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Citizens revolt, refuse to register guns


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.wnd.com

 

Posted by:Greg Corombos

Americans declare, ‘I’m prepared to go to jail’

author-image 

Tens of thousands of Connecticut residents are refusing to register their firearms in defiance of new gun-control laws, and law-enforcement officers in that state and others are simply refusing to enforce the recently imposed restrictions.

In December 2012, the nation was horrified by the merciless killings of a classroom of young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In response, the Democratic state legislature approved sweeping new gun-control laws, and Gov. Dan Malloy signed them into law. Several other states followed suit, including New York, Maryland and Colorado.

In addition to banning new sales of many types of firearms and larger capacity magazines that were previously legal, the state is also requiring residents who legally purchased those weapons and magazines to register them with the state.

For many Connecticut residents, that is a bridge too far, and they are refusing to comply with the law. Gun-rights groups are standing with them.

“The revolt is underway. Tens of thousands of people in Connecticut have intentionally missed the deadline. They are not registering. Some of them actually said they would not when they were at the hearing when the law was being considered in the legislature,” said Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt.

Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Larry Pratt below:

Video of cops and folks saying won’t support Conn. law

Pratt said the backlash does not stop there. He said Connecticut state lawmakers from both parties who supported the new gun laws are facing fierce tests at the ballot box.

“Almost all of the RINOs in the State Senate that voted for the measure are being opposed in the primary,” Pratt said. “Democrats, you might have to face some angry voters in November, but Republicans are looking over their shoulder right now.”

He also said Connecticut and other states with new gun-control laws will have a tough time enforcing them because of a growing resentment toward the law among police officers.

“Two hundred and fifty police (in Connecticut) have signed a letter that they are not going to enforce the law. They have no intention of collecting anyone’s firearms,” said Pratt, who noted that the resistance from law enforcement in Colorado is even stronger.

“All but two of the state’s county sheriffs have said, ‘We’re not enforcing the law.’ To the surprise, I think, of a lot of legislators, it turns out lawmen are not particularly enamored with gun control. After all, they own guns personally. A lot of them enjoy recreational use of guns, and for them to be put in the position of collecting guns for some liberal ideologue in the legislature, they didn’t really sign up for that,” Pratt said.

Gun Owners of America is urging residents in Connecticut, Colorado and other states to reject new laws requiring the registration of newly illegal weapons. But at a time when many on the right condemn President Obama for alleged selective enforcement of laws, are those same conservatives guilty of a double standard in this situation?

Pratt said the Constitution provides the road map in both situations.

“Frankly, I don’t have a constitutional problem with what the president is doing. We can deal with him and his party using the means provided in the forthcoming elections. If we end up sending a tsunami wave over his party and making his last two years in office totally miserable, that’s the way the system permits it to be done,” Pratt said.

“Same thing in Connecticut. People are saying, ‘I’m prepared to go to jail.’ Well, if you get so many tens of thousands of people saying that, it becomes difficult to imagine how that (many arrests) can happen, especially if there aren’t any police around to arrest them in the beginning,” he said.

“I think it’s an American’s right to exercise his conscience. He has to be prepared to take the consequences, just like Martin Luther King. He exercised his conscience. (Rosa) Parks went and sat down right in the front of the bus. Now she was taken off the bus and escorted away, and she was put in jail for a bit. She was prepared to take the consequences, but she had decided, ‘No more,’ Pratt said. “The people of Connecticut, I think, are in the same frame of mind.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/citizens-revolt-refuse-to-register-guns/#Ekfq1PCaw7jOv78P.99

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Obamacare: Highly Compensated Individuals & the Second Amendment


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://freedomoutpost.com

 

Posted by:Sid Wolf

gun

“Prohibition on Discrimination in Favor of Highly Compensated Individuals” is a section found in Obamacare. Within in it is a sub-section protecting Second Amendment gun rights, with respect to wellness and prevention programs. The language appears, on the face, to prohibit the use of any data collection with regard to the ”the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition.” However, does this section really provide adequate protection for gun owners, and more specifically our veterans?

The Section reads as follows:

SEC. 2716. PROHIBITION ON DISCRIMINATION IN FAVOR OF HIGHLY COMPENSATED INDIVIDUALS.

(a) IN GENERAL.—A group health plan (other than a self-insured plan) shall satisfy the requirements of section 105(h) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to prohibition on discrimination in favor of highly compensated individuals).

(b) RULES AND DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of this section—

(1) CERTAIN RULES TO APPLY.—Rules similar to the rules contained in paragraphs (3), (4), and (8) of section 105(h) of such Code shall apply.

(2) HIGHLY COMPENSATED INDIVIDUAL.—The term ‘highly compensated individual’ has the meaning given such term by section 105(h)(5) of such Code.”.

(e) Section 2717 of the Public Health Service Act, as added by section 1001(5) of this Act, is amended—

(1) by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as subsections

(d) and (e), respectively; and

(2) by inserting after subsection (b), the following:

(c) PROTECTION OF SECOND AMENDMENT GUN RIGHTS.—

(1) WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS.—A wellness and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—

(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully-possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or

(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual.

(2) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any information relating to—

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;

(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or

(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.

(3) LIMITATION ON DATABASES OR DATA BANKS.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used to maintain records of individual ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.

(4) LIMITATION ON DETERMINATION OF PREMIUM RATES OR ELIGIBILITY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.—A premium rate may not be increased, health insurance coverage may not be denied, and a discount, rebate, or reward offered for participation in a wellness program may not be reduced or withheld under any health benefit plan issued pursuant to or in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act on the basis of, or on reliance upon—

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or

(B) the lawful use or storage of a firearm or ammunition.

(5) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS.—No individual shall be required to disclose any information under any data collection activity authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act relating to—

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or

(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition.

To imply that the healthcare database would not be used in any database is to ignore history and an earlier Executive Order: a) Action #2 Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system and b) Action #16 Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, Public Law 103-159 basically requires the Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) to request background checks on prospective firearm transferees and that the US Attorney General establish the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Under this law some military veterans are being denied their right to own a gun ….not for any crimes committed, but because of psychiatric determinations or evaluations based on issues related to PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome).

Here are just a few reasons, under the Brady Law, where an individual can be denied, when undergoing a background check: a) 18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (3) Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance; b) 18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (4) Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution; and c) 18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (6) Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.

Given the above, one conclusion can be drawn –”It does not prohibit the use of a database to determine who has a psychological ‘disorder’ like ADHD or PTSD. And it does not prohibit the ATF from trolling the database for persons with these disorders (independent of any issue of gun ownership) — and sending their names to the FBI’s database of prohibited persons because of any of the reasons stated above under 18 USC §922 (g). Further, HIPAA would not prohibit this ‘law enforcement function,’ and Obamacare has significantly broaden the list of people whose determination is an ‘official’ determination similar to the VA psychiatrists who have disarmed approximately 150,000 veterans.”

Everyone goes to the doctor for one reason or another, so under this law and the Executive Order issued by this administration, questions about guns in the home will be asked of literally every individual in the nation and not just those with “mental health issues.” Kris Zane rightly asks, “What about post-partum depression or other ‘depressive’ disorders? This and PTSD could be easily—but falsely—’proved’ or be temporary issue. What about a child who tells the doctor that mom and dad have been arguing? Would this be considered a ‘mental health’ issue because at any one time any one of us could be categorized as being ‘depressed going through a difficult time in our lives?’”

What has not been discussed in the media is the reference to Section 105(h) of the IRS code and ramifications for employers as well as employees regarding health insurance and compliance.

There are other sections in Obamacare that reference and require fully-insured plans which lose “grandfathered” status comply with the requirements of section 105(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

According to a memo from Davis & Harman LLP, titled “New Nondicrimination Requirements for Insured Group Health Plans,” the rules “prohibit health plans from discriminating in favor of “highly compensated individuals.” These rules already apply to self-funded plans, but will now apply to fully-insured plans, which have lost grandfathered status, which went into effect on the first plan year beginning after September 23, 2010.

“The penalty for an employer who sponsors a fully-insured plan which violates these rules is severe,” the memo continues. “They would be liable for an excise tax of up to $100 per day per employee ‘discriminated against.’ Below explains some of the rules and what must be done to make sure their benefits, eligibility, and contribution structure are in compliance.”

Suppose a “highly compensated individual” is promised benefits for life under a self-funded health care plan and he incurs $100,000 of medical costs in connection with an illness. The $100,000 of benefits will be taxable income under Section 105(h). Most lawyers warn organizations that self-insured plans should not create exclusive eligibility rules only for higher-ranking executives in connection with retirements or separation of employment. Under Section 105(h) only highly compensated individuals are subject to the above adverse tax consequences. However, most of these individuals comprise roughly 25% of the workforce, and are usually an employer’s most senior and vital employees.

Section 105(h) defines“Highly compensated individuals (HCI or HCE)” as individuals who are:

  1. one of the 5 highest paid officers,
  2. a shareholder who owns (with the application of section 318) more than 10 percent in value of the stock of the employer, or
  3. an individual who is among the highest paid 25 percent of all employees (other than excludable employees who are not participants).

Benefits Testing: Under the benefits test, all benefits provided to “highly-compensated employees (and their dependents), must be provided for all other participants (and their dependents). In other words, HCEs must not be provided better benefits (or the opportunity to elect better benefits) than NHCEs.”

However, for testing purposes, employers may exclude from testing:

  1. employees who have not completed 3 years of service;
  2. employees who have not attained age 25;
  3. part-time or seasonal employees;
  4. employees not included in the plan who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, if accident and health benefits were the subject of good faith
    bargaining between the employee representatives (UNIONS) and the employer; and
  5. employees who are nonresident aliens and who receive no earned income (within the meaning of section 911(d) (2)) from the employer which constitutes income from sources within the United States (within the meaning of section 861(a) (3)).

Hopefully, this section protects the rest of us, but I have not been able to get clarification of this since this “entire” section of the Act addresses “highly compensated individuals” and the “exclusion” portion of this section seems to protect “unions” excluding the rest of those individuals that do not fall into the other 2 categories.

I did find this on a BCBS website in South Carolina which relates to what is currently being discussed in the news regarding “grandfathered plans” but this statement is troubling. “Prohibition of Discrimination Based on Lawful Ownership or Possession of Firearms or Ammunition – Plan may not base eligibility, premiums, discounts, rebates or rewards on the lawful use, ownership, or possession of firearms or ammunition, nor may a plan request this information as part of a wellness program or for any use related to the Health Care Reform Act. These prohibitions do not apply to a grandfathered plan.” It’s apparent, the healthcare law is mandating insurance companies drop current healthcare plans, not only to include all the new requirements, but to have everyone bound by this section of the law with the intent of everyone ultimately being included in any database that currently exits under the Brady Act.

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/12/obamacare-highly-compensated-individuals-second-amendment/#l7DwG2Cjt1yezX8w.99

Ever heard of this? The Dick Act of 1902! Not a Joke


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from: http://www.civilrightstaskforce.info

 

Posted by:

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and will lose both.

Ben Franklin

The Dick Act of 1902! Not a Joke

Truth or Fiction and Fact Check are silent on this as of 2:27 PM CST Feb. 23, 2013 

Snopes, of course, tries to weasel out of the truth.  Go here to find the truth as it is written in law:

https://www.unitedstatesmilitia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=854

Dick Act of 1902 – Gun Control FORBIDDEN!

Are you aware of this law?

DICK ACT of 1902 – CAN’T BE REPEALED (GUN CONTROL FORBIDDEN) – Protection Against Tyrannical Government

It would appear that the administration is counting on the fact that the American Citizens don’t know this, their rights and the constitution. Don’t prove them right.

The Dick Act of 1902 also known as the Efficiency of Militia Bill H.R. 11654, of June 28, 1902 invalidates all so-called gun-control laws.

It also divides the militia into three distinct and separate entities. ** SPREAD THIS TO EVERYONE ** The three classes H.R. 11654 provides for are the organized militia, henceforth known as the National Guard of the State, Territory and District of Columbia, the unorganized militia and the regular army.

The militia encompasses every able-bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45. All members of the unorganized militia have the absolute personal right and 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms of any type, and as many as they can afford to buy.

The Dick Act of 1902 cannot be repealed; to do so would violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws which would be yet another gross violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The President of the United States has zero authority without violating the Constitution to call the National Guard to serve outside of their State borders.

The National Guard Militia can only be required by the National Government for limited purposes specified in the Constitution (to uphold the laws of the Union; to suppress insurrection and repel invasion). These are the only purposes for which the General Government can call upon the National Guard.

 

Source: http://www.civilrightstaskforce.info/gun_control_forbidden.htm

 

OBAMA’S ‘CLANDESTINE’ PLAN TO MAKE BULLETS VANISH


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.wnd.com

 

Posted by:

Allen West warns of back-door attack on guns

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., is joining the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups to warn about a back-door attack on the Second Amendment by the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency.

Ex-Rep. Allen B. West, R-Fla.

In a column posted on his website Sunday, West wrote about the Doe Run company’s lead-producing plant in Herculaneum, Mo., which is being forced to close after the EPA required it to spend up to $100 million on upgrades.

Doe Run, the last primary lead smelter in the United States, has been around since 1892 but is closing on Dec. 31.

