Freedom Before All Else….

Many conservative groups have sprouted up over the past year. The Tea Party Patriots, the whole Tea Party movement, the 9-12 project and Americans For Prosperity are just a few. These groups have great heart and a good purpose. In all honesty, these groups have become an easy target for those against freedom to label certain groups and ideas. They, in and among themselves, have been a way for our enemies to destroy us. However, many are also becoming splintered because of certain ideas and groups within the larger movement. Some individuals in these groups are promoting single issues before what is most important. In all truth, there are two things most important that we, as Americans, must stand behind and fight for, as one group, one citizenry and one people. Those two things are simply, the Constitution of the United States of America and Freedom!

If we do not stand for these two ideas and the way of life they represent, what else actually matters? Without Freedom, we lose who we are as individuals, we lose our souls. Right now, we can see ourselves losing more and more Freedom each and every day. Our government says we need more security, more legislation, more rules, that all risks must be taken away. They seem to be trying to create sameness, misery if you will. Please, do not underestimate this regime. They know exactly what they are doing, and many of Americans continue to let them move us into a totalitarian country.

There is a great line from Mel Gibson in “Braveheart” where he says, on the battlefield, “They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!” What will our lives to be without Freedom? What will our lives be worth, especially considering that a government official will be making healthcare decisions for us where all individualism loses worth and governmental money prevails?

Americans throughout the past have always done what is right. We have stood for individualism, Freedom and the rights given to man by our creator. However, most of the world has fought against these things, starting many years before this great country was born. Those who have fought against these ideas have always failed. Unfortunately, totalitarian regimes have always lost, only because of violent uprisings from the people. This is where the people of America have a great opportunity before us. We can halt this attempt to socialize America through non-violence-only because of the people, only because of each and every one of you.

The ideals and beliefs of the people of this country is what has made America what is has always been, the shining city on the hill. Once again we find ourselves at a crossroad, although, maybe one of much more importance than ever before. We have the people, the ideas, the heart to do what is necessary to return this country back to the people. I ask this though: do the people of this country have the will to put government back into their place? As a necessary evil only and not a regime that tries to control the decisions and lives of the people it is supposed to protect.

Freedom and individuality along with personal responsibility has for too long, been eroded away and put into hindsight. Now we must put them into the forefront as we march behind them down the road of revitalizing America. Do we need a revolution, or just a revitalization? We have everything we need to bring this country back to prosperity. Those things are in our Constitution and in our hearts and minds. Now is the time for people to get motivated; not under many ideas, but just one. That one idea is Freedom. With it, we can do wonders and live extraordinary lives; without it, everything is futile.

We have a long road ahead of us in this country. The choice is ours, the time is now.

We do, in fact, live in a strange time here in America. We know man can be inherently evil, however, our politicians are even more so. Our own government calls the ones defending and staning for the Constitution of the United States extremists, while allowing Islam to march all over our free speech and threaten American citizens with death. If we are the extremists, what are those who are in the process of destroying our Constitution, our freedom, and our way of life?

I have many more questions than answers at this point. I do, however, understand these evil men who lead our government must be stopped before they bring death and destruction to the United States just as Socialism has done throughout the history of the world.

Chicago: Still Anti-Law Abiding Citizen, Still Pro-Criminal

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley speaks during a news conference July 1 in Chicago. (AP Photo)

The Chicago government is taking another shot at enforcing sweeping handgun restrictions, bringing a new law into effect Monday meant to comply with the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last month while still regulating firearms purchases.

The new ordinance was drafted in response to the Supreme Court ruling that extended gun rights across all 50 states and effectively struck down the city’s decades-old handgun ban. City leaders described the ordinance as necessary to prevent gun violence from breaking out across Chicago.

Though the new law has already been challenged in two federal lawsuits, it imposes a number of tough restrictions on gun ownership.

Among them, the policy would:

— Limit each person in each home to one “assembled and operable” firearm.

— Restrict residents from having firearms outside their home, even on their porch or in their backyard.

— Mandate training program attendance.

— Prohibit the sale of firearms inside city limits.

Mayor Richard Daley called the measure a “reasonable and responsible ordinance” in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.

