Fact Check: Piers Morgan’s Numbers on U.S. Gun Crime


Of late, CNN’s Piers Morgan has thrown around several interesting figures about gun ownership and gun crime. He claims that the U.S. had 11,000 gun-related homicides in 2011, compared to just 35 in Britain (which outlawed guns about 15 years ago).

So, is there a connection between gun ownership and violent crime? Take a look.


The Extinction of Private Property: On Marx, Democrats, & Republicans

“In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” – Karl Marx

Every year local governments determine a budget, tax percentages, send out their own property appraisers, determine the value of your own property, and bill you for the money you “owe” them.  If you do not pay the amount they designated, as determined by a government appraiser, for a budget they determined, you can lose “your property.”

Every year, governments determine automobile tax values and mail out a bill for you to pay.  Separate from the tags, license, registration, and inspection fees, the vehicle tax is assessed simply because you have the car.  Separate from a car payment and initial purchase tax, the vehicle tax is ongoing regardless of whether the car is paid for.  If you do not pay the amount designated by the government, you can lose “your car.”

Every year, both state and federal governments require a reporting of all that you earned throughout the year.  Having established both the tax rates and all acceptable exemptions and allowances themselves, you are required to pay roughly one-third (in many cases, much more) of your income to the government.  Separate from property and car taxes, the income tax comes right off the top of your paycheck.  If you do not pay the amount they designated, you can lose “your income” and, coming soon, perhaps your passport.

Ah, the American Dream – to own a home and a car, to have a happy family and successful career, and even the prospect of retirement!  Maybe not.  In reality, the problem in America is not that so many cannot afford to own their own homes or cars; it is that the government has made it impossible to own homes or cars.  No one can.  Government taxation of private property guarantees its abolition in the truest sense.  If the government, whether local, state, or federal, has the power to confiscate private property for lack of payment to them, private property does not exist.

Essentially, every American is reduced to renting property from the government, with no hope of ever owning it themselves.  The Constitution proceeds on the assumption of private property:

  • 3rd Amendment – “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”
  • 4th Amendment – “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
  • 5th Amendment – “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

All three of the above Amendments proceed on the foundation of private property ownership.  Private property is protected against intrusion by the military, by law enforcement, and even by government seizure.  Why?  Because it does not belong to the government, but to the citizen; to the “Owner.”

In a free society, property and property rights are protected, as granted in the Constitution.  In tyranny, however, the rights of citizens and their property are subjugated to the whims of government.

Karl Marx, the father of Communism, enumerated the goals for Communist takeover in a nation.  He lists ten steps in his infamous Manifesto, the first three being:

  1. “Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.”
  2. “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.”
  3. “Abolition of all right of inheritance.”

Strangely, most Americans simply bicker about Democrats and Republicans, Left vs. Right, Conservative vs. Liberal, failing to realize what should be obvious by now: it is the State vs. the People.  Our rights – private property high among them – are not being destroyed by Democrats or Republicans, but by Democrats and Republicans.

CISPA – An Update

Below is a copy of the letter from the Campaign for Liberty, providing an update on the House passage of the CISPA internet censorship bill.  This provides good information, links, and ways you can help.

Thanks to your quick action this week, C4L helped generate intense heat on a bill once thought to be guaranteed smooth passage.

As it turns out, the Republican Leadership was so “confident” in H.R. 3523, the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act” (CISPA), that they had to ram it through at the last minute Thursday night after an entire week of portraying the vote as taking place today.

Ultimately, the legislation passed 248-168.

House Leadership knew the opposition to CISPA was growing in both numbers and intensity as groups like C4L got the word out on their latest attack on our privacy.

So they were only able to pass it after adopting 11 amendments on the House floor to tweak the language.

If a bill needs to be changed that much, it’s pretty obvious it should go back to the drawing board instead of on to the Senate.

Though we fell short of stopping CISPA in the House, the vote was much closer than it was expected to be even a week ago, and I again thank you for your response to our calls for action.