West accused Obama of using the EPA to advance “backdoor gun control … while we are all distracted with Obamacare and Iran nuclear negotiations.”

West argued the Obama administration’s “new extremely tight air-quality restrictions” have led to the end of lead as the primary metal in bullets — making ammunition much more expensive and less accessible and leaving America no choice but to turn to overseas operations to produce lead bullets, a situation West says is akin to a federal power grab on guns.

“Come 2014, all ammunition sold to civilian gun owners in America will have to be imported, a result of President Obama’s crackdown on sulfur dioxide and lead emissions and accompanying harsh Environmental Protection Agency regulations,” wrote West.

The Doe Run smelter opened in 1892/Photo: KBIA

“[This] will surely increase the price and possibly come under government control,” Mr. West warned, according to a Breitbart.com report. “It seems this is fully in concert with the U.S. military and Homeland Defense recent purchase of large quantities of ammunition.”

He said the “chilling effect” is that while the closure of the smelt plant doesn’t take guns out of the hands of Americans, it does put in jeopardy ammunition supplies.

As the largest lead producer in North America, Doe Run was embroiled in a decade-long battle between angry parents, government regulators and environmentalists, who argued the plant was responsible for high levels of lead in the blood of children in the area, according to an August story on Mid-Missouri Public Radio.

The battles over contamination in the town pitted neighbor against neighbor and culminated in a flurry of lawsuits. One of them singled out the EPA and forced the federal government to revise the national air pollution standard for lead, tightening it by a factor of ten.

The NRA-ILA issued a press release in response to Doe Run’s closing:

Doe Run made significant efforts to reduce lead emissions from the smelter, but in 2008 the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead that were 10 times tighter than the previous standard. Given the new lead air quality standard, Doe Run made the decision to close the Herculaneum smelter.

Whatever the EPA’s motivation when creating the new lead air quality standard, increasingly restrictive regulation of lead is likely to affect the production and cost of traditional ammunition. Just this month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will ban lead ammunition for all hunting in California. The Center for Biological Diversity has tried multiple times to get similar regulations at the federal level by trying, and repeatedly failing, to get the EPA to regulate conventional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

“You can own all the guns you want, but if you can’t get ammo, you are out of luck,” West wrote, on his blog. “Remember when President Obama promised his minions that he was working on gun control behind the scenes? Welcome to it. The result is that all domestically mined ore will have to be shipped overseas, refined and then shipped back to the U.S.”

West warned: “Not only will ammo be even harder to come by, the demand and the process of supply will cause the price to skyrocket even more. And ponder this: There is an excellent chance that Obama will rig the market to where all ammo has to be purchased from the government, instituting an ammo registration. … So America, backdoor gun control is moving forward … [and] our Second Amendment rights are undergoing an assault by clandestine infiltration.”

West concluded his editorial by bashing the president’s “progressive socialist acolytes” for destroying the Second Amendment before telling fellow GOP politicians, “Now it’s our move in 2014.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/obamas-clandestine-plan-to-make-bullets-vanish/#8LJTuDixcx5egPrq.99

 

ATF uses rogue tactics in storefront stings across nation


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.jsonline.com

 

Posted by:John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge

Illustration by Lou Saldivar

Documents, interviews show agents employed tactics similar to those used in Milwaukee

Backfire: Interview with felon Gary Renaud

Backfire: Judge Karin Immergut on ATF’s tattoo tactic in Portland

Chart


Problems in Milwaukee ATF sting reflected around country

Backfire

A Journal Sentinel investigation uncovered mistakes and failures in an undercover sting in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – stolen guns, sensitive documents lost, wrong people charged and a burglary of the sting storefront.

Go to section.

Aaron Key wasn’t sure he wanted a tattoo on his neck. Especially one of a giant squid smoking a joint.

But the guys running Squid’s Smoke Shop in Portland, Ore., convinced him: It would be a perfect way to promote their store.

They would even pay him and a friend $150 apiece if they agreed to turn their bodies into walking billboards.

Key, who is mentally disabled, was swayed.

He and his friend, Marquis Glover, liked Squid’s. It was their hangout. The 19-year-olds spent many afternoons there playing Xbox and chatting with the owner, “Squid,” and the store clerks.

So they took the money and got the ink etched on their necks, tentacles creeping down to their collarbones.

It would be months before the young men learned the whole thing was a setup. The guys running Squid’s were actually undercover ATF agents conducting a sting to get guns away from criminals and drugs off the street.

The tattoos had been sponsored by the U.S. government; advertisements for a fake storefront.

The teens found out as they were arrested and booked into jail.

Earlier this year when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exposed a botched ATF sting in Milwaukee — that included agents hiring a brain-damaged man to promote an undercover storefront and then arresting him for his work — ATF officials told Congress the failed Milwaukee operation was an isolated case of inadequate supervision.

It wasn’t.

The Journal Sentinel reviewed thousands of pages of court records, police reports and other documents and interviewed dozens of people involved in six ATF operations nationwide that were publicly praised by the ATF in recent years for nabbing violent criminals and making cities safer.

Agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives employed rogue tactics similar to those used in Milwaukee in every operation, from Portland, Ore., to Pensacola, Fla.

Among the findings:

■ ATF agents befriended mentally disabled people to drum up business and later arrested them in at least four cities in addition to Milwaukee. In Wichita, Kan., ATF agents referred to a man with a low IQ as “slow-headed” before deciding to secretly use him as a key cog in their sting. And agents in Albuquerque, N.M., gave a brain-damaged drug addict with little knowledge of weapons a “tutorial” on machine guns, hoping he could find them one.

■ Agents in several cities opened undercover gun- and drug-buying operations in safe zones near churches and schools, allowed juveniles to come in and play video games and teens to smoke marijuana, and provided alcohol to underage youths. In Portland, attorneys for three teens who were charged said a female agent dressed provocatively, flirted with the boys and encouraged them to bring drugs and weapons to the store to sell.

■ As they did in Milwaukee, agents in other cities offered sky-high prices for guns, leading suspects to buy firearms at stores and turn around and sell them to undercover agents for a quick profit. In other stings, agents ran fake pawnshops and readily bought stolen items, such as electronics and bikes — no questions asked — spurring burglaries and theft. In Atlanta, agents bought guns that had been stolen just hours earlier, several ripped off from police cars.

■ Agents damaged buildings they rented for their operations, tearing out walls and rewiring electricity — then stuck landlords with the repair bills. A property owner in Portland said agents removed a parking lot spotlight,damaging her new $30,000 roof and causing leaks, before they shut down the operation and disappeared without a way for her to contact them.

■ Agents pressed suspects for specific firearms that could fetch tougher penalties in court. They allowed felons to walk out of the stores armed with guns. In Wichita, agents suggested a felon take a shotgun, saw it off and bring it back — and provided instructions on how to do it. The sawed-off gun allowed them to charge the man with a more serious crime.

■ In Pensacola, the ATF hired a felon to run its pawnshop. The move widened the pool of potential targets, boosting arrest numbers.Even those trying to sell guns legally could be charged if they knowingly sold to a felon. The ATF’s pawnshop partner was later convicted of pointing a loaded gun at someone outside a bar. Instead of a stiff sentence typically handed down to repeat offenders in federal court, he got six months in jail — and a pat on the back from the prosecutor.

“To say this is just a few people, a few bad apples, I don’t buy it,” said David Harris, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and an expert on law enforcement tactics and regulation. “If your agency is in good shape with policy, training, supervision and accountability, the bad apples will not be able to take things to this level.”

READ MORE: Flawed sting in Milwaukee included use of brain-damaged man, burglary of storefront, automatic machine gun stolen from agent.

The ATF refused the Journal Sentinel’s request for an interview with Director B. Todd Jones or other agency officials to address findings of the investigation. Instead, the agency provided a written statement that failed to answer any questions, and spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun suggested reporters read ATF news releases issued after the stings.

In an email, Colbrun wrote that the ATF — the primary agency entrusted with enforcing the nation’s gun laws — uses storefront stings to target violent criminals.

“Long-term undercover investigations are one of many tools used by ATF in locations that have high levels of violence occurring in the demographics and a mechanism is needed to rid the area of a large volume of individuals (as) opposed to a handful of individuals,” she wrote.

It’s impossible to know the scope of the problems within the $1.2 billion agency.

The agency won’t say how many undercover storefronts it operates every year or disclose their locations. Agency officials don’t publicize all of the busts. Court records in many districts are sealed by judges or otherwise unavailable to the public. If an operation is flawed, as in Milwaukee, there may be no publicity at all.

Concerns about planning and oversight of undercover operations date to at least the late 1990s when the ATF was part of the Treasury Department. Discussions were held by top officials not only from Treasury but from the Department of Justice and others in hopes of bringing ATF investigations in line with other federal agency standards.

“It was a source of frustration for everybody,” said Rory Little, a former longtime federal prosecutor who participated in the meetings.

Nearly 20 years later, many of the same problems exist.

But because much of the agency’s work is done secretly, the public hasn’t known.

Problems with storefront stings surfaced publicly earlier this year when the Journal Sentinel followed up on a tip from a Milwaukee landlord that the ATF had damaged his building and left behind sensitive documents revealing details about undercover agents and their operation.

The newspaper’s investigation found the operation, dubbed Fearless Distributing, was marred by far more than the landlord knew. A machine gun and other weapons had been stolen from an agent’s car, the storefront was burglarized, agents arrested the wrong people and hired the brain-damaged man, who had an IQ of 54, to set up gun and drug deals.

The machine gun has not been recovered.

Members of Congress from both parties demanded answers, sparking an internal investigation by the ATF and a review by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General. Eight months later, the ATF has not released its findings and the Justice Department investigation is not complete.

In a briefing with congressional staffers, ATF officials acknowledged the failures in Milwaukee but indicated they were isolated incidents. At the same time, agency officials admitted they had no written procedures, policies or guidelines for running such undercover operations. They promised to create a written policy.

For years, agents have been setting up everything from phony pawnshops and tattoo parlors to recording studios and thrift stores with no official protocol.

It’s no surprise that, with few rules and little oversight, stings have gone astray, said a veteran ATF agent who asked that his name not be published because he was not authorized to speak on the issue and feared retribution.

Many of the problems stem from poor management in the field divisions coupled with pressure on agents to make cases and prove their worth, he said.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to reporting to Congress for budget reasons, the numbers are all that count,” the agent said. “It is hard to define in a meaningful way to Congress that arresting one person with a long criminal history of 15 felonies is better than arresting 15 people with one felony each.”

The way it works

The storefronts generally sell items such as hip-hop clothing and shoes, cigarettes and drug paraphernalia.

ATF agents offer their goods at steep discounts, hoping to generate traffic. Cigarettes might sell for $2 below retail. Hundred-dollar jeans might go for $10.

When it comes to pawnshops, agents might buy just about anything, paying top dollar, and welcome stolen items.

No matter the type of store, they wire the places with high-resolution cameras and build secret closets with recording equipment.

Growing scraggly beards and speaking street lingo, agents work to build trust among potential targets, spreading the word they are looking to buy guns and drugs. They print up fliers and pump neighbors for leads.

And then they make deals, dishing out cash for pistols and shotguns, heroin and ecstasy, sometimes repeatedly from the same “customers.”

After several months, sometimes a year, they shut down and bust those who came in and conducted illegal business. They tally up the weapons seized and tout the number of defendants — the more the better — displaying guns and drugs before local TV cameras and print journalists, showcasing their work.

With defendants caught on camera, the cases typically lead to guilty pleas and swift convictions. Seldom do the cases go to trial.

Instead,they quickly disappear from public attention.

“There is enough crime out there, why do you have to manufacture it?” said Jeff Griffith, a lawyer for a defendant in Wichita. “You are really creating crime, which then you are prosecuting. You wonder where the moral high ground is in this.”

To be sure, the operations have led to hundreds of convictions and long prison sentences for offenders, some with violent records.

In Albuquerque, for example, a man who was twice indicted on first-degree murder charges, once for killing a man in prison, was later busted in a storefront sting for being a felon in possession of weapon.

But in many cases examined by the Journal Sentinel, the people charged in the stings had minor criminal histories or nonviolent convictions such as burglary or drug possession.

In several of those cases, defendants still got stiff sentences, but others resulted in little or no punishment. In Wichita, nearly a third of the roughly 50 federal cases charged led to no prison time. Defendants got probation or had their case dismissed, records showed. One was acquitted by a jury.

Not the results federal agents typically trumpet.

Former prosecutors and other experts say the success of storefront stings should be measured by the capture of high-level targets, not street-level criminals looking to make a quick buck.

“For street crime in the federal system, we want cases to take us beyond the immediate person into a more significant, dangerous group,” said defense attorney Rodney Cubbie, former head of the organized crime unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Milwaukee. “It seems like these cases stop with the particular individual. That is a waste of federal resources.”

Cubbie called the stings ineffective and lazy law enforcement. He and others said it’s unsurprising that stings failed to take down criminal organizations or nab many major offenders. Federal stings work best when they are tailored to a specific person or group, they said.

