Florida Nurse Believed To Have Died of COVID Actually Died of Kidney Infection

H/T Western Journal.

How many other deaths that get listed as  COVID-19 or from other causes?

A Palm Beach County Medical Examiner report reveals that a young nurse who passed away in April died from a kidney infection, not the coronavirus.

The report obtained by WPEC-TV, which noted that she was previously “believed to have passed from COVID-19,” shows that 33-year-old Danielle DiCenso from Wellington, Florida, died from “complications of acute pyelonephritis,” also known as a kidney infection.

DiCenso had been quarantined at home when she passed away in her sleep on April 9.

Before she died, DiCenso was tested for COVID-19 after reportedly being exposed to the virus while working at Palmetto General Hospital.

But the test came back inconclusive, according to WPEC.

“The findings are suggestive of an ascending urinary tract infection, leading to acute pyelonephritis and subsequent sepsis,” Medical Examiner Wendolyn Sneed wrote in the autopsy report late last month, according to The Palm Beach Post.

At the time of her passing, her husband, David DiCenso, told WPEC that his wife wasn’t provided enough personal protective equipment at work.

A spokeswoman from the hospital pushed back on the claim, and said that nurses were provided the necessary equipment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

“We are very focused on minimizing staff exposure in our hospital,” Shelly Weiss Friedberg said.

“All employees at our hospital are temperature checked upon arrival, wear a mask during patient care and are required to notify employee health if they become symptomatic.”

David DiCenso said his wife began to experience coronavirus symptoms in March, but she thought she could fight the virus at home.

“She was like ‘no, I don’t want to waste a ventilator on me. I’m healthy, I don’t need it,’” David DiCenso said.

“She was always caring about other people before her. I was like, ‘all right baby you’re the professional so I’ll take your advice on that.’”

When David DiCenso talked to WPEC in April, he was still waiting for the autopsy report, but said he had no doubt she was exposed to the coronavirus at work.

“It looked like the oxygen was just taken out of her,” he said.

Danielle DiCenso’s death is not the first one in Palm Beach County incorrectly believed to be caused by COVID-19.

WPEC’s investigation team requested a list of all COVID-19 deaths from the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s office and found eight of the 581 cases were not caused by the coronavirus.

“I think it is completely misleading,” Palm Beach County resident Rachel Eade said.

She has been researching the same issue and is one of the people suing the county for its mask mandate.

“We need to remove those cases that are not COVID exclusive, and we need to be giving people that information.”

Over 20% of Mail-In Ballots Rejected in Single Primary, Proving Vote-by-Mail Would Be Total Chaos

H/T Western Journal.

The DemocRats want this chaos in hopes they can steal the 2020 presidential election.

On Tuesday, the winners of two hotly contested New York Democratic primary races for Congress were announced.

Ritchie Torres, a progressive 32-year-old newcomer, won a 12-way race for an open seat in the Bronx. Meanwhile, in a close race for another seat in New York City, establishment candidate Rep. Carolyn Maloney narrowly defeated a challenger from her left, Suraj Patel. Both are in safe Democrat districts and both nominees will easily win in November.

There’s not really much unusual about this — until you consider that the primary happened on June 23.

The delay wasn’t entirely because the races were close. While Maloney and Patel ended up with a little more than 1 percentage point separating them, Torres’ margin of victory was over 10 percent. Rather, judging by The New York Times report, the problem was the tragicomic failure of the vote-by-mail system in New York state and what it means for November.

Proponents of universal mail-in voting got another reality check Wednesday when New York City’s Board of Elections released figures regarding how ballots for the presidential primary were handled.

According to the New York Post, more than 84,000 mail-in ballots were disqualified in the June 23 primary — more than 20 percent.

There was a deluge of mail-in ballots in New York City after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order making it easier to vote mail-in or absentee — even providing prepaid envelopes for voters. This meant there were plenty of ballots cast — and plenty of votes invalidated.

The Board of Elections figures showed that 403,103 ballots were received, but only 318,995 counted, a difference of 84,108, the New York Post reported.

So, what went wrong?

First, there were the ballots without a postmark. There were the ballots that were mailed out late. There were the ballots received late. There were problems with processing by the Board of Elections.

According to The New York Times, election officials also blamed a court decision to reinstate the presidential primary in New York.

The race was originally dropped, given former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead in the Democratic delegate race and the exigencies caused by the coronavirus crisis, but supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders argued the delegates from New York state could give Sanders’ supporters clout to influence the party platform. (As well they have; a big story on convention week will likely be the hundreds of Sanders delegates who, according to Politico, have signed on to a pledge to not support any Democratic platform that doesn’t include “Medicare for all,” a move that could spoil the comity even at a mostly virtual convention.

And then there was the butterfly ballot of the 2020 New York Democratic primary, the required signature on the envelope that came inside the mail-in ballot, something a lawyer representing candidates who sued the Board of Elections and Postal Service attributes to how it was put together.

According to the Post, attorney Arthur Schwartz, a Sanders supporter, said “scores” of ballots were invalidated because voters had failed to sign the interior envelope.

“The envelope with directions for the signature was so poorly designed,” Schwartz told the Post.

“A 26 percent invalidation rate is astounding. It’s very troubling.”

It’s unclear from context whether he was talking about the number from the city and made a mistake (the city total was 21 percent, thus a mistake) or if he was talking about Brooklyn’s number (roughly 25 percent), or the number of invalidated ballots for the candidates he was representing.

As for the “very troubling” part: Yes, I would say so. That’s accurate no matter what.

New York City’s fiasco was a forecast of the problems that could await us in a little over a dozen weeks. Even though the races in question are ostensibly decided, Judge Analisa Torres of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled Monday more absentee ballots must be counted, according to the Post.

According to The New York Times, only ballots that were received before June 23 were supposed to be counted. Torres ruled that ballots received by June 24 should be counted by the Board of Elections no matter when they were postmarked and ballots received on June 25 should be counted if they were postmarked by June 23.

