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VA: Gun rights and human rights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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There are those who feel that the recent horror in Las Vegas will finally move our reluctant legislators and courts to get to serious work on the matter of gun control. Increasingly strident voices are already rising. To date, of course, there has been little serious energy given to this matter by most of our political leaders … either Democrats or Republicans … and a pox on their houses for such cowardice. I do not believe that progress on the matter will be made. How many times have we as a nation witnessed the carnage, heard the speeches, experienced the tears, listened to the point/counterpoint debate and expressed our frustration only to hear the screams of the slaughtered retreat into silence as “things return to normal”?
 

Can the government keep us safe?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The recognition of a right as fundamental or natural or pre-political is not a mere academic exercise. This is so because rights in this category cannot be abrogated by the popular will. Stated differently, just as your right to think as you wish and say what you think cannot be interfered with or taken away in America by legislation, so, too, your right to own, carry and use arms of the same sophistication as are generally available to bad guys and to government officials cannot be interfered with or taken away by legislation.
 

One Undeniable Factor In Gun Violence: Men
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Another mass shooting in America, another round of questions. Was the shooter a terrorist or a lone wolf (read: “Is he Muslim or not?”). Did he have a political agenda? Was he mentally ill? Why would someone do this?

A question we never ask: Was the shooter a man?

The answer is always the same.
 

Today in Conservative Media: The NRA Isn’t As Powerful As Liberals Think
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Conservative commentary on the Las Vegas shooting and the gun control debate continued on Wednesday. At National Review, David French argued that liberals vastly overstate the importance of the NRA:
 

TX: Will the Las Vegas shooting lead to more gun sales?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In the wake of subsequent mass shootings, most recently in Las Vegas, this rhetoric is emerging once again. There are already reports that gun sales have increased following these shootings.

Unfortunately, very little is known about how mass shootings and the fear they cause might actually affect gun purchasing. To find out if mass shootings cause an uptick in gun purchasing, I decided to study trends in background checks before and after six mass shootings, from 2000 to 2009.
 

IA: Vegas shooting renews debate on high-capacity ammo magazines
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gun-control advocates say magazines that can store and feed 30, 50 or even 100 bullets into firearms increase the potential carnage of an attack.

It’s believed that millions of such accessories are legally owned in the U.S. — prized by gun enthusiasts for recreational shooting and self-defense.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to take a case that revolves around the issue and asks if the Second Amendment gives people a right to possess the high-capacity ammunition magazines.

So far, eight states have passed laws restricting magazine capacity to 10 or 15 bullets.
 

Democratic Senators Introduce Bill To Ban Bump Stocks After Las Vegas Massacre
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now we turn to a Democratic senator and co-sponsor of a bill to ban bump stocks. Those are the attachments to a rifle that make it possible to fire off many rounds with one pull of the trigger. Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland is also the chair of the Senate Democrats' campaign committee. Senator Van Hollen, welcome to the program once again.

CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Good afternoon.

SIEGEL: If someone attaches a bump stock to a semiautomatic rifle, it'll fire at rates between 400 and 800 rounds per minute. This bill would outlaw them. Would it also outlaw the ones that are already out there?
 

Hey, Jimmy Kimmel: Here’s What the Founders Really Thought About Guns
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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With Jon Stewart off the air, it seems the left has found a new progressive comedian it can look to for all the big cultural and public policy debates.

After spending September lobbying on air to keep Obamacare, Jimmy Kimmel went on a rant this week on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” TV show about the horrific mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas on Sunday. He made a fairly sweeping attack on widespread gun ownership in America and generally suggested that gun control will fix the problem of gun violence.
 

Ben Shapiro to Jimmy Kimmel: To Say 2nd Amendment Doesn't Cover Military-Grade Weapons Is Like Saying 1st Amendment Doesn't Cover TV
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In response to late-nite host Jimmy Kimmel's emotional plea about the need for federal gun control on "weapons designed to kill," 'Daily Wire' founder Ben Shapiro explained his view that the 2nd Amendment is intended specifically to allow the public to have military-grade weapons:

"The Second Amendment, I guess, our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s is the argument, I assume. Orlando, Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino, every one of these shootings the murderer used automatic or semiautomatic rifles, which are not weapons you use for self-defense. They’re weapons designed to kill," Kimmel said following the mass shooting this weekend in Las Vegas.
 

MA: Gun control debate must come later and keep rights in mind
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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You told us instead that we’ll have a gun law debate when the time is right.

The rational among us know that implementing meaningful public policy — and any discussion around issues that might involve stripping Americans of their constitutional rights — should never be done when emotions are raw. The time for a Second Amendment debate and whether bump-stock devices should be regulated is when the bereaved have had a chance to bury their dead and healing has begun — not before.
 

SD: South Dakota unaffected by national gun sale decline
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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People in the arms industry say South Dakota is relatively unaffected by a nationwide dip in gun sales after a bump in interest before the 2016 election.

Some residents last year worried that if Hillary Clinton were elected, gun ownership rights would slip and certain models would be pulled. But those who track the gun industry in South Dakota say gun advocacy in the state remains strong, the Argus Leader reported .

Steve Naatjes, owner of Gary’s Gun Shop in Sioux Falls, said assault rifle sales picked up before the election but have since scaled back. But he said handgun sales have remained consistent, a trend he said was likely spurred by local and national news involving robberies and shootings.
 

In the Gun Debate, Bipartisan Hypocrisy
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much, but they agree that sometimes, individual freedom must yield to the imperatives of public safety. They also agree that sometimes, efforts to save lives come at too high a price in liberty. Trouble is, they can't agree on when.

The aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre illustrates how either party employs a different calculus depending on the problem at hand. Each has blind spots that become apparent in moments of crisis.
 

