Re-Learning An Old Lesson

An Old Lesson We Keep Re-Learning

I am taking a moment to look back at a couple of relevant excerpts from Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.  One is a piece written written in in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo, which raked the East Coast in 1989.  The piece became what Dad used to call an “evergreen” piece that is always current.

The second was written in the middle of the Los Angeles riots of 1992.  This one became especially relevant when Philadelphia announced that arrests for certain low-level crimes would be “delayed” during the current virus outbreak, and in almost the same breath, that firearms purchase checks would not be acted on by police.

It was in the Los Angeles madness that police gave rare acknowledgement to the fact that you, Dear Citizen, own your own security, defense, and survival.  It is not the police department’s job to protect you personally.  It was in those riots that the “Roof Korean” meme embedded itself in gun lore.

I included both pieces in Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War because they both bring such a simple, yet apparently hard-to-learn lesson:  The Second Amendment exists to protect the security of a free state.  To accomplish that end, the individuals who make up that state must be able to individually bear arms in defense of themselves, their family, and ultimately, their nation.  To infringe on the right to arms — especially in a time of imminent threat — infringes on a human’s right to exist.

As I post this, we face a pandemic.  At the moment, we are in a surreal calm before … something.  No one knows how it will turn out.  Our contingency playbooks are mostly geared toward localized, or at most, regional disasters.  The only ones who had really thought about a global pandemic were those crazy preppers.  You can tell them by their smug smiles as they watch the panic buying.

Californians line up outside of Turners Outdoorsman in Torrance, California to buy guns during the 2020 corona virus outbreak.

No one knows how this will play out because no one has been through it.  We are fortunate to have power and communications, and the stores that are open with only spot shortages — for now.  No one I know has gotten sick — yet.  And, while I am doing my part to make sure I don’t get sick, I am less concerned about being sick than I am about people being stupid.

The really big concern for me is what stupid people may do when faced with a serious problem — such as store shelves that stay empty for a couple of weeks.

And that’s why, along with the modest inventory of extra groceries my wife and I have laid in against a contingency, I have also set aside a few extra boxes of ammo and keep a piece of hardware accessible.   I hope you’re doing the same, and I especially hope that if you’ve made the decision to keep and bear arms, that you have also gotten the training to do it safely and effectively.

God bless us all, our nation, and the rest of the world.  We will get through this.  Let’s learn from the experience.

On Civilization and Hurricane Hugo


2020 NRA BoD Election, Jeff Knox Lists His Picks for Votes & NO Votes

Old NRA New NRA Maze
2020 NRA BoD Election, Jeff Knox Lists His Picks for Votes & NO Votes

USA – -( Each year I try to provide some guidance to NRA members wondering how to best utilize their votes in the election of members of the NRA Board of Directors. Usually, this entails calling for “bullet voting” for one or two good candidates in a sea of establishment “yes-people.” But this year is a bit different. Many of the problems that I’ve been reporting on and warning about for years, came to a head over the past year, proving that I was justified in my concerns, and demonstrating the serious dangers of having an overabundance of “yes-people” on the Board.

Thanks to a number of resignations from the Board over the past year, this year’s ballot involves 31 seats, rather than the 25 that are normally up for election. The Board is comprised of 75 3-year seats and one 1-year seat, for a total of 76, with 1/3 of the 3-year seats up for election by mail-in ballot each year, and the 76th seat elected by the members at the Annual Meeting.

The vast majority of the people listed on your ballot are current members of the Board running for reelection. That means that they are people who have either participated in, turned a blind eye toward, or been too distracted to notice the chicanery that’s been going on.

Of the “new” people on the ballot, only one is a true newcomer who wasn’t picked by the establishment to run. That is Frank Tait of Pennsylvania.

Frank who leaped into the spotlight at the Members’ Meeting in Indianapolis last year when he introduced a resolution calling for an accounting of the accusations of malfeasance and cronyism at members expense and called for a vote of “No Confidence” in Wayne LaPierre and members of the Executive, Audit, and Finance committees. The resolution was shut down in a parliamentary boondoggle, but Tait went on to launch a successful petition campaign to get his name on this year’s ballot.

Tait has since said some things that cause me some consternation, but I am standing by the endorsement I gave him during his petition drive.

The only other candidate to have been nominated by petition only is former Director John Cushman, who has served on the Board off and on for more than 20 years. I’m not sure what Cushman said or did to get himself rejected by the Nominating Committee after his long, loyal service, but I consider him to have been part of the problem, not part of the solution, so I am not endorsing him.

Of the other candidates nominated by the Nominating Committee, I see most of them as rubber-stamp candidates nominated to support LaPierre. One exception is Phillip Journey of Kansas. I’ve known Phil for many years and always found him to be a man of integrity and intellect, and I will be giving him a vote this year. I also like and respect Niger Innis of Nevada, with the hope that he will prove to be something of the man his father was. The final person I’m supporting in this category is James Wallace of Massachusetts. I worry that he might be too much of an insider, but I deeply respect the work he has done with the Gun Owners’ Action League deep behind enemy lines.

Along with the long-time Directors who I see as culpable in the NRA corruption, there are also several who are relatively new to the Board, having been elected in just the past couple of years. I’m giving several of them the benefit of the doubt and offering them my vote. This includes Anthony Colandro (Anthony is Endorsed by Ammoland News) of New Jersey, Mark Vaughn of Oklahoma, Mark Robinson of North Carolina, Robert Mansell of Arizona, Kevin Hogan of Illinois, and Paul Babaz of Georgia.