“To open a storefront and just have an ad hoc potluck kind of a hope that maybe you’ll find somebody who might commit crimes in your presence, that makes no sense to me,” said defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel, a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Milwaukee mob boss Frank Balistrieri. “They got a bunch of table scraps, that’s what they got, when it comes down to it.”

Agents ensnare ‘slow-headed’ man

Tony Bruner was looking for a job when he noticed a new store opening a few blocks from where he lived with his grandmother in a lower-income neighborhood in Wichita just east of Interstate 135.

With an IQ in the mid-50s — considered extremely intellectually deficient — Bruner hadn’t been able to hold down a job. His 2009 felony burglary conviction didn’t help. Still he was under pressure from his probation agent and grandmother to find work.

Bruner hadn’t heard of Bandit Trading, but the thrift shop full of hip-hop clothes and shoes looked like a good prospect when he walked in.

The 20-year-old Bruner was just what undercover agents running the store were looking for.

Agents could see Bruner was intellectually disabled. On a video of one of their first meetings in November 2010, agents referred to him as “slow-headed,” according to Griffith, Bruner’s attorney.

“It was essential to have someone like Tony or your low-IQ guy in Milwaukee for this operation,” Griffith said. “These 30-something bearded and tattooed white guys aren’t going to knock on doors in the hood and say ‘Do you have guns?’ They had to get someone to do it for them.”

Agent Jason Fuller hired Bruner to hand out cards in the neighborhood; do odd jobs, such as clean up the parking lot; and watch out for police. The agents paid him in cigarettes, clothing from the store and cash — $20 to $50 in commission to find them electronics and other goods. And they took him to McDonald’s when he was hungry.

Eventually they asked him to find guns.

Bruner said he didn’t have any but he would try to find some. He ended up brokering dozens of gun sales.

And then, they arrested him on more than 100 counts of being a felon in possession of a weapon.

“I thought I was doing, I was just doing my job. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” Bruner told the judge. “And they tricked me into believing I was doing a good job. And they’d tell me I was doing a good job, pat me on the back, telling me, ‘You’re doing a good job.’ We’d hug each other and stuff like that, and they treated me like they cared about me. I told ’em I had a felony, I’m trying to stay out of trouble.”

While other defendants suspected the store was a front — one was captured on video saying, “You are straight-up police!” Bruner kept telling the people in the neighborhood that the agents were his guys, “his bosses.”

Glenda Thomas, Bruner’s grandmother, said the ATF officers duped him. She warned him to stay away — just like a grandmother in Milwaukee warned her brain-damaged grandson about Fearless Distributing.

“Those guys kept preying on him about everything — giving him a shirt, a pair of pants, shoes, and a pair of shorts —that’s how they paid him,” Thomas told the Journal Sentinel.

“I told him, I said, ‘Tony, those people are not real. Why would they pay you to look out for a police car?’ I said, ‘Tony, you need to stop messing around with them.’ He said, ‘Oh, Grandma, those are my friends.'”

The judge found Bruner legally competent to proceed in his case.

Bruner told the judge he worried he would be killed in prison because the government made it look like he was working with the agents, and most of the defendants believed it.

He was sentenced to three years in prison. The judge told him he was getting a big break because he could have gotten 10 to 12 years.

Advocates for the developmentally disabled called the ATF’s tactics disturbing.

People with mental disabilities “have a responsibility to be law-abiding citizens like anyone else,” said Leigh Ann Davis, a program manager for the Arc, a national advocacy organization for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. “The question that comes into play is ‘How much do they know they were committing a crime, and were they used?'”

People working in the justice system — from street cops to federal judges — need to give additional consideration to circumstances involving people with disabilities, Davis said. “This is a population of people that are easy to get to do things. They are easy prey…. They can’t make good judgment calls. That’s a serious issue if an ATF agent comes up and wants to be your friend.”

Anything for a Buck snags ‘Little Squirrel’ in Pensacola

Jeremy Norris wasn’t a felon. He wasn’t prohibited from owning or selling weapons when he put his guns up for sale in March 2010 in a local weekly newspaper.

The unemployed 24-year-old Norris — who lived with his parents and girlfriend — got into trouble when he answered a phone call from someone inquiring about the guns.

He didn’t know the caller was working for an undercover federal sting. Norris has an IQ of 76, defined by experts as diminished mental capacity, bordering mental retardation.

In hours of ATFsurveillance video, Norris can be seen stumbling around, at one point with his girlfriend leading him around by the back of his shirt, according to Norris’ attorney Jennifer Hart.

Norris didn’t have a car, so ATF agent Craig Saier — assigned to a fake pawnshop called Anything for a Buck — went to him. And he brought along the operation’s top asset, a felon named Gary Renaud.

Anyone who sold to Renaud — knowing he was felon — could be criminally charged.

That first day, Renaud bought guns from Norris — but because he never said he was a felon, Norris could not be charged with a crime.

The next time was different. Renaud told Norris he was a felon. Norris sold him a gun anyway. And Renaud and agents went back.

Again and again. Each time paying far more than retail for the guns. So much that sometimes Norris, his parents and his girlfriend went to gun stores, bought firearms and sold them to Renaud at the storefront for a profit the same day, according to court documents.

The agents called Norris “Little Squirrel.” Surveillance video captured one of them saying, “I can use his desperation against him,” according to court documents.

“They were abusive to him,” Hart said in an interview. “These are federal agents. Jeremy was like shooting fish in a barrel for them. Jeremy Norris is mentally retarded and the agents in this case used that to take advantage of him.”

Renaud told the Journal Sentinel that nobody took advantage of Norris. Although he and agents joked that Norris was “half retarded,” he knew what he was doing, Renaud said.

READ MORE: After sting is over, Renaud commits a gun crime — and gets a break from prosecutors.

“He was money-hungry,” he said, adding Norris was willing to do anything to get money for drugs. “He wanted them drugs and he wasn’t afraid to let anybody know it, either.”

Citing Norris’ low IQ, the judge sentenced him to probation.

Norris was not the only mentally diminished defendant involved in the Anything for a Buck operation.

John Molchan, a state prosecutor in Florida, said his office reviewed and prosecuted several of the storefront cases. He said they decided not to pursue cases against a number of low-mental-functioning defendants.

They didn’t even arrest those people, Molchan said, noting prosecutors have great discretion when deciding whether to charge in such cases.

“I tell all the assistants, ‘Do the right thing.’ What is the right thing when dealing with someone who is not as gifted as everybody else?” Molchan said. “There is a great deal of responsibility placed on us to deal with that kind of problem.”

Attorney says defendant got ‘tutorial’ on gun

Guillermo Medel was a heroin addict and drug dealer hoping to make some cash to support his habit when a friend brought him to Jokerz Traderz pawnshop in a strip mall in a working-class neighborhood on San Mateo Blvd. in Albuquerque.

The 28-year-old Medel, who had been convicted of felony drug possession and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, carried a revolver for protection but had never dealt in guns, according to court records.

When undercover ATF agents running the store offered him $400 for his gun, he saw an opportunity. He didn’t sell it then — he said he needed it — but over time he developed a relationship with the agents, bringing them guns he would get from trading drugs on the street.

When they asked for a machine gun, Medel thought he had one for them.

One problem: he didn’t know what a machine gun was.

Medel had brain damage. Hit by a drunken driver when he was 7, Medel had spent months in the hospital and never fully recovered.

Agents took advantage of that and his drug addiction when they offered such high prices for guns, Medel’s attorney, Brian Pori, said in court.

Pori told the Journal Sentinel he is “certain that the agents were aware that Guillermo was a drug-addicted, brain-damaged street hustler who never trafficked guns in his life.”

“He wouldn’t know how to use a machine gun to save his ass,” Pori said.

Pori said agents gave Medel a “tutorial” in the back room of the pawnshop to help him distinguish a machine gun from a semiautomatic weapon.

ATF agent Brandon Garcia acknowledged in court Medel didn’t know how to identify a machine gun. Garcia said he “field tested” the machine gun in front of Medel to determine whether it was a machine gun but wasn’t teaching Medel how to use it.

“And even though he saw me do it he still doesn’t know how to do it,” Garcia said in a March 2, 2011, hearing.

Garcia denied knowing Medel was brain damaged.

Ultimately Medel brought them a fully automatic machine gun, the only one seized in the sting. Medel was sentenced to eight years in federal prison.

In another case stemming from the Albuquerque sting, federal charges were dismissed against a defendant with “an extensive psychiatric history.”

Beating a path to storefronts with stolen goods

Aside from ensnaring mentally disabled people in their stings, ATF storefronts in several cities stimulated a market for stolen goods, boosting the appeal of theft and burglary.

In Phoenix, James Arthur Lewis was charged with selling 11 weapons to agents at an undercover storefront. Lewis “obtained most of the firearms during residential burglaries he committed in late 2010,” according to a May 16, 2012, U.S. Department of Justice news release.

In Pensacola, Roderick Jones committed seven burglaries in six weeks, stealing generators, air compressors, leaf blowers, oxygen tanks and pressure washers from workers’ trucks, reaping more than $2,000 from Anything for a Buck.

Warren Phillips did the same thing, breaking into cars and homes, snagging GPS devices, satellite radios and even a U.S. Navy-owned computer, racing immediately to the undercover pawnshop to make quick cash, as much as $500 at a time, according to police reports.

On several occasions, Phillips told the agents the goods were stolen. And one time he sold them back a DVD player that he had actually stolen from them.

Maurice Rembert, too, knew about Anything for a Buck and on a June afternoon in 2011 grabbed a bike outside of a Walgreens and rode it straight to the store for $25.

One of the larger thefts linked to the operation was that of engagement and wedding rings, worth $15,000, that were stolen four months after the store opened.

“It requires no great thinking to know if you accept stolen goods in a pawnshop … people are going to sell you stolen goods,” said Harris, the professor from Pittsburgh. “You’re asking people who frequent that place to rob and burglarize their neighbors.”

It’s unclear how many of the stolen items were returned to their rightful owners. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office put thousands of items on display at an open house after the bust and invited the public to come in to claim their belongings. Laptops, GPS devices, tools and jewelry filled the room.

According to local news accounts at the time, just 23 items — not including guns — were returned to 10 people. The sheriff’s office refused to answer Journal Sentinel questions.

An undercover operation in Atlanta, a smoke shop called ATL Blaze, experienced similar problems. Some defendants came to the store as many as 20 times after stealing weapons and other goods.

Some guns were stolen from police squad cars. ATF agents said in court documents they tried to deter such thefts by paying less for police guns.

The burglaries associated with ATL Blaze caused other problems for local law enforcement. Sheriff’s deputies and local police — unaware the weapons had already been recovered by federal agents — scrambled around to solve the burglaries, spending untold resources interviewing witnesses.

At times, they never solved the case. And the weapons never made it back to the owners.

A Hi-Point pistol stolen from a car just after Christmas in 2010, for example, was still listed as stolen by the Fulton County Police Department when the Journal Sentinel contacted the department last month. ATF agents bought the gun at their secret storefront a week after it was taken.

“If the ATF recovered this weapon, it should be in our system.” said Lt. G.T. Johnson, of the department. “We have not received any notification that it was recovered.”

The lack of communication not only affects the clearance rate for the police department but also is a problem for whoever has the gun now, Johnson said.

Molchan, the state prosecutor in Pensacola, said there were worries at the outset that the sting might encourage more burglaries, but agents in charge concluded the risk was worth it.

“That is one of the concerns that you have going into something like this,” he said. “That is certainly worrisome.”

And it’s not just residents that got hit by the thieves. Anything for a Buck itself was ripped off, just like the agency’s Fearless storefront in Milwaukee. The Pensacola sting was burglarized at least twice, records show.

“I remember hearing that and kind of laughing about it, ‘We got burglarized,'” Molchan said.

Despite those problems, Molchan said he thinks the operation was successful.

“We did accomplish getting the bad guys off the street and incarcerated them,” he said. “Certainly no operation is perfect, but overall we view it as a major success.”

Armed felons allowed to leave stores

In Milwaukee, agents let a felon with a violent history leave their undercover store armed with a gun, saying he needed it for retaliation.

It wasn’t the only time federal agents let armed felons leave their sight.

In Albuquerque, agents said they didn’t know one man was a felon when they let him leave with a revolver. It took them two weeks to figure it out.

In Wichita, agents running Bandit Trading let felons leave the store with guns at least three times.

In the case of Keandre Johnson, prosecutors noted in a news release after the bust that he sold 16 guns to agents. The news release didn’t mention that agents turned away one of his guns because it was not sawed-off.

Johnson and his friend Jeremy Love brought a shotgun into Bandit Trading in mid-2011, but the agents weren’t happy with it, according to attorneys for the men.

The agents told Johnson they wanted a “shorty” — meaning a sawed-off shotgun. Having such a gun — more deadly at close range and easier to conceal — is illegal and can mean additional prison time. Johnson left with the gun to go saw it off, but then called the agents to ask what kind of saw to use, said Steve Gradert, attorney for Johnson. The agent told him how to do it, Gradert said.

In another case, Johnny E. Griffith brought in two AK-47s to sell. But agents only had enough money to buy one, according to court documents. Griffith, a felon, was allowed to leave with the other. Agents never recovered it.

