Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said on his “Washington Watch” radio program yesterday that the U.S. government is failing to protect the southern border, enabling members of ISIS or another terrorist group to enter the country and launch a dirty bomb attack.
Since federal officials refuse to act, Perkins said, America’s last defense against ISIS may be Texas gun owners who will quash the plans of terrorists coming to America, adding that he wouldn’t rely on liberal New Englanders to protect the country.
“It’s to the nation’s benefit that Texas is on our southern border and not one of the New England states because in Texas you’ll be hard-pressed to find a household that doesn’t have a gun and an owner that knows how to use it,” he said.
“Where if they were going to invade, someone was going to move into our country and do it through the New England states, we’d all be in trouble. That’s part of the Second Amendment, it may be that even the liberals will be grateful for the Second Amendment if the government doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do and keep us safe.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
This business owner, Jan Morgan, has made her business a “Muslim free zone.” Her reasonings are listed on her website and it’s the most sickly Islamophobic bullshit I’ve read. But what’s even worse is the comments from so many people supporting her and spewing equally horrible comments.
And this is just a small portion from the comments sections. Practically every single comment I saw was saying the same thing. Please tell me again how America is so tolerant? It’s honestly scary how people are saying this discrimination “needs to be done,” or that “desperate times call for desperate measures.” That type of talk rings back into some dark times in history and it’s fucking terrifying.
#IL12: Raging GOP Candidate's Past Includes Dog Killing And Mysterious Stolen Gun [TW: Animal Cruelty]
WASHINGTON — Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) has made a name for himself throwing extraordinary tantrums during legislative sessions. But he doesn’t appear to have contained his notorious temper to the statehouse, according to a review of court and police records obtained by The Huffington Post.
Bost, who is running for Congress this fall under the slogan “Passionate Leadership for Southern Illinois,” has a lengthy history with local authorities, including some incidents that suggest “passionate” is a bit of an understatement.
The earliest episode dates back to 1986, when a neighborhood beagle named Rusty bit Bost’s 4-year-old daughter. The report filed by animal control officials indicates that the girl provoked the attack by chasing the dog. She ultimately had to get 19 stitches on her face.
According to court records, Bost was displeased that authorities would not be able to deal with the 10-year-old dog immediately. So he got his handgun, drove to Rusty’s owner’s home, and shot the dog to death while it was penned in an enclosure.
Neighbors were “very alarmed and disturbed,” according to the police report, but a jury eventually found Bost not guilty of breaking any laws. The local paper reported the case under the headline “Area man acquitted in dog killing trial.”
The documents also detail another alarming, more mysterious incident. Bost, a gun-rights defender who in 2008 voted against a bill to require the prompt reporting of stolen guns, did not report a gun that was stolen from his own home.
In 2006, Bost’s nickel-plated special edition .357 Rossi revolver was stolen from his gun safe. According to police records, Bost did not know about the theft until police showed up at his door to inform him that the gun had been used to threaten another man’s life. Bost led investigators to the safe, and the firearm was indeed missing.
It is unclear who stole the weapon and how it was removed from the safe, but Bost and family members suspected that the thief may have been connected to a 17-year-old girl who had stayed briefly in Bost’s house. Bost told police that he usually did not lock the side door to the room that contained the safe.
Other incidents found in the files are less distressing, but similarly portray Bost as an aggressive man whose actions often put him in conflict with others.
While Bost once felt justified in shooting a dog to death, in later years, he wasn’t too worried about his own dog roaming the neighborhood. Local police records show that neighbors were so concerned about Bost’s pet scampering around their homes and the local school that they called police at least four separate times.
Several people who encountered the lawmaker seem to have responded especially poorly to him, though the records do not indicate why. According to one report, in 1999 someone kicked in Bost’s front door looking for him, but left when they encountered only his wife. Bost reported the incident to police. He also called the cops in 2009 after someone left a note on his car that was described as suspicious, along with a copy of the “Narcotics Anonymous” pamphlet.
Along with a fairly typical assortment of traffic tickets and moving violations, Bost was also involved in at least two car accidents. In a 1996 crash involving his red Beetle, Bost was found at fault for failing to yield to another motorist.
