Governor Sam Brownback Signs Bill Nullifying All City And County Gun Laws In Kansas

Kansas Governor Brownback Signs Bill Nullifying Gun Laws – Conservative Infidel

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On April 23rd, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill “nullifying city and county gun restrictions” to ensure that it is legal to “openly carry firearms” throughout the state.

The law takes effect on July 1.

According to cjonline.com, the law will “sweep away restrictions on open carry.” It will also “prevent cities and counties from enacting restrictions on firearm sales or how guns are stored or transported.”

Supporters of the law say it will correct “a patchwork of local regulations [that have] infringed on gun-ownership rights.”

But Melissa Wangemann, legal counsel for the Kansas Association of Counties, believes the law “shows a lack of trust in local elected officials.” She said it takes away the ability of “pro-2nd Amendment counties” to expand concealed carry on their own.

Wangemann also said this law means her counties “can’t enact any regulation,” nor can they tell gun owners, “Keep your safety on, keep the gun on your side, don’t lay it on your desk.”

On March 25th, Breitbart News reported that West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) signed a bill eliminating local ordinances against carrying guns in his state as well.

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Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Signs Bill Into Law Allowing Guns In Churches, Bars And School Zones

Georgia Gov. Signs Bill Allowing Guns In Churches, Bars, And School Zones – CNS

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law Wednesday a bill that expands gun rights in the state to allow weapons in government buildings, bars, places of worship, and school zones under certain circumstances.

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Under House Bill 60, also known as the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014, school districts will get to decide whether to allow authorized personnel to carry weapons within school safety zones under certain circumstances.

In addition, church leaders will be able to decide whether to allow licensed gun owners to bring weapons into their place of worship. The law also removes fingerprinting requirements for renewal licenses.

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action called the bill the “most comprehensive pro-gun bill in state history.”

Deal, who characterized himself as a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, said the measure “will protect the constitutional rights of Georgians who have gone through a background check to legally obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License.”

“Roughly 500,000 Georgia citizens have a permit of this kind, which is approximately 5 percent of our population,” Deal said in a press release. “License holders have passed background checks and are in good standing with the law. This law gives added protections to those who have played by the rules – and who can protect themselves and others from those who don’t play by the rules.”

“Our nation’s founders put the right to bear arms on par with freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Georgians cherish their Second Amendment rights, and this law embodies those values,” he added.

Executive Director Pia Carusone of Americans for Responsible Solutions, which lobbied against the bill, called it “extremism in action.”

“It moves Georgia out of the mainstream,” Carusone said. “Since the Georgia House first passed this expansive legislation, thousands of Georgians and tens of thousands of Americans have said loud and clear that they are tired of the gun lobby advancing its extreme agenda at the expense of their families’ safety.”

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Obama Signs Into Law Ted Cruz Bill That Passed With Unanimous Consent Then Immediately Refuses To Enforce It

Obama Signs Cruz ‘Anti-Terrorist’ Bill Into Law, Says He WON’T Enforce It – TPNN

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In 1979, there was a student takeover of the United States Embassy in Tehran. For 444 days, 52 Americans were held hostage. Then President Jimmy Carter was lambasted for his weak foreign policy which lead the Iranians to view him as an inconsequential leader. Therefore, they did not fear America. When Ronald Reagan became president in 1980, with the spinelessness of Jimmy Carter purged from the White House, the hostages were released on the very day of his inauguration.

But, the pain of those nearly 15 months in captivity would linger not just for those held hostage, but for America as the people remembered that horrible time in our history. The country would have to recover and again position itself as a world leader to be feared and respected.

We have seen our position of power in the world erode over the last 5 years, with the most recent indicator being the invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative who is unafraid of Obama’s weak warnings.

As the world has watched this invasion, events that some believe are a signal to the beginning of another Cold War, the pain caused by the Iran hostage crisis some 35 years ago is being renewed.

Hamid Abutalebi has been selected by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as their United States Ambassador. Abutalebi was one of the hostage takers of those 52 Americans. While he claims he only served as a translator and negotiator, the United States Congress voted unanimously to deny his entry into the United States, since the U.N. meetings are held in New York.

The bill passed by Congress was authored by Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas and Congressman Doug Lamborn from Colorado. After the bill passed unanimously with bi-partisan support, Cruz and Lamborn released the following statements in calling for Obama to sign the bill to prevent terrorists from obtaining visas to enter the U.S. as U.N. ambassadors.

Congress has voted unanimously in support of a bill to reject Iran’s deliberately insulting nomination of a known terrorist – one of the 1979 hostage-takers – to be their ambassador to the United Nations,” said Sen. Cruz. “I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting it, and urge the President to act quickly. We, as a country, can send an unequivocal message to rogue nations like Iran that the United States will not tolerate this kind of provocative and hostile behavior.”

“I have been working hard with House Leadership to move this bill even before it passed the Senate,” said Congressman Lamborn. “I appreciate House Leadership’s rapid response to my request to quickly bring the Cruz/Lamborn bill to the House Floor for a vote. It will give the President the power to prevent an Iranian terrorist from entering our country with diplomatic immunity. This is a great example of leadership in action by both Houses of Congress. After Senator Cruz worked to ensure Senate passage earlier in the week, I felt that it was extremely important that the House respond in-kind by considering the Cruz/Lamborn bill in an expedited manner. It is great to see Congress send a strong, bipartisan message that Iranian evildoers will be treated like terrorists, not tourists. Terrorists, from Iran or elsewhere, should not be allowed to walk the streets of Manhattan with diplomatic immunity.”

Individuals with diplomatic immunity cannot be prosecuted or even charged with so much as a traffic ticket, let alone an act of terrorism.

Eight days later, President Obama has signed the bill into law, but, according to the Washington Examiner, he immediately released a statement saying that he would not enforce the law. While Obama recognized the concerns of Congress regarding allowing a terrorist to gain access to our country, he stated the following to explain his decision to ignore the law of the land.

“Acts of espionage and terrorism against the United States and our allies are unquestionably problems of the utmost gravity, and I share the Congress’s concern that individuals who have engaged in such activity may use the cover of diplomacy to gain access to our Nation.”

When Bush was president, then Senator Obama was extremely critical of him for signing such statements stating that, “Congress’s job is to pass legislation. The president can veto it or he can sign it.” The statements that Bush signed did not grant a terrorist unfettered access to our country.

Now that Obama is president, he has demonstrated time and again his complete disregard for any laws that he does not like. Certain laws, like his signature legislation Obamacare, are deemed the law of the land that must be followed. However, he very often changes parts of that law unconstitutionally via executive order to fit his political needs. With others, such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), he would, in his lawlessness, decide that he would not enforce the law.

His decision to sign the bill into law, but immediately state that he will not enforce it flies in the face of the rule of law upon which this country was built and endangers America.

Obama’s disregard for the law as passed by Congress and signed by him, thereby allowing a known terrorist who committed an act of terrorism against the American people unto American soil, comes days after the one year anniversary of the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon. Iran was insistent that the terrorist Abutalebi was their choice for ambassador. When the U.S. threatened denial, they requested an investigation by the U.N.

