Tag: AR-15

We Can’t Trust Trump to Stop the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019

Thomas DiGennaro | United States

Senator Feinstein of California has introduced Bill S 66 the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 which includes the following regulations:

Key Provisions:

  • Bans the sale, manufacture, transfer, and importation of 205 military-style assault weapons by name. Owners may keep existing weapons.
  • Bans any assault weapon that accepts a detachable ammunition magazine and has one or more military characteristics including a pistol grip, a forward grip, a barrel shroud, a threaded barrel or a folding or telescoping stock. Owners may keep existing weapons.
  • Bans magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, which allow shooters to quickly fire many rounds without needing to reload. Owners may keep existing magazines.

Exemptions to Bill:

  • The bill exempts by name more than 2,200 guns for hunting, household defense or recreational purposes.
  • The bill includes a grandfather clause that exempts all weapons lawfully possessed at the date of enactment.

Other Provisions:

  • Requires a background check on any future sale, trade or gifting of an assault weapon covered by the bill.
  • Requires that grandfathered assault weapons are stored using a secure gun storage or safety device like a trigger lock.
  • Prohibits the transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • Bans bump-fire stocks and other devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at fully automatic rates.

Updates to Assault Weapons Ban of 2017:

  • Bans stocks that are “otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability of a firearm.”
  • Bans assault pistols that weigh 50 or more ounces when unloaded, a policy included in the original 1994 ban.
  • Bans assault pistol stabilizing braces that transform assault pistols into assault rifles by allowing the shooter to shoulder the weapon and fire more accurately.
  • Bans Thordsen-type grips and stocks that are designed to evade a ban on assault weapons

This legislation would essentially force the rest of the nation to comply with New York and California regulations of semi-automatic rifles. In other words, a semi-automatic AR-15 with a detachable magazine would never be sold again at a gun store. This legislation will effectively ensure that future generations do not have legal means to obtain sufficient arms and munitions to keep a tyrannical government in check or to defend themselves against criminals.

This is it, ladies and gentlemen, this is the legislation we have long feared. This is the justification for the NRA and the Trump Administration caving on the bump stock ban, in order to appease lawmakers like Feinstein and prevent this type of legislation. But you give the mouse the cookie, be damn well sure they’re coming for the glass of milk.

The scariest part? It just may get through the Republican Senate and have Trump’s signature on it. Trump’s priority is building the wall, and the majority of Senate Republicans’ priority is to end the government shutdown. If Feinstein and the Democrats in Congress give Trump his wall and end the shutdown, we might just be looking at our worst fears come true. Isn’t that just the beauty of democracy? The left and right working together, coming to compromise. Compromise at the expense of the American people’s liberties.

The NRA has not released any statements regarding this yet. Trump made remarks supporting Feinstein’s proposals of Assault Weapon Bans, as well as advocating for the expansion of background checks, in February 2018. With the NRA’s and Trump’s support of bump-stock bans, red flag laws, expansion of background checks, and encouragement of lawmakers to pass more gun laws, I wouldn’t hold my breath on their opposition.

What hope do we have for halting the continued perversion of the Second Amendment? As usual, Firearms Policy Coalition is doing what they do best; taking action to defend the Second. They have announced their strong opposition to this bill, set up a link on their site to contact your congressional representatives to demonstrate your opposition, and are likely working on legal action to be filed if S 66 moves forward. This, of course, is in addition to their two legal suits against the bump stock ban, and against California’s violation of the Second and Fourteenth Amendment. We can also likely count on Senator Rand Paul getting up on the soapbox and filibustering the hell out of this bill.

If your Second Amendment rights are important to you, don’t bet it all on Trump, the Republican Senate, or the NRA. Make your voice heard to your representatives, and donate what you can to Senator Paul and FPC. Those dollars will surely be used more efficiently than your tax dollars.


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Does the Two Party System Make Any Sense?

Nate Galt | United States

Many Americans of different backgrounds have been disillusioned by the current political system. There are only two major parties—the Democratic and Republican. All other parties have no means of competing with either and will not be able to break their congressional duopoly in the near future. A significant portion of American voters believes that there are fundamental differences between the two parties. Some view the Democrats as extreme leftists and the Republicans as ultra-capitalists. Others view Democrats as “left” while saying that Republicans are “right-leaning.”

