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Archive for the ‘war’ Category

This week President Barack Obama ordered the assassination of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. The Obama government has “linked” al-Awlaki to Ft. Hood gunman Nidal Malik Hasan and underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and considers him an “imminent threat to national security”. Al-Awlaki is believed to be hiding in Yemen.

Pay attention here, people. A very important line has been crossed. Not even King George W. Bush ever ordered the assassination of an American citizen. Not even FDR, when putting thousands of Japanese-Americans in prison camps, publicly proclaimed that one of them be speedily executed without a trial. With this order, Barack Obama has chosen not only to violate the Ford/Carter/Reagan ban on political assassinations, but also the 5th and 6th amendments to the United States Constitution. In case you don’t recall those, I’ll post them here:

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

[The “time of war or public danger” argument won’t work here; the United States Congress has not declared war on any one, nor have they declared us to be in a time of public danger.]

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

We have crossed over into uncharted territory. From this point forward, American citizenship no longer protects said citizens from assassination by their own government. The Constitution has again been reduced to so much toilet paper, and all in the name of “keeping us safe”. Do you feel safer?

I don’t.

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protestThere have been continued demonstrations in Iran today protesting the recent “presidential election”. Back in April, hundreds of thousands of Americans peacefully protested federal government spending in what came to be known as “Tea Parties”. Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the historical student protests in Tiananmen Square, China. It seems that all over the globe, wherever freedom strains against tyranny, there are protests and protesters. Most freedom loving Americans would applaud these acts. The United States government does not.

It seems that, on a written examination given to train federal Department of Defense employees, the following question appears:

“Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism?”

— Attacking the Pentagon

— IEDs

— Hate crimes against racial groups

— Protests

The correct answer, according to the exam, is “Protests.”

Get that? Protests are an example of “low-level terrorism” according to our government. Honestly, how long is it going to take before the American people wake up and see what is happening in this country? How more blatant an attack on the human rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution can there possibly be?

Of course, the DOD will feign shock and surprise over this obvious mistake, meaningless apologies will spill forth, and the offending question will be immediately stricken from this and all future examinations for government lackeys. But what does that prove? It proves that the government wasn’t quite careful enough this time in hiding its true intentions and it got caught. That’s all. The post 9/11 government of the Untied States only allows you to keep your rights that are currently convenient. The moment, yes the very instant that something untoward happens, our human rights, guaranteed by the Constitution, will evaporate. Mark my words. It could be the next terrorist attack on US soil, the collapse of the dollar, or even the next round of ugly protests. The truth is that we are no longer free.

Of course most Americans don’t care about this. As long as they can have the Wii on their big screen TV and glut their daily cheeseburger they are happy. They will wake up one day soon and find that even these “simple pleasures” will be denied them in the name of national security or environmental protection.

The time to be counted is now. If you have any courage, honor, or faith that our nation can again be free, then get off your butt and take a stand. We may not have another chance.

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henryOn March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry stepped before the Virginia Convention of the House of Burgesses and delivered what is one of the most well known speeches in American History. Stooped under the weight of the Intolerable Acts, the Virginians were still unsure whether or not to enter into open rebellion against Great Britain. While no one in attendance that day wrote down Henry’s words, the speech was so burned into the memories of his fellow patriots that 36 years later William Wirt, Henry’s biographer, was able to accurately reconstruct the speech from their recollections. Wirt describes the listeners after Henry concluded:

“No murmur of applause was heard. The effect was too deep. After the trance of a moment, several members started from their seats. The cry, ‘to arms,’ seemed to quiver on every lip, and gleam from every eye!… That supernatural voice still sounded in their ears, and shivered along their arteries… They became impatient of speech – their souls were on fire for action.”

And so it was that the colony of Virginia sent troops to war with the British, and the American Revolution was joined. 27 days later, on April 19, the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord. Seven long years of war followed until, on September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris formally freed the United States from Great Britain.

Patrick Henry went on to become the governor of Virginia from 1784 to 1786 and a fierce defender of state’s rights. He and fellow Antifederalists were instrumental in engineering the addition of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution.

It is conceivable that our nation would look very different today if Patrick Henry had not spoken the following words. This one small spark ingnited the inferno from which sprung the great American experiment. Unlike speeches from today’s politicians, whose endless and flowery words stand for very little and are soon forgotten, Henry’s speech was very brief, meant everything, and still endures. Happy Birthday Patrick Henry, from a grateful nation.

“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.”

“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”

“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!”

“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable ­ and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.”

“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace ­ but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Listen to the speech here.

Watch a reenactment of the speech here.