ATF officials acknowledged to Congress in April that Operation Fearless in Milwaukee had no counter-surveillance set up to monitor or take down targets when they left the store — even armed felons threatening to shoot someone. They called the failure the result of poor judgment and planning.

“It’s basic police work,” said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University and a former federal prosecutor. “The agency needs to develop experts and come up with some protocol.”

Landlord left with the bill

Beyond letting armed felons loose on the streets, ATF stings examined by the Journal Sentinel shared another similarity. They left unhappy landlords in their wake.

As agents did in Milwaukee, their Portland counterparts damaged a building and stuck the landlord with the bill.

Jan Gilbertson, who owns the building where agents set up Squid’s Smoke Shop, said she had no idea she was leasing to federal agents. She found out from news reports after they had made the bust and cleared out.

And when she saw what they had done to her building, it all made sense.

The agents cut holes in the walls for cameras, damaged the carpet and left behind junk.

Worst of all, they tore out a large spotlight and in the process punctured a new $30,000 roof that then leaked and had to be repaired.

The security deposit didn’t cover it and the agents were nowhere to be found, she said.

“They know what they’re doing when they do it and not telling you anything and then they disappear. It’s not like they come back and fix it,” she said. “It is the U.S. government. It’s real difficult to figure that all out. What do you do? … It ended up being a real bad situation for us.”

Portland sting across from school

The ATF opened Squid’s Smoke Shop in 2010 in an aging strip mall near a tax service, hairdresser and a coffee shop — and across the street from H.B. Lee Middle School.

ATF agents said the location near a school — which allowed enhanced penalties for selling in a safe zone — was an accident.

Agent Ben Ziesemer told defense attorney Kathleen Dunn he didn’t realize it was across the street from the school. When they toured the property, he said he entered the building through a different door and didn’t see the school.

Ziesemer, who ran the store and went by the name “Squid,” also said it was the only place in that part of town that they could find that offered month-to-month rent, Dunn said. But Gilbertson, the owner, told the Journal Sentinel the ATF signed a one-year lease.

Those charged with dealing drugs and weapons near a school can’t use ignorance of their location as a defense, experts said. If agents didn’t realize they were near the school, it is a damning indictment of the planning of the operation.

“That won’t hold water,” said Little, the former prosecutor who is now a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. “It shows they are not doing their homework. If you’re not doing your homework to find everything you can, you’re as bad as the criminals.”

Squid’s was one of at leasta half-dozen storefronts opened in safe zones, the Journal Sentinel investigation found.

Laws that increase penalties for selling guns or drugs within 1,000 feet of a school include an exception for law enforcement officers who are acting in their “official capacity.”

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney David Hannon, who prosecuted 17 people on state charges, most with selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, said the operation was a benefit to Portland and that area of the city. He called the sting an effective tool against illegal activity and said there were advantagesto having it close to a school.

“We might not have been aware of all the activity next to a school without the undercover operation in place,” he said.

James Shanks, 54, who has lived in the area for nearly five years and had two sons attending Lee Middle School at the time, was not happy to learn the ATF set up a gun- and drug-buying operation nearby.

“I think it is OK to do it, but did they have to put it there? Couldn’t they find somewhere else?” he said. “It’s too close to the school. When you have kids around guns, anything can happen.”

Agents suggest — and pay for — tattoo

With a school nearby and an Xbox video game console to play for free, Squid’s frequently drew a crowd that included juveniles.

At least three juveniles were arrested and charged in children’s court in the sting. Squid’s was among at least four ATF storefronts investigated by the Journal Sentinel where kids were ensnared in the operation.

“These are kids who don’t have positive adult connections in their lives and if someone takes an interest in them it’s going to be extremely influential,” said Mark McKechnie, executive director of Youth, Rights & Justice, which represented three juveniles in Portland. “I think we were all just disturbed that they (ATF agents) seemed to be focusing on low-hanging fruit.”

Glover and Key, both 19 at the time, were regulars at Squid’s. Glover lived right around the corner and spent hours at a time playing video games with Squid and people he thought were store workers.

One day the idea of getting a tattoo came up, Glover told the Journal Sentinel.

Glover said he was reluctant, but that he was persuaded by the guys at Squid’s, who he thought were his friends.

“It was like, ‘Now you guys are honorary members of the club,'” Glover said. “We was young at the time … I was so naive.”

After they got the tattoos, he said agents took pictures and posted them on the phony storefront’s Facebook page and website.

“They humiliated us,” he said. “They were making a mockery of us.”

Glover was ultimately charged with trading an ounce of marijuana for clothing at the store. The charge included selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Little, who spent eight years as a federal prosecutor in California and a year as associate deputy attorney general in Washington, D.C., said he had never heard of such out-of-bounds behavior by federal agents.

“That’s about as far over the line as you can imagine,” Little said. “The government shouldn’t be encouraging people to permanently disfigure their bodies.”

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Karin Immergut, who handled Glover’s case, chided the agents as well, asking the state prosecutor to “send a message back (to the ATF)” about the tattoos.

“It’s really a bad idea,” she said. “They should not be recommending that.”

In federal court, a prosecutor who handled several of the ATF cases, including Key’s, tried to explain to a judge why the agents employed the tactic.

The agents said they thought Key and Glover were testing them to see if they were law enforcement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Kerin said in a January 2012 sentencing hearing.

Key and Glover supposedly did this by suggesting they all smoke marijuana.

Kerin said the agents then proposed Key and Glover get tattoos as a way to get them off their trail.

The explanation didn’t make sense to U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman, a former federal prosecutor.

“I guess I don’t make the connection,” Mosman said. “They’re concerned that if, among other things, they don’t smoke marijuana with this guy that they’ll be given up as law enforcement, so they think a way to derail that is to suggest that he get a tattoo?”

Kerin tried again to explain.

“Mr. Key and Mr. Glover were trying to identify them as law enforcement or possibly testing to determine if they were law enforcement.”

The judge cut in: “I think I understand that part. I just don’t understand why you put someone off your trail by suggesting they get a tattoo. How does that help?”

Kerin didn’t answer directly. He said agents were looking for people to promote the store. They paid one person to hold up a sign on the street. Others to get tattoos.

They told their customers: “Hey, we’re looking for people to advertise, we’re looking for people to get tattoos,” Kerin said.

“That simply is not a legitimate law enforcement tactic,” said Key’s attorney, Alison Clark. “This wasn’t simply just a suggestion: ‘Hey, you would look really great if you had a tattoo.’ This was suggested and paid for by the government.”

The severity of Key’s mental disability was not listed in the documents, but the prosecutor left no doubt he was intellectually challenged.

“The one thing we do agree on is the Court can and should take the defendant’s low-intellectual functioning into account in determining a proper sentence in this case,” Kerin wrote in a sentencing memo.

Mosman sentenced Key to 18 months in prison for selling a sawed-off shotgun and arranging for prostitutes to come to a party being thrown by the undercover agents.

He then asked Key if he wanted the squid tattoo removed.

“Yes,” Key told the judge.

Mosman ordered the tattoo be removed after Key was released from prison.

“And I require the ATF to pay for the removal,” he said.

***

HOW WE REPORTED THIS STORY

In the wake of a flawed storefront sting in Milwaukee, reporters from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sought to examine similar operations around the country. The ATF refused to provide a list of past stings. Reporters discovered the stings, in part, through tips, court records, news coverage and news releases issued by the ATF, the U.S. Department of Justice and local law enforcement. Reporters limited their examination to stings that were publicized since 2010.

Using the online federal court records system, Pacer, the reporters pieced together the cases and then combed through thousands of pages of documents — indictments and criminal complaints, plea agreements and sentencing transcripts. Where transcripts were not available online, the Journal Sentinel ordered them. In some districts, nearly all documents related to stings were either sealed by judges or unavailable.

The reporters also reviewed hundreds of pages of state court records, police reports and other records in several states. In addition, the reporters interviewed dozens of defense attorneys, prosecutors, defendants and their families, people who lived and worked near the stings, legal experts and insiders at the ATF and other law enforcement agencies.

***

What could go wrong?

■ Agents pay for tattoos to promote store

■ Mentally disabled used, then charged

■ Stings near schools and churches

■ Felons hired to boost arrest numbers

■ High gun prices spur thefts

■ Buildings damaged, landlords unpaid

■ Felons leave storefronts with guns

***

INFORMATION NOT RELEASED

The ATF has refused to release its internal investigation into the failures of its flawed Fearless Distributing sting in Milwaukee. The report has been sought by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and members of Congress since its completion earlier this year.

The internal review was launched after a Journal Sentinel investigation revealed numerous foul-ups in the operation. For nine months, the ATF also has refused to provide any documents to the Journal Sentinel, which has filed a dozen requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act, including the cost of the operations and rules on agents keeping guns in their vehicles.

In late November, Department of Justice attorney Anne D. Work affirmed the ATF’s position that its entire internal report on the closed Milwaukee operation should be kept secret and not released to the public. Work wrote that releasing the investigation “could reasonably be expected to interfere with (law) enforcement proceedings.”

Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/atf-uses-rogue-tactics-in-storefront-stings-across-the-nation-b99146765z1-234916641.html#ixzz2n20DtK3d
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Army Officer Wants You Disarmed: “We Will Pry Your Gun from Your Cold, Dead Fingers”


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

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 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

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Reblogged from:http://freedomoutpost.com

 

Posted by:Mac Slavo

cold-dead-hands

Within the upper echelons of our military there still remain men and women who are committed to the fundamental laws of the land. But assuming that all members of our military will be there to support the Constitution of the United States when our nation needs them most would be a mistake.

Understand this: There are those within their ranks who would turn on their oaths and forcibly seize the very rights our Founders fought so hard to preserve without giving it a second thought.

cold-dead-hands

The following opinion piece, penned by Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, shows in stark detail exactly what we’re dealing with and argues in no uncertain terms that the American public must be disarmed in order for the United States to survive.

The ideas proposed by Lt. Col. Bateman in It’s Time to Talk About Guns and the Supreme Courtare nothing short of shocking.

This is coming from an active military commander, and though not officially sanctioned by the administration, his work is obviously a propaganda piece designed to give the gun grabber initiative direct support from military leadership.

Guns are tools. I use these tools in my job. But like all tools one must be trained and educated in their use. Weapons are there for the “well regulated militia.” Their use, therefore, must be in defense of the nation. Shooting and killing somebody because they were not “upset enough” over the loss of a college football team should not be possible in our great nation. Which is why I am adding the following “Gun Plank” to the Bateman-Pierce platform. Here are some suggestions:

1. The only guns permitted will be the following:

  • a. Smoothbore or Rifled muzzle-loading blackpowder muskets. No 7-11 in history has ever been held up with one of these.
  • b. Double-barrel breech-loading shotguns. Hunting with these is valid.
  • c. Bolt-action rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than five rounds. Like I said, hunting is valid. But if you cannot bring down a defenseless deer in under five rounds, then you have no fking reason to be holding a killing tool in the first place.

2. We will pry your gun from your cold, dead, fingers. That is because I am willing to wait until you die, hopefully of natural causes. Guns, except for the three approved categories, cannot be inherited. When you die your weapons must be turned into the local police department, which will then destroy them. (Weapons of historical significance will be de-milled, but may be preserved.)

3. Police departments are no longer allowed to sell or auction weapons used in crimes after the cases have been closed. (That will piss off some cops, since they really need this money. But you know what they need more? Less violence and death. By continuing the process of weapon recirculation, they are only making their jobs — or the jobs of some other cops — harder.)

4. We will submit a new tax on ammunition. In the first two years it will be 400 percent of the current retail cost of that type of ammunition. (Exemptions for the ammo used by the approved weapons.) Thereafter it will increase by 20 percent per year.

5. We will initiate a nationwide “buy-back” program, effective immediately, with the payouts coming from the DoD budget.

Why is the money coming from DOD budget, so it will hurt the military more WHY?

This buy-back program will start purchasing weapons at 200 percent of their face value the first year, 150 percent the second year, 100 percent the third year. Thereafter there will be a 10 year pause, at which point the guns can be sold to the government at 10 percent of their value for the next 50 years.

6. The major gun manufactures of the United States, less those who create weapons for the federal government and the armed forces, will be bought out by the United States of America, for our own damned good.

Excerpted from Esquire Magazine via Sipsey Street Irregulars

You won’t see the establishment media publishing arguments from top military leaders in support of the Second Amendment. Sadly, however, those who would take away our right to defend ourselves have been given a limitless platform to push their agenda to the masses.

Hundreds of thousands of services members, both active and retired, have put their lives on the line to uphold those rights which have made our nation great. There’s no doubt that they will do so again when the need arises.

But on the flip side of that coin are potentially hundreds of thousands of others who have no qualms about “just following orders.”

A report earlier this year from well connected philanthropist Dr. Jim Garrow claims that there is a new litmus test for military leadership:

I have just been informed by a former senior military leader that Obama is using a new “litmus test” in determining who will stay and who must go in his military leaders. Get ready to explode folks.

“The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not”.

Those who will not are being removed.

Obviously, Lt. Col. Robert Bateman passed the test with flying colors.

