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Constitution Guns Rights Second Amendment Truth

Presidents Day Open Letter: Historical Case For Not Enforcing Laws That Deny the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Open letter to Governors, Attorneys General, the Legislators of these United States and the People along with their Sheriffs and Peace Officers
From KrisAnne Hall, JD

Both Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson have issued letters regarding the State of Washington’s Initiative 1639 and Washington law enforcement officials’ refusal to enforce the measure in part or in total. Similar laws are being passed by legislators and signed into law by the governors of other States, sadly with little protest.

Proponents of Washington’s Initiative 1639 and those critical of the law enforcement officials cite a “duty to the Constitution” and to the “rule of law.” Yet in many respects these laws are built on the circumvention and abdication of the rule of law. The Constitution and its underlying principles define the rule of law. As such, “the rule of law” cannot be synonymous with “the will of the” majority, as Washington’s AG suggests, when the majority’s will advocates the suspension of due process and the revocation of a person’s natural rights (which all officials involved in this debate swore an oath to uphold.)

The Declaration of Independence lays before us the premise and purpose of all governments, past, present, and future. It states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…(emphasis mine)

 

Sole Purpose of Government: Secure the Rights of All People Equally and Individually

It is evident that the entire purpose of any form of government is to secure the rights of the individual citizens. The Rights our foundational documents refer to are those classified as “inherent rights:” and they consist of life, liberty, property, and the right to personally secure them in the best manner possible.  The most basic of natural rights is the right to self-preservation, to which the natural right to secure property is connected.

No person is secure in their life, if they cannot also personally secure that life and the property upon which life is dependent. If a person is in danger of loss of life, liberty, or property and has not the personal right, along with the individual ability, to secure these essential rights, then each person is dependent upon someone else’s desire to protect them, reducing every person to that of an indentured or tributary slave, indebted in life to those who are tasked with its security.

 

Origin of Legislative Power: Individual Rights Precede Legislative Power, Therefore Legislative Power Exists Solely To Ensure Individual Rights

The legislator with his delegated responsibility, cannot be exalted above the inherent rights of the individual which he is charged to protect. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because people have legislators who have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused people to entrust legislators with the power to make laws in the first place. So the justification “it was passed by the legislature,” does not and should not override an inherent individual right, even more so when the legislature is admonished by the Supreme Law to not infringe upon said right.

The Definition of “Just Power”: Just Power of Government Secures The Individual’s Rights Above All Other Objectives

Therefore it is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his individually and personally. It is because of this duty to protect the individual’s natural rights that every government in these United States incorporates the requirement of due process for the suspension of these Rights. It is not a just government, nor is an individual’s right secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the comfort or peace of mind of the rest (even if the rest constitutes 60% of the population).

 

The Definition of “Unjust Power”: Unjust Power is Power Exercised by Government to the Destruction Of the Individual’s Rights

The mere existence of a majority desire does not override the natural rights of the minority. To create and enforce laws merely because the majority (60% of the people) desire the law to be so, absent any regard to personal and individual rights, is nothing more than a tyranny of the majority.

It is through this errant political motivation that history’s greatest injustices have taken place, even here in America. It was once the majority opinion that a minority of people could, by law, be placed in a state of permanent and inherent servitude. It was once the majority opinion that a minority of people could be legally classified as mere property or chattel. It was once the majority opinion that legally enforced physical segregation of the majority from a minority was appropriate. It was once the majority opinion that a minority of Japanese Americans and Hopi Indians could lawfully be imprisoned indefinitely in internment camps without due process.

Americans ought to be learning from these mistakes, not fighting to repeat them. The majority of Americans would agree that a single dictator with the power to oppress all is a wicked and unjust government. Please then explain, how the tyranny of the majority is any different than the despotism of one in the lives of those whose rights are violated?

 

The “Will of the Majority” is Contrary to the Rule of Law Majority Rule is synonymous with Tyranny of the Majority Not With Security of Rights

The “Rule of Law” is a term that has been understood throughout history to mean a standard to limit the overreach of government and curb lawlessness. It is does not mean the authority of the government to rule over the people. The independent states of America and their central government were created with written Constitutions to maintain a written limited standard for government to prevent the will of the majority and those who govern to usurp the rights of the individual.

The so-called “will of the majority” cannot be synonymous with the rule of law. If that be the case, then those who are disposed to usurp the rights of the people, need only to control the will of the majority; either through manipulations, coercions, fear, or brute force. It is because of this truth of the tyranny of the majority that every government in these United States is required to exist as a republic, not a pure democracy; that every law to be created through equal representation, and is to be governed by and limited to the ultimate purpose of all government — the security of the Rights of the individual through written Constitutions. When any form of government operates contrary to these foundations, that government has exceeded its proper function, acting in direct opposition to its own purpose.

The law has been used to destroy its own objective. It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain, to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. It has converted lawful defense of life, liberty, and property into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense of these essential and natural rights.

 

When the Laws of Government Operate Contrary to Individual Rights:
  1. Government Is Operating Contrary to Its Sole Purpose
  2. Government Is Not Operating with Just Power
  3. The People Are Not Free

It becomes the duty of all who love and respect the Rights of their children to protect the citizen from the unjust operation of government.

When those entrusted in government to secure the rights of the individuals turn that trust into a tool to deny those rights, it is incumbent upon those who understand the obvious limits of government and the necessity of those limits to stand in opposition to that unjust use of authority; just as those in America’s past, who refused to enforce the Federal Fugitive Slave Act because of its obvious abuse of power and destruction of rights wielded by those legislators who ratified it into law.

