Can we afford to keep raising the cost of doing business?

Those who don’t understand the free-market model or even care to because they hold a redistributive world view, will not care why businesses require profits. The divisive “evil-rich” or “greedy-profiteer” smears are lies told to the gullible masses who do not know what businesses require to keep going or even more importantly, how it must grow to be viable. So it’s easy to fall for the class-envy rhetoric which is sadly destroying the American Dream.

Government is a consumer of tax revenue paid by big and small private sector businesses and individuals who work for a living. In fact government produces nothing. It spends our money ostensibly to provide us services. Which in today’s bloated Monster Government, we’re actually working for our “slave-master,” because much of our working life is devoted to paying taxes. When the White House and those in Congress engage in class-warfare, and use government to pit Americans against Americans in order to extract more taxes. We as tax payers, are quite literally funding the assault on our own liberties.

When government mandates businesses to pay more in wages regardless of the actual fair-market values of “minimum-wage” labor, it artificially forces businesses to increase operating overhead. Anyone who’s ever run an enterprise knows increasing overhead costs adversely effects products and services they provide their customers. When costs go up, one of four things must happen: 1) cost of your goods or services to your customer goes up; or 2) the quality of your goods or services goes down; or 3) cut workers’ hours or impose a hiring freeze; or 4) cut profits or operate at a loss.

The big government pushers believe businesses are greedy and can always afford wage increases. ‘Look at the rich owner’s Mercedes; he needs to spread the wealth around.’ They would say. The reality is when you increase the wages of minimum-wage workers (or entry-level jobs that should be determined by the free-market) that means, for example, the low cost food services, who’s customers are those who can’t afford fancy restaurants, will have to buy food at higher prices or lower quality. So those who can’t afford caviar will now be penalized by the government mandate.

If the owner keeps the price the same and lowers quality to try and survive, they’ll lose customers because of bad burgers. Eventually they will lose their business anyway from a lack of patronage. Alternatively, he can freeze hiring or cut workers’ hours, but that of course hurts his employees. Then there’s the option of operating at zero profit or at a loss. Now, try to keep up with inflation – another government caused disaster. The landlord certainly won’t stop raising the rent and eat his tax hike and his suppliers are also subject to inflation as well.

By imposing more mandates like raising the minimum wage, the government makes burgers unaffordable, and puts shops out of business. But wait, aren’t the people who want to raise the minimum wage the same ones who blame businesses for sending jobs overseas? So, you’re not allowed to make a profit, that’s greedy, but you’re supposed to sustain your business because you must have some hidden profits you’re not telling the government. So government forces you to operate at a loss so entry-level workers gets a higher wage because that’s what’s “fair?” And we haven’t even touched on the deleterious effects on business of the unaffordable Affordable Care Act best known as Obamacare.

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Why does the “gun-debate” miss the target?

The term “gun-violence” should be retired from our lexicon for public policy debates. By focusing on the gun we’re already being driven by a narrative that is biased. That’s because at the mere mention of guns, much of the public has already been conditioned to believe guns equal violence. This is a direct consequence of a decades long rhetorical campaign by the anti-gun movement to vilify the gun culturally.

The anti-gun establishment funded an eighty page activist’s manual, Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging (authors:Frank O’Brien, Al Quinlan, John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut), produced by three powerful Washington D.C. communications firms. It’s no coincidence that most anti-gun activists appear to use this playbook, because the rhetoric we hear constantly in the media and from anti-gun groups mirror its contents. But why is it not Criminal Violence they wish to prevent? Is that not what we all want? Why obsess over “guns” and not criminal behavior?

By packaging the words gun with violence into a term, the dialog is already tainted. This term suggests gun equals violence, or that they are the same thing. They are not. Quite the trick because a gun by itself cannot be non-violent any more than it can be violent without an operator. It’s merely a machine, and depending on the operator one can achieve good results or create very bad ones.

Take the car, for example, another machine. We all drive one and are well served by it provided, however, it’s not misused. If you drink and drive, you put others at risk. If we text and drive we endanger ourselves and fellow travelers. Yet when vehicular homicides happen, we don’t blame the car. But substitute the car with guns, suddenly, the perception is entirely different. Why is that?

