Category Archives: Political Commentary

The III% (or “Threeper”) Movement

Some of you have seen my involvement with an organization called “West Coast Patriots III%.” “What the heck is a III%er?” you ask?

Legend has it that only three percent of the population of the Thirteen Colonies fought during the American Revolution (this number may not be precisely accurate, but stay with me – it’s apocryphal, ok?!). Today’s three percent movement has a mission derived from those original freedom fighters: to stand up wherever civil liberties are violated.

We are not “anti-government” – very much the opposite. We wholeheartedly endorse our founders’ vision that this Country be not only a representative democracy, but a constitutional one –our “constitutional republic.” And to that end, we are a non-partisan organization welcoming any member who identifies as left, right, or center who is interested in the preservation of our civil rights.

We are not racist, antiemetic, extreme, or “right wing.” We aren’t anti-immigration. We are CERTAINLY NOT “sovereign citizens.” We aren’t “paramilitary” or whatever the Southern Poverty Law Center would like us to be. We aren’t even partisan. You’ll see us on the front line criticizing ANY politician that deigns to infringe upon the civil liberties of individuals. We are made up of a diverse body of individuals.

III%ers DO, however, know the Constitution well, along with the Declaration of Independence and understand what it means. They listen. They study and learn. They keep up with current legal trends and court cases. THEY DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF THOSE WHOM THEY HAVE IDEOLOGICAL DISAGREEMENTS.

This is about freedom, friends. Unconstitutional laws and actions come from both sides of the political aisle. Let’s fight them together.

[Disclaimer: the III% movement, just like every other group, has members that do and say things we don’t agree with. We can’t control individuals – just like the Democrats, Republicans, left and right have individual members that occasionally go off the rails, we will too. But believe me, we’ll be disclaiming that nonsense from the rooftops when we see / hear of it!]

What is a “Proud Boy” – my take

After yet another “run in” with a pack of “Proud Boys” on social media, I am finally writing this article. I “noticed” their existence some months ago, on a friend’s page, and (mistakenly) tried to have a calm, civil discussion with them. Only to see the word “cuck” thrown around (more on that later), be called every name in the book and then some, prior to my simply blocking them. So I began to research.

First, what is a “Proud Boy,” you ask?

A “Proud Boy” is a member of a men’s organization that exists in the US, Canada, and the UK, founded in 2016 by one Gavin McInnes. I didn’t know who he was either, so after digging around, I discovered he was the co-founder / commentator of “Vice Media.”

PBs is a “pro-Western fraternal organization” for men who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world,” and they call themselves “Western Chauvinists.” http://officialproudboys.com/proud-boys/whoaretheproudboys/

For those following along, let me refresh your memory as to the definition of “chauvinist”:

  1. an attitude of superiority toward members of the opposite sex
  2. undue partiality or attachment to a group or place to which one belongs or has belonged
  3. excessive or blind patriotism

None of these are good, but when paired with the descriptor “western,” basically it means that they have undue partiality and blind loyalty to all things they define as “western,” whatever that means.

Moving on, this is what the PBs say they stand for:

Minimal Government (sounds good)

Maximum Freedom (yep that sounds good too)

Anti-Political Correctness (mostly a good thing, I don’t have a problem with being mindful of your words)

Anti-Drug War (not sure what this means, but I’m for the legalization of most substances)

Closed Borders (silly, why would we not allow legal immigration?)

Anti-Racial Guilt (so….sure, no one should feel guilty for who they are, but I’ll bet $1 they mean something different)

Anti-Racism (that’s good, racists suck)

Pro-Free Speech (1st Amendment) (obviously good)

Pro-Gun Rights (2nd Amendment) (also obviously good)

Glorifying the Entrepreneur (I like that)

Venerating the Housewife (um…….no sorry. Be a housewife if you want but that is not “better” (or worse!) than being a working parent. Do what works for your family and shut up about everyone else)

Reinstating a Spirit of Western Chauvinism (see definition above – also a nope)

So you see, they have kind of a weird foundation. But I dug deeper and learned about their founder. Oh, Mr. McInnes. What a mess. He co-founded VICE Magazine, which is fine to have a publication that likes to push boundaries if that’s what you want to do, but McInnes seemed to really enjoy barreling over the line in a tank.

