On Wednesday, the City of Cleveland and ArcelorMittal melted down more than than 270 guns that were surrendered at the 2014 City of Cleveland Gun buyback last September.
“This gun melt will take guns surrendered by their owners, recycle them into steel, and prevent them from ever being used in an act of violence,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “I’d like to thank ArcelorMittal for being a good partner in the City’s efforts to improve safety and reduce gun violence.”
ArcelorMittal Cleveland Vice President and General Manager Eric Hauge said the company was proud to partner with the city, the Cleveland Police Foundation, and others to support the gun buyback program.
“We are pleased to melt down the collected weapons and recycle them into consumer goods that improve the quality of all our lives,” Hauge said. “The guns we melt will be transformed from weapons into washing machines, car parts, refrigerators and other steel products.”
According to the Cleveland City Hall blog, “The guns were placed into the No. 1 Basic Oxygen Furnace iron ladle and will be melted by approximately 200 tons of molten iron, at temperatures of about 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. The molten iron, along with scrap, is then charged in the basic oxygen furnace to make steel, which will eventually be used to manufacture cars, household appliances, and other goods.”
ArcelorMittal destroys the guns as a “free community service,” the City of Cleveland said.
At the time of the September buyback, Ohioans for Concealed Carry said that such programs are a way to appear to be doing something while disarming people who might otherwise be able to defend themselves. “Criminals don’t turn in their guns. At least, not working firearms, anyway,” the group wrote in a blog post.” The group scoffed at the notion of a “so called gun buy-back … as if they ever owned the guns [and] were in a position to buy them back.”
In exchange for a working handgun or semi-automatic rifle, individuals received either a $100 or $200 Target gift card or a gift card for gas or food, as well as two tickets to a local sporting event. Gun rights advocates stood on a street corner a block away from the buy-back and offered cash for anyone who wanted to consider a better offer for their gun.
One would think that anyone who is considering theft as an occupation would not consider Texas to be thief-friendly territory. Not only are firearms commonplace here, we have a strong castle law too. Homeowners are empowered to protect themselves and their property. Texans tend to believe that gun control is putting lead on target where you intend to put it, not keeping law-abiding people from owning guns at all.
Two female would-be thieves in the Houston area learned all this the hard way on Wednesday.
Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Deputies responded around 1:30 p.m. to the 8700 block of Rolling Rapids Road after receiving calls that two people were trying to break into a house in the area.
The homeowner, who was not identified, called law enforcement to report that two females were throwing rocks at his windows in an attempt to break in, said Harris County Precinct 4 Lt. Walter Stensland.
“The homeowner never answers the door during the day,” Stensland explained.
The suspects were able to break the glass near the front of the residence and reach into the house to unlock the door.
At that point, the homeowner responded with a shotgun.
“Shots were fired. Both suspects were hit in the upper torso,” Stensland said.
One of the unidentified thieves is in critical condition, the other is in stable condition. They had reportedly stolen a car earlier, which they used to drive to the home where they were shot. So if they recover from their wounds, they can look forward to some jail time.
Despite what the left believes and wants low-information voters to believe, the Second Amendment is not primarily* about hunting. It is about the human right of self-defense.
That misunderstanding leads to noise like this, from Daniel Strauss at Talking Points Memo.
During an National Rifle Association event in Iowa in 2012, state Sen. Joni Ernst, now the Republican nominee for Senate in the state, said she carries a 9-millimeter gun around everywhere and believes in the right to use it even if it’s against the government if they disregard her rights.
“I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere,” Ernst said during a speech at the NRA’s Iowa Firearms Coalition Second Amendment Rally in Searsboro, Iowa, as flagged by The Huffington Post on Thursday. “But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”
And the problem with that is…?
That it doesn’t comport with the left’s worldview? That doesn’t make it incorrect.
If the last century or two have taught us anything, they should have taught us that government can turn feral quite quickly on the one hand, and that government can let its guard down against crime and other actual threats to its citizens on the other. It isn’t as though problems of corrupt and brutal government always stay outside America’s borders. Just look at Chicago. Or cast your eyes farther south. Thanks to Mexico’s endemic corruption and its violent drug war, corruption and worse have spilled right into the border states. Our own government refuses to defend Americans from that. Americans have the right and I’d argue the duty to defend themselves.
Our own government unleashed the IRS as a thought-police. That’s a short step from government going full rogue, shorter than many on the left want to admit since their own did the unleashing.
Ernst has done nothing more than recognize that a free person must make choices to remain free, or they will soon find themselves subjugated. We need Joni Ernst and more like her in Washington.
*I was being sloppy. The Second Amendment isn’t actually about hunting at all, of course.
It is not just that Canada is willing to call an act of terrorism by its name: terrorism. That is certainly refreshing clarity in these troubled times, clarity which will help Canada decide how to prevent future attacks. But Canada isn’t just calling terrorism by its name. Based upon Andrew Cohen’s letter posted to CNN, Canada is engaging in some self-reflection. In what I bet will be the Canadian equivalent of Leonard Pitts Jr.’s “We’ll Go Forward from This Moment” letter on September 12, 2001, Cohen wrote a very self-aware post “This is not supposed to happen in Canada“. Just a snippet:
It is too much a cliché to say — as many surely will — that Canada has lost its innocence today. Canada is surely not innocent; a nation that marched into the maw of two world wars and left 100,000 of its sons in Europe understands a few things. That’s particularly true at this time of year, when Canadians wear red poppies in their lapels until November 11, Remembrance Day.
What we might say, though, is that Canada has lost its ignorance today — and, perhaps, a good part of its complacency, too.
It is difficult to engage in that kind of self analysis, much less to have the courage to admit what you find. Compliments to Cohen, though he does seem to be struggling with “we were asking for it” and “we may not be interested in war, but war is interested in us” arguments. Perhaps that is why he failed to mention one other thing that Canada got right over the US.
There is a reason that the terrorist only managed to kill one victim. It won’t surprise readers here to learn that the limiting force was an honorable man with a gun. I doubt that truth will get much play in the US, but it should. On a whim, I did a news search this morning for “Canada Kevin Vickers Sargent at Arms” and all but three hits on the first few Google results pages were non-US news. Canada might be coming to terms with its security illusions. Would that the US did as well.
In the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary slaughter in Newtown, CT, New York state passed an “an expansive package of gun control measures” which read like a progressive fantasy: ban “assault weapons,” create a list of dangerous mental patients and confiscate their guns.
As today’s New York Times details, several problems arose on the road to peaceful Utopia. But, progressives can delight in the news that they’ve compiled a list of 34,500 Americans who no longer have 2nd Amendment, 4th Amendment or 14th Amendment rights. For these folks, New York state is a Constitution-free zone.
Under the “Safe Act,” county officials were to screen and forward names from mental health workers to a state agency. But those county employees did not, generally, have direct contact with the patient, nor did the bureaucrats in Albany. The county workers, quickly overwhelmed with the volume of submissions, began rubber-stamping. The much-touted government oversight became at best cursory, at worst, nonexistent.
Only 278 among the 34,500 were found to have gun permits, and guns were seized from an unknown number of them. But only New York City requires permits for long guns anyway, so a person on that list may go shopping elsewhere, and the government will not know about his purchase. In addition, there’s no way for law enforcement to know whether they’ve confiscated all of a person’s weapons. So, essentially, the program may seize SOME guns from people in a designated zone (NYC), but only if they obeyed the law by getting a gun permit.
Of course, if you have a mental health issue and you treasure your natural, God-given 2nd Amendment right to self-defense, then the law discourages you from seeking professional help with the threat of confiscating your property and your security.
This is all fine with the progressives who love to keep their women defenseless, their poor, disadvantaged thugs unperforated and out of jail, and their government ruling with an iron fist — but above all, who love to be SEEN as doing something about a problem.
Gun control supporters argue a wide net is appropriate, given the potentially dire consequences.
Even if just one dangerous person had a gun taken away, “that’s a good thing,” said Brian Malte, senior national policy director of the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.
Now, Mr. Malte fails to consider the possibility that he may have taken that gun away from a person who then has to confront a pistol-packing burglar in his home, armed with nothing but a Salad Shooter, or a Swiffer mop.