Those who have taken an oath to secure the rights of the people, who understand the magnitude of that solemn promise and the unavoidable and tragic consequences of failing to uphold that promise, feel morally compelled to take a stand. How noble an example would American history have if there was just one Sheriff in Montgomery, Alabama who recognized that a law, ratified by legislators, signed by a governor, reflecting the will of the majority, was not a just law after all. What if instead of arresting Mrs. Rosa Parks, that Sheriff refused to enforce a law that deprived an individual of her rights and instead protected those rights, escorting Mrs. Parks, in which ever seat she chose, all the way home? Those, who are dedicated to their just and lawful duty to secure the rights of the people, understand that at these times the “will of the majority” and the distortion of the rule of law’s definition must be resisted.

The right to individually secure our life, liberty, and property is no different than our rights to freedom of speech, freedom to peaceably assemble, or freedom to worship and live out our faith. A law that establishes that a person is prohibited from possessing any degree of property, but especially property essential to the personal security of individual rights, without due process, ought to be seen as arbitrary.  A capricious legislature moved by the tragedy du jour should not be the model for sound and stable government that protects liberty.

If the governments of these United States mean to obtain or deserve the full praise due to wise and just governments, they will equally respect the rights of property, and every inherent right of the individual.  If they truly wish for a free and strong nation, they will endeavor to sacredly guard all forms of individual property and resist all desires to violate the individual’s right, regardless of the opinion of the majority or the fleeting emotion of the day.

They will not seek to “target the bad guys” by stripping law abiding citizens of their inherent rights and turning otherwise lawful behavior into crimes. Our inherent rights are not killing innocents, so why are our rights targeted? Oppression doesn’t bring safety. Our governments should seek to be a pattern liberty and example of just government so that our posterity may be truly free.


An honorable oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of (name of State), and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of (name of office) to the best of my ability.

 

Sincerely and In Liberty,

KrisAnne Hall, JD

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.


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Guns Second Amendment Truth

Florida Facing A Complete Assault Weapon Ban In 2020

Rod Thomson

Florida, the state with some of the strongest Second Amendment protections in the country, may be facing the reality of voters putting a full-on assault weapons ban into the Florida Constitution — bypassing a Republican-controlled Legislature that has resisted any such moves even after last year’s Parkland school massacre.

Gail Schwartz, the aunt of one of the students killed a year ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, held a press conference Monday to announce a petition drive she is spearheading to put a constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot in 2020 that would ban “assault weapons.” Her group is forthrightly named Ban Assault Weapons Now.

The language of the proposed amendment defines an assault weapon as “semi-automatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device.” Such a broad ban could presumably capture everything down to a revolver, as it has an “ammunition-feeding device.”

“Try explaining to your children that they’re never going to see their cousin again,” Schwartz said, hitting the emotional buttons that are essential to restricting Second Amendment rights. “That’s not a conversation that anyone should ever have to make.”

Schwartz said that she believes her nephew — 14-year-old Alex Schachter — might be alive today if Nikolas Cruz did not have access to such a deadly weapon. Cruz killed 17 students and teachers at Parkland as an on-campus Broward County deputy hid outside. Schachter was one of the very first victims of Cruz, so it seems unlikely his life would have been spared if Cruz only had access to non-semi-automatic weapons.

Each mass shooting is used to evoke the necessity of getting guns out of the hands of Americans. A ban on what the media frequently calls “military-style” semi-automatic rifles — which basically means scary looking guns, regardless of relative lethality — has been a goal of gun control advocates nationally since a temporary federal ban expired in 2004.

In Florida, the push has been particularly fierce since the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were killed in 2016. But school shootings elicit the most emotional response for obvious reasons.

So Florida Democrats have been pushing hard for an assault weapons ban. But they are a minority in the Republican-controlled Legislature and their efforts go nowhere.

Last year Democrats tried to attach an assault weapons ban to the larger school safety bill that was ultimately passed in response to the Parkland shooting, which included armed security on school campuses. But the amendment failed, gaining only two Republican votes.

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In fact, Florida Republicans annually consider the opposite direction, proposing bills to allow conceal-carry permit holders to carry on college campuses.

However, a direct-to-voters constitutional amendment bypasses the Legislature. Florida now has a 60 percent threshold for amendments to make it into the state constitution. But last November, all but one proposed amendment met that, and that one had 58 percent. Given the media coverage and the number of mass shootings in the state, it would be foolish to think that such an amendment could not pass.

“I think there is a better chance of getting a citizens initiative on the ballot than getting the current Legislature to seriously entertain an assault weapons ban,” said Florida League of Women Voters President Patricia Brigham. Naturally, the “nonpartisan” League supports the ban.

She is right.

Possibly the larger hurdle is actually getting the proposed amendment on the ballot. That means gathering 766,200 legal signatures, which requires spending several million dollars to paid signature-gathering organizations.

The assault weapons ban campaign collected $439,888 as of the last filing date on Dec. 31. It will take a lot more and the question politically is whether Democrat organizations actually want to ban assault weapons, or whether they prefer to run on the issue of assault weapons so they can keep forcing Republicans to defend assault weapons used in mass shootings.

Polling on the issue in Florida is heavily dependent on the length of time between mass shootings. Right after the Parkland shooting, a Florida Atlantic University poll found that nearly 70 percent of Floridians support an assault weapons ban. But the same poll six months later found only 51 percent favored. How it would fare in the midst of a presidential election during heavy voter turnout is the question.

We may find out.

