By Katie Kieffer
Teach gun safety in classrooms and leave sex education to parents. Plan B won’t save young people from incurable STDs, but guns will protect women and children from being raped or murdered. The more young people know about guns, the safer our society will be.
Rush Limbaugh said on his talk radio show on May 1: “We know kids are gonna get guns anyway, why not teach them how to use them?” The king of talk was right. Instead of pushing morning-after pills on 15-year-old girls, we should be showing young people how to responsibly use the preeminent tool they have to defend themselves in the event of a violent attack—a gun.
Over the past decade, overall violent crime in the United States has steadily decreased according to FBI reports. Meanwhile, gun ownership is at an all time high. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is one of the best ways to gauge the number of new gun purchases. In 2011, there was an all-time record high of 16.5 million checks. In 2012, Americans set a new record for gun ownership: 19.5 million background checks.
Americans use guns to hold off assault far more than they use guns to commit murder or violent crime. Indeed, Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck has shown that Americans use guns to defensively prevent crime about 2 million times a year—often by merely brandishing a weapon in front of a would-be-assailant. “…most violent crimes end if the victim simply exposes a firearm. Most criminals want to leave the scene with the same number of holes they started with,” writes Michael Martin in his book, Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals.
On top of all this, the only gun legislation that has consistently been shown to reduce violent crime is concealed carry permit legislation.
All of the data on guns and crime brings us to one conclusion: More guns in the hands of honest Americans equates to less violent crime.
Three “Solutions” To Mass Shootings That Will NOT Work:
1.) Background Checks
Even Democrats admit that background checks don’t work. When they have a slip of the tongue and speak their mind, they say things like this: “…let’s be honest, criminals aren’t going to buy a gun and go through a background check.” (That is exactly what Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY recently said.)
Dr. John Lott writes for Fox News: “There is no real scientific evidence among criminologists and economists that background checks actually reduce crime.”
2.) Gun Free Zones
You can’t stop a criminal with a sign. But you can welcome a criminal with a sign that says: “Gun Free Zone,” which a criminal interprets as: “Walk Right In… And Bring Your Guns!”
Adam Lanza specifically went to a ‘gun free zone’ to fatally shoot 20 children and six adults in the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy. He brought guns into an elementary school, not into the Pentagon.
3.) Psychiatric Drugs
More and more, psychiatric drugs are being miss-prescribed or abused and President Obama’s FDA is contributing to this mess. Medications are increasingly being prescribed to young people that could be setting them up for violent behavior. Instead of prescribing talk therapy, we are loading young people up on meds that are known to cause suicidal thoughts and/or incite aggression.
Lanza was mentally unstable. Mentally unstable people do not follow “rules” printed on signs. Mentally unstable people do unpredictable things.
If you look at every mass school shooting over the past 15 years, they almost all have one thing in common, according to Lawrence Hunter of the Social Security Institute: The gunman: “…has been on or in withdrawal from psychiatric drugs…Yet, federal and state governments continue to ignore the connection between psychiatric drugs and murderous violence, preferring instead to exploit these tragedies in an oppressive and unconstitutional power grab to snatch guns away from innocent, law-abiding people.”
Big pharma is peddling drugs to youngsters that have highly questionable side effects and Hunter says: “It is pharmaceutical makers, not law-abiding gun owners or gun manufacturers, who should be held to account for the series of ‘lone-wolf’ mass shootings that have occurred since the widespread use of psychiatric drugs began.”
Expert psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin has told Fox News: “One of the things in the past that we’ve known about depression is that it very, very rarely leads to violence. It’s only been since the advent of these new SSRI drugs that we have murderers, sometimes even mass murderers, taking antidepressant drugs.”
When you look at the facts, guns save lives. And the more comfortable and knowledgeable we are regarding guns, the more lives we will save. It’s time for young people to go through gun education before their teachers brainwash them about gun control.
By Katie Kieffer
El Chapo haunts the streets of Chicago. His ghost hordes cash in Los Angeles stash houses. His shadow darkens underground tunnels between Mexico and the U.S. His spirit drives his clan to bloodshed. The world’s most-wanted kingpin may be dead. But the Sinaloa cartel will thrive until America legalizes drugs.
Guatemalan authorities are currently investigating whether Joaquín Guzmán (nicknamed El Chapo) was killed in a gunfight near Mexico’s border in a remote jungle-ranch province known as Peten.
El Chapo is an entrepreneurial criminal. ‘Entrepreneurial’ because he takes risks and acclimates to overcome obstacles. ‘Criminal’ because he does not compete on quality or price; he retains his monopoly with bribes, blackmail, misogyny (dynastic marriage) and violence.
Chapo may be worth $1 billion, but he hardly enjoys the money. Fear and hiding dominate his lifestyle because he did not earn his money justly and openly like a real entrepreneur (think late CEO and co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs). Chapo knows he could lose everything, at any moment. He was already caught and he would still be sitting in Mexico’s fortified Punte Grande prison, but he bribed enough people to escape after serving just five years.
Chapo built a network that will survive him. In a very bloody and unethical way, Chapo developed the Sinaloa cartel into such a powerful, violent and ruthless monopoly that nothing short of losing its biggest customer (the U.S.) will kill Chapo’s ghost (or legacy).
