Halfway There

By Todd Woodard

On April 12, 2022, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 319, Constitutional carry, into law. Constitutional carry in Georgia goes into effect immediately. Georgia is now the 25th Constitutional carry state, and the Peach State becomes the fourth state to join that group in 2022. Half of the country now recognizes the right of a law-abiding adult who is legally allowed to carry a concealed firearm to do so without first having to obtain government permission. This ensures that citizens have the right to self-defense without government red tape or delays, or having to suffer the whims of local authorities who “shall not” have the stroke to ban you from exercising your right to self defense.

Gov. Kemp also signed House Bill 218, to grant universal recognition to concealed carry permits held by non-Georgia residents, issued by any other state. It also directs the Georgia Attorney General to enter into formal reciprocity agreements with any state that requires a formal agreement to recognize a Georgia Weapons Carry License. This reform recognizes that Georgia residents traveling to other states, and visitors to Georgia, should not be left defenseless simply by crossing a state line.

At a signing ceremony the next day, joined by First Lady Marty Kemp and two of his daughters, Governor Kemp made a few interesting comments I thought you might enjoy.

“I’m excited to be here today. SB 319 and HB 218 help build a safer, stronger Georgia. Here at Gable [Sporting Goods] is where [wife] Marty and I bought [daughter] Lucy her first firearm — a Glock 43X 9mm, which she is carrying today!

“We did that, not only because we strongly believe in the Second Amendment, but we also want Lucy and both her sisters to be able to defend themselves. As the parents of three daughters, there’s nothing Marty and I care more about than making sure Jarrett, Lucy, and Amy Porter are safe. With Jarrett a recent graduate and Lucy and Amy Porter still in college, that isn’t as easy as it used to be.

“SB 319 makes sure that law-abiding Georgians, including our daughters and your family, too, can protect themselves without having to ask permission from state government. The Constitution of the United States gives us that right — not the government. And HB 218 ensures that individuals who are licensed to carry a weapon in another state are also authorized to do so here in Georgia.”

So far this year four states — Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, and Georgia — have passed Constitutional carry or permitless-carry laws. Alabama’s (22nd) law will go into effect on January 1, 2023. Ohio’s law will go [went] into effect on June 12, 2022. Indiana’s will go into effect on July 1, 2022. Perhaps Louisiana, Florida, or Nebraska will become the 26th state to adopt Constitutional carry, and perhaps before the end of 2022.

This article was published by Gun Tests and is reproduced with permission from the author.

Scottsdale Official Faces Board Expulsion After Arizona AG Files Suit thumbnail

Scottsdale Official Faces Board Expulsion After Arizona AG Files Suit

By Neland Nobel

School Board member Jann-Michael Greenburg is facing potential removal from the Scottsdale Unified School District school board.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court, arguing that Greenburg should be required to step down from the board after multiple violations of public hearing requirements.

Brnovich said Monday the lawsuit’s goal is to, “…seek to have Greenburg removed, impose civil penalties on the board, and ensure no future Open Meeting Law (OML) violations occur.”

The lawsuit takes place after a series of meetings in August 2021, when Greenburg, “knowingly structuring an agenda and meeting so as to prohibit public comment about a proposed mask mandate and other subjects…” the complaint read.

Greenburg faced scrutiny by school district officials and the Scottsdale Police Department for his alleged involvement in keeping and sharing a set of online files containing personal information of parents who opposed the board’s COVID-19 mitigations, including information on some of their children. Greenburg’s father, Michael Greenburg, was allegedly the proprietor of the information. Neither organization found any reasons to pursue charges.

The school board voted to remove Greenburg from his position as president in November 2021, with some recommending he resign.

The suit stated Greenburg created content restrictions during board meetings, cutting off speakers when they strayed too far from the topic of the instructional time model. Similarly, Greenburg interrupted multiple parents, going as far as to conclude with profanity directed at the parents.

Though criticism of parents’ remarks is allowed, it must be done after the close of the open call to the public.

Creating content restrictions as well as interrupting speakers is considered a violation of the school board meeting code, thus breaking the Scottsdale Unified School District Number 48’s rule, “…to open the conduct of the business of government to the scrutiny of the public and to band decision-making in secret.”

If Brnovich wins, Greenburg could face expulsion from the Scottsdale school board. As described by the case document, “The Open Meeting Law further provides that in such a suit ‘the court may remove the public officer from office.’”

*****

This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

Are you concerned about election integrity? What informed United States citizen isn’t? Did the 2020 national election raise many questions about election integrity? Are you concerned about the current cycle of primaries and then the general election in November? No doubt the answer for The Prickly Pear readers is YES.

Click below for a message from Tony Sanchez, the RNC Arizona Election Integrity Director to sign up for the opportunity to become an official Poll Observer for the 8/2 AZ Primary and the 11/8 General Election in your county of residence. We need many, many good citizens to do this – get involved now and help make the difference for clean and honest elections.

Weekend Read: 97.8% of Mass Shootings Are Linked to This thumbnail

Weekend Read: 97.8% of Mass Shootings Are Linked to This

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Do Psychiatric Meds and War Games Lead to Mass Shootings?

  • While many have bought into the simplistic idea that the availability of firearms is the cause of mass shootings, a number of experts have pointed out a more uncomfortable truth, which is that mass shootings are far more likely the result of how we’ve been mistreating mental illness, depression and behavioral problems
  • Gun control legislation has shown that law-abiding Americans who own guns are not the problem, because the more gun control laws that have been passed, the more mass shootings have occurred
  • 97.8% of mass shootings occur in “gun-free zones,” as the perpetrators know legally armed citizens won’t be there to stop them
  • Depression per se rarely results in violence. Only after antidepressants became commonplace did mass shootings really take off, and many mass shooters have been shown to be on antidepressants
  • Antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are well-known for their ability to cause suicidal and homicidal ideation and violence

While many have bought into the simplistic idea that the availability of firearms is the cause of mass shootings, a number of experts have pointed out a more uncomfortable truth, which is that mass shootings are far more likely the result of how we’ve been mistreating mental illness, depression and behavioral problems.

An article written by Molly Carter, initially published on ammo.com at an unknown date1 and subsequently republished by The Libertarian Institute in May 2019,2 and psychreg.org in late January 2021,3 noted:

“According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a mass murder occurs when at least four people are murdered, not including the shooter … during a single incident …

Seemingly every time a mass shooting occurs … the anti-gun media and politicians have a knee-jerk response — they blame the tragedy solely on the tool used, namely firearms, and focus all of their proposed ‘solutions’ on more laws, ignoring that the murderer already broke numerous laws when they committed their atrocity.

Facts matter when addressing such an emotionally charged topic, and more gun control legislation has shown that law-abiding Americans who own guns are NOT the problem. Consider the following: The more gun control laws that are passed, the more mass murders have occurred.

Whether or not this is correlation or causation is debatable. What is not debatable is that this sick phenomenon of mass murderers targeting ‘gun-free zones,’ where they know civilian carry isn’t available to law-abiding Americans, is happening.

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center,4 97.8% of public shootings occur in ‘gun-free zones’ – and ‘gun-free zones’ are the epitome of the core philosophical tenet of gun control, that laws are all the defense one needs against violence …

This debate leads them away from the elephant in the room and one of the real issues behind mass shootings — mental health and prescription drugs.

Ignoring what’s going on in the heads of these psychopaths not only allows mass shootings to continue, it leads to misguided gun control laws that violate the Second Amendment and negate the rights of law-abiding U.S. citizens.

As Jeff Snyder put it in The Washington Times: ‘But to ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the innocent and law-abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless, and that the law will permit them to have only such rights and liberties as the lawless will allow.’”

The Elephant in the Room: Antidepressants

Thoughts, emotions, and a variety of environmental factors play into the manifestation of violence, but a mental illness by itself cannot account for the massive rise in mass murder — unless you include antidepressants in the equation. Yet even when mental health does enter the mass shooter discussion, the issue of antidepressants, specifically, is rarely mentioned.

The fact is, depression per se rarely results in violence. Only after antidepressants became commonplace did mass shootings take off, and many mass shooters have been shown to be on antidepressants.

Prozac, released in 1987, was the first selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) to be approved for depression and anxiety. Only two years earlier, direct-to-consumer advertising had been legalized. In the mid-1990s, the Food and Drug Administration loosened regulations, direct-to-consumer ads for SSRIs exploded and, with it, prescriptions for SSRIs.

In 1989, just two years after Prozac came to market, Joseph Wesbecker shot 20 of his coworkers, killing nine. He had been on Prozac for one month, and the survivors of the drug-induced attack sued Eli Lilly, the maker of Prozac. Since then, antidepressant use and mass shootings have both risen, more or less in tandem.

In the two decades between 1988 and 2008, antidepressant use in the U.S. rose by 400%,5, and by 2010, 11% of the U.S. population over the age of 12 were on an antidepressant prescription.6

In 1982, pre-Prozac, there was one mass shooting in the U.S.7 In 1984, there were two incidents and in 1986 — the year Prozac was released — there was one. One to three mass shootings per year remained the norm up until 1999 when it jumped to five.

How can we possibly ignore the connection between the rampant use of drugs known to directly cause violent behavior and the rise in mass shootings?

Another jump took place in 2012 when there were seven mass shootings. And while the annual count has gone up and down from year to year, there’s been a clear trend of an increased number of mass shootings post-2012. Over time, mass shootings have also gotten larger, with more people getting injured or killed per incident.8

How can we possibly ignore the connection between the rampant use of drugs known to directly cause violent behavior and the rise in mass shootings? Suicidal ideation, violence, and homicidal ideation are all known side effects of these drugs. Sometimes, the drugs disrupt brain function so dramatically the perpetrator can’t even remember what they did.

For example, in 2001, a 16-year-old high schooler was prescribed Effexor, starting off at 40 milligrams and moving up to 300 mg over the course of three weeks. On the first day of taking a 300-mg dose, the boy woke up with a headache, decided to skip school, and went back to bed.

Sometime later, he got up, took a rifle to his high school, and held 23 classmates, hostage, at gunpoint. He later claimed he had no recollection of anything that happened after he went back to bed that morning.9

The Risks Are Clear

The risks of psychiatric disturbances are so clear, ever since mid-October 2004, all antidepressants in the U.S. must include a black box warning that the drug can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially in those younger than 25, and that:10

“Anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility (aggressiveness), impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric.”

SSRIs can also cause emotional blunting and detachment, such that patients report “not feeling” or “not caring” about anything or anyone, as well as psychosis and hallucinations. All of these side effects can contribute to someone acting out an unthinkable violent crime.

In one review11,12 of 484 drugs in the FDA’s database, 31 were found to account for 78.8% of all cases of violence against others, and 11 of those drugs were antidepressants.

The researchers concluded that violence against others was a “genuine and serious adverse drug event” and that of the drugs analyzed, SSRI antidepressants and the smoking cessation medication, varenicline (Chantix), had the strongest associations. The top-five most dangerous SSRIs were:13

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac), which increased aggressive behavior 10.9 times
  • Paroxetine (Paxil), which increased violent behavior 10.3 times
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox), which increased violent behavior 8.4 times
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor), which increased violent behavior 8.3 times
  • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), which increased violent behavior 7.9 times

Depression Is Vastly Overdiagnosed

In her article, Carter also reviewed the clinical determinants for a diagnosis of clinical depression warranting medication. To qualify, you must experience five or more of the following symptoms, most of the day, every day, for two weeks or more, and the symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with normal everyday functioning:14

Sadness Anxiety
Feeling hopeless Feeling worthless
Feeling helpless Feeling ’empty’
Feeling guilty Irritable
Fatigue Lack of energy
Loss of interest in hobbies Slow talking and moving
Restlessness Trouble concentrating
Abnormal sleep patterns, whether sleeping too much or not enough Abnormal weight changes, either eating too much or having no appetite
Thoughts of death or suicide

The reality is that a majority of patients who receive a depression diagnosis and subsequent prescription for an antidepressant do not, in fact, qualify. In one study,15 only 38.4% actually met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria, and among older adults, that ratio was even lower. Only 14.3% of those aged 65 and older met the diagnostic criteria. According to the authors:16

“Participants who did not meet the 12-month MDE criteria reported less distress and impairment in role functioning and used fewer services. A majority of both groups, however, were prescribed and used psychiatric medications.