Rod Thomson is an author, host of Tampa Bay Business with Rod Thomson on the Salem Radio Network, TV commentator and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod also is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Venezuela: A Study In The Need For Citizen Gun Rights

by Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

With all deference to hunters and sportsmen, it wasn’t their right to hunt that inspired James Madison and our nation’s First Congress to include the Second Amendment in their proposed Bill of Rights. There’s was a much greater concern: checking the power of a potentially tyrannical state. The modern left dismisses this argument as nonsensical, superfluous, and yes, even hysterical. They’re wrong.

The right for every American citizen to be armed was designed as a bulwark against tyranny.

But despite its foolish attempts at diminishing the importance of gun ownership as a check on government, the fact remains that the concern was central in the minds of the Framers. Perhaps Noah Webster, that great American scholar and teacher whom we have all come to know by way of his dictionary, put it best when he wrote, “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”

That was the point.

Indeed, history has seen the pattern of gun right suppression in coordination with the rise of tyranny and oppression play out time and again. China, Nazi Germany, communist Cuba, Russia and North Korea are but a few examples. In fact, in keeping with Webster’s observation, the propagation of a dictatorship would be difficult to conceive if imposed upon a well-armed population. And now, as we witness the financial and societal collapse of our distant southern neighbor, it is evident that Venezuela is no exception.

In 2012, Venezuela’s communist National Assembly banned gun ownership. The stated reason for such an intervention is the oft-quoted safety argument. In 2011, 40% of Caracas’s homicides were robbery related with armed robberies accounting for 70% of all major crimes.

Predictably, the government’s call for voluntary disarmament produced virtually no results on safety, leading to the forcible confiscation of 12,603 firearms in 2013 alone.

The result? A rise in violence against police officers, and most ominously, a rise in violence by the state against its own citizens.

In 2015 alone, 252 law enforcement officers were killed in Venezuela. Why? Well, in Venezuela, police officers are targeted for their firearms!

Additionally, when Venezuelans took to the streets to protest the “unjust laws” of which Webster wrote centuries ago, the state used live ammunition to quiet them down. And like Cuba, Maduro’s regime established a group of colectivos, groups of local individuals charged with the implementation and enforcement of Maduro’s policies, except that, in Venezuela, 400,000 of them were officially armed by the state and allowed to “carry out the regime’s rule by violence.”

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And what about the national homicide rate? The rate that the government was trying to reduce? It actually rose from 73 per 100,000 in 2012 right before the ban was implemented to 90 per 100,000 in 2015. In fact, in 2015 Venezuela faced the world’s highest homicide rate with 27,875 murders.

There are elements within our country obsessed with restricting our gun rights. Yes, there are portions of our country in urban areas where gun violence reigns supreme. And yes, the recurrent stories of senseless killings and associated suffering is tragic beyond words. But there is no greater tragedy than a people who once given freedom are robbed of their liberties in pursuit of false assurances of safety and protection.

They will have neither liberty nor safety.

Truly, Madison was not thinking of our right to hunt when he penned our Second Amendment. He was thinking of much more ominous possibilities, the same eventualities that inspired Thomas Jefferson to proclaim, “it is [our] right and [our] duty to be at all times armed.”

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Bump Stock Ban Broken Down: Unconstitutional And Futile

by Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.  
Benjamin Franklin

On December 10, 2018, the Department of Justice published its final rule regarding a bump stock ban in the United States. (The rule can be found at the The Federalist Pages Library section, along with the NRA’s comments on the proposed rule.) The DOJ arrived at this prohibition by holding that bump stocks are machine guns under the definitions of such weapons contained in 27 C.F.R. §§ 447.11, 478.11, and 479.11. But even if DOJ were to have the authority to enact this regulation, the rule would serve only to further threaten American citizens with excessive regulatory restraints while not having a chance at achieving its stated purpose.

A constitutional government of enumerated powers ought not pass any law that falls outside the ambit of those authorities given to it, nor those that do not serve to improve society. As such, even if we decide that a government is authorized to pass a law, that authorization is nullified by the futility of the act. Such is the case here.

First, Congress is arguably entitled to pass a bump stock ban under the Second Amendment.

A valid argument can be made that Congress possesses the authority under the Constitution to pass a bump stock ban. Although some argue the Second Amendment to the Constitution prohibits Congress from banning bump stocks, in point of fact, a stronger argument holds that such a prohibition does not apply to firearm accessories, which bump stocks clearly are.

In banning bump stocks, the DOJ claims it is merely interpreting the definitions of “machine gun” contained in 27 C.F.R. §§ 447.11, 478.11, and 479.11. Because it does not include a provision addressing parts of a machine gun, 27 C.F.R. § 447.11 could not be construed to include a bump stock, but 27 C.F.R. §§ 478.11 & 479.11 do. They define a machine gun as “any weapon, which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under control of a person.”

Clearly, bump stocks may not be included within the first part of the definitions of “machine gun,” but bump stocks are designed solely and exclusively for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun.

Of course, there is an inconsistency in using the term machine gun within the definition of machine gun, as doing so implies that what is being described is not a machine gun, but something else — which is then modified to act as a machine gun. As we shall see, the flawed design of the machine gun definition brings up some legal difficulties.

Because it could reasonably be argued that Congress intended to include bump stocks within its definition of machine gun, which would mean the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives would have the authority to regulate them, and DOJ would have the congressional authority to ban them.

But oddly, by calling a bump stock a machine gun, DOJ opens the door to Second Amendment jurisdiction. Governments have argued their authorities to regulate magazines, bullets, and other firearm attachments are not subject to Second Amendment restrictions because these are not “arms” as referenced in the Second Amendment, but rather accessories to arms.

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However, in order to avail itself of the congressional authority to regulate bump stocks, DOJ has found it necessary to call bump stocks machine guns, which are firearms, thus opening the door to Second Amendment challenges.

