The Pulse Tragedy : Why it Can Happen Again

It is the anniversary of the killing of 49 people in the Pulse night club. It was a horrendous event that sparked national outrage and a nonsensical response by our local leaders. The problem is that nothing has changed to prevent or minimize the chances of this happening again. Prayer vigils, special flags nor proclamations by city or state leaders do anything to address the problems which allowed this tragedy to unfold the way it did. This has become about the victims and ignores the reality that nothing has been done to empower citizens to prevent a similar tragedy from happening.

Some truths that need to be known.

The police are not tasked with protecting your life.  There have been over 10 cases brought against police where the Supreme Court and lesser courts have determined the police are not responsible for your life if you are murdered. Police in the Pulse incident did not enter the club for almost 3 hours after the shooting began. I do NOT fault police with their actions. It is not their job to protect individual lives. They contained the situation and proceeded when a plan was finally implemented.  Bottom line: you, and only you,  are responsible for your own life.

We have laws on the books here in Florida which state it is illegal for anyone to carry a gun into a bar. I understand the “thinking” behind the law but it left law abiding citizens at the mercy of a deranged killer. The idea that officials at the state level have violated their oath to office is repugnant and should be a crime.  I must have missed the part of the 2nd Amendment which excluded our right to protect ourselves when we enter a bar. Our representatives violated their oaths to office by infringing on the right of people to keep and bear arms and are culpable. There could indeed be problems for drunk patrons that are armed when in a bar.  But as the tragedy of Pulse and other mass shootings are looked into, it becomes apparent that gun free zones are hunting areas for the deranged. I guarantee you that those victims in Pulse would have armed themselves if they had been given the chance, but they were prohibited from doing so by our ignorant and outdated laws. I, like Thomas Jefferson, prefer dangerous liberty to peaceful slavery. Most people when faced with reality agree.

The response by our leaders is also telling.

Buddy Dyer, in his reply to a petition to enact gun control regulations here in Orlando, diverted the conversation by saying only lawmakers in Tallahassee can make those decisions. He is correct but instead of affirming the truth about people’s responsibility for protecting their own lives, he dodges the question and ignores the reality of the situation. I am unaware of any legislation or initiatives which have been implemented to allow people to better protect themselves from madmen like Omar. Silence is consent Buddy. Why do agree that disarmed people are a good idea? Buddy Dyer’s continued ignorance of reality is disturbing. Buddy Dyer did declare June 12th as Orlando United Day. That is the best he has I guess.

Rep. Carlos Guillermo-Smith and Sen. Linda Stewart early in 2017 filed a bill to ban “assault” weapons here in Florida in response to this tragedy. This is a typical knee jerk reaction by the anti-Constitution radical left and nothing new. They “spoke of the need to prevent another massacre like the one at the Pulse nightclub”. Newsflash- these tragedies are hard to prevent, if not impossible. Lone wolf attacks are very hard to detect and stop. There solution was to disarm law abiding citizens which would have NO effect on what happened inside of Pulse that night. None. They used the tragedy to further their own ignorant agenda. Criminals are criminals because they don’t obey the law. Linda Stewart further stated that “But it is also worth mentioning that the people killed by gun violence every day have rights too” yet she violated HER oath to office and tries to restrict those rights by banning “assault” weapons. Typical extremist hypocrisy.

Let’s not forget the politically correctness exhibited by federal authorities in this situation. All references that the gunman made to being aligned with ISIS were censored. In the partial transcripts that were released by authorities, any references Omar Mateen made about his ties or allegiance to ISIS were scrubbed. After MUCH public pressure the transcripts were finally released in their entirety. Political correctness and a twisted agenda seem more important to the authorities than reporting the truth. Public safety is a campaign slogan not reality here in Orlando it seems. Time for people to wake up.

In conclusion, nothing has been done that would minimize another attack like the one that occurred in the Pulse nightclub. We mourn the dead, have street rallies and hoist special flags for them but we have done nothing to address the problem that still exists. We owe it to the 49 dead and those of us still alive to allow people to be able to protect themselves. Protecting ones life is a natural right. the most important we have. That is where the right to keep and bear arms is derived.  Police are not responsible for protecting your life and our representatives keep law abiding citizens from doing it themselves. This is insanity. We remain sitting ducks in gun free zones. Idiocy and political correctness reign.

 

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Nullification: A True Liberty Activity

Libertarians in Florida (and in general) need to start addressing issues that are relevant today instead of spouting off about fantasy “solutions”. Talking today about anarchy or open borders does not resonate nor is it a true path toward liberty. Both ideas represent a refusal to deal with real world problems. Neither is a solution to what faces America.