When sportsmen use firearms, their rights are attacked although they’re clearly not the problem. They’re equally responsible operating their firearms as good drivers would be with their cars. Whenever a crisis involving firearms occurs, however, the knee-jerk reaction is always to target guns giving criminal behavior a pass. Why not ban cars due to vehicular homicides?

It is utterly disingenuous when Bloomberg compares fatalities between traffic and shootings, yet operates under a double standard when comparing cars to guns. They do not push for a ban on cars. On Bloomberg.com, an article by Chris Christoff and Ilan Kolet compares death statistics between traffic and firearms predicting the latter will surpass the former by 2015. Not surprisingly, they ignore the lives saved by lawfully armed citizens.

It is of course ridiculous to ban cars because of a small minority of bad drivers or drunks. Yet the anti-gun establishment targets the gun as though regardless of a small minority of cases the gun is somehow more responsible for the deaths than a car is of traffic fatalities. For the debate to ignore the behavior of the operators and not clarify the vast disparity between those responsible verses those who are abusers, is grotesquely dishonest and manipulative. In fact, the gun-debate deliberately hides the truth and has at its core a nefarious motif.

Here are facts about firearms in America most do not know because of a relentlessly one sided narrative dominated by the anti-gun establishment. One hundred million Americans own firearms and use them responsibly for a variety of purposes. They are hunters, collectors, sportsmen and women as well as citizens who use them for personal protection. There exist a great deal of objective scientific research on firearms ownership in America from universities of criminology (NW Univ., Kleck & Gertz; Harvard, Kates & Mauser) and statistical analysis by government agencies such as the CDC, FBI, USDOJ, etc.

Empirical research confirms an unmistakable truth that overwhelmingly firearms save more lives than they take every year in America. On average the annual disparity is greater than eighty times more lives are saved by guns compared to those lost (NW Univ., Kleck & Gertz; National Safety Council, Itasca, Il.), but that includes suicides and accidental deaths. The actual firearm-homicides rate average eleven thousand annually (CDC.gov). When we make a clear distinction between criminals and good citizens, the lawfully armed save lives by more than two hundred times the rate at which criminals kill.

Gun-control only burdens the law-abiding citizen while protecting criminals. That’s not an opinion, it’s fact (Harvard, Kates & Mauser). Given the statistical proof of lives saved by armed citizens, imagine if the entire nation were a gun-free zone like the nation’s crime centers: Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York City, etc. These Hot Spots (FBI terminology) or killing zones have one thing in common. They share the strictest gun-control laws in America.

We wouldn’t cut the antlers off a deer to protect it from attacking coyotes anymore than we should disarm innocent would-be victims from marauding predators in our society. If the anti-gun established should achieve its objective of disarming the citizenry, I shudder to think how much unintended carnage we shall have in America as a consequence.

 

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Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America: This is what it looks like

A September 19, 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal titled: “Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines,” turned my stomach. It reported that in this the worst recession in our lifetime, when people all over America are suffering from lost wages, devastated careers, jobs eliminated never to return and foreclosures on their American Dreams, Washington D.C. sees a near 25% hike in personal income. Clearly, the Washington ruling class have managed to redistribute America’s wealth to quite literally line their pockets and those of their friends and political supporters. We have now gone from a government by the people, of the people and for the people to a despotic tyranny where the people work to serve their masters in the ruling political establishment.

The history of humanity has been one where despotic leaders or the “enlightened” elites rule over the common people as subjects until America’s Founders created a system of government where the people were the boss. Those in elected office, as well as those in government, “served” the interests of the citizenry in accordance with the Constitution of the United States. In fact, they have a sworn duty to defend and preserve the Constitution. The “individual, the most vulnerable “minority,” was protected under the law to freely pursue their personal interests. This system profoundly unshackled the human spirit in ways that allowed ordinary people to do extraordinary things in a remarkably short period of time. A miraculous transformation of the world resulted, lifting much of humanity out of the dark ages of the past to profoundly better the lives of countless billions around the planet. Within 200 years since America’s founding, humanity went from a primitive existence where, for 5000 years, fields were plowed by beasts to global air travel and men landing on the moon. America was the miracle that transformed the world so ordinary people may live with dignity and prosperity such as never in human history.