Conclusion: Depression overdiagnosis and overtreatment is common in community settings in the USA. There is a need for improved targeting of diagnosis and treatments of depression and other mental disorders in these settings.”

What Role Might War Games Play?

Aside from antidepressants, another factor that gets ignored is the influence of shooting simulations, i.e., violent video games. How does the military train soldiers for war? Through simulations. With the proliferation of video games involving indiscriminate violence, should we really be surprised when this “training” is then put into practice? As reported by World Bank Blogs, young men who experience violence “often struggle to reintegrate peacefully into their communities” when hostilities end.17 While American youth typically have little experience with real-world war, simulated war games do occupy much of their time and may over time color their everyday perceptions of life. As noted by Centrical, some of the top benefits of simulations training include:18

  1. Allowing you to practice genuine real-life scenarios and responses
  2. Repetition of content, which boosts knowledge retention
  3. Personalization and diversification, so you can learn from your mistakes and evaluate your performance, thereby achieving a deeper level of learning

In short, violent mass shooter games are the perfect training platform for future mass shooters. Whereas a teenager without such exposure might not be very successful at carrying out a mass shooting due to inexperience with weapons and tactics, one who has spent many hours, years even, training in simulations could have knowledge akin to that of military personnel.

Add antidepressant side effects such as emotional blunting and loss of impulse control, and you have a perfect prescription for a mass casualty event.

On top of that, we, as a nation, also demonstrate the “righteousness” of war by engaging in them without end.19 When was the last time the U.S. was not at war someplace? It’s been ongoing for decades.

Even now, the U.S. insists on inserting itself into the dispute between Russia and Ukraine, and diplomacy isn’t the chosen conflict resolution tool. Sending weapons to Ukraine and calling for more violence against Russians are. Sen. Lindsey Graham has even called for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Showing just how serious such a suggestion is, the White House had to publicly disavow it, stating Graham’s comment “is not the position of the U.S. government.”20

Graham, meanwhile, does not appear to understand how his nonchalant call for murder might actually incite murder. In the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, he now wants to mobilize retired service members to enhance security at schools, and while that might be a good idea, how about also vowing never to call for the murder of political opponents? Don’t politicians understand that this could translate into some kid thinking it’s acceptable to murder THEIR perceived opponents?

As far as I can tell, mass shootings have far more to do with societal norms, dangerous medications, a lack of high-quality mental health services, and the normalization of violence through entertainment and in politics, than it does with gun laws per se.

There are likely many other factors as well, but these are clearly observable phenomena known to nurture violent behavior. I’m afraid Americans are in need of a far deeper and more introspective analysis of the problem than many are capable of at the moment. But those who can, should try, and make an effort to effect much-needed change locally and in their own home.

*****

This article was published by Dr. Rich Swier and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

Are you concerned about election integrity? What informed United States citizen isn’t? Did the 2020 national election raise many questions about election integrity? Are you concerned about the current cycle of primaries and then the general election in November? No doubt the answer for The Prickly Pear readers is YES.

Click below for a message from Tony Sanchez, the RNC Arizona Election Integrity Director to sign up for the opportunity to become an official Poll Observer for the 8/2 AZ Primary and the 11/8 General Election in your county of residence. We need many, many good citizens to do this – get involved now and help make the difference for clean and honest elections.

Why Cutting the Gas Tax is a Bad Idea thumbnail

Why Cutting the Gas Tax is a Bad Idea

By Neland Nobel

Biden says he will request a three-month reduction in the Federal gas tax and urges states to follow as well. At one time Barak Obama called this idea a gimmick. Obama was right.

Certainly, one can understand why. The increase in fuel costs is hurting everyone, including those at the bottom of the income scale the Democrats say they are concerned about.The public is howling, with about most people polled blaming Biden and the Democrats. Most do not feel it is the fault of the greedy oil companies or Putin. These energy companies that just more than a year ago provided us fuel at half the cost did not just discover profits. They pursued profits when energy was cheaper, as they should.

And, if you have been paying attention, energy costs started to rise after the election and were well on their way higher before Putin invaded Ukraine. No, high energy costs are clearly the consequence of Democrat policies that began years ago but culminated with the election of Biden. As the sticker says, he really did do that!

High fuel costs are altering, if not canceling, vacation plans. They are increasing the price of food and everything that is shipped by rail, air, ship, or truck.

Democrats are looking to “do something” to ease the pain because of the fall congressional elections. But the consequences will be found for years in higher home heating oil prices, higher food prices, higher electricity prices, and reduced industrial production. Economic growth relies on the access to competitively priced energy, where energy sources are determined by engineers and the market, not environmental departments at universities and politicians.

When the world moved from wood to coal, from coal to oil, from horses to cars, from kerosene to electricity, it was entrepreneurs operating with the voluntary forces or profit and loss that made the determination. At the turn of the century, we had electric cars, steam-powered cars, and the internal combustion engine, all competing with one another. We had Westinghouse and Tesla competing again Edison. Let that process work today.

What we have now is a top-down, centrally planned forced conversion to different energy systems based on biased research about CO2 and its role in temperature changes. It is what Biden calls a “transition.”

Republicans should not accommodate Biden for the following reasons:

As a tactical matter, do not provide your opponent help when he is hurting himself. They don’t deserve the assistance and it is politically stupid to help them.

We should replay as often as possible all the campaign promises where Democrats pledged to put the oil and gas industry out of business. We should further explain that this has been a long-standing goal of Democrats going back at least 20 years with Al Gore and his inconvenient blunders.

We should explain to the public how the  ESG movement starves energy corporations of capital and reduces supply. Ideas have consequences. The explanation of why these ideas are bad has more weight when people feel the consequences of bad political and scientific decisions. There is nothing quite like pain and fear to focus one’s attention.

This blowback from high prices needs to be unleashed not just on the politicians but the university departments, the environmental industrial complex, and environmental organizations. This has been their multi-year project and we now see the consequences.

More importantly, reducing a tax does not produce one bit of additional energy. Rather, it gives the Democrats the appearance that they care, while they impoverish us all in their Green New Deal fantasy. 

No, let the reality of what they are doing sink in. Many of the people who voted for Biden need to see reality by experiencing the consequences of destroying an industry before better alternatives are created. It is time for tough love. Democrats are reducing our standard of living deliberately to force their ideas on “climate change.” The collateral economic damage is felt by all, but especially by many who voted for Biden.

That pain is a positive thing because it will create political change.

It is the same with the release of oil from the strategic oil reserve. Such action produces no energy and further, uses what is supposed to be a “strategic reserve” intended for when the country is involved in war or confrontation with a hostile energy producer like Iran or Russia. That is a misuse of the purpose of that reserve. It is not a political piggy bank to be drawn on when Democrats are in trouble.

We could have gotten almost an equivalent amount of oil from Canada simply by completing pipelines that were already well on the way to completion.

Releasing oil from the strategic oil reserve, and cutting the gas tax, are all calculated steps to distract us all from the real problem:  the US has immense energy reserves and Democrats stand in the way of them being utilized. It is painful for us all, but we must let that reality be driven home.

There are additional problems as well. This revenue goes to the highway trust fund and is needed for vital infrastructure improvement. We should not let that trust fund be raided by politicians seeking relief from their own policies.

That money will have to be made up somewhere. Thus, the loss in revenue has to come from somewhere, higher taxes elsewhere, or increases in the deficit that adds upward pressures on inflation and interest rates.

Finally, the amount of 18 cents for gasoline, and 24 cents for diesel, is hardly enough to provide relief and it will be only temporary relief at best. We have seen the price of gas go up that much in a day or two.

I drive a mid-sized pickup that averages about 18 miles per gallon, for city and highway.  I drive about 10,000 miles a year. So, let’s do the math. At 18 miles per gallon, that is about 555 gallons per year.  Saving 18 cents per gallon would save me about $100 for a year.  The three months proposed would equal about $25 of total savings.  C’mon man.  I am not worried about the $25, I am worried about Biden’s energy policy costing me more for gas, electricity, and propane, for the rest of my life and for my children and grandchildren.

In summary, it is a political gesture with no meaningful benefit other than to help Biden.  He doesn’t deserve it.

If we really want to have a sane energy policy that keeps prices low for consumers,  the Democrats need to lose.  We should see that they do.

TAKE ACTION

The highly choreographed January 6 Select Committee that is being performed on primetime TV over the next several weeks can only be described as political and partisan trash. It is not about truth or acting in the interests of American citizens. It is about the 2024 election – clear as day.

Please click here to inform our elected leaders how you feel about the partisan travesty unfolding in the U.S. House of Representatives.

WHO Chief Now Says He Believes COVID Did Leak From Wuhan Lab After an Accident in 2019 thumbnail

WHO Chief Now Says He Believes COVID Did Leak From Wuhan Lab After an Accident in 2019

By Rick Moran

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been playing the toady for the Chinese Communists since the pandemic was first loosed upon the world in Wuhan, China in December of 2019. He abandoned any pretense of impartiality and ran interference for his masters in Beijing when the first investigations into the origins of the coronavirus were conducted.

But slowly, over the intervening two years, Tedros has had an epiphany. Indeed, the number of researchers and scientists admitting that the possibility of a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology led to the pandemic is growing as time goes by.

According to the Daily Mail, Tedros is also coming around to accepting that hypothesis. He confided to a senior European politician that the most likely explanation was a catastrophic accident at the Wuhan Institute where infections first spread in late 2019.

In essence, it’s now down to a process of elimination. For two years, scientists have been looking for the specific animal species that would have passed the coronavirus to humans. They’ve concentrated on bats, but other mammals have been tested — tens of thousands of them — looking for the “‘zoonotic’ spread” that researchers confidently predicted would show up and solve the mystery of the coronavirus’s origins.

There’s been no sign of the coronavirus spreading from a specific animal species to humans. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. But it’s certainly a compelling reason to try and force China to cooperate in the investigation…..

*****

Continue reading this article at  PJ Media.

TAKE ACTION

The highly choreographed January 6 Select Committee that is being performed on primetime TV over the next several weeks can only be described as political and partisan trash. It is not about truth or acting in the interests of American citizens. It is about the 2024 election – clear as day.

Please click here to inform our elected leaders how you feel about the partisan travesty unfolding in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Red Flagged Nation: Gun Confiscation Laws Put a Target on the Back of Every American thumbnail

Red Flagged Nation: Gun Confiscation Laws Put a Target on the Back of Every American

By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” — Ayn Rand

What we do not need is yet another pretext by which government officials can violate the Fourth Amendment at will under the guise of public health and safety.

Indeed, at a time when red flag gun laws (which authorize government officials to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others) are gaining traction as a legislative means by which to allow police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats, it wouldn’t take much for police to be given the green light to enter a home without a warrant in order to seize lawfully-possessed firearms based on concerns that the guns might pose a danger.

Frankly, a person wouldn’t even need to own a gun to be subjected to such a home invasion.

SWAT teams have crashed through doors on lesser pretexts based on false information, mistaken identities and wrong addresses.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws allowing the police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats. If Congress succeeds in passing the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order, which would nationalize red flag laws, that number will grow.

As The Washington Post reports, these red flag gun laws “allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition [with a court] asking that a person’s home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn’t require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest.

In the wake of yet another round of mass shootings, these gun confiscation laws—extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws—may appease the fears of those who believe that fewer guns in the hands of the general populace will make our society safer.

Of course, it doesn’t always work that way.

Anything—knives, vehicles, planes, pressure cookers—can become a weapon when wielded with deadly intentions.