Thanks to Obama, no investigation is needed. The President of the United States is going to allow a known terrorist to violate the law with no repercussions and give him complete access to America and its citizens with diplomatic immunity.

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Anti-Gun Propaganda Graphic Proves That Leftists Are Ignorant Boobs When It Comes To Firearms

Why Democrats Can’t Be Trusted On Gun Issues In One Amazing Graphic – Independent Journal Review

A graphic meant to inspire anti-gun sentiment instead raised a lot of laughter and ridicule from gun-owners, as they noticed the image bearing the name and logo of the “Everytown for Gun Safety” Bloomberg funded-group has a pretty ignorant blunder in it:

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What do you think a knowledgeable gun owner would say about this?

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*VIDEOS* America’s Sheriffs: The Thin, Blue Line Between Your 2nd Amendment Right And The Federal Dictatorship


RICHARD MACK

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DAVID CLARKE

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DENNY PEYMAN

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PAUL BABEU

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TIM HOWARD

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CHARLES JENKINS

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JUSTIN SMITH

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TIM MUELLER

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TERRY MAKETA

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BRAD ROGERS

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JON LOPEY

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MIKE WINTERS

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CHRIS NOCCO

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KEN CAMPBELL

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TIM CAMERON AND MIKE LEWIS

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FRANK TOMLANOVICH, JEFF RICKABY, KENNY MARKS AND SCOTT CELELLO

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Sources Inside Obama’s BLM And LVMPD Say Feds Planning Raid On Bundy Home (Audio)

Exclusive: Sources Inside The BLM And Las Vegas Metro Say Feds Are Planning A Raid On Bundy Home – Ben Swann

As reported yesterday, hundreds of federal agents are still at the Bundy Ranch and the area continues its status as a no-fly zone. Despite major media reports that the Nevada Bureau of Land Management is retreating, the remaining activity that still surrounds the ranch illustrates a different scenario.

Not only is the BLM not actually backing off of Cliven Bundy, Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has revealed stunning information: on Ben Swann’s radio program, Mack said that he has received intelligence from multiple, credible sources inside the BLM and the Las Vegas Metro that there is “no question” that the federal government is planning a raid on the Bundy home and the homes of their children who live on the property.

According to Mack, the so-called retreat was nothing more than theatrics. “It was a ploy to get people to back off, to get people out of the way. They weren’t expecting us to get this amount of people here. They were surprised by the numbers and so they wanted a way to get us out of here. This was a ploy to get us out of here and then they’re going after the Bundys.” Mack said that when he was at the Bundy ranch on Saturday there were an estimated 600 to 800 protesters present when federal agents were releasing the cattle.

“If they do that kind of raid, I don’t believe there’s any way that could happen without bloodshed,” Mack told Swann.

Mack spoke about the tactic that protesters could use by putting women at the front of the line facing the federal agents to make them think carefully before opening fire.

“I would’ve gone next. I would’ve been the next one to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I’m willing to die here,” said Mack.

Mack said that he had been told by Bundy that the federal government is actively shutting down the ranching industry, specifically in Clark County. He also revealed that there used to be 53 ranches in Clark County. All of those ranchers have been put out of business, except for Bundy who is still trying to hold on. “Every American should be outraged by it,” said Mack. The ranch has been in Bundy’s family since 1877.

Mack decried Nevada governor Brian Sandoval for declaring this situation unconstutional while doing nothing to stop it. “He could have called in the state’s national guard, could have called in the sheriff’s office, could have called in highway patrol, and he’s done nothing except assail what’s going on. That’s easy, that’s cowardly.”

Sheriff Mack also called out media including radio host Glenn Beck who he says is siding with the BLM on this issue.

“I can’t believe that there are some Americans, and some media like Glenn Beck, that are supporting the BLM in this and it’s absolutely disgraceful.”

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Armed Guards Surround Bundy, Supporters Fear Imminent Threat – KLAS

Local rancher Cliven Bundy may have his cattle back, but his supporters say they are still preparing for an imminent threat.

Militia groups from all over the country say they are flocking to the Bundy ranch to protect the family from a feared federal government raid.

The Bureau of Land Management allowed Bundy to release his cattle Saturday, after they felt threatened.

Bundy now has a whole contingent of armed guards surrounding him 24 hours a day.

“They’re just there, trying to make sure something crazy doesn’t happen to him,” Bundy’s son Ammon Bundy said.

His security detail and family feel he is someone to be protected because of what the federal government could do.

“There were snipers on the hills and armed guards and you know, military forces with cameras all over.” Ammon Bundy said.

Cliven Bundy fears that the government could gather up again because they never reached a formal deal.

He is also trying to determine whether federal agents damaged any of his cattle before they released them.

The BLM only allowed the family to open up the gate of the pen where the animals were being held because officers were afraid of violence. As of now, no one has cleared him to take back his cattle for good.

Taking the stage to address supporters Monday, Bundy was quickly obscured behind his guards. The detail told 8 News NOW they are now patrolling the area 24 hours a day looking for federal snipers.

“You never know, you never know,” Ammon Bundy said.

According to the BLM, Bundy has allowed his cattle to graze public land illegally for the past 20 years. Following two court orders, the feds started rounding up the cattle last week.

The agency also says Bundy owes more than $1 million in grazing fees for trespassing on federal lands since the 1990s.

Saturday, the BLM agreed to pull out of the area but hundreds of protesters flooded a BLM holding station, aiming to release hundreds of Bundy’s cattle.

Monday, Bundy says he never told his supporters to flood a federal cattle pen, using weapons. Members of Bundy’s security details say more militia groups are on their way and will be there for weeks to come.

Ammon Bundy says he was awake last night fearful the feds were going to come in and arrest his family.

No law enforcement have talked about arresting anyone in this dispute, and there is still no clear resolution to the fact that Bundy is grazing cattle on federal land without paying fees.

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Harry Reid On Bundy Ranch Situation: ‘It’s Not Over’ – National Review

Clive Bundy may have prevailed over the weekend in his standoff with the Bureau of Land Management regarding his Nevada ranch and disputed ranch, but that’s just the first phase, according to Harry Reid.

“Well, it’s not over,” he told Reno’s KRNV. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and just walk away from it, so it’s not over.”

Last week, the BLM began rounding up Bundy’s cattle amid controversy over whether he owed the federal government millions in grazing fees for his cattle being on their land. Bundy and his supporters, who gathered in Bunkerville, Nev., say that the rancher and his family have had rights to the land for over a century.

With tensions high, the BLM and federal agents backed off on Sunday, prompting some to think Bundy had prevailed. Reid’s comments may mean the government’s withdrawal was temporary, or that it will take a different approach to addressing the situation.

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When The Tyrant Screams And Nobody Listens (Robert Gehl)

When The Tyrant Screams And Nobody Listens – Robert Gehl

If a government passes a law, and nobody obeys, what is that government to do?

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When Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed the “toughest assault weapons legislation in the nation” last year, his administration estimated between 372,000 and 400,000 firearms would be registered and about 2 million magazines that hold more than ten rounds.

The registration requirement kicked in on Jan. 1 – more than four months ago.

To date, about 50,000 “assault weapons” have been registered – less than 15 percent – and only 38,000 “high-capacity” magazines have been registered – or about 2 percent.

This has liberals – led by the leftist Hartford Courant – in a rage. In a Valentine’s Day editorial, the newspaper said state police should comb the state and federal background check databases to find those millions of scofflaws and… well, arrest them.

The Courant doesn’t say this outright, they argue that the state should find these people, but since violating the new law is a felony, and “felonies cannot go unenforced.”

“A Class D felony calls for a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Even much lesser penalties or probation would mar a heretofore clean record and could adversely affect, say, the ability to have a pistol permit,” they write. “if you want to disobey the law, you should be prepared to face the consequences.

What the newspaper is afraid to call for outright is the imprisonment of tens of thousands of gun and high-capacity magazine owners in the state. Throw them in prison for merely owning a weapon or magazine.

Luckily, Gov. Malloy is a little brighter than the good people at the Courant. Sending state troopers descending on thousands of gun owners can not end well. Some folks – even folks in Connecticut – are inclined to believe their Second Amendment Right is inalienable and would react rather negatively if somebody attempted to disarm them.

So that’s out. What about threatening them with criminal charges? That’s out too. The new law already classifies them as felons and they don’t seem to mind.

So what is Malloy likely to do? Nothing. Pretend the law doesn’t even exist and try to move on. Of course, this just proves what we’ve already known: tyrants are toothless against an armed and educated populace.

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*VIDEO* Bill Whittle: Disarming The Warriors


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Mexican Soldiers Cross Into U.S. And Hold Border Patrol Agents At Gunpoint; Obama Ignores Incident

Mexican Soldiers Draw Guns On U.S. Agents – WorldNetDaily

The U.S. government is taking no action on an “unbelievable foray” in which two Mexican soldiers came across the border near Sasabe, Ariz., and held U.S. Border Patrol agents at gunpoint for half an hour, according to a government watchdog organization.

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Judicial Watch said that after the 35-minute “tense confrontation,” Jan. 26, the Mexican soldiers retreated south across the border “as if nothing ever happened, and the Obama administration just let it slide.”

Judicial Watch, which keeps an eye on government behavior, such as the mega-million dollar vacations for the Obamas, said that incident was , which obtained government documents with details of the incident.

According to a Border Patrol foreign military incursion report and a letter from Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, the Mexican soldiers retreated when the U.S. agents drew their weapons and summoned assistance.

The report said the Mexicans “misidentified themselves to border agents, claiming to be pursuing drug smugglers.”

Judicial Watch said, however, the Mexican soldiers aren’t chasing drug smugglers but instead are protecting cartels as they transport their cargo into the U.S. through the desert.

The incident, said Judicial Watch, is just the latest in a long string of incursions by the Mexican military into the U.S.

Records from the Department of Homeland Security show Mexican military incursions occur often and go unpunished by the U.S., Judicial Watch said.

The problem has only gotten worse over the years.

DHS documents reveal 226 incursions by Mexican government personnel into the U.S. occurred between 1996 and 2005. In 2007 alone, there were 25 incursions.

The fact that guns were drawn makes the January incident one of the most serious incursions in recent years, the Times said.

The report said Mexican embassy officials denied soldiers were involved. But they changed their story later to say the camouflage-wearing personnel were “part of a counter-narcotics operation.”

Mexican officials told the newspaper soldiers from both countries occasionally cross the border, and “both countries understand that this is something that happens as part of normal activities.”

U.S. officials in the Mexico City embassy said the incursions by the military are “unintentional,” and Kerlikowske announced no action was needed.

But Judicial Watch previously has documented Mexican police officers who had been warned not to enter the U.S. crossed the border and “arrested” two subjects.

During that incident, the officers also “threw rocks at a group of people.”

Judicial Watch described another previous incident in which a resident of Arivaca, Ariz., saw five men land a helicopter and get out, dressed in black and wearing masks and body armor.

“They had the word ‘Mexico’ on their sleeves and on the back of their shirts was some lettering starting with the letter ‘A.’ Three of the men had automatic fire rifles and the other two were armed with pistols.”

They eventually left.

Judicial Watch also cited another case: “A few years ago police in Phoenix, Ariz., reported that three members of Mexico’s army conducted a violent home invasion and assassination operation that killed one person and littered a neighborhood with gunfire. The Mexican military officers were hired by one of that country’s renowned drug cartels to carry out the deadly operation, according to Phoenix police officials, who confirmed the soldiers were armed with AR-15 assault rifles and dressed in military tactical gear.”

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Sign The White House Petition To Overturn “Gun Free Zone” Directive On Military Bases

Let Our Military Personnel Be Able To Defend Themselves: Petition Underway To Overturn “Gun Free Zone” Rule On Military Bases – Weasel Zippers

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Obama gave a short speech after the Fort Hood shooting yesterday, speaking about the military at Fort Hood. ‘They serve with valor, they serve with distinction and when they’re at their home base, they need to feel safe,’ Obama said.

Yet, it is the very rules that he enforces that leave the military unsafe. Due to military directive, military bases are “gun free zones” where regular military are not allowed to carry firearms. This leaves them open to attack and unable to defend themselves. In recent years, we have seen attacks and attempted attacks on military bases: the first Fort Hood shooting on November 5, 2009, by terrorist Nidal Hassan, the shooting at the Navy Yard in September 2013, and this latest shooting at Fort Hood. In May of 2007 the FBI arrested six radicalized Islamist men who were plotting to attack Fort Dix. Because bases are gun free zones, terrorists or those meaning to do harm, know they have at least several minutes to kill people before police can arrive to stop them.

There are actually multiple petitions that people have started, but this is the one that seems to have the most signatures so far.

Our hearts are saddened to learn of yet another shooting on a military installation in the United States. Yet again, service members who train regularly to responsibly handle firearms were murdered on base and were unable to defend themselves.

Concealed carry policies provide not only an appropriate means for self defense against violence, but also a proven deterrent. Our military installations have become “soft” targets for those who would harm our military members. Lawful, concealed carry by responsible service members could have prevented or lessened the severity of these incidents.

The DoD should set forth CCW regulations permitting service members in good standing who have received firearms training to carry concealed firearms on DoD installations.

A petition last year asked the White House to make itself “gun free” since it seems to believe that is the best way to protect people. The White House rejected that petition, exposing their fundamental hypocrisy. Apparently, the White House believes its occupants are entitled to protection that children and our military are not.

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End ‘Victimization Zones’ On Military Bases – Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham

When I started Open Carry Texas last year, my focus was on educating the public about the benefits of an armed society. I hear all the time from proponents of gun control that “in this day and age” it’s so important to restrict access to firearms to prevent people from using them to commit evil atrocities. The problem with this philosophy is that gun control laws only victimize law abiding citizens by making them defenseless.

By definition, criminals don’t obey laws, no matter how altruistic and holistic those laws may be.

For years on my personal blog, A Soldier’s Perspective, I spoke out against so-called gun-free zones. My first awareness about the pitfalls of these victimization zones, as I call them, came in 1991. Originally hailing from Temple, Texas, the Luby’s shooting hit home for me. I was only in high school at the time, but recognizing that a member of my family could have been in that restaurant on Oct. 16, 1991, I was acutely aware of the impact that shooting had on my stance on gun control.

Then, in 1993, Army Regulation 190-14 (Carrying of Firearms and Use of Force for Law Enforcement and Security Duties) was updated with new rules on what, when and how soldiers could carry firearms on military installations. The policy banned all manner of carry except for “DA personnel regularly engaged in law enforcement or security duties.”

It became the Army’s policy that “the authorization to carry firearms will be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or Department of the Army assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried.” Naturally, this policy was implemented prior to Sept. 11, 2001.

Since that Army policy went into effect and other services followed suit there have been nearly two dozen shootings at military installations. I vividly remember shortly after arriving to my new unit at Fort Stewart, Ga., when Private First Class Craig Jones walked into the orderly room of his unit and shot Sergeant Michael Santiago in the chest and arm, killing him. This was in March 2002.

In September 2008, a soldier at Fort Hood shot and killed his lieutenant before committing suicide. Specialist Armano Baca shot Sgt. Ryan Schlack in July 2009 on the same base. Since guns were banned on military installations, there have been shootings on Fort Drum, Fort Carson, Fort Bragg, Fort Knox and many other military installations!

In November 2009, I was out-processing Redstone Arsenal, Ala., en route to my new assignment on Fort Hood, Texas. At the same time, Army Maj. Nidal Hassan walked into a deployment center on Fort Hood and opened fire on his fellow soldiers, killing 13 and injuring 30 others.

And all of these shootings happened in gun-free zones. Every single one of these shootings happened at a place where the very people trained to deal with armed attackers were defenseless against an armed attacker.

No one can say for certain these incidents would disappear were soldiers allowed to carry personal firearms. However, it can be said with a certainty that any future tragedy will be executed unopposed as long as soldiers are not at least given the opportunity to defend themselves. There’s a saying that it’s better to have a gun and not need it, than not have a gun and need it.

After every one of these tragedies, we as a nation wring our collective hands trying to figure out what went wrong and how to prevent the next shooting. And each time, the simple idea of allowing troops to carry concealed firearms never seems to cross our minds. Why not?

I believe that one reason we are hesitant to allow troops to carry in uniform is because we think arming soldiers will lead to more such shootings. Many people said the same thing about Texas when we were debating the concealed handgun law. Critics said there would be blood in the streets. But, this isn’t backed up by logic, fact, or even experience.

Right this second, virtually every soldier in Afghanistan is carrying a loaded weapon, whether it be a pistol or a rifle. At the very least, they are carrying an unloaded weapon with ammunition readily available and at their disposal. No one can honestly say that being deployed is less stressful than being back home in a garrison environment. Yet, in spite of the prevalence of firearms in the hands of nearly every single troop in a stressful combat environment, the existence of fratricide is practically non-existent.

It would be the height of hypocrisy to suggest that soldiers are more or less capable of managing their emotions with a firearm in one environment over another. The fact remains that in spite of the 1993 regulation and policy, service members are carrying guns onto military installations and killing unarmed victims; victims that may have had a chance to live if they were permitted an opportunity to defend themselves. Even when not carrying guns on military installations, many service members are carrying them off base without feeling the urge to shoot the first person that looks at them cross-eyed.

How many more of my brothers and sisters must die before we, as a nation, wake up and put an end to these ironically titled “gun-free zones”? How many more examples of innocent, unarmed citizens being slaughtered by men with evil intent must we endure? Why do we disarm the very people who are the most well-trained in the use of firearms in defensive and offensive situations?

I am not arguing that the military simply abolish its policy altogether and just allow everyone and their mother to carry a firearm onto a military installation – though I don’t see why not. After all, there is a constitutional amendment that recognizes that right. But, I’ve never been one to identify a problem without a solution.

The military should initiate a policy that, at a minimum, allows soldiers with concealed handgun licenses to carry their firearms on them. The Department of Defense could even institute its own concealed handgun licensing requirement so at the very least it knows which soldiers are armed and whether they are qualified. To combat the constant stream of motorcycle deaths, the Army instituted a program that requires soldiers to be trained and certified prior to riding a motorcycle onto a military installation.

Why not train and certify soldiers in order to permit them to carry a concealed handgun on post? Those who are trained and certified would be required to renew their certifications annually or whenever they move to another military installation. Guns brought onto military installations are already registered, so make that another aspect of the licensing requirement. If a soldier wants to carry a different handgun, he/she must be re-certified with the new handgun they wish to carry.

Whatever we do, it’s obvious that what we are currently doing doesn’t work. It’s not working in gun-free shopping centers; it’s not working in gun-free schools; it’s not working in gun-free cities; and it doesn’t work in gun-free military installations.

In December 2012, NRA Executive Director Wayne Lapierre, eloquently stated: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or a minute away?”

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens. Gun owners who jump through the hoops to become licensed gun owners are even less likely to commit crimes. In Texas, only .18 percent of gun owners have committed ANY crime at all. Hardly any of those crimes were committed with a gun. The time to end gun free zones is now, no matter where they exist.

C.J. Grisham is president and founder of Open Carry Texas, a Texas-based organization dedicated to the safe and legal carry of firearms and has over 19 years of active military service. He has been writing about gun rights on his blog, A Soldier’s Perspective, since 2005. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army or any branch of the government.

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Petition To Allow Military Personnel To Carry Concealed Weapons – Liberty Federation

Petition To: All Members of Congress & President Obama

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Military service members must be allowed to carry concealed firearms on all Federal and State installations. Had concealed carry been permitted, service members could have potentially stopped the shooters at Fort Hood and the Washington Naval Yard. We must stop denying our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines the right and ability to defend themselves when targeted in mass shooting events.

We demand that you immediately pass legislation that allows for military service members the right to carry concealed weapons on all Federal and State facilities where they are either based or currently assigned.

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Connecticut Community College Punishes Student Veteran For Questioning Governor About Leftist Gun Laws (Video)

Asnuntuck C.C. Punishes Student Speech, Ignores This Exculpatory Video – F.I.R.E.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has called on Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) to drop its disciplinary action against a student following a conversation on campus with Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. Making matters worse, ACC deprived the student of crucial due process protections, even refusing to review exculpatory video evidence.

On October 23, 2013, student Nicholas Saucier recorded on video a conversation with Governor Malloy, who was speaking at ACC that day. Saucier asked Malloy questions about recent gun legislation, and the conversation was halted abruptly when Malloy got into his car and left. A second recording shows ACC President James Lombella and a campus security officer leading Saucier off campus.

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Based on this conversation, ACC suspended Saucier and charged him with violations of its Policy on Student Conduct, including harassment, threats, and failure to “[d]emonstrate good citizenship by not engaging in conduct prohibited by federal, state, or other laws.” Saucier chose to defend himself in a formal hearing rather than agree to an informal resolution requiring him to plead guilty to all charges, withdraw, and submit to a mandatory professional evaluation for readmission.

At his November 18 hearing, ACC gave itself discretion to “decide what information is appropriate” for consideration, then refused to review Saucier’s videos showing his speech to be protected by the First Amendment. It also prohibited any recording of the hearing, depriving Saucier of a fundamental safeguard colleges routinely afford students. These unwritten abridgements to ACC’s written procedures severely impaired Saucier’s ability to defend himself.

ACC found Saucier guilty of all charges. It lifted Saucier’s suspension but placed him on probation with the condition that any future conduct violations “will likely result in Suspension or Expulsion from the College.” In a letter sent January 13, FIRE called on ACC to reverse its severe violations of Saucier’s free speech and due process rights. The college has failed to respond.

“This case stands as a startling example of what can happen when disrespect for student First Amendment rights is combined with disregard for student due process rights,” said Peter Bonilla, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program. “ACC’s myriad violations of Nicholas Saucier’s rights, effective rewriting of its conduct procedures, and failure to rectify its errors should give all Americans great concern.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at thefire.org.

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Obama Regime Released 68,000 Convicted Criminal Aliens In 2013

Report: Obama Administration Released 68,000 Convicted Criminal Aliens Last Year – Daily Caller

The Obama administration is threatening public safety by deliberately hampering immigration law and releasing aliens with criminal records, according to a new review of internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement data.

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A Center for Immigration study to be released Monday and obtained in advance by The Daily Caller, found that last year ICE reported nearly 722,000 encounters with illegal or criminal immigrants. But ICE officers filed immigration charges against less than 195,000 aliens.

“According to ICE personnel, the vast gap between the number of encounters reported and the number of aliens put on the path to removal exists because officers are not permitted to file charges against aliens who do not fall into the administration’s narrowly defined criteria for enforcement, regardless of the criminal charges or the circumstances in which the alien was identified,” the report, authored by CIS director of policy studies Jessica Vaughan, reads.

Since June 2011, when the first of the Obama administration’s “prosecutorial discretion” policies were put in place, the report adds, interior ICE arrests have declined by 40 percent.

“The Obama administration and anti-enforcement activist groups have tried to portray the number of departures as ‘record-breaking’ and indicative of robust immigration enforcement. They have tried to support this claim by showing that the number of departures credited to ICE is higher than ever before,” the report reads. “However, an independent analysis of ICE records obtained in a lawsuit showed that ICE was able to achieve these ‘record’ departures only because the agency was taking credit for removing a large number of individuals who were apprehended by the Border Patrol. Such cases made up the majority of ICE’s reported deportations in 2013, but they had never been counted that way in previous administrations.”

Indeed, as the review highlights, many aliens with criminal convictions have simply been released.

In 2013 some 68,000 criminal aliens were released – or 35 percent of all criminal aliens ICE reported encountering, according to the report. ICE field offices with the highest rates of criminal releases were San Antonio (79 percent), New York City (71 percent), Washington, D.C. area (64 percent), and Newark, N.J (60 percent).

“These figures suggest that despite claims of a focus on public safety, the administration’s prosecutorial discretion criteria are allowing factors such as family relationships, political considerations, or attention from advocacy groups to trump criminal convictions as a factor leading to deportation,” the report reads.

The data is sure to further frustrate critics of the Obama administration’s immigration policies that much more.

Including Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions who says the “[Department of Homeland Security] is a department in crisis” and is calling on DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson to “reject the President’s demands to weaken enforcement further and tell him that his duty, and his officers’ duty, is to enforce the law – not break it.”

“As Homeland Secretary, Mr. Johnson is tasked with ensuring the public safety and the rule of law. But Secretary Johnson is not meeting these duties,” Sessions said statement to TheDC. “American citizens have a legal and moral right to the protections our immigration laws afford – at the border, the interior and the workplace. The administration has stripped these protections and adopted a government policy that encourages new arrivals to enter illegally or overstay visas by advertising immunity from future enforcement.”

“Comments from top Administration officials, such as Attorney General Holder’s claim that amnesty is a civil right, or Vice President Biden’s claim that those here illegally are all U.S. citizens (apparently including someone whose visa expired yesterday), demonstrate the administration’s increasing belief in an open borders policy the American public has always rejected,” he added.

According to Vaughan, Congress should initiate an official look into the impact of the administration’s prosecutorial discretion policies.

“The Obama administration’s deliberate obstruction of immigration enforcement, in which tens of thousands of criminal aliens are released instead of removed, is threatening the well-being of American communities,” she said.

To Sessions, however, it is Republicans who must work to hold the administration accountable for its rejection of the law.

“The Administration’s lawless policies have not only impaired public safety but increased economic suffering for millions of vulnerable Americans by depriving them of their jobs and wages,” he said. “Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats continue to empower this lawlessness. Republicans must work to end it.”

Other key findings in the review include:

* In 2013, ICE charged only 195,000, or 25 percent, out of 722,000 potentially deportable aliens they encountered. Most of these aliens came to ICE’s attention after incarceration for a local arrest.

* ICE released 68,000 criminal aliens in 2013, or 35 percent of the criminal aliens encountered by officers. The vast majority of these releases occurred because of the Obama administration’s prosecutorial discretion policies, not because the aliens were not deportable.

* ICE targeted 28 percent fewer aliens for deportation from the interior in 2013 than in 2012, despite sustained high numbers of encounters in the Criminal Alien and Secure Communities programs.

* Every ICE field office but one reported a decline in interior enforcement activity.

* ICE reports that there are more than 870,000 aliens on its docket who have been ordered removed, but who remain in defiance of the law.

* Under current policies, an alien’s family relationships, political considerations, attention from advocacy groups, and other factors not related to public safety can trump even serious criminal convictions and result in the termination of a deportation case.

* Less than 2 percent of ICE’s caseload was in detention at the end of fiscal year 2013. About three-fourths of the aliens ICE detained in 2013 had criminal and/or immigration convictions so serious that the detention was required by statute.

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Obama Regime Covertly Providing Russia With Free High Tech Military Equipment (Video)

Obama Administration Caught Giving Free High Tech Military Equipment To Russia – Gateway Pundit

This is not 21st century behavior.

The Obama administration has been secretly giving Russia free Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), a tactical force-on-force trainer, which uses a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat for soldiers.

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While slapping Russia publicly on the wrist, the Obama Administration has been giving Russia FREE high tech military equipment.

Judicial Watch reported:

Behind closed doors the U.S. government is giving Russia free military equipment – also used to train American troops – even after President Obama announced punitive sanctions against Moscow and, more importantly, a suspension in military engagement over the invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

The secret operation was exposed this week by members of Congress that discovered it in the process of reviewing the Fiscal Year 2014 budget and the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget request. It turns out that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has been providing the Russian Federation with the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), the federal legislators say. The U.S. military uses MILES for tactical force-on-force training because it has a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat.

It’s a crucial, military-grade technology that’s similar to a “laser tag” available in some commercial markets, according to one of the outraged lawmakers (Oklahoma Republican Jim Bridenstine) that helped uncover the scandal. Bridenstine, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has joined forces with Ohio Republican Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, to demand an end to the program. Along with about a dozen other House colleagues they penned a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who oversees the agency carrying out the “irresponsible military equipment transfers” to Russia.

The Obama administration’s planned supply to the Russian Federation is a grave mistake given the recent invasion of Ukraine launched by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, the legislators point out. “It is difficult to imagine a worse time to provide military-grade technology employed by the U.S. Marine Corps, Army, and Special Operations Forces to Russia than when it has illegally invaded Ukraine and is violating the intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty,” the letter to Moniz says. “To make matters worse, it is our understanding from the budget documents that the Department has been, and continues to propose, providing this technology to Russia free-of-charge.”

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Idaho Officially Nullifies All Future Federal Gun Control Laws

Victory: Idaho Just Officially Nullified All Future Federal Gun Control – Conservative Tribune

Last week, we reported that the state of Idaho passed emergency legislation that would take effect immediately that nullifies all future federal gun control in the state. That bill was just signed into law by Governor Butch Otter. This is a huge victory for the Second Amendment.

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Idaho joins states like Arizona, Missouri, Kentucky, and others who have passed or are considering substantive legislation that would nullify federal gun control by outlawing it in the state outright or preventing the state from cooperating with the feds in the enforcement of gun control measures.

The strategy the Idaho law and similar laws use is one that uses the anti-commandeering doctrine, which was set down by the Supreme Court to protect the Tenth Amendment by preventing Congress from commandeering state officers in the enforcement of a federal regulatory scheme.

From Ben Swann:

On Thursday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter (R) signed a bill, which would effectively nullify future federal gun laws, by prohibiting state enforcement of any future federal act relating to personal firearms, a firearm accessories or ammunition.

S1332 passed the house by a vote of 68-0 and the senate by a vote of 34-0. Alaska and Kansas have also passed similar laws.

Erich Pratt, Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America, cheered the governor’s action. “By signing this nullification bill into law, Idaho has joined an elite class of states that are telling the feds to ‘get lost’ – especially when it comes to unconstitutional gun control infringements”

The key text of the legislation provides that:

any official, agent or employee of the state of Idaho or a political subdivision thereof who knowingly and willfully orders an official, agent or employee of the state of Idaho or a political subdivision of the state to enforce any executive order, agency order, law, rule or regulation of the United States government as provided in subsection (2) of this section upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition shall, on a first violation, be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) which shall be paid into the general fund of the state…

This is fantastic news. States are openly rebelling against federal gun control, and their refusal to cooperate in enforcing it will render it ineffective in many areas. The feds need states to participate in the enforcement of these kinds of laws, because there simply aren’t enough federal resources to do so. If we get enough states on board with this type of legislation, we can beat back federal gun control just by default.

Please share this article on Facebook and Twitter if you agree with Idaho’s attempt to nullify federal gun control. Let’s fight back.

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How To Save The Internet (Gordon Crovitz)

How To Save The Internet – Gordon Crovitz

It’s been a good month for Vladimir Putin : He got Crimea and the Internet.

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Gallows humor is not the only possible response to the Obama administration plan to give up U.S. control of the Internet to a still-to-be-determined collection of governments and international groups. Congress should instruct President Obama that if the Internet ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Authoritarian governments led by Russia and China long ago found ways to block access to the Internet for their citizens. Under the new Obama plan, these regimes could also block access to the Internet for Americans.

There is recent precedent: Authoritarian governments tried to block new Internet top-level domains beyond the familiar .com and .org and .net. Saudi Arabia sought to veto the addition of .gay as being “offensive.” It also tried to block .bible, .islam and .wine. Under U.S. control, the Saudis were denied their wishes. With some new post-U.S. system of governance, will .gay websites be removed from the Internet?

The plan announced on March 14 would have the U.S. give up control of the “root zone file” of the Internet and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann. This root of the Internet stores all the names and addresses for websites world-wide, while Icann controls Web addresses and domains. The U.S. has used this control to ensure that websites operate without political interference from any country and that anyone can start a website, organize on Facebook or post on Twitter without asking permission.

It’s easy to imagine a new Internet oversight body operating like the United Nations, with repressive governments taking turns silencing critics. China could get its wish to remove FreeTibet.org from the Internet as an affront to its sovereignty. Russia could force Twitter to remove posts by Ukrainian-Americans criticizing Vladimir Putin.

The plan announced by the Commerce Department set off enough alarm bells that officials felt obliged last week to issue a follow-up news release denying the U.S. is “abandoning the Internet” and pledging “nothing could be further from the truth.” But it still has no plan to safeguard the Web against authoritarian governments. Nor is there any reassurance in a letter to the editor in Monday’s Wall Street Journal from the head of Icann, Fadi Chehade. He says the Internet’s “billions of diverse stakeholders all deserve a voice in its governance,” and he remains on record saying that “all governments are welcome” in whatever the new governance process turns out to be.

Hearings on U.S. protection for the Internet were quickly called for the House starting in early April. One topic should be whether the executive branch of government has the unilateral authority to transfer control over Internet addresses and root zone management of domains.

Congress doubted that the president could do this on his own when the issue was considered in 2000. The General Accounting Office, now called the Government Accountability Office, concluded it was “uncertain” whether Congress has to pass a law. The Property Clause of the Constitution says Congress must pass legislation to effect a transfer of government property. Arguably the president could no more transfer the valuable control over the naming and domains of the Internet than he could give Alaska back to Russia.

Contacted by this columnist last week, a spokesman for the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said the agency reviewed this legal issue and concluded the administration can act without Congress but refused to share a copy of the legal analysis. Congress should ask for a copy and do its own analysis.

Congress also could tell the Commerce Department not to carry out its plan. In 2012, both the Senate and House passed a unanimous resolution to keep the Internet “free from government control.” That happened as the Obama administration was being outfoxed by Russia and China, which hijacked the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union to legitimize control over the Internet in their countries. Protecting the Internet may be the most bipartisan issue in Congress.

Meanwhile, at a meeting over the weekend in Singapore to plan a post-U.S. system, sources say Icann’s Mr. Chehade upset the “multistakeholders” in attendance by presenting a PowerPoint slide dictating a new structure that minimizes accountability for Icann. After pushback, Mr. Chehade withdrew his slide, but his intentions are clear.

The alternative to continued U.S. authority is control by an international body dominated by authoritarian regimes. In a law review article about Icann in 2000, “Wrong Turn in Cyberspace,” Michael Froomkin wrote that “It is hard to see how an undemocratic solution based on the international system in which a tyranny’s vote is as valid as a democracy’s vote would be a material improvement on Icann itself.”

Congress should quickly come to the same conclusion and act to save the Internet.

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President Asshat Trying To Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs

Obama To Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs – Washington Free Beacon

President Barack Obama is seeking to abolish two highly successful missile programs that experts say has helped the U.S. Navy maintain military superiority for the past several decades.

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The Tomahawk missile program – known as “the world’s most advanced cruise missile” – is set to be cut by $128 million under Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal and completely eliminated by fiscal year 2016, according to budget documents released by the Navy.

In addition to the monetary cuts to the program, the number of actual Tomahawk missiles acquired by the United States would drop significantly – from 196 last year to just 100 in 2015. The number will then drop to zero in 2016.

The Navy will also be forced to cancel its acquisition of the well-regarded and highly effective Hellfire missiles in 2015, according to Obama’s proposal.

The proposed elimination of these missile programs came as a shock to lawmakers and military experts, who warned ending cutting these missiles would significantly erode America’s ability to deter enemy forces.

“The administration’s proposed budget dramatically under-resources our investments in munitions and leaves the Defense Department with dangerous gaps in key areas, like Tomahawk and Hellfire missiles,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), a member of House Armed Services Committee.

“Increasing our investment in munitions and retaining our technological edge in research and development should be a key component of any serious defense strategy,” he said.

The U.S. Navy relied heavily on them during the 2011 military incursion into Libya, where some 220 Tomahawks were used during the fight.

Nearly 100 of these missiles are used each year on average, meaning that the sharp cuts will cause the Tomahawk stock to be completely depleted by around 2018. This is particularly concerning to defense experts because the Pentagon does not have a replacement missile ready to take the Tomahawk’s place.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Seth Cropsey, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower. “This really moves the U.S. away from a position of influence and military dominance.”

Cropsey said that if someone were trying to “reduce the U.S. ability to shape events” in the world, “they couldn’t find a better way than depriving the U.S. fleet of Tomahawks. It’s breathtaking.”

The Navy has used various incarnations of the Tomahawk with great success over the past 30 years, employing them during Desert Storm and its battle zones from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Balkans.

While the military as a whole is seeing its budgets reduced and equipment scaled back, the Tomahawk cuts do not appear to be due to a lack of funds.

The administration seems to be taking the millions typically spent on the Tomahawk program and investing it in an experimental missile program that experts say will not be battle ready for at least 10 years.

“It is definitely short-sighted given the value of the Tomahawk as a workhorse,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, a former Pentagon staffer who analyzes military readiness. “The opening days of the U.S. lead-from-behind, ‘no-fly zone’ operation over Libya showcased how important this inventory of weapons is still today.”

Overall, the Navy has essentially cut in half its weapons procurement plan, impacting a wide range of tactical weapons and missiles.

Navy experts and retired officials fear that the elimination of the Tomahawk and Hellfire systems – and the lack of a battle-ready replacement – will jeopardize the U.S. Navy’s supremacy as it faces increasingly advanced militaries from North Korea to the Middle East.

The cuts are “like running a white flag up on a very tall flag pole and saying, ‘We are ready to be walked on,’” Cropsey said.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Russell called the cuts to the Tomahawk program devastating for multiple reasons.

“We run a huge risk because so much of our national policy for immediate response is contingent on our national security team threatening with Tomahawk missiles,” said Russell, who is currently running for Congress.

“The very instrument we will often use and cite, we’re now cutting the program,” Russell said. “There was a finite number [of Tomahawk’s] made and they’re not being replenished.”

“If our national policy is contingent on an immediate response with these missile and we’re not replacing them, then what are we going do?” Russell asked.

North Korea, for instance, has successfully tested multi-stage rockets and other ballistic missiles in recent months. Experts say this is a sign that the Navy’s defensive capabilities will become all the more important in the Pacific in the years to come.

Meanwhile, the experimental anti-ship cruise missile meant to replace the Tomahawk program will not be battle ready for at least 10 years, according to some experts.

The Long Range Anti Ship Missile has suffered from extremely expensive development costs and has underperformed when tested.

“You have to ask yourself: An anti-ship missile is not going to be something we can drive into a cave in Tora Bora,” Russell said. “To replace it with something not needed as badly, and invest in something not even capable of passing basic tests, that causes real concern.”

The Pentagon did not return requests for comment.

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*VIDEO* Bill Whittle: Gulliver, Unbound


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New Jersey CEO Warns State Assembly “We Will Not Comply” With Proposed Gun Control Law (Video)

New Jersey CEO Takes A Stand Over Proposed Gun Control Bill, Warns Lawmakers ‘We Will Not Comply’ Just Like Connecticut – The Blaze

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A New Jersey man warned a State Assembly committee last week that he and other gun owners in the state “will not comply” with a proposed gun control bill to further limit magazine capacity.

During the March 13 hearing, Anthony P. Colandro told lawmakers that the proposed bill would turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals overnight. Colandro is the CEO of Gun for Hire, a firearm training center in New Jersey, and expressed concern regarding what the law could do to his business.

“I own, personally, approximately $30,000 of guns, contrary to what Cease Fire New Jersey Says, that they do not make 10-round magazines for,” he explained. “I also have in my possession at my range over $20,000 of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.”

He then asked the chairman of the committee who exactly would be compensating him if the items suddenly become illegal.

“Have you guys seen what is happening in Connecticut right now?” he continued. “One million gun owners in New Jersey are also gonna say, like our brothers and sisters in the north, that we will not comply. And I can tell you here and now, I will not comply.”

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The bill currently under consideration, known as A2006, bans all magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The proposed law exempts firearms with .22 caliber tubular magazines.

After more than three hours of testimony last Thursday, the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee voted 5-3 to advance the bill. The bill then cleared Democratic-controlled Assembly on Thursday with a 46-31 margin. A version of the proposed law has been introduced in the state Senate but has yet to come up in a committee for a vote.

As TheBlaze reported last week, Shyanne Roberts, a 9-year-old competitive shooter, also appeared before the New Jersey Law and Public Safety Committee last week speak against the proposed law.

“I have worked and trained very hard to get to the level I am at and if A2006 becomes law, I will be forced to choose between giving up on a very great and promising future in a sport that I love or asking my dad to move to another state,” she said. “I will not be giving up my sport.”

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Putin Sending Ships, Long-Range Bombers To Latin America; Plans New Bases In Cuba, Venezuela And Nicaragua

Putin’s Quiet Latin America Play – The Hill

Away from the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is quietly seeking a foothold in Latin America, military officials warn.

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To the alarm of lawmakers and Pentagon officials, Putin has begun sending navy ships and long-range bombers to the region for the first time in years.

Russia’s defense minister says the country is planning bases in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, and just last week, Putin’s national security team met to discuss increasing military ties in the region.

“They’re on the march,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said at a Senate hearing earlier this month. “They’re working the scenes where we can’t work. And they’re doing a pretty good job.”

Gen. James Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command said there has been a “noticeable uptick in Russian power projection and security force personnel” in Latin America.

“It has been over three decades since we last saw this type of high-profile Russian military presence,” Kelly said at the March 13 hearing.

