Gun Debate Op-Ed #8

I believe that this will be the last of my re-posting of op-eds on the gun debate…..I was hoping that these would generate some interest in the debate and how it could be moved forward especially this year with all the shooting deaths that have made the news……but I was mistaken.

So to conclude this series I would like to post on the gun myths that seem to always pop up during times of conversation following mass shooting ( a never ending cycle)……..

Following gun violence tragedies, familiar myths get recycled and recirculated—myths that distract from effective solutions and create smoke screens around the essential problem: We’re more interested in protecting sellers and buyers of guns than in protecting the public, says Daniel Webster, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

Below, read about some of the myths surrounding the issue of gun violence in America and what can be done to reduce it.

Myth: Urban homicides falsely inflate U.S. gun death statistics.

“The common trope is that places like Baltimore or Detroit or Chicago are the reason we have so many in this country,” said Cassandra Crifasi, the center’s director of research and policy, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “And yes, those places … have unacceptable rates of gun homicides. But the places with the highest rates of death are not Maryland, Michigan, and Illinois. They are Mississippi, Louisiana, Wyoming, Missouri, and Alabama.”

The fact is, Crifasi says, the places with weak gun laws have higher rates of death.

“More people died from guns in Texas than Illinois, when suicide and accidental shootings are included,” she added.

Myth: Mass shootings like the ones in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, are the result of mental health issues.

While motives in the Uvalde massacre are still unknown, “increasingly, we are seeing people who are frustrated, angry, and hateful and using firearms take that out on a particular group,” Crifasi told MarketWatch.

But there’s a distinction between this and a diagnosable issue. It’s also dangerous and irresponsible to link gun violence and mental health, Crifasi warns. For one thing, are far more common than : More than 50% of people will be diagnosed with a or disorder at some point in their lives, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fixating on motives and the mental health of those who perpetuate violence distracts from more actionable approaches to reducing gun violence, Crifasi said.

Not to worry my friend….there are more….

Sadly this debate will never end….with lies, accusations and misinformation it is destined to keep any solution from every being really considered.

Maybe the next generation will find common ground for a true conversation…..

I will not hold my breath!

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Gun Debate Op-Ed #7

The debate continues and as usual absolutely nothing is getting accomplished…semantics and bullsh*t seem to be the only thing all agree on.

While the debate rages with nothing more than accusations and lies….there are a few solutions that are popular and they work (according to this op-ed)……..

While there are many factors contributing to the scourge of gun violence in the United States, one thing is clear: The data—and the majority of Americans—support laws that sensibly restrict access to firearms under certain conditions.

“We have evidence-based solutions that exist right now that are supported by the majority of Americans from a range of backgrounds and experiences,” said Cassandra Crifasi, director of research and policy at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. “We have the tools, we have the support, and we need to act.”

Crifasi and four of her colleagues from the Center for Gun Violence Solutions discussed the policies that are proven to decrease while also receiving significant public support during a virtual briefing Thursday hosted by Johns Hopkins University. They discussed topics including proven methods for reducing gun violence in schools, the intricacies of extreme risk protection orders, and the various effects gun laws have on democratic participation.

But they were united in presenting the facts supported by their gun policy research—particularly the demonstrated effectiveness of proposed policies, and their support among Americans.

An article below is from Reader’s Digest……

The recent mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 grade school students and two elementary school teachers—and devastated the entire country. In the wake of the violence, many Americans are looking for ways to help the victims and families and asking how to help with gun control to prevent school shootings in the future.

And they’re struggling with why it’s so hard to stop gun violence in America, especially when most of the country is in favor of strengthening gun laws. A recent Morning Consult/Politico poll found that the majority of Americans support laws that require background checks for all gun sales, set age minimums for gun purchases, and ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. Overall, 65 percent of Americans support stricter gun laws.

