After a shooting like the one in Florida, there is always talk of banning the particular type of gun used in the shooting – which serves little purpose.
There is a way to ban firearms in the US. It’s a method that has been used 27 times since the country was founded, so it’s neither common nor uncommon. Those really opposed to people owning guns should start a movement to pass a constitutional amendment, because the Second Amendment states, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Until something is done about the Second Amendment, Americans, who are a self-governing people, have the right to bear arms, just like they have the right to free speech, free assembly and the free press. All of those rights can be taken away by a constitutional amendment.
To me, the most amazing constitutional amendment in our history is the 18th Amendment, which passed in 1919, outlawing alcohol. I just can’t imagine people voting for that. Then, in 1933, the country came back to its senses and passed the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment.
The 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, passed in 1920. So in two years the country passed two constitutional amendments.
I don’t think a repeal of the Second Amendment would pass, but for those who believe guns should be outlawed, it’s worth a try. Perhaps there are enough people in this country who believe guns should only be in the hands of the government to pass such an amendment.
What the current anti-gun people appear to be after is outlawing the particular type of gun that was used in the shooting in Florida. But it really doesn’t make sense. If the gun the shooter used had had a wooden stock instead of a plastic one, the gun would have been no less deadly. If the magazines had been smaller, Nikolas Cruz would have had to reload more often, but that only takes a couple of seconds.
If the idea is to stop school shootings, it seems much more sensible to make sure that qualified, authorized and well-trained staff are armed at every school.
A lot of people in this country hate law enforcement, but there are no mass shootings at police or sheriff departments because law enforcement officers are armed.
Another possible solution – which is not getting nearly as much press as some kind of gun ban – is resolving the mental health care issues in this country. There was a time when people who were mentally ill were kept in government or private facilities where they couldn’t harm themselves or others. The use of these institutions was abused, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t serve a purpose.
Today, many of those with mental illness wind up in jails and prisons, others live on the streets because they are incapable of getting a job or a place to live.
The mental health service for Guilford County is now run out of West End, North Carolina, which is an unincorporated town between Candor and Pinehurst in Moore County. The idea that a county of over 500,000 people would have its mental health department run out of an unincorporated town about 60 miles away is absurd, but then so is the current state of mental health care in this country.
Rather than taking away the guns of law-abiding citizens, it seems to make much more sense to restrict the freedoms of people, like Cruz, who are mentally ill and a danger to society. Cruz will now either face the death penalty or be in prison for the rest of his life. Wouldn’t society and Cruz both be far better served if he had been place in an institution before he killed anyone?
According to special prosecutor Bob Mueller, the Russians started trying to hack the US elections in 2014.
For those who have been spending too much time watching network news, this was back when Donald Trump was simply another billionaire real estate developer. Trump wasn’t a candidate for anything, and very few people thought that he would ever be a candidate. I’m not sure that Trump himself thought he would ever be president of the United States.
Barack Obama was president. The CIA, FBI, NSA, Homeland Security, and every other intelligence agency that the federal government has, all reported to Obama. Did the Obama administration know about the constant attempts by a Russian agency to affect the outcome of the US elections? If they knew back in 2014, not only did they not tell the public about it, they didn’t do anything to stop it.
One of the methods used by the Russians was posting on Facebook. Could it have had an effect for the FBI to publicly divulge the truth about the Russian attempts, tell the American people to be wary of posts like these and then list a bunch of posts from the Russians? It seems that would have at least given the American people a heads up about what they were reading.
Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said that the decision was made not to announce the Russian hacking because the administration didn’t want to appear to be involved in the election. This, as with so many statements by Johnson, is ludicrous on its face. Obama, who was head of the administration, was making campaign appearances all over the country. It seemed at times he was making more campaign appearances than the candidate herself, and he most likely did except that the Hillary Clinton campaign probably counted it as a campaign appearance anytime someone who was not a paid employee of the campaign caught a glimpse of Hillary Clinton, even if it was stumbling from her limousine to a hotel.