While there are a few Directors who have quietly expressed support for reform within the Association, “quietly” is the operative word, and I can’t in good conscience offer them my support.

There are also some candidates on the ballot who have been very active in defending LaPierre and helping to shut down dissent on the Board, with First Vice President Charles Cotton being one of their leaders.

NRA members can send a loud message to the Board and the powers that be, by rejecting Mr. Cotton’s bid for reelection, along with the bids of past presidents, Ron Schmeitz and Alan Cors. (Read Do NOT Vote for.)

The NRA is in deep trouble. I honestly expect indictments and financial sanctions to be coming down very soon from investigations being conducted by the New York and DC attorneys general and other agencies. All of these troubles tie directly back to Wayne LaPierre and the NRA Directors who allowed him to abuse his power so egregiously. If the Association can be saved, it’s going to require Directors willing to make hard decisions and stand firmly on principles. This ballot doesn’t offer a lot of hope for that, but we must do what we can with what we’ve got.

Candidates I Support:

  • Frank Tait of Pennsylvania
  • Phillip Journey of Kansas
  • Niger Innis of Nevada
  • James Wallace of Massachusetts
  • Anthony Colandro of New Jersey
  • Mark Vaughn of Oklahoma
  • Mark Robinson of North Carolina
  • Robert Mansell of Arizona
  • Kevin Hogan of Illinois
  • Paul Babaz of Georgia

Candidates I Oppose:

  • Charles Cotton of Texas
  • Ron Schmeitz of New Mexico
  • Alan Cors of Virginia

    In other NRA News, New York State Files Charges Against NRA related to Insurance Violations:

    The New York Department of Financial Services has filed a Statement of Charges against the NRA for “defined violations of insurance law,” and set a hearing date of April 6, 2020, just 10 days before the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

    Note that this Statement of Charges only deals with insurance matters, not all of the other issues that have been being raised about the organization.

    I expect that this is only the first of several legal challenges that will be brought over the next several months.

    I’ll have more about this soon. In the meantime, you can read the Statement of Charges here.

    New State’s Statement of Charges Against NRA February 2020

Virginia Democrat Governor Northam Doubles Down On Stupid

Video thumbnail for youtube video g2zadfocjoq Virginia Governor Ralph Northam
Virginia Democrat Governor Northam Doubles Down On Stupid — youtube video g2zadfocjoq

USA – -( Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency and banning all firearms and other weapons from the public areas around the Virginia Capitol Building in Richmond, as well as several nearby parking areas.

In the order, the governor recalls the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia 3 years ago, involving clashes between activists protesting the planned removal of a Confederate monument, and violent leftist, counter-protesters.

The governor claims in the order, that “credible intelligence” indicates that “tens of thousands of advocates plan to converge on Capitol Square,” for events culminating on January 20 (a scheduled rights rally and Lobby Day, organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), which has been held annually, without incident, for almost 2 decades) and that “Available information suggests that a substantial number of these demonstrators are expected to come from outside the Commonwealth, may be armed, and have as their purpose not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting, and insurrection.”

What “available information” Governor? A few Instagram memes from the outskirts of the fringe? Is that what it takes to deny the rights of “tens of thousands,” a suggestion that some people might do something bad?

In Charlottesville, there were two general groups that were both known for engaging in violence, and both had placed the potential for violence between them, squarely out on the public table.

Then Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s response to this situation was either incredibly incompetent or maliciously effective. He pulled police back from the conflict zone, then literally pushed the two factions together. Even with that, the resulting violence was isolated and in most cases, relatively minor, until one deranged young man with “white power” ties, accelerated his car into a group of the counter-protesters.

The Upcoming Pro-Rights Lobby Day is totally different.

There is no conflict between warring factions. In this case, the conflict is primarily between supporters of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the Democrat politician majority in the State Legislature. Neither group, nor the Democrats’ anti-gun supporters, have any sort of history of violence. While there have, no doubt, been some imprudent comments and over-hyped memes thrown out on the interwebs, that sort of chest-thumping is common, and no reflection of events in the real world.

Virginia Citizens Defense Lobby Day

VCDL’s Lobby Day has been an annual event on Martin Luther King Day since 2002. For most, if not all of that time, citizens were able to, not only be legally armed at the rally on the Capitol grounds but to maintain their personal protection sidearms while visiting their elected servants. In all of that nearly 2 decades of rallying and citizen lobbying, there has never been a serious issue involving guns or any sort of violence.

Participation in Lobby Day this year is expected to be much greater than in years past because Democrats in the legislature have introduced and vowed to pass, several draconian gun control measures that many people are very upset about. But they are gathering in Richmond to express their concerns in accordance with the traditions of our republic, not to assault or intimidate anyone with violence. Yes, many will probably be armed. That’s very normal for gun rights advocates. Yes, some militia groups – typically with a mission statement of protecting and defending the U.S. Constitution – are expected to participate.

And yes, even some Antifa and other “left-wing” groups are planning to be there – standing shoulder-to-shoulder with “right-wing” groups, in support of individual rights and opposition to government infringement of those rights.

