SCOPE NY

Briefings  from SCOPE President, Tom Reynolds

  • 09/21/2021 4:52 PM | Anonymous

    On Killing Remotely  by Tom Reynolds

    SCOPE recently wrote about Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Phelp’s book “On Killing Remotely” which contained a lot of inside information on how military drones are operated.  With the latest controversy over a drone killing in Afghanistan, it seems appropriate to write about that incident and more about the book.

    There are usually three parties involved when a missile is fired from a drone (Remotely Piloted Aircraft - RPA):

    The pilot controls the aircraft and releases the missile.  The pilot may be a few miles from the RPA or he may be on the other side of the world.

    A second RPA puts a laser on the target and it’s this laser that pin points the target and guides the missile.  (If the 2nd RPA is not available, the pilot goes on his own.)

    The third party is the tactical commander who authorizes the missile to be fired.  This can be anyone from the local intelligence officer to the President of the United States.  This person is responsible for establishing the identity of the target, ensuring that the rules of engagement are followed and that appropriate laws are obeyed. 

    When there is adequate time, the three parties share information but when immediate action is needed, they have to trust each other’s judgement.  They especially have to trust the judgment of the tactical commander who has identified the target as someone they are justified in “taking out”.

    All on the “team” are supposed to obey orders.  If anyone has concerns and does not obey, that is a career threatening move.  However, that does happen.  When an American citizen who was openly working as an ISIS terrorist was targeted, the “team” refused to kill him, because he was an American citizen.  The commanding officer was reassigned and the job was given to the CIA, which eventually did kill him.  (Note, obedience to orders is a mainstay of the military but when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Milley, openly disregards the highest authority – the President - that sets an example that van echo through the ranks.)

    There are subtle ways of disobeying without openly disobeying; it’s called missing your target.  Who can say if it was intentional - or not.  Phelps believes it happens but, for obvious reasons, no one is publicly admitting to it.  Hitting a moving target from a drone flying thousands of feet above the ground and commanded from thousands of miles away is not a foolproof operation.   

    Phelps book recounted a story that is appropriate to the recent Afghanistan killing.  A terrorist on the kill list knew he was targeted and knew the Americans’ rules of engagement.  The terrorist was followed, remotely for months, but no opportunity to kill him appeared because he always kept at least one of his children with him, which kept him safe under our rules of engagement.  Our military waited for him to be alone and when he finally made the mistake of going out without one of his children, they instantly reacted and killed him. 

    Occasionally, a target is cleared to be hit without collateral damage but before the missile can strike someone unexpectedly enters the area.  There may or may not be the time or the ability to react.  For instance, the laser could be moved to target another nearby area – if there is a safer area available and there is time available to do it.

    One of the most psychologically difficult tasks is staying around after the strike to document its level of success.  Watching the victim’s family members pick up the body parts of someone you just killed can take a toll.  Phelps recommends that a 2nd RPA be tasked to do this, not the one that fired the missile.

    Which brings us to the incident in Afghanistan where a car believed to be loaded with explosives and an imminent threat to American forces was targeted.  But in what may or may not be a case of mistaken identity, children and others were killed.  All we know is what is being reported (not always the best source since it is primarily the NY Times, which usually proceeds on the assumption that America is wrong).

    The NY Times says that, according to the military, the drone had been following a white sedan for several hours after it left what may or may not have been an ISIS safe house.  It had been loaded with a suspicious cargo earlier in the day and more was added later in the afternoon.  US officials believed that cargo to be explosives but some claim it was water for his family.  US officials claim to have intercepted communications between the driver and the ISIS safe house instructing him to make several stops, which he did.  Eventually, the driver went to his home, which was near the airport.  The military knew little of his identity but they believed he was an imminent threat to the troops at the airport.  The drone operator scanned and saw only a single adult male greeting the vehicle, and therefore assessed with “reasonable certainty” that no women, children or noncombatants would be killed.  (The driver’s relatives claim that some children ran out to greet him.)  General Milley said there were secondary explosions but the NY Times claims not.  (The pot calling the kettle black?)  The NY Times words their story in a way that makes the Afghans seem more credible than the US military.  Is that a surprise?  

