Michigan Governor Signs Pro-Gun Bill Into Law

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed an important pro-gun bill into law, which repeals the previous state ban on the private ownership of short-barreled rifles and shotguns. Senate Bill 610 earned bipartisan support clearing the House by a vote of 103 to 6, and the Senate by a vote of 36 to 2.

“Gun bans don’t work and serve only to harm law-abiding gun owners,” noted Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “I am pleased Governor Snyder and lawmakers in Michigan joined the overwhelming majority of our states by allowing their residents the opportunity to possess these firearms,” added Cox.

A similar bill recently passed with bipartisan support in Washington State and is sitting on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk, awaiting his signature.

Short-barreled rifles and shotguns are already strictly regulated under the National Firearms Act, requiring their buyers to undergo a background check, pay a $200 federal tax and register these firearms with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“On behalf of the National Rifle Association’s five million members, I want to thank Governor Snyder for signing this bill into law and the bill’s sponsor, state Senator Michael Green, for championing this important legislation,” added Cox. “Victories such as these are critical to ensuring we maintain our Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” Cox concluded.

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Gun-Banner and Gun-Runner?

California’s Democrats are Suddenly Mired in Scandal!

20140405_USP002_0AFTER a mass shooting in Colorado, Leland Yee, a Californian state senator, proposed tougher gun curbs. Waxing indignant at the way mad people and bad people can use firearms to slaughter the innocent, the San Francisco Democrat declared that “gun-control laws are effective in preventing gun-related homicides”.

In April, the FBI accused Mr Yee of trying to peddle illegal guns. Just as bootleggers once cheered Prohibition, it claims that this outspoken foe of powerful weapons tried to profit from dealing in them. In a 137-page affidavit the bureau alleged, among other things, that he offered to connect an FBI agent masquerading as a New Jersey mafioso with gun-running insurgents from the Philippines.

Many lurid details fill the report, which covers a five-year investigation into gangland activity in and around San Francisco’s Chinatown. Much of it involves Raymond Chow, a diminutive Chinese gangster known locally as “Shrimp Boy” (pictured, with Mr Yee). Mr Chow, whose claims to have gone clean now smell a bit fishy, was arrested last week along with Mr Yee and 24 others.

Mr Yee was bailed on a $500,000 bond. The corruption and weapons-trafficking charges he faces carry sentences of up to 20 years (his legal team has said he will plead not guilty and is apparently considering an entrapment defence). The National Rifle Association, a pro-gun group, is delighted. Its press release piously offers Mr Yee the presumption of innocence that he denied in the past (the NRA says) to gun owners.

How did the mild-mannered lawmaker get into such trouble? Saddled with debt from a failed bid to be mayor of San Francisco, and raising funds to run for California secretary of state (a race he has now quit), Mr Yee, the FBI says, was tempted into mischief. He allegedly offered to link buyers with suppliers of automatic weapons and rocket-launchers, and to provide various political favours in return for campaign contributions of $70,000 or so. At one point the report has him boasting to an undercover agent: “Do I think we can make some money? I think we can make some money.” He may, oddly, be able to use his campaign funds to help pay his legal bills.

This is the third abuse-of-office scandal to hit Californian Democratic senators in recent months. Ron Calderon, another victim of an FBI sting, stands accused of taking bribes to help expand tax breaks for film producers (he is pleading not guilty); Rod Wright, a senator from Los Angeles, was rumbled for not living in his electoral district (he is appealing against his perjury conviction). All three have been suspended on full pay; the Senate leadership, as well as California’s governor, Jerry Brown, have urged them to resign.

California used to be seen as a fairly clean, if dysfunctional, place. Unlike the east coast, with its party machines and opaque movements of money, California’s love of direct democracy, which weakens parties and allows individuals to be recalled from office, was supposed to keep politicians honest. In 2012 the Centre for Public Integrity, a watchdog, declared it the fourth-least-corrupt state. Now some Californians are wondering if the Democrats’ unchecked power encourages bad behaviour. Republicans are dusting off their Lord Acton phrasebooks.

In this respect, at least, the problem is solving itself, for the suspensions deprive the Democrats of their two-thirds supermajority in the Senate. That could jeopardise plans for a much-needed water bond and a fiscal reserve. Still, the party should muddle through this year’s elections relatively unscathed. In the meantime, some Californians are quietly enjoying their dalliance with notoriety. “When I picked up the newspaper this morning I thought they’d delivered the Chicago Tribune by mistake,” says a San Franciscan, failing to mask his glee.

