An open letter to Congress and the Supreme Court

I will be mailing this letter, with only the salutation changed to personalize it, to all Reps and Senators from TX, on any relevant committee, and to all SCOTUS Justices.

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

We have seen tragedy in this country for decades, from Waco and Ruby Ridge, to Oklahoma City, to most recently, Las Vegas, and all of these tragedies share a few common threads. First, and almost instantly, there is a clarion call to “enact common sense gun control,” regardless of the fact that Waco with the Branch Davidians was the Government storming their compound, or OKC was a van filled with fertilizer, or the Boston Marathon bomb was a pressure cooker, it’s always “we need gun control.” What is ignored in all of these events, is that the weapons used were either perverted from their intended use (the van, fertilizer, pressure cooker) or illegally obtained, as those bent on committing murder will not let something like a law stop them.
Looking as the Sutherland Springs, TX shooting, the assailant was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force and had a domestic violence charge in his past that was not expunged or otherwise done away with, so he was a prohibited possessor in the State of Texas. The reason he was able to purchase his weapon was not due to the law being inadequate, but rather, the U.S. Air Force not filing the records properly and/or in good time. Had any background check in the State of Texas been run on his and shown his dishonorable discharge, the sale of any firearm would have been denied instantly, and this would not have stopped him finding a way to murder those he hated. Had it not been for a man with an AR style rifle and another with a weapon of his own, the TX shooter may not have stopped until all in that church were dead, yet we have a former Vice President, on record about that very shooting and the man’s actions to stop a murderer, saying the man should not have had that weapon that day, indicating he would prefer more people die waiting on police than a law abiding citizen step in to protect people.

Looking to Maryland now, however, we see far more than negligence in the mindset that banning weapons will keep them away from criminals, we see poorly thought out and poorly worded legislation, just as we saw in the wake of Las Vegas with attempts to regulate or ban bump stocks, using the verbiage “any device capable of increasing the standard rate of fire” of a semi-automatic weapon. The current rush to ban “military style” weapons, or “weapons of war” is as ill-advised and ill thought out as the rush to ban “devices that increase the standard rate of fire” of a semi-automatic weapon.

When looking at the first example, you need only speak to anyone who has used semi-automatic firearms for any significant length of time, and they will tell you that all humans are born with 10 such devices, they’re called fingers. For any weapon that does not automatically cycle and fire the next round (which are currently not available to civilians without extensive licensing and fees) there is no “standard rate of fire.” That term in and of itself refers only to automatic weapons, the term semi-automatic means that one round is fired every time the trigger is pulled, no more. The move after Las Vegas was to ban Bump Stocks, which rock the weapon and have a bit of plastic that prevents you from fully depressing the trigger, so the trigger is “pulled” very rapidly. This, however, is not the only way to do this, and two require nothing more than clothing and your body. You see, if the shooter does not properly seat the rifle against his or her shoulder, the weapon could rock in their arm, causing a bump fire situation until they react to remove their finger. Likewise, you can fire from the hip, with a finger or thumb through a belt loop and the trigger guard, also allowing the recoil to rock the weapon, firing very rapidly, so the above legislation would, in effect, ban fingers and belt loops in addition to bump stocks. Not to mention, it bans inexperienced shooters from ever learning lesson one on the range. Again, I am not averse to regulating bump stocks, and in fact fully support such regulations, but as a college educated American, who studied History and Political Science specifically, I see warnings of government overreach, due to poorly worded legislation, and I don’t like it.

Moving to the new situation in Maryland, where “military style” weapons are being banned, or others are saying the Second Amendment does not include “weapons of war,” I could not disagree more on both parts. First, if you visit any Military installation, the hip of every Military Police Officer will have something I own on it, a semi-automatic pistol, either in 9MM or .45ACP caliber. Simply by those men and women using them in their day to day duties, that is now a “military style” weapon, and a “weapon of war” as it’s also carried overseas by infantry, special forces, MP and other Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen both in and out of theaters of war. Aside from the make and barrel type, my 12GA shotgun is the same, as it’s the most common gauge shotgun on the planet, it’s just that the Military and Law Enforcement use Bull Barrels and I have a Bird Barrel currently. In point of fact, the only weapon I own that is not a “military style” weapon is my AR-15, it simply mimics the look of a Military weapon, that being the M-16, but that’s where it ends. Other than a few specific jobs in the military, the vast majority of rifles used as Select Fire, meaning you have 3 or 4 options, those being Safe (firing disabled,) single shot, 3 shot burst, full automatic. I know very few positions in the Military today where I would want a rifle that cannot fire at least a 3 shot burst, and every rifle I’ve owned does only that.