Bost’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment, including questions about the stolen gun and what the string of incidents might say about the candidate.
Bost’s outbursts are a regular hit on YouTube. Perhaps most notoriously, while railing in 2012 against what he saw as unfair floor procedures, he punched at a stack of papers that he had flung into the air. At the end of that rant, he compared Illinois Republicans and his constituents to biblical Jews in Egypt, hollering, “I feel like somebody trying to be released from Egypt! Let my people go!” And last spring, during debate on concealed carry rules, Bost smashed his microphone, prompting a Democrat to quip, “We don’t want someone like that carrying a concealed weapon.”
Democrats have sought to portray Bost, who is challenging Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), as a fundamentally unsound person whose volatile temper would only make Washington worse. So far, they’ve used his infamous outbursts in at least two ads, in which they dub Bost “Meltdown Mike.”
He is the wrong choice to be IL-12’s next Congressman!
h/t: Michael McAuliff at HuffPost Politics
Source: The Huffington Post
WorldNetDaily columnist Gina Loudon is promoting her book “What Women Really Want” by arguing today that Republicans should be “giddy” about the prospect of running against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
She calls on GOP politicians to attack Clinton for supposedly tolerating rape and other forms of violence against women: "If she stood passive while Islamic women were raped and stoned to death, what will she passively let happen to women were she president of the United States?"
Loudon goes on to claim that immigration reform and gun policy reform are part of the real “war on women.”The first war is one where women are being serially gang-raped and stoned to death by Islamists across the world who believe women are only one-fifth of a person. If a woman is raped, under Shariah law, five men must testify that they witnessed the woman being raped. Otherwise, she is stoned to death in front of her friends and family. Christian and Jewish women are being led like lambs to slaughter by Islamists. There is definitely a war on women, but not the one the statist elites in D.C. like to pretend is happening. That is but a ruse designed to distract the simple minded.
Where are the old-school feminists who cussed conservative icons like Phyllis Schlafly and burned their bras in protest of equal pay, in the face of this bloody war on women? Do equal rights not to be stoned matter less than equal pay or birth control?
Where is Hillary on this? If I were GOP leadership, I would be giddy about the thought of a Hillary run. Aside from Benghazi, think about a campaign based on what she never did to stop the real war on women. If she stood passive while Islamic women were raped and stoned to death, what will she passively let happen to women were she president of the United States?
Women with whom we spoke on our book tour are most concerned with safety and security, and that is because of failed foreign policy and open borders exacted on them by the pro-old-feminist administration (including old feminists like Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, etc.). Economic security and national security are of grave concern to women today. Open borders give away jobs, especially starter jobs for youth. Open borders let terrorists in our country, and that threatens women’s families and futures. Open borders mean children with unknown, untreatable and, in some cases, latent diseases sit in classrooms with our children.
Even for those women who don’t care to ever touch a gun (and that is OK), most still wouldn’t want to take away the rights of other moms to protect their children, their families from abusers, or their homes from tyranny.
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Loesch: Obama slashed funding for gun safety program
For well over a decade, gun owner groups have promoted the use of trigger locks to protect children from weapons around the home. One long-standing effort is Project Child Safe, run by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the voice of gun makers, shooting ranges, and retailers.
Conservative radio host and commentator Dana Loesch went to Twitter to berate President Barack Obama for neglecting this approach.
"Obama admin gutted @ProjChildSafe budget to provide trigger locks and safety kits," Loesch tweeted Sept. 4, 2014.
We wanted to see whether the current administration drove down spending for this particular trigger lock program.
We emailed Loesch’s show for evidence to back up the statement, but we did not hear back.
The senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Lawrence Keane, explained that Project Child Safe is a nonprofit run by his group and is largely sustained by the foundation and private donations. But during the administration of President George W. Bush, it received a great deal of government support.
"There was grant funding from the Department of Justice," Keane said. "There were a number of different grants. They varied in size. Over time, they totaled $90 million over 8 years."
The foundation used the money to buy trigger locks and safety manuals. It partnered with over 15,000 state and local law enforcement agencies across all 50 states to distribute these safety kits for free to gun owners. Keane said since 2001, the program has provided over 36 million kits, with no government money going toward salaries or overhead.