This ruling on its own doesn’t affect much. In the Maloney-Patel race — the only affected contest that’s statistically close — only a small portion of the 12,500 disputed ballots would be counted. The Times described the number as “at least 1,000.” Patel is down by 3,700.

But here’s the thing: Patel is suing for more ballots to be counted, according to CNN, while the Board of Elections is appealing the original decision that would require it to count any more ballots.

“This is no longer a Democratic or a Republican fight, this is not an establishment versus progressive fight,” Patel said after Monday’s decision, according to The Times. “This is now a fight for the voting rights of millions in a pandemic.”

No, it’s a canary in a coal mine — something that Rep. Maloney inadvertently pointed out in a statement that didn’t criticize the decision but called on Patel to concede.

“It is regrettable that my former opponent has become President Trump’s mouthpiece in disparaging mail voting by making unsupported claims of many thousands of ballots being invalidated,” Maloney said, according to The Times. “The true facts show a smaller number that had no effect on the results.”

Of course, two candidates locked in a bitter race like this are going to say divergent things. In fact, part of any campaign is that candidates view raw data as ink-blot tests. With the outcome of elections, it becomes ink-blot tests that are played out in court. Patel sees disenfranchisement and the (admittedly slim) potential for a victory. Maloney sees needless litigation that makes President Donald Trump look good. The Board of Elections, meanwhile, feels its procedures were sufficient. Those suing disagree.

This is a battle in one city over a primary where it took six weeks to announce several winners and only one race is remotely in question — and the parties are still court. This November, the entire country votes in arguably the most consequential presidential election in our lifetimes. What do you think the courts are going to look like then?

Despite the mess, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks his city’s Board of Elections will shape itself up in time for the presidential race.

“I am certain they can learn from this and be prepared for the general election,” de Blasio said, according to the New York Post. “Three months is a long time.

“There are whole states in this country that do everything with mail-in [voting] and it works perfectly well.”

There are actually very few that do it that way, but that’s beside the point. Cuomo issued his executive order extending mail-in voting almost two months to the day before the June 23 primary, a primary in which few races were key.

In America’s largest city, this is how prepared they were. One out of five people who voted had their ballots invalidated. That’s one out of five people whose vote didn’t count.

In three months, de Blasio is confident a much larger, much closer election can be handled via universal vote-by-mail — in his city and, presumably, the rest of the country. I don’t know what’s given him this impression, particularly since his city just managed to be an object lesson in the chaos we’re inviting upon ourselves.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial

Florida Couple Arrested After Allegedly Murdering Burger King Employee for Long Wait

H/T Western Journal.

I hope both of these morons get the maximum sentence possible.

If you have a beef with an employee talk to a manager.

A Florida woman who was irate over her waiting time at an Orlando Burger King has been charged in connection with the death of an employee at the restaurant after her boyfriend had already been charged with murder.

The Aug. 1 incident resulted in the death of 22-year-old Desmond Armond Joshua, according to WKMG-TV.

Ashley Mason, 31, was charged with principal to first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office:

Her boyfriend, Kelvis Rodriguez Tormes, 37, was charged with first-degree murder, along with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and destruction of evidence, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Joshua had been working at the restaurant for two days when he was killed.

The incident began at about 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

Mason’s 13-year-old daughter told police that Joshua was disrespectful to her mother and that she thought he was talking about her and her mother behind the drive-thru window, leading her to throw a small drink at the window.

Mason then got tired of waiting for her $40 worth of food and began to argue with Joshua, according to Fox News.

Although she was refunded her money, she “threatened to bring her ‘man’ to the restaurant,” the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Not long afterward, Mason returned with Rodriguez Tormes, who demanded to fight Joshua. Joshua accepted the challenge and went outside to fight Tormes.

Rodriguez Tormes put Joshua in a headlock, leading bystanders to break up the scuffle.

Mason saw a handgun in the truck Rodriguez Tormes was driving and took it. Some witness accounts said she pointed it at bystanders.

Mason said that Rodriguez Tormes told her to “give me the fire.” She gave him the gun and he went into his truck, with the windows rolled up.

Joshua then ran up to the truck and Rodriguez Tormes lowered the window.

“You got two seconds before I shoot you,” Rodriguez Tormes said, according to the affidavit.

He shot Joshua once in the chest. The employee died after being rushed to a nearby hospital.

California: Anti-Gun and Anti-Hunting Bills Continue to Move!

H/T AmmoLand.

Californians make your voices heard.


U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)-This week, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed SB 118, the budget trailer bill that includes an expansion of California’s “Assault Weapons Control Act” and expedites the effective date on firearm parts checks from 2024 to 2022. Additionally, various policy committees continued to push anti-gun and anti-hunting legislation through the process. Below, are bills scheduled to be considered next week. Use the “Take Action” buttons below to contact members of the committees to oppose these measures. 

Tuesday August 11:

Assembly Appropriations Committee 1:00 p.m.

SB 914, sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-25), limits when those under 21 can purchase a long gun by requiring their hunting license to be currently valid. This means an individual who has purchased a license for an upcoming season will not satisfy the requirements of the bill. Additionally, SB 914 narrows the exemptions of loans of long-guns to minors and raises the fees the California Department of Justice can charge for eligibility checks on certain ammunition purchases and precursor parts.  SB 914 passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee on August 6.

SB 1175, sponsored by Senator Henry Stern (D-27), prohibits the possession of certain African species of wildlife.  The true goal of the bill is to ensure that individuals are not allowed to bring home lawful hunting trophies—even with the approval of the U.S. Government. SB 1175 passed the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on August 4.   ​​

Click this button to oppose SB 914 and SB 1175. 


Wednesday August 12:

Senate Natural Resources Committee 9:00 a.m.

