All posts by Nicki

Poll: Do you care?

election-2016Well, it’s almost that time. We are less than a month away from Election 2016, and I’m wondering how our readers and members feel about this year’s election.

This is the most contentious election I’ve ever seen. Friendships have been threatened or downright destroyed. Bitter disagreements over politics have taken over civil conversations. It’s good to see people get passionate about the future of this country, but when the passion transforms into something toxic, ending camaraderie and civil discourse and understanding, one has to wonder why.

So today’s poll question is: do you care about this election, and if so, how much and why?

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No

What happened to Robert Levy? Back in 2007, the chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute was the organizer and financier behind District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court Case that established the Second Amendment as affirming an individual right to gun ownership.

Today Robert Levy is waxing ridiculous about Second Amendment compromises gun owners and gun rights advocates should consider.

The short answer to that CATO Institute report inviting Americans to consider grounds for compromise on gun control is a simple, short “No.”

Universal Background CheckAs if we haven’t been compromising and getting our rights shredded for decades!

Second Amendment rights are not absolute, Levy says.

Yeah? What does “shall not be infringed mean?”

“Everyone understands that children can’t carry automatic weapons to school,” he claims.

Yeah? “Can’t” and “shouldn’t” are different things. And if a child carries an automatic weapon to school, but harms no one with it, threatens no one with it, and merely bears this particular arm, as specified in the Bill of Rights, whose right is being violated, other than the child’s? This reductio ad absurdum is stupid and unworthy of a libertarian scholar.

“Assault rifles” are common and regularly used for hunting and shooting sports. Attempts to buy them back would backfire, like they did in the past, he admits. But yet, Levy identifies these rifles as a major area for possible compromise.

us-murder-rates-1980-to-2010Now about NO! We tried that whole ban thing once. You know what happened during it? Columbine! Law abiding citizens dutifully stopped purchasing these weapons. Murderers intent on causing harm got them anyway.

Homicides with firearms were already on the decline prior to the implementation of the 1994 ban, and they continued to decline during and after the ban.

No! There’s no compromise that is acceptable to relieve people of their rights – especially for absolutely no benefit.

Some weapons can be banned, Levy says. After all, machine guns have been banned for all intents and purposes since 1934, right? No, you clueless traitor to the Constitution, who has never owned a gun. People still own them. They just have to jump through a myriad of expensive, bureaucratic hoops to legally do so. And they’re barely ever used in crimes. Again, what part of “shall not be infringed” is not clear?

And yes, the courts did say some regulation is legal. But if, according to Levy, “the government bears a heavy burden to justify its regulation. Government must show (a) public safety requires the proposed restrictions, (b) they will work, and (c) they are no more extensive than necessary,” show me where the hell these three requirements are being met!

Maybe we should compromise on high-capacity magazines, Levy says.

How about NO!

According to Gun Facts, The number of shots fired by criminals has not changed significantly even with the increased capacity of handguns and other firearms. The average magazine swap time for a non-expert shooter is 2-3 seconds. In the case of the Newtown Sandy Hook massacre, the murderer performed 10 magazine changes before the police arrived. A 10 round restriction would have saved nobody.

So why compromise away the right, if it will help no one, save no lives? Once again, none of the requirements to meet the government’s burden to justify its regulation – the test that Levy puts forth as grounds for regulation.

And then there are the universal background checks, which Levy admits felons easily avoid by either purchasing firearms illegally or stealing them, but still thinks gun owners should compromise on.

…even staunch Second Amendment proponents might be receptive to background checks for private (non-dealer) sales at gun shows, over the Internet, and through published ads. The key is quid pro quo — concessions to gun rights advocates in return for closing the “gun show loophole.” That was essentially the deal offered by the 2013 Manchin-Toomey bill, which garnered 54 Senate votes, but not enough to meet the 60-vote threshold.

How about HELL NO?

There is no “gun show loophole,” since less than 1 percent of guns used in crimes are sold there.

There is no such thing as a “legal” Internet purchase without going through a federal firearms license holder, who is obligated to run a background check before handing you that gun you just purchased on the webz.

What they’re really talking about is outlawing private purchases. Period. (Which, by the way, will disproportionately affect the poor, who will have to pay more than they normally would to legally purchase a tool of self defense from another individual, because they would have to absorb the cost of an FFL performing a background check.)

Oh, I’m sorry. Rich lawyers don’t care about the poor.

Since when does CATO have so little respect for private property that it advocates abolishing it for a specific set of purchases – constitutionally protected ones?

I suspect my buddy Miguel is correct when he says that the libertarian intelligentsia is so desperate for relevance, they’re willing to take a large, steaming dump on the rights they once held dear. I guess they’re tired of being known as “extremists,” and they would rather compromise on their basic principles than be waved away as some radical zealots who are unwilling to negotiate away their fundamental rights.

