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Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

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Story 1: Austin Serial Bomber, Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, Blows Himself Up as Police Close In On Bomber’s Car — Videos —

Two people were killed and five injured in five explosions that began on March 2. A sixth device was found before it detonated

See the source image

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Man suspected of Texas bombings killed himself in police showdown

BREAKING: Austin Bomber’s ‘Treasure Trove’ He Left Behind Just FOUND!

Austin serial bomber was scouting NEW targets to continue his campaign of terror as investigators storm his house and warn that the homeschooled Christian may have sent MORE devices

  • Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, blew himself up as police tried to arrest him about 2am Wednesday
  • Police were able to zero in on the bomber after obtaining CCTV footage of him posting two packages at a FedEx office in Austin on Sunday night
  • Authorities are warning more bombs could be out there because Conditt’s final movements aren’t yet known
  • The bomber had gone on a three week bombing spree that killed two people and injured at least five others
  • The most recent package bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday
  • Police still do not know the motive behind the attacks or whether the bomber had an accomplice
  • Investigators say Conditt’s Google search history indicated he was researching other addresses
  • Bomber used ‘exotic’ batteries ordered online from Asia to make his bombs and bought some equipment from a local Home Depot store
  • Conditt, who previously worked as a computer repair technician, is believed to have made the bombs himself
  • Neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a ‘good Christian’ family
  • His 2012 blog posts indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

The 23-year-old who blew himself up as police tried to arrest him over a string of deadly Austin bombings has been described as a quiet, home-schooled young man.

Mark Anthony Conditt killed himself when he detonated a bomb inside his SUV as police surrounded him near a hotel on Interstate 35, just outside Austin, at about 2am on Wednesday.

Police closed in on the bomber after obtaining CCTV footage of him posting two packages at a FedEx office that intended to target people of color on Sunday night.

Authorities are warning that more bombs could still be out there because they do not know if he posted more devices prior to his death. Investigators say Conditt’s Google search history indicated he was researching other addresses before SWAT teams cornered him.

Police started evacuating the area around Conditt’s home at about 1pm on Wednesday, fearing there could explosives there. They have also questioned his two housemates about their knowledge of the bombings. One roommate was questioned and later released, while the second was still being held for questioning.

The bomber had gone on a three week bombing spree stretching back to March 2. The series of bombings killed two people and injured at least five others. The most recent package bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday.

Police still do not know the motive behind the attacks or whether the bomber had an accomplice, but did say he wasn’t previously known to law enforcement. Police believe Conditt, who previously worked as a computer repair technician and at a manufacturing company, made all the bombs himself.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family.

He doesn’t appear to have left much of a trail on social media but his blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion. He identified himself as a conservative but said he was not politically engaged and said he had interests in tennis, parkour and gymnastics.

An aerial view of the bomber’s car is pictured above after the 23-year-old detonated an explosive device before police could arrest him

Authorities had zeroed in on the Austin bombing suspect in the last 24 to 36 hours and located his vehicle at a hotel (above) on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock early Wednesday morning

Police zeroed in on the bomber after CCTV taken at a FedEx office in south Austin emerged showing him dropping off two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. He appeared to be in disguise and was wearing latex-style gloves to handle the parcels

Conditt was home-schooled growing up with his three younger sisters. He attended Austin Community College from 2010-12 when he 15 but didn’t graduate. He was fired from his sales job at local business Crux Manufacturing in August last year after failing to meet expectations.

He had purchased a property in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville last year and neighbors told the Statesman that he had been living in that home with several housemates prior to the bombings.

His parents Danene and Pat Conditt lived in their family home – a tidy white clapboard, two story house – not too far away. Neighbor Jeff Reeb, 75, told DailyMail.com that Conditt was the eldest of four children and he moved out several years ago.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family. His blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

‘It doesn’t make any sense, none of it,’ he said. ‘I’d see him when he came back to visit his parents. He’d drive up in his red truck and stay two or three hours.

Other neighbors described the Conditts as a ‘nice Christian family’.

A lone police officer stood guard outside the family home as one of Mark’s sisters ushered FBI and ATF agents inside on Wednesday just hours after her brother had blown himself up.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Conditt was apparently unemployed when he began planting bombs. Abbott added that some of the equipment Conditt used was purchased from Home Depot.