For a modern, disturbing, and highly relevant interpretation of Patrick Henry’s speech, go here.

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Remembrance

bugler_monmentBEAT! beat! drums!—Blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows—through doors—burst like a ruthless force,
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation;
Into the school where the scholar is studying;
Leave not the bridegroom quiet—no happiness must he have now with his bride;
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, plowing his field or gathering his grain;
So fierce you whirr and pound, you drums—so shrill you bugles blow.

Beat! beat! drums!—Blow! bugles! blow!
Over the traffic of cities—over the rumble of wheels in the streets:
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? No sleepers must sleep in those beds;
No bargainers’ bargains by day—no brokers or speculators—Would they continue?
Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing?
Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the judge?
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums—you bugles wilder blow.

Beat! beat! drums!—Blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley—stop for no expostulation;
Mind not the timid—mind not the weeper or prayer;
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man;
Let not the child’s voice be heard, nor the mother’s entreaties;
Make even the trestles to shake the dead, where they lie awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump, O terrible drums—so loud you bugles blow.

–Walt Whitman

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100daysA lot of weight is placed on a president’s first 100 days in office, as if the other 1361 days of his term are not just as important. Still, the initial three months of a presidency can tell us a great deal about the chief executive’s priorities for the next four years.

For President Obama, this may be even more the case than with past presidents. Half way in, the ultra-liberal website Daily Kos crowed that:

After running the most efficient transition operation in history, President Obama has now done more in 46 days as President than many presidents do in a full term in office.

So let’s take a look at what President Obama, with the help of the Congress, has done during his first 100 days. I will discuss this not as a Republican or a Democrat, since I am neither, but as an independently thinking, liberty-oriented American.

I have divided the major policy decisions and legislation up into three broad categories for easy sorting. The three categories are UNDOING Bush, OUTDOING Bush, and BLAMING Bush.

1. UNDOING Bush–These decisions began within hours of the inauguration, aiming to sweepingly overturn the policies and practices of George W. Bush. On day 1 (January 21), Obama signed an executive order banning “revolving door politics” and prohibiting lobbyists from holding high ranking administration jobs. This was apparently one of Obama’s major beefs with the Bush Administration, but within 2 days President Obama had violated his own order by installing William Lynn, a Raytheon lobbyist, to the #2 post at the Pentagon. Three more executive orders followed on January 22 that overturned Bush policies on “terror suspect” treatment, namely the closure of Guantanamo Bay, the housing of enemy combatants, and the prohibition of torture. As a libertarian I applaud these decisions, especially the banning of torture. However, in a hurried attempt to look good by overturning his predecessor’s bad policies, Obama may have bitten off more than he can chew. To this day he has no clear plan as to what to do with the remaining enemy combatants at the soon-to-be-defunct Guantanamo Bay and his administration is caught in a quagmire about whether or not to prosecute Bush officials over the torture issue. In addition, Barack Obama has signed an executive order rolling back the Bush ban on using tax dollars to fund stem cell research and an official proclamation lifting the Regan ban on using federal funds to pay for overseas abortions. All of these policies are intended to show the American people that the Obama White House is committed to moving in a different direction than we were headed under George W. Bush. Unfortunately for us, these are not really the most pressing issues of our time. On the policies that urgently matter, Obama is proceeding even more rapidly down the path that Bush began to blaze. And that leads us to…

2. OUTDOING Bush–Many libertarians (excluding myself) voted for Barack Obama in the wild hope that he would undo some of the damage the Bush administration did to natural and civil rights in America. They made a ideological swap, knowing that Obama would be ultra-left in his big government economic policy but hoping that he would redeem himself with a less hawkish foreign policy. They have been thus far sorely disappointed on all counts. Obama, despite campaign promises to the contrary, has instructed his legal team to greatly expand the government’s power to perform illegal warrantless wiretaps on the phone lines of law-abiding American citizens. Up till now, Americans arrested for alleged crimes have a right to an attorney before being interrogated by police. The Obama administration wants to change that. Just this week the Obama legal team asked the Supreme Court to overturn a 23 year-old decision requiring that a defendant (who is innocent until proven guilty) have an attorney present before being questioned. In a flagrant attempt to redraw the political boundaries in the United States, Obama announced in February that operational control of the 2010 census (or as I like to call it, the Q 10 peepshow) will be moved from the Commerce Department to the White House, specifically into the hands of Rahm Emanuel. I’m sure that will make the process very fair and bipartisan. Far from restoring rights to Americans, Obama has selected a bigger pick-axe than his predecessor with which to chip them away.

