Category Archives: America

Medal of Honor Recipient Trumps President in Getting Things Done

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Medal of Honor Recipient Trumps President in Getting Things Done

The latest soldier to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor, Captain William D Swenson, is a credit to his country and I thank him for his heroism and gallantry.

I also thank him for his doggedness in pursuing disciplinary actions to those who he felt were responsible for getting soldiers killed.  A number that would be higher if not for the actions of Captain Swenson.

The official Medal of Honor Citation for Captain Swenson:

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Captain William D. Swenson distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as embedded advisor to the Afghan National Border Police, Task Force Phoenix, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in support of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on September 8, 2009.

On that morning, more than 60 well-armed, well-positioned enemy fighters ambushed Captain Swenson’s combat team as it moved on foot into the village of Ganjgal for a meeting with village elders. As the enemy unleashed a barrage of rocket-propelled grenade, mortar and machine gun fire, Captain Swenson immediately returned fire and coordinated and directed the response of his Afghan Border Police, while simultaneously calling in suppressive artillery fire and aviation support. After the enemy effectively flanked Coalition Forces, Captain Swenson repeatedly called for smoke to cover the withdrawal of the forward elements. Surrounded on three sides by enemy forces inflicting effective and accurate fire, Captain Swenson coordinated air assets, indirect fire support and medical evacuation helicopter support to allow for the evacuation of the wounded.

Captain Swenson ignored enemy radio transmissions demanding surrender and maneuvered uncovered to render medical aid to a wounded fellow soldier. Captain Swenson stopped administering aid long enough to throw a grenade at approaching enemy forces, before assisting with moving the soldier for air evacuation. With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Swenson unhesitatingly led a team in an unarmored vehicle into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on at least two occasions, to recover the wounded and search for four missing comrades.

After using aviation support to mark locations of fallen and wounded comrades, it became clear that ground recovery of the fallen was required due to heavy enemy fire on helicopter landing zones. Captain Swenson’s team returned to the kill zone another time in a Humvee. Captain Swenson voluntarily exited the vehicle, exposing himself to enemy fire, to locate and recover three fallen Marines and one fallen Navy corpsman. His exceptional leadership and stout resistance against the enemy during six hours of continuous fighting rallied his teammates and effectively disrupted the enemy’s assault.

Captain William D. Swenson’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Task Force Phoenix, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division and the United States Army.

That’s some impressive stuff.

But it was Captain Swenson’s actions after the fight that showed another kind of bravery that President Obama is sorely lacking.

You see, despite his heroic actions in saving the life of his fellow servicemen, four American’s lost their lives as well as a number of Afghan border police allies.  Instead of keeping his head down and chalking up the loss of life to “shit happens”, Captain Swenson once again braved a firestorm and demanded accountability.  After the fight Swenson complained vigorously that many of his calls for assistance were rejected by his superior officers.

Captain Swenson could have just let it be and it would have blown over in time but he believed that the men who lost their lives because of inaction deserved a reckoning.

The Army’s response at first was to “lose” his initial medal nomination.

Captain Swenson, showing the same rugged tenacity that earned him the medal whether he received it or not, continued to press the issue and eventually two Army officers were reprimanded for being “inadequate and ineffective” and for “contributing directly to the loss of life” following an investigation into the day’s events.

I wish President Obama had the same moral courage and sense of duty that Captain Swenson has.

Because Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyronne Woods deserve to know why they had to lose their lives when their calls for help were ignored in Benghazi.

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The cautionary tale of American Indians – What happens when only 1 side has the guns

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The cautionary tale of American Indians – What happens when only 1 side has the guns

Seeing as it is Columbus day, I am reminded of the cautionary tale that can be learned from the treatment of the American Indian for some 400 years.  It is a tale of what happens when one side has the guns and the desire to take and control what the other side has.

In this case the European explorers and those who followed them.  For gold, resources and land the conquering Europeans carved out a foothold in this land and spent the next few centuries pushing west to conquer it all.  Sure, they spoke of living in harmony and we have the whole Thanksgiving story but in the end an entire race of people lost 2 continents.

Before we go any further, let me just say that I am not against manifest destiny, Christopher Columbus or the Washington Redskins; the world is made up of winners and losers.  My point is that the story may have been played out a little differently if the Indians had realized what was coming down the pike a little earlier.  It is a lesson today that we would do well to heed.

So what are these lessons.