With so many amendments being adopted just before the rushed vote on final passage, it was not possible for representatives to get a full picture of what the bill will do until after they passed it.

I’m sure you remember Nancy Pelosi’s famous proclamation, “We have to pass [ObamaCare] so you can find out what’s in it.”

Though an examination of the Frankenstein legislation CISPA became reveals some useful narrowing of certain language, the final bill still contains broad provisions that could open the floodgates for what government can see about our online activity.

And, despite so many amendments, CISPA still contains the “notwithstanding any other provision in law” clause that trumps current privacy laws and the immunity guarantee that allows private companies to get off scot-free if they misuse our information or falsely accuse us.

The battle to guard our privacy online now turns to the Senate, where CISPA faces an uncertain future.

But it’s a guarantee that any refusal on Senator Harry Reid’s part to bring CISPA up for a vote won’t be because of a love for liberty.

Instead, a coalition of senators led by Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins are promoting their own legislation that can only be described as CISPA on steroids.

But friends of freedom have a powerful ally in Senator Rand Paul as we oppose this bill, and C4L will need your help again to provide him with the critical grassroots reinforcements necessary to guard our privacy and civil liberties.

So be sure to stay tuned to your email andCampaignForLiberty.org for more information on this bill in the coming days.

Though it can seem discouraging when a bill so fiercely attacking our rights passes a chamber of Congress, you and I must never let such news knock us out of the fight.

The statists know which way the wind is blowing in this country, and that’s why they’re pulling out every possible stop to enforce their agenda.

If your representative voted for CISPA, I urge you to call Congress and let them know you will be sure to tell your fellow constituents about their refusal to stand for freedom.

If your representative voted against CISPA, I hope you will remind them that we expect loyalty to the Constitution on every other vote, as well.

As we look ahead, let us redouble our resolve and press on in defense of liberty.

For those who are able to give right now, I hope you willchip in $10 or $25 to help C4L continue to fight CISPA, the Lieberman-Collins bill, and any other legislation that threatens Americans’ cherished freedoms.

If the only action you can take today is to call Congress, write a quick note to your elected officials, or spread the word to your family and friends, I hope you will do so.

Every step we take to act on our beliefs moves us closer to our goal of Reclaiming the Republic and Restoring the Constitution.

In Liberty,

Matt Hawes
Vice President

P.S.  In the face of growing opposition, House Leadership rammed CISPA through last night by a vote of 248-168.

Even though 11 amendments tweaked the bill’s language, the final product still threatens our online privacy and exempts private companies from being held liable for abusing our personal information.

Although CISPA is currently unlikely to gain much traction in the Senate, another bill, proposed by Senators Lieberman and Collins, can only be summarized as CISPA on steroids.

Your chip-in contribution of $10 or $25 will help C4L turn up the heat on the Senate to reject both pieces of legislation.

If you cannot give right now, please continue to contact Congress and spread the word to your family and friends so they can also take action.

CISPA: A Serious Threat to All Internet Privacy & Civil Liberties

The CISPA Bill is not the new SOPA.  It is far worse.  This bill allows the government to monitor, search, seize, and share all of your personal online information in the vague attempt to “fight terror.”  In other words, they crush the Bill of Rights to “keep you safe.”

The bill also makes internet providers and big businesses complicit in these violations by requiring them to share your personal information with the government, even without your knowledge or permission.

Nullify the NDAA

Here is an excerpt from a new article of mine, published by Antiwar.com.

On Dec. 31, 2011, while Americans celebrated the arrival of the new year, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This was nothing unusual in and of itself, as Congress approves an annual defense spending bill. What made the 2012 NDAA particularly newsworthy are sections 1031 and 1032, which allow the president to use U.S. military forces to indefinitely detain American citizens who are merely suspected of having involvement with a terrorist organization.