If we are serious about winning the war on drugs, we need to legalize and regulate drugs. Doing so would be the equivalent of Donald Trump bellowing: “You’re fired!” to the drug cartels.
There are huge benefits to forcing the drug market above ground by legalizing drugs:
I encourage you to learn the history of prohibition in America; you will quickly discover that most regulations banning alcohol and drugs were instituted to slyly enforce racism—not to promote health or justice.
The federal government’s prosecution of consumable substances is rooted in “racial considerations,” Senior judicial analyst for FOX News, Judge Andrew Napolitano, explains in his book Theodore and Woodrow. He explains how the “xenophobic” Anti-Saloon League lobbied for alcohol prohibition as a way to hurt Irish and Italian Catholic immigrants who had a “culture of alcohol consumption” and to bully German immigrants who produced beer and spirits.
Napolitano also tells how the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 targeted Chinese and Filipino immigrants who had cultural practices of consuming controlled opium. And, federal regulations against marijuana helped “give white law enforcement a pretext to arrest darker-skinned Mexicans” since “the crop originated in Mexico, and its use was common among Mexican immigrants.”
Drug cartels such as the Sinaloa likely pay more than most legitimate businesses pay in taxes in cash bribes to buy off Mexican authorities, Mexican citizens and American law enforcement, reports The New York Times.
Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011, which included a sequester mechanism. Now, Obama says he does not like the sequester mechanism because it will mean “meat cleaver” cuts to the budget.
As CNBC host Larry Kudlow tweeted: “$44 billion spending cut is only one quarter of one percent of GDP. 1.25% of the $3.6 trillion budget. But worth doing. Small potatoes.”
As you can see, this is more like a “paper cut approach” to cutting spending. But if President Obama truly thinks cutting $44 billion is a “meat cleaver approach,” then he could propose a “relaxed approach” to raising revenues: legalizing and regulating drugs.
The Justice Department estimates that Americans pump up to $39 billion into Colombian and Mexican cartels annually. Why not kill two birds with one stone by legalizing drugs, which would keep $39 billion in the U.S. while stopping the border violence?
Napolitano writes how the Anti-Saloon League succeeded in getting Congress to pass the Sixteenth Amendment, which legalized the income tax. “…prior to the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913, the alcohol excise tax accounted for 40 percent of the federal government’s revenue.” So, prior to the prohibition, Americans did not pay income tax because alcohol was legal and regulated.
Likewise, I feel like we could eliminate or drastically lower taxes that hurt entrepreneurship by legalizing and taxing drugs like marijuana. If you don’t want to do drugs, you won’t pay a tax. And you will also not be “punished” with exorbitant taxes if you decide to start a business.
Per the Constitution, you have the right to put whatever you want into your own body; only states can ban drugs. Freedom means you have the right to decide whether to live a healthy lifestyle or to destroy your body with a habit like binge drinking. The founders understood that federal laws against drugs would violate natural law and thereby damage the psyche.
Banning the consumption of alcohol or drugs also encourages people to be physically unhealthy. The federal government is not a reliable authority when it comes to health. For example, marijuana is verifiably more effective at eliminating pain than pharmaceutical drugs. Many people in chronic pain could benefit from medicinal marijuana. But drug companies do not want to lose their monopoly, so they lobby Congress to continue fighting a futile war on drugs.
Even if you use marijuana recreationally, a 20-year study published last January in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that moderate consumption (about a joint a week) does not damage the lungs.
The study also shows that the chemical in marijuana that gives you a high (tetrathydrocanabinol or THC) fights inflammation. So, smoking marijuana once a week is sort of like sprinkling basil on your spaghetti? Why is it illegal again?
El Chapo’s main competition is the Zetas cartel. Zetas is an example of how the underground market for one product (in this case, drugs) replaces free-market innovation with violence. Unscrupulous people start to realize that they can use violence (not innovation) to make money with all sorts of “commodities,” not just drugs. For example, the Zetas cartel uses violence to cash in on humans via kidnapping and human trafficking.
If the market controlled the price of drugs, the price would drop because the markup on the street is largely to compensate people who risk their lives to sell their product. The cartels would no longer risk wholesaling their product in the U.S. because they could not get a price to commensurate with the risk associated with trafficking. In addition, the monopoly they have would crumble.
So, legalize drugs. And scare away the ghost of El Chapo forever.
By Katie Kieffer
You are a reality star. You might think no one sees you in your fenced-in backyard grilling hamburgers in your boxer shorts. But government drones equipped with HD cameras are filming a new reality show starring you: “Drone Dynasty.”
In popular reality shows like “Duck Dynasty” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” we essentially stalk people as they make fools of themselves on camera. In general, stalking is becoming culturally acceptable as our ability to spy, share and sensationalize life extends beyond reality television.
I use social media just like everyone else; I think sites like Twitter can be both fun and valuable communication tools. Still, I am concerned that as a society we are all becoming so obsessed with sharing every trivial moment of our lives that we are losing an appreciation for private property.
Ask yourself this question: “Why is the federal government able to get by with flying drones over our homes, lands and businesses without a warrant as required per the Fourth Amendment?” Is it because we are becoming careless about our own privacy, ownership and independence?
