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Posts Tagged → second amendment

Guns – Your individual right

Gun ownership is an individual right, not a “collective” right.

There is no such thing as a “collective” right in the American liberties enumerated in our Constitution.

If you think otherwise, you really must study the Constitution more.  Local to the Harrisburg area is an organization that provides classes on Constitutional issues: http://reclaimliberty.com/

The “collective right” idea was ginned up out of thin air in the 1970s by anti-freedom activists.  The US Supreme Court has rejected it twice, and there is not an honest scholar anywhere who believes in it.

The Bill of Rights is exactly that – a list of individual rights and liberties that belong to American citizens.  No one can take them away.  Whether you choose to exercise those rights, or not, is your choice.

America’s tradition of gun ownership runs deep

Visiting the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, over the weekend, it was tough not to wonder how anti-gun activists get their ideas.

Displays at the museum about the 1750s French and Indian War, and the 1775-1783 American War of Independence, have an awful lot of individually owned, military-grade firearms on display.

On April 19, 1775, after the American militia faced off against the professional British soldiers in Lexington, Massachusetts, and after they fired on the long British retreat back to Boston, a British commander wrote “Whoever looks upon them [the American militia] as an irregular mob will find himself much mistaken, as they have men amongst them who know very well what they are about.”

Meaning, the American militia men were darned good shots, brave, and thoughtful about tactics.  Those privately owned rifles created the personal freedoms and liberty that American citizens now take for granted and which are the goal of would-be immigrants the world over.

Today, the American tradition of personally owning firearms that the government has neither approved nor knows about lives on among about 100 million citizens.  It is the ultimate liberty, and we will not give it up.  Nor will we allow government bureaucrats to watch us, monitor us, and decide for us if we should or should not own guns.  The Second Amendment means what it says: “Shall not be infringed.”

Which is why I wonder why one political party has made gun control such a singular goal.  It is an increasingly loser political issue, with little to no return on investment.  If that one political party would give up on this one issue, they would be a lot more successful.  I should know, because the spirit of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill lives on among so many Americans.  How others are missing that spirit makes you wonder if they really understand what America is all about.

The challenge of properly managing Pennsylvania’s endangered species

Managing Pennsylvania’s endangered and threatened species: Are we going from bad to worse?

By Josh First

Democratic government is by its nature slow and difficult. It’s designed to be inefficient. That’s why less government is better than more government. 

House Bill 1576 is being voted on Wednesday, sponsored by legislators responding to legitimate complaints from their constituents and stakeholders. HB 1576 would change the way Pennsylvania manages threatened and endangered species, by adding IRRC, the heavily politicized arm of regulatory government as the final arbiter of scientific reviews originating in our wildlife agencies. 

Here’s my three reasons for opposing HB 1576:

1) It’s more bureaucracy, which in this case is designed to hamstring the current regulatory process overseen by the PA Game Commission and the PA Fish & Boat Commission. Careful what you ask for, because if Pennsylvania lets endangered species management become a political issue, the US Fish & Wildlife Service will take over. If you think our state agencies are a pain in the butt, wait til distant, unresponsive, politicized federal bureaucrats take over and are making the decisions about our wildlife issues. You’ll get gridlock up the yinyang then.  And Pennsylvania will lose the annual +\- $30 million in self imposed excise tax money from sporting goods that is distributed to PGC and PFBC by the Feds each year.  

2) It emasculates the two independent agencies, setting them up for further questions about their function and role in state government. The ultimate goal by some people is to fold PGC and PFBC into DCNR. Emasculating the agencies is a step in that direction. 
My opposition to that is strictly cultural: PA is more like Idaho or Wyoming, and unlike every other state surrounding us, in that we have uniformed PGC officers teaching kids how to use firearms safely, and teaching them that firearms ownership is their constitutional right. State personnel in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, etc don’t do that. Those are Commie states where leftist governors have politicized the line agencies. Due to the extremists running their governments, these states actively deprive their citizens of their Second Amendment rights. That could happen here, say, under a Governor Allyson Schwartz, an extreme leftist now in the lead to be the Democrat nominee for Pennsylvania governor.  

