legislative session ends in about a month so time is critical that you make contact.

    The link below will bring up the bill we are referring to. 


    Take Action; contact your representative.

    NYS Assembly Member Directory

  • 05/06/2021 2:41 PM | Anonymous

    D.C. Statehood  by Tom Reynolds

    In order to gain political control of the United States, Democrats want to make Washington D.C. into a state.  As currently proposed, the new state would consist of all of D.C. except tiny strips of territory remaining under federal control. It would be called “Washington, Douglas Commonwealth”—presumably meaning the City of Washington in the Commonwealth of Douglas.

    As we shall see, giving D.C. statehood guarantees the Democrat Party two additional Democrat Senators and that is the Democrats real agenda.  Since the Democrat Party leadership is rabidly against private gun ownership, D.C. statehood is very plainly another Democrat step to eliminating private gun ownership.

    To understand the legal issues that should prevent this from happening, let’s take a quick look at the history of the creation of the Capital District.

       ·    The states of Maryland and Virginia formally offered to cede to the federal government jurisdiction over land for a capital district.  In 1791 Congress accepted Maryland’s and Virginia’s offers and the District of Columbia was eventually established. The federal government later returned Virginia’s portion to that state, so all of what is now the District of Columbia is former Maryland territory.

       ·   D.C. residents do not have any voting Senators or Congresspersons but the 23rd Amendment permitted residents of the District of Columbia to have three presidential electors (giving it the equivalent representation of several states in presidential elections).

       ·   In 1973, Congress passed the Home Rule Act, permitting local self-government for the District.

    Why should D.C. not be allowed to become a state?

    D.C. statehood would put the federal government at the mercy of local state officials. “Douglas Commonwealth” officials could refuse to restrain rioters threatening federal institutions. They could threaten or intimidate federal officials to obtain political ends. Who can doubt this possibility after observing the riots of the past year that were essentially approved by the governments of several states.

    The terms of Maryland’s 1788 offer of cession also present objections to D.C. statehood; Maryland’s consent to cession, as well as Congress’s acceptance, was clearly based on the land being used as a national capital. The 1788 Maryland law provides that cession is to be of a “district in this State not exceeding ten miles square, which Congress may fix upon and accept for the seat of Government of the United States.” Maryland did not consent to the creation of another state out of its territory, which is required by that pesky Constitution.  (The US Constitution keeps interfering with Democrat plans.)  Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution states that “…no new state shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other state …without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress”.  Maryland’s cession was effective for creating a federal district to be used as a national capital, but not effective for creating a new state. Turning all or part of D.C. into a state would require either a new agreement with Maryland, or a constitutional amendment.

    Many participants in the Founding Fathers’ debate over the Constitution expressed concern that residents of the capital district, who would consist largely of government employees and their families, would reflect solely the interests of the government upon which they were dependent.  They did not want dependents of the federal government unduly influencing state or national elections.

    A similar objection arises from the results of the 23rd Amendment, which gave D.C. three presidential electors.  Subsequent election results have fully vindicated the Founders’ concerns about allowing District residents to vote in federal elections. The District is a dependency of the federal government and its electorate invariably votes for the party that offers more government—the Democrats.  D.C. residents have cast ballots in 15 presidential elections and they have voted the same way each time, and by huge margins: In 2020, Joe Biden took 92 percent of their vote.

    Denying the vote to residents of the capital district does not leave them without influence. On the contrary, those residents have an outsize influence; partly by reason of their proximity to federal institutions and partly because many are or would be government officials or employees. Allowing them to participate in national elections would, unfairly,  further magnify their power.

    Democrats have no hesitancy on pushing any changes that are to their advantage, no matter how radical.  That puts Republicans and conservatives forever on the defensive.  It’s time to change that and put Democrats on the defensive.  The 18th Amendment (Prohibition) was repealed by the 21st Amendment. Election results since the passage of the 23rd Amendment have proven the Founding Fathers’ concerns to be correct.  So, rather than admitting the District as a state, we should be discussing repeal of the 23rd Amendment. 

    While we’re at it, we might consider repealing the 16th Amendment which allowed the Federal income Tax.

  • 05/06/2021 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    To Be or Not To Be  by Tom Reynolds

    People can lead very successful lives and still not even be a footnote in history.  For instance, there have been almost 2,000 United States Senators in American history but only a handful achieved any lasting fame.  Probably, all tried for fame and celebrity but the laws of chance decided whether they were famous or anonymous.  But, once in a while, someone gets to knowingly make the choice between being a famous historical figure or being anonymous.

    Enter West Virginia Senator Democrat Joe Manchin.

    He is one of those rare people who can personally decide between anonymity or being an historical figure.  Manchin is one of those currently almost extinct, Democrat politicians who could be described as moderate – or at least not radically left which makes him comparatively moderate in today’s Democrat Party.  He may be moderate because he really believes in old style Democrat policies or it may be that it’s a political decision; a radical left Democrat would have slim to no chance of being elected in West Virginia.  Only he knows for sure.

    Manchin has his opportunity for fame because the Democrat Party is taking advantage of what is probably temporary control of both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.  They are pushing through radically progressive liberal policies that at least half of – and probably more – U.S. voters disagree.  If successful, they believe they will transform America into a socialist state (which they can control and milk for personal riches) while the bulk of Americans see their program as a path to disaster.  The Democrats ability to do this, hinges on control of the U.S. Senate, which is equally divided at 50/50, so extreme socialist Vice President Kamala Harris casts the deciding vote.  As long as all 50 Democrat senators stick together, they can proceed.  But if even one defects to sanity, their program is stopped.

    During Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office, the Democrats have generally stuck together, including Manchin, on those proposals that have reached a vote.  But Manchin has said he will defect on some issues, the most important of which is the Senate Filibuster.  In a Filibuster, a Senator holds the senate floor and does not give it up, which prevents proposed legislation from being voted upon and, therefore, never becomes a law.  Under Senate rules, to break a filibuster, it takes 60 votes and the Democrats have almost no chance of getting 10 Republicans to defect.  But, also under Senate rules, it only takes 51 votes to change the rules!  If all 50 Democrat Senators stuck together, including Manchin, then Kamala Harris’ vote would allow them to change the rules on the Filibuster to only needing 51 votes to end it.  This would allow the Democrats to pass their radical left agenda which would, in many people’s opinions, destroy America and, in particular, allow them to neuter the 2nd Amendment.

    Joe Manchin has said he will not vote to change the current Filibuster rules and, thus, prevent the Democrats from making that rule change. To entice him to change his position, you can be sure there are lucrative backroom deals being offered to Manchin.  But if he takes those deals and caves in on the Filibuster, he becomes rich but probably also becomes unelectable in West Virginia.  And importantly, he will also become historically anonymous as just another one of many Democrats that share mutual responsibility for these policies; he will not be even a footnote in history. 

    But if Manchin holds firm, he will have stopped most of the far left’s madness and he will become an historical figure: the man who saved America; the man who saved the American Constitution; the politician who put principles above party. Manchin will have intentionally made himself into an historical figure!   You can be sure that there will be books written about him.  (Could there someday be a Broadway rap musical called “Manchin”?  Will he be added to an updated version of “Profiles in Courage”?)

    So, Joe Manchin has to make a decision, will he take a short-term gain and be only a two term Senator or will he become an historical figure.  Not exactly George Washington but he will certainly leap frog Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi as those two join John Boehner and Mitch McConnell in the long list of forgotten legislators. 

    Being known to history as a rare politician that put principle above self and party isn’t a bad way to be remembered. Joe Manchin controls his own fate.

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