Rights? Meh. They’re anachronistic, antediluvian tripe.

Looks like CATO would rather be taken “seriously” by those who despise individual rights and freedoms and would sacrifice them at the altar of “common good” in hopes that the alligator will eat them last than stand up to protect what is right.

What a damn shame.

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Poll: Shanah Tovah

roshhashanahimagecroppedIt’s hard to believe it, but we’ve reached the second day of fall. It’s also that time again – the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah. It begins tonight, and it ends Tuesday evening.

It’s a time for reflection for Jews that culminates with the Jewish Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, during which observers reflect upon and repent for any sins of the previous year and consider the year ahead.

So as we consider the year ahead, what would you – our members, readers, and friends – like to see the Zelman Partisans do, achieve, or change?

Obviously, the list could be huge and exhaustive, so I’ve chosen a few possible answers. However, you also have an “other” option in which you can provide your own answer and maybe even give us some great ideas we haven’t thought of yet!

Feel free to explain your answer in the comments section. Let us know what you’d like to see and how you’d like to see our organization grow.

L’Shanah Tovah, y’all!

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Poll: Reloading. Which components are most important to get your hands on?

beginners-guide-to-reloading-ammo-equipmentI remember when Barack Obama was first elected. Ammo was flying off the shelves. I had gotten my hands on a few boxes, but most stores in my area were limiting customers to a couple, and prices were nuts.

In March 2009, USA Today reported that concerns about the Obama administration imposing a new ban on some semiautomatic weapons drove gun owners to stockpile ammunition and cartridge reloading components at such a rate, that manufacturers were having problems meeting demand.

In Wyoming, the run on bullets and reloading components reached such a frenzy that Cheyenne retailer Frontier Arms recently began rationing sales, said Becky Holtz, co-owner of the shop. Holtz said she’s also been selling semiautomatic rifles as fast as she can put them on the shelves.

“You know there’s something wrong when I’ve got little old ladies coming in buying 5,000 rounds of .22 shells,” Holtz said.

I remember the guy I was dating at the time was a reloader. We would go to the range, and then we’d police all the brass others had left behind. The brass seemed to be what he lacked most. (Although that may have been because he had an actual armory in his house filled with dozens of various rifles.)

It does seem like people are preparing yet again as Election 2016 approaches.  Much like any other critical supplies ( think milk and bread lines at the grocery store before every severe storm warning or plywood and nails in coastal areas when hurricane warnings occur), reloading supplies are a must when we are expecting a societal storm.

So, for you reloaders out there – what components are most critical to you? Reply below. Explain in comments. Think.

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Poll: Attack Aftermath

attackThis weekend wasn’t a good one for the home team. Three separate violent attacks that left roughly 40 people injured in three different locations have people rightfully on edge. There are more questions than answers, and concerns are on the rise about lone wolf, unsophisticated attacks that are easier to perpetrate, and yet still leave bloodshed in their wake.

Police said a man dressed as a security guard injured nine people in knife attacks late Saturday at a shopping mall in St. Cloud, Minn. He was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer.

Authorities said they were investigating it as a possible terrorist incident.

[…]

In New York, authorities were searching for a bomb maker who set off a blast near a large trash container on a Manhattan street Saturday evening that left 29 people injured from flying debris, including shrapnel.

Police subsequently found an unexploded bomb four blocks away. Authorities said they had identified a “person of interest” in the bombing they would like to speak to.

And in New Jersey, officials said they didn’t yet know whether a pipe bomb that went off before a charity run at a seashore resort Saturday morning was linked to any terror group. Officials were also trying to determine if the Manhattan bombs and the New Jersey device were made by the same individual or group.

No injuries were reported from the blast at Seaside Park as thousands of runners were set to participate in the benefit for Marines and sailors.

In the aftermath of such attacks, we always see calls for those in power to “do something.” What, is unclear, but even incidents that do not involve guns generally need to calls for more gun control.

Will it happen again? What will be the reactions in the aftermath of this weekend’s attacks? Will there be calls for more gun restrictions, despite the fact that not a single gun was used in these acts of terror? Will there be calls for knife control? Increased surveillance?

Let us know what you think below.

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Poll: How did the 9-11 attacks affect you?

main_1200I remember precisely where I was the day those planes hit the World Trade Center. It had been three years since I left active duty Army, and I was part of an Army Reserve unit here in Virginia. I did my reserve duty at the Public Affairs office of the Chief of the Army Reserve once per week for several hours. The office was located in Crystal City, and we did a lot of work at the Pentagon.

