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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” — Luke 2:10 KJV

As the feast of Christmas is almost upon us it is time for me to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

As a person growing up in the 1940s I have many warm memories of Christmas. As my father was exempt from the draft in World War II due to his work in factory producing materials for defense I was fortunate to have him at home during the Christmas season. Unlike some of my friends and school mates, who had fathers in far flung corners of the world fighting for our freedom, my dad was able to celebrate each Christmas during WWII with the family.

Those WWII Christmases, while sparse when it came to toys and gifts, were always great family affairs with the entire family gathering at the house for Christmas dinner and celebrating the holiday. As a said toys were sparse as metal was used for defense, not children’s toys and there were no toys or games that required batteries. I still recall one Christmas gift, a toy gun that was a replica of a Colt .45 made of compressed sawdust. The gun lasted for a couple of days until I dropped it and in broke into pieces and my dad attempted to glue it back together. After that it took a great deal of my child’s imagination to think of it as a gun. Another toy was a bomb sight made of cardboard and a mirror that you held to your eye over a cork target and dropped darts in the shape of little bombs. Of course the cork target had maps of Germany and Japan on it.

After the war ended and steel was available I remember going with my dad to the store to pick up my first erector set. For those who are not familiar with the AC Gilbert Erector Set is was a collection of small metal beams with regular holes for nuts, bolts, screws, and mechanical parts such as pulleys, gears, and small electric motors. that allowed you to build things like oil derricks, building frames, and bridges. It provided hours of educational entertainment for my father and I.

Of course there were no outdoor lights on houses and department stores had great Christmas displays in their windows. We never had outdoor lights on our house until 1959. The lights on the Christmas tree were always a problem as they were wired in series so that when one bulb burned out you had to spend time taking each bulb out a replacing it with a “good” bulb hoping the string of lights would go on again. Of course there were the bubble lights that were filled with liquid that bubbled when the bulb heated up.

As a child going to Catholic elementary school I sang in the choir. We performed at Sunday Mass and for the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. We would sing the Mass responses in Latin with Christmas Carols intermixed. I can still recall walking to church with my parents on those cold Christmas Eves.

After the war Christ began to become more and more secular. I remember that when people began using “Xmas” instead of “Christmas” they were a campaign to put Christ back in Christmas. There nativity scenes and Christmas trees in the public square and elementary schools had Christmas pageants depicting the birth of Jesus along with traditional Christmas carols. No one complained — it was expected and welcomed. Salvation Army Santa Clauses were commonplace in front of department stores with their bells and kettles — no one complained, no one was offended. People wished you “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” “happy holidays” was rarely heard.

There were great Christmas movies and TV shows where the mention of the birth of Christ was commonplace. Films such as “It’s Wonderful Life”, ”Miracle on 34th Street”, and “ A Christmas Carol”, staring Alistair Simms were traditional favorites.

Of course there were the numerous albums of Christmas Carols and songs by recording artists like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and almost anyone you can think of. TV shows always had a Christmas themed episode in December. When someone mention mentioned “Black Friday” you thought they were referring to the stock market crash of 1929 — not the obscene shopping orgies that take place on the day after Thanksgiving where people riot over the chance to buy the latest smart phone or some other popular toy or gadget.

Houses decorated with Christmas lights came into vogue and neighborhoods would enter competitions as to who could use more lights to decorate their homes and people would come from miles around to view the displays. In my neighborhood there are several homes that have spectacular displays of lights including one house where even the interior is decked out in Christmas trappings. The home owner opens his house to the public and welcomes people to walk through to marvel at all of his work. All he asks is that you bring some can goods to donate to those who are in need.




As godless secularism becomes more and more entrenched in our culture, the Christmas season is one of the most contentious times in our calendar. Every year, there are stories in the news of banned Christmas trees or of Christmas trees renamed "holiday trees." Christmas concerts at public schools draw threats of a lawsuit (even when the poor in Africa are the beneficiaries!), and U.S. congressmen are barred from wishing their constituents a "Merry Christmas" in their official mailings. This ban also applies to school children and even the exchange of Christmas Cards is outlawed. This year, even Charlie Brown is creating controversy.

Actually, when it comes to A Charlie Brown Christmas, there was controversy from the beginning. In 1965, just as the culture wars were heating up in the U.S., the "enlightened" executives at CBS balked at the Peanuts classic containing Bible passages. Most every American has heard Linus, in teaching Charlie Brown the true meaning of Christmas, perfectly recite the King James Version of Luke 2:8-14. Of course, the Scripture reference is what was "controversial."

Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts (the most popular and influential comic strip of all time), was insistent. As Lee Habeeb of National Review puts it, "[Schulz] knew that the Luke reading by Linus was the heart

Today children (and adults) are bombarded with deceptive (but alluring) messages about "Christmas spirit" and how Christmas is about "spreading joy throughout the world" and "a time for warmth and brotherly love" (as a recent TV cartoon declared). Even Dickens's iconic A Christmas Carol is bereft of the complete message of Christmas.

Of course, brotherly love and spreading joy are not bad things, but they are far from the "heart and soul" of Christmas. Schulz was right. The "heart and soul" of any Christmas story is "behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

Or, as C.S. Lewis put it, Christmas is the story of how "the rightful King has landed." Just prior to His death, as Jesus stood before the Roman governor Pilate, Pilate asked Him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" After some discussion, Pilate concluded to Jesus, "You are a king, then!" Jesus answered him saying, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world."

Of course all of these so-called bans on based on the fact that schools and public officials are fearful of lawsuits by disgruntled people who have a personal axe to grind — not on the law, the Constitution or Supreme Court rulings. According to the American Center for Law and Justice Several federal district courts have ruled that under certain circumstances, it is permissible for a public school to display religious holiday symbols in school calendars and in holiday displays. For example, a district court in New Jersey directly addressed this issue in Clever v. Cherry Hill Twp., 838 F. Supp. 929 (D.N.J. 1993). In Clever, the plaintiffs challenged a school policy that provided for religious symbols to be used in school calendars and in a Christmas display. After noting the importance of context and the absence of denominational preference, the court upheld the policy:

“Christmas and Chanukah are celebrated as cultural and national holidays as well as religious ones, and there is simply no constitutional doctrine which would forbid school children from sharing in that celebration, provided that these celebrations do not constitute an unconstitutional endorsement of religion and are consistent with a school’s secular educational mission.”

There are numerous other Federal Court rulings permitting the celebration of Christmas in Public Schools and the Public Square. I am happy to report that in my town we have Christmas displays on public property and in neighboring cities there are nativity scenes in the public square.

So Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior King. "Hark! The herald angels sing; glory to the newborn King!" This is the reason for the all of the conflict and contention when it comes to Christmas time. This is why so many fear a Nativity scene, a Christmas tree, or even a meek "Merry Christmas."

Who wants to be confronted with the idea that maybe they are ignoring the most significant event in human history? Who wants to be reminded that perhaps Jesus Christ really was (and is) a King?

