Virgin Islands Gov Orders Confiscation of Firearms Belonging to Americans

What better time to confiscate firearms and ammunition of Americans (legally-owned) by emergency executive order than before a hurricane?

What better time to confiscate firearms and ammunition of Americans (legally-owned) than before a hurricane?

While everyone is focused on the recovery and state of affairs in Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey followed up by Hurricane Irma presently pounding the Caribbean after which it is expected to heads toward Florida and South Carolina, the governor of the U. S. Virgin Islands took advantage of a good crisis.

Not that the Communist media complex would consider the confiscation of legally-owned firearms from Americans prior to Hurricane Irma making landfall newsworthy; Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp ordered the National Guard to confiscate the ammunition and firearms of Americans…for the good and protection of the collective.

Enter the NRA.

NRA-ILA

With hurricane season now upon us, U.S. states and territories are preparing for a barrage of potentially extreme and damaging weather. In the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), however, those preparations include an order by Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp for the National Guard to seize residents’ lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition, ostensibly as a means of promoting public order and protecting life and property.

Certainly, the rest of America’s thoughts and prayers are with the USVI as Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, closes in on the Caribbean. Nevertheless, the scope of Gov. Mapp’s order is a shocking incursion on the right of the U.S. citizens who reside on the USVI to protect themselves from the all-too-predictable outbreaks of looting and crime that can occur when normal emergency services are over-taxed by an extraordinary event. The order, simply put, violates the U.S. Constitution and threatens to put innocent people at further risk.

The order states in no uncertain terms that the Adjutant General of the U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard is “authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property” deemed necessary to the mission of maintaining or restoring order during the storm.

America has seen similar overreaches in the past, most notoriously during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when local officials ordered the confiscation of lawfully-owned firearms from New Orleans residents. First responders had been overwhelmed by the demands of the storm, and those who had not managed to evacuate were dealing with virtual anarchy.

The NRA intervened in federal court and was able to halt the confiscations and obtain an order requiring the return of the seized firearms. Nevertheless, the city delayed compliance with the order for as long as it could, including requiring unrealistic documentation from gun owners whose lives had been turned upside by the storm. Only in 2008 did the NRA and the city agree on mutually acceptable terms for the return of the unlawfully confiscated property.

The NRA also promoted legislation to prevent government officials from using their emergency powers as a pretext for disarming the citizenry. In 2006, Congressman Bobby Jindal (LA) led the fight to protect America’s gun owners against these abuses by introducing H.R. 5013 in the House, a final version of which was signed by President George W. Bush in October of that year.  Now codified at 42 U.S.C. § 5207, the law prohibits persons acting under color of federal law, receiving federal funds, or acting at the direction of a federal employee from seizing or authorizing the seizure of lawfully-possessed firearms during a state of emergency. The majority of U.S. states now have similar laws.

The application of U.S. law to the USVI can present complicated legal issues, but the bottom line is that Gov. Mapp’s order infringes on the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. For many gun owners, the shocking site of a frail woman being slammed to the ground in her own home by police enforcing the post-Katrina order remains an indelible image of the very sort of violent firearm seizures that some claim could never happen in the U.S. The NRA is therefore prepared to engage as necessary to ensure that Gov. Mapp’s overreaching order is reversed so that residents of the USVI have all legal tools available to weather the storm, including their lawfully-owned, constitutionally-protected arms.

Permission to republish granted by NRA.

The Baltimore Disease

credit: thewashingtonpost

By: Mike McDaniel    As regular readers know, I’ve been following the Freddie Grey case since its inception.

Some aspects of the case, particularly the disposition of internal Baltimore PD discipline directed at the officers involved, remain unresolved. But there are other aspects of that case still affecting public policy, even outside Baltimore. Baltimore remains a laboratory of the irrational and debilitating nature of progressive thought and policy.

A short time ago, well-intentioned progressives hyped a sort of “Nobody Kill Anybody” weekend in Baltimore. As one might expect, high-minded rhetoric and good intentions are not of concern to the thuggish and murderous, so at least two people were killed during the murder free period and at least another just afterward, a handful of additional deaths in a city that has seen a stratospheric rise in the murder and general violent crime rates since Baltimore Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby and the local and state political establishments decided to destroy their own law enforcement agencies.

