A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Gun Control. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gun Control. Show all posts

December 29, 2015

It's Time To Revisit This Subject ...

     It has been awhile since I have entered into the conversation on the Second Amendment, or as those who wish to distract from our Constitutional rights like to call to call it… gun control.  No matter what you hear from the talking heads, the American public is not ready to relinquish their rights or privilege to defend themselves with firearms.
     In fact The Daily Beast posted an article citing a New York Times/CBS poll in which it was found that the number of Americans supporting stricter gun control in general has slipped 7 points in just two months.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure that the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have people scared.  They clearly see that those who wish to kill us are armed and trained to take as many innocent lives as possible.
     Waiting helplessly and defenseless for first responders to show up leads to certain loss of life.  The question becomes, What are your odds? Will you be one of the lucky ones who survives?  There is no way to answer that, because without the means to defend yourself, your chances are going to be random.  The only way to raise those odds is to be as prepared and trained as the enemy.  And it is becoming clearer to more Americans that limiting firearms from potential victims will not save more lives.
     But what you may not know, is that the number of women who identify as “first time gun owners” has steadily risen over the last few years.  I was one, myself, just a few short years ago, and my personal experience is that many of my female friends (and friends of friends) are overcoming their reticence and yes … fear of firearms … to take responsibility for their own protection and that of their families.
     Once they are introduced to professional training, they realize that we are not all “gun nuts”; that we take our training seriously, and our goal is to be both proficient and safe with a firearm; and it is for one primary reason – to defend ourselves when we fear for our lives.  They are often surprised to hear us say that we hope we never have to use our firearm.  But if we feel that our life is in danger, we want to be able to stop the threat before it is carried out.
     And they are equally surprised to find out that we spend as much time training how to be safe with our firearm as we do being accurate with it.  Training in both these areas keeps unnecessary injuries and deaths at a minimum.  In other words, responsible gun owners are not a threat to the general populace; do not present an increased danger to society; and just might be able to prevent the tragic loss of lives we have recently witnessed.  If just one person at the office Christmas party had been carrying for self-defense, and been adequately trained for an active shooter scenario, the terrorists might have been stopped from killing 14 people.  If just one of those lives had been saved, wouldn’t it have been worth it?
     And I’m sure you have noticed my repetitive use of the word “trained” in this post.  I, personally, would like to see legislation requiring mandatory training before the issuance of Concealed Carry permits.  In my mind, that would not only influence the attitude of those who are skittish about the general population carrying firearms, but would go a long way towards forming the proper mindset of a responsible gun-owner.
     The bottom line for me is this… it is apparent that the terrorist threat to this nation, and the world, is only going to increase.  As trite as it sounds … the Bible tells me so.  And that’s good enough for me.  God wants me to trust in Him, and I do for my salvation and my eternal life.  But I know there is a god of this world who is intent on killing and destroying as much of mankind as he can; and especially Christians.  So I will use the brain He gave me, and the rights upon which this country was founded, to defend myself and do it as an informed, trained, and reliable firearms owner.  I will take my stand against Evil because I know that self-preservation and the need to persevere are both a gift, and a duty, from my God.  None of us can deny that evil exists; and while God wishes us to love our fellow man and hold fast to that which is good, He has also made us responsible for those in our care.  That means husbands and fathers are to protect their wives and families; mothers, their children; and all of us, the innocent and defenseless.
     Unfortunately, the ungodly and the wicked are running rampant under the influence of the enemy of God.  While I pray for protection, I also know that I must be prepared to defend myself.  Sadly, that’s just the reality of the world in which we live.

Psalm 94:16     "Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?"

December 5, 2015

Really!? "Prayer-Shaming" Is Where We Want To Go After This Tragedy?

     I find it incredibly sad that one of the hallmarks of the terrorist tragedy in San Bernardino will be the coining of a new media term, known as prayer-shaming.  It seemed that in less than 24 hours after the massacre, the anti-God crowd couldn't wait to spread their venom against those who turned to the only One who could offer solace in such a time of senseless evil.
     The attempts by the media and the empty souls who tweeted their disrespect for the faithful was truly disgusting.  Yes, they will try to say it is a reaction to what they saw as "posturing" by politicians and presidential candidates; an attempt to garner votes by taking advantage of a tragic situation in order to promote themselves.  And, yet, it is most likely true that if those same politicians had come out screaming for more gun control as their response to San Bernardino (and thus endearing themselves to the anti-gun audience), then they would have been hailed as compassionate and caring.
     But anytime FAITH comes to the forefront, then it must be dismissed as hollow or foolish behavior; and those of us who cling to it should be made to feel ashamed for its inadequacy.  In other words, they look to man to solve the evil intentions of the wicked, and the fact that we Christians turn to the Sovereign God of the Universe for comfort and strength is nothing more than empty expressions.
     But don't take my word for it.  Let the cover of the New York Daily News tell you itself:  GOD ISN'T FIXING THIS! it screams, followed by the subtitle, which says, "As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes."
      The backlash came after Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and others tweeted that their "thoughts and prayers" were with the victims of the terrorist attack.  Immediately, they were castigated for accepting campaign donations from the National Rifle Association, while tweeting their intentions to pray in the aftermath of the tragedy.  (Funny, but I don't see any hypocrisy in that at all.  The former is a decision made as a citizen of this world; the latter, is a spiritual response as a member of the Family of God).  
     And ironically, it doesn't seem to bother them that the White House tweeted its thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Paris attacks.  So, I have to ask... is it really the idea of prayer that offends them, or just that prayer was the first response of people, rather than demanding stricter gun control?  
     I also noticed that the White House did not tweet any such offering of "thoughts and prayers" to the victims of San Bernardino, but rather tweeted an interview with CBS News, in which the President said "our hearts" go out to the victims and families....".  That's a pretty big difference, to me.  Offering my heart does not extend the same power [to the victims] as appealing to God to heal broken hearts and the consequences of evil men.
     For me, the real tragedy is what was described by Charisma News:  "Led by a rabid media, the headlines were no longer about the victims and their grieving families—but about leaders who dared to do what the frightened people inside the killing ground asked: pray."  Who can forget the text that one of the victims sent to her father during the slaughter:  "Shooting at my work ... People shot. In the office waiting for cops. Pray for us."  Those in the midst of those terrifying moments knew what would help them the most ... prayer.  They knew that the Lord God Almighty hears the prayers of His children, and they knew nothing was impossible with Him.  They knew they could expect almighty and supernatural results from prayers sent heavenward.
     You've heard it over and over.... Guns don't kill people.  People kill people.  And it is a spiritual sickness that pervades the minds and hearts of men that drives them to such murderous acts.  But those without a spiritual connection to God will never understand that, and so, they continue to blame "tools of violence", rather than the "spirit of violence" that pervade men's souls.
     Once again, Charisma News did an outstanding job of compiling clear, logical and convincing thoughts on this subject: "...hate is what drives men to slaughter innocent people—not guns. And the government can't make us safer until it recognizes that the problem isn't the instruments of violence, but the environment of it."  They further quote The Federalist's Mollie Hemmingway, who wrote:   "[They] are only diminishing the Christian faith so that they can exercise their own religion: big government. [Progressives] explain that the god of good government would have been able to take care of us if only we'd given it sufficient power to do so. In this case, that power is gun control... Government — if made to have sufficient size, scope, and proper management over the affairs of man—will fix, or at least seriously mitigate, the problem of evil in the world. They tend to believe that man can be perfected, and perfected through government action. These almost cartoonish denunciations of prayer we saw yesterday, combined with the implicit praises of government action, are best understood as a sort of primitive religious reaction to the problem that growth of the state still hasn't fixed the problem of evil in the world."    
     And we, the Faithful, know it never will.  That is why it is more important than ever that we continue to pray!  That's why thousands gathered at a stadium in San Bernardino, and in churches around the nation --- to pray for those who were senselessly killed and for those who grieve; to declare to the wicked rulers and principalities in the spiritual realm that the city of San Bernardino does not belong to them; to proclaim that we are active in the spiritual war against our nation; and to state our profound belief that God will give Justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night.  Finally, we claim victory in the Name of Jesus!  And no amount of "shaming" will keep us from praying at all times in the Spirit, and with all prayer and supplication!

