Report 50, Bernie Sanders, Some Thoughts

As anyone who has read my postings (blogs) will surely understand, I am a God fearing, Constitution loving, family loving man who served my country for many years. I love our country and want it to last forever. However, that possibility is being reduced by leaps and bounds as the “Progressives” work tirelessly to destroy the USA.

A number of people who are very close and dear to me are, unfortunately, very fond of Bernie Sanders. There is a lot wrong with Sanders and I will note some of his more egregious flaws at the end of this posting, but first, as a gun-guy, I would like to address his take on gun control. One of those dear to me has sent Bernie’s official position so that I would be able to understand just how reasonable Bernie’s position really is. Therefore, I will not guess what his position is, I will be able to read it off his position paper and offer my comments. Actually, I find his official published position/s to be much more reasonable than many (most) of his rival Democrats.

For those of you who don’t know me well, let me offer some of my bone fides. I started teaching firearm safety and marksmanship over 30 years ago. I formed my company Falcon Personal Security in 2007 and it has had an explosive growth and we are now up to an employee count of – – one. If I have an employee dispute, I simply look in the mirror and get it straightened out. All kidding aside, I have certified for almost every certification from the NRA that they offer.

Now, back to Bernie. Let’s look at what he says. He claims to be “middle ground.” He has voted on the nationwide ban on military-style assault weapons. The Progressive definition of “Assault Weapon” is anything that is black in color, has a pistol grip, is classified as a semi-automatic, and a detachable magazine; in other words, scary looking guns. What Progressives don’t understand is that this definition can be applied to guns that date back to the Spanish-American war. The bottom line of this position is that Progressives don’t understand what an assault weapon is. Actually, the term was not even invented until Bill Clinton decided to ban them in the 90’s. If there was actually going to be such a weapon as an assault weapon, it would be a fully automatic fire weapon such as was used to storm the beaches at Normandie, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and you get the point. Banning guns that Progressives call assault weapons would ban over 70% of all firearms in the United States.

Bernie wants to ban bump stocks. From a freedom and liberty standpoint, I disagree with this position but from a practical point, I have no opinion on bump stocks. They just burn up ammo at an extreme rate and I suspect they are hard to shoot accurately, but I have no experience with them.

Bernie wants to federalize 100% background checks. The rational behind this is that he wants to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those with mental issues. In Bernie’s favor, he says that he is in favor of background exemption for “family, friends, and neighbors.” I applaud this exemption but would argue, correctly, I might add, that criminals don’t go to gun stores to buy guns and FBI statistics do not support the idea that criminals buy their guns at gun shows. Bad guys steal their guns or they buy them from those other bad guys who stole the guns. I do applaud Bernie in his concern for addressing mental health issues in this country. He is absolutely correct in this position. The US is grossly lacking in this area.  

Bernie wants to take on the NRA. The rational given is that he wants to take on all big-money support in Washington. He says that the NRA has a corrupting effect on Washington. Well, let’s look at that with regards to other industry lobbying organizations. Most other lobbying organizations lobby to get money and/or business, or favorable legislative perks for their organization members; in this last category I would point to the labor unions. However, the NRA lobbies exclusively to advocate for governments (state and federal) to merely follow the constitution. I greatly appreciate the NRA from a training aspect as they have set the standard for firearms safety and training in the US. The NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) wasn’t even formed until 1975. The whole purpose of the NRA-ILA is to ensure that the Second Amendment remains intact and that Progressives do not emasculate it, or worse, abolish it. I find it sad that we have to have a lobbying organization that fights to uphold the Constitution. I thought that was the job of our elected officials.

Numerous famous people such as actors, and prominent business persons have said that guns are rarely used in defense of an individual or group of individuals and therefore average citizens have no legitimate reason to own guns. This argument is naive at best. Estimates of anywhere from half a million to three million times per year just the presence of a firearm in the hands of prospective victims have prevented the crime. These figures are difficult to impossible to verify because most of these cases are never reported to the authorities.

Now, I told you that I would look at some of the major problems I have with Bernie. First, he has never had a job where he took home a regular paycheck. When he was young, he did sell some articles for $15 (to whom, I don’t know), one of which talked about how women fantasized about gang rape. In his youth, he had some part-time jobs, but never ran a company, made a payroll, or even attempted to establish a career except for politics. He was a draft-dodger.

In his career in the Senate which he has held since 2007 (he was a Representative from 1991 – 2007) he has been able to pass three bills, two of which were to name post offices.

In 1988 he took a cold-war era honeymoon in Communist USSR. He went to Cuba in hopes of meeting Fidel Castro. This attempt was unsuccessfully. He describes himself as a democratic socialist. He is a firm believer in giving things away such as free health care and 100% forgiveness of student debt. As the old saying goes, if you think something is expensive now, just wait until it is free. All the stuff Bernie wants to give away has to be paid for by someone, and that will be the wage earner.