For example: When a New York Press reporter asked McInnes what he thought about his neighbors in New York’s Williamsburg neighborhood, he responded, “Well, at least they’re not niggers or Puerto Ricans. At least they’re white.” (http://www.nypress.com/vice-rising-corporate-media-woos-magazine-worlds-punks/)

He later said: “I don’t want our culture diluted. We need to close the borders now and let everyone assimilate to a Western, white, English-speaking way of life.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/28/style/the-edge-of-hip-vice-the-brand.html)

(And the explanation of why there is no “white” culture, and how “white” is essentially an oppressive social construct, is a post for another day. Suffice it to say here, this is not a thing and it is racist as hell.)

If you can believe it, it gets worse. If he isn’t an outright Holocaust denier or minimizer, he sure defends them, saying: “Like at one point, the [Yad Vashem] tour guide goes, ‘You know, and there are people who think that this didn’t happen.’ And I felt myself defending the super-far-right Nazis, just because I was sick of so much brainwashing. And I felt like going, ‘Well, they never said it didn’t happen. What they’re saying is that it was much less than six million and that they starved to death and they weren’t gassed.’” (http://www.canadalandshow.com/rebel-media-star-gavin-mcinnes-has-theories-on-jews/)

And then he says: “Wasn’t the Treaty of Versailles, wasn’t that disproportionately influenced by Jewish intellectuals?” (http://www.canadalandshow.com/rebel-media-star-gavin-mcinnes-has-theories-on-jews/)

Don’t forget about the video McInnes made on Rebel Media called “Ten Things I Hate about Jews,” which was later retitled “Ten Things I Hate About Israel” ! That was a good one too. Or not.

There is a lot more, but no one wants to write (or read) about that stuff. It is horrific, and it is why a lot of Jews like myself still carry their passport around on a daily basis. Just a hop skip and a jump back to rounding us up, right?

So here is the deal: I have no problem with male fraternities. That’s cool. I DO have a problem with antisemitism, blind nationalism, and chauvinism – in any form. So, if YOU are a member of the PB, you can hang out on my friends list for a bit, but don’t for a SECOND think I won’t call you out if you start spewing nonsense on my page. And go research your founder, and really THINK about the PB’s “principles.” I am not saying that there aren’t PB members that are probably good people and have no idea of the origin of their “club” and what it really stands for – so educate yourself.

You certainly cannot be both a PB and a Constitutionalist.

The Help for Students that Never Was

I almost got excited this week, readers. I saw that Elizabeth Warren had introduced the “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act,” and thought that finally I would be able to refinance my 8% private student loans into something close to the 4.5% my government student loans are locked in at. Listen, I don’t have a problem paying back my student loans – but why are lenders making this much money off of students? I’m not asking for 0%, but I’m asking for something like what I can get on a 15 year mortgage – something around 3%. They’d still make money! But I digress.

Warren’s bill looks great, until you get to the end.

When you get to Section 3, the section is entitled “Fair share tax on high-income taxpayers.” Wait, what? What is that doing in a bill that is supposed to help students? Is this woman actually alleging that allowing graduates to refi into a lower interest rate under a government program is going to cost the government money? By moving those loans from private to public, the government is going to make money off of the interest no matter what the rate is – and that is money they never would have received before! So they want to make money on top of their money? REALLY?!

I’m not a CPA and I hate working with numbers. But I see this bill throwing 30% around, and that’s not even funny when you consider what we already pay in taxes. Sure, only households that gross $1 million or more would be impacted, but why the hell are we raising their taxes to begin with?

Sure, our tax code needs some work. But if we want to work on it, sneaking tax hikes onto the back of a student loan relief bill isn’t the way to do it. We should sit down and discuss the tax code and figure out what we want to accomplish, and then figure out how to get there. But this? This seems like a trick that would ensure the bill would not pass, and then would give Warren a nice soapbox to stand on and scream that “Republicans don’t want to help students ahhhhhhh!!

Stop it, politicians. Just stop. This country is in trouble. We need to put our ideologies aside and have a real discussion about how to dig ourselves out of this nice hole that ALL politicians have helped to dig. Get it together.

You can check out the full text of the bill here.  Be warned, you’ll probably start yelling at the computer.

Mr. Obama, maybe folks are mad because of what you said!

Matt Walsh sums it up pretty perfectly. Just because you hear it in a speech doesn’t make it true!

The Matt Walsh Blog

Dear Mr. Obama,

Congratulations on getting 7.1 million people enrolled in Obamacare before the March 31st deadline!

Not to muddy the festivities by harping on technicalities, but I thought I’d pass along just a few corrections, in case you plan on giving anymore speeches or anything:

Alright, by ‘March 31st’ you mean ‘sometime in April,’ and by ‘deadline’ you mean ‘suggestion which is subject to change.’