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/12/army-officer-wants-disarmed-will-pry-gun-cold-dead-fingers/#xHe50pPqed6g0wxD.99

 

Allen West warns Obama’s ‘backdoor gun control is moving forward’


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Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

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I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

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Reblogged from:http://www.washingtontimes.com

 

Posted by:Cheryl K. Chumley

  • ** FILE ** Former Rep. Allen B. West, Florida Republican, speaks at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, Md., on Thursday, March 14, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Come 2014, all ammunition sold to civilian gun-owners in America will have to be imported, a result of President Obama’s crackdown on sulfur dioxide and lead emissions and accompanying harsh Environmental Protection Agency regulations, said former Florida congressman, Lt. Col. Allen West.

And for defenders of the Second Amendment, that means higher ammo prices are likely on the way — a situation Mr. Allen writes on his blog, AllenBWest.com, is akin to a federal power-grab on guns, albeit through the backdoor.

He said the situation stemmed from the shutdown of The Doe Run Lead Smelter in Missouri, a business that’s been around since 1892 but due to close at the end of this month. Mr. West said it’s due to new air standards placed on the company that would have cost $100 million to achieve.

“[This] will surely increase the price and possibly come under government control,” Mr. West warned, Breitbart.com reported. “It seems this is fully in concert with the U.S. Military and Homeland Defense recent purchase of large quantities of ammunition.”

He said the “chilling effect” is that while the closure of the smelt plant doesn’t take guns out of the hands of Americans, it does put in jeopardy ammunition supplies.

“You can own all the guns you want, but if you can’t get ammo, you are out of luck,” Mr. West wrote, on his blog. “Remember when President Obama promised his minions that he was working on gun control behind the scenes? Welcome to it. The result is that all domestically mined ore will have to be shipped overseas, refined and then shipped back to the U.S.”

Mr. West warned: “Not only will ammo be even harder to come by, the demand and the process of supply will cause the price to skyrocket even more. And ponder this, there is an excellent chance that Obama will rig the market to where all ammo has to be purchased from the government, instituting an ammo registration. … So America, back door gun control is moving forward … [and] our Second Amendment rights are undergoing an assault by clandestine infiltration.”

The gun grabbers are always using any means they can to hurt the American hunters and home defense folks!

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/2/allen-west-warns-obamas-backdoor-gun-control/#ixzz2mM1a3aky

Democrats Beginning To See Reality On ObamaCare: Higher Premiums, Empty Promises


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 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

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 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

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However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

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Reblogged from:http://downtrend.com

 

Posted by:Joseph R. Carducci

ObamaCareFailure

 

Obama won re-election in 2012 on the back of a number of promises that he was able to use to convince the American people of his sincerity. Or maybe he just seemed to be a more believable person than Romney. Whatever the reason, he made a lot of promises about how his new healthcare program was going to work. Of course we all heard a lot about being able to keep our policies if we wished, and that our premiums would actually be lowered (something about the average family saving around $2,500 per year seems to ring a bell).

With these promises now generally regarded as having been nothing more than lies to win support, many Democrats and others who had supported Obama in the past are starting to see things differently. Many Obama supporters were ‘laughing’ at the Republicans, until they saw that their own premiums were going up under the new healthcare law. Or how about this quote from a committed liberal: “Of course, I want people to have healthcare. I just didn’t realize that I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

This is really ultimately what liberalism comes down to. The people always want something for nothing. No one really thought to examine the economic feasibility of ObamaCare before it passed. Instead, many of us simply tool the president at his word. Many liberals thought that ‘someone’ else would actually be paying for it, and they could simply have free healthcare. Woo-hoo.

Of course, the roll out of the healthcare website exchanges has also been filled with problems and difficulties. This has rightly made headlines for news organizations and cyber space all around the country and the world. However, we should also mention that the program itself is actually fatally flawed. Even after the online exchanges are fixed (good luck meeting the new end of November goal on that one), the program will still be a failure.

 

Middle income Americans are finding it more and more difficult to afford ObamaCare. In California, there is an estimated 30% average rate hike, although many people are seeing even larger premium increases. A good many people may even just decide to go without, finding it more affordable to simply pay the fine or penalty. It has been said also that if a large number of young and healthy people do not sign up for ObamaCare, the program will have serious financial problems. Many ObamaCare supporters echo this comment, made by a young woman after seeing a 50% rate increase: “I was all for ObamaCare until I found out I was paying for it.”

I guess a number of people just simply assumed that Obama was telling the truth about his plan and that the Republicans were lying. Sadly, it took many former Obama supporters this long to figure out the truth of things, but now the scales are slowly beginning to fall from the eyes of people. Debra Saunders, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle says that she has seen evidence indicating at least 500,000 Californians are going to be kicked off their current healthcare plans next year, with more to follow later as the employer mandate begins to take effect in 2015.

It has also been now clearly reported and proven that the Obama Regime deliberately postponed key steps in the process in order to protect Obama’s re-election efforts. Yet HHS head Kathleen Sebelius continues to lie about all of this.

What do YOU think? Are the Democrats starting to see reality on this? Do you see that more and more people are turning on Obama in response to realizations of higher costs? What should be done about all this?

 

Obama’s Military Purge


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Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

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 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

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Reblogged from:http://canadafreepress.com

 

Posted by:Arnold Ahlert 

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Author

Is the Obama administration in the midst of a military purge? This year alone, nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the administration, and retired generals and current commanders who have spoken to TheBlaze believe that political ideology is the primary impetus behind the effort. “I think they’re using the opportunity of the shrinkage of the military to get rid of people that don’t agree with them or not toe the party line,” a senior retired general told website. “Remember, as Rahm Emanuel said, never waste a crisis.” The general spoke on the condition of anonymity because he still provides the government with services and believes this administration would retaliate against him.

The terminations have a distinctly political odor surrounding them in at least three cases. In all three of these cases, Benghazi is at root. U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham was heading the United States African Command when our consulate came under attack on September 11, 2012. Ham told Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) he was never given a “stand down” order preventing him from securing the consulate. Yet the Washington Times, citing sources in the military, said he was given the order and immediately relieved of command when he decided to defy it. The Times further noted that Ham “retired” less that two years after receiving the command when all other commanders of similar stature have stayed on far longer. Sources told TheBlaze Ham was highly critical of the Obama administration’s decision not to send reinforcements to Benghazi.

Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette, Commander of Carrier Strike Group Three for the Navy, was relieved of duty for allegedly using profanity and making “racially insensitive comments.” Though he was cleared of criminal violations under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, administrative penalties have effectively ended his career. In testimony regarding Benghazi, Gaouette, who was in charge of Air Craft Carriers in the Mediterranean Sea on the night of the attack, told Congress there may not have been time to get flight crews to Libya. But under cross examination, he admitted he could have sent planes to that location.

Major General Baker, a two-star general who served as commander of the Joint Task Force-Horn at Camp Lamar in Djibouti, Africa, was fired for alcohol and sexual misconduct charges. The U.S. reportedly runs counter-terror operations out of Djibouti, and once again, military officials told TheBlaze Baker was involved in some aspect of Benghazi.

The other six were terminated for a variety of alleged offenses. Army Brigadier Gen. Bryan Roberts, commander of Fort Jackson beginning in 2011, was fired for adultery. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg A. Sturdevant, director of Strategic Planning and Policy for the U.S. Pacific Command and commander of the aviation wing at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, was terminated over a successful attack on that facility by the Taliban, resulting in two American deaths and the destruction of eight American planes. Sturdevant claims British forces were responsible for security at the base prior to the attack.

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charles M.M. Gurganus was terminated for questioning the “winning hearts and minds” policies that led to “green on blue” murders of American officers by “trusted” Afghan recruits. Other Afghan recruits led a platoon into an enemy ambush. Army Lt. Gen. David Holmes Huntoon Jr was “censored” for “an investigation” into an “improper relationship,” according to the Department of Defense. A blog written by a 26-year-old cadet medically discharged from West Point claims the three-star general was under investigation because a West Point Superintendent “improperly used” his office, and because of an insufficient investigation of a lewd email chain perpetrated by the men’s rugby team. Nothing was officially released by the DoD regarding any of the charges.

The last commanders, three-star Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, and Major General Michael Carey, were fired within 48 hours of each other. Giardina was the deputy commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, an entity that oversees all nuclear-armed missiles, bombers and submarines. He was commander of the Submarine Group Trident, Submarine Groups 9 and 10, which comprise all 18 of our nuclear-armed submarines. He was fired for the alleged use of counterfeit gambling chips at an Iowa casino. Carey, commander of the 20th Air Force, a role that put him in charge of 9,600 people and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles at three operational wings, was fired “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment,” said Air Force spokesman Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick. The decision to fire Carey was made by Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, the head of the Air Force Global Strike Command. Obama fired Giardina.

The firing of military leaders goes much further than top generals, however. On its Facebook page, Breitbart.com compiled a list of more than 197 military commanders, mostly at the rank of Colonel or above, who have been purged by the Obama administration since 2009.

According to military.com, allegations of sexual misconduct account for the firing of 30 percent of military commanders over the past eight years. That figure that increases to 40 percent when “ethical lapses” such as sexual assault and harassment, pornography, drugs and drinking are lumped together. But there are other dubious reasons why these commanders have been terminated, ranging from unspecified dereliction of duty, to improper saluting.

One of the largest purges occurred on the last day of November in 2011, when the administration terminated 157 Air Force Majors, a move the Chapman University of Military Law and its associated AMVETS Legal Clinic characterized as illegal. They noted that the Department of Defense specifies that absent extenuating circumstances, service members within six years of retirement would ordinarily be retained, and allowed to retire on time and collect benefits.

The Air force cited budget shortfalls as their primary reason for the terminations. Yet as institute director Maj. Kyndra Rotunda explained, based on the Defense Department’s Instruction 1320.08, “derogatory information” is the only reason officers can be terminated. “The defense department’s own regulation does not authorize what the defense department is doing,” Rotunda contended at the time. “The Airmen relied on the law when they entered service and now the Secretary wants to change that law, without authority.”

Earlier that same month, two-star Major Gen. Peter Fuller was relieved of his command in Afghanistan, after he told Politico that Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other government officials in that country were “isolated from reality.” Ironically, Fuller was fired by Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, who was himself the subject of an FBI investigation a year later, for his role in the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA Director and retired general David Petraeus. Despite the FBI informing the Pentagon it had uncovered thousands of pages of emails between Allen and Florida socialite Jill Kelley, President Obama subsequently expressed “faith” in Allen’s ability to continue doing his job. It is impossible to determine whether Allen’s ideology played a role in maintaining that faith.

2012 also saw several terminations of officers based on questionable rationale. In May, Commander Derick Armstrong, commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer USS The Sullivans, was relieved of duty by Vice Adm. Frank Pandolfe “as a result of an unprofessional command climate that was contrary to good order and discipline,” according to a Navy news release. A week earlier, the Navy relieved Cmdr. Dennis Klein of command of the submarine USS Columbia, citing a loss of confidence in his ability to serve effectively.

Stars and Stripes listed several other Navy commanders relieved of duty in 2012. While some on the list were terminated for seemingly legitimate reasons, a curious lack of specificity applied to others. They include Capt. James CoBell, commanding officer of Oceana Naval Air Station’s Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic, who was let go for “leadership issues”; Cmdr. Franklin Fernandez, commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24, for a “loss of confidence” in his ability to command due to allegedly “driving under the influence”; Capt. Marcia Lyons, commander of Naval Health Clinic New England, for problems with her “command climate”; and Capt. Sean McDonell, commander of Seabee reserve unit Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 14 in Jacksonville, FL, for mismanagement and unspecified “major program deficiencies.” Several others were fired for “inappropriate personal behavior” or “personal misconduct.”

Theories for these purges run the gamut. One posits that anyone associated with Benghazi had to go. Another states that many of these firings are an effort to clean up “operational failures,” most notably a 2007 incident in which six nuclear-tipped missiles went missing for 36 hours. Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, who has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, believes it is part of the president’s strategy to reduce America’s standing in the world. “[Obama is] intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon, and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged,” he contended.

Vallely’s assessment was echoed by a source at the Pentagon who wished to remain anonymous because the source was not authorized to speak on the subject. He or she contended that “young officers, down through the ranks, have been told not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House. They are purging everyone and if you want to keep your job—just keep your mouth shut.”

This theory finds validation when one considers the Obama administration’s larger assault on the military. The military is the last organized bastion of conservative values, due in large part to the nature of the military itself. Yet, in recent years, the push to embrace progressive values, such as openly gay servicemen, women in combat and diversity worship have been pursued with vigor. Even the aforementioned effort to “win the hearts and minds” of Islamists in Iraq and Afghanistan, as opposed to pursuing victory, marks a sea change from traditional military values.

Not only is the Obama administration apparently on a mission to undermine the integrity of the military in this way, but it has also revealed itself to be entirely intolerant of dissent of any kind. Whether it is reporters or domestic opposition groups such as the Tea Party, Obama has made clear he will aggressively pursue anyone who defies his agenda. Now it seems that chilling message his been sent to the military as well.

