Why Concealed Carry for Women Is Both Necessary and Important

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CULTURE AND SOCIETY, ALONG WITH FEARS AND STEREOTYPES, FACTOR IN, BUT CONCEALED CARRY FOR WOMEN IS ABOUT SAFETY, WINNING THE FIGHT AND MUCH, MUCH MORE.

By

CAT CABRERA

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said, “A woman is like a tea bag. You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” In today’s society, we have a bad habit of encouraging the inner John Wick in men, boosting the lifestyle and culture of all things “tactical,” and supporting the Second Amendment through our bearded loved ones. Civilizations all throughout history, all over the world, encouraged women to embrace their inner warrior, too. So why have we strayed from that?

Fears & Stereotypes

I asked several women, “Why do you carry a gun, or choose not to?” Those who carry had one thing in mind: protection. Those who don’t carry said they didn’t feel safe, didn’t know anything about guns, or simply didn’t see themselves with a gun. But why? Why don’t they feel safe? Why don’t they see themselves shooting?

When it comes to firearms safety, I noticed a pattern that has nothing to do with what’s been broadcasted on the TV or internet, but the gun itself. Most women who said they don’t feel safe around guns stated that it was because of the noise and power they hold. This is understandable. The noise itself can make anyone jump, no matter how often you surround yourself with it. The power of a gun should be respected and not taken lightly.

Concealed Carry for Women

Those who own a gun can testify that it’s not as easy as walking in to your local gun shop and picking one up. You have to do a few things beforehand, like taking a class to become more familiar with the types of guns, the parts of a gun and safety when using a gun.

Then the most common practice is to go to a shooting range and become associated with the gun and practicing the safety behind shooting it. If you’re new to the concept, I suggest taking an introductory class at your local shooting range and learning your state laws to help you determine if owning a firearm is meant for you.

The self-perception thing is a bit more complicated. Our “gun culture” is a real thing—it’s not just some lingo marketers came up with to get you to buy more guns. The U.S. was founded on this lifestyle, with hunters, soldiers and protectors.

Proud Americans have owned guns for hundreds of years. But the world is changing, and it seems that some are intent on stripping us of our Second Amendment rights. These anti-gunners associate firearms with malice and evil, as a disruption to life, instead of what they really are: protectors of life.

Gun Owners & Culture

Here in the U.S., gun owners are just as diverse as the rest of the country. There are both urban and rural shooters, even though it’s typically harder to carry a gun in some cities. In these locales, you might find people asking, “Why would you need a gun?” But those of us raised in rural households know that guns are common household items. Their purpose varies among shooters, but home security will always be a top priority.

Culture and society play a large role in a woman’s choice to own a gun. If you weren’t raised around guns, it might not be easy to associate yourself with one. You might not know much about them, or know people who do.

We’ve also done a disservice to women everywhere by making “everyday women” feel like they aren’t worthy enough to own firearms. Think of all the women showing up in superhero films: Black Widow, Wonder Woman, The Wasp, Captain Marvel.

They’re all women we admire but cannot compete with or become. They have their leather jackets and bad-girl struts—something most women can’t relate to. But I have some news for you: If I, a Lois Lane in the gun world, can be part of this lifestyle, then so can you.

Concealed Carry for Women: Protecting Yourself

Of the women I spoke to who carry firearms, one commonality became apparent: They are driven not to protect themselves, but those they love and care for. That alone is one heck of a reason to own a gun, but your own personal protection should be a key reason in making the final purchase.

I was raised by a dad who shot his first gun when he was nine, has taken martial arts courses since he was 13 and designs blades for a living. I am no stranger to the self-defense world, obviously. My parents highly encouraged this pursuit. But this influence is what drives me to write this, as your personal protection should be your top priority.

Taking a step toward creating a safer household, and a safer environment for yourself, is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s an honor and a privilege.

If you’re a woman, owning and carrying a gun is unexpected. If you happen to find yourself in a compromising situation, I guarantee the antagonist of your story will be shocked to find you pulling your weapon of choice out of your purse.

You’ll immediately win that fight or at least level the playing field. But think about the same threatening situation without a handgun by your side. Do you still think the odds are in your favor? I doubt it, but you must always fight back. Never allow yourself to lose voluntarily.

Concealed Carry for Women: Making the Choice

So if you’re interested in becoming a part of the “gun culture” but aren’t quite sure where to start, head to your state’s website and begin to acquaint yourself with your local laws and regulations. Become familiar with your rights and the process of becoming a proud gun owner.

I highly suggest looking for a local shooting range or self-defense and training facility near you that will equip you with the proper knowledge and power to confidently carry. Invite some of your girlfriends for a girls’ night at the range. Encourage those around you to join you on this journey.

Cat manages DoubleStar Corp. and is an expert in firearm mechanics.

The Myth of the Mass Shooting Epidemic

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The myth of the mass shooting epidemic

by Brad Polumbo. Originally posted on the Washington Examiner.

September 03, 2019 01:11 PM

As Beto O’Rourke put it: “This is f—ked up.”

The Texas Democrat and mediocre presidential candidate offered these wise words in an effort to capitalize on tragedy this weekend to try and once again reboot his failing campaign. O’Rourke was responding to the tragic news of another mass shooting in Odessa, Texas, over the weekend that left at least seven dead and 25 injured. 

But although O’Rourke’s sentiment is completely understandable, it’s also completely unfounded. Despite the liberal media’s profit-motivated mass coverage of these tragic events, and despite frequent exploitation by gun-control activists, actual mass shootings remain a statistical rarity and a much-exaggerated threat.

