A Farewell to Firearms?
Let’s hope the August recess was a relaxing one, because conservative lawmakers will need every last ounce of energy to fight the onslaught of bad bills waiting for them in the House. With more Americans desperate for answers than ever after a month of horrific mass shootings, Democrats think they have one: gun control. And not just any gun control. This time, the Left’s attack on the Second Amendment comes with a helping of politically-correct thought control.
The Disarm Hate Act was California’s idea. Two years ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) home state sent a bill to the governor’s desk that added personal prejudice to a long list of reasons local residents couldn’t buy a gun. “There are too many examples in our country’s recent history which show what a firearm can do in the hands of people who practice hate,” said an assemblyman at the time. If a person is convicted of a hate crime, the Left argued, they shouldn’t be allowed to own a firearm.
To a lot of legislators, it sounded like a reasonable idea. But in reality, it was California’s clever way of giving the Democrats’ dangerous hate crimes agenda a foothold in state gun law. Now, liberals want to take the idea nationwide. And with Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler (D-N.Y.) at the helm, they have a good chance at succeeding. Starting Tuesday, the House will try to persuade members to support a bill that would expand the Left’s ridiculous hate crimes agenda to firearm owners. It would mean, as one expert put it, that would-be gun owners could lose their Second Amendment rights — “not for violence, or even the threat of violence, but for a completely non-violent misdemeanor if it’s declared a ‘hate crime’ by authorities.”
Like most conservatives, FRC has been fighting this idea of “hate” crimes since it became part of the criminal code 10 years ago. Beyond the fact that the term “hate” is very elastic in the hands of the Left, we’ve never believed that someone should be punished extra for holding unpopular views, especially on issues like marriage and sexuality. All that’s done over the past decade is turn the government into the federal “thought police” and intimidate people with strong personal beliefs. Just because someone is a victim of a politically-motivated wrongdoing doesn’t mean they should get special treatment. A crime is a crime, regardless of what motivated it. And yet, if the House and Senate pass this bill under some misguided notion of ending hate, this disaster of a 2009 law will have wormed its way into an explosive section of federal law.
If the Democrats behind this bill were actually concerned about mass shootings, they’d focus on ways to take firearms out of the hands of people convicted of any misdemeanor connected to a violent act — not just “hate crimes.” The fact that House liberals are focusing all of their efforts on a law dealing with sexual orientation and gender identity exposes their true motives — which is to use the gun issue to force their extreme social ideologies on the country.
Our nation has a serious problem. No one is arguing that. Schools, churches, shopping centers, businesses, and almost every place people gather have become targets for deranged individuals who are set on perpetrating evil and in possession of lethal weapons. “We are now at almost every two weeks, an active shooter in this country,” special agent Christopher Combs said during a news conference in Odessa, Texas, the scene of one of the grisly August shootings. As a former police officer and ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, I’m willing to talk about guns and who should own them.
But the missing component to this discussion playing on an endless political loop is the impact of the moral vacuum created by eliminating virtue, faith, and civility from the public square. As I explain in an op-ed for Fox News, new gun laws will never achieve what a commitment to the Golden Rule can. The problem is not the absence of laws; it’s the absence of morality. We all want to disarm hate — but that’s impossible without embracing Truth first.
Originally published here.
A Harvest of Horrors
It was a partnership Planned Parenthood’s former president once bragged she was “proud” of. “Proud,” apparently, of cutting into tiny baby bodies when their hearts are still beating. “Proud,” it turns out, of putting women through riskier abortion procedures to get better, more valuable baby organs. And “proud,” most of all, that her medical directors were negotiating higher prices for the little livers, limbs, and brains her business was harvesting.
Four years later, pride is the last thing anyone felt at the courtroom where the gory details of Planned Parenthood’s baby butcher ring came tumbling out. While the country’s abortion industry continues to come after David Daleiden for exposing the black market for tiny organs, the real crimes are being laid out in sickening detail. StemExpress, one of the companies who sells these little human pieces like car parts from a dropdown menu, admitted that it sold fresh hearts and baby heads.
In the undercover video, CEO Cate Dyer (known as Doe 12), freely talks about the great demand for “raw fetal tissue” and that the “insanely fragile” neural or brain tissue is best shipped in a “whole calvarium,” or head, whereupon Daleiden says, “Just make sure the eyes are closed.” “Yeah,” laughs Cate in response. “Tell the lab techs its coming… it’s almost like they don’t want to know what it is.”
LifeSiteNews, who covered the preliminary hearing, reported that the group’s CEO went so far as to say that the baby’s head could be procured attached to the baby’s body or ‘could be torn away.’“ When Peter Breen, Daleiden’s attorney from the Thomas More Society, pressed the StemExpress CEO about its connection with studies that require a beating heart, she hesitated. When the judge demanded an answer, she said reluctantly, "Yes, we have provided heart tissue to Stanford [University].”
Afterward, Breen made sure the media understood the gravity of her answer. “That is an especially gruesome admission, but it begs the question: how did they get these fully intact human children? If you have a fetus with an intact head and an intact body and intact extremities, that is something that would indicate that child was born alive, and then had their organs cut out of them, or that that child was the victim of an illegal partial-birth abortion. Both of these are violent acts.”
They’re also acts, many of us would point out, that are grossly illegal. Planned Parenthood and StemExpress don’t see it that way. As far as they’re concerned, this baby-carving business is just “revenue diversification.” If that’s the case, it’s time for taxpayers to demand a little diversification of their own — away from groups who see unborn children as commodities to be bought and sold.
Help us remind House Democrats the price of their alliance with organizations like Planned Parenthood. Send Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a newborn baby hat as part of FRC’s End Birth Day Abortion campaign. Every life should be welcomed into the world and protected by law!
Originally published here.
College Bias Leads to Grade A Intolerance
“You don’t talk about it.” That’s how one student at the University of Washington described being a conservative on campus. Drew McPike isn’t the only one who feels that way. Turns out, a shocking majority of young Republicans are hiding their views. Just as surprising is the reason: they don’t want their grades to suffer.
The College Pulse poll, the latest in a long line of evidence that higher education is anything but tolerant, found that almost three out of every four campus Republicans keep their party affiliation a secret to avoid retribution from their left-leaning professors. The question asked 1,000 co-eds: “Have you ever withheld your political views in class for fear that your grades would suffer?” Seventy-three percent of students who identity as “strong Republican” reported that they had, while 71 percent of students who identify as “weak Republican” said yes.
Of course, none of this should come as a surprise in a country where almost 40 percent of conservative students don’t even feel safe on campus. Another 55 percent don’t even tell their friends about their views. Compare that to the most liberal students, only 16 percent of whom bother to keep their opinions close to the vest. The fear of being ostracized is real — but only for one side. And that doesn’t just hurt Republican students, NRO’s Katherine Timpf points out, it hurts Democratic students as well.
“It’s true: Many college campuses are liberal echo-chambers, where liberal students and liberal professors are constantly reassuring each other of the correctness of the liberal position, without anyone ever exposing them to other points of view. This sort of environment will inevitably result in the liberal students who graduate from these colleges never having had the experience of defending their views or considering any others — which leaves them ill-prepared to engage politically in a real world that very much does include people who feel differently.”
Conservatives brave enough to talk about their views are stigmatized if they’re lucky, and physically attacked if they’re not. We’ve wiped campuses clean of so many words, ideas, and values that an entire generation is leaving college completely unprepared for the cruel world higher education is “sparing” them.
Liberals used to care about the free exchange of ideas — until theirs became impossible to defend. Now, they’ve decided they don’t want to try to win the debate. They want to stop the debate from taking place. A real educational environment welcomes the exchange of ideas and is secure enough in its beliefs to show respect to the other side. So many of these kids are graduating school saddled with debt. It’s a shame that our toxic culture is making them pay for their experience in other ways too.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.