Tag Archives: EDITORIALS

Liberated by Kaepernick-supporting lefty trolls

Alright, the liberation to get back to writing political and social commentary! Perhaps I owe a debt of gratitude to the far left lunatics who tried doxing me in recent days.

Let’s start with what actually happened.

During Thursday night’s Philadelphia Eagles preseason game, backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld suffered a wrist injury, one that it was later announced would keep him out for awhile.

At the time, I was “live-Tweeting” a Phillies game for a site by the name of Phillies Nation” for which I had been the lead writer for more than a year. Basically providing updates of key moments in that game as they developed.

In reaction to Sudfeld’s injury, I began to see a number of folks interjecting commentary on Twitter regarding the Eagles possibly looking at bringing in controversial former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. There were many folks who were for this happening, and many against it.

At my personal Twitter feed (@MatthewVeasey), I put out a message that stated if the Eagles were to actually sign Kaepernick, I would find it offensive and would stop watching and following the team until he was gone.

My feelings had nothing to do with race, and in fact, very little to do with football talent. I could care less that he hasn’t played in three years.

What I do care about is that Kaepernick has publicly come out against American police. As a three-decade law enforcement officer, supervisor and training instructor, one who still has family and many friends in the profession, I find his messages offensive.

Socks depicting pigs wearing police hats, framing police shootings as “lawful lynchings“, reactions to police shootings with statements such asthere are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.

Kaepernick is no social justice warrior as he refuses to stand and respect the American flag and our national anthem. He is an anti-police, far-left radical activist. Here in America, I have a right to publicly stand against him and his positions.

That opinion did not go over well with those who support Kaepernick. Some among that group looked at my profile and saw that I was a retired police supervisor, which I am sure raised their ire even further.

Someone among the group chose to do a little research on this personal blog of mine. They dug up a few old articles that I had written, highlighting what they felt were controversial snippets pulled from pieces on race and sexual preference issues, most of which I had written a decade or more ago.

No context was provided on these snippets, of course. They simply began an online campaign to brand me a homophobe and racist. A hater. They spread the message to many of their lefty friends, and hundreds began to pile on.

Phillies Nation became a target, with the attackers threatening to continue bombarding them with negative comments, as well as to go after the advertisers, if this “hater” was allowed to continue with the site.

Needless to say, Phillies Nation caved. I am no longer associated with that site. So, that is what happened.

Now, to address the issues.

The fact of the matter is that I hate no one. Well, I have always half-jokingly said that I hate no one except “Nazis, Islamofascits, and the Dallas Cowboys.” I have no problem sticking with that statement.

This situation highlights perfectly, in fact, why I have a hatred for those Nazis and Islamofascists.

Fascists of any type want one thing, to impose their agenda on society, and to not only stifle, but to destroy all vestiges of dissent. If you aren’t with the program, then you are a threat, and you must be silenced.

As anyone who knows me well already already realizes, you aren’t going to silence me. I don’t cow-tow to fascists, far-left or otherwise.

There are things that I personally believe involving political, social, religious, familial and more issues. There are things that I feel are right, and things that I feel are wrong.

Here in the United States of America, at least to this point in our history, I am fully entitled to those beliefs, and am fully entitled to write about those issues and opinions. That is, as long as I do not advocate violence against anyone else.

And also as anyone who knows me is well aware, and as I have already said, I hate no one. I do not advocate violence against anyone for their political, social, sexual or religious beliefs or practices.

I served for nearly three decades as a Philadelphia police officer, detective, and supervisor. I interacted with many members of the community of every race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religious affiliation. Never had any complaints in these regards, few at all in my entire career, none sustained.

My website has existed in this form, right here at this location on the web, for 15 years. That includes more than 13 during which I was with the PPD. My writing was well known, read by many officers, known of by the department, and was never the subject of an investigation or discipline.

If you should ever run across someone trying to share one or two sentences or columns from one of my pieces while attempting to frame me as racist or bigoted, I would challenge you to find the full piece and read it in its full context.

If you want to start your own blog and write in support of the issues and positions that you believe in, and against the things that you feel are wrong, go right ahead.

So, that is exactly what I will be doing. I will continue to write regularly about the Phillies, baseball, and Philly sports. But I will also be getting back to something that I had set aside, writing on political and social issues. Anything that I write will be linked at my social media feeds.

This blog is sorted into topics at the above tool bar. There is an opportunity to search the blog with a search box at the right of that tool bar. At the bottom of each piece are “Tags” which link to other pieces containing that subject matter.

Nothing ever written here at my blog has been deleted, hidden or blocked. While I might not phrase something today as I did back in 2009, neither am I ashamed or embarrassed or afraid of anything that I have ever written.

Feel free to search for and read any that you want. You will find my opinion, my viewpoint. What I challenge you to find is hate, or calls for violence.

Just as importantly, feel free to not read. Or simply choose what to read or not read. If you like my baseball or sports writing but disagree with my political or social views, stick to reading my baseball or sports pieces. If those don’t interest you, but you do like my other topical writing, enjoy that instead. Your choice. No one forcing you to read or care about what I write.

Looking forward to the freedom and liberation to get back to writing about those broader topics once again. So again, a hearty “thank you” to the lefty doxers and anyone else who helped nudge me back in this direction. God bless America.

Thank you, Phillies Nation, for a lifelong dream come true

I’ll be addressing broader issues in another separate piece to come later today. What this is, is a simple “thank you” to the folks at Phillies Nation, and to the thousands of Phillies fans who regularly follow the site.

For more than a year, I was privileged to bring my views and opinions involving the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team to a wide audience of Philly sports fans who are as passionate about the team as I am.

Last July, I was brought on board as a writer on what was then a dwindling staff, and on the Fourth of July in 2018, my first Phillies Nation piece was published.

In the 13 months since then, I provided roughly 425 pieces for Phillies Nation. Everything from simple game previews and postgame reports to more analytical breakdowns of various situations involving the team, prospect evaluations, series previews, and more.

Never once did I interject my political or social opinions into those pieces. Never once did I push those same personal values in the Phillies Nation social media feeds when I was controlling those feeds.

In fact, I have not written a single piece right here at my own blog involving anything other than baseball since March 2018. And at my social media feeds, you would be hard-pressed to find anything other than sports for the last year and a half.

I have no clue what any of the individual writers or the website owner’s views are on political or social issues, and frankly, I don’t care either.

Thanks to the staff at Phillies Nation for a handful of tips over this past year that I know will improve my writing going forward. Good luck to the writers who put effort into their own pieces. Most are young folks trying to get a start in an increasingly difficult industry in which to find paying work. Keep reaching for your dreams.

Thanks also to the site owner, for the opportunity to become a paid baseball writer. It wasn’t much pay, especially for the amount of writing, editorial, and social media work that I provided. But it gave me a taste of a lifelong dream.

Finally, thanks to all of the Phillies fans who read my work and have interacted with me on social media, whether at Phillies Nation or elsewhere over the years.

I am not going anywhere. I’ll still be writing, right here at this blog. That will, however, no longer be restricted to the Phillies and baseball, though you will still get a lot of that content. Whatever I write will be linked on my social media feeds.

Frankly, it’s liberating, the thought of getting back to writing on a wider variety of topics across the political and social spectrum, as well as the Philly sports scene.

In defense of Donald Trump

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The following was the script for an experimental podcast ‘Traditional Americans’, for which this was the lone episode: “In defense of Donald Trump”.

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Hello America and welcome to the Traditional Americans podcast. I’m your host, Matthew Veasey.
 
After using our pilot episode last time out to introduce you good folks to myself, the podcast direction, and its social media and internet resources, this will be our first real topic-driven discussion.
 
So what topic would be most appropriate, most important to you, the listeners? Well, with everything that has been in the news lately, the fact remains that one man dominates the news cycle, probably more than any previous individual.
 
Today we’re going to talk about the Presidency of Donald Trump over the undeniably controversial, but also undeniably successful first 14 months of his first term in the highest office in the land.
 
There are so many directions from which we can begin a discussion of the Trump presidency to this point: his social media usage. The large and frequent turnover among his key advisors. His battles with the Democrats and with their liberal media mouthpiece. And of course, the accomplishments of his administration.
 
Let’s start with the positive – those accomplishments. Now, of course, most of these are only truly positive accomplishments if you’re a supporter of the president and his policies. That would mean that you need to be a conservative, because frankly, this president has accomplished more for Traditional American conservatives than any of recent decades. And that includes our beloved President Ronald Reagan.
 
The list of Trump administration accomplishments is indeed impressive for those of us in the conservative camp:
 
On jobs and the economy, we’ve seen passage of the first tax reform bill in more than three decades. This measure will mean $5.5 billion in real tax cuts to American workers and businesses.
 
Bloomberg has reported that the unemployment rate is expected to fall below the 4% mark by this summer. The DOW ended last week at the 24,984.45 mark. That’s up from the 18,589 on the day that he was elected back in early November of 2016.
 
All of these economic victories mean real jobs, real money in the paychecks and pockets, and real increases in the pension plans and 401K’s of real working Americans. No wonder Barron’s just reported that the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey rose to the 102 mark, its highest level in 14 years.
 
Another big piece of the Trump economy success story has been the elimination of numerous stifling Obama-era regulations. The president has operated from the beginning on the position that any new regulation would have to be accompanied by the elimination of at least two. In 2017, the president actually cut 16 for every new regulation, saving an additional $8.1 billion per the Washington Examiner.
 
Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, which was grossly unfair towards the United States, put an end to even more looming stifling economic regulations. Withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership helped forward the cause of fair trade for American businesses, as will renegotiation of American involvement with NAFTA and the president’s recent threatened tariff increases.
 
President Trump has freed up agencies to further loosen the regulatory environment, which includes the Department of the Interior making 77 million acres available for gas and oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
The president nominated and saw successfully seated to the U.S. Supreme Court an originalist justice in Neal Gorsuch, a move that should benefit Traditional Americans for decades to come. 
 
Also, President Trump has successfully placed 14 judges to the district courts, and another 14 to the courts of appeals. He currently has another 55 nominees to those two courts awaiting Senate action.
 
In the area of Homeland Security, the president has ended Obama’s practice of “catch and release” of illegal immigrants. He has started towards an end to DACA and chain migration. 
 
The president has added roughly 100 new immigration judges, and empowered ICE and local communities to boost the arrest of criminal gang members and other illegals. He has enacted a travel ban from nations that have refused to clamp down on terrorism.
 
He visited the southern border just this past week to examine proposed samples for the border wall. Though numerous conservative commentators, Ann Coulter chief among them, has criticized the president for not pushing ahead with actual construction, the fact remains that this is a major project which cannot be taken lightly. Trump knows construction projects. He’ll get this done, and done right.


 
Under President Trump, the Justice Department is making $98 million available for police departments to add an additional 802 new officers. He declared a public health emergency on opioids, with DHS announcing a new five-point strategy to combat this crisis and the administration providing $500 million towards the fight.
 
The president empowered military commanders, reducing the need for the White House to sign off on every mission and urging them to fight to win. These actions helped lead to ISIS losing control of almost all of its territorial control.
 
In just his first 14 months in office, the president has traveled to Poland and Germany for the G-20. He has traveled to the Middle East and Europe, and did what decades of American politicians talked of doing but were too afraid to act upon, recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East. His nearly two-week trip through Asia resulted in historic deals negotiated during multiple summit meetings.
 
 
 
President Trump has worked to support life as well, expanding the Mexico City Policy to block foreign aid used for abortions. He has worked to block Obamacare money from going towards abortions, and to overturn Obama regulations which had blocked states from defunding abortion providers.
 
These are many, but they remain only a few of the triumphs of the early Trump administration.
 
Now let’s move to the controversial, starting with President Trump’s use of social media to push forward his agenda and communicate his political and personal opinions.
 
Social media is a relatively new phenomenon for American politicians to deal with. Facebook launched in February of 2004, Twitter was first created 12 years ago this month, and Instagram came into existence in October of 2010.
 
Each of those resources took a few years for massive numbers of people and businesses to begin using them. So while they existed during the latter part of the ‘W’ Bush administration and all through the Obama years, their usage was limited at first, and then has continued to grow, where politicians and political organizations and parties are concerned.
 
Donald Trump was the first major American presidential candidate to full embrace and utilize social media as a vital tool in his campaign for the presidency. After actually winning the office, some thought that Mr. Trump would ratchet back his activities on social media. Instead, especially where Twitter is concerned, the president has doubled down.
 
 
 
Trump was the first candidate to intentionally go over the heads of the former mainstream media outlets and take his message directly to the people. It worked. Folks responded. He sees no need to change now, and frankly, I can’t blame him.
 
No, Donald Trump is not the statesman that other presidents have been. No, Donald Trump does not have much of a filter. No, Donald Trump is not a traditional politician. And you know what? All of those things are fine by me. 
 
In fact, it is for all of those reasons that many of the 65 million who voted for him cast their ballots for the career businessman. Much of America had frankly grown tired of politicians speaking out of the sides of their mouths, or flat out lying to our faces. We saw Trump, warts and all, as a man who said what he meant and meant what he said. If he said he was going to get something done, then we believed that he was going to get it done. And you know what? He has done just that.
 
Democrats are never, ever going to let up on Trump. Why? Not because he might have had an affair with a porn star years before he was ever in office. Not because he fired some member of his administration, or someone from the previous Obama administration.
Democrats and their liberal media mouthpieces, especially at places like CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, are going to continue attacking Trump all throughout his presidency for one reason only. He gets things done.
 
And the things that he gets done are, in the vast majority of instances, exactly those things that conservatives want done. 
 
No, he won’t simply cow-tow to the right. Anyone who is actually on the right, such as myself, knows full well that President Trump has numerous critics among the GOP establishment in congress and the senate. 
 
Some of those critics are towards his overall style and demeanor, some are towards specific individual programs or policies.
 
But as the litany of achievements which I ran down at the start of this broadcast outlined, this President has accomplished more for conservatives in 14 months than both Bush presidencies combined.
 
Staff turnover within the President’s inner sanctum is indeed an area ripe for criticism. The Brookings Institution recently released the figures: Trump’s first year turnover rate was 34%. That is twice as high as Ronald Reagan’s, who was the next highest among the last half-dozen administrations. His second year rate is an astronomical 43%, and we’re just in Mid-March. Bill Clinton’s 38% was the previous high.
 
However, what we need to remember is that this is a man who has never put together a political operation of this type before. He came in with a mandate from his electorate to “drain the swamp”, and it was inevitable that some who came along would not be able to hold up as he has, and would drown in that swamp.
 
 
 
My bet is that as the president really settles in further, he will figure out how to find the right people. Those who can not only push forward his message and agenda, but can also hold up under the D.C. spotlight.
 
I didn’t start out as a Donald Trump supporter. When 2016 opened and the GOP nomination process was still unfolding, I supported Texas senator Ted Cruz. I still think that Cruz can be a fine candidate in the future. My thoughts on Trump were that his populist message would resound until folks actually had to start voting. Then he would eventually get sorted out by that electorate. Instead, his message continued to ring true to many, including myself.
 
When the Pennsylvania Republican primary came around, I pulled the lever next to Trump’s name, something that I would never have believed just a few months earlier. 
 
When the November election came around, my wife and I happily went to the polls and cast our votes for Donald Trump to be the next President of the United States. We went to lunch afterward, not really sure that our candidate had a chance to win, but we both felt happy, that we had done the right thing.
 
That night, I was at work as the election results came in, and early on things didn’t seem too positive. However, there was still legitimate reason to hope. As the night wore on, those reasons to hope grew into possibilities. The possibilities turned into a genuine battle. The tide began to turn in that battle, and as I got home from work it was time to settle in for a long overnight election watch.
 
Very late at night (early morning actually), it was my home state of Pennsylvania that finally put Donald Trump over the top. By that time, it was a foregone conclusion. Everyone knew he was going to win PA, except that the networks were unwilling to make the call, possibly out of disbelief and shock.
 
The Democrats thought that they had this one in the bag. Hillary Clinton had celebrities in her corner, after all. The media, at least the media that they watched and read and listened to, told them that she would win, probably comfortably. When she lost, they were bitter and angry, and they remain that way today.
 
Donald Trump is an imperfect man. Frankly, there are no perfect men. I don’t need my President to be perfect. I don’t need him to be some articulate phony. I don’t want a person in that office who looks and sounds good, who makes folks feel good with flowery words, and then hurts my country with their actions and policies.
 
A Hillary Clinton presidency would have been a nightmare for America. A Bernie Sanders socialist presidency would have been even worse. The presidency of Donald Trump has been, thus far at least, a blessing from God to our nation.
 
My hope remains that the president will grow in office. That he will tone down his social media posting, that he will move away from his name-calling rhetoric. That he will become just a little bit more of a traditional statesman in style.
 
But if he does none of those things, in the end I will be fine with him as long as he continues to name conservative judges to the courts, continues to work to protect our security and business interests, and continues to put America first.
 
Later this coming week, our next episode of the Traditional Americans podcast is going to delve into the unmitigated mess that has become the FBI probe of the Clinton and Trump campaigns during the 2016 election. I’ll have the announcement on the availability of that podcast at our social media feeds later this week, so keep an eye out for that.
 
As always, you can find us on social media @TraditionalAmericans on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can write to us at TraditionalAmericans@verizon.net with any commentary or ideas. And if you think that you can bring something to the conversation, let me know there, and you may be invited on as a guest to a future podcast.
 
 
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the Traditional Americans podcast. Make it a regular part of your intrawebs listening experience, and please share us with your family and friends, and on social media. 
 
That’s all for now. Until next time, God bless you and yours, and God bless the United States of America!

NOTE: the “Traditional Americans” podcast enjoyed only two episodes, a brief introductory episode and this on President Trump. 

Why I joined the NRA, and why you should too

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The National Rifle Association was founded in 1871

The gun debate has once again heated up in America in the aftermath of the recent Parkland, Florida school shooting.

As usual, a major target for the anti-gun crowd has been the National Rifle Association (NRA), who those liberals see as being at the vanguard of gun rights in the United States.

The fact remains that the killer in Florida was, once again, not an NRA member. In fact, none of the school shooters who have reigned terror down on American children over the last couple decades have belonged to the NRA.

What the NRA does, what makes it the major liberal target, is resolutely fight for 2nd Amendment gun rights with few restrictions.

The NRA was chartered in New York state back in 1871 to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis, and even more specifically to improve marksmanship within the United States military. The organization really came to prominence in 1873 after its members won a marksmanship contest with the best riflemen of Europe.

Over the ensuing decades, the NRA spread to many other states and continued to expand in influence. The NRA gained further prestige when Civil War heroes Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sheridan, the former also a United States President, served as the organization’s eighth and ninth presidents.

In 1907, the NRA moved its headquarters to Washington, D.C. in order to improve its opportunities to advocate on behalf of gun owners. Those headquarters relocated to the current home of Fairfax, Virginia in 1998. In addition to its administrative offices, the Fairfax NRA headquarters is also home to the National Firearms Museum.

The museum is home to some 2,500 guns covering seven centuries of firearms history and development. Included are weapons which belonged to such historic figures as Napoleon Bonaparte, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt, Annie Oakley, and ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody.

A total of nine U.S. Presidents have been NRA members: the previously mentioned Kennedy, Reagan, and Roosevelt, as well as William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, and current President Donald Trump.

From 1998-2003, famed American actor Charlton Heston served as president of the NRA. At the organization’s 2000 convention, Heston picked up a replica of a flintlock long rifle and stated:

“So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: ‘From my cold, dead hands!’

 

Heston repeated the phrase at the end of each NRA convention over which he presided. When he announced his retirement in 2003, he concluded by repeating “From my cold, dead hands.

The NRA sponsors programs on firearms safety, including hunting safety. It trains firearms instructors and issues credentials for same. It hosts and sponsors a number of shooting competitions. The organization publishes at least a half-dozen regular periodicals as well.

Their own “brief history” of the organization at the official NRA website reveals both the size of its membership and its primary modern activities:

“While widely recognized today as a major political force and as America’s foremost defender of Second Amendment rights, the NRA has, since its inception, been the premier firearms education organization in the world. But our successes would not be possible without the tireless efforts and countless hours of service our nearly five million members have given to champion Second Amendment rights and support NRA programs.”

I first fired a gun as a small boy of about 10-11 years old when my father gave my younger brother and I a brief lesson in the woods of the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. Dad was a Philadelphia Police supervisor at the time, and showed us how to safely use his service revolver.

I never fired a real gun again until I followed in Dad’s footsteps, joining the Philadelphia Police Department in 1990. My brother had done the same the previous year.

I purchased my first private firearm a couple of years later, a small five-shot Smith & Wesson air weight revolver that I still own today.

Over the years, I considered joining the NRA, but it was never enough of a priority that I actually took the time or effort to follow through. That finally changed due to the events of this past week.

I finally logged on and joined the NRA, which you can do at that just passed link, due to principle. Seeing the organization and its spokespersons come under a ferocious attack by political liberals was the last straw.

In the most public attack, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch appeared at a “town hall” sponsored by liberal cable news outlet CNN in the aftermath of the Florida murders. 

Madeline Osburn for The Federalist reported that as Loesch and her security detail walked toward the stage, audience members shouted at her phrases like, “murderer,” “child killer,” and “burn her.” For the record, Loesch has never killed anyone.

Per Matt Vespa with Townhall, in a subsequent interview Loesch stated that she and the organization were accused of being child murders for supporting Second Amendment rights.

In recent days, a number of companies withdrew support or cut relationships with the NRA in various ways. For instance, car rental companies Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz each eliminated discounts for NRA members.

Meanwhile, as I pointed out earlier, the killer in Florida was not an NRA member. But these American businesses withdrew their discounts and other support due simply to pressure from liberal organizations and individuals. 

The effect of the moves was to hurt individual NRA members more than the actual organization. Again, those individual NRA members had nothing to do with Parkland or any other school shooting.

The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution was part of the original ‘Bill of Rights’, the first ten “amendments” or updates, changes, and additions to the original Constitution.

Passed by the U.S. Congress on September 25, 1789, that 2nd Amendment reads as follows: 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Nelson Lund and Adam Winkler at the Constitution Center website explain that “the Amendment was easily accepted because of widespread agreement that the federal government should not have the power to infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms, any more than it should have the power to abridge the freedom of speech or prohibit the free exercise of religion.” 

In my own first response to the Parkland shooting, published one week ago today, I called on Americans who care about any particular facet of the gun debate to engage in what I believe to be necessary conversation.

“We need to talk. We must be able to find a way to make the Parkland’s, the Columbine’s, and the Sandy Hook’s more difficult, and even more rare than they are already. About that, there should be no debate.  Let’s talk. Not shout one another down. Let’s open our ears, minds, and hearts. Let’s not be afraid to start the conversation. As with most things, we may not end up with everything we want. But together for once, let’s come up with some answers.”

However, talking is not enough. We also must be willing to back up our beliefs and a verbal or written intellectual expression with action. That was why I chose to finally join the NRA this week.

Wayne LaPierre has been the NRA’s executive vice-president and chief executive officer since 1991. In his speech at CPAC 2018 this past week, LaPierre labeled the attacks on his organization correctly when he called them political attacks.

“They hate the NRA. They hate the 2nd Amendment. They hate individual freedom. In the rush of calls for more government, they’ve also revealed their true selves. The elites don’t care – not one wit – about the American school system and school children. If they truly cared, what they would do is they would protect them. For them, it’s not a safety issue, it’s a political issue. They care more about control, and more of it. Their goal is to eliminate the 2nd Amendment and our firearms freedoms, so they can eradicate all individual freedoms.”


…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” 

Our Founding Fathers had it right, as they usually did. Healthy, responsible Americans need to be allowed to own firearms, whether for hunting, or personal protection, or to one day defend their communities, should that become necessary.

David French at the National Review wrote a piece on why it’s “Not cowardly to be conservative on gun rights” in the aftermath of Parkland. In his piece, French made the following statement regarding the usual liberal progressive attacks:

Angry voices take an extraordinarily complex social, cultural, and political phenomenon, boil it down to preferred progressive policy provisions, and then declare everyone who opposes their ideas a craven weakling in thrall to the NRA.”

The NRA not only fights on behalf of that 2nd Amendment Right, but also supports training and safety. It is a wholly responsible organization made up of strong, principled, Constitution-loving and respecting American citizens.

I would urge all American gun owners and those who otherwise support the 2nd Amendment and overall American freedom to follow my lead. Join the National Rifle Association today.

There should be no debate: we need to talk about guns

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The AR-15 used by the Parkland school shooter is widely available

This past Wednesday was marked by the convergence of a number of happenings on the same day. Lovers and wannabe’s were celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Western Christianity was marking the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. And at camps in Florida and Arizona, many Major League Baseball teams were opening their spring training.

But for many in America, those happenings were overshadowed by one of the worst school shootings in history which took place at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

A former student, 19-year old Nikolas Cruz, entered the school with an AR-15 in the middle of the afternoon and proceeded to murder 17, including three faculty members and 14 students. Numerous others were injured, many remaining hospitalized today.

Per a piece by Bart Jansen at USA Today, Cruz legally purchased the weapon himself in 2017.

“Cruz lawfully bought the semiautomatic rifle last February, according to Peter Forcelli, special agent in charge of the Miami office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The gun, a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 .223, was purchased at Sunrise Tactical Supply, according to the Associated Press. Federal law allows people 18 and older to legally purchase long guns, including this kind of assault weapon. With no criminal record, Cruz cleared an instant background check via the FBI criminal database.”

In the immediate aftermath, a number of students and others came forward making statements that they were not surprised if such a thing were to happen, that Cruz would be the attacker.

At least three students made reports regarding Cruz to adminstrators at the school, per Max Greenwood for The Hill. According to that report, the attack may have at least partially been set off by jealousy and a fight over an ex-girlfriend.

Cruz’ mother had died back in November, his father years ago. The couple who took him in at the urging of their own son stated per a piece by Katherine Lam for Fox News that, though they knew he was depressed, they never saw this type of outcome.

“We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know,” Kimberly Snead, 49, said. “We didn’t see this side of him.” James Snead, 48, added that he and his wife didn’t know what “everything, everybody seems to know.” “Everything everybody seems to know, we didn’t know,” Snead said. “It’s as simple as that.”

That is actually not very unusual, as Erica Goode, a visiting professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, wrote in a piece for The New York Times.

“Tony Beliz, a consultant to schools and corporations on violence prevention who for many years ran the mental health side of the Los Angeles program, which was started by the Los Angeles Police Department, has noted that parents often have no idea what their children are up to. In more than a few cases, a team visiting a home has found weapons or other indications of deadly intention.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had received a tip regarding Cruz nearly six weeks prior to the shooting. You’ve heard of the public “See Something, Say Something” campaign, perhaps? Well, someone saw something and said something. And the FBI dropped the ball.

U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) made this very observation as related in a Kyle Feldscher piece for the Washington Examiner:

“We all say if you see something, say something. And Parkland community, we saw people reporting, there were 20 calls to the sheriff’s department, they responded. The FBI received a legitimate, credible tip and it was not followed up upon. What we have seen in three major atrocities is that the system that was in place simply was not followed.”

The FBI had also received a tip on Cruz as far back as last September that the disturbed man had made a threat via YouTube. This per a piece at Townhall by Matt Vespa:

“They knew, folks. The FBI knew and didn’t follow proper protocols on a tip about Nikolas Cruz, the shooter in the recent high school shooting in Florida. FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau was still investigating this matter, along with reviewing the processes in which such information from citizens offering tips are analyzed.”


Within hours of the shooting, the usual political battle lines were being drawn. Gun control advocates lined up on one side. Those supporting the 2nd Amendment lined up on the other.

Fingers were pointed in many directions. Of course, liberals pointed at President Trump and the Republican controlled U.S. Congress, demanding that “something needs to be done!” 

Of course, these liberals had no such questions for former President Barack Obama, who had a Democratic Party controlled congress for two full years and never even looked at the issue.

We really need to do a better job at making sure we have strong gun laws in every state in the country, because we are losing our most valuable resource, which is our children, said Jeremy I. Stein, the executive director of CT Against Gun Violence, a nonprofit advocacy group per Lisa W. Foderaro and Kristin Hussey for The New York Times.

I’m a conservative Republican, and unashamedly so. My fallback position is usually to rally around any Republican politician or position that comes under attack. There are many reasons for this, all of which any supporter of any candidate or political party can understand.