The FBI was up to its ears in trying to cover up Hillary Clinton’s email scandal resulting from her home brew server.
The State Department first said that it didn’t have any emails from Hillary Clinton and then said that it wouldn’t release the ones it did have. The emails were only released when a judge ordered them released, and then the State Department defied the court order on the timing of the release.
The administration was clearly all in for Hillary Clinton, but in this one instance the administration decided not to let the public know what was happening with the Russian hacking.
It seems far more likely that the Obama intelligence agencies were far too busy with surveillance of the Trump campaign to worry about some minor detail like the Russians trying to hack the election.
What is pitiful is that the Democrats now want the American people to believe that a couple of Facebook posts made the difference in a presidential election where billions of dollars were spent on advertising.
The Russian effort was ridiculously small and ineffective in a country of 300 million people. A drop in the bucket would be an apt term.
People are constantly talking about how good and loyal the rank-and-file members of the FBI are and that it was the corrupt leadership under fired FBI Director Jim Comey who caused problems.
Is that true? Rank-and-file members of the FBI were the ones doing the work.
Rank-and-file FBI agents could have protested about the way the Hillary Clinton email investigation was handled. Certainly the agents doing the work on that investigation knew that it was not being handled like other similar investigations. They knew that despite what Comey said, Hillary Clinton was guilty of violating numerous federal statutes. They knew that no grand jury had been empaneled to view the evidence. They knew that Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was in charge of the investigation, had a conflict of interest because of the donations of over $1 million to the campaign of McCabe’s wife by Clinton insiders.
The rank-and-file agents could have come forward. They could have leaked information. But they didn’t. Perhaps most of the rank-and-file agents who were out catching bad guys are doing a good job, but those involved in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails are part of the problem. You can’t have corrupt leadership without corrupt followers. Those FBI agents were well aware that laws had been violated and their director was choosing not to bring charges.
FBI agents are smart and well educated. They knew that Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, should not be meeting secretly with Bill Clinton when Hillary Clinton was being investigated, and they absolutely knew that Lynch and Bill Clinton did not meet secretly at the airport in Phoenix to discuss their grandchildren and talk about golf.
Where was the bold, honest agent who, for good of his country, stepped forward to say the FBI was wrong? Most of the rank-and-file may in fact be good, honest, hardworking agents, but some are as guilty as the people they were working for.
We now know that the FBI and the Justice Department officials had several conflicts of interest involving investigations of the candidates in the 2016 presidential election. There is no excuse for the conflicts of interest that have been revealed, and there is also no reason to think that at this stage of the investigation all the conflicts have been revealed.
It has long been known that FBI Deputy Director McCabe had a conflict because his wife, who was running for the state Senate in Virginia, received over $500,000 in campaign contributions from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who was Bill Clinton’s finance chair and also Hillary Clinton’s finance chair in 2008.
Considering that fact alone, the FBI should not have put McCabe in charge of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Certainly the FBI had plenty of agents qualified to run that investigation who had no connection to the Clintons. It was not an accident that the person put in charge of the investigation had a close connection to the Clinton organization.
But it gets worse. McCabe’s wife also received another donation of over $500,000 from a member of Hillary Clinton’s finance committee. So McCabe’s wife received over $1 in campaign donations from two sources closely connected to Hillary Clinton, who he was in charge of investigating.
Is it likely that McCabe, who presumably wanted his wife to win her election, was affected in his judgment by donations of over $1 million from close associates of the person he was investigating? It seems not only likely but almost a certainty. When you consider the outcome of that investigation, it appears obvious that although the FBI found plenty of evidence of a crimes being committed, it turned a blind eye toward those crimes and decided not to push the investigation. The fact that Hillary Clinton’s top aides were granted immunity for no apparent reason and that no grand jury was ever empaneled to look at the evidence are further proof that this was not a “by the book” investigation.
Then you have Assistant Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked for Fusion GPS doing opposition research for the Hillary Clinton campaign on Trump. Ohr did not reveal to the Justice Department, as he is required to do by law, his wife’s employer or what her actual job with Fusion GPS was.