The WSJ article told an alarming story. It showed me that Obama and his thugs are rapidly undoing the American miracle and have made stunning “progress.” In less than five years, they have managed to render our Constitution nearly irrelevant by turning a government by, for and of the people on its head. The system that was the miracle is in shambles with a malignant cancerous tumor of corruption and malfeasance. This administration has deliberately worked to widen the divisions in America as never before, driving a poisonous wedge between neighbors, families, races; pitting workers against employers, government against businesses, rich versus poor, non-Christians against Christians, Americans against Americans. Our moral compass has been shattered under this president and his administration as they wine and dine special interests in our White House to advance their “fundamental transformation of America” while presiding over the misery of this endless recession. The most prosperous economy on Earth is stricken with a malaise we’ve not seen in our lifetime. The U.S. Treasury has accumulated the largest debt in human history while default and bankruptcy looms in cities and towns across the nation. The best healthcare system on the planet is being systematically dismantled to make way for more governmental control over (quite literally) the life and death of every citizen. The most powerful military in the world is in disarray due to an utter lack of leadership. While destructive policies of political correctness by this administration serve only to confuse and weaken our nation’s defenses. Institutions that once had the trust of all Americans are being utilized to attack the administration’s political opponents and average law-abiding Americans just because they share a different view of the trajectory of our nation. Our educational institutions, once the envy of the world are now infested by corrupt ideologues who despise their own country. Their utter corruption and incompetence are now rendering our educational standards to lag far behind nations who used to sent their best and brightest to America. Our culture has lost its way and our people dispirited to a numb and tacit acceptance of a new normal that by any measure should be entirely unacceptable. Our youth now wallow in a suspended state of pessimism and a fundamental lack of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

What has happened to us? Why do we, as Americans, allow this to go on? As the nation of free individualists with what used to be an inexhaustible can-do spirit, we have always been the beacon of hope for the world. Others followed us because of our example. President Vladimir Putin of Russia, recently attacked the idea of “American-exceptionalism.” His scathing rebuke of Obama’s clumsy speech in which the President spoke of this concept demonstrated his ignorance as well as our own president’s utter misunderstanding of its true meaning. It’s not that we believe we are a better people or even an exceptional one. The “exception” refers to our nation’s legacy of freedom and its profound effects on humanity. Our Founders chose to create a nation that reveres the rights of the individual as God-given and a government with a Constitutional duty to defend that right. The “rule” has always been governments with power and authority over the people and never a people with the right for self-determination. Thus, the path our Founders chose for America was the “exception,” not the “rule.” No political power or nation in human history had ever imagined a government that is of, by and for the people except for the United States and this historical fact is called “American-exceptionalism.”

Undeniably, this “exception” profoundly transformed the world. Now more than ever, it is incumbent upon all Americans to understand just what this idea really means because so many take their liberty entirely for granted since they have never known tyranny. Tragically, many are quite content to trade away their liberty for a little security, or at least the promise thereof from power-hungry politicians.

This WSJ article is a smoking gun that Washington D.C. has gone horribly awry and wholesale reform is an existential requirement to sustain liberty. We must fight to return America to that exceptional path and eradicate the despotism that is infecting our political class. Like much of the troubled world today, despotism, which in Putin’s world and sadly Obama’s, appears to not be the exception but the rule.

 

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The Issue is Not Gun-safety – It is Public Safety

More than 8 months have passed since the horrific events at Sandy Hook, and the Constitutional protection of firearms ownership in America has weathered yet another political fire-storm. Where the chips fell however, are surprising and less predictable than the expected exploitation of this tragedy by those who wish to disarm Americans.

Even as it was still playing out on that fateful day last December, as expected, the usual suspects rushed to “not let this crisis go to waste.” Before anyone knew the facts, they tripped over one another calling for gun-bans and the abolishing of the 2nd Amendment.