The two parties do disagree on several key stances such as abortion rights and gun control. However, there is one common trend between all major parties’ and their elected officials’ stances: authoritarianism. Despite their mildly differing stances, Republicans and Democrats still agree on the very things that are ruining America’s economy, limiting freedom, and wasting taxpayer dollars. For almost two centuries, both parties have backed the United States’s intervention into foreign conflicts, revolutions, and affairs. Since the country’s founding, it has been at war almost 94 percent of the time that it has existed. Both sides have accepted the Monroe Doctrine as a justification for their involvement in scores of foreign conflicts, such as in the Philippines, the Russian Revolution, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, and the Iranian Revolution. The US has also intervened in numerous Latin and South American wars.

Both sides almost unanimously backed the USA PATRIOT Act and unconstitutional spying by the National Security Agency. Several prominent figures in the Republican Party, namely President Donald J. Trump, have called for the criminalization of flag burning and for banning protests during the National Anthem. These figures claim to stand for “liberty,” yet wish to outlaw protest, contrary to the First Amendment. Those positions are not synonymous with supporting maximum personal freedom. Conservative Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito believed that police should have the right to search automobiles on private property without a warrant. According to some people, Justice Alito is a “constitutionalist.” A constitutionalist cannot support a clear and evident violation of your right against warrantless searches guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

Many Republican voters believe that by voting for all the candidates with the letter “R” next to their name on the ballot, they are advancing personal freedom. They point to several Democrats’ anti-gun stances, saying that their positions are the reason that they vote Republican. The president who suggested that he “take the guns first and go through due process second” is not a Democrat. Wanting to strip citizens of their gun rights is approved by both parties.

The War on Drugs is still backed by both the Republicans and the Democrats. It has ruined hundreds of thousands of lives and has thrown many thousands more behind bars for decades-long sentences. The parties may seem to have their differences, but they are trivial. They all agree with policies that will line the pockets of the corrupt Washington elite and measures that will limit Americans’ personal freedom.

A party that supports gun control is not synonymous with liberty; neither is its rival party, which seeks to keep marijuana possession and use illegal and wants to prevent people from protesting a flag.

Neither party will advance individual freedom for the average American. The one thing that they will promote, however, is their own interest.


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Governor Jerry Brown’s New Gun Control Laws Are Foolish

By Teagan Fair | United States

On Friday, Jerry Brown, Governor of California, signed bills advancing gun control within the state. A notable piece of this is a law that will raise the minimum age for buying rifles and shotguns from 18 years old to 21 years old.

It is a bit over seven months since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 14 students and 3 teachers, injuring 17 others, using a Smith & Wesson M&P15, which is an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. This event launched the left into a full out attack on the second amendment and gun rights. Three weeks after the shooting in Parkland, California passed laws that raised the legal age to purchase a gun, banned bump stocks and allowed police to bar a mentally ill person from owning guns for up to a year if judged to be mentally ill by a court.

Seven months later, California has passed laws that will be put into place on January 1st. The minimum age to buy a rifle or a shotgun will be 21 years of age. These laws also ban firearms for those convicted of serious domestic violence and those who have been hospitalized due to their mental health more than once in a year. Another bill governor signed by the governor will make it easier for both family members and police to seize guns and ammunition from those who are ‘threatening and potentially violent’.

Like all of these proposed gun control laws, raising the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 is ridiculous. Of course, you can join the military at 18 and kill people for the government. You can invade countries, attack people you’ve never met and destroy or take lives of innocent people if it’s in the name of the government, but you cannot defend yourself from people trying to attack you unless you are three years older than the minimum age to do previously mentioned activities. If it’s not in the name of the government, of course, it’s sinister now. You can vote for who will represent you at 18, but owning a tool used to defend from criminals, private or government, is somehow malicious. More people are killed by cars than guns each year, yet you can drive at 16 years old.

Not to mention the fact that putting a law on it will likely prove useless, as is true for most gun control arguments. For this particular case, if someone has their mind fixed on committing murders, they will 1. Do so whenever possible, whether that time is when they are 16, 18, 21, etc. and/or 2. Kill by any means necessary, whether that is doing so by gun, knife, car, chemicals, a bat, a sharp stick, jabbing a spoon into someone’s throat, etc. Additionally,  if someone is actually fully willing to commit mass murder,  they will not be scared of the fact that they are not allowed to buy a gun, considering the fact that it’s incredibly easy to purchase guns illegally, and no law will change that. It’s pretty hard to imagine a mass murderer thinking, ‘Man, I really want to go into a vulnerable area and kill as many defenseless children as I can in cold blood, but apparently I’m not allowed to go and buy a gun. Wouldn’t want to do anything illegal, because it’s not like I’m prepared to kill vulnerable teenagers!’ Obviously, if one does not fear mass murder, they will not fear buying a firearm illegally.

