You Can Do WHAT Online???

A couple of weeks ago, November 20th to be exact, I received an email from a group called Concealed Online.  The email read …

“It was penned like this in December 1791…’A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’

Today, almost 228 years later, The World Has Changed… I am writing to urge you to GET YOUR CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT!

This week we celebrate our nations birthday… 243 years old (using the average human lifespan that’s just over 3 lifespans ago).

In that short period of time we have fought in 5 major wars, elected 45 presidents, and have passedover 20,000 laws…

Unfortunately, many of those laws have moved us further and further from freedom all in the name of order and protection. The truth is protection starts at home and our forefathers knew it… they knew this day of BIG GOVERNMENT would sneak up on us all…

This is why I encourage you fellow patriots exercise your right to bear arms HERE AND NOW!

I just wanted to encourage you that you should Get Your Concealed Carry Permit while it is still legal and easy… California Democrats has already made it nearly impossible to get one there and the Liberals are slowly advancing their agenda in Congress.

This site helps people get their CCW Permit through online certification… They are truly patriots, they are available by phone as well if you just want more information.

There may not be an option for you to legally carry next year. Tomorrow may be too late. Get your permit while its still legal to do so.”

And then they provided a link where I could “Start the online process”.  It wasn’t the first such email I had received, but it was the first one I decided to take note of … for I was curious … is it really so simple for a person to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon as simply logging onto a website?  And so, I did a bit of digging.

When I followed the link, their website begins with an introduction that said all I had to do to obtain a Virginia (note that I don’t live in Virginia, but Virginia has a reciprocal agreement with 28 other states) concealed carry license was to watch a short video, answer 12 multiple choice questions, fill out an application, send them $65 and PRESTO!  I could go around with a gun stuck in my waistband, pocket, or maybe even a holster under my shirt.  Wow, huh?

No, I didn’t watch the video or take the 12-question test, for the simple reason that I don’t want to be on these people’s radar.  I don’t know how they got my email address, but I have no intention of giving them a reason to keep bothering me with such emails.  But, I did do some digging and found that in last year’s election cycle, this organization spent mega bucks … some $2 million … advertising on Facebook.

Its ads warned about the “blue wave.” “MOB RULE IS COMING!” read one series of ads before the midterm elections.  And after: “IT’S ALMOST OVER! The Gun Control Dems are IN.”ConcealedCarryAd-01Concealed Online launched in 2016, three years after Virginia started allowing people to take online courses to qualify for concealed carry permits. Those permits are recognized in states across the country, and even nonresidents of Virginia are eligible. The company’s owner saw a business opportunity in that. So, he developed an online training course, where people can watch a video on gun safety, take a test, and instantly download a certificate of competency with a handgun for a fee. You can take the test as many times as you need, making it nearly impossible to fail.

A writer for WIRED, Issie Lapowsky, says she took the test and intentionally answered a few questions wrong, and still passed – though she had not even watched the ‘safety’ video!

The Better Business Bureau gives Concealed Online an F rating, in part because it has received 25 complaints—primarily from people who paid for the certificate only to find out that Virginia’s permits aren’t recognized in their state.  The company’s owner says Concealed Online sells certificates to people living in states like California and Colorado, which don’t accept Virginia permits, because they can use them when they travel to states that do.

Think about that one, folks.  John Doe can decide to go on a shooting spree and get permission to carry a concealed gun in 28 states within a matter of minutes, and for only $65.  Is it any wonder that the U.S. has the highest rate of deaths by gun in the world?  Is it any wonder that as of November 19th, there have been 45 school shootings in the U.S.?  Is it any wonder that as of October 31st there had been 370 mass shootings, killing 441 people and injuring another 1,466?  And is it any wonder that as of today, December 8th, there have been 36,734 gun deaths in the U.S. this year – 14,162 murder/homicides, and 22,572 suicides.  And those so-called “prolife” people worry about abortion???

Oh, and by the way … you can also buy a gun online.buy-guns-online

crying

A Letter From Parkland …

Today, February 14th 2019, marks one year since 17 people were killed, 14 of them students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  I would like to share with you a letter written by Jaclyn Corin, a senior at the school and the founder of March For Our Lives.  The letter was published yesterday in the New York Times.

Corin.jpgWhen I arrived at school on Feb. 14, 2018, like any junior, I was mostly caught up in Valentine’s Day chatter and events. But that all changed in the space of a few minutes that afternoon when a gunman opened fire on my classmates and my teachers, killing 17 of them and injuring just as many.

Despite the countless tragedies you see on TV, nothing prepares you for the day it happens to your community.

The familiar images of students fleeing their school as SWAT teams entered, of parents waiting by the perimeter desperately praying to get their kids back, were now my reality. They were my classmates and friends, too many of whom never came home.