Ohr also didn’t reveal to the Justice Department that he had met with Christopher Steele, who was hired by Fusion GPS and is the author of the infamous Steele dossier, which, despite being described by FBI Director Comey as “scurrilous” and “unverified,” was used by the FBI to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to spy on a Carter Page, a minor member of the Trump campaign.
Did Comey know that this “scurrilous” and “unverified” report was being used to take away the Fourth Amendment rights of an American citizen and to spy on a presidential campaign? He should have known.
How much did Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein know about all of this when he ordered that a special prosecutor be hired to investigate Trump based largely on this “scurrilous” and “unverified” report? If Rosenstein didn’t know about the history of the Steele dossier and the actions of Comey then he should be fired for incompetence.
If he did know, or if a reasonable person should have known, then he should spend some time in prison thinking about the fact that his attempt to bring down the president of the United States spectacularly failed.
In any case, Rosenstein should be gone from the Justice Department and whoever replaces him should end the Mueller investigation. Sometimes politics trumps everything else in a self-governing society.
The country is fairly evenly divided. Usually after an election there is a period of healing. When Obama was elected in 2008, I had hopes that he would turn out to be a great president. All the public really knew about Obama was what he said during the campaign – that he was for “hope” and “change.” I agreed that the country needed both. I thought that by electing the country’s first black president, some of the racial discord in this country might be healed. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and racial problems during Obama’s eight years got worse, not better.
But there was that period of hope.
With Trump there was no honeymoon. He has been relentlessly attacked by the mainstream media from Election Day onward.
Hillary Clinton has not been the least bit conciliatory in defeat and has blamed her defeat on Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
The Clinton operatives who remained in the Justice Department after Trump was elected managed to get a special prosecutor appointed to investigate the claims of defeated candidate Hillary Clinton. After nearly a year of investigating, the special prosecutor hasn’t come up with any evidence of illegal collusion between the Trump campaign and any Russians, but he has uncovered evidence of collusion between the Hillary Clinton campaign and Russians.
Why isn’t Mueller now going down that path? He is supposed to be investigating any illegal activity he uncovers in his investigation. Is it legal for the Hillary Clinton campaign to pay Russians for dirt about Trump and then use that dirt to have him investigated?
Trump will take some political heat, but it is time for all of this to be over. Mueller needs to be given a deadline. He can probably continue to indict people for lying to the FBI for years, but that doesn’t serve any purpose.
It turns out that Reince Priebus is as clueless as he appeared to be when he was Trump’s first White House chief of staff.
Priebus is now running around telling anyone who will listen about how disorganized and chaotic the White House was during his tenure.
It was Priebus’ job to prevent that chaos from happening. If, as he says, it was 50 times worse than people have heard, what that means is that he was 50 times worse at his job than anyone had thought.
No modern president is in charge of running the White House. Blaming Trump for chaos in the White House is like blaming Trump because the hallway floors hadn’t been properly polished, or the Rose Garden bushes needed trimming.
The blame for the chaos in those early days was the fault of Priebus. If anyone was allowed to wander into the Oval Office whenever the mood struck them, that was Priebus’s fault, not Trump’s fault.
One other point about Priebus: Trump, despite the fact that Priebus worked against him during the primary season, gave Priebus the opportunity work at one of the most high profile, powerful jobs in the world – White House chief of staff. There is almost universal agreement that Priebus was not capable of doing the job and he wisely left. But now Priebus is repaying that unbelievable opportunity from Trump by going out and bashing Trump to the mainstream media. It speaks volumes about the kind of man Priebus is.
Trump’s long time attorney Michael Cohen has stated publicly that he paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in October 2016, without permission of Trump, and that he was not reimbursed for the expenditure.
It looks like Cohen is a pretty good lawyer and was looking out for his client who, at that moment, was locked in a tight race for the presidency.
It wouldn’t matter if there was any validity to a lawsuit from the porn star or not; in the waning days of the campaign, if every question Trump was asked by the media was about the lawsuit filed by Daniels, that would have put the brakes on his campaign.