Let’s not let Pennsylvania become a Commie state, or let our traditional hands-on culture at PGC and PFBC get overrun by the next governor who flits through the office. Let’s hold onto this old, beautiful aspect of our culture, and let our qualified authority figures teach the next generation about the beauty of individual liberty. 

3) It’s a sledgehammer when we need a scalpel.  With HB 1576, I think the PGC and PFBC just got the message that their process isn’t working for everyone. But it must work for everyone. So let’s sit down and hammer out a new, better process that meets the worthy stewardship goals of PGC and PFBC, without undermining those agencies. 

Sure, there are other reasons to oppose HB 1576, but those three are enough for me. 

So much to write about, so little time to do it!

Upcoming subject matter includes: Boy Scouts of America policy on sexualizing children (don’t do it), immigration ‘reform’ and the Boston bombing (don’t do it), trading off the Second Amendment for the First Amendment after Muslims blow up the Boston Marathon (don’t do it), the lack of coverage of mainstream media of the Gosnell Abortion House of Horrors and Freak Show (msm is not doing it), and the Obama administration’s odd handling of a young Saudi Arabian kid who was caught up in the Boston bombing and then whisked away by federal officials and scheduled for deportation, without being brought to justice in America….

Separately, thank you to Kim Stolfer and FOAC who organized yesterday’s wonderful Second Amendment rally at the PA state capitol. I enjoyed catching up with many friends and fellow activists, including Shira Goodman, an activist for the other team. Shira works for CeaseFirePA, a gun prohibition group. Yet Shira continues to surprise me, saying she reads this blog regularly (Hi Shira! Thank you!), and that she is taking shooting lessons (DO IT!).

Thank you also to the PA Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, which held its annual Legislative Shoot yesterday at the Mechanicsburg Sportsmen’s Association. Well over 50, maybe 60 members of the PA House attended, as well as quite a few state senators. It was my great pleasure to teach a young Democrat how to shoot an AR-15, so he could see that it’s not a weapon of war, nor is it inclined to jump up and immediately start shooting people of its own accord.

Josh to speak at Tea Party Patriots gathering

Josh will be speaking at the Tea Party Patriots gathering next Monday night at 6006 Old Jonestown Road, in Lower Paxton Township, at 7:00 PM. The venue is accessed through an entrance around the back of the old church, in an auditorium. Parking is right there. The subject will be the Second Amendment. Josh will be speaking with local attorney Marc Scaringi, who in 2012 ran in the Republican primary for US Senator from Pennsylvania while Josh was running for PA State Senate.

It Takes a Democrat Strategist & a Conservative Republican to Say What the GOP Establishment Can’t & Won’t Say

CPAC is going on now and through the weekend. CPAC is the annual conservative gathering held around America that pressures the GOP establishment to make sounds of conservativism.

Political strategist Pat Caddell sat on a panel at CPAC yesterday and chided the Republican Party for not fighting to win. Caddell said that the Democrats fight to win, and win they do, and he laughed at how gentlemanly Republicans and conservatives like to be, even at the cost of winning. He listed many examples that I will not reproduce here.

Caddell is a Democrat.

Slip over to the US Capitol around the same time, where US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was being asked simple questions about her view of the US Constitution by US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). You can easily look up the exchange. Cruz asked Feinstein if her approach to gutting the Second Amendment would apply to the First and Fourth Amendments to the US Constitution, where, by her kind of legislation the US citizens could be told which books they could read and which parts of their homes were open to warrantless searches.

Feinstein had a snit and “took offense” to the question, instead of answering it. Liberals always, always, always take offense to anything that they don’t agree with. Being offended is silly, and is no grounds for dismissing an issue. If someone is offended, so what…keep going.

Recall that until very recently, Cruz was the outsider Republican, excluded by the GOP establishment and undermined by them at every turn in his quest for elected office. Conservatives like Cruz are always on the outs with the GOP establishment, because they say things that aren’t considered polite by GOP moderates.

In a nutshell, Thursday, March 14, 2013, was a significant milestone in the internal reformation of the GOP. A Democrat laughed openly in the faces of the GOP for being such weenies that they willfully lose races, and a conservative Republican asked a simple question not asked by any establishment R’s, highlighting the gulf between traditional conservatives and moderate Republicans.