The tragedy has prompted people to examine how other countries respond to mass shootings, debate what the right to bear arms means in the context of the Second Amendment, and question what it would take to amend the Constitution. But those are large-scale changes. Fortunately, there’s a lot individuals can do to reduce the chances of another mass shooting, whether in a school or in another public area, like the recent supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York. If you’re interested in how to help with gun control, keep reading for ways to take action.

How to Help with Gun Control: 12 Things You Can Do Now to Stop Gun Violence

As I stated earlier….these op-eds are from others who feel they need to voice their opinion…..your thoughts will be appreciated.

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Why Is The AR-15 America’s Rifle?

Have you noticed that many of our thousands of mass shootings have involved the AR-15?

Why is that?

When did the AR-15 become America’s rifle?

I better question is just what is an AR-15?

Some lawmakers have proposed raising the age to buy these weapons to 21, while others want to ban them altogether.

But what is the AR-15, exactly? Here we demystify the weapon currently at the center of the gun debate.

Starting with the basics: What is a semiautomatic rifle? 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives defines a semiautomatic rifle as a weapon designed to be fired from the shoulder that “utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round,” and shoots a single bullet with each pull of the trigger.

I recently read an article that answers that one question……

As the United States finds itself looking down the barrel of yet another senseless act of terror, the usual bogeyman has been put on trial: the semiautomatic AR-15.

Known as “America’s Rifle,” the AR-15 is arguably the most common rifle in circulation, with an estimated 20 million in the hands of American citizens.

This number, provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, shows the ubiquitous nature of the AR, but is a mere drop in the hat compared to the estimated 400 million firearms in the country- no small number for a nation with a 2020 Census population of 329.5 million.

So what is the AR-15? Where did it come from? How long has it been in civilian hands and has it always been so “easy to get,” as journalists and politicians often claim?

Designed and patented in 1956 by Eugene Stoner under the ArmaLite brand, the ARmaLite Model 15 [where “AR” comes from, not “Assault Rifle”] was a scaled down version of the gas-operated direct impingement AR-10, chambered in the smaller 5.56mm / .223 Remington cartridge rather than the AR-10’s heavier 7.62×51/.308 Winchester offering.

While the AR-10 is arguably more powerful and entered civilian circulation earlier than the AR-15, that is a tangent for another time.

Eventually, ArmaLite sold the AR-15 design to Colt, who produced two versions: the semi-automatic Colt AR-15 Sporter and the select-fire M-16, the former being for civilian use and the later being for military and law enforcement use [though they could be legally obtained on the civilian market at the time]. The two rifles rolled out to their respective markets in 1963, and quickly took off, with the AR-15’s military cousin entering the US Military in 1964.

America’s Rifle: What is it about the AR-15?

About 20 million AR-15s in circulation, the hands of citizens….that is 20 million……20 with 6 zeroes.

And with the recent rash of mass shootings that number should go up because people are looking for security….a security they will not find.

I do not understand the fascination with the damn gun….I had one in Vietnam and I got rid of it in favor for a M3 Grease gun.

There is a solution for this…..Rep. Beyer from Virginia has one answer….

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is drafting legislation to impose a hefty tax on assault-style weapons in the wake of recent mass shootings across the United States.

Beyer’s office told The Hill the proposal was a workaround to avoid GOP opposition to legislation outright banning the high-capacity weapons.

“Congressman Beyer has seen action to prevent gun violence obstructed by Senate Republicans using the filibuster after horrific mass shootings for years, this legislation represents an effort to put a new option on the table for those who believe that gun safety reforms are urgently needed to save lives,” Beyer’s deputy chief of staff Aaron Fritschner said in an email.

Beyer to propose 1,000 percent tax on assault-style weapons

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Do We Have A Deal?

Looks like our do-nothing Congress has come up with a bi-partisan deal on on the hot button issue of gun laws.