The liberal media just doesn’t cover car crashes, heart disease, or suicide with the same fervor it does mass shootings — perhaps because these far more common causes of death advance no political agenda and fail to get that gut reaction that makes people tune in. 

By nearly a factor of four, more people in America die from the flu and pneumonia than by homicide (all homicides, including non-gun homicides).

But people aren’t running out to get a flu shot with nearly the same fervor with which they’re clamoring for gun control. Much of the population has been scared into radically over-estimating the prevalence of mass shootings and gun violence in general. 

The CDC estimates that 4.5 people out of 100,000 die each year from various forms of firearm homicide. Mass shootings, in turn, account for less than 1% of homicides. 

Another way of looking at it is to consider rifle homicides specifically, because the topic always turns to "assault weapons." There are only 300 to 400 deaths in a given year from all rifles, including the ones someone might call "assault weapons." You are 50% more likely to be killed by a blunt object. 

Contrast mass shootings with the 12.4 out of 100,000 people who die in car accidents every year, or the 20 out of 100,000 who die from accidental poisoning. If these tragic deaths were covered with the same frequency and fervor as shootings, Americans might start wearing their seat belts and take greater care with potential toxins. Yet notably, there’s still no call to ban cars, or to require people to fly from New York to Boston rather than take the much-more-lethal drive up I-95. 

It’s also unclear, despite what media coverage and some dubiously-generated statistics would suggest, that mass shootings are even getting more frequent. Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox found that “the number of mass shooting victims, perpetrators, and incidents didn’t change much from 1980 to 2014.” 

We need to take a deep breath, and view this violence as the serious but statistically infrequent threat it truly is. Smart policy decisions are rarely made by a population steeped in misinformation and fear.

And that’s exactly where we’re at right now. 

In a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, Harvard instructor David Ropeik explained that according to his calculations, “the statistical likelihood of any given public school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000.” That’s right: one in 614 million. Your odds of winning the lottery are 1 in 300 million

Ropeik aptly points out that the risk of dying in a school shooting is extremely low, and “far lower than many people assume.” As well, this risk is “far lower than almost any other mortality risk a kid faces, including traveling to and from school, catching a potentially deadly disease while in school or suffering a life-threatening injury playing interscholastic sports.”

According to Pew Research, 57% of teenagers fear school shootings, even though there is essentially a 0% chance it will happen to them. And parents share their unfounded anxiety: 63% similarly worry about their child’s safety in school due to mass shootings. It's understandable that something as awful as a mass shooting would inspire fear, but again, consider the odds relative to all those other, much more common dangers.

It’s unhealthy for us as a nation to have such disproportionate fear of a threat that the facts show is actually quite remote. Raw emotion is understandable, but when making policy it’s no substitute for fact. The media, meanwhile, are going out of their way to cause needless fear and stress just to get a few extra views and clicks — if it bleeds, it leads. And that, as O’Rourke might put it, is just f—ked up.

Realtor Stops Attacker With Her Firearm

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'If I didn't have a firearm, I wouldn't be here to talk to you': Realtor describes attack at open house

Realtor Dawna Hetzler has a concealed carry permit, and said she was attacked by a man wielding a knife and bear spray during an open house.

Author: Allison Sylte
Originally published on 9News.com

Published: 1:44 PM MDT August 7, 2019

Updated: 8:29 PM MDT August 8, 2019

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — What happened Sunday morning was a moment Dawna Hetzler said she had trained for, but never believed would actually happen.

“I like to believe the best in people,” the longtime realtor said three days after calling Commerce City Police to report she was threatened at knifepoint by a man during an open house.

Hetzler, who said she has a concealed carry permit, fired gunshots in his direction, scaring him away. 

“My life was in danger, and if I did not have my firearm, I would not be here to talk to you,” Hetzler said.

According to the Commerce City Police Department, the incident happened in broad daylight – at 11:30 a.m. Sunday – in a home near East 104th Avenue and Chambers Road.

Hetzler said the man, who police later identified as Ernest Robert Chrisman, 43, arrived shortly after she started setting up for the open house. At the time, she said she thought nothing of it.

“He asked the right questions,” Hetzler said. “We talked about loans, what he had to qualify for.”

She said he picked up a brochure for the property and asked to see the upstairs. While they were in the master bedroom, Hetzler said he took a knife out as well as a small, six-inch piece of rope that apparently had bear spray tethered to it.

“He said, ‘This is a knife, this is bear spray.’ After he said, 'This is bear spray,’ he asked me to take out off my ring and get into the closet,” Hetzler said.

This was when Hetzler said she began to fear for her life. She said she drew her gun, and the man responded by dousing her with bear spray.

“I couldn’t see,” she said. “My skin was burning, my eyes were on fire, I couldn’t see, so I fired.”

After Chrisman ran away, Hetzler said she went downstairs and tried to find her phone, her vision obscured by bear spray. She called 911 and was later taken to the hospital. Days later, Hetzler said the residue from the bear spray still burns.

“Our men and women in blue helped me tremendously that day, and I am so grateful for their service,” Hetzler said.

She said she shared her story with the media on Wednesday morning in hopes that it will help police find the man who attacked her. 

Police on Thursday afternoon arrested Chrisman on charges of 1st Degree Burglary, Aggravated Robbery and 2nd Degree Assault. He was booked into the Adams County Detention Facility. 

A published author and blogger, Hetzler said her other goal is for her story to inspire women.