One of the organizers claimed victory of a sort:

But a City Councilman had an entirely progressive perspective:

“That [the Freddie Gray riots and aftermath] was a flashpoint,” Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott told Fox News. He said that crime rates rose in the city following the unrest.”

Indeed they did. The political class of Baltimore destroyed the trust of the police, who, out of self-preservation, all but halted proactive police work and began doing only the bare minimum. This essentially removed active policing from the areas of Baltimore that most needed it, and freed the criminal class–primarily young black males–to do as they pleased. It was a major city manifestation of the Ferguson Effect, and it’s inevitable consequences were severe. But Scott knows what to do:

“Recently, Scott called for a comprehensive strategy to deal with the murder surge.

He said that 80 percent of the 2017 homicides were committed with a handgun. Nearly half the victims had been arrested on a gun charge.

‘Unfortunately, these unacceptable facts are not surprising to anyone in Baltimore as the disease of gun violence has been an issue for decades,’ he said. ‘However, in Baltimore dealing with that gun violence has only been addressed through the lens of policing with a few exceptions.”

Scott is obviously a one-each standard casting call leftist, and he speaks the language and intentions of the big city Democrat politician. There is no such thing as “gun violence.” Guns do not commit violence, people do. Were this not so, why does the Left not rail against “knife violence,” or “fist violence,” or a contemporary favorite “Antifa club/baseball bat violence?” Guns have no more agency than cars, and far more people die by means of motor vehicles every year than have ever died from gunshot wounds, yet we hear nothing of “motor vehicle violence.” Inanimate objects have no agency, no motivations, no intentions. They “do” nothing.

That 80% of Baltimore homicides were committed with a handgun, and about half the victims had been arrested on a gun charge is revealing, but not in the way Scott imagines, or is likely capable of understanding. Such weapons are not legally purchased, but obtained in robberies, burglaries and on the black market. Legally purchased guns are hard for the law-abiding to obtain and carry in Baltimore, but easy for criminals to acquire. They ignore concealed carry laws, thus they are sometimes arrested, but not unless the police act proactively, particularly by means of “stop and frisk,” an entirely lawful practice essentially banned in Baltimore, first by local politicians, and then by the Obama DOJ’s consent decree with the Baltimore PD’s political leaders. Thus was the “lens of policing” blinded.

In addition, prosecutions of criminals for gun violations have been lackadaisical at best. This is most likely due to the fact that virtually all such criminals are black, and that tends to derail the social justice narrative of social reasons for crime, such as white privilege, racism, and lack of state and federal money for a wide variety of progressive giveaways. Add courts reluctant to sentence the relatively few criminals prosecuted and convicted for gun offenses for the same progressive reasons, and it’s no wonder homicides and other violent crimes continue to increase in number.

Nor can “gun violence” be a disease. Disease, by denotation or connotation, is an affliction of a biological entity, man, animal or plant. Applying the term to politics dilutes it, which is purposeful. If Baltimore suffers from a disease, then 50 years of progressive corruption and abject failure–the last Republican mayor left office in 1967–cannot be the cause of its woes. A disease come from outside agency, it can even be mere chance–bad luck. It allows progressives to blame something other than themselves.

When the police were allowed to be proactive within the clearly defined law, they had substantial success in combatting crimes committed with guns. Criminals knew they were likely to be caught when carrying illegally, and they resorted to other means. But when the social justice narrative of systemic police violence against innocent, helpless black young men took hold, particularly after Freddie Gray’s self-caused accidental death, they were given free reign. Crime rates rose, particularly crimes committed with guns, and people like Scott were left with a classic Progressive problem: how to explain the failure of a half-century of progressive orthodoxy.

Rather than blaming the disease of leftist policy, Scott and the rest of Baltimore’s political class have reverted to a safe progressive narrative: gun violence, in reality, the crimes committed with guns they’ve prevented the police from combatting. They’ve made it all but impossible for the law-abiding to protect themselves with guns; more of that will help suppress crime?