A bipartisan group of senators announced Sunday that they’d agreed to an outline of a gun legislation package that could reverse years of congressional inaction on proposals to reduce mass shootings. The deal includes “red flag” laws and enhanced background checks on prospective gun buyers, NBC News reports. It does not include raising the minimum age for purchasing certain rifles from 18 to 21, per the Washington Post, which had the support of President Biden and others, including some Republicans. Although the proposals are modest compared with what many Democrats wanted, passage could still represent a breakthrough in the congressional stalemate over gun control, per Politico. The senators agreed on:

“Red flag” laws: A grant program would be used to encourage states to approve such legislation, under which guns could be kept from people once a judge found them to be a potential danger to themselves or others.
Background checks: The process would be expanded for those ages 18 to 21. State and local criminal records would be checked before clearance, as would state providers for mental health information that could be disqualifying.
Spending: Billions more could be put toward mental health care, school security, and new campus infrastructure. More armed officers would be hired.

“Our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” the senators said in a statement. But the deal is an “agreement on principles, not legislative text,” a Republican Senate aide cautioned. “The details will be critical for Republicans, particularly the firearms-related provisions,” the aide told Politico. warned. “One or more of these principles could be dropped if text is not agreed to.” Ten GOP senators signed on, per CNN; that’s the number of Republican votes needed to get around a Senate filibuster.

This should keep the MSM buzzing and drooling for a couple of days.

Great news, huh?

Well I think it is just the same game they play every year…..a couple of minority Senators get together and make news by being bi-partisan….and then it flops in the vote…..

Let’s say this passes to become law…..where will it stop the violence?

For me this is a band-aid (no pun intended) for a sucking chest wound.

Any thoughts?

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Gun Debate Op-Ed #5

I apologize for I had a massive brain fart on Friday and posted an article out of sequence….my bad…..

A continuation of my series on op-eds around the nation on the subject of gun violence……please keep in mind that these are op-eds not my thoughts I may add my feelings but the main body belongs to others.

These posts are about the prevention of gun deaths…..but first a little background….

The massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, resurfaced many troubling facts about America’s exceptional propensity for gun violence. But perhaps one of the most disturbing is that firearms are now the leading cause of death among Americans ages 24 years and under.

While guns have long been a fixture of American life, the emergence of firearms as the leading killer of young people is a relatively new phenomenon.

For years, cars held that distinction. But over the past two decades, motor vehicular deaths involving Americans between the ages of 1 and 24 plummeted, cutting the rate by nearly half. And sometime in the late 2010s, those two lines — deaths by car and by firearm — crossed paths on the graph of leading causes of death for young people.

In 2020, the most recent year for which data was available, firearms killed 10,186 young people, the highest number in two decades.

To me that is a very disturbing stat…..

But is there an easy solution?

The horror in Uvalde, Texas, last week was horrifyingly familiar to Mary Ellen O’Toole. Part of a small group of academics, law-enforcement professionals and psychologists who published some of the first research on mass shootings in schools more than 20 years ago, O’Toole knows the patterns these events and perpetrators all follow — and the opportunities for prevention that seem to just keep being missed. 

I first spoke to her in 2018, after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, but she has been studying school shootings for more than 27 years. In that time, she and other experts say little has changed. The risk factors they identified two decades ago still apply. The recommendations they made are still valid. And every time another batch of Americans die in this way, researchers like O’Toole are forced to watch in horror, thinking about what could have been prevented and why it wasn’t.

“Honestly, I … I feel very, very angry,” O’Toole said to me last week. There is always another new example of mass gun violence in America. But mass gun violence in America is no longer new — and neither are efforts to stop it.

We’ve Known How To Prevent A School Shooting for More Than 20 Years

Then there are those that believe that jobs and such could save lives…..

Americans are once again looking for answers after the deaths of at least 19 children and two adults in last week’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Beyond questions around the police response and whether the massacre will lead to meaningful gun control, a big, fundamental concern looms: Why are guns such a problem in the United States, and what needs to happen for the situation to change?

Mass shootings are a distinctly American horror. What’s perhaps even more horrific is that, while each one is devastating, mass shootings cause only a small fraction of the gun deaths in America. The US has an unusually high rate of gun homicides among developed countries — for children 14 and under, almost eight times the rate of the next country in the ranking — and total gun deaths have only been increasing over recent years.

Legal restrictions on gun ownership, including mandatory waiting periods on handgun purchases and laws against children and youth carrying guns, could result in fewer deaths. But passing such legislation is a heavy political lift. In the absence of federal action, can anything move the needle on firearm deaths?

There is growing evidence that non-gun-control measures — including interventions to support at-risk youth and programs to improve access to mental health care — can and have been very effective, says Jennifer Doleac, associate professor of economics at Texas A&M University and the director of the Justice Tech Lab.

My thoughts on this is that these ideas looking for more band-aids…..

Please let your thoughts be known.

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Gun Debate Op-Ed #6

I have stated on many occasions that the debate about guns will never go anywhere until there is honesty among the participants….all we have now is recriminations, accusations, lies and misinformation……

I recently came across an op-ed that asks some interesting questions and thoughts….it was published in a law journal…..

I’m an equal-opportunity offender. Allow me to offend everyone, by offering a few thoughts (on both sides of the issue) on gun control:

First, shouldn’t we require the microstamping of all gun cartridges nationwide? We should require manufacturers to place a microscopic engraving on cartridge cases identifying the gun from which the cartridge case was expelled. I understand that folks want to possess guns, but I don’t understand why anyone should have the right to fire a gun anonymously. Police should be able to immediately trace a cartridge to a specific gun.

Does anyone disagree in good faith?

(I don’t want to hear that requiring microstamping would increase the price of guns or ammunition. It probably would. The Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, but it doesn’t impose any price controls.)

Second, those who oppose gun control are missing a trick: Although you hear this argument all the time, the truth is that almost no one ever fires a gun in self-defense. (I know that the pro-gun folks always insist that “a good guy with a gun” could have stopped a crime, and we see occasional anecdotal reports of this having happened once in a blue moon. But the average gun owner will never in his or her life fire a gun in self-defense.)

Some people, however, probably make a “defensive display” of a gun without discharging it. For example, a john is about to assault or rob a prostitute. The pimp enters the room and displays a handgun. The john leaves peacefully; no one is hurt. This defensive display of a gun served a useful purpose, but I’d bet dollars to doughnuts incidents such as this are not reported to the police (and thus are not counted in the statistics).

Anything to add?

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Gun Debate Op-Ed #4

Part 4 of my limited series on the gun debate… I have stated I will present both sides of the dialog as I do not wish to influence one’s thinking only to inform for a better understanding.

This op-ed is about the Second Amendment……

Gun-control advocates in the United States are experiencing quite a bit of Canada envy, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this week that he will be banning import, sales, and transfers of handguns. He also announced legislation to require citizens to turn over their “military-style assault weapons” in a mandatory buy-back program. As of now, there is no legal definition of “military-style assault weapon,” so Canadians with guns will presumably be alerted when they become criminals on a TBD basis.

This is in addition to the banning of 1,500 rifle models in the wake of a 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia, were 22 people were killed. It’s part of an “ever-expanding” list of prohibited models maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The proposed legislation also includes tighter red-flag restrictions, provisions for confiscation and disabling of banned guns, and a blanket restriction of magazines to only five rounds.

Why can’t we enact Canada’s wish list of restrictions in the U.S.?—our gun control activists wonder.


Well, it’s not the gun lobby. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been seriously weakened, is floundering in corruption accusations, and has filed for bankruptcy in the past two years. But it was also never the primary strength of gun-owners’ side of the argument. That strength lies in the Second Amendment, which whatever you think of its protections of Americans’ right to a firearm, is a hard fact with which activists must contend.

If the goal is to significantly curtail the number of guns—or even slow its growth, which is the purported goal of many activists—they must deal with the Constitution. No matter how “commonsense” you might consider some gun regulations, they have to pass constitutional muster to become a reality.

Now I know somewhere someone has a rebuttal to this proposal…..

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The Joke That Is The Gun Legislation

Once again an attempt is being made to try and head off the rise in gun violence….and as usual it is basically a fart in the wind…..serves absolutely NO purpose other than to make the worthless Congress look as if they are in control.

It begins in the House…..

The House passed a wide-ranging gun control bill Wednesday in response to recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, that would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds. The legislation passed by a mostly party-line vote of 223-204. It has almost no chance of becoming law, as the Senate pursues negotiations focused on improving mental health programs, bolstering school security, and enhancing background checks. But the House bill does allow Democratic lawmakers a chance to frame for voters in November where they stand on policies that polls show are widely supported, the AP reports.

“America we hear you and today in the House we are taking the action you are demanding,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas. “Take note of who is with you and who is not.” The push comes after a House committee heard wrenching testimony from recent shooting victims and family members, including from 11-year-old girl Miah Cerrillo, who covered herself with a dead classmate’s blood to avoid being shot at the Uvalde elementary school. The seemingly never-ending cycle of mass shootings in the US has rarely stirred Congress to act. But the shooting of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde has revived efforts in a way that has lawmakers from both parties talking about the need to respond.

“It’s sickening, it’s sickening that our children are forced to live in this constant fear,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Democratic leader said the vote would “make history by making progress.” But it’s unclear where the measure will go now, given that Republicans were adamant in their opposition. “The answer is not to destroy the Second Amendment, but that is exactly where the Democrats want to go,” said Republican Rep. Jim Jordan. Any gun bill in the Senate would need support from 10 Republicans to pass. Nearly a dozen Democratic and Republican senators met privately for an hour Wednesday in hopes of reaching a framework for legislation by week’s end. Participants said more conversations were needed about a plan that is expected to propose modest steps.

Of course the Senate has tried to look concerned and worked for a ‘modest’ deal……

A cross-party group of US senators was set to renew talks Thursday on a narrow package of firearms controls, as lawmakers face calls to tackle soaring gun violence including recent massacres in Texas and New York State.

Nine senators have been meeting this week to discuss a response to the mass shootings that have appalled the nation, projecting optimism over the prospects for modest reforms.

The group has focused on school security, bolstering mental health services and incentives for states to grant to courts “red flag” authority to temporarily remove guns from owners considered a threat.

Moderate Republican Susan Collins said the group was making “rapid progress” while Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said he had “never seen more Republicans at the table willing to talk.”

Look at the proposal…..same lame attempts that will eventually fail….over and over…..

Dems did what they do best…give up…..

While warning that lawmakers’ continued inaction on gun control legislation will have “significant consequences” for democracy in the U.S., Sen. Chris Murphy on Sunday also tempered expectations regarding the ongoing bipartisan negotiations that began in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas late last month.

The Connecticut Democrat, a longtime advocate for gun control reform, told Jake Tapper on CNN‘s “State of the Union” that lawmakers have been discussing laws that were passed in Florida in 2018 following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, after which young survivors of the attack mobilized to demand action from policymakers.

This is how the GOP plans to blow off Uvalde….

“Stay cool. Run out the clock. Scare some gun nuts while you can. But don’t worry: this moment will be over soon,” is how the magazine summarized the guidance.

A memo for a top GOP Senate candidate urged them to “ignore guns, talk inflation.”

“Other documents predictably decried liberal desires for ‘gun-grabbing’ and ‘gun confiscation,’ and made whataboutism-type references to gun violence in Chicago,” the magazine reported.

The Republican National Committee has also been taking a backseat in messaging guidance sent three days after the Uvalde mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

“The email began with some pro-forma thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families, then went on to “thank…the members of law enforcement who responded to the scene and killed the shooter.” (That’s despite the fact that 19 such cops inside the school waited and waited while students begged for help — and the gunman continued to fire.) But the bulk of the memo, part of the series of RNC “Pundit Prep” that typically lists the party’s weekly political priorities, had a conspicuous omission. It did not include any actual talking points about the latest school massacre in the U.S. — a mass shooting that dominated American media and political conversation, only to be bookended by news of other mass murders carried out with firearms,” the magazine reported.