It was my son’s fourth birthday, and we were looking forward to a birthday dinner for the munchkin, who demanded we go to a Chinese buffet place in town, because it had pizza. (No one said four year old boys had to make sense, right?) I was at the office, working my civilian job and chatting with a friend via instant messenger.

And then all hell broke loose.

We stopped work. We gathered in our conference room. We turned the TV on and watched in horror as the news replayed the scene over and over again.

I tried my military supervisor at Crystal City, but all cell service was down.

I tried my husband. Nothing.

I couldn’t take it after a while, so I left my office and went to pick up my son, whose kindergarten only lasted half the day.

It was hard to explain to that little boy what happened. He knew bad people had attacked us and flew planes into buildings. He knew a lot of people died. He knew his daddy was a federal police officer and was called away. He knew we would not be having a family birthday dinner at the Chinese buffet place.

For years after that birthday, he became hypervigilant. He would demand I help him “clear” his room of monsters. I’d have my gun, and he’d have his little toy guns, and together we would clear his room before bed.

I started training more, and I think I became hypervigilant myself. I was terrified something would happen to my kids. I started writing more about civil rights and joined several gun rights organizations.

So now, on the 15th anniversary of that horrible day, think back. How were you affected by the attacks? Were you affected at all?

You can choose as many answers as appropriate, or add one of your own.

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Poll: Superpowers

Oliver Queen as Arrow
Oliver Queen as Arrow

For this week’s poll, I figure we could have some fun. We’re always so serious, given the constant attacks on our rights. But maybe it’s time to chill and put reality aside.

As many of you know, I’m a nerd. I will watch any superhero show or movie anytime. I prefer Marvel to DC, although I’m a huge fan of the Arrow, and I think the new Wonder Woman movie with Israeli superstar Gal Gadot is going to be fantastic!

We’ve explored the many reasons why our members and readers carry firearms. Self defense seems to be an overwhelmingly popular reason to carry – whether concealed or openly. We understand that police cannot be there to protect us all the time. They merely come out after a crime happens to clean up the mess.

Most of the time, it’s up to us.

A few days ago, I finally saw Suicide Squad. Predictably, I loved it, and I found myself wishing I had the skill to hit my target every time like Deadshot. The movie was followed by several days of binge watching Arrow and being jealous of just how accurate his archery skills were. So I got to thinking…

What kind of superpower or skill would you want to have most, given how important defense of ourselves and our families is to most of us? Replies below. You can always explain your choice in the comments.

Have fun!

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The greatest current threat to gun rights?

orlando-shooting-about-terror-not-gun-controlGun rights are constantly under attack. Anytime a shooting happens, gun control groups and anti-gun legislators spring into action in an effort to condemn our Second Amendment rights.

As soon as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died, Barack Obama tried to install a new Justice – Merrick Garland – who likely would have been a disaster for our gun rights.

Gun grabbers use any strategy they can, including lies and obfuscation to opportunistically push their agenda, and some gun owners and organizations are only too happy to compromise away our rights – either out of fear of losing even more, a desire to appease the clamoring hordes, or a simple lack of understanding of our gun rights and our Constitution.

With all the threats out there, what do you think is the biggest one? These are hard choices, but intentionally so. Maybe once we figure out what you all believe is the biggest threat and why, we can figure out how to address it. Together.

Provide as much or as little by way of explanation for your choice in the comments, but do comment and let us know the reason for your choice.

 

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Doing the blood dance

We’ve seen it time and time again – politicians doing a ritual dance in the blood of victims in order to promote a political agenda and using tragedy to advance their schemes.

We saw it when Cindy Sheehan used the blood of her hero son Casey, who was killed in Iraq, to advance her anti-war agenda and launch her political career.

We saw it recently when both political parties saw it fit to use the Gold Star family of Army CPT Humayan Khan as a means to promote their candidates in a national election.

It happens every time a psychotic murderer goes on a rampage. The cries for more laws that would do nothing to stop any future carnage grow louder and louder, and those whose only purpose is to advance a political agenda mislead, lie, and use grieving families as tools to advance their odious goals.

What I find unconscionable is how brazen these liars have become.

Last month Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) introduced the nauseatingly-named Help End Assault Rifle Tragedies (HEART) Act. And if the name isn’t enough to make you want to regurgitate last week’s lunch, wait until you read what this noxious piece of… legislation aims to do.

S.3171 and H.R.5739 would “prohibit the transfer, loan, or other disposition of a machinegun or semiautomatic assault weapon to an individual under 16 years of age.”

So, essentially, it will end youth shooting sports. It will prevent young people from learning and training with semi-automatic rifles. It will kill off programs that teach responsible gun use and ownership, focus, and accountability to thousands of young people.

Worse yet, they’re using lies and misleading grieving families into becoming props for their abhorrent ends!