“It’s still very surreal,” Hetzler said. “You train for something like that but you pray you never have to do it.”

The Newest and Most Dangerous Red Flag Law

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By Brent Johnson | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A significant new gun control law will take effect in New Jersey on Sunday, allowing you to ask a judge to bar a family member or loved one who is deemed to be mentally unstable and a threat from buying or possessing a gun.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. What does the law actually do?

The law (A1217) is officially called the “Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018."

It allows family members or those who live in the same household to submit an application to state Superior Court showing why a judge should issue an “extreme risk protective order" to keep guns away from someone “who poses a danger of causing bodily injury” to themselves or others by purchasing or possessing a gun or ammunition.

It also allows law enforcement to petition the court.

People who are neither family or a law enforcement officer can ask a law enforcement agency to file a petition.

The judge can then issue the order if they find the person “poses a significant risk of personal injury to himself or others by possessing a firearm.” That will bar the person from owning, buying, possessing, or receiving any firearms during the period the order is in effect.

The law also allows the judge to issue a warrant to seize a person’s firearms if they’ve been issued an order.

“It’s really based around a mental health concern,” state Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, D-Camden — a main sponsor of the law — told NJ Advance Media.

“In a lot of cases, you’ll hear that a family member will say their child was struggling with depression or suicidal tendencies,” Greenwald aid. “They can now ask a judge to intercede and remove the gun until that individual can be tested and be determined to be safe to themselves and others.”

2. Can a neighbor or someone who is not family or a friend also seek such an order?

If you’re not a family member or don’t live in the same household, you can ask a law enforcement agency to file a petition on your behalf. But Greenwald said the law is designed primarily for family members and loved ones who are concerned.

“They would be considered closer to the situation,” the lawmaker said.

3. How can the person get their guns back? 

A person has 45 days to file an appeal once an order is granted. They can also seek to have the order terminated at any time after the order goes into effect.

If a law enforcement agency has “probable cause” to believe that a person continues to pose “a significant risk" after one year, the agency may request another order. A judge may also issue another order.

4. How did this become law? 

This was one of several gun control measures New Jersey’s Democratic-controlled Legislature passed after Democrat Phil Murphysucceeding Republican Chris Christie as governor in January 2018. Murphy vowed on the campaign trail to make the state’s already strict gun laws even tougher.

The bill passed the state Senate by a vote of 32-5 in the Senate and 56-11 in the Assembly in June 2018. Some Republicans joined Democrats in the vote.

Murphy signed the measure into law just days later — one of six gun laws he approved that day.

“We are going to be a leader in the fight for common-sense gun safety,” the governor said at the time. “New Jersey will lead.”

This particular law wasn’t slated to take effect until Sept. 1 — this Sunday — so the state’s courts could prepare.

Alexandra Altman, a spokeswoman for Murphy, said the governor “proudly” signed this law to "ensure that individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others do not have access to a gun.”

5. What do opponents say? 

Gun-rights advocates say this is another example of New Jersey instituting harsh gun laws.

Scott Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, said the law “allows confiscation of legally owned property without advance due process, based on false claims of third parties, and‎ with no penalty for making false allegations against someone.”

“It is a tyrant’s dream, and a citizen’s nightmare,” Bach added.

He also said it’s “ripe for abuse."

6. So how tough are New Jersey’s gun laws?

They are the second toughest in the nation, after only California, according to rankings by the Gifford Law Center

Meanwhile, the Garden State ranks 45th among the 50 states in the number of per capita gun deaths per year, according the center. Only Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Massachusetts have fewer.

Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01.

Guns Can Be Confiscated, but Killers Are Still Going to Kill

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AUGUST 23, 2019

A Park Ridge man charged in the stabbing death of his mother last month had illegal firearms, including at least two that he made himself from parts he got online, confiscated from his home twice in the last two years, the most recent instance taking place just two weeks before the murder, reports from the Park Ridge Police Department allege. 

David Krystyniak, 47, of the 1900 block of Courtland Avenue, was charged with first degree murder on July 29 after a police officer found the body of David’s mother, Judith Krystyniak, inside a garbage container in the living room of their Courtland Avenue home, Kaminski said during a July 31 press conference. 

Police reports say, however, that police had twice taken illegal guns from Krystyniak’s home, once in late 2017 and once weeks before the killing.

According to a July 14 police report, David Krystyniak voluntarily gave police an AR-15 rifle and a Glock 22 handgun when officers made a visit on an unrelated matter to the home he shared with his mother.

According to the report, Krystyniak had called 911 on the morning of July 14 because he believed his mother had overdosed on medication, but responding officers found her alert, coherent and showing no signs of being medicated.

While speaking with Krystyniak, one of the officers asked him about guns that police had confiscated from his home on a previous occasion in 2017, and Krystyniak replied that he had made his own guns after his other firearms were taken, the police report said 

According to the report, Krystyniak said he had built the AR-15 and Glock 22 from parts he had purchased online and had delivered to his house through the mail. Both guns were unloaded, the report said.

In the police report, the responding officer noted that the AR-15 “appeared to be fully functional” but Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski later, after more analysis, described both firearms as non-functional.

Two boxes of AR-15 parts were also confiscated by police, and three airgun pistols that resembled actual handguns were found in the home as well, police said.

A year and a half earlier, in December 2017, police seized two AR-15s and a Glock 9mm handgun from Krystyniak after he showed officers the contents of a gun safe in his bedroom, a police report said. Police also confiscated the magazines from the AR-15s and “other weapons" that were not identified in the report.