James 5:16    "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

December 4, 2015

Do Not Let Him 'Steal, Kill and Destroy'

    The purpose of my blog post today is two-fold ... First, from the perspective of the world's view, to simply comment on my initial thoughts about what happened in California on Wednesday.  Secondly, as always, I can't help but view events such as this from my Biblical worldview, and I am seeing how it is effecting our American men.
     Like you, I am reeling from the terrorist shooting in San Bernardino.  While politicians, Federal law enforcement, and the media tiptoe around the motive behind the killing spree, I believe the American people are less hesitant to see the connections between what happened on that day and radical Islam.
     Perhaps our Western mindset and our over-reliance on political correctness wishes to see workplace violence instead of admitting that a radical, fundamentalist ideology is alive and growing in the midst of our heartland.  But are we really expected to deny the aspect of premeditation in the presence of body armor, pipe bombs, and a home that was an alleged IED factory set to be detonated by remote-control cars?  And what about the trips to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in the recent past?  It will be interesting to see if the authorities release the internet history of the suspects and be willing to be transparent in connecting the dots.  (Even now, the media is leaking that they searched ISIS propaganda websites).
     Then there is the quote from the father of the prime suspect (Syed Farook) who said he hadn't seen his son in some time:  “He was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.”  I found it interesting to read an article by Walid Shoebat, a former jihadist who converted to Christianity.  He said it is difficult for the Western mind to read "the signs" of a terrorist; something that he is all too familiar with.  Therefore, he is not surprised that American officials and law enforcement are hesitant to label San Bernardino as the site of a terrorist attack.
     But he also states that it will be difficult for our security services and law enforcement to thwart Lone Wolf attacks like what was executed on Wednesday.  "[This] will soon be realized in the West... ISIS now is heavily promoting this [Lone Wolf] agenda on social media.  A lone wolf is not only a very ordinary person living in the community as a member, they also behave like them in that they do not have any unusual activity or act suspicious. They are encouraged to cover up any sign of religious affiliation and are encouraged not to pray or become a member in a mosque, or keep a low-profile in the mosque. They do not belong to any form of criminal or neurotic gang. They are away from the eyes of observers as being a member of a terrorist organization. These [people]are perfect for ISIS."  Shoebat goes on to say that U.S. terrorism task forces have moved from drug busting into terror busting, and now must think like a Muslim terrorist and know Islam inside and out.... something that is very difficult for our Western minds to fathom.
     So, there you have the physical world's perspective.  But what about the spiritual component?  As I consider the men of faith in my life, I see the struggle they wage with how they are to react to this tragedy on our home turf.  I can only imagine how this affects young men like my nephew, who until now, have been able to immerse themselves in their college careers, with little or no need to make them concerned about a public and active shooter.  This event is different than the various school shootings he would be aware of, in that these perpetrators are other than a mentally ill person who reacts to some psychological trigger.  These shooters will most likely make the younger generation conscious that there are people who have deliberate evil intentions to steal their peace, kill innocent victims, and destroy how we Americans live our lives. That "age of innocence" has been marred, and the trusting faith that America is immune to such terrorist acts will now be tested.
     I have also seen good friends struggle with how our God expects them to respond if and when they are faced with such an attack.  I can see them agonizing over a scenario in which their wife or child is a potential victim and if it's OK with God if they kill in defense of their family.  That is a long-going and controversial debate among Christians.  I asked my husband, whose first and middle name literally means "Peace-Loving Warrior" (PLW) how he views that debate and exactly what his name means to him; how does he see his obedience to God in light of that contradictory name?
     Here is what he told me ... an oft-quoted line from the Bible is John 10:10:   The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].   He says we need to read that in the context of the entire Tenth Chapter of the Book of John, which is known as The Parable of the Good Shepherd.  Jesus is telling us that He is the Good Shepherd; the provider and the protector of the sheep who know His voice and recognize His call.  Jesus reveals that He is the Door that leads to eternal life and anyone who enters through Him will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security).
     But interestingly enough, Jesus also references "the thief who comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy."  In the parable of the Good Shepherd, that thief is represented by a wolf.  So, as PLW explained how he views his name, and how he thinks God expects men to obey, he said, "All of society are sheep; and as men, we are either the sheepdog, or we're the wolf.  As the sheepdog, we are expected to protect those sheep who are helpless.  But God expects us to not become so reactionary that we cross the line and become the wolf."
     PLW's sentiment is very similar to that expressed by Dave Grossman, a former psychology professor at West Point, and a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army, who wrote a fascinating book titled On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.  Grossman has this to say about the sheep/sheepdog/wolf dynamic:  “Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident. Then there are the wolves, who feed on the sheep without mercy.  The moment you forget or pretend this is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial. Then there are sheepdogs. Sheepdogs live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep.”
     So, PLW is simply saying, that as a Christian man, he has to walk that fine line between fulfilling his duty as a sheepdog, without disobeying God's command to never become the wolf.  As for his name ... Peace-Loving Warrior ... he feels he has two options:  God's first option is for him to be peaceful, but if that doesn't work, and the wolf is hell-bent on stealing, killing and destroying, then he will go into Warrior mode.  He admits that the peace part of him is harder, and he can only accomplish that through his relationship with Jesus.  But PLW is quick to assert that he does not believe Jesus was a pacifist, and he won't be, either.  He also points out that the Warrior side of himself does not prohibit him from praying for those lone wolves and their salvation; but if they come to kill him or his family, they can expect to be resisted.  He says that it is hard to find that line;  where to be passive --- until it's time not to be.  He just has to rely on the Holy Spirit to tell him where that line is.
     But as it pertains to the shooting in San Bernardino on Wednesday, my husband says his biggest fear is that, as a nation, we are being conditioned and desensitized; that we are becoming accustomed to a shooting every few days or weeks, so that (as the Bible says), "because of the increase of wickedness, the hearts of men grow cold" (Matthew 24:12).  Remember that Jesus makes this statement in response to a question from the Disciples about when He would return and what would be the signs of the end of the Age.
     So, are we seeing a fulfillment of End-Times prophecy that men's hearts will grow cold because of the proliferation of evil on the earth?  Are the Lone Wolves of the Jihadist movement demonstrating
the Enemy's desire to steal, kill, and destroy?  And how will the men of Christ respond?  There is no doubt that those who killed on Wednesday were hell-bent on harvesting death and destruction, no matter what the "official" cause turns out to be.  But I would also like to point out that no amount of gun control laws would have stopped that carnage.  California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.  But more importantly, those murderers are hell-bound because they were spiritually destitute, and did not know my God.
     Today my thoughts are with those families who lost loved ones, and my prayers are for the strength and endurance and courage of the American people to repent of our sins and turn to the One who can protect us and help us to repel this evil.  Do not let our hearts be troubled; neither let them grow cold.

Psalm 97:10    "You who love the LORD, hate evil; He protects the souls of His godly ones (believers), He rescues them from the hand of the wicked."