And, obviously, by ‘enrolled’ you mean ‘people who have filled some information out on a website.’

And by ‘7.1 million’ you mean ‘probably like 858 thousand or something.’ 

In your speech on Tuesday, when you said that Obamacare is ‘the law’ and ‘it’s here to stay,’ you really meant that Obamacare is ‘a fluid and constantly adjusted set of unconstitutional decrees, which can be imposed or withdrawn by the Executive Branch at any point, for any reason, up to 21 times and counting.’ And by ‘here…

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Front Sight Four Day Defensive Handgun Review

After messing around at my local range for a year, a friend turned me on to the FrontSight brand of training courses. After purchasing a membership, we signed up for our first class – the Four Day Defensive Handgun. As the class approached, my husband and I packed up all of our gear (handguns + backup handguns, and 600 rounds of each caliber), and when March 20th rolled around, loaded the car and drove into the desert.

Here is me, my husband Mark, and one of my besties, Brandi, hangin’ at FS:

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You approach the town of Pahrump about an hour after turning off Interstate 15 onto CA-127. The 127 is a two lane “highway” through the desert, where you will see few cars but lots of really great desert views. In March, there were some desert blooms and green patches. I’m sure in the summer it is awful!

After reading lots of reviews, we decided to stay at the Best Western. They have a good Front Sight discount, so make sure you ask. The room was clean and just fine, but our neighbors were inconsiderate jerks. The upstairs neighbors stomped around until 11pm or 12am, and the next door neighbor started up his radio at 5am and never turned it off. Finally, on the last night, they moved us upstairs where it was MUCH quieter. You have to schlep your stuff up stairs, but that was worth it for the quiet.

The complimentary breakfast was fine, and had waffles, eggs, potatoes, biscuits and gravy. I ate it the first day, regretted it, and went back to the protein breakfast bars I packed.

We also decided to pack a giant cooler with sandwich stuff to pack for our lunches. This worked out very well until we switched rooms, and I didn’t realize the little mini fridge was turned way down – so nothing really stayed cold on the last night and I didn’t want to risk it. We purchased lunch from the Beach Café truck onsite (same company that provides the pre-ordered lunches) that day. We had chicken strips, and they were great! So that worked out fine. Where the cooler really came in handy was for drinks – having a steady supply of freezing cold water and ginger ale (heat pisses off my stomach sometimes) was amazing.

Our Gear

For my Front Sight course, I brought my M&P Pro in 9mm with a Salient Arms flat trigger, with a trigger pull weight of about 4.5 pounds. They did test my trigger to make sure it wasn’t below 4 pounds, which isn’t allowed for these classes. I also purchased the BladeTech IDPA pack, which included the OWB Kydex holster and a magazine pouch. This was perfect for the class.

My husband brought his M&P Pro CORE in .40, stock trigger (6 pounds?), and the same holster set up I had.

A note on BladeTech – my husband thought that he had the right holster for his Pro CORE. At exactly 2 weeks, we realized it didn’t actually fit! I submitted the order to BladeTech and let them know it was a rush, and they had it to me lightning fast, no problem. Five stars for BladeTech’s customer service, they were just fantastic.

For clothes, we packed mostly 5.11 cargo pants with CoolMax-type shirts. I found I wanted to be in a tank top the whole time, so I washed them in the sink to re-wear. I had also packed long sleeved sun shirts and short sleeve CoolMax shirts, but the tank tops were the best for me. Take a few options. My husband wore CoolMax t-shirts or polos.

For our “concealment garments,” we packed long sleeved button down hiking shirts. MISTAKE. The day I practiced with my Patagonia down jacket was my fastest day out of the holster. I wish I had realized that BEFORE the skills test. My husband had the same experience, and shot it with his Carhartt jacket. Next time, I’ll buy what they were calling a “shoot me” vest – because it is obvious you’re carrying if you’ve got one on, and you’ll be the first one bad guys shoot.

For shoes, we both wore our normal hiking boots. Even with those, my feet were feeling it by day 2, but toughened up and were fine by day 4.

Day 1 – The Arrival

You’re told to get to the gates between 7am and 8am for weapons check and check-in. We arrived right on time, parked, and headed over for inspection. You wait in a line, and, when it is your turn, head over to a table where they check your ammo and weapon to make sure it complies with their rules. No “pocket pistols,” .22s, triggers lighter than 4lbs, things like that. After, you head to check-in where they find you in their system and send you to a range. We were assigned range 1A, after a little snafu.