AB 3030, sponsored by Ash Kalra (D-27), seeks to preserve 30% of California’s land areas, waters within the state and oceans off the coast by 2030. NRA joins a broad coalition of conservation minded groups in opposing this legislation as it fails to clearly protect hunting and angling opportunities. AB 3030 was rescheduled from the August 5 hearing date to August 12, due to committee time constraints.

Click this button to oppose AB 3030.


Thursday August 13:

Senate Appropriations Committee time TBD 

AB 2847, sponsored by Assembly Member David Chiu (D-17), revises the criteria for handguns to be certified for sale by requiring a microstamp in one place on the interior of the handgun (current law requires two imprinting locations). The bill also requires the removal of three certified handguns from the roster for each new handgun added.​ It should be noted that no new semi-automatic handguns have been added to the handgun roster since microstamping was certified in 2013. This legislation is nothing more than a means to reduce the options you have to protect yourself and your family. To read more about California’s microstamping law click here.​ AB 2847 passed the Senate Public Committee on August 1.

Click this button to oppose AB 2847.


Continue to check your inbox and http://www.nraila.org for updates concerning your Second Amendment Rights and hunting heritage. 

Details of Political Pressure to Persecute McCloskeys in St. Louis, Gate Details

H/T AmmoLand.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner needs to be removed from office for official misconduct.   

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Christine Byers of KSDK in Missouri has uncovered evidence of prosecutorial misconduct by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office. Kim is one of the radical prosecutors who has been elected with money from George Soros linked radical leftist “Justice & Public Safety” political action committee.

Gardner has drawn national attention with her decision to prosecute a St Louis couple for defending their home against an angry mob of Black Lives Matter agitators.

The document obtained by 5 On Your Side (KDSK) show pressure was applied by Gardner’s office to structure the police report, so as to alter the evidence to justify a warrant, and then, criminal charges.

Gardner’s Assistant Circuit Attorney, Chis Hinckley, had pushed the lead investigator, Sgt. Curtis Burgdorf, into signing a charging document that Hinckley wrote.

Burgdorf was unwilling to sign onto a document he disagreed with, but finally signed off, after revisions, under the political pressure from Hinckley. Here are the findings by KDSK:

Hinckley also wrote the document the lead detective did sign, known as the probable cause statement.
But it went through at least two revisions after Burgdorf outlined 14 concerns he had about the document, 5 On Your Side has learned.
Among those concerns:

  • Hinckley characterized the protest as “peaceful and organized” and that it was “calling attention to racial inequities in the criminal justice system.” Burgdorf wrote that the evidence he gathered showed the protest was to call for the resignation of Mayor Lyda Krewson. The final document called it “a protest march.”
  • Hinckley wrote that Patricia McCloskey’s was “armed with a semi-automatic handgun.” Burgdorf wrote the phrase should read, “What appears to be a semi-automatic handgun.” Hinckley responded, in part, “You cannot be serious with this one. Again, this is really problematic.” Ultimately, the document read: “What was later determined to be a semi-automatic handgun.”
  • Hinckley called Mark McCloskey’s gun an “assault” rifle. Burgdorf called the word “assault” a propaganda term. Hinckley disagreed, but it was left out of the final document. Hinckley wrote that the protesters passed through an “open gate” onto private property. Burgdorf said he didn’t know whether the gate guarding the private street was open when protesters went through it, but that, at some point, it was damaged. Hinckley responded: “Your points here are really problematic. It seems to go beyond oversight and into purposeful ignorance. I suggest you very quickly re-assess this evidence.” Ultimately the document Burgdorf signed reads, “protesters walked through a gate.”
  • Hinckley wrote that Mark McCloskey’s gun was “visibly loaded with an ammunition clip.” Burgdorf wrote that he would have to verify that detail because it wasn’t mentioned in his report or interviews with them. Hinckley wrote back “Seriously??!!” Ultimately, the document did not include the phrase Hinckley wrote.
  • Hinckley wrote that both victims, identified only by their initials, “feared that the defendant might fire her weapon due to her finger being on the trigger and her highly agitated demeanor.” Burgdorf wrote that the term “angrily” was subjective and he didn’t like it. Hinckley wrote, “It’s a fact and an element of the offense.” The final document did not include the word “angrily”.

Hinckley is reportedly the official who, when the pistol brandished by Patricia McCloskey was found to be non-functional by the forensic lab, ordered the pistol to be made functional when it was put back together, by the lab.

Detective Sgt. Burgdorf has continued to investigate the case. He was able to discover recorded evidence of threats by people in the mob of agitators, toward the McCloskeys.

“You own a business. Your business is gone.”
“We coming back baby.”
“You ain’t the only (expletive) with a gun.”
“They coming back to your house.”

Sgt Burgdorf discovered additional significant evidence. On a recording from the event, one of the leaders of the mob makes this disclosure:

In another livestream video, Burgdorf wrote a man was heard saying, “I was in front so I was the one who opened the gate. The gate was broken after they pulled a gun. What law did we break? We keep guns there but not for show though. Not to look a certain way, but for use. If they would’ve shot then they would’ve been put down.”

Both the threat and the information is damning. The man admits the gate was closed. There is video of the gate showing it was closed.

Screenshot from Youtube video. The gate has just been opened. The left side is now open about a foot. Cropped, scaled and lettering by Dean Weingarten

In the video, you can see a masked agitator going up to the gate. It appears he has some sort of tool, perhaps a jimmy bar of some kind. He is partially obscured by the crowd. Someone to the left of the gate is working with him, and pulls open the left side of the gate, shortly after he arrives.

It seems the gate was spring loaded, probably with a spring latch that could not be legitimately opened from the street side. The easiest way to jimmy it would be from the right side. Only the left side of the gate was opened.

The person who pulled the left side of the gate open after the latch was defeated, held the gate open for others to enter. This implies the gate was spring loaded with a bias toward closure.