The dangerous truth about all of this “gun control” is that none of it will save a single life. Worse, it will delude a certain portion of the population into thinking that they, and their children, are safer — after all, we passed the “Safe Act.”
The Washington, DC city council and mayor were forced to pass the city’s new law permitting concealed handgun carry within the city.
They are clearly not happy about that.
DC Mayor Vincent Gray signed the law today. Emily Miller has posted the statement that Gray and the city’s attorney general issued while the ink on Gray’s signature was yet to dry.
(Washington, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray has signed emergency legislation, the “License to Carry a Pistol Emergency Amendment Act of 2014,” passed by the Council of the District of Columbia in response to the ruling by the U.S. District Court in the case of Palmer v. District of Columbia. This law maintains our commitment to keeping guns out of the wrong hands and ensures the safety of all within the District of Columbia, while fully respecting the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The law cures the alleged constitutional flaws in the District’s licensing laws found by a U.S. District Court in the Palmer case. The summary judgment ruling in that case was stayed until October 22, 2014, giving District officials time to issue regulations authorized by this legislation. Once these are issued, members of the public who meet the statute’s criteria will be able to apply for a license to carry a pistol in the District.
In the meantime, except as authorized for law enforcement, carrying a gun in public remains a criminal offense, and anyone found doing so will be subject to arrest. The District’s Office of the Attorney General is prepared to prosecute all cases within its jurisdiction. All firearms will be seized as contraband. Firearms with a valid registration in the District of Columbia will be held as contraband unless and until the person goes through the process of applying for a valid license to carry.
In short, carrying a handgun without a license in the District of Columbia remains illegal. The District government is committed to working closely with the Council and with our community and federal partners to ensure the safety of District residents from gun violence.
It would help the city’s credibility if it hadn’t arbitrarily given former Meet the Press host David Gregory a pass when he violated its laws on national TV. City Attorney General justified that decision as a matter of “prosecutorial discretion.”
The office made its decision “despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust.”
So as long as a city resident is using a firearm for propaganda purposes, they’re good to go. The city remains poised to harass the Second Amendment right out of the nation’s capital.
Alicia Keys’ timing on this probably couldn’t be worse. She strips down and paints a peace sign on her belly at the same time an Islamist army threatens the world and a monster beheaded an innocent woman in Oklahoma. Only a good guy with a gun stopped him.
Yet here she is, being all empowered. Naked, to push for gun control.
Try confronting an Islamist madman like this.
Body armor and a powerful firearm would be the smarter way to go.
The New York Times praises Keys, without noticing something awful.
ALICIA KEYS is a superstar singer who has mostly kept her clothes on and gossip off. So what is she doing in this photo, dressed only in a peace sign?
Her answer has to do with the purpose of life. Last month, as she was sickened by grim news — from the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., to the toll in Gaza and Syria — a friend of hers lobbed a provocative question about the meaning of our existence: Why are you here?
“Nobody had asked me that question before,” Keys recalled.
Alright, I doubt that that’s true. Surely someone, somewhere asked Alicia Keys what her purpose in life is. But that’s minor.
The awful thing that the Times notices and then fails to notice is that many celebrities take up some of the same causes that Keys is taking up. The Times hails Bono (who hasn’t really done gun control or gay marriage, but has done lots of other causes over the years) for being a cause-driven artist.
There is, of course, a tradition of socially conscious musicians, and Bono has done as much as anybody to highlight the challenges of global poverty. Keys seems less inclined to lobby at Group of 8 summit meetings; rather, she says, she wants to work with fans at the grass-roots level.
But Bono doesn’t have to get naked to support any of his causes. He has been pretty successful at his clothed activism, mostly because he chooses his issues carefully and he understands that offending and alienating people is counter productive. Too many artists just let their egos get in the way.
Keys feels the need to strip off. She and the Times see this as “empowering.”
Really? Is it empowering that an insanely successful woman and mother believes that getting naked before the entire world is the best way to draw attention to her cause?
Or is it just plain old attention-whoring from her, and sucking up to leftwing celebrities from the New York Times?
During today’s White House press briefing, a reporter asked spokesman Josh Earnest whether he could comment on the number of Americans who have gone to fight alongside the Islamist State, and have since returned to the US. The obvious concern about them is that they can use their American passports to travel freely back and forth, and stage attacks on behalf of ISIS here at home.
Thus far, the Obama administration has taken no actions against Americans who choose to fight for ISIS. Over the weekend, Canada announced that it was revoking the passports of any of its citizens who fight for ISIS.
Earnest was very careful not give numbers or admit that any American ISIS fighters are now under surveillance. But he also did not state that no American ISIS fighters have returned.
The reporter specifically asks Earnest, “Earlier today, administration officials said that at least some of these foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq have come back to the United States. I was wondering, how many of those are the administration tracking? And are they under active surveillance by the FBI? I was wondering if you could comment on that.”
Earnest could not comment on most of it, because the numbers have not been disclosed and because he said that he cannot comment on active surveillance or investigations. He did say that “As it relates to the number, I’m not in a position to confirm numbers like that,” citing the “relatively sensitive intelligence information” that is at stake.
The threat of returning ISIS fighters took on a new dimension this weekend, when two different individuals managed to get past White House security and inside its fence. One of them even got into the White House itself.
Neither are thought to have any connection to ISIS or terrorism in any way. But like the open border and its accessibility to children, if two random people can get past security and into the White House grounds, so can individuals who mean to cause harm.
Police gun buy-back programs are a) stupid and b) cheap weasels. They tend to offer potential sellers no more than a quarter of what the guns in question are actually worth (other than the non-working guns, which aren’t any more of a threat than a baseball bat). They also do nothing to make the public any safer. Gun safety courses would do that. Removing Eric Holder from office for Fast and Furious would do that, too. Gun buy-back programs don’t do that.
And how can the government “buy back” something that it never owned in the first place? The phrase “buy back” implies previous ownership.
Two police departments outside Boston, MA — Waltham and Beltmont — held a gun buy-back program on Saturday. It was a typically cheapskate affair.
- Participants will receive Visa gift cards for the following: $50 for a rifle or shotgun, $100 for a functioning handgun and $200 for an assault weapon.
That’s pennies on the dollar. Especially for the so-called “assault weapons.” Those tend to retail for several hundred dollars at the low end, even used. They can go for thousands at the top end. Savvy gun owners will know this, and will stay away from gun “buy-back” programs. Especially if there’s a gun show going on anywhere nearby. Or a decent pawn shop.
These buy-backs are also incentives for thieves to steal guns and then sell them to police for quick cash, no questions asked. But we’re not supposed to consider that.
One Massachusetts man decided to provide the Waltham buy-back program a little capitalist competition. He went there during the event and held up a sign that said he’d pay more than the police were offering.
I was there for 15 seconds literally, on the sidewalk right near the entrance. Two cops, one Belmont and one Waltham came over to me and asked what the sign said. I showed them “WILL PAY CASH FOR GUNS, AMMO, ETC.” They were pissed. started saying oh no, you’re not doing that here, etc. I argued with them for 5 minutes, they threatened me for soliciting without a vendor’s license. So I said oh, what if I change my sign and have it say “Don’t get screwed, go to a gun dealer and get 4 times the money”. They said that would be legal but she would have the largest Waltham PD cop on duty come down and block me and harass me the whole time.
I really felt the love.
I went back to my car, Lt Dectective dickhead brooks came across the street, I put my hand out to shake and he did, then started yelling and getting his panties wedged up his tight ass. Sbi showed up about then and detective tight ass was trying to harass us both. Sbi and I were perfectly calm, knew what we were talking about, etc. unlike those tools. It was worth the trip just for the experience. I hope I raised brooks blood pressure enough for him to have a heart attack later. The woman from Belmont wasn’t bad after we chatted a bit. The Waltham pd must have the jbt manual.
I wish someone could have recorded their faces when they read the sign. They said what’s this, I said competition. They didn’t want to play.
One of the posters pointed out that the police probably lacked a vendor’s license too. Also, are they federally licensed firearm dealers? Probably not. Those licenses are expensive.