They couldn’t find us in the system. We had originally registered for the March 21 Two Day Defensive Handgun, and later called and switched into the Four Day. Well…looks like the office switched us into the February 21 class! Oops. They were able to accommodate us anyway, so it was fine.

After check-in everyone heads to the classroom for a “lecture”.

The lecture is given by Brad Ackman, who has been with Front Sight for…well, a long time, I guess. We went over some waivers we had to sign, including a “Dry Practice Protocol.” Very important.

After the classroom lecture, you head out for “Range Activities.” We were on Range 1A with Range Master David Jones, and line coaches Carol Beneux, Miles, Jack Cummings, and Nick. I can’t remember everyone’s last name…possibly my brain is fried.

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The day starts off with going over the Front Sight firearm safety rules. These are IMPORTANT. No one wants to go home with extra holes, that’s just not fun.

  1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard.
  4. Be sure of your target and what’s in line with your target.

You have to break two of these before anyone can actually get hurt, so I think it works well. After going over these rules, they go over how the range drills will work. The class works in two relays, with one relay on the firing line, and the other relay just behind working as student coaches. They also went over various range commands, such as: “range is clear,” “firing drill” (present to the ready, load, and once you are satisfied with the condition of your weapon, slowly and safely back to the holster), “dry practice drill” (present to the ready, unload), “unload,” “turn and face,” “STOP,” “reset your action,” etc.

The first real procedure you learn is the chamber check/magazine check. You bring the firearm in close, move the slide back 1/4” to allow you to see if there is a round in the chamber, and pull the slide forward. Then you check the magazine, removing one if there is one in there, or sticking your finger into the magazine well if there isn’t to make doubly sure there isn’t. I think this is really smart, because loaded chamber indicators can malfunction, and you can do this on every single weapon.

The class is then taught the Front Sight specific ways of loading and unloading. You’ll learn that there, and it is called “indexing.”

The Stance

Front Sight preaches the Weaver Stance. From Wikipedia:

The Weaver stance has two main components.

  1.    The first component is a two-handed technique in which the dominant hand holds the pistol or revolver while the support hand wraps around the dominant hand. The dominant arm’s elbow is slightly bent while the support elbow is noticeably bent straight down. The shooter pushes forward with his/her dominant hand while the support hand exerts rearward pressure. The resultant isometric tension is intended to lessen and control muzzle flip when the firearm is fired.
  2.    The second component is the positioning of the feet in a walking stance, with the off-side foot ahead of the strong-side foot. A right-handed person will have the right foot angled out to approximately forty-five degrees to the side and to the rear at shoulder length. Most of the weight will be on the forward foot, with the forward knee slightly bent and the rear leg straight. The shooter’s upper torso should be leaning forward at the hips, putting the shoulders just over the forward foot. The rear foot will help catch the force of recoil, as well as allow for rapid changes in position. A left-handed person would reverse the footing.

I was shooting…well, let’s call it jacked-up isosceles. They fixed me and I had to FIGHT to get that stance the whole weekend. Sticking a magazine under my left armpit helped to keep my from “chicken winging” it.

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With that, we shot a few rounds. I sucked. Then I sucked some more. Then they sat us down and told us the “three secrets” of marksmanship…

  1.    Sight alignment
  2.    Sight picture
  3.    Trigger control

For me, it’s my trigger control that stinks so bad. Dave noticed right away that I want the gun to go BANG! when I say to…so I got to work on taking out the slack and slowly building pressure to get a true “surprise” break. When I did it, I couldn’t miss. When I get in a hurry? Mess. Hot. Mess.

They also help you figure out which of your eyes is dominant – and, lucky me, I’m cross-eye dominant. Oh well. I already knew that. I’m working on retraining, but not that weekend.

Next: Lunch!

We brought our lunch, but ate in the classroom for the air conditioning. The lunch lecture covered the “combat mindset.” Honestly, I was a little sleepy, but it was the same lecture as many I had heard before.

Back to the Range

From then on, we learned how to present properly from the holster. That entails 5 steps. Do it right, and you’re fine. Do it wrong, and they’ll give you a “red gun” (plastic) until you do get it right. We also learned “after-action” drills, and sent some more rounds down range. Or as Carol put it – “turn some money into noise!” Totally.

Classroom Lecture

At 5:15 we were sent in for a classroom lecture about the moral and ethical decisions associated with the use of deadly force. Message? If it isn’t worth dying for, it isn’t worth shooting for.

Considering I’m an attorney, the implications are rather well known to me. An interesting lecture, but I would rather have been sent off to go to sleep early.