Even if the judiciary takes up the charge of considering bump stocks machine guns in the full sense of the word, the question of whether it would find that regulating bump stocks runs afoul of the Second Amendment is a separate matter.

Interestingly, it was not until the District of Columbia v. Heller case of 2008 that the Supreme Court defined those weapons protected by the Second Amendment. Here, the Court ruled that it was weapons “in common use,” that were protected. Although little question exists that bump stocks are “in common use,” the Court also reminded us that Congress could ban “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

Notice, the phrase is not dangerous or unusual, but dangerous and unusual, forcing the government to show that bump stocks are both if it were to defend its authority to prohibit them. What the courts would rule if it would accept the invitation to consider bump stocks as actual firearms rather than accessories remains to be seen.

Countering this position is the lack of meaningful uses for bump stocks, which are used to increase the speed with which a weapon is fired, but most gun experts say that bump stocks are worthless items that only serve to diminish the accuracy of the weapon, and they are not advocated for use in hunting, or even as a valid enhancement to one’s self-defense. As such, it would be a very easy bar for the advocate to clear in arguing the superfluousness of such items and therefore, the lack of any meaningful intrusion on individual liberties in banning them.

One could also argue that a bump stock is not a machine gun. This is inherently true, of course, as a bump stock could not, by itself, fire a bullet. If a bump stock is not a machine gun, then DOJ’s reliance on 27 C.F.R. §§ 478.11 & 479.11 would get thrown out as nonsensical. Frankly speaking, such would be the honest assessment and the most appropriate outcome of a true evaluation of the language of the governing statutes.

However, it is equally clear that Congress, despite the grammatical impossibility of its definition, intended to include articles such as bump stocks in its regulatory scheme. A court would likely stick to the intent of the statute rather than engage in wordplay on such a politically charged issue. Of course, should the court decide not to make an issue of the incongruity of the definition of machine gun, it would immediately force itself to address the Second Amendment issues noted above; an inescapable Hobson’s choice

Is Congress’s ban prohibited by the broader Constitution?

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There is yet another, more fundamental argument to be made against the validity of a congressional ban: it might not be allowed by the Constitution itself.  Until now, our constitutional considerations have centered on whether Congress may ban bump stocks under the Second Amendment.  Indeed, the greater question is whether Congress was ever given the authority to do so under the broader Constitution.

The federal government is one of enumerated powers. If a power employed by Congress in passing a law is not contained in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution; it cannot possess the authority to enact it, and there is no provision in the Constitution allowing Congress to ban bump stocks. Even the interstate commerce clause would not allow Congress to ban it.

That Congress was not given the authority in Article I to ban items is a well-founded contention as the Framers did not intend to create a federal government that could ban such things, leaving it to the states to do so instead. To be sure, the Article I powers contained in the Constitution have been expanded by the interstate commerce clause, but even if the interstate commerce clause were to be employed in Congress’s defense of regulating bump stocks, such powers would allow Congress to prohibit the interstate transport and sale of such items, not their intrastate possession.

Sadly, though, the train allowing Congress to intrude in such intrastate activities has long since left the station and delivering such an argument before a federal magistrate would be met with nothing other than hostility.

In the most practical sense, regulating bump stocks would likely not help.

Despite these valid arguments, many of which are addressed in DOJ’s final rule announcement, the most basic argument against banning bump stock lies in its futility. Recall that according to the legal theory leading to the creation of our government, the burden is upon the authorities to show that the rule or law passed is within the ambit of its authorities and purposeful in addressing a societal problem.

Assuming appropriate authority — which we questioned above — would banning bump stocks help solve a societal problem?

The discussion about banning bump stocks was brought back to the forefront of the nation’s political discussion after the horrible massacre of 2017 in Las Vegas. There, bump stocks were used to convert semiautomatic weapons to automatics and spray over 1,100 rounds from the 43d floor of a hotel onto concert goers assembled across the street. Fifty-eight people were killed that night and another 851 were injured, 422 from gunshot wounds.

Immediately, gun control advocates, knowing that they would not easily be able to ban semiautomatic weapons, focused their attention on bump stocks. Although bump stocks were not employed in the February 14, 2018, Parkland shooting, that massacre reinvigorated the call for a ban, one that President Trump adopted. By March 2018, DOJ had published its proposed rule.

But such a ban will not have any effect on preventing or lessening these massacres.

First, massacres can and often do take place without the use of semiautomatic weapon converters. Not only did the Parkland shooter not employ bump stocks, but also the later massacre in a California nightclub where 13 were killed was carried out with great effectiveness with a handheld semiautomatic. Similarly, the Pulse Club shooting in Orlando that killed 49 people did not include bump stocks.

Federal authorities do not know how many bump stocks exist in the United States although DOJ estimates that there are anywhere between 280,000 and 520,000 in circulation. There is no record of who owns these accessories, making it impossible for DOJ to chase them down. Additionally, the rule relies primarily on the voluntary destruction of bump stocks to remove them from circulation. Here, we can learn from the experiences of the few states that have passed bump stock bans. In New Jersey, its bump stock return program has produced exactly zero bump stocks to authorities. And in Massachusetts, its program has delivered three.

Moreover, a semiautomatic rifle can be converted to fire automatically by using as many methods as imaginative minds can conjure, making conversion a relatively simple affair, bump stock or not.

Even Jeremy Stein, the President of Connecticut Against Gun Violence and coauthor of the Connecticut bump stock bill called the legislation ineffective at solving gun violence problems and said the effort at banning bump stocks was “symbolic.” In addition, The Wall Street Journal said enforcement would be “a challenge.”