When faced with violent groups clashing in Charlottesville, Governor McAuliffe pulled police back from the conflict zone and pushed the antagonists together.

Now, when faced with a broad coalition of activists following the rules and gathering to petition their government for a redress of grievances, Governor Northam is pulling out all of the stops, bringing in hundreds of law enforcement personnel, and violating rights by executive fiat.

Just as Governor McAuliffe’s actions can readily be interpreted as facilitating violence that could then be used for political purposes, Governor Northam’s actions appear to be intended to inflame an already heated situation, again for political purposes.

Governor Northam’s actions are patently illegal. Gun Owners of America has joined with the VCDL in filing a lawsuit calling for an immediate injunction against the governor’s unlawful edict, and I think there is potential for criminal charges to be brought against the governor in this case.

The United States was founded on principles of trust and cooperation among disparate individuals. Gun control laws and actions like Northam’s illegal Executive Order are based on fear and mistrust. They are always about what someone fears that someone else might do. Oppressing the rights and liberties of the majority, for fear of what might be done by some small minority, is the definition of tyranny.

If you can make it to Richmond on Monday morning, do it. We don’t need a show of arms to make our point, but we do need a strong show of people. As I said in my previous piece on this subject, the way to win this fight is to overwhelm the opposition with kindness.

Be polite. Be courteous. And most importantly, Be There!


Battle in Virginia, Let’s Kill Them with Overwhelming Kindness & Sheer Numbers

Will Not Comply Protesting Protestors iStock-Rawpixel-1125544034
Battle in Virginia, Let’s Kill Them with Overwhelming Kindness & Sheer Numbers, iStock-Rawpixel

USA – -( The “rabble” has officially been roused in the commonwealth of Virginia, and there is serious potential for things to get ugly.

We strongly urge defenders of gun rights to be calm and careful as they stand firm for their rights. The hyperbole has gotten heated and has been fed by extremists from both sides, making exaggerated claims, threats, and pronouncements.

This whole mess could easily get out of hand in short order, but the situation isn’t nearly as precarious as the hype is trying to paint it.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League has been very effective in spreading the idea of Second Amendment Sanctuary zones, mostly in counties, and also in some municipalities.

The movement is primarily symbolic, a loud message to legislators in Richmond that the people are not happy with the direction they are threatening to take the state. Unfortunately, the Democrat leadership has been responding with threats and name-calling. Rather than seriously listening to the concerns of their citizens, and that has resulted in an escalating hyperbole war.

On the first day of the legislative session, Democrats in leadership used their slim majority to ram through a new rule forbidding firearms in the Capitol and adjacent administrative buildings, and they have been exploring ways to restrict legal firearms from the Capitol grounds. They claimed that the move was made at the request of the police who guard the Capitol, but the head of that agency denied this, stating unequivocally that neither he nor his agency had made any such request or suggestion. The latest rumor is that anti-rights Democrat Governor Northam might declare an Emergency to ban guns from the Capitol grounds. It’s just a rumor, but it would be a huge mistake.

The Democrats’ moves are in response to the publicity surrounding this year’s annual VCDL Lobby Day Rally, planned for this coming Monday, January 20, 2020. That is when thousands of gun rights advocates are expected to rally on the Capitol grounds and visit legislators’ offices to insist that the U.S. and State constitutions be respected and obeyed.

For years, there has been no rule requiring duly licensed citizens to disarm before entering the Capitol Building, and as an “open carry” state, Virginia citizens have always been able to carry on the Capitol grounds lawfully. To my knowledge, there has never been any sort of serious problem as a result of this respectful policy. When I attended Lobby Day in 2008, I spoke with several law enforcement officers who were working the event. All expressed their appreciation for the rights activists’ friendly and courteous demeanor, and told me that they had no concerns about our people causing any problems. Several of the officers I spoke with had worked the rally numerous times in the past, and they said that gun rights proponents were among their favorite groups.

As with all gun control efforts, the issue with disarming people at the Capitol isn’t about what actually happens, but rather about what could happen – what someone might do. In other words, irrational fear and mistrust.

I was a guest speaker at the VCDL Lobby Day in 2008, less than a year after the tragic attack at Virginia Tech. As a Virginia Citizen with a concealed carry license, I was able to lawfully carry as I visited my elected servants and spoke with the crowds outside. Everything was very peaceful and comfortable, even though the Brady Bunch was there holding a “counter-rally” and staged a “die-in” on the Capitol lawn. I even had a brief and polite discussion on-camera, with a young man who had been a victim of the Virginia Tech shooting. He related how he had crouched behind a chair, dialing 911 on his cellphone as they heard the attacker moving down the hall to their room. He insisted that he puts his trust in the police (who were, no doubt, on their way to help, while he and his classmates were being shot) and didn’t believe that having a gun would have helped. I responded that having carried a gun on my hip through most of my time in college (even though it was against school policy), I was sure that, rather than anxiously dialing a phone, I would have been crouched behind that chair with my pistol at the ready, and I’m confident that I would have ended the attack the moment the murderer stepped into the doorway. He suggested that he didn’t want to “live in fear” like that, and stuck with his position on mandatory helplessness, but we shook hands and I wished him well. He went on to be a spokesperson for the Brady Campaign for several years.