New Jersey prosecutor Jim McClain deserves to have his name publicized from coast to coast. According to the DC Examiner, McClain is turning the power of the state against a law-abiding mom, 27-year-old Shaneen Allen, and he is trying to throw her in prison for more than three years.
The mother of two drove into New Jersey from Pennsylvania, where she lives and holds a concealed handgun carry permit for her family’s protection. She was stopped by police in New Jersey for a minor traffic offense, and voluntarily disclosed that she had a handgun in her glove compartment. She showed her concealed carry permit to the officer.
The officer arrested Allen, and she faces prison time for “unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.” They appear to be prosecuting her for having the gun accessible to the passenger compartment, and not in the trunk.
Allen was recommended for a pre-trial intervention program that would have allowed her to avoid jail time as a first-time offender. But no, Jim McClain rejected that idea. He is putting her through the ordeal of trial, and if convicted, she faces a minimum 3.5 years in prison.
Jim McClain doesn’t prosecute all first-time offenders equally. He is the same prosecutor who let former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice off the hook for domestic abuse, despite clear video evidence that Rice punched his then fiancee and knocked her out cold.
McClain blames the state’s domestic abuse law for the leniency on Rice. What’s his excuse in the Allen case? He could have been lenient with her but he chose not to be.
This past week Jewish media was abuzz with stories of how hard journalist Steven Sotloff’s family and friends worked to hide his Jewish identity after he was captured by ISIS. It seemed strange to me that Jew haters would have such terrible Jewdar. After all, the guy’s name was “Sotloff”, but apparently that’s not a “tell” in the Muslim world:
One thing journalists quickly learn is that the Jewish “tells” in the West don’t mean much in the Middle East. Jewish names obvious in the West are not at all so in the region, and stereotypical “Jewish looks” among westerners are indistinguishable from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern features that are common throughout the Middle East.
“My name might have been Miriam Leah Goldbergstein, and I wouldn’t have worried,” said Lisa Goldman, who reported for various outlets in Lebanon and then in Cairo during the Arab Spring in 2011.
“A rose by any other name” would still be an infidel, so it would seem:
It’s not known whether ISIS was aware that Sotloff was Jewish. Colleagues believe his kidnapping by ISIS-affiliated terrorists in 2012 in Syria was one of opportunity and not a deliberate targeting. James Foley, another journalist kidnapped by ISIS and beheaded last month by the terror group, was Catholic.
Which is, perhaps, the overarching point of the latest rash of radical Islamist beheadings of Western journalists. We are all roses to be de-headed, whether we call ourselves Jews, Christians, or simply Westerners of a secular stripe. Iranian American scholar Haleh Esfandiari didn’t blink in her distinction of “The West” from the Muslim east when she commented on radical Islamist recruits:
These young men who grew up in Western cultures seem to have absorbed nothing regarding the value of human life and respect for women.
White, conservative male Rich Lowry provides further evidence for my argument that the East proves the West needs feminism. In his latest syndicated column, Lowry details the horror that has occurred in Rotherham, England, a small northern England town in which “more than 1,400 young girls have been raped and brutally exploited” for over 15 years.
England is the West, you may argue. And you’d be right. A Western nation that turned a blind eye to these vicious crimes against women because the perpetrators of said heinous offenses were Pakistani Muslims.
… the local government tolerated sexual violence on a vast scale. Why? In part, because the criminals who committed these sickening acts were Muslims from the local Pakistani community, and noticing their depravity was considered insensitive at best, racist at worst.
The British home secretary says “institutionalized political correctness” contributed to the abandonment of hundreds of girls to their tormentors. Imagine something out of the nightmarish world of Stieg Larsson, brought to life and abetted by the muddle-headed cowardice of people who fear the disapproval of the diversity police.
In Rotherham, multiculturalism triumphed over not just feminism, but over the law, over basic human decency and over civilization itself.
According to an “independent investigation released last week”:
”It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.”
Law enforcement, government-funded social workers, and elected officials were all well aware of the crimes being committed and, by and large, did nothing fearing Orwellian punishment for attempting to defend these women against a perceived protected minority.
The Times of Israel carried the startling report of one radical Islamist mother-in-law who was willing to send not one, not two, but all of her daughters to slaughter for the Palestinian cause:
The bereaved mother-in-law of Hamas terror chief Muhammad Deif said she would be “honored” were he to marry her two other daughters, even if they were “martyred” as a consequence.Deif’s wife Widad and his son and daughter were killed last week in an Israeli airstrike aimed at Deif, the Hamas military commander said by Israel to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis in a career of terrorism dating back to the early 1990s.Apparently believing that Deif survived the Israeli strike, Widad’s mother Zeian Asfura, 61, told London’s Sunday Times in an interview published Sunday: “Should Deif request the hand of any of my other daughters, I will happily consent and even if she, too, is martyred I will consent to the third.
“It is an honor to have Deif a husband to any of my daughters and be a father to their children,” Asfura added.…Asfura said that when she consented to the marriage in 2011, she realized the possible consequence. “When I agreed the marriage, I in effect consented to a fate of martyrdom for my daughter,” she said.
Mainstream feminists news sources didn’t bother carrying this story, but give them time. Nearly a month after the rest of the world learned that Yazidi women were jumping off cliffs to avoid becoming Islamic State sex slaves, Jezebel finally granted a few words to the issue. Referring to the women as “brides” instead of “sex slaves”, the author demurely referred to to the situation as “just awful.” The Yazidi choice to commit suicide didn’t even make the story.
Friedan feminists lapped up the liberties their mothers and grandmothers had fought hard to earn and shrugged. As a result, their daughters live comfortably, insulated in their so-called feminism that remains ignorant of the real persecution of women the world over. The more politically inclined among them fell for the Marxist narrative of postcolonial struggle, rendering them powerless against a perceived racial minority’s religious ideology that subjects a woman to a life of objectification and abuse. Hence contemporary American feminism isn’t equipped to confront radical Islam’s threat against women.
The struggle of the Yazidi women and the perverted ideology of Zeian Asfura demand that feminism not be defined by upper class white women supplementing their career of bored housewife with fundraising galas for the latest cause celeb. It is time feminism got back to its roots of Bible believing, slave-freeing, vote-wielding powerful women who worked as forces of nature fighting against female persecution. Ignorance is evil, and the kind of ignorance embraced by modern feminism is the kind that empowers evil to thrive to the point that no ocean border can wash it away. The West needs feminism, true feminism, Biblical feminism, lest the story of the Yazidi become a global narrative and evil mother-in-law jokes take on a sick, sad new meaning in our neck of the woods.
Last Thursday the California State Assembly passed the “Yes Means Yes” campus rape bill, which now awaits the governor’s seal of approval. Feminist site Jezebel reports:
As previously reported, Senate Bill 967 sets a standard of requiring “affirmative consent” in sexual assault investigations, which means that the students in question must have affirmed to each other verbally or physically that they wanted to have sex with one another. It’s different from the previous “No Means No” mantra that many college campuses went by, which often meant that the person alleging that they had been sexually assaulted was penalized for not saying specifically that they didn’t want to have sex. Additionally, under affirmative consent, “Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent.”
It should come as no surprise that an ideological movement that took up residency with cultural Marxism in the 1960s would view bureaucracy as the best weapon against sexual assault. As Stalin once said, “bureaucracy is the price we pay for impartiality.” And isn’t impartiality what feminists strive for in sexual encounters these days?
Annuo, a “sexual consent app,” launched on August 11 when the campus rape bill hit the California legislature:
Annuo is the world’s first app that rewards you for having sex; so long as it’s consensual. Here’s how it works:
1) You and your prospective sex partner both sign-in via facebook. (Nothing about your encounter will be posted to your wall)
2)Person A signs a prompt consenting to sex
3) Person B signs a prompt consenting to sex
4) The two of you get busy!!!!
5) You get mPoints as rewards which can be redeemed for cool stuff
Impartial, 21st century bureaucracy (electronic versus that tree-killing paper trail) turns sex into a legal agreement with the promise of being rewarded with “cool stuff” (way cooler than love, I’m sure). You know the old joke, Stalin and Mark Zuckerberg walk into a bar on ladies’ night…
The Wall Street Journal reports that there is a new “debate” over firearms, in the wake of a terrible fatal accident at a gun range this week.