Truth, reason and the rule of law went out the window in the wake of the crisis. Although crassly exploitative, these ugly chants echoed across the nation from the White House to our State House. Anti-gun zealots and their media partners cued-up to attack gun rights, once again putting legal firearm ownership on trial in the court of public opinion.

Despite being dealt a devastating defeat in Congress and in the Rhode Island General Assembly, however, the anti-gun establishment remains intransigent and continues to plot in the shadows to subvert the rule of law. Even now a battle ensues to recall four rogue council members in the town of Exeter. These members plotted to remove the rights of Exeter citizens to apply for a conceal and carry permit through due process under Rhode Island law and in accordance with the US Constitution. Motivated by personal political ideology and ignoring overwhelming public opposition, they acted in ways that can only be characterized as tyranny. The recall effort is a direct response to both their defiant actions during the public hearings as well as their subversive activities in the shadows.

The attacks on our 2nd Amendment is nothing new but despite a full court press in the wake of Sandy Hook, the attackers may not have expected the resulting unintended consequences. Firearms and ammunition sales have gone off the charts. Shelves are bare in gun stores across America while firearm and ammunition manufactures continue to rack up record sales. While no one knows precisely how many new firearms owners have joined the ranks of the armed citizenry, an educated guess might put that number at some level beyond one hundred million lawful firearms owners in America today.

The fight to defend both our state Constitution and that of the United States is far from over. Anti freedom political forces were successful in subverting the rule of law in a handful of states across the nation including Colorado, New York, Connecticut and Maryland. With their partners in the media, they continually distort the truth and corrupt the public discourse culturally to advance their anti-gun agenda.

The truth is, even as they exploited the broken hearts and raw emotions following the Sandy Hook massacre, none of what they proposed would have saved a single child in that crisis. Sandy Hook, as with all schools in America, was under the presumed protection of a federal gun-ban statute which makes it a felony to possess any type of firearm on and within one thousand feet of the school. This is the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1994 – the crowning jewel of the anti-gun establishment lead by the Brady Campaign. Further, Connecticut had its own “assault” weapons ban in place since 1993. Clearly neither laws could stop Adam Lanza from his murderous rampage.

So let’s set the record straight, the fervor surrounding firearms ownership is completely misplaced, because the issue has never been “gun-violence,” a term contrived by anti-gun propagandists and parroted by the media to implicitly demonizing firearm ownership. The real issue has always been how we must address “criminal-violence.” The fact is, the focus on gun ownership and “gun-safety,” another manufactured term, distracts the public from the real solutions required to advance “public-safety.”

Facts surrounding risks to public safety are well documented by our own government and the statistics are available to anyone interested in the truth. Fact: approximately one hundred million law abiding Americans own firearms lawfully and use them responsibly. Overwhelmingly, they are not a risk to public safety. In fact, when you consider the colossal number of lawful firearm owners, their safety record in nothing short of remarkable. Their safety record quite literally rivals anything else one might imagine that may be a public safety risk such as automobiles, house hold consumer goods, garden tools, heavy machinery, recreational vehicles, boating, the medical profession, construction, public concerts, etc. Unfortunately, these facts will never be reported properly in today’s corrupt media.

Facts surrounding real criminal atrocities are highlighted by the media and often distorted by those with an anti-gun agenda. Yet positive gun related stories are much more frequently under reported or simply ignored. For example, did you know that every year in America, there are on average two and a half million cases that are reported where firearms in the hands of lawful citizens save lives and foil crimes? By contrast the Center for Disease Control, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice routinely report the firearm-homicides in recent years to total approximately eleven thousand annually. This represents a steep decline dating back to 1976. In fact, from 1993 to 2010, the government reported a dramatic decline of violence surrounding the use of firearms of 73% with adults over 18 while teen violence with firearms dropped by 80%. Still at eleven thousand a year there remains much work to do in enforcement, but it is important to note that the overwhelming majority of these occur in crowded American inner cities, officially called “Hot-Spots” by the FBI, due to gang violence and a criminal recidivism rate that is out of control. These occur in cities like Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City, New Orleans, etc. In fact, with these urban killings, the United States ranks in the top 10 of the most violent countries in the world, but eradicating the urban killings however, would place the United States dead last on that same list making us the safest nation instead. Considering that one third of the three hundred million Americans who legally own firearms are not the problem, imagine if America could solve the real problems in the “Hot-Spots.”