 

 

 

Americans "Ready To Kill" Over Obamacare (Must See Video)


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules: 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology; 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog; 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner; 4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments. I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting! This is a Reblogged from http://moneymorning.com  Posted by Money Morning Staff


Obamacare doesn’t officially kick off until January 1st, yet millions of Americans are already at each other’s throats over it. Research from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the country is now more divided than any other time in history since the Civil War era. In fact, 20 states including Texas, Georgia and Louisiana have threatened to secede. And despite a recent Supreme Court ruling making Obamacare the law of the land, only 24 states are moving forward with a key aspect of Obamacare- the expansion of Medicaid. Of the rest, 21 are opposed and five are deadlocked in debate.

Editor’s Note: Millions of Americans are enraged over government imposed Obamacare. Watch this shocking video to see how one group of furious citizens is getting revenge.

So far, every single southern state from Texas to Virginia has refused to widen Medicaid, a key provision of the Obamacare program. This will leave millions of Americans without coverage. That’s because they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid as it now stands, but not enough to get the subsidies to buy insurance in the new exchanges. The South isn’t alone in rejecting Obamacare. Liberal states such as Maine have opposed the bill. Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio have yet to move forward with the expansion. Even legendary investor Warren Buffett, a one-time Obamacare supporter, says he would scrap the healthcare bill and start over. “What we have now is untenable over time,” said Buffett. “That kind of a cost compared to the rest of the world is really like a tapeworm eating at our economic body.” One of the main architects of the bill, Democratic Senator Max Baucus from Montana said Obamacare is heading for a “train wreck.”

Obamacare Tax Hikes Stoke The Most Outrage

While even Obamacare detractors applaud the requirement that insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions and put a stop to lifetime caps on benefits, they say these laudable benefits don’t compensate for the bills high cost – especially in new taxes. According to most experts, Obamacare will create no fewer than twenty new taxes or tax hikes on the American people. In fact, the Obama administration has already given the IRS an extra $500 million to enforce the rules and regulations of Obamacare. The new taxes don’t bode well for millions of middle-class Americans. Incomes for the rich have soared this decade but middle class workers have seen their wages stagnate and even drop since the 2008 Great Recession. Many fear Obamacare with its high insurance costs and new taxes, could provide the middle class a fatal blow. The 20 new Obamacare taxes are making Americans eyes pop out in disbelief. Take a look. With January 1 quickly approaching, millions of Americans are asking what they can do to prepare for all the new costs, rules and regulations. One expert, Dr. Betsy McCaughey, a constitutional scholar with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, recently wrote a best-seller showing Americans how they can not only survive Obamacare, but prosper through it. McCaughey claims to be one of the only people in the country – including members of Congress – who has actually read the entire 2,572 page law. Her book, titled Beating Obamacare: Your Handbook for Surviving The New Health Care Law, breaks the huge bill down into 168 pages of actionable advice. The book, written in an easy going, easy to read style, shows some startling facts about Obamacare not seen in the mainstream press. For example, she points to a little known passage in the bill that shows how you could get slapped with a $2,000 fine for not having health insurance – even if you do actually have it. She also goes into detail explaining how a third of all U.S. employers could stop offering health insurance to their workers.

In one chapter, she shows how ordinary Americans will get stuck paying for substance abuse coverage – even if they never touched a drink or drug in their life.

According to McCaughey’s research, senior citizens will get hit the hardest. Hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery will be especially hard to get from Medicare in the months ahead thanks to Obamacare, according to McCaughey. She warns seniors to get those types of procedures done now before Obamacare goes into effect January 1. Editor’s Note: Real facts and figures about the hidden Obamacare taxes and fees and how they will affect everyday Americans and seniors are hard to find. As a courtesy, Money Morning is giving readers a free copy of Betsy McCaughey’s new book Beating Obamacare: Your Handbook for Surviving The New Health Care Law. But only a limited number of copies are available. Please go here to reserve yours today.

 

Comment of the Day: “Obama ended the gun control debate…”


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

This is a Reblogged from BEARINGARMS.COM

Posted by STAFF

Obama ended the gun control debate when he decided to arm the Syrian rebels with fully automatic machine guns and rocket launchers. He proved people need guns to protect themselves from tyranny. Did he give the rebels background checks before giving them real assault weapons? Also the latest Harvard gun control study found no correlation between gun control and less violent crime. Gun violence is down 49% since 1993. Liberals want to ban guns simply because they do not like them and they feel their emotions are more important than facts and people’s rights.

After the defeat of Bloomberg, Morse, and Giron in Colorado, CNN trotted forth an enraged left-coast academic to froth at the mouth about gun control. John J. Donahue’s sophomoric rant was utterly forgettable, but a response by a reader calling himself “Dirt Grub” put the entire gun control movement’s jihad against liberty in perspective.

Those twenty seven words that are the Second Amendment don’t grant us rights; they exist expressly to limit what the federal government may do regarding our preexisting rights that we retain regardless of any government.

As we mentioned recently responding to another poorly-informed academic, machine guns and rocket launchers are indeed what the Founders would have wanted us to have.

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As a petty authoritarian seemingly more interested in golfing than governing, Barack Obama would prefer us to be serfs instead of citizens, but citizens have a right to bear those military arms he would keep only to himself, Mexican drug cartels, and the al Qaeda-aligned Syrian rebels who he seems to think have more rights than his fellow Americans.

 

Let The Arms Trade Treaty Gather Dust


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

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4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

This is a Reblogged from canadafreepress.com

Posted by CCRKBA

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) has already warned Kerry that the treaty “will collect dust alongside the Law of the Sea Treaty

BELLEVUE, WASecretary of State John Kerry may have signed the controversial United Nations Arms Trade Treaty today, but tomorrow it begins gathering dust in the U.S. Senate, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms predicted.

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb noted that Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) has already warned Kerry that the treaty “will collect dust alongside the Law of the Sea Treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Kyoto Protocol, to name a few, which have all been rejected by the U.S. Senate and the American people.”

“If Secretary Kerry and President Barack Obama pursue this farce,” Gottlieb warned, “the full fury of American firearms owners could come back to haunt them. Second Amendment sovereignty is not up for grabs, and we will encourage our members and supporters to contact their senators about this treaty.”

For the ATT to be ratified requires two-thirds confirmation by the Senate. But Gottlieb noted, as did Sen. Inhofe in his letter to Secretary Kerry, that 53 senators have already indicated they will reject any treaty that threatens the Second Amendment.

“If this was all theatrics by the Obama administration,” Gottlieb observed, “the president and Secretary Kerry need better script writers. And we will remind the administration of the warning it received Wednesday morning from Sen. Bob Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Senate has not given its advice or consent on this treaty, so ‘the Executive branch is not authorized to take any steps to implement the treaty.’ How does that look to the world when an administration can’t get one of its pet projects approved on Capitol Hill?

“We know that anti-gunners have this ‘thing’ about symbolic victories,” he concluded, “but just how much of a symbol is it if the treaty is filed in the dust bin? After Fast and Furious, Benghazi and Syria, that’s just what the Obama administration needs, another symbol of international ineptitude.”

Liberals in Retreat


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2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

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4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

This is a Reblogged from http://www.nationalreview.com 

Posted by John Fund

Three elections across the globe deliver an unpleasant shock to liberal ideologues. Recall supporters walk the line in Colorado. John Fund   Three elections in the last week have challenged long-held liberal premises about how elections are fought and what the public wants. It’s worth examining those results in such widely separated places as Australia, Norway, and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. In Colorado, liberals are already in denial about the fact that two Democratic state senators were recalled from office in districts Barack Obama carried by some 20 percentage points only ten months ago. The recalls were organized by citizens upset with the lawmakers’ votes in favor of a gun-control measure. The two senators also helped pass bills perceived as being against the interests of rural areas and helped push through a fraud-prone election law that shifted the Centennial State to all-mail voting.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee’s chairwoman, said the results simply reflected voter suppression, pure and simple.” Matt Vespa of Red State scoffed at her flimsy explanation: More Democrats and independents signed the two recall petitions than did Republicans, he noted, which “only further discredits DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s insane claim that her side lost due to voter suppression.”

Liberals are also claiming that the black arts of the National Rifle Association skewed the results. But the gun-rights group came very late to support the recalls, and the Denver Post reports that pro-gun-control groups spent some $3 million versus only $540,000 by recall supporters. Grover Norquist, a board member of the National Rifle Association, claims once again that liberals mistook “position for passion” on an issue. In the wake of the Newtown massacre of last December, the Left believed public opinion had finally turned in favor of gun control; in support of this view, they cited surveys showing overwhelming support for background checks and limits on ammunition magazines. As Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast wrote, “You cannot oppose the will of 90 percent of the public and expect no consequences.” But in terms of intensity, the advantage goes to those who oppose restrictions on gun rights and believe that even the most modest of them will only embolden those who ultimately aim to restrict access to guns even further.

As Norquist explains it: “The polls showed many people wanted some new gun-control laws at the same time they told pollsters they didn’t think they would prevent future Newtowns. Understandable outrage at murders accompanied by an acknowledgement it won’t make things better doesn’t make a passionate voter. Gun-rights supporters are always passionate, which is why more laws expanding gun rights have passed since Newtown than laws restricting them.”

What should worry Democrats is that the two Colorado districts that recalled their senators last Tuesday represent the two sides of their electoral coalition. The district in downtown Colorado Springs was urban, trendy, and filled with upper-income social liberals; it voted 59 percent to 38 percent for Obama. The other district in nearby Pueblo and its suburbs was Hispanic, moderate-to-lower income, blue-collar, and more culturally conservative; it voted 58 percent to 39 percent for Obama. “The recall in Pueblo was started by two plumbers and an electrician,” notes Jon Caldara, head of the pro-recall Independence Institute. “Hispanics and blue-collar voters resented interference in what they regarded as their local rights.” And as for the NRA, the Democratic survey firm Public Policy Polling found voters in Pueblo had a positive view of the group. If the Colorado results showed the limits of liberal paternalism’s appeal, voters in prosperous Australia and Norway rebelled against liberal governments they perceived as incompetent and too focused on peripheral issues. In Australia, conservative leader Tony Abbott made opposition to the Labor government’s carbon tax the signature issue of his campaign. Polls showed that the public expressed general concern about global warming, but Abbott knew the polls also showed voters didn’t believe a carbon tax could do much about the climate and would probably serve as an excuse to extract more money from taxpayers. “Labor forgot about the basics of how to practice competent economic policy and went off on wild tangents to appeal to its special-interest backers,” Tim Andrews of the Australian Taxpayers Alliance told me. In Norway, after the 2011 massacre of dozens of teenagers by a white-separatist madman, the ruling Labor government was convinced that their conservative opposition would be discredited and that they could retain power in an economic climate where growth fueled by the nation’s abundant oil reserves was averaging over 3 percent a year. But an independent investigation of how the killer was able to evade capture for hours pointed out incredible bureaucratic incompetence in the national police bureaucracy, and even called into question rules banning almost all policemen from carrying guns. In addition, the leaders of the Conservative party and the libertarian Progress party succeeded in persuading voters that high taxes and suffocating regulations were preventing Norwegians from creating non-oil entrepreneurial ventures that employed people. “As rich and generous as Norwegians are, they want their children to inherit a real economy, and they demand better accountability from their government for the taxes they pay,” Jan Arild Snoen, a Norwegian political analyst, told me last August when a National Review cruise visited Norway. Michael Barone, the co-author of The Almanac of American Politics and an analyst of international elections, tells me that many people driven by ideology often feel elections should revolve around their concerns and reflect their priorities. “That can happen on the left or on the right,” he says. “But liberals are especially prone to not recognizing the public does care if their policies actually work in practice and are in sync with their everyday concerns.” In all three elections held in the last week — from Australia to Norway to Colorado — liberals forgot that their priorities aren’t often those of the average voter. In each case, they were punished for it. — John Fund is national-affairs columnist for NRO.

Colorado’s Gun-Control Meltdown


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Posted by Michelle Malkin

Democratic legislators made their contempt for the people clear.

 

State senator John Morse concedes defeat in the recall election, September 10, 2013.

You voted for him and you took him out the way it is supposed to work!

Michelle Malkin

Colorado Springs — Quick, call the CDC. We’ve got a Rocky Mountain outbreak of Acute Sore-Loser Fever. After failing to stave off two historic recall bids on Tuesday, two delusional state legislators and their national party bosses just can’t help but double down and trash voters as dumb, sick, criminal, and profligate.

The ululations of gun-grabbing Democrats here in my adopted home state are reverberating far and wide. Appearing on cable TV Thursday to answer the question “What happened?” Pueblo state senator Angela Giron sputtered that she lost her seat due to “voter suppression.” Giron whined to CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin that voters “weren’t able to get to the polls” and that there was “voter confusion.”

“Voter confusion”? My goodness. You’d think there were no public libraries, local television stations, talk radio, newspapers, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, or government websites to get information about the elections. (Oh, and pay no attention to the massive six-to-one spending advantage that Giron and her fellow recall target John Morse, formerly the president of the state senate, enjoyed.)

Voter suppression”? Dios mio! You’d think there were New Black Panther Party thugs standing outside the polls shouting racist epithets and waving police batons!

But no, there was no “voter confusion” or “voter suppression.” In fact, as the Colorado Peak Politics blog pointed out, the “majority of turnout in [Giron’s] district was Democrat, by a large margin. And she still lost. Voter suppression [is] not even believable.”