Private property is the best kind of property. Public parks are nice for a walk or a picnic, but who wants to live in a public park? Who wants to take showers in a public fountain and sleep like a bum on the sidewalk?
Here are some things you need to know about the government’s plans to use drones domestically:
Forget peeping Toms. Police departments are beginning to acquire and use drones like the Dragonflyer X6 and the ShadowHawk helicopter drone for “national security.” It is unconstitutional for the local police to search private property without a warrant and probable cause. Yet it is highly unclear whether law enforcement officers are self-policing themselves and obtaining proper warrants before using drones.
The Washington Post reports: “The FAA plans to begin integrating drones starting with small aircraft weighing less than about 55 pounds. The agency forecasts an estimated 10,000 civilian drones will be in use in the U.S. within five years. The Defense Department says the demand for drones and their expanding missions requires routine and unfettered access to domestic airspace, including around airports and cities, for military testing and training.”
The thought of 10,000 drones zooming around in the airspace above our homes and businesses within the next few years should make you uneasy. What can the federal government possibly need to see?
Transparency and process concerns:
Currently, the FAA is launching six drone-testing ranges in order to integrate drones into U.S. airspace by 2015 per the unconstitutional Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. Basically, our government is feverishly working to fly drones above our heads.
Supposedly the public will have a period to comment and voice privacy concerns regarding these testing ranges. However, when I went to the FAA’s website, I realized that it is very difficult for the public to impact this process. The FAA will allow comments online at: http://www.regulations.gov.
The FAA’s commenting procedures will likely discourage people from posting comments because they are time-consuming and it is unclear whether the comments will even be taken into consideration. Plus, most people are not aware of this website or the FAA’s public commenting deadlines.
Besides constitutional and freedom issues, how do we know that 10,000 unmanned drones can safely share the same airspace as manned airplanes? How do we know that a drone will not crash and kill human beings or destroy private property? Purportedly, that is what these six drone-testing ranges are for. But technology can malfunction, and unmanned aerial vehicles are particularly prone to malfunction.
TIME Magazine reports: “…in September the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on drones that expressed serious concerns about, among other things, their unreliable performance, their lack of sense-and-avoid technology that would help them keep from colliding with other aircraft and their lousy electronic security [remote hacking is a cinch].”
So what is the rush to get 10,000 junk-mobiles up in U.S. airspace that could very well collide with other aircrafts or crash and kill human beings? The technology still needs to improve. And, more importantly, warrantless drone searches are unconstitutional.
Why are we silently giving up our right to private property by allowing the government to turn us into reality stars? I mean, at least Kim Kardashian freely chooses to be a reality star and earns a handsome fee to boot. But what do we get in return for starring in “Drone Dynasty?”
By Katie Kieffer
Can you hear the humming of a lawnmower in the sky? It is a government drone. Your mission is to prevent this unmanned aircraft from droning out your freedom.
Last week, NBC News turned the White House upside-down by revealing a confidential 16-page Department of Justice white paper titled “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qa’ida or An Associated Force.” (A better title: “Justification for Stripping U.S. Citizens of their Natural Rights and Crowning the President King.”)
I read this white paper and I encourage you to read it too. But if you simply do not want to read a treatise justifying murder, I will give you the CliffsNotes version. This paper validates what conservatives and libertarians have been warning the public about for years: The Obama Administration’s international and domestic drone policies are unconstitutional and unethical.
President Obama has used and will continue to use (per this white paper) drones against American citizens unless we speak out and defend our rights.
In September of 2011, the U.S. government used a drone to kill an innocent 16-year-old American boy, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, and his 17-year-old cousin who left their village in Yemen to look for Abdulrahman’s missing father. (And besides American citizens, Obama’s drones have killed scores of innocent civilians abroad compared to single digits of terrorism suspects.)
Setting the Stage: Our President Is Not a King
The founders made the executive branch (President) weak compared to the legislative branch (Congress). The founders wanted checks and balances in the Constitution so that the United States would not collapse like Rome did when greedy emperors began encroaching on individual liberties, inflating the currency and over-expanding the military. The founders understood that one man with absolute power is likely to become a dictator.
The Constitution explicitly gives Congress (not the President) the power to control the purse strings and make all laws. The President’s role is to enforce the budget and laws that Congress creates. Additionally, Congress has the power to determine or “declare” war and the President simply serves as Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy.
The weighty decision of whether or not the United States enters into armed conflict with another nation does not rest on one man—it rests on Congress. Unfortunately, several presidents have violated this constitutional mandate (think Obama’s engagement in Libya).
With the ever-evolving “war on terror,” Obama is unconstitutionally keeping our country in continuous war while violating our rights as American citizens.
Public Officials Not Above The Law
This white paper incorrectly maintains that the President or any “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government” has constitutional authority to respond to a “threat of violent attack against the United States” by a U.S. citizen in a foreign country without “clear evidence.” (Note: The DOJ will likely try to use these same arguments to kill “suspicious” U.S. citizens with drones on U.S. soil.)
This paper does not unequivocally say that the “informed, high-level official” must be a member of the military. In some instances, the paper even uses the generic term “public official.”
