gun control

Harvard Poll: Millennials Prefer Democrats To Control Congress, Stricter Gun Control Laws

I spotted the following headline on the Washington Examiner website yesterday:

“Harvard: Millennials now biggest voting group in U.S., 2-1 Democratic”

Considering this Gen Xer always strives to get a good picture of where the country might be heading and Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers last year as the nation’s largest living generation, I thought I’d go to the source and see what this is all about. From Harvard University’s Institute of Politics website:

“Two-thirds of youth fearful about America’s future, prefer Democratic control of Congress, Harvard youth poll finds”

CAMBRIDGE, MA – A new national poll of America’s 18- to 29-year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the Kennedy School of Government, finds that two-thirds of young Americans (67%) are more fearful than hopeful about America’s future. Less than one year before the 2018 midterm elections, likely young American voters cite preference for Democratic control of Congress, 65% to 33%.

The Fall 2017 poll, the IOP’s 34th major public opinion poll since 2000, also shows that President Trump’s approval ratings continue to decline, heightened concern about the state of race relations in the country and increased support for stricter gun control laws.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Key findings included:

4. Democratic control of Congress preferred 2:1; Democrats more engaged, Republicans less so, compared to 2014 midterm cycle; motivation among Democrats +9 since January

Among 18- to 29-year-olds who are likely to vote, 65% would prefer to see Democrats control Congress after the 2018 midterms. One third of young voters (33%) prefer Republican control. Independent voters prefer Democratic control by over 30 points (66% to 32%). Across most measures, young Democrats in our poll are more engaged politically than they were at a comparable time in the 2014 midterm cycle, while Republicans are less engaged. The percentage of Democrats who consider themselves politically engaged has increased 8 points, from 24% to 32%, while Republican engagement is down 7 points, from 31% to 24%.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Among the additional findings:

7. 61% of young Americans believe gun laws should be more strict, representing a marked change since 2013 when less than half (49%) felt the same way.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

These poll findings suggest the U.S., with Millennials at the helm, could be headed “left,” with more gun control laws being enacted.

That being said, I did observe the following in the poll’s “Topline Report” which could raise questions about the findings/claims made:

6. When it comes to voting, with which party do you consider yourself to be affiliated?

Net: Democrat… 38%
Net: Republican… 22%

Independent/Unaffiliated… 39%
Lean Democrat… 10%
Lean Republican… 6%

7. When it comes to most political issues, do you think of yourself as a…?

Net: Liberal… 37%
Moderate… 28%
Net: Conservative… 32%

Critics might point out the “shortage” of Republican, Republican-leaning Independent, and Conservative poll respondents.

Still, the findings of this new Harvard poll only increases my suspicions of what could be in store for America down the road.

More on that later. In the meantime, you can read about the poll on the Institute of Politics’ site here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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New ‘Responsible Body Armor Possession Act’ Legislation Coming?

At the end of last week I pointed out the new “Assault Weapons Ban of 2017” legislation that was introduced in the U.S. Senate on November 8.

Not really surprising considering the recent mass shootings in Nevada and Texas.

Another proposed ban that wouldn’t be shocking is a new “Responsible Body Armor Possession Act” bill, “justified” via initial reports of the Nevada and Texas shooters both possibly possessing ballistic protection at each crime scene. The Associated Press reported back on October 9:

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo says the shooter at a Las Vegas concert who killed 58 people fired at fuel tanks near the Mandalay Bay Hotel from which he was shooting.

Lombardo also says Stephen Paddock had personal protection equipment in his room.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And from Doug Poppa over on The Los Angeles Post-Examiner website on November 9:

Stephen Willeford was at home less than a block away from the First Baptist Church when his daughter ran in telling him that there was gunfire coming from the church.

Willeford immediately went to his gun safe, removed his AR-15 rifle, a box of ammunition and an unloaded magazine and ran out of the house barefooted, loading up the magazine with several rounds as he headed for the church.

When he approached the church, he said he saw Kelley, who was wearing a tactical helmet with a visor and ballistic armor, heading to his truck with a handgun in his hand.

Kelley opened fire on Willeford who was using a neighbor’s truck as cover.

