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Posts Tagged ‘Gun Control’

WATCH: Bloomberg Tries to Defend Using Armed Guards While Pushing Gun Control

Posted by M. C. on March 3, 2020

Being a deplorable means you are not as responsible, intelligent, moral as “them”.

The gimmee free stuff snowflakes are just as deplorable in “their” eyes. They can’t see the forest for the Play-Doh.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/03/02/watch-bloomberg-tries-to-defend-using-armed-guards-while-pushing-gun-control/

by AWR Hawkins

An attendee at the March 2, 2020, Fox News town hall asked Mike Bloomberg why he pushes gun control for the common man but surrounds himself with armed security.

The attendee said, “You have an armed security detail that is likely equipped with the same firearms and magazines you seek to ban the common citizen from owning. Does your life matter more than mine or my family’s?”

Bloomberg responded by admitting to having an armed detail, and suggesting he needs armed protection because he gets more threats than the common man.

On February 3, 2020, Breitbart News reported that Bloomberg enjoyed armed security even as he campaigned on a platform of gun control for the common man.

The New York Post reported on Bloomberg referring to the NYPD as his “own army,” while Mayor of New York City. And on January 25, 2019, NRA-ILA reported that after his tenure as mayor ended, “Bloomberg hired some of the same  [NYPD] officers from his security detail to work for him privately.” Yet he continued to push gun control for average Americans.

In 2017 Fox News’ sTucker Carlson pointed to the hypocrisy of Bloomberg’s actions:

So Bloomberg is campaigning on gun control for the common man but availing himself of good guys with guns for self-protection.

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RECKONIN’ Revolution in Virginia – My Corner by Boyd Cathey

Posted by M. C. on March 3, 2020

https://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/

Friends,

Back on February 3 I offered an essay on the “Revolution in Virginia… Foretaste of What is to Come for us All.” That essay was edited a bit and picked and published by Dr. Clyde Wilson’s web site, Reckonin.com, and I pass it along to you today. Given what has happened in the once-traditional “Old Dominion State,” and is now occurring in states like North Carolina and Georgia—with the infusion of millions of Leftwing dollars (via George Soros, Mike Bloomberg, etc.) into state politics, and the organization of revolutionary cells and pressure groups (not to mention the nearly complete domination of the media by extreme Leftist opinion-makers)—citizens in Red states need to know about—let’s call it what it is—the “subversion” by dedicated and well-financed radicals to seize power in those states.

I hope to be treating this topic in the future as well.

RECKONIN’

Revolution in Virginia

http://reckonin.com/boyd-cathey/revolution-in-virginia

By Boyd D. Cathey     2/22/2020

My friend Al Benson has recently authored a series of short but critical essays chronicling what has happened and is happening in the Old Dominion State after the radicalized “woke” social justice warriors—flush with campaign cash from George Soros and Michael Bloomberg—now have taken control of that state’s government. Several columns have addressed the incremental attempts by the new Democratically-dominated Virginia House of Deputies and Senate to place onerous restrictions on gun ownership—attempts which produced a major opposition rally of more than 22,000 citizens against those actions on January 20.

One of his columns, “The French Revolution Comes To The Old Dominion” (February 2, 2020), compares what is happening there to the French Revolution and the revolutionaries who instigated it. Opposition to their designs and actions was swept away by violence and the guillotine.  “By the time the Illuminists got through with their reign of terror in France, the country was ready for a Napoleon and it got one…. [Governor] Red Ralph Northam and his socialist cohorts in Richmond want to give the Old Dominion an encore.”

Despite the groundswell of rejection, the Virginia legislature is proceeding with an agenda which not only encompasses the first steps in what may prove to be comprehensive gun control, but also a panoply of progressivist measures that range from releasing violent criminals from prison (just as New York state has done, with very bad consequences), to essentially abortion on demand, to placing restrictions on free speech (or, euphemistically, “banning hate speech,” as they call it). And there is more assuredly which will come.

If this sounds like something imported from California, you would be correct. As Benson details, not only Bloomberg and Soros, but California leftist hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer has pumped millions into Virginia politics, even as far back as 2017 (“Red Ralph? Then There Are the Gun Nuts,” January 10, 2020). Steyer, of course, is running for president, a long-shot in the upcoming Democratic primaries. An elitist, archetypical Deep State corporate capitalist insider, Steyer has been using his hedge fund lucre to propagate his vision of a utopian socialist America—and the Old Dominion State is just his latest target.

