Thursday, November 4, 2021

Arguments in NYSRPA v Bruen

Today’s hearing by the Court is literally one of the BIG cases of this year that WILL affect everyone in the US.  

This case may well decide the issue of “What does the Constitution mean when it says the ‘the right to 
keep and BEAR arms hall not be infringed’  (capitalization added).”  While most people may think this is a question that was decided 100 or 200 years ago, the fact is, the Supreme Court has not ever ruled on the issue.  

Amazingly, only recently has the Supreme Court decided what the 2nd Amendments means.  Until 2008 the Court had never said what it means to KEEP arms.  The issue of KEEPING arms was not actually ruled by the court to be an individual right until District of Columbia v. Heller 554 U.S. 570 (2008).  Until 2008 there where many that said the 2nd Amendment meant the only right to keep and bear arms was for those in the Militia or National Guard. 

Does the 2nd Amendment apply to the States? Or does it only apply to the Federal Government?  That question was not decided until 2010 in Mc Donald v Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010) when the Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment applies to individual states because of the 14th Amendment. 

The Heller decision DID say the 2nd Amendment meant Americans had the right to arm themselves for Self Defense.  However, the Heller Decision did not specifically state when, where or under what conditions allowed an individual to be armed for Self Defense.  

Generally, the Heller Decision DID say a person had the right to carry a firearm for self defense.  There are two ways to carry a firearm- open carry, where the firearm is visible or concealed- where the firearm is not visible.  

At issue in NYSRPA v Bruen is the New York concealed carry license system.   New York prohibits open carry or “non-concealed” carrying of firearms.  For Concealed Carry, under  NY law, a person must be of good character, must have certain training and meet other requirements in order to get a concealed carry permit that would allow the individual to carry a concealed weapon in most places.  

Additionally, the person must show CAUSE;  the individual must show a specific and SPECIAL need for self defense that significantly differentiates the individual from the general public.  Saying “I travel through high crime areas” is NOT a reason for a permit.  Saying “there have been several muggings in my neighborhood” is not sufficient.  Saying “I go to this specific area on these specific nights and have received this specific threat” MIGHT be sufficient.  But as we see in this case, that could mean you get a permit that allows you to carry to that ONE location- but no where else.   Largely, in New York, your right to carry a weapon, may just depend on WHO you are and WHERE you live.   

New York’s system is NOT unique- but it is rare.     The “exceptional cause” or “good cause” rule exists in seven states- California, Hawaii, New York, California, Delaware, Massachusetts and New Jersey.   In the remaining 43 states, there are SHALL ISSUE laws.  If a person meets the legal requirements- whatever they are- a carry permit MUST be issued.  In the SEVEN jurisdictions with “good cause” laws, it doesn’t matter if you meet ALL requirements, have all the training, and live your life as an angel.  The the hearing officer or sheriff or whoever the licensing person is MAY CHOOSE to reject your application.   

For example, in 1956 Alabama was a “may issue” jurisdiction- just like New York is today.  In 1956, A black minister applied for a concealed carry permit because he had gotten threats against his life.  His concealed carry permit was denied - even though he met EVERY requirement under Alabama law.   Because Alabama had a MAY issue law that allowed the Sheriff or local official to decide if they “wanted” to issue the permit, the permit was denied.  In the past, many states passed “may issue” and “good cause” laws, so they could refuse to allow blacks, immigrants, union organizers and other “undesirables” their right to carry a gun.    If the state said “you can only carry with a license” and the state was a “may issue” state, they could deny the right to self defense- the Second Amendment- to anyone the ruling people did not like.   The black minister denied a concealed carry permit was a person that many in 1956 Alabama hated.  His name was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

Today, 43 States in the United States are SHALL ISSUE States.   If you meant all the rules, have a clean background , take the right classes and pay the fees, you SHALL be issued a concealed carry permit or license.   It doesn’t matter your race, sex, religion or any other factor; if you meet the requirements, you must be issued a permit or license.   

In the case before the Court, the NYSRPA and it’s members argue that since there is NO open carry of firearms allowed, the only option is to carry concealed.  The state of New York agrees.    The State of New York says they  issue concealed carry licenses to anyone that has good cause, so we are not violating the Second Amendment at all.   NYSRPA and its members say you should NOT have to prove you have “good cause” to exercise your 2nd Amendment Rights.  They say since it is so rare that permits are issued, the state is denying 2nd Amendment rights to almost everyone in New York. 

In the case heard today, one specific exchange between Supreme Court Justice Alito and New York Attorney General Underwood distilled the issues to their core: 