The death of a shooting instructor at an Arizona gun range when a 9-year-old girl lost control of a powerful automatic weapon has raised the issue of age limits at such operations.
The girl, on vacation with her parents at the Last Stop shooting range in White Hills, Ariz., accidentally shot and killed the instructor, 39-year-old Charles Vacca, while firing an Uzi submachine gun Monday, officials said. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said the gun’s recoil sent the weapon over the girl’s head, its bullets striking Mr. Vacca, who stood next to her.
Mr. Vacca, who was shot in the head, was airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where he died from his injuries Monday evening, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Video of the incident released by the sheriff’s office shows Mr. Vacca adjusting the girl’s stance and then saying, “All right, now go ahead and give me one shot,” apparently before the gun was set on fully automatic. With her back to the camera, the girl successfully fires a single round at a target.
“All right, full auto,” Mr. Vacca then says before the girl releases a series of shots, apparently losing control of the gun before the video ends.
The shooting touched off a debate on social media among gun-control advocates, parents and gun-rights supporters, with many questioning why the girl’s parents would let her fire such a powerful weapon.
I’m about as pro-Second Amendment as one can get, but this was irresponsible. The instructor evidently had the girl fire a single shot from the Uzi before telling her to go full auto. If that’s standard practice, then the practice needs to change.
I was an adult male when I joined the Air Force, and received training on the M-16 at full auto during basic training.
In that training, the instructors did not allow us to fire on full auto until we had fired several rounds on semi. I don’t recall the exact number or rounds we fired, it was probably around 10. We had to get used to the weapon’s weight and feel, and get accustomed to the recoil, and we had to get used to using the weapon to put lead on target downrange. Then we were instructed to fire on full auto, but only in three-round bursts. Anyone who fired more in a burst got the classic military training instructor hair dryer treatment.
Firing on full auto is a different experience from firing a single round on semi. Weapons on full auto can have a tendency to “climb,” or go up at the muzzle end the longer you hold the trigger down to fire. If the operator is not prepared for that, it can surprise the operator and a loss of control can occur.
The last thing you want is surprise, when you’re handling a fully automatic weapon. Or any firearm.
This firearm in this terrible case clearly climbed, and the girl was totally unprepared for it.
Can a 9-year-old safely fire a gun on full auto? Probably, with the proper instruction. Is it a good idea? I don’t think so. It would depend heavily on the child and their previous experience with firearms. A child who has never fired a gun before should not start, under any circumstances, with a fully automatic weapon.
When you introduce kids or anyone else to firearms, you have to drill them on safety first, safety last, safety always. If they’re not familiar with the firearm, then they need information on how they can expect the gun to behave. How to load it, how the safety works, how to tell if you have a round chambered or it’s clear, everything relevant to keeping things safe.
I don’t see a debate to be had here. It’s not a good idea to hand fully automatic firearms to kids. It’s a terrible failure to not prepare them for how the gun will behave.
The instructor failed and a fatal tragedy occurred. The girl has to live with what happened for the rest of her life. It all could have been avoided.
The Daily Beast’s anti-Second Amendment crusader Cliff Schecter is full of praise for Microsoft founder, billionaire Bill Gates, because Gates wants to force every gun transaction in Washington State to go through a government check.
It was reported Monday that Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and incredibly wealthy guy, and with his wife, Melinda, have given $1 million to Initiative 594 in Washington state. The ballot initiative, if passed by voters on November 4 (and it currently enjoys overwhelming support), will require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the state.
Gates is only the latest Washington billionaire to give to the effort, with original Amazon investor Nick Hanauer providing crucial early funding, and more recently upping his overall donation to $1.4 million. Additionally, Gates’s Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, has provided $500,000 for the cause.
But Gates’s fame brings more attention and further legitimizes the initiative in a way that almost nobody else could. Once the Gates Foundation made it a priority to combat malaria around the world in 2000, it brought down deaths due to the insect-borne disease by 20 percent in 11 years, saving the lives of 1 million African children in the process.
Gun ownership is a civil right, at least if you respect the Constitution.
Universal background checks won’t stop criminals. Universal checks, like the related “gun show loophole,” is a red herring to combat a problem that is decreasing.
Overall gun-related violence is down, and it is sharply down in Chicago — after concealed carry permits were forced on the state’s Democratic leadership. More guns, less crime, because criminals can no longer count on their victims being disarmed.
Bill Gates, like Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, and George Soros, is a special interest kingpin. But he’s the right kind of one-percenter special interest donor, so the Beast praises him.
Bloomberg is worth $33 billion, but if that’s not enough, Gates is worth well over two times that amount. Who knows, with that kind of dough, maybe even measures that “only” enjoy 56 percent support like bans on assault weapons and/or high-capacity magazines could pass via direct voting by uncorrupted American citizens. Or perhaps state legislators and members of Congress who bend easily to the will of these Lords of War could be swapped out for those who live in a closer neighborhood to the best interests of the American populace.
That’s packed full of emotional nonsense. The “Lords of War” have nothing to do with the Second Amendment. The left’s “Lords of Cash,” on the other hand, keep attacking the Second Amendment rights of everyday Americans.
Likely the NRA will try to do to Gates what it has attempted to do to Bloomberg for a few years now, and seek to make this fight about him and not its right-wing radicalism in the service of avarice. He’s a billionaire trying to influence our political process, after all, unlike Manhattan resident David Koch, who along with his brother Charles has polluted our political process to no end, including funding the NRA.
See, Gates is just the right kind of special interest.
Bill Gates is welcome to waste his money on this. He might even succeed, in Washington State, and the failure of a universal check to have an impact on gun crime ought to serve as evidence that the entire effort is a ruse to disarm average non-billionaire Americans bit by bit.
At the same time, it should be pointed out that billionaires tend not to live by their own anti-gun rhetoric. Don’t expect the likes of Cliff Schecter to call them out on that.
Illinois was the 50th state to grant concealed handgun permits. The state only allowed them because a court ordered it to.
So far, here’s the news: Concealed carry permits have surged, and crime has dropped, according to the Washington Times.
Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.
“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”
As of July 29 the state had 83,183 applications for concealed carry and had issued 68,549 licenses. By the end of the year, Mr. Pearson estimates, 100,000 Illinois citizens will be packing. When Illinois began processing requests in January, gun training and shooting classes — which are required for the application — were filling up before the rifle association was able to schedule them, Mr. Pearson said.
More guns, less crime. There’s even a book about that.
Ms. Magazine has published one professor’s feminist response to the violence (can we call them “race riots” or is that too 60′s?) in Ferguson, MO. Loaded with the language of critical theory, Professor Williams cites numerous historical resources ranging from 1892 – 1977 in order to defend “reproductive justice” and rail against what she (of course) believes to be racially motivated “police brutality”. Her conclusion (again, based on research dating from 1892-1977) is the textbook leftist response that leaves the casual reader with a yawn:
Police brutality cuts across race, class, gender and sexuality. Feminists that believe in reproductive justice must speak out for the rights of mothers and fathers to parent their children without fear that police and self-appointed neighborhood watchmen will deprive them of a future. Feminists must also ensure that women and sexual minorities that are subject to profiling and police violence are not subsumed by male-centered narratives of racial trauma and oppression. And feminism is not just about women’s oppression. As advocates for social justice, feminists should respond to undue acts of police violence against women and men.
Yada, yada, yada. It’s odd how she begins by distinguishing between “white” police officers (who are presumably male) and “black and brown men” (what about burnt sienna, sandalwood, or any of Crayola’s 72 other colors?), but by the end has fallen into the classic feminist language pattern of railing against “male-centered narratives of racial trauma and oppression.” It could easily be argued that Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the rioters in Ferguson are subjecting us law abiding citizens in all our 72 colors to a “male-centered narrative of racial trauma and oppression.” But, that doesn’t fit the Professor’s well-written screed of contempt against the white colonialist oppressors she’s being paid to hate.