“Right now we live in a country where a suspected terrorist can go online to Instagram and buy and find an assault weapon that could be handed to a child at a gun range for shooting practice,” he said. “There is no other nation in the world where that is allowed to happen.”

WUT the hell?
WUT the hell?

Yeah, get this straight! You can buy guns on Instagram! And terrorism! And children!

That incoherent rant came out of Markey’s maw when he introduced this travesty on July 12th. Because we can’t pass up the opportunity to somehow work terrorism into a pack of lies to help pass an odious bill that will do nothing but destroy programs that teach thousands of kids competition, sportsmanship, and responsible gun ownership.

And worse yet, the two slimy fascists also tricked a grieving family into being poster children for their agenda!

The children of Charles Vacca, a firearms instructor, who died in 2014 when a 9-year-old learning to shoot an Uzi at an Arizona gun range shot him, have been roped into pushing the political agenda of Markey and Gallegos. This bill would ban the use of common semi-automatic rifles by young people under the age of 16. I’m fairly sure this is not what their father – an Army veteran and range instructor – would have wanted.

But this is how the gun grabbers operate.

They take advantage of tragedy. They try to tempt, cajole, and mislead grieving families of victims of tragic accidents with promises of definitive steps that they claim will increase safety and reduce tragedies such as the ones that took the lives of their loved ones. They promise their loved ones’ names will live forever in legislation which they promise will reduce future tragedies. They use their grief to their advantage. They promise a lot.

And they lie.

What the HEART Act will do is prevent the next generation of shooters from competing in their sport of choice.

What the HEART Act will do is prohibit young people from learning critical gun safety skills.

What the HEART Act will do is toss focused, disciplined, talented, well-trained kids like Shyanne Roberts, whom two years ago I called “The Future of Gun Rights in America” out of their competitions.

What the HEART Act will do is make Olympic gold medalists like West Virginia’s Ginny Thrasher, who just won the first gold for the United States in Rio, obsolete, much to the glee of gun grabbing, classless swine, who have taken to the Internet in an attempt to ridicule, ostracize, and demean Thrasher and the United States in order to condemn our rights and freedoms.

Jerks like this Brian Santa Maria, whose biggest accomplishment seems to be managing a Curves in California, would be only too happy to surrender the pride of the United States to quivering cowards like himself who would rather see us disarmed, unskilled, and subservient to petty tyrants.

What this reprehensible, fraud-ridden legislation will do is destroy youth shooting sports in the United States.

shyanneAnd this is exactly what a new organization called Youth Shooters of America and the Zelman Partisans want to prevent.

These types of legislative proposals pose a danger not just to Shyanne’s ability to compete, but also to other young people’s ability to learn gun safety, and hone discipline, skill, focus, and personal responsibility.

Education, not bans, will help prevent these tragic accidents. By banning the use of these firearms by young people, these legisleeches will do nothing but make them taboo and increase curiosity and accidents.

And by lying to grieving families and exploiting their anguish for political gain, these opportunistic swine are confirming themselves to be nothing but indecent, mercenary charlatans, who care about little else other than promoting their agenda.

Luckily, the Senate and House versions of this lunacy haven’t gotten any traction, and are currently languishing in subcommittee. The House version has six co-sponsors, and the Senate version has one – Dick Blumenthal – the same Dick who has repeatedly lied about his military service.

But as ridiculous as the majority of the current gun control proposals pending in the 114th Congress are, they may be more dangerous than we imagine.

They may not pass, but they change the landscape ever so subtly. They express concerns about “gun violence.” They push for funding for “gun violence research.” They have cutesy names like “Gun Show Loophole Closing Act,” express support for special “months” to be designated “gun violence” months, and they name odious, dangerous, tyrannical legislation after victims of crime and negligence.

Words matter. Language matters. How we describe our freedoms matters. When you allow change the ideological landscape to change, you are losing the battle for our rights.

And we cannot allow this to happen.

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Poll: The Next 2A Supreme Court Case

AK-74There have been several Supreme Court events pertaining to the Second Amendment during the past year.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-2 vote that domestic abusers convicted of misdemeanors can be barred from owning firearms.

The Court also refused to hear a challenge to the Connecticut “assault” weapons ban that outlaws many popular semi-automatic rifles, in effect allowing the ban to stand.

This year the Court also overturned a Massachusetts decision that determined that stun guns were not covered by the Second Amendment, siding instead with a woman who said she carried one as protection against an abusive former boyfriend.

In recent years, we’ve also seen Supreme Court victories such as Heller and MacDonald, so the Court’s Second Amendment record has been somewhat mixed.

Given what we know, which Second Amendment case would you like to see the Supreme Court take on next? Do you trust it to impartially rule on any gun-related issue?

 

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