    Obviously, stories are different and it will take further investigation to determine the factual story, if it can ever be determined.  But…the US has a history of taking great pains to avoid killing civilians – as explained above.  While there can always be exceptions and mistakes do get made, it’s doubtful that the US would intentionally fire a missile that would kill innocent children.  Especially since the driver was not driving to the airport at that moment and, thus, he wasn’t forcing an immediate decision.  Was the area clear when the missile was fired and the children ran out at the last moment?  There can also be other factors, such as the drone running low on gas and forcing a hurried decision before it had to leave the area.  Ultimately, it was the tactical commander’s decision based on the best information available, which doesn’t always mean sufficient information but decisions have to get made on what you have where you are.  Did any of the other team members disagree?  The drone operator scanned the area and said it was clear.

    One thing that Phelps does say in his book that there is always an after-action report done at the end of the shift.  That might spread some light on what happened.

    A tragedy, that’s for sure when children are killed.  Was it a case of mistaken identity or was the driver really working for ISIS?  Since we don’t have access to the Taliban, we may never know.

  • 09/13/2021 11:33 AM | Anonymous

    Miscellaneous  by Tom Reynolds

    HR 4953, the National Firearms Amendments Act of 2021 is a massive attack on the Second Amendment.

    This bill takes any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun, modern or not, that can accept a detachable magazine and makes it subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA). They will all be treated like an automatic firearm.  All the red tape, all the penalties for not registering, all of the other restrictions will get applied.

    What makes this bill potentially dangerous is that it could easily be included as part of a Reconciliation Bill.  These bills are not subject to the filibuster rules so only a majority is needed to pass them.  The NFA is part of the tax code so a filibuster could be evaded, as a result. 

    This bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, which covers taxes.

    Contact your Representative and urge them to oppose HR 4953.

    SCOPE BANQUET LODGINGS

    A reminder for all those considering lodging for the October 16th banquet in Utica:  September 15th (This Wednesday) is the release date for the special block hold pricing for this event. 

    Holiday Inn -     $119 +  tax / night   315-724-2726

    Hampton Inn-   $119 + tax / night    315-733-1200

    Fairfield Inn-     $119 + tax / night    315-798-9600

    Best Western-   $98.99 + tax / night 315-732-4121

    Mention SCOPE for the quoted rate.

    No doubt there will be rooms available after that date but the negotiated rate may not be available. 

    Photo Op with Oliver North

    There will be photo opportunities with Mr. North by a professional photographer, Steve Lourenco. He has set up a dedicated site for the candid shots taken throughout the event. These can be purchased directly from the website. All pricing includes shipping & handling. 

    Between 5PM & 5:30 PM attendees are welcome to sign up for a posed photo with Ollie, up to 50 guaranteed ops may be scheduled ahead with a pre-ordered 5x7 for $15. Sign up can happen via email between now and the event to kandeetabor@gmail.com or upon arrival at the event, Patricia Lourenco will take names the night of the event. Cash or check due upon arrival.

    Thomas SowellThe beauty of doing nothing is that you can do it perfectly. Only when you do something is it almost impossible to do it without mistakes.  Therefore, people who are contributing nothing to society, except their constant criticisms, can feel both intellectually and morally superior.

  • 09/10/2021 8:44 PM | Anonymous

    Young on Old Meanings  by Tom Reynolds

    In Wednesday’s email, SCOPE talked about the Left’s attempt to turn Constitutional Originalism around and use it against the 2nd Amendment.  As usual, Doctor Robert Young was thinking along lines similar to SCOPE when he wrote an article in Doctors For Responsible Gun Ownership entitled “Corpus Linguistics & Bearing Arms: Much Ado About Nothing”.  Below are some of the highlights from his article and the full text can be read at: Corpus Linguistics & Bearing Arms: Much Ado About Nothing .

    Dr. Young wrote about Dennis Baron’s attempts to flip Constitutional Originalism, written in the Duke Center for Firearms Law (DCFL).  Young wrote:

    “DCFL contends that because nearly all the examples they find of the phrase ‘bear arms’ in the English language are used to refer to military conduct, the Second Amendment must only guarantee ‘the people’ the right to ’bear arms’ in the service of the state (i.e., a state-appointed militia). Just so they don’t look entirely one-sided, Baron does qualify ‘. . . [I]t’s not clear that any text has one single, original meaning that everyone would have shared.’”

    “Baron also quotes the amicus brief by Everytown for Gun Safety [sic] in NYSRPA v. Corlett to say that ‘. . . America [was] never [a] place . . . where people carried weapons freely and routinely, particularly in urban areas.’ Utter nonsense, which anyone familiar with American history through the entire 19th century could refute.”