Krystyniak is scheduled to be arraigned next month on the July first degree murder charge. He will plead not guilty, said his public defender Wendy Schilling. 

When asked about the police reports that police twice seized guns from Krystyniak, Schilling said, “We have not yet received any discovery in this case. Therefore, we have no knowledge of these allegations of David possessing any guns.”

The reason for the officers’ visit to the home in 2017 is not clear. The police department redacted a portion of the police report. The report does note that the police department’s social worker was present.

According to police, the guns and gun parts were confiscated during both visits to Krystyniak’s home because he did not have a valid Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card. No charges were filed against Krystyniak in either case, according to police.

Sgt. Jacqueline Cepeda, a spokeswoman for the Illinois State Police, said the department could not discuss whether Krystyniak had ever applied for a FOID card. A person must have a valid FOID card to possess any home-manufactured guns that meet the definition of a firearm under the FOID act, she said.

A police officer and social worker, driving by the Krystyniak home on July 29, noticed groceries strewn about the driveway and asked David Krystyniak if they could come in, police said. They discovered the woman’s body inside, according to police.

Judith Krystyniak had been stabbed multiple times in the chest, Kaminski said, and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death a homicide. The murder weapon was identified as a samurai sword, according to Cook County Circuit Court documents.

Kaminski said the sword was the only weapon investigators found in the home following Judith Krystyniak’s death. A hammer was also found, but police do not believe it was used in the killing, the police chief said.

Police have not determined whether the murder of Judith Krystyniak was premeditated and a motive has not been established, Kaminski said.

David Krystyniak is currently being held in Cook County Jail without bail.

David Krystyniak was known to the police department and department’s social worker “due to his mental health illness,” police said in a press release issued shortly after his arrest. Kaminski said a social worker had been working with the family for several years and offering them services.

“There were connections between our social worker and the family,” he said, declining to speak more about that aspect of the case, citing the state’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act.

According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, those with mental health conditions who pose “a clear and present danger to self, others or the community” can be prohibited from obtaining an Illinois FOID card.

Kaminski said there was no indication at the time police visited the Krystyniak home that David Krystyniak was planning to use the firearms inside to commit violent acts, or that he was planning to harm his mother.

“Nobody’s got a crystal ball for this stuff; you wish you could prevent everything,” the police chief said. “We still don’t have a motive, we don’t know what happened that night or in the days before to trigger this. We don’t know. But there were no indications of any violence prior to this.”

 But police reports show that others in the community had reported problems with Krystyniak over the years.

 In December 2017, shortly before the first batch of guns were removed from Krystyniak’s home, a representative of a car dealership contacted police to say that employees had received “a series of disturbing emails,” from Krystyniak, some of which “bordered on threatening,” a police report said. Krystyniak also was accused of calling the business after he had been told not to, police said.

The dealership did not want to file a criminal complaint, police said, and no arrest was made, though the police department social worker was reportedly notified.

 In a 2015 police report, a neighbor of the Krystyniaks alleged that David “had always caused disturbances in the area” and the man also reported that his elderly mother was fearful of Krystyniak.

In 2005, Krystyniak, then 33, was charged with battery after he allegedly attacked a 17-year-old boy in the street a few blocks from his home, according to police.

 According to the police report, the teen said he was driving south on Courtland Avenue at Granville when his car was struck from behind. The teen told police that the driver of the other car, whom police identified as Krystyniak, got out, charged him, pulled open the driver’s side door and began punching him. A witness helped to hold Krystyniak down until officers arrived, police said.

Originally posted on Chicago Tribune, August 23, 2019. Written by Jennifer Johnson.

New York Red Flag Law Goes Into Full Effect

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ALBANY, NEW YORK — Governor Cuomo recently signed the now fully enacted New York Red Flag Law.

The Red Flag Law will allow certain people to report a person as a danger to themselves or others, and create a temporary removal of that person’s firearms.

The request would need to be presented to a judge to sign off on.

Red Flag Laws are unconstitutional, lead to more danger, and don’t stop crime.

New York is one of 17 states with a Red Flag Law.

Don’t like guns? Your opinion is not my problem

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People in this country have a constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” and if you don’t like people owning guns, there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s time that people understand the simple concept that constitutional rights will always outweigh personal feelings.

When I attended the University of Delaware and ran Students for the Second Amendment, one of the most common complaints I heard from other students was that they felt “uncomfortable” knowing that other students owned and carried firearms. It wasn’t statistics or facts that backed their argument. It was simply the feeling of unrest.

First, the University of Delaware prohibits the possession of firearms on campus property for students and the public. This means that students 21 or older can only conceal carry off campus with a license from the state. Still, students were not put at ease.

Second, the process to obtain a concealed carry license in Delaware is extremely strenuous. There are many steps one must take in order to obtain their license. Some of these steps include publishing one’s private information in the newspaper and successfully completing a firearms training course. Concealed carry holders have practiced shooting at the range and have learned firearm laws. After completing the strenuous training, firearm owners are well educated on and have a strong respect for gun safety.

Despite all these precautions and restrictions to the Second Amendment, a constitutional right that is not to be infringed, students were still uncomfortable. To them I say, “too bad, that’s not my problem.”

This example can be used to address all of those who think that their feelings outweigh constitutional rights. If someone is offended by their fellow law-abiding citizens owning or carrying firearms, then that’s their problem. Now more than ever law-abiding citizens must come together and stand strong in the face of the emotionally irrational snowflakes who think that their feelings outweigh your constitutional rights.