October 6, 2015

20th Century Genocide and Gun Control

     Once again, Americans who support our Second Amendment rights are getting a little nervous over recent comments by the President after the Oregon college murders.  Just what did he mean when he said that "other countries [like Great Britain and Australia] being able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings."  I guess the "almost" was quite appropriate since one day after the Oregon shooting, an alleged 15-year-old gunman in Australia, described as “a radicalized youth of Middle Eastern decent,” shot and killed a New South Wales police civilian.  Once again, we see that strict gun control laws will never eliminate all gun deaths.
     But that wasn't the only warning we're receiving.  At a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed that President Obama is preparing a series of executive actions on gun control to match the stronger tone and passion of his post-Oregon news conference.  Earnest emphasized that gun control measures are a "high priority" for the White House, and “I can tell you that they’re not stumped, they’re continuing to review the law that’s on the books and continuing to consult with legal authorities, but also others, who may have ideas about what steps that can be taken to keep guns out of the hands of criminals."
     But we all know what that means ... stricter measures and steps to keep guns out of the hands of all citizens.  Yet I cannot understand why it is so difficult for those citizens who applaud more gun control to see where it inevitably leads.  Without the ability to defend ourselves against terrorists, criminals, or an out-of-control government, we are all potential victims of not only chaos and death, but full-blown genocide.  In case you think that I'm blowing things way out of proportion, I'd like you to consider the facts as presented by an organization called Jews For the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (JPFO).  As perhaps the most well-known victims of gun control measures that resulted in genocide, I think they have a salient argument.
     Their message is simple: "Disarmed people are neither free nor safe - they become the criminals' prey and the tyrants' playthings." When the civilians are defenseless and their government goes bad, however, thousands and millions of innocent people die.  In other words, when political power becomes too focused on control, the individual rights of a nation's citizens are endangered.  For that power to ultimately control the citizenry, the people must be disarmed.  To prove that point, here is a quick history lesson...
      •  From 1915-1917, the Ottoman Empire killed approximately 1 to 1.5 million Armenians (mostly Christians).  To accomplish this genocide Turkey enacted laws that required permits for gun ownership, which resulted in a Government list of owners, and an eventual ban on possessing firearms.
     •  From 1929-1945, the Soviet Union killed 20 million people; among them political opponents and whole farming communities.  Their gun laws included licensing of owners, a ban on possession, and severe penalties for disobeying gun laws.
     •  From 1933-1945, Nazi Germany killed political opponents, Jews, Gypsies, critics and those deemed "unsuitable" -- totaling nearly 20 million people.  Again, gun laws required registration and licensing; stricter handgun regulations; and finally, a ban on gun possession altogether.
     •  From 1927-1949, Nationalist China killed 10 million people, including political opponents and Army conscripts that defied them.  Their methods of gun control included a Government permit system and a ban on private ownership.
     •  From 1949-1976, Communist China was responsible for the deaths of 20-35 million people (the figure is hard to define due to the level of atrocities and inability to document missing persons -- they just simply disappeared).  Political opponents, enemies of the State, and complete rural populations were destroyed.  Red China instituted laws that resulted in prison or death to "counter-revolutionary criminals" and anyone resisting any government program.  There was also a death penalty for supplying guns to such "criminals".
     •  There was a purge in Guatemala from 1960-1981 of Mayan Indians and political enemies of the State.  Between 100-200,000 people were killed.  The government implemented a registration of guns and owners; high licensing fees for owning guns; a prohibition on carrying guns; a ban on guns and sharp tools; and ultimately, a confiscation of all guns.
     •  From 1971-1979 there were 300,000 people killed in Uganda -- mostly Christians and political enemies.  Through Firearms Ordinances and Acts, the government began a program to register all guns and owners; require licenses for transactions; issued warrantless searches; and you guessed it ... confiscated guns.
     •  From 1975-1979 the diabolical Khmer Rouge in Cambodia decimated 2,000,000 lives!  They wiped out educated people and their political enemies.  They accomplished this through requiring licenses for guns, owners, ammunition & transactions; requiring a photo ID with fingerprints on all citizens who owned guns; and requiring that licenses be inspected quarterly.
     •  And in 1994, 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in Rwanda.  Owners of guns had to register their weapons and ammunition.  They needed to provide a justifiable reason for owning a gun.  Concealable guns were outlawed; and of course, eventually all guns were confiscated.
     This is not, by any means, the complete list of genocide during the 20th Century.  There have been 7-10 million Ukrainians killed, and let's not forget the million or more in Bosnia and Serbia throughout the 20th Century.  But I believe that this approximate number of 90 million people gives ample reason to be concerned when governments begin talking about limiting gun ownership or "executing" stricter laws regarding the purchase and manufacture of guns.
     It is irrefutable in the above statistics -- these totalitarian governments murdered their own citizens; far more people were killed than by wars or common criminals.  And how could this happen?  Because the people were disarmed and unable to protect themselves.  The history is there, and is hard to ignore.
     I want to be clear ... I am not prepared to say that this is what our own government has in mind.  But when coupled with the above historical facts; the rush to global "gun control policies" by the United Nations; the soaring crime rates in other countries, such as Britain, after gun prohibition (sorry, Piers Morgan, but it is true!); and the increase in racist and religious attacks on citizens around the world.... well, it just seems downright foolish to think that more gun laws are going to inhibit violence.
     Personal self-defense is every single person's right.  I believe it is a God-given right.  Yes, we are told, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."  But, the Word also says there is a time to battle and defend yourself, a time to "Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior." (Joel 3:10)  Unfortunately, there is evil in this world, and we must be allowed to defend ourselves against it.  History has shown us that an unarmed citizenry is overrun by the evil, and restrictive gun laws were the overriding factor in Evil's victory.  I pray we do not become history's next victims.

Psalm 94:16    "Who rises up for me against the wicked? Who stands up for me against evildoers?"


October 3, 2015

When Will We Face The Truth?

     First of all, let me say, that I grieve over the deaths of the students who were tragically killed on that college campus in Oregon.  No loss of life is ever justified in this manner, and we are just at the beginning of all the theories, conjectures, speculations and accusations.  The internet is abuzz with "information" on the shooter.  What is the real truth, and will we ever know all the facts surrounding the perpetrator, or why he did what he did.  Was it his seeming isolation coupled with his alleged involvement with magick and the occult?  Was it his purported interest in paramilitary groups like the IRA or ISIS?  Was he really a Christian-hater and/or a proponent of the Black Lives Matter group?  Or just like all the latest murderers who use a gun as their weapon, are we simply willing to lay his actions at the feet of "mental illness"?  I'm sorry, but all of these questions and suppositions just aren't lining up to give us a clear picture of who this killer was.
     Yet instead of trying to solve the mystery of how all these similar shootings committed by disgruntled, alienated malcontents are connected, we get another lecture chastising the American people and Congress for not pursuing stricter gun control laws.  Frankly, I am tired of this argument, and exhausted by the political posturing.  Guns, in this case (and the other mass shootings), are the choice of weapon that evil uses to create mayhem, chaos, and death.  In fact, the definition of a weapon is "a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage; [and in this instance] a means of gaining an advantage in a conflict."  Why can't we ever get beyond the instrument of violence to focus on the slayer?
     And I'm not talking about the particular shooter or gunmen; I'm talking about the murderer who "has been since the beginning" (John 8:44), and who is behind every deluded person who picks up a gun thinking it will settle a score, give him notoriety, eliminate his enemies, or just because he hears "the voices in his head."  This murderer is the devil, and he is actually a thief ... the one who robs the shooter of the truth -- which is that the devil/murderer has only one objective: to steal, kill, and destroy humans.  And the shooter is simply his instrument.  The truth is that the shooter's murderous rampage will not silence his demons nor fill the emptiness inside.  It only serves to feed the devil's lust for power and his insatiable appetite to devour.
      As I have pointed out time and again, we must decide to quit looking at surface issues as a way of explaining away the growing evil that is coming upon the earth.  None of the things that the media or pop psychologists wish to suggest as the reasons why mass shootings are occurring is the root of this epidemic.  Yes, being a loner; social media; anger; feeling marginalized -- these are all elements that feed into a profile of a mass shooter.  But these men have listened to the lies of the Tempter; lies that suggest the world will appreciate their violent deeds and their names will be celebrated.
    The very fact that this shooter asked his victims to state whether they identified as Christians or not leaves no doubt in my mind that the devil is ramping up his agenda.  He is no longer being subtle or hiding his motives.  The shooter -- the devil's instrument of murder -- targeted, as his victims, those who believe in Jesus Christ.  They were shot point-blank in the head.  Those who didn't answer or said, "No" were shot in the leg.  What could be more apparent?  God's enemy destroys those who are loyal to Him.  Yet, that narrative is already beginning to fade from the media reports -- if it has been mentioned at all!  We can't have that piece of the puzzle out there front and center, now can we?  But a note left behind by the shooter clearly states his purpose: he would be "welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil."  I hope he is enjoying his eternal damnation.
    In the meantime the news media and politicians will spend the next days, weeks, and months discussing how and why [or why not] stricter gun laws, or more regulations regarding the mentally ill will eliminate the next mass shooter.  But this should be a big warning flag for those of us who recognize Jesus as our Savior; we should be spiritually discerning that the devil is getting bolder and more confident in his attacks.  We should be spiritually preparing to resist the coming attacks, and above all else, be ready to declare our allegiance to God --- even unto death.  What courage it took for that second, third, fourth ... ninth student to identify themselves as belonging to Christ; to stand for Him in what was a certain and unavoidable death at the hands of the devil's proxy.  If there is any comfort at all in this tragedy, it is the steadfastness of faith displayed by these saints.  When my time comes, may I be as bold and unflinching as they.