Perhaps Scott and Baltimore will have better luck with whatever “lens” it next applies to the problem, but since there is no vaccination or treatment for their chosen disease, moving anywhere else would probably be the best option for remaining Baltimore citizens. The guns won’t mind. In fact, they’ll take no notice whatsoever, and the disease–progressivism and crimes committed with guns–will spread, unopposed.

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.

Texas: Campus Concealed Carry

Jimmy Cricket
credit: youtube

By Mike McDaniel   Do you hear that, gentle readers? The sound of happy crickets chirping? I’ll get to why they’re chirping soon enough, but let’s travel back in time to October of 2015, and No Good-Guy Guns On Campus: How’s That Workin’ Out For Ya?  That article was the story of one professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin who resigned rather than deal with the horror of adults, 21 and older, being able to carry concealed handguns on campus, a law passed in August of 2015 that went into effect on August 1, 2016. In his resignation letter, Daniel Hamermesh wrote, in part:

“With a huge group of students my perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed-carry law,”

Hamermesh’s pseudo-noble gesture really wasn’t as self-sacrificing at it might have appeared. He was already retiring. And in the fullness of time, emeritus professor Hamermesh removed himself from the horrors of the exercise of the Second Amendment at UT, and Texas had a year to see how things would work out, as The Texas Tribune reports: 

“Virtually no impact at all, is how Chris Meyer of Texas A&M described campus carry’s effect.

‘Amazingly quiet,’ said Texas Tech University President Lawrence Schovanec.

‘I expected it to be largely uneventful, and those expectations have been pretty much borne out,’ said Phillip Lyons, dean of the Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice.

A review of gun-related incidents through open-records requests submitted to the state’s large research schools shows no sharp increase in violence or intimidation. A typical campus looks something like the UT Health Science Center at Tyler, which had exactly one gun-related incident in the 12 months before campus carry was implemented, and exactly one in the year following. In both cases, a patient brought a gun to a doctor’s appointment — where it remains illegal to carry even a concealed weapon — because of confusion about the statute. Neither resulted in charges.

Drive 500 miles west to Texas Tech, and over the same period, the number of gun-related incidents changed from five to six.

The uneventful implementation follows the patterns of the seven other states that legalized campus carry before Texas.”

But how can this be!?  It’s a progressive article of faith Texans are barely sentient, bloodthirsty, violent Trump voters! Texas was an early concealed carry pioneer, and so experienced all of the hysterical arguments against concealed carry experienced by every other state that adopted the law. Minor traffic accidents would result in gunplay, thousands would be shot accidentally, domestic violence would reach epidemic levels, blood would run in the streets! None of that materialized. Holders of concealed carry licenses, across the nation, are uncommonly law-abiding, as one would expect of people at least as stringently vetted as teachers. And criminals? Well, they don’t obey the law, but rates of violent crimes have decreased everywhere concealed carry is implemented because criminals can’t know who will be armed, so must assume everyone might be.

Interesting, isn’t it, that progressives claim our college campuses are hotbeds of rape–boy that’s a recruiting tool!–but do everything they can to deny women the ability to protect themselves against it. Maybe they know there really isn’t a rape epidemic?

Worse for progressives, the Texas legislature, building on success, passed a law to allow concealed carry on all public Texas college campuses, particularly, two year institutions. In the meantime three college professors filed a lawsuit trying to block concealed carry. The Texas Tribune reports:

“A federal judge has dismissed a longshot lawsuit filed by three University of Texas at Austin professors seeking to overturn the state’s 2015 campus carry law, which allows people to carry concealed handguns inside most public university buildings.

District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote in his decision that the professors — Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter — couldn’t present any “concrete evidence to substantiate their fears” that campus carry would have a chilling effect on free speech.

The professors claimed, among other arguments, that the law violated their First Amendment rights since the possibility of a gun being in their classrooms might make them hesitant to discuss controversial issues. In dismissing the suit, Yeakel said the professors didn’t have standing to sue.

But Renea Hicks, the attorney representing the three UT professors, said the specifics of the ruling leave the case’s future uncertain. While Yeakel threw out the case entirely, he only addressed the question of a First Amendment violation and not the plaintiffs’ other legal arguments.

