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Briefings  from SCOPE President, Tom Reynolds

  • 10/15/2020 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    Who cares about the District Attorney Races? by Tom Reynolds

    Portland Oregon District Attorney Mike Schmidt refuses to prosecute rioters and admits to being an “old buddy” to an Antifa militant. Schmidt campaigned for ending cash bail. In an interview, Schmidt said, "...I think our criminal justice system very much fails victims..." But he was referring to “the vast majority of perpetrators” as the victims. About riots he said, "This dystopian image that is being painted nationally is not at all what it looks like on our streets”. (I guess we imagined the images of burning buildings and cars.)

    On July 30th, Fox News reported, “St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner… announced her office was bringing felony charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple who brandished guns outside their home as protesters marched by in June. The McCloskeys have said many times they were defending themselves, with tensions high in St. Louis and other cities over race and law enforcement”.

    About Kim Gardner, the Washington Times reported on June 4th that, “At least 36 people have been arrested on felony charges related to violent protests in St. Louis since May 29, and every one of them had the charges against them dismissed, according to a St. Louis police department spokesman”.

    Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes has an unusual approach to prosecuting rioters.The Post Millenial reported on June 23rd, “The DA's office has received 37 misdemeanor cases so far from the latest civil unrest in Seattle. Many are for obstructing police, but the list includes half a dozen assaults, theft, reckless endangerment and attempted property damage. Holmes said he hopes to refer these protesters to “Choose 180, a restorative justice program with a proven track record.” However, Choose 180 is one of the groups that was part of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP).

    The Post Millenial also reported, “Holmes…under fire for not prosecuting crimes long before the current violent rioting, looting and protests rocked Seattle. Seattle and King County have a track record of releasing violent Antifa activists. In 2019 business groups in Seattle commissioned a report on 100 prolific offenders who were terrorizing downtown Seattle residents and businesses. The report blamed a ‘revolving door’ justice system that a criminal could be arrested in Seattle over 70 times and still be released or diverted for treatment rather than incarceration”.

    Townhall reported on July 7th, about Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, “…has been heavily criticized throughout his 10+ years as the DA of New York County for inserting his own progressive politics into the rule of law. After decades of low crime rates and a thriving economy in NYC following a major crackdown in policing and enforcing the rule of law, it seems Vance, with the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio, are determined to undo all the hard work of the NYPD and the people of the city”.

    The New American reports on January 28th, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said, “My parents were all dedicated to fighting U.S. imperialism around the world. I’m dedicated to the same thing”. (His parents are convicted murderers.) CBS News reported about Boudin on January 23rd, “San Francisco's top prosecutor announced his office will no longer ask for cash bail as a condition for defendants' pretrial release”.

    What do all these District Attorneys have in common? They are all Progressive Democrats. (Some of them, and many others not mentioned here, were funded in their campaigns by George Soros, the Progressive billionaire who hates the U.S.A.) They were also elected to their positions by the voters!

    Pay attention to that last statement. They were also elected to their positions by the voters. Do you know any gun owners who refuse to vote? This is what happens when people refuse to participate in our republic on its most elementary level: voting. It isn’t just the presidency and other offices at the top of the ballot that matter; down ballot races for judges and D.A.’s can and will effect your future.

    Can’t happen here? Don’t vote and find out.

  • 10/15/2020 8:18 AM | Anonymous

    Unemployed?  Try Adding Pimp or Terrorist to Your Resume’? by Tom Reynolds

    Seattle hired a professed pimp, Andre Taylor (He starred in a documentary entitled American Pimp). Taylor will provide “alternatives to policing” and be paid $150,000 a year. According to Breitbart: when he was a pimp, some of the girls he was trafficking were reportedly underage; earlier this year, Taylor reportedly tried to extract $2 million from the city of Seattle to “support” the short-lived police-free CHOP zone.  (He apparently had to settle for a mere $100,000.)

    Susan Rosenberg has served as vice chair of the board of directors for Thousand Currents, an organization that provides fundraising and fiscal sponsorship for the Black Lives Matter Global Movement. She was an active member of revolutionary left-wing movements whose illegal activities included bombing U.S. government buildings and committing armed robberies.Rosenberg was sentenced to 58 years in prison on weapons and explosives charges. She spent 16 years in prison before her sentence was commuted to time served by President Bill Clinton, on his final day in office.

    Weather Underground founders were Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, who later married. That group is most famous for a campaign of bombings and riots including the bombings of NYPD headquarters, the U.S. Capitol building, the Pentagon and a San Francisco police station Criminal charges against them were dropped in 1974 due to illegal evidence-gathering activities by authorities.  