1 John 3:8    "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."

August 28, 2015

Let's Call It What It Is!

     The nation is reeling from the execution style murders of two promising young people in the news industry.  Alison Parker and Adam Ward were gunned down on live TV by a disgruntled ex-employee of the TV station at which they both worked.  Mental illness is the alleged reason behind the murders, but as to be expected, the issue of gun control is once again front and center.
     Please understand that I mean no disrespect to the victims, nor is it my intention to make their deaths appear less tragic than they are.  But in our society's need to find an explanation for such depraved actions, the combination of mental illness and guns has become the go-to source of blame.  But this premise just keeps taking us in the same circular argument, resulting in the same false justification.  Here's how the argument plays out ... guns in the hands of the mentally ill are a problem; so we need to close the "gun show" loophole of no background check; and more gun laws need to be written to make it more difficult for people to buy guns.
     As so often happens, that argument doesn't work in this instance, nor many others.  The murderer bought the gun legally, having passed a background check.  Did mental illness play a part in these murders?  From everything I've read and heard, it cannot be dismissed.  So we just keep trotting out the same old tired playbook ... a gun in the hand of a mentally ill person is the cause of two more tragic deaths.
     But what we don't talk about is what is really at the root of these senseless murders.  It's called EVIL.  It's the consequences of a wicked action or deed.  What we humans refuse to acknowledge is that a sovereign God created a universe governed by a moral order.  For some reason, we deny the existence of a real force of evil -- a darkness -- that is out to destroy what God has made.  As a nation, it is hard to ignore that we have done darn near everything we could to remove God's influence and presence from this land.  What we haven't quite realized is that when He purposely gives us what we want, and withdraws His powerful hand, there is a tangible vacuum created.  His goodness no longer pervades our relationships and we have a situation where peace, virtue, and decency no longer reside.  Evil is only too happy to fill that empty space.  That is the truth.
     That is why bad things happen to good people such as Alison and Adam.  It's not because guns are at the root of the problem.  They are just the instruments of Evil.  If not a gun, then the murderer could have used a hammer, or run them over with a car, or choked them with his own hands, or used a sword to behead them.  All of those things are equal instruments when they result in the same outcome... death.
     We need to focus on eradicating Evil in our lives, not the tool it uses to carry out its goal.  We need  to lay the blame at the feet of the real perpetrator, the Prince of Evil.  Yes, the devil can use (and often cause) mental illness to be the impetus for someone to act out in evil ways, but then we are limiting our discussion to the by-product of evil, rather than the root cause.
     While arguments for more mental health screenings and more gun control are convenient foils for the Enemy, and help him to continue his spiritual war against God's creation, we must not forget that there are very real physical ramifications for this line of reasoning as well.  If mental health becomes the alarm factor that precipitates tighter gun control and harsher laws, how will that affect our returning veterans who suffer from PTSD?  We can already see the hand-writing on the wall, can't we?  These brave men and women who have been trained to handle weapons might soon be victims themselves of over-regulation and a corrupt screening process that denies them their Second Amendment rights.
     The bottom line is that we are in danger of letting Evil win.  And the devil is certainly using everything he has at his fingertips to shout his victory.  Whether our rapid advances in technology have come from Satan and his servants is, I think, a valid argument to have.  But even if you disagree, technology surely served to spread the horror of Evil as the shooting was carried out live on air, and then re-broadcast to every cell phone that gets news feeds.  I'd say that technology is a perfect marketing tool for the devil to glorify his evil ways, wouldn't you?
    So, what are we to do?  The only way to rise up against this supernatural force is to embrace Jesus as the way to defeat it, and then to follow His advice.  How do you defeat Evil?  "You triumph over Evil with Good."  That is what happened at the Cross.  And for every evil deed that is broadcast across our land and the world, we need to use every means possible to exalt the evidence of God and His goodness, and give Him credit.  We must let God reign once again in our lives and in the heart of this nation.

Proverbs 14:22    "Will they not go astray who devise evil? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good."

April 17, 2015

The Best Defense Of the 2nd Amendment I've Ever Heard!

     I suppose the Sandy Hook tragedy will forever be used by the gun control crowd to further their talking points.  It's a conveniently emotional topic in which to rally support for more gun regulation and eventual transformation of the Second Amendment.  So, I wasn't surprised to hear it brought up again in an attempt to portray conservative Presidential candidates as the heartless gun nuts that the Opposition would like us all to believe they are.  But here is how you handle that trap ...
     Question:  In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, a statistic surfaced putting support for background checks at 90%.  Did you go against the want of the nation, with your vote against Manchin-Toomey [which would have required background checks on all commercial sales of guns]?  And also, how does public opinion shape your response to national problems?
     Candidate's Response:  You know there's an old line ... there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.  You're right, that was a poll that was bandied around a lot, but you can find a lot of results in a poll, depending on how you frame the question.
     As you and I both know, we have a system of background checks in place right now.  When either of us goes to a federally licensed firearms dealer, there's a background check that is put in place.  What Manchin-Toomey was trying to do was extend that to every private sale between two individuals... to put the federal government [in the middle], (not in terms of having a system of background checks for federally licensed dealers) ... but for you and me, for two guys in a duck blind selling their shotguns, one to the other.  And the federal government doesn't have any business there.
     And if you ask the American people that, they don't want the federal government getting in between private consensual sales between individual citizens.
     And I would note ... when you asked about the role of public opinion polls ... when it comes to Constitutional rights, what matters is what the Bill of Rights says.  It doesn't matter what might be popular at the moment.  We've seen regimes across the face of the earth come and take away peoples guns; strip away their right to defend themselves.  And sometimes it's been very popular, and yet it is an inevitable prelude to tyranny.
     Our country was founded on a radical proposition, which is that our rights don't come from government.  They come from God.  And the purpose of the Constitution .... Thomas Jefferson said the Constitution serves as chains to bind the mischief of government.  And the entire reason for the Second Amendment is not for hunting; it's not for target shooting -- those are both wonderful; it's great to go with your family and your kids to go hunting or skeet shooting -- but that is not what the Second Amendment is for.  The Second Amendment is there so you and I can protect our homes, our families, our children, and our lives.  It's also there as a fundamental check on government tyranny.  And that ultimately is not subject to public opinion polls.  It's subject to the expressed protection of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.
     My response:  Those who would seek to bow to public opinion as the ultimate decision-maker would lead us down that slippery path to tyranny.  Are they that naive?  Can they not look at history and see how easily the masses have been manipulated and have played right into their tyrant's hand?  All one has to do is read a concise history of how the Nazi Party used gun control to "cleanse" and "control"; first, their own nation, and then the nations they proceeded to invade and conquer.
     Did you know that in 1941, just days before the Pearl Harbor attack, Congress reaffirmed Second Amendment rights and prohibited gun registration?  Look how easily public opinion has been swayed in just 74 years!  So do you really want some public opinion polls to determine your freedoms and the right to protect yourself, home, and country?  Due to the proclivity of sheep to be easily led to the slaughter, how could you trust those opinions?  Based on the near ignorance of important issues by the populace in this country, public opinion polls is a ridiculous way to govern!  The Constitution is the best -- and only -- method by which we can maintain our freedoms.  The freedoms that were given to us by God should not be subject to the whims and impulses of the guileless masses.