Moving on with respect to my AR-15, the only thing that is actually the same with regards to weapon function (this ignores the look or the rail system allowing additions to the weapon) is the caliber of ammunition, that being 223 Remington or 556, oddly enough, many widely available rifles today, which are not banned, are more powerful than either of those calibers. With no more than gravity and resistance by air, a 223 or 556 round will travel roughly 1650 feet, just about a third of a mile, before it hits the ground. Other rifles, such as the 308, 7 Mag, or 300 Winchester will travel further, and do more damage at further distances, as they were designed for hunting larger game, yet these are not banned as they aren’t “military style” or “weapons of war,” although again, as with my pistol and shotgun, many weapons designed for hunters are used by the Military today, as they are trained to find and use the best tool for their job.

Now, why have I chosen to reach out only now? I was only four when John Hinckley Jr attempted to assassinate President Reagan, but I have studied that event as it began the snowball of “common sense gun control” almost 40 years ago. From the Brady Bill and other waiting period laws, to the background checks of today, nothing has worked to curtail the violence in the hearts of evil men and women. One need only look to Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, or any other major city to find gang violence, and no weapon used by the thugs who seek to intimidate and control others is legally owned. Yet, in some of these places, citizens who just want to live their lives are disarmed, and even later told that unless the criminal is in the building with them, police will not respond until at the earliest, the next day. Worse still, some who defend themselves and either harm or kill their assailant are later charged with a crime, or the family of said attempted murderer are allowed to sue the person attacked for monetary damages.

As recently as 2012, George Zimmerman was attacked by a young man who may have been under the influence of narcotics, and defended himself, ultimately taking the life of his attacker, and was then charged with murder and civilly sued for defending his life. While yes, there are particulars of the case where I disagree with choices made, or need more information, the simple fact that Martin was attacking Zimmerman, and inaction would lead to Zimmerman’s death, have not changed.

Only two years later, Officer Wilson was forced to choose to shoot Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri, or he would have died. The mantra was quickly taken up by the media that Brown was running away, or had his hands up, or was kneeling, and all three have him shot in the back, while forensics show the rounds that struck him entered from the front, corroborating Wilson’s story that Brown was attacking him, yet a Police Officer who had responded to the scene of a crime, who was being either aggressively approached or attacked, lost his livelihood and had to move his family, because of a societal attitude that all boils down to “blame the tool, not the criminal.”

Sadly, this attitude is now so prevalent, that we see situations like Maryland, where legislation passes that is so poorly worded, anyone could point out what I have, and ban semi-automatic pistols, or shotguns, as if the Military uses them, they are now “weapons of war.” These same people often point out that “you don’t need an AR 15 to defend your home” or “the second amendment was about the military” and they are wrong on both counts. If someone enters my home illegally, and is carrying a weapon, seeing my pistol is likely to get me shot, while seeing me holding my AR 15 causes instant pause and often flight rather than fight. Were I restricted to my sidearm, I would most often be forced to use it to defend myself, but the mere sight of a rifle in my hands, the mere threat of force, often causes attackers to flee, allowing me to report the crime to the proper authorities and no one is harmed unless the criminals resist their later arrest.

The second argument, that the Second Amendment either only allows the use of weapons available at the time it was written, or that it applies only the Military, are both just as wrong as the assertion that “you don’t need (whatever weapon they hate at the time) to defend yourself” in that it seeks to impose rules where those rules have been specifically forbidden. The wording and timing of the Second Amendment are concrete facts, we know it was written just after a bloody war of independence from a government which sought to subjugate the colonies, and use them to make money, with no respect for the people who would be actually producing what the British would use or sell. That scenario showed our Founding Fathers that, if the government chooses tyranny over respect for the governed, the only viable option is for the people, the citizens and civilians, to stand up and say no more. Yes, our Military swear to uphold and defend the Constitution, but that does not prevent a tyrannical government from locking up all Military installations and only allowing those who will swear fealty and loyalty to the government out, thus ensuring they are well armed and the rest of us are left with what we personally own, the exact situation the colonists found themselves in just over 200 years ago. While this argument can be used to say that tanks, RPG’s, planes, and so on are legal for civilians to buy, there is valid reason to prevent a civilian from purchasing those as they have use only in a theater of war, and we all hope that the streets of small-town America never become such a theater. Saying, however, that a weapon that merely resembles another, and is the same caliber, but is actually less powerful and useful in battle, is a “weapon of war” or “military style” while other more useful and powerful weapons are allowed, shows an arrogance and ignorance that, in the halls of State of Federal government is very dangerous.

