Largest Christian university opens ‘sophisticated’ gun range for students | Fox News

The Liberty University shooting team holds their first competition vs. James Madison University on at the new Liberty Mountain Gun Club on February 3, 2018.

Liberty University does it right: “As schools nationwide debate on how to keep firearms away from their campus, Liberty University opened a multimillion-dollar gun range Monday for student activities and hosting competitions.”

Source: Largest Christian university opens ‘sophisticated’ gun range for students | Fox News

As I have commented elsewhere, the best way to deal with gun violence is precisely to train citizens, from childhood and youth on up, in the safe, legal, and responsible handling of firearms. It might be worth considering the wisdom of the Scriptures, here:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The passage – found in Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) – is referring specifically to religious and moral training, of course, but it applies quite well in this case (particularly since decisions on how and when to use firearms are, in fact, moral decisions).

The lure of the forbidden, combined with the very negative and irresponsible examples of firearms use portrayed in the media (including movies and video games), makes it all the more important to provide youth and young adults with appropriate training and role models to counter the pernicious influences of a culture which has, in may respects, lost its way.

[It’s a bit of an aside to this, but I do find it interesting that many if not most of the celebrities – actors and musicians – who are most vociferous in their opposition to firearms would probably be indignant or worse at the idea that we should tone down those elements of, say, rap “music,” video games, or movies that glamorize the amoral or immoral portrayal of firearms violence by “heroes” and anti-heroes.]

Liberty U. is certainly going about this in a big way:

“The lower part of the 600-acre, state-of-the-art gun range has rifle, pistol, and three-gun ranges in a valley located on the other side of Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, a year-round ski and snowboard slope, and at the top has shotgun venues, which include skeet, trap and sporting clay facilities…

“Liberty is now the only campus with a venue fit for all Olympic shooting sports and it hopes to be one of the most luxurious facilities in the world once the project is fully completed.”

Brad Butler, planning coordinator for the University, quotes current university president Jerry Falwell, Jr., and his father, founder Jerry Falwell, Sr., as considering it axiomatic that “if it’s Christian, it ought to be better.” In this, I am reminded of my mother’s saying that we should strive to “put our best foot forward” in all that we do.

So kudos to Liberty Christian University for its stance, and its accomplishment with this! They’re doing it right.

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These teens were shooting as others were protesting guns

 

Source: These teens were shooting as others were protesting guns | Yahoo News

“This .22 Rimfire Silhouette Exhibition Match had been scheduled long before 17 people were killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and therefore long before the survivors of that rampage had sparked a national protest movement. But even if this daylong test of marksmanship wasn’t deliberate counter-programming, it did provide an illuminating counterpoint.

“There has been much talk since Parkland of the younger generation — the one that grew up hearing of shootings in other schools and participating in shooter drills at their own — and of how those teenagers are changing the conversation about guns. But every American generation is as multifaceted as the country itself, and the 44 high schoolers who took up their rifles in Georgia as their counterparts took up microphones in Washington also have something to say.

“No doubt a lot of this generation doesn’t think we need to have guns,” said Cole Cook, a ninth grader from Barstow County who has been shooting since his father first taught him at the age of 6. “I think they’re wrong. And I’m part of this generation too.”

This is the point that the contemporary American (and Western, generally) Left does not seem to be able to grasp – or willing to admit: that they are not the sole socio-political and moral gate-keepers of our society; that there are many people who are both intelligent and of good will who simply do not agree with their take on matters.

And despite the attention being given to protesters these days, a lot of the younger generation “gets” this!

Given this reality, along with the simple fact that there is an inherent natural right to bear arms in our own defense – as enumerated, not granted, by the Second Amendment, and confirmed by (inter alia) District of Columbia vs Heller – we should tread very gently indeed when it comes to laws and regulations that would further limit that right.

The best way to deal with gun violence is precisely this: to train citizens, from childhood on up, in the safe, legal, and responsible handling of firearms.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

– Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

School “walkout” – grassroots or astroturf?

So, yesterday (Wednesday, March 14th), many schools around the country had a “walk-out” in which students – many with the support and encouragement, and even in some cases the mandate – of their administrations protested violence in schools (which is a legitimate concern) and in most cases also called for additional gun control measures.

It is the latter that (as will not surprise regular readers of this blog) I have issues with.

The sad reality is that it is actually much more likely that kids will be killed at home by a relative than that they will be shot in school by a lunatic. Well, anybody who shoots anyone who isn’t threatening them is a lunatic, but you know what I mean…

Point is, this should have been a “teachable moment” to help kids understand a) where the real threats are, and are not, and b) the point and purpose of our God-given and inalienable rights and liberties, as enumerated in – not granted by – the Constitution. Instead, we see this.

