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03 January, 2013

Support the NRA -- Support Your Own Constitutional Rights

With the new year fresh upon us and our pathetic excuse for a do-nothing Congress returning from their holiday recess, now is the time for all of us to bite the bullet and enroll as paying members of the National Rifle Association.

I realize that there are those, even within the Prepper movement, who lean toward the Left politically and might, therefore, be hesitant to give money to an organization that is decidedly and unapologetically Right-of-center.  The thing you need to remember, though, is that the NRA is the only pro-2nd Amendment organization in Washington with the clout to actually influence legislation.  As a result, if you believe in the 2nd Amendment, then you damn well need to support the people whose only purpose is to protect that right.

Senator Feinstein (D-California) has already announced that, as soon as Congress reconvenes, she intends to introduce a brand new so-called "Assault Weapons Ban" bill.  This has, of course, been the linchpin of her personal agenda for years.  As a matter of fact, I would be amazed if this Bill hasn't been in the works for quite a while, just waiting for a chance to introduce it at a time when public sentiment has been drummed-up by recent tragedies to the point where she and the other gun-grabbing cronies imagine it might actually pass.

On that particular note, you might also want to scroll to the bottom of Senator Feinstein's own page and look at the title of one of the articles she's linked-to -- it's called "Reason to Hope After the Newtown Rampage," as if such a sentiment isn't perhaps among the most disgusting things ever put in print.  Then again, it was Democratic heavy-hitter Rahm Emmanuel who famously said that, in politics, you should never let a good crisis go to waste.

I have good friends who are Democrats, so you won't hear me denigrating them all, but people like Rahm Emmanuel, the Senators Feinstein and Schumer, and Mayor Bloomberg of New York, are truly despicable cretins who want nothing more than to take away our rights to everything from owning firearms to choosing our own soft-drink sizes.  Screw them and everybody who looks like them.

These are the same types of sniveling little piss-ants who tax the beejesus out of tobacco products, then use the money to pay tobacco farmers not to grow tobacco, thus reducing the amount of the product that is on the market and driving prices up even more.  This is done on purpose as a means of forcing a certain percentage of people into quitting smoking, thereby legislating morality... *THEIR* morality, which they have decided you and I should have to live by in what was once a free country.  They know best and so they should decide for the rest of us, and, because the supreme law of the land limits how far they can carry that particular mad scheme, they instead lie awake at night and dream of ways to manipulate the game so that they can still get their way.  If "We the people..." had any backbone left at all, we would have forcefully deported these people years ago.

But, the real stupidity in all of this is that Sen. Feinstein's new baby, even if it passes, will be nothing more than a "feel good law" that won't make anyone any safer.  Never mind the fact that its predecessor the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban had little or no impact whatsoever on the number of gun crimes in America, a fact that is supported by a University of Pennsylvania study commissioned by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) as well as some former supporters of that legislation.  That's part of the reason it was allowed to "sunset" in 2004, in the first place.  Even ABC News admits that, even if it had still been in place, it's unlikely it would have done a thing to stop the terrible tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut recently, and they're correct.

Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) also announced recently that he was weighing in with proposed legislation that he's calling the “NRA Members’ Gun Safety Act,” because it calls for certain reforms that he says Republican pollster Frank Luntz has verified a majority of NRA members agree would probably be a good idea if implemented.  It calls for 1.) Background checks for every gun purchase (74% NRA member support); 2.) Background checks on gun shop employees (79% NRA member support); 3.) Prohibiting people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms (71% NRA member support); 4.) Require gun owners to report to police when their guns are lost or stolen (64% NRA member supports); and 5.) Establish minimum standards for concealed carry permits (63-75% NRA member support for each standard).

And, you know what?  Those are good ideas.  The problem: In no way would any such measures have prevented the Connecticut murder-spree.