To show, using another Amendment, where this can go, we need only look at the potential ramifications of Net Neutrality being repealed. There are already allegations of Twitter and Facebook censoring certain viewpoints and not others, which from what I’ve seen amounts to stopping speech some find offensive and allowing calls for actual violence, based solely on political affiliation. Without Net Neutrality, all that needs be done is for Twitter, Facebook, or another to report to the ISP being used that someone is “engaging in hate speech or violent online behavior” and that person now either loses their internet connection, or must pay astronomical rates to keep it, all based only one a simple report. This, oddly enough, does exactly what I use as an example of how the Founding Fathers knew about and included advances in technology. The argument is often made that the Second Amendment only covers weapons that were available in the late 18th Century, but what is ignored is that the Puckle Gun was already available, was a rapid fire weapon, and was just too expensive for the Colonial Government to purchase. But, if your weapons can be taken because they aren’t covered by the Bill of Rights because they didn’t exist in the late 18th Century, so can your methods of speaking. Looking to the time of the Bill Of Rights, only the early printing press, quill and ink, and your voice were available. So, by the logic of “only the weapons available in colonial times” are covered, so too are methods of speech.

To close, and I do thank you for taking the time to read this letter, I will quote the Tenth Amendment.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.”

In short, anything the Constitution does not specifically mention as a power of the Federal Government, or specifically prohibit the Federal Government from doing, is something only The People, or the individual States can do. We all know that the Bill of Rights does not grant us the right to free speech, peaceable assembly, petition, to bear arms, or any other right. Rather, the Constitution and Bill Of Rights simply enumerate the rights all of us have, and state that the Federal or State government must protect them. As the Third Amendment prevents quartering of Soldiers in citizens’ homes, the Federal Government cannot do that, and also must prevent States from doing so either. As there is no mention in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or Bill of Rights of the word Marriage, let alone what that is, that is not a power delegated to the Federal Government or prohibited to the States, so it is up to each state to decide for themselves.

We must reclaim common sense in all aspects of governance, as we are moving toward a time when the Federal Government may say that as someone is unpopular, they may be jailed so others are not forced to hear them, or as a certain religion is unpopular, you may not hold public office if you don’t renounce your faith. Oddly enough we have sitting Representatives and Senators already disparaging those nominated for federal office due to their faith, while private citizens scream that a teacher joining a student led prayer is a violation of the First Amendment. For too long we have allowed the perversion of our way of life, the perversion of our founding principles, and if we don’t act soon to reclaim what those actually are, and protect them for all Americans, we will lose our country as we did in 1861, and I fear not even a four year war could repair it this time.

Is this the beginning of the end?

Some time ago, I posted about Oregon Senate Bill 719 and it’s repercussions. You see, this bill allows for the confiscation of ALL FIREARMS from anyone deemed “a threat” to themselves and/or others. That, however, isn’t the issue. If someone is a known psychotic, or otherwise mentally unstable, not only do I not want them to be armed, I want them in a mental institution, as they do represent a danger to themselves and others. The issue here, however, is that anyone can lodge a complaint that someone is a “danger to themselves and others” and the court then must act. Today, there are many who have already tried to have people arrested or worse for simple comments about policy or politics in other ways. These, however, were not comments that threatened anyone at all, but simply disagreed with someone’s desire to oust this politician or that, or do away with some law, or the like. We have the masked cowards, or antifa, demanding that we bow to their will or they will attack, while those who support these masked cowards demand we not even speak about our right to defend ourselves from them, and therefore, you simply saying as there is a threat of violence from antifa due to you not agreeing with and bowing to them, you will exercise your Second Amendment rights, that person could then say you are a threat to others because you want to defend yourself.