So the strongest argument in favor of passing anti-bump stock legislation is the invalid symbolism contention and the argument against it is the indisputable futility charge, and possible unconstitutionality.

But the rule gets enacted anyway, which brings us to the heart of the issue. Government should not be engaged in the practice of knowingly passing ineffective legislation, and we the people should not be allowing it to do so.

Yet, they do; and we do. And therein lies the crux of our problem.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Why The Santa Fe Shooting Disappeared From Headlines So Quickly

Rod Thomson

Something strange happened within a few days of the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School that killed 10 people and injured 14 others.

The story virtually disappeared from the news cycle. This is quite a remarkable change from the weeks of non-stop media coverage after the Parkland, Florida shooting that resulted in huge protests around the country and bad legislation in Florida.

First, there are a lot of similarities in the two atrocities. The killer in both instances was a mentally disturbed, bullied teenage boy who had shown warning signs. However, it is well-documented that in Parkland, law enforcement and school officials (government) missed or purposely overlooked dozens of red flags regarding the killer that could have prevented the killings.

Seventeen people were killed in Parkland. Ten were killed in Santa Fe. Both are located in conservative states with strong Second Amendment protections, although Texas is more conservative. Both have happened during a time of rampant but factually ill-founded fears of school shootings, and a media that has an anti-gun agenda it pushes shamelessly — including the use of grieving teenage survivors.

So what are the differences? Three stand out.

One, the gun that the Parkland killer used was an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. It is what the media insists on calling an “assault weapon,” without ever really explaining or describing what is meant by the term. It’s scary looking and appears similar to military assault weapons. But it is the same as any semi-automatic rifle or pistol. One shot per trigger pull.

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In Santa Fe, the killer used a .38-caliber revolver and a shotgun — not the infamous “assault rifles.” There is very little support among Americans for banning revolvers or shotguns. So that was one big difference.

The second is that the Parkland killer was never stopped. Officers stayed outside and did nothing while he continued to massacre people. He just finally quit murdering and walked away from his school slaughter, later being arrested at a fast food restaurant.

In Santa Fe, men with guns stopped the killer. The teen was cornered in a room by armed school security until more police arrived and he surrendered.

A final difference is in the community and the students. Parkland is in the heavily urbanized, liberal, anti-gun corridor of Southeast Florida, from Miami through Fort Lauderdale to West Palm. The students there reflect that urbanized sense of guns as frightening, and really do not seem to grasp the purpose of the Second Amendment. They came out very strong for gun laws and the media ate it up and national, liberal organizations quickly organized them.

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Santa Fe is a semi-rural area of Southern Texas between Houston and Galveston. The people there see guns as part of the culture and have a more ingrained understanding of why there is a Second Amendment. For instance, almost no Santa Fe students participated in the national school walkout in March.

Here is Alex Carvey, 16, a student at Santa Fe High School:

“I don’t think guns are the problem — I think people are the problem,” she said. “Even if we did more gun laws, people who are sick enough to do something like this are still going to figure out a way to do it. So it doesn’t matter.”

So the differences in coverage seem to be based at least somewhat on how it plays into the media narrative of blaming the NRA and gun owners and pushing for more gun control laws. Parkland — despite the myriad failures of government along the way, plays nicely into that narrative.

Santa Fe doesn’t really fit narrative.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Constitution Guns Second Amendment Truth

The Left’s War On Guns Becomes A War On Women (Part II)

Rod Thomson

Yesterday we explained how women are being left vulnerable and unable to obtain any defensive measures to protect themselves in leftist-run cities. It is almost impossible to get even something as inherently defensive as pepper spray, to say nothing of guns, forcing some women to turn to wasp spray canisters for self-defense.

Today we turn to how even the basic Second Amendment rights of women (and men) are so roadblocked as to create a de facto ban on gun ownership in some cities. So no guns and no other defensive tools are available to women in these cities.

It’s essentially impossible to get a gun in New York City. Not technically, of course, because that would violate the Second Amendment. Just in practice.

The story of Jon Corbett trying to get a gun permit in 2015-2016 explains it perfectly. Fortunately, Corbett documents his long travails beautifully. And he is additionally a great example because he is not at all the redneck ye-haw sterotype the media and leftists like to portray as gun nuts. He is a blue-haired civils rights activist who spends time in some tough neighborhood around sometimes angry people and wanted to have a gun for self-defense.   

Here’s a condensed version of Corbett’s journey to get a gun permit by someone who is not powerful and politically connected. It’s so tragic, it’s almost funny. Almost.

I could not apply [at first] because I didn’t have an ID card issued by the New York DMV. Apparently a Florida driver’s license, a social security card, and a U.S. passport were insufficient to prove who I am…

He started over after getting a New York ID and dutifully followed all of the procedures, even as they stretched on in a vast expanse before him. The initial application included:

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…1 three-page application, 1 letter of necessity, 1 letter explaining any checkboxes you may have checked that need explanation (Ever had a speeding ticket? That needs to be explained!), 1 letter from your roommate approving of your license or an affidavit that you have no roommate (My 2nd Amendment rights are contingent on my roommate’s permission?), 1 affidavit from someone willing to take possession of my guns if I die, 2 photos, 1 New York ID, 1 U.S. passport, 1 social security card, and $429.75. Oh, and a copy of my business tax return. Business tax return? In order to apply to carry a firearm in New York City, you must provide a business reason…

This seems blatantly unconstitutional. Needing guns for business has nothing to do with the Second Amendment and is not the purpose. Further, his question is a great one: His Second Amendment rights require his roommate’s permission? How would that be constitutional?

