Abbott: I’ll Sign Constitutional Carry If It Gets To My Desk

H/T Bearing Arms.

Bravo Governor Greg Abbott R-TX) for endorsing Constitutional Carry in Texas.

Before this year’s legislative session had even begun, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called on lawmakers in Austin to send him a Second Amendment Sanctuary bill. Now, in the waning days of this year’s session, the governor is throwing his weight behind a Constitutional Carry bill as well.

 

The Texas House has already approved Constitutional Carry language, but the Republican leadership in the Senate seems less inclined to take up the issue, but Abbott’s comments may be enough to get the bill moving again. The governor sounded pretty confident that the legislation will receive a Senate vote in an interview with a Dallas radio station yesterday.

“Once the Senate passes it out, the House and Senate will convene and work out any differences and get it to my desk,” Governor Abbott told WBAP’s Rick Roberts on Tuesday. “And I’ll be signing it.”

Before the Governor announced his support for the bill on WBAP, he had been tight lipped about where he stood on the bill.

“This is something that 20 other states have adopted and it’s time for Texas to adopt it, too,” Governor Abbott told Roberts.

We’ve already seen Utah, Montana, Tennessee, and Iowa governors sign permitless carry language this year, and Abbott is correct about the number of states nationwide that have removed the requirement that legal gun owners obtain a license to carry.

The Texas legislation is similar to other laws already in place around the country; it wouldn’t end the state’s concealed carry licensing system, but no longer would that license be required in order to carry a firearm. If it’s legal for you to own the gun, it would be legal for you to carry it as well.

Abbott’s comments come just days after the Supreme Court accepted a case dealing with New York’s far more restrictive carry laws. Unlike the “shall issue” licensing system in Texas, applicants in New York must show some time of good cause or justifiable need to carry a firearm beyond a general right of self-defense, and the licensing authorities in each county have broad discretion in approving or denying applicants based on their own subjective reasoning.

The biggest hurdle for Constitutional Carry in the Lone Star State remains the Senate. In fact, according to the Texas Tribune, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick warned supporters last week that the bill doesn’t currently have the support needed for passage.

This is truly a remarkable turnaround for the bill’s prospects. Despite solid GOP control of the legislature, Second Amendment legislation tends to move fairly slowly in Texas. It took multiple sessions to gain approval of campus carry, for instance, and Constitutional Carry appeared to be dead in the water as the session began back in January, in part because Abbott’s biggest 2A legislative priority was a Second Amendment Sanctuary bill. With just a month left in the session, the calendar might be the biggest challenge for Constitutional Carry, but if Second Amendment advocates continue keeping up their contacts with legislators, they could very well help to turn Texas into the 21st Constitutional Carry state this year.

Federal Judge Says California Gun Control Law May Be Unconstitutional

H/T Bearing Arms.

Sounds like some of Commiefornia’s draconian gun control laws are going to be over turned.

There are a number of legal challenges to California’s draconian gun control regime underway in federal court, and Second Amendment supporters scored a goal in one of those challenges this week when a federal judge declared that a provision in the state’s “Handgun Roster” may violate the constitutional rights of residents.

 

In California, the state’s Department of Justice must certify all models of handguns before they can be sold in the state, and no new models have been added to the Handgun Roster since the state’s microstamping law went into effect almost a decade ago, because no firearms manufacturer can produce a gun that meets the state’s requirement that a unique code be stamped in two places on every ammunition cartridge as it’s fired.

The state tweaked the microstamping law last year, allowing the unique code to be imprinted in just one location on the cartridge, but they also added a new twist to the state’s Unsafe Handguns Act: for every new gun approved for sale, three existing models must be removed from the roster and prohibited for sale. That portion of the law took effect on January 1st of this year, but it’s facing a court challenge filed by the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, San Diego County Gun Owners PAC, and individual plaintiff Lana Rae Renna. 

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw has handed down a 15-page opinion upholding the lawsuit, or at least the part of it that challenges the Handgun Roster requirements (the portion of the law challenging the legality of the state’s Unsafe Handgun Act itself was dismissed by the judge, who ruled that existing Ninth Circuit precedent prevents that part of the case from moving forward). 

The state of California argued that even if the number of handguns available for sale in the state is declining, it doesn’t amount to an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms because other guns remain available for sale, but Judge Sabraw wasn’t buying it.

It is true that currently, Plaintiffs may still purchase handguns for self-defense. Nevertheless, because Plaintiffs have alleged the number of handguns available for purchase on the roster has steadily declined and will continue to decline, Plaintiffs sufficiently demonstrate the UHA burdens protected conduct by substantially infringing Plaintiffs’ ability to acquire firearms for self-defense. This acquisition right is protected as an “ancillary right[] necessary to the realization of the core right to possess a firearm for self-defense.” Teixeira, 873 F.3d at 677. Moreover, the regulations at issue are not longstanding. AB 2847’s three-for-one provision is precisely the opposite, having gone into effect on January 1, 2021. The current roster began on January 1, 2001. 

Sabraw also found that the plaintiffs in this case have sufficiently alleged that their Second Amendment rights are being violated, even under a lower legal standard of review like intermediate scrutiny.

The Court need not decide whether strict or intermediate scrutiny is necessary, because even assuming intermediate scrutiny—the less stringent standard of review— applies here, Plaintiffs sufficiently plead a claim for violation of their Second Amendment rights. “Intermediate scrutiny requires (1) a significant, substantial, or important government objective, and (2) a “reasonable fit” between the challenged law and the asserted objective.” Pena, 898 F.3d at 979 (citing Jackson, 746 F.3d at 965)). “The government must show that the regulation promotes a substantial government interest that would be achieved less effectively absent the regulation, but not necessarily that the chosen regulation is the “least restrictive means” of achieving the government’s interest.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted) (citing Fyock v. Sunnyvale, 779 F.3d 991, 1000 (9th Cir. 2015)).

Defendants argue AB 2847’s three-for-one provision satisfies intermediate scrutiny because it furthers public safety. Specifically, Defendants contend that by removing grandfathered models when new models complying with the applicable features are added, the three-for-one provision “facilitates a transition over time toward full compliance” with statutorily required features. It is well established that public safety is a substantial government interest. Pena, 898 F.3d at 981–82. However, the Court is not persuaded there is a “reasonable fit” between the state’s asserted objective and the three-for-one provision.

Defendants offer no justification for why the statute requires the removal of three handguns for each new handgun added, instead of, for instance, a proportional one-to-one. Moreover, considering the roster’s already diminishing numbers, the three-for-one provision imposes an even greater restriction on the pool of handguns available for sale in California. As Judge Bybee noted in Pena, the only handguns currently commercially sold in California are those grandfathered from the recent MDM, CLI, and microstamping provisions. 898 F.3d at 989.

These handguns are already subject to removal from the roster for nonpayment of fees or minor changes to a model’s materials or design, and Plaintiffs allege grandfathered handguns have been steadily dropping off the roster, even before AB 2847’s enactment, as a result. In this respect, the roster is already transitioning toward the compliance that Defendants claim as their objective.

As Plaintiffs allege, application of the three-for-one provision will accelerate this trend further, rendering the number of handguns available for purchase unacceptably small. In light of this, the Court finds Defendants have not met their burden to show the imposition of the three-to-one provision is a reasonable fit for their stated objective.

At this stage in the lawsuit, the judge isn’t trying to determine the constitutionality of the law in question. Rather, he’s looking to see if the plaintiffs’ allegations have met the legal standard to move the case forward to trial, and on the question of the state’s slow-motion gun ban, the judge has given the green light for the lawsuit to proceed. This doesn’t guarantee that gun owners will be victorious, but we’re at least going to get our day in court.

 

Experts Predict a Gas Shortage Will Hit the US This Summer

H/T Western Journal.

We can thank or curse Joe Pee Pads Biden for the coming gas shortages.

The rising cost of fuel could be the least of motorist’s worries in the coming months.

While drivers nationwide are concerned about the rising prices for both gasoline and diesel, the trade group for the country’s fuel transporters is predicting Americans could see more than high prices at the pump in the summer months.

According to CNN Business, who cited the National Tank Truck Carriers, a fuel shortage could affect millions of Americans as vacation season begins, and there are few strategies that could be taken to get ahead of what could be a summer catastrophe.

NTTC executive vice president Ryan Streblow told CNN Business in an interview published on Tuesday that a shortage of qualified drivers could lead to empty gas pumps in some areas of the country.

“We’ve been dealing with a driver shortage for a while, but the pandemic took that issue and metastasized it,” Streblow said. “It certainly has grown exponentially.”

The NTTC said that this time last year, during the initial days of the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for fuel was low while most Americans were sidelined at home. Some drivers who relied on hauling fuel to make a living were left holding the bag.

Some found work hauling retail freight, while others decided to call it a career.

A woman named Holly McCormick with an Oklahoma company called Groendyke Transport explained the situation to CNN.

“We were even hauling boxes for Amazon just to keep our drivers busy,” she said. “A lot of drivers didn’t want to do the safety protocols. We’re also working with an aging work force. Many said ‘I might as well take it as a cue to retire.”

To make matters worse for the fuel logistics industry, McCormick said the pandemic had another effect which is complicating finding drivers to take open positions: schools couldn’t push out people qualified to replace them, as they were closed.

It takes more than a CDL to haul fuel, and those needing the proper certifications were unable to obtain them at the usual rate. Additionally, somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 potential drivers who applied to take jobs delivering precious fuel were disqualified from the job because of past issues with drugs or alcohol.

McCormick said her company has doubled its budget to attract recruits. That extra cost will be passed on to motorists, if indeed they are able to find a wet pump.

Driving a fuel tanker is a grueling and dangerous job which requires long hours and a lot of time on the road. As a result, job turnover in that sector is generally high at around 50 percent.

In April of 2020, the first full month of the pandemic shutdowns, it hit 70 percent.

Gas stations in ArizonaFlorida and Missouri experienced some shortages last month during spring break. There is a fear among retailers that those shortages will continue or spread during the summer when there is already a demand for more fuel.

Jeff Lenard with the National Association of Convenience Stores told CNN Business that he is already hearing concerns from gas station customers two months before summer officially begins.

“I’ve talked to retailers, they say there could be places where there are brief outages,” Lenard told the outlet. “If they have no fuel, they have no business. People aren’t going to stop in for a sandwich if you don’t have fuel.”

Oil Price Information Service chief analyst Tom Kloza also said that hoarding behavior, which was seen in grocery and big box retail stores last year, could exacerbate what might already be a bad situation.

“Imagine the hoarding with toilet paper and topping off of gas tanks that we see after hurricanes and you can see what might happen,” Kloza told CNN. “It doesn’t take much — crowd behavior can provoke shortages.”

This coming summer is expected to be a busy one with regard to travel. Experts expect many travelers to avoid the airlines and drive to their destinations.

Montana: Governor Signs Second Amendment State Sanctuary & Constitutional Carry Bills

H/T AmmoLand.

Thank you  Governor Greg Gianforte (R-MT)for signing State Sanctuary & Constitutional Carry Bills.

Montana –  -(AmmoLand.com)- Now that Governor Gianforte has signed the full Constitutional Carry bill (HB 102) and Second Amendment Sanctuary bill (HB 258), that makes, by my count, 70 pro-gun bills that Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) has gotten through the Montana Legislature and enacted into law. This does not include bills vetoed by various governors or that otherwise failed in the process.

You can review a partial list of MSSA’s successes at: www.mtssa.org/?page_id=2 I really need to update this list and bring it current. I promise I will as soon as I find that missing “round toit.”

With all respect to Montana’s gun-friendly sister states, such as Wyoming, Arizona, Idaho, and Alaska, MSSA’s record of pro-gun success is maybe two to four times as extensive as our closest competitor. That makes Montana Shooting Sports Association the best in the U.S. by a long shot, which also makes MSSA the best at this in the World since they just don’t do this stuff in other countries.

We do give partial credit to the NRA, GOA, CCRKBA, and SAF, all of which support us on selected issues (for example, the NRA did not support HB 258, but did support LR-130, and was very helpful with HB 102). But, these other, national entities don’t imagine or create the pro-gun ideas that Montana Shooting Sports Association does, they don’t survey legislative candidates about these new, pro-gun ideas, they don’t write the bills, they don’t recruit the bill sponsors, and they don’t arrange introduction of the bills into the Legislature. At best, they come along after all that trail-breaking work is done and support MSSA’s leading efforts once the bills are introduced and moving. We appreciate that support, but MSSA and its people do the lion’s share of the work.

So, MSSA is the best of the best at asserting the RKBA. MSSA has an extraordinary string of successes. MSSA has earned and deserves the active support of Montana gun owners. If you agree, please help MSSA recruit new members so we can grow even stronger and get yet more done.

If you are not a member yourself, it’s high time you joined. There is membership information and an application form available at: www.mtssa.org/?page_id=46

Sign up yourself or recruit others, please.

And, yes, we apologize that we have no way for people to join Online with a credit card, yet. We’re still working on that. That’s complicated because of the unusual privacy MSSA feels compelled to offer and assure for our members. It’s also complicated because I won’t provide my personal SSN or obligate my personal assets to sign MSSA up for credit card processing. It’s even further complicated because I won’t cozy MSSA up to anti-gun credit card processors, such as Pay Pal. But, we haven’t given up on this.

Meanwhile, you might imagine how frustrating it is when Montana Shooting Sports Association tries to recruit a Montana gun owner as a member, only to hear, “Why should I spend good money to join some gun group when gun rights are just fine in Montana?” Or the classic, “I don’t need to join MSSA because I’m a member of the NRA.”

It’s hard to not rant about this. It’s exactly because MSSA has gotten 70 pro-gun bills enacted over 30-some years that Montana has great gun rights. Yes, there are people who are happy to ride in the wagon but won’t get off and help pull it. End of toned-down rant.

Those of you who are MSSA members, thanks loads, congratulations, and I believe it’s something to be proud of. Those who are not yet members, it’s time to saddle up, and for good reason.

Finally, about 15% of current MSSA members don’t live in Montana. Maybe they hope to move here someday, or maybe they just want to help support our great work. Whatever, we’re pleased to have non-Montanans as members too.

Feel free to recirculate this message however you wish.

Best wishes,

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
http://www.mtssa.org
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
http://www.mtpublish.com

Woody Harrelson to Star as Doctor Who Saved the Lives of Jews in WWII

H/T War History OnLine.

This sounds like it will be a good movie.

 

 

Woody Harrelson, the three-time Oscar nominee will star in the role of Felix Kersten in a film version of Joseph Kessel’s novel The Man With the Miraculous Hands, a novel based on the life of Kersten, who was Himmler’s doctor.

 

The novel details the historical story of Felix Kersten, who was able to relieve Heinrich Himmler’s abdominal pain. Himmler was the head of the SS (Schutzstaffel) and the second most powerful man in Germany during the Third Reich.

Himmler’s doctor, Felix Kersten

Under Himmler’s leadership, membership in the SS grew to over 50,000 by 1933. When Adolf Hitler became the Fuehrer of Germany, Himmler became the commander of all German police units outside of Prussia. He founded the first concentration camp at Dachau.

The concentration camps resulted in the murder of millions, predominantly Jewish people, while providing cheap forced labor for the Third Reich’s projects and subjects for their medical experiments.

Himmler suffered from numerous illnesses, including abdominal pains that could not be relieved by conventional medical practices. Kersten, having trained in Tibet, had learned massage techniques which brought relief to Himmler.

Portait of Felix Kersten
Felix Kersten, Himmler’s doctor. (Photo Credit: ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Himmler received daily treatments from Kersten. He became so dependent on the doctor that he rarely refused any request.

Kersten used this leverage to convince Himmler to free people from the concentration camps. At first, Himmler refused to release Jews and only agreed to release Swedes, Danes, and other non-Jewish people.

By 1943, Kersten received permission to move his own family to Sweden for their protection.

In the waning days of the war, Kersten succeeded in getting Himmler to meet with Norbert Masur, a representative of the Swedish branch of the World Jewish Congress. The result of those negotiations led to 2,700 Jews being diverted to the border with Sweden rather than being sent to a concentration camp.

Kersten also convinced Himmler to free 7,000 Jewish women from Ravensbrück concentration camp. According to his memoirs, he also influenced Himmler to fly white flags at concentration camps when they were approached by Allied forces rather than blowing them up with their prisoners, though the veracity of that claim is doubted by some.

In all, Kersten is credited with saving over 60,000 Jews during his time as Himmler’s physician. He retired to Sweden after the war. Initially, he was considered a Nazi sympathizer, but eventually, his name was cleared.

Himmler, on the other hand, was stripped of all power by Hitler after it was revealed that Himmler was working to undermine Hitler and succeed him. Himmler died by taking poison while in jail after being captured by the Allies.

About The Man With The Miraculous Hands

The movie version will star Harrelson as Kersten. Oren Moverman has agreed to write and direct the film.

This will be the third collaboration between Harrelson and Moverman. The two previously worked together on “Rampart” and “The Messenger.”

The movie is a Jerico Films production. Eric Jehelmann and Philippe Rousselet are the producers. Fabrice Gianfermi and Jeremy Plager are the executive producers.

Jehelmann said that World War II still holds untold stories of people who triumphed in the midst of the tragedy of the Holocaust and war. He went on to call Kersten “the true definition of a modern-day hero” and that Kersten’s story simultaneously “restores our hope in mankind” even as it reminds us of the horrors of WWII.

Georgia Weighs Changes to Stone Mountain Park, a ‘Shrine to White Supremacy’

H/T Smithsonian Magazine.

What this author fails to mention neither General Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis or General T.J. Stonewall Jackson were ever in the Ku Klux Klan.

The author fails to mention the Ku Klux Klan was founded by lifelong DemocRat Nathan Bedford Forrest.

We are allowing the BLM thugs to erase our history.

Proposed measures include limiting the use of Confederate symbols to a 40-acre section of the Georgia site.

A Black man wears a black and white t shirt and stands with a megaphone, gesturing to the Confederate monument on the face of a gray granite rock behind him

 
Organizer Quintavious Rhodes addresses Black Lives Matter protesters during a march in Stone Mountain Park on June 16, 2020. Activists have long called for Stone Mountain’s carved relief of Confederate generals to be taken down. (Photo by Jessica McGowan / Getty Images)
 
 

Stone Mountain—“the largest shrine to white supremacy in the history of the world,” in the words of activist Richard Rose—stands just 15 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. Replete with Confederate imagery, including a monumental relief of Southern generals carved into the north face of a mountain, flags and other symbols, the state park has long courted controversy.

In the wake of a year marked by massive protests against racial injustice, officials are once again debating the contentious site’s future, reports Sudhin Thanawala for the Associated Press (AP).

On Monday, in a meeting with board members of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association (SMMA), CEO Bill Stephens proposed a number of “middle-ground” changes that stop short of removing the park’s infamous carved monument, per Tyler Estep of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC).

Among Stephens’ suggestions was the consolidation of Confederate symbols to a 40-acre area of the 3,400-acre park.

“So, if you want to see them you can come and you can see the Confederate monuments,” he said. “If you don’t want to see them and you want to go elsewhere in the park, then you can do that.”

As local news station WSB-TV reports, Stephens also proposed relocating the many Confederate flags that decorate the mountain’s trail, creating an educational exhibit about the Ku Klux Klan’s ties to the site, renaming the park’s Confederate Hall, incorporating acknowledgement of Native American burial grounds on park land and renaming a lake currently named for a Klansman.

Stephens argued that the park must change to remain financially viable but added that officials should not “cancel history,” according to the AP. (The park has lost a number of sponsorships and vendors in recent years due to its ties to white supremacy.)

A stone carving of three men on horseback, carved into the side of a granite mountain face
A close-up view of the Stone Mountain carving, which depicts General Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson on horseback (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Activists have been calling for transformational change at the park for decades. As the AJC notes, officials must work to balance these concerns with state laws that protect Confederate monuments.

The board did not immediately vote on any of the measures. But Abraham Mosley, a community advocate who was sworn in last week as the organization’s first-ever Black chairman, called the proposals a “good start,” per the AJC.

More than a century ago, Stone Mountain was home to the “rebirth” of the Ku Klux Klan, wrote Stephannie Stokes for WABE in 2015. In 1915, a group of racist vigilantes led by preacher William Joseph Simmons gathered near the base of the park’s granite mountain, burned a cross and planted the seeds of revival for the hate group that had terrorized Black Americans in the wake of the Civil War. At its height, this new iteration of the Klan grew to include more than 4 million secret members across the nation.

Today, the site’s legacy continues to inspire white nationalists, according to Stone Mountain Action Coalition, a grassroots activist group dedicated to creating a “more inclusive” park. Many Georgians, including some speakers at Monday’s meeting, argue that the proposed changes do not go far enough to address the park’s role as a symbolic and functional gathering place for racist organizations.

Bona Allen, a representative of the coalition who spoke at the meeting, urged board members to take immediate action.

“You, this board, have the responsibility to the citizens of the state of Georgia—all the citizens of Georgia—to do what’s right right now,” he said, per the AP. “You have the authority, you have the ability, you have the obligation to remove these symbols without delay.”

Stone Mountain boasts the largest Confederate monument—and largest bas-relief artwork—ever erected: a 190- by 90-foot depiction of General Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, all of whom are shown on horseback.

A small article reads KLAN IS ESTABLISHED WITH IMPRESSIVENESS, describes revival of Klan in positive light
A 1915 newspaper clipping from The Atlanta Constitution describes the revival of the Ku Klux Klan at Stone Mountain. (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

This carving and many other Confederate symbols were constructed and funded in the 20th century by women’s and veterans groups in the South, notes the AP. Caroline Helen Jemison Plane, founder of a local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, first proposed Stone Mountain’s enormous carving in 1914, according to Emory University, which holds a collection related to the park in its library.

Tight budgets delayed the work until the 1950s, when the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision spurred Georgia’s segregationist governor, Marvin Griffin, to redouble efforts to memorialize Confederate history in the state. At his urging, officials founded the SMMA and purchased the surrounding land to create a park honoring the Confederacy, wrote Debra McKinney for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in 2018. The monumental carved relief was completed and unveiled to the public in 1970.

Discussions over Stone Mountain’s fate arrive amid a renewed reckoning with the nation’s public Confederate symbols. Last year, protests across the United States prompted officials and activists to remove or rename at least 168 Confederate symbols in public spaces, according to records maintained by the SPLC. All but one of those removals took place after a white police officer killed Black Minneapolis man George Floyd in May 2020, reported Neil Vigdor and Daniel Victor for the New York Times in February.

Stone Mountain’s symbolic and historic ties to white supremacist groups were so strong that Martin Luther King Jr., in his famed “I Have a Dream” speech, referenced the site by name. As the civil rights leader neared the end of his 1963 address, he described locations where he envisioned a future free from racial injustice, including the “snow-capped Rockies of Colorado” and the “curvaceous slopes of California.”

“But not only that,” King added. “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia; let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee; let freedom ring from every hill and mole hill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

 
 
 
 
 
 

Black LA Cop Writes Letter to LeBron James, Invites Him to Have Discussion About Policing Issues

H/T Western Journal.

LeBron James will not take this officer up on his offer as James is long on mouth and short on brains.

Following your confirmation bias at all times seldom ends well, particularly if that confirmation bias is that police are uniformly monstrous and are guilty in any officer-involved shooting before the details are out.

And yes, this holds true even if you’re one of the planet’s most famous individuals. In the wake of the shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant last week in Columbus, Ohio, NBA star LeBron James proved this quite aptly. Now, a Los Angeles Police Department officer is going viral with his open letter to James, including an offer meet and talk about policing issues.

So, for starters: In the immediate aftermath of the Bryant shooting, in which the 16-year-old girl was killed by a policeman right as bodycam video shows she was attempting to stab another female pinned against a car, James tweeted out a picture of the officer involved. Not to thank him, mind you, but to threaten him.

“YOU’RE NEXT, #ACCOUNTABILITY,” read the tweet, which was up briefly last Tuesday before swift deletion.

James’ response wouldn’t, for anyone else, be considered remotely acceptable.

Even after he deleted the original tweet, he posted follow-ups “explaining” his position.

“ANGER does any of us any good and that includes myself! Gathering all the facts and educating does though!” he wrote in one. “My anger still is here for what happened that lil girl. My sympathy for her family and may justice prevail!”

Anger doesn’t do any of us any good, but he’s still angry for “that lil girl.” Work through that one. The mainstream media, naturally, didn’t.

It’s something that plenty of people will remember, however, especially since LeBron is starring in “Space Jam 2,” coming out this summer. My guess is a goodly portion of the parent pool might not let junior and missy go to see that one — which, given its Brobdingnagian budget, might present issues.

Beyond that, however, there are still questions James has to answer. LAPD Officer Deon Joseph would like to sit down with him to do just that

According to his webpage, Joseph “has worked for the LAPD for over 25 years, twenty-three of those years in downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row community. From patrolling the streets or providing a shoulder for the community to lean on to meeting with public figures and advocating for change, Deon is driven to create an environment conducive to change for the homeless and those trying to reclaim their lives from the grip of addiction.”

In a viral letter posted on Facebook over the weekend and addressed to James, Joseph said he would like to “sit down with you and talk” so James could “understand the reality of the profession of policing.”

“Unlike some who have dug their heals in the belief that police are inherently evil, I think if you yourself actually sat down and had a real honest and open conversation with a cop, there is a strong chance you may discover we are not the monsters you have come to believe we are, who deserve the hate and [disdain] you have,” wrote Joseph, who is black.

“And even if you come away feeling the same way, I could respect it, because at least you gave the other side your ear instead of only hearing one narrative. “

Joseph, who said he wasn’t approaching the matter “from a place of hatred,” praised LeBron’s philanthropy and the relationship the Los Angeles Lakers star has with his family.

“You play for the team my family has cheered for since the 1960s, then myself since 1979. But… Your current stance on policing is so off base and extreme,” Joseph wrote in his Facebook post. “Your tweet that targeted a police officer in Ohio who saved a young woman’s life was irresponsible and disturbing. It showed a complete lack of understanding of the challenge of our job in the heat of a moment. You basically put a target on the back of a human being who had to make a split second decision to save a life from a deadly attack.

Even though the officer in the case, Nicholas Reardon, likely never wanted to make that kind of decision with someone so young, Joseph wrote, LeBron didn’t really say he was sorry.

“Instead of apologizing, you deflected. You said you took your tweet down because you did not want it to be used for hate, when the tweet itself was the embodiment of hatred, rooted in a lack of understanding of the danger of the situation,” he wrote.

“I don’t know if this will ever reach you, but my hope is that one day I can sit down with you and talk. As a man of faith, I can have no hatred toward you,” he continued.

“But I do feel I can help you understand the reality of the profession of policing, and that there is another side you need to hear. You are tired of Black folks dying? So am I. You hate racism and police brutality? So do I. But you cannot paint 800,000 men and women who are of all races, faiths, sexual orientations and are also mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, preachers, coaches, community members and just human with such a broad and destructive brush.”

Joseph knows it’s “a long shot,” but he promised “[n]o cameras. No fanfare. Just two men who are talking.”

“But this division and hatred must stop. It’s clear based on rising crime in marginalized communities that cops and the community need to build bridges to save lives on all sides. That cannot be done through the demonization of any group of people.”

If James wants to sit down with Joseph, he knows where to find him. Keep in mind this also isn’t unprecedented. Say what you will about Colin Kaepernick — and I do, quite frequently — his decision to kneel as opposed to sitting for the national anthem came after he met with a Green Beret who was critical of the quarterback’s protest. Kaepernick didn’t change his mind, obviously — but he at least met with the Green Beret.

I get the feeling that’s not going to happen. James is invested in hashtag activism, in hot takes and talk about accountability, all without taking any himself.

If he proves me wrong, there would be no more pleasant surprise. Consider my breath thoroughly un-bated, however.

Tyler Perry Delivers Powerful Message at Oscars: I Refuse to Hate Someone Because They’re a Police Officer

H/T Western  Journal.

Tyler Perry will not be getting any Christmas Cards from the BLM Thugs.

Hollywood mogul Tyler Perry declined to parrot the Black Lives Matter mantra that police are evil racists while accepting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy Awards Sunday night.

Perry shared refusing to hate people was a lesson his mother, Willie Maxine Perry — who grew up in the Jim Crow South — instilled in him.

“My mother taught me to refuse hate,” he said. “She taught me to refuse blanket judgment, and in this time, and with all of the internet and social media and algorithms and everything that wants us to think a certain way, the 24-hour news cycle, it is my hope that all of us, would teach our kids, and I want to remember, just refuse hate.”

“Don’t hate anybody,” Perry continued. “I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican or because they are black or white or LBGTQ. I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer. I refuse to hate someone because they are Asian. I would hope that we would refuse hate.”

It was interesting to hear the applause as he listed various groups of people drop off when he mentioned the police.

Perry invited anyone willing to join him in the middle if they wished to further the political dialogue.

“I want to take this Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and dedicate it to anyone who wants to stand in the middle, no matter what’s around the wall, stand in the middle, ’cause that’s where healing happens. That’s where conversation happens. That’s where change happens. It happens in the middle.”

“So anyone who wants to meet me in the middle, to refuse hate, to refuse blanket judgment, and to help lift someone’s feet off the ground, this one is for you, too. God bless you and thank you Academy,” Perry said.

After receiving the award, the actor was asked by reporters if he felt his mother, who passed away in 2009, was looking down on him, pleased by what he said.

“One hundred percent,” Perry responded. “You know I can feel her in the moment. I can feel her, any time I’m up there, I’m carrying her with me and all that she went through and all we went through together.”

In a 2006 interview, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “My mother is the wisdom of Madea,” the central character Perry portrays in the highly successful movie franchise of the same name.

Asked what inspired him to share what he did at the Oscars, the 51-year-old replied, “Just where we are in the country and the world.

“Everybody’s grabbing a corner and a color and they’re all — nobody wants to come to the middle to have a conversation,” Perry added.

“Everybody’s getting polarized and it’s in the middle where things change, so I’m hoping that that inspires people to meet us in the middle so that we can get back to some semblance of normal.”

If only more people felt the same way.

Regardless of what people like President Joe Biden say, our nation is not inherently racist. Biden last week called “systemic racism” the “stain” on the soul of America in a White House address following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

It is worth noting none of the charges prosecutors brought against Chauvin in the death of George Floyd dealt with race.

Asked by “60 Minutes” host Scott Pelley in an interview that aired Sunday if Chauvin committed a hate crime, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said, “I wouldn’t call it that because hate crimes are crimes where there’s an explicit motive and of bias.

“We don’t have any evidence that Derek Chauvin factored in George Floyd’s race as he did what he did.”

Pelley followed up asking if Ellison could have charged Chauvin with a hate crime.

“Could have, but we only charge those crimes that we had evidence that we could put in front of a jury to prove,” Ellison responded.

The host seemed genuinely interested to learn the death that launched countless Black Lives Matter protests may not have had anything to do with race.

What Chauvin did was clearly an abuse of police power and criminal, but it was definitely not proof that the police or America itself is racist.

Perry is right: blanket judgments are wrong and a return to normalcy and mutual respect is the need of the hour.

Does Bone China Contain Any Actual Bone? The Answer Might Unnerve You

H/T Mental Floss.

Bone China does contain bone no big surprise.

Maybe you assumed that bone china was so named because it’s vaguely bone-colored, or because it’s sturdier than other types of dinnerware. Maybe you’ve never thought about this at all. Whatever the case, we regret to inform you that the bone in bone china is more than just an evocative descriptor. Bone china actually does contain bone.

Basically, the bones are calcined, or heated to a high enough temperature that there’s nothing organic left in them. After that, they’re pulverized into a powder known as bone ash, which contains calcium, phosphorus, and oxygen. Not only does bone ash help china hold up better against chipping, it also gives it a translucency that makes it seem extra delicate. This quality is also a good way to tell if your bone china is bona fide; as The Spruce Crafts explains, the outline of your fingers should be discernible through the porcelain when held in front of a light.

Bone china is a much more recent innovation than other kinds of china. British artist Thomas Frye and his colleagues experimented with bone ash at his porcelain factory in the mid-1700s, but it didn’t become popular until potter Josiah Spode II started using it in his products around the turn of that century. According to the Spode Museum Trust, Josiah Spode I, also a potter, had first incorporated bone ash from ox bones into his porcelain in 1796, and the younger Spode took up the mantle after his father died the next year.

 

A bone china plate from the Spode factory, circa 1815.THE HANS SYZ COLLECTION, GIFT OF STEPHAN B. SYZ AND JOHN D. SYZ, 1995, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART // PUBLIC DOMAIN

It only took about a decade for bone china to catch on among other British porcelain makers, and the trend eventually arrived in the American market, too. In fact, Spode II’s material proportions—six parts bone ash, four parts china stone, and 3.5 parts china clay—are still considered the customary way to produce bone china. These days, you can buy synthetic bone ash, but it might not be quite the same as the real thing. “Because calcined bone has certain properties that are difficult to synthetically recreate, the material is still manufactured,” The Ceramic Shop explains. Theirs is made from cattle bones.

Marion County Prosecutor Getting Uncomfortable Questions After FedEx Shooting Spree

H/T The Truth About Guns.

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears knows he screwed the pooch and allowed the Fed Ex shooter to be able to purchase the gun he used in the shooting.

Brandon Scott Hole should have been flagged under Indiana’s Red Flag Laws and he would have not been able to buy a gun legally.                   

 

Last week we noted the manner in which Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears’ intentional inaction had allowed the Indianapolis FedEx spree shooter to legally buy the firearms he used. That fact spilled out into public view after Brandon Scott Hole murdered eight people and then killed himself.

Mears, playing the garden variety elected official, has attempted to deflect blame, responsibility and inconvenient questions about how his office operates by claiming the state’s red flag law is the real problem. But that transparent dodge is getting harder for the prosecutor and he’s now taking flak from all sides.

From the Associated Press . . .

An Indiana prosecutor is facing mounting criticism for declining to pursue court hearings that could have prevented a man from accessing the guns used to shoot and kill eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.

The leader of the Indianapolis police union said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears “failed to do his part” when he chose not to bring Brandon Scott Hole before a judge for a hearing under Indiana’s “red flag” law, even after his mother called police last year to say her son might pursue “suicide by cop.”

“Unfortunately, the lack of action by the Marion County prosecutor prevented a court hearing, which could have … prohibited the suspect from owning … any other firearms,” Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder said. “Why didn’t the prosecutor seek the hearing that the statute requires? Why didn’t the prosecutor use all the legal tools available? Why didn’t the prosecutor try?”

The law allows police to confiscate guns from a person deemed dangerous to themselves or others. Prosecutors can then decide whether to ask a court to ban that person from buying any other firearms.

The law came under scrutiny following the assault after Mears criticized it for having too many “loopholes.” Despite calls from Democratic lawmakers’ to review and strengthen the red flag provisions, those actions were put on hold. The 2021 legislative session ended Thursday.

Police seized a pump-action shotgun from Hole, then 18, in March 2020 after they received the call from his mother. Mears said Monday that prosecutors did not seek a “red flag” hearing to try to prevent Hole from possessing a gun because they did not have enough time under the law to definitively demonstrate his propensity for suicidal thoughts.

Mears specifically pointed to a 2019 change in the law that requires courts to make a “good-faith effort” to hold a hearing within 14 days. An additional amendment requires authorities to file an affidavit with the court within 48 hours.

“This individual was taken and treated by medical professionals and he was cut loose,” and was not even prescribed any medication, Mears said. “The risk is, if we move forward with that (red flag) process and lose, we have to give that firearm back to that person. That’s not something we were willing to do.”

Indianapolis police previously said that they never returned that shotgun to Hole. Authorities have said he used two “assault-style” rifles to gun down eight people, four of them from the city’s Sikh community, at the FedEx facility on April 15 before he killed himself.

Members and leaders of the Sikh community have demanded that law enforcement conduct a “thorough” and “transparent” investigation, including a probe into the possibility of bias as Hole’s motivation, said Satjeet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition. Those calls have so far avoided direct criticism of Mears, however.

“If it is determined that there was a failure in this law that could have prevented this tragedy from happening, the law should be fixed,” Kaur said. “If the law was incorrectly implemented as written, the parties responsible must be held accountable.”

Republican state Sen. Erin Houchin, who sponsored the 2019 changes to Indiana’s red flag law, said it “could have worked just as it should” in the Hole case.

“I think that had the prosecutor followed the red flag procedure in this case, then this 19-year-old might have not been able to purchase a second firearm after the family did voluntarily turn over that weapon,” Houchin said.

Mears did not return messages Friday seeking additional comment.

Indiana law does not mandate prosecutors to pursue court hearings in red flag law cases. Houchin said she would consider amending language to “firm up” that process, but only after more facts surrounding the shooting come to light.

Snyder said the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has made at least 45 red flag referrals to the prosecutor’s office so far this year. Mears said Monday that his office had filed eight red flag petitions since January. All are still awaiting rulings.

“The prosecutor appears to have raised the suggestion that the system failed, but I would point out that in this instance, the system didn’t fail,” Synder said. “A loophole did not thwart this opportunity, instead the process was sidestepped.”