First and foremost, do not trust “governments” to do the right thing.  From the original settlers to the Colonies to the United States, the governments thereof have continued to promise and sign treaties that just asked for “a little more”.  Until they wanted to get a little more after that.  Before you know it, a continent is lost and you find yourself living on a little reservation that was dictated to you by the same government that took everything else.

This example of going back on their word and the continual drive for more and more by the government is a reflection of the desire of those politicians pushing for gun control.  They speak of “common sense gun control”, “just a little doesn’t infringe”, “we have to be reasonable” etc.  Really?  Funny, because if I recall California started off with “reasonable” gun control yet only by the veto of it’s Governor did it avert the complete banning of nearly every rifle in the state.

Just like the ever pushing drive west for land and gold, so too is it the mindset of gun controllers that they will succeed only when the reach the complete prohibition of firearms for everyone except the government.  The same government that has treats people it wants things from so “fairly”.

What would happen if the gun controllers dream of a disarmed populace were to come to fruition?  Once again we need only look at the treatment of the American Indians to discover that answer.  What would happen is that the ones with the guns would dictate how the ones without would live.  Where they would live, where they could travel etc.

Examples of this:

Trail of Tears:  The Indian Removal Act of 1830 ended up forcing the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes forcibly removed from their homes in the deep south and Florida to the plains of Oklahoma.  How do you forcibly remove over 16,000 indians from their ancestral home?  It’s not by asking nicely.  It’s at the point of a gun.  Side note, up to 6,000 of those forced to relocate died from disease, exposure and starvation along the way.

Massacre at Wounded Knee: In 1890 in South Dakota, the Lakota tribe was undergoing a gun confiscation run by the 7th Cavalry.  When a deaf Lakota named Black Coyote did not want to give up his rifle (respect) a shot reportedly rang out.  The 7th Cavalry responded by opening fire and shooting blindly into the tribe.  The Lakota, who had nearly all their weapons all ready confiscated could do little other than get shot and die.  Final tally of Lakota dead, around 300. approx 90 men and 200 women and children.

Just a telling reminder that if you lose your guns you are easily enough massacred by a government who is willing.

Prohibition on Firearm Sales: There was a federal law making it illegal to sell weapons to “hostile” Indians.  Not only did it not work that well, but it was also one of those gun control laws that was left murky on purpose.  This way you could deny selling a gun to ANY American Indian claiming that they are “hostile”.  It also opens up a “legal” means to confiscate the weapons that they do have.  Just toss the word “hostile” around and you immediately have legal cover.  Funny side note; this prohibition wasn’t abolished until 1979!

This nuance and ambiguity has continued to foster today with gun control measures left vague in order to bolster a larger interpretation than was initially voted on.

I could go on about the some 400 years of raping, pillaging and killing along with the countless broken treaties but that would be just gilding the lily at this point.

What I will say is this, the last tribes that found themselves free were not those willing to fight but rather those who were willing to fight and properly armed.  The will to fight against tyranny is a great thing to have, but bows and arrows will not get the job done against a Gatling gun and Henry Repeaters.

Unfortunately by that time the die was cast and it was too late.  Let that be a reminder that the right to keep and bear arms can be stamped out if left to the machinations of those who hate liberty for too long.

Once gone, like the lands of the Indians, may never be reclaimed.

Did the NYC cops at the biker beatdown have a duty to intervene? “No” says court precedents

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Did the NYC cops at the biker beatdown have a duty to intervene?  “No” says court precedents

Now that we have found out that at least 5 New York City cops were at the scene where Alexian Lien was pulled from his vehicle in front of his family and beaten by a biker gang, understandable outrage has come from the public. Calls for these officers to lose there jobs, be arrested and sued have been prevalent, but will they?

While it is true that 1 cop has all ready been arrested, that was for his active participation of the beating, the fates of the other cops who just stood by and watched has yet to be determined.

Would it surprise you that legally these cops have no duty to interfere and stop a crime against an individual?

In 1856 the Supreme Court ruled in South v Maryland that local law-enforcement had no duty to protect individuals, but only a general duty to enforce the laws  But that was over 150 years ago, things have surely changed since, no?

No.

The courts have ruled consistently for the past 30 years that the police are under no obligation to stop a crime and protect a person.

In July of this year the courts in New York City dismissed a lawsuit brought on by Joseph Lozito.  Lozito tackled and subdued spree murderer  Maksim Gelman after Gelman killed 4 and injured 5 while both men were on the No. 3 train pulling out of Penn Station.  Lozito’s heroics earned him a couple of stab wounds to the head requiring 22 stiches and 20 staples to close it up.