…The application also asks a lot of extremely personal and seemingly irrelevant questions.  Have you ever been fired from a job? Taken a sedative medication or pain killer (you’re checking yes if you’ve ever had surgery)? Testified before Congress? The NYPD wants to know.  If your answer to any of the above is yes, add that to your explanation form next to your speeding ticket explanation. After everything is paid for, fingerprints are taken (included in that $429.75 fee, which, by the way, is non-refundable if you are denied a license, and lasts for only 2 years assuming you do)…

So Corbett has done everything required up to this point, which is fairly onerous and intrusive. But it turns out the onerous intrusiveness is only just beginning. After filing the application with all of the answers, he is sent a reply from the NYPD requiring 25 more documents.

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These include:

  • Three letters of recommendation from people who have known you for at least five years, but are not family members, notarized and signed by those people;
  • Original court records for any of those speeding tickets you listed on your application;
  • A letter from your personal doctor describing your mental illness (funny, since I checked “no” on the “is a doctor treating you for a mental illness” box on the app);
  • Six months of bank withdrawal slips;
  • Pictures of your business, inside and out;
  • A whole lot of tax records.

By this point, it has pretty much turned into a part-time job applying for a gun permit in New York City. But he soldiers on and provides all 25 new documents, signed and notarized as required. But after all of this, he still has not completed his application process.

Corbett now needs to call a specific police officer. One guy — one guy who apparently does not want to be reached. Corbett leaves 10 messages over seven days (all of which he painstakingly documents) and never reaches the officer or gets a call back. He emails and gets nothing. He faxes and gets nothing. Finally, he actually physically travels down to 1 Police Plaza to try to find the officer. Still no luck.

So he used social media. He posted on Twitter and tagged the NYPD’s twitter account and he got considerable Twitterverse response. Perhaps not coincidentally, the officer suddenly emailed him back and they got together. Corbett says this meeting was friendly and the officer helpful, but he doubted Corbett’s permit would get approval from higher ups.

Sure enough, three weeks later, he received a “Notice of Disapproval” because the NYPD higher ups (whoever they were) decided his reason wasn’t good enough. He pursued an administrative appeal and was quickly denied.

At this point, Corbett filed suit against New York City for violating his Second Amendment rights. The city filed for a motion to summarily dismiss, and the New York judge approval the dismissal. But he appealed (because obviously Corbett is a dog at a root and good for him.) The New York Appellate Court heard his case but was hostile to it from the beginning. They, too, dismissed his case last month. Corbett is planning to appeal to the New York Supreme Court and if he loses, start over again in the federal courts.

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There have been some separate appellate court rulings on this “need” portion of New York’s law. One upholding it, two ruling against it. But what is clear is that even if that is overturned, NYC and other anti-weapon leftist-run cities intend to make obtaining a gun all but impossible for any regular citizens — including women.

And that, combined with NYC’s and others near-ban on defensive tools down to pepper spray is leaving women increasingly vulnerable to male predators.

And that’s where the left’s war on guns has become its war on women.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


 

Categories
Constitution Guns Rights Second Amendment Trump

The Left’s War On Guns Becomes A War On Women

Rod Thomson

New York City and other leftist cities and states are making it almost impossible for a woman to purchase even the most minimal of defensive measures — leaving them exposed and at the mercy of violent, stronger male criminals with no way to even the odds.

This may not be the intent, but the recoiling of leftists at allowing Americans to own anything that might resemble a weapon is creating the perverse result that women have a hard time finding any defensive tools.

This is where the nonsense notion of keeping all “weaponry” out of the hands of law-abiding citizens has gone — and it is led there by the overwrought reactions to guns.

A friend whose daughter recently graduated from college in New York and moved into the City, realized she was not in a very good neighborhood. She wanted to find some way of protecting herself, so she tried to order online some mace or pepper spray — anything of that nature — and was told they cannot deliver to New York City. Mace is illegal period. Pepper spray is not totally illegal, but New York makes such items very difficult to get through myriad regulations.

There are few things as inherently defensive in nature as pepper spray. Yet it turns out there are several states that have the same types of laws in place, including Illinois, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and New Jersey. This list also includes cities such as Baltimore, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia — all of which have high rates of violent crimes being committed by men and yet leave their women in challenging situations to protect themselves.

Because again, pepper spray is not only inherently defensive, it is largely purchased and carried by women for self-defense. And yet the loudest paragons of the #MeToo movement put up major roadblocks for women to obtain such basic self-defense.

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So this talented, pretty young woman moving to NYC is completely at the mercy of men (armed or not) bent on evil, and on the response time of police — once they are called. Like so many other women in all these cities and states, she too easily can find herself at the mercy of powerful criminals, and her own government deprives her of the reasonable ability to defend herself.

There are many examples of vulnerable women in these cities turning to wasp spray and other items for defense, despite the bulky size of those canisters. That’s how desperate they are to be able to defend themselves. Of course by reporting this, places like New York may decide that only licensed pest control professionals can buy and operate wasp spray.

Even if you grant the best of intentions by the Democratic lawmakers running these states and cities, it’s almost as though they purposely ignore the most obvious weapon most men have on women: superior size and strength. If every weapon of every kind were magically removed from planet, most men would still have the ability to physically take advantage of most women at any time.

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The leftist retort to this is the police. Well that thin blue line that stands between the bad guys and the rest of us is imperative and most of them do yeoman’s work. But they are definitionally not for individual self-defense unless there is a cop for each person. They are by necessity reactive. It’s what 911 is for. You call, they respond.

So the police cannot be the self-defense that women need, meaning most women are left defenseless in these cities and states.

The equalizers for women have always been weapons, from guns to mace to pepper spray. Yet these equalizers are either banned or made very difficult to obtain.