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Greta Van Susteren Takes Down Democrat Candidate Mike Dickinson For Declaring ‘War’ on Fox News

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We Love Our Moms and Trust Our Doctors, But We Still Don’t Want Gun Control

2014By Chris Cox, Executive Director, NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action

For the past five decades the organized gun control community has been trying to sell the American people an idea they’ve made clear they don’t want: civilian disarmament.  Much like a company trying to unload a terrible product, repeated rejection has forced gun control advocates to perpetually reinvent their groups and messaging in an attempt to make their agenda more acceptable.

Just as the National Council to Control Handguns became Handgun Control, Inc. and later the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the effort to rebrand the anti-gun movement continues.

Recently, two new anti-gun groups have epitomized this rebranding tactic, this time with gun controllers using doctors and mothers in an attempt to persuade the public to abandon logic for emotion. One is the dubiously named Doctors for America, headed by U.S. Surgeon General Nominee Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy. The other is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, led by public relations veteran Shannon Watts. It doesn’t matter to the civilian disarmament advocates that doctors and mothers don’t have any specialized knowledge of issues relating to crime, violence or firearms, because they are simply interested in using these demographics to repackage their stale and rejected agenda.

Doctors for America was founded by Murthy in 2008 as Doctors for Obama to support then-Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Following the 2008 election the group adopted its current name and worked to promote a variety of Obama administration policies, most notably the Affordable Care Act. In 2012, following the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., the group turned to marketing the president’s anti-gun agenda under the public health banner.

It’s easy to understand why gun control advocates would jump at the chance to use doctors to sell their flawed policies. A 2013 Gallup poll that asked participants to rate the trustworthiness of several professions rated medical doctors as among the most honest professions. Anti-gun political activists are all too eager to exploit that trust for political gain.

However, while doctors know medicine, as a group they don’t have any specialized knowledge of firearms or firearm policy. In fact, Murthy and his organization have shown a penchant for ignoring the best information available when confronted with data that interferes with the president’s goals.

For instance, in a January 14, 2013 letter to Congress, Doctors for America endorsed a ban on the sale of certain types of semi-automatic firearms and also endorsed a “buyback” of popular semi-automatic firearms. However, Obama’s own Department of Justice admitted, “a complete elimination of assault weapons would not have a large impact on gun homicides.”  The same memo also stated, “Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented.”

Similarly, virtually everyone has an emotional connection to mothers, but no one can reasonably argue that being a mother confers an expertise in firearm policy. However, that hasn’t stopped the gun control marketers from using moms as a demographic selling point. Anti-gun activists have long coveted the success of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Moms Demand Action is the latest effort to replicate that model.

So in 2012, at the outset of the largest gun control push in more than a decade, the anti-gun movement reactivated the moms’ strategy. This time it was Shannon Watts who attempted to capitalize off the image of motherhood by creating Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. With a background working in the public relations offices of several of America’s largest companies, it’s easy to see how Watts recognized the potential emotional power of moms arguing for more gun laws.

While the federal legislation Moms Demand Action supports has been roundly defeated, the branding effort continues, with the focus now shifting to pressuring private businesses to support anti-gun policies. In late 2013, Moms Demand Action merged with Michael Bloomberg’s gun control conglomerate, giving Bloomberg an appealing new voice to articulate his agenda.

This continuous rebranding to make the anti-gun position more palatable exhibits the fundamental weakness of the anti-gun agenda: while the spokespersons change (or change their names), their anti-freedom message remains the same. The NRA, by contrast, is composed of millions of Americans who make their voices heard through their votes.  As 2014’s critical elections approach, candidates need to hear from you louder than ever if our Second Amendment freedoms are to survive. Make your voice heard this November!

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Let’s Prove Bloomberg Can’t Buy American Liberty

Bloomberg’s money and media access are a serious danger to American liberty and we must take him head on.

By Wayne LaPierre

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, among the world’s richest men, believes his personal fortune can erase the liberty of every American who would exercise the right to keep and bear arms. He plans liquidation of our rights a step-at-a-time—spending millions of dollars of his bottomless personal fortune at a time.

With much ballyhoo from his media enablers, the former mayor of New York City has set his angry sights, using his deep pockets, on destroying the Second Amendment.

To that end, Bloomberg has pledged $50 million to bankroll an Astroturf effort in the upcoming November elections—money he claims will overwhelm the majority of Americans who cherish their freedoms.

Melding his largely failed “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” with another Bloomberg creation called “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” Bloomberg is now bankrolling something called “Everytown for Gun Safety.”

Bloomberg’s money and media access are a serious danger to American liberty and we must take him head on.

He announced his new effort in a bizarre April 15, 2014 interview in the New York Times in which he claimed himself “a rock star” among ordinary Americans.