But among other targets—traditionally “red” states and constituencies—Virginia is not alone. Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and, yes, North Carolina all figure in this effort by Leftist billionaires at employing millions of dollars (ill-gotten or otherwise) to sway an unobservant and pliant electorate. Such is, to paraphrase the brilliant essayist Henry Adams a later-day scion of the Adams family, “the degradation of democratic dogma,” the final absurdity of “democracy” reduced to its ultimate lowest common denominator. Or, as Southern Regionalist writer Donald Davidson described it: “Democracy, a fuddled wench/Is bought from tousled bed to bed./Bass voices in white vests defile/The echoes of great voices dead.” (Davidson, “The Tall Men”)

Consider North Carolina: Already initiatives are underway to do in the Tar Heel State what is occurring in neighboring Virginia.  Benson recounts (“The Sleeping Giant Is Waking Up In North Carolina,” January 13, 2020) that gun-rights activists have begun to recognize this and organize in some counties and municipalities.

Also, in recent months, several progressivist counties in the state (i.e., Mecklenburg, Wake, Buncombe, Orange, Durham, and Forsyth) have declared themselves to be “sanctuary counties” when it comes to ICE enforcement, and several Democratic sheriffs (notably in Wake and Mecklenburg counties) refuse to recognize Federal illegal immigration detainers.

And just within the past week Judicial Watch documented that “the Guilford and Mecklenburg county boards of elections are in violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)”: both counties—both of which are liberal bastions—have far more registered voters than voting-age citizens:

As of January 4, Mecklenburg County had 736,168 voter registrations while Guilford had 358,960. The problem is that the Census Bureau estimates that Mecklenburg County only has about 693,740 voting-age citizens while Guilford County only has about 371,190. In other words, Mecklenburg County has more registered voters than they have voting-age citizens and Guilford County has an improbably high voter registration rate of 97 percent.

North Carolina’s General Assembly currently has a Republican majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate, but repeated activist court decisions regarding voter ID and redistricting, not just on the congressional level but also for state legislative seats, in all likelihood put that in jeopardy in the November 2020 elections. (See, Ray Nothstine, “Judicial activism strikes again over voter ID law, NC Capitol Connection, January 2020, vol. 12, no. 1).

The import of all this clearly is that the frenzied left continues its unceasing and vigorous efforts to use and mold “democracy” and the democratic system in ways that, in effect, destroy it…or demonstrate what in its American manifestation it has in reality become. For the full, desired “democracy” of our social justice warriors is incompatible with true liberty, and as Russell Kirk writes in The Conservative Mind, leads to dictatorship.

Al Benson’s description, “The French Revolution Comes To The Old Dominion”–and to the rest of America–is entirely apposite.

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Elizabeth Warren Has a Bad Plan for Everything – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 1, 2020

Rest assured someone has to pay for all this “Free Stuff”.

Even the Leftist UK party figured this out when they trounced Corbyn.

Independents and moderates will be highly unlikely to support Marxist nutcases.

Count the times you read “tax”.

As George Will is fond of saying-Corporations are tax collectors, not tax payers. Taxes like most government mandates (minimum wage) are costs of business that get passed on.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/01/mike-mish-shedlock/elizabeth-warren-has-a-bad-plan-for-everything/

By

Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis

Elizabeth Warren wants to steer the US to the Left, radical Left.

If you are looking for ideas, Elizabeth Warren has a ton of them. All of them are bad. Please consider Elizabeth Warren’s Plan.

