• GOA’s State of the Union

    --How Gun Owners Frustrated Obama’s Gun Control Agenda in 2014 Read More
  • “Fast Track” to Delegate Enormous Power to Obama

    -- Second Amendment Could be Impacted Read More
  • How Tragedy could have been Averted in France

    -- GOA credited with killing gun control in the U.S. Senate Read More
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GOA News

  • Rev. Schenck
  • Ben Carson
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The Right to Defend Your Family is a “Pro-Life” Value
by Erich Pratt

USA Today isn't exactly a close ally of either the pro-life or Second Amendment movements. So it’s not surprising that on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the newspaper published an opinion piece by Pastor Rob Schenck trying to pick a fight between the two communities. 

That's not going to happen.

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Not Ready for Prime Time
by Tim Macy

You have to admire anyone who calls out the President of the United States to his face, criticizing his train wreck that is universally known as “ObamaCare.”  Dr. Ben Carson catapulted himself into national prominence when he confronted the President on this issue at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013.

As a result of that one act, Dr. Carson is being considered as a potential presidential candidate.  His gentle, avuncular manner makes him all the more attractive.  But let’s do a little vetting before we go all in.

From a review of some of his public statements, it is clear that he is developing his positions on the issues on the fly.

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Anti-gunners Misfire Again Trying to Debunk the Benefits of Guns in Self-Defense
by Erich Pratt

In October of last year, a North Carolina man used a handgun to stop three armed invaders who were beating his wife and attempting to rape his granddaughter.  The home defender shot all three of the thugs, killing one of them.

In July, a doctor prevented a mass shooting at a hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania, when he used his concealed firearm to stop a gunman.  Police said that had it not been for the armed doctor, the perpetrator would have gone “out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition.”

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GOA Blasts Liam Neeson for Ignorant Comments on Guns

WorldNetDaily (1/13/15) reported that action movie star Liam Neeson has been accused of “rank hypocrisy” for his comments blasting gun ownership in America.  Neeson offered these views, despite the fact that he has made a career appearing in movies featuring ... guns.

Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, said he was “not impressed” by the comments from Neeson, who appeared in Schindler’s List.

“Too bad Neeson didn’t learn anything from Schindler’s List. Those were unarmed people who were being slaughtered (by the Nazis),” Pratt said. “You know they had to have wished there had been ‘too many (expletive) guns’ in Germany.”

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I am Charlie (Bronson)
by Larry Pratt

Practitioners of the “Religion of Peace” have struck again.  This time, two of their “missionaries” went to the offices of a Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine in Paris, where the dirtbags killed a dozen innocent people.  

We’ve seen this kind of terrorism before.  One of the Muslim murderers was actually shouting “Allahu Akbar” during his butchery.  But if Allah expects to be praised during the commission of cold-blooded murder, wouldn’t that make him the Dirtbag-in-Chief?  

If the FBI were in charge of the investigation, they would probably conclude that the motive for the attack was unclear.  Just another case of “workplace violence,” don’t you know?

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Self-Defense Corner

  • Bone-Chilling
  • PA Woman
  • Store Clerk
  • Papa John's
  • CCW Permit

Man Relives Bone-Chilling Moment When a Neighbor Kicked Through His Door and Came at Him With a Machete: ‘It Was Like ‘The Shining”

James Cvengros lived with the horrific memory for nearly a year — and then a few days ago in an Idaho courtroom he watched it unfold all over again…on video…for the very first time.

Cvengros, 29, had started to document the alarming behavior of his 54-year-old neighbor Twain Thomas — in case something goes wrong, he figured, visual evidence might help him out.

After all, one time Thomas reportedly kicked in Cvengros’ door over loud music. What could be next?

One day last February, Cvengros found out. Things were much worse in their Pocatello apartment building — windows breaking, other neighbors screaming — so he hit “record” and pointed his camera at his front door.