These items are not protected by the Second Amendment, so they can be — constitutionally, if foolishly — banned or made very difficult to obtain. Guns cannot be banned. But they can be made so difficult to obtain that they are practically speaking banned — for law-abiding residents.

That will be Part II: One man’s ultimately fruitless journey into the endless bowels of obtaining a gun permit in New York City.

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Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


 

Categories
Constitution Government Guns Liberalism NRA Second Amendment Truth

The Real Costs Of Florida’s Hasty Parkland Legislation Are Coming Out

Rod Thomson

This is the price of letting the mob, even one led by sympathetic teens, rule over sound principles: the loss of Constitutional rights and wrecked budgets.

After the deadly shooting of 17 people at a Parkland, Florida high school earlier this year that resulted in huge protests fronted by students of the school, the GOP-dominated Florida Legislature caved to the emotional mob and passed laws violative of Americans’ Second Amendment rights while causing havoc with the budgets of every School District and Sheriff’s Office in the state.

It’s the dirty little secret largely being ignored. This was not a well-thought-through, studied, principled piece of legislation. And it was not necessary. It would not have prevented Parkland.

Most of the news coverage focused on guns, guns, guns. The media narrative was all zeroed in on how much would the Republican Florida Legislature go against the wishes of the NRA in a pro-gun state. Quite a bit it turns out, particularly when activists bring uninformed teens into the chambers for gimmicky procedural votes specifically designed to elicit an emotional response.

The portion of the law most people know about is the one restricting gun ownership for those under 21 and requiring a three-day waiting period to buy all guns. So you can be in the military and go to war, you can be in law enforcement and engage bad guys, you can enter into contracts, you can drive trucks, you can get married and start a family — but you cannot do what the Constitution of the United States expressly protects your right to do: own a gun.

“This bill punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual,” said the NRA-ILA’s executive director Chris Cox. The NRA is suing on Constitutional grounds, which will cost plenty of money, as they have a strong case are not apt to back down.

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The second part of the Parkland legislation news coverage was over whether “we should arm teachers” — as the media framed the verbiage. This provision allows districts to voluntarily create a program where educators can volunteer to be trained on an ongoing basis and then allowed to carry a weapon on campus to defend students and others. Of course, this was roundly opposed by the guns, guns, guns crowd and it appears only a handful of rural school districts will opt in to the program.

But given very little coverage was the requirement to beef up law enforcement at the schools by requiring a school resource officer in every Florida school that did not opt for allowing school personnel to conceal carry. This is a generally popular response, despite the total collapse of law enforcement in Broward County at Parkland — where there was a school resource officer who stayed outside during the slaughter.

This is an extraordinarily expensive provision given the size of Florida as the nation’s third largest state.

There are 4,000 public schools in Florida. Law enforcement figures each school resource officer costs about $100,000 in salary, benefits, supplies and general overhead. So putting one at every school represents a $400 million endeavor statewide, towards which the state only committed $100 million. This is an ongoing, $300 million expense, every year.

And there’s the rub. The Legislature responded to the Parkland tragedy and difficult environment with not only a bad law, but one that shoves its badness down to the local level for payment.

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This has created a mini crisis among school districts, sheriff departments and the counties that fund them around the state. An average-sized school district in Florida (they are all countywide) would need to find $3 million to $5 million to accomplish this task. The big districts would need much more.

Again. Every year. While safe schools are felt to be an urgent need, what this means is taking funding from elsewhere in the operating budget — the largest single cost of which are teachers. So districts are hoping that local sheriffs will either cover all or part of the costs. But sheriffs have their own budget constraints and resource demands, including the desire of the population not inside a school building to be safe.

So this hasty legislation has pitted school districts against sheriffs when those relations were traditionally quite strong and cooperative.

Worse, it may prove impossible to even meet outside the financial constraints. Most sheriff departments have openings they cannot fill because there are not enough qualified applicants. Florida’s economy is so strong and unemployment so low (3.7 percent) that neither sheriff departments or private security companies can maintain full strength, and they are competing with each other for the few candidates that come available.

The guardian program could solve this, as it is much less expensive to train school personnel and they are already on campus, but professional school administrators prevent most from even considering it.

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The Legislature’s action means finding thousands of new sheriff deputies to be trained as school resources officers; or reducing the number of deputies patrolling the streets, making the rest of the community potentially less safe — including students when they are not in school.

This damaging legislation should never have been rammed through so quickly, despite the unconscionable way anti-gun activists marshalled and organized sympathetic students for their cause.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


 

Categories
Constitution Freedom Liberty Second Amendment Truth

Constitutional Scholar KrisAnne Hall’s Open Letter to #Walkout Kids

Dear #NationalSchoolWalkout Students,

I weep with you. I am also proud to see you standing for what you believe in. However, what you ask for will not bring the results you desire.

These problems in society have never been a result of too much Liberty, and eliminating the natural rights of all people will never bring the proper solutions. If we want to make you feel safe at school and everywhere in public we must be honest as a society and deal with the real problems.

  1. Schools and government are failing you. They have little to no security and practically no real policy to keep your schools secure. 
  2. We have to endure more security at a public museum than we do at our public schools. I ask our governors and administrators which of these treasures is more valuable?
  3. We need to not just make promises to keep you safe, we need policies and actions. We need secure entrances and exits into the schools. We need real policies limiting “visitors” on campus. Nearly every school shooter would have never even been on campus with proper security and policies.
  4. Adults have failed to see your cries for help and have failed to act upon them, putting everyone at risk. We need more adults who are concerned with your mental, physical, and emotional health rather than political correctness, job security or hurt feelings.
  5. We need to train your teachers better. They know CPR; they know how to help a choking child; they need to know how to stop someone from hurting you.