Foreign policy is not much better. During the campaign Obama promised to bring our troops home from Iraq by August 2010. In reality 35,000 to 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq until the end of 2011, one year before Obama will stand for re-election. And while very slowly winding down the war in Iraq, President Obama is quickly revving up the war in Afghanistan, pledging to send at least 17,000 additional combat troops to that country by the end of the summer. Many National Guardsmen (who, incidentally, are supposed to be under state control) and Reservists will be embarking upon their 3rd, 4th, and 5th tours of duty away from their families. So much for liberty and peace. In his first 100 days, Obama is out-Bushing Bush.

3. BLAMING Bush–Obama’s economic policy within the first 100 days of his presidency has been one big finger pointing exercise, and it has exceeded libertarians’ worst fears. The blatant irresponsibility of the $787 billion “stimulus package”, the bank and auto bailouts, and the massive 2010 budget proposal are all excused by the Obama folks on the grounds that they inherited a financial disaster from the Bush administration. Since Bush drained the government coffers, there was no money left for expensive liberal playthings like the SCHIP law, which will be payed for in part by a 61 cent per pack cigarette tax. I seem to remember candidate Obama pledging not to raise the taxes of Americans who make less than $250,000 per year; I guess the President thinks that only really rich people smoke. The Obama crowd blames Bush for more than the tattered economy. As a big business insider (they say), President Bush was clearly in the pocket of the fat cats and stinking rich corporate CEO’s. Thus we desperately needed and now have the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 which will throw more money down the drain and clog the system by making it much easier for employees to sue their employers. So, despite the accolades for achieving more change more quickly than any president in history, Barack Obama continues to avoid ownership by covering his more unsavory policies with the Bush blame game.

President Obama has “accomplished” a lot more in his first 100 days than I have room or time here to describe, so if I missed your favorite executive order, memorandum, or Congressional edict, please feel free to insert it and expound upon it in the comments section. In addition, there are many more “changes” in the works that just didn’t seem to make it into the first 100 days. Chief among them are the Employee Free Choice Act, the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act, and the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. None of these are good bills and they will make even worse laws. So, as an independent non-Republicrat, I give the new President failing marks on just about every front for his first 100 days. The only consolation I can find is this: the first 100 days will almost certainly turn out to have been better than the next 100. It’s going to be a long 4 ( or 8 ) years.

By the way, if you want to avoid reading my longwindedness, the following short video sums up the above commentary nicely:

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oathkeepersIn the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the citizens of New Orleans learned many hard lessons. One of the most difficult was the realization that, in their time of greatest need, they were being betrayed by local law enforcement and by members of the United States military. As the post-storm chaos unfolded, the authorities went door to door confiscating firearms that were often New Orleans citizens’ only method of self-defense. As homeless survivors were packed into dark, overcrowded relief shelters, these same authorities denied them the ability to escape the disease-infested camps by walking north across the Mississippi River to safety.

It can not be denied that law enforcement and military personnel egregiously trampled the Constitutional rights of American citizens after Katrina. Thankfully, many other public servants across the country were horrified by these events, and vowed to do something so that these detestable acts would never be repeated. They call themselves Oath Keepers.

This is their self-description, from their website:

Oath Keepers is an association of currently serving military, veterans, and peace officers who will fulfill the oath we swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God.
Our oath is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and we will not obey unconstitutional (and thus illegal) and immoral orders, such as orders to disarm the American people or to place them under martial law and deprive them of their ancient right to jury trial.
We Oath Keepers have drawn a line in the sand. We will not “just follow orders.”
Our motto is “Not on our watch!”
If you, the American people, are forced to once again fight for your liberty in another American Revolution, you will not be alone. We will stand with you.
There is at this time a debate within the ranks of the military regarding their oath. Some mistakenly believe they must follow any order the President issues. But you can rest assured that many others in the military do understand that their loyalty is to the Constitution, and understand what that means.
The mission of Oath Keepers is to vastly increase their numbers. We are in a battle for the hearts and minds of our own troops. To win that battle, Oath Keepers will use written and video testimony of active duty military, veterans (especially combat vets), and peace officers to reach, teach, and inspire our brothers in arms in the military and police to fulfill their oaths and stand as guardians of the Republic.
If you are currently in the military, are a veteran, or are a peace officer, please submit your written and/or video testimony on your oath, so you can help us win that battle for hearts and minds. Your submission may be anonymous.
Guardians of the Republic, fulfill your oath. Join us.

These are American heroes who have dedicated their lives to the defense of the Constitution. As we go forward into uncertainty, take comfort that there are still true patriots in government. God bless the Oath Keepers.