The U.S. military says it has been forced to cut back on its engagement with military and government officials in Latin America due to budget cuts. Kelly said the U.S. military had to cancel more than 200 effective engagement activities and multi-lateral exercises in Latin America last year.

With the American presence waning, officials say rivals such as Russia, China and Iran are quickly filling the void.

Iran has opened up 11 additional embassies and 33 cultural centers in Latin America while supporting the “operational presence” of militant group Lebanese Hezbollah in the region.

“On the military side, I believe they’re establishing, if you will, lily pads for future use if they needed to use them,” Kelly said.

China is making a play for Latin America a well, and is now the fastest growing investor in the region, according to experts. Although their activity is mostly economic, they are also increasing military activity through educational exchanges.

The Chinese Navy conducted a goodwill visit in Brazil, Chile and Argentina last year and conducted its first-ever naval exercise with the Argentine Navy.

Meanwhile, the U.S. had to cancel the deployment of its hospital ship USNS Comfort last year.

“Our relationships, our leadership, and our influence in the Western Hemisphere are paying the price,” Kelly said.

Some experts warn against being too alarmist, and say Russia, China and Iran do not have the ability or desire to project military power beyond their borders.

Army War College adjunct professor Gabriel Marcella said Russia’s maneuvering is more about posturing than a real threat.

“Latin America is seen as an opportunity to challenge the United States in terms of global presence,” he said. “They want to show the flag to assert their presence and say they need to be counted on the world stage.”

Other experts said the encroachment of rivals has huge economic implications for the U.S., which has more trade partners in Latin America than in any other region in the world.

“[Russia’s presence] serves to destabilize what has become a more stabilized, middle class continent with an increasing respect for the rule of law… Any type of unsettling of that environment will scare off investors,” said Jason Marczak, deputy director at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

“Market economies and democracies are fundamental for trade, for jobs, and for stable investment environments,” he said.

Marczak noted the instability in Venezuela, which is facing civil unrest from anti-government protestors.

“In Venezuela, a lot of the money that’s been able to prop up President Chavez and now Maduro has been Chinese money,” Kelly said.

So far, 31 protestors have been killed in clashes with government security forces.

“I see a real degradation in what used to pass as Venezuelan democracy. There’s less and less of that now,” Kelly said.

And while Chinese investment in Latin America could have positive aspects for the region, it could also make it more difficult for U.S. official to push labor and environmental safeguards that it argues are building blocks for democracy, Marczak said.

Angel Rabasa, a senior political scientist at RAND, said cuts to the defense budget are going to accelerate a long trend of U.S. neglect and disengagement with Latin America.

According to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), there are 10 countries in Latin America that currently have no U.S. ambassador because they either haven’t been nominated yet or confirmed, a sign that the region is seen as a low priority.

“We will be losing the ability to influence developments in a region that is very important to us because of proximity,” Rabasa said.

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Judge Orders Feds To Help Enforce Proof-Of-Citizenship Voter Requirement In Kansas And Arizona

Federal Officials Ordered To Help Enforce Ariz., Kan., Voter Citizenship Laws – Fox News

Federal officials must help Kansas and Arizona enforce laws requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, in a decision that could encourage other Republican-led states to consider similar policies.

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U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Wichita, Kan., ordered the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to immediately modify a national voter registration form to add special instructions for Arizona and Kansas residents about their states’ proof-of-citizenship requirements.

Both require new voters to provide a birth certificate, passport or other documentation to prove their U.S. citizenship to election officials. The federal registration form requires only that prospective voters sign a statement declaring they are citizens.

Kansas and Arizona asked the federal agency for state-specific modifications, but it refused. The states and their top elected officials – Secretaries of State Kris Kobach of Kansas and Ken Bennett of Arizona, both conservative Republicans – sued the agency last year.

Most voters in both states register with state forms, but their officials said the availability of the federal form created a loophole in enforcement of proof-of-citizenship requirements. Supporters argue the requirements preclude voter fraud by preventing noncitizens from voting, particularly those in the country illegally.

“This is a really big victory, not just for Kansas and Arizona but for all 50 states,” Kobach told The Associated Press. “Kansas has paved the way for all states to enact proof-of-citizenship requirements.”

Arizona enacted its proof-of-citizenship requirement by voter initiative in 2004, and Alabama, Georgia and Kansas followed with similar laws. Kansas’ rule took effect last year.

Critics of such laws view them as suppressing voter participation. They also said the federal National Voter Registration Act, enacted in the 1990s, was meant to simplify registration across the country and allowed federal officials to reject a modification of the national form.

Jonathan Brater, legal counsel for the New York-based Brennan Center for Justice, said Melgren’s ruling, if it stands, would erode Congress’ power to protect voting rights. The center represented the national League of Women Voters and its Arizona and Kansas chapters, which intervened in the lawsuit.

“There is a concern that other states could move to pass some of these misguided laws,” Brater said. “There can be a copycat effect.”

Melgren said the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to set voter qualifications, and Congress has not pre-empted it, even in enacting the 1990s law.

The federal commission and the national League of Women Voters were reviewing the decision Wednesday and not saying whether they’d appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

But league President Elisabeth MacNamara said: “Our first impression is that it’s a harsh decision and it’s a decision that will harm voters.”

The federal commission also had rejected a request for a state-specific change in the national form from Georgia, and Jared Thomas, chief of staff to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, said his state will ask the commission to reconsider.

“We applaud Judge Melgren’s decision and the good work of Kansas and Arizona in litigating this important issue,” Thomas said in an email to the AP.

The proof-of-citizenship laws are part of broader attempt by Republicans nationally to tighten up state voting requirements in the name of fighting election fraud.

“We must ensure citizens are the only ones who vote if we are to have honest elections,” said Republican Alabama state Sen. Scott Beason.

But critics contend it can be difficult for some poor, minority and elderly voters to obtain copies of their birth certificates or other citizenship documents.

Brater said college students registering to vote away from their previous homes also may have trouble finding the necessary papers quickly. And Democratic Arizona state Sen. Steve Gallardo, who joined the lawsuit on the side of the federal commission, said a proof-of-citizenship requirement is designed to weed out progressive voters, particularly college students.

“These are new voters that are getting active,” Gallardo said. “They tend to be a lot more progressive and liberal… particularly when it comes to issues like medical marijuana, same-sex marriage, more progressive-type issues.”

In Kansas, the registrations of nearly 15,700 prospective voters – enough to decide a close statewide race – remained on hold Wednesday because they hadn’t yet complied with the proof-of-citizenship requirement.

Kobach said the state has found “20 or so” noncitizens on its voter registration rolls, but he believes that’s only a fraction of the potential number. Kansas has about 1.73 million registered voters.

In Arizona, Attorney General Tom Horne, another conservative Republican, said election officials learned they had more than 200 noncitizens on their rolls when court officials forwarded the names of people who sought exemptions from jury duty because they weren’t citizens. Arizona has 3.25 million registered voters.

“There’s been a cover-up by the media of the extent to which voter fraud is a problem,” Horne said.

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