    Dr. Young then goes on the attack:

    “The militia developed from the beginning of the colonial period as groups of townsmen who came together to provide for their mutual protection…the Colonies’ militias were simply the assembled groups of local ones under the command of elected leaders. This was still essentially individuals making their own decisions to come together, exercising their Second Amendment rights ‘to keep and bear arms’ in the common defense, an extension of their pre-existing right to self-defense.”

    “The point Baron’s linguistic method makes is that ‘. . . nonmilitary uses of ‘bear arms’ are almost nonexistent in any sort of text’ of the Founding era. But let’s ask, how exactly are ‘the people’ supposed to get the arms they ‘keep’ at home to the militia’s gathering place if they don’t have the equal right to “bear” them to there, as well as in battle?”

    Dr. Young concludes the debate with quotes from people who were actually alive during the Revolutionary period:

    “We have scores of quotes by the authors of the Constitution and their peers that manifest their insistence on the importance of the citizenry owning and using (therefore carrying as well as ‘bearing’) arms routinely for proper purposes, including hunting, target practice, and self-protection. Gentlemen in America like Washington and Jefferson carried pistols routinely. More common folk had their muskets and rifles at hand whenever they decided they could be useful.”

    “From WallbuildersJohn Dickinson, Constitution signer: affirmed that inalienable rights such as self-defense were rights ‘which God gave to you and which no inferior power has a right to take away.’

    Fisher Ames, a framer of the Bill of Rights: ‘The right . . . of bearing arms . . . is declared to be inherent in the people.’” 

    “From Buckeye FirearmsThomas Jefferson: ‘Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.’
    Jefferson, again: No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.’
    And again: ‘The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature [as to] disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.’

    “From the Lonang Institute: Revolutionary militia colonel and then Federal judge, Henry St. George Tucker, 1803: ‘In many parts of the United States, a man no more thinks of going out of his house on any occasion, without his rifle or musket in his hand, than a European fine gentleman without his sword by his side.’  

    These quotes are just a fraction of the evidence. There is a great deal more, from many, many sources. “

    “The Second Amendment’s purpose is timeless, and meant the same in 1789 as in 1998, and as in 2021.”

  • 09/08/2021 4:43 PM | Anonymous

    The Left on Rights by Tom Reynolds

    Recently, there have been some interesting articles about our rights.  A bit legalistic but still interesting thoughts.

    One article asked why owning a firearm and healthcare are both being defined as “rights”? What if the traditional “right” to own a gun was changed and redefined in the same way as the new “right” to healthcare?

    Healthcare as a “right” was a selling point for Obamacare, which mandated that everyone must have health insurance and if you can’t afford it the government will pay for it.  If owning a gun is a “right” in the same way that the Left defined Obamacare, then the government should mandate that everyone has to have a gun and if you can’t afford one the government will pay for it.  The right to keep and bear arms would mean that you have the right to have someone (the government) provide you with a firearm.      

    Let’s flip it and define the “right” to health care in the same way that the 2nd Amendment is traditionally defined.  The 2nd Amendment traditionally means that you are allowed to own and carry any firearm you can legally acquire. You can buy one, receive it as a gift, or build one yourself. And once you acquire it, it is like any other property, it cannot be taken from you without the due process of law. (At least that’s how it is supposed to work, according to the Constitution.)

    Applying this to Healthcare, it would mean that we have the right to see a doctor and pay for his services. It would give you the right to contract with anyone who might provide you with health care. Someone else might voluntarily pay for it out of charity or you might contract with an insurance company to pay for it. If you can obtain health care by any such legal means, government may not stop you or take it away from you.

    A right means you have the freedom to act, not that anyone, particularly the government at the expense of taxpayers, will provide you with the means.  Does the 1st Amendment right to free speech mean the government has to provide you with the means of speaking or writing?

    Under either definition of a “right”, the Left loses the debate when both “rights” are defined in the same way.  But consistency was never a goal of the left.

    In another attack on 2A rights, some gun grabbing organizations are again trying to chip away at “Heller and McDonald” by trying to turn Constitutional Originalism back on itself.  Originalism generally implies that the common meaning of words at the time of the Revolution is how the Constitution should be interpreted.   The left argues that the “right to…bear arms” outside the home was only used in a military sense when the Constitution was written, therefore, only the military could “bear arms” outside the home.  Civilians could “keep” arms in their homes but they could not “bear arms” outside the home.  (I wonder what Daniel Boone would have said about that interpretation?) 