“Rock Star” Bloomberg threatened to retaliate against elected officials who support the Second Amendment saying, “We’ve got to make them afraid of us.”

What Bloomberg and his elitist cronies will never understand is what saves the Second Amendment is the tidal wave of support from the majority of the American people. And decade after decade, NRA has been their voice.

We are millions of kindred spirits, good people who share a love for America and stand up for the values we hold dear in our hearts. We are the good guys.

Even some media elites who support Bloomberg’s radical gun-ban agenda were actually shocked at Bloomberg’s arrogance, especially when he declared:

“I’m telling you, if there is a God, when I get to heaven, I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading right straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.’” (emphasis added)

It’s no wonder even the liberal New York magazine dubbed Bloomberg a “ megalomaniacal billionaire.” Good call.

Bloomberg, who has badgered and bullied ordinary New Yorkers for a dozen years by banning big soft drinks, traditional cuisine, even banning the bells on ice-cream trucks as noise pollution, is now determined to impose his obsessions on all Americans.

Above all, he wants to spread his draconian New York City gun controls to every home in America. Recently, licensed New York City gun owners received notices that their registered guns—like semi-auto .22s—were contraband. Turn ‘em in, they were told.

That’s Bloomberg’s “common sense” gun control.

“Big Brother” knows best.

Bloomberg believes his money can buy anything—even the liberty of individual Americans. After all, his personal fortune bought him public office.

Here is a man who personally purchased the office of Mayor of New York laying out $74 million in 2001 (at $99 per vote); in 2005 spending $85 million ($112 per vote); and in 2009 throwing down $102 million (about $174 per vote.)

Those aren’t my numbers, that’s the assessment of the New York Times which said, Bloomberg “has now spent at least $261 million of his own money in pursuit of public office, more than anyone in history.”

Now with his $50 million creation, “Everytown for Gun Safety,” Bloomberg is out to buy himself a grassroots machine. Just maybe, this time, he can do it. We cannot take his threat as anything but a seminal danger to everything we have fought and won over the years.

But as I said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Bloomberg’s money can’t buy our freedom.

We are millions of like-minded Americans who share values Bloomberg can’t buy—a profound belief in American liberty and a passion for standing up and defending it.

I urge you to sign up a new NRA member—a friend, a family member, a colleague—to grow our grassroots strength as influential, voting citizens intent on making history November 4. The cost of a new membership is $25—less than a tank of gas, or even a box of cartridges. It’s literally pennies a day—a small price to pay to protect American freedom now and for the future.

Go to our website: joinNRAnow.org for more information.

Bloomberg is one guy with millions of dollars—we are millions of people who believe in freedom who will stand and fight and win at the ballot box.

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The Worldview that Makes the Underclass

By Anthony Daniels
Writer and Doctor

ANTHONY DANIELS, who often writes under the penname Theodore Dalrymple, is the Dietrich Weismann Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Born in London in 1949, he qualified as a doctor in 1974 and has worked in various countries in Africa and elsewhere. From 1990 to 2005, he worked as a doctor and psychiatrist in a prison in Birmingham, England. He has written a column for the London Spectator for 14 years, and writes regularly for National Review and the Wall Street Journal. He has published more than 20 books, including Not With a Bang But a Whimper: The Politics & Culture of Decline, The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism, and Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on May 20, 2014, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Dearborn, Michigan.

I worked for 15 years as a doctor and psychiatrist in a general hospital in a poor area of a British city and in the prison next door, where I was on duty one night in three. The really dangerous people were in the hospital, perhaps because of the presence in the prison next door of very large uniformed men who exerted a strangely calming effect on the prisoners. In the hospital, I personally examined many thousands of patients who had attempted suicide or at least made a suicidal gesture (not quite the same thing of course). They were overwhelmingly from poor homes, and each patient told me of the lives of the three, four, or five people closest to them—and I spoke to many of those people as well. I could not, of course, have spoken to so many people, and heard about so many others, without some general impressions forming themselves in my mind. One abiding impression was of the violence of their lives, particularly that between the sexes—largely the consequence of the fluidity of relations between the sexes—and also of the devastating effect of prevalent criminality upon the quality of daily existence.

Before I did this work, I had spent a number of years working as a doctor in Africa and in other places in the Third World. I also crossed Africa by public transport, such as it was, and consequently saw much of that continent from the bottom up. These experiences also helped me in my understanding of what I was later to see in England. As Dr. Johnson put it, all judgment is comparative; or as Kipling said, “What should they know of England who only England know?” Indeed, what should anyone know of anywhere, who only that place knows?