With these red flag gun laws, the stated intention is to disarm individuals who are potential threats… to “stop dangerous people before they act.”

While in theory, it appears perfectly reasonable to want to disarm individuals who are clearly suicidal and/or pose an “immediate danger” to themselves or others, where the problem arises is when you put the power to determine who is a potential danger in the hands of government agencies, the courts and the police.

We’ve been down this road before.

Remember, this is the same government that uses the words “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably.

This is the same government whose agents are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports using automated eyes and ears, social media, behavior sensing software, and citizen spies to identify potential threats.

This is the same government that has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations, and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state.

For instance, if you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, and demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you could be at the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.

Moreover, as a New York Times editorial warns, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the police if you are afraid that the government is plotting to confiscate your firearms, if you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law, or if you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car.

Let that sink in a moment.

Now consider the ramifications of giving police that kind of authority: to preemptively raid homes in order to neutralize a potential threat.

It’s a powder keg waiting for a lit match.

Under these red flag laws, what happened to Duncan Lemp—who was gunned down in his bedroom during an early morning, no-knock SWAT team raid on his family’s home—could very well happen to more people.

At 4:30 a.m. on March 12, 2020, in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic that had most of the country under a partial lockdown and sheltering at home, a masked SWAT team—deployed to execute a “high risk” search warrant for unauthorized firearms—stormed the suburban house where 21-year-old Duncan, a software engineer and Second Amendment advocate, lived with his parents and 19-year-old brother.

The entire household, including Lemp and his girlfriend, was reportedly asleep when the SWAT team directed flash bang grenades and gunfire through Lemp’s bedroom window.

Lemp was killed and his girlfriend injured.

No one in the house that morning, including Lemp, had a criminal record.

No one in the house that morning, including Lemp, was considered an “imminent threat” to law enforcement or the public, at least not according to the search warrant.

So what was so urgent that militarized police felt compelled to employ battlefield tactics in the pre-dawn hours of a day when most people are asleep in bed, not to mention stuck at home as part of a nationwide lockdown?

According to police, they were tipped off that Lemp was in possession of “firearms.”

Thus, rather than approaching the house by the front door at a reasonable hour in order to investigate this complaint—which is what the Fourth Amendment requires—police instead strapped on their guns, loaded up their flash-bang grenades, and carried out a no-knock raid on the household.

According to the county report, the no-knock raid was justified “due to Lemp being ‘anti-government,’ ‘anti-police,’ currently in possession of body armor, and an active member of the Three Percenters,” a far-right paramilitary group that discussed government resistance.

This is what happens when you adopt red flag gun laws, painting anyone who might be in possession of a gun—legal or otherwise—as a threat that must be neutralized.

Therein lies the danger of these red flag laws, specifically, and pre-crime laws such as these generally where the burden of proof is reversed and you are guilty before you are given any chance to prove you are innocent.

Red flag gun laws merely push us that much closer towards a suspect society where everyone is potentially guilty of some crime or another and must be preemptively rendered harmless.

Where many Americans go wrong is in naively assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or harmful in order to be flagged and targeted for some form of intervention or detention.

In fact, all you need to do these days to end up on a government watch list or be subjected to heightened scrutiny is use certain trigger words (like cloud, pork and pirates), surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, limp or stutterdrive a car, stay at a hotel, attend a political rally, express yourself on social mediaappear mentally ill, serve in the militarydisagree with a law enforcement officialcall in sick to work, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, appear confused or nervous, fidget or whistle or smell bad, be seen in public waving a toy gun or anything remotely resembling a gun (such as a water nozzle or a remote control or a walking cane), stare at a police officer, question government authority, appear to be pro-gun or pro-freedom, or generally live in the United States.

Be warned: once you get on such a government watch list—whether it’s a terrorist watch list, a mental health watch list, a dissident watch list, or a red flag gun watch list—there’s no clear-cut way to get off, whether or not you should actually be on there.

You will be flagged as a potential threat and dealt with accordingly.

You will be tracked by the government’s pre-crime, surveillance network wherever you go.

Hopefully you’re starting to understand how easy we’ve made it for the government to identify, label, target, defuse and detain anyone it views as a potential threat for a variety of reasons that run the gamut from mental illness to having a military background to challenging its authority to just being on the government’s list of persona non grata.

The government has been building its pre-crime, surveillance network in concert with fusion centers (of which there are 78 nationwide, with partners in the private sector and globally), data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioral epigenetics (in which life experiences alter one’s genetic makeup).

Combine red flag laws with the government’s surveillance networks and its plan to establish an agency that will take the lead in identifying and targeting “signs” of mental illness or violent inclinations among the populace by using artificial intelligence to collect data from Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home, and you’ll understand why some might view gun control legislation with trepidation.

No matter how well-meaning the politicians make these encroachments on our rights appear, in the right (or wrong) hands, benevolent plans can easily be put to malevolent purposes.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, even the most well-intentioned government law or program can be—and has been—perverted, corrupted, and used to advance illegitimate purposes once profit and power are added to the equation.

The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration, and the war on COVID-19: all of these programs started out as legitimate responses to pressing concerns and have since become weapons of compliance and control in the government’s hands.

No matter how well-intentioned, red flag gun laws will put a target on the back of every American whether or not they own a weapon.

*****

This article was published by The Rutherford Institute and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

The highly choreographed January 6 Select Committee that is being performed on primetime TV over the next several weeks can only be described as political and partisan trash. It is not about truth or acting in the interests of American citizens. It is about the 2024 election – clear as day.

Please click here to inform our elected leaders how you feel about the partisan travesty unfolding in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Rise of the Soros “Prosecutors”

By Parker Thayer

A recent report by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) examined George Soros’s funding of the progressive district attorney (DA) movement that has swept America’s urban centers and found that the infamous billionaire’s financial support for the disastrous movement has been far larger than was previously thought.

Early this year the Capital Research Center reported that Soros had spent at least $29 million directly supporting dozens of DA candidates, nearly two dozen of which remained in office. Now it is clear that Soros’s capture of the criminal justice system is even more expansive than was feared.

Millions More

LELDF’s report highlights that Soros has also spent millions of dollars supporting far-left organizations that serve as the foundation of the “rogue prosecutor” movement, including the Brennan Center, Fair and Just Prosecution (a project of the notorious Tides Foundation), and the Vera Institute for Justice.

Over the years dozens of prosecutors and DAs around the country have attended seminars and policy sessions hosted by the Soros-funded organizations. DA’s have also signed onto criminal justice reform letters written by the organizations, gone on sponsored jaunts across the globe for meetings and forums, and received public relations help from doting videos and articles about their commitment to justice and reform. In all, LELDF concluded, as many as 75 prosecutors have benefited, directly and indirectly, from Soros’s financial largesse, which totaled over $40 million.

Among them is the recently recalled, former San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin, who benefitted indirectly from Soros’s contributions to organizations that opposed his recall. John Chisolm, the Milwaukee County prosecutor who disastrously decided to let the man responsible for the Waukesha massacre out of jail on minimum bail, also made the list after receiving direct support from Soros’s Safety and Justice PAC.

While there is a substantial difference between direct and indirect support from Soros, Soros’s PR attack dogs have done nothing to dispute the $40 million figure, choosing instead to quibble over the characterization of “Soros prosecutors.”

Catastrophic Reform

No matter how much Soros and his allies attempt to obfuscate, the evidence is clear. Soros has spent tens of millions of dollars to impose his vision of “reform” upon the world, and the results in America’s urban areas have been catastrophic.

*****

This article was published by Capital Research and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

The highly choreographed January 6 Select Committee that is being performed on primetime TV over the next several weeks can only be described as political and partisan trash. It is not about truth or acting in the interests of American citizens. It is about the 2024 election – clear as day.

Please click here to inform our elected leaders how you feel about the partisan travesty unfolding in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Economist Whose Theory Predicted Today’s Calls for Censorship in the 1970s

By Peter Jacobsen

Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase wrote a paper in 1974 that implicitly predicted the increasing popularity of censorship among the intellectual class.

After Elon Musk’s offer to purchase Twitter was accepted, the Department of Homeland Security unveiled plans for a “disinformation” governance board. Musk’s purchase is not final, and the governance board is now paused, but the reaction to these events has been telling.

One might expect professionals in the market for ideas would be concerned by a government agency policing speech. Curiously, many groups who historically have defended free speech against interference seem slow (or absent) in response.

Members of the journalism industry have reacted negatively to Musk’s vocal support of free speech. His purchase is “dangerous,” and his commitment to free speech will lead to people being “silenced”.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press attacked Musk for wanting free speech, claiming that this desire was inconsistent with the fact that he has criticized people in the past.

This claim by the AP confused many, as criticism is obviously compatible with free speech.

Time magazine voiced opposition to Musk from another angle, trying to disparage his “tech bro” obsession with free speech

CNN writers crafted the suggestive headline, “Twitter has been focused on ‘healthy conversations.’ Elon Musk could change that”.

At The Conversation, Filippo Menczer, a professor of informatics and computer science at Indiana University, argues John Milton’s idea of the uncensored marketplace of ideas is outdated and calls for “refereeing” of social media. And of course, this refereeing isn’t censorship. Why would you think that?

Another professor writing for The ConversationJaigris Hudson, argues Elon Musk’s free speech push will make speech less free because if harsh language is allowed some people will stop talking. This article when set next to this Washington Post piece and the AP tweet underscores a consistent theme of mistaking free speech for freedom from criticism.

Head bureaucrat of the government’s “paused” disinformation board, Nina Jankowicz, also wishes Twitter would move in another direction. Jankowicz wonders, why not allow verified accounts to edit the Tweets of people using free speech too dangerously?

Although it isn’t uncommon for high-level military bureaucrats like Jankowicz to desire censorship, academics and journalists have long been stalwart defenders of the importance of an uncensored marketplace for ideas. For a long time, universities and newspapers were seen as places where controversial means and ends could be debated publicly. “The truth will out” was the final defense of these institutions against calls for censorship.

This defense of the marketplace of ideas was so universal among the professional intellectual class that it inspired Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase (1910-2013) to write a paper trying to explain why this was so. And, using this same paper, we can see Coase implicitly predicted the increasing favorability of censorship among the professional intellectual class.

In a 1974 paper, Coase, the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School, mused over an interesting puzzle. Professional intellectuals focus tremendous effort in highlighting why the market for goods and services requires regulation. Meanwhile, those same intellectuals often argued that the market for ideas should be free from regulation.

So, why the asymmetry?

To answer this puzzle, Coase first dismissed two popular but wrong explanations for this paradox.

The first explanation is that markets for goods and services can have market failures. For example, if gasoline buyers and sellers don’t have to pay for the pollution gasoline generates, they will buy and sell too much at the expense of those who experience pollution.

However, the problem with this explanation is obvious. There can also be failures in the market for ideas. Even if it’s correct that the best idea will win, it’s obvious that the best idea won’t always win immediately. Pollution in the market for ideas, such as disinformation, is also possible.

In other words, the market for ideas also has market failures. On this criteria, both types of markets should be regulated–or neither.

The second wrong explanation for why professional intellectuals defend the market for ideas from regulation is that unregulated speech is necessary for a functioning democracy. This explanation sounds okay at first, so what’s wrong with it?

Well, the market for goods and services is also necessary for a functioning democracy. As Coase puts it,

For most people in most countries (and perhaps in all countries), the provision of food, clothing, and shelter is a good deal more important than the provision of the “right ideas,” even if it is assumed that we know what they are.

So good ideas being necessary for a functioning democracy can’t be an explanation for why the market for ideas should be unregulated, since professional intellectuals favor regulation for goods and services which are also necessary for a functioning democracy.

The asymmetry remains.

Coase finishes his essay by solving the paradox. Why do professional intellectuals defend the market for ideas against regulation but not the market for goods and services?