He said that among the items the bomber purchased at Home Depot were five signs saying ‘CAUTION CHILDREN AT PLAY.’ He said he was told a tripwire bomb that injured two men in Austin on Sunday was tied to one of the signs.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said officers used CCTV, cell phone data, witness accounts and store receipts to track the bomber to the hotel north of the city.

When officers arrived at the hotel, the man was sitting inside his vehicle and police called for backup before they attempted to make an arrest.

As reinforcements were arriving the man left the hotel and police followed him. The suspect pulled off the city’s main highway and brave officers rammed his car to stop him, knowing it was likely packed with explosives.

Two Austin police officers were approaching his vehicle when he detonated a bomb. One officer fired at the vehicle and the other sustained a minor injury after being thrown back when the bomb went off.

The bomber’s death came just hours after CCTV footage emerged showing the suspect at a Fed-Ex office in the south of the city.

Images show the man wearing a disguise and delivering two packages to the store around 7.30pm on Sunday. It appears he was wearing latex style gloves at the time he posted the packages.

One of the packages subsequently exploded on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside of San Antonio in Schertz just after midnight on Tuesday. The other was intercepted at a facility near Austin airport and was later confirmed to contain a bomb.

 

The 23-year-old who blew himself up as police tried to arrest him over a string of deadly Austin bombings has been described as a quiet, home-schooled young man.

Mark Anthony Conditt killed himself when he detonated a bomb inside his SUV as police surrounded him near a hotel on Interstate 35, just outside Austin, at about 2am on Wednesday.

Police closed in on the bomber after obtaining CCTV footage of him posting two packages at a FedEx office that intended to target people of color on Sunday night.

Authorities are warning that more bombs could still be out there because they do not know if he posted more devices prior to his death. Investigators say Conditt’s Google search history indicated he was researching other addresses before SWAT teams cornered him.

Police started evacuating the area around Conditt’s home at about 1pm on Wednesday, fearing there could explosives there. They have also questioned his two housemates about their knowledge of the bombings. One roommate was questioned and later released, while the second was still being held for questioning.

The bomber had gone on a three week bombing spree stretching back to March 2. The series of bombings killed two people and injured at least five others. The most recent package bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday.

Police still do not know the motive behind the attacks or whether the bomber had an accomplice, but did say he wasn’t previously known to law enforcement. Police believe Conditt, who previously worked as a computer repair technician and at a manufacturing company, made all the bombs himself.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family.

He doesn’t appear to have left much of a trail on social media but his blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion. He identified himself as a conservative but said he was not politically engaged and said he had interests in tennis, parkour and gymnastics.

Conditt killed himself after detonating a bomb in his car (pictured above) as authorities zeroed in on him early Wednesday

An aerial view of the bomber’s car is pictured above after the 23-year-old detonated an explosive device before police could arrest him

Authorities had zeroed in on the Austin bombing suspect in the last 24 to 36 hours and located his vehicle at a hotel (above) on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock early Wednesday morning

Police zeroed in on the bomber after CCTV taken at a FedEx office in south Austin emerged showing him dropping off two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. He appeared to be in disguise and was wearing latex-style gloves to handle the parcels

Police zeroed in on the bomber after CCTV taken at a FedEx office in south Austin emerged showing him dropping off two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. He appeared to be in disguise and was wearing latex-style gloves to handle the parcels

He had purchased a property in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville last year and neighbors told the Statesman that he had been living in that home with several housemates prior to the bombings.

His parents Danene and Pat Conditt lived in their family home – a tidy white clapboard, two story house – not too far away. Neighbor Jeff Reeb, 75, told DailyMail.com that Conditt was the eldest of four children and he moved out several years ago.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family. His blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family. His blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

‘It doesn’t make any sense, none of it,’ he said. ‘I’d see him when he came back to visit his parents. He’d drive up in his red truck and stay two or three hours.

Other neighbors described the Conditts as a ‘nice Christian family’.

A lone police officer stood guard outside the family home as one of Mark’s sisters ushered FBI and ATF agents inside on Wednesday just hours after her brother had blown himself up.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Conditt was apparently unemployed when he began planting bombs. Abbott added that some of the equipment Conditt used was purchased from Home Depot.