This white paper’s elasticity could theoretically authorize Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to order a drone to kill an American journalist traveling in the Middle East whose exercise of free speech is perceived (without clear evidence) as inciting mob behavior near an American embassy (a violent attack).
The paper cites a so-called “public authority justification” for public officials who commit acts that would normally be considered murder or theft under the Constitution. Without offering a logical argument, the paper cites opinions claiming that as long as a public official can excuse killing an American citizen with a drone, it is neither criminal nor unlawful: ‘“Congress did not intend … to criminalize justifiable or excusable killings.”’
Cunning people can justify or excuse anything. This white paper effectively dismisses the Constitution entirely and introduces a very slippery slope whereby public officials can use lethal force against any American citizen who irritates them.
Constitution Trumps International Law
This white paper incorrectly cites international law (U.N. Charter art. 51) instead of the Constitution—to argue that the President or any high-ranking official has the power to authorize force against an American citizen in another country and effectively declare a perpetual global war against terror without Congressional oversight. Basically, the DOJ conflates international law with our Constitution.
But, the Constitution trumps international law. As American citizens, our government must defer to the Constitution and respect our constitutional rights whether we are at home or abroad.
Besides citing U.N. charters, this white paper cites many opinions from various politicians, lawyers and scholars. Clearly the DOJ cannot find sufficient Supreme Court precedent nor constitutional justification for its argument.
Freedom Requires Risk
We are the land of the free only because we are the home of the brave. Freedom and courage go hand-in-hand. We cannot give into the temptation to allow the federal government to seize our constitutional rights in the name of “safety.”
The aforementioned white paper repeatedly cites the “government’s interest in waging war, protecting its citizens and removing the threat posed by members of enemy forces” as more compelling than the rights of individuals “to be secure” in their persons and property from unwarranted seizures and searches (per the Fourth Amendment) and to due process before the law (per the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments).
Are we ready to hand over our constitutional (and natural) rights to one man—the president or some random high-ranking government official? Can we trust a gallivanting prince (think former CIA Director David Petraeus) to have the professionalism, focus and integrity to respect our private property? Can one man defend our rights abroad better than a large group of people that we elect to our state and federal legislatures?
We need to stop surrendering our rightful freedoms in the name of “safety.” Perpetual drone strikes make country more susceptible to another terrorist attack by inciting blowback. Our drones keep invading the Middle East, killing scores of people including hundreds (more likely thousands, if the CIA and Pentagon would release full numbers) of innocent women, children and civilians. Not surprisingly, anti-American sentiment in the Middle East is growing, even as we are supposedly using our drones to weaken Al-Qa’ida.
Next week, I will discuss the impact of our domestic drone policy on privacy and freedom. In the mean time, speak up and defend your freedom before a drone strikes it out.
By Katie Kieffer
Gays can be leaders. Women can be leaders. Without realizing it, I think gays and women inadvertently work against their own objective of equality when they force private organizations to support gay and female leaders.
As I wrote here, gays and women are already equal before the Constitution, which defines us by our humanity, not by our sexuality, and is silent on most personal matters like marriage. Furthermore, the more the federal government defines our rights, the less free, equal and human we all become.
Here is what generally happens when minority groups confuse social acceptance with equality and push their views on private organizations:
Step one: A group of individuals hold beliefs that a minority group disagrees with. These individuals happen to have an organization—social, religious, political or professional—where they formally express their beliefs.
Example: Some nuns are unhappy that the Catholic Church exclusively ordains male priests.
Step two: Minority groups launch a soft campaign of public assaults against this organization in an attempt to change its mission. If the organization holds its ground, the campaign often advances into slanderous accusations and lawsuits.
Example: Some gays are unhappy with the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay membership and leadership. So, they lobbied for the organization to change its views. But even when national Scouts officials predict that the organization will change its policy and allow local chapters to decide whether or not to include gays, some gay activist groups are still unhappy.
Step three: Politicians and the media become involved in a private matter of free speech and expression. Suddenly, something that should be a non-issue becomes a public issue.
Example: LGBT rights activists are unhappy that the CEO of the private quick-service chicken restaurant Chick-fil-A openly supports traditional marriage through his public statements and his company’s charitable foundation. Various politicians such as Rahm Emanuel make public statements condemning Chick-fil-A.
Step four: Neither group is equal. One group becomes an aggressor, using force to extort its victim into adopting its beliefs.
Leadership is not sexual
Apple CEO Tim Cook. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. These are three openly gay individuals who are leaders in their professional fields. They are good at what they do and it has very little to do with their sexuality.
DeGeneres did not need a special membership card to be accepted by the heterosexual housewives who have comprised her core television audience for nine years. Hollywood initially rejected her. She told Parade that it took a great deal of hard work to convince producers she was “a funny woman who happens to be gay.”
Likewise Thiel and Cook did not achieve success in business because their peers made a point of officially accepting them for being gay. Rather, they both worked hard and the people around them rewarded them with trust and responsibility.
To lead or help others, you must first be confident in your own self-worth. Thiel, Cook and DeGeneres do not derive their self-worth from forcing other people to adopt their views. They simply focus on doing what they do well and this self-confidence translates into the ability to lead.