(From the Transcript of Oral Arguments in NYSRPA v Bruen on November 3, 2021):
JUSTICE ALITO: Could I -- could I -- could I explore what that means for ordinary law-abiding citizens who feel they need to carry a firearm for self-defense? So I want you to think about people like this, people who work late at night in Manhattan, it might be somebody who cleans offices, it might be a doorman at an apartment, it might be a nurse or an orderly, it might be somebody who washes dishes. None of these people has a criminal record. They're all law-abiding citizens. They get off work around midnight, maybe even after midnight. They have to commute home by subway, maybe by bus. When they arrive at the subway station or the bus stop, they have to walk some distance through a high-crime area, and they apply for a license, and they say: Look, nobody has told -- has said I am going to mug you next Thursday. However, there have been a lot of muggings in this area, and I am scared to death. They do not get licenses, is that right?
MS. UNDERWOOD: That is in general right, yes. If there's nothing particular to them, that's right.
JUSTICE ALITO: How is that consistent with the core right to self-defense, which is protected by the Second Amendment?
MS. UNDERWOOD: Because the core right to self-defense doesn't -- as -- as this Court said, doesn't allow for all to -- to be armed for all possible confrontations in all places.
JUSTICE ALITO: No, it doesn't, but does it mean that there is the right to self-defense for celebrities and state judges and retired police officers but pretty much not for the kind of ordinary people who have a real, felt need to carry a gun to protect themselves?
MS. UNDERWOOD: Well, if that ordinary person -- Mr. Nash had a -- a concern about his parking lot, and he got a permit. I think the extra problem in Manhattan is that you – your hypothetical quite appropriately entailed the subways, entailed public transit, and there are lots of people on the subways even at midnight, as I can say from personal experience, and the particular specter of a lot of armed people in an enclosed space --
JUSTICE ALITO: There are -- there are a lot of armed people on the streets of New York and in the subways late at night right now, aren't there?
MS. UNDERWOOD: I don't know that there are a lot of armed people-
MS. UNDERWOOD: I think there are people --
JUSTICE ALITO: How many -- how many--
MS. UNDERWOOD: -- there are people with illegal guns if that's what you're --
JUSTICE ALITO: Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.
MS. UNDERWOOD: -- referring to. Yeah.
JUSTICE ALITO: How many illegal guns were seized by the -- by the New York Police Department last year? Do you -- do you have any idea?
MS. UNDERWOOD: I don't have that number, but I'm sure there's a -- it's a substantial number.
JUSTICE ALITO: But the people -- all -- all these people with illegal guns, they're on the subway --
MS. UNDERWOOD: I don't -- I don't --
JUSTICE ALITO: -- they're walking around the streets, but the ordinary hard-working, law-abiding people I mentioned, no, they can't be armed?
Justice Alito really brought this case into tight focus.  This case is REALLY about one issue - Does the Second Amendment mean ALL law abiding citizens have the right to carry for self defense? Or does it mean that only the select few, who a New York official feels are worthy, have the right to carry for self defense. 

Do we, as a people, live in a Country where a Constitutional Right can be conditioned upon Special Need?   We certainly never would say “you must show you have a ‘special need’ or ‘good cause’ to give a speech.  We would never say, “you must show a ‘special need’ to require the police to have a warrant to search your home.  

This case addresses that issue.  We will find out the decision, when the Court announces its ruling - mostly likely in June 2022.  


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

To Boldly Go…

There are a few completely modern movie and TV phrases which have become a permanent part of our culture; phrases which one can say which anyone in the US would immediately recognize.   “I’ll be back,” “Make my day,” “Here’s looking at you, kid,” and “we’re not in Kansas anymore” are a few.  

But there is a phrase, or verse, that is known not just in the United States, or the English speaking world, but globally, that a very large percentage would know; and it was heard for the first time some 55 years ago today. 
“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!”

Star Trek first premiered on September 8, 1966 on NBC.  The show was canceled after only three seasons and seventy-nine aired episodes.  

The show would not disappear from the airwaves, as many others would.  It would eventually give birth to 13 major motion pictures, 7 television and streaming series of 755 episodes and counting, 3 animated series, and well over 1000 authorized books.

But, the importance of Star Trek is not its television, streaming, theater, and literary success.  The importance of Star Trek is how it has changed, and continues to change, the world we live in.   

There is no doubt that other works have made major impacts on the world.   Jules Verne's Captain Nemo and the Nautilus inspired generations of submarine designers, oceanographers and explorers.  Upon Sinclair's "The Jungle" has been credited with the drive for food safety regulations in the US.  Admittedly, not all of these changes have been positive; the 1915 film "Birth of a Nation" was the inspiration for the birth of the modern KKK.

Yet it can be argued that no other modern dramatic work, no other work of science fiction, no other television show, has changed the world as much as Star Trek.  

All it takes to see Star Trek's impact is for one to look at their mobile phone.   Or perhaps take a look at a tablet computer. Kirk and Spock had and used both.  Touch screens, 3-D Printers, Smart Watches, have proliferated across the planet; all were seen, years- decades even- before their time, being used by the crew of the Enterprise.  Lt. Uhura and Cdr. Spock's single-ear, wireless earphones are certainly not much different than the Bluetooth headsets millions use. According to Jeff Bezos, the voice of Alexa was inspired by the voice of the computer on the Enterprise 1701-D (voiced by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry).   Private space transport is here, and there is a $10 million X-Prize for the development of the "Medical Tricorder."  The Autonomous Vehicles used to explore everywhere from under the oceans to space are not much different than the probes launched from Enterprise.  Even tractor-beams and transporter technology have moved from the theoretical and are currently under development.

Beyond the inspiration for new technology, Star Trek as certainly been an inspiration for exploring "strange new worlds" and seeking out "new life and new civilizations."   NASA and the ESA are filled with scientist, engineers and technicians who freely state that watching Star Trek inspired them to join NASA or the ESA.   And for those that may not be old enough to remember, the test vehicle of the Space Shuttle Program- an actual space shuttle, without rocket engines aboard- in which manned test flights were flown, was named Enterprise; a name demanded by a letter writing campaign of Trekker's in the 1970's to then US President Gerald Ford.  Enterprise (OV-101) was supposed to be refitted after the drop tests to fly in space, but structural changes during construction of Columbia (OV-102) made it cheaper to build Challenger (OV-099) from scratch.  A refit of Enterprise was considered once more, after the 1986 Challenger disaster, but again, the cost of refit made building Endeavour (OV-105) the better option.