He said that among the items the bomber purchased at Home Depot were five signs saying ‘CAUTION CHILDREN AT PLAY.’ He said he was told a tripwire bomb that injured two men in Austin on Sunday was tied to one of the signs.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said officers used CCTV, cell phone data, witness accounts and store receipts to track the bomber to the hotel north of the city.

When officers arrived at the hotel, the man was sitting inside his vehicle and police called for backup before they attempted to make an arrest.

As reinforcements were arriving the man left the hotel and police followed him. The suspect pulled off the city’s main highway and brave officers rammed his car to stop him, knowing it was likely packed with explosives.

Two Austin police officers were approaching his vehicle when he detonated a bomb. One officer fired at the vehicle and the other sustained a minor injury after being thrown back when the bomb went off.

The bomber’s death came just hours after CCTV footage emerged showing the suspect at a Fed-Ex office in the south of the city.

Images show the man wearing a disguise and delivering two packages to the store around 7.30pm on Sunday. It appears he was wearing latex style gloves at the time he posted the packages.

One of the packages subsequently exploded on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside of San Antonio in Schertz just after midnight on Tuesday. The other was intercepted at a facility near Austin airport and was later confirmed to contain a bomb.

Mark Conditt, pictured above with his parents Danene and Pat and his three young sisters, previously worked as a computer repair technician and is believed to have made all the bombs himself

Neighbors described the Conditts as a 'nice Christian family' and his mother had indicated on social media that the 23-year-old had been considering going on a 'mission' after finishing his studies

Police were spotted searching the home where Conditt lived with two others at about 1pm on Wednesday, fearing there could explosives there. They had also earlier evacuated the neighborhood and questioned his two roommates

A heavy law enforcement presence was spotted outside Conditt's home in Pflugerville on Wednesday morning after he blew himself up

His parents Danene and Pat Conditt lived in their family home - a tidy white clapboard, two story house (pictured above) - not too far away from him. Authorities went to the house on Wednesday just hours after Conditt blew himself up

ATF Special Agent George Goodman flew in from Michigan with his five-year-old chocolate lab Bonny to search the parents' property after the series of bombings but didn't locate anything

ATF Special Agent George Goodman flew in from Michigan with his five-year-old chocolate lab Bonny to search the parents’ property after the series of bombings but didn’t locate anything

Two people were killed and five injured in five explosions that began on March 2. A sixth device was found before it detonated

Two people were killed and five injured in five explosions that began on March 2. A sixth device was found before it detonated

Law enforcement sources told KUVE that the tipping point in the investigation came on Tuesday at about 9pm after the CCTV footage emerged.

It led police to the suspect’s home and allowed them to collect cell phone data that enabled them to track him to his hotel.

Timeline of how Austin bomber was busted:

Tuesday:

After 9pm – Authorities identify the suspect after obtaining CCTV footage from a FedEx store in South Austin that shows him posting two packages on Sunday night.

It leads police to his home where they obtain information from his Google history and computer confirming he was looking at where he could ship the devices.

Wednesday:

Around 2am – Police use cell phone data to track Conditt to a hotel on Interstate 35, just outside Austin.

Cops find him sitting in his car and they call for backup to make an arrest.

Just before 3am – As reinforcements are arriving, suspect starts driving away in the direction of the highway.

Officers ram his car to stop him fleeing. As two cops approach his car, he detonates a bomb and kills himself.

8am – Bomber is identified as local 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt.

Authorities also got information from Google and from the suspect’s computer history that confirmed the suspect was looking at information on where to ship devices. Based on that information, police were dispatched to two homes on Tuesday night to check for packages.

The bomber is understood to have used ‘exotic’ and foreign batteries ordered online from Asia to make the bombs, NBC reports. Law enforcement said the signature trait is what helped them quickly link all the bombings together.

It is not known if the suspect was planning to deliver a seventh device when police stopped him. Chief Manley said it is not clear why he tried to leave the parking lot of the hotel.

Chief Manley has warned residents not to let their guard down yet, saying there was a possibility that more bombs had yet to be found.

‘We don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to ensure that no other packages or devices have been left to the community,’ Manley said.

The I-35 was closed off in both directions following the explosion and officers are set to remain on scene until their investigation has been completed.