    Ayers and Dohrn became university professors in Chicago: Ayers specialized in education reform at the University of Illinois at Chicago and served as an advisor to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley; Dohrn was hired by Northwestern University School of Law as an adjunct "Clinical Associate Professor of Law", even though she did not have a law license.

    Ayers and Dohrn hosted a meet-the-candidate gathering at their home for Barack Obama as he prepared to run for his initial election to the Illinois state senate.  Ayers and Obama worked with the same charity and social service organizations in Chicago (particularly the Chicago Annenberg Challenge).

    Ayers and Dohrn had legal guardianship of Chesa Boudin, son of Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert. Boudin and Gilbert were former Weather Underground members who were convicted of felony murder. Radical leftist Chesa Boudin has been elected District Attorney of San Francisco.

    We can’t hold Boudin responsible for the crimes of his parents but, according to American Thinker, “Chesa Boudin…was quite literally Hugo Chavez's trusted propagandist, translator and advisor”.  Chavez was the Venezuelan President (1998-2013) whose socialist programs created widespread poverty and unemployment in spite of that country’s great oil wealth. Working for Hugo Chavez is inexcusable. 

    A pimp and three terrorists have grown wealthy and influential in an America they tried to destroy.  A pimp is going to advise Seattle on policing, a terrorist handled finances for Black Lives Matter, another terrorist specialized in education as a college professor and a third terrorist taught law.  The latter two help explain a lot about why the college educational system took a far-left turn.

  • 10/14/2020 7:52 AM | Anonymous

    Upon Further Review…  by Tom Reynolds

    New York’s 18th Congressional District race between Democrat incumbent Sean Maloney and Republican challenger Chele Farley was listed as a race to watch in the recent Firing Lines.  Farley brings name recognition (she ran for the Senate against Gillibrand) and fund raising ability to that race, things that cost Republicans in recent elections in that district.  But when listing candidates that had an “A” rating from SCOPE, in last week’s email to members, Farley was omitted.  Since then, SCOPE has received new information and is raising Chele Farley to an “A” as a defender of the 2nd Amendment.  Her opponent, Sean Maloney, remains an “F”.

    In New York’ Senate District 55 race, Democrat Samra Brouk is running against Republican Christopher Missick.  This race was rated a tossup in the recent Firing Lines and Missick was rated as a “?” in last week’s email to members.  SCOPE has since received additional information and Christopher Missick is now rated as an “A” as a defender of the 2nd Amendment.  Samra Brouk remains an “F”. 

  • 10/12/2020 6:54 PM | Anonymous

    Let’s Pass Another Law – What Harm can It Do? by Tom Reynolds

    Beware of seemingly harmless laws.  Activist governments can twist anything into something it was never meant to be.  Laws are out there, lurking like Freddy in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.

    Under the so called “Charleston Loophole”, if a NICS check takes more than 3 days, the gun sale may proceed.  Biden and Kamala Harris want to close the “Loophole” at the federal level.  Given that the federal level also controls the NICS checks and if the 3 day rule is changed, as President they could slow down the approval process and put many gun stores out of business.  (New York closed the “Loophole” but the federal government controls NICS checks – not NY State – so Cuomo cannot slow down the process.  Does anyone doubt what he would do if he did have that power?)  Closing the “Loophole” sounds attractive to some voters, but it would be too easily abused by gun control activists like Biden, Harris and Cuomo.

    Since the anti-gun left never stops trying, here’s an arrow they would like to have in their quiver.  Suppose Congress passed legislation funding HUD and included that “States and municipalities must make positive efforts to curb violence or be ineligible for HUD funding”?  Sounds like a good thing with all the riots and such.  But, an Obama-like administration could interpret it to mean that states and municipalities must proactively push gun control as a means of curbing violence.  No gun control means no federal dollars.  The federal government could withhold money for street and bridge maintenance if the state and local authorities did not implement stringent gun controls.

    Sounds far-fetched?  The HUD program called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) proves this point and, besides, it’s a program you should really be aware of even though it’s not about 2A. 

    Almost half a century after it was enacted, Obama’s HUD “discovered” a brief mention in the 1968 Fair Housing Act, and created AFFH, which calls for “diversity” in all levels of housing in suburbsTowns and suburbs are obligated to “do more than simply not discriminate”.  They have to make it possible for low-income minorities to choose suburban living and the towns must also provide “adequate support to make their choices possible.” AFFH’s plan included building high-density housing in low density suburban neighborhoods, (goodbye local zoning laws).  Suburbs would have to look like the city they surround or lose federal aid.  Under this program, suburbs are viewed as fundamentally unjust communities because they prevent taxation from flowing into the urban cities they surround.  Suburbanites are selfishly keeping their own money from less well-off people in the cities.