Perhaps the both the greatest impact, and the least easy to measure, is the incredible social impact Star Trek has made.  In 1966, the racial diversity of the lead actors in the show was unheard of in American Television.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek was one of the only shows he would allow his children to watch.  When Nichelle told Dr. King she was planning to leave Star Trek for Broadway, she said he told her that was not acceptable. Dr. King said she couldn’t leave because she was a role model for millions of young girls and women – the only African-American on TV in a role worth having.

The social impact goes beyond just the first interracial kiss on American Television (between Kirk and Uhura).  Star Trek used problems on alien worlds as parallels and parables for issues we were facing when the show aired.   Issues like racism, the risks and dangers of war, eugenics, genetic engineering, and the dangers of unbridled automation were addressed in the original series.  When Star Trek returned to the television screen, they continued to address social issues, such as apartheid, colonialism, terrorism, drug addictions, aging, the right to live, as well as continuing to address themes that mankind struggled with when the show began in 1966.   Above all, Star Trek presented a world of hope, a world that could be, where the social issues of today were no more.

The world has changed and science has advanced since the first broadcast of Star Trek, the night of September 8, 1966.   We landed on the moon.  Mankind has sent space craft to explore every planet in our solar system and even a "planet" that was demoted to a dwarf-planet while the space craft was  in route (Pluto).   We have landed a spacecraft on the moon Titan, orbiting Saturn.  We have sent space craft out into deep space, beyond the reaches of our solar system.  We can communicate around the globe electronically, and there is practically nowhere on Earth where we cannot maintain communication with our friends, family and home.

Technology has advanced, and we have in the 21st Century, many of the things Star Trek set in the world of the 23rd Century- although I am still waiting for the food station I can just talk to and tell what I want for dinner, and have it beam right in.  

Despite all our advances, and maybe because of them, the dream Gene Roddenberry showed us in Star Trek 55 years ago, remains:  The dream of a better world for all, as well as the goal and mission, to boldly go where no one has gone before.


Friday, July 16, 2021

Will No One Rid Me of This Troublesome Priest?

The White House is expressing frustration about what it terms “misinformation” about COVID and vaccines on Social Media.  Expressing frustration is one thing,  but directing the suppression of statements the White House believes are wrong is quite another.   

The White House is very close to an old, historical precedent: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

I wish this was unbelievable- but it is not.    I do not care if individuals are saying the Earth and Moon are flat and that dancing naked in Times Square will cure cancer, the White House has NO BUSINESS restricting, flagging, correcting or doing ANYTHING to ANY US Citizen or Resident’s Facebook Posts (or the statements of anyone protected you the Constitution).    

I do not care WHO is in the White House- the White House MAY NOT direct, decide or even influence the statements of anyone but themselves!!!    

Once the Government gets involved with saying content should or should not be allowed, they have crossed the line.    This is a plain and simple free speech and free press issue. 

To make matters worse, the White House is actively trying to make sure if a user is banned on one social platform they are banned on others.   THIS IS A GROSS VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS to have the White House use Social Media Platforms as a stalking horse!!!!  

While Facebook itself is NOT bound by the First Amendment, the White House is- and if Facebook is acting at the direction of the White House, then Facebook is acting as an agent of the Government.  Just as the The White House cannot directly censor individuals, it may not use a third party, acting at the White House’s direction, to violate the First Amendment either.   


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Living In A Changing World, or Time For A New Atlas?

When I was a kid, I was taught there were certain constants, like there being Nine Planets in our Solar System, and there were Four Oceans on our planet.   

Well, Pluto got demoted, and I have to consciously remember there are only 8 planets in the solar system along with scores and scores of dwarf planets - and that while planetary moons can be satellites, our moon is not a satellite of earth.  There is some argument that the Earth and Moon actually are a binary planet system  because the same rule that demoted Pluto, actually established that the Moon meets the 3 criteria to be a Planet! (So technically we may be back to nine planets).  

If that all were not confusing enough,  according to National Geographic, we now have 5 Oceans instead of 4.   National Geographic will now update its Atlases and maps to show the Southern Ocean - which surrounds the continent of Antarctica.  

We lost a planet (maybe) but gained an Ocean.  

Now I have to buy a new National Geographic Atlas .  ok, to be fair, the old atlas shows a big country that crosses from Europe into Asia- The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics- and of all the countries in Europe I had to memorize the names and locations of for a test, probably less than half still exist- of course they are all still in that atlas - so maybe I am due for a new one anyway!


Sunday, June 6, 2021

A GOOD Ruling from A California Court

I must again praise US District Judge Roger Benitez of the District Court of Southern California.  This praise is for his opinion in Miller v Bonta which was released on Friday.   At issue is the so called “Assault Weapons” Ban imposed by the People’s Republic of California.  Not only did Judge Benitez, in no uncertain terms, strike down the ban; he also addressed in the introduction of his ruling, the misconception that AR-15’s (etc) are used in a high percentage of homicides. 