    The 2nd Amendment was definitely aimed at civilians having the right to “keep and bear arms”.  Why would the founders have added a phrase that only applied to the military in the middle of an amendment that only applied to civilians?   “Keep” and “bear” are only 2 words apart in one sentence.  Is it likely that they would two opposite meanings?

    Words could – and still do – have different common use meanings.  Does a law forbidding carrying a firearm in a bank also prohibit carrying a firearm by a river?  What prevents “bear arms” from applying to both the military and civilians?

    One article argued that the primary responsibility of the federal government is to protect our liberty and our individual rights as guaranteed by our Constitution; its primary responsibility is NOT to keep us safe.  The oath that Presidents and other government officials take would seem to give some support to that idea since the oath requires them to preserve and protect the Constitution and says nothing about keeping us safe. 

    Also, courts have ruled that police do not have an obligation to protect us. So, if the government’s job is to keep our rights safe, and not keep us safe, there is no basis for taking away our guns since to “keep and bear arms” is one of our rights that the government must protect.

    However, the preamble to the Constitution says it was established to “provide for the common defence”, so there is a basis for saying that the Constitution is both to protect our rights and keep us safe.  And on such questions, lawyers make a living.

  • 09/08/2021 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    The Left on Rights
    by: Tom Reynolds

    Recently, there have been some interesting articles about our rights.  A bit legalistic but still interesting thoughts.

    One article asked why owning a firearm and healthcare are both being defined as “rights”? What if the traditional “right” to own a gun was changed and redefined in the same way as the new “right” to healthcare?

    Healthcare as a “right” was a selling point for Obamacare, which mandated that everyone must have health insurance and if you can’t afford it the government will pay for it.  If owning a gun is a “right” in the same way that the Left defined Obamacare, then the government should mandate that everyone has to have a gun and if you can’t afford one the government will pay for it.  The right to keep and bear arms would mean that you have the right to have someone (the government) provide you with a firearm.      

    Let’s flip it and define the “right” to health care in the same way that the 2nd Amendment is traditionally defined.  The 2nd Amendment traditionally means that you are allowed to own and carry any firearm you can legally acquire. You can buy one, receive it as a gift, or build one yourself. And once you acquire it, it is like any other property, it cannot be taken from you without the due process of law. (At least that’s how it is supposed to work, according to the Constitution.)

    Applying this to Healthcare, it would mean that we have the right to see a doctor and pay for his services. It would give you the right to contract with anyone who might provide you with health care. Someone else might voluntarily pay for it out of charity or you might contract with an insurance company to pay for it. If you can obtain health care by any such legal means, government may not stop you or take it away from you.

                A right means you have the freedom to act, not that anyone, particularly the government at the expense of taxpayers, will provide you with the means.  Does the 1st Amendment right to free speech mean the government has to provide you with the means of speaking or writing?

    Under either definition of a “right”, the Left loses the debate when both “rights” are defined in the same way.  But consistency was never a goal of the left.

    In another attack on 2A rights, some gun grabbing organizations are again trying to chip away at “Heller and McDonald” by trying to turn Constitutional Originalism back on itself.  Originalism generally implies that the common meaning of words at the time of the Revolution is how the Constitution should be interpreted.   The left argues that the “right to…bear arms” outside the home was only used in a military sense when the Constitution was written, therefore, only the military could “bear arms” outside the home.  Civilians could “keep” arms in their homes but they could not “bear arms” outside the home.  (I wonder what Daniel Boone would have said about that interpretation?) 

    The 2nd Amendment was definitely aimed at civilians having the right to “keep and bear arms”.  Why would the founders have added a phrase that only applied to the military in the middle of an amendment that only applied to civilians?   “Keep” and “bear” are only 2 words apart in one sentence.  Is it likely that they would two opposite meanings?

         

    Words could – and still do – have different common use meanings.  Does a law forbidding carrying a firearm in a bank also prohibit carrying a firearm by a river?  What prevents “bear arms” from applying to both the military and civilians?