And He's not just any king, but a king with a holy mission. "Amazing love, how can it be, that you my King would die for me?" Jesus was the Christ, the "Messiah," the "Anointed One." As the angel reported to the shepherds, "today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you". Jesus was a king who was born to die — not only to die, but to rise again and rule forever.

His death was to "redeem" us and to serve as "atonement" for us. Jesus came into the world so that the world, through Him, "might be saved." And on the third day after his death, our King, born in a stable, conquered even death so that we could live forever with Him.

When Christians truly celebrate Christmas, we celebrate not just a birthday, but the beginning of a sequence of events that would change the world forever. He was born, He lived, He died, He arose, and now He is preparing a place for all of those who would believe in Him. Just as sure as all of the other events took place, we who celebrate Christmas look forward to His return, and we will celebrate for all eternity.

Have a Merry Christmas and may God's light shine bright upon you, your family and our great nation in the coming year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Language Abuse and Ignorance of Grammar

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. — Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

It’s important — particularly in a world with slippery politicians — to define words and terms accurately. Thomas Sowell writes in Townhall:

“Former big-time TV journalist Sam Donaldson and current fledgling CNN host Don Lemon have already proclaimed racism to be the reason for criticisms of Obama, and we can expect more and more other talking heads to say the same thing as the election campaign goes on. The word "racism" is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything -- and demanding evidence makes you a "racist."

A more positive term that is likely to be heard a lot, during election years especially, is "compassion." But what does it mean concretely? More often than not, in practice it means a willingness to spend the taxpayers' money in ways that will increase the spender's chances of getting reelected.

If you are skeptical -- or, worse yet, critical -- of this practice, then you qualify for a different political label: "mean-spirited." A related political label is "greedy."

In the political language of today, people who want to keep what they have earned are said to be "greedy," while those who wish to take their earnings from them and give it to others (who will vote for them in return) show "compassion."

For years the Left and their cohorts in the media have had control of the language. As Thomas Sowell states if you disagree with President Obama you are a racist. If you are against tax increases you are greedy and if you are in favor of less gun control you are right-wing fascist who wants to kill animal and people.

This control of the language is taking hold in the upcoming debate over more gun control. Words and terms such as “freedom”, “rights”, and “the people” are losing to words like “public safety”, protect our children”, and “guns are nor necessary in today’s society.”

Take as example the Second Amendment to the Constriction, our basic law of the land. Any person with an eighth grade education can read the Constitution and understand its meaning. It does not take a legal scholar or law professor to tell you what it means. The words are clear, brief and succinct. The Second Amendment states:

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” means exactly what it states. It means that it is necessary for states to have a ready and regulated militia to counter any corrosive or tyrannical force from the government. The word “security” means not only the security of the states, but also personal security against attacks on their persons or property.

The next clause (note the comma) states; “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” defines who will be in this militia. The people (citizens of the state) shall comprise this militia and for that purpose the “people” will have the right to “keep” and “bear” arms. This does not mean that the state government will dole out weapons when the politicians think the “people” need them. It is the people’s right to keep and bear these arms.

The final clause (separated by a coma) is very clear. It states “shall not be infringed.” According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary the word “infringed’ is a transitive verb and means; “to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another.” The authors of this amendment could have used words such as “trespassed”, “invaded”, “overstepped”, “encroached upon”, or “interfered with.” They chose “infringed” because it was a clearer and stronger word.

David Young, Constitutional scholar and recognized authority on Founding Era Second Amendment developmental history and documents, writes in his blog on the Second Amendment:

“As a result of Second Amendment dispute, it has been suggested that to infringe relative to the fundamental right to keep and bear arms means only to completely destroy the right, and that extensive "reasonable" regulations are legitimate and do not infringe the right. As an example, it has been claimed that a complete ban on certain types of firearms is a “reasonable” regulation and would not violate the "shall not be infringed" restrictive language. A contrary understanding is that infringe means to encroach upon or narrow the right in any way and that the purpose for the "shall not be infringed" language was to prevent regulation of the right.

An excellent method for determining how extensive the Bill of Rights protection based on the verb "infringe" was intended to be in the Founders' view is to rely on historical examples. What can be gleaned from their own use of this term in relation to other Bill of Rights proposals? Here are some of them.

The Second Amendment's "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" language is exactly what was proposed as the first clause of the amendment by James Madison on June 8, 1789. In addition to that "infringe" based language, Madison also included this freedom of religion related protection in his Bill of Rights proposals to Congress: “nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.” [The Origin of the Second Amendment p.654] Assuming that Madison's intention in preventing religious liberty from being “infringed” was to allow for considerable "reasonable" regulation by the federal government is illogical. In fact, it is clear that the intent of such language was to prevent any interference whatsoever by the government in such matters. The later change to “Congress shall make no laws” language buttresses this period understanding of "infringe" based protection.”

I agree with Mr. Young’s argument that “infringe” means exactly what our founders meant — no regulations, trespass, or encroachment or any form.

The assault on the language you will hear from the left is the definition of the term “militia.” They will claim that the founders were referring to an organized band of men marching about with muskets on their shoulders under the command of the governor or some other state functionary. They are confusing this with today’s National Guard, that can be federalized anytime the President wants to use them, i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, etc.

According to Wikipedia:

“The term militia or irregular army, is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with multiple distinct but related meanings. Legal and historical meanings of militia include:

  • Defense activity or service, to protect a community, its territory, property, and laws.
  • The entire able-bodied population of a community, town, county, or state, available to be called to arms.
  • A private, non-government force, not necessarily directly supported or sanctioned by its government.

The history of militia in the United States dates from the colonial era, such362px-Minute_Man_Statue_Lexington_Massachusetts_cropped as in the American Revolutionary War. Based on the British system, colonial militias were drawn from the body of adult male citizens of a community, town, or local region. Because there were usually few British regulars garrisoned in North America, colonial militia served a vital role in local conflicts, particularly in the French and Indian Wars. Before shooting began in the American War of Independence, American revolutionaries took control of the militia system, reinvigorating training and excluding men with Loyalist inclinations. Regulation of the militia was codified by the Second Continental Congress with the Articles of Confederation. The revolutionaries also created a full-time regular army—the Continental Army—but because of manpower shortages the militia provided short-term support to the regulars in the field throughout the war.

In colonial era Anglo-American usage, militia service was distinguished from military service in that the latter was normally a commitment for a fixed period of time of at least a year, for a salary, whereas militia was only to meet a threat, or prepare to meet a threat, for periods of time expected to be short. Militia persons were normally expected to provide their own weapons, equipment, or supplies, although they may later be compensated for losses or expenditures.

A related concept is the jury, which can be regarded as a specialized form of militia convened to render a verdict in a court proceeding (known as a petit jury or trial jury) or to investigate a public matter and render a presentment or indictment (grand jury).

With the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution, control of the army and the power to direct the militia of the states was concurrently delegated to the federal Congress. The Militia Clauses gave Congress authority for "organizing, arming, and disciplining" the militia, and "governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States", with the States retaining authority to appoint officers and to impose the training specified by Congress.

Proponents describe a key element in the concept of "militia" was that to be "genuine" it not be a "select militia", composed of an unrepresentative subset of the population. This was an argument presented in the ratification debates.