Politicians and public officials must focus on the real challenges we face in the inner-cities where clearly much of the criminal violence and violent behavior emanates. The problems are multi-facetted and for anyone to default to attacking lawful firearm ownership and our 2nd Amendment, it is utterly reprehensible and irresponsible. Gun-control has never worked historically and much of the draconian policies are unlawful as most anti-gun initiatives seek to render our Second Amendment irrelevant and responsible citizens defenseless. Contrary to the propaganda, gun-control put innocent Americans at greater risk and serves only to protect the criminals.

Earlier this year when the Mayor of Providence announced a gun buy back initiative, I joined other defenders of the 2nd Amendment and attended the first “Gun-Control Summit” sponsored by Mayor Tavares. I had occasion to speak to him personally and suggested that he take a holistic approach to “Public-Safety” rather than focusing only on banning firearms. I told him that his gun buy back program would accomplish little beyond a publicity stunt and that our public resources would be better optimized when focused on the critical facets that surround this important issue. I offered an eight point proposal as an example of a comprehensive plan:

  1. Take action to reform the broken mental health system including laws that handcuff mental health professionals.
  2. Actively revitalize the state’s economy to include bringing opportunity to inner-city communities. This is critical to providing hope and positive alternatives to drug trafficking and youth gang violence.
  3. Providence should set an example to other cites and towns to protect children in schools with armed security and or other means which would be designed for the specific needs of that school and community.
  4. Take action to target street gangs and the illegal drug trade. Actively move to eradicate the violence in the inner city or “Hot-Spots.”
  5. Take action to address the runaway criminal recidivism problems in Rhode Island by reforming enforcement and loopholes in the judicial system.
  6. Enlist educators and parents in the communities to mentor children towards good social behavior and away from those that lead to drugs and criminal violence.
  7. Actively defend the rights of law abiding citizens and preserve the Rhode Island Constitution and enforce the laws of the United States.
  8. Defend the economic vitality of the firearm & sportsmen’s industries and businesses that fund conservation and environmental protection programs for Rhode Island DEM.

The Mayor shook my hand but not surprisingly all my suggestions fell on deaf ears. It was later revealed that he had joined the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign. Subsequently, a five million Dollar donation from Michael Bloomberg was reported as an unrelated event.

Credit needs to be given to the citizens of Rhode Island through this past year. Not only did the citizenry speak out against the attacks on our rights, Mr. Tavares’s efforts to co-opt fellow mayors and town administrators to join in the anti-gun organization resulted in only four mayors out of the 39 cites and towns signing up. Perhaps despite the attempts to exploit the heartbreaking crisis of Sandy Hook, most honest folks see right through the transparent nature of the anti-gun agenda. They know that our problem is not a lack of gun laws but rather the lack of proper enforcement and indeed the necessary respect for our current laws.

Despite the reprehensible attempts of the anti-gun propagandists, we should all be proud that honest Rhode Islanders stood up for the truth and held the line against subversion and corruption of our legislative process. They recognize that anti-freedom politicians have no compunctions of exploiting the heart break of a rare event like a school massacre, to viciously attack and undermine the Constitutional rights of one third of the population of the United States in an overt violation of our presumption of innocence.

Sadly, subversive political operatives will be back to attack the Constitution again. As Rhode Islanders, we must therefore continue to stand together and demand that public officials abide by their oath of office and address real concerns that put our public safety at risk. We must unite in this endeavor to defeat corrupt politicians who usurp their power in an effort to advance their anti-gun agenda and redirect critical resources and energy we desperately need to ensure sound public safety policies that will protect all citizens for a prosperous and revitalized Rhode Island.

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A Message of Unity

Conservatives seem often to be caught flat footed when confronted with the topic of race in America while our opponents exploit this issue shamelessly to advance their political agenda. Have you ever wondered why America is so preoccupied with race and ethnicity? Those pesky forms and applications for Social Security and other government agencies are perfect examples of this obsession. They require you to check off boxes for “race”: Black/African American, Hawaiian Native, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Other Pacific Islander, Asian, White. And under “ethnicity”, Latino or Hispanic.