Just as there must always be a boss and a prole, there must always be the oppressor and the victim if social justice is to survive and thrive as the lay movement du jour. Social Justice can’t save you if you don’t need saving, and without its redemptive power, it can’t compete with Biblical faith. Therefore, feminists are forced to defend the men they otherwise despise whenever their situation fits the victim narrative of social justice. This doesn’t mean that social justice feminists have had a change of heart, merely that the men placed before them suit their need.
Media gatekeepers following the social justice narrative have ensured that audiences have gotten their fill of violent images of “black and brown” (and even…white!) men and women rioting in Ferguson. Yet, when asked if the shooting of Michael Brown was “justified”, 64% of the viewing audience responded that they “didn’t know enough to say.”
Like sacrifices made to an ideological god, the lawbreaking population of Ferguson is praised in their 15 minutes of fame leading up to the altar. Law abiding bystanders look on as the flames wash the color from their faces, turning their once bright and brilliant world into a desperate, so-called “just” canvas of black and white. And the majority of Americans, subjected to the narrative of social justice through media and education, don’t know enough to stand up against this cultural tyranny.
My two-word response to the beheading of James Foley and captivity of Steven Sotloff: Daniel Pearl. Americans still suffer under the delusion that oceans are borders. America is so physically huge that we can watch the riots in Ferguson the way we watch the rockets being fired from Gaza or Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: From the comfort of our couch. Neither we, nor our families, nor our homes are physically in danger. In truth, we are disconnected. At best, those of us who do pay attention do so through screen media. We participate by commenting on internet forums or through social media, or perhaps writing a check to a charity to help those in need. But we should not confuse compassion or concern for actual awareness.
As I watch what is happening in my second home, Israel, I marvel at the reactionary comments I’ve seen from well-meaning Americans who are confident that if they lived next door to Hamas, they’d just go after the terrorists with Christianity-fueled faith in their Second Amendment rights. It’s so easy to see yourself as the next John Wayne from the comfort of your living room. It’s far more difficult when your family and your home are on the line. Much has been said about the right of those overseas to tell Israel how to run their military operations. From a writer’s point of view, I can remain at best pragmatic by saying that the surreality in which these armchair soldiers dwell is, at least, far more supportive than the stupor that plagues most Americans. For their sake, and the sake of America, I hope the bravado isn’t masking an army of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.
I recall watching my friends collapse in horror on 9/11. As profoundly moved as I was by the horrific tragedy of that day, my response was simply: Intifada. The reality of countless suicide bombers trolling city streets, blowing themselves and countless civilians up at nightclubs, hotels, or on city buses had become a way of life for Israelis in the ’90s. Because I am so deeply connected to that land I felt that impact in a way most overseas do not. There was no shock in 9/11 for me, only awe at the sleeping America that responded to their alarm clock by repeatedly hitting snooze.
The Times of Israel reports:
A senior Israeli official confirmed to Israeli media that the US had suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel amid worsening ties over fighting in Gaza.
According to the report, the Israeli official corroborated a story published earlier in the Wall Street Journal. While the article focuses mainly on the souring relationship between Netanyahu and Obama, it pays a decent amount of attention to the fact that both the White House and the State Department are actively working to block the shipment of arms to Israel.
The decision to evaluate every request by the Israeli military separately came after the White House and State Department discovered last month that the Pentagon was supplying Jerusalem with arms without their knowledge, the newspaper report said.
While one US diplomat described the American reaction to the arms transfer as a feeling of being “blindsided,” another US defense official emphasized that the back channel transfers were legitimate and did not require a sign-off from President Barack Obama or the State Department.
“There was no intent to blindside anyone. The process for this transfer was followed precisely along the lines that it should have,” a US defense official told the paper.
After learning of these transfers, the Obama administration, perturbed that much of the ammunition was used by the IDF in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, revised the review process in a move that is likely to limit or at least delay Israel’s requests for weapons.
Israeli officials are, of course, concerned over the apparent worsening of ties between Israel and the U.S., with Likud Knesset members using the incident to both defend Netanyahu and the America-Israel relationship. However, it has become impossible to deny the fact that Israel and certain political leaders in America have differing perspectives on radical Islamic terrorism:
Numerous US officials say the Gaza violence “has persuaded them that Mr. Netanyahu and his national security team are both reckless and untrustworthy,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
As far as the Israeli view of the Obama Administration, the report cited John Kerry when noting that “…Israeli officials consider the US view of the Middle East ‘weak and naive.’” Despite their lack of faith in Obama,
Netanyahu is confident his supporters in Congress will back Israel, and remains unconcerned that the sparring with Obama will have significant adverse effects.
With the American politics of the situation sure to be addressed in the upcoming mid-terms, the actions on the part of the Obama Administration (and Britain, for that matter) also make a strong case for the timeliness of crowdsourcing for Israel’s military defense.
Breitbart published an exclusive report on the details surrounding the deaths of three Israeli soldiers, including Lt. Hadar Goldin, originally thought to have been kidnapped after Hamas terrorists set off a suicide bomb near a tunnel entrance. The report highlights Hamas’s gross abuse of women in Gaza, including their willingness to turn young women into suicide bombers. The account also provides evidence of the life-saving power of faith at work on the front lines:
In the midst of this attack, a second force of IDF soldiers–which had gone into a mosque looking for weapons, explosives, and rockets– encountered a female suicide bomber who was about to detonate the belt she wore, which would have resulted in the deaths of the soldiers. One of the soldiers instinctively recited the opening words of the holiest Jewish prayer “Shema Yisrael”. The female suicide bomber hesitated and began trembling, giving the soldiers a chance to grab her and disable the device.
The soldiers then took her prisoner and turned her over to a counter-intelligence unit. Their investigation uncovered that the female suicide bomber’s mother was a Jew who had married a Palestinian in Israel and, after the wedding, was smuggled against her will into Gaza. There she lived a life filled with abuse and humiliation, and was basically a captive. In addition to the female suicide bomber, there were two smaller children as well. An armored force went in and rescued the two small children.
The Shema, “Hear O’Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is One,” taken from Deuteronomy 6:4, was the last prayer recited by countless Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
After watching his fellow pro-Israel ralliers get attacked by a pro-Palestinian mob, one average Canadian citizen wanted to send a message, not just to the thugs who sent 6 people to the hospital, but to the entire world. If you doubt that average people can do big things, you haven’t met Ron from Calgary, the founder of StopARocket.com.
Amused by the idea of a crowdsourcing campaign for the Iron Dome, I reached out to the folks at StopARocket.com to see if I could get a handle on the folks behind the fundraiser. It turns out that the “folks” is one guy named Ron who was willing to do an email interview. Obviously the guy has a day job. Most of his responses were sent in the wee hours of the morning, illustrating how dedicated he is to what he refers to as a simple, but profound way for Israel lovers across the globe to show their support for the civilian defense of the free world. Ron’s humble, straightforward responses illustrate how much we can accomplish when we’re willing to embrace Ben Carson’s axiom “Think Big”.
Please start by telling me a little about yourself and the group ForCanada. What is the group’s purpose? What are the goals?
I’m a private professional in Calgary. I attended a pro-Hamas rally a few weeks ago that degenerated into a violent mob that sent six people to the hospital. I’m worried not just about Israel’s safety in the Middle East, but the safety of Jews and non-Jewish Zionists in the west, including in North America.
For Canada is the committee that organized the pro-Israel rally last Thursday in Calgary. They agreed to let StopARocket.com use their mailing address and bank account to collect cheques from people who don’t want to use PayPal.
What drove you to fundraise specifically for the Iron Dome, as opposed to some kind of humanitarian aid for Israel (i.e. supplies for soldiers, etc.)? Shouldn’t military aid be managed by government officials?
Supporting Iron Dome is merely symbolic. I read a CNN article that said each Iron Dome anti-missile costs $62,000 so that seemed like an achievable fundraising goal. As we say on our website, we will ask the Israeli government to put the money towards the cost of one anti-missile, or any other civilian defence expenses to protect Israelis. It’s only for defensive efforts to protect civilians. But Iron Dome has captured the world’s imagination as a symbol of Israel’s ingenuity and value placed on life.
Are you working with any officials in Israel to coordinate this effort?