Austin PD homicide detective David Fugitt said the Conditt family was cooperating ‘above and beyond’ what police could expect. He said a ballistics sniffing dog had been brought to the family home on a quiet cul-de-sac later on Wednesday but stressed that was just a precaution.

‘They are having a difficult time,’ Fugitt said. ‘It’s a shock to their conscience as well.’

He said police have no information that Conditt’s family had any knowledge of Mark’s bombing campaign.

‘They want to express their condolences to the families affected by this.’

He said the family will issue a formal statement later Wednesday.

President Donald Trump, who was earlier criticized for failing to speak out over the shootings, tweeted ‘Austin bombing suspect is dead’ on Wednesday morning. ‘Great job by law enforcement and all concerned,’ he added.

Police say they tracked the bomber to the Round Rock area using CCTV (pictured above), store receipts and cell phone data

Conditt was captured on CCTV cameras sending two packages at a FedEx office on Sunday. He was dressed in disguise and was wearing latex protective gloves at the time

Conditt was captured on CCTV cameras sending two packages at a FedEx office on Sunday. He was dressed in disguise and was wearing latex protective gloves at the time

The packages he sent from Austin were addressed to two places in the city. One exploded at a FedEx facility and the other was found before it could detonate

The packages he sent from Austin were addressed to two places in the city. One exploded at a FedEx facility and the other was found before it could detonate

President Trump, who was earlier criticized for his silence around the attacks, tweeted on Wednesday morning. Republican Ted Cruz also thanked police for their efforts

The series of bombings killed two people and injured at least five others, unnerving residents of Austin, a city of some 1 million people.

The first incident occurred on March 2 when a package bomb exploded at a northeast Austin home, killing a 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House.

Two more package bombs then exploded further south on March 12. Draylen Mason, 17, was killed and his mother was wounded after they opened a package in their kitchen.

A 75-year-old Hispanic woman named by family as Esperanza Herrera was severely injured when a package bomb exploded at her home a few hours later.

On Sunday, two white men aged in their 20s were badly injured when they triggered a ‘near-invisible’ tripwire linked to another explosive device.

A female employee was wounded at a FedEx facility in San Antonio just after midnight on Tuesday when a package exploded while moving between conveyor belts. The package had been posted from a FedEx office in the Austin area and was addressed to a home in Austin.

Hours later, a bomb was discovered at another FedEx facility near Austin airport but was found before it detonated. The package was posted from the same address in Austin as the one that exploded earlier in the day.

The first three devices were parcel bombs dropped off in front of homes around Austin neighborhoods.

The series of bombings bewildered law enforcement officials, who by Sunday began taking the unusual step of publicly calling on the bomber to get in touch and explain why he was carrying out the attacks.

Authorities had initially believed the bombings may be hate crimes because the first two victims were black, but they backed off that theory after Hispanic and white victims from different parts of the city were also affected.

President Donald Trump had earlier been criticized for his silence over the bombing spree given most of the victims were from the city’s historically black and Latino neighborhoods.

Unlike other attacks, such as the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida, which Trump was quick to label an act of terrorism, the president initially remained silent about the Austin bombs.

Previous victims: Anthony Stephan House, 39, (left) died on March 2 and Draylen Mason, 17, (right) died on March 12 when package bombs were left at their respective homes

A second package was later intercepted and was confirmed to contain another bomb (pictured, FBI agents at the facility where a package exploded)

A second package was later intercepted and was confirmed to contain another bomb (pictured, FBI agents at the facility where a package exploded)

Two men were injured on Sunday after triggering a tripwire bomb, the fourth such explosion in the city in two weeks

Two men were injured on Sunday after triggering a tripwire bomb, the fourth such explosion in the city in two weeks

Three weeks of terror: Timeline of Texas package bomb attacks

Anthony Stephan House, 39, died on March 2 after opening a package delivered to his Austin home

Anthony Stephan House, 39, died on March 2 after opening a package delivered to his Austin home

March 2: Police are called to the scene of an explosion in Austin around 6.55am. Anthony Stephan House, 39, is found with critical injuries and taken to hospital, but is pronounced dead around 7.45am. Officers say the explosion is ‘not part of a larger scheme’.

March 12: At 6.45am officers respond to the scene of another explosion, 12 miles south of the first, which happened in the kitchen of a home. Draylen Mason, 17, is killed in the blast and his mother, aged in her 40s, is badly injured.