There’s no question the federal money is a fraction of what it was. Whether that happened on Obama’s watch is another matter.
A more complicated picture
We went to USA Spending, a government website that gives anyone the chance to see how federal agencies spend the taxpayers’ money. 2002 was the high-water mark for federal grants to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. That year, the Justice Department awarded it nearly $50 million to cover the costs of trigger locks and other safety materials.
2003 was also a strong year. Washington provided another $25 million. But as this chart shows, after that, the flow of government dollars to the foundation plummeted.
In 2006, the Department of Justice gave the foundation $917,850. By 2008, the amount fell to $500,000. These declines took place under the Bush administration, three years before Obama took office.
The chart also shows a shift in the federal agency that supported the distribution of safety kits. In 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs began granting the National Shooting Sports Foundation to provide the kits to veterans.
"The VA approached the National Shooting Sports Foundation because of concerns they had, and have, with returning vets having post-traumatic stress disorder," Keane said.
Under the Obama administration, the VA provided the foundation about $3 million through 2012 to deliver about 1.5 million Project Child Safe safety kits, according to Keane. On an annual basis, that is slightly more than the amount spent in the last year of the Bush administration. Keane said the work with the VA is ongoing with an estimated additional $2 million in the pipeline.
According to the Justice Department, the foundation had provided 32 million kits by 2005. In the seven years since, about 4 million kits have been delivered.
Loesch said that the Obama administration gutted the budget for Project Child Safe. In reality, the deepest cuts took place during the Bush years. Obama inherited a program funded at $500,000. In 2009, the funding agency changed from the Justice Department to Veterans Affairs. While the funding for Project Child Safe itself ended, the same kind of kits were distributed to peoples’ homes, although through different channels. Funding increased very slightly from the last year of the Bush administration. The work between the foundation and Veterans Affairs continues.
We rate the claim False.
Recently, a conference was held at the Upper Room Church in Keller, Texas entitled “Deliver Us From Evil" where one of the featured speakers as Gary Cass, head of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.
Cass, who normally spends most of his time attacking President Obama, Muslims, gays, and Mormons, spent an hour and a half blasting America for having a “broken moral compass” for electing politicians who support things like reproductive choice and marriage equality. Cass went on to declare that the nation’s colleges and universities have “now become perverted factories of unfaithfulness,” especially Harvard which is now “animated by the spirit of Antichrist,” before attacking “progressive Christians” as ones who “have murdered their own souls, destroyed their own churches, and have undermined our nation.”
Finally, Cass explained to the audience that "you can’t be a Christian if you don’t own a gun":
h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW
Routine sexist attacks from the National Rifle Association’s media outlets are undermining the organization’s political effort to reach out to women as a growing demographic.
On August 25, NRA magazine America’s 1st Freedom attacked prominent gun safety advocate and Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founder Shannon Watts. As Gawker’s Adam Weinstein explained, the article featured images of Watts “as a cutout mom with kitchen and housekeeping accoutrements, because moms oughta know their place!” The accompanying article accused Watts of lying about being a stay-at-home mom, because she had for a time run a PR firm out of her house while raising her children.
This offensive depiction of a woman from NRA media seems in stark contrast to the political arm of the NRA, which the very same day debuted several new ads narrated by women — in a series titled “Good Guys” — promoting the message that guns are a sign of empowerment for women and that women are an important part of the NRA community. One features a woman lauding the importance of “Mom and Dad”; one stars a woman emphasizing the “courage" it takes to be one of the "Good Guys." Another ad released earlier this month also featured a female narrator driving a pickup truck and attacking Everytown for Gun Safety founder Michael Bloomberg, telling him to “keep your hands off our guns.”
Right-wing female commentators have long argued that “guns are the great equalizer between sexes in crimes against women,” falsely claiming that guns make women safer. CNN’s S.E. Cupp, The Blaze’s Dana Loesch, and Fox News’ Katie Pavlich have regularly appeared on cable news and published books to promote the NRA as a pro-women organization.
But as Media Matters noted in a feature on the NRA’s annual meeting, 2014 seemed to mark a shift for the organization towards focusing increasingly on women and moms. In part that shift is monetary, as advertisers see women as a largely untapped market. It also seems, however, that the shift is in part in response to gun safety organizations, including Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, who increasingly emphasize how dangerous guns can be for women in abusive situations.