Before we launched the website, we confirmed with the Israeli embassy in Canada that they would support this project and would help us direct the funds to the appropriate agency in Israel.
A story of bravery in the face of terrorism from Afghanistan’s TOLO News:
A woman in the province of Nuristan killed four Taliban members on Friday before being killed herself along with her toddler.
Abdul Baqi Nuristani, police commander in Nuristan, confirmed that the woman, whose name is Uzra, in fact killed four Taliban while defending herself and her toddler in the district of Barg Metal.
Nuristani said Uzra took up arms when a member of her family was killed by the Taliban. He said she fought with the insurgents for over two hours, killing four Talibs.
She was killed later in the battle along with her three-year-old toddler.
The region is along the border with Pakistan, and reports added that 16 members of one family were killed by the Taliban.
Uzra’s act of bravery is even more significant considering she battled a terrorist group that, when in control of Afghanistan before 9/11, treated women like less than human beings. A TOLO morning show recently reunited a 21-year-old man with his family; he went missing at age 6, but his mother was not allowed to go look for her child because that would have meant leaving the house without a male relative.
The International Business Times reports:
Pro-Palestine activists have shut down a factory in Staffordshire owned by an Israeli military company in protest at the current Gaza conflict.
Members of the London Palestine Action group scaled the roof and chained the doors of the UAV Engines Limited factory in Shenstone.
UAV states that it produces “engines for various size tactical UAVs, target drones and single mission platforms”. It is owned by Israel’s largest weapons company, Elbit Systems.
London Palestine Action are demanding a closure of the factory, as well as an “end to all forms of military trade and cooperation with Israel”.
The group unfurled banners on the roof of the factory with the slogans “Elbit Arms Israel Kills” and “UK: Stop Arming Israel” as part of the ongoing protest.
The link between UAV and Israel has long been a subject of British speculation. A 2009 article in the Guardian reported:
UAV Engines, of Lichfield, Staffordshire, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of engines for drones - unmanned aerial vehicles that are becoming critical frontline systems for military and civilian use around the world.
The company, known as UEL, is owned by the Israel drone specialists Silver Arrow, a subsidiary of the Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems.
One of its rotary Wankel engines is used in Elbit’s Hermes 450 drone. A version of the 450 makes up a squadron of the Israeli air force and has been seen over Gaza in the current conflict, being used for surveillance and targeting for Israel’s F-16 strike fighters.
Commentators on reputable defence and aviation journals and Elbit’s own website suggest that the Lichfield factory produces engines for the Hermes.
But Elbit’s head of corporate communications, Dalia Rosen, has denied this. She said: “UEL engines are provided to the British UAV programmes and to other international customers, not to Hermes 450 in the service of the IDF [Israel Defence Forces].”
When provided with references she replied: “If you want me to confirm a false speculation you can do it, but I strongly recommend that you trust my comment.” She did not respond to a request asking which other engine could be used.
The Middle East Monitor, a pro-Palestinian media agency dedicated to “creating new perspectives,” issued a report on the factory protest in Staffordshire. Referring to the protesters as “occupiers” who are pursuing a new front in the battle against UAV and Elbit, the report detailed:
The occupation comes the day after the UK government pledged to investigate whether any of £8bn of arms exported to Israel in the last 5 years are being used in Israel’s ongoing attacks on Palestinians in Gaza.
Currently, British police have cordoned off the area around the factory and are working to “ensure the protest remains peaceful and safe.” An estimated 10 protesters are on the rooftop, many of whom are live tweeting photos and messages “…saying they have enough supplies to ‘last a week’.”
A gentleman identifying himself as “Ron from Calgary, Canada” has taken it upon himself to start an Indiegogo campaign titled “Stop a Rocket” to crowdsource funding for Israel’s Iron Dome.
“Let’s stop a rocket and help Israel buy more Iron Dome anti-missles!” the campaign’s headline reads. The fundraising plea details:
So many people around the world are concerned about the terrorist attacks on Israel, especially through rockets fired by Hamas terrorists based in Gaza.
We are shocked at Hamas’s Nazi-like hatred for Jews; we feel sorrow for the victims of this violence, including innocent civilians in Gaza that Hamas uses as human shields. But most of all, we feel helpless — what can we personally do about this?
Is there something positive that people of goodwill around the world can do, both as a symbolic gesture, and that might actually save a life? We think there is.
…It wouldn’t be for an offensive weapon. You can’t use the Iron Dome to attack anyone. It’s 100% defensive — like a bulletproof vest. It only saves lives. And it doesn’t discriminate — it protects Jewish, Muslim and Christian Israelis all the same.
Let’s do it — let’s crowd fund this project, to save lives!
The campaign, which started on July 31, has already reached 27% of its goal. It is scheduled to continue fundraising until August 14.
Pamela Gellar, the blogging activist behind Atlas Shrugs endorsed the Stop A Rocket campaign, tweeting:
“Crowdfunding an Iron Dome!: FANTASTIC! I just contributed, so should you. Free people defending free people…”.
Canadian media personality and conservative political activist Ezra Levant promoted the campaign, tweeting:
“My friend Ron is crowdsourcing $62,000 to pay for one Iron Dome anti-missile. I think he’ll save a life: http://www.StopARocket.com #Israel”.
Very little has been reported on the Stop A Rocket campaign. ForCanada, the organization to which donors can send checks, is a grassroots fundraising organization that has supported a Calgary for Israel Rally, and a Stop the Riots legal fund for victims of pro-Palestinian aggression. The organization is also tied to a campaign to “fight anti-Christian bigotry in Canada”.
U.S District Court Judge Frederick L. Scullin, Jr. ruled on Saturday that the District of Columbia’s total ban on carrying firearms outside the home was unconstitutional. Judge Scullin wrote in Palmer v. District of Columbia,
In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional.
The court granted the Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and ordered the District of Columbia to stop enforcing the District of Columbia codes that effectively ban the carrying of handguns in the District ”until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”
Judge Scullin went a step further, prohibiting the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns for individuals “based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.”
Along with Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), Sculling cited the Seventh Circuit’s Moore v. Madigan (2012) decision which said, “[a] blanket prohibition on carrying gun[s] in public prevents a person from defending himself anywhere except inside his home; and so substantial a curtailment of the right of armed self-defense requires a greater showing of justification than merely that the public might benefit on balance from such a curtailment, though there is no proof that it would.”
Noting that the District of Columbia appears to be the only jurisdiction that still has such a complete ban on the carrying of handguns outside the home Sculling wrote, “That does not mean that other jurisdictions are indifferent to the dangers that the widespread public carrying of guns; rather, those jurisdictions ‘have decided that a proper balance between the interest in self-defense and the dangers created by carrying guns in public is to limit the right to carry a gun to responsible persons rather than to ban public carriage altogether[.]‘”
Alan Gura, the lead attorney for the the Second Amendment Foundation, a plaintiff in the case, said on his blog Saturday:
Obviously, the carrying of handguns for self-defense can be regulated. Exactly how is a topic of severe and serious debate, and courts should enforce constitutional limitations on such regulation should the government opt to regulate. But totally banning a right literally spelled out in the Bill of Rights isn’t going to fly … Congratulations Americans, your capital is not a constitution-free zone.
Yesterday, the Tatler posted about Dr. Lee Silverman, the psychiatrist at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania, who was forced to defend himself against an armed attacker. The outstanding issue was the defender violating hospital policy that required anybody but law enforcement to be disarmed on premises. This is a reasonable concern, considering incidents like the Walgreens pharmacist who likely saved lives by shooting at two armed robbers, and was then fired for violating company policy.
Today, Associated Press reports that the hospital stands behind their heroic doctor:
The hospital said Friday it was thankful for the “brave and difficult action” taken by Silverman and his colleagues. It said he remains a full member of the medical staff and “we look forward to Dr. Silverman’s return to serving patients at our hospital.”
There’s more back story about the attacker, too. He has a “lengthy history of gun arrests, violence and mental health problems.”
[The attacker] also had at least four gun arrests, along with assault and drug charges, according to police and court records. And he has been barred from at least one residential shelter because of his violent history, Upper Darby police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.