  1. Wealth tax: Tax net worth over $50 million at 2% a year, and 6% above $1 billion. To prevent the rich from yachting off, add a 40% “exit tax” on assets over $50 million upon renouncing U.S. citizenship. Estimated revenue: $3.75 trillion over a decade from 75,000 households. Most economists, including many Democrats, call that number a fantasy. Courts might also find the tax unconstitutional.
  2. Medicare for All tax: Mandate government coverage for everyone, including for illegal immigrants, with no copays or deductibles. Phase out the private plans of 170 million Americans. She says this would cost $20.5 trillion over a decade, which most economists say is $10 trillion short of reality. Keep the growth of health spending below 4% a year with tools like “population-based budgets” and “automatic rate reductions.” Pay doctors at “Medicare rates” and hospitals at 110% of that. Charge companies with at least 50 workers an “Employer Medicare Contribution,” equal to 98% of their recent outlays on health care, while adjusting for inflation and changes in staff size. These varying fees “would be gradually shifted to converge at the average health care cost-per-employee nationally.”
  3. Global corporate tax: Raise the top business rate to 35%. Apply this as a world-wide minimum on overseas earnings by U.S. companies. Businesses would “pay the difference between the minimum tax and the rate in the countries where they book their profits.” Apply a similar minimum tax to foreign companies, prorated by the share of their sales made in the U.S. Estimated revenue: $1.65 trillion over a decade.
  4. Corporate surtax: Tax profit over $100 million at a new 7% rate, without exemptions. This would go atop the regular corporate rate. Estimated revenue: $1 trillion over a decade from 1,200 public companies.
  5. Slower expensing: “Our current tax system lets companies deduct the cost of certain investments they make in assets faster than those assets actually lose value.” Closing this “loophole,” she says, would raise $1.25 trillion over a decade.
  6. Higher capital gains taxes: Tax the investment gains of the wealthiest 1% as ordinary income, meaning rates near 40% instead of today’s 23.8%. Apply the tax annually on gains via a “mark to market” system, even if the asset hasn’t been sold. Estimated revenue: $2 trillion over a decade.
  7. Finance taxes: Tax the sale of bonds, stocks and so forth at 0.1%. Estimated revenue: $800 billion over a decade. Charge big banks a systemic risk fee, raising $100 billion more.
  8. Individual tax increases: There’s no detailed proposal, but Ms. Warren’s clean-energy plan is “paid for by reversing Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and giant corporations.” She’s budgeted $1 trillion.
  9. Social Security: Increase benefits by $2,400 a year across the board. Raise them further “for lower-income families, women, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color” by changing “outdated” rules that Ms. Warren says disadvantage them.
  10. Lobbying tax: Tax “excessive lobbying” over $500,000 a year at rates up to 75%. Ms. Warren says this would have raised $10 billion over the past decade, although it probably runs headlong into the First Amendment’s right to petition the government. Use the revenue for “a surge of resources to Congress and federal agencies.”
  11. Green New Deal: Spend $3 trillion, including $1.5 trillion on industrial mobilization, $400 billion on research, and $100 billion on a Marshall Plan. By 2030 hit 100% carbon-neutral power and 100% zero-emission new cars. Retrofit “4% of houses and buildings every year.” For “environmental justice,” put a third of the funds into “the most vulnerable communities.”
  12. An end to fossil fuels: Ban fracking. Halt new drilling leases on federal land. “Prohibit future fossil fuel exports.” Kill the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. “Subject each new infrastructure project to a climate test.” Give “workers transitioning into new industries” a “guaranteed wage and benefit parity” and “promised pensions and early retirement benefits.”
  13. K-12 education: Add $450 billion to Title I, $200 billion for students with disabilities, $100 billion for “excellence grants,” and $50 billion for school upgrades. “End federal funding for the expansion of charter schools.”
  14. A “right” to child care: Build a federal network of local providers, subject to national standards. Give free care to the “millions of children” whose households are under 200% of poverty, or $51,500 for a family of four. For everyone else, cap child-care spending at 7% of income. Estimated cost: $700 billion.
  15. Free college: “Give every American the opportunity to attend a two-year or four-year public college without paying a dime in tuition or fees.” Add $100 billion to Pell Grants and $50 billion for historically black colleges, tribal schools and more. Estimated cost: $610 billion.
  16. Student-debt forgiveness: Write off $50,000 for households with incomes under $100,000. This would phase out as income rises toward $250,000. Estimated cost: $640 billion.
  17. Housing: Spend $500 billion “to build, preserve, and rehab” millions of affordable-housing units. Condition such funding “on repealing state laws that prohibit local rent control.” Paid for by lowering the death-tax exemption to $7 million from $22 million per couple. At the same time, “raise the tax rates above that threshold.”
  18. Unions: Overturn “so-called ‘right to work’ laws” in 27 states. Guarantee public employees an ability to “bargain collectively in every state.” Amend labor law to aid “sectoral bargaining.” Give the National Labor Relations Board “much stronger” powers, such as “to impose compensatory and punitive damages.”
  19. Corporate governance: Make companies with revenue over $1 billion obtain a new federal charter—separate from the current state charter system—that requires them to “consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders.” Give workers 40% of board seats, and put CEOs under “a new criminal negligence standard.”
  20. Industrial policy: Manage the dollar’s value “more actively” to “promote exports and domestic manufacturing.” Create a Department of Economic Development, and have it write a National Jobs Strategy. Expand the Export-Import Bank. Impose a “border carbon adjustment” fee—that is, new tariffs—on imports from countries that don’t align with U.S. climate policies.
  21. Antitrust: Break up AmazonFacebook and Google. “Unwind” their mergers with Whole Foods, Instagram, DoubleClick and more. Regulate as a “platform utility” any online marketplace with global revenue of $25 billion. Reverse agriculture consolidation, “including the recent Bayer-Monsanto merger,” and create a “supply management program” to “guarantee farmers a price at their cost of production.”
  22. Banking: Pass “a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act that breaks up the big banks.” Let the U.S. Postal Service “partner with local community banks” to provide “basic banking services like checking and savings accounts.”
  23. Gun control: Create a “federal licensing system for the purchase of any type of firearm or ammunition.” Raise taxes to 30% on guns and 50% on ammo. Ban sales of “assault weapons,” and make current owners “register them under the National Firearms Act.” Pass a law to let shooting victims “hold the manufacturer of the weapon that harmed them strictly liable.”
  24. Centralized elections: Use federal money to “replace every voting machine in the country.” For federal elections, mandate early voting and same-day registration. If state elections follow the same rules, they can be “fully funded by the federal government,” with “a bonus for achieving high voter turnout.” Estimated cost: $20 billion, paid by “closing loopholes” in the death tax.
  25. Miscellaneous: Spend $100 billion “to end the opioid crisis,” $85 billion “to massively expand broadband access,” $25 billion on “health professional shortage areas,” and $7 billion “to close the gap in startup capital for entrepreneurs of color.” Double the foreign service and the Peace Corps.