The first legislation on the subject was The Militia Act of 1792 which provided, in part:

That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock”. (Emphasis added)

It should be noted that Article I, Section 8.15 states:

“To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.”

And the next section (8.16) states:

“To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”

It was the intent of Congress to have a citizenry ready to take up arms they were directed to possess and be prepared to protect their state, their property and the Republic. But, so as not to confuse the issue with the argument that the militia was the property of the federal government and the right to bear such arms was a right granted by the federal government the Second Amendment was added to the Constitution to protect that right to bear arms. Here is what our framers of the Constitution had to say about militias and the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 28:

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. The usurpers, clothed with the forms of legal authority, can too often crush the opposition in embryo. The smaller the extent of the territory, the more difficult will it be for the people to form a regular or systematic plan of opposition, and the more easy will it be to defeat their early efforts. Intelligence can be more speedily obtained of their preparations and movements, and the military force in the possession of the usurpers can be more rapidly directed against the part where the opposition has begun. In this situation there must be a peculiar coincidence of circumstances to insure success to the popular resistance.” (Emphasis added)

Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 29:

"But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist." (Emphasis added)

James Madison in Federalist No. 46:

“Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.” (Emphasis added)

You can see that our Framers took great stock in a people being armed and prepared to defend themselves against excesses of the federal government and to protect their liberty and property. This meant that the common, ordinary citizen was looked upon to defend himself and his family against threats against his life, liberty, and property no matter from whence it came. To accomplish this he had to be armed. This had nothing to do with hunting or sport shooting.

The final argument the left will advance is that our Framers did not envision assault rifles and automatic weapons. This is pure sophistic nonsense. Our Founders wanted the citizenry to have the best weapon available to counter the weapon of any adversary, invader, or a tyrannical federal government. At the time that was a “Brown Bess” musket. It was the musket developed by the British and used in the Revolutionary War. This is why Congress passed, and George Washington supported, Militia Acts of 1792. Without a doubt if the British or any other potential threat to the security of the United States had been equipped with AR-15s the Congress would have wanted the citizenry to have a weapon of equal capability. Also there is no mention of canons or bombs in the Second Amendment. This is factious argument by the Left.

Soon after the details of Adam Lanza’s heinous and purely evil criminal actions at Sandy Hook Elementary School were revealed, Americans largely decided that the political conversations that would inevitably result should be held off until the small bodies of the vile murderer’s victims had at least been removed from the school.

Conservative commentators and gun-rights advocates mostly did just that. In fact, in spite of the “what do you have to say for yourselves know” sneering from some on the left, the National Rifle Association refused to comment on the tragedy until Tuesday.

When the NRA did release a statement after five days of shouting from those opposed to the organization, here’s what it said:

“The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters — and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown. Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

While the NRA has avoiding making political statements about the tragedy, the organization has no choice but to prepare to battle an onslaught of anti-gun legislation slated to be introduced over the next several months.

This is because while the NRA turned off its media microphone, President Barack Obama, several members of Congress (some of whom are exceptionally pro-gun) and members of the media doubled down on blaming everyone and everything for the bloodshed but the sick child-murderer.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter when the “right” time to delve into so-called “gun control” has arrived. Once the smoke clears, we all step back into the rhetorical ring for another round of debate about what liberals call “gun violence” and conservatives call either “crime” or the lyrics to a rap album.

Of course, the actual debate takes a moment to get under way. First, the media have to descend on the bereaved and gorge themselves on misery like buzzards feasting on road kill. In the Newtown, Conn., nightmare, ABC News editorial producer Nadine Shubailat began stalking victims’ families and friends on Twitter, begging for face time, until outraged respondents buried her Twitter feed in an avalanche of spam. Meanwhile, the Democrats had to take a moment to adhere to Rahm Emanuel’s famous adage: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Barack Obama’s creepy little pet, David Axelrod, even tried hyping Obama’s gun-control speech (which was ostensibly supposed to comfort the Nation) to direct people to donate to Obama’s 2012 Presidential campaign. Nothing says “we care” like exploiting dead children to grub for cash for an electoral effort that ended six weeks ago.

Among the citizenry, emotions run high, often obfuscating reason. Some proffer laughable conspiracy theories, my favorite involving both the Aurora theater shooter and the Newtown murderer being stooges for a secret gun-lobby conspiracy trying to create an artificial spike in prices. Others try to resurrect the ridiculous talking point about the 2nd Amendment referring only to flintlock muskets and blunderbusses. They blissfully ignore that abortion is now constitutionally protected.

And we must not forget magazine capacity. Anti-2nd Amendment zealots suggest that no one needs high-capacity magazines. But Connecticut already bars the sale thereof. In fact, Connecticut is a liberal’s paradise regarding gun laws. Capacity makes no real difference. A determined shooter with even moderate training can cycle through 10- or even 5-round magazines in rapid succession. When the shooter is spurred on by the voices in his head and the victims are 5- and 6-year-olds, he doesn’t even have to be all that proficient. Hell, terrorist Timothy McVeigh was highly proficient with firearms — as an Army veteran, he was probably better with an M4 than Adam Lanza ever hoped to be — and he didn’t need a firearm at all. In China, some hopped-up lunatic went after a couple dozen schoolchildren with a knife about 18 hours before Lanza proceeded with his grisly plan. The Chinese, who have gun control to quail the hearts of even the Brady Campaign, have seen a number of such attacks in just the past few years.

Still others took advantage of the situation to press an assault against the National Rifle Association. Twitter was set ablaze by concerned liberals issuing death threats to not only the group’s members, but their children as well.

Liberals are so opposed to violence that they’re positively homicidal over it.

Gun control is really people control. And people can be controlled a lot more simply than an ill-advised frontal assault on the Bill of Rights. Gun control requires nothing more than common sense: You don’t allow criminals, illegal aliens or the guy down the street with a tinfoil hat access to firearms. Imposing draconian measures on the only part of the populace likely to abide by them merely tilts the field in favor of the criminal element. For those who remain unconvinced, take a look at Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C. (I suggest you do so from inside a tank.)

So-called “assault rifles,” high-capacity magazines, the NRA and one or two really intricate conspiracy theories might qualify as meaningful debate among liberal audiences who are as receptive to dissent as a Third World dictator, but they aren’t really the topics we ought to be discussing in the wake of Sandy Hook or any significant tragedy. From Newtown to Oklahoma City to China, the problem is on full display; and that problem isn’t guns.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Constant Myths about the Assault Rifle

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.” — Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda

I am getting very annoyed at the constant babble in the press about assault rifles. They constantly are calling rifles assault rifles and claiming that we have to limit and ban the purchase and use of these “military” weapons. This is a boldface misrepresentation of the facts.