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g20As the week comes to a close, there are several interesting liberty-related developments to report. First off, the G20 meeting has been officially wrapped up, complete with an official G20 draft communiqué. It’s mostly “we agree blah, blah, blah” and “we pledge blah, blah, blah” but there are a couple of very interesting items here. Take a look at point number 19:

We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250 billion into the world economy and increase global liquidity, and urgent ratification of the Fourth Amendment.

SDR stands for Special Drawing Rights. SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the International Monetary Fund, that consists of a basket of various currencies, currently the euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling, and U.S. dollar. Until now the use of SDR has been very limited; its main function has been to serve as the unit of account of the IMF and some other international organizations. According to point 19 above, however, this soon will change by the ratification of the Fourth Amendment, which would increase the supply of SDR enough for all IMF participant countries to use as a reserve currency. According to the IMF SDR fact sheet:

A proposal for a special one-time allocation of SDRs was approved by the IMF’s Board of Governors in September 1997 through the proposed Fourth Amendment of the Articles of Agreement. This allocation would double cumulative SDR allocations to SDR 42.8 billion. Its intent is to enable all members of the IMF to participate in the SDR system on an equitable basis and correct for the fact that countries that joined the Fund after 1981—more than one fifth of the current IMF membership—have never received an SDR allocation. The Fourth Amendment will become effective when three fifths of the IMF membership (111 members) with 85 percent of the total voting power accept it. Currently, 131 members with 77.68 percent of total voting power had accepted the proposed amendment. Approval by the United States, with 16.75 percent of total votes, would put the amendment into effect.

So, according to this, if Barack Obama’s United States concedes to the Fourth Amendment, we will have the beginnings of a new world currency known as Special Drawing Rights. This is not being reported much, but some folks are catching on.

Point 15 is also very interesting. It reads, in part:

To this end we are implementing the Action Plan agreed at our last meeting, as set out in the attached progress report. We have today also issued a Declaration, Strengthening the Financial System. In particular we agree:
to establish a new Financial Stability Board (FSB) with a strengthened mandate, as a successor to the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), including all G20 countries, FSF members, Spain, and the European Commission; to extend regulation and oversight to all systemically important financial institutions, instruments and markets. This will include, for the first time, systemically important hedge funds; to endorse and implement the FSF’s tough new principles on pay and compensation and to support sustainable compensation schemes and the corporate social responsibility of all firms; to take action against non-cooperative jurisdictions, including tax havens. We stand ready to deploy sanctions to protect our public finances and financial systems. The era of banking secrecy is over. We note that the OECD has today published a list of countries assessed by the Global Forum against the international standard for exchange of tax information.

As you can see, the G20 has initiated a new international regulatory board, called the FSB, to oversee the world’s financial system. The IMF conceivably will have complete regulatory control over monitoring the G20 nations’ economies. This has led to yelping from the press about a new world order. I don’t know about that, but it definitely reduces the sovereignty of the United States with regard to its fiscal and financial policy.

Mike at Don’t Panic! has done an outstanding video review of the G20 meeting. Take a few minutes to watch it if you really want to know what is going on.

nkoreaIn other news, North Korea finally fired it’s missile. Supposedly carrying a satellite into orbit around the earth, the rocket traveled directly over Japan. If it was indeed a satellite launch, North Korea had a legitimate right to proceed under international space law. However, in a style we can only call “change we can believe is exactly like the prior administration”, Barack Obama went begging to the United Nations for punishment sanctions. Good luck with that. If I weren’t an American, I would be rolling on the floor in laughter at how a little bitty third world communist country that can’t even feed its own people is leading the United States around by the nose.

Incidentally, just before the launch, Barack Obama made a speech in which he pledged that the United States will “lead the way” in getting rid of all nuclear weapons on earth. That, my friends, is a truly stupid idea. I am 100% in favor or international peace, and the only way we can maintain that peace is through equal or superior firepower. Nuclear balance is the only realistic path: the United States is “safe” from nuclear attack only because we have the ability to launch one ourselves. Even if we did lead the way in disarmament, who can guarantee everybody else is doing the same? Sooner or later some rogue state will re-develop the bomb, or Russia might just find 5 or 10 nukes that they “forgot to destroy” shoved in a closet somewhere. Obama can’t be realistically even contemplating this; I have a feeling it’s just feel-good headline material for the press and the Greenies. Pandora’s nuclear box is wide open and we ain’t shutting it.

And in today’s stupid people news, I would like to remind all patriots and others out there that gunning down three police officers is not an acceptable way to protect our 2nd Amendment rights.

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