After all, you would think that with criminals becoming bolder and killing more innocent people, everyone would want more law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutional rights and carry firearms… but that would be logical.

Originally posted in Red Alert Politics, October, 2017. Written by SAI President Tyler Yzaguirre.

What is the right age for children to start shooting guns?

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Children are taught basic life lessons starting at an early age: look both ways before you cross the street, don’t touch the stove, don’t play with matches, don’t talk to strangers, etc. These introductory life lessons keep children out of trouble. One important lesson that many children, unfortunately, do not learn is respect for firearms. With more than 300 million legal firearms in circulation amongst Americans, teaching firearm safety and handling knowledge is imperative.

policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics bluntly states that guns shouldn’t be kept in homes that have children. But what good is this anti-firearms policy? The American Academy of Pediatrics would like you to think that by keeping firearms out of children’s’ lives, gun culture will wane and the topic will be ignored altogether.

Law-abiding gun owners should not sell or hide their guns when they have children. Instead, they should teach basic safety, respect, and handling of firearms to them. This way children will be more accustomed to firearms, they’ll have a better understanding that firearms are not a toy, and they’ll learn not to goof-off or play with them. 

The best way to accomplish this is by teaching firearm safety, which involves learning to shoot – not by making the topic of guns taboo. With this, the question arises, what is the best age for children to learn how to shoot? 

There are many resources in public circulation that answer questions for parents regarding how to talk about firearms with their children. Organizations like Aegis Academy suggest that children shouldn’t be allowed to shoot .22 caliber firearm until they are at least 8 years old. Meanwhile, more prominent national organizations like the National Rifle Association suggest that the right time is when the child “expresses interest” in shooting.

Firearm experts Dick Heller, from the United States Supreme Court case DC v. Heller (2008), and Myah Baeza, PFC US Army, agree that the right time to teach a child how to shoot depends upon their cognitive development.

Heller explains that “their developmental and responsibility-awareness levels” determine the right time for children to shoot. Baeza concurs with Heller stating that “There’s no magic number. It’s when you (the parent) feel they are developed enough to understand the concept of muzzle/trigger awareness and what it means to own, hold, carry, and shoot a firearm.”

A large part of raising a child is helping them mature and grow into adulthood. Being able to understand and respect firearms is a part of that maturing and, certainly, includes learning how to shoot a gun. As for the right age, firearm experts agree that there is no magic number or set time-frame for learning how to shoot. Rather, the point at which a child is mentally capable of understanding and respecting firearms is the time in which parents should bring that child to the range.

Originally published on Red Alert Politics November, 2017. Written by SAI President, Tyler Yzaguirre.

Another reason to support gun rights: Protection from the rise of Antifa

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Antifa is a domestic terrorist organization. Leaders on both sides, including far left House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have condemned their domestic terrorist violence. 

This radical group of extremists uses tactics of coercion, fear and any other means of necessary force to achieve their goals. However, what Antifa fails to realize is that through their uncivilized tactics, they’re strengthening the case for the gun rights.

The Second Amendment was written into our country’s hallowed Constitution not only to protect law-abiding citizens from a tyrannical government, but also from those who wish to do harm. Antifa’s mode of operation is just that; they cause harm to fellow Americans in the hopes that their mission might be achieved.

While Antifa is out in the streets wreaking havoc, hurting people, and dividing the country, what are law-abiding citizens to do for protection? They need to arm themselves with firearms and prepare for the worst-case scenario. Thankfully for law-abiding citizens, they have the Constitution on their side. In 2008, the United States Supreme Court ruled in DC v. Heller that law-abiding citizens have the Constitutional right to defend themselves with firearms.

Despite the United States Supreme Court ruling in Heller, there are still heavy restrictions on where and how law-abiding citizens may defend themselves with firearms. With Antifa’s proven ability to cause harm to law-abiding citizens through violent protests, state legislatures and Congress could take pro-gun legislation more seriously.

According to “Forming An Antifa Group: A Manual” on Itsgoingdown.org, a leading anarchist news and analysis site, members are to “know the makeup of key players” of white nationalist, Far Right, and fascist groups, along with encouraging members to “take down” Far Right propaganda. The manual divulges their self-defense methods and practices, which includes an entire separate manual dedicated to carrying guns.   

This website, which is one of many, encourages its members to exercise violent tactics and arm themselves in the face of opposing ideologies.

This presents state legislatures and Congress with a very pressing issue. The threat of Antifa is real; they demonstrate their violent capabilities every time a counter protest is organized. This in addition to Antifa manuals requiring its groups to “expose” members of Far Right and other groups presents state legislatures and Congress with the opportunity to advance the gun rights cause.

State legislatures and Congress have the responsibility to ensure the safety of all Americans. As stated in Heller, law-abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves with a firearm, but now they need State Legislatures and Congress to pass laws that will give them the ability to exercise that Constitutional right. The time has never been more pressing.

Know the facts: Anti-gun activists utilize emotional grief to line their pockets

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The Second Amendment is under siege now more than ever. Every day, we see more assaults made on our Constitutional rights to keep and bear arms. 

Radical gun-grabbing organizations like Moms Demand ActionEverytown for Gun Safety, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are just a few of the national organizations that seek to take away law abiding citizens’ guns, and it’s not much better at the university level. There’s a Student Pledge Against Gun Violence and a campaign to “ Keep Guns Off Campus.” In many cases, students cannot exercise their recognized rights just because they step foot on campus. 