By the way, that educated response to the Second Amendment ambush was Senator Ted Cruz.  You can hear his response first-hand by clicking on this link.

1 Peter 2:16   "Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God."

April 18, 2013

The Second Amendment Survives .... For Now

     There were nine proposed changes to a gun control bill presented to the Senate yesterday and two of the more prominent ones failed to pass.  The vote on the so-called Manchin-Toomey amendment was 54 in favor, 46 against — failing to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to move ahead.  The Senate’s failure to expand background checks means the three pillars of President Obama’s gun control agenda have stalled. The chamber also rejected Dianne Feinstein's much ballyhooed proposal to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.
     Needless to say, the anti-gun lobby is less than pleased.  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't hide his anger, "Today’s vote is a damning indictment of the stranglehold that special interests have on Washington."  That's kind of the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it Mayor?  After all, your hired thugs have been largely responsible for the stealthy attack on Colorado's Second Amendment rights.  He went on to say, "The only silver lining is that we now know who refuses to stand with the 90 percent of Americans – and in 2014, our ever-expanding coalition of supporters will work to make sure that voters don’t forget."  First of all, your ever-expanding coalition of supporters have been exposed.  Secondly, I'm not sure where you get your information, but I'm calling you on your statistic of 90% of Americans want the same thing you do.  An early April poll by Gallup revealed that gun control issues are not exactly at the top of American's priority list, scoring only 4%; far below the Economy, Unemployment and Dissatisfaction with the Government.
     Although Harry Reid voted against the gun control issues, don't get your hopes up that he has suddenly put the liberties of Americans before politics.  Mocking gun rights, Reid stated that he still feels gun control is "more important than preventing imagined tyranny."  Oh, and by the way, having voted against it, Reid can now reintroduce the amendment at a future date.  And Madame Feinstein herself, criticized her Senate colleagues and challenged them to "show some guts."
    And while we're talking about playing politics, Vice-President Biden feigned tears at a White House Press Conference, and the President himself, couldn't avoid staging a convenient photo op.  Surrounded by Newton citizens and Gabby Gifford, he went so far as to claim that "The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill.  This pattern of spreading untruths … served a purpose."  Just like the Affordable Health Care Act, right?
     While I am pleased with this momentary setback to the attempt to rob me of my Second Amendment rights, I know that the fight is not over.  Expect back room deals, arm twisting and more "events" to keep this issue at the forefront of this Administration's agenda.  I truly believe it was proactive citizens who called their Senators that made the difference on this vote.  If the American people ever back down on this push to eradicate our rights, honest citizens will find themselves defenseless.  Round One goes to us.

Luke 11:21-22      "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder."

April 5, 2013

The U.N. and Our Divided Faith

The U.N. Small Arms Treaty is back in the news.  Just a couple of days ago, on Tuesday, the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty attempting to regulate the $60 billion global small arms trade.  While none would argue that arms dealers have contributed to terrorism and despotic actions across the globe, there are those who are concerned that such far-reaching global legislation could infringe upon the sovereign rights of nations, and lead to a backdoor attempt to disarm and suppress free societies.
     I, for one, do not cotton to the idea that the United Nations makes laws for me, an American citizen. This regulatory statute is in direct violation of the Constitution of the United States, which is the supreme law of the United States of America.  Period.  Supreme means superior to all others.  How hard is that to understand?  There's no room in that statement for another governing body to interject its authority into our business.
     While conservative leaders in Congress vow to keep this external law from being ratified as domestic law, there are religious evangelical leaders who are calling for its approval.  The Christian Post reported that Christian leaders from several organizations gathered in New York on March 27 for a prayer service over the Arms Trade Treaty currently being reviewed by world leaders.
     Paul de Vries, President of the New York Divinity School said, "One of the goals here is to reduce the trafficking of these weapons, which has often resulted in Muslim terrorist groups having tremendous amounts of weapons to bring down or to weaken Christian nations in Africa and other places. This is a small effort, because it is hard to enforce these things – it's really more spiritual warfare than having something on paper."  Please believe me, when I say that I would never question Dr. de Vries' sincerity or belief that he is approaching this matter from a spiritual perspective. 
     Now I will agree that there is a tremendous spiritual war being waged.  No doubt about it.  But a simple treaty is not going to stop Evil in its tracks.  Another important issue that these Evangelical leaders are focusing on is the despicable practice of child soldiers in Africa and they think that somehow that genie can be put back in the bottle with this treaty.  "We pray that God will guide the decision process so that a strong treaty is adopted that will contribute to peace and safety for all people, and especially for those who live in the most violent corners of the globe," read a leaflet from the prayer event.
     And in response to those who (like me) are expressing concerns that it is going to trample on Americans' 2nd Amendment rights, this group of prayerful leaders believe that the Small Arms Treaty will only focus on countries where the illegal trade of weapons and ammunition is very high, and will not infringe on 2nd Amendment rights for Americans.  Galen Carey, Vice-president at the National Association of Evangelicals said, "The treaty says that there is no regulation of domestic weapons or gun ownership or sales and so we believe that those who have those concerns need not worry. Our second amendment rights will in no way be compromised."  He went on to remind critics that "the U.S. already has some of the strictest controls on international arms exports, while maintaining unparalleled protection for the rights of individual citizens to own guns."
     With all due respect, are they living on the same planet that I am?  Have they paid attention to the regulation efforts in Colorado and those currently before our Congress?  And do they really not see the writing on the wall?
     Here is another of Carey's naive statements:  "The treaty can make it much more difficult for gangsters, rebel groups or even governments who oppress their own people to purchase weapons on the international market, if these regulations were to go into effect. It would make it harder and more expensive for them to get these weapons, and less weapons means less people will be harmed".
     Excuse me, but I'm one of the faithful who believe that the Devil is in the details.... literally.  I find it hard to believe that they really think governments who want to oppress their own people will humbly and honestly follow any treaty that doesn't further their agenda.  Have they read their Biblical history lately?  And governments never lie to their people, right?
     It's for the children this group of devout Evangelicals claim.  Make no mistake, I abhor the atrocities inflicted upon innocent children in the name of terrorism.  But, I, too, am thinking of the children; of all the children who may lose the opportunity to be born into a self-governing, free nation that was established by the hand of God if this treaty is adopted by the U.S.  We may share the same faith in a loving God, but our trust in earthly dominions is worlds apart.

Galatians 5:1      "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." 

April 1, 2013

UPDATE: Colorado Gun Bills May Take Power Away From County Sheriffs!