Warren’s Marxist Manifesto Read the rest of this entry »

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Virginia’s Second Amendment Attack – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2019

“Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government … and whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/12/walter-e-williams/virginias-second-amendment-attack/

By

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam apologized for his medical school blackface stunt, but he will have much more to apologize for if he signs into law a bill that attacks Virginia citizens’ Second Amendment rights. The measure is Senate Bill 16, which would ban “assault” firearms and certain firearm magazines. Since Democrats have seized control of Virginia’s General Assembly, they are likely to push hard for strict gun control laws. Those laws will have zero impact on Virginia’s criminals and a heavy impact on Virginia’s law-abiding citizens who own, or intend to own, semi-automatic weapons for hunting or their protection. As a friend once explained to me, “I carry a gun because I can’t carry a cop.”

I am proud of my fellow Virginians’ response to the attack on their Second Amendment rights. Firearm owners in the state have joined with sheriffs to form Second Amendment sanctuary counties. That means local authorities will be required to protect Second Amendment rights in the face of any attempt by Virginia’s General Assembly to abrogate those rights. Eighty-six counties — over 90% — in the Virginia commonwealth have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions. Spotsylvania County’s board of supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution declaring that county police will not enforce state-level gun laws that violate Second Amendment rights.

Sheriff Chad Cubbage said, “Be it be known that the Page Sheriff hereby declares Page County, Virginia, as a ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary,’ and that the Page County Sheriff hereby declares its intent to oppose any infringement on the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.” Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins made a vow during a board of supervisors meeting, where the board unanimously agreed to declare the county a Second Amendment constitutional county, to “properly screen and deputize thousands of our law-abiding citizens to protect their constitutional right to own firearms.”

In an attempt to appease citizen resistance, Northam suggested there would be a ban on only the sales of semi-automatic rifles. He would allow gun owners to keep their current AR-15s and similar rifles as long as they registered them. Otherwise, they must surrender the rifles. I’d urge Virginians not to fall for the registration trick. Knowing who owns what weapons is the first step to confiscation. Governor Northam further warned, “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be consequences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.” Some Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill say that local police who do not enforce gun control laws should face prosecution and even threats of the use of the National Guard.

Virginians must heed the words and capture the spirit of their two most distinguished citizens, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. These resolutions referred to the federal government but are just as applicable to state governments in principle. They said: “Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government … and whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.”

Too many Americans view the Second Amendment as granting Americans the right to own firearms to go hunting and for self-protection. But the framers of our Constitution had no such intent in mind. James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 46 wrote that the Constitution preserves “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” Thomas Jefferson wrote: “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” Similar quotations about our founders’ desire for Americans to be armed against the possible abuses of government can be found here.