This recent recognition of women by the NRA is undermined, however, by the attack on Watts and the numerous misogynistic and sexist comments from NRA commentators and spokespeople.
Just two months ago, for example, an NRA commentator fetishized assault weapons by comparing them to attractive women. Noir, a Sunday web series hosted by NRA News commentator Colion Noir, aired two separate ads that at first appear to feature a narrator describing stylishly-dressed, flirtatious women (“Her Jimmy Choo’s can’t be comfortable, but you’d never know it … She’s the kind to tell the bartender how to make her drink”), only to reveal at the end that he was describing a gun the entire time. One of the ads aired just days after a mass shooting in Isla Vista, California, which was reportedly inspired by the shooter’s admitted hatred of women.
Last year, the NRA featured Fox News’ Sean Hannity as a keynote speaker at the 7th Annual NRA Women’s Leadership Forum Luncheon, despite his association with a group whose leadership has claimed that one of America’s greatest mistakes was allowing women to vote.
NRA News host Cam Edwards once attacked Glamourmagazine’s Women of the Year Awards for making “the world a more dangerous place for women,” because the event honored victims of gun violence, including Pakistani education reformer Malala Yousafzai, and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) — who was wounded during a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona.
Most outrageous is NRA board member Ted Nugent, whose rampant sexism - including calling Hillary Clinton a “toxic cunt,” comparing abstaining from drugs and alcohol to avoiding “fat chicks,” telling a CBS producer “I’ll fuck you, how’s that sound?”, and featuring a nude, bound woman with a grenade in her mouth on an album cover — has never been a problem for the organization.
Gun safety advocates and progressives have also been talking about women more lately, as part of a new push to recognize the dangers guns pose to women in domestic violence situations. The presence of a gun in an abusive situation increases the risk that a woman will be murdered by 500 percent, and women are more than three times as likely to be murdered when there is a gun in their house even when domestic violence isn’t a factor. In fact, more women in the U.S. were killed by an intimate partner using a gun from 2001 to 2012 than the total number of troops killed in action in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.
As for the argument that those women could have defended themselves if they had a gun, The Atlanticexplained that according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers interviewed women across 67 battered women’s shelters, and found that nearly a third of them had lived in a household with a firearm. “In two-thirds of the homes, their intimate partners had used the gun against them, usually threatening to kill (71.4 percent) them. A very small percentage of these women (7 percent) had used a gun successfully in self-defense, and primarily just to scare the attacking male partner away.”
The NRA doesn’t want to talk about the realities of domestic violence. Instead, they prefer to fearmonger about liberals attempting to “insult” women by “taking” their guns. But they can’t have it both ways, talking about women as nothing more than sex objects and housewives one day, and liberated gun owners the next.
A cop literally tried to sodomize a woman with his own service pistol. And now he is allowed to carry a firearm again.
Kopel takes issue with Watts’ description of the group as a “grassroots” effort since she is an experienced public relations professional with former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg as a client. Moms Demand Action is now part of Bloomberg’s group of gun control organizations.
And Kopel is upset that Watts “purports to speak for all mothers” when she actually “speaks only for a relatively small group of highly gullible people, including some mothers.”
He points readers instead to gun rights activist Julie Globb, “captain of Team Smith & Wesson” and “mother of two.”
With more states passing stronger gun control laws, rural sheriffs across the country are taking their role as defenders of the Constitution to a new level by protesting such restrictions and, in some cases, refusing to enforce the laws. Sheriff Mike Lewis considers himself the last man standing for the people of Wicomico County, Maryland. “State police and highway patrol get their orders from the governor,” the sheriff said. “I get my orders from the citizens in this county.”
Lewis and other like-minded sheriffs have been joined by groups like Oath Keepers and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, both of which encourage law enforcement officers to take a stand against gun control laws.
The role of a sheriff
While the position of sheriff is not found in the U.S. Constitution, it is listed in state constitutions. Nearly all of America’s 3,080 sheriffs are elected to their positions, whereas state and city police officials are appointed.