After the shooting, my friends at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and I decided we couldn’t sit by as school shootings and gun violence became a normal part of life in America. We were determined to turn an act of violence into a movement, to do everything we could to send a powerful message to the country and to Washington.Parkland-2.jpg

There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not reminded of the shooting. When I hear the sound of sirens or fireworks, I’m taken back to that horrific afternoon. For me, Valentine’s Day will now forever be a reminder of loss.

Yet our community isn’t alone in its tragedy. In 2017, nearly 40,000 Americans died as a result of guns, an average of 109 people a day. And according to a tally from Education Week, there were 24 school shootings that resulted in gun-related deaths or injuries in 2018 alone.

While several states have taken positive legislative measures in response, there have been zero bipartisan investigations or new laws from Congress.

Not a single federal law has been passed since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 to address the crisis of school shootings. This year could be different — but only if we organize and insist on it.

Last week, Congress held its first hearing on gun violence prevention since 2011. This week, the House Judiciary Committee is poised to approve a bipartisan bill to requiring background checks for all gun purchases, a proposal that represents one important step toward keeping deadly firearms out of the wrong hands. However, it’s also likely this bill won’t get a hearing, let alone a vote, in the Senate.

That chamber’s majority leader, Mitch McConnell, needs to explain to all of us who have survived a shooting or lost someone to gun violence why the Senate won’t even vote on such a bill even though there’s been over half a million gun deaths since 2000, the year I was born.

And Americans should truly reckon with why this epidemic of gun deaths is treated so differently from any other health crisis in our country.

Imagine for a moment that all these gun deaths were caused by something else widely feared: airplane crashes. There’s no universe in which we wouldn’t see it as a national emergency worthy of our undivided attention.

In fact, 2017 was a remarkable year in aviation. No one died in a commercial airplane crash, meaning it was safer for me to fly than it was for me to go to high school. It would take hundreds of completely full Boeing 737 flights crashing without survivors to total the number of people who died by guns in America in just 2017.

If even a handful of such crashes occurred, the government would declare a national emergency. All 737s would be grounded, there would be an independent commission created to investigate the crisis, and Boeing would be called before Congress to answer for its failures.

So why then don’t more than 30,000 gun deaths in a year rise to the level of a national crisis for America’s conservative leaders?

The past year has been one with the deepest of lows and, at times, the highest of highs — moments when the hope that springs from fighting for a better world makes anything feel possible. On Thursday, the anniversary of the shooting, I will be in the only place that matters, nestled in my community and with my family.

And for the next four days, the organization I helped found, March For Our Lives, will go dark to honor those we lost and their memory.

I am deeply proud of all that my friends and I have accomplished in the last year. Still, I can’t help but wonder why so many lawmakers are ignoring — and, at their worst, enabling — the horrific gun deaths that occur in our country each day.

Parkland-1.jpgIn the year since the Parkland tragedy, nearly 1,200 more children have lost their lives to guns in this country.   When do we say, “Enough!!!”?  When do we put the lives of our children ahead of politics and corporate greed?  The sign above says it all … “Choose Me, Not Guns”.

The Truth of the Matter …

Y’know … all the talk, talk, talk about building a wall … a useless and extravagantly expensive wall … on the southern border, all the mumbo jumbo about how we have a “crisis” – a manufactured one – on the border, seems utterly ludicrous in light of these three headlines:

  • Louisiana shootings leave 5 people dead
  • Sebring shooting is Florida’s 7th mass shooting in less than 3 years
  • A Texas boxer was shot to death in his own home. The suspect: A 12-year-old boy.

Yes, folks, there is a very real crisis in the United States and it is costing thousands of lives every year.  But it isn’t immigration from Mexico, Central America and South America.  It is U.S. citizens armed with weapons, arrogance, and a lack of common sense.

The solution to the manufactured crisis on the southern border, as per Donald Trump, is a costly one … likely close to 70 billion dollars for construction and maintenance alone, but even costlier when you consider the damage it will cause to U.S.-Mexico trade and relations, the damage to the environment, and the people who will be displaced and lose their land to eminent domain.  The solution to the gun problem will cost only the time it takes to draft legislation for much stricter, yet reasonable gun laws.

In Louisiana …

Dakota Theriot, 21, shot and killed his girlfriend, her father, and her brother before driving to a neighboring county, where he killed his parents on Saturday morning.  He was captured and arrested just this morning and charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

In Florida …

Zephen A. Xaver, 21, burst into a SunTrust Bank in Sebring, Florida, and made the five women he found inside lie face down on the floor before he shot them each in the back of the head, killing them.  When he was done, he called the police to tell them what he had done.  Xaver was arrested on Wednesday and charged with five counts of first-degree premeditated murder.