The market for ideas is the market in which the intellectual conducts his trade. The explanation of the paradox is self-interest and self-esteem. Self-esteem leads the intellectuals to magnify the importance of their own market. That others should be regulated seems natural, particularly as many of the intellectuals see themselves as doing the regulating.

So, the market for ideas is the market controlled by intellectuals. They see their market as a higher and more important calling. The market for goods and services, in their view, is both less important and more corrupted.

So how does Coase’s explanation here predict the increasing calls for censorship in the market for ideas?

Remember the explanation Coase gave. Professional intellectuals considered the market for ideas as above regulation because they controlled the market.

But times have changed since Coase wrote his article in 1974.

The internet has revolutionized the landscape of the market for ideas. It’s no longer the case that the well-credentialed have the most sway in the ideas market. Recent years have been characterized by creators on YouTube, podcasts, and, most recently, Substack dominating the market for ideas.

Now that the market for ideas is no longer dominated by academia and the journalism industry, members of those groups no longer have the same incentives to stop industry regulation.

In fact, as in many industries, it may be in incumbents’ best interest to regulate competition. After all, if people get their new commentary from Joe Rogan and not CNN, that hurts CNN’s bottom line.

So, although Coase did not foresee the decentralization of the market of ideas in his piece, the logic of his paper gives a clear prediction. If the ones who hold the reins to the market for ideas lose their grip, calls for regulation are sure to follow. And this is exactly what we’re seeing.

This article was published by FEE, Foundation for Economic Education and is reproduced with permission.

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Forget School Choice, Education Microgrants Are Microsocialism

By JASON BEDRICK & ADAM KISSEL

Not all education choice initiatives are created equal.

West Virginia’s near-universal Hope Scholarship, for example, empowers families to choose the learning environment that’s the best fit for their children — without costing taxpayers more. Microgrants do exactly the opposite.

The Hope Scholarship is an education savings account, or ESA, that families can use for private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, online learning, educational services and therapies, and more. The ESA provides students leaving the public system or entering kindergarten or first grade with nearly 100% of existing state-level K-12 funding. That’s about $4,300 per pupil, and in West Virginia, where the average private school tuition is about $4,750, it goes a long way. In contrast, Idaho’s microgrant program, Empowering Parents, gives only $1,000 toward various educational expenses (excluding private school tuition) yet still costs taxpayers more money. That’s because there’s a catch: Idaho’s microgrants are primarily for children who stay in public schools.

That’s a common problem with microgrant programs. At the margin, West Virginia helps a child’s family afford a better option; Idaho does not.

The larger economic problem is that microgrants are microsocialism. Rather than redirecting funds from the existing K-12 education budget, as ESAs do, microgrants generally require new money. That means taxpayers fork over additional money the state distributes to somebody else. That’s why the Left does not see microgrants as a threat to the status quo. If the point is merely a larger handout, the Left loves it. But the point should be that every family finds the educational environment that’s best for their child. By that standard, microgrants are counterproductive.

Not only are microgrants bad policy, but they’re also a bad education reform strategy.

When presented with two proposals, one more robust and one more modest, legislators tend to opt for the more modest proposal. This way, they can have their cake and eat it, too, getting credit for at least doing something while blocking the more expansive reform.

Aware of this dynamic, proponents of microgrants portray them as a form of “school choice.” Legislators then think they can placate school choice proponents by enacting microgrants while reassuring choice opponents that they blocked more robust policies, such as ESAs. In this sense, microgrants are entirely parasitic on efforts to enact broad education choice policies. This is why proponents of microgrants work almost exclusively in red states, where the prospects of enacting choice policies are the best they’ve ever been. Microgrant proponents count on education choice coalitions to do the hard work of moving the Overton Window, then slip in and pass their own modest proposal at the expense of true school choice proposals…..

*****

Continue reading this article at The Washington Examiner.

TAKE ACTION

The highly choreographed January 6 Select Committee that is being performed on primetime TV over the next several weeks can only be described as political and partisan trash. It is not about truth or acting in the interests of American citizens. It is about the 2024 election – clear as day.

Please click here to inform our elected leaders how you feel about the partisan travesty unfolding in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Biden Pressuring Dem Governors for More Gun Control

By Editors at Second Amendment Foundation

The Biden-Harris administration is sympathetic Democratic governors to pass more gun control legislation with the apparent belief that if more states pass restrictive anti-gun bills, it will be easier for the administration to push for similar legislation at the federal level.

The White House has already contacted governors in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, California and Delaware. The bills they have come up with are similar in concept and some even use similar language. The legislation usually includes 21+ age restrictions for firearm purchasers, Red Flag bills as well as “assault weapon” and standard-capacity magazine bans.

Nowhere have gun owners been hit harder than in Biden’s home state of Delaware, where a bill that would prohibit magazines capable of holding more than 17 rounds and a bill that would outlaw most semi-auto rifles are awaiting Gov. John Carney’s signature, after flying through the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

“Every center-fire rifle that’s magazine fed will be banned,” said John Sigler, who is past president of the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, past president of the National Rifle Association, and a current NRA Board member.

Delaware is a small state. Sigler has known Biden for decades.

“All of this is being driven by the White House,” Sigler said. “Joe has been a gun banner forever – back to when he was running the Senate Judiciary Committee. My first dealings with him involved ‘Saturday Night Specials’ and ‘Cop Killer’ bullets. This is exactly what those of us here in Delaware feared when he announced he was running for president.”

HB 450 will become law the moment Gov. Carney signs it, which he is expected to do. It will ban 63 firearms by name, as well as any semi-auto rifle with a detachable magazine, any shotgun with a telescoping or folding stock or a revolving cylinder, any pistol with a detachable magazine outside the grip or a threaded barrel, and all pistols and rifles with fixed magazines capable of hold more than 17 rounds.

HB 450 states that gun owners cannot sell, offer for sale, transfer, purchase, receive or possess one of the banned firearms after the effective date – except you can keep what you had on or before the effective date. By prohibiting sales, the bill takes away the firearm’s value.

SS 1 for SB 6 bans magazines capable of holding more than 17 rounds. It, too, awaits Gov. Carney’s signature, which he has promised to do.

There is no grandfather clause in this bill. Anyone who owns a magazine capable of holding more than 17 rounds must surrender it to police for a “buy back” or risk misdemeanor charges for the first offense and felony charges the second time they’re caught with a 17+ magazine.

At first, the bill said the state would pay the owner $10 per magazine, but they only allocated $45,000 for the “buy back.” Now, the bill has been amended to offer the owner “current market value” for their property, which the legislature did not define. It has still only allocated $45,000 taxpayer dollars.

Delaware Sportsmen will sue

The Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association has no choice but to sue once the bills are signed into law, Sigler said. It will be a costly endeavor.

“Our membership is stepping up to the plate, and people we’ve never heard of are contributing,” Sigler said. “We are preparing right now and we will see what transpires, but we will litigate. We promised to sue and we are going to carry out our promise.

*****

This article was published by the Second Amendment Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

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Transgender Activists Manipulate Parents With Suicide Threats

By Ginny Gentles

“Do you want a dead daughter or a live son?”

This question, which is really a threat, is the central tenet of the campaign selling gender ideology to parents.

Parents are often told that they are putting their gender-nonconforming child at risk of suicide if they don’t medically “transition” him or her to appear as the opposite sex or at least treat their child as the sex he or she chooses. The child then internalizes this information and believes that suicide is an inevitable outcome without transition, as opposed to an unhealthy response to internal distress.

The pernicious assumption behind this horrific question is that parents do not have the best interest of their children at heart and that the “experts” know better. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Parents who are not caught up in this social contagion know that children who threaten suicide are not born in the wrong body and that a risky regimen of puberty blockers, hormones, and surgeries won’t bring children the peace and joy they desperately crave. A child who threatens suicide requires love, kindness, and therapy to address underlying struggles, not sterilization

The children captivated by gender ideology often have underlying conditions, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or autism spectrum disorder, which are associated with lagging social skills, obsessive rumination, depression, and anxiety. 

Both research studies and the stories shared by a growing number of those who have detransitioned reveal a tendency to self-harm and suffer from eating disorders. Life has been hard for these highly sensitive and emotionally intense young people, and they’re understandably seeking relief.

These vulnerable children, often girls, deserve their parents’ involvement as they struggle through puberty, and they need their parents’ emotional and financial support until they make it safely to adulthood.

At its horribly rotten core, the culture created by the question “Do you want a dead daughter or a live son?” intentionally drives a painful wedge between parents and children unless parents consent without question to immediate social and medical transition. Parents who would do anything to keep their children safe are shoved aside by arrogant and callous school staff, doctors, and therapists.

Rather than assuring children that no one is born in the “wrong” body, schools and many doctors and therapists choose to parrot activist slogans instead.

Children are told that doctors guess the gender when a child is born and sometimes get it wrong; that if they don’t feel like they fit into regressive stereotypes about males and females, they must be transgender; that a “safe space” is one that affirms fleeting feelings rather than biological reality; and that anyone who doesn’t immediately and fully embrace their new transgender identity hates them and wants to “erase” them. Most perniciously, children receive a steady drumbeat of messages focused on suicide and death.

These slogans are used like a giant switch that turns off critical thinking and forbids even gentle questioning. They are repeated over and over in colorful children’s picture books; at GSA (gender sexuality clubs) meetings; and in-classroom lesson materials created by organizations like Queer Kids, Gender Spectrum, Advocates for Youth, and, of course, Planned Parenthood, an organization that profits from this ideology by doling out cross-sex hormones at clinics across the country.

These slogans are also baked into local and state transgender policies adopted—often quietly or even without a formal vote—by school boards. 

Misguided advocates for so-called transition procedures may be familiar with the suicide-centered activist slogans that populate their social media feed and the materials distributed by the many professional associations captured by this ideology, but they definitely haven’t done the research to familiarize themselves with the irreversible damage that so many young people experience after transitioning to appear as the opposite sex.

That damage can include, according to a list compiled at The Federalist, “loss of bone density, increased risk of blood clots, premature brain aging and increased aggression, reduced capacity for sexual pleasure, future infertility, and increased risk of heart disease.

Activists and misguided school staff, as well as an alarming number of doctors and counselors who have carelessly embraced the gender gospel, must stop making vulnerable students’ lives harder.

A recent analysis by Jay Greene of The Heritage Foundation found that “existing literature on this topic suffers from a series of weaknesses that prevent researchers from being able to draw credible causal conclusions about a relationship between medical interventions and suicide.” (The Daily Signal is the news and analysis site of The Heritage Foundation.)

I participated in a recent event discussing Greene’s conclusion that it is possible that “increasing minors’ access to cross-sex interventions is associated with a significant increase in the adolescent suicide rate.” The findings suggest that the “gender-affirming” policies and standards of care put in place in the name of protecting children from suicide must be reevaluated. 

It’s time to stop cruelly manipulating children with cult-like slogans. It’s time to stop driving a wedge between parents and their vulnerable children.

Our society must support parents, protect children, and keep families intact by turning away from propaganda centered around suicide threats. We must end secretive and destructive policies that harm children and instead pass laws that affirm that parents have primary responsibility for their children’s education and health.

*****

This article was published by the Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

The highly choreographed January 6 Select Committee that is being performed on primetime TV over the next several weeks can only be described as political and partisan trash. It is not about truth or acting in the interests of American citizens. It is about the 2024 election – clear as day.

Please click here to inform our elected leaders how you feel about the partisan travesty unfolding in the U.S. House of Representatives.

What Is the End Game with Ukraine and Russia? thumbnail

What Is the End Game with Ukraine and Russia?

By Neland Nobel

Is it just me, or is the United States sliding towards a major war without really any kind of debate? No declaration of war for sure, as such a thing as following the Constitution clearly cannot be considered by the leadership class in this nation.

There has not been any kind of use of force resolution either.

Instead, $40 billion has been appropriated for Ukraine and most Republicans signed on without hesitation or asking any questions. Democrats, once an antiwar party, ignominiously pulled out of one war in Afghanistan and immediately got us involved in another.

