Kim Wiley, a guest at the funeral took a photograph of Taylor and posted it to social media. It caught a lot of attention and attracted over six-thousand ‘likes’ in just a few days.

‘It was cold and windy, he was drenched,’ said Wiley, ‘but he proudly stood there…still and tall, until it was time to approach the casket (and) fold the flag,’

Specialist Taylor said he was cold, but happy to show the family the respect all veterans deserve for their service, and that it had been an ‘honour and a blessing’ to be a part of such a tribute to a military veteran.

WWII Nurse  Annie McVadon, pictured on the right, is shown here with her sister after joining the U.S. Army during World War II. (Source: Family of Annie McVadon)
WWII Nurse  Annie McVadon, pictured on the right, is shown here with her sister after joining the U.S. Army during World War II. (Source: Family of Annie McVadon)

Annie Ruth McVadon was remembered as a fun-loving, generous woman full of heart-warming wartime stories of big bands and the celebrations that came with the news that the war was over.

Her family confirmed they were pleasantly surprised by all the positive messages that had come with the photograph taken at her funeral as it made its way across the country via social media.

A video has also emerged of Specialist Taylor as he played Taps in the rain.

The tune, Taps, has a long and distinguished military history of its own. It is said to have been inspired by older European tunes used to signal the end of the day.

Historians have pointed to the tradition of the bugle call to be followed by three slow single drumbeats, or ‘taps’, which may be where the tune first found its modern name. The signal was known as the ‘drum taps’ and was subsequently shortened over time.

The tune has its roots in the ‘Scott Tattoo’ used by US forces in the first half of the Nineteenth Century, while its present form has been attributed to Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield.

WWII Nurse  Annie McVadon, pictured in her nursing uniform. (Source: Family of Annie McVadon)
WWII Nurse  Annie McVadon, pictured in her nursing uniform. (Source: Family of Annie McVadon)

He was a Civil War General, held a Medal of Honour and commanded the Third Brigade of the First Division in the Fifth Army Corps at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.

Butterfield wanted to replace a French bugle call that signalled ‘lights out’ with one that was ‘American.’ First played by his own bugler, Oliver Wilcox Norton, it was picked up and used across the American battle-lines by both Union and Confederate forces within months. You could say that the tune itself ‘went viral’.

It was in 1862 that Taps was first used by Captain John C Tidball for the funeral of ‘a most excellent’ corporal who had been under his command.



Denied approval for a gun salute for military reasons, Tidball’s Battery A, 2nd US Artillery, played Taps instead.

The use of the Taps bugle call spread until in 1874 the tune was given the stamp of approval for use by the US Army.

A proud Tidball later wrote that, ‘Battery A has the honour of having introduced this custom into the service, and it is worthy of historical note’. It became a regulation standard component of military funerals in 1891.

‘Silver’ or ‘Echo’ Taps, where two buglers perform the tune, while tradition at some military colleges, is frowned upon by the US Army who see it as ‘an improper use of bugler assets’.




New Gun Control Law Would Require Gun Owners in NY to get Mental Health Evaluations

H/T AmmoLand.

The people that need to have mental health evaluations are Little Andy Cuomo and the DemocRats that run the state of New York.

New York – -( The march for more gun laws in New York continues with on another assault on the rights of the citizens in what is truly becoming the Empire State. The latest is sponsored by state Senator James Sanders Jr. of the 10th Senate District which low and behold is over seventy-five percent Democrat and is in southeast Queens, some of the more crime-ridden parts of New York City.

The bill (S7065) (A01589) would make it mandatory that every gun owner in the state of New York get a mental health evaluation before they could purchase a firearm. This wouldn’t be a one-time thing, this would be for every gun and of course, these evaluations would have to be held at a location of the state of New York’s choosing and would be at the expense of the person looking to purchase the gun. This new assault on the rights of gun owners comes in the face of the ever progressive agenda of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s regime making it more than well known that gun owners in New York State are not only not wanted, they are on his list of targets and as he has said in the past if people don’t like his rules, then they are free to leave. The way things are going in New York, that’s getting to be the only thing they are free to do.

So, each time a gun owner wants to buy a gun, no matter what, they will have to seek out an approved mental health professional to have an evaluation performed.

For rural gun owners, where most people who own guns in the state happen to live, it would involve a drive to probably your nearest hospital. In my locale, that’s at least forty-five miles in one direction. Then there’s the cost of the expense to the price of the gun, which no one knows since it will be at the discretion of the doctor, and if the gun owner has health insurance if it will even be covered, etc.

NY Democrat State Senator James Sanders Jr.

Once the potential gun owner has the proof, he or she passed their mental health evaluation then they have to take that to the gun store and still fill out the paperwork. So, you can imagine this would be the death knell for all gun shows in the state because there would be no one walking out of one with a firearm purchased at all since the NICS check won’t even be able to be performed until the mental health screening is done. In fact, since most doctors don’t have weekend office hours, gun shops might as well close up because they won’t be doing much in the way of selling.

As usual, this new law would do absolutely nothing to keep criminals but it would another hurdle in a long line of infringements to law-abiding gun owners in a state where the ruling party with its new no cash bail law has dumped criminals back out on the streets to re-offend while law-abiding citizens are pleading with police and what few lawmakers are listening to reign in the lawlessness that is now just beginning to be realized.

There is also a larger and much more sinister motive to think about here. New York passed its own version of a Red Flag law last year, and unlike other states, it allows schools and just about anyone else to petition the courts to get an ERPO and have someone’s firearms taken away. Now can you imagine every gun owner now having to be subjected to a mental health exam, over and over again, where one wrong question, one misconstrued answer or even the bias of the doctor could not only prevent someone from legally buying the gun they were looking to get, but also lead to the police coming to the house and taking the rest and with a doctor’s word versus the citizen’s in court, the gun owner, soon to become the former gun owner, wouldn’t stand a chance legally.

This is just the ongoing pattern of gun control laws not only sweeping New York, and now Virginia and other states, but are just the tip of the spear of what the left really wants, to take guns by any means necessary. What these lawmakers couldn’t do one way is now being done another. I urge any gun owner in the state of New York to oppose this legislation, we can’t play the “it won’t happen here” game anymore, because when that gets said enough times, it does happen here, and it will happen here. This is an election year for all of the lawmakers in New York, and the cash bail law is proving to be so unpopular that it could cost a few Democrats their Senate and Assembly seats, perhaps enough to gain back some power, enough to keep Andrew Cuomo in check. Call your elected officials, write them, email them, and make sure they know where you stand, we are on our own here, we cannot rely on the NRA in New York which has sadly all but vanished.

The Founding Fathers never had a lobby group, they were on their own too, and New York was once part of the bastions of freedom from tyranny, I believe it can be done once again.

The Battle of Long Island was one of the pivotal battles during the American Revolution and was fought in New York.
Without the defeat of the British at the Battle of Saratoga it’s likely the Revolutionary War would have had a different outcome. New York was founded with the blood of patriots.

About David LaPellDavid LaPell

David LaPell has been a Corrections Officer with the local Sheriff’s Department for thirteen years. A collector of antique and vintage firearms for over twenty years and an avid hunter. David has been writing articles about firearms, hunting, and western history for ten years. In addition to having a passion for vintage guns, he is also a fan of old trucks and has written articles on those as well.


Dem Senator Is Making a Move That Will, Put Chief Justice Roberts in the Hot Seat

H/T Town Hall.

If Senator Chris Van Hollen(Delusional-MD) makes this move I will be willing to bet Chief Justice Roberts will rule in favor of the DemocRats.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) plans to make a motion on Friday that would require Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to decide, once and for all, whether or not the Senate will hear from witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

“A fair trial includes documents and witnesses. And in a fair trial the judge determines what evidence is admitted. My motion ensures the Chief Justice will serve the same role as a judge in any trial across our country – to allow the Senate access to the facts they need to get to the truth,” Van Hollen said in a statement. “My motion requires the Chief Justice to subpoena witnesses and documents if he determines they are likely to provide evidence relevant to the articles of impeachment. It would also require the Chief Justice to rule on any executive privilege – to prevent efforts by the Administration to stonewall and delay access to the facts.”

“This motion is consistent with Senate rules and could pass with a majority vote, and would preserve the right of the Senate to overrule the Chief Justice if the majority disagrees,” Van Hollen said.

“No Republican can question the fairness of this approach – the Chief Justice oversees the highest court in our land and was nominated by a Republican President,” the senator said in his statement. “And, given his authority to rule on questions of privilege, they should not fear a drawn-out process. I urge my colleagues to seek out truth and the facts and to vote in support of my motion. Anything else constitutes an effort to hide the truth.”

Democrats have repeatedly made the argument that hearing from witnesses will clear up the air on the president’s so-called wrongdoing. Two of the main people they want to hear from are former National Security Adviser John Bolton and Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

Republicans have argued that any witnesses should have been called in the House. When these officials were slapped with Congressional subpoenas, the White House invoked executive privilege. Instead of waiting for the courts to rule whether or not these officials’ testimony was a matter of national security, Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed full steam ahead. She admitted that the courts could “take a very long time” to make a determination.


WV Governor Invites 2A Virginia Counties to Secede to His State

H/T Breitbart.

Will these two counties secede?

Governor Jim Justice (R) on Tuesday invited Virginia counties weighed down by Democrat gun control to secede from the Old Dominion and become part of West Virginia.

WSET reports Justice referenced West Virginia’s emergence as a state in 1863, the result of seceding from overreaching Virginia Democrats at the time, and made clear the invitation for counties to secede which was extended then remains standing today.

During a joint press conference with Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Justice said, “A long time ago, the infringement of fundamental values” led to the formation of West Virginia. This point comes as Virginia Democrats continue their focused attack on Second Amendment rights; it comes as more than 100 local governments in Virginia have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries in the face of infringement on fundamental gun rights.

Justice added, “West Virginia is an incredible state…If you’re not truly happy with where you are, we stand with open arms to take you from Virginia or wherever you may be. We stand strongly behind the Second Amendment, we stand strongly behind the unborn.”

On January 15, 2020, Breitbart News reported West Virginia lawmakers were pushing a resolution to allow Virginia counties to join the state.

The resolution, HRC 8, said in part:

Whereas, Article VI, Section 11 of The Constitution of the State of West Virginia explicitly permits additional territory to be admitted into, and become part of this state, with the consent of the Legislature and of a majority of the qualified voters of the state; and

Whereas, In a spirit of conciliation, the Legislature of West Virginia hereby extends an invitation to our fellow Virginians who wish to do so, to join us in our noble experiment of 156 years of separation from the government at Richmond; and, we extend an invitation to any constituent county or city of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the body politic of the State of West Virginia, under the conditions set forth in our state Constitution, specifically, with the consent of a majority of the voters of such county or city voting upon such proposition; and we hereby covenant that their many grievances shall be addressed, and, we further covenant with them that their firearms rights shall be protected to the fullest extent possible under our Federal and State Constitution.

The resolution was designed to secure a Special Session of state legislators to plan “a special election to provide for the approval of the admission, or, the rejection of such admission, of such county or independent city.”




H/T Guns In The News.

This bill will most likely become law but it will never survive a court challenge.

The House of Delegates in Virginia will be taking up several very anti-Second Amendment bills in the next few days.

First, there is HB 2 (Del. Plum) a supposed Universal Background Check which defies description.

After July 1, 2020, if you are in a gun store and you simply put your hand on a firearm you think you may like to purchase before the gun store receives a background check from the state police you are guilty of a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

If the Store clerks actually gives you the gun to hold to see if you did like it, he would be guilty of a class 6 felony – with five years in jail if this is done before the state police report back to the store clerk with the results of your NICS check.

The bill criminalizes most any “transfer” of a weapon from person A to person B because to “transfer” literally means to remove from one place, person to another; pass or hand over from one to another, specifically to change over the possession or control.  This inane provision makes no one in Virginia safer.  But it heavily complicates the purchase of a gun.

A wife who asks her husband to take her handgun from the top of the dresser and put it safely away so the grandkids cannot access when they come over is also a class six felony, and her husband commits a Class 1 misdemeanor because no background check was done to “validate” the process.  This is beyond senseless.

It is hard to figure out if the proponents of such gun legislation are completely thoughtless, malicious or both.

In any case, I need you to write your delegate today. (Please take action above)

The next bill HB 812 (Del. Ward) limiting the purchase of handguns to one a month also will do nothing to make Virginia safer.

Both the killer who murdered 11 victims in Virginia Beach municipal building in early 2019 and the murderer who killed 34 teachers and students and injured many more at Virginia Tech in 2007 purchased two handguns more than a month apart. Both used their two handguns lawfully purchased more than a month apart to murder many innocent persons

In fact, the study of the Virginia Tech murders specifically noted that the killer apparently waited just over a month to make his second handgun purchase because of Virginia’s law then making limiting handgun purchases to one gun a month.  So, was the killer a law-abiding citizen? No!  He was a murderer who just bided his time.

The one gun a month Virginia law which was repealed did not save one life.  But Gov. Northam now wants it passed again to convince Virginians he is “doing something” about crime.

Your delegate needs to hear from you on this bill, as well.

The third bill, HB 1083 (Del. Hayes), basically tells parents they are not competent to decide how to store their guns away from their children, and the bill makes it nearly impossible for gun owners to quickly access a firearm if home intruders decide to break into you home.  Heavy penalties are imposed for violators.

Again, please use the pre-written text so you can quickly let your delegate know that you want him or her to vote NO on all of these bills. Again, please take action above.

PA Town Voted Down Gun Store Free Zones Around Schools

H/T Bearing Arms.

This is a good call.


For some reason, areas around schools are often treated like sacred spaces. Certain businesses aren’t allowed to be conducted within so many feet of a school, sometimes for good reason. Adult-themed stores, for example, are probably not the ideal business a parent would like their child to walk past twice a day. Liquor stores might have drunks driving recklessly in the area as well.

I don’t necessarily agree with the reasoning, of course, but I can kind of understand it.

Well, a Pennsylvania town is voted on a measure that would treat gun stores the exact same way.

 Lancaster Country Day School Administrators firmly believe they are trying to protect anyone who walks through their doors.

“Without students feeling safe, they won’t be at their best during school day and neither will teachers and staff,” Assistant Head Todd Trout said.

The school submitted a proposal to Manheim Township Commissioners in September that would create a one-thousand-foot buffer zone around schools. Gun shops and even images of guns would be prohibited inside the zones.

Trout said they submitted the proposal because of concerns with the Gun Gallery, a firearm retailer that opened near the school in 2018.

“There was a heightened concern about safety and security,” Trout said. “There have been numerous mass shootings through the country. There was one just before [Gun Gallery] opened up. You could tell people were concerned and asking, ‘Is that what we want near our school?’”

The town council voted not to proceed, thankfully, but I can’t help but get a little hung up on the fact that it got this close in the first place.

First, proximity to a gun store has never been indicative of anything, especially in regard to crime. Trust me, if it was, the anti-gunners would be beating that drum endlessly. The fact that they’re not tells me there’s been no study to even hint at such a thing.

No, what happened is that guns and gun owners are so acceptable to demonize and that people like Mr. Trout are so easy to manipulate that they actually bought into this nonsense, then tried to get the town to pass this.

The presence of a gun store is nothing more than the presence of a retail business that caters to law-abiding adults. Guns have played a roll in protecting not just this great nation as a whole, but countless individuals since colonial times. This isn’t something that should have even been considered in the first place.

However, it was.

What that tells us is that anti-gun smear campaigns have been very successful in parts of Pennsylvania as well as other parts of the nation. The anti-gunners have done a fantastic job of convincing people that lawful gun sales lead to violence and violent crime, so much so that law-abiding businesses are being threatened and restricted because of irrational fears.

That just helps feed the gun control beast even further, especially as there’s rarely any pushback.

Yes, the town didn’t proceed with the proposal, but how much was that it was idiotic and how much of it had to do with concerns of running afoul of Pennsylvania’s preemption law?



SCOTUS Ruling Lets Trump Admin Deny Green Cards to Immigrants Who Will Depend on Govt Programs

H/T Flag And Cross.

Below is a small example of Mexico’s immigration requirements.

I think if you come to America you should be able to support yourself and your family..


Mexico has a single, streamlined law that ensures that foreign visitors and immigrants are:

  • in the country legally;
  • have the means to sustain themselves economically;
  • not destined to be burdens on society;
  • of economic and social benefit to society;
  • of good character and have no criminal records; and
  • contributors to the general well-being of the nation.

The law also ensures that:

  • immigration authorities have a record of each foreign visitor;
  • foreign visitors do not violate their visa status;
  • foreign visitors are banned from interfering in the country’s internal politics;
  • foreign visitors who enter under false pretenses are imprisoned or deported;
  • foreign visitors violating the terms of their entry are imprisoned or deported;
  • those who aid in illegal immigration will be sent to prison.


Many people are thrilled with this ruling, many are not…

When you come to America, you should have to make it on your own without the help of the federal government. That shouldn’t be controversial. After all, you haven’t been paying into the system, so it only makes sense. A Supreme Court ruling on Monday morning regarding immigrants and green cards has some lefties apoplectic. Here’s why, via Wall Street Journal:

A divided Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to begin implementing rules that make it easier for the government to deny limited-income immigrants residency or admission to the U.S. because they use public-assistance programs or might use them in the future.

The court, in a written order Monday, granted the administration’s emergency request to start enforcing the rules for now, a move that nullifies an order by a federal appeals court that blocked the immigration restrictions while litigation was ongoing.


Bernie Sanders


My father came to America at 17 without a nickel, speaking no English. He grew up to be the proudest American you ever saw. Trump’s policy is disgraceful. It is not what America is about. We will defeat him and end his demonization of immigrants and the poor. 

Greg Stohr


BREAKING: On 5-4 vote, Supreme Court lets Trump administration start enforcing new immigrant wealth test, designed to screen out green card applicants seen as being at risk of becoming “public charges”.

9,097 people are talking about this

Rep. Gregory Meeks


This flys in the face of everything our nation of immigrants stands for. McConnell stealing the Supreme court will have long-lasting effects, and this is just one of them. 

Greg Stohr


BREAKING: On 5-4 vote, Supreme Court lets Trump administration start enforcing new immigrant wealth test, designed to screen out green card applicants seen as being at risk of becoming “public charges”.

See Rep. Gregory Meeks’s other Tweets

Insanul Ahmed


SMH. Fuck you to every single voter who said “Hillary would be as bad as Trump” and let the GOP control the Supreme Court for a lifetime a 

Greg Stohr


BREAKING: On 5-4 vote, Supreme Court lets Trump administration start enforcing new immigrant wealth test, designed to screen out green card applicants seen as being at risk of becoming “public charges”.

19 people are talking about this

People don’t seem to understand that immigrants were needed in America in the early 20th century.

Today, not so much. Not at all, really. Currently, with over 300 million citizens, the U.S. is set.

There’s no need to keep adding and adding and adding. With more people comes more government. Period.

This video explains how legal immigration growth over the next 30 years will adversely transform the nation.

Imagine how illegal immigration on top of this magnifies the problem.

This is a shocking, must-see presentation, lasting only nine minutes.

Congress must take action!

Seeing Red in Virginia



Ed: Dr. Petrocelli plans to write Virginia state legislators along these lines about the perversions inherent in Red Flag laws. This is a good example of necessary citizen involvement with otherwise clueless and self-absorbed government representatives.]

I am writing to you to ask that you consider the following information before taking action on any so-called “Red Flag law.”

No one wants “dangerous” people armed. I have worked as a forensic psychiatrist in maximum security forensic psychiatric hospitals and prison special housing units, and am well aware of the harm persons with or without mental illness can do with guns. As I’ve written before, the aspirational goal of violence risk assessment—to identify persons who are likely to act violently—is laudable.  Red Flag laws are offered to intervene with such individuals who cannot be identified through either the criminal justice system or the mental health system.

In the abstract, this makes sense: there must be persons who are dangerous but not mentally ill and have not yet committed a crime. Without these laws, they could fall through the cracks and commit atrocities.  Those of us who oppose these laws realize that this abstraction doesn’t play out so neatly in reality, and are accused that our opposition means we want to arm dangerous persons.

The most solid argument against the red flag laws lies in the fact that there is no widely accepted, scientifically validated procedure to make such a determination. Don’t take my word for it—instead, take it from anti-gun David Rosmarin, MD, in his presentation to the Massachusetts Medical Society (emphasis added):

“While the base rate for violence may be 20% for forensic populations, the 6-month incidence of violence in even urban populations is closer to 6%. This yields a positive predictive value of .14, which results in a false positive rate of nearly 90%.

“Even a test with an impossible 0.9 accuracy for both true positives and true negatives will be wrong more than nine times out of ten at a base rate of 1% for severe violence.  Even with a 5-10% (hypothetically high)base rate of violence, the clinician who always predicts “no violence” will be more accurate than the clinician who identifies 20% as ‘violent’.”

We simply do not have methods of accurately assessing peoples’ risk of violence.  This gets worse when trying to predict rare events, for example, mass atrocities. In fact, our methods are so poor for uncommon events that our predictions would be wrong more than nine out of ten times.  This fits with the rest of the literature, which indicated that guns have to be removed from ten to twenty people to prevent one gun related suicide, notwithstanding the fact that once the guns are removed, suicidal people find other ways: “Connecticut’s estimated reduction in firearm suicides was offset by increased non-firearm suicides.”

Although there is great debate over how to approach risk assessment, it is generally agreed that the evaluator ought to use some structured method:

“Over the last two decades a number of actuarial formulas have been developed to predict various types of risk. Some have been the subject of extensive research and active debate in the field. Respected researchers have opined that risk assessment should be totally based on actuarial formulas, and asserted that such a procedure is superior to any clinical judgment (Quinsey et al., 1998). Others have decried reliance on these methods, saying that the day will never come when clinical judgment can be replaced by statistical calculations (Litwack, 2000). Still others have suggested that an integration of the two approaches may produce the most valuable results (Hanson, 1998).”

What do red flag laws offer in this regard?  Virginia’s Senate bill offers nothing of the sort.  Instead, it merely requires the court to entertain evidence of risk:

“In determining whether clear and convincing evidence for the issuance of an order exists, the judge shall consider any relevant evidence including any recent act of violence, force, or threat as defined in § 19.2-152.7:1 by such person directed toward another person or toward himself.”

There is no guidance as to how to reason about that evidence, or whether that evidence is outweighed by protective factors that mitigate the risk of violence-protective factors do not even have to be considered at all.  The irony of all of this is that the law requires the court to make a determination that, if offered as testimony by an expert, would fail to meet the requirements of admissibility, because the finding would not be based on any method commonly used by experts in the field. Nor would its reliability (or error rate) be known.  This is probably why New Jersey eliminated the rules of evidence for its red flag hearings.

Having established that risk assessment isn’t up to the challenge presented by red flag laws, these proceedings are an affront to the concept that underlies procedural due process:  fundamental fairness.  Fundamental fairness has been defined as the “most comprehensive protection of liberties,” and “the trenchant commitment to fair play and civilized decency in the relations between the state and the individual.”  How can there be “fair play” and “decency” towards red flag respondents when the arbiters of the fate of their inalienable rights have no scientifically valid procedure to apply to the evidence presented to them?

The Virginia Senate falsely compares its oppressive Red Flag law with Virginia’s civil commitment statutes because both begin with ex parte actions—so red flag laws’ must be constitutional. This is absurd, because what civil commitment lacks in front-end procedural due process it makes up for with fundamental fairness and decency.

Virginia’s mental health commitment scheme has three parts. The first, the Emergency Commitment Order, is issued ex parte, and orders law enforcement to bring a person to a place of evaluation for a short period of time. The subject is evaluated by a mental health professional authorized by the Commonwealth to perform assessments to determine whether or not the person is mentally ill and if so, on that basis, a danger to themselves or others.

Only then can the person be brought to a psychiatric hospital under a Temporary Detention Order (up to 72 hours). During that time the hospital staff evaluate whether or not the respondent needs commitment for treatment, can sign in voluntarily or should be released.

A full hearing, with counsel provided, is held before a Judge or Special Justice to determine whether or not the respondent should be committed for up to 180 days if that was recommended.  In summary, although civil commitment begins ex parte, two professional evaluations are done and a formal judicial hearing with the subject present with representation is required if further commitment is recommended.

Red Flag laws so far provide none of this. They require no expert evaluation before property is confiscated:  police arrive, announcing they have come to remove the respondent’s guns, and need not provide any additional information. This triggers notification to the NICS database that the respondent is now a prohibited person. Red flag laws do not permit the respondent to voluntarily and privately relinquish their guns once confronted. Instead, after two weeks of the seizure of their firearms and without mandatory counsel, a hearing is held to determine whether the guns should be returned or held for an additional 180 days.

Perhaps the greatest distinction between red flag laws and civil commitment is that civil commitment provides treatment under the doctrine of parens patriae—the State as parent to those who are in need of protection or care. The deprivation of rights that accompanies civil commitment is balanced against the need for that deprivation along with the treatment available to remediate the condition that led to the action in the first place.

Red Flag laws provide the respondent nothing: not counsel, not professional examination, and no intervention intended to restore the rights taken from them.  The importance of this divergence cannot be overstated. The courts have consistently held that intended purpose of civil commitment laws—provision of treatment—balances any up-front procedural deficiencies:

“The judicial approval of involuntary commitment rests upon the assumption that the state is pursuing beneficent purposes for the general society and for the person committed.”

Grafting procedural due process on to Red Flag laws does not rehabilitate them in the slightest.  Consider a pop culture analogy, Agent Smith’s interrogation of Neo in The Matrix. Just apprehended and facing a host of charges, Neo replies to Smith’s litany of allegations by saying “You can’t scare me with this Gestapo crap. I know my rights I want my phone call.”  Agent Smith replies, “What good is a phone call, if you’re unable to speak” and he disrupts the Matrix so that Neo cannot speak. In this scene Neo’s procedural rights are preserved—he is offered a phone, counsel, and presumably the opportunity to rebut the charges—but he is rendered unable to use them.

This parallels the problem with Red Flag laws. All the procedural due process in the world—being present for the hearing, confronting your accusers, etc.—does nothing to ensure fairness, decency or respect if the ultimate issue can be decided without the respondent’s participation in a meaningful evaluation or, perhaps even worse, by emotionally charged accusations of feared future violence.

Unfortunately, the fact that Red Flag laws do not function as billed is a feature, not a bug, because they are used as Trojan horses for even more infringement.  Consider Dr. Rosmarin again:

“So in our state of 6.7 million — almost twice that of Connecticut’s — we are petitioning only one-fifth as frequently. In my experience as a forensic psychiatrist, I see two dozen cases meriting petition a year, easily.

“Massachusetts should modify our ERPO law to allow certain categories of licensed clinicians to petition the courts for an extreme risk protection order. Clinicians should be allowed to do so via a downloaded document, such as exists for initiating mental health involuntary commitments. This will allow clinicians to petition the court without leaving their clinical settings.

“Massachusetts should also enact a law that allows certain categories of licensed clinicians to report to the police chief where the patient lives and that the patient should not have gun access. This should be based on a judgment about dangerousness, not mental illness. The disclosure of medical information relating to dangerousness should be as narrow as possible. Something like:

“Chief, this is Dr. Rosmarin. In my opinion this person is dangerous and should not have a gun.

“The chief would then have discretion to interview the owner, revoke the license and to seize any guns.”

Are gun owners content with the idea that their clinicians can petition law enforcement online after determining them to be “dangerous”?  Will the police chief be more likely to phone the respondent for an interview, or conduct a no-knock raid out of “an abundance of caution” and a desire to “err on the side of public safety”?

Let’s put all this in the context of the events surrounding the Virginia Citizens Defense League’s annual Lobby Day.  I was pleased to be able to speak directly with my Delegate and Senator before attending the rally. I was too late to enter the fenced in, gun-free Capitol grounds, as 10,000 attendees were already there by 9:30 am, so I participated from outside the fence.  I met people from all walks of life, all ethnic backgrounds and all political persuasions, who were united in advocating for their inalienable Second Amendment rights.

Many openly carried the guns that our Governor seeks to prohibit. Despite the presence of all those guns, there was no violence. The Governor insisted that he and law enforcement “diffused a volatile situation” but the attendees were never “volatile.”  Criminals, not lawful gun owners, are the problem, and we were shocked that every real crime bill was left tabled in committee. This is an unconscionable response to the criminal homicide problem that exists in inner cities related to gangs and drugs.

The Virginia House of Delegates must recognize reality about Red Flag laws, and direct their efforts instead towards mental health and crime.  Red Flag laws address neither, and are an affront to the constitutions of our Commonwealth and our nation, and to the inalienable rights these governments exist to protect.



McCarthy Breaks GOP Fundraising Record as Party Fights to Take Back The House

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

The GOP will retake the House and Hold the Senate.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) broke the all-time House Republican fundraising record in 2019, significantly boosting his party’s 2020 bid to take back control of the House of Representatives.

McCarthy’s team raised $52.35 million last year, outpacing the previous record set by former speaker Paul Ryan, who raised $44 million in 2017. Of the funds raised in 2019, more than half has already been transferred to the National Republican Congressional Committee and GOP incumbents.

“House Democrats are the greatest threat to the greatest economy in our lifetime,” McCarthy said in a statement to supporters. “The American people don’t want socialism. They want success, and a House Republican Majority in 2021 with a re-elected Trump presidency will be ready to achieve it.”

McCarthy also said he expects “another Republican revolution” in 2020, citing high recruitment levels as the determining factor in previous victory waves for the GOP.

In 2010, Republicans fielded more than 770 candidates for election, breaking a 30-year recruitment record for both parties. Republicans have already filed 1,017 candidates for the upcoming 2020 election.

An Economist/YouGov poll conducted last week shows the GOP leading by 11 points with independent voters.

Armed Citizen A “Hero”, Say Victims Of Felony Assault

H/T Bearing Arms.

A good guy with a gun was in the right place at the right to stop an assault.

An armed citizen in Florida was in the right place at the right time to help a group of strangers in desperate need of a Good Samaritan. According to WINK-TV, the group was hanging out at Rusty’s Bar in Cape Coral, Florida last Thursday when a man identified as Henry Lesniak, Jr. began buying them drinks. Ashley Gallagher was there with her daugher-in-law Emily, and says the encounter turned from harmless to terrifying in the blink of an eye.

“I think he was trying to hit on my daughter-in-law and definitely get her to go home with him, or whatever it was. And I think when he realized that wasn’t going to happen, that’s when he said we were taking advantage of him by spending his money,” Ashley said.

“All of a sudden, like, ‘boom,’ he turned violent, angry,” Emily said.

The group tried to leave and get in their car and that’s when, investigators say, Lesniak chased after them.

“That’s when we saw the white pickup truck and honestly, like, he had no choice but to say, like, yes. We kind of just screamed, ‘help,’ begging him to let us into his truck,” Emily said.

Amir Rossi was the driver of the pickup truck. He says he wasn’t sure what was happening when the women suddenly appeared by his truck shouting for help, but he quickly responded.

“It just got heated and it got heated so quick,” Rossi said. “They ran in front of my car, they jumped in my truck and they were just like, ‘Go! Go! Go!” And the next thing I know, this guy’s reaching in my car trying to grab me up and that’s when I got my firearm and at that point, he realized that I had a gun and he backed off the car and he disappeared.”

But the story doesn’t end there. Police say Lesniak then rammed the good Samaritan’s truck several times.

That’s when Rossi pulled out his gun, fired several shots into the back of Lesniak’s truck and held him at gunpoint until police arrived.

Rossi says he’s no hero, and was just doing what he hopes others would do in the same situation, but the victims of Lesniak’s attempted assault beg to differ with Ashley Gallagher calling Rossi an “amazing person” and a hero who saved their lives.

Rossi is the “average American” who people like Mike Bloomberg think shouldn’t be carrying guns in public places. Bloomberg thinks that right should be reserved for people like him who can afford to outsource their right of self-defense to armed security. Thankfully, the Gallaghers were vacationing in a state where more than a million average Americans possess a concealed carry license and are equipped to help strangers in desperate need of protection. If Mike Bloomberg and the gun control movement gets their way, however, armed citizens like Amir Rossi will be few and far between, and guys like Henry Lesniak, Jr. will have nothing to fear as long as they stay away from those wealthy or powerful enough to afford their own private protection.