As a student of history, I have found over the decades of my involvement in the Second Amendment debate a curious phenomenon and that is the question of why do we put such relevance into the attitudes and feelings of our fellow citizens by polling them on “Gun Control”?
When one thinks of civil rights and whether or not they can be infringed, it strains credulity that those citizens amongst us are not, seemingly, aware of the dichotomy between infringements on the First Amendment versus the Second Amendment. Nor are we (generically speaking) aware of what infringements [laws] currently exist at the state and federal level on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and whether or not they are working.
There is a delicate balancing act between infringements on a constitutional right, the Second Amendment, and controlling conduct in a civil society. There is a reason why the courts, especially the United States Supreme Court, have introduced the balancing act of scrutiny levels; strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny, and rational basis. I have always felt that the ‘man in the street’ who is polled should be polled on their knowledge of the laws first before they even comment on the constitutional rights when it involves eviscerating that right, the Second Amendment, because of a perception on that individual’s part of how one “feels” about one’s personal safety.
There have been literally hundreds of polls that has asked the ‘man in the street’ question about whether or not they feel there is a need for more gun laws and those very polls are trotted out to politicians as if to justify the abridgment of a constitutional right. It is not the place of this article to insinuate that our fellow citizens are clueless but if one watches The Five and Jesse Watters, which is on Fox, all one has to do is see exactly how he portrays his encounters on the street about even the most basic concepts in our nation’s history. If the question cannot be answered correctly by 9 out of 10 as to what nation we have won our independence from, then what relevance does that same group of individuals have regarding our gun laws? Take for instance the latest Gallup poll - https://news.gallup.com/poll/405260/diminished-majority-supports-stricter-gun-laws.aspx - shows that 86% of Democrats, 60% of independents and 27% of Republicans say the laws covering gun sales should be made more strict.
Is this a victory? NO, not with 86% of Democrats feeling that we do not have enough violations and intrusions upon Second Amendment rights for all citizens? NO, not with 60% of Independents feeling the same way? I don’t even want to get started on the Republicans! While this poll goes to great lengths to laud the fall in the perception of individuals regarding gun laws, the latest decreases are 11 points among Republicans, eight points among Democrats, and six points among independents, in light of the Bruen decision that would render this polling an exercise in futility. I want you to think about this for a moment, does anybody have the right to say that you don’t have a First Amendment right to discuss openly controversial issues? Then why in the world would a law-abiding citizen be forced to adhere to another person’s perception about the status of our gun laws, in light of the Second Amendment?
The fact of the matter is that when you have Dr. John Lott and CPRC covering the expanding rate (near doubling) of the carriage of firearms and even Fox News had a piece on the record number of firearms carried by American citizens it is clear that 1. People are concerned for their safety and 2. They recognize the growing reality of the fact that law enforcement cannot protect them from the criminal element. The hostility of the medical community to firearms ownership was also brought full-circle with the recent release of a study showing that there was a 100% increase in the number of gun owners carrying every day, going from 3000 and 2015 to 6000 gun owners in 2019. I know for some of you that seems incredibly low but it goes to the heart of whether or not gun owners can trust those who call on polls.
The fact of the matter is, trust is at its’ lowest point for our society going back decades and that translates into a warped sense of perceived security and safety regarding gun laws and how we perceive what we are hearing from our leaders regarding the criminal element and their willingness to be honest with us about how they enforce the law.
In keeping with the leadoff article in this newsletter, what do we really know about ERPO laws? Do we know that they violate Due Process, that mental health experts are not involved in the process and that the defendant is not provided an opportunity to be heard prior to the revocation of their Second Amendment rights?
This is consistent with a study that Dr. John Lott did on Red Flag/ERPO Laws in that the attitude of Americans toward Red Flag Laws, where guns are taken away from citizens by a judge who determines they are a danger to themselves or others, dramatically changes from support to opposition when more detail is provided in the poll question about the process of gun confiscation via the legal process.
Flash forward to this year and it looks like the changing dynamics in Colorado as far as politically and philosophically goes and that after a tragedy at Club Q, politicians are trying to escape the scrutiny and media attention for excusing away the fact that authorities did not charge the perpetrator involved in the Club Q had the charges dropped in June 2021 for a previous bomb threat.