For those largely unfamiliar with the NDAA controversy, I will cite a portion from aprevious article detailing the controversy:

Section 1031 of the bill begins: “Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons pending disposition under the law of war.”

The “covered persons” are defined as:

(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces. [Emphasis added.]

In other words, the president can authorize the military detention of anyone who is merely suspected of being involved with a terrorist organization, which are not strictly defined.

Section 1032, “Requirement for Military Custody,” grants that the “Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.”

Who are the persons described in paragraph 2? Again, it is anyone who is determined

(A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and

(B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.

Now, the section goes on to state that “the requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States” or to a lawful resident alien of the United States. Some have claimed that this exempts American citizens and lawful aliens from military detention, but note that it only exempts them from the requirement of such detention in military custody. In other words, the military may not be required to detain them, but it is allowedto do so.

An outspoken advocate for the bill, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham argued:

If you are an American citizen and you betray your country, you’re going to be held in military custody and you’re going to be questioned about what you know. You’re not going to be given a lawyer if our national security interests dictate that you not be given a lawyer and go into the criminal justice system. We’re not fighting a crime; we’re fighting a war.

Of course, the NDAA does not address those who “betray” their country, only those who are suspected of having connections with terrorist organizations (a term not strictly defined in the bill). After all, due process in the United States requires proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas the NDAA acts outside of due process. The assumption of the NDAA, then, is guilt before and even without trial, conviction outside of legal procedure.

Click HERE to read the rest of the article.

10th Amendment Nullification Movement

by Michael Boldin (Founder of the 10th Amendment Center – Reprinted with permission)

“If the federal government has the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, warned the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions’ authors (Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, respectively), it will continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on government power.”
– Thomas E. Woods

Nullification: When a state “nullifies” a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or “non-effective,” within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as that state is concerned

The 10th Amendment Movement is an effort to push back against unconstitutional federal laws and regulations on a state level. The principle is known as “nullification,” and was advised by many prominent founders.

Current Nullification Efforts:

Potential Future Efforts:

  • Patriot Act
  • No Child Left Behind

History of Nullification: While the media generally portrays nullification as being solely aligned with the efforts of the nullifiers of the South and the Civil War, this is certainly false, and reeks of misinformation. Nullification has a long history in the American tradition and has been invoked in support of free speech, in opposition to war and fugitive slave laws, and more. Read more on this history here.