Before continuing allow me to clear up another myth about semi-automatic guns — one that is used by so called “experts” over and over again. These experts and masterminds refer to the device that contains the bullets for a semi-automatic rifle or hand gun as a “clip.” This is not only misleading, it is false. A “clip”, the device that holds the bullets for either a single shot bolt action rifle or a semi-automatic rifle is an open device that holds anywhere from 5 to 8 bullets and put into the rifle to provide the ammunition for the rifle. Examples of this device will be found in a 7.62x57mm German Mauser Karabiner 98k or a M1 Garand 30-06 (7.62x63mm) caliber rifle, both used extensively in WWII. TheGarand_clip Garand had an “en bloc” clip containing 8 rounds while the Mauser had a “stripper clip” containing 5 rounds. The M1 was a gas-feed semi-automatic (one trigger pull, one shot) while the Mauser was a bolt action where to eject a spent cartridge and insert a live round into the chamber the soldier have to flip the bolt up, bring it back, the round was ejected and a spring forced the new round into the firing chamber. It was then necessary to push the bolt forward and lock it in place before firing. The vast majority of German soldiers carried the 98k in WWII, while our infantry was totally equipped with the M1 after 1942.

The M1 was built at a cost of $85 dollars per unit during WWII and from 1936 to 1957 approximately 6.25 million were manufactured under license to the Springfield Armory. The U.S. Navy used an M1 that fired a 0.308 (7.62x51mm cartridge) to increase performance. This rifle was used into the early days of the Vietnam War when it was replaced with the selective fire M-14. Until the introduction of the M1 (in 1942) the standard infantry weapon of the U.S. Army was the Springfield Model M1903. The M1903 (which designates the first year of its introduction to the Army) was similar in nature to the Mauser. It was a bolt action rifle that fired a 30-06 round contained a stripper clip of 5 rounds. This rifle when equipped with a telescopic sight was a very effective sniper rifle though the Vietnam War and beyond.

A clip is not to confused with a “magazine” the device that contains the ammunition for either a semi-automatic or full automatic weapon be it a rifle or hand gun. I wish the pundits, news media, and politicians would get their term right before trying to tell us how informed they are.

The first real “assault rifle” was introduced to the battlefield in 1944 by the German Wehrmacht. It was developed under orders by Adolph Hitler who wanted a fast firing fully automatic weapon in the hands of special units of the German Army dedicated assaulting enemy position, especially on the Eastern Front. The Sturmgewehr 44, (StG44) literally "storm (or assault) rifle (model of 1944") was an assault rifle developed in Nazi Germany during World War II that was the first of its kind to see major deployment and is considered by many historians to be the first modern assault rifle. The StG44 was known (as are all assault rifles) as “select fire.” This means the shooter has the option to fire one round for each trigger pull, or by throwing the selector switch firing a steady stream of bullets similar to a machine gun. The StG44 had a 30 round capacity magazine and fired a 7.62x33mm cartridge.

Probably the most famous assault rifle ever produced is the Russian AK-47. The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the USSR by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash.

The original AK-47 was one of the first true "assault rifles" to be manufactured, after theAK-47_type_II_Part_DM-ST-89-01131 original Sturmgewehr 44. Even after six decades the model and its variants remain the most widely used and popular assault rifles in the world because of their durability, low production cost, and ease of use. It has been manufactured in many countries and has seen service with armed forces as well as irregular forces worldwide. The AK-47 was the basis for developing many other types of individual and crew-served firearms. More AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined. Approximately 7.5 million Ak-47s were manufactured and with variants, such as the AK-74, the number climbs to over 100 million.

The first United States Assault rifle was the M-14. The M-14 was replaced by the M-16, a lighter, more reliable rifle. The M16 (officially Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16) is the United States military designation for the AR-15 rifle adapted for semi-automatic, three-round burst and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M-16 fires tAR15he 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. The rifle entered United States Army service and was deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam in 1963, becoming the U.S. military's standard service rifle of the Vietnam War by 1969, replacing the M-14 rifle in that role. The U.S. Army retained the M-14 in CONUS, Europe, and South Korea until 1970. Since the Vietnam War, the M-16 rifle family has been the primary service rifle of the U.S. armed forces.

Now that we have reviewed the history of the assault rifle let’s look at the difference between the definition of the assault rifle and assault weapon.

Assault weapon is a term which has been given many different meanings. One is that it is any of various automatic and semiautomatic military firearms using an intermediate cartridge. In the United States, there are a variety of statutory definitions of assault weapons in local, state, and federal laws that define them by a set of characteristics they possess, sometimes described as military-style features useful in combat. Using lists of physical features or specific firearms in defining assault weapons in the U.S. was first codified by the language of the now-expired 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. A common usage is to interchange the term with assault rifle, but unlike that term, "assault weapon" has no consistent or specific definition and so is subject to varying definitions for varying purposes, including definitions that include common non-military-style firearms.

The term was most notably used in the language of the now-expired Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994, more commonly known as the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. The federal assault weapons ban specifically prohibited 19 guns considered to be assault weapons. These were all semi-automatic firearms, meaning that they can eject spent shell casings and chamber the next round without additional human action, but (as opposed to automatic firearms) only one round is fired per pull of the trigger. In addition to the 19 weapons specifically prohibited, the federal assault weapons ban also defined as a prohibited assault weapon any semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine and at least two of the following five items: a folding or telescopic stock; a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon; a bayonet mount; a flash suppressor or threaded barrel (a barrel that can accommodate a flash suppressor); or a grenade launcher. The act also defined as a prohibited assault weapon semi-automatic pistols that weighed more than 50 ounces when unloaded or included a barrel shroud, and barred the manufacture of magazines capable of carrying more than 10 rounds.

Although the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004, several states have their own assault weapons bans, which sometimes differ from the former federal law. For example, in California, the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 bars a number of specific firearm models as well as firearms that have one of a number of features.

The Attributes in assault weapon definitions are:

  • Detachable magazines.
  • Collapsible stocks allow for a rifle to be fitted to the user without requiring having the firearm customized for the individual. So a 200 lb man and his 115 lb wife can use the same firearm.
  • Folding stocks
  • Pistol grips (on rifles) reduce the angle (and thus rotational strain) of the wrist, are popular with physically-impaired shooters who cannot hold a stock with a more traditional angle.
  • Bayonet mounts are often on civilian firearms due to the same parts being used on both government and civilian rifles.
  • Flash suppressors shield the shooter's vision, as well as those beside or behind the user.
  • Threaded barrels mount flash suppressors, compensators and muzzle brakes (both used for aiding recoil management for recoil-sensitive or physically smaller shooters).
  • Barrel mounted grenade launcher mounts are concentric rings around the muzzle.
  • A barrel shroud is a tube around the barrel designed to limit transfer of heat from the barrel to the supporting hand, or to protect a shooter from being burned by accidental contact.
  • Magazines greater than 10 rounds.
  • Semi-automatic, functionality meaning that they can eject spent shell casings and chamber the next round without additional human action, but (as opposed to automatic firearms) only one round is fired per pull of the trigger.

Whether or not the term assault weapon should be used at all and, if so, how the term should be defined and whether firearms defined as assault weapons should be legally restricted more than other firearms are questions subject to considerable debate as part of the arguments of gun politics in the United States.