I expect the rally on the 20th to be just as safe and peaceful as the rally in 2008 and all of the gun rights rallies before and since have been. But I also expect many politicians and their media allies to try to paint the rights activists who attend, in the worst possible light. They will be looking for pictures and videos of people on our side behaving badly, displaying racist or neo-nazi emblems, or those few who will insist on turning out in full camo or battle-rattle, with their “scary-looking rifles” on their shoulders.

I encourage everyone who can, to please attend, but please don’t feed the opposition’s propaganda machine. There will be no large group of Antifa clowns there trying to cause trouble.

The opposition protesters from the Brady Bunch, Everytown for Gun Prohibition, and Mad Mommies Demanding Bubble-Wrap will be obnoxious, but not dangerous. So there’s no need to arm-up for safety, and we’re not there to intimidate anyone. The objective is to let politicians know that they will pay a severe price in the next election if they keep running after Mike Bloomberg’s money, and that’s all. Speculation about a second Civil War is not productive, nor are Confederate battle flags, or anything else that the media can use to paint our group as racist or violent.

We are the good guys. The prohibitionists have already started backing away from the worst of their proposals, but they’ll use any negative imagery from the rally to revive those proposals, so don’t give it to them, and don’t let anyone think that their minor concessions are a victory for us. We demand that they back away from all of their nonsense, not just the worst of it and that demand won’t succeed if we scare the soccer moms. So best foot forward on the road to victory.

Former Brady Campaign President Dan Gross, Stands with Second Amendment Supporters

USA – -( In an amazing twist that was somehow completely overlooked by most of the nation’s media, Dan Gross, who served for 6 years as president of the gun control advocacy group, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, joined thousands of Second Amendment supporters at a rally on the West Lawn of the nation’s capital in Washington DC.

Not only did Gross express support for Second Amendment rights and respect for gun owners, but he also criticized gun control groups for intentionally and dogmatically demonizing guns and gun owners, while focusing on restricting guns instead of saving lives.

In the past, there have occasionally been lobbyists and politicians who abandoned pro-rights groups or positions to express support for some form of gun control, and those defectors typically received significant media attention for their actions.

But here we have the president of one of the oldest and most prominent gun control organizations in the country, publicly rebuking his former employers and reversing his own longstanding position, with no more than a yawn from the dominant media.

Gross’ remarks are available on multiple YouTube channels and were covered in the “conservative” and “gun press,” including here on AmmoLand News, so it’s not hard for anyone interested to see exactly what he said.

As a member of the 2nd Amendment Rally Organizing Committee, I interviewed Gross before we agreed to invite him to the rally. I found him to be sincere in his commitment to the right to arms, if not quite as devoted to the full extent of the protections the amendment provides. At least he’s open to discussion and learning.

There’s a possibility that Gross came out in support of the Second Amendment as a publicity stunt, looking for exposure and support for his new effort that focuses more on the responsibilities involved in gun ownership than on additional government regulations, and I’m okay with that. Gun ownership carries significant responsibilities, and as long as those pushing the message of responsible firearm ownership aren’t advocating for government intervention into the lives of gun owners, I welcome them to the discussion. I might not agree with everything that Gross decides to promote, just as I don’t always agree with the actions and positions of established gun rights groups, but “iron sharpens iron.” Discussions, even arguments, over philosophy and the best approach to the right to arms are a useful and productive process, unlike shouting and foot-stomping.

The 2nd Amendment Rally was, overall, a huge success.

We gathered over 2000 rights advocates on the Capitol lawn on very short notice, and without funding or active support from any of the major advocacy organizations. We brought together some 30 speakers representing a wide array of perspectives and approaches, all fiercely advocating against the creeping encroachment of government regulation on our fundamental right to arms. We were respectful, cheerful, and more diverse in terms of race, outlook, and lifestyle than the dominant media would ever admit.

We used technology to send our message far beyond the couple of thousand in direct attendance to thousands more virtual participants watching the live stream, and still, more who have and continue to watch the archive footage online, making this one of the most widely seen Second Amendment events ever held.

The core theme of the rally was the message that “You Are the Gun Lobby.” It is and must remain the core message of the pro-rights movement. You can’t rely on some group – any group – to protect your rights, and just sending a few dollars now and then does not get the job done. You must take direct action in the form of calls and letters to elected officials, and involvement in getting the right people elected. It’s also critical that you engage with friends and family, with clear facts and by demonstrating a strong example of responsible gun ownership.

Efforts to spread the truth about gun owners and gun ownership into non-traditional communities – women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, LGBTQ folks, and people of every political and religious persuasion – depend on you. We need everyone to know that the Second Amendment protects THEIR rights, just as it protects our rights. The Second Amendment is for everyone, and we need everyone we come in contact with to feel welcome and appreciated as a fellow rights supporter. The right to arms must transcend our differences and bind us together under a single banner and common cause.

Don’t let other differences and disagreements get in the way of what really matters. The right to arms is universal. Christians and Jews and Muslims and Sikhs and Hindus and Buddhists and atheists and everyone else, have the right to defend themselves and their families from criminals and from oppressors. We don’t have to agree on the path to Heaven or road to enlightenment, but we can all agree that life is precious and worth defending.

Democrats and Republicans and Socialists and Libertarians and Independents and members of every other political party or philosophy, can agree on the right to arms while disagreeing on virtually everything else, and that agreement is the common ground on which personal relationships and mutual respect can be built.