It is very frustrating to me to witness schools, which should be fonts of knowledge, promulgating misinformation and disinformation and even encouraging it. Civil disobedience is also a right (as long as it does not involve violence or mayhem), of course – but we need to be very careful, imho, what examples and precedents we set!

It’s also interesting to see which rights schools deny students, and which they do not – and why. In many school districts (including, now, my home district of Carroll County, Maryland), it is not permitted for students to wear or carry Confederate images or memorabilia: a prohibition which is a clear infringement on their First Amendment right to free expression. But, goes the argument, schools have the authority to limit the rights of their students while they are in school.

However, now students apparently have the right to walk out of class in protest… as long as it’s for an approved cause. Wonder what would happen if they walked out for gun rights, or to protest bans on Confederate iconography, or in support of the white farmers in South Africa being brutally attacked, and who are now in danger of having their lands seized without compensation?

I’ll bet the administration wouldn’t be so eager to have them walk out for those causes!

Also telling: some students have been disciplined for refusing to join the walkout, and others for carrying signs that disagreed with the premises of the protest. While I do not deny that many students are concerned – nor that they have a right to be – their teachers and administrators are not, in many cases, serving them well by supporting and encouraging emotional reactions not justified by the facts.

Update: it’s not just students:

A California high school teacher says she was “aghast” to learn she was placed on leave over comments she made about National School Walkout Day.

Julianne Benzel, a Rocklin High School teacher, said that administrators’ decision Wednesday followed a debate she held in her history class about the nationwide school protest supporting gun control reform…

“I just kind of used the example, which I know it’s really controversial, but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time — a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes’ and go in the quad area and protest abortion, would that be allowed by our administration?”

That is a darned good question, actually, and it ties in directly with my comment above: that civil disobedience is being selectively allowed – and even encouraged – by schools, so long and only so long as it’s in support of a cause they favor.

“I didn’t get any backlash from my students,” Benzel said. “All my students totally understood that there could not be a double standard.”

On National Walkout Day, she received a letter from the human resources department notifying her that she was being put on paid administrative leave.

Benzel, who has since retained legal counsel, said the school’s decision has raised questions about First Amendment rights.

Indeed it has! And her point about a double standard is square on. But as I have commented before, double standards and unintended irony are all too characteristic of the contemporary American Left.

In a related move, the City of Baltimore (struggling against rampant crime and an opioid epidemic, among other challenges) apparently plans to spend $100,000 to bus students to an anti-gun protest in Washington, DC, and even provide t-shirts for them!

Indeed, far from being the “grassroots” movement that is claimed, this whole thing shows definite signs of being astroturf, instead.

While I do not doubt that there is legitimate concern on the part of many students, which is entirely understandable under the circumstances, teachers and administrators – rather than engaging students in a genuine dialog on the costs of freedom, the limitations of attempting to legislate safety in the absence of a moral climate which encourages self-control and respect for life, and the importance of balancing rights and freedoms with safety and security (or vice versa) – appear to be encouraging and even manipulating them in some very concerning and authoritarian directions.

I am once again boggled by the prospect of people who self-identify as “liberals” loudly and aggressively insisting that their rights be taken away!

Gun Rights Don’t Come from the Second Amendment | Mises Wire

Constitution-Declaration

The Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, doesn’t give anyone any rights. Instead, it prohibits the federal government from infringing on rights that are natural and God-given and that preexist government.

Source: Gun Rights Don’t Come from the Second Amendment | Mises Wire

This is the point that is too-often missed on people today – whether due to ignorance or willful misinformation. As this article so accurate states,

“Whenever there is a gun massacre, statists inevitably respond that it’s time to repeal the Second Amendment. The idea is that if the Second Amendment is gone, so will be the right to own guns in the United States.

“There is just one big problem with that position: It’s wrong. The Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, doesn’t give anyone any rights. Instead, it prohibits the federal government from infringing on rights that are natural and God-given and that preexist government.

“The Declaration of Independence sets forth the essential principles. Every person (i.e., not just American citizens) is endowed by nature or God with fundamental rights. These include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

“Thus, given that people’s rights are natural and God-given, they preexist government. The rights come first and the government comes second.”

That is to say, the Bill of Rights does not give anyone rights. It simply enumerates the God-given rights that already exist. Even if it were (God forbid!) repealed, that would not change the facts; the rights themselves would continue to exist. You cannot vote to repeal natural law; you cannot vote to repeal what God has given.