Giron lost in her Obama-loving Democratic third senate district by a whopping twelve points. The only significant complaint about voter suppression came after the polls closed — and not from anyone in the district, but from out-of-state Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wah-wah-wah-sserman Schultz of Florida. The majority of constituents who signed the recall petitions against her were, um, Democrats. Would Giron care to argue that voters from the same party that put her in office are too dumb and confused to comprehend her state’s own constitution and election process?

Giron was defeated not by elite Republicans and nefarious NRA bigwigs, but by a former Clinton supporter/police chief/campaign neophyte and a couple of upstart citizen activists who make a living as plumbers.

Grassroots organizers in both Pueblo and El Paso Counties with little to no previous electoral experience researched the state constitution’s recall provisions and put in the hard nose-to-the-grindstone work of gathering thousands of petition signatures in a brief period. They did their homework, adhered to the law, and made their voices heard. As I’ve reported in my column over the past several months, it was a David vs. gun-grabbing Goliath battle from the start.

Only after the local citizens got the ball rolling — catching flak from establishment-GOP types who initially opposed the disruptive process — did national organizations weigh in with help. And the campaign cash they provided was still no match for nosybody Bloomberg, Vice President Joe Biden (who personally lobbied state Democratic legislators), and their gun control-freak company.

The significance of this unprecedented battle cannot be overstated. Self-government won. Demagoguery lost. All the Bloomberg bucks in the world couldn’t buy immunity for his water-carriers in Colorado. The role of Second Amendment–supporting, limited-government-advocating local women in pushing back against false smears was invaluable. The “reproductive rights” fear-mongering failed. And the use of social media to organize echoed other successful tea-party efforts.

The problem for the gun-grabbers wasn’t that the voters were uninformed. It was that they were too informed. Voters paid close attention when state Democrats rigged the game during the legislative debate over extreme gun and ammo restrictions that will do nothing to stop the next Aurora, Columbine, or Newtown. They watched fellow citizens being blocked from testifying, pushed aside for out-of-staters. They heard Morse accuse gun owners of having a “sickness in their souls.” They heard him brag to liberal zealots that he was ignoring their “vile” e-mails.

They rejected Giron’s sneering at grassroots organizers as “special interests.” They didn’t buy that their birth control would disappear. They weren’t swayed by shooting victim Gabby Giffords’ husband’s emotional appeals or distracted by Bill Clinton’s last-minute robocalls.

“What happened?” The reasons these petty tyrants lost are as simple as ABC: arrogance, bitterness, and contempt for the people. As more and more self-empowered citizens are learning, you can’t fix this stupid hubris. But you can vote it out.

Michelle Malkin is the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies. © 2013 Creators.Com.

Treasonous President Obama to Charge 14 Governors with Treason?


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This is a Reblogged from http://godfatherpolitics.com

Posted by Dave Jolly

It has been repeatedly reported on some of our websites that President Barack Hussein Obama is guilty of multiple accounts of treason against the people and Constitution of the United States.  He has not been charged with any of his many crimes because he controls the US Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice (Holder is just as guilty of treason as is Obama).  The rest of Congress seems too spineless or fearful to say or do anything about it.

But let someone else try to stand up against Obama’s crime syndicate and he’s the first one to start hollering treason.

It seems that a growing number of state governors are re-establishing State Defense Forces, also known as State Guards, State Military Reserves and State Militias.  These forces are under the direct authority of the governor of the state and are not subject to federal control.  They can be readily deployed in the case of any natural or man-made disasters.

As of 2010, 23 states and territories have organized State Defense Forces (SDFs) with approximately 14,000 people serving in them.  SDFs were established by federal and state law at the very beginning of our country’s history.  They have played important roles over the years in helping to defend our nation, however, due to many state budget deficits, SDFs are becoming a thing of the past.

The Heritage Foundation did a report on State Defense Forces back in 2010 and if you want to read more about their history, please click here.

According to a recent report, 14 governors have been working to reinstate SDFs in their states.  Governors Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Rick Perry of Texas have been fronting the drive to get more states to re-establish their STFs.

The report goes on to say that each of the 14 governors have now supposedly received National Security Letters from the Obama administration demanding that they halt the formation of their SDFs or face possible charges of treason.  It seems that since Obama has drastically reduced the size of the military and their forces are stretched thin with troops still in Afghanistan and Iraq, that he is fearing rebellion from the states.  Further evidence of his fear of a rebellion or revolution is the fact that he has nationalized all of the state National Guard units.

Perhaps this is the reason that he has had the Department of Homeland Security purchase over 2 billion rounds of ammunition and thousands of fully automatic assault rifles.

It is typical of Obama to bully everyone who stands up to him and does not bow down and kiss their bottoms goodbye for him.  He’s tried this with many states when they passed voter ID laws.  He bullied and harassed Sheriff Joe Arpaio because he dared to defy Obama and investigate Obama’s birth certificate.

President Obama is the most corrupt and despicable president our country has ever had.  He considers himself to be above the law, above Congress and above the Constitution.  He is still actively engaged in giving aide and support to our enemies (Egypt for one) which are the definable terms for the charge of treason according to the US Constitution.  He is not acting as our president but rather our dictator.  He’s not any different than Fidel Castro or any other dictator in history.

If the report on the governors receiving National Security Letters is true, then America could well be on verge of a national showdown between state governors and the federal government.  What better way is it for Obama to rid himself of some of his most ardent state opposition leaders than to start charging them with treason, the very crime that he is guilty of several times over?

Read more: http://godfatherpolitics.com/10763/treasonous-president-obama-to-charge-14-governors-with-treason/#ixzz2SwPu5cAw

 

Slapped Down by Senate, Obama Prepares Executive Gun Orders


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comments.

 

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This is a reblogged from. godfatherpolitics.com

 

Posted by Tad Cronn

A minor miracle occurred the other day when the Senate, despite months of buildup and lobbying by the Obama Administration, rejected an entire slate of gun-control proposals.

It doesn’t matter whether the Democrats who jumped party lines voted against the gun grab because of principle or because they fear for their jobs. Either way, they wound up doing the right thing.

And boy, was Obama ticked. If he had clenched his jaw any tighter during his press conference, his teeth would have started shooting out of his mouth from the pressure, like blown rivets.

The classic Obama tantrum should be taken as a warning sign. Obama’s not one of those guys who just takes his ball and goes home to brood. He’s the type who nurses thoughts of revenge.

On Thursday, “Crazy Uncle Joe” Biden briefed the troops to reassure them that the Man Who Would be King would not be so easily defeated by the majority of American rabble who want to keep their right to self-defense.

During a conference call which was supposed to be kept from the press, Biden assured gun-control groups, lobbyists and other participants that Obama would follow up his defeat in the Senate with new executive orders on guns.

It’s been Obama’s pattern throughout his presidency to go around Congress whenever he suffers a legislative defeat.

When Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, she would find ways to bend the law, such as via the “Slaughter Rule,” to make sure that Obama got his way in the House, and she was usually able to bully Harry Reid into making the Senate roll over. Since voters knocked Pelosi off her dais, Obama either has resorted to ordering his “czars” and Cabinet members to implement incremental policies that don’t require congressional approval but have the same effect as the laws, or he has issued executive orders.

It’s the executive orders that are most dangerous to the country because they further solidify his monarchical approach to the presidency. The turning point was when Obama, frustrated by the failure of the Dream Act to pass in Congress, unilaterally wrote it into law with an executive order essentially granting amnesty to millions of children of illegal immigrants being educated in public schools.

Congress didn’t challenge that order, which completely ignored the constitutional separation of powers and secured for the president the power to initiate and pass laws.

So if Obama now wants to write an executive order on background checks, limiting gun magazines or even outright outlawing guns, Congress will have a much harder time challenging it, no matter how far Obama feels like pushing his gun-grab agenda.

Brace yourselves for federal gunfight, part two.

Read more: http://godfatherpolitics.com/10457/slapped-down-by-senate-obama-prepares-executive-gun-orders/#ixzz2R5KPtrXF

 

The Gun Control Paradox


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This is a reblogged from http://www.americanthinker.com.

posted by Daniel Payne

As the new and improved Assault Weapons Ban is debated, it is instructive to study the strange circular logic used by gun control proponents to justify the banning of certain weapons for civilian use.

At the heart of most gun-control efforts is a desire to ban so-called “weapons of war,” based upon the premise that such things have no place in civil society. And perhaps they’re right, at least about actual “weapons of war.” There are few people arguing for the legalization of rocket launchers for civilian use, and nobody wants to see people building nuclear weapons as a cottage industry. So the restriction of some types of weapons seems perfectly reasonable and necessary.

The problems arise when legislators attempt to classify firearms as “weapons of war” when such firearms do not warrant the label in the slightest. Many legislators and pundits have described rifles such as the AR-15 as a “weapon of war,” but of course no competent army would ever outfit its soldiers with such a weapon, which is merely semiautomatic. Modern armies use rifles that are capable of fully-automatic fire, a feature which is more or less banned for civilian usage. The United States armed services, for instance, use variants of the M16, a more powerful version of the AR-15. Thus it is nonsensical to classify a civilian version of a military weapon as “military-style.” Style does not equal substance, and an AR-15 is not substantive in the face of its military cousin.

This fact, however, is what gun-control proponents seize upon when making their case. After all, if the military is armed with M16s, and an AR-15 couldn’t possibly hope to compete with the military’s armaments, then why does any civilian need the latter firearm, given that it would prove effectively useless against a tyrannical government? Hence the call to ban these and other weapons on the basis of their inability to protect against tyranny.

Pause to consider that line of thought for a moment: because current civilian weapons are unable to forestall or defeat a tyrannical government, we must ban them. Does not something seem off about this kind of twisted logic?

It is true to state that all the weapons to which modern American civilians have access would very likely be ineffective were the military to truly mobilize against the citizenry. The armed forces have the above-mentioned fully-automatic weapons, along with tanks, grenades, gasses and, most ominously, drones. Civilians have some semiautomatic rifles and pistols, along with shotguns and revolvers. Three guesses as to who would win that fight.

And yet it is still nutty to insist that the answer is more restrictions on more types of weapons. Of course, gun- control advocates are calling for such bans in part to protect civilians from each other — to stop the next Sandy Hook or Aurora, for instance. There is both nobility and reason in such a rationale. Yet when gun rights advocates point out that the Second Amendment was created to protect against tyranny, and that we should thus be cautious in banning the weapons it guarantees us, we are once again treated to a host of claims as to how the Second Amendment is now irrelevant because the government is inarguably more powerful than the citizenry could ever hope to be. So the argument becomes at once both rational and confusing: we cannot compete against the military, but we can and should strip the populace of many firearms in order to protect ourselves from ourselves. Say what?

The other side of the coin, however, is equally thorny and problematic: if private citizens are not equipped to take on the modern U.S. military, should we give citizens more armaments — allow the sale of surface-to-air missiles, say, and make it easier to purchase fully automatic weapons? The answer is almost certainly no; were these weapons easily accessible to the populace at large, and fell in the wrong hands, the destruction wrought could be catastrophic on a scale no single firearm could create.

So we are left with a great philosophical condrundrum: on the one hand, people shouldn’t have access to hyperpowerful weapons with which they could easily kill hundreds or thousands of people, while on the other hand, it seems bizarre to conclude that a people’s lack of adequate armaments as a defense against tyranny justifies a further stripping of Second Amendment rights.

While there is no easy answer to this quandary, one thing is clear: we should not be so easily seduced by the strange circular logic of gun control advocates; their crusade creates questions about civilian disarmament that should be answered before any bill is passed.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/the_gun_control_paradox.html#ixzz2QVqBrFSf
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Guns: The Left’s True Aim, and How to Thwart It


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3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to

the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all

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However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

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This is a reblogged from http://www.americanthinker.com.

posted by Lewis Dovland

We must not lose focus on the end goal of progressives regarding guns.  Make no mistake; regardless of what they say, their ultimate goal is confiscation of all guns in America.  And a “universal background check” will get them closer to this nirvana than the banning of a few selected weapons ever could.

To understand progressive methodology, let’s use another similar issue: the gay marriage agenda.  Say the current definition of “marriage” as it has been for thousands of years is represented by “A” on a continuum of A to Z, with “Z” being the left’s ultimate goal.  Asking for “Z” now would be a major overreach (and “Z” is much farther than just gay marriage), so progressives ask for “N,” which is just enough of a stretch to make people push back only a little.

So to protect a foundation of society, the people of California overwhelmingly vote a law that defines marriage — an appropriate state’s rights issue.  The left goes to court and has California’s decision overturned.  The people next pass a state constitutional amendment, and again the left gets it overturned, and now it is in the Supreme Court.  The left also applies public pressure through the media to brand anyone who doesn’t agree as a homophobe or hater, all the while controlling the educational curriculum so only one side of the argument is taught to our children.

Eventually, progressives will get only “C” this time, which is really all they wanted for now.  But note something powerful here.  “C” becomes the new “A.”  So there is never a way to back it up to the original “A.”  Over time, they will win another “C” that becomes “A.”

Before long we find that we are at “H” on the original A-Z scale, but “H” is now considered “A”.  And so it continues.