Equality requires freedom for all
If gays and women want to freely exercise their beliefs, they must respect the right of others to do the same. If you use force such as legislation or defamation to restrict another’s free speech, then you are heading down a dangerous path. You are essentially saying that morality is relative and might makes right.
There is nothing wrong with a private organization setting its own rules, whether it is the Catholic Church excluding priestesses, or the Boy Scouts of America excluding gays. Neither the Boy Scouts of America nor the Catholic Church use force against gays and nuns. So, gays and nuns are not victims unless they make themselves victims.
Gays who want to lead young boys may start their own clubs; they are free to exclude heterosexuals. Likewise, women who want be priests may establish their own church where they are priestesses; they are free to exclude males.
Take it from South Park
The “Cripple Fight” episode of South Park explains why the force of law is not the proper way to convince other people to accept your moral beliefs:
Colorado Supreme Court Justice: “In the case of big Gay Al vs. Mountain Scouts of America, it is the ruling of this court that the Scouts must allow Big Gay Al and all gays into their club.”
Big Gay Al: “Thank you all very much. But I don’t want this.”
Crowd: “What? What’d he say? Huh?”
Big Gay Al: “Look, …this isn’t what I wanted. I’m proud to be gay. And I’m proud to be in a country where I’m free to express myself. But freedom is a two-way street. If I’m free to express myself, then the Scouts have to be free to express themselves too. I know these men. They are good men. They are kind men. They do what they think is best for kids. No matter how wrong we think they might be, it isn’t right for us to force them to think our way. It’s up to us to persuade and help them see the light, not extort them too. Please, don’t cut the Scouts’ funding. The Scouts help, and have always helped, a lot of kids. That’s why I love them! I will continue to persuade them to change their mind. But this is the wrong way to do it. So, I am hereby dropping my case and allowing the Scouts their right to not allow gays into their private club.”
I think that gays and women should strive for equality—not social acceptance—by using their freedom to form their own private organizations and live as they see fit without violating the rights of others to do the same. As Big Gay Al points out, the goal is equality and it is impossible for an aggressor to be equal to its victim.
By Katie Kieffer
Guns, guns, guns. Love, love, love. America needs guns and love.
As humans, we have an inherent right to life. Our right to life (or self-defense) is a natural right and does not come from any document, even the Constitution. The Bill of Rights or the first ten amendments to the Constitution simply acknowledge our natural rights. Specifically, the Second Amendment recognizes our natural right to bear arms for self-defense.
Guns are the reactive, defensive answer to evil in the world. Love is the proactive answer to evil. We need both—guns and love.
Good men express themselves through love; love for God; love for themselves; love for others and love for life in general. Life without love is effectively death. Indeed, hateful or mentally ill people commit mass murder because they are bereft of love.
Evil is less powerful than love. Love is real; evil is nothing. Love spreads and consumes like a wildfire. Sometimes it appears that evil is “spreading,” such as when we hear stories like the Newtown tragedy. However, what is actually happening is that people are choosing not to love because they are mentally ill, arrogant or afraid.
As a society, we are all responsible for mass violence. Because in some way or other we all fail to show kindness to one another:
We have sex without love and we pay doctors to kill the children that result. We become parents without love and babysit our children with graphic, violent video games. We get married without committing each day to love one another forever—and our children experience confusion, broken promises and instability. We walk around like zombies in our neighborhood, workplace and grocery store—without showing love in the form of a smile or wave.
Because we are unwilling to face our puerile behavior, we blame all evil in the world on guns. Guns are not the cause of evil or violence; guns are part of the solution. But first, we must love each other.
Because we are imperfect creatures, bad things will happen. And we need tools to protect our lives from evil men. In the past, those tools were clubs, bows and arrows and swords. Today, guns are simply the most efficient tools of self-defense.
Those who wish to control, register and ban guns (think Gabrielle Giffords, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Holder, and President Obama) make the false assumption that we live in a utopia where new laws will turn criminals into angels; a utopia where signs stating: “No guns on these premises” will scare madmen away from schools. But we simply cannot prevent all evil with laws and signs.
Almost anything could be used to commit murder. We do not need a law against owning guns any more than we need a law against owning cars.
The philosopher Thomas Aquinas argues that great care should be taken before creating new laws: “Wherefore … in establishing new laws, there should be evidence of the benefit to be derived, before departing from a law which has long been considered just.”
In the United States, there is zero evidence indicating that gun control laws benefit society or prevent mass murder. No law—save concealed carry laws, which actually permit people to bear arms—reduces murder rates.
Profs. John Lott Jr. and William Landes conducted a landmark study analyzing all multiple-victim public shootings in the U.S. between 1977 and 1999 showing that: “While arrest or conviction rates and the death penalty reduce ‘normal’ murder rates, our results find that the only policy factor to influence multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws.”
Evidence does show that mentally ill people commit violence. But mentally ill people do not always use guns.
They use their own hands (think Erika Menendez who said she pushed a man in front of New York City subway train because “I thought it would be cool”). They use razor blades (think the female blackjack dealers who broke into a stabbing fight at the Bellagio last month). And they use hammers: FBI reports show that more criminals used hammers (496) than rifles (323) to commit murder.