This rule can go for most legislation, including all of the previously stated laws coming into place starting in January. People convicted previously of domestic violence, will obviously not be afraid to illegally obtain a firearm if it supports the much worse crime they are already planning and not afraid to commit. Any future mass murder does not fear gun control laws. Yes, Governor Brown, even if they are mentally ill. Law abiding citizens, on the other hand, who have no interest in murder, hence why they are considered law-abiding citizens, are the only ones who will likely be affected by such laws, leaving them defenseless and in a worse state than before.

Governor Brown’s laws are foolish, both morally and practically. There is no excuse for us to sit and watch as our rights are gradually taken away. I advocate for those who wish for these rights to be protected to stand up to those enforcing these laws on law-abiding citizens so that we can attempt to protect our liberty.


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Post Malone- Unlikely Libertarian Figure?​

By Ian Brzeski | United States

Post Malone is a rapper, singer, and songwriter who recently blew up in the past few years. His song “Rockstar,” released in 2017, marked his first number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 as a solo artist. The song is considered his most successful song, but he also has numerous other songs that have been just as successful, such as “Congratulations” or “Psycho.” The album which “Rockstar” featured in, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” broke several records on its way to the Billboard 200 and went platinum in just four days after the album’s release which is a massive achievement in the world of music.

Despite Post Malone being on record that he supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, the gun-loving government skeptic makes it reasonably safe to say that he is a libertarian. During his time in Canada, he sat down for an interview. The interview was light-hearted in the sense that the questions were about his favorite video games or his plans for the future. However, when asked about what the biggest lie in the world was he said, “The biggest lie in the world the U.S. government.” He does not believe that the government is the same as it used to be in the sense that it is not about freedom anymore and that it has become some massive reality show. The questioning of the government in the way portrayed by Post Malone here really encapsulates the libertarian view on the role of government.

He also believes that the United States government killed president John F. Kennedy for telling the truth. He reasons that just days before Kennedy died, Kennedy had a grand speech explaining how our government focuses solely on being corrupt instead of going around trying to find the truth in all things. Post, who has a JFK tattoo on his arm, is a big fan of his and states that he was “the only President to speak out against the crazy corruption stuff that’s going on in our government nowadays.”

Although he says how the United States government is practically a giant screw-up, he has not once said where he exactly falls on the political spectrum. He did go on to say that he did support Bernie Sanders for president as he was “the realest one.” It is interesting that a man with such a distrust of the United States government would be an advocate for Bernie, as his policies suggest a stronger and more powerful government. One could infer that the reason as to why he would support Bernie is not because of his policies but because he believed that he cared about the country and wanted the best for the people of the United States, unlike Trump and Clinton.

In another interview after the election, he stated that he would not mind performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration for a fixed amount of money despite not supporting Trump and not voting in the election at all. Because he said this, he got much hate from the fans and later said that he was kidding. However, he still didn’t understand why he got so much stick for saying that. He feels that at the end of the day he would just be doing the same job he has always been doing regardless of he was to perform at Trump’s inauguration or any other venue or concert.

“If I do his show, does that mean I’m a supporter of him?” -Post Malone

To answer the question as to why he did not vote in the presidential election is that he feels our votes do not count and are just suggestions to the electoral college. According to Malone, the Electoral College could practically vote for whomever they want, and there is nothing that we [the people] can do about it. It is unclear to say if Post would have voted for Bernie if Bernie did win the primary, but it is safe to say that he would have supported and backed him throughout the entirety of the election process.

On the issue of guns, Post Malone is entirely pro 2nd amendment. He believes that it is an American’s right to own a gun and he is indeed taking advantage of that right. He owns:

  • an M14 – used by the Navy SEALs
  • “James Bond’s gun.”
  • a .44 Desert Eagle hand cannon
  • an M1911 pistol
  • two gold-plated Glocks -used for decoration, not for shooting
  • a Cobalt AR-15 -modified to pass California regulations, his most prized possession
  • a pump-action Mossberg shotgun -“great for home defense.”
  • an FN Five-Seven pistol with a laser sight -to disorient home invaders
  • a Glock 19

He has these because “They’re fun, they’re practical, and bad sh*t happens. If you hurt me, I’m gonna hurt you back.” He has a lot of valuable items, and he wants to protect those along with his friends and family. He acknowledges that it is dreadful that people have to be fearful of going to a concert, but he maintains that there will always be sick people, and if they want to go shoot-up a concert, then they will get the weapons necessary to shoot-up that concert no matter what. He also admits that he does not have all the solutions went it comes to these horrible mass shootings, but that he just believes in what he thinks is right.