On my return to England, I used to visit the homes of poor people as part of my medical duties. Bear in mind that I had returned from some of the poorest countries in the world, where—in one case—a single hen’s egg represented luxury and the people wore the cast-off clothes of Europe that had been donated by charity. When I returned to England, I was naturally inclined to think of poverty in absolute rather than in relative terms—as people not having enough to eat, having to fetch water from three miles away, and so forth. But I soon ceased to think of it in that fashion.

In the course of my duties, I would often go to patients’ homes. Everyone lived in households with a shifting cast of members, rather than in families. If there was an adult male resident, he was generally a bird of passage with a residence of his own somewhere else. He came and went as his fancy took him. To ask a child who his father was had become an almost indelicate question. Sometimes the child would reply, “Do you mean my father at the moment?” Others would simply shake their heads, being unwilling to talk about the monster who had begot them and whom they wished at all costs to forget.

I should mention a rather startling fact: By the time they are 15 or 16, twice as many children in Britain have a television as have a biological father living at home. The child may be father to the man, but the television is father to the child. Few homes were without televisions with screens as large as a cinema—sometimes more than one—and they were never turned off, so that I often felt I was examining someone in a cinema rather than in a house. But what was curious was that these homes often had no means of cooking a meal, or any evidence of a meal ever having been cooked beyond the use of a microwave, and no place at which a meal could have been eaten in a family fashion. The pattern of eating in such households was a kind of foraging in the refrigerator, as and when the mood took, with the food to be consumed sitting in front of one of the giant television screens. Not surprisingly, the members of such households were often enormously fat.

Surveys have shown that a fifth of British children do not eat a meal more than once a week with another member of their household, and many homes do not have a dining table. Needless to say, this pattern is concentrated in the lower reaches of society, where so elementary but fundamental a means of socialization is now unknown. Here I should mention in passing that in my hospital, the illegitimacy rate of the children born in it, except for those of Indian-subcontinental descent, was approaching 100 percent.

It was in the prison that I first realized I should listen carefully, not only to what people said, but to the way that they said it. I noticed, for example, that murderers who had stabbed someone always said of the fatal moment that “the knife went in.” This was an interesting locution, because it implied that it was the knife that guided the hand rather than the hand that guided the knife. It is clear that this locution serves to absolve the culprit, at least in his own mind, from his responsibility for his act. It also seeks to persuade the listener that the culprit is not really guilty, that something other than his decisions led to the death of the victim. This was so even if the victim was a man against whom the perpetrator was known to have a serious grudge, and whom he sought out at the other side of the city having carried a knife with him.

The human mind is a subtle instrument, and something more than straightforward lying was going on here. The culprit both believed what he was saying and knew perfectly well at the same time that it was nonsense. No doubt this kind of bad faith is not unique to the type of people I encountered in the hospital and the prison. In Shakespeare’s King Lear, Edmund, the evil son of the Earl of Gloucester, says:

This is the excellent foppery of the world: that when we are sick in fortune—often the surfeit of our own behaviour—we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars, as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star!

In other words, it wasn’t me.

This passage points, I think, to an eternal and universal temptation of mankind to blame those of his misfortunes that are the natural and predictable consequence of his own choices on forces or circumstances that are external to him and outside his control. Is there any one of us who has never resorted to excuses about his circumstances when he has done wrong or made a bad decision? It is a universal human tendency. But in Britain, at any rate, an entire class of persons has been created that not only indulges in this tendency, but makes it their entire world outlook—and does so with official encouragement.

Let me take as an example the case of heroin addicts. In the 1950s, heroin addiction in Britain was confined to a very small number of people, principally in bohemian circles. It has since become a mass phenomenon, the numbers of addicts having increased perhaps two thousandfold, to something like 250,000 to 300,000. And with the statistically insignificant exception of members of the popular culture elite, heroin addiction is heavily concentrated in areas of the country such as the one in which I worked.

Heroin addiction has been presented by officialdom as a bona fide disease that strikes people like, shall we say, rheumatoid arthritis. In the United States, the National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction quite baldly as a chronic relapsing brain disease—and nothing else. I hesitate to say it, but this seems to me straightforwardly a lie, told to willing dupes in order to raise funds from the federal government.

Be that as it may, the impression has been assiduously created and peddled among the addicts that they are the helpless victims of something that is beyond their own control, which means that they need the technical assistance of what amounts to a substantial bureaucratic apparatus in order to overcome it. When heroin addicts just sentenced to imprisonment arrived, they said to me, “I would give up, doctor, if only I had the help.” What they meant by this was that they would give up heroin if some cure existed that could be administered to them that would by itself, without any resolution on their part, change their behavior. In this desire they appeared sincere—but at the same time they knew that such a cure did not exist, nor would most of them have agreed to take it if it did exist.