Sure, it’s hard to understand how someone could be a supporter of the Second Amendment and also be a supporter of Beto O’Rourke, but they undoubtedly exist. The trick is to focus on the former rather than the latter. Embrace the agreement rather than focusing on the difference, and you might have a chance of changing their mind about their choice in presidential candidates. If instead, you focus on the difference, you not only have virtually no chance of influencing that choice, you run a very high probability of pushing that person away from support for rights, by making them feel unwelcome. That’s not how we win in the long run. For more insights into this sort of thing, check out the new podcast from my “liberal” friend Sarah Cade and Jon Hauptman. I think this is going to be a very useful series.

The Second Amendment belongs to everyone, and we must let everyone know that because we need everyone supporting it if we ever hope to secure our rights.

It wasn’t that long ago that some of the most dedicated defenders of the Second Amendment in Congress were Democrats, and gun rights legislation could pass with bipartisan support. That’s not the case today, but could be true again at some point in the future, but not if we push away Democrat gun owners.

That’s why I welcome Dan Gross into our fraternity. He can’t hurt us, and he could potentially help us immensely. He can help us to understand our opponents better, and that’s always useful. The most important thing though, is that we can only win this fight by increasing our numbers. Rejecting and offending people who could be our allies is just foolish and self-defeating.

You Are the Gun Lobby. Your activism, your example, and your influence are what will make the difference between winning this fight, or sliding down the slippery slope of never-ending, incremental gun control.

The 2nd Amendment Rally Organizing Committee has disbanded, and all of our records are being deleted, as we promised they would be, but a new committee is already forming to hold another rally next year. Start planning now to be part of its success, but more importantly, start acting now to own the title of “the Gun Lobby,” and lead the way into a brighter future.

Rally for the Second Amendment November 2nd, the Capitol, Washington DC

Rally for the Second Amendment November 2nd, the Capitol, Washington DC IMG iStock-Matt Anderson
Rally for the Second Amendment November 2nd, the Capitol, Washington IMG DC iStock-Matt Anderson

Gun owners, rights activists, and lovers of liberty will be gathering on the lawn of the Capitol in Washington DC on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019, at 1:00 in the afternoon.

If you live within 200 miles of DC, there is little excuse for missing this critical event, and many people who live much farther away will be doing whatever it takes to be there. Buses are being arranged by local groups from as far away as New York, Ohio, and South Carolina. Check with your local groups to see what arrangements are being made, and if they aren’t doing anything, take the initiative and volunteer to be the local coordinator to take reservations and rent a bus or van.

This is a grassroots effort, and you are the grassroots. Without the active participation of you and other grassroots activists, this isn’t going to work. At the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference, activist Nicki Stallard characterized the difference between rights activists and gun control extremists, saying that we’re herding cats, while they are stampeding cattle. That’s pretty accurate, though I think sheep or lemmings would be more appropriate in describing anti-rights activists.

As I said in my presentation at GRPC, the most powerful force in the U.S. political system is YOU. You are the Gun Lobby. We can no longer let someone else do it for you, or say “I gave at the office.” It’s up to You. You must communicate with your elected servants – whether they agree with you or not – and be sure that they know what you expect from them. You must help elect politicians that understand and respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. You must be sure that your family, your friends, your coworkers, your church family, your kids’ friends and their parents, all know the importance of the Second Amendment and the fallacy of gun control laws.

You don’t have to be a scholar or an expert, but you do need to do what you can. Politicians don’t actually read your letters and emails, nor do they get detailed notes about your phone calls. The majority of the time, a low-level staffer looks at your correspondence and puts a check-mark in a “For” or “Against” column, which is then relayed to the politician in the form of a report: “362 constituent comments opposing Bill xyz, 48 supporting it.” That’s it. So find a couple of resources you trust to keep you up-to-date on what’s going on in Washington and your state capitol, and when they ask you to take action, take action – every time they ask. And call your elected servants once a week to make sure your check-mark is counted.

Anti-rights extremists think they have the upper hand right now because of the troubles at the NRA and the public’s emotional reaction to the horrific acts of a few murderous lunatics. Those anti-rights extremists are counting on you to shuffle around in circles wringing your hands and wondering what to do.

Even some in our own movement are more concerned about how it might look if only a few rights activists show up at the Capitol on November 2nd. What a self-defeating attitude. They’re not going to attend or encourage others to attend because there might not be enough people in attendance to make a good showing…? Get on-board or get out of the way. Call that defeatist attitude out for what it is.

Others worry about how our opponents might capitalize on one of our number saying something stupid to a reporter or being arrested for illegally bringing a gun into the District. Such concerns show a serious lack of faith and trust in their fellow gun owners. Antagonistic reporters roam the aisles of gun shows and pro-rights meetings on a regular basis. Of course, they’ll try to make us look bad. But refusing to stand up for rights, on the basis of such fears, is tantamount to surrender in advance.