Prominent gun-control groups which support restrictions on ownership of these firearms include the Brady Campaign and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Prominent opponents of assault-weapons bans include the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America. Gun-rights and sports shooting groups consider the phrase assault weapon to be a pejorative when used to describe civilian firearms, considering it a politically driven catchphrase aimed to conflate non automatic weapons with actual assault rifles which are already (since 1934) strictly regulated and cannot be obtained by civilians without prior clearance by US federal or state authorities.

By now you may be totally confused, as are our politicians and media masterminds. In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut the usual suspects, including our president, have made noises about renewing the ban on assault weapons. This ban was a truly bad idea when it was first imposed under the equally feckless Bill Clinton in 1994 as the Orwellian named Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.

Why was it a bad idea? Because no one knows what constitutes an assault weapon other than it is scary looking.

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, numerous Democrats have called for legislation banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Unfortunately, such bans are empty gestures, certain to offend many law-abiding citizens but highly unlikely to reduce gun violence.

Simply put, so-called “assault weapons” are nowhere near the root of the American violence problem. According to FBI data, of the two-thirds of murders that involve firearms, about 69 percent involve handguns rather than rifles or shotguns of any kind. Most estimates place the contribution of assault weapons to gun crime at around 1 or 2 percent. These numbers should not be surprising: Rifles are difficult to conceal, and a criminal who decides to use a rifle has little reason to prefer an assault weapon over any other semiautomatic option. Contrary to popular myth, assault weapons fire only once for each pull of the trigger; they are not machine guns.

The features that define assault weapons — such as a folding stock or a pistol grip — may look militaristic, but they provide little advantage to someone intent on killing innocent civilians. Adam Lanza used a variant of the AR-15, but he could have achieved the same result with any number of guns commonly employed in hunting and self-defense. As yet there are no reports that Lanza’s Bushmaster .223 (basically a .22 caliber rifle) was outfitted in such a way as to fall under Connecticut’s assault-weapons ban (or under the national ban that expired in 2004), and .223 ammo is not unusually powerful; to the contrary, most deer hunters use larger calibers, and many of them are required to do so by state laws.

Further, statistical research has failed to turn up evidence that the federal ban that expired in 2004 did any good. Columbine occurred while the ban was in effect.

A limit on magazine capacity (which was also part of the federal ban) is by far the more plausible of the proposed measures, seeing that Gabrielle Giffords’s shooter was tackled while reloading his gun. However, other shooters (such as those at Columbine and Virginia Tech) have had no problem reloading, and still others (such as those at the Aurora movie theater and possibly the Oregon mall) have experienced jams while using high-capacity magazines. The net effect of such legislation would almost certainly be statistically indistinguishable from zero.

Both of these measures raise Second Amendment concerns as well. It is difficult to claim there is a legitimate reason to ban assault weapons, given the above-explained irrelevance of the distinction. And reviving the 1994 ban’s ten-round cap on magazine capacity would outlaw the standard versions of popular guns such as the Glock 17, which is likely a violation of the Second Amendment interpretation laid out in the Heller and McDonald cases.

The Left would like to take this tragedy as an opportunity to reform our laws in such a way as to make public shootings significantly less likely. This is might be a noble goal. Bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines will not accomplish it.

Obama with all of his phony rhetoric has punted on this issue by handing the responsibility to come up with recommendations from a committee composed of government masterminds, anti-gun advocates, and those from the gun owner’s lobbies such as the NRA headed up by Joe Biden will get nowhere. Obama is not going to risk his tax and budget plans and his immigration reforms on a debate over gun control. He made his functionary appearances and gave his tearful remarks and now he is done. This is typical Obama.

In a month or so the politicians will see no advantage of staying of the bandwagon of gun control, violent video games and movies and the mental health industry. It’s a no win issue for any of them. As I have said before the real issue is our secular progressive culture. The American citizens have a Constitutional right to firearms and they want them. They are buying them record numbers since the specter of bans and more regulations have been placed in front of them. The intensity of the violence stems not from weapons, but from the secular libertine culture we live in.

The Wishful Thinking of the Anti-Gun Crowd

“No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms within his own lands.” — Thomas Jefferson, Draft Constitution for the State of Virginia — 1776

Most people not raised in the presence of firearms demonstrate possess a fear of guns and are uncomfortable in their presence. In all my years of discussing the ownership of firearms with people (mostly liberals) I have found this to be the case.

As a teenager I owned my first gun, a .22 caliber bolt action Remington rifle. I used the rifle for target and varmint shooting. I was pretty good with targets, but did not have that much luck with the varmints. I soon graduated to a 12 gauge shotgun for hunting and was instructed in its use by neighbor, a WWII navy veteran. Eventually I was trained in the use of .306 caliber repeating rifle, revolvers, and semi-automatic hand guns. I learned the power of the gun and the responsibility gun ownership placed on the owner. I was never afraid to handle a firearm.

On the other hand I know and have known numerous people who do not own a firearm of any class and have never handled one. They have an unnatural fear of firearms as my father did of driving an automobile until he moved to California and had no choice but to learn to drive and purchased his first vehicle. Their first argument against the ownership of a firearm is; “why do we need a gun for home protection, that’s what the police are for.” Most of these folks believe guns should be limited to the military and law enforcement.

In a conversation with a deputy sheriff of the county I live in a few years ago at a neighborhood watch meeting about the ownership of a firearm for personal defense here is what he had to say; “the police will rarely, if not never, be able to get to your home in time to prevent a crime. I cannot tell you to go out and buy a gun to protect your home and family, but I have several personal defense guns in my house.” This law enforcement officer was right on target. By the time the police arrive the damage is already done and they become investigators not crime stoppers.

I have two German shepherds at home and a sign on the gate to my side yard stating “Beware of Dog” with a picture of a mean German shepherd. Sometimes I wonder it a sign in front lawn had a picture of a gun with the words “This is a gun zone.” While the dogs a very good and give ample and loud warnings of people at the door I don’t know if they could handle an intruder with malevolent intent.

To the anti-gun crowd, including educators, guns are evil most of them seem to feel. The guns of the police they'd summon to their aid are bad too. The make believe guns boys play cowboy with are bad too, even the gun a second grader might pencil in when drawing a picture of an "army man" is evil. It's a key tenet of their wishful thinking.

And a very strange brand of wishful thinking it is. Instead of hoping for something to come their way, they're wishing for nothing to happen. Its symbol might be a monkey with it hands over its eyes because it's principal doctrine is that if you can't see any evil, refuse to see any evil, then it doesn't exist. Of course it's only a variation of the old notion that if you don't look a lion in the eye he won't charge. But it's what these people believe. Which is why schools run by similar believers once prohibited any discussion of 9/11, any videotapes, photographs or indeed any reference to it at all. Again if you don't see evil or don't learn about it, talk it out, try to learn the lessons it teaches you, then it doesn't exist, and won't have any power over you.

Without any evidence at all that they're right, indeed in the face of any number of horrible examples proving them wrong, they cling to this belief. Because on some level they believe they want to convince themselves that they're "better than that", better than Virginia Tech, better than Columbine, better than those awful images of people jumping from the twin towers. That they're different somehow — they’re special.

But educators should know something about history. This is an old story and has its roots in a tragedy every bit as compelling as Sandy Hook School. It is the story of Lindisfarne.