     According to World Net Daily, a bill is heading to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s desk that some lawmakers say would give members of the Secret Service broad arrest powers in the state, and could provide a national framework for federal agents to eventually enforce gun restrictions.
     How would this work?  As you may recall, there are hundreds of county sheriffs nationwide who have stated that they cannot, in good conscience, enforce laws that go against the oath they took to defend the Constitution.  And they obviously feel that these strict gun control laws violate the Second Amendment of the Constitution.  Colorado State Representative Lori Saine says, “In theory if a Secret Service agent is in a county where the sheriff has refused to enforce some of the recent unenforceable gun laws, the agent could arrest an individual if he believes the law has been broken.”
     WND.com reports that the new bill regarding the Secret Service, SB-13-013, passed on a nearly party line vote in the Democrat-controlled Colorado House and is now awaiting the governor’s signature. The bill grants members of the Secret Service arrest powers by considering them to be a peace officer, putting them on a par with state law-enforcement officials with respect to arrest authority.
     The legislation applies not only to agents guarding the president or other government officials, but also to special agents, uniformed division officers, physical security technicians, physical security specialists and special officers of the United States Secret Service.
     When legislators tried to find out why this was necessary, they were given several conflicting answers; everything from disruption to a Presidential motorcade, to check and wire fraud.  Apparently they finally settled on the official line that the purpose of the bill was to make it easier to hold a person for mental health reasons; in effect, so that a 72-hour mental hold could be instituted against a citizen.  But Colorado State Senator Kevin Lundberg said, “I found it curious that this was the big reason they thought they needed it. Currently a police officer, doctor, psychiatrists, registered nurses and other professionals [just on the strength of their word] can say they want a person taken against their will and put in a mental institution for up to three business days for an evaluation as to whether they are mentally sane or a danger to themselves or others. (It could be even longer if it was over a weekend).”
     But Senator Vicki Marble, of Fort Collins, saw red flags with this reasoning:  “It’s very suspicious, because we have the separation of federal, state and even the local police services. Everyone has their own jurisdiction, and there is a special reason for keeping federal agents away.  No federal authority should have the ability to detain somebody for 72 hours.  If there is a legitimate reason for doing so for someone who is mentally ill, that should come at the local level where people in the community know one another.”
     Marble went on to say that the mental hold was the reason the bill slipped under the radar. “The mental health hold was what they testified to in committee, and that was the big thing they didn’t want to get out, but it does give them the authority to put that hold on people.”
     Senator Lundberg said, “If you look at the bill, it says they can operate alongside of local police authorities and function as equals you might say,” he said. “However, when you read it carefully it basically gives them state police power so whatever power a regular policeman such as the state patrol, sheriff’s office or local police has, they will have also.”
     As the bill is currently written, it states that the agents are automatically granted peace officer status when several conditions apply. For instance, if the agent is responding to a non-federal felony or misdemeanor being committed in their presence, the bill would give him the full authority to arrest any Colorado citizen.  Currently, the Secret Service has no traditional law enforcement authority; they are under the power and scope of the Federal Department of the Treasury.  To say the least, this is an incomprehensible leap of power and jurisdiction.
     The bill also gives the Secret Service agents wide discretion to arrest citizens based merely on probable cause that a non-federal felony or misdemeanor involving injury or threat of injury to a person or property has been or is being committed.
     Representative Saine said she believes the bill is intended to be used as a foundation for later legislation that will surrender still greater control to federal officials. “There’ve been so many explanations for the reasons they really need this bill passed. So what is it really?” Saine asked. “I believe it is intended to be used for setting up a framework so that at some other time they could expand it to possibly include being able to arrest a sheriff who is refusing to enforce unconstitutional laws. They would justify it by saying that since we’ve already given the Secret Service this ability, why not give them just one more?”
     But this craftily written Colorado bill is just the tip of the iceberg.  As you may be aware, county sheriffs across the country are pushing back against restrictive gun control laws, and it could very well be that this pushback is the reason lawmakers are crafting similar bills in other states.  “The bills are a model for what they’ll try to push in Congress,” said Independence Institute research director and Denver University law professor Dave Kopel.  “Colorado is [simply] a pawn for the Obama-Biden plan,” he added.
     And, in fact, Vice-President Joe Biden called undecided Democrats in Colorado and pushed for passage of the bills. “He’s watching us, and if we had a chance to move these bills forward, what an important signal it would send to the rest of the country if a Western conservative state passes such legislation,” said Democratic State Representative Tony Exum Sr., of Colorado Springs.
     While the gun control lobbyists have centered their tactics on Colorado and hope their efforts will become a model for other states, the opposite is actually happening in quite a few states where laws that preserve gun rights are gaining momentum:
•  The first of these was the Firearms Freedom Act passed in Montana, which says any firearms made and retained in-state are beyond the authority of Congress under its constitutional power to regulate commerce among the states.
•  Two senators in Ohio have introduced a bill which would prohibit firearms seizures, registration and bans in their state.
•  A bill in Kentucky would prohibit the state from enforcing new federal gun-control laws, if enacted.
•  Idaho’s House passed a bill that would criminalize enforcing any new federal laws that ban, restrict, confiscate or require registration of firearms or ammunition in violation of the state’s constitution.
•  A bill in Louisiana would prohibit the enforcement of federal restrictions regarding the ownership or possession of semi-automatic firearms.
•  A bill that would prohibit the enforcement of federal gun laws passed in the House Public Safety Committee in Oklahoma.
•  The Texas House is considering a measure to prevent state and local police from enforcing new federal gun-control measures.
•  A bill in Arizona would make it a felony for the federal government to enforce new laws or regulations on guns, accessories and ammunition owned or manufactured in the state.
•  And a bill in Michigan would exempt firearms and firearms accessories made and sold exclusively in Michigan from federal gun restrictions.
•  Some of the strongest language to that effect has come from Utah, where 28 of the state’s 29 elected sheriffs signed a letter to President Obama warning him not to send federal agents to start confiscating guns.
•  Similarly, in New Mexico in January, 30 of the state’s 33 county sheriffs paid a visit to the state house, reminding the governor and state congressmen that a sheriff’s job is to defend the Constitution, including the Second Amendment.
     So, as you can see, Colorado is on the front lines of this battle to protect the Second Amendment, and finds itself smack dab in the middle of the controversy over strict gun control measures.  Will the federal government be able to implement a national framework for more control through back-door language in bills before the Colorado Legislature?  Or will the States retain their sovereign power, and the County Sheriffs maintain their authority?  It is obvious that our individual rights and freedoms depend on who blinks first.

Psalm 119:108      "Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws."