Just before noon a second explosion is reported, five miles south of the second. Esperanza Herrera, 75, is taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Investigators say the two explosions are linked and are also connected to the first blast 10 days prior.

Draylen Mason, 17, died on March 12 and his mother was seriously injured after a package exploded in their kitchen

Draylen Mason, 17, died on March 12 and his mother was seriously injured after a package exploded in their kitchen

March 18: Two white men in their 20s are seriously injured in south west Austin after triggering a ‘near-invisible’ tripwire that was attached to a bomb.

Police believe the attack is linked to the first three bombings and say it shows the attacker is intelligent and becoming more sophisticated.

A reward of $115,000 is offered for information on the serial bomber.

March 20: A female worker at a FedEx sorting facility in San Antonio is injured shortly after midnight when a package explodes while being moved between conveyor belts. Police say the package had been posted from a FedEx in the Austin area and was due to return to an address in the city.

Around 6.20am officers are called to another FedEx facility near Austin airport to reports of a suspicious package. It is later discovered to contain a bomb that investigators say is linked to the previous devices. The package was posted from the same address in Austin as the one that exploded earlier in the day.

Another explosion is reported shortly after 7pm at a Goodwill store on Brodie Lane, a short distance from where the two previous packages were posted. However, police later say the device was ‘old, military type ordinances’ that were donated, and is not related to the other attacks.

A female worker at a FedEx sorting facility in San Antonio was injured when a package exploded on March 20

March 21: Police track the bomber to a hotel around 18 miles north of Austin using CCTV footage from the FedEx store and witness description of his vehicle. When they arrive he is sitting inside the vehicle in the parking lot, so they call for backup.

As backup is arriving the vehicle moves away then stops on a frontage road leading to the I-35 freeway. As officers approach the vehicle a bomb detonates, killing the driver and leaving an officer with minor injuries.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5526159/Austin-bomber-shot-dead-police-try-arrest-him.html#ixzz5APnwiyFv

 

Components used to make bombs found inside home of Austin serial bombing suspect

Components used to make bombs found inside home of Austin serial bombing suspect, Tom Abrahams reports.

The suspect in the deadly bombings that terrorized Austin blew himself up early Wednesday as authorities closed in on him, bringing a grisly end to a three-week manhunt.

The young man behind the attacks was identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, an unemployed 23-year-old who bought bomb-making materials at Home Depot. His motive remained a mystery, along with whether he acted alone in the five bombings in the Texas capital and suburban San Antonio that killed two people and wounded four others.

Authorities have detained two people who lived with Conditt. Austin police said Wednesday that one roommate was questioned and later released, while the second was still being held for questioning.

Authorities did not release the names of the roommates, explaining that they have not been placed under arrest.

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, officials said they found components used in bombs and potential homemade explosives.

Police zeroed in on the 23-year-old man in the last 24 to 36 hours and located his vehicle at a hotel on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock. Officers were waiting for armored vehicles to arrive before moving in for an arrest when his vehicle began to drive away, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference.

Authorities followed the vehicle, which ran into a ditch on the side of the road, he said.

When members of the SWAT team approached, the suspect detonated an explosive device inside the vehicle, the police chief said. The blast knocked one officer back, and a second officer fired his weapon, Manley said.

Austin police chief giving update on serial bomber who blew himself up in Round Rock

View image on Twitter

Here’s a look at the Austin bomber’s car. Police say Mark Conditt, the 23 yo suspect, blew himself up. Officers say he’s tied to five other explosions, some deadly. @abc13houston

The mayor of Pflugerville, an Austin suburb not far from the site of the first of four bombings, said the suspect lived in his city, just two blocks from his house.

Pflugerville resident Jay Schulze said he was jogging Tuesday night when he was stopped by police and asked about the bombings. He said police flew drones over a home for about six hours between Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning.

He described the home over which the drones were flying as “a weird house with a lot of people coming and going” and a bit rundown.

Austin was hit with four package bombings starting on March 2. A fifth parcel bomb went off early Tuesday at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio. Law enforcement sources told ABC News that Conditt used the alias “Kelly Killmore” to ship two packages to FedEx.

Here are how the events of the Austin bombings have unfolded over the last few weeks.

