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Rick Nolan isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier. I recall thinking that when he was my congressman back in the mid-1970s. Back then, constituents knew that he’d vote the way Democratic leadership told him to vote. Nothing’s changed in 40+ years. Yesterday, Nolan joined the Democrats’ gun control sit-in. When it was his time to speak, Nolan spoke of a bygone era that didn’t exist, saying “If anybody had a good idea in the form of a bill or an amendment, they got an opportunity to offer it, and have it debated and discussed. That rarely happens anymore.”

What’s changed in those 40+ years is that Democrats went from being a party brimming with ideas to being the party of identity politics. Democrats don’t provide solutions anymore. These days, Democrats offer legislation that appeases one of their special interest allies. This week, rather than offering President Obama advice on how to destroy ISIS, Democrats have staged a faux protest aimed at getting their special interest allies frothing at the mouth over gun control. Here’s Nolan at his fruitiest:

Rep. Nolan supplied one of the dumbest arguments in favor of gun control. It deserves to be enshrined in the House of Representatives’ Hall of Shame. Here’s what Rep. Nolan said:

“I represent rural communities in northeastern Minnesota. Everybody in my neighborhood has shotguns and deer rifles—including me,” Nolan said in the release. “I’m proud to strongly support the Second Amendment. But the fact is, when you’re out duck hunting, you can only have three shells in your gun. Why? To protect ducks! That’s right—we put limits on guns to protect ducks. So why can’t we do the same for our elementary schoolchildren? For our friends and neighbors in places of worship? For our families who want to catch a Friday night movie? For our LGBTQ community who just want to go out for some fun and dancing on a Saturday night? Surely they deserve the same concern and safety that we afford to ducks.”

That’s breathtakingly stupid. Either that or he’s being breathtakingly dishonest. The Second Amendment wasn’t ratified to give people the right to hunt. Comparing hunting regulations with constitutional protections is like comparing the newest power tools with this year’s beauty pageant contestants. One has nothing to do with the other. Let me explain.

Hunting regulations were put in place to maintain healthy populations of game animals so sportsmen could go hunting. They weren’t put in place, as Rep. Nolan said, “to protect ducks.” The no fly-no buy legislation that Democrats, including Rep. Nolan, support requires the suspension of Fifth Amendment’s due process protections. Those protections protect people from start to finish. The Democrats’ No Fly-No Buy legislation only offers due process ‘protection’ after the fact. That certainly wouldn’t meet constitutional muster.

This is a gift to Stewart Mills’ campaign. Mills lost to Nolan by 3,732 votes in 2014. If Rep. Nolan keeps saying stupid things like this, he’ll get pummeled.

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Greg Gutfeld has a theory about Orlando. Unfortunately, it’s a depressing theory. The silver lining to society’s dark cloud is that it’s possible, albeit a longshot, to change things.

The turning point will happen when we answer some important questions in unison. Right now, we’re nowhere close to that point. Don’t think in-the-next-town-over distant. I’m thinking the-next-solar-system-over-then-hang-a-left distant. Gutfeld lays it out with this illustration: “We quarrel about the quarrel. We cannot agree on the fight. And therefore we cannot begin to fight. Instead, we are like that proverbial snake that devours its own tail. Except, we think it’s sushi. But it’s blowfish. You get the idea. We’re dead.”

Then Mr. Gutfeld applies that illustration to the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando, saying “How can America defeat ISIS if we have vocal factions believing that we are worse? How can we fight the enemy if a large portion of our population thinks an inanimate object, a gun, caused Orlando?”

Mr. Gutfeld’s logic is indisputable. Yesterday in the Senate, they debated 4 gun control bills. Each bill predictably failed on (more-or-less) party line votes. Last night, I wrote this article to highlight how ideologically blind the Left is about guns and terrorism. In the article, I quote Sen. Franken as saying “I will continue to do everything I can to disarm hate and get these measures passed into law despite today’s setback.” I reject Sen. Franken’s belief that he’s done everything he could to “disarm hate” because he hasn’t done a thing to annihilate ISIS. Greg Gutfeld has another illustration that might break the logjam:

As I said earlier, Dr. Gutfeld’s logic is indisputably correct. Therein lies the bigger problem. The first problem identified is an identification problem: was Orlando a gun problem or a terrorist problem? That’s the first problem but yesterday’s Senate votes expose the bigger problem. It’s impossible to persuade people who don’t apply logic in their decision-making. Picture this hypothetical conversation:

FBI Agent: Did the terrorist have a gun?
Night Club Witness: Al-Qa’ida is on the run. GM is alive but bin Laden is dead.
FBI Agent: Sir, the terrorist called 9-1-1 and pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Night Club Witness: We need more gun control laws.
FBI Agent (getting impatient): Sir, witnesses said the terrorist used an assault rifle. Can you confirm that?
Night Club Witness: The Religious Right is responsible for all the hate speech.
FBI Agent: Thanks for your time.