Sometimes the “madmen” are politicians who become dictators. We need guns to protect ourselves from our own government should it become a dictatorship that rejects natural human rights. As Ayn Rand illustrates in her novel, Atlas Shrugged, a dictator only finds safety in “the sphere of violence.
The best thing we can do to prevent mentally ill people from resorting to violence is to love them. By smiling and sharing kind words with sad, lonely, depressed or impoverished people, we could prevent them from becoming violent.
From now on, we can proactively prevent violence by keeping our promises, spending time with our children and showing kindness to everyone, including strangers. And since we cannot prevent all evil in the world, we need guns to defend our natural right to life.
Key works referenced: Power Divided is Power Checked by Jason Lewis, pp. 103-105, Treatise on Law by Thomas Aquinas, pp. 108-109 and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, p. 1055.
By Katie Kieffer
Superheroes often live double lives. But so do super-villains. For four years, the Obama administration has been living a double-life regarding drones.
Publicly, the president and his leadership tell us they are using drones to protect our borders and promote national security. The administration dismisses challenges to its drone policies as falsehoods, but these “lies” are alarmingly close to the truth.
True Drone Lies at Home
Drone creep is happening. On Valentine’s Day, Obama signed the unconstitutional FAA Modernization and Reform Act, allocating $63.6 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) between 2012 and 2015. Basically, he authorized the FAA to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to loosen and expand drone regulations for both military and private/commercial use. This law violates both the Fourth Amendment and the Constitution’s mandate that Congress—not the President—make all laws.
Since February, the administration has gone on a drone-buying binge—despite Inspector General audits indicating that agencies like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) do not need and cannot afford the drones they already have access to.
The DHS will soon have a fleet of 24 domestic drones after reportedly signing a contract worth $443 with General Atomics for 14 more Predator drones. The drones are being purchased under the guise of “border security.” However, reports indicate the federal government is using these drones to violate our Fourth Amendment rights.
Obama must know his drone policy is unconstitutional and liable to congressional and/or judicial challenge. For, he is moving to codify it: “The attempt to write a formal rule book for targeted killing began last summer after news reports on the drone program… the president and top aides believe it should be institutionalized…” reports the New York Times.
Domestically, we must demand that Congress hold the president accountable for his incessant prowl for more control over our lives through the use of unconstitutional drones.
True Drone Lies in Iran
In Iran, we find many examples of the concerns that arise from the administration’s international drone policy. Using drones to spy on Iran is backfiring. We appear to be losing more than we are gaining because we are forfeiting our intelligence secrets and inciting blowback.
U.S.-Iran relations are complex, so I will provide a timeline with concrete examples:
December 4, 2011: Iranian forces brought down a U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel drone equipped with proprietary stealth technology. The U.S. was using the drone to monitor Iran’s military and nuclear facilities. The Pentagon played down the capture and President Obama asked Iran to return the drone.
February 1, 2012: Iran’s government contracted an Iranian toy company to produce a pink, $4 toy model of the Sentinel and sent it to the White House. “No one returns the symbol of aggression to the party that sought secret and vital intelligence related to the national security of a country,” Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Lt. Commander Gen. Hossein Salami reportedly said.
April 22, 2012: Iran announced that it had successfully recovered sensitive data from the Sentinel—including information we had supposedly erased. Iran also said it was building a duplicate drone since the Sentinel was almost entirely intact at the time of capture.
November 1, 2012: Iran’s air and sea borders are highly disputed, yet the U.S. risked Iranian ire and flew a U.S. MQ-1 Predator drone over what Iran considers to be its territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. An Iranian SU-25 Frog-foot warplane shot at our drone in retaliation.
December 4, 2012: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps naval forces captured a U.S. drone that reportedly violated Iran’s airspace. Since the drone did not belong to the U.S. Navy, it most likely belonged to the CIA or the Department of Defense’s National Security Agency and was conducting surveillance on Iran.
We must improve our stealth drone technology or our rivals will continue to intercept it. The Predator drones we use abroad put our national security at risk because their unencrypted GPS signal is easy for an enemy to spoof and they are susceptible to jamming (according to a September Government Accountability Office report). Why are we using such underdeveloped technology?
In addition to improving our stealth technology, but we must exercise more discretion in deciding whether to use it. Iran views U.S. drone surveillance as a direct act of aggression. If we seriously want to negotiate with Iran and avoid an unnecessary war, we must reevaluate our constant snooping with bug-prone drones.
Our drones are stirring up anti-American sentiment abroad. In just four years, the CIA’s drones have killed 2,500 people (plus numerous unreported civilians). Citizens in Iran, Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan progressively view our drones as violating their national sovereignty and are angered by the civilian deaths they cause.
The Obama administration may call them lies. But we know these “lies” are true: U.S. domestic drone policy ravages our constitutional freedoms while U.S. international drone policy incites blowback and threatens our national security.
By Katie Kieffer
Stop worrying about the ‘fiscal cliff.’ Spending cuts would feel therapeutic after watching Standard & Poor’s and Egan-Jones downgrade our credit rating and seeing President Obama add $6 trillion to the national debt. The way to avert another recession and massive inflation is to eliminate the unconstitutional Federal Reserve.