The expansion of NATO continues, which by treaty could involve us in a war with Russia if they get crossways with any number of new members. Have we thought this through?

Putin is a dangerous aggressor. On that, it is possible for all to agree. But have we been going out of our way to aggravate him? Is this the best way to deal with him?

And if he is so evil, why are the Germans and the Italians doing big business with them for energy? Why are they destroying their own energy capacity and making themselves more dependent on such a dastardly foe?

Moreover, what can be strategically accomplished with the current US intervention?

It is to weaken Russia we are told.

If that is true, why is the ruble rising against the dollar, with the dollar being the second strongest currency in the world? Who is being weakened here? As long as Russia dominates energy markets and is backed up by China, how weak are they?

Russia will have all the food, fertilizer, and energy it will need, while the rest of the world will not? Who here is the weakened party?

And why this silence among all the war hawks about the role of China? What does the NBA and Nike shoe, the big banks and brokerage houses that lecture us constantly about our shortcomings think of this nefarious alliance with China, Russia’s chief benefactor?

Moreover, the Russians seem to be slowly winning the war on the ground. That is the emerging reality. Are we willing to spend our money to fight Russia right down to the last Ukrainian? If what we have done will not stop them, what will it require? Are we ready for what it will require or are we just flushing $40 billion down the drain to look good?

Russia seems to be consolidating in the East. The Economist reports Ukraine is outnumbered 10 to 1 in artillery. Many other categories of war show similar lop-sided advantages for the Russians. And while the Ukrainians have fought bravely, they are fighting a much larger power willing to take heavy casualties. In a dictatorship like Russia, which controls the press, and has no political opposition, casualties don’t create the normal negative feedback loop.

How can Ukraine win if they cannot gain air superiority and further, interdict their opponent’s supply lines?  That would require a much greater effort on our part and risk invading Russian territory.  But with all of the resources of Russia, their larger population, and their productive capacity for war kept intact, Ukraine simply can’t win this war of attrition if Russia can bomb Ukrainian infrastructure at will but Ukraine can’t touch the Russians.

How can Ukraine win a war of defense only, outnumbered and outgunned in every military category? They for sure can make the Russians pay dearly, but can they win? What is your answer? If we can’t win, what are we doing?

It could be argued we are fighting for democracy. How can that be seriously argued since Zelensky just banned all political opposition?

And if you do think you are fighting for “democracy”, what benefit to the cause is it to lose? Counterfactually, this could simply encourage the Chinese and the Russians to bolder actions.

As peripheral matters, the US is doing some very strange things that can do significant long-term damage to ourselves. It is not just the tremendous expense and the drawdown of our own inventory of missiles and equipment.

Seizing Russian foreign reserves, with no judicial process at all, simply on the whim of the US, has demonstrated that the US dollar is not a safe place to put your foreign reserves. China, India, and Middle Eastern dictatorships, all took note of this. This has the potential to upend the entire post-war monetary framework built up after the Bretton-Woods Treaty.

The US has profited immensely by having the dollar the reserve currency of the world and the oil settlement currency of the world. Did we just blow that up for a war we can’t possibly win?

Over the weekend, a newly minted NATO member Lithuania decided to block the transit of goods to Kaliningrad. Look it up on a map.  It is part of Russia and the home of their Baltic fleet.

It is one thing to block purchases of Russian goods (sanctions) it is quite another to block Russian goods from getting from one part of Russia to another. That is clearly a direct intervention into the internal affairs of another country and not a “sanction” on “foreign” trade. How would we feel if Russia blocked the shipment of beef from Iowa to Ohio?

It would appear it is an act of war.

Ok, did Lithuania clear that with us? As a new member of NATO, do they not know that if Russia retaliates all of NATO is treaty-bound to come to their aid? Is our decision to expand this war in the hands of a small foreign nation rather than our Congress? Yes, it appears that it is!

Did World War III just start while the world was chattering about Biden falling off his bike?

Are the American people fully aware of what we are getting ourselves into?

When are Republicans going to start asking some important questions about what procedure is followed to commit this county to war, why are we doing it, what is the end game, can it be won, and what will be the cost?

In short, is it too much to ask that our U.S. Representatives and Senators do their damned jobs?

TAKE ACTION

The highly choreographed January 6 Select Committee that is being performed on primetime TV over the next several weeks can only be described as political and partisan trash. It is not about truth or acting in the interests of American citizens. It is about the 2024 election – clear as day.

Please click here to inform our elected leaders how you feel about the partisan travesty unfolding in the U.S. House of Representatives.

ESG: Is This Green Iron-fist Fantasy a Major Cause of Inflation and Economic Destruction? thumbnail

ESG: Is This Green Iron-fist Fantasy a Major Cause of Inflation and Economic Destruction?

By Selwyn Duke

Is rich people’s greentopian fantasy causing middle-class misery? The answer is yes, according to analysts such as Marlo Oaks, Utah state treasurer, and longtime investment manager. In fact, Oaks says he knows a major reason why increasing fuel prices, which drive up costs across the board, are so high:

Supply is being choked off by “woke” capital investors who favor green dreams over fossil-fuel practicality.

Making his case, the Utah official states that in 2015 there were 59 funds globally among institutional investors that raised $46.6 billion for oil and gas projects. Yet note what happened during the next six years:

By 2021, there were only 11 funds and $4.6 billion raised — a drop of more than 90 percent.

Oaks fingers as the culprit something called ESG. What is ESG? Standing for Environmental, Social, and Governance, it is, technically and ostensibly, “the measurement of the impact (both positive and negative) that a business has on the environment and on society including an assessment of the governance practices (or lack thereof) that impact all stakeholders,” explains Certainty.

But in practice, avers Oaks, it’s not so innocuous. In fact, he states that the only logical explanation for the drastic 2015-2021 fossil-fuel investment collapse is ESG. “People have decided that they do not want to participate in the fossil fuel industry and so are cutting off capital,” he says.

The Utah treasurer made his comments on an edition of Tucker Carlson Today, a relevant excerpt of which was played yesterday evening on Tucker Carlson Tonight. Host Carlson introduced the topic, stating that the idea behind ESG “is to push corporate America left and punish companies that disagree with the orthodoxy.”

One of the entities/people responsible for this — mentioned during the Carlson segment — is multinational investment management corporation BlackRock and its chairman and CEO, billionaire Larry Fink. The New American reported on Fink’s “woke capital” schemes in the February article “Unseen Dark Hand: The Man Who Uses YOUR Money to Make Corporations Go Woke.”

As for Oaks, making the case that ESG is largely responsible for rising prices, he told Carlson:

So if you think about value-based investment strategies, historically there’s been socially responsible investing, yes, and impact investing more recently. So socially responsible investing is really the idea that you avoid certain companies that you don’t want to participate in; so it might be tobacco, firearms, gambling [because they’re contrary to your values].

…Okay, and then on the other side is impact investing, where you’re looking for innovation to solve a problem. So it might be cancer, for example: If you’re worried about cancer or interested in that, you might look for companies to invest in that have innovation that can help solve that problem.

ESG is an outgrowth of socially responsible investing, and instead of just avoiding companies, ESG actively engages with companies and engages with the market to drive a political outcome.

In other words, ESG-oriented puppeteers such as BlackRock don’t just refrain from investing in oil and gas projects, but actually, pressure other companies to not do so.

In fact, today’s inflation really starts with ESG because, if you think about … why gasoline prices are so high, a lot of it is a supply issue. And the reason that we don’t have enough supply in this country, one reason why, is we don’t have enough capital going in to oil and gas projects.

So in 2015 there were 59 funds raised globally among institutional investors; 46.6 billion dollars was raised. Six years later, in 2021, 11 funds were raised — 4.6 billion dollars — a drop of over 90 percent in the face of improving economics in oil and gas. The only explanation … that makes sense is ESG:

People have decided that they do not want to participate in the fossil fuel industry and so are cutting off capital.

There is an active drive, and we’ve heard it from this [Biden] administration, to cut off capital to the fossil fuel industry. It’s very troubling.

Carlson then pointed out that when Oaks says “people have decided,” at issue is really “a very small number of people who make these investment decisions. So it’s not the people who are participating in the fund at the retail level.” It’s puppeteers such as Larry Fink, stated Carlson (video below).

It gets even worse, though, according to Vivek Ramaswamy, founder of Strive Asset Management. Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box last week, he accused massive ESG-oriented entities of an anti-trust violation. Ramaswamy stated that not only do these companies collude in a way that causes rising, budget-busting gasoline prices, but they apply their greentopian standards only to the United States and Europe. Thus are they stifling our energy production to the benefit of foreign corporations such as PetroChina. And what is one of PetroChina’s major shareholders?

BlackRock.

So these woke firms are essentially saying, “ESG for thee, China for me,” states Ramaswamy (video below). Note, too, that China is our world’s biggest polluter by far.

So it’s the spirit of (pre)1776: MASA — Make America Subjugated Again. The only real question is, if these puppeteers were purposely trying to destroy the U.S., what would they do differently?

*****

This article was published by The New American and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

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Your Misery Is All About Their Power thumbnail

Your Misery Is All About Their Power

By Michael Senger

It is a testament to mankind’s enduring optimism, as much as our enduring hubris, that with every generation hope should spring anew that the fundamental forces which have governed our affairs since time immemorial have changed for the better.

After each passing calamity, the majority are once again lulled back into the comforting fantasy that we’ve reached the end of history, that the perennially destructive impulses of vanity, pride, greed, narcissism, cowardice, and inhumanity have been consigned to mere curiosities in our books and historical records, no longer playing any significant role in the decision-making of those with the power to shape our reality and the causes to which they recruit us.

No event in living memory has more thoroughly lain bare the folly of that notion than the response to Covid-19.

At every turn, the story of the world’s response to Covid is the story of power: The perception of it, the exercise of it, the fear of it, the abuse of it, and the pathological lengths to which some will go to obtain it.

During the response to Covid, we witnessed the ability of those who were perceived as having the power to simply make up reality as they went along. They were able to redefine scientific terms, causality, history, and even entire principles of the enlightenment virtually at leisure. More often than not, their narratives made no logical or chronological sense; in many cases, the absurdity was the point.

We were told that a two-month lockdown of one city in China had eliminated Covid from the entire country—but nowhere else—a false syllogism dutifully repeated by our political class for two years.

We were told that the purpose of lockdowns had been to flatten the curve, but also to eliminate the virus, in order to buy time for vaccines for the virus.

We were told that lockdowns in China violated human rights, fractured society, and led to deaths by other causes, but that lockdowns in the west did not.

We were told that outdoor protests spread the virus, unless the protest was for the right cause, in which case it slowed the virus.

We were inundated with reminders that all the myriad harms of lockdowns, from lost education and bankruptcies to drug overdoses and famine—while regrettable—were merely a result of the “pandemic,” and thus outside the control of the leaders who’d ordered the lockdowns.

We were told that “science” was a command to be followed, rather than a process for building and testing knowledge.

We were told that masks were useless and we were bad for procuring them, until we were told that they were mandatory and we were bad for refusing them. This, again, was attributed to a change in “science”—a natural force outside the control of our leaders.

We were told that medical information shared before the “science” had so changed was misinformation to be censored, even if the change in “science” was retroactive.

We were told that national governments, local governments, and private businesses could each impose mandates if they wished, but that no government could revoke a mandate imposed by a local government or private business.

We were told that lockdowns didn’t weaken human rights, our leaders were simply interpreting data differently; but now that we’d had lockdowns, fundamental rights to movement, work, and commerce were contingent on vaccination.

We were told it wasn’t safe for American children to attend school in-person, and that they had to wear masks if they did so attend, but also that it was never unsafe for European children to attend school without masking.

We were told that school closures were good and that opposition to them had to be censored until we were told that school closures had always been bad.

Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

Those in power were able to so whimsically shape our reality because the officials, journalists, judiciaries, citizens, and self-styled intellectuals who were meant to keep power in check were revealed to be little more than sycophants. And they were sycophants so that they could retain some of that power for themselves.

In short, people seek power because other people are sycophants, and people are sycophants because sycophancy is the simplest route to power. This age-old dynamic is what allows those in power to shape reality so free of accountability, scrutiny, or even basic logic. It’s the reason that power has always been fought over with scorched-earth ferocity, and why, in the absence of institutions adequate to keep it in check, power is almost always seized by sociopaths.

To Friedrich Nietzsche, the foundational motivating force behind all human behavior was not so much happiness, or even survival, but instead the will to power—to have one’s will exerted onto existence as one perceived it.

Nietzsche deconstructed preexisting notions of morality into what he termed “master” and “slave” morality, which he distinguished primarily by the motivations behind them. Master morality was motivated by the self-actualization of one’s own virtues and will onto existence.

Slave morality, by contrast, was motivated by limiting the power and self-actualization of others. To Nietzsche, the will to power was itself neither good nor bad, it was simply the fundamental force behind all human actions; but more often than not, human actions were motivated by slave morality.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that, in the process, he does not become a monster himself. Gaze long enough into an abyss, and the abyss will gaze right back into you.” ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886

Perhaps more than any event in history, the response to Covid illustrated Nietzsche’s point that human behavior is not fundamentally motivated by happiness, but instead by the simple will to power—to have one’s will exerted onto one’s perceived existence—and how easy it is to subvert that will toward the petty limitation of others’ self-actualization. Healthy people living their lives normally were demonized not because they were threatening, but because they were self-actualizing in a way that the mob could not.

The unvaccinated were vilified not because they were dangerous, but because they were free. Those questioning these things had to be censored not because their thoughts were wrong, but because they were thinking. Children could not be allowed to grow and live not because it was risky, but because preventing them from living was simply something for the mob to do.

I dare not imagine the living hell that some human beings must experience in their formative years to learn that power can be used to enslave others by motivating them toward the petty limitation of their peers; I would not wish such hell on anyone. Nor did I ever imagine that I would spend two years having to convince people that what’s good for themselves and their loved ones actually is good, but here we are.

I dislike what I witnessed during Covid, particularly what it revealed about the minds of those around me. What I believed were commonly-shared ideals of liberalism, humanity, critical thinking, universal rights, and constitutionalism were revealed to be little more than the modern trappings of sycophancy—fashion statements popular among contemporary elites only to be jettisoned as soon as the rich men who funded their employers, peers, and influencers decided that they were no longer convenient.

We were told that war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. But worst of all, our own friends and peers were told to ostracize and vilify us if we did not do as we were told—and far too often, they did as they were told.

*****

This article was published by the Brownstone Institute and is reproduced with permission.

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What Is Juneteenth to All Americans?

By Tarnell Brown

As the nation celebrates the holiday called Juneteenth, it is only natural to reflect upon the experience and ongoing struggles of African-Americans within the overall American experience. That there is even a Juneteenth to celebrate as a separate day of independence for former slaves is a testament to this. For those still somewhat unfamiliar with the concept of Juneteenth, a short history is perhaps in order. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which decreed that all individuals held as slaves within states in rebellion against the Union were free by Executive mandate. In many places across the South, Union soldiers marched through cities and plantations spreading news of the ostensible freedom now afforded to enslaved peoples. This was a nice enough sentiment, certainly providing a sense of euphoria for the African-Americans – free and enslaved – gathered together in churches and private homes across America for Watch Night services, where they awaited news of the Proclamation. In reality, though, Lincoln’s decree was little more than legerdemain and political theater.

The mandate freed slaves only in states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery still operational in border states loyal to the Union. Moreover, it provided exemptions for Confederate states that had already fallen under Union control. Of course, freedom for those slaves still under the purview of the Confederacy was entirely contingent upon military victory by the North. Enter Texas. Due to a fairly effective blockade, the westernmost state of the Confederacy would not fall under Union control until June 1865. Texas slaveowners knew of Lincoln’s decree; they simply didn’t bother telling their chattel, lest they grow restless and difficult to control. On the nineteenth of the month, some 2,000 Union soldiers under the command of Brig. Gen Gordon Granger marched into Galveston. From the Juneteenth to celebrate as a separate day of independence for former slaves is a testament to this. For those still somewhat unfamiliar with the concept of Juneteenth, a short history is perhaps in order. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which decreed that all individuals were held as slaves within states in rebellion. From the balcony of the former Texas Confederate headquarters, Granger delivered the news that some 250,000 souls held in bondage were now free. Even the most casual student of American history knows that the specter of slavery was not truly gone until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. But it became a custom within the African-American community – especially in the South – to celebrate June 19, shortened, of course, to Juneteenth.

It should be apparent by now why Juneteenth is important to Blacks in America, but why is it important to everyone else? The great abolitionist, author, and orator Frederick Douglass once asked a similar question regarding the value of Independence Day to those held under the burden of slavery. On July 5, 1852, at a meeting of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York, Douglass delivered his now-famous speech “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” In it, he praised the bravery and wisdom of those who risked their lives to gain independence from their British masters, noting that while this was not the highest virtue, it was a rare and laudable one. Yet, Douglass could not help but observe that the benefits of those virtues did not extend to his kind:

What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence…The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me.

Douglass did not begrudge the freedoms enjoyed by the beneficiaries of the divorce from the British Empire. As an escaped slave, he enjoyed many of those freedoms, if not all. Yet, in this nation, ostensibly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, “the mournful wail of millions” cried out against their bondage. A celebration of independence was meaningless to those who had little independence to celebrate. Sure, there were some slaves who achieved a level of success and independence. At the dawn of the War of 1812, Kentucky slave Frank McWhorter used the freedom of being “hired out” and allowed to keep a portion of his wages to build a saltpeter factory. With that particular war raging, McWhorter converted the factory into a gunpowder manufactory, enabling him to purchase his wife’s freedom in 1817, and his own in 1819.

This of course, was not the experience of the majority of slaves, and this is why Juneteenth matters. During the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era, in the wake of the Thirteenth Amendment, African-Americans were allowed to vote, own property, seek office, use public accommodations, and otherwise enjoy the privileges of fully enfranchised citizens. Unless one was an indigenous native, (and, to a large degree, a woman) this was the closest the nation had gotten to honoring the proposition that all men are created equal. Yet, when Reconstruction ended, many individual states, especially in the South, became fearful of political and economic gains made by former slaves and their kin, and passed restrictive laws such as the Jim Crow statutes that reduced Blacks to second-class citizens at best. Once again, the promise of equality to all was broken, and that is why Juneteenth matters.

It is not necessary to give here a full history of the African-American experience between June 19, 1865 and the present. Most of us know it, or enough of it to understand many of the things that still divide us. Recently, I had the privilege of reviewing an excellent book by Rachel Ferguson and Marcus Witcher, Black Liberation Through the Marketplace. One of the points they made is that the history of Blacks in America is so vastly different from that of the majority, that it is nearly impossible to fit us within the nation’s political culture. I agree with that assessment, and yet we are all Americans. I have relatives still alive who tell stories of living under the glare of segregation. And while the Civil Rights Act of 1964 put an end to de jure segregation in the United States, de facto segregation remained.

For instance, public schools were not integrated in my birth state of Florida until 1970. I was born a scant five years later. I have cousins a decade or so older who remember the first time they entered a classroom with new classmates who did not look like them. This is why Juneteenth matters. It is taken as given among classical liberal thinkers that while we may differ in talent, ability and motivation, all of us are born inherently possessed of certain natural rights which should be protected in equal measure for all. Of course I agree with this, but historically, America has not. It was only in 1967 that Loving v. Virginia afforded the right for couples of mixed races to marry without government interference. The very right to love whom one wished to was proscribed until only 55 years ago, which is eight years longer than I have been alive. This is why Juneteenth matters.

Even now, African-Americans are roughly seven times more likely to be approached by police on suspicion of a crime, six times more likely to be arrested, and seven times more likely to be convicted. Some may wish to quibble bias at this, and there are certainly arguments to be had over the role of personal choice vs public policy, but that is for another time and place. What is relevant here is that the cost of this is not borne by the African-American community, as the Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation estimates that the carceral state imposes an aggregate burden on taxpayers of over $1 trillion per year. Once again, this is why Juneteenth matters, and not just to me and my fellow African-Americans.

America is a promise, one that has yet to be met. As July 4 commemorates the initiation of that promise, Juneteenth commemorates the work yet to be done, reminding us all that there are still miles to go before we sleep. Douglass would no doubt agree, likely observing now as he did then:

The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, “Let there be Light,” has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light.

This is what, to all Americans, is Juneteenth.

*****

This article was published by AIER, American Institute for Economic Research, and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

The highly choreographed January 6 Select Committee that is being performed on primetime TV over the next several weeks can only be described as political and partisan trash. It is not about truth or acting in the interests of American citizens. It is about the 2024 election – clear as day.

Please click here to inform our elected leaders how you feel about the partisan travesty unfolding in the U.S. House of Representatives.

This Is The Wrong Time To Compromise With Democrats On Gun Rights Or Anything Else

By Auguste Meyrat

It’s a mistake to view today’s Democrats as fellow Americans who share the same values and goals but have different ideas of how to get there.

This past week, a group of ten Republican senators, led by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, met with the ten Democrat senators, led by Sen. Chris Murphy, in a bipartisan committee to write new federal gun control legislation. According to The Independent, “the legislation will include an expansion of background checks for people under age 21 to include a search of juvenile justice registries, as well as a federal grant program that will encourage states to pass red flag laws, which allow family members or law enforcement to petition courts to temporarily restrict certain persons from owning firearms.”

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is hailing this as a great example of compromise and placating the “do something!” crowd, this is rather a shameless concession that will make Americans less safe, less free, and less represented while emboldening today’s toxic Democrats to wreck the country even further.

Obviously, the proposed bill is meant to be a response to the mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo. Democrats want to disarm potential psychos by placing more barriers to owning and using a gun, and Republicans want more intervention with individuals who suffer from mental health problems. On the surface, their bill seems e a win-win: fewer guns and fewer crazy people.

Except that these two incidents have almost nothing to do with guns or psychopaths, and everything to do with the profound dysfunction of American law enforcement. There were plenty of “red flags” with both shooters that warranted earlier intervention and immediate action, but nothing happened.

In Buffalo, there were already red flag laws, and no one bothered to enforce them. And in the Uvalde shooting, police officers actively impeded any kind of intervention while the shooter was shooting people, mostly children, for at least an hour.

So this new legislation would only empower and enrich incompetent police officers and punish and disable law-abiding Americans. Instead of deterring these monsters with armed civilians, the government will deter those civilians from becoming armed in the first place. Added to this is the costly and politicized bureaucracy to enforce these regulations on people who have done nothing wrong.

On a deeper level, it must be reiterated that these types of regulations are an unconstitutional violation of civil liberties. The Second Amendment guarantees Americans the right to use firearms to defend themselves — according to Justin Trudeau, Canadians have no such right.

Like the right to free speech, the right to due process, or the right to be treated equally, the Second Amendment empowers individuals against all forms of tyranny, whether that be from the state, the corporate elite, the mob, criminal organizations, or any other oppressor. Take it away, and Americans have one less tool to protect their freedom, their property, and their lives.

For people who don’t own firearms, this may be too abstract. Therefore, as a good analogy, they can consider restrictions on their right to own and drive a car (which, by the way, kills thousands more Americans each year than firearms). At that moment, all people would be forced to depend on the government’s approval to drive a car of the government’s own choosing or rely on government-run mass transit.

Perhaps some may be fine with this, living in an urban area where they have a semi-functional bus and subway system and few places to go unless they are rich, leftist, and own a fleet of Teslas. However, the great majority of people would resent being restricted in this way, and object that their right to automobility (which isn’t an amendment but probably should be) was being infringed.

