Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Congratulations Girls!! Being on the Front Lines Paves the Way to Selective Service

I guess now that women are no longer banned from combat positions in the military that we’ll be asking our daughters, not just our sons, to register for Selective Service.

When the draft ended in 1973, the Selective Service System remained active only in "standby" status, just in case a draft became necessary again. In 1980, former Democrat President Carter reactivated the registration process for men in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He worried the standby Selective Service System might not meet rapid manpower expansion and wartime requirements. At the time, there was a recommendation to Congress that the act be amended to register women for service. The act would have enabled them to be drafted and become part of the military services inventory and used based on the needs of the mission. However, Department of Defense (DoD) policy stipulated that women would not be assigned to positions involving close combat. Thus, Congress agreed to reactivate Selective Service registration, but declined the act to begin registering women. According to the Senate Armed Services Committee, the primary reason for not expanding registration to women was DoD’s policy excluding them from combat positions.

Not surprisingly, this was challenged in court.

In 1980, several men brought a lawsuit which resulted in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania decision that the Selective Service’s gender discrimination violated "due process" of the Fifth Amendment. Upon direct appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the District Court decision and upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion in the case of Rostker v. Goldberg. The Supreme Court based its decision largely on the DoD’s policy that excluded women from combat, by reasoning that since the purpose of registration was to create a base of potential combat fighters, males and females could be treated differently.

Now that outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued a twilight order lifting the ban on women in combat, women are eligible to serve as infantrymen, go on combat patrols, and even serve in elite special operations units like the Navy SEALS. Yet, when asked about the implications of his order, he replied as though it never occurred to him that his order may have ripple effects and as though he never bothered running his idea by other officials in government to see what consequence might come from his order. Panetta said, “I don’t know who the hell controls Selective Services if you want to know the truth. …Whoever does, they’re going to have to exercise some judgment based on what we just did.”

According to the current law, men must register for Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday, and failure to do so results in denial of eligibility for federal programs and benefits including student loans, job training, and federal employment. It can also result in jail time and a large fine. Panetta’s order just made the one and only reason for excluding women from Selective Service null and void. It would stand to reason these same requirements and penalties would apply to women now.

I’m sure many people supported the idea that women should be allowed to serve in all military positions, but I dare say most of those same people assumed it would be voluntarily, not by conscription.

So, for those hard, charging women who think they can perform all the same physical tasks as men, such as dragging a 275 pound comrade out of a firefight in full battle rattle, while wearing your own gear tipping the scales on your frame with another 60-80 pounds of your gear, more power to you!

For those liberal women out there who thought changing the military culture in this way would be empowering while you've looked down your noses at our warfighters, thinking military service was for all of the unfortunate sons--prepare your daughters for the possibility of getting issued their boots, ruck, and rifle and being told to man a post.

From one disabled female vet to all the future ones, Hooah Bitches!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oppose senate bill 281.

I am writing to you today because Maryland is facing a dangerous usurpation of the United States Constitution at the state level. Political and emotional campaigns focused on disinformation, misrepresentation, and misguided leadership threatens a critical issue which is protected for all law abiding citizens of this country. We all mourn the loss of innocent lives to tragic and senseless homicides committed by criminals. However, most if not all, of the perpetrators were afflicted by mental illness and many details surrounding the events have not been fully disclosed to the greater population to evaluate and understand in an unbiased forum. Maryland initiatives to impose tightened licensing and restrictions on firearm ownership coupled with proposed limitations on functionality, and magazines capacity limits will have no bearing on a criminal’s desire to carry out crimes. Sadly the proposals will only undoubtedly result in the endangerment of law-abiding citizens by subjecting them to criminals, who choose to live outside the law, and will be better armed in a confrontation.

Governor O'Malley is taking it upon himself to further restrict law abiding Maryland residents, despite the fact we are already among the most restricted in the nation, by pushing for increased control over a constitutional right to self-defense. In June 2005, SCOTUS ruled that police, or other state/local law enforcement entities, do not have a Constitutional duty to protect the people. I am a military veteran, who comes from a long line of military veterans and police officers serving in some of the largest cities in the country, and those officers will tell you firsthand that police do not prevent crimes. Police only respond to crimes. A police response is reactionary, the crime will proceed, and a citizen is responsible for his or her own safety until the event ends by some means. In other words, citizens are responsible for protecting themselves, family, and property against those who seek to do them harm. In 2012, of the 217 murders committed in Baltimore, not one was reported to have involved a criminal using a firearm, magazine, ammunition, or a weapon configuration that violated the 1994-2004 Federal assault weapons ban. Violent crime statistics reported by the FBI demonstrate that states and locales with less restrictive firearms regulations reflect lower crime rates per capita, and lower violent crime rates, a statistic that has consistently trended downward over the past 20 years. Maryland firearms laws are among the most restrictive in the country, and should be relaxed rather than tightened.

First, I urge you to OPPOSE any new legislation reducing the current magazine capacity restriction of 20 to a number less than that. To bind law abiding citizens based on the notion that, "if we can save just one life, it is worth it" is a fallacy. Is it not also valid that private firearms were used to save the lives of citizens over 2.5 million times last year? That figure equates to a life being saved about every 13 seconds in our country through the lawful use of citizens protecting themselves with a firearm. Restricting the magazine or other load capacity of a firearm has the very strong potential to degrade the ability of a law abiding citizens to defend themselves against a scenario involving a single or multiple perpetrator home invasion, break-in, robbery, or other serious life threatening conflict. Limitations on magazine capacities impede a law abiding citizen’s ability to protect their self when engaging multiple targets without wasting precious seconds between reloads, while under immense pressure and stress. Law enforcement officers miss multiple shots in virtually all officer involved shootings in which a suspect, or multiple suspects, have fired at the officer. Magazine capacity limitations will not change the magazine capacity criminals will arm themselves with, since criminals will not abide by the law in the first place.

Second, I urge you to OPPOSE any new legislation directed at making cosmetic or functionally ergonomic configurations of firearms illegal. This includes restrictions on adjustable/telescoping buttstocks, thumbhole stocks, pistol grips, and handguards/free floated tubes/shrouds, forward pistol grips/foregrips, and other stock or handling configurations. Firearms that adhere to current BATFE laws and regulations, including those regulated and registered with the BATFE, gain no advantage or level of lethality due to these cosmetic configurations, nor do they make the firearm any more dangerous. In fact, these cosmetic modifications aid in operator control resulting in increased safety and accuracy that enhance law-abiding citizens’ ability to manage the firearm in sporting, hunting, and self-defense practices. The cosmetic configurations that some people ignorantly tout as "assault weapon or military style features" also aid in scaling the firearm configuration to the size of the operator, making for a safer experience. Stock and grip configurations have no bearing on the lethality of a firearm and assertions being made that seek to classify the firearm or its appearance as an intimidating weapon are purely unfounded and baseless. Do not pass laws based on misinformation or ignorance.

Third, I urge you to OPPOSE any new legislation directed at making cosmetic or functional firearm barrel (or muzzle) components illegal. Muzzle compensators, muzzle brakes, and flash suppressors are in compliance with current federal BATFE regulations. From a functional standpoint, legal muzzle devices adhering to current BATFE regulations reduce felt recoil and muzzle flames dispensed at the barrel by simply venting gasses in a manner that minimizes the effect of pressure exiting the barrel. Muzzle devices allow a law-abiding citizen to better manage the recoil of the firearm and reduce the explosive flash exiting the barrel resulting in a safer method of use. Muzzle devices are also extremely useful for citizens teaching their children or smaller body frame individuals the responsible handling and use of firearms. Other devices, such as sound suppressors, which are currently regulated under the NFA by BATFE, have not been reported to have been used in any recent crime in Maryland. Additionally, sound suppressors are legal in Maryland to hunt game and they support hearing protection for shooters by dissipating the gases during a shot in a manner that reduces, but does not eliminate (does not silence), sound. Muzzle devices classified by the BATFE as flash suppressors and compensators, and current BATFE regulated suppressors, have zero bearing on the lethality of a firearm or ammunition.

Fourth, I urge you to OPPOSE any new legislation regarding any misdirected proposals that reclassify or redefine certain semi-automatic firearms as “assault weapons” for the purposes of banning possession or use. While it is legal to own a fully automatic assault weapon, with proper federal registration and approval from the BATFE, the semi-automatic firearms frequently portrayed by inexperienced and uninformed decision makers are functionally different than their federally regulated counterpart.

Fifth, I urge you to OPPOSE any legislation directed at licensing or issuing of permits for a Constitutional RIGHT. Governor O’Malley is attempting to ask you to vote in favor of a proposal that puts our Constitutional RIGHTS on a very slippery slope. Are we to assume that if the 2nd Amendment is restricted under a licensing program that our other rights are also subject to be licensed and restricted? Quite possibly. For instance, in a letter to a MD resident (a friend of mine) regarding a federal assault weapons ban, dated January 2, 2013, Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger responded by writing, “I believe strongly in the right to bear arms. But, like all constitutional rights, this isn't absolute.” Not absolute? Should we be questioning whether our elected officials are trying to limit, manage, or rescind our rights and liberties? Regarding Congressman Ruppersberger’s statement, I think so. Replace 2nd with 1st, 4th, or 5th Amendment—you see my point. Congressman Ruppersberger should be recalled by his constituents for his position that Constitutional Rights are to be regulated by the government. The Constitution was designed to protect the People from the government and the government is answerable to the People. We are not subjects of the government. Furthermore, the right to bear arms is simply that--a RIGHT--not a privilege, and any attempt to require additional fingerprinting, photographs, or other registration and regulation related to firearms, magazines, ammunition, or other shooting components should be considered to a violation of the Constitution and a therefore violation of a civil right. In Maryland, we aren’t required to show any identification for voting in elections, but O’Malley wants Maryland citizens to REGISTER with the state in order to exercise a Constitutional Right? This just does not make sense.

Sixth, I urge you to OPPOSE any legislation directed at any fees, duties, or taxes associated with owning or purchasing firearms, magazines, or ammunition. Increased fees appended to the purchase price, or an annual excise tax or license fee, would result in the Maryland state government creating a new form of economic “HAVES” and “HAVE NOTS.” This proposal will deprive individuals and their families of security by self-defense making it so that only those individuals who can afford the additional fees will be able to purchase or own a firearm. Spatial statistics indicate that the highest crime rates occur in the poorest communities. Enforcing registration fees will disarm law-abiding citizens in those areas, making them more vulnerable to criminal attacks. Annual licensing of anything, especially a piece of property guaranteed by a Constitutional Right is akin to the government owning a citizen’s property, in effect owning their right. This proposal suggests that if citizens do not pay a fee, then they are breaking the law and their property will be confiscated. In essence, Maryland will strip the rights from those who cannot afford them and prosecute them for breaking the law. This legislative approach is a direct infringement on our liberty, which is in effect government tyranny—the very reason our Founding Fathers instituted the 2nd Amendment.

Seventh, I urge you to SUPPORT enacting a hands-on firearms training requirement in the form of classroom training combined with practical live-fire qualification, military honorable discharge, hunter safety course, or other recognized state and out-of-state equivalents. As a military veteran I fully support a training requirement that includes live-fire qualification and a practical hands-on safety examination to ensure competency beyond the current web-based video training offered by the Maryland State Police. Having also completed a Maryland Hunter Safety Course in 2004, I would recommend strengthening the live-fire practicum of that course to include handgun safety procedures. On private in-state and out-of-state firearms training, considerations should be made to accept courses qualifying to meet other the requirements of other states’ firearms certifications in reciprocity for concealed carry or other activities.

Eighth, I urge you to SUPPORT studies and the formation of exploratory committees to evaluate current mental health issues as they relate to violent crime. Over the past half century, our country has gone from an inpatient medical treatment approach to mental illness to an outpatient medication process that puts full responsibility on the patient to take prescribed medication. This flawed approach also puts responsibility on the doctor to prescribe mental illness patients the proper medication, dosage, and cocktail/combination of drugs (free of pharmaceutical endorsement and influence). Since mental adjudication, which requires time spent in an institution or a court order declaring such, is a disqualifier for firearms purchase then certain prescription medications and their variants should also be considered a disqualifier. The medical history of such medication should be disclosed at the time of purchase or transfer.

Ninth, I urge you to SUPPORT all efforts to eliminate the “finding requirement” documented as a good and substantial reason for a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit and allow law abiding citizens to apply for and receive such a permit after completing an available qualifying training program while maintaining good standing in the community. Maryland should recognize CCW permits issued by other states in reciprocity, or perhaps recognize permits of those issued as resident from other states, vice non-resident permits at the very least. Every state that operates on a “Shall Issue” stance for CCW permit issuance has a lower crime rate per capita than Baltimore and the rest of Maryland.

Lastly, I urge you to SUPPORT increased efforts to encourage greater awareness among firearms owners to secure their firearms the same as they would secure their other personal valuables, such as jewelry, heirlooms, documents, coins, or other treasures. Requiring locks on handguns does nothing to prevent against theft or unauthorized access; locked cabinets, locked cases, and even safes are an important part of responsible firearms ownership. While mandating that all firearms owners procure an expensive storage device is not the answer, certainly educating them on the safe storage of their property is not unreasonable. In instances where firearms owners have people living with them who have any of the following are concerned: a mental illness, prescribed psychiatric medication, or a history of violence; those owners should be encouraged to take necessary steps to secure their firearms on their premises or at another legal location.
History has demonstrated that criminals will never adhere to the restrictions Governor O'Malley is proposing in this new legislation. The new Maryland firearms legislation being proposed will have zero effect on crime and will only limit the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. O’Malley’s proposals will leave citizens outgunned and outmanned by predator or predators. The measures you are going to vote on WILL HAVE A GREATER EFFECT ON LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS than criminals. Do not let misguided intent overrule common sense – do not pass unnecessary laws that to not address the problem.

In the 2012 legislative session you voted to raise income taxes on earners making over $100,000 per year. A large majority of residents in that income bracket are a major source of tax revenue for Maryland, and they are also firearms owners and 2nd Amendment supporters. Any attempt by the Maryland legislature to tighten the already restrictive measures on firearms owners will result in an exodus to the freer surrounding states of Virginia and Pennsylvania. The biggest loser in this scenario will be law-abiding citizens in Maryland, but if you impede our liberty even more, we will vote with our feet and deprive Maryland of tax revenue as we seek residency elsewhere. There are other downstream effects of an exodus that will affect the real estate market, schools, Maryland’s new gambling initiatives, and other community social programs.

It is clear to me that you care greatly about representing the people of your district since you have fought to stay in office for years. If you seek to violate the 2nd Amendment, including further restricting the rights to firearms and their configurations, magazines, and ammunition I will make it my mission to rally citizens in your districts through social media and other resources to have you voted out of office in the next term and look to relocate my family to a state that does not thwart my ability to protect them.

Sincerely,

Concerned Citizen, US Army Veteran

What difference does it make?

The Obama administration is still not telling the truth about the September 11, 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack and why--for so long--the administration claimed the attack was due to some protest sparked by a video! Mrs. Clinton FINALLY appeared in front of Congress, more than FOUR months after the attack, and yet still failed to provide answers to some of the most important questions on what happened that tragic day. In fact, she got downright emotional when pressed by Senator Ron Johnson about whether the Benghazi terror attack was the result of a protest to a video or a terrorist attack, shouting "What difference would it make?!"

What difference would it make?

Excuse me, Madame Secretary, but it makes a huge difference. In fact some could argue it would have made a difference in the Presidential election! We all know that there was NO protest and the Obama administration knew there was no protest within hours of getting word about the attack. The public now knows there was intelligence indicating it was a terrorist attack, and the administration received this intelligence within hours following the attack. So what difference does it make? It means the Administration was either LYING or incompetent. Either way, it is a total policy and security failure and Americans are dead due decisions of this Administration! The weeks of LYING shows a willful intent to deceive the American people during a heated Presidential campaign.

Mrs. Clinton's outburst is nothing more than feigned righteous indignation and a classic deflection technique last seen in the year 1998 during well known testimony given by her husband.

I dare say Mrs. Clinton, the difference is similar to "what the meaning of the word 'is' is." If your answer is there "is and never has been" any information that there was protest —that is one thing. "If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement."

Exactly.