Indeed, the very legitimacy of a government to exist, in our American system, is based on its ability and willingness to protect the rights of the people: this is the basis of government “by consent of the governed.” A government which fails to protect the natural, God-given rights of the people has lost its legitimacy. I wish more people understood this!

A superb response to the gun-banners

One area in which I do, I must confess, disagree with our good friends across the Pond – at least under their current socio-political system – is on the matter of the right to bear arms. That is a right which is (if you will pardon my phrasing) under heavy fire here in the U.S., by the usual suspects on the Left, following the latest school shooting. Here is the most excellent response to the Leftist jeremiad that I’ve seen or heard so far, by Virginia Delegate Nicholas Frietas:

6 Reasons Your Right-Wing Friend Isn’t Budging On Gun Control

https://i2.wp.com/thefederalist.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/1024px-M4_Carbine_in_Oranit_show-998x658.jpg

Dear leftists: there are several reasons why 2A advocates aren’t running to your side of the argument, and they might not be the ones you think.

Source: 6 Reasons Your Right-Wing Friend Isn’t Budging On Gun Control

I’ve seen my friends and colleagues on the Left side of the gun control debate dumbfounded at why Second Amendment advocates don’t seem to budge on their views after mass shootings. So I thought I would try my hand at explaining this phenomenon in the hopes that maybe more will be inclined to have a better conversation about guns and the Second Amendment in America. There are several reasons 2A advocates aren’t running to your side of the argument, and it might not be the ones you think.

Some excellent observations by the author, – who, by the way, happens to be a woman. I mention this because one of the fallacies often believed and promulgated by the socio-political Left is that only “macho” males have any interest in the Second Amendment.

Nothing could be further from the truth! The 2nd Amendment is of particular interest to many women because the right to bear arms means that they are not at the mercy of men who are often physically larger and stronger than they are.

To paraphrase an old saying – that “God made men, but Samuel Colt made them equal”: God made human beings, but the Second Amendment made them equal!

The 2nd Amendment, firearms safety, and equality

Source: Stately McDaniel Manor | Culture, Politics, Firearms, Education, Literature, Philosophy, Music, And Other Musings

The Declaration got it mostly right (“all men are created equal…”): to slightly paraphrase a classic aphorism, “God made human beings, Col. Sam Colt made them equal!” One of the few areas in which I do not admire England / Britain is their draconian gun-control policies. Leaving people defenseless against those who wish them harm is morally vicious, and poor public policy.

In related news, Mike McDaniel of the Stately McDaniel Manor blog reports that accidental deaths due to firearms have declined dramatically, despite more firearms than ever being sold:

Despite gun sales reaching record numbers in the last two years, accidental gun shootings are at an all-time low, a surprising finding by the National Safety Council. In its annual “Injury Facts” report, the group put accidental gun deaths in 2015 at 489.

That is the lowest since 1903, when record-keeping began, and a 17 percent one-year drop, and is “about three-tenths of 1 percent of the 146,571 total accidental deaths from all other listed causes,” according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents the firearms industry. It is a remarkably low number, and underscores the fact that law-abiding gun owners are among the most careful and responsible folks out there.

It is especially notable in light of the very large number of legally–owned firearms in America. In 2015, an additional 23 million firearms were sold – a then-all-time-high – and last year, 2016, the number surged to 27 million: spurred, as McDaniel notes, by fears of what a possibly Hillary Clinton presidency would mean to firearm ownership. Yet despite the tens, even hundred, of millions of firearms in legal hands, the number of accidental deaths in 2015 was… 489. That speaks highly of gun owners!

It also flies in the face of claims made by anti-gun advocates that “safety” is one of the reasons they are attempting to enact additional measures limiting our Constitutional rights and freedoms where firearms are concerned. Estimates range – sometimes widely – but it is probably fair to say that somewhere between 30% and 40% of American households have at least one firearms, with an estimated total ownership of 256 million firearms.

And the total number of accidental deaths due to firearms use is under 500? I’d say we’re doing pretty good!

Oh, and that equality issue I mentioned? The sexual dimorphism inherent to our species means that women tend, on average, to be about 15% smaller than men, and only around 60% as strong – again, on average. This means that women are at a significant disadvantage when attempting to physically fight off would-be male attackers.

Firearms significantly redress this disadvantage: the original aphorism I with which started this piece stated (variations on) “God created men, Samuel Colt (inventor of the first practical repeating handgun) made them equal.”

This is even more true where women are concerned!