Colorado Rep. Sullivan drafted a bill in the last session, but Democratic leadership decided to kill the effort to avoid a high-profile battle in an election year. Even in Colorado, legislation restricting popular rifles like the AR-15 risk drawing severe backlash from the state’s gun owners.
Nevertheless, it appears state lawmakers feel that this upcoming session will be the right time to introduce the contentious measure now that Democratic majorities are stronger than ever and a mass shooting involving an AR-15 is fresh on the public’s minds. That’s even though the suspect in the Club Q shooting is 22 years old and thus would not have been affected by the proposed legislation.
Unless Democratic leadership gets cold feet, it appears Colorado will follow Florida’s lead in raising the age to buy AR-15s and other similar rifles in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting.
Total bans on so-called ghost guns and assault weapons are less likely than the policies mentioned above, but they can’t be ruled out entirely.
So now it looks like public policy is going to be dramatically changed all because of one individual who had his record mishandled by government authorities. Absurdly, after a judge has decided someone poses a threat to themselves or others, the state takes their guns away but leaves the dangerous individual with access to pills, knives, rope, gasoline and matches, hammers, and anything else they might use as a weapon. Further, while I have no doubt that these very same government authorities will not be charged or held accountable, there will be no investigation as to the background of the killer or any constructive changes that could hopefully mitigate future occurrences of these tragic circumstances!
What is the report card for violent crime for Larry Krasner? Does the GOP have it all wrong? In a statement attacking what Krasner called the GOP’s big impeachment lies, he’s challenging the drive to remove him from office by his detractors.
In his statement he says his conviction rates for “trial ready” gun homicides and nonfatal shootings were strong: 83% or fatal shootings and 79% for nonfatal shootings. But the devil is in the details and the wordsmithing in this statement makes a mockery out of the whole process of accountability for performance in office. The PA House that is considering impeachment against Larry Krasner reviewed a number of documents making public virtually all of them and included was a study from the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center that was a damning report on Larry Krasner.
Overall, both the PA House and the law enforcement professionals feel that Krasner’s removal from the District Attorney’s Office would be in the best interest of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the constituents that he serves.
As a longtime activist in the 2A community, I have long watched as there have been numerous efforts in a variety of medical professions to draw a connection between the Second Amendment, gun sales and violent crime. Privately, I have had medical professionals tell me ‘oh, they’ll never get rid of guns’ and “I’m just doing this for the money”. I have never been appreciative of that kind of self-deprecating humor or the concept with which that leads into.
There have been a select few examples of consistent messaging in the medical community and the doctors at DRGO (Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership) have been consistent in spreading the word that the Second Amendment is NOT contributing to the violent crime in our society.
Now we have a new study from DRGO that is about to be published under the name “Legal Firearm Sales at State Level and Rates of Violent Crime, Property Crime, and Homicides” in the January 2023 edition of the Journal of Surgical Research. It should be available online through November. Hamill et al stay reality based, using consistent, deep statistical analysis based purely on solid official statistics compiled over decades, state by actual state.
In 2019, Hamill published earlier research, “State Level Firearm Concealed-Carry Legislation and Rates of Homicide and Other Violent Crime” in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. In this, he and his co-authors do the same careful work analyzing 30 years of data state-by-state.
"I'm sick of this s***. How many people need to be murdered? How many lives torn apart? Until it actually stops? We don't have to live like this. And we don't have to die like this." - Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot regarding the Colorado Springs mass shooting
"Reparations for African Americans could have cut COVID-19 transmission and infection rates both among blacks and the population at large." - Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
We just released our newest annual report on concealed handgun permits. It shows that despite 24 states currently having Constitutional Carry laws, the number of concealed carry permits increased by another 488,000, a 2.3% increase. Permits fell in Constitutional Carry states even as they continued rising in the other states. 8.5% of Americans now have permits. Women's share of permits has continued to rise, and they now make up 29.2% of permit holders. Fox News had a long article this week describing our work.
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Media and Other Coverage
Television Show Bias on Guns
Recent C-SPAN Appearances
The purported killer of six at the Chesapeake, Virginia Walmart was known as Andre Bing and he was a shift lead. He bought his handgun legally and did not have any priors on his record, despite what some in the media was saying. His manifesto, which was found on his cell phone, blamed the massacre on “torment” by coworkers and demonic influences.