Let's apply some logic here: Adam Lanza didn’t have a carry permit for the handguns, and, if anything, the standardized training he would have received under a national CCW standard would have made him even a more deadly shot than he already was.  He killed his mother when he stole her firearms; it's difficult to call the police and report that your guns have been stolen when you're dead.  He was not on a terrorist watch list and neither was his mother, who legally purchased the guns he used after murdering her.  As for the rest, can anyone explain to me how prying into the background of a gun shop employee has any bearing whatsoever on the killings that this legislation is supposedly trying to address?  He didn't buy the damn things!!!

In the face of all of the above, it is then patently obvious that this, too, is just one more example of a REactive "feel good law," the purpose of which is to accomplish nothing more than to allow the esteemed Congressman Moran a chance to get his face in front of TV cameras on Sunday talk shows, and to milk fundraising dollars from Anti-Gun zealots in a way that doesn't anger his Pro-Gun constituents enough for him to likely lose their votes.  It's pointless and manipulative and he should be ashamed of himself.

But, then again, these are the same subset of political fanatics who enacted "Operation Fast and Furious," -- a small part of "Project Gunrunner," through which they purposely allowed semi-auto weapons to be illegally sold into Mexico, where they have been used in countless murders.  In fact, one of those who is confirmed to have been killed by gunmen wielding these weapons was American border patrol agent Brian Terry.  The entire nation should have been outraged, but it wasn't.  And then, to top it all, the fact that these weapons were being used to create such havoc *AFTER THEY PURPOSEFULLY ALLOWED THEM TO BE TRAFFICKED THERE*, was used by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Administration in an attempt to roust-up support for tighter gun-control here to curb the violence south of the border.  Now how's that for some masterful manipulation?  It might have worked too; we would have never even known this debacle existed, had it not been for dissenting ATF agents who came forward and spoke to the press in the wake of Terry's murder.

The real truth of the matter is that this whole thing is being used as a "boogey man" to scare Americans, yet again, into relinquishing their freedoms in return for a false veneer of safety.  You're far more likely to be killed driving to work on any given day than in a mass-shooting incident, and the same is true for your children on their way to school.

In fact, the period within which the ban was in effect between 1994-2004 was absolutely riddled with mass-shooting incidents.  Such incidents are pretty big news, so you'd think people would remember them a little better.  Of course, the other aspect that people seem unaware of (because the mainstream media purposefully plays them down) are all the instances where lawful and responsible gun owners stepped-in and foiled what would have been even more tragedies.  By the way, another of these events occurred just a few days ago, where an armed homeowner fought-off a troupe of would-be home invaders while a bunch of little girls who were there for a slumber party were in the house.  And, as I was typing this, yet another such story is circulating on social media, wherein another mass-shooting was foiled by an off-duty police officer carrying a concealed weapon; this one, apparently, occurred just a few days after the Sandy Hook murder spree, yet it is being virtually ignored by the mainstream media, especially on the national level.  Why?  Because it doesn't fit their agenda, that's why.

You may have recently caught wind of the fact that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has been making the rounds, claiming that the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban is the reason crime rates have fallen, but that's because he's a moron who has spent far too much time in the pit of Congress and his own Liberal fantasies.  Even a cursory understanding of what is actually happening in the real world would wake him and his deluded friends up to the fact that, nearly everywhere in this country, the number of concealed-carry permits have skyrocketed, meaning there are more guns on the street now then there ever were since the friggin' Old West.  If his logic were correct, wouldn't that mean there should be more crime, not less?  Also, there's the inconvenient little fact that the law he's touting went away nearly nine years ago, and the crime rates kept on a-droppin' even after all those demonic "assault weapons" and their "high-powered" ammo became legal again.

Dr. John Lott, Ph.D., who has spent his entire career doing academic research and has been published more than 90 times in peer-reviewed academic journals, proves these points implicitly in his book, "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws" (Kindle edition).  That book, itself, is simply an expansion of an earlier study conducted by he and a co-author that was published in 1997.  His premise has been supported by at least one criminologist and professor from Virginia Commonwealth University, who himself conducted an analysis of the numbers for the state of Virginia: gun-related violence fell steadily from 2006 to the present, despite record firearm sales.  Facts are facts, folks, and anyone who disputes them is either a fool or a liar.  Period.  To be fair, there are those who dispute his methodology, but, in a panel at a 1999 conference put together by a division of Yale Law School and published in a special issue of The Journal of Law and Economics, more academics supported his premise in their peer-reviewed papers than were in opposition to it.