“When the wrong people have access to guns — whoever they are — whether they’re gang bangers and drug dealers or abusive parents or sons or daughters, needless violence is more likely to happen, whether it’s on our streets or in our homes,” he said in a written statement.

But the new policy could represent the next phase of the gun rights legal battle, which so far has resulted in two big victories for the gun lobby — first the 2008 high court decision permitting Washington, D.C., residents to keep guns at home and then the decision last month.

One lawsuit was filed by four city residents and a gun rights group. According to MyFoxChicago, the four residents have multiple guns kept outside the city but want to keep more than one inside Chicago. The Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers, the other plaintiff in the suit, wants its members to be able to sell guns and maintain shooting ranges inside Chicago limits.

A separate suit was filed by a man who wants to open a gun store inside the city.

The National Rifle Association is supporting the court challenge, claiming the city’s new gun law violates the high court’s ruling.

“An individual right is no right at all if individuals can’t access it,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in a written statement.

An overview by The Second Amendment Foundation praised the city for acknowledging with the legislation that “its ability to regulate is not unlimited,” but called several provisions into question, including the ban on gun sales.

The NRA complained that it would be “impossible” for residents to receive range training since shooting ranges inside Chicago would be outlawed.

Chicago Backs Criminals Over Law Abiding Citizens

AP – Chicago Mayor Richard Daley speaks during a news conference, Thursday, July 1, 2010 in Chicago. Daley

HOW DARE YOU DEFEND YOURSELF

By DON BABWIN

CHICAGO – The Chicago City Council on Friday approved what city officials say is the strictest handgun ordinance in the nation, but not before lashing out at the Supreme Court ruling they contend makes the city more dangerous because it will put more guns in people’s hands.

The new ordinance bans gun shops in Chicago and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or in their garages, with a handgun. It becomes law in 10 days, Corporation Counsel Mara Georges said.

The vote comes just four days after the high court ruled Americans have the right to have handguns anywhere for self-defense — a ruling that makes the city’s 28-year-old ban on such weapons unenforceable.

“I wish that we weren’t in the position where we’re struggling to figure out a way in which we can limit the guns on our streets and still meet the test that our Supreme Court has set for us,” said Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, minutes before the council voted 45-0 to approve the ordinance.

It was swift action for a council that typically takes far longer to pass ordinances, but Mayor Richard Daley — who promised the city would not “roll over” if the court ruled against the city’s handgun ban — clearly wanted to give police a law they could begin enforcing as quickly as possible.

“You have to get the tools to the police,” Daley said.

And even though the ban remains in effect until it is struck down by an appellate court, Georges said it was important to pass a new law to clear up confusion Chicagoans might have about what kind of weapons they can legally own and how they can use them.

Some residents applauded the vote.

“There’s just too much killing going on (and) we need protection,” said Mary Fitts, a retiree who came from her home on the South Side to watch the vote. “You can’t even sit on your front porch.”

Others, like Senesceria Craig, wondered how much good it would do. “They’re not going to abide by it,” she said of criminals, pointing out that her 20-year-old daughter was shot and killed with a handgun in 1992, 10 years after the city’s ban went into effect.

But gun rights supporters quickly criticized Daley and the City Council and promised lawsuits.

“The city wants to put as many hurdles and as much red tape in the way of someone who just wants to exercise their constitutional right to have a gun,” said Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association in Illinois.

Vandermyde would not say when lawsuits might be filed. But he said the ordinance would be attacked on a number of fronts — including requiring prospective gun owners to pay $15 for each firearm registered, $100 every three years for a Chicago Firearms Permit, not to mention the cost of the required training — saying they all add up to discrimination against the poor.

“How are some people in some of the poorer neighborhoods who merely want to have firearms for self-defense supposed to afford to get through all this red tape?” he asked.

David Lawson, one of the plaintiffs in the case decided by the Supreme Court this week, agreed. He wondered if a challenge could be raised over the issue of training, saying it’s unfair to require training but prohibit that training from taking place in the city.

Daley and Georges said they expect lawsuits but that they were confident they could withstand legal challenges.