“Sorry God, I’ve failed you, this was not your fault but my own. I failed to listen to the groans of the holy spirit which made me a poor representation of You,” Bing wrote in a note released Friday by Chesapeake police.
Taking a different tack, I want to make a mention of the fact that the self-defense rights of the employees of Walmart were taken away by corporate policy. This corporate policy did not involve having security on site. Why is that? Who is responsible for that?
Bing’s chilling last line reads: “My God forgive me for what I’m going to do.” And
The Bottom Line
Yet again, Joe Biden and the Democrat Party, the lapdog liberal media, and gun-grabbers across the fruited plain pulled hamstrings while rushing to microphones and TV cameras to exploit a horrific shooting by a very troubled individual as another excuse to hawk gun control and threaten the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Tale of Two States: Iowa & Oregon; Headed in Different 2A Directions
In what is sure to be a hotly debated legal topic, at least as far as Oregon goes, there were two ballot questions regarding Second Amendment rights up for the purview of voters this past November. In a decidedly wild swing of events, voters in these two states took a different position on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Iowa was one of six states that did not have a specific second amendment guarantee in the state Constitution. That is until November 8, 2022 when it passed with 65% of the votes leaving little doubt how Iowans feel about the Second Amendment! The approved ballot measure means the state Constitution will be amended to add: “The right of the people to keep and bear are shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa firms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”
Oregon, on the other hand, took much longer for the votes to be counted and ballot measure 114 was approved by a hair, 50.7% to 49.3%, a difference of less than 26,000 votes and will become law on December 8, roughly 11 days from now. Ballot Measure 114 expands background check requirements on all firearm transfers, including private transfers, instituting a statewide universal background check.
The measure also requires gun owners to pay extra fees, enroll in hands-on firearm training and creates a system of finger printing and data collection. It also requires Oregonians to obtain a permit to purchase a gun, a costly and timely process even before they can pass an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verification. Lastly, the measure limits ammunition mag’s azine capacity to only holding 10 rounds.
The law will do little to address criminals who don’t follow the law anyways and misuse firearms to commit acts of violence. Law enforcement officials are already suggesting they won’t enforce it. Local media reported that multiple county sheriffs across Oregon have suggested the law will be overturned on constitutional grounds. There has also been concerns expressed by hunters and self-defense proponents that, at lease for short-term, there could be a temporary suspension of Oregonians right to bear arms!
The measure’s approval has led to a firearm sales boom proponents of gun control will not be happy about. Oregon State Police reported background checks for firearm purchases soared from averaging 850 a day before the election to more than 4,000 per day since.
Several years ago, SIG Sauer won a military competition for the right to produce a replacement for the AR-15 M4 main battle rifle. Now they are marketing that very same rifle with just a couple of changes to the civilian world.
First, it is chambered in 277 SIG Fury, the commercial variant of 6.81 x 51 hybrid military round. This is the most technically advanced leap in small arms ammunition in over 150 years and comes as a result of war fighter input.
Well, it seems that the first to freak out is the media, of course, with the Daily Beast being right at the top of the list to sensationalize the dreaded potential of this weapon! At the top of their list is the claims that this rifles ammunition can go right through body armor leaving aside for the fact that virtually every round of ammunition in a rifle going back to World War I could go through law enforcement body armor because it’s maximized to protect against handgun rounds.
At an initial price of $4500 I doubt that there is going to be a wild rush, out the door, for these weapons and the intended use will be for lawful hunting and tactical use, much to the chagrin of the media!
Anti-Gun Alert: A majority of people, no matter which side of the political aisle they occupy, believe that someone with a history of violence should not be able to have a gun. This common ground between gun owners and non-gun owners is the basis for a policy platform proposed in a report out today from Tufts University School of Medicine experts, who led research into the topic, and 97percent, a bipartisan organization of gun owners and non-gun owners committed to reducing gun deaths, which funded the research.
“We now have a research-backed package of gun safety policies, supported by non-gun owners and gun owners, that works holistically to meaningfully reduce gun deaths - while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” adds Adam Miller, co-founder of 97Percent. “The myth of an intractable divide on this issue is just that: a myth. We not only found common ground; we’ve identified solutions rooted in it that leverage gun owners’ perspective and expertise, have been proven effective, and can serve as a roadmap for gun safety moving forward.”