Link to video

The first person through the gate and the person in the sport coat appear to be members of the leadership. The mob would probably not have gone through the gate, without their lead. They appear to have a plan, and execute the plan.

Image of gate being held open, showing what is likely a spring latch and the guard plate, where the thumb of the person holding it open is. Spring latches are the easiest to jimmy.  Screen shot from video, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten

On the recording, the agitator leader asks, rhetorically “What law did we break?”

There are four obvious ones:

  • Trespassing.
  • Disturbing the peace.
  • Private peace disturbance
  • Criminal threats of violence.

Other laws that seem likely to have been violated:

  • Criminal conspiracy
  • Deprivation of Constitutional rights

The gate was severely damaged as the mob left.

Screenshot of damaged gate in St. Louis from Fox, Tucker Carlson show. Cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten

Why was the gate damaged on the way out? Looking at the gate, notice the side which was opened has been pulled inward ( on the right from the inside). It is meant to open outward. The broken side was never opened at all. It was just broken and bent inward.

Some informed speculation:

It seems likely, when the mob had all gone inside, the springs on the gate closed the left hand side (viewed from the street) and the lock latched. The inside appears to be keyed. It may not have a lever to open it.

When the McCloskeys defended their property, the mob rapidly retreated back the way they had come.

The last in were the first out. They found themselves trapped by the locked gate. The man with the jimmy was probably not there to open it, so the mob just broke it, with many hands pulling on it.

We have not seen any video of the gate being broken.

Testimony about this is important. It would show the gate was locked when the mob arrived. The latch did not lock itself, after the mob was let into the private street by the ringleaders.

The evidence is likely to show the gate was locked. There is video evidence it was closed when the mob arrived. That contradicts assistant prosecutor Hinckley’s assertion the gate was open.

If the gate was locked, it becomes clear the mob were trespassers, not “peaceful protestors”. Most of the mob were being used by the leadership. The gate lock was defeated very quickly, shielded for the most part from the mob, as it was done. With a little practice, such a jimmy is faster than using a key.

Investigators in St. Louis can easily confirm if the gate is/was spring-loaded, and if it was locked with a spring latch.

It is unlikely any but a few of the leadership knew the route which was planned for the event.

Mobs are easy to lead around. Everyone follows those in front. A small cadre of activists direct the mob on where to go.

The leadership knew radical prosecutor Kim Gardner could be counted on not to prosecute them.

She prosecuted the McCloskeys, no matter what the facts.

Prosecutors are shielded from nearly all lawsuits by absolute immunity created by the Supreme Court in 1983.

There are means to remove prosecutors who abuse their power. It is very difficult to remove an elected prosecutor by anyone but the voters.

Prosecutors have enormous power and absolute immunity. It is a weak point in the system of ordered liberty in the United States.

The far left is exploiting that vulnerability. The Supreme Court removed many checks and balances when they gave prosecutors absolute immunity. The left is using that power against the democratic system. They don’t have a further plan.

Their plan has devolved into one goal: tear down the system.

Gov. Whitmer Proudly Wipes Out Wolverine State Gun Stores

H/T AmmoLand.

Gov.Whitmer(Delusional-MI)is making her bones as a petty tyrant.


U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Everytown for Gun Safety continued its Veepstakes auditions as Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined Shannon Watts to talk about her gun control credentials.

Gov. Whitmer’s highlight of the event was boasting about putting 6,600 Michiganders in the firearm and ammunition industry out of work by deeming them “non-essential” during the coronavirus pandemic. Most of their industry peers across the United States could remain on the job. Gov. Whitmer, though, shuttered gun businesses in her state and was proud of it on her Everytown Veepstakes tryout with Shannon Watts.

“I would do it again. I absolutely stand by the decision that I made,” Gov. Whitmer said. “I’m not going to apologize. And I’m not going to be bullied into doing things differently…It was very clear, the purchase of a gun does not fall in that [life-sustaining] criteria.”

Should she be 2020 presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, Gov. Whitmer would fit the ticket. Former Vice President Biden’s antigun track record is well-known and he’s had his own run-in with Michigan gun owners, scolding one Detroit Second Amendment supporter, saying “You’re full of sh*t!” Together the two would make for the most antigun presidential ticket in modern history.

For Safety and Security

Watts dismissed concerns Michiganders have for their personal safety. She went as far as labeling the more than 2.5 million Americans who bought a gun for the first time as just “the gun extremist community.” Gov. Whitmer blamed President Donald Trump.

“That is just the kind of dog-whistle that always makes me fearful that we’ll have more violence break out across the country.” She glossed over the numerous examples of law-abiding Americans protecting themselves, their families, their businesses, and their neighbors.

For her part, Gov. Whitmer supports reinstating the failed 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and gun control grab bag favorites like “red flag” laws that deny due process to the accused, closing loopholes that are in fact just the Second Amendment and more. There’s just one problem keeping her from getting her way – voters.

“I can’t just change these laws on my own,” Gov. Whitmer said. “I need a legislature to work with me. I don’t have a legislature that is very friendly when it comes to working on this issue.”

Gov. Whitmer is correct, though she did not make the point she thought she was making.

Biden and Beyond in November

Gov. Whitmer praised Biden’s candidacy and what it could mean for stricter gun control.

“With Joe Biden in the White House we’re going to have a leader who makes decisions based on the best information there is, so that we have higher odds of achieving all the goals that he’s running on,” Gov. Whitmer told Watts. “He’s the perfect candidate at this time.”

Former Vice President Biden’s gun control “goals” also include appointing former U.S. Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-Texas) as his chief gun-grabbing sheriff to confiscate 18 million of the most popular selling centerfire semiautomatic rifles in America. His ‘leadership’ includes telling his wife to blindly fire a shotgun into the air without knowing the target and suggesting police try their best to shoot threatening armed attackers in the leg. He called the firearm industry “the enemy” and wants to dismantle it.

Not everyone agrees with Biden or Gov. Whitmer on these extremist ideas. An NSSF survey of likely voters in 18 battleground states, including Michigan, showed that enforcing existing gun laws and protecting lawful firearm sales are at the top of their minds heading into November. NSSF regularly updates the #GUNVOTE online resource so voters don’t risk their rights in the ballot box.

The Government Cannot Protect You! You Must Protect Yourself!

H/T AmmoLand.

Your safety is in your hands and not the governments.

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- As a NYPD veteran police officer, and Adjunct Professor/Lecturer of Police Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, National Rifle Association Certified Firearms Instructor (pistol, rifle, and shotgun), and Training Counselor, and active member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, and lifetime resident of New York City, I have dedicated my life to the preservation and strengthening of our cherished Second Amendment. This is no easy task, especially today, as we see constant, concerted, vigorous attacks on the fundamental right of personal defense with firearms.

So, it was with more than a little interest I read Stephen Halbrook’s article, “How Does New York City Get Away With This,” published in the August 2020 edition of NRA’s publication, “America’s 1st Freedom.”

Stephen Halbrook is a Second Amendment Constitutional law expert and a prolific writer and author who has argued and won several important Second Amendment cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In his article, he provides a brief history of restrictive handgun licensing in New York City. He correctly observes that “[i]t all started with the Sullivan Act of 1911, the first law in any state (other than the slave codes) to require a license for mere possession of a pistol even in the home.” Toward the end of the article, he makes the point that:

“Nothing has changed since 1911 when [an Italian-American] Mario Rossi carried a pistol for protection against the Black Hand, for which he was sentenced to a year in prison.”

It is of course disturbingly, depressingly, frustratingly true that “nothing has changed in New York City since 1911, insofar as the City continues to require a valid license to lawfully possess a handgun.

Still, in a few important respects, much has changed, and for the worse, since the enactment of the unconscionable and unconstitutional Sullivan Act.

In the 109 years since handgun licensing began, New York City’s laws have become more extensive, more oppressive and repressive, and confoundingly difficult to understand. These laws are a labyrinthine maze of ambiguity and vagueness, and they are singularly bizarre.

Unlike many other States that wisely preempt the field of gun regulation, as failure to do so invariably promotes and leads to confusion and inconsistencies across a State, the New York State Government, in Albany, has not preempted the field. The New York Legislature gives local governments wide discretion in establishing their own firearms rules as long as local government enactments don’t conflict with basic State law mandates.

Albany traditionally allows, and even encourages, local governments to devise their own, often numerous and extremely stringent, firearms rules. New York City has done so, and with glee, devising an extraordinarily complex and confusing array of rules directed to the ownership and possession of all firearms: rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

New York State law, NY CLS Penal § 400.00 (1) sets forth the basic handgun licensing scheme, applicable to all New York jurisdictions, making clear that possession of handguns falls within the province of the police and that,

“No license shall be issued or renewed pursuant to this section except by the licensing officer, and then only after investigation and finding that all statements in a proper application for a license are true.”

NY CLS Penal § 400.00 (3)(a) provides that,

Applications shall be made and renewed, in the case of a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, to the licensing officer in the city or county, as the case may be, where the applicant resides, is principally employed or has his or her principal place of business as merchant or storekeeper.

New York City builds upon State Statute, establishing a mind-numbing set of tiers of handgun licensing, mandating the extent to which New York residents may exercise the privilege, not the right, to possess a handgun for self-defense.

The Rules of the City of New York, specifically 38 RCNY 5-01, has established, at the moment, at least, no less than 6 different categories of handgun licenses:

  • Premises License—Residence or Business
  • Carry Business License
  • Limited Carry Business License
  • Carry Guard License/Gun Custodian License
  • Special Carry Business License
  • Special Carry Guard License/Gun Custodian License

New York City’s tiered handgun licensing scheme is not only inconsistent with the Second Amendment, it promotes unlawful discrimination under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and invites both abuse by and corruption in the City’s Licensing Division. In fact, the City’s insufferable and puzzling handgun licensing scheme is, from a purely logical standpoint, apart from a legal standpoint, internally inconsistent and incoherent.

Premise residence and business handgun licenses place considerable restraints on a licensee’s right of self-defense. Unrestricted handgun carry licenses, on the other hand, are issued only to a select few people who satisfy arbitrary “proper cause,” requirements. Of course, powerful, wealthy, politically-connected elites are exceptions, routinely obtaining rare and coveted unrestricted handgun carry licenses, unavailable to the average citizen, residing in the City.

Criminals don’t obey handgun licensing rules or any other State law or City code, rule, or regulation pertaining to firearms, so they don’t care what the laws say. This hasn’t changed.

It is deeply troubling, indeed mind-boggling, to believe New York City’s harsh, brutal, even despotic handgun licensing scheme continues to escape Constitutional scrutiny, a point Stephen Halbrook makes at the outset of his August 2020 NRA article, in which he says,

“‘Under New York law, it is a crime to possess a firearm’, held the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in U.S. vs. Sanchez-Villar (2004). This ruling was based on the state’s ban on the possession of an unlicensed handgun. This prohibition did not offend the Second Amendment, said this ruling, because ‘the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right.’ Later rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court—D.C v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010—begged to differ. . . . But the Second Circuit must not have gotten the memo. . . .”

Stephen Halbrook makes clear that the New York licensing scheme is unlawful on its face because the very concept of licensing is grounded on the erroneous idea that gun possession is a privilege and not a fundamental right, a notion that is completely at odds with the Second Amendment and with High Court rulings. I agree with Stephen Halbrook’s assessment.

The Arbalest Quarrel has pointed out the Constitutional flaws inherent in gun licensing schemes over and over again, through the years, commencing with our first series of articles on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s draconian and inane New York Safe Act of 2013.

We called the Governor out on New York’s unconstitutional licensing scheme. See, e.g., our April 30, 2014 article where we concluded with this: “To suffer bad law is unfortunate. But, forced submission to State law that infringes a fundamental right is sinful.”

New York City residents have been forced to submit to unconstitutional firearms laws since 1911. New York’s gun control laws were and continue to be enacted to disarm the honest citizen and to discourage personal self-defense.

If a person insists on possessing a handgun for self-defense, New York insists on one’s first obtaining permission from the police department to do so, through acquisition of a license, issued by the police.

The imposition of stringent handgun license requirements is inconsistent with the import of the fundamental right to keep and bear arms as codified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Redress is necessary. It’s about time.

Anti-Second Amendment proponents and zealots interject that every State requires that a motorist obtain an operator’s license to lawfully operate a motor vehicle on public streets, and they ask, “Why should gun possession be any different?” But in posing the question, these Anti-Second Amendment activists demonstrate an intention to reduce the fundamental right of the people to keep and bear arms to the status of mere privilege, which, in fact, is what a motorist’s license is; merely a privilege to drive an automobile on public roadways. It is logically and legally wrong to view and to treat a fundamental right as a mere privilege.

New York attempts to skirt addressing the inherent unconstitutionality of the entire firearms’ licensing scheme through pompous, imbecilic assurances that a person doesn’t need a handgun to defend him or herself because Government, protects a person. That is patently false and, in any event, it is wholly beside the point, as the Arbalest Quarrel made clear in an article posted on our site on November 21, 2019, http://arbalestquarrel.com/can-we-as-individuals-rely-on-the-police-to-protect-us-reprise/. That article was reprinted in Ammoland Shooting Sports News on November 26, 2019, although in a different format with some editing. https://www.ammoland.com/2019/11/can-we-rely-on-the-police-to-protect-us/

As we said, under the ‘doctrine of sovereign immunity’ the police are not, as a general rule, legally obligated to protect and guarantee the life and safety of any individual, and they cannot be held legally liable for failing to do so. Courts have routinely so held, including New York Courts. But many Americans fail to realize this because the seditious Press and politicians routinely lie to them.

The purpose of a community police department is to protect the society-at-large, nothing more. I had pointed this out 30 years ago, in an article I co-authored with Second Amendment scholar, David Kopel. That basic doctrine has not changed since.

But, very recently, something has changed and drastically.

Radical Left State and local governments are no longer even allowing their police departments to provide a modicum of protection for their community. This follows from the unrestrained actions and antics of volatile Marxist and Anarchist groups to whom they kowtow. They have called for the defunding of, and disbanding of, community police departments across the Country, and some jurisdictions have done so. In New York City the Radical Left Mayor, Bill de Blasio, has slashed $1 Billion from the NYPD budget. This comes at a critical time when soaring crime and daily riots demand more funding for police, not less.

This is a major change because the average American can, now, no longer depend on the police to provide even general protection to the community.

It must be noted, too, that there are attempts by Marxists and Anarchists to rewrite the laws on sovereign immunity, so as to hold police accountable for harming citizens. This is not for the purpose of securing more police protection, or to make the police more accountable to the law-abiding public at large.

On the contrary, the purpose of overturning police sovereign immunity rulings is to provide the public with less protection and, at the same time, to allow lawless rioters, looters, arsonists, and assailants to engage in attacks on the police and on innocent people without having to fear justifiable retribution for their lawless acts.

So, in some ways, matters have changed. Radical Left Governments are leaving communities less safe by preventing the police from promoting law and order, while they are prevented from protecting themselves as lawlessness occurs all around them, rendering them powerless to engage lawbreakers.

The public sees the disturbing results: demoralized officers and less safe communities as police are not permitted to provide communities with even a modicum of safety. This obviously is not for the better.

Moreover, even as Radical Left Government leaders restrain and constrain the police, they continue to resist recognition of the fundamental, unalienable right of the people to keep and bear arms for their own defense. These Marxist leaders demonstrate their contempt for the very sanctity of human life, even as they claim disingenuously to care about human life. They don’t care and they never did. Theirs is a recipe for disaster: for a complete breakdown of law and order in society.

But a breakdown of society is precisely what these Radical Left Governments want. They wish to tear down the Nation, so they can reconfigure it in a manner completely at odds with the preservation of the free Constitutional Republic that our founders gave us.

Despite the intentions of the Radical Left Collectivists, they can’t subvert the dictates of natural law. Natural law dictates that the right and responsibility of self-defense rests today, as it always did, on the individual.

Americans must not listen to the seditious Press and duplicitous politicians who claim that defunding or eliminating the police is necessary and, who claim, at one and the same time, the necessity for curbing the personal right of armed self-defense as well; and that taking these actions will improve society. That is not only false, it is absurd. The seditious Press and Radical Left politicians don’t have, and never did have, the best interests of the Nation or its people at heart. This is now transparent and, given the present state of affairs afflicting our Country. This fact is irrefutable.

Although I have always been a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, I never advocated that everyone should get a gun. I did support and continue to support freedom of choice in owning and possessing firearms. However, now it is time for every law-abiding American citizen to be armed. Learn how to properly use a gun and how to safeguard it.

Our Country is at a crossroads. We stand to lose everything near and dear to us if we don’t pay to heed to the threats directed against us, bearing down relentlessly on all of us.

It is the responsibility of all citizens to safeguard their own life and safety and that of their families, and to preserve our Republic as the founders intended; to protect it from the insinuation of tyranny that the Radical Left would dare impose on Americans.

Michigan Mail-In Voting Disaster Casts Even More Doubt on November Election

H/T Western Journal.

This is another example of mail-in voting going wrong.

The presidential election is right around the corner, and many voters from a variety of states are participating in the process of mail-in voting — opposed to in-person voting — to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Mail-in voting may appear to be a safe alternative to voters on the surface, but when considering how things turned out for Michigan’s primary on Tuesday, it may not be the best option after all.