From the introduction:
“One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this hyperbole, and facts matter. Federal Bureau of Investigation murder statistics do not track assault rifles, but they do show that killing by knife attack is far more common than murder by any kind of rifle. In California, murder by knife occurs seven times more often than murder by rifle. For example, according to F.B.I. statistics for 2019, California saw 252 people murdered with a knife, while 34 people were killed with some type of rifle – not necessarily an AR-15.2 A Californian is three times more likely to be murdered by an attacker’s bare hands, fists, or feet, than by his rifle.3 In 2018, the statistics were even more lopsided as California saw only 24 murders by some type of rifle.4 The same pattern can be observed across the nation.”
Unfortunately, although Judge Benitez imposed a permanent injunction upon California enforcement of the ban, the State of California will appeal, and that appeal will go to the 9th Circuit.   If historical precedent holds, a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit will hear the case.  If the three judge panel agrees with Judge Benitez (they have previously on 2nd Amendment cases such as Duncan v Becerra) - the case will be heard by the ENTIRE 9th Circuit- which will of course strike down any case that holds in favor of the 2nd Amendment as a matter of course, just as they did in Peruta v San Diego and 
Young v Hawaii


Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Television Show That Has Saved Lives

Forty-four years ago (May 28, 1977)  the last episode of “Emergency!” ran on NBC.  The show was certainly the most “realistic” medical show of the 1970’s- probably the most realistic until ER debuted.   From the beginning, the show presented the fire crew wearing SCBA’s,  protecting accident victims with full C-Spine precautions (backboards and cervical collars) and using a defibrillator in cardiac arrest- all of which were “cutting edge” at the time.  They even went so far as to show the “right” cardiac rhythm  for what the said a patient had, on the cardiac monitor- as well as following the correct protocols that were in place at the time.  Part of the reason the show was so “realistic” was that the shows lead actors, Randolph Mantooth (Johnny) and Kevin Tighe (Roy) actually went through paramedic training (they did not sit for the board exams) and did extensive “ride-a-longs” with LA County Fire.  The character of Mike Stoker - the engineer on the fire truck crew - was played by “real-life” firefighter/engineer Mike Stoker, and the dispatcher (seen in a couple episodes - but mostly just the “voice” of LA County Fire Dispatch) was played by LA County Fire Dispatcher Samuel Lanier 
Roy DeSoto (played by Kevin Tighe) and Johnny Gage (played by Randolph Mantooth)

The show was created by the legendary Jack Webb and there were multiple  crossover episodes with ADAM-12 (Officers Reed and Malloy showing up at Rampart General etc).

Maybe the most significant aspect of Emergency! was that it inspired a generation to become firefighters or medics.   I am willing to bet there are very few firefighters/paramedics/EMT’s who are older than 45, that do not know who are unfamiliar with “Johnny and Roy.”    To this day, Banner Hospital emergency rooms in Phoenix play the “Station 51 tones”  overhead as an alert when an ambulance crew is radioing the hospital.  (Tones are the alert sounds that are transmitted by fire department dispatch before a fire/EMS call and are unique to each station/unit in a department).   
Engine 51

A 2007 article in “University of Baltimore Law Review” credited the show with the rapid expansion of laws in a large number of states that officially created paramedics and paramedic licensing. Prior to the early 70’s ambulance crews barely had first-aid training and few people understood what a paramedic was or did.  Just before the show premiered, there were only TWELVE paramedic programs in the United States.    “Emergency!” helped to change that.   In 1977,  Newsweek credited the show for “ creat[ing] a national demand for [EMS/pre-hospital care] services." 
Squad 51

Some television shows are considered great because of ratings.   Some because they manage to address tough social issues, while still maintaining an audience (Star Trek immediately comes to mind).  Emergency! should be considered great because of the tangible effect of the show- the public demand for EMS services and the laws that authorized paramedics around the US- that can be witnessed and felt by every one of us today. Knowing you can pick up the phone in a medical emergency, dial 911 and have qualified help in minutes, is at least partially thanks to this show.  

If you have never seen Emergency! (Or want to see it again), it is streaming currently on Hulu.  

This is Carden Chronicles, signing off, KMG365.  


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

A juror in the Derek Chauvin trial has spoken to the press about his time on the jury, and some of what he says should frighten us all.  

Brandon Mitchell was Juror 52.   He is quoted in a CNN story as saying, 

“During the opening statements, I was curious or find out what the defense was going to bring to the table and convince us jurors. I didn't see any avenues to which they could go."

At the beginning of the trial, during opening statements, before a single witness is sworn or a single scrap of evidence is presented this juror is wondering what the DEFENSE is going to bring to convince the jurors that Chauvin was not guilty?  HOLY CRAP!!!!   In our system of jurisprudence, we are INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty. At the beginning of a trial a juror should NEVER be wondering how the DEFENSE is going to prove it’s case.  The ONLY side that must PROVE anything is the Prosecution!   The Prosecutor must prove the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt.    

The statement by this juror that he wondered how the DEFENSE was going to prove their case, along with the jurors written statement in his juror questionnaire that he wanted to be on the jury “because of all the protests and everything that happened after the event” he felt the trial was historic and he want to be part of that- says this juror was exposed to the case in advance, and that he did not go into the trial with an open mind.    

In this country, we are INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty, beyond reasonable doubt, based upon the preponderance of the evidence.   Jurors are supposed to understand that, and a guilty verdict MUST be one that is arrived at through a process such that when the verdict is delivered, no one should be able to point out obvious flaws and errors.  

In this case, based on the published statements of this juror, there is HUGE concern that Chauvin did not get a fair trial.  At least one juror felt Chauvin was guilty going in, or at least that the defense needed to PROVE Chauvin innocent.  

This should frighten ALL of us.   Every one of us should have absolute faith that our judicial system will treat us fairly and that if accused of a crime, we are presumed innocent until proven guilty.   All of us should be afraid that if ever taken to court, we might have a Juror 52 who goes into the trial, wondering how the defense is going to prove us innocent.  


Monday, April 26, 2021

BREAKING - SCOTUS to hear NYSRPA v Corlett

BREAKING NEWS- From this morning’s orders list issued by the Supreme Court- the Supreme Court WILL hear New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett sometime this fall (October 2021 Term).  The question before the Court will deal with “good cause carry”- a scheme in place in seven states (NY, NJ, MA, MD, DE, CA & HI) that limit carrying a firearm for self defense to those that show “good cause”- meaning a specific threat to them that is well beyond that which is experienced by the general public which includes even the threat of domestic violence.   This will be the first case since McDonald where the Court will hear a question which goes to the CORE of the Second Amendment.  Does the individual have the right to BEAR arms outside the home for self-defense. 