As an immigrant Asian-American who grew up internationally, I never could understand why racial or ethnic designations matter anyway? I married my wife for who she is, not because of race. Our son is a terrific “American” teenager, not a “Eurasian-American.” I don’t view myself as defined by my race, and I certainly do not view others in that regard. Do we not teach our children to never judge a book by its cover? Have we not twice elected a president who is a black-American? So are we not now living in a post-racial era or is this all just lip service about how “tolerant” we are? Was it not Dr. Martin Luther King who said that he had a dream that one day we would all be judged by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin?

Why then are government bureaucracies deliberately segregating us as a people? Even more importantly, why do we allow them to do so? Sure, race relation in America is a delicate matter but I would argue that it is our complacency that has made it so. In fact it’s gotten to the point where if conservatives speak out on anything remotely race related, we’re labeled “intolerant” or worse, “racist” ~ is it any wonder why we’re so divided?

In the 60s my family lived in Sierra Leone, West Africa providing me some perspective on this issue. My friends included children from the American, Russian, British, French, Italian, Nigerian, Liberian, German missions as well as local Sierra Leonean kids and the children of Lebanese, Israeli merchants. We attended school and socialized together. Race was never an issue with any of us ~ the topic simply never came up.

In the fall of 1968, I attended high school in Connecticut. It was in America I first experienced a new phenomenon – racial self-segregation. Black and white students sat apart at separate cafeteria tables. Having lived overseas with multi-racial friends this was shocking to me. Even at fourteen I found it deeply troubling but quickly learned that this was just the way it was.

We can examine American history, the role of slavery but that would entirely missed the point. The truth is, race and ethnicity have been shamelessly exploited by some for political purposes for far too long. Over the decades, their playing the race-card has driven an ugly and divisive wedge into American politics and into American society. There’s little doubt racism still exists but perhaps not in the way one might think. In fact, much of racism today is fueled by some entirely for political advantage and that is utterly reprehensible! It’s a cancer that is poisoning America and is a malignancy for which we must find a cure for we have both a moral obligation to future generations as well as a duty to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. King.

I don’t presume to have the answers and there are no magic pills. But as Americans we must stand tall, seek the truth and always do what is right. We must not cower or succumb to the tactics of racial division and we must defeat those who promote our differences for political advantage. Separating us into diverse groups or promoting “diversity” is how they’ve had short term political gain but tragically to the long term detriment of America.

The United States of America must not be permanently divided into pockets of races, cultures, religions, ethnicities or people who don’t trust each others. We must remain a nation of people united through our common interests ~ an America that values liberty, human dignity and a noble national purpose. The values and beliefs that have made America the freest and most prosperous nation on Earth is a message that can and will resonate again but it must be delivered with thoughtfulness, consistency and with a firm commitment to our principles.

A message of unity should begin with our children. There has now been decades of liberal-progressive indoctrination corrupting and occupying our schools by radical educators who clearly do not share our American values. Some openly preach hatred towards America, push revisionist history and deny our kids a learning environment where critical thinking, objective discourse, individual expression and common sense used to nurture creative, responsible and productive citizens. We also have a media and entertainment industry that traffics in amorality to such an extent, core American values are being abandoned by our youth as an even more corrupt new normal emerges in our popular culture. Faith, Family and Freedom are under relentless and open assault in America today.

We face a perilous time and risk losing generations who enter our society believing in the worst of their own heritage. Those who wish to fundamentally transform America into something we don’t recognize or want had declared war on our national sovereignty and our way of life decades ago ~ shame on us for remaining silent for so long.

Perhaps President Obama is a product of our silence. Things that he says and does reflect not only a misunderstanding of our founding, they reveal contempt for our traditional institutions and our American heritage. If I could speak to him personally I would say this to him:

Mr. President, you say that ‘we cling to our guns and our religion with antipathy towards those who are not like us…’

You are right. We do cling to our religion because the Bible teaches us three very important values: Virtue, Wisdom and Humility. Values you will find useful in your life.

We do cling to our guns because we have a right and a duty to defend our lives, our liberty and those of our loved ones. We take that responsibility very seriously. We believe the rights of the individual are unalienable and we will never abdicate that responsibility to anyone including government.

And yes, we do have antipathy towards those who are not like us, but not in the way you think. We love our country and our fellow Americans. We revere our faith in God, family, patriotism and we resent anyone who will attack or betray those values we hold so dear.

Our American values are fundamental, they are the glue that binds us together and indeed they have kept us strong. We abandon those values at our peril. As patriots we must stand for American values and promote a message of unity. And most certainly, we must never ourselves default to these racially divisive tactics used by those whose goal is to divide us. Regardless of race, creed, ethnicity or even party affiliation, as Americans we share a far more profound mutual interest and that is ~ our love of Country.

It has been said that silence is consent. If we truly care about our beloved nation and for future generations to know what it really means to be American – then we must be silent no more.

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Defending the 2nd Amendment

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More than 80 million Americans own 300 million guns legally and used them responsibly (2009 data). Overwhelmingly, we’re not the problem. Sandy Hook, while utterly heartbreaking, compared to the routine inner-city killings, was a rare event. Exploiting it to diminishing the liberties of tens of millions of citizens, compromise the Bill of Rights, devastate businesses and cause undue pain and suffering is a travesty.

Politicians with an irrational hatred of guns ignore reality. None of what they advocate has worked historically. Not the Assault Weapons Ban nor the Gun Free School Zone Act. In fact, gun-bans have put people at greater risk. We should be talking about curbing ‘violence’ not ‘guns’ or the rights of lawful citizens. We must not allow temporary politicians with an agenda or personal bias to compromise our liberty.

Show us the evidence criminals obey laws? You can’t – they don’t. Show us evidence gun-free-zones save lives. You can’t. They empower killers – Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora are examples that suggest the ‘Gun-Free-School-Zone Act of 1994’ enabled school massacres. To diminish gun rights and not defend schools won’t stop mass murderers – they seek defenseless targets for maximum body count.

The FBI reports firearm-homicides are concentrated in inner-cities because of street gangs fuelled by the growing drug-cartel problem.* The CDC says overwhelmingly the victims are young black males ages 14 to 24, so where’s the parade of media and politicians? Debating ‘assault’ rifles or magazine capacity will do nothing to curb the violence. It’s statistically irrelevant and is a deadly distraction.

We should focus on real trouble spots in cities like Chicago, NYC, Detroit, DC, LA, New Orleans, etc. In January alone, 44 Chicago teens were murdered as were nearly 300 children since 2007*. Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country, yet it averages three Sandy Hooks a year.

In New York City from 2003 to 2005, 90% of the 1662 murders (not all firearms related) were committed by felons with criminal records**. Clearly, repeat offenders are the problem, but where is the scrutiny of the criminal justice system? The evidence is clear, inner-city gangs and repeat felons perpetrate gun violence. So why target law abiding citizens?

No one has the right to disarm lawful gun owners. We have a Constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” which elected officials have a sworn duty to defend. We demand responsible, thoughtful and adult solutions that target real problems. And we reject irrational hyperbole which corrupts the legislative process.

Good public policy must be fact-based, not be driven by emotions or personal bias. Public policy must be crafted objectively, benefit from lessons of history and rectify failed legislation. Good public policy must preserve the rights of law abiding citizens while accounting for its effectiveness in its stated purpose.

Any policy that suggests more than 80 million law abiding citizens shall have their rights diminished or be criminalized will not only be a gross miscarriage of justice, it will in fact be unlawful. Above all, good public policy must pass the ultimate American litmus test – it must abide by the United States Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

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Open Letter to Our Leaders: We Reject the Gun-Ban Agenda

Subject: we reject the gun-ban agenda & demand real solutions to protect our children

Dear Lawmaker and Elected Leader:

I am a parent first and a gun owner second. I too was horrified at the Newtown massacre and my heart broke as did most parents across our nation. But as a dad and a tax payer, I must insist that cool heads prevail as you go about seeking the right solutions to protect our children.

First of all, I must strenuously protest the disgraceful exploitation of the Newtown tragedy by those who rushed to advance their tired-old gun-ban agenda. The amoral “never let a crisis go to waste” actions of these politicians are utterly contemptible and shameful.

In fact, it is precisely when emotions run high in the wake of such horror, that we need calm and clearheaded leadership to pursue the right answers both to keep our kids safe now and to prevent such attacks in the future.

The actions of the anti-gun establishment are unbecoming of responsible elected officials. To rob responsible citizens of their Constitutional rights should never be a default first response. We expect and demand better leadership than that!

For those who have done their research objectively you will, as I have, conclude that gun bans or more restrictive gun laws do not protect lives at all. To the contrary, it will generate these predictable outcomes:

1) It will guarantee the deaths of more innocent children and citizens because the only possible means of stopping an armed killer, the firearm, will then be denied to the law abiding public.

2) It will immediately spawn a criminal firearm-black-market just as with the Prohibition where organized crime will be the beneficiary. Criminals will plunder and terrorize at will while unarmed citizens will be defenseless. And organized crime will not require a 7 day waiting period or any background checks.

3) It will immediately cause the closure of numerous industries and businesses that support the sportsmen and those who use firearms lawfully. Besides denying our fiscally desperate nation a significant tax revenue, this action will guarantee great pain and suffering for those now unemployed. This is tantamount to shooting oneself in the foot.

I submit that we must talk about legitimate solutions to protect our children and stop this irrational political campaign of fear and vilification of our 2nd Amendment Rights and of law abiding citizens who own and use firearms.

The truth is, in America the safety record of firearm ownership and its use is extraordinary considering the massive numbers: 300 million legally owned guns and 80 million law abiding gun owners. In fact, the data shows that overwhelmingly more lawfully owned firearms save lives and foil crimes than those that kill. Each year there are consistently two and a half million documented cases where lawfully armed citizens stop crimes and save lives. The data also illustrates that the hot spots of gun crimes are overwhelmingly concentrated in America’s largest urban populations. That is where the problems really are and by-the-way, these are all GUN-FREE-ZONES.

Clearly gun control and restrictive gun laws do nothing to curb gun crimes yet anti-gun politicians persist in pushing for gun bans.

Let me ask those who want gun control to answer this question:

“How will my son be protected in his school should God forbid, a crazed gunman break in as he had in Newtown?”

“What if God forbid, it were your child?”

“If you outlaw guns, how will anyone protect her?”

GUN-FREE-ZONES do not work – they invite would be killers and criminals. Newtown and Aurora are both clear evidence that this is the case.

Why don’t we start by abolishing Gun-Free-Zones? Let us start there.

As for how to counter would be killers, some may think it’s best to arm our teachers. Others may wish to hire armed guards. Still others may propose other means we haven’t yet considered. But the point is a centrally dicated “one-size-fits-all” government mandate is not the solution!

The right solution is for each municipality, each community or each school to decide for themselves based upon their own unique set of circumstances just what will work for them. Government can help and empower them but you need to let each community design their own solution that best fit their situation and not force a round peg into a square hole.

One thing I know for certain: another restrictive gun law will do nothing to save my child’s life, were he to be confronted with the exact circumstance as students at Sandy Hook.

We all recognize that there is an immediate need to ensure our children are adequately protected. We can’t fix our flawed society overnight and our children’s safety should not be held hostage while we debate the long term fix.

I urge our leaders to recognize that this is a complex multi facetted problem that demands real thoughtful deliberation. In the interim, we demand immediate practical solutions to protect our kids. GUN BANS in any form serve only as distractions and threaten to derail our quest for smart, honest and effective solutions.

The deadly consequences that will result from the utterly misguided gun-ban political agenda are simply unacceptable.

For the sake of protecting our children and saving lives, please STOP the political gamesmanship… take a breath, be thoughtful, be the leaders we elected and above all be the adults in the room.

Yours truly,
Dexter Liu
Portsmouth, Rhode Island

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Filed under Opinion, The Second Amendment