Citing a high-ranking law enforcement official, the Austin American-Statesman reported that authorities had identified the suspect based largely on information, including security video, gleaned after he sent an explosive device from an Austin-area FedEx store.

Officials then tracked Conditt using his vehicle and his cell phone.

He also purchased bomb making materials at a Home Depot near his house, and they included nails and battery packs, according to authorities.

Police warned Wednesday of the possibility that more bombs had yet to be found.

“We don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours, and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to ensure that no other packages or devices have been left to the community,” Manley said.

Manley said the suspect is believed to be responsible for all the major Austin bombings.

AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!

To say all of your colleagues across the Nation are proud of you, @Austin_Police, @ATFHou, @FBI & all who worked courageously & tirelessly, would be understatement. Now let’s remove that interim title & build the Department which is long overdue. Congratulations. https://twitter.com/chief_manley/status/976405321005531136 

Authorities initially believed the bombings may be hate crimes because the victims of the earliest blasts were black, but they backed off that theory after Hispanic and white victims from different parts of the city were also affected. The suspect was described as white.

Fred Milanowski, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said it was “hard to say” if the bombing suspect had acted alone.

“What we do know is we believe the same person built each one of these devices,” said Milanowski, the agent in charge of the Houston division of the ATF. “We are not 100 percent convinced there’s not other devices out there.”

Asked if the suspect built bombs before the Austin attacks, Milanowski said: “We know when he bought some of the components. It’s hard to say whether he was building along the way.”

Austin Mayor Steve Adler thanked law enforcement for their work in bringing down the suspect and urged residents to continue to report anything that appeared suspicious or out of place.

Isaac Figueroa, 26, said he and his brother heard sirens and helicopters early Wednesday in the area and drove toward them, then cut through nearby woods on foot after they hit a police roadblock.

Figueroa said they saw a silver or gray Jeep Cherokee that was pinned between black and white vehicles and “looked like it had been rammed off the road.” He said he saw police deploy a robot to go examine the Jeep.

Federal authorities have blocked off the scene in Pflugerville where they are interviewing Conditt’s former roommates.

Police say those former roommates are not suspects. However, someone was removed from the scene in handcuffs at some point.

President Donald Trump, who had earlier said whoever was responsible for the Austin bombings was “obviously a very sick individual or individuals,” tweeted, “AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!”

The suspect’s death followed a day of rapid-fire developments in the case.

On Tuesday, a bomb inside a package exploded around 1 a.m. as it passed along a conveyer belt at a FedEx shipping center in Schertz, northeast of San Antonio and about 60 miles (95 kilometers) southwest of Austin. One worker reported ringing in her ears and was treated at the scene.

Later in the morning, police sent a bomb squad to a FedEx facility outside the Austin airport to check on a suspicious package. Federal agencies and police later said that package had indeed contained an explosive that was successfully intercepted and that it, too, was tied to the other bombings.

The Schertz blast came two days after a bombing wounded two men Sunday night in a quiet Austin neighborhood about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the FedEx store. It was triggered by a nearly invisible tripwire, suggesting a “higher level of sophistication” than agents saw in three package bombs previously left on doorsteps, Milanowski said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Russia leak raises questions about staff undermining Trump

A furor erupted at the White House on Wednesday over a damaging leak that revealed President Trump defied his aides’ advice during a congratulatory phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House raised the prospect of a staff purge over the disclosure, saying in a statement that it would be a “fireable offense and likely illegal” to give Trump’s briefing papers to the news media.

Chief of staff John Kelly was “frustrated and deeply disappointed” by the leak, a White House official told The Hill.

The official refused to say whether the White House has launched a formal investigation into the incident.

Only a small circle of staff members would have had access to such sensitive briefing documents, according to former White House officials, indicating that the leak may have some from somebody close to the president.

The incident raised concerns among Trump allies that members of own staff could be trying to undermine him.

“’YOU’RE FIRED’ Any free agent leaker(s) on @realDonaldTrump’s National Security Council w/their own agenda/vision for Presidency & America need to be tossed to curb in a NY minute,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) tweetedWednesday.

Zeldin suggested that Obama holdovers on the National Security Council may have been behind the breach. Trump and his allies have frequently warned that a “deep state” of government officials in Washington have constantly tried to torpedo his agenda.