Willeford, who is an NRA certified firearms instructor said he knew when he saw Kelley’s ballistic armor that he had to aim for Kelley’s side which was exposed between the Velcro straps that pulled the front and back of the ballistic armor together.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

While Paddock’s “personal protection equipment” may not turn out to be body armor (not sure if the American public will ever be privy to that information), taking into Stephen Willeford’s shooting background, it does sound like Devin Kelley could have been wearing a bullet-resistant vest/plate carrier (if what The Los Angeles Post-Examiner reported is true). Even if it turns out neither individual had body armor, the potential remains for a new ban being proposed. Consider the following from the Loadout Room website concerning the push for the original Responsible Body Armor Possession Act of 2014:

In support of this bill, it has been claimed the mass killers who carried out the shootings in Newtown and Aurora were wearing body armor during their crimes. Initial press reports falsely described the shooters wearing body armor. One was wearing a ‘fishing vest’ and the other a mall ninja type load bearing vest. Neither killer had any type of ballistic protection.

Should new legislation seeking to ban “enhanced” body armor be introduced, I can’t say for sure what kind of reception it will get in Congress. The same goes for the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2017” (especially after what just happened in California).

Survival And Prosperity will be watching, however.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Las Vegas sheriff: Shooter fired at nearby fuel tanks.” Associated Press. 9 Oct. 2017. (http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Las-Vegas-sheriff-Shooter-filed-at-nearby-fuel-tanks-450144573.html). 14 Nov. 2017

Poppa, Doug. “Three heroes emerge amidst the tragedy in Texas.” The Los Angeles Post-Examiner. 9 Nov. 2017. (http://lapostexaminer.com/three-heroes-emerge-amidst-tragedy-texas/2017/11/09). 14 Nov. 2017.

Miller, Mark. “My Body Armor, My Choice: Member of Congress Introduces a Bill to Ban Body Armor for Civilians.” Loadout Room. 9 Sep. 2017. (https://loadoutroom.com/thearmsguide/body-armor-choice-california-congressman-introduces-bill-ban-body-armor-civilians/). 15 Nov. 2017.

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‘Assault Weapons Ban Of 2017’ Legislation Introduced In U.S. Senate

You knew it was coming after the Nevada and Texas mass shootings. From the website of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislation Action (NRA-ILA) Thursday:

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

On Wednesday, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 2095, which she is calling the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017. The 125-page firearm prohibition fever dream is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.

Subject to an exception for “grandfathered” firearms, the bill would prohibit AR-15s and dozens of other semi-automatic rifles by name (as well as their “variants” or “altered facsimiles”), and any semi-automatic rifle that could accept a detachable magazine and be equipped with a pistol grip, an adjustable or detachable stock, or a barrel shroud. And that’s just a partial list. “Pistol grip” would be defined as “a grip, a thumbhole stock, or any other characteristic that can function as a grip,” meaning the ban could implicate even traditional stocks or grips specifically designed to comply with existing state “assault weapon” laws.

Needless to say, semi-automatic shotguns and handguns would get similar treatment.

Also banned would be any magazine with a capacity of greater than 10 rounds or even any magazine that could be “readily restored, changed, or converted to accept” more than 10 rounds.

While Feinstein’s bill would graciously allow those who lawfully owned the newly-banned guns at the time of the law’s enactment to keep them, it would impose strict storage requirements any time the firearm was not actually in the owner’s hands or within arm’s reach. Violations would be punishable (of course) by imprisonment.

Owners of grandfathered “assault weapons” could also go to prison for allowing someone else to borrow or buy the firearm, unless the transfer was processed through a licensed firearms dealer. The dealer would be required to document the transaction and run a background check on the recipient.

Should lawful owners of the newly-banned firearms and magazines decide that the legal hazards of keeping them were too much, the bill would authorize the use of taxpayer dollars in the form of federal grants to establish programs to provide “compensation” for their surrender to the government.

This bill is nothing more than a rehash of Feinstein’s failed experiment in banning “assault weapons” and magazines over 10 rounds. Except this time, Feinstein would like to go even further in restricting law-abiding Americans’ access to firearms and magazines that are commonly owned for lawful self-defense.

The congressionally-mandated study of the federal “assault weapon ban” of 1994-2004 found that the ban had little, if any, impact on crime, in part because “the banned guns were never used in more than a modest fraction” of firearm related crime.

Don’t let Dianne Feinstein infringe on our Second Amendment rights with a policy that’s been proven to do nothing to stop crime. Please contact your U.S. Senators and encourage them to oppose S. 2095. You can contact your U.S. Senators by phone at (202) 224-3121, or click here to Take Action.


“Diane Feinstein on Gun ban in 1995 -Mr. and Mrs. America, turn your guns in!”
YouTube Video

Permission granted by the NRA-ILA to reproduce the material above.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Illinois House Adopts ‘Zombie Preparedness Month’ Resolution, Schedules ‘2nd Amendment Preservation Act’ Hearing

While bills related to the ongoing budget impasse are drawing the bulk of attention these days, there has been activity in the Illinois House of Representatives on two other pieces of legislation that may interest Survival And Prosperity readers.