And then there's the fact that the wording of the Bill seems to include lots of guns that no rational human being would consider to meet the criteria of being dubbed as "assault weapons."  They want to ban all ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds, which, under an earlier draft, would have included rifles like the Marlin Model 60, the tubular magazine of which holds 14 rounds.  The problem, of course, is that it is chambered for the .22LR rimfire cartridge, a round most commonly used in target practice shooting, small-game hunting, and pest control.  As a result, the Marlin Model 60 should only be considered a dangerous "assault weapon" if the person doing the designating happens to be either a rabbit or a squirrel.

Apparently, between then and now, someone with a brain weighed-in, and the latest drafts now include a specific exception for tubular-fed .22 caliber rifles.  So, when they're finished destroying this country, we won't be able to defend ourselves properly, but at least we'll still have the ability to hunt squirrels for our stew-pot.

Also, these people seem not to understand the difference between a semi-auto weapon and a full-on automatic "machine gun" -- I've heard them referred to as "machine gun-type weapons" numerous times.  They are also overly fond of referring to the "high-powered" .223 cartridge fired by the AR-15, when, in fact, the .233 is a "varmint round" best suited to shooting coyotes and is far less powerful than common deer-hunting rounds like the .30-06 and .308 Winchester.  In short, we're in danger of having gun laws passed that curtail our freedoms by people who don't seem to know a thing about guns, in the first place.

Also, I find it interesting that these same Anti-Gun hypocrites are all over the *EXCEEDINGLY RARE* statistical outlier mass-shootings, yet it only makes it to the local news that inner-city minorities are killing each other every day.  It seems that more people die in a typical weekend in Chicago than in these mass-shootings, despite the strict gun control that is already in place there.  Yet, the mainstream national media is nearly silent. 

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the reason for the media's silence is that: A.) Because strict gun control is already on the books in these areas, they cannot use them as fodder to support their radical Anti-Gun, Anti-2nd Amendment agenda; and, B.) Because drawing widespread attention to this violence would cause them to have to answer some very uncomfortable questions regarding why crime is nearly universally worse where strict gun control exists, yet homicide rates have fallen in areas where the freedom of responsible gun owners is respected.

This is also the reason why events like the ones highlighted earlier in this article, wherein armed citizens used their firearms to stop mass-shootings and other crimes, barely get a mention in anything other than local news and are regularly glossed-over or outright ignored by the national press.  They only report what they want you to know, so that they can manipulate how you feel.

The City of Chicago, in all truth, has been a wonderful example of why gun control *DOESN'T* make people any safer, or, that is, it would if the rabid Leftist fanatics who are screaming about gun violence cared anything at all about those inconvenient things called *FACTS*.  Chicago already has perhaps the most stringent gun laws anywhere in the United States, and yet they recorded more than 500 gun murders in 2012 and 11 criminal shootings (with one death) in the early hours of the New Year alone.  That 2012 number, by the way, represents more than a 20% increase over 2011.

How many of those people might be alive today if their so-called Progressive leaders hadn't crippled their natural animal right to defend themselves?  Is this what you want where you live?  Justifiable homicides are way, way up in similarly crime-rocked Detroit, where the economic crisis has resulted in the police being stretched too thin to effectively protect the people: how many of them might be dead now if they'd had the misfortune to live in Chicago instead?

Maybe we ought to ask the Grand Hypocrite herself, Senator Feinstein, who openly admitted during a hearing of the U.S. Senate to carrying a concealed firearm in the past herself.  That was in 1995, the same year she called for the outright banning of all firearms!