    Don’t worry about AFFH - for now.  Clinton lost in 2016 and Trump’s HUD Secretary Ben Carson stripped away Obama's AFFH Rule.  (In response, the left-wing media played the race card.  Ignoring that Ben Carson is black.)  Joe Biden has said he will reinstitute AFFH.

    What are the lessons in this for gunowners?    First, because the federal government is now funding so many local projects, the feds only need to threaten to withhold funding to trample on constitutional rights.  (The founding fathers warned about what a too powerful central government would do to individual rights.)  Second, laws are subject to misinterpretation, especially if the judiciary does not follow “original intent”.  (Amy Barrett is an “original intent” justice).  Third, charge racism – even when unfounded - and weak-kneed politicians take a knee.  Fourth, it’s not enough to be neutral, you must actively support a government program or you will be punished

    Who knows what minor part of some federal law is sitting in obscurity waiting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to resurrect in order to attack the Second Amendment that they pledged to destroy.

    The outcome of the November election will determine if AFFH is resurrected.  Oh yeah, the election will also decide if the 2nd Amendment is alive or just the walking dead.

  • 10/08/2020 10:10 PM | Anonymous

    Okay, Enough is Enough! by Tom Reynolds

    There was probably no one since George Washington who understood and practiced leadership better than Dwight Eisenhower. Forged in war and honed to a fine point in their presidencies, both Washington and Eisenhower understood the multiple dynamics of leadership. Not politics, but leadership. (There is no lack of successful politicians who are not leaders.) One of Ike’s guiding principles was that a leader had to be positive and optimistic.

    Susan Eisenhower wrote about the value of optimism in a leader in How Ike Led. She said that Ike, “…understood, perhaps better than anyone else, pessimism’s corrosive impact and the negativity it can produce…”

    In Crusade in Europe Ike, himself, wrote, “I firmly determined that my mannerisms and speech in public would always reflect the cheerful certainty of victory-that any pessimism and discouragement I might ever feel would be reserved for my pillow.”

    In a commencement speech at Dartmouth on June 14, 1953, Ike spoke concerning problems, “You can’t solve them with long faces, they don’t solve problems-not when they deal with humans. Humans have to have confidence; you’ve got to help give it to them.”

    America is going through a difficult time and we need leadership to hold us together and give us confidence that things will get better. One way is to follow Ike’s example and provide an optimistic outlook that things will get better.

    Our current President is criticized because he presented a positive outlook early in the China Virus epidemic. The media would seem to have preferred that he be gloom-and-doom and that the world is ending.

    Now, he is criticized for saying that we shouldn’t be afraid of the virus and to not let it dominate our lives. Would MSNBC prefer him to say that suicidal thoughts are okay in this difficult time? The media seems to feel that he set a bad example by not dying of Covid,

    Can you imagine the current media’s reaction to some of Winston Churchill’s great quotes? When Britain’s defeat seemed inevitable, he said, “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”. CNN would have crucified him for being inspirational instead of being transparent and telling the British how really bad the situation was.

    What about liberal icon Franklin Roosevelt saying, during the depths of the Great Depression, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. At the same time, he, himself, was wondering if he would be the last president of the United States. Talk about a President who was not transparent!

    Have the talking heads on TV ever read history? Or closer to the truth, have their script writers ever read history? If they did, they may have read it but they certainly did not understand it. Leaders must present a positive. optimistic outlook. As Yogi Berra would have said, if leaders say it’s over - it’s over - and you don’t have to wait for Whoopie Goldberg to sing.

    In closing, one of Churchill’s lesser known quotes, but appropriate for this time is, “If you’re going through Hell - KEEP GOING”.

  • 10/08/2020 7:55 AM | Anonymous

    Friday is it!  by Tom Reynolds

    If you are not registered to vote, you have only two days, until Friday the 9th, to get registered.  Remember, if you don’t vote you don’t have a voice in the process and politicians can’t hear you.

    Don’t know if you are registered?      

    Go to

    Mailing addresses can be found on-line  at

    Want to go on line to register, change address or change party enrollment?         

    Go to

    You must have a NY issued driver’s license or a non-driver ID.

    Want to register by mail?

    Download a registration form at

    Mail it to your local board of elections. 