In Texas …

A 12-year-old boy, whose name has not been released, dressed in all black, covered his face with a black bandanna and broke into the home of Texas professional boxer, John Duane VanMeter, in Uvalde, Texas last Wednesday.  He shot and killed Mr. VanMeter, and is now in police custody, charged with one count of capital murder.

There were likely others, but these are just the three that made headlines, most recent incidents in the U.S. that led to a loss of human life.  All three within the past week, while our backs were turned, while we watched the latest installments of the Trump Circus.  Eleven lives lost to people who should not have even had a gun in their possession.  U.S. citizens, not immigrants, were the killers.  There was not a single incident of murder by an undocumented immigrant last week.  Think about that one.

Yes, the U.S. has a crisis, and it has nothing to do with immigration, legal or illegal.  Final data for 2018 is not yet available, but in 2017 there were 39,773 deaths caused by guns in the U.S.  That is an average of 109 per day … every day of the year. gun-deaths-relative.png

gun ownership statsThis nation needs to tune out the rhetoric of its egomaniacal president and take a long, hard look at what our real problems are.  Certainly, we must enhance and maintain secure borders, but a far better option than a wall would be to simply enhance security at border checkpoints and airports, where most of the people with criminal backgrounds actually come into the U.S.  Meanwhile, we need to address some of our bigger problems, our true crises, such as gun control, infrastructure, national debt, and the biggest one – poverty.  Think about it.

When Is The Right Time To Discuss Gun Control? The Answer Is Anytime You Can

The NRA and its ‘bought-and-paid-for’ politicians, including leaders of both chambers of Congress, as well as the ‘man’ in the White House, have been busily telling us that it is a sacrilege, that it is profane, for us to discuss the need for stronger gun legislation at this time. They are dead wrong. Two blogger-friends have expounded on the need to have this discussion NOW, and I am re-blogging both, for they are both excellent pieces. Please, whether you agree or disagree that we have a gun-addiction problem in this country, take the time to read and ponder Keith and Gronda’s words, both of whom I agree with wholeheartedly. Thank you, Keith and Gronda, for your work, and permission to share.

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of bump stocks that turn guns into machine guns

We have already heard ad nauseam the republicans’ talking point, that right now, so soon after the 10/1/17 Las Vegas Mass shooting tragedy, it is too soon to be discussing issues pertaining to gun control.

“We the people” who are part of the resistance, beg to disagree. We are certain that all those who are grieving because of loved ones suffering harm, would want us who are supportive of sensible gun control measures, tackling this issue head-on with no delay. They would want to save others from experiencing their pain.

Image result for photos of bump stocks that turn guns into machine guns

For example, I see no reason for “bump-stock” devices being an item that is legal to sell, especially when its sole purpose is to turn a rifle into a machine guns. Machine guns have been  illegal to purchase, if made after May 1986.

In Nevada, it is legal for a resident to own a machine gun. Under federal law…

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When is the right time?

The NRA and its ‘bought-and-paid-for’ politicians, including leaders of both chambers of Congress, as well as the ‘man’ in the White House, have been busily telling us that it is a sacrilege, that it is profane, for us to discuss the need for stronger gun legislation at this time. They are dead wrong. Two blogger-friends have expounded on the need to have this discussion NOW, and I am re-blogging both, for they are both excellent pieces. Please, whether you agree or disagree that we have a gun-addiction problem in this country, take the time to read and ponder Keith and Gronda’s words, both of whom I agree with wholeheartedly. Thank you, Keith and Gronda, for your work, and permission to share.

musingsofanoldfart

We should mourn the loss of innocent American lives at the hands of one shooter. We should offer our prayers, thoughts and support to the victims, injured, caregivers and their families and friends. And, we should demand from our lawmakers to act like parents and grandparents and to stiffen our gun governance.

NRA funded politicians, who unfortunately include the leaders of the two chambers of Congress and the White House, say now is not the time to discuss gun control. When is the time? The NRA is likely horse whispering in their ears to stiff arm the gun control proponents until the crisis abates. Then, lip service will be given to the subject as it is defeated once again, given the NRA’s ability to highly mobilize its confederation of zealous followers, even though they are small in number.

Speaker Paul Ryan has noted that it is more than a gun…

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Guns In Daycare??? NONSENSE!!!

The headline on 21 March read:

Big Changes to Ohio’s Gun Laws Take Effect Today

Stoked, thinking … finally … some common sense has ensued to limit where guns are allowed.  But no … rather …

Anyone with a concealed carry license will be able to carry a gun in more places, including day cares

WHAT????

