Education

An aggressive look at the Second Amendment from Ranger Up, a look at teaching actual gun safety in schools, and a case study armed defense from Pennsylvania. Outside of that, we have an Army Medal of Honor recipient retiring and a new Marine Corps Commandant confirmed.

Thanks as always to Catty Conservative and This is the Line’s Armed Novelist for helping out here.

1.) Ranger Up. If you aren’t familiar with them, Ranger Up is (primarily) a clothing company focused on “military and the patriotic Americans who love the men and women of the Armed Forces.” The company’s aggressive style extends past that into a blog that goes under the name “Unapollogetically American”, which holds an extremely pro-liberty viewpoint.

After a series of incredibly dense Rolling Stone articles regarding firearms, the team decided to take a characteristically strong rebuttal to a lot of anti-gun myths. A personal favorite myth being ““All we are looking for is ‘reasonable’ gun control that any ‘reasonable’ person would see as common sense.” They write:

Consider the following: it was not illegal for a felon to purchase or own a firearm prior to the passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act. Now it is considered “common sense” and “reasonable” for a felon not to be allowed to purchase a firearm. Why? There is absolutely zero evidence suggesting that the 1968 GCA did what it intended to do. Quite the contrary, actually; the crime/murder rate in the United States continued to rise after it was passed, seemingly unaffected by the law.

The point being, modern gun control advocates frame the debate in terminology that is couched in ideas that have no statistical or factual basis. If something is so “reasonable,” then shouldn’t the data back it up?

The bottom line from their perspective (and, frankly, mine) is that rights are inherent. Barring incarceration, there is no reason to strip someone of their rights. Besides which, the “safeguards” banning felons from owning firearms work about as well as every other ban….which is to say not at all.

At best they are ineffective. At worst they prevent people looking to turn their lives around to do so with full rights. If the response is “violent felons shouldn’t have guns”, then a.) they shouldn’t be released and b.) in a well-armed populace, that individual wouldn’t have much power anyway.

2.) Gun education. Billy Johnson’s latest NRA Commentators episode focused on the idea of (re)introducing firearms safety classes in schools. As expected, this has led to a lot of panic from people who claim to support “gun safety”….so long as that is limited to legislating guns out of existence.

It is here where a lot of the older readers have a leg up on me. I’ve spoken to people who talk about how there used to be trucks with gun racks outside of high schools. How, as Charlton Heston noted in a speech, “of course, you didn’t need to lock your door at night because there was a gun in every bedroom.”

Of course, many people have been part of rifle clubs in high school as well. All of which begs the question: What happened here? At what point did guns go from something whose safe operation was taught in schools to something whose mere existence was to be banned and those who did own one demonized?

3.) National reciprocity. An article by Examiner.com’s Ben Marquis has both some good and bad news for advocates of a national CCW reciprocity law. He notes that, if one accepts permits as unconstitutional infringments on one’s rights, he must by definition accept that a national permit reciprocity law is also unconstitutional. He points, also, to the emerging Constitutional carry movement, which aims to negate the permit process altogether. He writes in part:

The ultimate goal for many gun rights advocates is nationwide Constitutional carry, evidenced by a national respect and recognition of the fact that anybody and everybody has the right to carry a firearm for their personal protection, if they so desire. Criminals already enjoy the ability to carry a firearm anywhere and everywhere, for whatever purpose they please, as they ignore the laws that prevent good people from doing the same. Why should law-abiding citizens be placed at a disadvantage to gun-toting criminals, by their own government no less, a government whose sole purpose is to protect and defend the rights of it’s citizens?

4.) Armed Citizen. In defiance of his workplace’s no-guns policy, a doctor in Darby, PA carried his firearm into Mercy Fitzgerald hospital this week. On Thursday, a man came onto the 3rd floor and began shooting. The doctor, Lee Silverman, turned his gun on the shooter, hitting him three times in the chest.

The suspect is currently in critical condition. Dr. Silverman, who was originally looking at losing his job over the incident, will instead be retained by the hospital. Indeed, the hospital said it is reviewing its policies “to ensure a safe work environment.”

5.) DC. Late-breaking news out of DC this week. Alan Gura, famous for his victories in the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases, scored another victory when a US District Court struck down DC’s ban on carrying firearms as unconstitutional. Senior Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. wrote:

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,”

DC, of course, may get it’s other gun laws defunded depending on what happens to the Massie Amendment, which passed the House last week.

With that, however, let us move outside of firearms for a bit.

6.) Marines. General Joseph Dunford was confirmed by the Senate as the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps. The 58-year-old will replace Gen. Jim Amos, who is retiring in the fall.

I’m not going to even try to hide this….virtually every Marine I’ve spoken with and a ton of comments on Facebook seem to give the impression that Amos’ retirement can’t come fast enough. If you are a Marine and disagree with that sentiment, please set me straight on that. From the outside, it looks like Gen. Amos is one of the most despised Generals in the history of the Corps.

Also, for the record, I’d want Gen. Mattis as either Commandant or President.

7.) Army. An Army Master Sergeant and Medal of Honor recipient retired this week. Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, an Army Ranger, retired after eight deployments spanning 15 years. The sergeant received the MoH for his actions on May 26, 2008. Despite having already been shot through both legs, he lunged towards a live grenade and threw it away from his fellow soldiers.

8.) Voting. Finally this week, the NRA’s re-started “Trigger The Vote” campaign is getting some attention with a provacative new ad this week. USA Today describes the ad as follows:

A suggestive ad by the NRA for its voter registration campaign will likely get tongues wagging.

The spot features a father talking to his son in a somber tone about something that’s not a toy, but is important to protect their family. He unlocks a case to reveal … a voter registration card.

The ad is part of the National Rifle Association’s Trigger the Vote campaign, aimed at increasing the number of registered voters — especially among gun owners. Andrew Arulanandam, public affairs director at the NRA, said the ad will run online and on cable backed by a seven-figure buy.

Bearing Arms takes it further, and it bears mentioning here:

When I instruct at Appleseed, one of my fellow instructors in the North Carolina cadre likes to point out that the Founding Fathers fought a long and brutal war in order to give us the gift of several boxes.

The soap box.
The ballot box.
The cartridge box.
The soap box of course refers to the right to free speech, to debate and disagree. The ballot box enables us to vote for candidates that best represent our views.

It was the sincere hope of the Founders that the citizens of the nation they founded would be able to go many years using just the first two boxes, and I suspect they would be pleasantly surprised to discover that we’ve only gone to the cartridge box just once (1861-65) since we became a nation to settle our differences.

While cynics say otherwise, voting does indeed matter. If you haven’t registered to vote, make sure that you and all your pro-gun friends register to vote, and that they turn out in November to ensure that their opinion matters. Elections are won and policies are decided by voter turnout.

The NRA’s campaign can be found at TriggerTheVote.org.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

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