Fortunately, Pennsylvania has US Senator Pat Toomey, a real American with basic American values representing our views in Washington. How sad it was and remains today that the PA GOP tried to promote Steve Welch as the GOP alternative to Bob Casey, instead of staying out of the primary race and letting the candidates contend among themselves. We might today have Tom Smith as our second US Senator, instead of the leftwing Bob Casey.

What the Militia Was in 1776

A very brief, historic review of what some American militias were in the 1770s, including their purposes and makeup:

School Safety TV Debate: Never Mind the Crazy Headline

Josh takes on gun prohibitionist CeaseFirePA and “Obama Cop” police chief Tom Hyers in this live broadcast TV debate from last week. Never mind the crazy anti-gun headline, dreamt up by some anti-Second Amendment activist…Cut and paste the link below:


By Josh First
January 3, 2013


Along with other beautiful stained glass windows dedicated to free speech and religion, “Militia” is just another large, elaborate stained glass window in the Pennsylvania State Capitol building (photo above).

This window’s prominent place in the Capitol is no accident, as the free citizen militia were fundamental to being an American citizen, and formative in founding the nation. After all, it was a free citizen militia (photos below) that was so determined to hold on to their liberties (now yours) that they literally faced down the world’s greatest super power, shooting only when they saw the whites of their hardened enemy’s eyes.

Like the other rights in the Bill of Rights, belonging to the militia is an individual right. No central or national army can supplant it. It is the exact purpose of the citizen militia to act as a counterweight to a centralized army or National Guard. As the Second Amendment so clearly states, you can’t belong to a militia unless you are armed with a military-quality arm, that you own and keep in your possession, as the original militia did.

Militia is not the heavily regulated, structured, centralized Army or National Guard of today; well-regulated meant muster rolls were kept. Militia was always a grass roots, citizen-led counterbalance to national governments, whether of Britain or the new United States. Unless the National Guard reports only to the local citizens or state governors, then it is not the heir to or the modern representation of the founding militia. The militia were and must remain separate from the central (national) government and its standing army.

The Bill of Rights does not describe governmental rights. All ten of its amendments describe and reserve citizens’ individual rights and liberties, and set limits on government power. Who creates a “Bill of Rights” that grants the central government the “right” to make an army and disarm the citizens? The fact that Americans have owned firearms since the beginning demonstrates the clear intent of the Bill of Rights. Whether or not some of today’s Americans are aware of, or comfortable with some Constitutional rights and obligations, they exist nonetheless. This is who we are. It’ll take a Constitutional amendment to change the Second Amendment, if you don’t like it. And changing it could lead to a second civil war, because the Second Amendment guarantees all the other amendments, and, like the Revolutionary War militia, free citizens are still willing to fight for their liberties.

Let’s talk more about that supposed potential change to the Constitution.

Gun prohibitionists are now pursuing an orgy of unconstitutional laws that exponentially grow government intrusion and end citizenship as defined since the birth of America. Do gun prohibitionists and anti-gun politicians really believe that freedom-loving Americans will just roll over and “turn them all in,” as US Senator Dianne Feinstein so casually says? I guarantee you a massive, defiant, and probably violent dissenting reaction across the nation in response to such an effort, if not an outright armed rebellion. Political elites like Feinstein and their fellow urbanites have little contact with “fly-over country,” so they do not know, care, understand, or respect the views of their fellow citizens there.

Statists, like Feinstein, whose greatest goal is a big government involved in citizens’ lives from cradle to grave, are deaf and blind to the kind of vehement resistance now brewing among tens of millions of citizens. Many, many Americans feel and see the America they knew and loved being transformed into an unrecognizable juggernaut aimed at controlling citizens’ lives and erasing their liberties. Seething beneath the surface of daily life is an increasing, simmering frustration and mistrust. It’s one thing to beat them at the ballot box. It’s another thing altogether to aim to disarm them.

These citizens know that the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. The more the government does, the less the citizen can do. To them, government is a direct threat, not a solution.