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How active shooter drills are used to terrorize the public into supporting gun control – NaturalNews.com

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2019

Fear, Control and of course the Money.

Take my former governor, please. Cashing in.

Another reason to ban Natural News from social media.

https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-10-09-active-shooter-drills-are-used-to-terrorize-the-public-gun-control.html

(Natural News) In lieu of the media-generated threat over mass shootings, public schools throughout the country are regularly conducting active shooter drills with some of these drills featuring simulated gun fire to further terrorize children.

(Article by Shane Trejo republished from BigLeaguePolitics.com)

One such drill happened last week in Dayton, OH – the site of a mass shooting in August by an ANTIFA-linked killer which resulted in 10 deaths.

The Dayton Daily News reported about the drill that took place on Oct. 1:

School Resource Officer Amanda Myers said students will meet in their homerooms and will be taken to the auditorium for a presentation about the drill they are about to experience. She said teachers in the building went through a similar drill two weeks ago.

Myers said after the presentation, students will return to their classrooms and await the start of the scripted drill. She said teachers will have the option to say where the shots were coming from or not during the drill. During each set of shots, the students and teachers will talk about it and a possible plan of action whether to barricade their classroom or evacuate.

Outside of the building, staff members will be wearing safety vests to assist and direct students to pre-determined safe zones. In addition, there will be school buses circulating in the adjacent neighborhood which will also be safe zones. The safety staff members will have a list of safety steps relating to medical treatment, cover and concealment, bus locations.

Following the drill, students will return to their homerooms as well as back to the auditorium for a one-hour debriefing. After lunch, students will have discussions with their teachers and participate in social emotional activities.

Other drills featuring simulated gun fire have occurred without any prior notice and were done to send the message to children that they are never safe.

Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, FL issued a “code red” lock-down on Dec. 8 of last year. A voice broadcast over the PA system that “this is not a drill,” as teachers were sent text messages telling them that an active shooter was on the premises. It sent the entire school into hysteria, for what turned out to be a cruel hoax perpetrated by the county Sheriff’s Office.

“It took a lot of people a lot of time to process what was happening,” said 17-year-old Miryam Elshaer, who was traumatized by the ordeal, to the Orlando Sentinel. “In my head I was like, ‘Oh my god I could’ve died today.’”

“My first reaction was anger,” said 16-year-old Sabrina Bonadio after the drill tok place. “No one really talked about the emotional impact, which I feel like is more longer lasting. I feel like [administrators] never really recognized that people had panic attacks.”

Experts have indicated that there is no evidence showing that these active shooter drills increase public safety at all. They are routinely compared to the laughable and futile “duck and cover” drills that children were made to do in the 1950s in case of a nuclear holocaust.

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Leftist Donors Use Arabella Advisors to Finance Massive Gun Control Push

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2019

Hope and Heal Fund itself was launched in October 2017 with $2 million from eight far-left funding groups, including the Akonadi Foundation, the California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation, and California Wellness Foundation…

I guess it pays to take a look at anyone you do business. In the case of health care you probably don’t have much choice. Make a fuss and you may end up out of coverage.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/01/leftist-donors-use-arabella-advisors-to-finance-massive-gun-control-push/

by Capital Research Center (Sponsored)

The following article is sponsored by Capital Research Center.

A massively funded strategy company that operates below the radar to push the interests of wealthy leftist donors quietly helps lead a funding nexus that advocates for gun control policies.

The secretive Arabella Advisors is a centralized hub that runs nonprofit arms that in turn have spawned a nexus of hundreds of front organizations outwardly designed to appear grassroots but actually working against ordinary people by expanding government control in the lives of Americans.

Arabella’s vast network was unmasked in an extensive exposé by conservative watchdog Capital Research Center, which documents the shadowy system developed by, housed in, and staffed by the for-profit, privately held Arabella Advisors.

The Arabella firm in turn manages four nonprofits: the New Venture Fund, Sixteen Thirty Fund, Windward Fund, and Hopewell Fund. These nonprofit entities play host to hundreds of groups and projects that promote interests and political movements strategically deployed in a long-term campaign to nudge the country to the left.

Capital Research’s Center’s report spotlights the Hope and Heal Fund, a donor collaborative based in California that itself serves as a central funding hub tied to scores of other donor groups that finance other groups that advocate federal gun control measures.

The Hope and Heal Fund is sponsored by Arabella’s New Venture Fund. It is led by Brian Malte, a longtime senior national policy director for the gun control advocacy group Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The Hope and Heal Fund’s website lists 12 other “member” groups, most of which themselves fund large numbers of individual gun control organizations.

Hope and Heal’s funding collaborative members include:

  • The Akonadi Foundation, whose website says the organization engages in “ecosystem grantmaking” that “recognize(s) how history and culture have allowed the privileges associated with ‘whiteness’ and the disadvantages associated with ‘color’ to endure, adapt, and accumulate over time.”
  • The Heising-Simons Foundation, which finances scores of far-left organizations.
  • The Weingart Foundation, which boasts it works to “provide unrestricted funding to organizations advancing racial, social and economic equity.”
  • The California Wellness Foundation, which has awarded over $1 billion in grants since 1992 and focuses in part on “gun violence prevention.”

Hope and Heal Fund itself was launched in October 2017 with $2 million from eight far-left funding groups, including the Akonadi Foundation, the California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation, and California Wellness Foundation, Capital Research’s report documents.

The report also reveals that, besides gun control advocacy, Arabella Advisors has been quietly behind a hydra-like dark money network of pop-up groups designed to look like grassroots activist organizations. These front groups push everything from opposition to President Trump’s proposed border wall to support for Obamacare to gun control to government control of the Internet to pro-abortion activism and other left-wing causes.

Arabella’s nonprofits raised a combined $1.6 billion from 2013-2017 with the aim of advancing “the political policies desired by wealthy left-wing interests through hundreds of ‘front’ groups,” according to the report. “And those interests pay well: the network’s revenues grew by an incredible 392 percent over that same period.”

“Together, these groups form an interlocking network of ‘dark money’ pop-up groups and other fiscally sponsored projects, all afloat in a half-billion-dollar ocean of cash,” states the report. “The real puppeteer, though, is Arabella Advisors, which has managed to largely conceal its role in coordinating so much of the professional Left’s infrastructure under a mask of ‘philanthropy.’”

Read the full Arabella report here.

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The Myth of Political Inaction on Gun Control | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2019

https://mises.org/power-market/myth-political-inaction-gun-control

Tho Bishop

One of the many unfortunate consequences of the politicization of America is the natural reaction for political factions to bunker down with dependable talking points in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy. There is perhaps no issue where this is more obvious than gun control, where the political discourse has effectively devolved into sharing mindless memes before even the most basic facts are known. Obviously, the repeated reading of political scripts lends itself to the perpetuation of false conclusions and faulty analysis.

One of the best writers out there correcting the record is our own Ryan McMaken. His work has highlighted there is plenty of evidence that shows that there is simply no correlation between gun ownership rates and gun violence, the misuse of international comparisons to America, and that it’s a general mistake to look at a collective rate of gun violence in the US.

Beyond the issue of gun policy itself, there is another basic fallacy whenever there is a discussion over political solutions to a particular problem — a narrow focus on federal action.

For example, in the aftermath of this weekend’s shootings, there has been a lot of noise regarding the lack of federal responses to past mass shootings. Ignoring the questions of whether any sort of legislative response would be either desirable or constitutional, there is a fundamental problem in viewing the federal government as the only legislative body that creates public policy.

If we consider state governments, for example, we have seen a dramatic rise in gun control measures since the Parkland High School shooting in 2018.

As Pew Research noted in August of last year, 50 different gun-focused bills were signed into law by both Democrat and Republican governors just five months after the tragedy. This trend continued in 2019, with numerous bills working their way across the country, particularly the “red flag” laws that have even won the support of the NRA.

GunControlLineGraph_0.png

Source: Pew Research

(For a handy chart of 2018 legislation passed, click here.)

As one would expect, states have taken dramatically different approaches to the issue, based on their population and ideological bent of the legislature. California, for example, has passed some of the most restrictive laws in the country, including background checks on ammo purchases and a ban on large-capacity magazines that has been the subject of a legal challenge. In contrast, Oklahoma’s governor signed a “Constitutional Carry” bill just this year.

The advantages of this decentralized approach are numerous.

One, there are clear differences in the needs and wishes of a state like California and a place like Wyoming or Montana.

Two, it helps defuse the high-stakes game of political domination that has helped erode American civil society. If half the country views the right to bear arms as a natural right that serves as a vital bulwark against government tyranny, and the other views it as an immoral defense of normalizing weapons of war, there is very little room for compromise. Instead, these political disagreements become a battle of the politically powerful vs. the politically vanquished, with the sides being determined every two years. Control over the senate or the judicial system becomes a matter of self-defense. The result is the saying of “politics as war through other means” taking on a very literal reading.

A third advantage arises when we look at the performance of these state-passed gun laws, allowing the opportunity for unexpected consequences of these policies to play out in real life.

For example, we have seen how red-light laws in Maryland have led to the death of a man never convicted of a crime. Similarly, we’ve seen county-level nullification of tighter gun control laws in Washington state, with rural county sheriffs refusing to enforce laws promoted by urban politicians that they see as unconstitutional infringements on the second amendment (and an example of political decentralization beyond the state level).

A less obvious consequence is that pushing for legislation at the federal level helps feed the political theater of the absurd.

For example, if Republican politicians know that gun control is extremely unpopular with their base, but don’t want to be seen as being indifferent to a national tragedy, their response is to find easier targets to hit. This has played out this weekend with many Republican leaders, including the president, returning to the tired old crusade of ranting about video games and social media as the true villains of this weekend’s tragedies.

Of course, we should not underestimate a politician’s ability to turn obvious absurdity into law. It is easy to foresee there being enough dolts in Congress willing to act on such desperate scapegoating.

In fact, as some forms of gun control manage to win bipartisan support, the best protection against federal infringement of American gun rights is the very political dysfunction often lamented by the press and other “Serious People.”

Any American that values their gun rights should hope some new twitter spat between Trump and “the Squad” can prevent bipartisan cooperation toward the president’s desire to “take the guns first, go through due process second.”

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Wars and Domestic Massacres – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/08/lew-rockwell/wars-and-massacres/

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This past weekend, 22 people were killed in El Paso, Texas and 9 in Dayton, Ohio.  There have been a number of other mass shootings in the past two decades or so; the largest was in Las Vegas in 2017, with 58 killed. This is sad, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the real perpetrators of death in America—-the US military.

It is been well-said that “it’s time for America to reckon with the staggering death toll of the post 9-11 wars.”

Brown University’s Costs of War Project this month released a new estimate of the total death toll from the U.S. wars in three countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The numbers, while conservatively estimated, are staggering. Brown’s researchers estimate that at least 480,000 people have been directly killed by violence over the course of these conflicts, more than 244,000 of them civilians. In addition to those killed by direct acts violence, the number of indirect deaths — those resulting from disease, displacement, and the loss of critical infrastructure — is believed to be several times higher, running into the millions.

The report, which uses data spanning from October 2001 to October 2018, compiles previous analysis from nongovernmental organizations, U.S. and foreign government data, and media reports. In a statement, the report authors said the figures still just “scratches the surface of the human consequences of 17 years of war.” Due to challenges in data collection, their total estimate is an undercount, they added.

If we want to end mass killing, this is what we should be trying to stop. Instead, the military is glorified. Deaths in war are downplayed, but when a mass shooting happens in an American city, the media saturates us with propaganda calling for gun control.

This is ironic not only because of the enormous disparity between the numbers killed by the military and those killed in mass shootings. It is also ironic because many of the mass shooters are people the military has trained to become mass killers. In the aftermath of yet another mass shooting in the United States, the internet and broadcast news alike are inundated with commentary about why this keeps happening in America… Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Gun Ownership Rates Tell Us Little About Homicide Trends in America | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 5, 2019

One of the rare websites where the commenters are on a par with the author.

https://mises.org/wire/why-gun-ownership-rates-tell-us-little-about-homicide-trends-america

Every time a homicide committed with a firearm makes the national news, it happens like clockwork: a variety of pundits in the corporate media quickly pen columns advocating for ever broader and stricter gun control laws. If only government agents were entrusted with a strict monopoly (or near-monopoly) on firearm ownership — we are told — then the United States would have much lower homicide rates similar to those found in most other so-called “developed” countries like Norway or Canada.

The journalists and pundits who write these articles present their argument as if they were merely repeating a consensus among scholars who all agree that guns are the reason homicide rates are significantly higher in the United States — well, in many parts of it — than in Canada and Europe.

But there’s a problem with this claim: there is not at all a consensus among criminologists, sociologists, and historians that guns are the primary or driving factor behind the United States’ relatively high homicide rates.