Day 2

At 8am, we arrived back on the range. Today we learned the tactical and emergency reload procedures, along with the three types of misfires. We also learned about “failure to stop,” which is when, after a controlled pair, your attacker keeps coming. A single shot to the cranial-ocular cavity will stop that.

Lunch Lecture

This lecture was a presentation by Sonic Ear, to try to get us to buy some $2500 custom ear protection. Super, super awesome product and they are really amazing, but for $2500….eh, I’m ok with muffs and my custom molded solid plugs.

Back to the Range

We next worked on Designated Head Shots (timed), and continued working on drills and technique. I was wiped by the end of this day.

Classroom Lecture

This was the introduction to “Monsters, Inc.” and the procedure for clearing a room, or house, or enclosed area. Interesting, but when the gun safe sales person jumped up to try and sell me an over priced safe, we took off.

This was the day that killed me the most. When we got back to the hotel room, I was EXHAUSTED! I was really freaked out by how tired I was, but I got some sleep and, despite my jackwagon loud neighbors, felt much better the next day.

Day 3

On day 3, concealment was introduced. It is a little tricky to start, but doable. I recommend just getting a “shoot me” vest (because the bad guys will shoot you first, it is so obvious you are carrying) so you don’t have to stress about getting your garment in the right place. I brought a sun shirt, because I knew it would be hot, and it wouldn’t flip back fast enough. The day I wore my Patagonia Down Jacket was the fastest day for me.

Day 3 is also “Monsters, Inc.” day. You get to go practice clearing doorways with a red gun, and then do a loaded tactical drill in their “tac house.” It was very fun, and I scored 100%.Image

 

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Later that day, we did the “ragged hole” drill, where you stand at the 7 yard line and shoot 5 live rounds into about a 2 inch black square. You shoot 5 live rounds, then do 5 dry presses, and then 5 rounds again. My first 5 were better because I was just too tired by the end of the day!

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I’ll call that one a “win” for me.

Day Four

Day four brought our man-on-man steel competition. I was all amped up and wanted to do well, and I did ok, losing by time only. The person that beat me went on to win the entire challenge, so I guess that’s ok with me!

We also finally made it to the skills test. I wanted to at least graduate with a 70%, but I basically got excited, threw my slow and steady strategy out the window, tried to go fast, and dropped 20 points on accuracy and a crap ton of points on speed.

I was PISSED. I’m very, very (VERY!) competitive, and I wanted a good score. Earlier in the day, our range master had warned us that even he didn’t DG the first time, but after going home and doing 30 days of dry practice (angry dry practice), he was able to get it done. So that’s what I’ll do…ANGRY DRY PRACTICE.

I fully intend to eventually pass with a Distinguished Graduate score, so I can go on to some of the advanced classes.

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Tips:

Hotel: If you stay at Best Western, even though an upstairs room means you have to schlep you stuff up stairs, get it because if your neighbors are elephants, you’ll be really pissy in the morning when you are tired and have to go to the range.

RV: The little group of RVs/trailers that were right outside the FS gates on BLM land looked like they were having a blast. I’d love to do this, but I’m unsure about water / sanitation. You’d have to be totally self-contained for 4-5 days, or take time to go into town and dump/refill. Not sure if that would work for me. It sure looked fun!

Food: We brought our own lunches, but on one day the food got too warm and we had to get food from Beach Café. I got chicken strips, and they were really good! I think their lunches would be fine.

Tacos el Charo: YUM!! YUM YUM! And cheap, with a super nice owner/manager who let us know that if we didn’t have a lot of time to eat, just call ahead and she would have it ready for us. Awesome.

Carmelo’s Bistro-Pizza-Fine Pasta: No. Fail. It looked good, had good Yelp reviews, but the pizza had a weird rubbery mozzarella layer that just wasn’t good – and the mushrooms were canned! Ew.

Steakhouse in the Nugget: This was pretty good. I had a 6oz filet which was great, and my husband had prime rib, also good. Great sides, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the stuffed mushrooms. Maybe we should just skip the Pahrump mushrooms from now on!

Edited to add: I was being so careful to include everything that happened, I didn’t tell you what I really thought! Our Rangemaster was David Jones, who got an assist from Carol Beneaux, Jack, Nick, and one other I’m spacing a name for. They were GREAT! There was no “boot camp” atmosphere (not that that would have bothered me, I learn “boot camp style” just fine), and they really, really want you to become a better shooter. I really can’t think of anything I would change, other than there being less people in the class so we could move a little faster – but being a beginner class, that obviously wan’t going to happen.