    One article argued that the primary responsibility of the federal government is to protect our liberty and our individual rights as guaranteed by our Constitution; its primary responsibility is NOT to keep us safe.  The oath that Presidents and other government officials take would seem to give some support to that idea since the oath requires them to preserve and protect the Constitution and says nothing about keeping us safe. 

    Also, courts have ruled that police do not have an obligation to protect us. So, if the government’s job is to keep our rights safe, and not keep us safe, there is no basis for taking away our guns since to “keep and bear arms” is one of our rights that the government must protect.

    However, the preamble to the Constitution says it was established to “provide for the common defence”, so there is a basis for saying that the Constitution is both to protect our rights and keep us safe.  And on such questions, lawyers make a living.


  • 09/02/2021 6:20 PM | Anonymous

    North: “the best armed criminal enterprise in the history of mankind”  by Tom Reynolds

    U.S. weapons and military equipment abandoned by the Biden administration in Afghanistan will be reverse-engineered by China and Russia and then used against American interests, retired Lt. Col. Oliver North said on Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

    The Biden administration left behind “some of the most sophisticated weapons and equipment we’ve ever made for the military,” North stated. He warned, “It’s going to be reverse-engineered in China. It will be reverse-engineered in Russia. It will be used against us in other campaigns.”

    North predicted that the Taliban, ISIS, and Haqqani Network would collectively become “the best armed criminal enterprise in the history of mankind” due to the Pentagon’s abandonment of military equipment, vehicles, and weaponry in Afghanistan.

    He said, “What’s happening to a lot of [abandoned equipment] is that they’re being dragged across the border in Conex boxes and on trucks. A HET is a heavy equipment transporter. When we offload a tank — an M1 tank, 70 tons — off a ship, and set it down on the pier, it’s loaded onto a HET a transported to where it’s going to fight, because you don’t want to wear out the treads and don’t want to burn up more fuel than you need to need to.”

     Heavy equipment transporters have been used to transport two M1 tanks from Afghanistan into Pakistan, North claimed. He remarked, “They’re going to be heading to the port where they will be loaded aboard a ship and taken to communist China for exploitation. That’s what’s happening to anywhere between five and ten of every piece of equipment. The Taliban, by the way, are getting rich on this. They’re — quote — selling them.”

    The Oryx Blog detailed the losses of U.S. military weapons and equipment provided to the Afghan military in a post entitled, “Disaster At Hand: Documenting Afghan Military Equipment Losses Since June 2021 until August 14, 2021.”

     “Now, other people will be using our weapons to shoot at us,” he concluded. “We’re going to see a lot of that weaponry used against us in a lot of places.”

    Oliver North will be the main speaker at SCOPE’s banquet in Utica, NY on October 16th.  Join us to meet him and hear his take on America, Afghanistan and the 2nd Amendment.

    (For more banquet information click here.)

  • 08/31/2021 8:28 PM | Anonymous

    Impeachment and Succession  by Tom Reynolds

    There are calls to impeach Joe Biden over the Afghanistan debacle.  But if you read the Constitution, it says that the President “…shall be removed from office On Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”  It says nothing about incompetence, so the Afghanistan debacle may not be a basis for impeachment.  

    Am I arguing against impeaching Biden on a constitutional basis?

    Anything to stop Kamala Harris from becoming President. 

    But since the Democrats didn’t seem to have an issue with impeachment when Trump was president, will the Republicans do turnabout-is-fair-play?  Again, I remind them that Kamala Harris is next in line.

    Past Presidents have joked that no one would want to assassinate them because they wouldn’t want the VP to become president.  Did Biden nominate Harris to keep the 25th Amendment from being used against him?  

    Speaking of presidential impeachment and succession, here are the potential successors to Biden, in their order of succession.

    Vice President Kamala Harris.  56 Years old Senator (2017-2021) and former Attorney General (2011-2017) from California.  Before that her job was being a girl friend to politically powerful men.  As a presidential candidate in 2020, she was so unpopular that she couldn’t get to the Iowa caucuses before dropping out but Biden named her as VP as a sop to the radical left.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 81 years old Representative from California since 1987.  She urges an 83 years old Supreme Court Justice to retire due to age, but does not see the irony of this. 

    President pro tempore of the Senate Patrick Leahy.  81 years old Senator from Vermont since 1974.  (See Pelosi’s previous remark on age.)

    Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.  59 years old lifetime member of the D.C. Swamp.  He is a major adviser on the Afghanistan debacle.  He was Susan Rice’s deputy when she was Obama’s National Security advisor so he has experience taking orders from Rice.  National Intelligence Director Avril Haines also worked for Rice but Haines is not in the line of succession.  (For those who don’t keep up on D.C. politics, Rice is believed to be the person behind the scenes, pulling the strings on Biden and is the liaison with Barack Obama.  You remember him!) 

    Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellin.  75 years old academic and longtime member of the Federal Reserve section of the D.C. Swamp.  Appointed by Obama, President Trump thought so much of her economics that he did NOT reappoint her as Federal Reserve Chairman.

    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.  68 years old retired Army general who believed “sensitivity training” was such a military priority that he called a 60 days time-out for the military to discuss it.  (The Taliban did not honor his time-out.)  He says Critical race Theory (white people are inherently racist) is not being taught in the Military but the West Point Superintendent says it is being taught there.  A major advisor on the Afghanistan debacle.

    Attorney General Merrick Garland.  68 years old lawyer, longtime member of the Justice Department and federal judge since 1997.  Mitch McConnell’s greatest contribution to America was preventing Garland from being appointed to the Supreme Court.  Under Garland, the Department of Justice just created the position of Chief Diversity Officer and does NOT label Black Lives Matter and Antifa as Domestic Terrorists.

    For your information, the FBI (a branch of the Garland’s Department of Justice) relies on the following definition of domestic terrorism: “…acts of violence that [violate] the criminal laws of the United States or any state, committed by individuals or groups without any foreign direction, and appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, or influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

    Any resemblance to BLM and Antifa there?

    Obviously, succession recently became an issue in New York State.  We had previously warned that new Governor Kathy Hochul would probably veer radically left in order to win next year’s gubernatorial primary.  She needed a Lieutenant Governor, so Hochul appointed an anti-police, pro-criminal, radical leftist from New York City as her Lieutenant Governor. State Senator Brian Benjamin, who will be serving as the number two in state government, has called for defunding the police, championed more rights and privileges for criminals and voted for record tax & spending increases.

    Thank goodness there is a 2nd Amendment.  Does anyone in government have any ties to the American Constitution, American values and American traditions?

  • 08/25/2021 10:31 AM | Anonymous

    Yates Conversations  by Tom Reynolds

    Last Saturday, Yates County SCOPE had a terrific Pig Roast event with an enthusiastic crowd and numerous political candidates in attendance. Jack Prendergast and all the people who volunteered their time must be congratulated on a successful event where 2nd Amendment supporters could get together to hob nob with each other.  We also learned a lot in the speeches and during follow up conversations.

    Obviously, the wake of Cuomo’s resignation was a major topic.

    Two things about Cuomo seem to be often repeated facts and should not be forgotten:  his life is politics and he is an unforgiving bully.  Translation: no one expects him to become a monk or do anything that would pave his road to sainthood.

    It appears that he will NOT be impeached so he is free to run for federal or state offices in the future. 

    Money gives him leverage.  Cuomo has about $18 million in his campaign treasury and the rules for its use are very loose.  There is no time limit on its use, as long as he is alive.  He can use it for legal fees if he is sued - which seems almost certain.  He can use it in some, but not all, personal political campaigns that he might mount in the future.  (He may never go away.)  He can donate it to other political campaigns to keep up his personal influence.

    NY Attorney General Letitia James has been absolutely drooling over the opportunity to run for governor, even before Cuomo was out of the way.    She is also the one trying to break up the NRA to further her far-left credentials.  Since a report that her office prepared was the nail in Cuomo’s coffin, will Cuomo seek revenge and use his money and influence and the time he now has on his hands to deny her?  Does a bear…well, you know the rest. 

    New Governor Kathy Hochul has already signaled she is going to run for election in 2022; no surprise there.  She has to win the Democrat primary and those usually attract about a third of the voters that will vote in November’s election.  The far-left Democrats have gained power in the Democrat party because they turn out and vote in primaries.  Letitia James has already staked her claim on the far left so will Hochul move radically left to steal those people?  This could lead to a difficult year for the 2nd Amendment with Hochul and James trying to out-Cuomo Cuomo in attacking 2A.  It was also mentioned that Hochul is looking for a Lieutenant Governor candidate to replace herself and, although no one was named, it was hinted that we will not be happy with the candidates. 

    NY City mayor Bill DiBlasio will certainly be interested.  As we have previously pointed out, he could unite New Yorkers across political parties since no one wants him to be governor.