Lewis and other sheriffs, and their supporters, say that puts them in the best position to stand up to gun laws they consider unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms.
“The role of a sheriff is to be the interposer between the law and the citizen,” said Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer, an Anne Arundel County Republican. “He should stand between the government and citizen in every issue pertaining to the law.”
When Lewis was president of the Maryland Sheriffs’ Association, he testified with other sheriffs against the state’s Firearms Safety Act (FSA) before it was enacted in 2013. One of the strictest gun laws in the nation, the act requires gun applicants to supply fingerprints and complete training to obtain a handgun license online. It bans 45 types of firearms, limits magazines to 10 rounds and outlaws gun ownership for people who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.
After Lewis opposed the bill, he said he was inundated with emails, handwritten letters, phone calls and visits from people thanking him for standing up for gun rights.SYDNEY STAVINOHA / NEWS21
“Why are we being penalized? Why are we being crucified because we’re standing up for our Second Amendment right? Why does everybody look at us like we’re right-wing nuts because we’re standing up for our constitutional rights?” —Sheriff Mike Lewis, Wicomico County, Maryland.
“I knew this was a local issue, but I also knew it had serious ramifications on the U.S. Constitution, specifically for our Second Amendment right,” said Lewis, one of 24 sheriffs in the state. “It ignited fire among sheriffs throughout the state. Those in the rural areas all felt the way I did.”
In New York, the state sheriff’s association has publicly decried portions of the SAFE Act, state legislation that broadened the definition of a banned assault weapon, outlawed magazines holding more than 10 rounds and created harsher punishments for anyone who kills a first-responder in the line of duty.
A handful of the state’s 62 sheriffs have vowed not to enforce the high-capacity magazine and assault-weapon bans. One of the most vocal is Sheriff Tony Desmond of Schoharie County, population 32,000. He believes his refusal to enforce the SAFE Act won him re-election in 2013.
“If you have an (assault) weapon, which under the SAFE Act is considered illegal, I don’t look at it as being illegal just because someone said it was,” he said.
Colorado made national headlines when 55 of its 62 sheriffs attempted to sign on as plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of several 2013 gun control bills in the state. The most-controversial measures banned magazines of more than 15 rounds and established background checks for private gun sales.
“It’s not (the judge’s) job to tell me what I can and can’t enforce.”
A federal judge said the sheriffs couldn’t sue as elected officials, so Weld County Sheriff John Cooke and eight other sheriffs sued as private citizens. Cooke was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, which a federal district judge threw out in June. He and other plaintiffs are preparing an appeal.
“It’s not (the judge’s) job to tell me what I can and can’t enforce,” Cooke said. “I’m still the one that has to say where do I put my priorities and resources? And it’s not going to be there.”
Lewis, who is running for re-election in Maryland this year, said sheriffs have a responsibility to push against what he sees as the federal government’s continual encroachment on citizens’ lives and rights.
“I made a vow and a commitment that as long as I’m the sheriff of this county I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my law-abiding citizens of the right to bear arms,” he said. “If they attempt to do that it will be an all-out civil war. Because I will stand toe-to-toe with my people.”
“It’s not up to a sheriff to decide what’s constitutional and what isn’t. That’s what our courts are for.”
But Maryland Sen. Brian Frosh, a sponsor of the Firearms Safety Act and a gun-control advocate from suburban Montgomery County, said Lewis’ understanding of a sheriff’s role is flawed.
“If you are a sheriff in Maryland you must take an oath to uphold the law and the Constitution,” said Frosh, now the Democratic nominee for Maryland attorney general. “… It’s not up to a sheriff to decide what’s constitutional and what isn’t. That’s what our courts are for.”
Frosh also noted that sheriffs are generally not lawyers or judges, which means they often are following their convictions instead of the Constitution.EMILIE EATON / NEWS21
Edward Amelio, a deputy sheriff in rural Lewis County, New York, has to complete a lot of paperwork after responding to a call. Normally he only deals with guns when issuing an order of protection in which a judge orders someone’s firearm confiscated.
“We had lots of people come in (to testify against the bill) and without any basis say, ‘This violates the Second Amendment,’” Frosh said. “They can cite the Second Amendment, but they couldn’t explain why this violates it. And the simple fact is it does not. There is a provision of our Constitution that gives people rights with respect to firearms, but it’s not as expansive as many of these people think.”