Case documents for NYSRPA v Corlett (20-843) may be found here.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

How Gun Control Advocates and Media Are Making Things Worse

This morning, I heard two [deceptive] “facts” on the “news.”  Some 40,000 people are killed a year in what was termed as “gun violence” and there have been 54 “mass shootings” so far this MONTH.   Perhaps, a better way to state what was heard was that it was propaganda, being spread by the mass media.  This propaganda being spread by gun control groups and the media is making matters worse, when it comes to violence with firearms.   

Is there gun violence in the US? Of course there is. Is any innocent life taken or any injury to an innocent person horrific and a tragedy? Absolutely.  Do we, as a nation need solutions to the problems? Again, of course we do.  However, the alleged “facts” [actually propaganda] being pushed by people like David Hogg, Michael Bloomberg, former Rep Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Senator Mark Kelly are at best distorting the truth. More likely, the propaganda they are spreading  will cause harm and make matters worse.  

The numbers the gun control crowd throw around (and the same numbers the media repeat without question) do not tell the full story.   When the gun control crowd and the media say there have been 54 mass shootings this MONTH, they paint a picture for the general public of 54 “Columbines” or 54 events like we just saw in Indianapolis.  The public would be surprised to learn that the “54” includes gang drive-by’s where multiple people are wounded.  This number includes a felon in a stand-off with police in his home, where the felon wounded a couple police officers and was then killed by officers returning fire.  The number includes a parent who killed their family and then themselves (a family annihilator).  In fact, the number includes any situation where a gun is fired and three or more persons are wounded, including the shooter. This however is NOT the definition used by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The CRS definition is “a multitude homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms -not including the offenders- within one public locations... not attributable to any other underlying criminal activity.”   By using the CRS definition, there have been about 8 mass shooting incidents per year between 2017-2020 and 3 this year.  Although even one event is abhorrent, there CERTAINLY a were NOT 54 THIS MONTH!  

The other big number thrown around is 40,000 people killed in gun violence.  HOWEVER, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program database homicide data for the last fully reported year (2019),  there were 10,258 homicides with firearms, down from a five year period high of 11,014 in 2017.  Why the huge disparity?  The gun control groups (and media who are repeating these numbers) are including every accidental firearm discharge as well as suicides and LAWFUL firearm usage- or in other words, self defense and lawful use of force.  

Why does it matter what numbers are used? For gun control groups, the use of these numbers is intended to portray to the public a much larger problem than what actually exists to push through their agenda.  The gun control groups are not technically lying, but they are spinning deceptive numbers to try to convince the public - through inference at minimum- that their proposed solutions are the ones that should be implemented.   They want to ban so-called “assault rifles,” despite the fact that true assault rifles are almost NEVER used in a crime (finding the exact date an assault rifle - one capable of bursts of fully automatic fire at minimum- was used in a crime is difficult/next to impossible).  Homicides with ANY type of rifle accounted for 364 homicides in 2019.   On average over the last five years, there have been 315 homicides a year with ALL rifles.  An “assault weapons ban” would have a negligible effect on homicide, since over the last five years, rifles accounted for less than 2.2% of homicides   

Further, by lumping suicide, accidents and homicides together, the gun control groups and media distract from the REAL problems and REAL solutions that may found, in favor of the illusions of expanded background checks, weapon bans, etc.   Suicide is a mental health issue- NOT a firearm issue.   Japan has an incredibly high suicide rate, despite banning firearms since the 1970’s.  They CLEARLY prove that a person does not need a gun to commit suicide, AND prove that a person who definitely wants to commit suicide WILL find a way - even without a gun.   Therefore the solution is in mental health, not in gun control.  

Gang violence will also not be solved by any type of weapons ban or increased background checks.  Criminal gangs get their firearms by theft, and background checks do not stop theft.  Gang problems occur because of drugs and poverty, and no gun control proposal addresses those issues.   

Firearms deaths from accidents are very often preventable.  Firearms Safety Education goes a very long way to helping reduce accidents.   Instead of banning guns, we should be teaching how to handle them safely.  

There are real solutions to violence- regardless of the weapon used.  But those solutions will NEVER be found with gun control groups and the media spreading propaganda that distracts from the real problems.    We NEED mental health care reform in this country.   We NEED to better address the poverty and other issues that drive gangs and drugs.  We NEED Firearms Safety Education- like the classes the NRA has been providing for decades and decades.   But as long as we allow the media and gun control groups to keep push propaganda for the sake of an agenda, people will needlessly die, because the public has been distracted from the real problems and real solutions.  


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

If You Want to Save Lives- Ban Cars Not Guns

There are "constants" in the Universe. Gravity is a "constant" in the universe.  The speed of light is a "constant" in the universe.  Unfortunately, "Knee-Jerk Reaction" gun control proposals and arguments after a mass shooting event are also "constants."  Within the scope of "Knee-Jerk Reaction" gun control proposals,  there are other "constants" as well.  One of those "constants" is that eventually someone will argue, "we make people get licenses and insurance for cars, why shouldn't we make people get a license and liability insurance before they can own a gun?"