The ordinance also:

• Limits the number of handguns residents can register to one per month and prohibits residents from having more than one handgun in operating order at any given time.

• Requires residents in homes with children to keep handguns in lock boxes or equipped with trigger locks and requires residents convicted of a gun offense to register with the police department, much as sex offenders are now required to do.

• Prohibits people from owning a gun if they were convicted of a violent crime, domestic violence or two or more convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

• Requires prospective gun owners to be fingerprinted, take a four-hour class and one-hour training at a gun range.

• Calls for the police department to maintain a registry of every registered handgun owner in the city, with the names and addresses to be made available to police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders.

Those who have handguns, illegal under the ban, would have 90 days from the day the ordinance is enacted to register those weapons.

Residents convicted of violating the ordinance face a fine of up to $5,000 and be locked up for as long as 90 days for a first offense, and a fine of up to $10,000 and as long as six months behind bars for subsequent convictions.

Gun Rights Must Be Honored by States, Cities, High Court Rules in 5-4 Vote

By Greg Stohr

A divided U.S. Supreme Court extended the reach of the constitutional right to bear arms by saying it binds state and local governments as well as federal officials.

The justices, voting 5-4 in a case involving Chicago’s handgun ban, said an individual right to bear arms was among the fundamental guarantees protected against state interference through a constitutional amendment after the Civil War.

“A provision in the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the federal government and the states,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.

The ruling broadens the sweep of the court’s 2008 ruling interpreting the Constitution’s Second Amendment as protecting the rights of individuals, rather than just those of state-run militias. It’s a victory for the National Rifle Association, which joined a group of Chicago residents in challenging the city’s laws.

It will open a new front in the fight over gun rights, setting the stage for courtroom battles over the constitutionality of weapons restrictions around the country.

The high court’s 2008 decision said the right to bear arms “is not unlimited.” The majority said the ruling didn’t cast doubt on laws barring handgun possession by convicted felons and the mentally ill or restrictions on bringing guns into schools or government buildings.

Second Amendment

Like the rest of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment was originally aimed only at the federal government. The Supreme Court in the 19th century refused to apply the Second Amendment to the states.

More recently, the court has said that some, though not all, of the rights in the first eight amendments are so fundamental that they are “incorporated” into the 14th Amendment’s due process clause, which binds the states.

Chicago has been the only major U.S. city with a blanket prohibition on handguns. The ban was challenged by four Chicago residents, including Otis McDonald, a 76-year-old homeowner in the Morgan Park neighborhood on the city’s South Side.

McDonald, who says his home has been broken into at least three times, says he wants to keep a handgun by his bed for protection.

The Supreme Court’s 2008 decision invalidated the handgun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave.

The case is McDonald v. City of Chicago, 08-1521.

Gun Rights Among High Court’s Final Decisions

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is handing down eagerly awaited rulings on gun rights and three other remaining cases in its last meeting until the fall and the final day of Justice John Paul Stevens’ long service.

The court is meeting Monday morning just a couple of hours before high court nominee Elena Kagan goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee for her confirmation hearing.

The justices could decide that the Second Amendment’s right to “keep and bear arms” serves as a check on local and state gun control laws, as well as federal restrictions.

The court also could strike down part of a 2002 corporate reform law that was enacted in response to scandals at Enron Corp. and other companies. The other remaining cases involve patents and a Christian group that bars gay students and wants official recognition from a state university.

The 90-year-old Stevens announced his retirement in April, paving the way for President Barack Obama to nominate Kagan to replace him. Kagan’s hearing begins early afternoon in Washington, in a Senate hearing room a short walk from the court.

Stevens will retire as the second-oldest justice, after Oliver Wendell Holmes, and tied for second-longest tenure with Stephen Field, whose service began during the Civil War. Stevens’ retirement will take effect on Tuesday, after 34 years, six months and 11 days as a justice.

William Douglas has the record, with more than 36 years on the Supreme Court.

Guns save lives

By: John Stossel

You know what the mainstream media think about guns and our freedom to carry them.

Pierre Thomas of ABC: “When someone gets angry or when they snap, they are going to be able to have access to weapons.”

Chris Matthews of MSNBC: “I wonder if in a free society violence is always going to be a part of it if guns are available.”

Keith Olbermann, who usually can’t be topped for absurdity: “Organizations like the NRA … are trying to increase deaths by gun in this country.”

“Trying to?” Well, I admit that I bought that nonsense for years. Living in Manhattan, working at ABC, everyone agreed that guns are evil. And that the NRA is evil. (Now that the NRA has agreed to a sleazy deal with congressional Democrats on political speech censorship, maybe some of its leaders are evil, but that’s for another column.)

Now I know that I was totally wrong about guns. Now I know that more guns means – hold onto your seat – less crime.

How can that be, when guns kill almost 30,000 Americans a year? Because while we hear about the murders and accidents, we don’t often hear about the crimes stopped because would-be victims showed a gun and scared criminals away. Those thwarted crimes and lives saved usually aren’t reported to police (sometimes for fear the gun will be confiscated), and when they are reported, the media tend to ignore them. No bang, no news.

This state of affairs produces a distorted public impression of guns. If you only hear about the crimes and accidents, and never about lives saved, you might think gun ownership is folly.

But, hey, if guns save lives, it logically follows that gun laws cost lives.

Suzanna Hupp and her parents were having lunch at Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, when a man began shooting diners with his handgun, even stopping to reload. Suzanna’s parents were two of the 23 people killed. (Twenty more were wounded.)

Suzanna owned a handgun, but because Texas law at the time did not permit her to carry it with her, she left it in her car. She’s confident that she could have stopped the shooting spree if she had her gun. (Texas has since changed its law.)

Today, 40 states issue permits to competent, law-abiding adults to carry concealed handguns (Vermont and Alaska have the most libertarian approach: no permit needed. Arizona is about to join that exclusive club.) Every time a carry law was debated, anti-gun activists predicted outbreaks of gun violence after fender-benders, card games and domestic quarrels.

What happened?

John Lott, in “More Guns, Less Crime,” explains that crime fell by 10 percent in the year after the laws were passed. A reason for the drop in crime may have been that criminals suddenly worried that their next victim might be armed. Indeed, criminals in states with high civilian gun ownership were the most worried about encountering armed victims.

In Canada and Britain, both with tough gun-control laws, almost half of all burglaries occur when residents are home. But in the United States, where many households contain guns, only 13 percent of burglaries happen when someone_s at home.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in the Heller case that Washington, D.C.’s ban on handgun ownership was unconstitutional. District politicians then loosened the law but still have so many restrictions that there are no gun shops in the city and just 800 people have received permits. Nevertheless, contrary to the mayor’s prediction, robbery and other violent crime are down.

Because Heller applied only to Washington, that case was not the big one. McDonald v. Chicago is the big one, and the Supreme Court is expected to rule on that next week. Otis McDonald is a 76-year-old man who lives in a dangerous neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. He wants to buy a handgun, but Chicago forbids it.

If the Supremes say McDonald has that right, then restrictive gun laws will fall throughout America.

Despite my earlier bias, I now understand that striking down those laws will probably save lives.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Guns-save-lives-96983924.html#ixzz0rmJXRrhU

Brian Murphy For Maryland Governor on the Issues….

Brian intends to run an honest, transparent, and principled campaign. In the coming months, he looks forward to making the case with voters across Maryland that his approach to governance will provide the most opportunity to the most Marylanders.

Economy


Jobs are job one: Brian’s primary concern is the economy. Maryland’s high taxes, deficit spending, and anti-business environment have already destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs. Maryland is a great place to live, but we need to start making it a great place to do business. Every point in Maryland is 50 miles from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC, Delaware, or West Virginia. We must not take Maryland jobs for granted. Our tax policies must compete with those of our neighbors. If we don’t compete, Maryland jobs will continue to leave. And Maryland must rebuild its reputation with the business community. Maryland has the most talented labor pool in the nation. We deserve a Governor who will work with companies and encourage them to bring their operations here.

Leadership in Balancing the Budget


A top priority for Brian is balancing the budget without raising taxes. This will take leadership and it will take discipline. To that end, Brian will take a 25% pay cut for his first year in office, and ask his Lieutenant Governor, and all Senior Leadership to do the same. It is irresponsible for Brian to ask anyone in Maryland to do something he would not first do himself.

Healthcare


Brian is committed to ensuring every Marylander has access to safe, affordable healthcare. The first step is to grow Maryland’s economy, so every Marylander has more income. The second step is to address rising healthcare costs.

Our current model is like an “all you can eat” bonanza, where you never see the bill and have no incentive to spend less. This is foolish and unsustainable. Brian wants every Marylander to have more control over their healthcare, not less. When Brian lost his job at Constellation, he didn’t lose his car insurance, his life insurance, or his home insurance. So why did he and his family lose their health insurance? If healthcare is tied to employment, Marylanders feel less free.

To lower costs, every policy will be explored. Health Savings Accounts, wellness incentives, and tort reform are just the beginning to meaningful healthcare reform in Maryland. Costs can, and will, come down. Marylanders demand meaningful reform, and Brian is committed to implementing policies that provide it.

Education


Brian is the son of an English teacher, and he and his siblings are products of Maryland’s public schools. Brian has an unwavering commitment to the education of every child in Maryland, especially those who live in lower income school districts and the urban areas of Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. While our public schools are among the best in the nation, a great deal of work remains to be done. Every dollar the government spends must be reviewed and accounted for. Brian wants to review the quality of dollars spent, not just the quantity of dollars. Successful programs must be supported and fully funded, and wasteful programs must end. Our children deserve nothing less.

Environment


Brian is committed to protecting our shared green spaces, our mountains, our farmland, our coasts and wetlands, and our spectacular Chesapeake Bay. He has heard innovative proposals from entrepreneurs on how to address the Bay’s dead zones, where oxygen levels are too low to sustain life. He wants to work with local farmers on ways to address run-off levels, without making farming even more expensive. He wants to address transportation issues, to find scalable, affordable, environmentally sensitive long-term solutions. By working with the private sector to craft solutions to these problems, Maryland will solve its own problems, and develop an expertise from which other states can learn.

One easy way to address our transportation issues is to make Baltimore City safer and more affordable. Hundreds of thousands of people commute into and out of the city every day. Just imagine the economic impact, and the environmental impact, if they actually lived in Baltimore.

Energy

Like all of America, Maryland has an unhealthy addiction to foreign oil. We send billions of dollars to countries that don’t like us very much, and that’s a problem. We have been saying this for 30 years, but are more dependent today than ever.

Brian has spent the majority of his career in the energy business. He supports bringing energy production closer to home and exploring alternative sources of energy. Brian supports Constellation Energy’s proposed expansion of their award winning Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Facility. This would create thousands of jobs, grow our economy, and build our tax base. Brian is disappointed in the current administration’s delaying of the Calvert Cliffs project for political reasons. Our energy needs, just like our economic needs, should not be politicized.

2nd Amendment Issues


Brian has the same view on the 2nd Amendment as the founding fathers: the right to bear arms was preceded only by freedom of speech. Brian is committed to protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of Maryland residents.

Immigration


Brian understands that immigration is what defines America (after all, his last name is Murphy). But becoming an American citizen is a process, and no one is above the law. Our Federal Government refuses to secure our borders, so all Americans are less safe. Illegal immigration is against the law, it cheapens American citizenship, and it makes police officers’ jobs more difficult. Maryland must enforce our laws, we must protect our citizens, and we must do all we can to ensure the safety of our law enforcement officers.

Abortion


Brian is Pro-Life, and is committed to standing firm for the sanctity of life. Brian opposes embryonic stem cell research, and he supports legislation which gives pregnant Marylanders the best possible information about abortion. Along with his wife, Joy, Brian intends to establish a program called “Joy’s House”, in which pregnant girls and women can gain the support they need should they decide to carry their pregnancy to term. Joy’s Houses will be established across the state, and will be funded exclusively with private money.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

For those on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, there is information, t-shirts, bumper stickers and yard signs available. Please send an email to salisburymdteaparty@earthlink.net for more information.

—C. Lewis