There are four policies the researchers estimate could reduce overall gun-related homicides by up to 28% and gun-related suicides by 6%:
“We put a lot of due process clauses into the policy to protect the rights of gun owners and make sure this system isn’t abused,” he says. “The gun owner would have the right to a hearing, and when the order is rescinded, they would get their guns back quickly.”
(In case you were wondering, if it isn’t already clear to you, the above is a Tongue in Cheek example of what you shouldn’t do with a Constitutional Right.)
As Elon Musk continues to fulfill his pledge to restore Twitter back to accountability as well as the accounts for which have heretofore gone untouched, Elon has shown that he has the courage of his convictions and has suspended several accounts of the Antifa organizations.
In a childish display of petulance these unaccountable young people have thrown temper tantrums in a shocking display of further rebellion against the man for his actions. One of the worst examples of Twitter was how unevenly enforced the threat of sanctions was. Finally, under musk’s leadership, things have changed with left-wing organizations the same values and conditions. Left-wing accounts that called for violence that in the past were consistently ignored have now been held accountable!
So, what is the reaction of Antifa? The spoiled brats, who for so long have enjoyed getting their way, lashed out and have now been promising to engage in firebombing attacks on Tesla dealerships, beginning with Portland. Assuming that they will follow through, this calls on Portland police to actually enforce the law and engage in punitive actions against these lunatics!
The White House recently announced that it was funding a five-year research plan for a controversial proposal to fight climate change by geoengineering — i.e., technologies and processes that can be used to artificially modify the Earth's climate.
This research would be dedicated specifically to a form of geoengineering known as "solar radiation management," which involves spraying fine aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight away from the Earth. The hope is that, once the sunlight is reflected, less heat will be generated, and ergo temperatures will go down. Presto: actual anthropogenic climate change! A global SPF 100, as it were!
There are three government narratives pushed today that are not real: (1) fraud-free elections, (2) a looming climate apocalypse, and (3) a COVID health emergency requiring total government control. If you see through only one, then you're not looking hard enough. Or as Bill Engvall might say, "If you now believe COVID is mostly a hoax but are still terrified of global warming, here's your sign." Conversely, if you do see through them, you're likely being censored for expressing those points of view.
Here's our impasse: when governments claim to have a monopoly on truth, then citizens are expected to accept preposterous fantasies, no matter how much opposing evidence they might see. The narrative is absolute. Dissent is forbidden. Total obedience is the objective. Last century, free Westerners understood these features as telltale signs of totalitarianism. Today, much less free Westerners have been taught to embrace — without scrutiny or wisdom — the government's fairy tales as part of our required, if not sacred, deference to the bureaucratic State's cult of expertise. Whether citizens grasp this shift in individual freedom or not, the general rule handed down from governments is stark yet succinct: ask us no questions, and we will tell you no lies!
Turnabout is generally considered fair play: what you do to me, I can do to you. This form of equality is about to play out in Washington, both in legislation and investigation.
With the GOP taking control of the House of Representatives, talking heads have begun warning that a small faction such as the Freedom Caucus will force its agenda on new House speaker Kevin McCarthy and the bulk of establishment Republicans.
Is there any point in voting if we can’t trust the system -- or whether the liberty-denier Democrats will abide by the rule of law or basic decency?
Do you get the feeling that you’ve been had?
That terrible sick-in-your-stomach sensation when scam artists laugh and you realize they’ve done it again? When all of our hopes for the conservation of liberty have been destroyed by the same type of schemes that we all should have seen coming a mile away?
Socrates defines individual justice as “What is good for the individual soul.” He defines justice for the community as “Each person doing their part in a way that others do not interfere with their societal roles.” Social justice as applied in the United States fails to meet either definition of justice. Social justice policies have caused massive property destruction, increased crime, increased inequities, and increased racism. Rather than meeting Socrates’ definition of justice, they embody injustice by their very nature. These policies cause both individual harm and cripple many of the essential functions of society.
In 2020, businesses and neighborhoods were looted, burnt, vandalized, and shredded during the Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots. Across the country, hundreds of mostly minority communities were torn apart in the name of “social justice.” Under the claim that the riots were necessary to right past wrongs, the damage stripped communities of resources, families of incomes, and left neighborhoods abandoned. Social justice warriors (or rioters, depending on your perspective) claimed that they were protesting on behalf of minorities, yet it was minority communities that were devastated.
