Tag Archives: Second Amendment

Sarah Palin: As Freedom Destroys Itself, Laws Can’t Protect a Society That Has Lost Its Way

Sarah Palin Grizzly Bear Training Camp

Governor Sarah Palin has written a powerful op-ed talking about America’s greatness, and the perils we face today. She reminds America that we have lost our way.

As Governor Palin points out, our Constitution was written for a moral society. Our Founders instinctively understood our Constitution would NOT work in a corrupt, amoral society.

~ Gary

By Sarah Palin

All of us were horrified by the murders at the Washington Navy Yard this week. Once again, in the aftermath of a shooting, a new installment of the debate about gun laws has broken out. But what we really need is a new discussion about what kind of people we are and what kind of country we want to be.

It’s no secret which side I’m on in any debate involving the Second Amendment (or the whole Constitution, for that matter). We call Alaska America’s Last Frontier, and firearms are a big part of our lifestyle here because they are part of our frontier tradition. And, as I tell my daughters, the ability to use a firearm responsibly and to defend yourself is also part of our heritage as American women.

The iconic musket over the fireplace wasn’t just for the menfolk on the frontier. Those stalwart women who crossed oceans and wilderness to settle our country knew how to protect themselves and their families. (One of my favorite scenes in the miniseries John Adams is when Abigail Adams, alone with her children in besieged Massachusetts while her husband is away at the Continental Congress, shoulders the family musket to protect her little ones when she hears the distant sounds of battle. That’s our heritage, ladies.)

Hunting is an integral part of our lifestyle in the 49th state. Using guns isn’t just recreation for us; it’s how many of us get our dinner. Granted, today, with a grocery store on virtually every corner, there isn’t the actual necessity to live a “subsistence lifestyle” that there was a generation ago in Alaska when I was growing up, but my family still lives by the motto “We eat; therefore, we hunt.” We live off the healthy organic protein provided by Alaska’s wild fish and game.

Todd and I have taught our kids how to handle firearms responsibly, just as my dad taught me. In fact, we took our girls for a special hunt on Mother’s Day this year at our cabin looking out at the distant majestic peak of Mt. McKinley, and we had a blast teaching twelve-year-old Piper mounted shooting in warm Montana this summer.

I’m proud of my frontier heritage, and I’ll fight vehemently against anything that would limit the constitutional rights of Americans. But I can certainly sympathize with the many well-meaning Americans who desperately feel the need to find a way to prevent these senseless killings. Who among us doesn’t feel sadness, anger, and even despair after these tragedies?

But we must remember that emotion won’t make anybody safer or protect our rights. Beware of politicians who exploit our emotions in an attempt to pass laws that even they admit wouldn’t have prevented the violence.

CNN’s Don Lemon recently saw the light on this issue and highlighted the Centers for Disease Control study showing that so-called military assault rifles account for a small fraction of gun violence. The overwhelming majority of gun-related deaths are inflicted with handguns, but a ban on handguns is not only politically untenable; it would also hinder the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves (especially Americans who live in troubled urban areas where the police are slow to respond to emergency calls).

Instead of offering real solutions based on facts, reactionary politicians offer us the politics of emotion, which is the opposite of leadership. It is the manipulation of the people by the political class for their own political ends. It is so very self-serving, but, worse, it is destructive.

The first thing politicians ask after these tragedies is essentially: “What can we do to limit the freedom of the people?

And that is the wrong question. The question we should be asking is: “What can we do to nurture and support a people capable of living in freedom?

Earlier this year I spoke at the NRA convention and reminded a conscientious, patriotic audience that our country’s Founders asked themselves that question and knew the answer. They understood that a free people must either nurture morality or lose their freedom. John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Not coincidentally, he wrote that to the officers of the Massachusetts militia when the young republic was on the verge of war with France. He reminded those officers who were charged with leading armed men that the freedoms secured by the Constitution take for granted a decent and civil society.

This isn’t just a question for American society. It’s a civilizational question for all humanity. Margaret Thatcher spoke eloquently of this co-dependence of freedom and morality. She said, “Freedom will destroy itself if it is not exercised within some sort of moral framework, some body of shared beliefs, some spiritual heritage transmitted through the Church, the family, and the school.”

I’m reminded of that quote every time I see politicians reach for the easy answers instead of asking the hard questions after tragedies like the one this week. When they seek to strip away our Second Amendment rights instead of suggesting that those who hide behind the First Amendment need to act more responsibly, they are helping freedom destroy itself.