One of the topics we should be talking about is fighting unconstitutional federal laws that affect us in the state of Florida (or any other state you may reside in). This is a problem of “right now” and needs to be solved. Fortunately for us we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. This idea has already been thought about and a solution has been formulated. This is an enumerated principle of Libertarians here in Florida and is a very powerful tool to counter unconstitutional edicts, mandates or “laws” issuing from Washington DC. The process is a simple one to understand and extremely effective in its execution. The simplicity of it is what makes it so elegant.

It is called nullification. It is the idea that a state decides that the federal government is operating outside of it constitutional bounds and is infringing on the rights of its citizens. Its action is to declare the law unconstitutional, the reasons for determining this and stating that no one who works for the state or within the state may aid or in any way help this unlawful expression of power originating from Washington DC. It is an idea espoused by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. It is the constitutionally tried and true method to fight unconstitutional tyranny issuing from Washington DC.

Before you scoff and say this can never happen realize it has happened multiple times throughout our history and is currently being revived throughout our United States. Look to Washington and Colorado. How long ago did they nullify unconstitutional federal marijuana laws and say the law shall not be enforced within their state limits? Realize, neither stated that they wanted to nor have they tried to change the federal law. What they have done is affirmed that the federal “law” is unconstitutional and not to be enforced within their borders. State agencies and law enforcement are disallowed in aiding or initiating any actions against those people who grow or sell marijuana. The state is to do NOTHING!!! How Libertarian is THAT?! You fight no one. You see unlawful aggression and say that you will not support nor participate in the activity. Without the manpower and logistic support it is almost impossible for the feds to do anything within a state. This is the power of doing nothing.

Another current trend that is not being reported or being under-reported is the “Right to Try” laws. Thirty one states to date have passed laws nullifying unconstitutional mandates of the FDA concerning human “experimentation”.  These laws allow terminally ill patients to purchase drugs that are not currently approved by the FDA. Imagine that? People who are dying have a chance to save their lives in opposition to unconstitutional laws coming out of Washington DC. Imagine also why this is not widely reported on? Imagine if the people figured out they could actually make decisions for them selves and not rely on Washington DC? Things could change for the better and some in charge would not like that.

Other additions to the modern day nullification movement involve constitutional carry. Twelve states where there is no requirements for people to obtain any type of license to carry a gun. Some states and municipalities have nullified ALPR’s (Automatic License Plate Readers) within their bounds of their jurisdictions. This interposition is of varying degrees of restrictions on their collections. Many states have taken up or passed legislation restricting the monitoring and collection of cell phone data within their states via Stingray technology.

I leave hemp for last because it is a special topic for Floridians. Six states have nullified unconstitutional federal laws in their states and now grow hemp legally. Hemp is a wonder crop that has a multitude of uses and is a great crop to rotate to replenish soil. For those who are concerned about misuse, the THC content of hemp is negligible. The use of it as a drug would not be viable. But it IS very useful for many things and is the stuff that prosperity is built upon. Growing a plant that can make rope, canvas, food, drinks, paper, fabric, clothing, building supplies ( including hemp blocks to build houses), and plastics only makes sense. Hemp is the top plant for producing the most cellulose biomass per acre which makes farmers the most money per acre. This biomass is what paper, plastics and textiles are made of. No chemicals or insecticides are needed . All of this from growing this prolific and easy to grow crop. It is not legal in Florida but the industry would thrive here in the state. Because of our weather hemp could be grown year around and be among if not define the highest cultivation rates in the United States. The industries that would be created around this production would create real business and prosperity for Floridians.  We don’t do this because the federal government says it is illegal and the people in Tallahassee have big donor support who like things the way they are. They do not want to fight. That’s where Libertarians get involved.

So you see that nullification is trending and is definitely a force for liberty. Recognize this is a universal principle that will attract many people. . Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Constitutionalists all would agree that determining our own path is a good thing. We will not agree once we have the power what we want to do but at least we the people of Florida decide how we want to live. That is how our country is supposed to work. Washington DC was never supposed to be tinkering with the inner workings of a state. Their focus was to be a representative of the states for the rest of the world and to make sure the states played fair with each other. The primary function of our Federal Government is to secure our rights. Patents and trademarks, weights and measures, coining money, Post offices, postal roads, raising a Navy and Army, conducting war, protecting us from invasion and guaranteeing a republican form of government round out the majority of their enumerated tasks . The rest was left up to the states and the people. Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution describes exactly Congress’ tasks. How far away from this ideal have we wandered? That is what we fight today to realize liberty tomorrow.

It is my hope that Libertarians can coalesce and figure out as a group how to present their message to the public so we can be a viable force for liberty. The portrayal of libertarians to date has been abysmal and it is up to us to change that. The powers that be like the status quo- i.e. republicans and democrats being the only viable options. Getting behind and promoting an idea such as nullification is a short term and long term winner for libertarians. The true beauty is it is already part of our principles here in Florida. All we need are representatives and candidates who will espouse this policy. Time to get busy.

