Stop Gun Violence Using This One Weird Trick!

Want to know the secret to stopping gun violence in the United States? All you have to do…as long as you are the President…is simply write out an executive order, dictating the ways law abiding citizens may buy and sell guns! It’s just that easy!

Now wait just a dang minute.

This is all it takes to put the brakes on violent crime? You mean to tell me that all this time, all we needed was for President Obama to basically sit down and knock out an executive order?

We probably ought to be ticked off that all along he had the individual, personal power to put a stop to violent crime, and he did nothing for seven years! All he had to do was put pen to paper and lives are saved? Come on, man! How many people died waiting for you to do what you did today?
I mean, I can’t imagine how angry the families of murder victims must be, knowing that but for the inaction of the President, their loved one would be alive today. Think of the lives he could have saved in Chicago alone if he had done this as soon as he took office. If this executive order is actually the life saving act the President claims it is, he has probably been criminally negligent for letting the killing go on so long.

But of course, none of this is true. The President’s show order will do precisely nothing to decrease violent crime, and will only hinder the law abiding from exercising their civil right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. In his speech today he wouldn’t even claim that it will actually prevent any crime, because he knows that is not true.

“It won’t happen during my presidency.”

What will happen tomorrow is that violent criminals will continue being violent…just like yesterday. And then when (not if) the next high profile murder takes place, the usual suspects will pop right back up and start pointing out the “loopholes” in the President’s little term paper…and then will call for even more useless restrictions.

It sounded so simple…

The Edge of A Razor

I’ve thought quite a bit about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia the past few days and like many of you, I am very concerned for the future of the 2nd Amendment. Indeed, the loss of Justice Scalia has very troubling implications for the integrity of the Constitution as a whole.
But it’s not supposed to be that way.

The United States of America as constituted was not supposed to hinge on the fate of a single individual. The Constitution and the Republic were not supposed to live or die based on whether one person lived or died. It is supposed to be stronger than any one person, and it is disturbing to note that it now appears that both have become so weakened that the loss of a single Supreme Court justice threatens it all.

And yet, I suppose it has always been that way. Who is to say how things might have turned out if not for individual figures in our history? What if General George Washington had fallen ill and died before crossing the Delaware into Trenton? What if an assassin’s bullet had found Abraham Lincoln in the early days of the Civil War, instead of after?

There are plenty of such instances we could point to which, if not for the efforts of one person, our nation would look very different today. I think the difference today is that we don’t need to look into the rear view mirror of history to see the impact .

All we have to do is to look at Justice Scalia’s opinion in DC vs. Heller, where the right of the people to keep and bear arms was upheld by the narrowest of margins…and we can clearly see that the 2nd Amendment balances on a razor’s edge. Like it or not, it took one man to preserve that right, and it will only take one to destroy it.

— Dave Cole

 

What If They Gave a Background Check and Nobody Came?

“What’s wrong with requiring a background check to buy a gun?”

I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody asked me that question, but a story that surfaced this week might help provide a little clarity.

When a NICS background check is submitted for approval, one of the possible responses is “denied.” In the event of a denial, the applicant has the option of appealing the finding. The problem which surfaced this week is that the FBI announced that it is stopping the processing of such appeals “indefinitely.”

Due to the volume of new NICS background checks, the FBI says it has had to reassign personnel normally dedicated to the appeals process to handle the increase in new requests. What this means is that if you have been denied and appealed that finding, you can suck it.

But what’s the big deal? I mean, the 7,100 pending denial appeals are all bad people…aren’t they?
Not necessarily. While there are certainly some in that pool which were rightly denied, many are denied simply due to mistaken identity or other inaccurate information. Those people are being denied access to a Constitutionally guaranteed civil right for no other reason than bureaucratic inefficiency.

But hey…you have to break some eggs to make an omelet, and and you have to violate some rights to insure that criminals can’t get guns, right? That assumes that the existence of the background check system actually keeps guns out of criminal hands. While anti-gun rights organizations are fond of pointing to the number of NICS denials as evidence of the effectiveness of background checks, the truth is that these numbers have little to do with the way that criminals acquire guns.

Think he’s appealing a denied NICS check? (It’s a trick question: he’s not submitting to a background check in the first place)

This is because criminals simply do not submit to background checks. Criminals most often get guns from friends and family, black market street sources, or they steal them. Therefore, criminals are largely unaffected by the NICS system. So who does submit to background checks? Law-abiding citizens, that’s who. So the most likely person to be appealing a denied background check is going to be a law-abiding citizen who is the victim of mistaken identity or inaccurate information in the NICS system.

So as your mechanic might say, “there’s your problem right there.” Law-abiding citizens are denied access to a civil right, and criminals go about their business…simply because the government can’t get around to it. That’s what’s wrong with background checks.

— Dave Cole

Getting the Message

On Monday, Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich publicly announced that customers should not bring guns into the bakery-cafe chain’s stores.

“Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth. This warmth means bakery-cafes where customers and associates feel comfortable and welcome. To this end, we ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer. Panera respects the rights of gun owners, but asks our customers to help preserve the environment we are working to create for our guests and associates.”

Two days later, a criminal pulled a gun and fatally shot a police officer inside a Panera restaurant in Abingdon, Maryland. He then fled the store and engaged responding police in a gunfight, killing another before being killed himself.

That’s some “Panera warmth,” right there behind the crime scene tape.
All of this happened in Maryland, a state with some of the strictest “gun safety” laws in the country, in the “safety” of Panera’s newly declared “gun free zone.”

I guess he didn’t get the message.
But here’s my message to you. There is no such thing as a gun free zone, because in a free society, gun free zones operate on the honor system. And in case you hadn’t noticed, murderers are not honorable.

Now if you are a fan of these types of restrictions, you might point out that the victim in the Panera store was a fully armed police officer. Granted. But one might also point out that even for an armed police officer, going and sitting right next to an individual known to be unstable when responding to a call of his disruptive behavior might not have been the best approach.

Carrying a gun is no guarantee that you get to go home safe at the end of the day, and even if there were armed citizens in that store there is no guarantee that the outcome would have been any better. But there are no guarantees in life, and every adult understands that. A seat belt does not guarantee you’ll survive a car crash, but it betters the odds so you put it on. And short of the seat belt failing mechanically, we don’t blame the belt for a fatal car crash…we recognize the crash as being too severe for the seat belt to save the driver.
Having a gun does not guarantee you’ll survive the crash, but it can improve your odds. Panera CEO Ron Shaich wants you to leave your seat belt off. Get the message?

— Dave Cole
UPDATE: When writing this, I did not notice that the original story about Panera CEO Ron Shaich was from September of 2014. Mea culpa. However, it doesn’t really change anything…kind of like “gun free zones.”