Still others argue that they won’t attend because the laws of the District insist that they be disarmed, and they refuse to do that. I get that, I truly do. I well know the discomfort of “going naked,” especially in “enemy territory.” I spent years commuting into the District almost every day, and it was uncomfortable. But I did it for my wife, my sons, and my grandsons. I was willing to endure that discomfort and degradation, because that was the only way to do what needed to be done, and the risks of running afoul of law enforcement in DC are much greater than the risks of criminal assault. Of course it’s possible that some crazed “Beto” or Bernie, or Elizabeth Warren supporter might decide to take out their misplaced anger and frustration on a “mob of deplorable gun nuts,” but they’d be operating in one of the most densely policed areas in the country, and besides, everyone knows that leftists are lousy shots. If such fears don’t deter Representative Steve Scalise, they shouldn’t deter you.

The core message of the 2nd Amendment Rally, is “We Are the Gun Lobby,” as in “We the People,” and we demand that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights be respected and adhered to. The speakers list is still under construction, but President Trump, Vice President Pence, Representative Scalise, Representative Massie, Senator Paul, and other congressional leaders have been invited, to join with grassroots rights leaders and activists from around the country.

Are you going to be there, or are you going to come up with an excuse?

Is your favorite grassroots group actively working to inform members about the rally and encouraging them to attend, or are they making up excuses? Will you volunteer to change that?

It all comes down to YOU and what you’re willing to do. Get three buddies and plan a road-trip, or better yet, get six buddies and borrow your wife’s minivan. Or even better, get forty or fifty buddies and charter a bus. Push your groups to be involved, and volunteer to help. You can make all the difference.

This could be the most important Second Amendment event of our lifetime. Only You can ensure that it’s a success. Go to to register and get more information. Together we can shake up Washington and save the republic. Let’s roll.

Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War Tenth Anniversary Electronic Edition

Gun Rights War cover art

Now Available
Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War  — Tenth Anniversary Electronic Edition

It’s been ten years since Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War found its way to print.  We’re pleased to announce the release of an updated and expanded Electronic Edition.  The link will take you to a list of stores where it is currently available.

You can still get the paper edition from Amazon, or order an autographed copy direct from The Firearms Coalition.


Democrats are Suckering Republicans into Gun Control

Democrats have created a false narrative on guns, and Republicans have been suckered into buying it.

But first, the good news. It looks like Trump is going to hold off on putting forward any “gun package” for another week or so. That gives us time to head this nonsense off before serious damage is done. If the wobbly R’s don’t stop and change direction right now, it’s going to cost them – all of us – dearly in 2020.

The most likely sucker moves the Republicans would make is to accept some kind of “Universal Background Check,” a “red flag” gun confiscation measure, or maybe even both. A ban on standard capacity magazines, is less likely, and a 1994-style “assault weapon” ban is unlikely to get any serious traction, but never underestimate Republicans’ capacity for self-destruction. If enough Republicans vote in favor of any of these to allow passage, it will hurt Republicans much harder than Democrats.

Proponents are using recent mass murders as the impetus for pushing these proposals, but none of them would have made a difference in those or likely future atrocities. “Expanded” or “Universal” background checks certainly won’t. Almost all of the mass murderers who have used firearms over the past 30 years, have passed background checks. Some of those were due to failures in the system, but most had clean records. In some cases, those clean records were thanks to “diversion” policies intended to avoid harming a young person’s future prospects. The few who didn’t legally purchase their firearms with a background check, either stole the guns they used, had someone else illegally buy them, or acquired them in some other, already illegal way. Another layer of laws isn’t going to prevent any of those kinds of acquisitions.

“Red flag” laws or “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” assume that a troubled individual who might harm himself or others will no longer be a danger if guns are removed, but leave easy access to car keys, gasoline, knives, and possibly other guns. The orders are issued ex parte, meaning no opposing view is offered. Too many Republicans, notably Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsay Graham, have stumbled into the red flag trap assuming that the laws can be drafted with safeguards sufficient to keep them from being misused. Experience at the state level says different, and more importantly, there are already laws on the books providing for supervised treatment for people who can’t or won’t seek treatment for themselves.

The bottom line: Prohibitions of cosmetic features did not work in 1994, and are going nowhere in 2019. So called “Universal Background Checks” can never block a mass murder. Red flag laws are both too much and too little – too much in the sense that they are guaranteed to be misused and abused, and too little in the sense that by focusing only on guns, they leave someone who is truly troubled, possibly without guns, but also without help.

The Republican attempts to offer a “reasonable compromise” by repackaging the anti-rights Democrats’ snake oil as “Gun Control Lite” will only hurt Republicans. It is an attempt to appease people who will never vote for them, by alienating one of the most important segments of their constituency. The gun community of 2019 will not stand for it. As my late father Neal Knox used to say, no matter how much tartar sauce you pour on rotten fish, it’s still rotten.

Republicans need positive strategies to attack the issue – genuine strategies, as opposed to the slow-motion surrender too many Republicans have offered over the past few years. Here are some suggestions:

Once they start down the gun control path, Democrats can be safely relied on to self-destruct, if you just give them time and space, and don’t interfere.

First, Democrats will almost always overreach, offering proposals that are repugnant to the vast majority of Americans, such as Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s declaration; “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” Republicans stepping in and trying to soften these Democrat proposals into “something that can pass,” is just stupid.

Beto O’Rourke Hell Yes We Wil Take Your Guns
Beto O’Rourke Hell Yes We Wil Take Your Guns

Second, Democrats can be counted on to kill any bill that does not give them the level of government control that they always build into their proposals. The only amendments Republicans should ever offer, should be “poison pill” provisions that seem reasonable to most people, but which they know Democrats will reject.