There are two ways for politicians to “pay” for their spending. They can be transparent and raise taxes extremely high across all income levels. (This is not happening because politicians know Americans would riot.) Or, they can be sneaky and “monetize the debt,” which means allowing the Federal Reserve to print money and inflate the currency.
As former Rep. Ron Paul points out in his book End the Fed, “…the Fed has one power that is unique to it alone: it enables the creation of money out of thin air. …through techniques such as open-market operations, changing reserve ratios, and manipulating interest rates, operations that all result in money creation.”
Think of our economy as ill with a superbug; the Federal Reserve is the cause of this virus and we must eliminate it before it wipes out America’s prosperity.
Peter Schiff, CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc. told CNBC this month: “Ben Bernanke is a much bigger threat to the U.S. economy than the fiscal cliff. In fact, if it wasn’t for his accommodation, all the QEs, we wouldn’t have to go over the fiscal cliff. In fact, ultimately because of what the Fed has done, we’re gonna have to go over a much bigger cliff, as part of the solution to solve the problems that the Fed helped create by allowing the government to get so big. But I think if we avoid this cliff—which is a mistake, we actually need a bigger cliff that has a lot more government spending cuts—but if we get a deal, which I think likely we will do because politicians want to pretend that they saved us from this phony crisis so they set us up for a bigger one… it means that trillion-dollar-plus deficits will perpetuate and these big deficits are what is undermining the dollar because the Fed has to print money to finance them… all the ‘fiscal cliff’ means is that we have to start paying for all this government… so if the politicians want to spare us from this fiscal cliff, then cut government spending so we don’t have to pay for it.”
Founders like Thomas Jefferson were concerned that central control over the money supply would lead to tyranny. This is why, early on, the Constitution explicitly banned paper money and only allowed gold and silver coinage.
The Federal Reserve itself is unconstitutional. Paul writes: ‘The Constitution is silent on the issue of a central bank, but for anyone who cares about its intent, the Tenth Amendment is quite clear. If a power is not “delegated to the United States by the Constitution,” it doesn’t exist. There is no mention whatsoever of a central bank being authorized. Even if a central bank were permissible, it could not legally repeal the legal tender mandate for gold and silver coins.”
Politicians try to keep big banks and businesspeople happy in the short-term by allowing the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates artificially low. The problem is that these low rates trick investors into taking titanic risks and making poor long-term investments.
Congress is not holding the Federal Reserve accountable. Politicians keep spending money to appease private interest groups and win votes. So, we must hold Congress accountable and demand that it eliminate the Federal Reserve. Our lifestyle is on the line; high inflation will make it impossible to enjoy life as we do now with simple pleasures like dinners out, high-tech toys and annual vacations.
Are you a small businessperson or an entrepreneur? Become a real-life John Galt. Publicly demand that Congress boot the Fed. There is no reason why you should shoulder the burden of government spending through higher payroll taxes and Obamacare.
Hold your head high. It is honorable, not greedy, to make a profit and employ people so that they can support themselves and their families via their own labor and live quality lives.
Are you a consumer? You also must speak up. You should not have to pay above-market prices for inferior products, services and healthcare. You deserve sound money and the freedom to buy the best quality that you can afford.
There is no need to stand up to the government alone. Form or join a group of like-minded citizens.
We all need to pressure Congress to audit the Fed. Cosmic public outrage is apparently the motivation politicians need to eliminate this unconstitutional agency. If we unite now, we will save our currency and our freedom by pushing this monster over the cliff.
Key pages referenced from Ron Paul’s End the Fed: 2, 117, 126, 130, 160-161, 165-166 and 196.
By Katie Kieffer
Soul-searching is not in the GOP’s blood. Many Republicans see themselves as stoic, rugged and hardworking individuals. But after twice losing the White House to an ex-community organizer and failing to mobilize the base, Republicans need to take a trip to a mountainous valley, sip some tea and meditate.
In the quiet of nature, I think Republicans would find that the solutions to winning lie within themselves. After my own reflection, I developed three key insights into how the GOP can win presidential elections going forward:
#1 Keep an open mind
Early on, talking heads like Ann Coulter disparaged Romney and endorsed other candidates. In February of 2011, Coulter said: “If we don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we’ll lose.” However, as the field narrowed to Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, Coulter began advising the GOP faithful that Romney alone could beat President Obama. Coulter should have stood by her 2011 prediction.
Other talking heads like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh inadvertently divided the conservative base by devoting entire radio segments to scoffing at Paul and his followers. As I predicted, this jejune behavior teed Obama up for a hole-in-one.
And, over a year ago, many Republicans began writing off candidates like Herman Cain and Paul as “unelectable.” At the time, I advised conservatives that it was too early to make such assessments and to instead “start saying electable.”
Going forward, I think Republicans will have more success if they spend time researching all the candidates with an open mind before writing off individuals like Cain and Paul who were both capable of challenging Obama and attracting minorities and independents.
#2 Embrace allies
At the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, the Romney camp and the RNC used a controversial process to change RNC Rule 40(b), which stated:
Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a plurality of the delegates from each of five (5) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination.