Note the steps:

  • Ask for more than you know you can achieve.  In fact, ask for something you don’t even want.  Then everyone will be focused more on that than on your real goal.
  • Use all media and educational tools to inculcate your view in the public and low-information voters.
  • Develop your own lexicon, redefine words, and then keep pounding those words into the psyche each time you speak.
  • Attack your opponents not on logic or facts, but by name-calling and emotion, and accuse them of being “obstructionist.”
  • When you concede, always be sure you’ve moved the marker a little farther toward your goal.
  • Reset the measures so that the new position is now considered “normal,” which makes it impossible for anyone to argue against or reverse.
  • Never, ever give up or stop pushing, even when you (temporarily) lose.

How does this strategy apply to the gun issue?  At this time, the left does not expect to restrict the sale of “assault weapons.”  That effort is a deliberate misdirection to throw us off-base so we are jousting with the wrong target and using up energy.

What the left wants is universal background checks.  If leftists get that, they actually leapfrog the restrictions on certain weapon types.  How?

No one can buy a modern operational firearm from a licensed dealer today without a background check.  Period.  There is no “gun show loophole,” because to buy a gun at a gun show from a licensed dealer — the only entity permitted to sell at gun shows — one must pass the background check or show a firearms license.

Not controlled are sales of guns between private parties.  You can sell me your gun in a face-to-face transaction without requiring that you get a background check on me.

Look at where this is going.  The left is asking to ban the sale of “assault” weapons.  Using the marriage example above, this is moving the marker from “A” to about “N” on the scale, since “Z” would be the total ban and confiscation of guns.  The left knows that a ban is not possible, although “Z” is their ultimate goal.  But what are they doing?

Ask for “N” when you know that “C” is possible, use the media and lexicon (“assault weapon,” “gun show loophole”) to pound home the message, demonize those who disagree, and get media support.  Use emotion — see Obama’s recent “shame on us” speech with the Newtown families standing behind him.

And then, the final, sneaky step.  Say, “Well, the American people just don’t understand the need to ban these assault weapons, so at least give us background check legislation.  That is not too much to ask for the children’s sake.”  And if we don’t agree to that, they call us “obstructionist” and other names, trying to shame us into action.  If they succeed, we will have just moved from “A” to “S” on the scale, well past “N.”  How?

Enforcing the universal background check will require registration of all guns in a national database; otherwise, how and where do we prevent private sales without background checks?  And the details of how to enforce the background checks will be handled by the legislation, neatly out of the direct view of the public.  Once that occurs, the government will have a list of all legal guns and owners in the U.S., making confiscation extremely easy when the time comes.

And where are the teeth to make a gun owner register a gun, when he never expects to sell it?  All the left needs to do is make possession of an unregistered gun a felony — a “minor” clause in the law when they craft it.  Then, when you defend yourself at 3 a.m. from an armed home invasion and your gun is found, you will be in more trouble than the perps.  As a felon, you then lose your right to own any guns. 

That is the goal here.  Watch for the left to cave on the assault weapon ban and “settle” for just universal background checks.  Sounds innocuous, right?  If granted, it will provide the left with much, much more than they ever hoped to get at this juncture.

Our answer must be: “Never, never, never — not one inch.”  No universal background checks, ever.  Enforce the laws we have now.  Otherwise, game over for us.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/guns_the_lefts_true_aim_and_how_to_thwart_it.html#ixzz2QVoJxVm2
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Gunsite Day Two: Fighting Out of a Threat


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4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my

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I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to

different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

 

This is a reblogged from http://townhall.com.

posted by Katie Pavlich

  • Katie Pavlich

Gunsite Day Two: Fighting Out of a Threat

* Editors note: TOWNHALL News Editor Katie Pavlich is participating in a multi-day firearms training course at the Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona. Stay tuned for daily dispatches. The third dispatch is below. As the dispatches accumulate, they’ll all be available here.

PAULDEN, Ariz. – Here at Gunsite everyone is armed with a pistol on their hip and it feels like the one of the safest places I have ever been. Buz Mills, the owner of Gunsite, carries a Smith & Wesson 1911.
Being armed at all times requires a certain mindset, an attitude that enables you to defend your life in the presence of a threat. As my instructor Dave told me Saturday, “the majority of this is mental.” And he’s right.
Gunsite instructors aren’t here to teach people how to shoot, they’re here to teach people how to save their lives and fight their way out of a threat. The goal is always to stop the violent behavior of an attacker, which often times can take more than two rounds to accomplish. The AR-15 is a fighting gun and when used properly, will stop a threat from continuing a violent action.
Saturday, I learned how to fight my way out of a threat using four main positions.
Standing/Fighting stance: standard shooting position. Left foot slightly in front of the right, knees slightly bent, hips square to the target, chest over the belt buckle.
 photo ScreenShot2013-04-14at123111AM_zpse8df1bf6.png

Kneeling: kneeling position comes in three forms, Brace (like a lunge, one knee forward one knee back with behind resting on the back leg), Speed (just like a regular lunge) and Double Knee (both knees on the ground). All three forms are entered either from standing or from Prone position. Double knee gives the shooter the most mobility.

More training photos and videos on page two.

Squatting: exactly as it sounds. Shooter squats down and puts both elbows on the insides of the legs for support.
 photo ScreenShot2013-04-14at123040AM_zps709022a7.png

Prone: entire body is against the ground, giving the shooter the most stable position. Prone can be entered easily from standard position by dropping down to kneeling and then onto the floor or ground.
 photo ScreenShot2013-04-12at114838PM_zpsa8396cda.png
In addition to learning how to shoot from these positions, I learned how to move efficiently and effectively while engaging a threat. Keeping the knees bent allows for faster movement and more control. In the video below, you’ll see me move from a “low-ready” position with my carbine to a ready and fire position.

The AR-15 is a close range tool and rifle, unlike conventional rifles. Despite the narrative recently in certain political circles, it is compact, easy to handle and offers close range accuracy. It can be used inside and outside of the home for self-defense. The Gunsite student handbook describes carbines being “politically incorrect” as a disadvantage.

Katie Pavlich

 

High Noon Over Guns


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This is a reblogged from http://canadafreepress.com.

posted by Arnold Ahlert 

Author

The Senate voted 68-31 to begin debate on a gun control package that will initially focus on three issues: expanded background checks for the purchase of firearms, harsher penalties for gun trafficking, and increased aid for school safety. “The hard work starts now,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) after the vote.

The vote was a defeat for the 29 Republicans and two Democrats who were intent on filibustering the bill, arguing that the restrictions would would constitute a violation of the Second Amendment. “This bill is a clear overreach that will predominantly punish and harass our neighbors, friends, and family,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) prior to the vote. Despite their defeat, gun control opponents were threatening to invoke a procedural rule that would force the Senate to wait 30 hours before beginning any consideration of amendments.

Whenever the debate actually begins, it is likely that the first amendment to be considered is the agreement reached Wednesday by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WVA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), scaling back the call for universal background checks contained in the current bill. The universal background checks were authored by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). Sen. Reid expects to replace Schumer’s efforts with the compromise.

Yet that tradeoff reveals part of the problem with the process, in that the bill the Senate is debating will be changing substantially as time goes on—so much so, that many senators opposing yesterday’s vote contended that what they are actually voting on remains a mystery. They further noted that while the Manchin-Toomey deal represents a compromise, it is Schumer’s stricter provision that remains part of the bill. “Because the background-check measure is the centerpiece of this legislation it is critical that we know what is in the bill before we vote on it,” Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), said in a statement. “The American people expect more and deserve better.”

Currently, background checks are limited to transactions conducted by the nation’s 55,000 licensed gun dealers. Gun control advocates insist that such a limitation allows too many sales to take place without checks, making it easier for criminals and the mentally ill to obtain firearms. The Manchin-Toomey plan would expand background checks to cover unlicensed dealers at gun shows, and all sales conducted on the Internet.

It would also expand some rights of gun owners, allowing those who have undergone a background check within the last five years to obtain a concealed-carry permit allowing them to buy guns in other states. It would also make it easier for hunters carrying guns to travel through states that prohibit such weapons, and allow active military members to purchase firearms in their home states. They are currently prohibited from making such purchases when they are stationed somewhere else.

Despite such concessions, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other Second Amendment supporters remain leery, saying the proposal is still too restrictive. “While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’s ‘universal ’background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows,” the NRA said in a statement. “The sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) took the argument one step further. On the Senate floor Wednesday, he warned that universal background checks could lead to a national gun registry that “would allow the federal government to surveil law-abiding citizens who exercise their Constitutional rights,” further noting that the government has no business monitoring any exercise of those rights. “You see, the federal government has no business monitoring when or how often you go to church; what books and newspapers you read; who you vote for; your health conditions; what you eat for breakfast; and the details of your private life—including your lawful exercise of your rights protected by the Second Amendment and other provisions of the Bill of Rights,” he explained.

Even though this compromise ostensibly waters down such checks, National Review’s Charles Cook explains that gun control advocates will eventually demand more. “Within a few weeks of the bill’s passage, the eerie progressive silence that has marked this tortured process will be broken, and when it is, legions of prominent gun controllers will take to their feet in order to argue that it makes ‘no sense’ for there to be ‘exemptions’ to the almost universal background-check system,” he warns.

His warning is too late with regard to some states. In New York, the state police initially forced “David,” a 34-year-old college librarian, to turn in his guns after his pistol permit was suspended because he had taken anti-anxiety medication at some point in the past. The NY SAFE Act requires mental health professionals to inform the state when permit holders or would-be permit holders are “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.” A day later, the state was forced to backtrack, when they discovered they had the wrong man. “Today, we all look like fools,” said Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs.

“Fools” is putting it mildly. New York is not only forcing mental health professionals to be de facto agents of the state, it is making an utter mockery of the doctor-patient relationship, in which privacy ought to be the foremost concern. If such checks are implemented nationwide, a 2011 survey by Medco reveals that as many as one-in-five Americans, the number currently taking “mental-health-related medications,” could be affected. Furthermore, as the case in New York reveals, due process is hardly an impediment: David’s guns were confiscated prior to a hearing. “Due process should come before the suspension,” said David’s attorney Jim Tresmond. “That’s where due process comes in. Before your rights are taken, due process must occur. That’s our constitutional right, not the reverse.” David’s guns remain in police custody until a judge removes the suspension.

In Washington, gun control advocates remain determined to push, as well as expand, their agenda. Harry Reid has promised to re-introduce the assault weapons ban,dropped from the bill last month, as well as a ban on high-capacity magazines. President Obama brought the families of the Newtown shooting victims from Connecticut to Washington, D.C. aboard Air Force One on Tuesday to help push the legislation. And Freshman Senator Christopher S. Murphy (D-CN) gave his first speech on the Senate floor on gun violence Wednesday, displaying large photos of some of the children killed in the massacre to emphasize his efforts.

Bringing Newtown family members to Washington did not sit well with some gun rights supporters. “See, I think it’s so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn’t,” Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told the Huffington Post. He further contended that the families believe gun control is now a personal issue “because they’ve been told that by the president.” Senator Ted Cruz accused the Obama administration of “really playing on emotions. What it is not focused on are actual policies that will stop violent crime,” he added. The editorial board of Investors Business Daily, who decried the abuse of presidential power in bringing the Newtown families to the nation’s capital, wondered if Republicans can “now give Fast and Furious victims’ families taxpayer-funded flights to Washington?”

It wouldn’t matter if they could. The mainstream media chose to ignore that controversy. That would be the same mainstream media that has circled the wagons around gun control advocates, so much so that CNN has devoted two full days to pushing gun control legislation, even as Second Amendment supporters are ignored.

Yet whatever agreement the Senate reaches may all be for naught. The Republican-controlled House isn’t likely to allow a more restrictive gun control package to pass, even though House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated his intention to remain noncommittal prior to the Senate reaching an agreement. “It’s one thing for [Manchin and Toomey] to come to some agreement. It doesn’t substitute the will for the other 98 members,” he told reporters.

Nonetheless, Joe Manchin expressed his hope that something would be accomplished. “Today is the start of a healthy debate that must end with the Senate and House, hopefully, passing these commonsense measures and the president signing it into law,” he said. “The event of Newtown, truly the events at Newton, changed us all. It changes our country, our communities, our town and it changed our hearts and minds.”

What hasn’t changed is the reality that nothing being proposed would have stopped Adam Lanza. Thus, this latest effort is nothing more than an unseemly attempt to use a horrific tragedy as a springboard to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans to bear arms. Therein lies the other fatal flaw in any gun control bill: only law-abiding people will be affected. Furthermore, those well-versed in the American left’s template of using incrementalism to get what they want, understand that concessions made now will lead to demands for further, and far more onerous, concessions later.

In short, the Second Amendment is under assault. It remains to be seen if America is still a nation of laws, or one that can be manipulated into surrendering constitutional rights for the illusion of safety. Here’s a video released yesterday showing a Chicago shopkeeper fighting off two armed assailants with a baseball bat. As you watch it, remember that Chicago has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation.

What’s going on in this video is real life. What’s going on in Washington is a farce: one hundred senators with armed security details are deciding how much more difficult they will make it for ordinary Americans to enjoy a similar measure of personal security. It doesn’t get more hypocritical than that.

 

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