First, there’s House Bill 413, which seeks to create the “2nd Amendment Preservation Act.” From the Illinois General Assembly website:

Short Description: 2ND AMENDMENT PRESERVATION

House Sponsors
Rep. David B. Reis

Hearings
Judiciary- Criminal Committee Hearing Feb 15 2017 3:00PM Capitol Building Room 114 Springfield, IL

Synopsis As Introduced
Creates the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. Provides that other than in compliance with an order of a court, notwithstanding any law, regulation, rule, or order to the contrary, no agency of this State, political subdivision of this State, or employee of an agency or political subdivision of the State acting in his or her official capacity shall: (1) knowingly and willingly participate in any way in the enforcement of any federal Act, law, order, rule, or regulation issued, enacted, or promulgated on or after the effective date of the Act regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition; or (2) utilize any assets, State funds, or funds allocated by the State to local entities on or after the effective date of the Act, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent, or corporation providing services to the federal government in the enforcement or any investigation under the enforcement of any federal Act, law, order, rule, or regulation issued, enacted, or promulgated on or after the effective date of the Act regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Some might ask if this pro-2A legislation is even necessary considering the Republican-controlled Congress and an NRA-backed President who seems to support gun rights.

From what I understand, its purpose is to have something in place to combat some future Oval Office that’s made gun control and civilian disarmament a priority.

As indicated above, a “Judiciary-Criminal Committee Hearing” on Illinois HB0413 has been scheduled for next Wednesday, February 15.

Moving on to Illinois House Resolution 30, seeking to designate October 2017 as “Zombie Preparedness Month” in the state. From the Illinois General Assembly site:

Short Description: ZOMBIE PREPAREDNESS MONTH

House Sponsors
Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch- Grant Wehrli and Tim Butler

Synopsis As Introduced
Designates October 2017 as “Zombie Preparedness Month” in the State of Illinois, and urges all Illinoisans to educate themselves about natural disasters and take steps to create a stockpile of food, water, and other emergency supplies that can last up to 72 hours…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I just learned this morning that Illinois HR0030 was adopted by the House Thursday.

Now, prior to the adoption of this legislation and even as recent as Friday morning, some are criticizing this resolution as being a distraction from more pressing matters facing the state, like the budget/debt crisis.

I don’t know. While this part of the country is generally thought to be less disaster-prone than other regions, major emergencies and man-made/natural disasters can strike anyplace at anytime. Besides the significant earthquake danger posed to southern Illinois (just blogged about Tuesday), other threats to the state include severe weather, terrorism, nuclear power plant accidents, and economic collapse, among others. And I’m guessing the majority of Illinoisans probably aren’t prepared to deal with any of these.

Since the zombie fad is still “hot” these days, why shouldn’t Springfield capitalize on it NOW and use the Zombie Apocalypse as the vehicle to get Illinois residents prepared for future emergencies/disasters?

Plus, did any critics take a moment to consider it’s possible (likely?) Representatives Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside, Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), and Tim Butler (R-Springfield) were shrewd enough to figure out that introducing this resolution and getting it adopted when they did- in the middle of a raging budget battle- would generate significant publicity about Zombie Preparedness Month?

Query the event in a search engine and you’ll see what kind of attention their action is getting.

All for a good cause, if you ask me.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Illinois State Representative Rita Mayfield (D) Proposes 3.75 Percent Surcharge On Firearms And Firearm Parts

Illinois Democrats continue to push anti-gun legislation in Springfield, the latest being Illinois House Bill 1810 from State Representative Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan). From Brandon Merano over on the WSIL-TV (Southern Illinois ABC affiliate) website Friday:

A new bill headed to the Illinois House floor could increase what we pay for guns.

The bill would put a three-and-three-quarters percent charge on firearms and firearm parts, with revenue going to at-risk youth.

Language in HB 1810, introduced by State Representative Rita Mayfield defines “At risk Youth” as kids ages 16 – 22 who live in a “high crime area where the homicide rate is more than 4 times higher than the average rate of a community the same size.”