Here’s the next logical question for gun grabbers: What’s the right number of gun control laws to protect people? 1? 12? 123? What’s the right number of laws that would protect citizens from terrorists? This picture says it all:

As long as we have to deal with logic-resistant Democrats, we won’t be able to defeat ISIS.

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After watching Trump tank in the polls and after getting this news, it’s apparent that Trump is a disaster waiting to happen. When Hugh Hewitt, the most loyal GOP establishment talk show host on radio, said that Trump was a disaster waiting to happen, people noticed. (I’m surprised that Sean Hannity hasn’t ripped Hugh for not worshiping at The Donald’s altar but that’s another post for another time.)

NBC News is reporting that “Every single 2016 presidential TV ad currently airing in a battleground state is either from Hillary Clinton’s campaign or the Democratic outside groups supporting her. The opposition, by contrast, hasn’t spent a dime in these same battlegrounds, whether it’s Donald Trump’s campaign or Republican-leaning Super PACs.”

That’s just for starters. The NBC article continues, saying “So far in June, Clinton and the outside groups backing her have spent a total of $23.3 million on ads in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, according to ad-spending data from SMG Delta. Republicans have spent $0 in these same eight states.”

Add to that the fact that Trump doesn’t have a GOTV operation. Add to that the fact that Trump insists on alienating major parts of the GOP base. (Think Second Amendment activists, amongst others.)

The lesson delegates should learn ASAP is that dumping Trump at the Convention isn’t a movement. It’s imperative. If Trump is the nominee, Republicans will lose North Carolina for the second time in 3 elections. They’ll lose Florida, Virginia and Ohio for the third straight time.

It’s indisputable that Hillary is a terrible candidate. It’s equally indisputable that she’s at least smart enough to put together a quality GOTV operation. At this point, any talk that Trump can win isn’t based in reality. It’s outright foolishness.

Trump isn’t self-financing like he’d promised. He’s opening up the electoral map but only in the sense that he’s turning red states like Utah and North Carolina momentarily purple. It’s time to stop this insanity. It’s time to officially Dump Trump.

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The St. Cloud Times Editorial Board’s latest editorial could’ve been written by Moms Demand Action. The sad thing is that the Times is just as uninformed now as it was a year ago.

For instance, their chief recommendation is “Improving background checks. There are a variety of proposals in Congress that are reasonable. A good starting point is the long-proposed plan to require background checks for all gun purchases online and at gun shows. Unfortunately, the Senate, the day after the San Bernardino shootings, rejected this proposal 50-48. It was the second failure of the measure. It also rejected 55-45 a proposal to prevent people on the terrorist watch list from being able to legally buy guns.”

First, the Times should read the existing laws. Sean Davis, the founder of The Federalist, did. Then he wrote this post demolishing the myths that the Times still perpetuates:

1) The ‘Gun Show Loophole’ Allows Anyone, Even Criminals, To Get Guns

In reality, the so-called “gun show loophole” is a myth. It does not exist. There is no loophole in federal law that specifically exempts gun show transactions from any other laws normally applied to gun sales. Not one.

If you purchase a firearm from a federal firearms licensee (FFL) regardless of the location of the transaction — a gun store, a gun show, a gun dealer’s car trunk, etc. — that FFL must confirm that you are legally allowed to purchase that gun. That means the FFL must either run a background check on you via the federal NICS database, or confirm that you have passed a background check by examining your state-issued concealed carry permit or your government-issued purchase permit. There are zero exceptions to this federal requirement.

If an individual purchases a gun across state lines, from an individual or FFL which resides in a different state than the buyer, the buyer must undergo a background check, and the sale must be processed by an FFL in the buyer’s home state.