I would recommend this class to everyone, beginner to advanced. They kept telling me, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast!” and it is true. Everyone can benefit from slow, very technical and correct, practice. So GO!

***If you are interested in attending Front Sight, contact me — I have memberships available!***

 

Papal Power

Power of the Pope

Someone said to me recently, “the Pope doesn’t have any power.” I was a little taken aback, to be honest, because this person has had…well…let’s just say “plenty of schoolin.'”

For this entry, I focused only on the Early Modern and Modern eras, because, truly, a history of papal influence would take volumes, and maybe a lifetime, to write. When Martin V returned the papacy to Rome in 1420, the papacy began to take an increasingly active role in European wars and diplomacy. The “Warrior Pope,” Julius II (5 December 1443 – 21 February 1513), famously used his influence to reconcile the two powerful Roman families of Orsini and Colonna – no small feat. A continued war between those families could have split the empire – but this pope prevented it.

Julius II orchestrated a Venetian / Papal alliance which eventually expanded into the Holy League, which drove the French from Italy in 1512. Wars were fought at the direction of the Pope.

The Corsican Guard was the papal militia during the time of the Papal States, abolished in 1860.

The Swiss Guard were later created and dispatched to defend Vatican City, and the papacy.

But Julius is just an example. “But what about the modern papacy?” You might ask. “Surely the modern popes have no power?” So let’s “skip to the end,” as Prince Humperdink might implore.

Let’s just look at Pope John Paul II. He is credited with helping to end communism in Poland. When it finally collapsed in 1989, his visit to Poland is credited with helping to lay the groundwork of that collapse.

Pope JP II is also credited with playing a significant role in converting many conservative Catholics into Republican voters – a change from one of the most reliable Democratic voting blocs. The Pope’s influence expanded far outside of Catholic America, and actually started to influence election results.

Now, that is just a sampling of political influence – what about financial influence? The Catholic Church is the third largest landowner in the world. Their holdings consist of 110 acres of The Holy See that makes up Vatican City, plus 177 million more acreage of various lands owned by the Catholic Church around the globe. The National Post opined in 2013 that the Church’s wealth is impossible to estimate.

The American Catholic Church’s annual budget is $170 billion – and that’s just what they are actually spending.

Scholars on this topic have said it better than I: “… although the “sovereign” jurisdiction of the Papal government is minuscule, its direct political influence everywhere is considerable.” “The Role of the Vatican in the Modern World,” Eugene V. Rostow, Boston College, 1968.

When you’re a religious leader of one of the biggest, strongest, and richest world religions, you have a remarkable amount of political and social influence. Can Vatican City use the Swiss Guard to invade the USA and take us over? Likely not. Could a rogue Pope convince another country to do so? Probably. No power? Not really.

No, Prof. Donohue, the Second Amendment is NOT About Restricting Gun Rights

In a recent article, Professor Donohue from the Stanford School of Law stated the following in support of the proposition that the Second Amendment is really about restricting an individual’s right to bear arms. He stated:

“The founding fathers had no idea how powerful–and destructive–today’s weapons would become…”

 Of all of the anti-gun arguments floating around today, I may dislike this one the most. In my opinion, those that push this argument have not truly thought about the state of Constitutional Law today. Even the US Supreme Court minces no words on the issue:

“Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 849, 117 S.Ct. 2329, 138 L.Ed.2d 874 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27, 35–36, 121 S.Ct. 2038, 150 L.Ed.2d 94 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

D.C. v. Heller, (2008) 554 U.S. 570, 582.

Even the US Supreme Court thinks that you are being “frivolous” by using this argument.

By extension, if this argument were valid, where would that leave the First Amendment? There was no internet in 1798. If you wanted to exercise your freedom to speak, your choices were to stand on the street corner and yell, start your own publication (not likely), or write for an established publication. Those writing in widely distributed publications were generally well educated, and overseen by editors. This is likely the type of free speech the Drafters had in mind when setting forth the First Amendment.

Today? Kids have access to far-reaching social media, and actual deaths have been triggered by the advent of “cyber-bullying.” I’m pretty sure that this was not the free speech the Drafters were looking for. So…what? Do we see anyone arguing that the First Amendment should be restricted, or that bloggers / social media subscribers should submit to a background check? No? Well why not?

Because clearly the First Amendment was written to protect almost all speech, save a few exceptions.

And so it is with the Second Amendment – it was written to protect an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, with a few exceptions.