This is where it comes to such an out of focus point that it’s silly, you see, there is no court hearing, no police showing up to let you know you’ve been charged/accused, they just let one person decide if you are a threat, then you have 24 hours to turn over ALL of your firearms, or you’re a criminal. Oh sure, you can appeal, and IF the complaint is found to be simply someone who hates guns and wanted you forced to give yours up, they’re punished, but that’s more subjective than their complaint. They just say they “honestly felt threatened” and there is no way to legally prove anything else. Yes, you are supposed to get your weapons back, but again, that person keeps filing that they “honestly feel threatened” and you are forcibly disarmed, for good.

Moving on from there, there are lawmakers in Oregon fighting to repeal this bill, for one of several possible reasons I’m sure. First, we have the Second Amendment, which of course liberals argue was written because we didn’t have an army, and now that we do, only the army should be armed. This could not be further from the truth, as the official government in control of the American Colonies did have an army, and that army was called on to disarm and take control of the colonies. The Second Amendment was put in place because the Founders know there could come a day when this new government they were forming would decide the people were little more than subjects to be controlled, and move to tyranny, so the right of The People to be armed and able to fight for their right to freedom is protected (not granted, but only protected) by the Constitution. Of course, this brings up the next argument that it only applies to muskets, but again, this is not true. Not only did the Founders use the word “arms,” they did it deliberately, as they knew that those fighting the new tyranny would need access to the same weapons being used against them, and look up the Puckle Gun if you don’t believe it, as muskets were far less advanced, and the Puckle Gun is far older than the Constitution.

My next move on this would be the Fourth Amendment, which without quoting it, protects all U.S. Citizens from Unreasonable Search and Seizure. This is a major point in this argument, as the only thing needed for police to bang on your door and demand all weapons, which we know will include a “we need to make sure, so we’re going to search your home” moment, is one person complaining that they “honestly feel you are a threat to yourself and others,” which is totally unreasonable as there is no burden of proof put on anyone but the person now forced to prove a negative, which is not possible. Under the Fourth Amendment, police must not only show a warrant or probable cause, they must show it to both the person being searched and the court. Yes, they can say they saw you threatening to shoot someone, so they burst in to stop that, then searched the area to ensure all was safe, etc, which is probable cause, but if my neighbor or a relative says they “feel” I’m a threat to myself or others, and they aren’t required to show concrete proof, the police then have no probable cause or other reason to search the home. And no, your refusal to allow a warrantless or baseless search of your home is not reason enough to them search the home. Technically as well, the Seventh Amendment comes in, as you have a right to a jury trial, as the value at stake (even one firearm) is over twenty dollars, but that’s an argument for another time.

The last Constitutional argument I can make against this law invokes the Sixth Amendment and the Tenth Amendment, as both are completely ignored by this law. The Sixth Amendment states that you have the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against you, and to be confronted with witnesses against you. You also have the right to obtain witnesses in your favor, and right to counsel. All of these are ignored, as you aren’t informed of the complaint or the hearing until after the fact, and then simply told you must surrender all weapons. Yes, you can appeal, but that will not be happening within 24 hours, so you are disarmed and then told you must prove you are not a threat. This, again, is forcing you to prove a negative, which is impossible. But, beyond that, it is never the defendant that must prove their innocence (although many do end up doing that) it’s the State that must prove guilt, “beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt.” This law flips the burden of proof, and does it after imposing the penalty. In a normal criminal complaint, the State must prove their assertions before sentence is carried out, but under SB 719, there is only one sentence, being totally disarmed, which is carried out before you have the chance to even face your accuser. To be Constitutional, the State must allow you to be notified of the complaint, to face your accuser, and then to counter their attempts to prove you are a danger, forcing the onus of proof onto the State, but they ignore all that in the name of “if one person feels unsafe, we must act” which tramples not only the Second, but also the Tenth Amendments. You see, the Tenth Amendment is the best in my opinion, as it specifically states that all powers not specifically delegated to The State (federal government) are reserved for The People (individual states,) and in this case, the Second Amendment specifically states that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” No mention of what types of “arms,” or that one person not liking guns and thus “feeling unsafe” allows you to disarm me, just that as The People have a right to be free from tyranny, they shall always have the right to keep and bear Arms.