He had 39 more rounds of ammunition on him when stopped by Dr. Silverman. The attacker had just killed Silverman’s associate and wounded Dr. Silverman, such a clear case of self-defense that local law enforcement was quick to support Silverman’s actions.
“If the doctor did not have a firearm, (and) the doctor did not utilize the firearm, he’d be dead today, and I believe that other people in that facility would also be dead,” [Delaware County District Attorney Jack] Whelan said.
Whelan also stated it was Silverman who was the intended target.
Dr. Silverman deserves our good wishes for a speedy and complete recovery, and hopes that Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital amends its firearms policy to include people like Dr. Silverman, responsible armed citizens who can stop mass murderers before authorities arrive to stabilize the situation.
A psychiatric outpatient opened fire Thursday inside a psychiatrist’s office at a hospital near Philadelphia, killing his caseworker and slightly wounding the doctor, who shot the gunman with his personal firearm, authorities said.
However, what should be a clear-cut case of self-defense may run afoul of that well-meaning but dangerous myth: The Gun-Free Zone.
The hospital has a sign at the entrance to check weapons when entering. ABC says their official policy is that only on-duty law enforcement can carry on the premises.
Here are the problems with pretend-gun-free zones.
Another staff person heard arguing and saw the attacker with a gun. They closed their office door and called 911. This is reasonable. However, it took many minutes until SWAT arrived, and the first thing they did was to evacuate the area and lock it down to make sure there wasn’t another gunman. Fine, they don’t want to be shot, and that’s well and good. I don’t want cops getting shot, either. But the minutes needed to secure the area equate to many shooting victims when an active shooter is present.
The Supreme Court case Castle Rock v. Gonzales proves that police have no duty to protect you, and like any reasoning human being, police entering a danger zone may be inclined to protect themselves first. This is reasonable, because a dead cop can’t protect you.
What ABC conveniently left out was this gem provided by the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Donald Molineux, chief of the Yeadon Police Department, said that if Silverman returned fire and wounded Plotts, he “without a doubt saved lives.”
But the Inquirer also reported that it’s against hospital policy for “anyone other than security guards to carry weapons.”
So, now what happens to the man who risked everything to stop a potential mass murder?
A loser in the PR battle, Hamas decided to move their international offense to a new front today. Taking advantage of the Malaysian airliner downed by pro-Russian rebels, Hamas is now targeting air traffic entering Israel. Israel National News reports:
A rocket hit a home in the city of Yehud, near the airport, on Tuesday morning. Having failed to cause significant casualties due to Israel’s extensive defense systems, Gaza terrorists have focused rocket fire on the area in hopes of disrupting Israeli air travel.
Delta Air Lines was the first to suspend service, rerouting an Israel-bound flight with 273 passengers and 17 crew members to Paris, as if France is really a safer place for Israel lovers right now. Not long after, the Federal Aviation Administration barred flights to Israel for 24 hours. Air Canada, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM and Turkish Air followed suit. The State Department (whose official tweeted #UnitedforGaza this past weekend) rushed to clarify that the FAA’s move was “in no way politically motivated”.
Israel’s Transportation Minister released the following statement in response to the flight cancellations, rightly observing:
“Ben Gurion Airport is safe — takeoffs and landings — and there is absolutely no need to be concerned about the security of planes and passengers. There’s absolutely no reason why American airlines in particular should stop their flights and thus hand a prize to terrorism.”
The brash action of Hamas may have larger ramifications than even they realize. Analysts are already commenting on the long term impact of the airline safety concerns:
The implications are enormous. Whether intended or not, Hamas has made the case as to why its rocket arsenal and infrastructure must be dismantled no matter the cost. It also has justified why Israel cannot give up security control of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”). Hamas has to fire a long way to scare away air traffic, but from the West Bank it’s practically a stone’s throw.
Regardless of how Israel chooses to handle the West Bank, the actions taken by Hamas today have made two things very clear: Hamas has no problem holding America and the rest of the world hostage, and right now Israel is the free world’s last, best and only hope.
Moral equivalence is dead. When Bill Clinton, the “international community”-blessed architect of Oslo, can blatantly declare
In the short and medium term Hamas can inflict terrible public relations damage by forcing (Israel) to kill Palestinian civilians to counter Hamas. But it’s a crass strategy that takes all of our eyes off the real objective which is a peace that gets Israel security and recognition and a peace that gets the Palestinians their state.
it is obvious that Hamas has finally shot themselves in the foot with the terrorists’ ideological weapon of choice. So, why do news agencies insist on reporting nothing more than body counts in evening news reports, as if the latest conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is nothing more than a sports game?
Clinton may be a pervert, but he isn’t stupid. He acknowledged the “public relations” battle because he knows that the press follows the cues given by Hamas, the terrorist organization that holds reporters in Gaza against their will. Unless they have the intellect of toddlers, these reporters cannot be blind to the brainwashing from birth that turns children into human shields. Nor can they be so totally blind to the rocket launchers hiding behind schools and mosques in residential neighborhoods. Yet, the best they can muster is a body count followed by sarcastic commentary like that of CNN’s Ben Wedeman: “There is no Iron Dome in Gaza to protect civilians.” Amazing. Toddler Ben gets a gold star for that stellar observation.
As my PJMedia colleague Ron Radosh so excellently pointed out, the intellectuals also have no problem fettering mainstream media with arguments of moral equivalence. All they need is the right costume and a little bathtub gin and they could easily chatter the night away as if they were on the porch of Gatsby’s mansion. That is how comfortable they are turning an international war against Islamic terrorism into the banal “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter” claim. Like America’s “restless” President, these politicos prefer the comforts of today’s Weimar. No doubt they are taking fiddling lessons so they can be fully prepared when Rome begins to burn.
There is a reality on the ground that escapes the Hamas-controlled media: Israel loves life. Israel’s policy is to warn Palestinian civilians (or, as Hamas calls them, weapons in Operation Human Shield) to get out of the way before they drop bombs or conduct ground invasions. Israel sets up field hospitals to treat wounded Gazans. We know about these things because, much to the chagrin of the death-loving Hamas, they cannot control the Internet. Just as Israelis are winning the ground offensive, Israel-supporters are winning the ideological offensive through alternative news sources and, most importantly, social media.
This past Saturday, 200 anti-Israel protesters fell to the ground in Boston in a “die-in” meant to demonstrate the number of Palestinians who have been killed thus far in Operation Protective Edge. A number of Israel supporters attended the event and were cornered by the anti-Israel crowd. One Zionist, Chloe Valdary told the Times of Israel:
We really do manage to disrupt them and distract them when we show up. We show up and it’s in the media, so the public sees how hate-filled and incredibly deluded these Hamas supporters are.
We’ve caught onto the PR game and we play to win. Now it is our turn to Tweet with a smile and watch as the death-obsessed Hamas-brainwashed fools fall and take their wretched canard of moral equivalency down with them.
In San Bernardino, CA, two armed thugs attacked a 78-year-old great-grandfather gassing up his truck. Video shows one attacker walking up and blind-siding him as he tries to negotiate, knocking him out. Then they robbed him while he’s on the ground.
After the attack, he spent four days in the hospital and was treated for a broken nose, concussion and bleeding on the brain.
“It’s the lowest of low,” said Lt. Rich Lawhead of the San Bernardino Police Department, which released the surveillance video in hopes of identifying the robbers. “They didn’t appear to be nervous in any way, shape or form. And they’re only going to get more and more brazen. [Emphasis added]
“Eventually, somebody’s going to get killed,” he added.
Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, WI:
A Milwaukee nurse who shot an attempted carjacker likely helped break up a criminal ring that police believe has been involved in a string of robberies and carjackings as well as a recent shooting.
Two teenagers threatened to shoot her if she didn’t comply. They didn’t expect their victim to be a concealed carry licensee. She shot one attacker, and the other ran off. According to police, the wounded attacker “allegedly shot a 43-year-old man in the face as the man drove away in his Land Rover following another attempted carjacking.”
Had this woman not been armed…
Detroit Police Chief James Craig doesn’t mince words about the differences between armed law-abiding citizens and disarmed law-abiding prey.
“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” said Craig, who has repeatedly said he believes armed citizens deter crime. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.