When Hollywood glorifies violence with its movies and music, but then underwrites efforts to take away our rights, it is helping freedom destroy itself. When those incorporating virtue into their lives are criticized, mocked, and bullied while pop culture’s kingmakers elevate and celebrate a self-centered “I’ll do what I want and consequences be damned” mentality, those kingmakers and bullies are helping freedom destroy itself. And when We the People shrug our shoulders and duck our heads while society becomes more cynical and our sense of family and community atrophies, we’re all helping freedom destroy itself.

Americans have always had access to firearms. Guns certainly aren’t any more pervasive now than they were back when the Minutemen were stockpiling weapons at Lexington and Concord. But something definitely has changed since then. It’s not the weapons. It’s us.

Instead of rushing to find some magical legislative solution, we need to ask ourselves a few hard questions: Are we creating a culture that can live and thrive in freedom? Do we have bold leaders willing and able to nurture such a culture? Do we have artists whose works reflect and inspire such a culture? Consider the answers to these questions carefully, because, if the answers are no, then we are in much more trouble than any new law can fix.

A decent and moral society is guided by voluntary self-restraint. The less moral we are, the more legalistic we become. But more laws can’t protect a civilization that has lost its way. At most, they’re just tiny speed bumps for a runaway truck.

The solutions we seek won’t be found in the halls of Congress or state legislatures. Might I humbly suggest that we step back from the TV, take a breath, hug our kids, reach out to friends and neighbors, and say a prayer.

Governor Palin posted some photos on her Facebook page to go along with her article

This is the from the Mother’s Day hunt I mentioned in the NRO op-ed:

Sarah Palin Mothers Day Hunt

This is Piper mounted shooting in Montana:

Piper Palin Montana Mounted Shooting

And here I am doing my Annie Oakley thing:

Sarah Palin Annie Oakley

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Stand for the Second Amendment in the Land of Lincoln!

by Whitney Pitcher

springfield_gunlobby_031011

I’m not a gun enthusiast. I’ve never even shot a “real” gun. The closest thing I’ve used is a paintball gun or a nail gun. However, I am a constitution enthusiast, and even in my limited knowledge of world history, I’m aware of what has happens when guns are taken away from citizens. With all that in mind, I’d like to share some information about some pressing legislation that’s being proposed in Illinois that I originally posted at Illinois4Palin. While you may or may not live in Illinois, please be aware of this and be engaged if you so desire.

In writing his “Commonplace Book”, Thomas Jefferson quoted the Italian philosopher and legal scholar Cesare Beecaria’s book Of Crime and Punishments:

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”

Beccaria very well could have been describing present day Illinois where gun control often means the law abiding are punished for the actions of those who will continue to break gun laws no matter how numerous or restrictive. Despite having some of the most onerous gun laws in the country and currently being the only state in the union without some form of conceal and carry laws, Illinois’ largest city of Chicago had more than 500 homicides in 2012. Gun control is not evil control.

In mid December the US Court of Appeals declared Illinois’ ban on concealed carry unconstitutional and gave the state 180 days to craft ” a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public”. For anti-gun proponents of Illinois, this judicially imposed deadline,the Chicago violence, the ineffably saddening shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and a lame duck legislative session have provided the impetus to simultaneously meet the court’s demands while also restricting guns in new ways.

With the lame duck session ending on January 9th, the Illinois legislature is trying to ram through two pieces of legislation that would heavily restrict guns. The NRA’s Institute of Legislative Action notes several aspects of these bills that are particularly draconian:

Among other things, House Bill 815 would:

– Prohibit anyone without a FOID card from using a commercial shooting range, which in many cases would make it impossible to introduce new shooters to the safe and responsible use of firearms.

– Grant the State Police broad discretion to impose design, construction and operation standards that could shut down most commercial shooting ranges.

– Ban possession of magazines and other feeding devices that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. A “grandfather clause” would require registration by owners of such devices and give the State Police discretion to impose and charge fees. Registration would require “proof of ownership” that could be impossible for most people to provide, and even registered owners could not transfer magazines within Illinois, except to an heir or a licensed dealer. Transfers of “grandfathered magazines” would have to be reported to the ISP.

– Violations of this magazine ban would be a felony. Failure to report theft or loss of a magazine would be a misdemeanor until the third violation, which would be a felony.

House Bill 1263 would:

– Ban, at a minimum, all detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles and pistols. Remington 7400 deer rifles, Ruger 10/22 squirrel guns, Glocks, 1911s, etc. This ban would include about 80% of handguns now sold in the U.S.