Why was Lozito suing?  Because there were two transit cops in that train car with him who didn’t intervene for the 60 seconds that he was struggling with Gelman.  Those officers waitied until the threat was subdued and Lozito immobilized the mass murderer before they calmly tapped him on the shoulder and told him “you can get up now”.

According to Manhattan judge Margaret Chan, the transit officers—who were reportedly searching for Gelman at the time—did not have an obligation to aid Lozito, as there was no evidence to suggest they knew he was in trouble. But Lozito, a father of two, says that’s not the case, and that two people—including Gelman himself—had gotten the officers’ attention, and they failed to protect both Lozito and the other people riding with him in the subway car.

I guess watching a man get stabbed for 60 seconds doesn’t constitute “trouble”.  What did the cops think, this was just boys being boys?

Then there is the DC Court of Appeals ruling in the case Warren v DC in 1981 in which the court once again stated that police do not have a duty to provide police services to individuals, even if a dispatcher promises help to be on the way.

In this case, Carolyn Warren and her female roommate were upstairs in a townhouse when they heard their third female roommate downstairs screaming as she was being raped by a pair of intruders.  The women upstairs called 911 and waited.  After 30 minutes when they saw a police car drive by and their roommates screams stopped they assumed the police had arrived and went downstairs.  The police hadn’t arrived and for the next 14 hours the three women were raped, robbed and beaten.

By a 4–3 decision the court decided that Warren was not entitled to remedy at the bar despite the demonstrable abuse and ineptitude on the part of the police because no special relationship existed. The court stated that official police personnel and the government employing them owe no duty to victims of criminal acts and thus are not liable for a failure to provide adequate police protection unless a special relationship exists.

Funny thing about that “special relationship” vernacular, you would think it would cover people with restraining orders or who were otherwise at risk of danger. Yet once again the courts side with the police not having any duty to actually protect a person.

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in Castle Rock v Gonzales that a town and its police department could not be sued for failing to enforce a restraining order, which had led to the murder of a woman’s three children by her estranged husband.

These are but a few cases in which the courts throughout the land have reiterated that the police do not have the duty to protect or serve YOU the individual.  It’s more like an ethereal idea of protect and serve than actually doing either.

What does this have to do with firearms?

Plenty.  The gun controllers and anti-gun zealots have long boasted about how the right to keep and bear arms is an antiquated and unnecessary relic of the past because we have the police to protect us.

Yet in reality, you can have a cop right in front of you while you are being a victim of a violent crime and they are fully allowed to legally just stand their and watch you die.

They can ignore your pleas for help and your 911 calls and even show “demonstrable abuse and ineptitude”  and still be in the clear.

Since the cops have no duty to protect us, if you don’t protect yourself, who will?

With the court ruling consistently on the side of sideline cops who just stand their and watch, chances are the 4 other police officers on the scene in New York who stood and just watched Alexian Lien beaten in front of them will not be charged or sued successfully.

I guess at the end of the day, the shield is just for their protection.  The rest of us are on our own.

If Gun Controllers Read The Other Amendments Like They Do The 2nd

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If Gun Controllers Read The Other Amendments Like They Do The 2nd

Gun control zealots love to get hooked on the semantics of the 2nd Amendment.

Due to the forefathers elegant writing that is more verse than prose, gun control zealots have harped on misinterpreted syntaxes of the 2nd Amendment for years.

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

The gun controllers like to say that since there isn’t an “and” between State and the right of the people that somehow invalidates the intent of founders.   The intent being found in the other writings of the time.

George Mason: “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

Sam Adams: “And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms”

George Washington: “Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence”

Alexander Hamilton: “The best we can help for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed”

Thomas Paine: “Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them (arms)”

So even though the founders had just tossed out a tyrant and basically made a bill of rights that all be exclusively dealt with the aforementioned tyranny, somehow the lack of a word is supposed to undercut the intent?

If we were to extend this logic to the other rights enumerated by the Bill of Rights we would have a very different country today.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

By applying gun control “logic” on the 1st Amendment we would have the right of free speech, press and assembly limited to only apply when seeking redress for grievances.  You see, everything before the petition part was an “or”.  You have this right OR this right OR this right, then you can take one of those rights AND petition the government.

Remember, this is gun control “logic”.