Sheriffs do have the power to nullify, or ignore, a law if it is unconstitutional, Maryland Delegate Dwyer said. He said James Madison referred to nullification as the rightful remedy for the Constitution.
“The sheriffs coming to testify on the bill understood the issue enough and were brave enough to come to Annapolis and make the bold stand that on their watch, in their county, they would not enforce these laws even if they passed,” said Dwyer. “That is the true role and responsibility of what the sheriff is.”
Oath Keepers and CSPOA
If former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack had it his way, there wouldn’t be a single gun control law in the U.S.
“I studied what the Founding Fathers meant about the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, and the conclusion is inescapable,” said Mack, the founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). “There’s no way around it. Gun control in America is against the law.”
Mack’s conviction is central to the ideology of CSPOA, which he founded in 2011 to “unite all public servants and sheriffs, to keep their word to uphold, defend, protect, preserve and obey” the Constitution, according to the association’s website.
CSPOA grabbed media attention in February with a growing list of sheriffs — 484 as of late July — professing opposition to federal gun control.JARED RAMSDELL / JOURNAL INQUIRER VIA AP, FILE
Stewart Rhodes, founder and president of the pro gun rights organization Oath Keepers speaks during a gun rights rally at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford on April 20, 2013.
Mack and CSPOA also have ties to Oath Keepers, an organization founded in 2009 with a similar goal to unite veterans, law enforcement officers and first-responders who pledge to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
The website of the Oath Keepers, which has active chapters in 48 states and the District of Columbia, and an estimated membership of 40,000, features a declaration of “orders we will not obey,” including those to disarm Americans, impose martial law on a state and blockade cities.
“I want to have the image that I protect gun owners, but I’m not fanatical about it.”
Some sheriffs perceive Oath Keepers and CSPOA as too radical to associate with. Desmond, of Schoharie County, New York, is known around his state for openly not enforcing provisions of the SAFE Act that he considers unconstitutional. Still, he’s not a member of either organization.
“I don’t want to get involved with somebody that may be a bit more proactive when it comes to the SAFE Act,” Desmond said. “I want to have the image that I protect gun owners, but I’m not fanatical about it.”
Mack is familiar with that sentiment. He suspects it’s hindered the growth of CSPOA.
“This is such a new idea for so many sheriffs that it’s hard for them to swallow it,” Mack said. “They’ve fallen into the brainwashing and the mainstream ideas that you just have to go after the drug dealers and the DUIs and serve court papers — and that the federal government is the supreme law of the land.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights nonprofit that classifies and combats hate and extremist groups, included both CSPOA and Oath Keepers on its list of 1,096 anti-government “patriot” groups active in 2013. Both groups have faced criticism for their alleged connections to accused criminals, including individuals charged with possessing a live napalm bomb and a suspect in theshooting and killing of two Las Vegas police officers and a bystander in June.
Representatives from the law center did not return phone calls and emails requesting comment.
See the Entire News21 Project: GUN WARS: The Struggle Over Rights and Regulation in America
Franklin Shook, an Oath Keepers board member who goes by the pseudonym “Elias Alias,” said the organization doesn’t promote violence, but rather a message of peaceful noncompliance.
“What Oath Keepers is saying is … when you get an order to go to somebody’s house and collect one of these guns, just stand down,” Shook said. “Say peacefully, ‘I refuse to carry out an unlawful order,’ and we, the organization, will do everything in our power to keep public pressure on your side to keep you from getting in trouble for standing down. That makes Oath Keepers extremely dangerous to the system.”
Self-proclaimed constitutional sheriffs hope that courts will overturn gun control measures in their states — but they recognize that may not happen. Lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of gun control legislation in Maryland, New York and Colorado have been, for the most part, unsuccessful.
“My hope is that the governor will look at it now that it’s been a year plus and say, ‘We’ve had some provisions that have failed. Let’s sit down and look at this and have a meaningful conversation,’” said Otsego County, New York, Sheriff Richard Devlin, who enforces the SAFE Act but doesn’t make it a priority. “I personally don’t see that happening, but I’d like to see that happen.”