– Possibly ban all semi-automatic rifles and even revolvers or single-shot pistols with the capacity to accept muzzle brakes or compensators.

– Ban “assault weapon attachments,” so possession of a thumbhole stock, a pistol grip,or a fore-end (a “shroud” that “partially or completely encircles the barrel”) would be a crime even if you didn’t possess a firearm.

– Ban all .50 BMG rifles.

– Contains “grandfather” provisions that would require registration by owners of devices and give the State Police discretion to impose and charge fees. Registration would require “proof of ownership.”

– Create felony penalties for violation of this ban on guns or attachments.

– Create lost and stolen penalties that would criminalize victims of gun theft

These bills moved out of the Senate’s public health committee on Wednesday, but have not been voted on in the Senate at this point. However, the Illinois House will discuss an additional gun control bill (SB 2899) and additional amendments when they reconvene Sunday. These overly restrictive bills do not seem to honor the court’s request for “reasonable” legislation. After all, what’s reasonable about disallowing citizens the opportunity to learn how to use a gun safely at a gun range?

Your voice can make a difference. Use your first amendment rights to re-affirm your support for the second. Please call or email your representatives to voice your support for the second amendment and your opposition for even more government impingement on our liberties. You can find contact information for your representative here. As this legislation is being discussed in Springfield and national legislation is being proposed as well, exercising the right to bear arms in Illinois shouldn’t only refer to Michelle Obama’s right to wear sleeveless dresses!

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NRA Backs Carly Fiorina


By Stacy Drake

The National Rifle Association sent California Republican members a mailer endorsing Carly Fiorina for the GOP nomination in the California Senate race. To be fair they also gave Chuck DeVore a ‘thumbs up’ for his defense of the Second Amendment. However, as Ben Smith from Politico states it, they made their “preference” of Fiorina clear. He writes:

The National Rifle Association sent this postcard to its California Republican members, making it the latest conservative force, along with Sarah Palin and much of the organized pro-life movement, to swing behind Carly Fiorina.

The card describes Fiorina and Chuck Devote as strong pro-gun candidates, but makes its preference clear, writing effusively of Fiorina, “a gun owner, proud NRA Member, and strong Second Amendment Supporter.”

The mailer attacks the third candidate, Tom Campbell, at length as having cast “anti-gun votes.”

The NRA issues ratings for candidates like a school grading system. They handed out an “A” to both Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore. Based on Tom Campbell’s voting record and current positions on Second Amendment issues, he received the rating of “F.”

During the last debate between these three candidates, Tom Campbell had another episode that should make any Second Amendment advocate cringe.

Like Carly Fiorina, I too know somebody that is currently on the federal government “no-fly” list. That person is about the last person I would expect to be a danger to any flight. Whatever criteria they are using is bogus, considering Faisal Shahzad, the Time Square wannabe bomber actually made it on to a flight after his attempted terrorist attack. For Tom Campbell to put his faith into this broken bureaucracy and be so willing to take away a person’s Constitutional rights, is frightening. But there are a lot of things about Tom Campbell that are frightening.

Both Fiorina and DeVore deserve accolades from the NRA for their Second Amendment record, membership, and political stance. By displaying a preference to Fiorina, it’s clear that the NRA sees the writing on the wall. To them, Tom Campbell is unacceptable and they are making their opposition to him known.

DeVore supporters have been trotting out poll numbers that show him gaining on Barbara Boxer. Everyone is gaining on Babara Boxer. The trouble for Chuck DeVore and his supporters is that he cannot beat Tom Campbell. On the other hand, Carly Fiorina can. So it’s pretty clear why the NRA is displaying a preference for Fiorina.

The National Rifle Association endorsement is a high mark for any Conservative candidate. Being a member myself, I trust this group to watch out for our Constitutional right to bear arms. A right that I believe, fundamentally keep us a free people. The NRA understands what is going on in the GOP Primary as well. They know what the score is, so to speak.

It should also be obvious to anyone paying attention that Sarah Palin would never endorse a candidate that is squishy on Second Amendment rights. She, herself being a strong advocate and taking her fair share of lumps from the anti-gun, ultra-left for doing so.

Carly Fiorina scores an “A” with gun owners and Second Amendment activists. She will do a great job as Senator and give California dramatically different representation than what we are currently getting from the ultra-left’s own, Barbara Boxer.

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