The New American explains: “Ron Paul unquestionably qualified for nomination under [the 40(b)] rule, but he was denied placement on the ballot — and an opportunity to address the convention on behalf of his nomination — in what amounts to a total takeover of the Republican Party by the RNC and Mitt Romney.
Additional rule changes all but guaranteed that in the future the RNC will not allow itself to be embarrassed by “grassroots” candidates. Not only did the RNC rob Ron Paul of delegates he won fairly at the Maine state convention, it prevented any who follow in his footsteps from winning any delegates in the first place.”
Going forward, I think Republicans should make an effort to embrace their allies—libertarian conservatives who want limited government, sound money, individual liberty, and believe states have a 10th Amendment constitutional right to determine social issues.
#3 Stick to principle
The past two elections tell us that Americans will not vote for GOP moderates like John McCain and Romney. Americans want to elect a leader, and a leader projects consistency, principle and passion.
To independents, Romney came across as inconsistent, unprincipled and out-of-touch. His health care plan in Massachusetts was Obama’s playbook for Obamacare. Initially pro-abortion, he ran as a pro-life candidate. And while polls indicate that the majority of Americans are tired of military engagement in the Middle East, Romney’s foreign policy proposals sounded more extremist, expensive and interventionist than Obama’s.
So, given a choice, why would an independent voter choose a candidate who seemed nearly identical to Obama on healthcare, inconsistent on social issues and ready to engage the United States in more military adventurism?
Remember the February 22 presidential debate? It was “Mr. Consistent,” Ron Paul, who gained the most traction on Twitter with statements of principle like:
“Planned Parenthood should get nothing.”
“The [birth control] pills can’t be blamed for the immorality of our society.”
“Guns don’t kill, criminals kill.”
There is a reason why Paul attracts crowds of thousands of young people and independents. Republicans should not sell out on matters of principle; Republicans simply need more zeal and consistency in their message.
Going forward, I think there are many opportunities for Republicans to reach out to independents while staying principled. After a hard loss, perhaps a meditative retreat in nature is all Republicans need to recharge for big wins ahead.
By Katie Kieffer
Blood is staining the globe. Not the blood of terrorists (enemies of America), but the blood of innocent Americans. We cannot resuscitate our loved ones. We can only attempt to clean President Obama’s bloodstains by removing him—and all who think like him—from public office.
There is no need to “judge” Obama’s heart to realize that he is unfit to lead; God will be his judge. We need only objectively view the results of his puerile national security policy and his unconstitutional healthcare mandates:
Blood in Benghazi
On September 11, four Americans including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens were killed in a terrorist attack by militants linked to al-Qaida and Ansar al-Sharia. Militants stormed the U.S. consulate building in Benghazi, Libya with rockets and machine guns; Stevens and four other Americans died.
President Obama’s White House and State Department knew of the danger to Stevens for months and did nothing about it. On August 16, Stevens sent a cable notifying Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department of an anticipated “coordinated attack” that the consulate would not be able to control without backup support. The State Department did not take proactive measures to respond.
On the day of the attack, reports indicate that the CIA initially denied requests from its own personnel for backup assistance at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and later at the CIA annex or safe house. When support finally arrived, it was too late.
Stevens became the first U.S. Ambassador since 1988 to die in office. And CIA employees and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were both killed despite the fact that the U.S. military had almost seven hours to send them back-up assistance.
Obama covered up his incompetency by initially blaming this terrorist attack on an amateur online video preview. Stevens and four other Americans are now dead as a result of Obama’s failures on two accounts: First, he exercised constitutionally questionable military intervention in Libya, which more than likely incited blowback. Secondly, he refused to address the consulate’s pleas for help before and during the attack.
Blood on the Border
As I have written here and here, U.S. Border Patrol agents like Nicolas Ivie and Brian Terry are just a few of the American agents who have died due to repercussions from Obama’s scandalous Fast and Furious gun sting operation. Not to mention the rising death toll (over 50,000) due to Obama’s continual cooperation with Mexico in fighting an unconstitutional war on drugs.
Blood in Afghanistan
Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East, particularly in Afghanistan, has led to a surge in American deaths from insider attacks, overextension and suicide.
The Afghan forces we trusted and trained are increasingly turning on NATO troops and killing American soldiers.
Furthermore, Obama is responsible for the surge of 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But, since 2008—the year Obama was elected—the U.S. has sustained nearly two-and-a-half times the number of fatalities in Afghanistan as the six previous years combined.
One U.S. soldier commits suicide every single day. In late July, TIME Magazine reported that 2,676 Americans had died by suicide since the war in Afghanistan began. In comparison, 1,950 Americans had died in combat in over a decade of Afghan intervention.
Blood of Babies
Obama unconstitutionally uses federal taxpayer dollars to promote a culture of repugnance for human life in two ways. First, his U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate circumvents the First Amendment and requires religious organizations to offer contraceptives, sterilization methods and abortion-generating prescriptions in their private insurance plans. Secondly, Obama supports fungible federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
We must hold President Obama accountable for the blood on his hands. We cannot judge Obama’s motivations; we can only see the results of his decisions, namely increasing numbers of Americans dying. There is no way to bring innocent men, women and children back to life. The only way we can attempt to clean Obama’s bloodstains is to vote him—and all who think like him—out of office.