Emilie Eaton is a News21 Hearst Fellow. Jacy Marmaduke is a News21 Peter Kiewet Fellow. Sydney Stavinoha is an Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation News21 Fellow.
This report is part of a project on gun rights and regulations in America produced by the Carnegie-Knight News21 program.
An inflammatory mailer sent to Anchorage, Alaska residents over the weekend by an anti-immigrant, Tea-party backed Republican primary Senate candidate features shirtless, tattooed men making gang signs with their hands, and a message that condemns the Democrat primary opponent for wanting “20 million illegals” to vote. Candidate Joe Miller’s mailer comes at a time when he’s a distant third in Republican primary polls and his state’s three Republican Senate candidates are emphasizing immigration to win their party’s nomination ahead of next week’s GOP primary election.
Tying the issue of immigration reform and gun rights, the mailer quotes Miller as saying, “And if 20 million illegals vote, you can kiss the 2nd amendment goodbye. I am the only candidate who favors the Voter ID.” The back of the mailer features photos of “Miller firing a handgun and teaching shooting to a boy and girl identified as his children,” the Alaska Dispatch News stated.
During a heated televised debate over the weekend, Miller defended his mailer, stating, “There’s a clear correlation, and the clear correlation is this: If you end up granting amnesty to those who don’t value gun rights, who have not been raised in an environment where the Second Amendment is cherished — is considered to be a God-given right — the reality is over a generation or two, the likelihood is very strong that the Second Amendment will not be here.” The Alaska Dispatch News reported that Miller stated, “We have violent thugs coming across our border and doing violent things.”
What’s more, at least one of the pictures depicted in the mailer isn’t even of gang members within the United States. The top photo featuring five men making hand gestures can be found on a book cover about life in a Mexican drug cartel from 2007.
Miller won the 2010 Republican Senate nomination, but lost to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in a general election write-in campaign. Despite refusing to indicate whether he would back Murkowski should he lose in the GOP primary, he recently stated that he has no plans to run as a third-party candidate. Murkowski and the Democrat incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) both voted for the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform last year, but the bill prohibits gang members from qualifying for any kind of earned pathway to citizenship.
Miller has challenged two Republican candidates, former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan and Lt. Gov Mead Treadwell, to sign a “no-amnesty” pledge, which asks candidates to promise to oppose legislation that would grant any form of work authorization to undocumented immigrants and to oppose legislation that increases the overall number of immigrants and guest workers. Both refused. At least 67 percent of candidates who signed the pledge, created by the immigration-restrictionist group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), have lost their primaries.
Miller has espoused other anti-immigrant sentiments, including touting his endorsement by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is known for his harsh treatment of immigrant prison detainees. Miller is currently running an ad that states his support for eliminating “foreign aid to countries that encourage illegal immigration.”
For much of the summer, right-wing militiamen have gathered near the Texas-Mexico border, many of them claiming that they are there as part of something called “Operation Secure Our Border.” They include members of a movement that President George W. Bush denounced as “vigilantes,” and they also include members of even more radical groups that promote wild conspiracy theories and that explicitly threaten violence against the government.
And now, they have the blessing of a sitting Texas lawmaker. After touring the Rio Grande Valley near the border, Republican state Rep. Doug Miller claimed that the militias “have a right to be there” and that they “are not currently a problem.”According to Miller, he was told that the militias “are on private property, helping ranchers and owners to keep illegals coming onto or through their property … and there haven’t been any problems.”
Miller is not the highest-ranking Texas official who has dismissed criticism of armed vigilantes patrolling the Texas border. Late last month, the 12 Democratic members of Texas’ congressional delegation penned a letter to Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general and the Republican candidate to be Texas’ next governor. In it, the 12 lawmakers quote a militia leader who said that “You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between the eyes, and you say, ‘Get back across the border or you will be shot.’” They also ask Abbott to “denounce the actions of these militia groups and clarify the jurisdiction these militia groups have to patrol alongside local law enforcement and Border Patrol agents.”
A spokesperson for Abbott dismissed the letter as a “partisan political stunt.”