You might have gotten the feeling that—putting aside the legal cheating through mail-in ballots and ballot harvesting—the real enemy of the red wave in 2022 wasn’t Democrats but was, instead, Republicans. According to Sundance, writing at The Conservative Treehouse, if you had that feeling, you’re right on the money. According to him, we’re witnessing an all-out civil war in the Republican party that’s going to escalate as we near the 2024 presidential election. The fight is over money: Is there an American economy that benefits the American people or is the future economy purely transnational for the benefit of the leadership class and power players in a world without economic borders?
Sundance’s post is here, and I strongly recommend you read the whole thing. However, to the extent that it’s a long essay, I’ll try to summarize some of the high points. Sundance begins by explaining that the political parties are corporations that exist, not for the voter’s benefit, but for the corporations’ benefit—and the core issue, always, is money.
[COURTESY: LTC Tom Lasser, USA (Ret)]
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia’s Crawford Amicus Brief
FOAC-ILLEA is joining with ACSL in support of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and their pleading in defense of the preemption law of Pennsylvania. Thus far no Second Amendment groups have taken the opportunity to file a brief in support of the House of Representatives and their action in the Supreme Court.
Our attorney, Josh Prince, has said that quite literally EVERY anti-gun group in the country has filed an amicus brief in support of the position of Philadelphia and their stand on allowing them to make up their own gun control laws.
Our brief is due this week in the court and only time will tell if the court is willing to stand by their prior decisions but we will report this information to you as soon as it is received.
Federal: fallout from the Bruen decision
It seems the media is just now discovering the comprehensive nature of the United States Supreme Court decision in Bruen.
From New York City to Oregon (forthcoming injunction) to California and then to Florida, everything is changing in the courts as the comprehensive nature of the justices are fully manifesting themselves.
The results of the 2022 Mid-Term election are still up in the air as well as the End of the Decade redistricting mandates. While Republicans maintained control of the PA Senate, it still remains to be seen who has control of the PA House. Look for updates on this as time allows.
We will be working on updating the PA House and Senate with the results of this election and the Census shortly.
FOAC-ILLEA is ramping up our scheduling for 2023 in a number of areas. Perhaps the most often times we have been contacted is for our Concealed Carry Seminars. Teaming up with Pro-Liberty Elected Officials and Law Enforcement professionals along with PA County Sheriffs to make presentations at Satellite License To Carry Firearms Events. This provides information on Concealed Carry Laws, methods for Concealed Carry along with a host of other desirable information. These events are a hot attraction and mates up perfectly with our tables at Gun Shows, and organizers for Pro-2A Rallies and events. To see the most up to date schedule of FOAC-ILLEA Events, CLICK HERE.
Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location: Al's Cafe
Address: 435 McMurray Rd Bethel Park PA 15102
Our annual meeting will be at Al's Cafe once again. We will be in the upper room, which is accessed via stairs from the back of the restaurant. The menu will be:
The cost will be $37 per person. Advance reservation and payment are required. Please send a check payable to FOAC-ILLEA to:
1316 Lindbergh Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15223
The meeting will begin at 10:00 am and end by noon. It will include election of the two board positions expiring at the end of the year.
The luncheon will begin at noon.
Spouses and significant others are welcome at this event.
Legal actions are expensive. Especially in the higher courts. Heck, even the PRINTING alone costs several thousands of dollars, as there are only certain printers that do the work a very specific way. Talk about a monopoly!
In Conclusion: FOAC-ILLEA is an all-volunteer organization, and we are engaged in a ‘daily battle’ to protect Article 1 Section 21 and Section 25 of the PA Constitution and the 2nd Amendment. Will you help us maintain, regain, and preserve freedom NOW so that we can hand off Liberty to the next generation?
In relatively short order there has been a sea change in the forces that are allied against us through misinformation and miseducation. The woke crowd has been led by the proverbial nose into believing that others are responsible for their safety (i.e. police and law enforcement and private security as well as government!) When nothing could be further from the truth.
I began this newsletter with a reference to Jesse Watters, from the five, and I want to reiterate that we are in extremely dangerous times and any misjudgments could have extremely serious side effects the kind of which are too terrible to contemplate.
We hope to see you all at the annual banquet in December at Al’s Café!
Yours Most Respectfully,
FOAC-ILLEA Meeting Info for December 11th Meeting
Meeting ID: 412 221 3346
Meeting Info & Link