These radical organizations employ misleading phrases to win over new supporters such as " Secure freedom from gun violence", " Disarm Hate," and " take common-sense steps to save lives". However, they don’t tell you what gun-grabbers’ real intentions are. 

These organizations carefully craft phrases they know will cause an emotional response from Americans. It's all propaganda used to fill their pockets and combat their boogeyman: the National Rifle Association. 

Disclaimer: I'm not an NRA member — however, the constant assault on the NRA is ridiculous. The anti-gun left uses national tragedies, like the Las Vegas massacre, to recruit new support and make money off of the darkest moments in our country. It’s sickening. It also shows how truly desperate these groups are for support. 

As soon as a tragedy occurs, groups like Moms Demand Action ask grief-stricken citizens to text a number in order to donate to their anti-gun crusades, instead of rallying around the victims who need the support most. 

They know it’s not the NRA's fault if a person decides to kill another person. It's the criminal’s finger pulling the trigger, not the NRA's (or any other pro-Second Amendment organization). However, because they know their messaging will resonate in the grieving hearts of Americans, they continue to deploy their sick tactics. 

If we take a step back, this assault isn't solely against the NRA; it's an assault on our Second Amendment rights and the Constitution as a whole. Where does the madness stop? 

Campuses have stripped students of both their freedom of speech and the right to bear arms. Only just recently has the spotlight shown the egregious problems we see on campus when it comes to free speech and the First Amendment. Students are having to fight back — in a big way — in order to re-secure their First Amendment rights. In the same way, we must be wise to the attack on the Second Amendment and find ways to lobby to restore and maintain our Second Amendment rights. 

Their leading crusade is the demand for stronger background checks. Which, by the way, gun control leader Sen. Dianne Feinstein says has not worked. The rest of their attacks are built on empty lies purposefully meant to misinform Americans so that they’ll rally around the call for stricter gun control. 

Moms Demand Action states on their website: "We are educating, motivating, and mobilizing supporters to take action that will result in stronger laws and policies to save lives." 

In other words, stricter gun control that would make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms which they could use for self-defense. 

The continued assaults of these organizations seek to turn gun owners and supporters into social outcasts. Just as the left on campus has sought to ostracize conservative students, for those who take the bait, gun ownership is viewed as an offensive life choice instead of an individual right. 

At the end of the day, gun rights are not about Democrat vs. Republican, liberal vs. conservative, or any other stereotype or sub-grouping. They're about our Constitutional rights as Americans and the right to defend ourselves against those who seek to do us harm. 

Those who wish to advocate for common sense gun rights and combat emotional, knee-jerk reactions can learn more by our nation’s leading gun experts. 

To reduce shootings, look for better ideas beyond gun control

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Chicago, one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, saw a drop in homicides from 771 in 2016 to 650 in 2017. And police are thanking new technology, not gun control laws

While on its face value this seems like a victory for the city, Chicago still beats the number of killings in New York City and Los Angeles combined. Despite these cities being among the leading cities for gun control laws, they continue to remain in the top percentage of the highest homicide rates. 

Chicago Police officials say they were able to make progress in combating violence with the launch of Strategic Decision Support Centers.

These centers are data driven nerve centers that Chicago Police Department says has helped it respond faster to shootings and help officers predict where the next incident may occur. According to Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson “the six districts where police launched the nerve centers in 2017, murders and shooting incidents decreased by about 25 percent.” 

According to the Chicago Police Department website, officers are now provided with "additional cameras, gunshot detection systems, and mobile phones to officers in the field who receive real-time notifications and intelligence data at their fingertips.” Furthermore, according to new Chicago PD reports, districts in the city that have been equipped with these new technologically advanced nerve centers are seeing a decrease in overall crime, not just shootings. 

With this proven data in hand, it’s time that elected officials go where the science tells them and stop attempting to scapegoat law-abiding citizens with laws that more strictly curtail their gun rights. 

For decades now, politicians have argued that stricter gun control is the answer. Yet the data doesn’t support such a conclusion, and even at times points in the opposite direction. Year after year, there is no apparent statistical relationship between the prevalence of gun homicides and the prevailing gun policies among the 50 states. As the accompanying chart demonstrates, the widely disparate gun control approaches and gun ownership rates in pairs of states like California and Texas, Illinois and Georgia, Maryland and Tennessee, did not result in significantly different gun murder rates. This has been true in previous years, and it was true once again in 2016, the most recent year for which FBI data are available. 

It’s also important to note that the various states’ rates of other violent gun crimes, such as robbery, do not seem to depend on gun policy or gun ownership rates or state gun control laws either

There is even an argument that when law-abiding citizens are free from the grip of gun-grabbing laws, they are better able to defend themselves and their loved ones. With absurd measures of gun control out of the picture, law-abiding citizens can legally obtain firearms quicker, practice with a wide-variety of firearms, and better defend themselves through concealed and open carry

Either way, the only people who benefit from stricter gun control laws are criminals. That’s why states and cities across America should be looking for other, more promising ways to reduce crime, as they have done out of desperation in Chicago.

When dating apps like Bumble ban gun pictures, they're banning American values

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Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, Kroger, and L.L Bean have all recently hopped on the gun control bandwagon by refusing rifle sales to patrons under 21 years old. Now, the world of dating apps has joined them, too

The dating app Bumble, which as of November 2017 included more than 23 million users, recently updated its user policy, stating: 

"Bumble is working to ban gun photos. Making sure our users feel safe meeting new people has always been our #1 priority. If you see a photo of someone with a gun while swiping on Bumble, please use the report button in app so our team can take action. Together we can continue to create an even safer online community." 