An island connected to northern England's coast by a tidal causeway. A holy place, in fact its name today is Holy Island and 1219 years ago (793) it was Christendom's most prominent experiment with what we today would call a Gun Free School Zone. But what happened there should have proved for all time that covering one's eyes, pretending that demons don't exist, that you're somehow "better than that", is worse than futile. Criminally worse.

Lindisfarne was a monastery, renowned for its non-violence, dedicated to800px-LindisfarneCastleHolyIsland learning, to the idea that in the tumult of the early Middle Ages, man could, should be, was "better than that." Gloriously "better than that." And for a while people believed along with them in this "right message" and endowed Lindisfarne with riches, sang its praises in ten thousand churches.

Its ruins today are still a beacon atop a spire of high rock, surmounted by sheer stone walls, far above the everyday concerns of this world.

But they are ruins because one dark in the eighth century Lindisfarne's rock and walls were scaled by Vikings holding their swords in their mouths. Demons out of the northern seas who chased the unarmed monks from room to room in the monastery, butchering them for sport, sacking their golden altar and trampling their precious books underfoot. An event which shook Christendom to its core.

Why did it happen? Quite simply because the killers were drawn by the defenselessness of the place, by Lindisfarne's "right message", by the fact that Lindisfarne abjured violence and trusted as school administrators trust today, in never looking the lion in the eye. Above all by the fact that Lindisfarne would not suffer the presence of armed men who might defend it.

Today most of us don't even remember that there once was such a place. Even though we keep repeating the same mistake it made. We don't remember what we should have learned then; that weakness will, sooner or later, summon horror as Adam Lanza was summoned to Sandy Hook School.

Killers always look for targets of easy access and no apparent means of defense. This tactic goes back hundreds of years. Adam Lanza chose the one target where he had the best chance of not encountering armed citizens, a gun-free school zone. Just as the Vikings didn't choose to assault one of the many fortified castles with armed men elsewhere on the coast but instead chose Lindisfarne. Just as Eric Harris and Dyland Klebold didn't choose a gun show to assault, a rodeo, a police station but instead chose Columbine.

I'm not certain what the solution is. No one wants schools to become armed camps with sandbagged revetments, passwords and barbed wire. Besides the evil one is a liar painted with many tongues and so the monsters who wish to kill children often adopt other techniques. Walter Seifert in Cologne Germany constructed a flame thrower he put to use through an elementary school's windows burning to death eight students, two teachers and horribly maiming many others. You have the three men who buried an entire school bus load of children in California. You have poisoners, knife wielding maniacs, stranglers, bombers, kidnappers and pedophile killers. And Timothy McVeigh used a rented Ryder truck and fertilizer to take 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6, and injured more than 680 people at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. Should we ban Ryder trucks and fertilizer?

Instead it strikes me that any solution has to be rooted in natural affinity. The relationship of parent to child, neighbor to neighbor, grandparent to grandchild. Not in the fatuous belief that stone hearted killers will obey the resolutions of school boards, the acts of Congress or indeed do anything but laugh at any amount of wishful thinking.

Considering this point one might recall that at Columbine there were no such bonds which could gather and stop Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Nor was one considered necessary. Instead there were only rules grounded in a lot of wishful thinking — rules which Eric Harris and Dyland Klebold ignored. So despite a surplus of bravery among individual teachers and students and the presence of an armed sheriff's deputy on duty, who heard the first shots and didn't run towards them as he would have if they were his children, 13 people died.

And there was the school principal clueless about the murderers, who couldn't recall Eric Harris and Dyland Klebold student walking the halls in black trench coats in the days prior to the killings and threatening other students. We can believe his testimony or not but one thing we know for sure is that he wasn't looking for any lions to stare down. Finally there were the despicable parents of Eric Harris and Dyland Klebold who ignored or were oblivious to the collection of weapons and their bizarre behavior. Mothers and fathers in authority over their children who simply wished nothing bad would happen.

And so the concept of a gun free school zone established by authority turned out to be as much of a joke at Columbine as it was the other day in Newtown, Connecticut or at the Century 16 Multiplex movie theater in Aurora, Colorado where 12 were killed and 58 injured — the only theater of 7 in the area that was a gun free zone. This is the same idea that was shown to be a farce at Lindisfarne 1219 years ago.

Now I understand that public education today is a determinedly feminine institution. But they have tremendous leeway under the law and so one thing school administrators and teachers might consider doing is admit the fact that they have no more idea on how to physically defend children than they do about how to build a space shuttle with their second grade paper doll scissors. But among the parents of their pupils are many men who do have that experience and training. There are former or current police officers, soldiers and Marines. There are people who've been shot at and who've shot. People who have had to winkle armed men out of a closed room and take them down — men who will deter evil by their presence.

So for once why can't some hapless school administrator call them in? Ask them what they would do to keep these children safe and then heed what they say. Perhaps take note of what the Harrold Independent School District, in Texas does. It encourages teachers to concealed bring guns to work after they are trained and certified in their use.

In the City of Man people want there to be a reason for everything. People should have a logical reason for any significant thing they do. Life should make sense. Humans so strongly feel the desire for ratiocination to triumph over chaos and that Charles Williams once remarked that “Hell is (the) indefinite.” No matter how bad a tragedy occurs, we try to find a reason or a purpose behind it.

People reach for the easy explanation first. If Lanza didn’t have a gun then he never could have killed innocent children. Let’s immediately ban the guns. We could do a better job of securing the grounds of our schools. Let’s make every place that has children a gun-free zone. The world would be a better place if something that simplistic could succeed.

Yet making murder weapons illegal does very little to deter murderers. Some argue that it makes them even bolder and more sadistic. Adam Lanza, Brenda Spencer, Seung-Hui Cho and the Columbine High School shooters all had the added advantage of no armed resistance as they went on their insane rampages. Cho succeeded in buying handguns despite his diagnosed mental health problems because he simply lied on the background check.

We can’t stop people from getting anything they strongly or desperately want. These things could be guns, drugs, or even the coerced services of child prostitutes. Criminals will always find a way to provide it for a price. We can’t prevent Adam Lanza from getting a weapon even if Dick’s Sporting Goods follows Federal law to the letter and turns down Mr. Lanza’s legal tender 72 hours before he commits his atrocities using another set of guns. We are not going to end child pornography or sexual exploitation, win the War on Drugs or prevent the next mass shooting by focusing on any of these things.

We are going to have to realize that society rife with single-parent families, a tendency to completely desensitize people to violence and understate the sacred value of life, and where people think “I don’t like Mondays” is actually a funny piece of social commentary. It is not a safe place to raise our children.

The anti-gun crowds of educators, intellectuals, and politicians all have agenda-driven arguments for their distain of firearms. Because they do not recognize the existence of evil, due to their secular philosophies, they believe guns are the root cause of the violence in our society. In fact it has been proven that as gun ownership increases crimes against law abiding citizens decreases. (See John Lott’s 2010 book More Guns, Less Crime.) In fact 1927, according to the FBI, had the largest number of mass shootings in the history of the nation.

Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999, and found that a common theme of mass shootings is that they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools.

I heard a radio interview with Mr. Lott after the Newtown shooting, and he confirmed that nothing has changed to alter his findings. He noted that the Aurora shooter, who killed twelve people earlier this year, had a choice of seven movie theaters that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. All were within a 20-minute drive of his home. The Cinemark Theater the killer ultimately chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that posted signs saying it banned concealed handguns carried by law-abiding individuals. All of the other theaters allowed the approximately 4 percent of Colorado adults who have a concealed-handgun permit to enter with their weapons.

“Disarming law-abiding citizens leaves them as sitting ducks,” Lott said. “A couple hundred people were in the Cinemark Theater when the killer arrived. There is an extremely high probability that one or more of them would have had a legal concealed handgun with him if they had not been banned.”

Lott offers a final damning statistic: “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”

There is no evidence that private holders of concealed-carry permits (which are either easy to obtain or not even required in more than 40 states) are any more irresponsible with firearms than the police. According to a 2005 to 2007 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Bowling Green State University, police nationwide were convicted of firearms violations at least at a 0.002 percent annual rate. That’s about the same rate as holders of carry permits in the states with “shall issue” laws.

Despite all of this evidence, the magical thinking behind gun-free zones is unlikely to be questioned in the wake of the Newtown killings. Having such zones gives people a false sense of security, and woe to the politician or business owner who now suggests that a “gun-free zone” revert back to what critics would characterize as “a wild, wild West” status. Indeed, shortly after the Cinemark attack in Colorado, the manager of the nearby Northfield Theaters changed its policy and began banning concealed handguns.

In all of the fevered commentary over the Newtown killings, you will hear little discussion of the fact that we may be making our families and neighbors less safe by expanding the places where guns aren’t allowed. But that is precisely what we may be doing. Both criminals and the criminally insane have shown time and time again that those laws are the least of the problems they face as they carry out their evil deeds

We live in an age of moral relativism that, having no foundation on which to stand, is rapidly descending into nihilism — the absence of morality or any justification for it. I'm going to leave the shooter's intentions alone for the time, as I'm sure those will be discussed at length for weeks.

I'm talking about nihilism not just in the shooter, but in the broader culture that attempts to understand these horrific events without a moral reference point. In the aftermath, we attempt to get more and more legalistic, bureaucratic, and technocratic to solve problems that can't be legislated away.

These events are products of sick, evil people in an increasingly sick culture that has no stomach for "outdated" concepts like absolute right and wrong. We believe if we could just pass enough well-worded laws, we could eliminate this behavior from society. We treat these tragedies as outputs, thinking that we can just tinker with the inputs enough to get our desired results. This is the basic believe of the progressive masterminds.

For God's sake, the bodies were still warm and we were already talking about piles upon piles of statistics, as if the problem of violent gun crime could be solved mathematically with some study or Congressional inquiry. I'm afraid that, absent the presence of morality in our discussions of these murders, we have no tools to solve the underlying problems except legalism and policy making by the intellectual masterminds. People will keep fixating on the problems with guns because we've become woefully inadequate at talking about problems inherent in humanity.

It always amuses me in a pitying way when I hear people retreat even further into nihilism after an event like this by making that old appeal to the "Argument of Evil" which asks, "If there truly is a good god, why does he allow such evil deeds?" As if the very presence of evil invalidates the possibility or under-pinning for good!

Forgive my frustration, but what right do we have to even speak about evil in our society? We are so immersed in violence, greed, sex, instant gratification, and materialism that we've lost all sense of what evil even looks like. To know evil, you must first know good. And while we work ourselves into a righteous huff over "evil" for 2% of the year when these disgusting acts occur, for the other 98% we desperately try to rebel against all forms of conventional morality - that cramps our style, doesn't it?

A child one minute before passing through the birth canal can have a pair of surgical scissors put through his or her brain without society batting an eye. A fully formed, breathing, crying, desperate, helpless baby who is the result of a botched abortion has no entitlement to life in parts of this "enlightened" Western world. And we talk about "evil"?

Government officials pass guns to cartels to slaughter civilians, and we get to talk about "evil"?

It is all so sad. But the bullet ridden bodies of those little angels and angelic teachers in Newtown should show us that wishful thinking won't work, has never worked and will never work. If it did, we'd only have to wish those children back.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

When is Being Black Being Black?

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” — Frederick Douglass

One of the most exciting young players in the National Football League this year is the quarterback for the Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin III — otherwise known as RGIII. Griffin, a graduate of Baylor University and winner of the prestigious Heisman Trophy, was the first player picked by the Redskins in the 2012 NFL draft. The Redskins mortgaged the house by trading three years’ worth of first round picks to the St. Louis Rams, a team that due to their dismal 2011 seasons had been awarded the second overall pick in the draft.

The first player picked in the draft was quarterback Andrew Luck, of Stanford, by the Indianapolis Colts at team with the worst 2011 record. Both college quarterbacks were highly rated collage players desired by many NFL teams.

Griffin was born on Okinawa, where his parents, Robert Jr. and Jacqueline, both U.S. Army sergeants, were stationed. The family later lived at Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Washington, and then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. They finally settled in Copperas Cove, Texas in 1997.

Griffin attended Copperas Cove High School, where he was a three-sport star in basketball, football, and track. He started at quarterback for two seasons. During his junior season, he passed for 2,001 yards and 25 touchdowns with two interceptions, while compiling 876 rushing yards for 8 touchdowns. He received first-team All-District 16-4A honors after the season. As a senior he recorded 1,285 rushing yards, posting 24 touchdowns, and passed for 1,356 yards for 16 touchdowns with seven interceptions. In his senior season Copperas Cove finished with a record of 13–2, but lost in the championship game of the 2007 Class 4A Division I state playoffs. Over the two seasons, he rushed for a total of 2,161 yards and 32 touchdowns while passing for 3,357 yards and 41 touchdowns with nine interceptions., a college football recruiting service, ranked Griffin the fourth-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation and the 42nd-best player in Texas in the high school prospect class of 2008. During the college recruiting period Griffin was pursued by Stanford, Tennessee, Kansas, Nebraska, Houston, Tulsa, Illinois, Washington State, and Oregon. Griffin initially committed to play for Houston under head coach Art Briles. When Briles left Houston to take the head coaching position at Baylor, Griffin switched his commitment and eventually signed a letter of intent to play for Baylor, in part because the university also had a top track and field program.

Griffin graduated from high school a semester early, after serving as class250px-Rg3_redskins president and ranking seventh in his class. He began attending Baylor, A Baptist, Christian University, during the spring 2008 semester when he was 17 years old. As a member of Baylor's track and field team, Griffin finished in first place in the 400-meter hurdles at both the Big 12 Conference Championship and the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship meets; he also broke the NCAA Midwest Regional 400-meter hurdles record. He placed third in the NCAA meet and also participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials, in which he advanced to the semifinals. Griffin graduated in three years with a degree in political science and a 3.67 GPA, while appearing on the Dean's List twice. During his final year of college sports eligibility, he was studying for a Master's degree in communication.