“The world is going to shit. They’re taking away a lot of our rights.” -Post Malone

This quote suggests that Post believes we are continuously falling deeper into a tyrannical state, which is another reason as to why he maintains the right to bear arms is just as a necessity now as it ever was. He does not believe that Trump is solely the reason as to why we are going deeper into a tyrannical state, but that there is a much bigger problem going on behind the scenes of our government. Post thinks that the worst of the United States government is yet to come and that it is going to arise after Trump.

From his extensive gun collection to his complete and intrinsic distrust of the government, Post Malone could be a man easily converted to the libertarian movement.


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Facts, Gun Violence, Walkouts and Feelings

Isaiah Minter | United States

As millions of Americans across the country prepare for the March for Our Lives demonstration on March 24th, I expect the event to be little more than mass virtue signaling masquerading as youth activism. The truth is, millions of individuals carrying colorful signs and slandering those who agree with them does not make gun control good policy. Rather, it shows the foundation of gun control argumentation: emotion. Not facts, but feelings. And when discussing an issue as serious as the safety of our children, this approach does absolutely more harm than good.

If we are serious about improving the safety of our children and reducing gun violence, it is imperative that we pursue truth and evidence, not emotions and foolishness.

Therefore, I hope that this piece, in addressing common myths on the matter, functions as a resource for all Americans to understand the good intentions behind gun control are no substitute for its inability to yield positive results.

All in all, the American people have a right to facts. So here they are.

No, there have not been 18 school shootings this year.

When we think of school shootings, we usually think of students and teachers being killed by a shooter. We picture Columbine, Newtown, and Parkland, not a simple firearm being discharged on school grounds. By rejecting the sensationalized media view of the definition of school shooting, this statistic clearly is fake news.

America does not have a mass shooting problem.

Despite all the media hysteria, America isn’t even in the top ten of countries with the greatest frequency of mass public shootings and the annual death rate from them.

From 2009 to 2015, there were roughly 25% more per capita casualties from mass public shootings throughout Europe than the US.

Moreover, one study done in early 2017 found that all of the worst public mass shootings since 1970 have occurred outside the US. Of the worst 44, 40 have occurred outside the US and of the worst 67, 59 have occurred outside the US. Looking at the US specifically, from 1982 to early 2018 there were 98 mass shootings that resulted in 816 total deaths, or 23 deaths a year. While there has been a slight uptake in the frequency of mass public shootings, mass shootings account for just 12% of mass killings, which account for less than 1% of annual homicides.

Even when looking at homicide rates between US states and the rest of the world, America is not a haven of unimaginable violence.

In comparison to the rest of the world, the US does not stand out. There are clearly some state outliers, mainly Washington D.C., but keep in mind that the nation’s capital has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

We can all agree that homicides and mass public shootings are tragic, but the notion that a country ranked 28th in international homicide has a gun crime epidemic that can only be solved by swift gun confiscation is clearly false.

More guns do not equal more crime.

Because guns are killing machines, more guns mean more crime. Unfortunately, the claim runs contrary to the evidence.

The plain fact is, gun crime, and violent crime, in general, has been falling for decades in America despite increases in gun ownership of roughly 10 million per year. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics:

“U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011. During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased even more, a whopping 69 percent. The majority of those declines in both categories occurred during the first 10 years of that time frame. Firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through 2006, and then declined again through 2011. Nonfatal firearm violence declined from 1993 through 2004, then fluctuated in the mid-to-late 2000s.”

Even if we compare rates of gun ownership and homicide state by state, the claim is not supported by data. Moreover, with respect to homicide and firearm ownership rates outside the US, a positive correlation remains to be seen.

In the event that a country, we’ll call it Nation A, has a high gun ownership rate and a high level of crime,  it does not logically follow the high level of crime must, or even can, be explained by the high level of gun ownership. It may even be the case that the level of high crime exists in spite of the high level of gun ownership.

For instance, the nine European nations with the lowest gun ownership rate have a combined murder rate three times that of the nine European nations with the highest gun ownership rate. It may very well be the case that firearm ownership explains very little of the disparity in murder between the two groups.

In any event, because crime is influenced by many factors independent of firearm ownership levels, the gun control side remains unfazed by hard evidence. For if they had any concern for the evidence, they would find that gun control has saved more egos in the last month than it has human lives in the last century.

Guns save lives.

As gun control pundits lament over the lives taken by guns, they ignore the massive disparity between the lives taken by firearms and the lives saved by them.

In 2016, some 16,459 murders were committed, with roughly 11,961 of them committed by firearms. Now, based on a study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, US citizens use guns in defense over 989,883 times a year.