So, unless you are petitioning the government for redress of grievances, your right to free speech or assembly or the press or religion would be able to be restricted to the point of prohibition.

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law

No mention of apartments in the 3rd Amendment.  Therefore the government has the rights to shack up as many soldiers in your apartment as they want.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces

It only says land, it doesn’t say land forces therefore anyone can be held to answer for a crime without due process if it occurs on land.  Therefore the 5th Amendment only applies to crimes taken while either on an airplane or while falling off a cliff.  And since there weren’t airplanes back in the 1700’s and since gun controllers say at best we have a right to a ball and powder musket then the founding fathers meant to enumerate in the constitution a provision to protect the rights of people accused of committing crimes while falling off a cliff.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted

Since the it’s “and” and not “and/or” between cruel and unusual punishments the 8th Amendment allows punishments that can be either cruel or unusual so long as they are not both.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

Just like the previous amendment this one has “or” instead of an “and/or” and as such allows for certain rights to be denied AND disparaged against, so long as both are done when you apply the gun controllers logic to the 9th Amendment.

By applying gun control “logic” to other amendments of the Constitution illustrates how ridiculous it is.  Yet gun control zealots still like to argue that somehow, despite the historical evidence of intent, that the founders somehow wanted to limit the right to keep and bear arms to the military.

But back in reality I argue that the intention of the founders was clear and clearest with regards to the 2nd Amendment.  Not only are there the writings of the day that argue for the personal keeping and bearing of arms but also the anecdotal fact that these colonists OVERTHREW A TYRANT.  They didn’t do it by not quartering soldiers, they did it by the use of arms.

They felt so strongly about it that they included in the 2nd the strongest wording they could and a phrase that is not found anywhere else in the Constitution.

Shall not be infringed

The Government is “shutdown”…what about NICS?

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I read a funny tweet today, day one of the government shutdown.

https://twitter.com/PoliticalLaughs/status/385050028324044800

While that seems oddly accurate there are things that regular people may require of the government. For instance, the NICS background check system.  Will this be operational while the government is “shutdown”?  I put shutdown in quotes because of all the people who get furloughed, guess who STILL gets paid…yep…CONGRESS and the President.

But I digress, will American citizens be allowed to purchase firearms that require a NICS check or has the government once again finagled their way into infringing the rights of law abiding citizens?

The answer is rather simple.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation runs the NICS system out of  the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarksburg, West Virginia.  Oh yeah, the FBI is still funded during the “shutdown”.  And as the FBI notes on their own website, “NICS is available 17 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays excluding Christmas”.

So while the government is “shutdown” and Congress and the President still get paid, there should be no interruption or infringement to the 2nd Amendment other than the need to get a NICS check in the first place.  So much for being innocent until proven guilty.

Now, if the FBI refuses to do NICS requests and tries to blame it on the shutdown then there is something rotten going on.

 

How the Kenyan Mall Massacre Can Easily Happen in the US…Thanks Gun Control

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How the Kenyan Mall Massacre Can Easily Happen in the US…Thanks Gun Control

Last week Islamic Terrorists stormed the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya killing at least 68 people.  Four days later, the armed men have continued to hold off police attempts to retake the mall.

These terrorists executed anyone who wasn’t a muslim or couldn’t answer questions about Islam such as what Muhammed’s mother’s name was or couldn’t recite passages from the Koran.

The first thing I could think of is how easily that could happen here.  The second was how did it happened in Kenya in the first place?

The answer is the fallacy of gun control.

A quick run down of gun control measures in Kenya:

  • The Washington DC National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence categorizes the regulation of guns in Kenya as restrictive.
  • The right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law
  • Civilians are not allowed to possess semi-automatic self-loading military assault rifles of 7.62mm or 5.56mm calibre, or of any other calibre from time to time specified by the Minister, or firearms fitted with sound suppressors
  • Private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited
  • Carrying a handgun either openly or concealed while in a public place is prohibited.

With all these gun control laws, how is it that the terrorists were able to enter the “Gun Free Zone” that is Westgate Mall and execute the non-believers?

Because the ones executed were the only ones who were following the law.

The terrorist didn’t care about gun bans or not carrying in public or pretty much any of the nonsense that gun control fosters.

Could a group of armed citizens have stopped the attack completely and saved everyone’s life?  Doubtful, but they could have saved some lives by at least making it difficult for the terrorists or at the very least have died on their feet rather than on their knees.

Could this happen in America?  Absolutely. And rather easily too.