You will also hear many well-meaning individuals argue that semi-auto "assault rifles" are military-style weapons and that no civilian was ever meant to have those.  The Constitution and the 2nd Amendment, specifically, is outdated, they argue, because it was written at a time when people were carrying muskets as opposed to weapons that are capable of firing rapidly.  This again, however, is yet another failure of logic that has been spoon-fed to them by the media and the politicians they identify with.  Yes, muskets were the weapons of that day, but where these folks fail to make the proper connection is the fact that such was true for both civilians *AS WELL AS THE MILITARY*.  Every rancher, cattleman, farmer, woodsman, and pioneer who helped to settle this country did so in the possession of so-called military-grade weapons, so to argue it's any different now is, quite simply, disingenuous.  In fact, we're less free now than they were; at that time, they enjoyed the use of weapons that *TRULY* matched-up against the military-grade stuff, whereas, for us, full-auto weapons are illegal and have been for quite a long time.

As long as criminal gangs are routinely carrying full-on automatic machine guns illegally (which will be forever), then a semi-auto rifle is a tool of self-defense.  Period.  A handgun, even a semi-auto, with only a seven round magazine is useless against an assailant carrying a black-market Uzi or TEC-9 or even knives if there are multiple assailants involved.  To that, many will argue that, in a modern society, we should simply call 911 if attacked and depend on the authorities to protect us.  Such arguments might even be reasonable (despite the fact that they promote a society of sniveling Nanny State dependents) were it not for response times, especially in rural areas, being so long.

A few months ago, my stepfather had a health scare, requiring us to call an ambulance to rush him to the hospital.  Despite the emergency, it took over 35 minutes for the rescue squad to arrive, and we had to give directions to the 911 Dispatcher twice.  The moral of the story is that, if I am ever attacked in my home, the police will be along afterward to mop-up the scene and take everybody's statement, not to play an active role in my rescue.  The shooting will be all over long before they get here.  Going the 911 route might work in the perfect fantasy world that some politicians seem to call home, but, unfortunately, those of us who find ourselves at the whim of their frivolous, misguided decisions have no choice but to live here in the real world.

And none of that even goes into the fact that a well-armed citizenry being able to keep the government in check is the main reason for the Right to Bear Arms being included in the Constitution, in the first place.  Anyone who believes that the 2nd Amendment was specifically meant to protect sport hunting is a moron; when this nation was founded, most everybody hunted as a means of procuring food, and the Founders had no way of knowing that a day would come when most of us could just buy our meat at a supermarket -- there would have been no reason to spell that out in law.  It's there, spelled-out in writing, because the Founders gave us a nation where we are all sovereign citizens, not subjects of a higher authority.  We *ARE* the higher authority, and the government is meant to be subject to our will.  The 2nd Amendment exists, specifically, to guarantee that it stays that way.  It is an insurance policy against future tyranny and subjugation.  Making sure people don't have the ability to defend themselves is a tenant of Fascism, and going up against machine guns (whether they be in the hands of criminals or soldiers serving some future tyrannical government) with nothing but a pistol and a bolt-action .30-06 deer rifle is the very definition of being unable to defend oneself.

It isn't a matter of believing or disbelieving one might ever actually need a weapon to defend themselves against a criminal or even their own government-turned-rogue; it is an insurance policy.  We all think nothing of paying for car and homeowners insurance every month, yet we don't plan on having an accident or suffering a house-fire.  We're simply ready, if the worst should ever actually occur, and we call that good citizenship.  I view firearm ownership no differently.

And those, ladies and gentlemen, are the reasons why now is the time to join the NRA and help them to ensure that our rights are protectedAn Associate Membership is only $10 per year!  Also, be sure to write a respectful, but adamant letter to your elected representatives in the House and Senate to let them know how you feel and that their vote on the upcoming legislation will inform on whether or not you will vote for them the next time around.  A good portion of the text of this article was lifted directly from the messages I sent to my Congressman and both of my Senators (minus the more colorfully-worded bits, of course).

And, lest you think me a hypocrite, I finally jumped in and paid for my full-membership a few days ago.  As soon as my membership packet arrives, I'll be giving two members of my household the gift of associate memberships as well.  That's how strongly I feel about this subject.  That's how strongly I feel about our sacred Constitutional Rights.

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