The militias Abbott would not denounce include a volatile mix of paranoid anti-government groups and potentially violent gun activists. According to the Dallas Morning News, the earliest wave of militiamen coming to Texas included members of the Oathkeepers, a group which describes itself as an “association of currently serving military, reserves, National Guard, peace officers, fire-fighters, and veterans who swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic … and meant it.” Their website warns of government officials “disarm[ing] the American people,” “confiscat[ing] the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies,” and “blockad[ing] American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.”
The militiamen also reportedly include members of the “Three Percenter’s Club,” a group which claims that its “mission is give our members the capabilities and resources necessary to execute Military Strategies to defend against foreign and domestic enemies.” The Three Percenter movement takes its name from the “3% of the colonist [sic]” who allegedly “refused orders by the British Crown to surrender their firearms in the American Revolution,” and it was founded by a conservative activist named Mike Vanderboegh. On his personal blog, Vanderboegh explained that one of the Three Percenter movement’s core beliefs is a willingness to offer violent resistance to the government:
We intend to maintain our God-given natural rights to liberty and property, and that means most especially the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we are committed to the restoration of the Founders’ Republic, and are willing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppressor, to kill in the defense of ourselves and the Constitution that we all took an oath to uphold against enemies foreign and domestic.
We are the people that the collectivists who now control the government should leave alone if they wish to continue unfettered oxygen consumption. We are the Three Percent. Attempt to further oppress us at your peril.
To put it bluntly, leave us the hell alone.
Or, if you feel froggy, go ahead AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.
Last April, a similar collection of militia organizations, including members of the Oath Keepers, gathered near the home of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy to offer armed resistance to federal officials seeking to enforce a court order preventing Bundy from illegally grazing his cattle on federal land. Bundy briefly became a hero among conservative media figures such as Fox News’ Sean Hannity, and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) labeled Bundy and his supporters “patriots.” Bundy’s moment as a Republican folk hero ended fairly abruptly, however, after he made racist remarks about “the Negro.”
What sets Bundy’s armed supporters apart from the militia members gathering in Texas, however, is that Bundy’s militia squared off against trained federal law enforcement officials. The militiamen in Texas, by contrast, have threatened to point their guns at desperate and often helpless people crossing the border.
On his “Wallbuilders Live” program yesterday, David Barton offered a handy guide to voters who are concerned about whether their elected officials respect “natural law”: ask them if they support abortion rights, and if they do, know that they will also take away your “property” and your “self-defense.”
“One of the easiest way to tell about natural law is to ask them where they are on abortion, because if they don’t respect the inalienable right to life, they do not respect any other inalienable right,” he advised.
“If you don’t respect the right to life,” he said, “you won’t respect property, you won’t respect protecting income, you’ll think you ought to tax people more rather than protect their income, you’ll take it from them, you won’t protect their property, you won’t protect their religious liberties, you won’t protect their right of self-defense, you’ll try to take their self-defense away from them.”
He added that even if the candidate is running for an office that has nothing to do with abortion policy, such as a school board, abortion should still be the litmus test.
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
BREAKING: Missouri Amendment 5 (Unalienable RKBA) has been passed by the voters of Missouri. #MOPrimary
Chalk this as a win for the NRA, Gun Lobby, and Dana Loesch, whereas Everytown and the Gunsense crowd lost big.
Amendment 5, proposed Missouri constitutional amendment, seeks to protect further the right to bear arms: http://t.co/1KIfJ09jJZ— STL Public Radio (@stlpublicradio) July 14, 2014
In an interview with extremist talk show host Stan Solomon that was posted online last week, Pratt alleged that immigration reform would destroy the GOP and therefore the country: “That means kiss our Second Amendment goodbye, it means, really, kiss our republic goodbye, because if you give the Democrats a lock on all of the levels of government, the country goes communist.”
“It’s just the end because they know no limit to the big government that they support,” he said. “It will be extremely dangerous, and gun owners will be early on in the sights of those Democrats that might be voted for by the newly minted voters. So the idea of amnesty is a really bad idea.”
Pratt and Solomon also agreed that Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the GOP leadership have effectively “switched sides” and joined the Democratic Party.
From the 06.24.2014 edition of CPNLive’s Talk To Solomon:
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW