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Briefings  from our SCOPE membership

  • 04/26/2023 8:19 PM | Anonymous

    Polls, Studies and Other Lies  by Tom Reynolds

    We are constantly barraged with the results of polls and scientific studies on guns, climate, presidential approval ratings, etc.  It’s fun to look at some of those studies which raised angst in past years and remember them the next time you see a headline blasting out predictions of doom.

    The Competitive Enterprise Institute Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions - Competitive Enterprise Institute ( compiled the past Climate Change predictions (1 to 27).   The rest of the predictions include the links to the scientific studies and media reports on which they are based. 

    1.     1967: Dire Famine Forecast By 1975

    2.     1969: Everyone Will Disappear In a Cloud Of Blue Steam By 1989 

    3.     1970: Ice Age By 2000

    4.     1970: America Subject to Water Rationing By1974; Food Rationing By 1980 

    5.     1971: New Ice Age Coming By 2020 or 2030

    6.     1972: New Ice Age By 2070

    7.     1974: Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast

    8.     1974: Another Ice Age?

    9.     1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life

    10.  1976: Scientific Consensus Planet Cooling, Famines imminent

    11.  1980: Acid Rain Kills Life In Lakes

    12.  1978: No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend

    13.  1988: Regional Droughts (that never happened) in 1990s

    14.  1988: Temperatures in DC Will Hit Record Highs

    15.  1988: Maldive Islands will Be Underwater by 2018 (NOPE)

    16.  1989: Rising Sea Levels will Obliterate Nations if Nothing Done by 2000

    17.  1989: New York City’s West Side Highway Underwater by 2019

    18.  2000: Children Won’t Know what Snow Is

    19.  2002: Famine In 10 Years If We Don’t Give Up Eating Fish, Meat & Dairy

    20.  2004: Britain will Be Siberia by 2024

    21.  2008: Arctic will Be Ice Free by 2018

    22.  2008: Climate Genius Al Gore Predicts Ice-Free Arctic by 2013

    23.  2009: Climate Genius Prince Charles Says we Have 96 Months to Save World

    24.  2009: UK Prime Minister Says 50 Days to ‘Save The Planet From Catastrophe’

    25.  2009: Climate Genius Al Gore Moves 2013 Prediction of Ice-Free Arctic to 2014

    26.  2013: Arctic Ice-Free by 2015

    27.  2014: Only 500 Days Before ‘Climate Chaos’


    ·       1968: Overpopulation Will Spread Worldwide

    ·       1970: World Will Use Up All its Natural Resources

    ·       1966: Oil Gone in Ten Years

    ·       1972: Oil Depleted in 20 Years

    ·       1977: Department of Energy Says Oil will Peak in 90s

    ·       1980: Peak Oil In 2000

    ·       1996: Peak Oil in 2020

    ·       2002: Peak Oil in 2010

    ·       2006: Super Hurricanes!

    ·       2005 : Manhattan Underwater by 2015

    ·       1970: Urban Citizens Will Require Gas Masks by 1985

    ·       1970: Nitrogen buildup Will Make All Land Unusable

    ·       1970: Decaying Pollution Will Kill all the Fish

    ·       1970s: Killer Bees!

    ·       1975: The Cooling World and a Drastic Decline in Food Production

    ·       1969: Worldwide Plague, Overwhelming Pollution, Ecological Catastrophe, virtual Collapse of UK by End of 20th Century

    ·       1972: Pending Depletion and Shortages of Gold, Tin, Oil, Natural Gas, Copper, Aluminum

    ·       1970: Oceans Dead in a Decade, US Water Rationing by 1974, Food Rationing by 1980

    ·       1988: World’s Leading Climate Expert Predicts Lower Manhattan Underwater by 2018

    ·       2005: Fifty Million Climate Refugees by the Year 2020

    ·       2000: Snowfalls Are Now a Thing of the Past

    ·       2011: Washington Post Predicted Cherry Blossoms Blooming in Winter

  • 04/24/2023 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    Lawsuits Everywhere  by Tom Reynolds

    The Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) and other acts* have generated a large number of lawsuits against Governor Hochul’s attempts to do away with 2nd Amendment protected rights.  Here are some of them, with a short description.  (There are probably more but with new ones keep popping up it is hard to keep track.)

    Five cases for a Restraining Order stopping enforcement of CCIA were heard in tandem at the Second Circuit on March 20th.  No decision yet on them.

    • Antonyuk II v. Nigrelli, challenges CCIA on almost everything on 2nd & 1st Amendments issues
    • Christian v Nigrelli, challenges CCIA rules about Concealed Carry on private property (NY Penal Law 265.01-d)
    • Gazzola v. Hochul, challenges a multitude of CCIA’s Federal Firearms Licensee rules
      Certiorari hearing to move case directly to SCOTUS heard on April 21st 2023 and decision scheduled on April 24th 2023
    • Hardaway v. Nigrelli, challenges CCIA’s rules about Concealed Carry in houses of worship as a 2nd Amendment violation
      Hardaway speaking at Niagara County SAFE meeting on May 9th at Newfane Community Center.
    • Spencer v. Nigrelli, challenges CCIA’s rules about Concealed Carry in houses of worship as a 1st Amendment violation

    Other lawsuits challenging CCIA rules about Concealed Carry in houses of worship (NY Penal Law 265.01-e)

    • Bleuer v. Nigrelli, challenges rules against Concealed Carry in houses of worship.
    • Goldstein v. Nigrelli, challenges rules against Concealed Carry in houses of worship.
    • New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom + Numerous Churches vNigrelli, challenges rules against Concealed Carry in houses of worship.

    Lawsuits challenging long times to get licenses

    • Meissner v NYC, challenges the NY Law 400-00 (4-b) which says the licensing officers can take 6 months to process licenses.
    • Giambalvo v Suffolk County, challenges as unconstitutional the 2-3 years Suffolk County estimates it will take to process licenses.

    Other lawsuits

    • NYSRPA II v. Nigrelli, challenges multiple parts of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act.
      This is a follow up to the successful NYSRPA v Bruen case which sent Hochul into a frenzy of unconstitutional legislation.

    Four (4) Bills, signed into law between May 30, 2022 and July 1, 2022, as follows:

    • Bill S.9407-B – signed May 30, 2022 (eff. June 30, 2022);
    • Bill S.9458 – signed May 30, 2022 (eff. August 30, 2022);
    • Bill S.4970-A – signed June 6, 2022 (eff., generally, June 30, 2022); and,
    • Bill 51001 – signed July 1, 2022 (eff., generally, September 1, 2022)
  • 04/22/2023 8:00 PM | Anonymous

    A Concurrence Worth Read  by Tom Reynolds

    Yesterday, we wrote about the 5th Circuit’s decision on Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and the pressures on judges to grant those orders.  Today, we would like to deal with the 5th’s decision as it reflects the NYSRPA v Bruen decision, which reemphasized how important “Bruen” is to our 2nd Amendment rights. 

    Judge James C. Ho wrote in his concurrence:

    “The right to keep and bear arms has long been recognized as a fundamental civil right.  Blackstone saw it as essential to ‘the natural right’ of Englishmen to ‘self-preservation and defence.’” 

    “But the Second Amendment has too often been denigrated as “a second-class right”.  In response, the Supreme Court has called on judges to be more faithful guardians of the text and original meaning of the Second Amendment.  Our court today dutifully follows the framework recently set forth in N.Y. State Rifle. It recognizes the absence of relevant historical analogues required to support the Government’s position in this case. I am pleased to concur.”  (Emphasis added.)

    In addition, Judge Ho’s concurrence takes a shot at recent changes in bail laws that leaves dangerous criminals free to roam the streets.  Judge Ho’s concurrence is worth reading by all who would protect the 2nd Amendment and also by those that believe the recent bail law changes have abandoned the idea of protecting innocent citizens.  It is quoted below, without the footnotes and legal references:

    “I write separately to point out that our Founders firmly believed in the fundamental role of government in protecting citizens against violence, as well as the individual right to keep and bear arms—and that these two principles are not inconsistent but entirely compatible with one another.”

    “Our Founders understood that those who commit or threaten violence against innocent law-abiding citizens may be arrested, convicted, and incarcerated. They knew that arrest and incarceration naturally entails the loss of a wide range of liberties—including the loss of access to arms.”

    So, when the government detains—and thereby disarms—a member of our community, it must do so consistent with the fundamental protections that our Constitution affords to those accused of a crime. For example, the government may detain dangerous criminals, not just after conviction, but also before trial. Pre-trial detention is expressly contemplated by the Excessive Bail Clause and the Speedy Trial Clause. And it no doubt plays a significant role in protecting innocent citizens against violence.”

    “Our laws also contemplate the incarceration of those who criminally threaten, but have not (yet) committed, violence. After all, to the victim, such actions are not only life-threatening—they’re life-altering. “

    “In sum, our Founders envisioned a nation in which both citizen and sovereign alike play important roles in protecting the innocent against violent criminals. Our decision today is consistent with that vision. I concur.”


    By an interesting coincidence, this hit yesterday’s (Thursday’s) news, the same day we sent our e mail about Restraining Orders.

    Katie Porter – an anti gun California Democrat Congresswoman - is a possible replacement if Diane Feinstein caves to pressure and resigns.

    On April 13th, Fox News reported that her ex-husband: “said he does ‘not recant’ his domestic abuse allegations against the congresswoman after her campaign said that he did.  The allegations against Porter include claims that she dumped hot potatoes on her then-husband’s head and smashed a glass that led to him being cut by flying shards. Porter has separately faced accusations of running a toxic, emotionally abusive workplace by former staffers.”

    According to divorce documents received by Fox News Digital, Porter and her ex-husband, Matt Hoffman, both filed domestic violence restraining orders against each other after an April 2013 altercation at the home they shared while legally separated.

    It’s not known if porter had a gun but many California Democrats (and especially Governor Gavin Newsome) practice do as I say and not as I do.

  • 04/20/2023 9:33 PM | Anonymous

    Guns and Restraining Orders  by Tom Reynolds

    We all want to stop violent people from injuring or killing others.  But this often involves legal action against a person before they have committed a crime and may infringe on constitutionally protected rights (most often the 2nd Amendment).  We recognize that these are serious issues and we want to solve them in a way that is constitutional.  But instead of focusing on solving the issue, the Left uses these situations as an opportunity to take away more of our rights. Red Flag Laws are usually a good example of leftist overreach but another recent court opinion focused on ‘Restraining Orders’.

    Three decades ago, Congress enacted a law prohibiting gun possession by people who are subject to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders. On its surface, that seems reasonable.  But as the legal battle over that rule shows, the reality is that judges often issue such orders without any credible evidence that the respondent poses a danger.

    Following that reasoning, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals said that those under Domestic Violence Restraining Orders do not lose their Second Amendment right to bear arms.  It said the federal law barring those alleged abusers from possessing guns is unconstitutional.  (The Biden Administration is appealing the decision to the Supreme Court.)

    Most people’s first reaction is that we want to keep weapons out of dangerous people’s hands and leftist web sites immediately saw a propaganda opportunity when they posted headlines such as, “Domestic Abusers Can Now Own Guns Too.” 

    Getting past our initial emotional rection - and as with most things the Left propagandizes - there is much more to it than an inflammatory headline.  Although the 5th Circuit Court’s opinion was based on the Supreme Court’s ‘Bruen’ decision that gun control laws must be consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation”, the 5th Circuit also brought up other important issues.

    Judge James Ho notes in a concurring opinion, "Family court judges may face enormous pressure to grant civil protective orders—and no incentive to deny them."

    What is he referring to?

    Domestic Violence Restraining Orders have a history of being easily abused.  Who says so?  Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Women's Bar Association, who put it this way: “It is not surprising that restraining orders are granted to virtually all who apply,"  

    Where does this pressure to grant restraining Orders come from?

    Even when there is a minimal possibility that someone might assault a spouse or other "intimate partner," when combined with the negative publicity and career consequences that assault might cause the judge, this tends to overshadow the risk of infringing on a constitutionally protected right.  The 2nd Amendment reverts to a 2nd class right.

    Judge Ho further says that Restraining Orders are "a tempting target for abuse…they can help parties in divorce cases obtain favorable rulings on ‘critical issues."

    Family and matrimonial attorney Liz Mandarano agreed: “Because they are incredibly easy to obtain, orders of protection are misused." Mandarano cited studies suggesting that unfounded abuse allegations are common, accounting for most protective orders in some jurisdictions.

    Harvard law professor Jeannie Suk notes that "many divorce lawyers routinely recommend pursuit of civil protection orders for clients in divorce proceedings…as a tactical leverage device."

    Judge Cory Wilson notes in the 5th Circuit decision, is that people can lose their Second Amendment rights even if they have no history of violence, based on nothing more than “a domestic restraining order that contains boilerplate language.

    That outcome, Judge Ho says, "may be especially perverse considering the common practice of 'mutual' protective orders": A judge "may see no downside in forbidding both parties from harming one another," including the victim of domestic abuse as well as the perpetrator. In such cases, Ho writes, the law "effectively disarms victims of domestic violence," potentially putting them "in greater danger than before."

    It is imperative that this issue be addressed in order to protect people and protect their constitutional rights.  But that solution would interfere with the Left’s intention of doing away with the 2nd Amendment, so ‘bipartisanship’ is unlikely. This uncaringly puts people in harm’s way in order to achieve one of the Left’s goals.

  • 04/17/2023 12:22 PM | Anonymous

    Does My Vote Really Count?  by Joe Atkinson

    In simple terms, YES!

    There are an estimated 5 million gun owners in NYS and we estimate only 1.3 million of us voted. (3.7 million did not vote.)  Just think what the outcome would’ve been if we all voted our rights to own a firearm. Zeldin lost by about 378,000 votes.

    In more complicated terms, there are major problems with the election system in New York State.

    New York Citizens Audit (NYCA) sent Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests to the New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE) and the 62 county boards of election in NY state asking for voter and election records from 2020.  They received a complete record from the NYSBOE and 7 counties but 42 counties only gave them part of what they asked for.  The remainder did not respond at all.

    There are 3 basic tenets of an election:

    1)    Voter rolls must be accurate.

    2)    Votes counted must be from qualified voters.
    3)    The number of votes must equal the number of voters.

    • No residential address in the registration data.
    • Votes recorded before the registration date.  That is, they voted before they were registered.  Is it a clerical error, or database manipulation? All we know is that these voters are ineligible because of the NYS Election Laws.
    • Votes recorded after the purge date; they voted after their registration was purged. 
    • Voter records purged with no purge date.  If there’s no purge date, votes can be created using a voter’s ID and we don’t know if they were created before or after they were purged. It leaves a huge window for fraud.
    • Voters who voted before their date of birth shows them to be 18 years old.
    • Voters who registered after the registration cut-off date but still voted.

    When processing the data from the NYSBOE, the NY Citizens Audit researchers found the following anomalies:

    Under NYS Election Law each registrant is only supposed to have one NYS Voter ID number. 2,427,827 New York State Voter ID numbers were attached to 1,170,790 registrants. That means there are 1,257,037 excess voter ID numbers in the system. We call these people “Clones”.

    “Clones” are single person registrants with multiple New York State Voter ID numbers. They have the same First and Last Name and Date of Birth. These persons probably don’t know that they have multiple numbers. Somewhere between the County Boards of Election and the NYS Board of Elections, these multiple state voter ID numbers are created.     

    Between 1900 to 2021 a total of 987,490 voters registered on January 1st, which is a Federal Holiday and government offices are closed.

    1.9 million more registrations on the state voter rolls than on the county voter rolls. 

    625,359 more registrations than voting-age citizens in just 6 counties.

    740,396 ineligible votes statewide in 2020

    338,356 more votes cast than voters who voted in 2020. (Combined Federal and all 50 states)

    195,271 votes cast in New York City by voters who were not in the ‘NYSVoter’ database in Albany. This means that these votes show up in the New York City voter records, but do not show up in the NYSVoter database in Albany.

    Some of these clones have voted!  Some may have, without knowing it, double voted.  How could it happen?  Somewhere between the County Boards of Election and the NYS Board of Elections, these multiple votes are created in the system.

    In my county there are 735 clones and 16 have voted. The worst case is a clone that double voted 8 times between 2010 and 2020. (Someone else used their number to vote or created the votes by hacking the database.)

    No one is immune!  7% of our NYS Assemblyman are clones. It doesn’t matter what party they’re in.  The worst case I know of is an assemblyperson who is high ranking in their party and has 4 numbers; 2 registered in their party and 2 registered in another party.

    There are other reasons that voters can be ineligible to vote based on their registrations:

    Does my vote count?  The complicated answer to the question is still YES. But there are issues in the system that dilute the value of our votes. Until these and other issues are fixed, it is imperative on each one of us to make sure that we all vote to help overcome the dilution of the value of each individual’s vote.

    As a lawful gun owner, I’m scared to see that my right to self-defense is being eroded away by an election system that can be easily rigged because my vote’s value is diluted by ineligible votes being cast in opposition to my own vote.

    Note: I am a strike team leader for New York Citizens Audit in Chemung County along with being a member of SCOPE. New York Citizens Audit is an all-volunteer grassroots organization whose mission is to fight for honest and provable elections. Our goal is to have an end-to-end audit of the entire election system conducted by a bonded and insured independent auditor. If you would like either a summary of our findings or a more detailed report called “New York’s 2020 General Election: A Study in Deficits”, I can be reached at Or you can go to our website at Recordings of our presentations can be seen on Rumble. Type “New York Citizens Audit News” in the search box.

  • 04/14/2023 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    You might be a hoplophobe …  by Dr Robert Young

    [Editor’s Note: Dr. Young recently collaborated on this piece on hoplophobia and its effects.  The article was first published as “What Gun-Haters Feel” at the Slow Facts blog by Rob Morse, who also co-hosts The Polite Society Podcast. It is edited for publication here with permission.] 

    I don’t like horror movies.  There is nothing attractive about sitting and waiting for the monster to jump out of the dark screen at me, even though the fear is irrational.  Hoplophobes are people who have an irrational fear of firearms.  What is it like for them as they wait for their monster to attack, and can they be helped?

    …if you have an irrational fear of inanimate objects

    People with irrational fears of guns express those fears in several ways.  They may experience guns as having lives of their own.  They think a gun will jump off the dark shelf and attack on its own.

    These exaggerations can seem funny to gun owners.  Many of us take our friends shooting.  We start them with low powered .22 rimfire weapons.  These come in every size from child to adult.  If they want more, there are mid-power firearm such as the .223.  Originally designed to shoot small pests, this rifle throws a light bullet with little recoil.  It can fit most adults when outfitted with an adjustable stock and comb.

    Perhaps you caught on: we’ve just described the dreaded “assault rifle”.. as well as dozens of other firearms we’ve had for a hundred years.  The hoplophobe sees them as death-dealing murder machines, though it remains a “girl’s gun” to many of us.  Unfortunately, hoplophobia doesn’t end there.   

    …if you displace your anxieties onto others in order to feel better

    Hoplophobes empower firearms in other ways.  They invest these inanimate objects with the power to cloud men’s minds.  They believe that guns sing an irresistible siren song that can seduce healthy people to unimaginable violence.  They attribute evil intent more to guns than to those who wield them.  Projecting this kind of influence onto guns may actually demonstrate the gun-hater’s fear of his neighbors.  Such fear can be an oblique confession of the gun-haters’ own lack of self-control.  They are displacing their own anxieties onto others in order to feel better about themselves.

    …if your irrational attitude towards guns prevents you from addressing them logically

    Condemnation plays an important part in their battle against irrational fear.  The more strongly they exaggerate the power of firearms, the more energetic their attacks against gun and gun owners, the less they feel controlled by their fear.  They empower the monster in order to vanquish it.  That sounds irrational to most of us, but hoplophobes can’t address firearms logically because of the overwhelming irrationality of their relationship to these devices of plastic and metal.

    …if you proclaim your feelings about guns as loudly as possible

    Many hoplophobes are unusually loud in their condemnation of guns and gun owners.  Compare that to other fears we experience.  We don’t hear people who are afraid of dogs or spiders condemn those animals with the vehemence that hoplophobes show for guns and gun owners.

    Wealthy gun-phobics have spent scores of millions of dollars on their attacks.  There may be method to their madness, some purpose to their high-pitched volume.  What if these professional gun-haters are not afraid of guns at all?  Professional actors are not afraid of monsters when they are off screen.  The fear that movie actors portray in front of a camera is simply part of a role they play.

    What if the professional gun-haters are more like actors playing to elicit our fears of guns and violence?  They want us feel the emotions they portray in front of the news cameras.  They want us to join in their tribal chant to slay the evil gun monster.  This may also help explain why so many paid gun-haters have armed security guards protecting them where they live and work.

    …if you have difficulty facing the idea of violence and injury

    There is a more sympathetic way to understand avoidance of firearms.  All guns are potentially lethal.  As I explained to a young nurse who had just taken her first shots, all guns can kill, some more surely than others.   Do you remember the videos they showed about car crashes in driver’s education class?  Not fun.  Imagining the use of lethal force is not attractive for most of us.  Our respect for life is a good thing that we shouldn’t want to lose.  This reluctance to look at human injury and death has important implications, both good and bad.

    Most of us will never be violent towards another person.  Unfortunately, we can carry that innocence too far.  Some may be unable to respond aggressively even when that would be the only healthy response.  They may reject the tools that would be needed so that they needn’t ever face their inadequacy.

    …if you project your aversion to violence onto those who have to make split-second decisions

    It takes great emotional maturity to observe violence, injury and death, especially when they result from hard choices that we or someone else had to make.    We may also find ourselves reluctant to honor a guardian who does stop an evil act by means of lethal force.  We may so need to imagine there can always be a perfect and peaceful outcome that we denigrate the guardian’s unavoidable decision.

    Emotional wisdom accepts that peaceful outcomes are not always possible.  A peaceful outcome might mean surrender, and sometimes the cost of surrender is too high.  We know we should only use force proportional to the risk.  We only use lethal force to protect human life.  We have to remember the people a guardian saved as well as those he could not or was forced to hurt.

    …if you claim your feelings supersede the autonomy and safety of others

    The professional media campaign against guns and gun owners makes some very bold claims.  Hoplophobes claim that their uneasiness around armed civilians is more important than the right of ordinary people to be able to protect themselves.  Their fear is supposedly more important than our lives, our families, and our communities.  These gun-phobes claim they know what is best for all of us.  The result is that they treat gun owners as ignorant, less than equal and not worthy of respect. That is degrading, and demands an unjust sacrifice from everyone else to placate their irrational fear.

    These fears need to be faced in ourselves and others.  Only then can we make healthy decisions and live safer, less fearful lives.


    Note: Dr. Young is one of the speakers at SCOPE’s Members’ Meeting on April 29th in Montour Falls.

  • 04/13/2023 11:58 AM | Anonymous

    How to murder a city  by Tom Reynolds

    Some quotes from the Chicago Sun Times (emphasis added):

    Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, a paid organizer for the Chicago Teachers Union, will become Chicago’s 57th mayor. 

    Former Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey…said the success of a CTU-backed candidate more than a decade after social justice-oriented leaders took control of the union is “profoundly gratifying.

    Sharkey said. I don’t think we have enough power.”

    CTU President Stacy Davis Gates took the stage ahead of Johnson to cheers and chants of “Stacy! Stacy!” Over the past decade, she has been one of the key figures in the union’s social justice fight…

    He (Johnson) owes his meteoric rise to the millions in contributions and thousands of campaign foot soldiers provided by the CTU and its affiliates, SEIU Locals 1 and 73, SEIU Heathcare, AFSCME Council 31 and United Working Families.

    That support in money and people allowed Johnson to rise above his greatest vulnerabilities: his past support for the concept of defunding the police; fears that his $800 million tax plan would be job-killer that would drive businesses out of Chicago; and (his opponent) Vallas’ complaint that Johnson has “never run anything” bigger than a classroom.

    Most of the United Working Families [and CTU] field army have both. They’re being paid. But they also believe in what they’re doing. They believe in ending capitalism and replacing it with socialism. They believe in defunding the police. They believe in closing the jails. It’s the way they want to reshape society.

    It was, as political strategist David Axelrod put it, the “candidate of the Chicago Teachers Union” vs. the “Fraternal Order of Police,” with Chicago’s future political direction in the balance.

    The cornerstone of Johnson’s anti-violence strategy is the $800 million in new or increased taxes he wants to impose to help bankroll $1 billion in new spending on public schools, public transportation, new housing, health care, mental health and job creation. (Johnson’s opponent) Vallas has called Johnson’s plan a job-killer that will drive businesses and residents out of Chicago.

    Can you imagine what is in store for Chicago?  Apparently, Walmart can.

    From Tuesday’s Breitbart:

    Walmart is closing four of its remaining eight stores in the imploding, Democrat-run city of Chicago.

    The simplest explanation is that collectively our Chicago stores have not been profitable since we opened the first one nearly 17 years ago,” a Tuesday Walmart statement said. “These stores lose tens of millions of dollars a year, and their annual losses nearly doubled in just the last five years.”

    The problem is that shoplifting has been all but decriminalized, and these retailers are losing, as you read above, tens of millions of dollars.

    Lawlessness is running amok in the Democrat-run cities, and no one can stay in business under those conditions.

    Why would anyone want to join the Chicago Police Department under this future?

    Remember how well it went when a former paid organizer got elected President of the United States?

    U-Haul rentals taking people out of Chicago will become the only business growing under Johnson’s mayorship.

  • 04/05/2023 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    Assault Weapons Ban from 1994 to 2004  by Tom Reynolds

    The Assault Weapons Ban from 1994 to 2004 is described by Joe Biden as effective while others refer to as not effective.  Here are portions of the report for you to judge for yourself.    

    The Department of Justice funded a study by Christopher S. Kopher titled: ‘Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003’.  It was published in 2004.

    The following description comes directly from the report:

    Enacted on September 13, 1994, Title XI, Subtitle A of the ‘Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994’ imposed a 10-year ban on the “manufacture, transfer, and possession” of certain semiautomatic firearms designated as assault weapons (AWs). The AW ban is not a prohibition on all semiautomatics. Rather, it is directed at semiautomatics having features that appear useful in military and criminal applications but unnecessary in shooting sports or self-defense.

    The ban was based on cosmetic features.                                                                                                            Per the report (emphasis added):  The gun ban provision targets a relatively small number of weapons based on outward features or accessories that have little to do with the weapons’ operation.

    The report uses the term Assault Weapon and Semi-Automatic Weapon interchangeably.  Many people are confused by the use of the term ‘Assault Weapon’ and identify that term with an ‘automatic’ weapon (machine gun).  That confusion is encouraged by the Left as it helps create an untrue paradigm that benefits their anti-2nd Amendment biases. 

    The ban and the report also used the term ‘silencer’ instead of its correct term ‘suppressor’.  The Hollywood image that a ‘suppressor’ is almost soundless is so far from reality as to be laughable, but that image contributes to public misunderstanding of its true nature

    The ban covered 3 types of Assault Weapons (all semi-automatics).  This description is taken directly from the report:   

    Weapon Category Military-Style Features (Two or more qualify a firearm as an assault weapon)

    Semiautomatic pistols accepting detachable magazines:

    1) ammunition magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip

    2) threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash hider, forward handgrip, or silencer

    3) heat shroud attached to or encircling the barrel

    4) weight of more than 50 ounces unloaded

    5) semiautomatic version of a fully automatic weapon

    Semiautomatic rifles accepting detachable magazines:

    1) folding or telescoping stock

    2) pistol grip that protrudes beneath the firing action

    3) bayonet mount 4) flash hider or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one

    5) grenade launcher

    Semiautomatic shotguns:

    1) folding or telescoping stock

    2) pistol grip that protrudes beneath the firing action

    3) fixed magazine capacity over 5 rounds 4) ability to accept a detachable ammunition magazine

    In general, the AW ban does not apply to semiautomatics possessing no more than one military-style feature.

    The ban contained important exemptions.                                                                                                        AWs manufactured before the effective date of the ban were “grandfathered” and thus legal to own and transfer.

    ‘Assault Weapons’ are rarely used in crimes.                                                                                                Per the report (emphasis added): Assault Weapons (AWs) were used in only a small fraction of gun crimes prior to the ban: about 2% according to most studies and no more than 8%. Most of the AWs used in crime are assault pistols rather than assault rifles

    AWs and other guns equipped with Large Capacity Magazines (LCMs) tend to account for a higher share of guns used in murders of police and mass public shootings, though such incidents are very rare.

    Even the highest estimates, which correspond to particularly rare events such mass murders and police murders, are no higher than 13%. Note also that the majority of AWs used in crime are assault pistols (APs) rather than assault rifles (ARs).

    Why are ‘assault weapons’ rarely used in crimes.                                                                                        Per the reportThe relative rarity of AW use in crime can be attributed to a number of factors. Many AWs are long guns, which are used in crime much less often than handguns…Also, AWs are more expensive…and more difficult to conceal than the types of handguns that are used most frequently in crime.

    The Ban’s Success in Reducing Criminal Use of the Banned Guns and Magazines Has Been Mixed. 

    During the period studied, there was a decline in handguns used in crimes but an insignificant change in the use of the ‘infamous’ Assault Rifle.   This was shown by the results of the study (emphasis added):

    The decline in the use of AWs has been due primarily to a reduction in the use of assault pistols (APs), which are used in crime more commonly than assault rifles (ARs). There has not been a clear decline in the use of ARs, though assessments are complicated by the rarity of crimes with these weapons and by substitution of post-ban rifles that are very similar to the banned AR models.

    Predictions are tenuous .

    Per the report (emphasis added):  Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. AWs were rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.

    The study takes a shot (pun intended) at the exaggeration of other studies: Further the figures reported in some studies prompt concerns about exaggeration of AW ownership (perhaps linked to publicity over the AW issue during the early 1990s when a number of these studies were conducted), particularly among juvenile offenders, who have reported ownership levels as high as 35% just for ARs (Sheley and Wright, 1993a)

    Even so, most survey evidence on the actual use of AWs suggests that offenders rarely use AWs in crime.

    By most estimates, AWs were used in less than 6% of gun crimes even before the ban. Some may have perceived their use to be more widespread, however, due to the use of AWs in particularly rare and highly publicized crimes such as mass shootings (and, to a lesser extent, murders of police).

    One final thought--  While Biden and Hochul want to ban ‘Assault Weapons’, the following statistics come from a recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll:

    31 percent of adults report owning guns.

    Of those, the poll found that 20 percent own an AR-15 rifle. 

    Taken together, the polls find that 6 percent of Americans own an AR-15, about 1 in 20…The data suggests that with a U.S. population of 260.8 million adults, about 16 million Americans own an AR-15.

    The National Shooting Sports Foundation has previously estimated that there are over 24.4 million AR-15s and similar rifles—known as “modern sporting rifles”—in civilian hands as of 2022. 

    So, somewhere between 16 and 24 million Americans own an AR 15 rifle.  That qualifies as ‘in common use’.  But Biden and Hochul want to ban them.

  • 04/04/2023 9:03 PM | Anonymous

    History Lessons from Our Founders  by Tom Reynolds

    The founding fathers understood politics, human nature and, most of all, political human nature.  (In addition to being patriots, most of them were also politicians, so they had the inside story.)  They also read lots of history and were familiar with the tactics of tyrants.  This led them to fear a big powerful government that could be used to oppress its citizens.  In order to prevent the United States from following in the footsteps of many failed states that had become dictatorships, they designed a constitution that limited the powers of the federal government to only those specified in the U S Constitution.  (Amendment X.) 

    But that wasn’t enough since tyrants would probably ignore the Constitution and use the enormous powers of the government to consolidate their power, to the detriment of U S citizens.  So, within the Constitution, they devised a system of ‘checks and balances.’  The three branches of government have separate constitutional powers intended to stop any ’runaway’ branch.  It was assumed that each branch would jealously protect their powers and by default protect the citizens of the U S A. 

    With the specific goal of further protecting citizens from their government, the founders split power between state and national governments.  Certain powers are the domain of the federal government, others are specifically reserved to the state governments and some they share.  But the federal government is supreme when there is a conflict.  (Article VI of the Constitution.)

    Then, to clear up any confusion whether federal constitutionally protected rights also applied to states, Amendment XIV was passed, extending federally protected rights to the state level.

    The United States Constitution is based on protecting all citizens from being persecuted by the government.  This has been recently reinforced by the Democrats, though not their intention, when chanting in unison, “no one is above the law”; which means everyone should be treated equally under the law.  We heartily agree.

    U S citizens could rest easy for over 230 years, knowing the Constitution protected them from their federal government.  Not perfectly, but pretty well.  But some things happened and we are now faced with a crisis; the government’s powers are being used to crush those who oppose it. 

    How did this happen under a constitution meant to stop it?

    For exactly the last 90 years, a fourth branch of government has been growing as states gave up their powers in order to belly up to the federal financial trough.  (That the federal government had to print money to fill up that trough is another story for another day.)  This led to that fourth branch of government to which Congress ceded ever-increasing power.  The ‘Swamp’ makes rules and decides who gets the money and how it is distributed.  (The Golden Rule: whoever has the gold makes the rules.

    With the growth of federal power, checks and balances were being lost.  The jealously with which each branch protected its own powers became less of an issue since even the minority party now had tremendous perks, privileges and pay.  Big government is good for those in big government.  The minority party publicly opposed the majority party, even if their hearts were not in it.  (In fairness, some people’s hearts were in it, but not the leadership.)

    Then, one party gained control of two of the three branches at the federal level and all three branches at the New York State level.  No checks and balances in NY State and only the Supreme Court in D C, prior to the last election. 

    That majority party centers around the socialist concept of equity. (Socialism’s unspoken reality is that equity means all people - except the politically connected – end up equally poor). 

    What also goes unspoken is that Socialism requires a central government not constrained by the U S Constitution.  (This effort to do away with ‘checks and balances’ was aided by a U. S. Supreme Court decision called ‘One Man One Vote’; but that too is another story for another day.) 

    Socialism requires its citizens to be quiet and not spread ‘misinformation’ about Socialism, which runs afoul of the 1st Amendment.

    Since they will be doing things that might get them shot, Socialism also requires that citizens be disarmed, which runs afoul of the 2nd Amendment.

    Now you have a short history lesson in why Socialism and the Constitution are not compatible.

    Why this history review?

    The first three issues put the United States on a rapid march to Socialism, sponsored and protected by the Democrat Party, until a fourth event happened; Donald Trump was elected president.  Trump dared call the Swamp the Swamp and put the brakes on the 90 year long march to Socialism.  He believed in his oath to, “preserve protect and defend the Constitution”.  This made him, in the eyes of the Left, the most dangerous man in the country and he and any followers had to be more than stopped, they had to be destroyed.  The Left’s message is that if you opposed them, you will be crushed, without mercy, and not even a billionaire ex-president, is beyond their reach.

    In the United States, the government is supposed to investigate the crime and if that leads to a man (or woman) so be it. 

    Lavrentiy Beria, the most ruthless and longest-serving secret police chief in Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror, bragged that he could prove criminal conduct on anyone, even the innocent.  “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” was Beria’s infamous boast.     

    On March 31st, Newsweek reported, “Bragg…explicitly campaigned for office on a promise to ‘get Trump.’”  It sounds like Beria would be proud of Bragg.   

    On July 5, 2021, the Intelligencer reported that Bragg…campaigned on a platform of criminal-justice reform, saying he would not prosecute most minor offenses and misdemeanors.  It was obvious that anyone named Trump was the exception to Bragg’s promise not to prosecute minor offenses. 

    Newsweek further reported, “And it is hard to ignore the sordid fact that under his watch, New York City's crime rate skyrocketed by 22% last year, even as Bragg's office downplayed prosecution of violent crimes.”

    So, while Bragg fiddled with Trump, Manhattan burned.

    If someone commits a crime, they should be punished.  But twisting “minor offenses” into a low-level felony in order to punish a political opponent is not what the U S criminal justice system is about and it is not what America is about.  We don’t do political prosecutions, except in deep blue states where there is no down side to ignoring the Constitution. 

    In addition, the election laws are federal laws and both the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Department of Justice have investigated and found no offense.  I might add, both are populated by denizens of the Swamp so their findings are particularly damning to Bragg.  Not that he cares.

    There is another change, the U S government does not have a liberal Left majority any more.  Congress needs to aggressively step in and put Bragg and his office under a microscope for judicial misconduct and selective prosecution.  That won’t happen in corrupt-to-the-ears Manhattan, although it should.  Let the Left know that “checks and balances” are back.

    Will the average non-involved non-voting citizen and gun owner finally get the message that a leftist government isn’t going to leave them alone?  They could be next after just the slightest slip.  If so, perhaps some good will come out of a disgraceful situation.

  • 04/03/2023 4:12 PM | Anonymous

    Trump Indictment  by Tom Reynolds

    The Left is so worried by Donald Trump and those that support him that they twice impeached him.  The purpose of impeachment is to remove a person from office, but the second impeachment came after Trump left office and was so extreme that even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court refused to participate. Now, the Left are so afraid that Trump will run and win in 2024 that the Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg has trumped up criminal charges against him.

    Just as important to the left, they do not want anyone to forget that if you oppose the Left, you will be punished and no one, even a billionaire ex-president is beyond their reach.  This has been a highly visible effort over the past few years: General Michael Flynn, George Papadapoulos, Carter Page, Paul Manafort and others were all subject to politically motivated investigations designed to punish and bankrupt them for working for Trump.  If the Left can go after a billionaire ex-president, even if not successful, what chance will an ordinary citizen have?  That’s the lesson the Left wants learned by all who oppose them.

    As Trump has said before, they are really going after us and he is standing in the way. How many of us would have the money to defend ourself against the federal government with its unlimited funding?  This must be stopped, now.

    In the Left’s latest effort, Donald Trump has been indicted by a NY City D A and is scheduled to be arrested on Tuesday.  What he is charged with has not been released but there are numerous leaks from Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg’s office (in spite of it being illegal to leak Grand Jury actions).

    Whether or not you like Trump, based on what we know:

    There is no there, there.

    One of the ‘crimes’ involves a payment to a woman (or women) not to disclose an affair with Trump.  The payment was not made with campaign funds but the Left claims it was a crime not to be reported as a campaign contribution. 

    Personal payments for what would normally be personal expenses are not usually reportable as campaign contributions, even if they might help the campaign.  For example: if immediately before a campaign event, Kamala Harris gets her hair done and in the unlikely event she pays for it herself, it would not be a campaign contribution since getting her hair done is a normal (dare I antagonize the gender police by saying) female activity. 

    Campaign related reporting issues are usually remedied without a lawsuit - unless you are Donald Trump.

    But here is the real killer: both the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Department of Justice reviewed the situation and both declined to pursue what is a federal issue, not a state issue.  D A Bragg is not a federal official.  Not only is this case weak but the D A not having standing on a federal issue is a basis for appeals that will probably be heard before any trial.   

    Through some as yet unknown legal gymnastics, Bragg is trying to twist this into a state case.

    Trump’s alleged payments are alleged to have been classified under legal fees on business records.  In this case, it’s arguable, that legal fees are a legitimate interpretation of the tax law and the normal – nonpolitical – remedy is to reclassify it and pay any resulting taxes.

    A second issue that might be raised by Bragg, that has arisen in the past, is Trump misstating his worth on loan applications.  But no lenders had come forward to join Bragg.  Probably because the lenders do their own evaluations of Trump’s assets and do not rely on his statements, correct or not.  (Remember when you got a mortgage on your house, the bank did its own appraisal.  And you were borrowing a lot less money than Trump.)

    It's reported that Trump will be charged with 30 crimes.  This is known in non-legal circles as throwing everything against the wall and desperately hoping that something sticks.

    Using government resources to get at a political opponent.

    Bragg ran for office on the platform of getting Trump.

    Letitia James ran for NY Attorney General on the platform of getting the NRA.

    So much for justice being non-political.

    Government resources are not supposed to be used for political purposes.  Isn’t that ‘prosecutorial misconduct’?

    Since Trump is a legitimate candidate to run for President, doesn’t this qualify as election interference, which is a crime?  Remember all the noise about Russian interference with our elections?  Are Manhattan D A’s exempt from election laws?

    No one is above the law (except Democrats)

    The FBI Director Comey admitted that Hillary committed campaign finance crimes but he said that no prosecutor would prosecute them.  End of case.

    The Biden crime family, and especially Hunter, has been influence peddling for years but the FBI couldn’t find time to check out the computer-from-hell for two years.  A business partner of the Bidens has implicated the family in influence selling.  Nothing to see here. 

    What about Joe’s threat, when VP, to withhold funds from Ukraine unless it fired a prosecutor going after Hunter?  Trump was impeached for less.

    The Clinton Foundation would seem to be in violation of laws regarding foundations but never prosecuted.

    So, in worse cases, the legal system is silent.  Politics involved? Isn’t it selective prosecution / enforcement?

    Picking a jury

    How do you pick a jury in NY City that is not prejudiced?

     Presumably, anyone who voted for or against Trump will be disqualified and since the NY media is so anti-Trump, how will they get a juror without an existing attitude? They will need a jury of twelve homeless drunks that have spent the last 7 years in a stupor. 

     Even if they could find twelve jurors, seeking to convict a former president for marginal conduct may strike some potential jurors (even ones who dislike Trump personally) as a bridge too far.

    Gag Order

    Commentators are suggesting that the judge will impose a gag order.  A judge wants to prevent a presidential candidate from speaking about an issue that will affect his campaign!  Forget that pesky 1st Amendment when pursuing leftist goals!

    Since we know a lot about this case based on leaks of confidential Grand Jury sessions, which most likely came from the D A’s office, it seems as if the judge should do some investigating of the D A’s office for a crime.  Wouldn’t that be interesting!  Don’t hold your breath.

    Other efforts

    Knowing that this effort will probably fail, it is being reported that other government bodies are working on cases against Trump.  Some of the leftist media are saying that these other charges are stronger than Bragg’s charges.  That’s a low bar

    The New York judiciary

    Judges at the appeals level are nominated by the governor and approved by the state Senate.  Want to guess how many conservatives sit on the appeals court?

    The issue is, if Trump should lose at a prejudiced trial level, he might have to go through two levels of appeals in NY courts dominated by Cuomo and Hochul judges before he gets a fair hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court.  It could take years. 

    Would the Left like to see Trump tied up in lawsuits and distracted from running for President?  Does a bear…


    I’m sure constitutional scholars will be chiming in on this, but on the face of it, nothing in the Constitution prevents someone convicted of a crime for becoming President.  A President must be impeached to be removed. 

    Imagine the confusion and consternation if Trump continues to run – and wins – the presidency while all this, including appeals, is going on.

    There is a Supreme Court decision on Representative Adam Clayton Powell that may serve as a precedent.

    Whether or not you like Trump, this is a major step toward totalitarianism and must be opposed.  If ever there was a reason for people to stand up to government overreach and its meddling in our elections, this is it.  We the people elect our representatives and the Left should not be allowed to trash this Right along with their efforts to trash our 2nd and 1st Amendment rights.  Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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