“When someone tells you, ‘Guns in day care. Well, why do you want that?'” said Sean Maloney, a pro-gun attorney for Buckeye Firearms Association. He says parents with concealed carry licenses face a quandary when it’s time to pick up and drop off their kids. “Think about how dangerous it is with us in the parking lot, arming and disarming ourselves, with people in the parking lot watching that happen — with kids, potentially, in the back seat of the car, and us leaving a firearm in there,” Maloney said. Maloney hopes day care operators and others will embrace Ohio’s changing gun laws, which create more places where legal firearms are allowed.

The horror of this leaves me nearly speechless!  But then comes this …

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live): Locked, loaded and signed. In August, North Dakotans will be able pack heat as long as they have a state ID for at least a year. It’s a new constitutional carry bill signed by Governor Doug Burgum who also already has a concealed carry license.

And then this …

More gun owners, fewer gun laws: Gun control legislation should be reduced within the United States, because the Second Amendment grants the right to bear arms, self-defense is a justifiable reason to own a firearm, and gun control does not deter criminals.

And then …

House Passes Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act: The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauds the House of Representatives today for passing The Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act (H.R. 1181), a bill that protects the due process rights of veterans, in a 240-175 vote.

The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, which is anything BUT protection for veterans!

Okay … I have made my point.  Gun phobia is alive and well in the U.S., and we are not getting any saner!

no-guns

Expect to see fewer of these

For those who will scream “2nd Amendment … 2nd Amendment” … here is exactly what the 2nd Amendment says:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Nothing more, nothing less.  Does anybody see a well-regulated militia around? Anybody belong to a well-regulated militia? What the 2nd Amendment does NOT say is that every man and woman in the nation has a right to carry a pistol into a church, bookstore, grocery market, or, God forbid, a day care facility! It does not state that every adult should be allowed or enabled to walk down the street with a handgun tucked into his or her belt.  And NOWHERE in the second amendment does it give anybody the right to USE those guns, only to own them.

There are so many real-life instances of innocent people killed by the use of guns in the hands of ordinary people that I cannot even begin to list them.  I am going out on a limb here, folks:

GUNS … DO … NOT … BELONG … IN … THE … HANDS … OF … CIVILIANS!  Not today, not tomorrow, not EVER!!!

Let us take a quick look at gun laws across the globe, shall we?

  • The guiding laws for firearms in Scotland are the Firearms (Scotland) Rules 1989 and the Firearms Act (1968). All handguns, semi-automatic and pump-action non-rim-fire rifles are prohibited.
  • To purchase a handgun or other restricted firearm, a person must have a restricted possession and acquisition license (RPAL) for restricted firearms. Canada’s federal laws severely restrict the ability of civilians to transport restricted or prohibited (grandfathered) firearms in public.
  • France: “No one shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords”, and very few exceptions are allowed. However, citizens are permitted to possess firearms for hunting and sport shooting, but only after submitting to a lengthy licensing procedure.
  • Dutch gun laws are actually quite strict. Gun ownership is seen not as a right, but a privilege, with hunting and target shooting the only two legitimate reasons for owning a gun. Self defence is not regarded as a valid argument for owning a gun, and only the police are allowed to carry a weapon.
  • Ireland: The Minister retains the authority in law to issue a Temporary Custody Order, which compels all firearms certificate holders to turn their firearms over to the Gardaí for a period of up to three months. Target shooting outside an authorized range in Ireland is a criminal offence.

Get the picture?  Most people in the U.S. seem to think that the 2nd Amendment grants them UNLIMITED rights to own, carry, and USE their steel toys, but is it any wonder that other nations, and even some more discerning citizens of the U.S. are astounded by the ever-increasing rights of gun ownership?

Enter the National Rifle Association, aka the NRA.  The NRA is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the U.S., and while they spend large sums of money to endorse certain political candidates, their real power lies in their ability to mobilize its 4 million members.  Think about that.  4 million members.  I commented to a friend recently that I believed some in the U.S. would give up their children before they would give up their guns.  And after I thought about that statement, which was initially made simply as an off-the-cuff remark, I realized that it is true.  Consider the case I wrote about earlier this week, about the shooting, as yet unexplained, of the 9-year-old boy.  Those parents had their 4 children taken away by Children’s Services earlier, but kept their guns.

America’s obsession with guns often leaves me speechless.  It is simply something I cannot understand.  The one thing I do know is that the statistics do not lie … In the United States, the death rate from gun homicides is about 31 per million people — the equivalent of 27 people shot dead every day of the year. Is the need to be armed for self-protection as great as the NRA and gun advocates would have us believe?  In a word, no.  In 65 years on this planet, I have never felt the need for a gun.  I have refused family members access to my home unless they leave their guns at home, and I have walked out of stores where I saw that a person had a gun on their person.  It is the American obsession, and it is certainly not something we can or should take pride in.

Below are links to three articles that look at some of those statistics: