Presidents

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The HOPE Columbine Memorial Library that repla...

The HOPE Columbine Memorial Library that replaced the library where most of the massacre unfolded (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article by our friend Andrew J. Jackson at Prepography.com

‘The Art & Study of Self-Reliance’

Andrew’s Note:  This is a bit longer than the typical Quote of the Day but I thought that it was important to hear from a crime victim, someone with firsthand experience of what it’s like to be at the mercy of a murderous criminal.  The author is a survivor of the attack on Columbine High School.  Here’s the opinion of a Columbine survivor on gun control and how effective the proposed gun control schemes might be…

Mr. President,

As a student who was shot and wounded during the Columbine massacre, I have a few thoughts on the current gun debate. In regards to your gun control initiatives:

Universal Background Checks

First, a universal background check will have many devastating effects. It will arguably have the opposite impact of what you propose. If adopted, criminals will know that they can not pass a background check legally, so they will resort to other avenues. With the conditions being set by this initiative, it will create a large black market for weapons and will support more criminal activity and funnel additional money into the hands of thugs, criminals, and people who will do harm to American citizens.

Second, universal background checks will create a huge bureaucracy that will cost an enormous amount of tax payers dollars and will straddle us with more debt. We cannot afford it now, let alone create another function of government that will have a huge monthly bill attached to it.

Third, is a universal background check system possible without universal gun registration? If so, please define it for us. Universal registration can easily be used for universal confiscation. I am not at all implying that you, sir, would try such a measure, but we do need to think about our actions through the lens of time.

It is not impossible to think that a tyrant, to the likes of Mao, Castro, Che, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and others, could possibly rise to power in America. It could be five, ten, twenty, or one hundred years from now — but future generations have the natural right to protect themselves from tyrannical government just as much as we currently do. It is safe to assume that this liberty that our forefathers secured has been a thorn in the side of would-be tyrants ever since the Second Amendment was adopted.

Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons

The evidence is very clear pertaining to the inadequacies of the assault weapons ban. It had little to no effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004. It was during this time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke.

Gun ownership is at an all time high. And although tragedies like Columbine and Newtown are exploited by ideologues and special-interest lobbying groups, crime is at an all time low. The people have spoken. Gun store shelves have been emptied. Gun shows are breaking attendance records. Gun manufacturers are sold out and back ordered. Shortages on ammo and firearms are countrywide. The American people have spoken and are telling you that our Second Amendment shall not be infringed.

10-Round Limit for Magazines

Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Seung-Hui Cho used two of the smallest caliber hand guns manufactured and a handful of ten round magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited magazines would make any difference at all.
Second, this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens. I’ve heard you ask, “why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?”

Let me ask you this: Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens? Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines, but the average American will not. Whose side are you on?

Lastly, when did they government get into the business of regulating “needs?” This is yet another example of government overreaching and straying from its intended purpose.

Selling to Criminals

Mr. President, these are your words: “And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.”

Why don’t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program?

Furthermore, the vast majority of these mass murderers bought their weapons legally and jumped through all the hoops —  because they were determined to murder. Adding more hoops and red tape will not stop these types of people. It doesn’t now — so what makes you think it will in the future? Criminals who cannot buy guns legally just resort to the black market.

Criminals and murderers will always find a way.

Critical Examination

Mr. President, in theory, your initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes who wish to do harm to others.

Let me be clear: These ideas are the worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or regulation that will stop bad things from happening — and you know that. Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why?

You said, “If we can save just one person it is worth it.” Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual:

First, forget all of your current initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an already-overreaching government, and empowers and enables criminals to run amok.

Second, press Congress to repeal the “Gun Free Zone Act.” Don’t allow America’s teachers and students to be endangered one-day more. These parents and teachers have the natural right to defend themselves and not be looked at as criminals. There is no reason teachers must disarm themselves to perform their jobs. There is also no reason a parent or volunteer should be disarmed when they cross the school line.

This is your chance to correct history and restore liberty. This simple act of restoring freedom will deter would-be murderers and for those who try, they will be met with resistance.

Mr. President, do the right thing, restore freedom, and save lives. Show the American people that you stand with them and not with thugs and criminals.

Respectfully,

Severely Concerned Citizen, Evan M. Todd

This article by our friend Andrew J. Jackson at Prepography.com

‘The Art & Study of Self-Reliance’

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present another lesson from our Military Pedagogy series.  This discussion, from FM 21-76, the U.S. Army Survival Manual [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited] is on using the Shadow Tip Method of Field Expedient Direction Finding.

In a survival situation, you will be extremely fortunate if you happen to have a map and compass.  If you do have these two pieces of equipment, you will most likely be able to move toward help.  If you are not proficient in using a map and compass, you must take the steps to gain this skill.

There are several methods by which you can determine direction by using the sun and the stars.  These methods, however, will give you only a general direction.  You can come up with a more nearly true direction if you know the terrain of the territory or country.

You must learn all you can about the terrain of the country or territory to which you or your unit may be sent, especially any prominent features or landmarks.  This knowledge of the terrain together with using the methods explained below will let you come up with fairly true directions to help you navigate.

USING THE SUN AND SHADOWS

Figure 18-1 Shadow Tip MethodThe earth’s relationship to the sun can help you to determine direction on earth.  The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west, but not exactly due east or due west. There is also some seasonal variation.  In the northern hemisphere, the sun will be due south when at its highest point in the sky, or when an object casts no appreciable shadow.  In the southern hemisphere, this same noonday sun will mark due north.  In the northern hemisphere, shadows will move clockwise. Shadows will move counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere.  With practice, you can use shadows to determine both direction and time of day.  The shadow methods used for direction finding are the shadow-tip and watch methods.

Shadow-Tip Methods

In the first shadow-tip method, find a straight stick 1 meter long, and a level spot free of brush on which the stick will cast a definite shadow.  This method is simple and accurate and consists of four steps:

  • Step 1.  Place the stick or branch into the ground at a level spot where it will cast a distinctive shadow.  Mark the shadow’s tip with a stone, twig, or other means.  This first shadow mark is always west–everywhere on earth.
  •  Step 2.  Wait 10 to 15 minutes until the shadow tip moves a few centimeters.  Mark the shadow tip’s new position in the same way as the first.
  •  Step 3.  Draw a straight line through the two marks to obtain an approximate east-west line.
  •  Step 4.  Stand with the first mark (west) to your left and the second mark to your right–you are now facing north. This fact is true everywhere on earth.

An alternate method is more accurate but requires more time. Set up your shadow stick and mark the first shadow in the morning.  Use a piece of string to draw a clean arc through this mark and around the stick.  At midday, the shadow will shrink and disappear.  In the afternoon, it will lengthen again and at the point where it touches the arc, make a second mark.  Draw a line through the two marks to get an accurate east-west line (see Figure 18-1).