America’s 1st Freedom | Is Europe Grasping For Gun Rights?

Is Europe Grasping For Gun Rights?

Terror threats, rising violent crime and the European Union’s suffocating strictures on guns have many Europeans craving their own version of America’s Second Amendment.

Source: America’s 1st Freedom | Is Europe Grasping For Gun Rights?

For decades, European have been quick to disparage the United States for our robust Constitutional protection of the right to keep and bear arms, as enshrined in the Second Amendment.

Shielded, whether they knew it or not, by geographical features which (until recently) have served as de facto barriers to easy migration, and even more by despotic but mostly stable governments in places like Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and secure in almost completely homogeneous and law-abiding societies, they mocked us for our “love affair” with guns, and derided our supposed “frontier mentality” on the subject.

But now, in light of the deluge of Third-World immigrants that was unleashed upon Europe in 2015 and continues to this day, some, at least, are mocking no longer. Rather, they are wishing (and I have heard this same thing from European friends on Facebook) that they had more Constitutional guarantees of freedom, and especially a 2nd Amendment!

The linked article is on the longer side, but worth reading in full; here are a few excerpts:

“In 12 days I visited Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Monaco, Italy, the Vatican, San Marino, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria. Everywhere I went, I interviewed people about the state of things in Europe, and I was truly shocked by one thing in particular — the number of people who told me they envy America for its Second Amendment.

“I’m not making that up. Ask yourself this question: How much do you know about the details of the founding documents of any country in Europe? If you are like me, it’s not much. So that makes it even more remarkable that many people in Europe are familiar with one very important detail about the U.S. Constitution—our Second Amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.

“Even more surprising was the number of people who expressed a wish that they, too, could be given the right to defend themselves and their families. And in several European countries, gun-rights measures are being actively addressed…”
Continue reading “America’s 1st Freedom | Is Europe Grasping For Gun Rights?”

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America doesn’t actually lead the world in mass shootings | New York Post

America doesn’t actually lead the world in mass shootings

The claim that the US has by far the most mass public shootings in the world drives much of the gun-control debate. Many argue that America’s high rate of gun possession explains the high rate of mass shootings.

Source: America doesn’t actually lead the world in mass shootings | New York Post

Indeed, many do so argue, and do so vociferously and publicly. But as this article points out, that assumption is incorrect, and grounded on inaccurate data:

“[Criminologist Adam Lankford’s]’s data [purporting to support the claim that the U.S. leads the world in mass shootings] grossly under-count foreign attacks. We found 1,423 attacks outside the United States. Looking at just a third of the time Lankford studied, we still found 15 times as many shooters.

“Even when we use coding choices that are most charitable to Lankford, such as excluding any cases of insurgencies or battles over territory, his estimate of the US share of shooters falls from 31 percent to 1.43 percent. It also accounts for 2.1 percent of murders, and 2.88 percent of their attacks. All these are much less than the United States’ 4.6 percent share of the population.

“Of the 86 countries where we have identified mass public shootings, the US ranks 56th per capita in its rate of attacks and 61st in mass public shooting murder rate. Norway, Finland, Switzerland and Russia all have at least 45 percent higher rates of murder from mass public shootings than the United States.

“When Lankford’s data is revised, the relationship between gun ownership rates and mass public shooters disappears.”

In other words, far from being the country leading the world in per-capita mass shootings, the U.S. is actually far down the list. Like the purported problem of police shootings of young black males, which pales to insignificance compared to the very real problem of black-on-black violence, the primary claim behind the gun-control mania of the Left is shown to be based in deeply erroneous data.

How much longer are we going to allow our national debates to be driven by false and misleading claims, advanced to support radical Left-wing ideologies and agendas?

Will Riley of “Stand for the Second”: “There Is a Human Right to Defend Yourself from Tyrannical Government”

‘Stand for the Second’ Will Riley

“For me, this isn’t about getting to the range. This isn’t about hunting, I’m not a hunter. This is about people’s rights. This is about human rights. And I think people often forget that there is a human right to defend yourself from a tyrannical government.”

Source: ‘Stand for the Second’s’ Will Riley: ‘There Is a Human Right to Defend Yourself from Tyrannical Government’ | Breitbart

On May 2, Breitbart News reported that students in schools around the country walked out of class in order to show support for gun rights via the “Stand for the Second” event. The event was organized by Will Riley, and he sat with Breitbart News for the upcoming episode of the podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins.

We asked about the motivation for the pro-gun walkout, and he said:

What drove me to action was I saw the response of the mainstream media to the movements of my peers — the March for Our Lives, the Enough walkouts during the national day of action — and I saw how the media was responding to that by creating this false narrative that my generation is somehow united behind gun control. I wanted to dispel that myth.

Riley made clear that he does not own a gun, that his ultimate motivation to “Stand for the Second” is his desire to preserve and/or recover founding principles and ideals.

He said, “For me, this isn’t about getting to the range. This isn’t about hunting, I’m not a hunter. This is about people’s rights. This is about human rights. And I think people often forget that there is a human right to defend yourself from a tyrannical government.”

He added, “My political concerns are very similar to Thomas Jefferson. I am very concerned with natural rights and the constitutional protections thereof.”

I have found it quite interesting how much coverage the pro-Second Amendment student walkouts received in the mainstream media: Zero. Nada. Crickets. One might almost think there was a dominant narrative that they wanted to promote, and that no deviations from that theme were permitted! But no, that couldn’t be, could it? The news media is supposed to objectively report the facts… right?

“I saw how the media was responding to that by creating this false narrative that my generation is somehow united behind gun control. I wanted to dispel that myth.”

As one young friend of mine commented, “this kid gets it.”

 


 

P.S. Here’s a map, published originally on CNN, showing the locations of walkouts during Stand the Second:

https://i2.wp.com/media.breitbart.com/media/2018/05/CNN-Walkout-Map.jpg

Was this event as big as the gun-ban protests? Probably not. It certainly didn’t get the level of media and political support they did, the infusion of funds, or the adult “advisors.” But I’m not sure I’d trust any of the mainstream media to provide accurate accounting, so we may never know for sure. But this map certainly demonstrates that it was not a small or local event!

What is particularly interesting to me is the number of walkouts in the Northeast, the West Coast, and the urbanized liberal enclaves in the Midwest, south of the Great Lakes. These are all areas which already have strict gun-control laws, and (if you believe the national narrative) want more. Clearly, not everyone who lives there agrees!

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.

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!