A great number of shopping malls fall under the fallacy of “Gun Free Zones” so the terrorists can target high trafficked areas with little resistance.  This incident also showed how effective a nationwide “assault” weapons ban is, so even if they couldn’t buy their AK-47’s legally here, they could always just swing by Mexico and pick up some that the Obama administration smuggled down.

Speaking of Mexico, the country where money talks and blind eyes are turned, it would be a simple matter for terrorists to arm up with all the automatic weapons they want and simply sneak across the border unchallenged.

Once slipping through our unsecured southern border they would simply stroll over to California (the nearest gun control utopia) and rain bloody murder down upon the disarmed innocent people going about their shopping.

Malls are also great places to hole up in too.  An abundance of food and supplies to wait out a siege, take hostages, defend against assault etc.

Of course, if 20 or 30 terrorists storm a mall in Texas or Arizona they may quickly find themselves outnumbered.  And the great thing about malls that appeal to the terrorists would benefit the US citizens.  Places to hide for an ambush, to bide their time, avenues for escape etc.

When you have to go store to store looking for someone the effectiveness of your rifle is mitigated and the law abiding citizen with the pistol has the advantage at close range.

That is, of course, if he is ALLOWED to have his weapon in the mall.

After all, Colorado used to be a pretty pro gun spot, yet the Aurora movie theater was a “Gun Free” zone and that only stopped the people who didn’t want to murder everyone from carrying a gun.

As gun control is want to do, it is the mass shooters and terrorists best friend.  Either here or abroad the song remains the same.

Gun Control and Gun Free Zones should be as vilified as those they empower to commit these heinous crimes.

Do Open Carriers ruin it for us all?

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Do Open Carriers ruin it for us all?

I have found in the years I have been involved in the firearms and 2nd Amendment community that often times gun owners are their own worst enemy.

From that statement you might assume that I mean open carriers metaphorically shoot themselves in the foot because they make waves.  Unless you are an open carrier, then you might assume that I mean that close minded concealed carry only folk are causing a fracture in the firearms community.

It should be no surprise to those who subscribe to this site and those who know me personally where I fall in the OC vs CC debate.  Back in July I penned an article entitled:  Open Carry Should Not Only Be Legal, But Encouraged.

Of course, open carrying is back in the news because Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz recently came out saying that guns are no longer welcome at the coffee shops.  The vitriol I see from gun owners who hate the idea of open carrying is as prevalent and heated, if not moreso, than that coming from gun controllers.

So did open carrying cause this move?

Yes and no.  I never attended a “Starbucks Appreciation Day”, gun on hip.  I just simply went to Starbucks on occasion with my gun on my hip and ordered my Chai Tea Latte, drank it, then left.

So did I and the tens of thousand other open carriers force Starbucks to quasi-change their policy? (remember Starbucks isn’t banning guns, just telling you they aren’t welcome but won’t kick you out).

Doubtful.  What did it, were the big to-do’s about it.  The pomp and ceremony of making a big deal out of it.  Which of course caused the gun controllers to try and match it.  They failed of course, but still got media coverage for their anemic efforts because that’s the way the press works.

So yes, the in your face, i’m armed and i’m proud, pushing the envelope attitude of some open carriers probably made Howard Shultz’s left coast hippie friends push for him to do something and so he did.

Kinda blew up in the OCers’ faces.

Fortunately (sarcasm) we have the CC-only crowd waiting in the wings to dog pile on and fracture those who support the 2nd Amendment.

It’s funny, as I started writing this article I was fully prepared to side against the in-your-face OC activists.  I open carry because I prefer it, because I am against the need to have a permit for a Constitutional right, and I believe in passive activism.

Yet, the more I thought about it the more I realized that sometimes you need to push the envelope.  You need to make some noise and some waves and push some buttons.

For those hating on the OCer’s for doing so I imagine them as the southern blacks who 50 some years ago decried Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr as uppity and were happy at the back of the bus.

Sometimes. in the course of demanding what is right you have to make noise in order to be heard.

Was Starbucks the right venue to hold this proxy war between Pro-Gun and Anti-Liberty parties?  Probably not.  But i’m not gonna cut down those willing to be vocal because it rocks the boat a little.

Speaking of Starbucks, maybe neutrality isn’t good enough.  Welcome gun owners and accept our money, ban us and lose our business…but make a choice.

So do Open Carriers ruin it for us all?  I guess…the same way Rosa Parks ruined riding the bus.