How long will we allow this silly game played by those that represent us to continue?

The Congress on solving social problems like gun violence are as USELESS as tits on a flashlight.

These 535 people are nothing more than jokes that are easily bribed.

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Gun Debate Op-Ed #3

Part 3 of my limited series on the debate and op-eds being written about the gun violence and the possible solutions.

These op-eds are pro and con on the need for more and better gun laws……I do NOT necessarily agree or disagree with these thoughts….they are only an exercise for FYI to help my readers try to understand the debate as it is today.

The news is that with just about every mass shooting gun sales go higher….as if more guns will solve the problems….

But first a stat for you to consider….there are about 393 million guns in private ownership in the US….how many are there in Ukraine or say Syria?

Guns, guns, guns, we will never have enough guns.  

I’m a 79-year-old American male, so of course I’m interested in guns. I grew up in the ’40’s and ’50s watching movies and TV shows while the good guys and the bad guys shot it out. 

In elementary school I attended a “well-regulated militia,” a military academy, and every day we practiced close order drills with 1903 Springfield rifles.  

During that time America, Russia and other countries began developing and stockpiling bigger and better nuclear weapons as “deterrents” to war. Obviously, we hoard weapons so we can feel safe.  

As a 12-year-old, I got my first gun when I joined the Boy Scouts of America, not quite a “well-regulated militia,” but close enough; we wore uniforms. We got to practice shooting at targets. 

Then along came the Vietnam war.

Like my father and my uncles and millions of other Americans before me, I got my chance to serve in an actual “well-regulated militia.” I joined the Army. 

The Army issued me a M-16. It’s like an AR-15, but better. With the flip of a selector switch, it can be fired like a machine gun and empty a 20-round magazine of high velocity bullets in less than two seconds.

Please once again I need to remind the reader that this is a re-post of an op-ed, not mine, but someone with an opinion and with good reason…..I do not agree or disagree…..just posted as a service.

Any thoughts?

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Gun Debate Op-Ed #2

This is part 2 of more limited series on the op-eds being published about the problems of mass shootings……

This is an FYI exercise to let my readers know the extent of the debate and the positions taken by those writers……

Yes I am a Progressive and yes I also read The American Conservative (go figure)……

Every time there is a mass shooting, the same political scene unfolds. Voices on the left begin calling for “sensible public policy” on firearms. The hosts of The View lose their minds because evil Republicans won’t fix the problem. Democratic politicians haul in money while decrying Republicans’ failure to “prevent gun violence and save lives.” The president makes a speech insisting he respects lawful gun owners, before asking when the carnage will stop and demanding a host of “common sense” gun-control measures. Yes, the left wants background checks, red-flag laws, etc. But the reform they really seem to salivate over is banning supposed “assault weapons,” like the AR-15. The issue inevitably gets debated back and forth in the media. Nothing happens at the federal level. Then, after a few weeks, the issue fades.

Why this action-less cycle? Certain voices on the left claim that America suffers from a “disproportionate influence of small states,” caused by the equal representation in the Senate and the existence of the filibuster. This argument has been used in a variety of political situations over the years when the pesky middle of the country gets in the way of what the Blue Coasts want to impose. When liberals are honest, they know that this nation was never created to be a democracy. This “problem,” then, is not a problem at all; it is an intentional check on the majority’s ability to impose its will on the nation in all matters. Also, perhaps the constant failure to pass these elusive “sensible gun-control measures” is not simply a matter of unsuccessful, stymied legislative efforts. Perhaps the existence of the Second Amendment, and a United States Supreme Court willing to uphold it, are the real issues for the left.

The Left Wants to Repeal the Second Amendment

Please keep in mind that I do NOT necessarily agree with any of the op-eds I re-post…..they are as I have stated FYI……

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