Coming into the 2011 season, the Baylor Bears were not expected to do well, being picked 6th in the Big 12 preseason poll. The Bears opened the season against 15th-ranked TCU. The Bears took a 47-23 lead into the 4th quarter, and were able to fight off a comeback after the Horned Frogs gained the lead 48-47 briefly, only for Baylor to kick the game winning field goal and win 50-48. They pulled off the upset in large part due to Griffin's performance; he passed for 359 yards, with 5 touchdowns and a 77.8% completion percentage. On the game-winning drive, Griffin also caught a key pass. Following the win, Baylor entered the AP Poll rankings for only the third time in the previous 15 seasons, at 20th, and Griffin was considered by many to be a Heisman Trophy candidate. After a bye week Baylor shut out Stephen F. Austin State University 48-0, and Griffin went 20 of 22 (90.9%) for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns and ran for 78 yards. In week 4, Griffin ushered Baylor to their third win, beating Rice University 56-31; Griffin completed 29 of 33 passes (87.9%) for 338 yards with 51 yards rushing and a touchdown. In week five against Kansas State, Griffin almost brought the Bears to their fourth win, going 23 out of 31 (74.2%) for 346 yards and five touchdowns with only one interception, but they lost 36-35 to the Wildcats. In week six against Iowa State, Griffin took Baylor to Iowa for their fourth win, completing 22 out of 30 (73.3%) for 212 yards, one touchdown, and zero interceptions. He won the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first player from Baylor to win it. Griffin also led Baylor to a 10-3 record, including a 67-56 win over the Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl. With a combined 123 points, it stands as the highest-scoring regulation bowl game in NCAA history. Due to the Alamo Bowl, Griffin became the first player since Tim Tebow in 2007 to win the Heisman and not appear in the National Championship.

Griffin was widely projected to be the No. 2 pick of the draft, but the St. Louis Rams — the team originally holding the pick — had already selected Sam Bradford to be their long-term starting quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Wanting to stick with Bradford, the Rams decided to deal the pick prior to the draft, with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins perceived as the most interested bidders. After a brief bidding process, the Redskins acquired the pick by giving the Rams four high-value draft picks over three years: their No. 6 overall pick in 2012, their second-round pick in 2012, and their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014.

Griffin III's father, Robert Griffin, Jr., a talented basketball player at Kennedy High School, enlisted in the Army before he graduated. While stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado, he met and later married Jackie Griffin (née Ross). The couple were deployed to Okinawa, Fort Lewis and Fort Hood, nearby which they eventually settled after retiring from the military.

At Baylor, Griffin III met his fiancée Rebecca Liddicoat, a native of Boulder, Colorado.

If you haven’t noticed by now RGIII is black.

RGII is the latest black under attack by the Blackness Gestapo. The Blackness Gestapo are racists, black and white, who troll the airways keeping blacks in check, faithful to their blackness. They believe that to be authentically black, one must behave and think in certain ways. Blackness Gestapo-authorized black behavior includes having a chip on your shoulder against whites, maintaining an eternal victim and entitlement mindset, never achieving success without Democratic Party programs, and never, ever voting Republican. Blacks must call themselves African-Americans and display an urban edge via their speech, attire, and attitude.

Blackness Gestapo enforcer and ESPN analyst Rob Parker accused RGIII of not being black enough. Griffin comes from a great military family. His fiancée is white. He is extremely articulate. He wants to be judged by his performance on the football field without regard for his skin color. Wow — what a radical concept in our new "everything is about race" Obama America. Doesn't RGIII sound like he embraces the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — that people be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin? (Don’t look for the video of Parker’s remarks on YouTube as it has been pulled for violation of YouTube’s policies)

But worst of all, Parker stated he has a white girlfriend and rumor has it that Griffin might be a Republican.

It should be noted that Rush Limbaugh was fired from his 2003 football analysis gig on ESPN his comments on Eagles quarterback Donovan McNab for saying after the Eagles 23-13 win over the Buffalo Bills:

“Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go," Limbaugh said. "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

The idiotic self-imposed suppression of black liberation and growth by the Blackness Gestapo goes way back.

In the '70s, I remember watching an episode of the sitcom Good Times. A black politician was criticized by the black community for coming across too white. To prove his blackness and win black voters, the politician had to show that he could speak an urban language called The Dozens. Clearly, the absurd, restrictive message of the episode was that regardless of one's education, racial loyalty requires that blacks maintain remnants of the hood.

Remember the '90s comedy TV show In Living Color? A standard joke of the program was the black guy who did not sound or behave like he came from the ghetto. The message was that blacks who speak English correctly and prefer sushi over fried chicken are traitors trying to be white.

Witness the same brain-dead behavior from blacks in Florida when brilliant, articulate black Republican Jennifer Carroll ran for Congress against the Democrat incumbent do-nothing-for-her-constituents Corrine Brown. Brown's district was mostly black and ghetto. Brown had been in office forever, without much positive change in her district. Carroll was smart and loaded with fresh new ideas. Brown won re-election, hands down. Word on the street was that Carroll sounded too white. Give me a break! Racist idiots! This behavior also applies to contemporaries like Allan West and Mia Love. It no doubt will be carried over to Tim Scott the newly appointed U.S. Senator (by Nikki Haley the governor of South Carolina) to fill .the seat of retiring Senator Jim DeMint.

As Lloyd Marcus, a Black Tea Party conservative wrote in American Thinker

“Blackness Gestapo Generals Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton had a "'tude" against Obama for running for president without hood "creds" such as theirs.  Obama had to prove his blackness by spending 20 years in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist church. The mainstream media partnered with the Democrats in hiding Rev. Wright's racist rants from the public to protect their first black serious socialistic/progressive contender for the Oval Office.

If I sound a bit frank in my language, it is because I am tired of Blackness Gestapo thugs threatening and stifling the growth of blacks. How dare they dictate the behavior of myself and other blacks?

Forty years ago, I met a black fencing master -- as in sword-fighting. I was elated. I carted the brother to recreation centers across Baltimore. I wanted black kids to see black excellence beyond basketball, football, baseball, and entertainment. I wanted them to see that blacks need not be limited in their abilities, hopes, and dreams.

So Blackness Gestapo thug Rob Parker, get a life and mind your own business. RGIII is free to be whomever and whatever he wishes without your and your homeys' approval. Wimp conservatives/Republicans say we must pander to your ilk to win the urban vote. That "ain't happenin'" as far as I am concerned. I will never sacrifice principles and values that I know are right and best for all people to the false god of votes. Racist thugs like you must and will be defeated.”

As it stands today RGIII is a perfect role model for all youth — not just Black kids. He is talented and has used that talent the God gave him and his parents nurtured to pursue his dream and so far have done very well. Is leadership abilities were quickly recognized by the Redskin’s player that they named him team captain — this is unheard of for a rookie! He is an exciting football player to watch and I will root for him — except when the Redskins play my beloved Rams. If he continues on his current career path and can avoid career ending injuries he will no doubt end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Also, if he lives up to his principles and does well he will no doubt eventually become a national leader in some capacity — perhaps politics.