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Armed Woman in PA Detains Two Thieves at Gunpoint For Police, Police Praise Her

Fearless, armed women are certainly making a statement so far in 2015. Case in point, when an armed Pennsylvania woman found two men breaking into a car in her driveway she quickly took action.

According to local media reports:

Ephrata police already had been alerted by a 911 caller that two men were entering cars along Misty and Creek lanes at 2:30 a.m. Monday, according to criminal complaints. But the woman took action when she saw the man trying to break into a car in her driveway at Meadow View and Overlook drives.

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Store Clerk Takes On Four Armed Robbers, Kills Two, Breaks Up Robbery Ring

A Tulsa convenience store clerk took on four masked men during an attempted robbery earlier this week, shooting and killing two and helping bring an end to a serial robbery ring.

The four assailants entered Ryan’s Convenience Store at around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the Tulsa World. One of the men, 27-year-old Brian Powell, pulled out a handgun and fired a shot upon entrance and demanded money.

But the store clerk did not comply. Instead, he pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and fired it, hitting and killing Powell and 16-year-old Kevin Dobbs.

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Papa John’s Delivery Driver Shoots Would Be Robber

In a very rare instance, the company that employed the driver is actually standing by the employee.  Despite a company policy against using firearms, the driver is keeping her job and has been reassigned to work in the store while she recovers from the incident.

I applaud Papa Johns for doing the right things, hopefully it might lead to a change in their policy prohibiting firearms.  The suspect is being treated in a local hospital for a gunshot wound to the face.

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‘Amazing’ Armed Customer Thwarts Armed Robbery, Inspires Woman To Obtain Concealed Carry Permit

A Houston-area man is being hailed as a hero after he stopped an armed robbery with a gun of his own.

The incident occurred Saturday at K&S Seafood when two armed men barged into the store near closing time.

“All of a sudden my wife ran back panicking,” K&S owner Koy Sam told KHOU.

According to KRIV, the assailants confronted the couple in the kitchen and put a gun to Sam’s head and demanded money, which was actually kept at the front of the restaurant.

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John McCain's Lobbying Reform Provisions Unconstitutional And Would Protect Corruption
by Mark Fitzgibbons

Editor's note: trashing the First Amendment rights of groups like GOA in 2002 with the infamous McCain-Feingold law -- better known as the Incumbent Protection Act -- wasn't enough for Sen. McCain. He's back for more in 2006 with S. 2128, the Gag Act.

Proposed regulation of the grassroots, such as Section 110 of S. 2128 (the Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act), with similar provisions in counterpart bills before the House of Representatives, would harm America.

Not only does such regulation abridge freedom of speech, of the press, the right of the people to peaceably assemble, to petition the Government for redress of grievances, and to exercise our respective faiths, but such regulation would actually protect the corruptive influences that these lobbying and ethics reform bills are purportedly intended to fix.

Through the grassroots, citizens across the country assemble peaceably, though perhaps not always politely, on political and social matters of importance to them. The problems Congress purports to cure through its recent efforts are the quid pro quo of legislation for gifts or other "consideration." Whatever the problems inside the Beltway, none of those problems can be blamed on too much citizen participation in public policy matters. Any efforts to regulate the grassroots, therefore, are misplaced.

The grassroots, of course, are the People. They are whom Justice William Brennan called "citizen-critic[s] of government." More than merely critics of government, the grassroots are populist means of criticizing corporations, even entire industries. They are critics of the institutional, mainstream media as well as critics of the new and alternative media. Grassroots organizations are critics even of other grassroots organizations.

S. 2128 would require registration and reporting of "paid" efforts to "stimulate" the grassroots. Section 110 of the bill defines these as efforts "to influence the general public... to contact one or more... legislative or executive branch officials (or Congress as a whole) to urge such officials... to take specific action" on matters of public policy. "Attempts to influence" 500 or more citizens by any person or entity receiving or spending $25,000 or more in any quarter trigger these grassroots lobbying registration and reporting requirements.

The thresholds triggering registration and reporting may be met by the placement of just one media ad or just the postage for one direct mail letter mailed nationally. It is not merely that these thresholds are low; they are unconstitutional. These provisions directly violate the "constitutional rights" identified in 2 U.S.C. 1607(a) of the underlying lobbying registration statute that S. 2128 amends (not that constitutional rights need statutory recitation of the fact that they exist). What possibly could have made these constitutional rights fall out of favor since 1995, when the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities bill was first passed?

The registration requirements are a prior restraint on the exercise of First Amendment rights, and the reporting requirements are burdens on such rights, with civil and even criminal sanctions in some of the legislative proposals for failure to register and report. Registration is a prior restraint because failure to register within a set period of agreeing to engage in such rights sets off penalties. Speech and press rights must therefore obtain government clearance in advance of communications being issued.

James Madison, in describing the distinction between the American version of a free printing press versus the British version, said that

    a law inflicting penalties on printed publications would have a similar effect with a law authorizing a previous restraint on them. It would seem a mockery to say that no laws should be passed preventing publications from being made, but that laws may be passed for punishing them in case they should be made.

Section 110 of S. 2128 is a prior restraint. Section 106 of the bill amending 2 U.S.C. 1606 would create substantial penalties for that to which all Americans have guaranteed and constitutionally protected rights "paramount to laws," as Madison said.

Such regulation would stifle speech, but more so, it would effectively censor small, start-up and unpopular causes already strapped for cash. These bills would treat small and unpopular citizen causes the same as large corporations hiring high-priced K Street lobbyists, and would penalize or completely shut out some of the most valuable means of citizens protecting their own freedoms.

It is well-settled law that paid efforts to engage in First Amendment rights merit no fewer constitutional protections than unpaid volunteer efforts. Journalists who receive paychecks are no less protected than unpaid bloggers.

The paid ads of the Committee to Defend Martin Luther King "communicated information, expressed opinion, recited grievances, protested claimed abuses, and sought financial support on behalf of a movement whose existence and objectives are matters of the highest public interest and concern." New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 266 (1964). Such "editorial advertisements," of course cost money to prepare, to place, to print and to disseminate. They are "the promulgation of information and ideas by persons who do not themselves have access to publishing facilities -- who wish to exercise their freedom of speech even though they are not members of the press." Id.

There are many other examples, too long to list in this letter, of why "paid" efforts to engage in protected First Amendment activity are not only as protected constitutionally, but are as important and as valuable as unpaid efforts. For example, paid efforts to circulate petitions are "core political speech" subject to the "zenith" of First Amendment protections. See, Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 421–422 (1988). The bottom line is that First Amendment protections of speech, the printing press, petitioning and association rights are not lost merely because it costs money to communicate in today's world of mass media.

Regulating "paid" efforts to stimulate grassroots activity merely gives the appearance that Members of Congress and their respective Republican and Democratic Party committees would prefer for their own professional political consultants to have a leg up in the marketplace of ideas and donations. Members of Congress may already send communications at taxpayer expense under their "free" franking privileges, and as 535 of the most important people in the country, easily have more access to express their views for free through the mainstream media.

Costs of compliance with quarterly reporting requirements will effectively reduce the ability of marginal grassroots efforts to communicate, and will silence cash-strapped unpopular causes. Corporations and large, established causes that are already wealthy will be able to comply. Thus, your bills would effectively silence some critics and allow the wealthier ones to communicate. Such censorship through regulation merely protects the corruptive influences inside the Beltway.

Since the apparent ethics issues are the quid pro quo, it seems that a better solution, and certainly one without constitutional prohibitions, would be to require Members of Congress who sponsor legislation or amendments to sign, under penalties of perjury, that such legislation is submitted without gifts or promises of some consideration.

The expansion of the grassroots these past 40 years has empowered Americans, and that is a good thing. The grassroots are the very antithesis of corruptive influences inside the Beltway. Whatever the solution to the complex problems of congressional ethics, a vote to regulate the grassroots would be the equivalent of a vote to protect the corruptive influences.

Op-Ed Articles