Here’s a pointed question for the TEB (Times Editorial Board): Do we need multiple federal laws covering the same situation? Here’s another question for the TEB: Might it not be better if we just enforced the laws that already address these situations?

Further, I wrote this article to highlight the fact that the federal government failed to do what it’s supposed to do. It won’t do any good to write new laws if the federal government won’t consistently and efficiently enforce the laws on the books.

To be fair, the TEB did its liberal duty. It did what it’s expected to do. Unfortunately, according to chapter 1, verse 1 of the progressives’ gospel is to disseminate untruths frequently and consistently.

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Apparently, Terri Bonoff thinks she’s a serious threat to defeating Erik Paulsen. She isn’t. Nonetheless, she’s pushing the DFL/DCCC meme that last week’s terrorist attack is a gun control issue. It isn’t. This tweet should be ridiculed. In that tweet, Ms. Bonoff said “Silence speaks louder than words. These members of Congress cannot defend their vote.” According to this article, Rep. Collin Peterson “joined most of his Republican colleagues earlier this week in voting to keep the House of Representatives from debating a bill to ban firearms sales to people on terrorist watch lists.”

What they did was vote against the government’s ability to strip people of their civil rights without due process. Ms. Bonoff apparently didn’t care about the truth. Apparently, she said that Paulsen’s vote proved that he was “putting party politics above public safety.” That’s frighteningly dishonest. Ms. Bonoff knows that the murderer was a terrorist. Ms. Bonoff knows that terrorists don’t obey the law. That’s why they’re called terrorists.

She’s the politician who can’t defend her position. Betty McCollum’s position is indefensible, too:

“I strongly support a ban on weapons purchases by people on terrorist watch lists and expanded background checks on weapons purchases made at gun shows, online or in other commercial transactions,” Fourth District Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat, said. “Both of these proposals will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. Tragically, even these narrow measures will not pass this Congress. The National Rifle Association opposes every piece of legislation that protects our families and communities from gun violence. And the NRA controls this Congress and will obstruct and defeat any effort to fight gun violence.”

TRANSLATION: Rep. McCollum supports stripping law-abiding citizens of their right to keep and bear arms while also stripping them of their due process rights. In other words, she’s anti-Second Amendment and anti-Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment says “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.”

McCollum is full of it when she said “these proposals will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.” That’s something that’s impossible to prove. She’s also full of it when she said “The National Rifle Association opposes every piece of legislation that protects our families and communities from gun violence.” Since the Democrats’ proposals haven’t protected families and communities from gun violence, Rep. McCollum’s statement is, at best, unprovable, if not downright dishonest.

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If anyone thinks that hardline lefties care a bit about the truth, they need to rethink things. This propaganda piece isn’t just dishonest. It’s frightening in that ABM isn’t interested in fixing the problem.

Susie Merthan’s propaganda piece opens by saying “The Orlando shooting is a tragedy. Unfortunately, for now, it’s just the most recent example of the epidemic of gun violence in America.” First, let’s remember Merthan’s history. According to Merthan’s Twitter profile says that she’s the “Communications Director for @ABetterMN by way of @mnhouseDFL.” Trusting the DFL is foolish. Trusting the Thissen-led House DFL is the ultimate in foolishness in Minnesota. Trusting President Obama’s spin of the driving force behind the Orlando terrorist attack is the ultimate in stupidity in the United States.

I wrote this article to make a specific point. I closed the article by specifically admonishing President Obama. Before admonishing him, though, I highlighted the administration’s failures:

According to the CBS article, the “co-owner of a Florida gun store says his employees contacted law enforcement before the Orlando shooting after gunman Omar Mateen attempted to purchase body armor and ammunition.” Further, the article says that “Mateen asked for level 3 body armor, according to Abell, but was told the store didn’t carry it. He then made a phone call and spoke in Arabic before asking for bulk ammunition, but employees did not sell it to him.” Finally, the article quotes Robbie Abell, the co-owner of Lotus Gunworks, as saying “we contacted FBI direct” after Mateen left the store.

Then I highlighted a Washington Post article:

“On the day of his rampage at a gay nightclub, the Orlando shooter posted messages on Facebook pledging allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State and vowing that there would be more attacks in the coming days by the group in the United States.”