It was also a smart move by Daniels, who evidently figured out that Trump couldn’t possibly allow himself to be sued by a porn star while voting was already taking place in a lot of states.
It appears that Cohen was doing what he was supposed to do, which is protect his client, and Daniels saw an opportunity for a big pay day regardless of whether she had a legal leg to stand on or not.
Cohen says it was well within his authority to make the payment and he did it. Although Trump didn’t pay the money, $130,000 is not a lot of money to Trump, and probably considering what he has paid his attorney over the years, not a lot of money for his attorney either. Making the potential lawsuit go away right before the election was the right move to make for his client, and no doubt by spending $130,000, Cohen assured himself he would have Trump as a client for years to come.
The Democrats and the leftwing mainstream media are blaming Trump for the school shooting in Florida. They invented 18 school shootings this year, which include one man who shot at a school bus with a pellet gun and a suicide in a school parking lot.
But even given all that, it seems to make perfect sense to put the blame on Trump. He is the president.
However, if Trump is given the blame for the mass shooting in Florida, then Obama has to be given the blame for all the mass shootings that took place on his watch – including the 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando where 49 people were killed and 58 others wounded; the shooting in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012, where 12 people were killed and 70 wounded; the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, where 13 soldiers were killed and 30 wounded; the shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, where nine were killed and one was wounded; the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, shooting where 26 people, including 20 young children were killed, and two people were wounded; and all the other mass shootings that took place while Obama was president.
I think it’s a crime that those who opposed the Second Amendment see every mass shooting as an opportunity to push their agenda. Couldn’t they spend a day or so being sympathetic to those who lost loved ones? The instant there is a shooting, those opposing Second Amendment rights are pushing their agenda. It’s not like people don’t already know how they feel.
But if you look at statistics, Chicago has some of the most severe anti-gun laws in the nation and one of the highest murder rates. Washington, DC, has equally severe gun laws, and at one time was not just the capital of the nation it was the murder capital of the nation.
In states that have passed concealed carry laws, armed robbery of individuals has dropped.
The reality is that there are about 300 million legal guns in this country – one for every man, woman and child. Unless the government is willing to try and confiscate those 300 million guns from law-abiding citizens, which would require amending the Constitution, the US is going to have plenty of guns to go around.
But let’s say there was an outright ban on guns. The government makes it illegal for a citizen to own a firearm, period. How successful do gun control people really think that would be?
The government has spent trillions of dollars on the war on drugs and yet you can go to any corner of this country and buy any illegal drug you want. Why would gun control be any different? What it would assure criminals is that the only other people with guns would be the police.
Law enforcement is big right now on telling people, “If you see something, say something.” But it turns out it doesn’t make any difference if you say something to the FBI because they aren’t set up to do anything.
The FBI received more than enough information on Jan. 5 to at least look into Nikolas Cruz. He was making threats on the internet, saying that he wanted to be a professional school shooter, and the FBI was alerted of those threats.
Certainly the FBI can’t investigate every rumor that comes into their offices, but someone has to look at the information coming in and decide whether or not it is worth pursuing. In this case, if anyone had bothered to check, they would have discovered that Cruz was making threats, that he had bought a gun and that he was an extremely disturbed young man. That’s not enough to put him in jail, but it would be enough to send someone out to talk to him and enough to make certain that his guardians locked up his gun where he couldn’t get to it until he had a mental health evaluation.
“If you see something, say something” only works if the person you’re saying it to does something about it.
Wow, after investigating for a year, special prosecutor Mueller discovered something that was widely known by most people who pay attention to elections: The Russians tried to meddle in US elections and they used the internet to do it.
Why wouldn’t the Russians try to affect the outcome of the election? There doesn’t seem to be any downside. Do a bunch of computer hackers in Russia really care that they have been indicted in the US? As long as they don’t travel to the US, they probably don’t have to worry about being arrested.
Maybe I’m missing something, but the point of the Mueller investigation was supposed to be the Trump campaign colluding with Russians. This is simply an example of the Russians being Russians.