Of the 4 basic proposals, Democrats know that a gun ban is a non-starter, so they’re just blowing smoke with that one. Likewise, magazine bans should also be dead in the water, but Republicans have allowed those to get more traction. The murderer at Parkland used 10-round magazines. The murderer at Sandy Hook used higher-capacity mags, but swapped them out several times before they were empty (what’s known as “tactical reloads,” a trick learned from video games). This is probably going to be used by Democrats as a trading chip. They know they don’t have a likely chance of passing it, so they’ll offer to take it off the table as a “compromise.”

That leaves “universal background checks” (UBC) and “red flag” laws.

The stated objective is to “keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.” But one of the core features of UBC proposals that is rarely talked about is the requirement for paperwork on the buyers, the sellers, and the guns. If the objective is just to prevent acquisition by prohibited persons, why are Democrats so insistent on creating a paper trail?

In reality, the paper trail – registration by another name – is the real goal. The very rare instances of a prohibited person acquiring a firearm, without a background check, through an otherwise legal private transaction and then using that gun in the commission of a violent crime, does not begin to justify the massive bureaucratic structure required for the UBC proposals.

Just as the lack of background checks on private transfers has been painted as a “loophole,” even though it was a negotiated compromise in passage of the Brady Act, so too will the lack of a computerized registry of guns and gun owners be characterized as a loophole in the future. Anti-rights zealots want the records to exist so they can complain about the records not being readily accessible and usable to track down “gun traffickers” and sources of “crime guns.”

If you doubt this is the real objective, just offer up an amendment that removes any of the paperwork requirements, particularly the paperwork retention requirements, and listen to the Democrats howl about it. Likewise, a Republican amendment to UBC proposals, that would exempt persons who can present a valid photo ID and carry license, would almost certainly be considered a poison pill by Democrat sponsors, resulting in them killing their own bill. Either of those, like any other Republican participation in this farce, should only be used as last-ditch, blocking attempts, to peel away votes, not serious proposals to try and pass.

Gun control laws don’t work. They never accomplish their stated goals, and certainly don’t prevent or mitigate the type of mass murders that have fueled the current push. They are neither good policy nor good political strategy. It is foolish for Republicans to ever play in the Democrats sandbox. This never results in anything other than the Republicans being covered in dirt and cat poop.

The best thing for Republicans to do in the wake of horrors as happened in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton is to be thoughtful, compassionate, and conservative in their reaction. Focus on the Constitution and the restrictions of the Bill of Rights. Listen, and let the Democrats run with their outrageous schemes. Opponents of individual rights want to use crises as opportunities to stampede the herd over a cliff. It is conservatives’ job to be calm and rational in a crisis, and in so doing, highlight the panic and hysteria of their opponents.

The nation is at a tipping point. Gun control is a key issue and impacts an important voting constituency. Compromising on gun control gains Republicans nothing, and could cost them everything.

America’s Lying and Ignorance Crisis – Fueled by the Media

USA – -( 9-5-19)- In the midst of an “epidemic” of emotion and disinformation, let’s have a national discussion about “gun violence,” their words.

But first a couple of ground-rules:

  1. Only one side gets to talk.
  2. That side gets to make up their own “facts.”

That’s the gist of an op-ed piece by Marianne Williamson in a guest editorial in the Washington Post. Williamson, my absolute favorite among the crowded field of truly bizarre Democratic candidates for President, is a latter-day hippy and High Priestess of the Church of Spiritual Self-Enlightenment and Warm-Fuzziness (okay, I just made that last part up). In the piece, she shares her “peace-based” wisdom, discussing America’s “gun crisis,” which she says is just part of a more significant “culture crisis.” She’s right that America has a “culture problem,” but as to the nature of the “problem” and the “culture,” she’s all wet.

Williams epitomizes the hard left turn the Democratic Party has taken in recent years. A late Baby Boomer child of the ’60s, who, after what she refers to as “her wasted decade” of drugs, self-indulgence, and depression, found her calling in a self-help course that she interpreted to promote a reinterpretation of “Christian values.” Of course, her interpretation was free of the discomfort of sin, guilt, God, or Christ. She went on to turn her Godless religion of non-religiosity, into a multi-million dollar empire of feel-good books and lectures.

Williamson is remarkably bright, articulate, and crazy as a bedbug. She is a perfect progenitor of the spoiled and triggered, “snowflake” generation that contends that being offended amounts to oppression, and that victim-hood deserves deference and reparations. She represents the philosophy that has doomed a significant portion of a generation to helplessness and dependence.

Ms. Williamson starts her WaPo diatribe in accordance with current dogma, lamenting a tragic and horrific act by a deeply disturbed individual, then goes on to further regret the aftermath of these atrocities: heavy media coverage, widespread outrage, political calls and promises to “Do something,” followed by a subsiding of emotion and reporting, and no substantive action being taken.

We all know the cycle, and we all know the article opening that describes the cycle. Those of us who follow the gun issue as supporters of the Second Amendment also can anticipate the distortions, half-truths, over-simplification, false conclusions, and flat out lies.

