“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 to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” –Cesare Beccaria
Editor’s Note: Connecticut is the latest state looking to tighten gun control by infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens. On March 14, frustrated resident Robert Steed gave a powerful testimony in front of state legislators. The following are a few of Steed’s remarks, which demonstrate a clear understanding of the Constitution and a willingness to stand up to those looking to exploit tragedies.
“This is the third day I’ve taken off of work to come here to, like so many of the rest of us, plead to you for us to keep our guns because of the actions of some wing-nut in Newtown, Connecticut. If that isn’t inherently wrong, I don’t know what is. That these bills are even in proposed form is scary enough. That any of you could be possibly undecided is scary enough. … I can’t for the life of me understand how this state can have as many gun laws on the books as it does and have members of its legislature need to take firearms 101. And as far as the, what I felt were potshots taken at the NRA earlier today: They’ve done more for gun safety — they’ll do more for gun safety this weekend than this committee will do in your careers. … Sometimes things are beyond your control. You can’t control everything. Evil exists. Adam Lanza commits a crime, and I’m here to grovel and plead for my rights and explain to you that my firearms are kept safely? I keep hearing the word ‘solution’ — ‘we need to find a solution.’ You’re not going to find a solution, it doesn’t exist. You can’t find a broad brush solution to evil. … The reason that your jobs are becoming so difficult is that you’re coloring outside the lines of constitutional parameter[s]. That’s the bottom line. You are trying to marriage up public safety with constitutional rights. The Constitution did not guarantee public safety, it guaranteed liberty. And sometimes what comes with liberty is tragedy, unfortunately.” –Robert Steed
Watch the full testimony here.
Opinion in Brief
“‘I don’t have the words to describe the cowardice of Congress or the depravity of the gun lobby, which conspired to kill the assault-weapons ban,’ writes Ron Fournier of National Journal. … ‘I can’t explain the apparent impotence of President Obama who vowed to “use whatever power this office holds” to convert the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School into commonsense common good,’ Fournier continues. … As Fournier puts it, Obama and his allies wished ‘to convert the tragedy … into commonsense common good.’ We disagree on the merits and would put it this way: They cynically sought to exploit a horrific crime in order to promote dubious policies that they had long wished to impose but had refrained from pushing for fear of the political consequences. There was never very much to the argument other than demagogic appeals to emotion. … Not only did the effort fail, it wasn’t even close. … Politico.com quoted Majority Leader Harry Reid as saying that ‘her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes.’ … Demagogy is a hazard of democracy; one reason we have a bill of rights is to protect individuals against the political temptation to offer up scapegoats to satisfy their constituents’ emotions. … But this effort failed notwithstanding the undeniable emotional pull of a horrific crime against children. Americans should be proud whenever our political system proves this resistant to unreason.” –Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto
For the Record
“We are told that one of the reasons that [Colorado] Gov Hickenlooper [signed] the magazine ban is the statistic presented by the Golden police chief that an increasing number of Law Enforcement officers have been shot with magazines that hold more than 10 rounds since the expiration of the federal AWB. Since most handguns ship with standard capacity magazines that hold more than 10 or even 15 rounds, that would make sense … but what that statistic doesn’t tell you is that the average number of rounds fired in a criminal homicide is less than 5 rounds. The capacity of the magazine never comes into play. It just happens to be what is in the firearm, regardless of how many rounds were actually fired. This is just another example of how the anti-gun lobby has to twist statistics in order to find support for their position. The real, objective facts support none of their agenda, so half truths and distorted statistics are used to tell the story they want to tell…. As this fight continues, ask for the whole picture. Ask how polls were conducted, and what questions were asked before believing their ‘stats’. Question bias is another favorite tactic of the anti-gun lobby. Accept no statistic without the whole picture.” —Magpul Industries Corp.