Bumble, which has been branded as " the feminist dating app," perpetuates far-left rhetoric that only benefits those with a bleeding-heart liberal ideology. According to Bumble's terms of conditions and use, they want "users to be able to express themselves as much as possible and post all sorts of things on Bumble.”

Of course, this free expression clause is followed by how they also “have to impose restrictions on certain content." Cue a long list of restrictions dealing with indecent exposure … and firearms. 


While Bumble allows its users to express themselves in photos in almost any other fashion (except for pornography), users are banned from expressing what could potentially be their strongest interest. Firearms are at the core of American history, traditions, sporting, and freedom. By banning firearms, Bumble is, in essence, banning one of America's core principles. 


Arguably, Bumble is really saying that content is "okay" as long as it fits within certain cultural and political guidelines set by their far-left, politically-motivated developers and lawyers. And now that Bumble has hopped on the un-American gun control bandwagon, who or what is next?

Where does it stop? 


Bumble's rhetoric of diversity and inclusion is simply a facade to cover its true motive of dissuading meaningful conversation across political fault lines and finding common ground on American issues.

It’s an attempt to sanitize firearms and Americans’ Second Amendment rights from the norms of daily life. 
The far-left is truly intolerable of other beliefs, ideologies, interests, and hobbies. By taking this action, Bumble is showing its true colors of how unaccepting they really are.

Yes, an Assault Weapons Ban is Unconstitutional

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On Friday, April 6, 2018, U.S. District Judge William Young said assault weapons are military firearms and aren't protected by the constitutional right to “bear arms.” However, he couldn’t be more wrong.

First and foremost, the term “Assault-Weapon” is a made up term by the gun control lobby to strike fear into the hearts and minds of Americans. Gun control activists rely very heavily on fear-based language to persuade Americans that guns are inherently evil, and that the only solution is to pass stricter gun control laws.

Assault is an action; it’s a verb, not a noun. Firearms have no soul, they’re not living objects, and they are not inherently evil. You could put a loaded firearm on a table, leave it there, and unless somebody picked it up, aimed it, and pulled the trigger; the firearm would remain harmless. That settles the debate of “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

The origin of this term “Assault-Weapon” is not one hundred percent clear. According to the Nexis News database, the first mention of “assault weapons” appeared in a 1980 New York Times story. Over the past several decades, gun-control proponents have heavily relied on this terminology and have blanket-applied it to any firearm that looked scary.

Secondly, gun-control proponents now slap the term “assault” onto any firearm they don’t like or want to be restricted from public use. The public mistakes the “AR” in AR-15 to mean “assault rifle,” while fake news headquarters CNN, frequently refers to AR-15’s as “assault rifles.” The “AR” in “AR-15” stands for “ArmaLite Rifle,” the company that first manufactured the AR-15 in December 1959.

Thirdly, let's address the issue of the “AR-15” and how dangerous it is. These are semi-automatic rifles, not “fully automatic machine guns” as some gun control puppets, like Whoopi Goldberg, would have you think. Semi auto firearms have been in public circulation for more than 60 years. It wasn’t until almost 50 years later that we saw one used in a mass shooting.

Furthermore, if we look back at the recent mass murders committed with an AR-15, we see a trend. These criminals should not have had access to a firearm in the first place, or law enforcement failed to act upon credible information.

Nikolas Cruz – Parkland massacre. Police had visited Cruz’s home more than 30 times since 2011. Even worse, the FBI had received tips about Cruz before he committed his horrible act. The first tip on September 24, 2017, when Cruz posted the comment “I'm going to be a professional school shooter,” on a YouTube video, and the second on January 5, 2018, when an anonymous person called the FBI to warn them about Cruz. The FBI admitted to not following established follow up protocols. “Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life,” the FBI said.

Devin Patrick Kelley – Sutherland, Texas Church massacre. Kelley should not have had access to firearms, according to Texas Governor Abbott and current federal law. Kelley was dishonorably discharged from the military, which automatically bars someone from ever purchasing firearms again.
Omar Mateen – Pulse Nightclub massacre. Mateen had been on the FBI’s suspected terrorist list, investigated twice by the FBI for terrorism, and convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes.

Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik – San Bernardino massacre. According to then FBI Director James Comey, both were “radicalized” before they started dating each other and that they were “homegrown violent extremists” who were “inspired by foreign terrorist organizations.” Farook and Malik did not purchase their firearms. The firearms used in the massacre were a “straw purchase” bought by Enrique Marquez Jr., who pleaded guilty in February 2017.
Fourthly and finally, an “assault weapons” ban certainly violates the Second Amendment. In 2008, Justice Scalia handed down one of the most historic, landmark decisions in the history of the United States Supreme Court. DC v. Heller held that “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.”

In the majority’s opinion written by Justice Scalia, he states that the second amendment protects firearms that are in “common use.” The National Rifle Association estimates that there are more than eight million AR-15s and its variations in circulation. The AR-15 has been in circulation and readily available for purchase, by law-abiding citizens, since 1959. If you’re still not sold on the fact that AR-15s, and its variations, are in “common use” you can read these self-defense stories from 2013 – 2018, in which an AR-15 saved lives and stopped crime.

Written by Tyler Yzaguirre, SAI President. Originally published on AmmoLand.com.


Radical Gun Grabbers Can't Have An Honest Discussion

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Because the gun debate is one of the most heated, pressing political issues of our time, calm and rational discussions need to happen for us to find common ground on gun rights and gun control. Sadly, too many liberals refuse to partake. 