Ms. Williamson doesn’t bother with suggestions or explanations, but rather, jumps right in with a series of declarations that she suggests are self-evident and irrefutable:

“Of course, we need universal background checks; we need to close all loopholes; we need to outlaw bump stocks; and we need to outlaw assault weapons and the bullets needed to shoot them.” And, of course, this whole issue, she doesn’t need to tell us (but does anyway), is a “horrific and uniquely American problem.”

Of course, we need to do these things, and of course, crazy people killing people is “uniquely American.” Everyone knows these things – except for the few, gun nuts and industry shills who don’t – because the media and politicians have repeated these “truths” over and over, and over again, with little to no counter to the claims.

Ms. Williamson and the dominant media have perpetrated a hoax on the American people. She may be just another victim of the deception, but I think she may be smart enough to see it for the lie it is. At least she might if she had any interest in doing so. It is the sad truth that, if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth – at least until the truth eventually prevails.

So let’s explore some truths.

Murder, mass murder, terrorism, domestic violence, workplace violence, political violence, etc., is not unique to America. It’s not even uniquely more frequent here. Even though the widespread availability of firearms of all sorts is relatively unique to the U.S., yet the phenomenon of mass public shootings is not unusual to us. As with most things firearm-related, some people like manipulating the data, but in any real comparison, the US is always well down on the list, so not only are we not unique, we’re not even number one.

Williamson then says; “It is not just our gun policy but our politics that fails to free us of this insanity,” before pointing the finger of blame at money in politics, and the favorite bogeyman, the NRA.

Well sorry, Ms. Williamson, it’s not our gun policy or our politics that are at fault. It’s our humanity. Unfortunately, criminals and madness are part of the human condition. Perhaps some policy or political solution can be found to address this, but so far in all of human history, no one has found a solution. The odds are against us.

Williams goes on to suggest that taking money out of politics and having the government fund political campaigns – and along the way presumably making it illegal for citizens to spend money to express their support for their favorite candidates – will somehow remove corruption from government. There are some pretty fundamental constitutional issues involved in that idea, but if you want to do that, go for it.

The funny thing is that such a law would make the NRA and the greater Gun Lobby much more powerful than it already is because the Gun Lobby’s power doesn’t come from money. It comes from our millions of active members and supporters. While the NRA and its sister groups spend a lot of money on political campaigns, anti-rights groups and billionaires like Mike Bloomberg spend as much or more. But they don’t have the broad, loyal following that the so-called Gun Lobby has, so your plan would neuter gun control groups – because money is all they’ve got – while magnifying the power of rights advocates.

Williamson finally gets to the crux of the matter, basically admitting that the solutions she’s been talking about, won’t solve the problems, and saying that we need to address the root causes of the violence. Of course, she has to couch it using more gun control hype, referring to America’s “epidemic of violence.” Epidemic has become a very popular word in the context of crimes involving guns in recent years. That word choice is suspect at best since violent crime rates have fallen precipitously over the past three decades. According to the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, violent crime fell between 59% and 74% from its high in 1993, and 2017. People keep using this word, “epidemic,” but I don’t think it means what they think it means.

Williamson goes on to decry the rampant violence of our society: Violence toward the earth, violence toward people of color in the justice system, violence in movies and video games, violence against women, violence of our government helping those who don’t need help, and not helping those that do need help…. In short, she says we’re hooked on violence, and can only change that by opening our hearts to peace. She goes on to lament the disparity between what the U.S. spends on the military and what we spend on diplomats.

Seriously? How effective does she think our diplomats would be dealing with Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, et al., if they didn’t have the might of the U.S. military backing them up? As I read Williamson’s pleas and her proposal for a “U.S. Department of Peace to coordinate and harness the powers of conflict resolution; restorative justice; violence prevention…” and all sorts of peace, love, and harmony exercises, I kept flashing to an old western movie from the 1970s called “The Culpepper Cattle Company.” In that movie a group of upstanding cowboys trying to get their herd to market, stumble upon a group of people from some sort of Williamsonesque religious sect that has chosen to settle in a beautiful valley. But they’re being threatened by an evil cattle baron and his hired henchmen. The peaceful religious folks are given an ultimatum, to either move on, or be wiped out. The pacifists refuse to leave, and the good cowboys of the Culpepper Cattle Company take up arms in their defense, defeating the evil cattle baron, but losing most of their own men and a few of the settlers in the process. After the dust clears, the pacifists start packing up their wagons. The surviving cowboys ask what they’re doing and are told by the Elders that they’re leaving because they can’t stay in the valley now that it’s stained with blood.

Peace and non-violence are wonderful things, I’m a big fan, but peace can’t be achieved unilaterally. Some 100 million peaceful gun owners avoid shooting or threatening anyone every day across this land. But Ms. Williamson’s plan would, of necessity, require that a goodly percentage of those peaceful people be arrested, imprisoned, or even killed, as a way of keeping a tiny sliver of one percent of criminals from potentially having access to guns. Experience in places like Chicago and Brazil indicates that the criminals probably won’t have any problem getting guns, but will enjoy having more helpless victims.

Ms. Williamson’s solution doesn’t seem very peaceful or socially just.

The scary part though is that as wacky as Marianne Williamson’s ideas are, almost all of the Democratic presidential candidates have publicly endorsed similar gun control proposals.
There seems to be an epidemic of this sort of idiocy these days, so stay vigilant and well-armed my friends.

Ammunition for the grassroots gun rights movement