If in one year, 11,961 people were killed by guns – we’ll round up to 12,000 – and 989,883 people had their lives saved by guns – we’ll round up to 990,000 – that means  each year in the United States firearms are used to save lives at least 80 times more often than they are used to take them.

The CDC offers a lower figure, finding that Americans use guns in defense of the home roughly 500,000 times a year.

Ultimately, estimates of defensive gun usage range from 500,000 cases a year to 3 million. In any case, guns are used significantly more often to defend a life than to take one.

Years after Columbine, the state of Colorado passed the 2003 Concealed Carry Act, allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms. According to the CATO Institute, this law helped halt a massacre in December 2007 when an attacker who opened fire in the New Life Mega Church was shot by a volunteer security guard with a concealed handgun.

Elsewhere, three school shootings were thwarted by adults with firearms. In 2015, a 62-year-old man who had fired at several people was shot and wounded by an armed civilian. In the same year, an Uber driver shot a gunman who had opened fire in Logan Square. On the whole, armed citizens kill roughly twice as many criminals as police do, but one would never know this from the media.

The NRA does not bribe politicians.

When it comes to campaign contributions and lobbying, the NRA is not that influential. In 2012, the top 20 lobbying spenders were as follows:

  • US Chamber of Commerce: $136,300,000
  • National Assn of Realtors: $41,464,580
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield: $22,569,532
  • American Hospital Assn: $20,123,200
  • Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America: $19,260,000
  • General Electric: $18,970,000
  • National Cable & Telecommunications Assn: $18,890,000
  • Google Inc: $18,220,000
  • Northrop Grumman: $17,540,000
  • AT&T Inc: $17,460,000
  • American Medical Assn: $16,505,000
  • Boeing Co: $15,640,000
  • Southern Co: $15,580,000
  • Lockheed Martin: $15,347,350
  • Verizon Communications: $15,020,000
  • Comcast Corp: $14,750,000
  • National Assn of Broadcasters: $14,510,000
  • Royal Dutch Shell: $14,480,000
  • United Technologies: $14,454,750
  • Business Roundtable: $13,890,000

*The NRA spent $2,980,000 in comparison*

The truth is, the NRA is not some sort of lobbying terrorist organization. In 2016, the organization spent just $1.1 million, ranking them 488th in campaign contributions for groups spending more than $1 million. In the same election cycle, the Republican party spent $638 million, or 580 times what the NRA contributed.

Since 2000, the NRA has spent $203 million in campaign contributions. While it is true they do give a lot of money to politicians, the NRA exerts more pressure on the political process by motivating their base, sending voter guides to their members in support of favored candidates. Moreover, they spend more money on independent expenditures than campaign contributions.

Contrary to what the media is pedaling, the gun lobby is not a greedy organization that condones the senseless murder of children. Rather, it is a genuine grass root group in Washington composed of millions of law-abiding citizens that value gun rights.

Me funding you because you support a position – what the NRA does – is not the same as me paying you to support a position. The latter is bribery. 

International gun control did not work.

Britain, Australia, Mexico, all the international cases of gun control that liberal pundits love to use are not as successful as they are made out to be.

In Australia, the firearm homicide rate was declining years before the gun buyback program in 1996. In the 7-years before and after the buyback, the homicide rate declined at the same rate. 3 years after the gun ban, armed robberies and firearm-related murders had increased by 69% and 19% respectively. Additionally, a decade-long study concluded that the gun measures taken by Australia had no effect on crime rates.

In 2000, 3 years after the gun ban in Britain, crime rates had drastically increased: sexual assault by 112%, assault by 130%, and armed robbery by 170%. Half of the areas with the lowest number of legal firearms had a gun crime rate above average, compared to just 10% of the areas with the highest number of legal firearms.

Mexico has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, and yet in 2012, the country’s gun homicide rate per 100,000 people was over three times higher than the US. All of this comes in spite of the fact that Mexico has one legal gun store, compared to nearly 65,000 n the US.

Gun crime was declining in Australia before the gun buyback; crime in Britain has risen since the ban, and Mexico remains a country stricken by violence despite the gun control.

American gun control did not work.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban didn’t lower crime. California’s strict gun-control laws failed to prevent San Bernardino. Connecticut gun control legislation since Sandy Hook has proved ineffective. Gun control failed in Chicago, it failed in Washington D.C., The Orlando nightclub Pulse was a gun free zone, as were Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland.

For all the talk on the dire need for tighter gun laws, more signs and tears are offered than cases of hard evidence supporting gun control. And the reason why is clear: American gun control did not do what it was intended to do.

Image Source Matt Baldry