‘We had other claims in the lawsuit beyond that — a Second Amendment claim, an equal protection claim. The order accompanying his dismissal doesn’t seem to address those issues,’ Hicks said in an interview Friday. ‘So there’s a bit of confusion on our part.”

I’ll offer free analysis of the judge’s decision for Attorney Hicks: Your case was entirely without merit, so it was entirely thrown out on its legal ear. The judge isn’t required to address every claim you made, and your unaddressed claims were so lacking in weight, he didn’t bother to address them. Not terribly confusing, is it? You’re welcome.

I covered a particularly amusing aspect of the protests against the law(s) in August of 2015 with The Great University Of Texas Dildo Protest.  An anti-gun group on campus came up with the idea of carrying dildos–only in Austin, the city with the unofficial motto of “Keep Austin Weird”–in opposition to concealed carry:

“On Wednesday, 4,500 dildos will be distributed on the UT-Austin campus in protest of the polarizing state law. About 10,000 students have signed up to attend the rally. It’s not known if there will be dildos for those without them or if there has been a run on area dildo stores in advance of the rally.

Snicker, snicker, heh-heh-heh! ‘Area dildo stores?!’ Austin has stores specializing in, perhaps exclusively selling, dildos? ‘A run on area dildo stores…’ Just envision that, gentle readers, but not while you’re drinking anything lest it explode from your nose. And 4500 dildos?! I don’t know…isn’t that awfully male and patriarchal and all? I’m feeling a macro aggression coming on…  In any case, it must have been like flowers covering a pristine alpine meadow.  The color!  The natural splendor of it all!”

credit: couthousedesigns.com

A counter-group supporting concealed carry, noting actual campus law against dildo possession and use, had a bit of fun with the dildo wavers:

“Although SCC’s (Students for Concealed Carry) opinion shouldn’t be taken as legal advice, we feel that Texas students are on pretty solid legal ground as long as they use their dildos only as expressions of free speech or for the manufacturers’ intended purpose,’ the statement continues.

Considering this is Texas, maybe the dildo-displaying students can meet up with the many truck testicle fanciers and put together a complete movement of some sort. I’m just not quite sure what they’d be protesting…

Let’s review:  UT students are carrying around 4500–or so–dildos to protest the illegality of dildos, which school officials say are protected free speech, so there is no chance anyone will be arrested for dildo possession, and the sight of dildos on backpacks is supposed to remind people that some UT students might be carrying concealed firearms, because apparently without the dildo reminder, no one would be reminded of that.  Right.”

And that, gentle readers, is why the crickets are chirping. After a year of concealed carry on the campuses of four-year Texas colleges, the horrors anti-gun types forecast failed to come to pass. And after the first week of concealed carry on the campuses of the rest of Texas colleges, the chirping continues.

In the aforementioned article, I joked that with all those dildos on campus, you just know someone is going to use one. There are no known statistics on that issue, but I think it a safe bet my prediction came true, and more than once. The apocalyptic predictions of the anti-gunners? Chirp, chirp.

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.

A gun: Not just the great equalizer but also the great civilizer

A gun, by making people equal in a conflict, removes the bully’s inherent advantage in size and youth, and therefore encourages civilized discourse.

Progressives like to castigate guns as the great evil. To the Progressive mind, those who hide behind the Second Amendment are the antithesis of everything that is civilized and decent. Ten years ago, however, Marko Kloos argued that the gun is the engine of civilization precisely because it is the great equalizer. His short essay was reprinted at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, which encourages the article’s wider dissemination. I therefore present it here, in its entirety:

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation … and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

Peruta: Liberty Denied?

credit: en.wikipedia.org

By: Mike McDaniel    What sort of madmen are those Czechs anyway? They’re trying to adopt something like the Second Amendment! Via Brietbart:

‘Czech lawmakers have passed legislation in the lower parliament that would see the right to bear firearms enshrined in the country’s constitution in a move directed against tighter regulations from the European Union.

The legislation was passed with 139 deputies agreeing to the amendment to the constitution with only nine deputies voting against. The amendment will now be considered by the Czech Senate where it will require a supermajority of three-fifths of the members in order to pass into law, Die Presse reports.”

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