The indisputable truth is that the federal government didn’t connect the clearly visible dots. President Obama didn’t care. Like ABM, he’d picked his storyline and he wasn’t deviating from it:

“Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense.”

Susie Merthan’s article read much the same way:

Gun violence in America too often includes hate crimes and acts of terrorism. Hate crimes and acts of terrorism in America too often involve the use of guns. Strengthening our gun safety laws and closing loopholes in the background check system will help prevent lethal hate crimes and acts of terrorism.

The first World Trade Center bombing used explosives. The terrorists used box cutters and airplanes to carry out 9/11. Richard Reid, the infamous ‘Shoe Bomber’, used explosives planted in his shoes in his attempted terrorist attack. The Times Square bomber used a car bomb.

President Obama and Ms. Merthan, should we ban shoes, box cutters, cars and airplanes? After all, they were used in the attempted commission of terrorist attacks, too.

Further, the gun laws that were already in place should’ve sufficed. They weren’t the problem. The federal government failed us. Why shouldn’t We The People be upset that the federal government didn’t do its job?

Our not-so-illustrious senator took to the Senate floor to babble about gun violence:

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Yesterday, President Obama threw a hissy fit at law-abiding citizens. It’s getting pretty difficult to listen to him, especially when he says “The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense. Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense.”

It’s time for this incompetent community organizer to stop lecturing We The People. It’s time that he examined his terrorist-fighting policies. To hear President Obama put it, you’d think that the NRA killed 49 people in that Orlando night club. Newsflash to the community organizer: An ISIS-inspired terrorist killed those people.

While President Obama talks about shrinking the amount of territory that ISIS controls, the rate of terrorist attacks doesn’t decelerate. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out that shrinking ISIS-controlled land won’t stop ISIS. Thoroughly defeating ISIS is what’s required. That means shutting down their social media recruiting efforts. That means killing the entire leadership team in a short period of time. It requires a serious effort, something that’s been missing from this administration.

“If in fact we want to show the best of our humanity, then we’re all going to have to work together at every level of government across political lines to do more to stop killers who want to terrorize us,” Obama said.

What’s required is an administration committed to destroying ISIS. That isn’t something that politicians can do. That’s something only the Commander-in-chief can do. That isn’t something that President Obama has committed to. At this late stage in his administration, it won’t happen, either.

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This tweet is as predictable as saying the sun will rise in the east. It isn’t surprising that a lefty said “Hey #mnleg: We don’t need your trite condolence press releases following #OrlandoShootings. We need VOTES for Universal Background Checks!” It’s surprising that it took until Sunday morning to say it. It’s appropriate that the gun grabber’s last name is Latz.

Thankfully, there’s been substantial pushback from people with common sense. For instance, the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus tweeted “As facts are still unfolding, we look forward to your explanation how UBCs would have prevented this tragedy.”

CNN is reporting “The shooter is not from the Orlando area, Mina said. He has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, about 120 miles southeast of Orlando, two law enforcement officials tell CNN. Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved. While investigators are exploring all angles, they “have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can’t say definitely,” said Ron Hopper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Orlando bureau.”

Fox News is reporting that “The gunman “may have leanings” toward radical Islam, FBI Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper said when asked by Fox News whether the suspect had ties to Jihadist terror groups. Hopper said the investigation is looking into possible threats made previously by the suspect in connection to radical Islam groups. He said the agency is still investigating and has yet to confirm any role a terror group may have played in the mass shooting.”

If this turns out to be the act of an Islamic terrorist, Rabbi Latz’s statement will seem incredibly stupid. Expect that to be the next thing confirmed. If it’s confirmed that the shooting is the work of an Islamic terrorist, which I predict will happen, it will be interesting to hear Rabbi Latz explain when the last time a terrorist followed the laws.

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Walter Hudson’s Facebook post is a brilliant call-to-arms for principled conservatives and Republicans. At a time when the thoughtful center-right are despondent, Walter’s battle cry is inspiring. I can’t recommend Walter’s post enough. If you aren’t a Trump cultist, it’s today’s must reading.