In response, those who oppose such freedoms could always claim that there are fewer traffic accidents, and the United States is finally starting to resemble the rest of the developed world. The matter would finally rest there, and the government would put another freedom on the chopping block.

As it is with driving a car of one’s choice, so it is with protecting oneself with a gun of one’s choice. So many social reforms may fall under the heading of “safety,” but they inevitably translate to more government control. This is the Democrats’ whole agenda. Whether it’s gun restrictions, diversity quotas, ending economic security in the name of climate change or eliminating poverty, all of it amounts to the government having more control and making Americans less independent and self-sufficient.

All of this is why Republicans need to stop meeting their political opponents halfway. G. K. Chesterton’s criticism made more than a century ago is still quite apt: “Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen, it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf.” With this new bill, McConnell and the rest of the ilk are celebrating yet another half-loaf while their constituents already suffer from malnutrition.

It’s a mistake to view today’s Democrats as fellow Americans who share the same values and goals but have different ideas of how to get there. Rather, they have completely different goals and will employ any means to achieve them, even if that means putting on show trialsexploiting mass shootings, and intimidating and threatening opponents — to say nothing of rigging electionsbankrupting the country, and ushering in millions of illegal immigrants.

The time for negotiation and “crossing the aisle” is over, and has been for a long time. Democrats have figured this out and continue to push their failed policies with impunity. Republican leadership continues to play political patty cake while their country goes up in flames. The American people are on their own right now. And it’s times like these where an individual’s freedoms matter most, particularly the freedom to defend oneself.

*****

This article was published by The Federalist and is reprinted with permission.

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Arizona Becomes the 19th State to Ban Warrantless Searches of Prescription Drug Database

By Jeffrey Singer

On June 8, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) signed SB 1469 into law. Introduced by Senator Nancy Barto (R‑Phoenix), the bill requires law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before perusing the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) database, administered by the Arizona Board of Pharmacy. The bill passed unanimously through both houses of the state legislature. Until now, law enforcement could inspect the PDMP database without a warrant by simply stating in writing that the information is necessary for an open investigation or complaint. The new law further states that if, upon perusing the database, police find no evidence of a statutory crime but believe a practitioner’s prescribing patterns fall outside the norms, they may only report the matter to the relevant state licensing board for possible investigation. State medical licensing boards conduct investigations using members of the medical profession who understand the variations and nuances of clinical situations, and the practitioner under investigation is afforded due process.

This is an important reform. As panelists explained at a Cato conference in 2019, while PDMPs have succeeded in pressuring practitioners to reduce opioid prescribing (down more than 60 percent since its peak in 2011), they primarily serve as a law enforcement tool. They have not reduced the overdose rate–if anything, PDMPs have driven non-medical users who are unable to obtain diverted prescription pain pills to more dangerous drugs in the black market, such as heroin or fentanyl, causing the overdose rate to increase.

With countless stories in the mainstream press about doctors arrested, sometimes with police bursting into their crowded waiting rooms, or having their licenses suspended for “overprescribing” prescription opioids—even though there is no legal definition of “overprescribing”—many doctors have been frightened into curtailing their pain medicine prescribing. Some are refusing to see patients for pain altogether and referring them to pain management specialists, many of whose practices have long waits for appointments because they are inundated with referrals. Some pain clinics refuse to see new patients. Some patients, in desperation, seek relief in the dangerous black market. Some resort to suicide. Some exasperated patients threaten their doctors. Some even resort to murdering their doctors.

The goal of SB 1469 is to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of patients and doctors. Hopefully, as police discover they cannot go on fishing expeditions through private medical records without convincing a judge to issue a search warrant—and if they can’t dictate how to practice medicine by arresting doctors for what they perceive as “inappropriate” prescribing—the new law will help thaw the chilling effect cast upon doctors treating their patients’ pain.

Arizona has now become the 19th state to enact this search warrant requirement. It joins states as diverse as Alaska, Montana, Missouri, Utah, California, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Unfortunately, Rhode Island repealed its search warrant requirement in 2017.

In 2019 Drug Enforcement Administration investigators wished to inspect the New Hampshire PDMP and were rebuffed, pursuant to New Hampshire law that requires a search warrant. The DEA claimed the requirement did not apply to the federal agency. The New Hampshire PDMP lost its argument in front of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire and appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief supporting the appellant. In January of this year, the appeals court upheld the trial court’s opinion, ruling the DEA can access a state’s prescription drug database without a warrant. The state of New Hampshire petitioned for an en banc rehearing in March, which was denied in mid-April. New Hampshire next sought a stay of the appeals court decision pending the filing of a certiorari petition in the U.S. Supreme Court, implying the state intends to appeal to the Supreme Court. The state has until mid-July to file the cert petition.

Regardless of the federal case’s outcome, state and local law enforcement remain subject to the search warrant requirement. And while the DEA may be the giant gorilla in the room, state-level efforts to protect the privacy of medical records and the patient-doctor relationship is a welcome step in the right direction. Arizona’s legislators and governor deserve praise for enacting SB 1469.

****

This article was published by Cato Blog and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

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Social Security’s Unfunded Obligations Getting Worse

By Rachel Greszler

Our Social Security program is running dry. Policymakers have no plan to fix it, and generations of Americans have been duped into believing it’s a good deal.

Social Security was established to prevent older Americans from living in poverty once they’re unable to work, but the program’s unchecked expansions have made that outcome anything but secure for current and future workers.

The Social Security Board of Trustees reports that the program will run out of money in 2034. That means anyone 55 or younger today won’t receive a single full benefit, and most current retirees will be subject to 23% benefit cuts — an average loss of $4,400 per year.

Preventing benefit cuts would require an immediate payroll tax increase, from 12.4% to 15.8%. That amounts to $2,300 more per year, and $10,800 in total Social Security taxes, for the median household with $68,000 in earnings. It’s also a far cry from the program’s original promise that Social Security would never take more than 6% from workers’ paychecks.

Even as Social Security’s shortfalls continued to rise, the U.S. financial outlook seriously deteriorated over just the past two years.

Policymakers must act now, and Congress has a choice.

It can make Social Security bigger—increasing taxes and increasing benefits for everyone—or make it smaller and better targeted.

The Social Security 2100 Act proposed the former route. At the Heritage Foundation, Drew Gonshorowski and I analyzed the proposal and found it would leave all income groups worse off. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

Polling finds strong agreement—more than 80% of Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike—that a more targeted program could solve Social Security’s financial shortfalls and increase incomes and opportunities for all Americans.

The current system gives workers a raw deal. Every dollar they pay into Social Security goes immediately out the door to fund current benefits, never getting a chance to earn a positive rate of return.

In contrast, my Heritage colleagues and I found that the average worker would have three times more retirement income if they were able to keep and invest their Social Security taxes. Even the lowest-income workers would have 40% more retirement income.

They would also have something to pass on to their family members. Currently, people with shorter lives—including the 1 in 5 Black men who die between the ages of 45 and 64—can end up getting little or nothing from Social Security after paying into the program for decades.

Far better to return Social Security to its original goal of poverty prevention. Taking measures like gradually shifting to a flat benefit, slowly raising the retirement age and indexing it to life expectancy, using a more accurate inflation measure, and eliminating work disincentives would protect and improve Social Security.

The Heritage Foundation‘s Social Security model estimates that these changes would make the program solvent and allow for a roughly 20% tax cut. And adding an ownership option would give Americans more control over their own retirement incomes and let them benefit from investment returns.

The Penn Wharton Budget model projected that a smaller, better-targeted Social Security program like the one outlined above would result in an economy that is 7.3%, or $1.6 trillion, larger than with a bigger Social Security program. That translates into $10,740 more in annual income per household across the U.S.

Each year that policymakers fail to act, the costs and consequences of Social Security’s inevitable reform just become larger. Over just the last 10 years, Social Security’s unfunded obligations more than doubled, to $20.4 trillion—the equivalent of $157,000 per household.

Social Security’s solutions are straightforward, and despite the program’s fiscal imbalances, there are ways to make it better for everyone. By tackling Social Security reform now, policymakers could protect a popular program and reduce the chances of a fiscal crisis. It’s time for policymakers to get serious about getting America’s fiscal house in order.

*****

This article was published by The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

The highly choreographed January 6 Select Committee that is being performed on primetime TV over the next several weeks can only be described as political and partisan trash. It is not about truth or acting in the interests of American citizens. It is about the 2024 election – clear as day.

Please click here to inform our elected leaders how you feel about the partisan travesty unfolding in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Sorry Libs, You Can’t Replace Dads With Government

By Kevin Roberts

It’s been said that America can always be counted on to do the right thing, once we have exhausted all the other alternatives. As of Father’s Day 2022, America has spent about 60 years exhausting the alternatives to fatherhood — and the collateral damage is all around us.

Broken families. Gutted communities. Betrayed women. Terrified children. Busy morgues. And overflowing prisons. (RELATED: LUKAS: Let Girls Be Girls. Protect Them From The Left’s Gender Agenda)

The evidence is so overwhelming that it’s not really controversial anymore. Children who grow up without their fathers — especially in communities where fatherlessness has become the norm —carry the heaviest social, economic, and psychological cross social science can measure. The mountain of data is nothing short of Himalayan.

Children raised in single-parent homes constitute:

63% of teen suicides;

90% of runaways and homeless children;

85% of behavior disorder patients;

71% of high school dropouts;

75% of teenagers in substance abuse rehab centers;

85% of young prison inmates.

This is what we have to show for the trillions of dollars spent and the decades of research conducted. If there was a way for a social worker or a bureaucracy or a government check to fill the Dad-shaped hole in America’s broken families, we would have found it by now.

It doesn’t exist. Three generations of elites — from Washington to Hollywood — have promised young Americans that severing the natural connections between sex, marriage, commitment, kids, and parenthood would be “liberating.” As the statistics above show, it’s been anything but.

The only solution to fatherlessness is fathers. And we have to figure out a way to say so, even in these hypersensitive times.

Our culture has gone to such laudable lengths to de-stigmatize single motherhood that we now accidentally denigrate married fatherhood. We work so hard to affirm non-traditional gender roles and family structures that we have forgotten just how valuable they have always been.

Fatherhood isn’t about being a male. It’s about being a man. Fatherhood harnesses masculinity for the good of society, so the community benefits along with the family, and each individual father as he grows into his vocation. The strength, courage, dependability, honesty, accountability, gentleness, toughness, and protectiveness that define real masculinity keeps children safe, wives happy, and trouble at bay. A fish may or may not need a bicycle, but women and children very much need men.

We know what actual toxic masculinity looks like. It looks like boys raised without men: insecure, vulgar, misogynistic, angry, ignorant, violent, confused, and above all, scared.

In every poor community in America, from opioid-riddled Appalachia to violent inner cities, every boy who doesn’t know how to be a man and every girl who doesn’t know she deserves one, is crying out into that empty void in their homes and in their hearts, “Father, father, why have you abandoned me?”

That question cannot be answered, or that agony soothed, with universal health care or a “Build Back Better” plan. The measurable, material benefits of intact families — the second income and additional caregiver — are the least important ones. What really matters is not what fathers do, but what they are.

For two generations now, America’s elite institutions have devalued what they are, through a welfare state that penalizes work and marriage, an education system that punishes boyishness, and a culture that scolds chivalry as abusive and masculinity itself as toxic. It turns out, that dads are just one more thing our failed elite class was wrong about.

Father’s Day is a reminder that what our broken culture, struggling single moms, and frightened kids need is not another program or policy, but a person.

Dads: accept no substitutes.

*****

This article was published by The Daily Caller News Foundation and is reprinted with permission.  Keven Roberts is President of the Heritage Foundation.

TAKE ACTION

The highly choreographed January 6 Select Committee that is being performed on primetime TV over the next several weeks can only be described as political and partisan trash. It is not about truth or acting in the interests of American citizens. It is about the 2024 election – clear as day.