So, Oregon, in this move, has taken the first step toward tyranny, and it will be telling to see where they go from here. Will politicians “feel unsafe” that those who didn’t vote for them are possibly armed and demand their constituents be disarmed? Will the Governor decide that people not liking her new law “threatens her” and file complaints against all citizens of the state? This is the penultimate “slippery slope” as it allows for anyone to “feel threatened” and remove all responsibility for proof from the government and place it all on the citizen after sentence is carried out. As for myself, I’m glad to live in Texas, where our Governor wouldn’t support, let alone sign this, and would if over ruled, take it to the State Supreme Court to have it nullified, but I also call on all Oregonians to abandon ship now. Liberal run cities and states are raising minimum wage, which will mean higher taxes to pay it, they’re working to disarm you, I won’t be surprised if and when there is either a tax to move out of state, or a ban on all people moving out of state to “ensure the burden of tax income is met.”

We aren’t far from a state of governance where states will demand other states be taxed higher than them to offset their spending, California has already been shown to spend billions on illegal immigrants and they also disarm their citizens as much as they can (while exempting themselves from all of those laws,) so how long until they demand Texas “pay our fair share?” Or how long until they demand we obey their laws? We’ve already had states that “legalized” gay marriage demand all other states honor, but they refuse to honor laws from states that allow citizens to carry their weapons, or certain weapons. We are approaching the beginnings of what can cause civil war. California demands we honor their laws, that we pay for criminals to stay free, and Oregon demands that no one complain when disarmed on a complaint by someone you aren’t allowed to face, how long until someone sues CA or OR over these situations and those states decide they “have a right” to do as they please?

I know it’s not a pretty picture, but unless we demand logic and respect for all, as the laws on the books state must be done, we will see it get worse. From liberals rioting and destroying public universities over a speaker, then demanding they be allowed to riot over anything, to states demanding you disarm because someone “feels threatened” without telling you who or why, it’s only a matter of time before you even speaking out against un-Constitutional acts warrants life in prison. Remember, first they came for the Communists, and I said nothing. Next they came for the nationalists, and I did nothing. Then they came for me, and no one was left to do anything. We must stand together for the actual rights all of us enjoy, and quash the notions that this group or that has “rights” that only they enjoy, or this country will fall.

The 1st Amendment for liberals (dummies)

It seems that we have an entire segment of the U.S. adult population who needs to go back to High School Government class, as they keep suing everyone and anyone but the U.S. Government for “violating the First Amendment.” Well, once again, I’m going to try to explain this in as succinct a way as I can so you might understand the point of the First Amendment is not to protect you from witnessing others exercising their faith, but to protect all Americans from the Government ruling that you can’t do that at all.

The full text reads as follow.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Looking only at the first two clauses, Congress is prohibited from passing any law which elevates one faith over others, and also prohibited from passing any law that restricts the right of every American to openly practice their faith. This does not mean that a school teacher cannot choose to join already praying students, or that a school must tell a Bible study they can’t meet on school grounds, it means two very concrete things. First, CONGRESS cannot pass a law that respects one faith over others, and second, that CONGRESS cannot pass a law that restricts the rights of all Americans to exercise their faith. Period!

While Congress is now busy arguing over which party gets to lie about Trump next time, however, we have high prices attorneys threatening small town schools where a Coach decided to join his students in prayer, not force them to, not even suggest it, he wants to join them! They pray before a game, and he wants to as well! This must stop, and sadly, at this point, litigation may be the only way. We need to counter all attempts to silence Christians with counter-suits using the same Amendment they are to attack us. They claim that praying is respecting an establishment of religion, we need to counter with two simple questions. First, which LAW did CONGRESS pass requiring that prayer be spoken? Second, are you trying to prohibit the free exercise thereof?

These cowards are well aware that they are wrong, and are censoring and silencing those they don’t agree with, but they’ve had free reign for decades, and two Presidencies where the White House was behind them. They ignore Muslims blocking traffic and the streets of NYC to pray, forcing New Yorkers to watch and hear Muslim prayers. They ignore companies and schools being forced to stop everything to allow Muslim prayer, or teachers forced to lead classes in those same prayers, all in the name of diversity.

We, at least those of us who have studied the book of Revelation, know that these are signs of the end of days, and while we can’t stop that, we are to never stop working to further His kingdom. We don’t know if the end of days is days, weeks, months, years or even centuries away, but we know it’s coming. Now more than ever we should be fighting for our God given human freedom to worship who and as we choose, if for nothing more than our call to spread the Gospel to the world.

Will you be cowed and silent, or will you brave the lions’ den? How do you wish to be able to answer what you’ve done for His Kingdom when you finally meet him? I know my answer, to all the above questions, and to what I will do when told I must hide my faith. I would rather die for Christ than dishonor all He has done for me, what about you?