    Now here’s an interesting kicker.  Will NY Senator Kristin Gillibrand be interested in running for governor?  That raises the possibility of a Senate seat being open and, as pointed out, an unimpeached Andrew Cuomo is eligible and has money to pave the way by investing in Gillibrand’s campaign.  Loyalty to his former Lieutenant Governor will probably not be an issue for Cuomo.  Unlikely political alliances have been formed on less.

    State Senator George Borrello made an important point that we are constantly on the defensive as the left doesn’t hesitate to introduce hordes of new anti-gun bills that have to be fought.  (About 100 gun related bills were introduced this year at the state and federal level.)  Borrello is right, we need to stop playing defense and start playing offense.  Of course, for this strategy to be successful, pro-gun politicians have to walk-the-walk and the voters need to hold them responsible.

    It’s no secret that Democrats are generally anti-2nd Amendment (especially the leadership and far left radicals) and Republicans are generally pro-2nd Amendment.  There is a reasonably good chance that Republicans could regain both the House and the Senate in the 2022 elections and could begin to safeguard 2A as well as all our Constitutional rights.  But the last two House Speakers, John Boehner and Paul Ryan, have been disappointments to everyone but the Democrats.  Right now, Kevin McCarthy is in line to be the Speaker if the Republicans gain control.  We need to send a clear message to our representatives that they better vote for a Speaker who will stand up for Constitutional principles.  If that’s Kevin McCarthy…great.  But if they think he will be another Boehner / Ryan, they can’t let D.C. politics direct their vote. 

    By the way, the Speaker does not have to be a sitting Representative.  I understand Donald Trump isn’t doing anything.  Can you imagine the left media’s reaction to that!   

    Michael Henry, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Attorney General in 2022 also spoke and spent a lot of time talking to people.  It’s good to know that we have already surfaced a candidate for that position, fifteen months before the election.  MICHAELHENRYFORAG.com

    Given that the Democrats have a veto proof majority in both New York houses, it’s doubtful if we will make any inroads concerning the 2nd Amendment, until that changes.  Which is exactly why SCOPE keeps pushing voting, voting, voting!

  • 08/24/2021 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    Cuomo and North  by Tom Reynolds

    If you are a gun owner in New York State, at times you feel like you are alone.  Your government at the state and federal level is against you and the media treats you like poison.

    Once in awhile there is a cause to celebrate and the downfall of 2nd Amendment enemy #1, Andrew Cuomo, certainly qualifies – if for whatever reason.  We don’t know what the future holds but we shouldn’t miss the chance to enjoy the moment.  Join us at the SCOPE banquet on October 16th in Utica and join with your fellow gun defenders in celebration of Cuomo’s exit.

    At the SCOPE banquet, Lt. Colonel Oliver North will be the main speaker and will be available before the banquet for personal interaction.  You may have noticed that he is popping up on many TV news programs for interviews and commentary on the situation in Afghanistan.  He certainly qualifies from his experience with major international incidents while in Ronald Reagan’s White House.

    October 16th will be the chance to hear from North at a most opportune time.  Join us. 

  • 08/23/2021 10:22 AM | Anonymous

    Serving the People  by Tom Reynolds

    Afghan Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar appeared in a Twitter video alongside other Taliban leaders, in which he pronounced victory in Afghanistan.  “We have achieved an unexpected victory. Now is the time to test, to show how we serve our people and ensure their future in the best possible way.” Within hours of Barader’s announcement, Reuters quoted another Taliban official as saying, “We understand people kept weapons for personal safety. They can now feel safe. We are not here to harm innocent civilians.”

    Isn’t it interesting that the first things that repressive regimes do, once they are in power, is to disarm the citizens while also saying that the government is there to serve the people.

    Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone TV program once had an episode about aliens landing on earth.  The earthlings found a book written in the alien language and translated the title: How to Serve Man.  Because of the title, earthlings are entering the alien’s ship to go back to the alien’s world.  In the final scene, someone screams, “Don’t go.  I’ve translated the rest of the book. How to Serve Man is a cookbook”!

    As the saying goes, “Why would the government want to disarm its citizens unless the government was going to do something for which the citizens would shoot them?

    Pray for the people of Afghanistan and pray for our own nation.

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

PO Box 165
East Aurora, NY 14052

SCOPE is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.

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