Instead, they continue to be hard-headed and not open for debate. They continue to push for stricter gun control, furthering the divide between gun owners and non-gun owners. One extreme measure of gun control currently sweeping the nation is legislation in support of raising the minimum age to purchase a long gun (for example, a shotgun or rifle) from 18 to 21

Radical gun control organizations like Moms Demand Action continue to back the notion that disarming schools creates a safer environment. More than 90 percent of public mass shootings, take place in a “gun-free” zone. If Moms Demand Action truly cared about the safety of students, they would prefer well-trained armed teachers, or police officers, to be present at the school. 

And to further exemplify the lack of their credibility, Moms Demand Action has joined the “nothingburger” Russian conspiracy

Another radical gun-grabbing organization is the Brady Campaign. On of its largest projects is “ No Gun Left Behind,” in which the Brady Campaign claims “guns on campus would dramatically increase gun violence risks to college students and trample on academic freedom." However, there have been no negative effects of legal concealed carry on campus by college students. See, for example, campuses in Texas

A major issue to both Moms Demand Action and the Brady Campaign is to expand background checks. The Brady Campaign claims background checks can keep guns out of the hands of criminals. False. 

The Parkland shooter passed a background check. He was on the FBI’s list, and they failed to act. Blame the FBI, not the background check. 

The attacker in the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church massacre passed a background check because the military failed to report him as dishonorably discharged. Blame the military, not the background check. 

The list goes on

Extremists like Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and Cameron Kasky (who is known for his outrageous, blatant lies), further the divide between Americans by using deceptive marketing tactics, like utilizing the deaths of children to tap into the emotions of Americans and by tweeting fake news. For example, Kasky recently tweeted, “The NRA has evolved into such a hilarious parody of itself," because the NRA supposedly was banning guns at its convention. But the Secret Service forced the NRA to ban guns, because President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are speaking

The problem isn't just advocacy groups or ill-informed high school students, it extends to the halls of Congress as well. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., has a radical gun control solution in mind: a mandatory gun buyback program. And if you don't want to sell your rifle to the government? You get arrested. 

Pushing and passing radical gun control legislation, publishing deceptions, and constantly assaulting our Second Amendment rights will not solve any problems. Both sides need to come together and work on common ground to reduce violence. But with the mentality and actions of the above groups and people, that will never happen.

Written by Tyler Yzaguirre, SAI President. Originally published in the Washington Examiner.

The Attack on Law-Abiding Gun Owners

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When innocent lives are taken in school shootings or other mass tragedies, we should come together, as a nation, mourn with the families and friends who lost their loved ones, and in time discuss how this could have been prevented. 

Instead, the radical gun-grabbing Left is at it again, blaming law-abiding citizens for the actions of a deranged criminal. Within hours of the Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting, gun-grabbing extremists like David HoggCameron Kasky, and others across the nation called for stricter gun control laws. Unsurprisingly, Hogg, Kasky, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and other firearm-haters immediately diverted attention from the shooter and focused their attacks on the National Rifle Association.

What they fail to realize is that focusing blame on the NRA, or blaming law-abiding citizens, will get our nation nowhere in developing a realistic solution to stop criminals and their desire to inflict harm on others.
 

In order to propose a viable solution, one must know the facts of the situation. Examining the facts of this horrific incident allows us to propose realistic solutions to avoid repeats. 

Firstly, the weapons used in the Santa Fe High School shooting were a sawed-off shotgun and a .38 caliber handgun. Sawed off shotguns are illegal under federal law without a special license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Investigators have identified the original buyers, however how it moved from them to the shooter has yet to be determined. 

In regards to the .38 caliber handgun, under federal law one must be 21 years old to own or purchase a handgun in the U.S. ( some exceptions exist for those 18 to 21). The madman, who killed 10 at the Santa Fe High School, is only 17. No current law, or other law, would have prevented him from illegally obtaining those firearms. 

The most common knee-jerk reaction from proponents of gun control is to call for immediate stricter gun control laws and blame the NRA. But stricter gun control will only hurt law-abiding citizens because criminals don’t follow the law

Gun control legislation is currently on the rise across the country with numerous states raising the age to purchase a firearm to 21. By implementing such radical gun control legislation, millions of Americans aged 18 to 20 are stripped of their constitutional rights and the ability to effectively defend themselves. 

Other absurd gun control legislation currently under consideration in Congress include H.R. 4268, which would implement a seven-day waiting period after purchasing a firearm, H.R. 1612, which closes the so-called “gun show loophole”, and H.R. 163, which would hold gun manufacturers accountable for crimes committed with their firearms. 

These bills come from far-left leaning Democrats, of course, who only care about control and saving face among their voters. They don’t care about the rights of law-abiding Americans or the Constitution. If they did, they would not be attempting to pass such radical gun-control legislation. 

It gets worse on the state level. 

For example, the New York State Senate passed a bill recently allowing police and prosecutors to confiscate weapons from people deemed a danger to themselves. Florida passed a similar law after the Parkland school massacre. These types of laws completely bypass due process, violating an individual's Second and Fourth Amendment rights. Of course, this can be contested in court, but the question remains, how long does it take to contest this obstruction of justice in court? 

The overall problem with more gun control legislation passing is that once the floodgates are opened, who or what is to stop unconstitutional legislation from becoming law? For decades now, the far-left has stated they’re “not coming for our guns.” The legislation they’ve been proposing demonstrates otherwise.

Written by Tyler Yzaguirre, SAI President. Originally published in Washington Examiner.