Just the idea that Bernie Sanders may have a shot at the presidency scares the wits out of me. I don’t believe for a minute that a Sanders presidency would even have the low success of the Obama administration.

Report 26, Thoughts on the Tenth Amendment

Friends,

I am in a quandary. As a strong 10th Amendment supporter I definitely want to see the feds stay out of the business of the states. For instance, the feds have no business getting into the education systems of the states, even though they have injected themselves through the Department of Education. I have long believed that the Department of Education should be abolished. But that is not the topic of this post. My concern in this post is the issue of marijuana.

As a refresher:

10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

There is nothing in the Constitution that says the feds have the power to control trade within the states and it has limited power to control trade between the states and that is limited to trade disputes. There is nothing that I can find in Article I Section 8 (the Commerce Clause) that defines what items the feds can control. Therefore, laws controlling drugs have questionable legitimacy.

This is where my quandary comes in. If the various state constitutions allow, drugs (including marijuana) should be made illegal for the protection of the citizens. As a strong anti-drug proponent, I believe this should be the case for all states. However I do not see the legitimacy of the feds getting involved in this issue. But, as it is illegal on a federal level at this time, the states have their hands tied unless they exert nullification. The problem here is that the Theory of Nullification has never been upheld in the courts. This is also a topic for another discussion.

During the reign of President Obama, the Justice Department has made the decision not to press the issue of illegal marijuana use and/or sale within the states. Possibly because of my admitted prejudice against the use of non-medical drugs (illegal drugs) I strenuously object to this cavalier ignoring of the law by the Justice Department.

Now with the pending presidency of President-Elect Trump, and his chosen Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, there is the real possibility of all state-legal pot shops being closed down and the proprietors and customers being charged with federal crimes. Getting marijuana off our streets, while unlikely, will go a long way in reducing crime. Since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado the crime rate has jumped significantly. This jump has been attributed to this legalization. Hardly a week goes by when we don’t hear about a pot shop being robbed. An Indonesian drug cartel was growing marijuana in commercial quantities in Colorado and transporting it to the southeast states. A combined operation between the feds and local law enforcement in September netted over 20,000 pounds of marijuana in Colorado bound for transport to Alabama, Georgia, and other southeastern states.

Legalization of marijuana, not only in Colorado, has not reduced the drug cartel presence as the proponents have promised but rather dramatically increased it. While I am a strong supporter of the 10th Amendment, the drug trade must be shut down whether by the feds or by the states. Does this put me in a hypocritical position? Possibly.

Possibly one solution would be to take marijuana fully into the medical realm. There is a growing body of evidence that marijuana has strong benefits for certain illnesses. I am certainly no medical professional and would not presume to get into that arena. But if marijuana were strictly controlled the same way real medical prescriptions are controlled this would be a start in the right direction.

Report 25 Chicago, How’s that Gun Control Thing Working Out For You?

This is going to be a short piece to talk about the intelligence of gun control. Now, there’s an oxymoron for you. Yesterday it was reported that Chicago police reported that there were 90 homicides in August, yes, last month. Well, that’s not so bad considering that there were 472 shooting victims for the same period. You can read the news story here.

Are you kidding me? How can it be that the city with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country can have 472 people shot in just one month? It is unbelievable that there could be that many bad-guy guns on the street because everyone knows that everyone is law abiding and will use their guns responsibly. (Excuse me while I pull my tongue out of my cheek)

Logic says that when the good guys are armed there is much less chance of them being assaulted. While bad guys are typically not in competition to be valedictorians, they normally are smart enough to figure out that if their intended victim is carrying a concealed handgun, there is a greater likelihood of getting shot. I don’t care if it is a .22 or a .458, no one wants to get shot; it just wrecks your day.

How prepared are you to defend yourself and your family? Just having a gun isn’t enough. Just like owning a car isn’t enough. If you don’t know how to drive it becomes a hazard to yourself and everyone around you. A gun is the same, just owning it isn’t enough. Get trained, get prepared.

Report 24 Is There a Justification for Nullification

Friends,

Most of the folks reading this are of the Conservative persuasion. There are a couple of definitions for Conservatism. On is to maintain things the way they are and the other is to return to the way things were. Anyone who knows me knows that I am of the latter camp.

Over the past 150 years, we have spawned a class of politicians that is so ingrained in their own power that they truly believe that they are the only ones who can decide how we can live our lives. They have to decide what kind of cars we drive, how to raise our kids, how we can protect ourselves, and a whole list of restrictions on our lives too numerous to name here.

I’m not going to say too much in this posting but I do want you to take the time to view a couple of videos that really get to the heart of what I’m talking about. The first one is only a minute long statement by Walter Williams. The second will take you about 40 minutes and I urge you to take the time to watch it. This one is a speech by Tom Woods on Nullification. He really gets to the crux of a problem that has our country by the throat.

As always, I welcome your comments and discussion. Also, you are welcome to forward this to your friends and associates. I only ask for attribution.

Regards,

Dan