In fact, the whole basis of the supposed treatment for their supposed disease is rooted in lies and misconceptions. For example, research has shown that most addicts spend at least 18 months taking heroin intermittently before they become addicted. Nor are they ignorant while they take it intermittently of heroin’s addictive properties. In other words, they show considerable determination in becoming addicts: It is something, for whatever reason, that they want to become. It is something they do, rather than something that happens to them. Research has shown also that heroin addicts lead very busy lives one way or another—so busy, in fact, that there is no reason why they could not make an honest living if they so wished. Indeed, this has been known for a long time, for in the 1920s and 30s in America, morphine addicts for the most part made an honest living.

Withdrawal from opiates, the fearfulness of which, reiterated in film and book, is often given as one of the main reasons for not abandoning the habit, is in fact a pretty trivial condition, certainly by comparison with illnesses which most of us have experienced, or by comparison with withdrawal from other drugs. I have never heard an alcoholic say, for example, that he fears to give up alcohol because of delirium tremens—a genuinely dangerous medical condition, unlike withdrawal from heroin. Research has shown that medical treatment is not necessary for heroin addicts to abandon their habit and that many thousands do so without any medical intervention whatsoever.

In Britain at least, heroin addicts do not become criminals because they are addicted (and can raise funds to buy their drugs only by crime); those who take heroin and indulge in criminal behavior have almost always indulged in extensive criminal behavior before they were ever addicted. Criminality is a better predictor of addiction than is addiction of criminality.

In other words, all the bases upon which heroin addiction is treated as if it is something that happens to people rather than something that people do are false, and easily shown to be false. This is so whatever the latest neuro-scientific research may supposedly show.

I have taken the example of heroin addiction as emblematic of what, with some trepidation, I may call the dialectical relationship between the worldview of those at the bottom of society and the complementary worldview of what one might call the salvationist bureaucracy of the government. In the old Soviet Union there was a joke in which the workers would say to the party bosses, “We pretend to work and you pretend to pay us.” In the case of the heroin addicts, they might say, “We pretend to be ill, and you pretend to cure us.”

One of the possible dangers or consequences of such a charade is that it creates a state of dishonest dependency on the part of the addicts. They wait for salvation as Estragon and Vladimir wait for Godot in Samuel Beckett’s play; they wait for something that will never arrive, and that at least in some part of their mind they know will never arrive—but that officialdom persists in telling them will arrive someday.

Dishonest passivity and dependence combined with harmful activity becomes a pattern of life, and not just among drug addicts. I remember going into a single mother’s house one day. The house was owned by the local council; her rent was paid, and virtually everything that she owned, or that she and her children consumed, was paid for from public funds. I noticed that her back garden, which could have been pretty had she cared for it, was like a noxious rubbish heap. Why, I asked her, do you not clear it up for your children to play in? “I’ve asked the council many times to do it,” she replied. The council owned the property; it was therefore its duty to clear up the rubbish that she, the tenant, had allowed to accumulate there—and this despite what she knew to be the case, that the council would never do so! Better the rubbish should remain there than that she do what she considered to be the council’s duty. At the same time she knew perfectly well that she was capable of clearing the rubbish and had ample time to do so.

This is surely a very curious but destructive state of mind, and one that some politicians have unfortunately made it their interest to promote by promising secular salvation from relative poverty by means of redistribution. Whether by design or not, the state in England has smashed up all forms of social solidarity that are independent of it. This is not an English problem alone: In France the word solidarité, solidarity, has come to mean high taxation for redistribution by state officials to other parts of the population, which of course are neither grateful for the subventions nor find them sufficient to meet their dreams, and which are, in fact, partly responsible for their need for them in the first place. And not surprisingly, some of the money sticks to the hands of the redistributionist bureaucracy.

By a mixture of ideology and fiscal and social policies, the family has been systematically fractured and destroyed in England, at least in the lowest part of the society that, unfortunately, needs family solidarity the most. There are even, according to some researchers, fiscal and welfare incentives for parents at the lower economic reaches of society not to stay together.

Certainly the notions of dependence and independence have changed. I remember a population that was terrified of falling into dependence on the state, because such dependence, apart from being unpleasant in itself, signified personal failure and humiliation. But there has been an astonishing gestalt switch in my lifetime. Independence has now come to mean independence of the people to whom one is related and dependence on the state. Mothers would say to me that they were pleased to be independent, by which they meant independent of the fathers of their children—usually more than one—who in general were violent swine. Of course, the mothers knew them to be violent swine before they had children by them, but the question of whether a man would be a suitable father is no longer a question because there are no fathers: At best, though often also at worst, there are only stepfathers. The state would provide. In the new dispensation the state, as well as television, is father to the child.