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State Marijuana Laws
An honest reading of the Constitution with an original understanding of the Founders and Ratifiers makes it quite clear that the federal government has no constitutional authority to override state laws on marijuana. All three branches of the federal government, however, have interpreted (and re-interpreted) the commerce clause of the Constitution to authorize them to engage in this activity, even though there’s supposedly no “legal” commerce in the plant. At best, these arguments are dubious; at worst an intentional attack on the Constitution and your liberty.
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In response to increased “security” measures forced upon the people at airports around the country – naked body scanners, “enhanced pat downs,” and more, legislation is being proposed to protect the right of the people to be secure in “their persons, houses, papers, and effects.”
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NDAA: Liberty Preservation Act
“the Legislature finds that the enactment into law by the United States Congress of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, Public Law Number 112-81, is inimical to the liberty, security and well-being of the people of (STATE), and was adopted by the United States Congress in violation of the limits of federal power in United States Constitution”
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Health Care Freedom Act
The Health Care Freedom Act is considered in states as either a bill or a state constitutional amendment – effectively prohibiting the enactment of any new government-run healthcare programs within the state.
While many of the bills have language similar to true nullification legislation, many of them are promoted solely as a vehicle to drive a federal court battle – which is not nullification in its true sense.
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Food Freedom Act
The Food Freedom Act is commonly considered a direct response to the “Food Safety and Modernization Act” from Washington D.C. The FFA declares that food grown and produced in state, when sold in state are beyond the authority of Congress under its constitutional power to regulate commerce among the states. The FFA is primarily a Tenth Amendment challenge to the powers of Congress under the commerce clause, with food as the object.
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Intrastate Commerce Act
As understood at the time of the founding, the regulation of commerce was meant to empower Congress to regulate the buying and selling of products made by others (and sometimes land), associated finance and financial instruments, and navigation and other carriage, across state jurisdictional lines. These bills attempt to reassert this original meaning of the commerce clause over wide areas of policy and effectively nullify federal laws and regulations that violate such limitations by regulating commerce and other activities that are solely intrastate.
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Health Care Nullification Act
The Health Care Nullification Act declares that “the federal law known as the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates its true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers, and is hereby declared to be invalid, shall not be recognized, is specifically rejected, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect.”
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Constitutional Tender
The United States Constitution declares, in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall… make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” Constitutional Tender laws seek to nullify federal legal tender laws in the state by authorizing payment in gold and silver or a paper note backed 100% by gold or silver,
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Firearms Freedom Act
Originally introduced and passed in Montana, the FFA declares that any firearms made and retained in-state are beyond the authority of Congress under its constitutional power to regulate commerce among the states. The FFA is primarily a Tenth Amendment challenge to the powers of Congress under the commerce clause, with firearms as the object. (source,FirearmsFreedomAct.com)
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10th Amendment Resolutions
These non-binding resolutions, often called “state sovereignty resolutions” do not carry the force of law. Instead, they are intended to be a statement of the legislature of the state. They play an important role, however. If you owned an apartment building and had a tenant not paying rent, you wouldn’t show up with an empty truck to kick them out without first serving notice. That’s how we view these Resolutions – as serving “notice and demand” to the Federal Government to “cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers.” Follow-up, of course, is a must.
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Led by Maine in early 2007, 25 states over the past 2 years have passed resolutions and binding laws denouncing and refusing the implement the Bush-era law which many expressed concerned about privacy, funding and more. While the law is still on the books in D.C., its implementation has been “delayed” numerous times in response to this massive state resistance, and in practice, is virtually null and void.
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Defend the Guard
Under the Constitution, the militia (now called the National Guard) may only be called into duty by the federal government in three specific situations. According to Article I, Section 8; Clause 15, the Congress is given the power to pass laws for “calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” The militia was intended by the Founders and Ratifiers to be defense force and nothing more. Deployments outside the country were not considered, and neither were internal deployments in pursuance of powers that were not delegated to the federal government. Congress has passed numerous laws in the past 100 years giving the federal government additional authority not mentioned in the Constitution. But, without amendment, altering the enumerated powers by legislative fiat is, in and of itself, unconstitutional. Campaigns in states around the country are working to reassert the authority of governors over guard troops.
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Sheriffs First Legislation
A “Sheriffs First” bill would make it a state crime for any federal agent to make an arrest, search, or seizure within the state without first getting the advanced, written permission of the elected county sheriff of the county in which the event is to take place.
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Cap and Trade/EPA
Cap and Trade and EPA regulations and acts are often claimed to be authorized under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. At best, this is a highly dubious claim. This interstate regulation of “commerce” did not include agriculture, manufacturing, mining, or land use. Nor did it include activities that merely “substantially affected” commerce.
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State Sovereignty and Federal Tax Funds Act
Such laws would require that all federal taxes come first to the state”s Department of Revenue. A panel of legislators would assay the Constitutional appropriateness of the Federal Budget, and then forward to the federal government a percentage of the federal tax dollars that are delineated as legal and Constitutionally-justified. The remainder of those dollars would be assigned to budgetary items that are currently funded through federal allocations and grants or returned to the people of the state.
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10th Amendment Bills
Unlike the many 10th Amendment Resolutions that have been introduced around the country since 2008, these “10th Amendment” or “State Sovereignty” bills are proposals for binding legislation. They include language to affirm the sovereignty of the people of the state and to create a commission or a committee to review the Constitutionality of acts emanating from the federal government.
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Feb 2012: Keep the Pressure On!