March 29, 2013

The Effect of Anti-Gun Laws in Colorado

     I have a feeling the Legislature of Colorado is going to regret their push for gun control laws.  Besides the obvious backlash from citizens who see their Second Amendment Rights being violated, the economic impact is sure to devastate The Centennial State.
     Did anyone stop to think of the fiscal consequences to this state?  Besides vacationers who will now find themselves violating the law if they possess a high-capacity magazine or illegal firearm to defend themselves, you have have hunters that will no longer spend their dollars in Colorado, and major industries that will be forced to move to friendlier states.  The hunting industry alone brought $800 million into the state, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  That's nothing to sneeze at!
     Then there is Magpul Industries, one of the giants in the firearms industry, which makes firearms parts and high-capacity magazines.  Magpul suddenly finds itself in the position of manufacturing goods that would be illegal in Colorado.  Not surprisingly, they have announced that they will be pulling out of Colorado "immediately".  Did anyone in Colorado stop to think about just what it will cost them when this multi-million dollar industry packs up and leaves?  Not to mention all the supporting businesses such as metal, tool and plastic companies?  Oh, wait, perhaps no one in Colorado did think about it!  Because you see it appears as if the Colorado gun laws were drafted by (surprise!) Michael Bloomberg and the Brady Center; backed by full-time Bloomberg lobbyists in Colorado, and supported by flown-in Bloomberg experts.  It was easy for these East Coast bureaucrats to dismiss the hundreds of thousands of Colorado residents that showed up to oppose the laws.  Once again, "We the People" don't figure into their equation.
     But the effects haven't stopped there.  Michael Bane, Executive Producer of the Outdoor Channel, which includes such shows as Shooting Gallery, The Best Defense, Rapid Fire, Gun Stories, and other special projects, has moved production of his shows out of Colorado.  As he pointed out in his letter to the Colorado Legislature, it is the opinion of his attorneys "that these proposed laws are so dangerous to hunters and any other person, be they a fisherman or a skier who brings a handgun into the state for self-defense, that we cannot recommend hunting, fishing or visiting Colorado."
     So besides the hunting and firearms industries, the tourist industry is going to be devastated.  I don't know about you, but I would be hesitant to travel through the state of Colorado with a legal firearm and  high capacity magazine that I bought in Texas, only to find out if I am stopped for any reason in Colorado, they could find probable cause to arrest me for violating the law until I could prove that such magazine was purchased prior to their cutoff date.  You are talking about possible confiscation of your car and firearms, not to mention attorney's fees to fight the case.  Nope!  We will be taking a wide path around Colorado!
     I guess what scares me the most is the number of our Colorado friends that didn't see this coming.  I have to wonder if the Bloomberg machine swept in undercover, put all their minions in place, wrote the bills and then sprang it on an unsuspecting populace.  We have friends that didn't know this legislation was up for consideration until mere days before it was voted on; and others that didn't know about it until after the bills were passed.  If my hunch is correct, then all of us in Second Amendment supporting states need to be on guard against these wolves sneaking in the back door.
     I'm also thinking that the Governor of Colorado and other legislators are second-guessing their rush to pass these bills.  The backlash and consequences were swift and decisive.  Major industries are pulling out and their lucrative tourist activity will be hit hard.  In effect, there has been a groundswell of grassroots response to these impulsive and rash pieces of gun legislation; a response that will impact not only the fragile Colorado economy, but shape the future and traditions of this once proud and free state.

 Job 20:28     "The increase of his house will depart, And his goods will flow away in the day of His wrath."


March 6, 2013

Is Colorado the Trial Run?

     As I listened to a nationally-known talk show host rant about the insanity that is the Colorado State Legislature and their proposed bills on gun control, I realized that this country's demise is happening faster than anyone predicted.  When you have a state like Colorado, whose history is defined by rugged individualists and a Western mentality, pushing through foolish and ludicrous bills such as HB 1229 and SB 196, then the very fabric of this country is coming unraveled.
     I say "Western mentality" because Colorado ain't the East Coast, folks!  It's the home of the Unsinkable Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titantic.  It's earliest settlers were Spanish explorers, and many Coloradans are descendants of the rugged pioneers that crossed the Rocky Mountains to settle rich farmland and raise cattle.  Colorado is known for its harsh and rigorous mining industry and for its historical Indian wars.  It's establishment was hard-won and it's heritage was not characterized by sissies and sycophants.
    So, I ask, somewhat incredulously ..... Colorado, what happened to you?  This is the state of my maternal ancestors, who were German and Swiss immigrants who crossed the prairies by covered wagons in the hopes of having a better life than they'd had in Europe.  I come from hardy stock; I've told you about my grandmother who was widowed with four small children under the age of 9, and pregnant with a fifth at the height of the Great Depression.  I've never known a more strong and independent woman.  I still have cousins who farm out on the Eastern prairies.  They are plain, hard-working people.  They don't ask for anything; except the chance to work their land without interference from anyone.  I hardly recognize this land that I was once so familiar with.
     Who is behind this injudicious legislation?  What makes a legislator tell a woman who was violently raped for six hours that she could not have defended herself with a gun?  What makes him say that a proposed ban on firearms on college campuses is not about trying "to protect ourselves from violent crime. What we are trying to do here tonight is prevent students and teachers from feeling uncomfortable by you carrying a gun to protect yourself."  He went on to add that the rape victim's right to self-defense weighed less on the Senate Judiciary Committee's conscience than the right of the students and teachers to "feel comfortable". Where is the good sense God gave that man? Furthermore, this nonsense does not seem to fall along political party lines.  That was Republican state senator Ted Harvey who pronounced the rape victim a victim yet again; this time of insensitivity and absurdity.
     But it doesn't stop there!  Colorado is the same state where lawmakers have proposed using ballpoint pens, rape whistles and safe zones as an alternative to people defending themselves with a gun. Additionally, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs is advising women to urinate and vomit on their attackers.  Did some alien spaceship just come down from outer space and replace all the good people of Colorado?!?
     So, I guess it should come as no surprise that there are seven gun control bills which are scheduled to be debated on the Colorado Senate floor this Friday.  Along with the Campus Concealed Carry ban, the bills include legislation such as House Bill 1224, that would ban high-capacity magazines of 15 rounds or more.  But perhaps the most controversial of the seven bills are HB 1229 and SB 196.  House Bill 1229 would require universal background checks for all gun purchases and transfers.  On one side of this argument was Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Giffords, who was shot in Arizona.  He argued that he and his wife are gun owners, but feel it is time to block the loopholes in private sales background checks. He admitted that "the breadth and complexity of gun violence is great. But that is not an excuse for inaction." (Another "we just gotta do something argument!)
    On the other end of the scale was a group of sheriffs, many from rural counties, who spoke against background checks.  This group of sheriffs, all in uniform, stood quietly behind their representative, who stated, “We know there are a lot of chiefs and line level police officers throughout the state who don’t support these bills.”  So now these LEOs must decide where they stand, Constitutionally, should these bills pass.
     But it is SB 196 that disturbs me the most.  It is a controversial proposal that would make assault weapons manufacturers and retailers liable for crimes if committed by one of their firearms.  What is not quite clear to me is this:  would that make a private seller liable if a firearm he owns (or sells) is stolen?  This is carrying the whole litigious atmosphere a little too far!
     Needless to say, these proposed gun laws have riled up a good portion of "The Centennial State's" populace.  Angry constituents have filled the halls of the State Senate since the hearings began and have loudly protested their displeasure.  But it's all been in vain.  And the threat by the CEO of Magpul Industries (a manufacturer of high-capacity magazines based in Colorado), to leave the state if the bill becomes law, seemed to have no effect.  "Making products that are illegal here in Colorado is counter to our values," said CEO Richard Fitzpatrick.  Magpul represents several hundred jobs and $85 million in sales; not enough to bankrupt Colorado, but what state wants to lose a profitable industry in this economic climate?  The fact that the departure of Magpul is no incentive to rethink these ludicrous bills shows the extent to which the Progressive ideology has run roughshod over public debate.
     So the real question becomes this ..... If Colorado falls, what state will be next?  The speed and rapid pace with which this legislation was written and is in the process of being enacted scares the hell out of me.  It shows that there is a deliberate and conscious effort to limit our Constitutional access to firearms.   And there seems to be no deterrent in sight.  We can no longer trust our legislators to put the Constitution first and "feelings of uncomfortableness" second.  For the fine people of Colorado, it may be too late.  You got caught napping.
     So this should be a signal for the rest of us to shore up our State Legislators.  There are those who would say the time has passed for laws and the ballot box to have any effect.  But remember this, our Founding Fathers did not make hasty and rash decisions.  They petitioned King George more times than he deserved, always with the hope that the tide of rebellion could be turned.  We will serve ourselves best if we mimic their resolve and their determination.  That doesn't mean we bend to a progressive doctrine; it means we fight for that which is morally right and justified.  We are not vague or unclear as to what that looks like, and we will not back down.  And may our Father in Heaven fight for us.

Deuteronomy 20:4     "For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory." 