Please click here to inform our elected leaders how you feel about the partisan travesty unfolding in the U.S. House of Representatives.

There’s No Objective Evidence the Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban Saved Lives thumbnail

There’s No Objective Evidence the Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban Saved Lives

By James D. Agresti

In reality, Biden is confusing terms and distorting data to paint a picture that is opposed to the facts. Such facts include but are not limited to the following:

  • The number of people killed in mass shootings didn’t decline even after the 1986 federal ban on automatic guns, which are more capable of mass murder than the guns Biden wants to ban.
  • The terms “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” are misleading and refer to common weapons used by citizens for hunting and home defense.
  • Before, during, and after the 1994 law cited by Biden, the portion of the U.S. population killed in mass shootings barely budged, and the slight changes are better explained by other factors.

Automatic Firearms Have Been Banned Since 1986

U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Eddie Hedgepeth looks through the scope of his 5.56mm M4 Carbine. Credit: U.S. Department of Defense

Eight years before the “assault weapons” ban referenced by Biden, Congress passed and President Reagan signed a 1986 law that made it unlawful for civilians to “transfer or possess a machinegun.” Under federal law, the term “machinegun” means “any weapon” that can fire “more than one shot” with “a single function of the trigger.” Thus, the ban includes all types of automatic firearms, including machine guns, submachine guns, and assault rifles. These are the types of guns commonly used by armed forces.

The 1986 ban, which is still in effect, has an exception for guns legally owned before the law was enacted, but because automatic firearms have been heavily regulated since 1934, less than 4 million are currently owned by civilians. The relative rarity and strict regulation of these weapons are highlighted by a 2016 U.S. Department of Justice study that found “no evidence that” any owner of an automatic gun was convicted of using one to commit a crime from 2006 through 2014.

The primary purpose of the 1986 law was to reduce mass shooting deaths by limiting the availability of weapons with rapid rates of fire. As explained in the book Military Technology, “A machine gunner’s weapon fired hundreds of bullets each minute. He could point the weapon in the general direction of his enemy and fire. Even poorly-trained shooters could hit their targets. Automatic weapons made war a far more deadly business.”

Nevertheless, the portion of the U.S. population killed in mass shootings (defined in academic literature as those in which four or more people are killed), didn’t decline in the wake of the law:

Semi-Automatic “Assault Weapons” Were Banned From 1994–2004

AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Credit: istock/Luevanos

Less than a decade after banning automatic weapons, Congress passed and President Clinton signed a 1994 law that made it illegal to “manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon.” These guns often look like military firearms and share some characteristics with them (like detachable magazines and pistol grips), but they lack their defining feature: the ability to fire multiple bullets with a single trigger pull.

For that reason and the fact that these guns are used for hunting and home defensefirearm specialists typically don’t call them “assault weapons” but describe them as:

  • “modern sporting rifles,”
  • by their make/model (like “AR-15”), or
  • with functional descriptors like “semi-automatic rifle.”

Nevertheless, the politicians who sponsored the 1994 law labeled these semi-automatic guns “assault weapons.” This term sounds very similar to “assault rifles,” which happen to be the most common firearms used by soldiers and terrorists.

The lawmakers’ decision to use those easily confused terms accords with a 1988 booklet written by Josh Sugarmann, the founder of a prominent gun control organization called the Violence Policy Center. In it, he wrote about the “new topic” of “assault weapons” and laid out this strategy for banning them:

The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

Many journalists have advanced this agenda by using the term “assault weapons” to describe a broad range of semi-automatic guns. These include the most commonly sold rifles in America, more than 19.8 million of which are now in circulation.

Numerous journalists and politicians have also conflated “assault weapons” with “assault rifles” by applying both of these terms to semi-automatic guns. This is chronicled in the nation’s leading authority on journalism lingo, the Associated Press Stylebook. A decade ago, the 2011 Stylebook distinguished between “assault weapons” and “assault rifles” as follows:

assault weapon: A semi-automatic firearm similar in appearance to a fully automatic firearm or military weapon. Not synonymous with assault rifle, which can be used in fully automatic mode.

This splitting of verbal hairs between semi-automatic “assault weapons” and military “assault rifles” led journalists to misuse these terms, but instead of fixing this confusion, the 2015 Stylebook made it worse. It did this by combining both terms into a single definition while stating that they “are often used interchangeably,” but “some” journalists “make the distinction that assault rifle is a military weapon….”

The use of similar and even identical terms to describe materially different weapons violates a basic principle of honest reporting stressed in journalism guidebooks: “use jargon only when necessary and define it carefully.”

Like the 1986 ban on automatic weapons, the 1994 ban on semi-automatic “assault weapons” had an exception for guns legally owned prior to the law’s enactment. Unlike the 1986 ban, however, the 1994 ban was not permanent. That’s because lawmakers included a provision that sunset the ban in 10 years as a compromise to secure enough votes to pass it and to provide time to “investigate and study” its “impact, if any, on violent and drug trafficking crime.”

The law required the U.S. Attorney General to conduct and publish such a study within 30 months of the ban’s enactment, and the study concluded that “the public safety benefits of the 1994 ban have not yet been demonstrated.” A similar study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice was published in 2004, the year the law was due to expire. It found that the ban had:

no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence, based on indicators like the percentage of gun crimes resulting in death or the share of gunfire incidents resulting in injury, as we might have expected had the ban reduced crimes with both AWs [assault weapons] and LCMs [large-capacity magazines].

On the other hand, the authors of the study noted that the effects of the law “are still unfolding and may not be fully felt for several years into the future,” and so it is “premature to make definitive assessments of the ban’s impact on gun violence.”

When the ban expired in 2004, various members of Congress sponsored bills to renew it, but none of them passed.

“High Capacity” Magazines Were Banned From 1994–2004

Left: 17-Round magazine for handgun. Credit: Magpul. Right: 30-Round magazine for rifle. Credit: istock/zim286

The same 1994 law which banned many semi-automatic guns until 2004 also banned “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” for the same period. The most common of these devices are detachable magazines (or “mags” for short), which hold and feed ammunition into the vast bulk of semi-automatic guns.

The politicians who wrote the law applied the term “high capacity” to mags that hold more than 10 rounds, even though these are standard on many popular handguns and rifles. For example, the stock magazine for a Glock 19, one of the best-selling handguns in the world, holds 15 rounds.

In fact, mags that hold more than 10 rounds are so common that more than 150 million of them are currently in circulation in the United States.

As a general rule, mags with more capacity are a tactical advantage because they allow the shooter to fire more bullets without reloading. However, a trained gunman can swap out a mag in one second. This allows mass shooters to effectively bypass the capacity restriction by bringing multiple mags to an attack. In contrast, it is not practical for the many millions of citizens who legally carry concealed firearms to keep a stockpile of mags on their waist.

Another tradeoff on mag size is that larger ones are bulkier, which can make weapons less concealable and harder to maneuver. Also, very large mags tend to jam, like the 100-round magazine used by the perpetrator of the 2012 “Dark Knight” movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.

What Happened in the Wake of the 1994 Law?

The 1994–2004 ban on certain semi-automatic guns and 10+ round mags correlates with a slight decline in the portion of the U.S. population killed in mass shootings, but the association is weak, and there is no clear pattern:

Furthermore, the ban did not begin until the last 3.5 months of 1994, and:

  • production of these weapons in 1994 was more than twice that of a typical year because people rushed to buy them before the ban took effect.
  • a 2002 paper in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology found that the rush to buy these guns “produced the unintended consequence of making AWs more accessible” through at least mid-1996.
  • the portion of people killed in mass shootings was lower in 1996 than in six of the eight years that followed while the ban was in effect.

Most importantly, Biden’s statement suffers from the sophomoric myth that association proves causation. Students are taught to avoid this fallacy in high school, but reporterscommentators, and even scholars often embrace it. In the words of an academic textbook about analyzing data:

Association is not the same as causation. This issue is a persistent problem in empirical analysis in the social sciences. Often the investigator will plot two variables and use the tight relationship obtained to draw absolutely ridiculous or completely erroneous conclusions. Because we so often confuse association and causation, it is extremely easy to be convinced that a tight relationship between two variables means that one is causing the other. This is simply not true.

The reason why this is not true is because many other factors can affect events like mass shootings, and there is frequently no objective way to isolate and quantify the effects of a single factor. With regard to the 1994 ban, just a few of the many factors that could have been at play during this era include the following:

  • The very same 1994 law that enacted the firearm and magazine restrictions also contained a massive array of measures to reduce violent crime, including incentives for states to increase “the percentage of convicted violent offenders sentenced to prison” and increase “the average prison time which will be served in prison by convicted violent offenders.” This is significant because the vast bulk of murders are committed by people with long rap sheets.
  • Wall-to-wall media coverage of mass shootings—which began with the Columbine school massacre of 1999—has since motivated many copycat killers seeking fame. Notably, the infamous Columbine mass murder occurred in the midst of the 1994–2004 ban.
  • Less than 1% of all murders in the U.S. occur in mass shootings, and the overall murder rate fell by 39% during the years of the ban. Thus, the slight decline in mass shootings may be a consequence of the much larger decline in all murders. This is why the 2004 DOJ-funded study concluded that “we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.”

Using the childish logic of Biden, one would be forced to conclude that the right-to-carry law enacted by Florida in 1987 is responsible for the massive drop in murder rates that occurred in its wake:

The chart above shows what a strong association looks like, but even still, one cannot draw definitive conclusions from it because a multitude of other factors could be at play.

Biden’s & PolitiFact’s Phony Data

As proven by the data above, Biden’s claim that “mass shootings tripled” after the 1994–2004 ban has no basis in reality. However, a PolitiFact article by Jon Greenberg alleges it is “mostly true.”

PolitiFact attempts to support this claim by citing a paper published in 2019 by the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. The details of this study are hidden behind a $60 paywall, but there, the authors reveal that their count of mass shootings is “restricted to incidents reported by all three” of the following sources: “Mother Jones Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and Stanford University.”

Using that methodology—which relies on the absurd notion that all three of their sources have complete data stretching back for decades—the study presents the following chart that shows zero mass shooting deaths in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2004:

In other words, the paper ignores numerous people killed in mass shootings during the period of the ban, pretending as if these events and many others never took place:

  • The 1995 Corpus Christi, TX workplace shooting, where a gunman murdered five people.
  • The 1996 Fort Lauderdale, FL workplace shooting, where a gunman murdered five of his former coworkers.
  • The 1997 Orange, CA workplace shooting, where a gunman murdered four people.
  • The 2001 Melrose Park, IL workplace shooting, where a gunman murdered four people.
  • The 2002 Rutledge, AL farm shooting, where a gunman murdered six members of his girlfriend’s family.

Further illustrating the inanity of this study, Dr. Louis Klarevas of Columbia University, a Ph.D. who specializes in mass-casualty violence, skewered the paper for having “a large number of misclassifications.”

Yet, PolitiFact treats this deceitful data as if it were fact, and healthcare professionals are invited to be brainwashed by it because the paper is “Accredited for Continuing Medical Education.”

Summary

In his speech, Biden declared that his gun control strategy is part of “my Unity Agenda,” but he betrayed this claim in the same speech by making a partisan plea for votes while attacking Republicans. If “Congress fails” to implement his agenda, said Biden, “I believe the majority of you will act to turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote.”

Contrary to Biden’s claim that his agenda would save lives:

  • there is no association between the number of people killed in mass shootings and the 1986 ban on automatic guns.
  • there is a weak association between the number of people killed in mass shootings and the 1994–2004 ban on certain semi-automatic guns and 10+ round mags.
  • the weak association is easily attributable to other factors.
  • the “mass shootings tripled” statistic is patently false.
  • bans on magazines that hold 10+ rounds give mass murderers a tactical advantage over law-abiding citizens who carry guns to protect themselves and others.

*****

This article was published by JustFactsDaily and is reproduced with permission.