Walter’s post starts with him laying out the stakes, saying “Civil war has broken out within the Republican Party. Long-standing divisions have led us to this point.” While that paragraph defines what’s at stake, what follows is a brilliant battle plan. For instance, Walter rightly said that “In war, the rules which govern in peacetime go out the window. In war, the object is the destruction of the enemy and the preservation of our way of life. These are the metaphorical stakes we face now. That is why the traditional expectation that Republican officers and delegates fall in line behind Trump will not be met. We will not cede our party to a leftist authoritarian pretender. We’ve worked too hard to build it. We’ve fostered too many relationships. We’ve created too much value to let it all disintegrate on account of one man.”

Let’s be clear about something. Trump’s supporters made it exceptionally clear that their primary goal is to blow the GOP up and rebuild it in Trump’s own warped image. Constitutionalists and principled conservatives like Walter Hudson and, to a lesser extent, me have gotten accused of being part of the GOP establishment. That isn’t a joke. That’s proof of the Trumpians’ own intellectual dishonesty.

Trump has already abandoned conservatism from a policy standpoint. He’s backing away from his own tax plan. This week, he’s come out in favor of raising the minimum wage. He’s always opposed entitlement reform. In all the talk about party unity, activists have never been told what they’d be uniting behind. Uniting behind a left-leaning vulgar authoritarian isn’t appealing to me. Based on the fact that Trump still has only garnered 40% of the primary vote, uniting behind Trump isn’t appealing to a huge part of the GOP.

From a founding principles standpoint, Trump’s never been part of the GOP. I’ve written about how Trump is anti-free speech. Trump isn’t a fan of the Second Amendment, either:

It’s often argued that the American murder rate is high because guns are more available here than in other countries. After a tragedy like the massacre at Columbine High School, anyone could feel that it is too easy for Americans to get their hands on weapons. But nobody has a good solution. This is another issue where you see the extremes of the two existing major parties. Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed. The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions. I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within seventy-two hours if a potential gun owner has a record.

Trump isn’t a fan of the Fifth Amendment, either:

Trump, Coking and the casino authority pounded away at one another in court. Then, one day in the summer of 1998, the Superior Court of New Jersey put an end to the conflict. The court ruled that the casino authority and Trump were wrong. The government couldn’t take Coking’s house and let Trump have it.

The widow had won.

She lived there for about another decade, happy to boast about her triumph over a man she despised. From across a parking lot, she saw Trump’s casino fizzle. Last year, Trump Plaza closed its doors, another in a long line of casualties in the precipitous decay of a once-sizzling casino strip.

In addition to supporting eminent domain abuse, Trump’s fight with Vera Coking highlighted another thing conservatives should run from. Trump’s casino went bankrupt. It’s virtually impossible to bankrupt a casino but Trump ‘accomplished’ it.

These cries for party unity ring hollow in light of the fact that Trump’s flip-flops happen at a faster rate than Mitt Romney’s happened. Trump’s supporters don’t care because, apparently, a significant portion of them want to blow the Republican Party up. Thanks to principled conservatives like Walter Hudson, the Branch Trumpidians will have to fight to win that battle.

This article is this morning’s ray of hope for Minnesota’s constitution-loving patriots.

When Dave Unze wrote that “officers from Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud converged on Tyler Gottwalt” while he carried “a military-style rifle”, my initial reaction was that nothing good would come of the situation. It didn’t take long for Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud to reach different conclusions.

While “Sauk Rapids officers consulted with Benton County Attorney Philip Miller and … let Gottwalt go”, “St. Cloud officers disagreed and cited him for violating a city ordinance that prohibits carrying an uncased firearm in public.”

The good news, today’s ray of hope to constitutionalists, is that, following “a lengthy legal quarrel pitting a city ordinance against the state statute governing firearms,” “Stearns County District Court Judge Vicki Landwehr dismissed the charges against Gottwalt.”

I love this ruling. It isn’t because I’m advocating for people to carry AK-47s around St. Cloud. I love this ruling because it delivers a harsh reminder to cities that they can’t write gimmicky ordinances in the hope of overriding state statute.

While I love the outcome, I don’t like the fact that the city attorney didn’t notice the fact that this ordinance violated state statute. It’s one thing to be unaware of an ordinance that hasn’t been updated or repealed. I’d file that under ‘things happen’ or ‘they’re human’. When the arrest was made, though, City Attorney Matt Staehling should’ve tried finding out whether the city ordinance opposed state statutes.

Finally, Gottwalt should be compensated for his court costs because he never should’ve been through the system. The ordinance overstepped its authority once the state statute was passed.