“The ‘what would @brhodes want me to do’ attitude by some in NSC is a disease easily curable,” the New York lawmaker tweeted, referring to Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

The person or people responsible for the leak have not been publicly identified.

The leak added to the wave of negative coverage of Trump’s phone call with Putin, frustrating the president, who has faced Russia-related scrutiny ever since he was elected.

The Washington Post and other outlets reported Trump had been warned in briefing materials not to congratulate the Russian leader on his reelection. Aides even included the message “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” in the president’s talking points.

But Trump went ahead and did it anyway, drawing criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

A leading Putin opposition figure was barred from running in the election and international organizations reported instances of ballot-box stuffing and other irregularities during last Sunday’s contest.

Trump also did not confront Putin over a nerve-agent attack against a former Russian double agent in Britain, despite being instructed in briefing papers to do so. Both the U.S. and U.K. have blamed the attack on Russia. Moscow has denied the accusation.

But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a critic of Trump’s Russia stance, said Wednesday he was even more upset with the leaks than what the president did or did not say to the Russian leader.

“No, I don’t like that he did it, but you know what I like even less? That there’s someone close to him leaking this stuff out,” Rubio told reporters at the Capitol.

“If you don’t like the guy, quit. But to be this duplicitous and continue to leak things out, it’s dangerous,” the senator added.

The leak appeared to reveal deep frustration among some members of the administration over Trump’s approach toward Russia.

Trump has long argued that forming a good relationship with Putin will help repair strained ties between the U.S. and Russia, despite warnings from advisers, lawmakers and allies that such an outcome is unlikely.

“The Fake News Media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. They are wrong!” Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon, referring to Putin.

“Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing,” he continued. “They can help solve problems with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] ISIS, Iran and even the coming Arms Race.”

Trump did not address the leak of his briefing materials on Twitter. He also did not appear in public Wednesday after his daily schedule was scrapped due to a snowstorm in Washington.

It’s not clear whether the president had read or absorbed the warning from his staff about his call with Putin. The Washington Post reported that national security adviser H.R. McMaster briefed the president orally before the call, but did not raise the caution against a congratulations message.

McMaster, who is reportedly on the verge of being replaced, and others will likely be the subject of scrutiny in any probe of the leaks.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration was cracking down on unauthorized disclosures last summer after the Post published full transcripts of Trump’s private calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday did not comment on the effort. A spokesman said the agency “takes unauthorized leaks extremely seriously” and referred The Hill to Sessions’s remarks from last summer.

At the time, Sessions said the DOJ had tripled the number of active leaks investigations and had created a counterintelligence unit to manage the heavy case load.

There have been few bombshell indictments since then, although one former National Security Agency contractor has been charged with the illegal “transmission of national defense information.”

Jonathan Easley contributed.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/379606-russia-leak-raises-questions-about-staff-undermining-trump

 

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Trump’s national security advisers warned him not to congratulate Putin. He did it anyway.

 President Trump also said that he will discuss what he described as an “arms race” with President Putin. 
 March 20 at 7:15 PM 
President Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call.Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and U.S. governments have blamed on Moscow.The president’s conversation with Putin, which Trump described as a “very good call,” prompted fresh criticism of his muted tone toward one of the United States’ biggest geopolitical rivals amid the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference and the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials.Although the Trump administration has taken a tougher stance toward Russia recently — including new sanctions last week on some entities for election meddling and cyberattacks — the president has declined to forcefully join London in denouncing Moscow for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England, this month. They remain critically ill.

 

Trump told reporters that he had offered his well wishes on Putin’s new six-year term during a conversation that covered a range of topics, including arms control and the security situations in Syria and North Korea. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Skripal’s case was not discussed. Information on Syria and North Korea was also provided to the president in writing before the call, officials said.

In this file photo taken on Friday, July 7, 2017, President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. (Evan Vucci/AP)

“We’ll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future,” Trump said of Putin, though Sanders emphasized that nothing is planned.

The White House press office declined to comment on the briefing materials given to Trump. Two people familiar with the notecards acknowledged that they included instructions not to congratulate Putin. But a senior White House official emphasized that national security adviser H.R. McMaster did not mention the issue during a telephone briefing with the president, who was in the White House residence ahead of and during his conversation with Putin.