The fact is, the vast majority of those that push for increased gun control have no idea of what current laws already exist, the extent of those laws or how they apply to gun ownership, or what the process is for purchasing a firearm. A number of those that are "pro-gun control" believe that anyone can go to a store and buy "fully automatic" firearms over the counter, or that one can go to a website, pick out a gun, type in their credit card number, and the gun will just be mailed to them. Many gun control advocates give the impression that a gun show is a "free-for-all," full of individuals who could never pass a federal firearm background check and intend to go on a shooting rampage the moment they leave the show.  If one listens to some gun-control advocates, gun shows exist solely to provide a location to avoid back-ground checks for firearm purchases.

Sadly, there are a great many people who listen to these "pro-gun control" advocates, despite the fact that many of those who are "pro-gun control" have limited knowledge of guns at best.  The public hear phrases like "background checks," "keep military weapons out of civilian hands," or "assault weapons ban" and cannot help but think the proposals are reasonable.

Perhaps the best way to show why some of these proposals are unreasonable is to compare guns and automobiles.  Let's take current gun control proposals and laws and see what they look like when applied to automobile ownership, operation and licensing:

1. We must ban all Jeeps and Hummers- they have a military appearance and we can't have that.  A military appearance makes things more dangerous.  Suburbans and other quasi-military looking vehicles also should be restricted.

Firearms reality: Many so called "assault weapons bans" restrict the sale and ownership of a firearm simply because of the "looks" of the gun. These laws may ban one firearm but say another is a "common hunting firearm" and therefore permissible to own in the view of some gun control advocates. This despite the fact that both of the firearms use the same caliber of round (bullets) and both are semi-automatic.  It should not be a valid reason to ban a firearm because it "looks scary"

2. All vehicles must be limited to a tank quantity of less than 10 gallons.  That way you can't drive as much.   You must stop to reload (the tank) more often.

Firearms reality: A constant proposal from gun control advocates is limiting the size of firearm magazines (incorrectly often referred to as "clips").  If I am in a situation where I have to use my firearm to defend my life or the life of another, I don't want to run out of ammunition (personally, I am a decent shot, so I might not run out of ammo, but there may be others who don't shoot as well).  Another reason why a person may wish to have a high-capacity magazine may be that a person might not want to spend all their time at the shooting range re-loading.  The "gun-control advocate" view is that no one needs more than eight to ten rounds of ammo.  That view is false.

3.  We must place an breathalyzer interlock on ALL cars and trucks- regardless of whether the person had ever had a DUI- they might try sometime even if they NEVER drink.

Firearms reality: I have lost track of the number of times when a certain firearm is used in a crime, and "gun-control advocates" immediately want to ban everyone from having that type firearm.  The criminal actions of a single individual should never dictate the rights of millions of law abiding citizens. 

4. All states should adopt "MAY ISSUE" laws instead of SHALL ISSUE.  It should be up to the whim of local sheriffs to decide who gets to drive and who doesn't.  With the Shall Issue law if a person passes the Drivers License test and has a clean record, the state MUST issue a drivers license.  Obviously this is bad.

Firearms reality: There are nine states with either strict or partial "may issue" concealed weapons permit laws.   The most egregious jurisdiction in the eyes of many is San Diego County.  It is nearly impossible to obtain a concealed weapons permit in San Diego County. The San Diego County Sheriff's website states that to obtain a Concealed Carry Weapon Permit you must demonstrate "a set of circumstances that distinguishes the applicant from other members of the general public and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way. Simply writing "self defense" or "personal protection" on an application does not provide the requisite proof of good cause." Other jurisdictions, such as the District of Columbia have been told by the United States Court of Appeals that a nearly identical "good cause" requirement is unconstitutional.   This issue has yet to be heard by the United States Supreme Court.  Rulings from the Court of Appeals only apply to those places where the individual court has jurisdiction.

5. One state should not be required to accept another's Drivers License.  Places like New York, California, DC etc should be allowed to ban drivers from other states from driving in their states.  To hell with the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled that interstate travel is a right.

Firearms reality: Although most states accept the Concealed Carry permit of other states, places like California do not.  In fact, because California does not allow for the open carry of firearms, and in California only a California resident may obtain a Concealed Carry permit, it is in effect illegal for a non-resident to carry a firearm.  The general belief of the public is the Constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.  The United States Supreme Court has never ruled on this issue.  Therefore, for now at least, in California, the Second Amendment does not apply to those who are from any of the other 49 states.

6.  All automobile purchasers should be required to have a background check-- UNIVERSAL Background Checks- even in the case of someone being willed grandfather's old car.  The person buying could have a background of speeding or DUI

Firearms reality: Every firearms sale through a firearms dealer requires a background check by Federal law.  The information from the purchaser is run through NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System).  This also includes sales from dealers at gun shows, as well as so called internet sales.  The fact is "internet sales" don't really happen.  A person may go to a website, such as Gunbroker to purchase a firearm, but the firearm does not go to the purchaser directly.  The firearm gets transferred to a licensed firearm dealer.  That dealer then performs all required background checks as well as any required state checks.  This also is a check against violation of state law, in that if the firearm is illegal in the state of purchase, the transfer to the purchaser does not take place.  The gun control lobby seeks to expand background checks past this point.  Under the "pro-gun control" proposals, if I were to purchase a firearm as a gift for my spouse (I have done this on several occasions, and the "gift" is greatly appreciated) not only would a background check be performed on me as the purchaser, but then my spouse would have to go to the store and have a background check run as well.  This is an inconvenience with little gain.  Background checks do not stop crime.  Career criminals generally do not go to gun stores to purchase a gun before committing a crime- they get those guns on the street, or by theft.

7.  Ban the private sale or transfer of autos, and all internet sales. The person buying the car MUST have a background check.   This includes all "car shows" - OK so even though all car dealers at car shows may be licensed  dealers AND they would already do a background check, who cares.   You can buy parts at shows and that means a bad driver "could" get a hold of a car at a show.