    It must be postmarked by October 9th (Friday)

    Want to register in person?

    Register at your county Board of elections or any NYS agency-based voter registration center. 

    However, many locations are open by appointment only or with limited capacity.

    Find a list at

  • 10/08/2020 7:53 AM | Anonymous

    Congressional Candidates’ Ratings on 2nd Amendment by Tom Reynolds

    Neither the Constitution nor the Supreme Court has stopped the never-ending attacks by those that would disarm our citizens and whittle away at the Constitution.  It is imperative that we have political office holders who will preserve, protect and defend the entire Constitution, including the Second Amendment.  Toward that end, SCOPE has rated the following candidates as an “A” and believe they will work to preserve, protect and defend our right to keep and bear arms, as enshrined in our Constitution. 

    For the United States Congress from New York State:

    District 1       Lee Zeldin

    District 3       George Devolder-Santos

    District 14     John Cummings

    District 19     Kyle Van De Water

    District 20     Liz Joy

    District 21     Elise Stefanik

    District 22     Claudia Tenney

    District 23     Tom Reed    

    District 24     John Katko

    District 26     Ricky Donovan Sr

    District 27     Chris Jacobs            

    Note: Ratings come primarily from SCOPE chapters that are familiar with the candidate.  When those are unavailable, on line searches and the ratings of other 2A organizations are considered in rating the candidates.

  • 10/05/2020 8:39 PM | Anonymous

    Keep Your Eyes on Knife Control Rulings by Tracy Marisa

    In late November, 2019, a terrorist who had used knives to murder a couple of Londoners, in broad daylight, on London Bridge, was subdued by a guy with—of all things—a narwhal tusk “liberated” from nearby Fishmongers Hall. Armed with guns, the police finished off the terrorist, but most of us would consider both the terrorist and the guy wielding the tusk to have been “armed” as well.

    “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The Second Amendment is not limited to guns: Back in the day, bows and bladed weapons of all sorts were considered “arms” as well as rifles, pistols, and so forth. In fact, the first forms of arms control in the U.S. were not aimed at guns but were aimed to control bayonets, swords, and other unpopular bladed weapons; because there was a long history of prohibiting such items in English common law, there was little initial resistance to such prohibitions. Folks in Merry Old England, were not in favor of people walking the streets with hatchets (but maybe not narwhal tusks).

    Starting in the mid-19th century, states started expanding “arms control” by trying to ban knives of all sorts, with varying degrees of success. By the mid-20th century, fears fostered by bad movies (among other things) about juvenile delinquents armed to the teeth with switchblades led to draconian restrictions and sometimes complete bans on all sorts of knives at the state and federal levels.

    But there has been pushback in recent years, and this is important to the 2nd Amendment.  For example, in Colorado, their antiquated switchblade ban was repealed in 2017. Hawaii still has a ban on butterfly knives on the books.  However, there is a case pending, Teter v. Connors, in which an amicus brief filed by Mountain States Legal Foundation with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals argues that Hawaii’s ban violates the Second Amendment and is thus unconstitutional.

    The Ninth Circuit, which covers the “Left Coast”, was overwhelmingly liberal until Trump started appointing justices.  It has been shifting recently toward upholding individuals’ natural, fundamental, and constitutionally protected rights. A win for knives in Teter would continue this monumental shift in the Ninth Circuit’s jurisprudence and would also reinforce the constitutional basis for the gun-rights movement.

    So, a win in Teter wouldn’t just be a knife-rights victory, it would be a gun-rights victory as well. Keep your eye on this and other knife-rights cases.

  • 10/03/2020 11:45 AM | Anonymous

    Biden’s Democrat Platform on Guns by Tom Reynolds

    In the presidential debate, Joe Biden said, “The party is me…Right now, I am the Democratic Party. I am the Democratic Party right now.”  Okay Joe, you own the Democrat platform.  Below is his platform as to gun control, taken directly from the Democrat platform document.   It is buried in a section called, “Healing the soul of America”.

    Ending the Epidemic of Gun Violence

    Gun violence is a public health crisis in the United States. Over 100,000 people are shot and nearly 40,000 people die annually from guns—devastating countless families, friends, and communities. We can and will make gun violence a thing of the past. Addressing the gun violence crisis requires supporting evidence-based programs that prevent gun deaths from occurring in the first place, including by making mental health care more accessible and supporting suicide reduction initiatives, funding interventions to reduce homicides and gun violence in neighborhoods, and strengthening protections against domestic violence. Democrats will also ensure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have sufficient resources to study gun violence as a public health issue, including the ongoing health care, mental health, economic, and social costs that can affect survivors and their families for years.