However, on this one, I am lost. I worked in law enforcement for nearly three decades. I saw firsthand the devastation that violence on the streets, gun and otherwise, has on our communities.

I am also a gun owner. But I am one who has never been a major public advocate for any particular interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. I believe that individual gun ownership is important. I believe that our Founding Fathers created the amendment for vital reasons.

But, and this is a big “but”, I don’t necessarily believe that every American has the right to keep and bear any weapon that they wish in their homes. I shouldn’t be allowed to have a working cannon in my backyard. Certainly most would agree that individual citizens shouldn’t have a working nuclear ICBM in their backyard.

So where are the limits on what you should own as an individual? Should there be any limits whatsoever? The common sense answer is obvious. 

So now comes the difficult part: what are those limits? Despite the wishes of some on the very far Left, individual citizen gun ownership is here to stay in America. Gnash your teeth all you want, that will never change. Not without a major battle. And I’m not talking just a political or philosophical battle either.

If we are to allow certain high-powered weapons to be owned by individuals, what exactly are the limitations? What, if any, investigations of and controls should there be on individuals who wish to purchase and own these weapons? How should the weapons be handled once an approved owner passes away?

There are many legitimate questions raised by what happened in Parkland this past week. Of course, those questions were also raised many times previously. Most Americans are familiar with what took place at Columbine, Nickel Mines, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook, among others.



Fact is, we need to have a national discussion. We need to have it without pointing fingers at politicians and parties. We need to have it regarding every issue surrounding guns: mental health, crime, personal, home, and business security, etc.

I have heard gun owners say things along the lines of “I laid my gun down on the ground and told it took go kill somebody. It just laid there.” These things are said to support the position that guns don’t kill people, that people kill people.

This is very true. People have been killing people since the dawn of mankind. Rocks. Sticks. Fire. Knives. Swords. Bombs. Guns. Nukes. Not only that, but men will continue to kill men. If you take away every lawfully owned gun in America, that will remain the case.

It is also true that a great many murders by firearm are committed by people who did not lawfully purchase the weapon that they used. Criminals will indeed continue to find a way to purchase ‘black market’ firearms if we took them all away.

No, the answer is absolutely not to end lawful gun ownership in America. But there does need to be a better answer for the survivors of Parkland.

What can be done to make it much more difficult to have a repeat anywhere in the country of what happened at their school this past week?

I’ve seen others write pieces that include checklists of things that could allegedly solve the problem. I don’t provide such lists or answers here because frankly, I don’t know the answers. I do believe there are many components, and that the guns themselves are but one.

Despite what some on the far Left have stated, despite what a few emotional Parkland students blurted out this week, prayer is indeed an important component of what needs to be done. We do need to pray for the souls lost, for the ultimate recovery of the survivors, and for our nation as we wrestle with these issues.

We need to talk about the violence that we expose our children to at younger and younger ages in the “entertainment” media. We need to talk about the stability of the American family. We need to talk about mental health care. There are many other issues involved in seriously addressing this problem.

We desperately need to have the conversations. Our politicians need to have them, both among one another and with their constituents. Individuals need to have the conversations with one another, among families and friends.

Most importantly, we need to find a way to have these conversations civilly and realistically. If we cannot find a way to do that, then all that will happen in the end will be the usual nothing. If we continue to make this a partisan political issue on both sides, then nothing will change.



No matter what, there will be more school shootings in America as we move forward. There will be more shootings, period. There will be beatings, and stabbings, and explosions. That will be the case no matter what we do. 

But the idea of the necessary national conversation was expressed eloquently by Jody L. Modeira as published at The Hill:

“Our growing reluctance to talk about firearms and firearm violence doesn’t respect the Second Amendment; it turns it into a club used to bully others into silence and submission. This is the opposite of what the Second Amendment is intended to be — the constitutional provision that, as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia put it in District of Columbia v. Heller, has “protected the rights of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.”

We need to talk. We must be able to find a way to make the Parkland’s, the Columbine’s, and the Sandy Hook’s more difficult, and even more rare than they are already. About that, there should be no debate. 

Let’s talk. Not shout one another down. Let’s open our ears, minds, and hearts. Let’s not be afraid to start the conversation. As with most things, we may not end up with everything we want. But together for once, let’s come up with some answers.