That suggests most of the funding would flow north to Chicago…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

A week ago, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action reported on legislation introduced in the Illinois Senate by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights)- Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 9- warning:

Under SA 2, a 5% tax would be imposed on any membership or access fee for gun clubs, shooting ranges, hunt clubs, training classes and match fees. Not only is this an abhorrent tax on your Second Amendment rights, it also requires that any of those places/people to register with the state and pay an annual fee of $75 just so that they can offer their service or membership with the 5% tax added

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

To see the latest actions on Illinois HB1810, visit the Illinois General Assembly website here. And for activity regarding SB0009, head to that same site here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Merano, Brandon. “Proposed Illinois law aims to tax gun purhcases.” WSIL-TV. 3 Feb. 2017. (http://www.wsiltv.com/story/34424940/new-law-aims-to-tax-gun-purchases). 5 Feb. 2017.reported

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Illinois State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D) Proposes Wide-Ranging Anti-Gun Tax

Now that the November elections are over, it was only a matter of time before the next assault was launched against the Second Amendment in Illinois.

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action published the following on their website Monday:

Illinois: Anti-Gun Tax Proposed on Exercising Second Amendment Rights

Last week, the Illinois Senate received Senate Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 9 from state Senator Toi Hutchinson. In an attempt to address the ongoing budget problem in Illinois, Sen. Hutchinson decided to tax Illinois residents’ Second Amendment rights, and by extension, their right to safety.

Under SA 2, a 5% tax would be imposed on any membership or access fee for gun clubs, shooting ranges, hunt clubs, training classes and match fees. Not only is this an abhorrent tax on your Second Amendment rights, it also requires that any of those places/people to register with the state and pay an annual fee of $75 just so that they can offer their service or membership with the 5% tax added.

By increasing the price of self-defense classes as well as any fee spent on range time and practice, this amendment is making it more expensive for Illinoisans to seek training to be able to defend themselves. SA 2 to Senate Bill 9 effectively sees Illinois residents’ right to safety as an opportunity to ease the budget burden on the entirety of the state. Further, any “repair, servicing, alteration, fitting, cleaning, painting, coating, towing, inspection, or maintenance of tangible personal property” is also taxable under SA 2. This section would include all gunsmithing and gun refinishing under taxable services.

It is extremely important that NRA members and Second Amendment supporters contact their state Senator and strongly urge them to oppose Senate Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 9. The Second Amendment rights and right to safety of Illinoisans is not something that the legislature should tax

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The NRA-ILA offers opponents of Senate Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 9 a way to take action via their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Illinois State Rifle Association: ‘Good Riddance’ Barack Obama

A January 20 press release from the Illinois State Rifle Association (“dedicated to education, safety training and support of Illinois firearm owners”) is making the rounds on the Internet. Executive Director Richard Pearson penned:

ISRA: Goodbye Barack… Hello Donald

“About eight years ago, I penned a letter to gun owners nationwide about my experiences lobbying Barack Obama when he was an Illinois State Senator. Among the adjectives, I used to describe Senator Obama were arrogant, rude, self-righteous, indignant and aloof. I warned gun owners that an Obama presidency would cast the darkest of days upon supporters of our Second Amendment. I advised gun owners that the only hope for preserving gun rights would be a sustained pushback against Obama’s attempts to obliterate civilian firearm ownership.

There was never any doubt in my mind that Obama would seek to crush the Second Amendment. Obama entered office with the very firm intention of satisfying the globalist ideal of knocking America down a couple of pegs. Thus, in no time at all, President Obama attacked two great American icons – General Motors and our superlative health care system. Next on his plate was an assault on the uniquely American sense of rugged individualism. As we all know, self-reliance is predicated upon the existence of the Second Amendment. Plain and simple – without a Second Amendment, individualism is just a fantasy. Yes, early in his tenure, Barack Obama was achieving his objective of making America more like the rest of the world rather than encouraging the rest of the world to be more like us.

When Obama charged headlong into the gun control fray, he was met with stubborn and determined opposition from everyday gun owners. We fought him in Congress. We fought him in the federal courts. We fought him in the court of public opinion. In the end, the good guys won and the promise of a nation-wide version of Chicago-style gun control faded into irrelevance. For that, gun owners owe themselves a hearty pat on the back.

Now enters Donald Trump- President Donald Trump. Trump has made a lot of promises to gun owners and I hope he keeps them. Copious promises notwithstanding, the nation’s gun owners must remain mobilized and prepared to fight the gun control movement whether the battle is at the national, state, or local level. The fight for gun rights is not over and will never be over.

In closing, I’d like to bid Barack Obama “good riddance,” and wish President Trump well in the monumental job he is about to undertake.”

The ISRA is the state’s leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

For more information about the Illinois State Rifle Association, head on over to their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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