We intercept all their communications and no doubt have a team somewhere hacking into every computer the Russian government has.
If this is all Mueller can come up with then he needs to close up shop and go home. This is about as startling as if Mueller had discovered snow in Siberia.
Perhaps what Mueller should be indicting are the Russians that stole Hillary Clinton’s emails. If they set up an organization for the purpose of sending emails and Facebook messages to try and influence the outcome of the election, is there any reason to assume that they didn’t also have a team to hack into the secretary of state’s unprotected server? What about the fact that Hillary Clinton also refused to use secure cell phones when she was overseas? Does anyone believe that those phones weren’t hacked?
I’ve read a lot about how dangerous it would be to have armed people at schools, but no one seems to have a problem with Guilford County having an armed person on the campus of every high school. Those armed people are the school resource officers, who are sworn law enforcement officers, which means they are armed.
About 75 percent of law enforcement officers never fire their weapon while on duty during their entire careers. So why do they have guns if they aren’t going to use them? The reason is that it is a deterrent. Everyone knows that police officers are armed and trained in the use of those arms. None of the mass shootings that have taken place have taken place in a police department.
One did take place on an Army base, but it was in an area where the soldiers were preparing to go overseas and none were armed.
Shooters are cowards. They are not looking for a shoot out; they are looking for a place where they can kill people without facing opposition. As long as schools remain gun free zones, they will attract deranged people who are out to kill as many people as possible.
Look at the shooting of Republican congressmen in 2017. There are more congressmen on Capitol Hill than on a baseball field, but the shooter didn’t go to Capitol Hill because there are armed guards on Capitol Hill. He was prevented from killing congressmen because there was an armed Capitol Police officer present. Without the presence of that armed officer, it is likely the death toll from that shooting would have been high because a baseball bat is no defense against a gun.
Why does Bruce Ohr still have a job at the Justice Department? When people outside the Justice Department have been found lying to the FBI, they have been indicted by the Mueller team. It was discovered that Ohr lied to the Justice Department about meeting with Christopher Steele and about his wife working for and being paid by Fusion GPS, which also paid Steele.
Ohr, however, hasn’t been arrested; he has only been demoted. It certainly looks like a double standard. People who worked for Trump are instantly indicted and people who work for the Justice Department are allowed to continue working.
The same could be said for former FBI Deputy Director McCabe. He is sitting at home waiting to retire with an extremely generous pension. At the very least he should be fired, and to be fair he should be indicted.
I hope special prosecutor Mueller reads the Rhino Times, because it has come to my attention that a 14-year-old video game addict and computer hacker in China posted a couple of Facebook messages pretending to be American citizen John Smyth. He claims it was a prank and he didn’t mean anything by it, but he was a big fan of Hillary Clinton and wanted to do what he could to help her become president.
Then there was a 12-year-old hacker from Belarus who sympathized with Sen. Marco Rubio who also posted on Facebook under an assumed name. He said he thought Trump was being mean by calling Rubio “Little Marco” and he really wanted Rubio to win.
There is also a teenager in Great Britain, who along with being an accomplished video gamer is extremely concerned about the environment and posted several notices on different Facebook sites in support of Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president.
It’s hard to understand how Mueller’s team could have missed these people and thousands just like them from around the world who posed as Americans and posted Facebook comments. But at least these three need to be indicted immediately.
It’s going to be difficult to get any foreign nation to extradite a child for posting a comment on Facebook, but Mueller appears to be the man for the job. The fact that none of these people posted messages critical of Hillary Clinton or in support of Trump doesn’t make them any less evil lawbreakers.
Mueller certainly has his work cut out for him. It could be decades and cost billions of dollars before he tracks down every single person outside the US who posted on Facebook during the election, but everyone says that Mueller is a top rate investigator, so no doubt he will get the job done. The problem Mueller is going to run into down the line is that he is not a young man, and the task he is undertaking will no doubt take longer than he will be around to run the investigation. What he should be doing now is hiring some younger folks who can carry on his quest after he has gone to the great courthouse in the sky.