Gun control already exists in overbearing quantity; new laws that would take away guns from law-abiding Americans are exactly the kinds of unconstitutional assaults on individual liberty that the Second Amendment was designed to repel and that the citizen militia was created to address. Using democracy to achieve undemocratic results has been the method of extremists from both Left and Right; with the latest wave of proposals, gun prohibitionists reveal their own extremism.

Draft resistors, anti-government dissenters, and assorted protests have been historic hallmarks of one part of the electorate. Will Second Amendment-rights activists have to carry their God-given guns on a Million Man March to Washington, DC, carrying today’s equivalent of the 1776-era military-grade musket, the AR-15, to get their point across?

Pro-abortion activists have long stated matter-of-factly that legally prohibiting abortion won’t end abortion, and that those who want one will seek it out, legal or not, safe or not. Well, folks, tens of millions of Americans are about to have that equivalent experience with their guns, taking them into the back alleys, yards, and woods, where they will have them, despite whatever the government may say. Such defiance is what created America. Let’s hope it doesn’t end up re-creating it.

Adam Lanza’s insane massacre of school children in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, is so painful, so emotionally scarring that I will never be the same person I was the day before it occurred. My three children are as gentle, innocent, defenseless, and precious to me as those children were to their parents, and the thought of losing mine or theirs in such a cruelly violent way is too much to contemplate. My heart aches for the Sandy Hook parents. My fury rises at the incompetent parole board that unleashed murderer William Spengler to murder again, this time the brave firefighters who rushed to douse his arsonist blaze in Webster, NY. Blame enough to go around, but the actual problem-solving is hard.

Let me try: Does Hollywood really have an unfettered, unaccountable right to use its power of suggestion to continually encourage cruel, unchecked violence across America? During the recent Benghazi debacle, weren’t we told that the First Amendment doesn’t necessarily confer a right to make a movie that might incite violence? Thus, if Hollywood wants to continue marketing sadistically happy murder carnage from Django Unchained and the equally moronic Gangster Squad, why don’t all movies and video games with a modern gun in them have to pay a 50% ‘violence mitigation fee’ on each ticket sold? Use that money to put armed guards in schools, gratis Quentin Tarantino and Sean Penn.

In sum, disarming innocent citizens will not succeed, at least not without forcing millions into long-neglected, perhaps forgotten, well-regulated militias to defend their rights. Using emotional crises to immediately demand sweeping new laws is irresponsible. Can cooler heads prevail? Let us hope and pray so.

Stay in the conversation at www.joshfirst.com and on our Facebook page.
The Militia:

You, the citizen, are still the militia. America is yours.

Wisconsin Sikh Temple Murders: What The…?

If you have not had the opportunity to meet a Sikh, you should go out of your way to do so.

I have yet to meet a mean, unpleasant, surly, or disrespectful Sikh.

In my experience, Sikhs are like all other Indians: Universally pleasant, friendly, gracious. They work hard, contribute enormously to American culture, our economy, to family life, and small business. Sikhs are exactly the kind of immigrants Americans want, because they are both religious and tolerant of others. They have great values that are 100% congruent with traditional American values, culture, and lifestyle.

Sikhs are a net gain for America, not a threat.

And please, spare us any debate on Sikh or Hindu theology. Not one of us has a theology that someone cannot poke some holes in. Sikh theology is not mine, but it is very American in terms of its values.

My heart goes out to the poor Sikhs in Wisconsin, those who have experienced the downside of American freedom and liberty. Our Second Amendment requires citizens to be responsible, mature, and free of psychosis. It also requires other citizens to be on the lookout, so that they might defend themselves, if need be.

Sikhs are fine citizens, and I wish we had more of them here in Central Pennsylvania. Hopefully, the damaged temple in Milwaukee will be fixed, enlarged, and visited by people of all other faiths as a demonstration of solidarity with fellow good citizens.

What amazes me is that white supremacists believe they are superior, and yet they always behave in such obviously inferior ways. If you are so superior, start a business, make money, run a solid family, and pass on your values, whatever they may be, to your children. The thing is, racial and religious supremacy of all sorts is so deficient, so broken, that its practitioners almost always blow themselves up or run afoul of the law long before they can act civilized and healthily participate in a free democracy, thereby passing on their values.