A small change in locution illustrates a change in the character and conceptions of a people. When I started out as a doctor in the mid-1970s, those who received state benefits would say, “I receive my check on Friday.” Now people who receive such benefits say, “I get paid on Friday.” This is an important change. To have said that they received their check on Friday was a neutral way of putting it; to say that they get paid on Friday is to imply that they are receiving money in return for something. But what can that something be, since they do not appear to do anything of economic value to anyone else? It can only be existence itself: They are being paid to continue to exist, existence itself being their work.

It has been said that the lamentable state of affairs I have described has been brought about by the decline, inevitable as we now see it, of the kind of industry that once employed millions of unskilled workers, whose wages, though low by today’s standards, were nevertheless sufficient to sustain a stable, though again by today’s standards not rich, society. And I do not think that this view can be altogether dismissed. But it is far from the whole story. One of the curious features of England in the recent past is that it has consistently maintained very high levels of state-subsidized idleness while importing almost equivalent numbers of foreigners to do unskilled work.

Let me here interject something about the intellectual and moral corruption wrought by the state in recent years—and I don’t know whether it applies to America. The governments of Britain, of both political parties, managed to lessen the official rate of unemployment by the simple expedient of shifting people from the ranks of the unemployed to the ranks of the sick. This happened on such a huge scale that, by 2006—a year of economic boom, remember—the British welfare state had achieved the remarkable feat of producing more invalids than the First World War. But it is known that the majority of those invalids had no real disease. This feat, then, could have been achieved only by the willing corruption of the unemployed themselves—relieved from the necessity to seek work and relieved to have a slightly higher subvention—but also of the doctors who provided them with official certificates that they knew to be bogus. And the government was only too happy, for propaganda purposes, to connive at such large-scale fraud. One begins to see what Confucius meant when he said, 2,500 years ago, that the first thing to do to restore a state to health was to rectify the names—in other words, to call things by their right names rather than by euphemisms.

There are three reasons that I can think of why we imported foreign labor to do unskilled work while maintaining large numbers of unemployed people. The first is that we had destroyed all economic incentive for the latter to work. The second is that the foreigners were better in any case, because their character had not been rotted; they were often better educated—it is difficult to plumb the shallows of the British state educational system for children of the poorest homes—and had a much better work ethic. And the third was the rigidity of the housing market that made it so difficult for people to move around once they had been granted the local privilege of subsidized housing.

I will leave you with an anecdote. As Mao Tse-tung might have put it, one anecdote is worth a thousand abstractions.

I had been asked by the courts to examine a young woman, aged 18, who was accused of having attacked and injured her 90-year-old great-grandmother, with whom she lived, while under the influence of alcohol and cannabis. She had broken her great-grandmother’s femur, but fortunately it did not prove fatal. (Incidentally, the homicide rate, it is said, would be five times higher than it is if we used the same medical techniques as were used in 1960.) I asked the young woman in the course of my examination whether her mother had ever been in trouble with the police.

“Yes,” she replied.

“What for?” I asked.

“Well, she was on the social,” she said—“on the social” in English argot means receiving welfare payments—“and she was working.”

“What happened?” I asked. “She had to stop working.”

She said this as if it was so obvious that my question must be that of a mental defective. Work is for pocket money, the public dole is the means by which one lives.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the view from the bottom, at least in Britain: but it is a view that has been inculcated and promoted from the top.

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Michael Bloomberg Will Haunt You In The Afterlife

Michael Bloomberg said to the New York Times when he was announcing plans to spend $50 million on gun control efforts this year,

“I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”


Michael Bloomberg, the 15th-richest man in the world, has announced that he is going to spend $50 million on a “grassroots” campaign against the National Rifle Association. In politics, that is a huge amount of money—far more than the amount of money the NRA has been able to spend on politics in the last several years. Other billionaires, including Warren Buffett, have announced that they, too, will support Bloomberg’s campaign.

Back in 2013, Bloomberg invested heavily in lobbyists and television advertising. Despite massively outspending NRA in both categories, he accomplished virtually nothing at the federal level, and much less than he had hoped for at the state level.

A very sore loser, he now seems intent on payback, with the Constitution caught in the crossfire.

Bloomberg recently announced that his gun-control organizations, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” and “Moms Demand Action,” will now be folded into a new anti-gun group—“Everytown for Gun Safety.”

The new plan is to dump money on field operations to drive voter turnout; use websites and social media to collect a million names of people who say they favor additional gun control; then use the field operations to contact them and turn them out to vote.

It’s somewhat similar to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, whose margin of victory was provided by enormous spending, first to frighten uninformed people with lies (e.g., by warning that Mitt Romney would take away their birth control pills), then to identify as many such gullible people as possible and finally to contact them relentlessly to get them to vote.

Women are now Bloomberg’s top targets—especially mothers. The core of his campaign will be to terrify mothers about guns. As Bloomberg spokeswoman Shannon Watts (head of the Bloomberg “Moms” organization) put it, “Moms are afraid our children will be taken away and in the end, I think that’s the emotion that will win the debate.”

In fact, “Everytown” debuted with a web video in which a young girl finds a gun in a closet and then shoots her brother. The video concludes by announcing, “Scenes like this happen all the time.”

That’s a lie.

Bloomberg never tells viewers that the number of fatal gun accidents involving children (ages 0-14) has declined from a high of 581 in 1971, down to 62 in 2010. (Based on data from the federal Centers for Disease Control, and from the National Safety Council.) This was during a time period when the American gun supply increased enormously, from about 117 million in 1971, to about 320 million in 2010.

Incidentally, part of the reason for the plunge in accidents is NRA’s very own Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program. Eddie Eagle has taught more than 27 million children that if they see a gun, “Stop! Don’t touch! Leave the area. Tell an adult.” The program has been endorsed by the National Sheriffs’ Association and the U.S. Department of Justice, and is taught by police departments and sheriffs’ offices throughout the United States.

Having tried to deceive people about gun accidents, Bloomberg’s plan is to tell them to vote for anti-gun candidates because those candidates favor “universal background checks” for all gun sales. But as we saw last year, Bloomberg’s background check plan is not really about background checks; it’s about criminalizing as many gun owners as possible.

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Once Again, Gun Owners Like You Vanquish Reid and Obama — Kudos go to Senators Paul, Cruz, Lee and Cornyn

Earlier today, the “Harry Reid Preservation Act,” S. 2363, went down to defeat, as pro-gun Senators successfully filibustered the bill by a vote of 56-41.  

In a last minute letter to Capitol Hill today, Gun Owners of America told Senators that a vote to end the filibuster “will be viewed as a vote AGAINST veterans … AGAINST concealed carry reciprocity … and AGAINST preserving the gun industry.”

GOA also warned Senators that a vote in favor of S. 2363 would be scored in our end-of-year rating.

As you know, S. 2363 was a “nothing-burger bill” which existed solely to elect anti-gun Democrats in Red States. This includes Senators like sponsor Kay Hagan (D-NC) — plus cosponsors such as Mark Begich (D-AK), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mark Udall (D-CO), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Al Franken (D-MN) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

All these Senators are rated as D’s or F’s by Gun Owners of America.

S. 2363 would have allowed hunting on federal lands — unless Barack Obama determined that guns were dangerous. How likely do you think that is?

It would have allowed importation of polar bear parts.  Okay, that’s fine, in and of itself.  But that’s hardly a fair trade for passing a bill that will help reelect anti-gun Senators like Hagan, Begich, Pryor, Landrieu (and others) — Senators who will vote to confirm Obama’s anti-gun Supreme Court justices, thus overturning the Heller and McDonald decisions.

Thankfully, your help in asking Senators to offer truly pro-gun amendments paid dividends — and got noticed by the media. Said one media outlet on Monday:

“Gun Owners of America is urging its members to urge their senators to oppose the Sportsmen’s Act unless Reid allows [Ted] Cruz, [Mike] Lee, and [Rand] Paul the opportunity to offer meaningful, pro-gun amendments.”

These Senators, in addition to John Cornyn (R-TX) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), did a yeomen’s job in fighting to get genuinely pro-gun amendments offered to the bill. These included national concealed carry reciprocity, gun rights for 175,000 military veterans, and a shut-down of Eric Holder’s Operation Choke Point.

But Reid employed a bully-tactic to block all Republican amendments. It consisted of “treeing” the bill and then invoking “cloture” to make the amendments out of order.

Thus, the 41 anti-gun votes IN FAVOR of invoking cloture — thus ending the filibuster — were votes against veterans, reciprocity and gun dealers.

Fortunately, our strategy worked. Enough Republicans were outraged by Reid’s underhanded tricks they easily sustained a filibuster, thus killing the bill.  

Consider how significant your grassroots efforts were. All 26 Republicans who cosponsored the bill ended up listening to your collective voice and voted to filibuster — aka, kill — the bill.  They were joined by a handful of anti-gun Democrats who felt the bill didn’t have enough gun control.

So congratulations! And great work! Your activism is a tremendous asset to our efforts in protecting our gun rights. 

Contact your Senators. Thank them if they voted to support the filibuster on S. 2363. But rebuke them if they supported Harry Reid’s efforts shut off all debate on good, pro-gun amendments.

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Protecting Free Speech Against Global Gatekeepers

By Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President, NRA

I recently visited a colleague who is a remarkable detective when it comes to conducting Internet research. He likens his work to peeling an onion. In the Internet universe, he says, the layers and interconnection of information and data are seamless, appearing to be without end.

But as we discovered, there can be an end.

My friend’s state-of-the-art, fiber-optic, land-line service abruptly went down for several hours. No high-speed DSL, not even long distance voice service. Nothing.

In the midst of that vacuum, I realized just how essential this truly instant communication has been to the preservation of the Second Amendment in our modern times.

You almost have to be of a certain age to understand how hard it was to disseminate the truth before the Internet. After the formation of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action in 1975, we did it, and we did it well. We communicated through direct mail, through phone trees, newsletters, through people-to-people contact and through mass meetings.

What the gun-ban crowd had and still has is the megaphone of the big media.

With the advent of the Internet, all of that changed for us.

But will that change, be altered or taken from us?

There we were at my friend’s sophisticated computer operation experiencing digital dead silence—completely cut off from the unfettered world of knowledge and opinion we all take for granted.

Digital silence. That’s something global users in other nations—like Russia, China and a long list of lesser undemocratic states—often experience because their governments have the power to pull the plug on individual websites or, at times, the whole network.

For Americans, with the advent of the U.S. invention of the Internet, free speech is not just open dissemination of ideas and information. It includes limitless instant access to those ideas and the ability to choose and search from among virtually unlimited sources. It is also the backbone of free enterprise and a vibrant global economy.

With the Internet—as created by Americans and managed by Americans—that freedom of speech and freedom of access has grown exponentially and, above all, has been preserved to a remarkable degree.

The Internet, as the most open free-speech institution in history, has become a major factor in gun owners’ ability to achieve success in preserving and protecting the Second Amendment.

Compare Internet freedom to the parallel universe of the national media, especially traditional, legacy network television.

The Media Research Center (MRC) tirelessly documents media bias on a broad range of topics, but has been especially keen on ferreting out dishonest coverage of Second Amendment issues.

Headlines from the MRC website (www.MRC.org) tell the story:
•  “ABC, CBS, NBC Slant 8 to 1 for Obama’s Gun Control Crusade”
•  “Doubling Down on Anti-Gun News”
•  “Media Coverage of ‘Fast and Furious’ Scandal Rare and Spurious”

As the impressive MRC media-bias evidence demonstrates, the common weapon against the Second Amendment has been the news blackout.

Were it up to the thought managers in traditional media, their rules of engagement—absolute control—would long ago have been applied to the Internet.

Thomas Friedman of The New York Times told Meet the Press that the Internet was “an open sewer of untreated, unfiltered information.”

Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, appearing with Friedman, said “… there is so much disinformation out there that it’s frightening. … We just can’t function that way.”

So just how would Brokaw have the Internet function?

He laid it out in 1996:

“… the Internet works best when there are gatekeepers. When there are people making determinations and judgments about what information is relevant and factual and useful.”

And in Tom Brokaw’s and Thomas Friedman’s world, the gate is always closed to the Second Amendment, but always open to the gun banners.


That is surely where we are headed with the announcement in March by the Obama administration that America’s oversight of the Internet will be handed away to, as yet, undetermined global control.

In a March 14 press release, the administration said the U.S. would “transition key Internet domain functions to the global stakeholder community”—whatever that may mean.

The U.S. Commerce Department pledged that the U.S. will insist that the “global stakeholder community” will “maintain the openness of the Internet.”

Really? How? Once Internet governance is out of U.S. oversight, it’s gone. And we are the only nation on earth that has a constitutionally protected First Amendment.

I would not trust the First Amendment to the care of “global stakeholders” any more than I would entrust them with the Second Amendment.

And why should anyone believe any assurances from the administration of a president who says his pen and phone trump laws enacted by Congress and who infamously promised “You can keep your doctor” and “keep your heath care”?

The Internet is not the property of Barack Obama. It is not his to give away. It is not some bureaucratic property to be bargained away behind closed doors. It belongs to the American people.

And it must be protected.

Maintaining American integrity of the Internet should be the responsibility of Congress. In 2012, Congress unanimously passed resolutions reasserting that U.S. policy is “to promote a global Internet free from government control.”

As NRA members, we must insist that our U.S. Senators and Congressmen demand a hold on this giveaway and open full investigations and hearings into the future governance of the Internet.

The future of the Second Amendment depends on the free exercise of the First Amendment. And that includes preserving America’s Internet and its unrestricted flow of ideas and vital information.

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Good Guys

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