    Democrats will enact universal background checks, end online sales of guns and ammunition, close dangerous loopholes that currently allow stalkers, abusive partners, and some individuals convicted of assault or battery to buy and possess firearms, and adequately fund the federal background check system. We will close the “Charleston loophole” and prevent individuals who have been convicted of hate crimes from possessing firearms. Democrats will ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines. We will incentivize states to enact licensing requirements for owning firearms and extreme risk protection order laws that allow courts to temporarily remove guns from the possession of those who are a danger to themselves or others. We will pass legislation requiring that guns be safely stored in homes. And Democrats believe that gun companies should be held responsible for their products, just like any other business, and will prioritize repealing the law that shields gun manufacturers from civil liability.

    There is too much here to deal with in one email, but it deserves a few comments.

    Of the 40,000 gun deaths that their platform notes, 24,000 are suicides, (which isn’t noted).  Most of those suicides will probably just find an alternate method to commit suicide.  Democrats would claim success by eliminating gun related suicides and ignore little change in the overall suicide rate.

    Taken as a whole, these steps would eventually lead to no one legally owning a gun (except, of course, Democrat politicians, their friends and those protecting Democrat politicians).  In fact, gun violence by criminals would undoubtably increase since criminals don’t obey any of these laws and they would know they face disarmed citizens. (Remember Sean Connery’s famous line in the movie “The Untouchables” about bringing a knife to a gun fight.)  Biden completely ignores that these steps would eliminate legally owned guns from being used in self-defense.  Estimates on defensive gun use range from 50,000 to 2,500,000 per year, far outnumbering non suicide deaths.  

    But, hey, what do facts mean to a guy that believes Antifa is only an idea?

  • 10/03/2020 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    What if the Referees Don’t Follow the Rules? by Tom Reynolds

    The Supreme Court is often described as split between Republicans and Democrats or between Progressive and Conservatives. In reality it is between “Originalists” and those who believe in “Loose Construction”.  

    The Originalists believe the Constitution means what it meant when it (and its amendments) were passed and can only be changed by further amending the Constitution.  The Loose Constructionists believe that the Constitution can evolve and adapt to what justices believe is needed, without it being amended.

    Amy Coney Barrett is usually classified with the Originalists while left wing justices such as Ruth Bader-Ginsburg are typically seen as Loose Constructionists.  Barrett’s appointment is seen as tipping the balance on the Supreme Court to Originalists and putting an end to Loose Constructionist rulings as well as opening up the possibility of reversing some of the previous rulings of Loose Constructionist courts. 

    The 2nd Amendment is defended by Originalists and it is attacked by Loose Constructionists who want to supersede the Constitution, as written, with their own prejudices and biases.

    Walter E. Williams, the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University, did an excellent job of simplifying this difference in a recent column.  He compared the Constitution to the rules of football, each of which say what is permissible and what is not.  Williams emphasized that, “a Supreme Court justice has one job and one job only; namely, that of a referee”.  Their job is, “to know the rules of the game and to ensure that those rules are evenly applied without bias…enforcing neutral rules”. 

    Referees should be Originalists, according to Williams.

    Should the referees have the empathy to understand what it is like to be a perennial loser…? What would you think of a referee whose play calls were guided by empathy or pity?” 

    We’d call them Loose Constructionists and boo them vehemently.

    Suppose a referee, in the name of compensatory justice, stringently applied pass interference or roughing the passer violations against one team” but not the other?  “Would you support a referee who refused to make offensive pass interference calls because he thought it was a silly rule?” 

    Williams ends with a deeply inciteful guideline for constitutions and laws:

    what our society needs—the kind of rules whereby you would be OK even if your worst enemy were in charge”. 

    Wow!   That idea exactly parallels what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution.

    Our society should have rules that are evenly applied, known, and understood.    All sides must play by the same rules; we can compete hard against each other but always within the same rules.  If someone unfairly benefits by a rule, society can make a judgment and change that rule (or not), but until the rule is changed, justices must referee under the old rules. 

    With Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court, the 2nd Amendment should finally have a reliable majority in support of it, in the manner the Founding Fathers envisioned.  The old rules will apply.  Without this reliable majority, an evenly divided Supreme Court has been silent on the 2nd Amendment since the “Heller” and “McDonald” decisions, for fear that unreliable John Roberts might side with the other side.  We should start to see 2nd Amendment cases being taken up by the Supreme Court, much to the dismay of gun grabbers everywhere.

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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