“Mail problems marred the delivery of absentee ballots in Michigan in the run-up to Tuesday’s primary in the state, testing election administrators and ramping up fears of political pressure on the U.S. Postal Service just three months before Nov. 3,” The Washington Post reported.

Michigan has seen some of the most stringent stay-at-home orders in the country, thanks to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. It’s no wonder Michiganders felt it was best to vote via mail.

As polls opened, however, many voters reported that they were missing absentee ballots.

Additionally, there was fear of delayed delivery by the U.S. Postal Service. Therefore, election officials told voters to submit their ballots into physical dropboxes within a specific timeframe.

In other words, in order for Michiganders to avoid the spread of COVID-19, they chose to vote by absentee mail-in ballots. But by delivering their ballots to physical dropboxes, they had to show up somewhere in person anyway.

Essentially, their mail-in system did not keep them home when all was said and done.

The Post rightly noted that these difficulties experienced in the Michigan primaries offer a “potential warning ahead of the general election.”

And any concerns over this particular election should carry extra heft, given it’s galvanizing Democratic voters and Republican voters alike.

According to The Post, at least 77 percent of U.S. voters will be able to vote through the mail in the fall election. And with millions expected to vote, the outcome of mail-in voting could be a disaster.

Specifically, the disaster could involve missing ballots, delayed shipment or lack of security over the physical dropboxes.

The more risk there is to the integrity of states’ mail-in voting, the more America must realize that it’s not a feasible option.

President Donald Trump recently tweeted that he believes November’s election will be the “most rigged” in the history of our nation should mail-in voting be widely implemented.

“Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election in our nations history – unless this stupidity is ended,” Trump tweeted. “We voted during World War One & World War Two with no problem, but now they are using Covid in order to cheat by using Mail-Ins!”

Whether or not the 2020 election will actually be “rigged” is beside the point.

If the Michigan primary reflects what awaits in November, Americans will have little reason to trust the results of the presidential election.

Sarah Sanders: This Is What It Will Take To Defeat Biden in November

H/T Western Journal.

If Slow Joe The Gaff Machine Biden agrees to debate President Trump he will be toast.

The media’s focus in the 2020 presidential election isn’t on Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden. It’s on Donald Trump vs. anybody else.

It doesn’t matter that it’s Joe Biden, because that’s not who anyone is talking about. The Democrats certainly aren’t. The media certainly isn’t. Most days, Donald Trump’s opponent might as well be one of those illustrations of a shadowy human profile with a question mark.

If this is the man the other party wants you to vote for, that’d normally be an odd strategy. That said, we’re in the midst of a pandemic and a concomitant economic collapse. The Biden strategy, such as it is, involves emphasizing the president’s Trump-iness and saying that’s what’s responsible.

If the polls are anything to go by, that’s not doing badly so far. In fact, it’s doing so well that some Democrats don’t want their candidate to take the debate stage at all.

That’s why former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says what it’ll take to defeat the former vice president in November is getting America to take a long, hard look at Biden.

“The idea that Joe Biden or anybody around him, the reason they don’t want him to be on a debate stage is because they don’t want him taking questions,” Sanders said Tuesday on Fox News. “They know that he has been a part of the problem for the last 50 years and he can’t defend his record.

“If this race becomes about Joe Biden he knows he loses. People around him know he loses. He is a failed career politician that has moved so far to the left that he is out of touch with America,” she continued.

“If he has to go up and take questions, it is going to be, I think, a disastrous moment for him and his campaign, and I think a lot of people around them know it, that’s the reason they’ve kept him in the basement bunker and it’s the reason they want to limit the debates to one or two and no more than that, if they have them at all.”

One prominent liberal figure to float the idea Biden shouldn’t debate Trump is former Clinton administration press secretary Joe Lockhart.

In a CNN Op-Ed published last Tuesday, Lockhart wrote that “Trump has now made more than 20,000 misleading or false statements according to The Washington Post. It’s a fool’s errand to enter the ring with someone who can’t follow the rules or the truth.

“Biden will undoubtedly take heat from Republicans and the media for skipping the debates,” he wrote. “But it’s worth the risk as trying to debate someone incapable of telling the truth is an impossible contest to win.”

I’d say something about the richness of the man who was Bill Clinton’s press secretary when Clinton was formally impeached for lying under oath having written that, but I digress.

In The New York Times, meanwhile, former debate panelist Elizabeth Drew argued for scrapping the debates entirely, saying they’ve come “to resemble professional wrestling matches, and more substantive debates were widely panned in the press. Points went to snappy comebacks and one-liners. Witty remarks drew laughs from the audience and got repeated for days and remembered for years.”

“This, by the way, isn’t written out of any concern that Donald Trump will prevail over Joe Biden in the debates; Mr. Biden has done just fine in a long string of such contests. The point is that ‘winning’ a debate, however assessed, should be irrelevant, as are the debates themselves,” she wrote.

Drew, a prolific Washington, D.C., journalist, moderated a 1976 Gerald Ford-Jimmy Carter debate; the intervening 44 years have apparently been busy, which is why she’s decided just now is the time to take a visible stand on the issue .

Democrats don’t seem particularly enthralled by what Lockhart or Drew are pushing, at least not yet.

“We’ve had presidential debates for a long time now, and it’s been a way for a lot of people around the nation to be able to see the candidates in action,” Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren said, according to The Hill.

“I know that Joe Biden will show who he is, a man of both empathy and competence, and I’d like the American people to have a chance to see that.”

“This is a big race, and the answer is yes, I think he should,” California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein added, while saying they ought to be limited.

“I think one or two debates is sufficient,” she said.

It’s not just about the debates, either. Biden has limited his appearances and media access — allowing the Democrats and the media to make the race about Trump alone, something Sanders suggested was indicative of the campaign.

“I think the fact that they want to hide Joe Biden tells us everything we need to know about that campaign,” she said.

“This has nothing to do with his plans are for the country and everything to do with attacking the president. The focus needs to be on who is best fit and ready to lead our country, rebuild our economy. I think when you ask that question, there is no doubt it’s Donald Trump, and that’s the reason nobody wants Joe Biden on a stage being compared to this president.”

Trump, she said, must contrast his record to Biden’s.

“He can restore law and order, he’s built the economy strong, he can certainly do it again, and I think those are two areas that this president can really show contrast with somebody like Joe Biden who’s been part of the problem for far too long, on a debate stage, and I think it’s why it’s important for Americans to see,” Sanders said.

Biden, of course, insists he wants to be on that stage.

“Joe Biden said in June that he looks forward to debating Donald Trump on the dates and in the locations chosen by the Presidential Commission on Debates. We are still waiting for Donald Trump to agree to as much,” Andrew Bates, Biden’s rapid response director, said in a statement to The Hill, referring to the  fact that the Trump campaign has yet to formally commit to participating in the debates.

If the former vice president really is looking forward to debating Trump, though, Biden has a funny way of showing it. He gives short speeches, takes few if any questions and prefers highly scripted events which happen as infrequently as possible.

The Democrats have realized their best chance to get Joe Biden elected is to completely ignore Joe Biden. Counterintuitive as that may seem, conservatives oughtn’t kid ourselves — that’s exactly what they’re doing right now, and it’s working.

Trump is wildly popular among his base, but he’s just as viciously hated by the other side.

Allowing the Democrats to focus on Trump and Trump alone while allowing Biden’s competence issues to remain unaddressed is the perfect recipe for a loss.

If the Trump team wants to be sure to keep Joe Biden out of the Oval Office, one way or another, they need to keep him out of the basement.

CA May Make Massive Increase in Number of Dangerous Criminals Released into Communities

H/T Western Journal.

Only in Commifornia would they do something this stupid.

If you don’t need to be behind bars right now, you probably shouldn’t be. Jails and prisons are breeding grounds for COVID-19 — and while, under normal circumstances, punitive measures would be perfectly reasonable for someone who doesn’t represent any danger to the community, in this case they’re not the ones who need to stay behind bars.

The problem is that the whole “danger to the community” line is a very blurry one. It’s the kind of situation where federal, state and local officials need to pore over records — including inmates’ criminal history, whom they victimized and what their conduct has been behind bars.

It’s impossible for anyone to say where that blurry line is. I’ll say this much, though: Inasmuch as it exists, if you come up with an estimate of how many prisoners you’ll be releasing and then choose to release 70 percent more than that estimate, my guess is that you’re over that blurry line.

According to Fox News, California is apparently set to have released 17,600 prisoners because of the coronavirus pandemic, well more than it had originally planned to.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that the state overshot the original estimate by 70 percent. That revelation came in court documents in a lawsuit.

A representative of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told Fox News that “in total, 8,032 [inmates] have had their releases expedited and overall, we have reduced the total incarcerated population by more than 18,300 since March as a result of suspension of county jail intake, the expedited release” and people released in accordance with their sentences.

“We’re glad the governor is taking action to release more people,” Jay Johnson, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, said in a statement last month.

“This is absolutely critical for the health and safety of every Californian,” Johnson said. “Too many people are incarcerated for too long in facilities that spread poor health.”

Among the prisoners being released is 44-year-old Terebea Williams.

Williams was serving out an 84-years-to-life sentence because of the murder, carjacking and kidnapping of Kevin “John” Ruska Jr.

“I can’t understand why this is happening at all. … I always felt responsible for him. I’m the older sister,” Dena Love, Ruska’s sister, told KOVR-TV in Sacramento.

In February 1998, Williams took Ruska hostage at gunpoint and put him in the trunk of her car. Apparently unhappy with this arrangement as it was, she then shot Ruska in the abdomen and drove from Washington state to Davis, California.

Ruska was still alive when they got to Davis, so Williams tied him to a chair. She was generous enough to leave one of his legs free so he could potentially get people’s attention by stomping. This didn’t work, and he was dead by the time he was discovered.

Williams was convicted of the crime in 2001 and was sentenced to 84-to-life.

Now, 19 years later, she’ll be free.

“And for this to come down, for her to walk, I don’t even know why, to this day, why my son is dead,” Kevin Ruska Sr. told KOVR.

There’s no answer to that, mind you, but the state did say she was in a high-risk category. They declined to say what put her at such high risk.

So, how do you get from the original estimate of 10,400 to 17,600?

The original number dealt with 3,500 who were released to relieve overcrowded prisons and 6,900 who were deemed ready for release in July.

Now, adding on to that, “700 eligible offenders who have less than one-year to serve who reside within identified institutions that house large populations of high-risk patients” and “approximately 6,500 persons identified by the court-appointed Federal Receiver as medically high-risk for complications should they contract COVID-19” will potentially be released, the CDRC representative told Fox News.

However, 5,500 of the inmates could be potentially blocked by Corrections Secretary Ralph Diaz because most of those are serving life sentences.

Not everyone represents the same danger to the community that Williams does, but they don’t have to. At a time when we’re experiencing more than an uptick in lawlessness, putting more criminals out on the street has — not counterintuitively — led to more crime.

In New York City, roughly 2,500 inmates at Rikers Island were released due to the coronavirus. In late June, it was reported that 250 of these — one in 10 — had been rearrested, some multiple times.

Rikers Island, mind you, is a city jail. These are state prisons — where many are being released despite that whole life sentence thing.

“This is not a blanket release, the point-in-time numbers are just a step in the review process as the department works tirelessly to conduct these releases in a way that aligns public health and public safety,” the CDRC representative said.

By releasing a first-degree murderer? By scheduling a 5,500-strong cohort of individuals for release when many of them are serving life sentences?

There’s no alignment there.

No one wants to subject individuals to the potential of death. However, tragic though it may be, there’s a reason these individuals are still behind bars. I would venture quite a lot of them need to stay there.