February 26, 2013

Revisited: Our County Sheriffs and the Constitution

     It is not my practice to repeat the subject of a previous post, but there is an issue that is becoming more relevant by the day, and what I wrote nearly a year ago bears restating.  In a post titled What One Man Can Do, I introduced you to Sheriff Richard Mack, who, in 1993, filed a landmark lawsuit against President Bill Clinton and the U.S. Government over their intrusion on States Rights.  You can read the history of that lawsuit in my previous post.  (By the way, the suit went all the way to the Supreme Court, and Sheriff Mack won!)
     In that post, Sheriff Mack laid out the Constitutional duties of our County Sheriffs.  If you haven't read it, please do.  You need to be aware that your County Sheriff is the last line of defense against a tyrannical and over-reaching Federal Government.  And if you have read it; read it again ... and pass it on to someone who needs this information. It is incumbent upon each of us to know the Tenth Amendment and the specified limits on government entities:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.

     In short, if powers are not specifically delegated to the Federal Government, or the Constitution doesn't specifically prohibit them [powers] to State governments, then those powers belong to the States  or to the people .... not the Federal Government!  
     When I wrote the post last May, there was a growing sense that gun control was on the horizon. And Sheriff Mack was criss-crossing the country, educating the populace of their rights.  Now, nearly a year later, we've blown right past that issue, and there is talk of gun bans, universal background checks, and even gun registration.  That is why this topic needs to be revisited!
     Within the last year, Sheriff Mack has formed an organization called Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA).  Their mission is to equip sheriffs, peace officers and public officials with the necessary information and public support to carry out their duties in accordance with their Oaths of Office.  As of this writing, 312 Sheriffs have publicly proclaimed their stance.  They will support the oath they took to defend the Constitution, and to defend the Bill of Rights as it pertains to their citizens.  Let's hope that the number grows.
     But Sheriff Mack is not alone, thank God!  Last week, four brave Sheriffs took to the public airwaves and appeared on The Blaze, Glenn Beck's TV network.  The Sheriffs represented the states of Oregon, Wisconsin and Missouri.  All spoke boldly about their duty to defend the Constitution and the rights of the citizens to bear arms.  They were passionate and firm in their resolve.  They all stated that they felt the Constitution was under attack and the Government was overstepping its bounds.  All announced their intentions to safeguard the rights of the citizens of their counties and to defend and protect the Constitution.  They also realize that pressure may be brought to bear against them in the near future, but all felt it was time to take a stand.  Sheriff Tim Mueller of Linn County, Oregon said, "If not us, then who?"
     Sheriff David Clarke, of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin has received criticism for his controversial ad in which he urges citizens of his county to get training and be prepared to protect themselves.  He sees the value in "partnering" with his constituents to keep their communities safe.  In the end, Sheriff Clarke says it's "about Liberty".
     And at the end of the roundtable discussion, host Beck seemed to sum up the sheriffs' collective conscience:  “You have a right to own the firearms of your choice,” Beck said. “That right shall not be infringed. It’s not about hunting, it’s not about target practice, it’s not even about rape or home defense. It is about an armed public being necessary to keep people free. An unarmed public is a tyrant’s playground.”  
     These brave Sheriffs, along with the growing number of their fellow law enforcement officers are carrying on the legacy that Sheriff Richard Mack initiated back in 1993.  It IS an issue of States Rights!  As Sheriff Mack has pointed out, "The Constitution gives the federal government the authority to police exactly four areas: treason, piracy, treaty violations and counterfeiting."  Anything beyond that is within the jurisdiction of local and state authorities.
     The bottom line is this:  The Sheriff is the chief law enforcement authority in most counties, and he is elected by the ultimate power source, We The People. These lawmen know their duty and to whom they owe allegiance.  That have read the Constitution, and nowhere in it do they find authorization for the federalization of law enforcement.  In fact, they might argue, the Constitutional system gives the local police higher authority than any federal agent when it comes to enforcing the laws in their counties.
     So get to know your County Sheriff.  Find out where he stands on these issues and how he will respond if called upon to violate your Constitutional rights.  You have a right to know if you will be protected.  Sheriff Clarke is correct.  It is a partnership, and together we can stand for Liberty.

Proverbs 29:2     "When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan."

January 29, 2013

"I Will Keep Them From Harm and Injustice"

     The title of today's post is a small part of the Hippocratic Oath, taken by many doctors as they embark upon a career to practice medicine, both ethically and honestly. It is part of the covenant between them and their patients, and doctors take it seriously.  I want to thank CZ; a faithful reader and friend, as well as a physician herself, for referring me to a timely article by Paul Hsieh, MD, who is a physician and co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM).
     Dr. Hsieh wrote the article for Forbes Magazine's website, and I have to tell you that it gives me great hope that physicians across the land will follow his example.  Dr. Hsieh gives an indepth account of why he will not follow the mandate issued through the White House Executive Orders that purportedly clarifies that “the Affordable Care Act [ObamaCare] does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes."  Before this "clarification", it was understood that ObamaCare banned the federal government from using patient medical records to compile a list of gun owners.  But with the rising hysteria resulting from the CT shootings and the all-out assault by anti-gun lobbyists and politicians, that stance has been modified.
     Dr. Hsieh, boldly and courageously, calls out the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for their biased position in promoting and encouraging physicians to follow the latest dictate and ask patients about gun ownership --- all in the name of protecting "the children".  He disavows this recommendation, pointing out that they use the false and misleading scare tactic of “A gun kept in the home is 43 times more likely to kill someone known to the family than to kill someone in self-defense.”  (These statistics do not disclose suicides among the numbers).
     Furthermore, if you are serious about protecting the children, he asks why would you not report swimming pools to the federal government, which contribute to drowning, a leading cause of death among young children.  In fact, Dr. Hsieh further bolsters this argument by quoting University of Chicago economics professor Steven Levitt and his co-author Stephen Dubner.  In their best seller Freakonomics, they noted that a child is 100 times more likely to die in a swimming accident than a gun accident.   So following this logic, physicians should definitely be gathering information on swimming pool ownership.  Or what about stairs (death by falls); household products (death by poisoning); cooking with hot grease (burn injuries and fires); all the small toys or objects that can obstruct a child's airway (death by suffocation or strangulation) .... all of these were mentioned by a U.S. News & World Report article as leading cause of accidental death in the home.  Not guns!
     What is ironic is that the AAP recognizes the value of a swimming pool in a family's life, and even promotes teaching children how to swim .... even though it is a leading cause of death among those same children.  Why can they not give the same credibility to gun ownership?  A gun in a household, with proper training and safety precautions, could be a valuable asset in the home .... especially in the event of an unwanted intruder.  It could actually SAVE lives!  Now that's a novel concept!
     Dr. Hsieh mentions that doctors already have a professional and legal responsibility to notify the authorities if they believe patients pose an imminent threat to others or themselves.  And I believe that doctors take that responsibility seriously.   Mandating that they MUST ask their patients any question about gun ownership is not only violating the patients' constitutional rights and endangering doctor/patient confidentiality, it will erode all trust and confidence in that sacred relationship.
     The good doctor recommends that his fellow colleagues follow the doctrine of a fellow friend and physician, Dr. Matthew Bowdish, who declared, “I will not undermine the Second or Fourth Amendment rights of any of my patients who are lawful gun owners. Nor will I record my patients’ gun ownership status in any medical records that could be accessed by government officials unless relevant to a specific medical issue.”
     Physicians all across the country are having to decide where they stand on this issue.  I pray that the majority of them will follow the dictates of these ethical and brave doctors.  And might I suggest something from the patient side of the aisle?  It would give me great confidence to see a statement similar to Dr. Bowdish's prominently displayed in my doctor's office.  There would be no need for comment or discussion.  All patients would know where their doctor stood and could be confident that their rights were being secured.  I believe that this issue is important enough, (to both doctor and patient), that such a statement would clear the air and set the boundaries of this very important relationship.  We may not have control over Executive Orders coming out of the White House, but we sure as shootin' (pardon the pun) can take charge of the dialogue with our healthcare partner.  Further regulations and legislation are on the way, so know where your doctor stands.  We need to support each other and our Constitutional rights.

Isaiah 8:10     "Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us."