Firearms reality: There are proposals to ban the private "transfer" of firearms.  This would include firearms transferred by Will and Testament.   As already discussed, these type checks do nothing to stop crime.  These checks are about tracking who owns what guns.

8.  Require a background check for the purchase of gasoline at the state level.  Allow for an "instant check" for those who have bought a car in the last year (will help speed up gasoline sales). However, individuals who have not purchased a car in the last year will have to wait until they are "in the system" before a gasoline purchase can be approved.  Additionally, out of state visitors will be unable to purchase gasoline.

Firearms reality: California has enacted a background check requirement ammunition purchases.  The only persons approved immediately are those who have purchased a firearm since the state started tracking purchases.  The state wants to be sure you only buy ammunition for a gun you personally own.  If you haven't made a recent firearm purchase, you must wait for processing to be completed on your application before the state will approve your ammunition purchase.  If you are not a California resident, you would not have a firearm purchase registered with the California system and therefore you would not be able to purchase ammunition.  For those who believe that people from outside of California would have no need to purchase ammunition, there are people who travel to California to compete in shooting competitions.  There are also those who travel to California to hunt.  Regardless of the reason, these restrictions are unreasonable and have been challenged in Federal Court.  To date, this law has yet to be reviewed by any court higher than Federal District Court- however, the Federal Judge has stated he believes these laws will be found to be unconstitutional, but there currently is no injunction in place, and the ammo purchase laws are in effect.

9.  We must limit AAA.   The problem is they are to powerful.  EVERY TIME a multiple vehicle accident occurs it is because of their members and the lobbying power they have.  If it wasn't for their political influence and stranglehold on Congress and State Legislative bodies there would not be such a problem.

Firearms reality: The media and politicians love to paint the National Rifle Association an enemy of civilization.  They paint the NRA as an organization that actively tries to recruit people to carry out mass murders.   The fact is the NRA has been around since the 1870's.  And while the NRA does lobby on behalf of gun owners for "reasonable" laws, the primary task the NRA performs is education.   The NRA provides safety training. The NRA provides training for Range Officers and provides standards for firing range safety.  Millions have been taught firearms safety through courses taught by the NRA, or using NRA approved curriculum.

10. A 5 day waiting period on all car sales.  

Firearms reality: As much as some politicians like to talk about how anyone can walk into a gun store, put down a credit card and walk out with a gun, every gun sale from a firearms dealer does require a background check that may end up requiring a waiting period.  Unless a firearms dealer is told to "proceed" with a firearms sale, and assuming there has not been a "denied" issued, a firearm sale is subject to a hold.

These are just a few examples of what gun control advocates call "reasonable" proposals.  However, the public would be furious if, for example, a drunk driver hit a school bus, killing several students, and then politicians started shouting that we need a law to require Breathalyzer Ignition Interlocks on every single vehicle sold.  Rightfully the general public would be outraged and stress that just because one person got drunk and used their car to cause a tragedy, the rest of the driving population should not be punished.  However, the same general public is not concerned when politicians discuss banning a firearm from millions, because one "nut" decided to use that weapon in a murder.  The People would be outraged over restrictions to the purchases of automobiles, yet driving is not a Constitutional Right; keeping and bearing a firearm is.

**** To be sure you see the latest discussion and commentary, please follow Carden Chronicles on Facebook, Twitter (@CardenBlog) or subscribe to email or RSS Feed updates at The Carden Chronicles website.  ****

The Carden Chronicles is against the #GunControlNow Campaign

#2A, #NRA, #NRAILA, #GoodGuyWithGun


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

COVID-19 Precautions Side-Effect

I do a lot of reading of a variety of subjects and today my reading took me to the CDC’s data on the FLU season this year.   Basically, the data says this year, there really hasn’t been one- or not very much of one.  

Perhaps most significant is the incredible decrease in pediatric deaths from flu this season (2020-2021) so far.    The CDC only knows of one vs last year at this time there were 195.  If we go back to 2017-2018 (where we know there was no cross-over with COVID) there were 188 pediatric deaths from flu.  

I know first hand that the flu vaccine doesn’t always work- but it is worth being immunized.   I have been immunized every year since 2008, and I certainly do not regret getting the flu shot.  

Likewise, I believe it is equally important to get the COVIID vaccines.    Are the vaccines 100% effective? No.  But the protections the vaccines provide will help slow the spread and provide far, far better protection than not having the vaccine.  

The incredibly low flu numbers also seem to show that masks, staying home when sick, social distancing, etc works to slow other diseases- like influenza A or B. I am certainly not advocating permanent mask wearing and social distancing.  I do however think we should objectively look at what things worked to slow disease spread and see how those things can be applied in the future on a voluntary basis.  After all, the precautions that have been in-place may have been meant to slow COVID, but it appears one of the surprise side-effects is that influenza was slowed and lives were saved as a result.  


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

And To The Republic For Which It Stands

God Save the United States! God Save the President! God Save the Constitution! God Save the Republic!  

As one administration fades into history and another begins, one lesson jumps to the foreground.  No one person is bigger than the Constitution or the Presidency.  Despite fears from some and panic from others, no one stayed in the White House refusing to leave.  The US Secret Service did not need to forcibly remove anyone from the  Oval Office, so a new caretaker can take his temporary seat behind the Resolute Desk. 