In California, though theoretically possible, a regular person can’t get a concealed carry license in many counties, especially those most heavily populated, where violence is more common. So California criminals needn’t be “nervous in any way, shape or form.” This civil rights violation is so egregious that the Ninth Circuit Court struck down California’s law.
As an ex-California resident, I love living in Texas, where you’re treated more like a citizen, and the gangbangers drive more politely.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig doesn’t sound like most other big city police chiefs.
Most union-heavy police bosses tout gun control despite the fact that the cities with the strictest gun laws also tend to have the most gun-related crime. Chief Craig sees things very differently.
According to the Detroit News, the city has suffered 37% fewer robberies in 2014 versus 2013, 22% fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30% fewer carjackings. Chief Craig believes that armed citizens are at least part of the answer.
“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” Chief Craig told the News. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.
“I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect,” Craig said.
This is not the first time that Chief Craig has touted armed citizens as an answer to crime. Back in January Craig praised citizens who have concealed firearm carry permits help deter crime, based on his own professional experience.
“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at the time.
Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.
“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.
“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”
Israeli media is now reporting that Israel has agreed to an Egyptian draft ceasefire proposal. Hamas has not yet replied, but there are hints it may agree.
According to the proposal: There were would be de-escalation of the fighting beginning at 9 a.m. Israel time that would last for 12 hours. That would be followed by a ceasefire for 48 hours. Then delegations from Israel and Hamas would travel to Cairo for peace talks.
Israel has not rejected it, according to the media reports, because this war is seen as an achievement for Israel because it will have ended without Israel suffering any serious damage.
If Hamas were to reject it, Israel then would have international legitimacy to widen the war, according to analysts quoted in the Israeli press.
Early analysis published at the Times of Israel indicates that a deal is unfavorable to Hamas:
…there is some language providing for the opening of the border crossings, and an easing of movement of people and goods via those crossings as permitted by the security situation. But that language is almost a direct repetition of the November 2012 ceasefire terms that brought Operation Pillar of Defense to a close. Time and again, Hamas’s leaders have been stressing in recent days that “there will be no return to the 2012 ceasefire terms.”
However, Israel’s willingness to accept the ceasefire pins the terrorist organization into a tight corner in the international scene:
Hamas’s problem is that if it rejects the Egyptian proposal it will find itself unprecedentedly isolated in the international community and the Arab world. Cairo will accuse it of torpedoing the opportunity for calm, and Jerusalem will have the legitimacy to mount a ground offensive into Gaza.
…And what of the Netanyahu government? It would seem that most members of the security cabinet recognize that the Egyptian proposal represents a fair achievement for Israel, and a significant failure for Hamas.
Will Israel only be pushing off the inevitable, or worse in seeking to negotiate with Hamas? Or is this merely a move by Netanyahu’s government to increase international support for a full-fledged military operation? With an unwilling partner in the White House, and an unlikely negotiating partner in Egypt, only time – or terrorists – will tell.
Update: 6 hours into the unilateral ceasefire, during which time Hamas fired 50 rockets into Israel, Israel has resumed strikes on Gaza. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned Hamas for not accepting the ceasefire. Has Bibi called Hamas’ bluff?
The above news clip represents what the average American hears on a daily basis regarding Operation Protective Edge, the latest military spate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has been going on (officially) since 1948. In the span of the 2 minute report, the Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza were mentioned 3 times. What was not mentioned: These civilians have been instructed by their Hamas government to ignore the flyers and phone calls from the Israeli Defense Forces warning citizens to get out of the way of impending rocket attacks in their areas.
While an Israeli mother putting her baby to sleep in a bomb shelter is included in the report, what the reporter didn’t bother to tell you are the number of Israelis currently being hospitalized for shock. Nor did the report include the fact that this is just another day for the residents of Sderot, who’ve received a constant barrage of rockets since Israel relinquished Gaza back to the Palestinians in 2005. That’s nearly a decade of rocket fire, making the generation who grew up under these attacks old enough to train incoming school students in how not to suffer the inevitable PTSD associated with a lifetime of death threats flying through the air and landing in your back yard.
American audiences hear none of this because the majority of American and world media have fallen prey to Hamas’s most powerful ongoing terrorist operation: A disinformation and glasnost campaign designed to destroy western support for Israel through a constant barrage of media bias.
Here is how the disinformation and glasnost campaign has been executed in response to Operation Protective Edge :
Seed of Truth: Palestinian civilians are being killed by Israeli rocket fire in Gaza.
Pack of Lies: Israelis are safely protected in bomb shelters under the Iron Dome while their military targets innocent civilians in the impoverished Gaza Strip.
Ultimate Goal: Encourage American and worldwide support for the Hamas campaign to wipe Israel off the map and eliminate all evidence of the Zionist entity, including the Jewish people and their supporters, from the face of the earth.
The glasnost element is the most perverse. Hamas plays on the western disbelief in the idea of martyrs, portraying these women and children as “innocent civilian victims” of Israeli aggression. When speaking to the non-Western media, these dead are referred to in a term most recently used by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, “the Gazan martyrs.” Glasnost is the term for glorifying the leader’s image abroad. In this case, Hamas is using the bodies of women and children to shield their missiles in life and glorify their reputations in death.
Some news agencies and opinion sites are catching onto this disinformation campaign, willing to call it “media bias against Israel.” This is more than media bias. This is a calculated effort on the part of Hamas to sway world opinion against the only nation willing to confront and fight against Islamic terror. Therefore, whether the mainstream media is a willing partner in this endeavor makes no matter. The bottom line is, the media is marketing this disinformation to audiences in America and worldwide that are watching blind, with no Iron Dome to protect them.
What do you do when you’ve got some time to kill in an Israeli bomb shelter? Start a spirited sing along, of course. If you’re a guest in the Dan Hotel in Jerusalem, your song of choice is Oseh Shalom, (A Prayer for Peace): “He who makes peace in High Places, He will make peace for us and for all Israel and let us say, Amen.”
Meanwhile, at the Ha’aretz peace conference (where right-wing Israeli politicians get punched by pacifist leftists), White House Mideast chief Phillip Gordon delineated a series of thinly-veiled threats, so thinly veiled, in fact, that he had to actually include the following phrase in his speech:
Let me be absolutely clear that these are not threats.
No, in fact, they came off more like a public relations campaign issued from a platform granted by an already hot far-Left crowd that makes no bones about their admiration for a two-state solution. Remove the veil and it is plain to see Gordon’s threat: Israel will ”…embolden extremists on both sides, tear at Israel’s democratic fabric, and feed mutual dehumanization.”
Embracing an HBO-esque mobster tone, Gordon so politely “advised”:
Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israel’s security. We know all too well the troubles that can arise for Israel internationally when there is no movement on the political track, especially when settlement activity continues to make the potential peace map more difficult and to undermine international support for Israel. On this, I should also be clear of the United States’ longstanding position: we consider settlements illegitimate and an impediment to progress on peace negotiations. Settlement announcements would be a counter-productive reaction to the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teenagers.
…if we fail to come back to peace talks, renewed efforts to isolate Israel internationally and legitimize Palestinian statehood unilaterally are all but certain. The United States will do all it can to fight boycotts and other delegitimization efforts. But in many of these realms, particularly outside the Security Council, our ability to contain the damage is limited, and becoming more and more challenging. This is what American friends of Israel mean when they express concerns about the potential for Israeli isolation if peace talks do not succeed. Let me be absolutely clear that these are not threats. The United States will always have Israel’s back.
One thing is clear from this peace conference speech: Gordon and the Obama administration have Israel’s back …up against a wall. Ironically, peace conference attendees would later run to bomb shelters for cover as sirens indicated another Hamas rocket was on its way. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the same guy Gordon cites as a courageous and reliable peace partner, hasn’t uttered a word to stop his government’s partner from firing in Israel’s direction. Nor has he bothered to reveal that his own Fatah members are joining in the rocket barrage. In fact, the most this “peace partner” can say is, ”it all started when Israel fired back”.
Keep singing in those shelters, Israel. While the American people support you, our administration is failing you. He Who Makes Peace in High Places is our only hope.