Gun-Driven Crime vs. Culture-Driven Crime

Contrary to the simplistic narrative often pushed by columnists at the Washington Post, et al, homicide scholars frequently debate the most important factors behind the US’s homicide numbers.

To be sure, the “more guns, more homicide” position is influential among researchers. Numerous studies have appeared in the past twenty years attempting to draw a causal relationship between total gun-ownership numbers and homicide. Some of the more notable studies include “The Social Costs of Gun Ownership” by Philip J Cook and Jens Ludwig;” More Guns, More Crime” by Mark Duggan; and “Examining the Relationship Between the Prevalence of Guns and Homicide Rates in the USA,” by Michael Siegel, Craig Ross, and Charles King.

Also influential within this line of thinking is the book Crime Is Not the Problem by Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins. Their claim is not that more guns produce more crime, but that American crime is more lethal thanks to the high availability of guns.

There have always been two big problems with these types of studies, and both were covered in a 2018 Rand Corp. analysis. One is that there is no data which directly tells us how many guns are owned by or available to Americans. Researches attempting to show correlations between crime and gun ownership must rely on proxies such as the “FS/S” proxy, which is the proportion of suicides that were firearm suicides. Other proxies include the proportion of residents who are military veterans, and “subscriptions per 100,000 people to Guns & Ammo.”

Writing for Rand, researcher Rouslan Karimov finds this reliance on these proxies problematic, and notes “many such study designs are currently hampered by poor information on the prevalence of gun ownership and the consequent reliance on proxy measures of availability and prevalence.”

A second problem with the more-guns-more-crime hypothesis is the fact that a high crime rate may itself be a driver of high rates of gun ownership. Karimov notes:

In the past 12 years, several new studies found that increases in the prevalence of gun ownership are associated with increases in violent crime. Whether this association is attributable to gun prevalence causing more violent crime is unclear. If people are more likely to acquire guns when crime rates are rising or high, then the same pattern of evidence would be expected.

Efforts to overcome this problem in establishing gun ownership as the driver of high crime rates remains a serious problem for researchers attempting to establish causation.

Homicide Driven by Perceptions of Government Legitimacy

In contrast to this view, we find crime scholars who instead suggest that “a lack of legitimacy of the state and its institutions predicts variation in levels of crime.” The idea’s origins are summarized by Manuel Eisner and Amy Nivette:

But amongst empirical criminologists the idea that legitimacy could explain macro-level variation in crime only gained some prominence in the late 1990s. In ‘Losing Legitimacy’ [Gary] LaFree (1998) argued that three key social institutions – family, economic, and political –motivate citizens to abide by the rules, participate in social control, and obey the law. When these social institutions are seen as unfair, useless, or corrupt, they lose legitimacy and subsequently the ability to maintain social control.

Since then, other authors have explored how a lack of confidence in government’s ability to deliver on its promises leads to greater lawlessness. Examples include ” Beyond Procedural Justice: A Dialogic Approach toLegitimacy in Criminal Just ice” by Anthony Bottoms and Justice Tankebe and “Procedural Justice, Legitimacy, and the Effective Rule of Law” by Tom R. Tyler.

Perhaps the largest study within this theoretical framework is Randolph Roth’s American Homicide. Roth is doubtful of the pat answers given by both pundits and academics “who claim that they can measure the impact of gun laws or unemployment or the death panlty on homicide rates by controlling statistically for the impact of other variables.” According to Roth, “Those claims are false.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Some Things To Ponder – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 17, 2019

Their call for reparations is another attempt to use the promise of handouts to insure that the black vote remains in their pocket. Reparations talk is simply another insulting Democratic rope-a-dope strategy

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/04/walter-e-williams/some-things-to-ponder/

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There’s a push to change laws to permit both criminals serving time and ex-criminals the right to vote. Guess which party is pushing the most for these legal changes. If you guessed that it was the Democrats, go to the head of the class. Bernie Sanders says states should allow felons to vote from behind bars. Elizabeth Warren doesn’t go that far but believes felons should have the right to vote. Democrats want the criminal class to have voting rights restored because they could become a significant part of the Democratic base.

These are America’s murderers, rapists, burglars, child molesters and drug dealers. Over two million of these people are in prison. If we add in the number of people on probation and parole, there are 6.7 million people currently under correctional control. If cons and ex-cons get the right to vote, it’s almost a guarantee that most of these people will cast their vote for a Democratic candidate… Read the rest of this entry »

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