Despite the cloud of controversy that surrounded the Trump Administration, it was not without accomplishments.   The most significant could be seen this past December, with the lightning of the Menorah In Dubai to celebrate Hanukkah.  Israelis are traveling to the UAE under Israel passports for the first time ever. There is a Synagogue and Jewish Cemetery being constructed.  Jews, Christians and Muslims are celebrating weddings together in Dubai and products bearing the words “Made in Israel” are being imported. A year ago these events would not even be considered in the wildest fantasy.  This is an incredible accomplishment.  

Yet, despite the magnitude and Earth moving nature of this accomplishment, everything is overshadowed by the events of January 6, 2021.  

Blame for January 6 has and continues to be apportioned, and although the Trump administration is certainly not without fault, there is plenty of blame to go around.  A huge number of Americans feel marginalized.   The US vs THEM mentality is probably more prevalent now than any other time in the last 40 years certainly.   The twenty-four hour news beast has become a ratings machine rather than gathering and reporting news. There is no way to under-estimate the extreme hatred the left feels for the right or the fear and total contempt the right feels about the left.  This is a plague upon both our houses.  

Yet, the Founding Fathers crated a Republic based on the concept of MISTRUST.  The Founders put limits on the powers of the President.  The Founders created a system where each of the three co-equal branches of Government could stop the others.  They provided for the PEOPLE to elect Representatives to the House; but specifically removed the “people” from otherwise voting on Federal laws, or even electing Senators directly.  The people electing Senators has only been since the 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913.  Before that time, State Legislators chose the Senators of a states, and there are a large number of people who believe repealing the 17th may not be a bad idea.  

The fact is, despite what politicians like to say, we DO NOT live in a Democracy; we live in a Republic. This is something we all must be reminded of from time to time.  

We have all been through an “interesting” four years.  Regardless of ones political views, one cannot deny that we have faced struggles unlike anything the vast majority of of us have seen on our lifetime.   A new administration is being sworn in, and perhaps now it is time for all of us to take a breath, and remember that administrations will come and go.   The actions of one administration may be reversed by the next. Regardless it is not about the person that sits in the Oval Office.  Our nation is more important than any one man.  

As one President leaves and the next is sworn in, the question must be asked again as it was asked in times past: “How Stands the Republic?”

The Republic Stands. 


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Attacks from Both Sides

There is a cost to taking a stand.  I have had disagreements with relatives, old friends and some of my readers of “The Carden Chronicles” on my statement that President Trump should leave office and that he has lost moral authority to lead.  

And while I have been defending myself on the right, I have been defending myself from some fairly vicious attacks from the LEFT- who want to lay the blame of all of this on EVERY Republican, regardless of wether we supported President Trump and who have laid blame on the grave of President Ronald Reagan- saying this is all because of “Reagan’s push for smaller government- and they have been vicious.  

I will not be backing down.   

For those on the left who cannot resist the childish urge to “rub [our] noses” in something- all you are doing is stopping more Republicans from speaking out.  YOU are the ones that will prevent action on the 25th or calls for resignation.   The more you attack from the left, the more those that should speak out will run to the right.   And I for one shall lay the blame for anything that happens next at your doorstep.  

For those from the right who keep telling me I am wrong- there is one fact that cannot be avoided.  NO MATTER WHO you think was responsible for the attack on the Capitol (ANTIFA plants or Aliens from Mars) - there was an attack on the Capitol.   The President of the United States and Commander In Chief had a DUTY TO ACT- he did not act.  He REFUSED a to call out the National Guard. The National Guard was called out by the VICE PRESIDENT sand SECDEF.  This alone creates a huge Constitutional Issue- bigger even than the question of wether Vice President Cheney gave the order to shoot down aircraft on 9/11 or if President Bush did.  

The PRESIDENT of the United States FAILED TO ACT when there was a Clear and Present Danger to the Capitol and the Congress.  He had a DUTY TO ACT.  He refused.   Alone, this is sufficient to declare he has lost all moral authority to lead and should step down or be removed from office.  

I will continue to speak out, regardless of consequences because it is the right thing to do.  I will not back down.  

(Cross Posted at The Carden Chronicles website and Facebook page) 


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

On the Sedition in Washington

We saw today something I had never dreamed I would see- an Armed Attack upon the capital of the United States.  What was worse, this attack was inspired by a sitting President of the United States and the President’s Lawyer, who minutes before the attack, spoke of “Trial by Combat.”  Never before in our history, has a sitting President or his spokesmen ever encourage such an event.  

We have had contested elections - 1800 was perhaps one of of the most controversial- with the House ultimately electing Thomas Jefferson.  But NO PRESIDENT has ever created the chaos that the sitting President caused today.   

Donald Trump has failed as President.  He has violated the Oath of Office he took in 2017.  His job is to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.    Donald Trump failed to protect or defend the Constitution today.  

There are 14 days left of the current administration.  Despite this limited time, this President has lost any moral authority or right to lead.    Donald Trump should resign IMMEDIATELY.  Should he not take this action, he should be removed from office, by the 25th Amendment,  and IMPEACHED - so that he may be permanently barred from holding office by vote of the Senate.   

No matter ones political beliefs, we have a Constitution.  The STATES select Electors.  This was done.   Those Electors have voted. 

There was an attack on our Republic.  It was, at minimum, encouraged by the President.  At worst it was INCITED by the President.   It has been, at least in modern history, traditional for the person losing a Presidential election to call for the country to unite and work together.  Donald Trump and his spokesmen have called for the election to be  overturned.   That call resulted in violence, shots being fired, blood spilled and death in the Capital of these United States.  Donald Trump incited an attempted insurrection.  

It is time for EVERYONE- Including Donald Trump - to accept that Former Vice President Joe Biden won the  Presidential election.  

It is also time for Donald Trump to resign or be removed from office.