Charter Amendment 2 : Just say NO Orange County

We are about to do a bad thing here in Orange County. We have those that have proposed that we the people begin to give up control over the Sheriff of our County by allowing his free constitutional status to be abrogated by making them a charter officer.

The proposed Charter Amendment

Changing County Constitutional Officers to Charter
Officers and Providing for Nonpartisan Elections and
Term Limits Amending the Orange County Charter to make the
Sheriff, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of
Elections, Clerk of Circuit Court, and Comptroller into
nonpartisan, elected charter officers subject to term limits
of four consecutive 4-year terms, abolishing their status
as constitutional officers, and specifying they are not
subject to county commission or mayoral authority and
shall have all rights and privileges of corresponding
constitutional officers, except as expressly provided by
charter. No financial impact.

No financial impact. Plenty of impact as to the direction of government here in Orange County. I will discuss the position of Sheriff and why it is bad to take away his constitutional status. As you read, you can see how bringing the Tax collector, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, Clerk of the County Court and especially Comptroller who dispenses all of the monies for county activities under one big umbrella consolidates power which is not good for the citizens of Orange County. I will focus on the Sheriff because that position is the most important to protecting our rights here in Orange County.

Please understand that the idea of a Sheriff is a very old idea. Once is was a tool of oppression but when it came under the control of the people it became a force for good. The direction that is being advocated with this charter amendment is detrimental to the long term security and freedom we enjoy as Floridians living in Orange County. The Sheriff is elected and works directly for the people. He is the highest law of the county. He answers directly to the people. We need to keep it that way.

The history of the Sheriff is many centuries old. The first written record of the Sheriff dates back to the reign of King Alfred in the 9th century. The King restructured the kingdom into “shires” and appointed “reeves” to administer his will on his subjects. These shire reeves eventually became to be known as the Sheriff.

It is interesting to note that when King John of England was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215, the document which introduced many concepts that were incorporated into the United States Constitution over 500 years later, that the “Sheriff” is mentioned 27 times (out of 63 clauses) in the document, and the powers of the crown to use him against the people was curtailed and defined.

When the idea of the Sheriff was brought to our shores in America, it was a lot closer to today’s idea of the Sheriff. Gone was the allegiance to the power of the state (or monarchy) but instead the allegiance was to the people who elected them. Thomas Jefferson described a Sheriff as ” the most important executive offices of the country”. High praise from a respected man.

The Sheriff in no uncertain terms is the highest law enforcement authority in his/her county. The Sheriff is elected by the people and charged to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and that of their own state. That is their duty and they are responsible directly to the people to perform that duty. The are the law of the county.

The Sheriff’s responsibility is to protect the constitutional rights of its citizens from wherever that encroachment occurs. Most people rightly attribute crime fighting to the Sheriff. That is a major responsibility. But the Sheriff’s responsibility does not end there. If ever a citizen of a county has their constitutional rights violated by any representative of the government, the first line of defense to this intrusion if the Sheriff. If an arrest is to be made in a county, the Sheriff has the right to be informed before the arrest is made in his/her county. The Sheriff should determine that the arrest is proper, and was properly adjudicated through the courts. Our federal government is having a much higher tendency to skip due process and render judgements which are unconstitutional.

In New Mexico, Sheriff Scott London of Eddy County notified the IRS that the sale of county resident Kent Carter’s property was canceled until he received due process of law and his appeal was heard. Yes, he successfully told the IRS “no”! Sheriff Richard Mack of  Graham County Arizona was instrumental in the ruling Printz vs. United States in which parts of the Brady Bill were ruled unconstitutional. In Indiana, a farmer who produced raw milk was harassed by the FDA. They conducted warrantless searches of his property and even subpoenaed him to produce production records until Sheriff Brad Rogers interposed after inspecting the farm. He wrote the FDA a letter that stated they needed a signed court order and to get his permission before they visited the farm again. After that, a court date was cancelled and the farmer received no more inspections by the FDA. These are just a few cases that the Sheriff was involved in upholding their constituent’s rights.

The proposal to the Charter will be represented as a term limits amendment. The idea that moving the officers under a charter will be downplayed. “Nothing will change” they will say. “This will make the offices more accountable” they will say. It is true not much would change initially. But this move has a purpose. The charter can be changed and the roles of these officers circumscribed however the charter dictates. This is a move for future mischief. We the people directly control these offices. That is a check and balance built into our system. Don’t destroy another protection of the people by allowing this to pass.

Think of it like this. Do we want to move toward a Sheriff of Nottingham which performed the wishes of the Crown and oppressed the people or Sheriff Mack who successfully fought the government to protect the rights of his constituents? We can stop it easily by voting no on Charter Amendment 2.

Don’t fall for the gimmicks. Vote NO on Charter Amendment 2. Say no to big government control now and for the future.