“Since the dawn of the atomic age, we’ve sought to reduce the risk of war by maintaining a strong deterrent and by seeking genuine arms control. ‘Deterrence’ means simply this: making sure any adversary who thinks about attacking the United States, or our allies, or our vital interests, concludes that the risks to him outweigh any potential gains. Once he understands that, he won’t attack. We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.” —Ronald Reagan
“After a series of debates beginning Friday afternoon and continuing for almost 13 straight hours, the Democratically-controlled Senate passed its first budget in four years. … The plan calls for an immediate $100 billion to be spent on infrastructure ‘to bolster the economy’…. A tax code overhaul aims to bring in another $975 billion over the next ten years with filibuster-proof legislation. Those taxes are coupled with spending cuts of $875 billion, generated by modest reductions to federal health care programs, domestic agencies and the Pentagon, along with reduced federal borrowing costs. Yet the net result is tiresomely familiar: ten years from now, the government will still be running a deficit in excess of $500 billion — and more than $5.2 trillion will be added to our already unconscionable $16.7 trillion of national debt. … Harry Reid … blasted president Bush in 2008, when the former president submitted a 3.1 trillion dollar budget, later whittled down to $2.9 trillion, that contained a then-record of $458 billion in deficit spending. … Yet as far as Reid is concerned, passing a $3.7 trillion budget that includes no plan whatsoever to bring spending and revenues into alignment … is now considered ‘a Herculean feat.'” –columnist Arnold Ahlert
“Those who oppose term limits express fears of having government run by amateurs, rather than by people with long experience in politics. But this country was created by people who were not career politicians, but who put aside their own private careers to serve in office during a critical time. When President George Washington was told by one of his advisors that an action he planned to take might prevent him from being reelected, he exploded in anger, telling his advisor that he didn’t come here to get reelected. As for the loss of experience and expertise if there were no career politicians, much — if not most — of that is experience and expertise in the arts of evasion, effrontery, deceit and chicanery. None of that serves the interest of the people. If we want term limits to achieve their goals, we have to make the limit one term, with a long interval prescribed before the same person can hold any government office again. In short, we need to make political careers virtually impossible. … The whole point of presenting new ideas is to start a process that can make their realization possible in later years.” –economist Thomas Sowell
Re: The Left
“It is worth remembering that Republicans led the fight for civil rights for black Americans, and voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act in greater proportions than their Democratic counterparts. Yet Republicans barely capture any of the black vote today. There are two lessons. One is that minorities tend to reward the president in power, not the opposition party, for the passage of favorable legislation. Hispanics voted for Obama, and the enactment of immigration reform would be seen as a result of that vote, not the result of Republican cooperation. The other lesson is that Democrats are able to cast Republicans as racists in spite of the facts, not because of them. The left’s ownership of pop culture allows it to rewrite history. Until Republicans compete on that terrain, they will continue to lose regardless of the party’s position on immigration.” –columnist Joel B. Pollak
Faith and Family
“Pastors and priests continually hear parishioners with incurable diseases say, ‘It wasn’t until I learned I was terminal that I learned how to live.’ … We are all mortal. Our life may end tomorrow, next year, or 90 years from now, but it will end. As Christians around the world celebrate Easter this year, we are reminded of another way to deal with our impending death in addition to those previously mentioned: we can rejoice in the biblical promise of unending future life in heaven. … Yes, we are all terminal. Remembering that, we should strive to live life to the fullest, cherish relationships, and love and serve others. We can take satisfaction in the work we do and the contributions we make. However, in a more important way, Christians argue, we are not terminal. We will live forever. As Christians celebrate Easter, we rejoice because Christ’s resurrection is the first fruit. It assures those who trust in him as their Savior that they will someday join him in heaven.” –Grove City College professor Dr. Gary Scott Smith
“Entertainment is powerful. This is why Adolf Hitler had his propaganda filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl, and why all modern regimes have at times created their own propaganda films. It’s why the ancient Greeks saw fit to censor the arts and American localities traditionally had obscenity laws. … [W]e worry that a child witnessing one parent continually abuse the other will learn to be violent, as children learn by example. Yet often forgotten is that while a person can model behavior seven feet away from the television, he can also model it seven feet away through the television. … We’ve transitioned from a pre-TV America where boys sometimes brought real guns to school for target shooting to a TV-addicted America where boys bring toy guns to school and get suspended. And, of course, the reasons for this societal sea change are complex. But if we’re going to point to one factor, is it wiser to blame the AR-15 than PG-13?” –Patriot Post Grassroots contributor Selwyn Duke
“Regarding Mark Alexander’s essay, Liberty Is Colorblind, optics count! We need a young looking candidate who is unafraid of speaking like a true conservative and vowing to follow conservative values. The most important are low taxes and pro-growth policies. The candidate should be clear about support for those who through no fault of their own need temporary help, but welfare programs that encourage dependency will not be tolerated. We are a nation of immigrants so we are not against immigration, but there is a legal path to immigration and we must make that the only path for those who have skills that the country needs. Those are true American values and are what most people want to hear.” –Doug in Louisville, Kentucky
“No matter how hard the GOP works to get their message out, the Leftmedia will do all they can to stifle it. They violated their own code of ethics that requires them to present both sides of the story. Obama won by a small margin precent wise. Had the media been more objective we would have had a different outcome.” –Daniel in Woodbury, Vermont
“As for the trouble in Cyprus, call it what it is: Piracy. Organized theft. Central Governmental Tyranny. Lack of any respect for Private Property. Financial Oppression. Or, the result of feeding at the government trough for too long a period of time. The old saying may apply: ‘There ain’t no such thing as a Free Ride.'” –Bernard in Fall River, Massachusetts
The Last Word
“We’re past $16 trillion in debt so far, and we’re just fine. … What’s the worst that has happened so far? America’s credit was downgraded. And that hurt us how? It’s not like people are going to stop giving the federal government loans — it has nukes. Plus, the president has asserted that he can take out anyone he wants with drone strikes whenever he feels like it…. So that brings us to the obvious question: Why not just put the entire federal budget on credit? … It seems unfair that the politicians see no reason to cut spending, but we have to keep paying taxes like the federal deficit actually means something. So why not give our economy a big stimulus and just put all government operations on credit? … Republicans don’t like taxes, Democrats don’t like spending cuts — so now we’ll have no taxes and no cuts. The only thing we’ll have is even more debt, and we can all just agree to stop pretending we care about that. … So let’s finally open our arms really wide and embrace our massive debt, swiping the big government credit card to pay all our bills. We can celebrate by adding free roller coaster rides to the newly reopened White House tours.” –humorist Frank J. Fleming
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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