As Gun Control Advocates Cry, "Do Something," What Should Conservatives Consider?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Nevertheless, making bump stocks much more difficult to obtain is a step that does not strike me as an unreasonable imposition on Second Amendment rights, especially since we basically outlawed "the real thing" long ago. I've read some critics of this idea who warn that overly-broad or vague legislative language on this point could be used to ensnare additional gun components or accessories. My response? Write the law tightly and smartly, in conjunction with bona fide experts.

Ed.: We've already violated the 2A, so why not violate it some more? Where does Townhall find such 'conservatives'?
 

Repeal the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I have never understood the conservative fetish for the Second Amendment.

From a law-and-order standpoint, more guns means more murder. “States with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides,” noted one exhaustive 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health.
 

Wake Up America, It’s Time To Repeal The Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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It’s time for the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution to be repealed.

That statement alone is sure to ruffle the feathers of all the gun owners and advocates who hold the Second Amendment near and dear to their hearts; but someone had to say it.
 

Australia: Australia Found a Solution to Mass Shootings. America Should Try It.
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Expressions of outrage about the Las Vegas massacre are yet again being matched by national despondency that no U.S. government will lift a finger to prevent more of these happening.

Yet my country, Australia, has discovered the vaccine to such gun massacres. In April 1996, six days after a misfit shot dead 35 people at Tasmania’s historic Port Arthur tourist site, our arch-conservative-led government passed the National Firearms Agreement, outlawing all civilian access to semiautomatic rifles and pump-action shotguns.
 

UK: The right to bear arms: what does the second amendment really mean?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The second amendment has become a badge and bumper sticker, a shield for gun activists and scripture for much of the American right. But like other cherished texts, it is not as clear as many make it out to be.

The amendment reads: “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.”

For most of the republic’s lifespan, from 1791 to 2008, those commas and clauses were debated by attorneys and senators, slave owners and freedmen, judges, Black Panthers, governors and lobbyists. For some, the militia was key; for others the right that shall not be infringed; for yet others, the question of states versus the federal government.
 

WTF?! Steve Scalise Says Las Vegas & His Own Shooting 'Fortified' His Position That More Guns = More Safety!
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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While regular people and country musicians are looking at the 59 dead and 527 wounded in the Las Vegas shooting and changing their minds about sensible gun control, a surprise voice is standing firm.

Representative Steve Scalise, who was shot last June when a deranged Bernie Sanders-supporting gun owner opened fire on a GOP baseball practice, says Vegas and his own experiences did not dissuade him from his view that we'd be safer with more guns.

In an interview on Fox News Tuesday night, the House Majority Whip says these tragic events "fortified" his position.
 

WI: Students offer free dildos to those who will protest Katie Pavlich’s pro-Second Amendment talk
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Students upset that conservative commentator Katie Pavlich is slated to give at talk at the University of Wisconsin Madison next week defending the Second Amendment have come up with a rather creative way to protest it.

The activists with Cocks Not Glocks at UW Madison have scheduled “The Bonerfide Penis Arts Fest” to compete with and demonstrate against the Young Americans for Freedom’s planned event Oct. 10 titled “Trigger Warning: Second Amendment Rights and Self Defense.”
 

UK: Why the European establishment hates the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The European political establishment hates the Second Amendment for its ultimate repudiation of big government.

To understand the European viewpoint, consider the debate on Britain's Sky News channel, Tuesday evening, between liberal columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and libertarian editor Brendan O'Neill.

As O'Neill calmly outlined why gun ownership represents positive individual freedom, Alibhai-Brown quickly lost her cool, "That is not a moral position!" she shouted, adding that the Second Amendment was designed for a time "When [Americans] were massacring Native Americans ... hundreds of thousands of people were being killed."
 

Republicans say Second Amendment, not NRA, drives their stance on guns after Las Vegas massacre
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Republicans counter that Democrats are playing politics with a national tragedy. But in interviews, they speculated that the Left fundamentally misunderstands their reverence for the Second Amendment. It's a position that they share with, and is driven by, their most active voters, often promoted by the NRA. And that grassroots force includes many who've shifted right over the years because of the Democratic Party's left turn on cultural issues — gun rights chief among them.

"I vote my conscience and people support me because they like the way I represent my district. The whole underlying assumption [Democrats] are making is false," Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., said in an interview with the Washington Examiner.
 

The Gun Control Debate Is Pointless Until Liberals Admit They Want To Repeal The Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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It didn’t take long. Long before all the facts about the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas were known or even all the missing were accounted for, liberals were riding their familiar gun control hobby horses. Within hours of the atrocity, articles were being posted online from the usual suspects, like Frank Bruni and Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times and Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, trotting out familiar themes. They want laws requiring more background checks, age limits on purchases, preventing people with a record of mental illness or domestic violence from being sold weapons, so-called “smart gun” measures that can trace guns and ammunition more easily, and even suggested banning handguns.
 

TN: Second Amendment supporter and Tennessee resident destroys AR-15 bump stock, calls for it to be outlawed
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Three months ago Straub, 69, purchased an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the civilian version of the M-16 he used in 1968-69, and it came with a “bump stock,” a tool that allows a semi-automatic weapon to fire at a near fully-automatic pace.

After learning the Las Vegas gunman used a similar device on 12 guns to kill 59 people and injure over 500 more, Straub said it was time to destroy his bump stock, to literally saw it into pieces. And he'd do it in front of a reporter who could record it.

He said he hoped his actions would lead others to do the same.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
The writings of scholars who have written on the subject are virtually united on the point that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, not simply the state national guards. — PROFESSOR GLENN HARLAN REYNOLDS

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