The real solutions that will bring the safety and security we all desire do not require a new federal law or regulation; they do not require a constitutional amendment; they do not require depriving anyone of any rights. The real solutions are much simpler than that.

The real solutions to keeping you safe require only a people who love their children enough to create and enforce local policies and proper training dedicated to the preservation of life, liberty, and property.

The history of the entire world dictates that taking the rights of people to defend themselves will not keep them safe, but will only serve to enslave our future to those more powerful. We must learn that without liberty, security is nothing more than a vapor. Unfortunately, those who do not recognize their history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.

By not addressing the real problems and and not employing the real solutions, we end up destroying what we set out to preserve. We will make you and your future less safe and we will pass on to all our children a future of greater oppression.

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I am telling you this not because I am judging you. I am telling you this because, as a mom, I love you.

We can keep you safe and keep your rights and liberties secure at the same time. It is time to take back the narrative. It is time to get to work and secure Liberty for all. That is not just our duty to you and to all our children, it is who we are as Americans.

Sincerely,

KrisAnne Hall

www.LibertyFirstUniversity.com

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


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Constitution History Second Amendment Trump

Note To Larry King: Armed, Freed Slaves Fought For Our Freedom

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

In a TMZ interview with Larry King recently, it was said that the Second Amendment was created by “Southern senators so they could ward off slaves uprising.” Not exactly. Yes there was slavery in the colonies and it was not confined to the South. Yes there were pro-slavery states pressuring convention delegates.

However, not everyone was pro-slavery and the right to bear arms was not something foisted upon the nation by those who wanted to continue the abominable trade. The oversimplification in the Larry King interview of this complex history presents a sad distortion and denies many honorable and brave people of color their proper station in history.  

It doesn’t take extensive research to discover that the very first man to give his life in our battle for independence was a freed slave by the name of Crispus Attucks. Crispus Attucks not only gave his life so we could be free, but was one of the most honored patriots of this time. The Boston Globe reported that Attucks’ funeral was the most attended funeral in the history of Boston. This armed, freed slave fought for our freedom.

American history also reveals battalions of freed slaves that fought for our independence. Peter Salem was one such hero. As a freed slave, Salem is credited with having killed Major Pitcairn, the British officer leading the charge that finally took Bunker Hill at great cost. Salem would receive many honors for this feat, even the praise of General George Washington. This armed, freed slave fought for our freedom.

Americans should learn of heroism of free black man Ned Hector, and of George Middleton, another free black man and colonel in a Massachusetts Militia. Middleton was a hero among those who fought in our war for independence. Upon his retirement from duty in 1796, Middleton started the “African Benevolent Society,” a charitable organization to care for the needs of the widows and orphans of those black soldiers who fought in our war for Liberty. All those armed, freed slaves, fought for our Liberty.

James Forten the son of free blacks, at 14 years old, heard the public reading the Declaration of Independence in the streets of Philadelphia. Forten then joined the Navy to fight against the British oppression of the American colonists. He was taken captive and given the option of living with a captain of the British Navy as a slave companion of the captain’s son. Forten was told he would have comfort and provision like he had never known in America, if he would only agree to stop fighting and return to his life as a slave in Britain. Forten, as a young man, responded: “I have been taken prisoner for the liberties of my country, and never will prove a traitor to her interest!” He ended up spending seven months on a British prison ship for his devotion to freedom and liberty. This armed, free black man, fought for our freedom.

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Let us not forget Prince Whipple, the freed black man who fought alongside General Washington and is seen in the very famous painting of Washington crossing the frozen Delaware River. This armed, free black man, fought for our freedom.

These are but just a few examples of the many armed freed slaves who fought for the new America. Several of our States had a provision, that gave permanent freedom to all slaves wanting to fight for liberty and independence. This history means there are some free men who gave their only free breath so America could be free and Americans do not even know their names. But somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 black men fought for liberty during the War of Independence.

I could write extensively of the reams of documented conversations in which the American founders held the right to bear arms out to be an essential right to protect a nation from government tyranny and oppression, not a means to subjugate slaves. In fact, the man known as the Father of the Bill of Rights, George Mason from the southern colony of Virginia, notably created the Fairfax Resolves of July 1774 which declared that slavery should be done away with. This matched the strong sentiments he expressed in an essay in 1773:

“That slow poison…is daily contaminating the minds and morals or our people. Every gentleman here is born a petty tyrant. Practiced in acts of despotism and cruelty, we become callous to the dictates of humanity, and all the finer feelings of the soul. Taught to regard a part of our own species in the most abject and contemptible degree below us, we lose that idea of dignity of man which the hand of nature has implanted in us for great and useful purposes.”

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One cannot look at the strong abolitionist sentiment in many of the founders’ writings and accept such a simple broad-brush of history as put forth by King and others like him. Many in our founding, both black and white, fought against the evils of slavery. Many fought for it. Eventually good triumphed over evil. To trot out racial division every time we want to win an argument, not only dishonors all of those who sowed seeds and spilled blood to move us closer to liberty for all, it threatens to grow an irrational hatred that serves the best interests of no-one.

We need a renewed vigor for truth in history in America. We need to learn about the liberty we possess that so many before us fought to secure. We cannot preserve our freedoms while denying the history that won them. Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.

Liberty First University has courses particularly to educated on this history and the principles that drove the creation of our Constitutional Republic. Please visit www.LibertyFirstUniversity.com and review the following courses to better educate yourself against these errors of history:

  1.  Slavery and the American Founders
  2.  Forgotten Founders
  3.  The Right to Keep and Bear Arms: The Second Amendment

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.