It was not clear whether Trump read the notes, administration officials said. Trump, who initiated the call, opened it with the congratulations for Putin, one person familiar with the conversation said.

The president’s tone drew a rebuke from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who wrote on Twitter: “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election.”

But Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, appeared less concerned, noting that Trump has also offered congratulations to other leaders of more totalitarian states. “I wouldn’t read much into it,” Corker said.

Putin’s latest consolidation of power came in what foreign policy analysts said was a rigged election in which he got 76 percent of the vote against several minor candidates. Some world leaders have hesitated to congratulate Putin, since his reelection occurred in an environment of state control of much of the news media and with his most prominent opponent barred from the ballot.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin was reelected in a landslide victory on March 18, videos emerged of alleged ballot-stuffing at polling stations.

Ahead of Tuesday’s phone call, national security aides provided Trump with several handwritten notecards filled with talking points to guide his conversation, as is customary for calls with foreign leaders, according to the officials with knowledge of the call, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The notecards are similar to the one Trump was photographed clutching during a White House meeting last month with students and parents after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., officials said.

Trump’s failure to raise Moscow’s alleged poisoning of the former spy in Britain risked angering officials in London, who are trying to rally Britain’s closest allies to condemn the attack. Russia has denied involvement in the March 4 poisoning, but the attack has badly damaged British-Russian relations, and British Prime Minister Theresa May last week announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation.

Putin has denied that Russia had any role and called the claim “nonsense.”

Asked about McCain’s criticism, Sanders noted that the leaders of France and Germany also called Putin this week, and she pointed to former president Barack Obama, who congratulated Putin on an election win in 2012.

“We’ve been very clear in the actions that we’ve taken that we’re going to be tough on Russia, particularly when it comes to areas that we feel where they’ve stepped out of place,” Sanders said. “We’ve placed tough sanctions on Russia and a number of other things where we have shown exactly what our position is.”

She emphasized, however, that Trump is determined to establish a working relationship with Putin to tackle global challenges, including confronting North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Asked whether the Trump administration believes that Russia conducted a “free and fair” election, Sanders said the administration is focused on U.S. elections.

“We don’t get to dictate how other countries operate,” she said. “What we do know is that Putin has been elected in their country, and that’s not something that we can dictate to them how they operate.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) distanced himself Tuesday from Trump’s congratulatory remarks.

“The president can call whomever he chooses,” McConnell said at his weekly news conference. “When I look at a Russian election, what I see is a lack of credibility in tallying the results. I’m always reminded of the election they used to have in almost every communist country where whoever the dictator was at the moment always got a huge percentage of the vote.”

Trump has largely refrained from criticizing Putin amid special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of the 2016 election meddling; in February, Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals on conspiracy charges. The president’s tone has at times been at odds with that of his administration, which has taken stronger actions to counter Russian aggression, including Trump’s authorization of new sanctions against Russia and additional support for Ukrainian troops in their fight against Russian-backed forces.

“It’s blatantly obvious that he has just an inexplicable level of support for President Putin,” said Julie Smith, a European security expert who served as deputy national security adviser for Vice President Joe Biden. “You keep thinking it will change as he sees his own administration take action — that this never-ending well of support for Putin will somehow subside. It’s disheartening at a time when our transatlantic partners really need a boost. Europe is looking to us for leadership on Russia in particular, and they’re not getting it.”

Thomas Wright, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, said Trump’s actions were “a sign he wants a pro-Russia foreign policy,” which conflicts with the harder line from his administration.

“Everyone is trying to figure out what does this mean,” Wright said. “Russia hawks say, ‘Pay attention to us, but not to the president or to the tweets.’ But the reality is, his reaction is policy. The fact that there hasn’t been a stronger sanctions response to the poisoning so far is policy.”

Trump’s applause of Putin’s victory was in line with other congratulatory calls he has made, including to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for winning a much-disputed referendum that increased his already autocratic powers, and to China’s President Xi Jinping for his “extraordinary elevation” after Xi last month engineered the Communist Party’s elimination of presidential term limits.

“I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday,” Trump said in a closed-door speech to Republican donors at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida several weeks ago, a recording of which was obtained by CNN.

Karen DeYoung, John Hudson and Jenna Johnson in Washington, and Anton Troianovski in Moscow, contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-national-security-advisers-warned-him-not-to-congratulate-putin-he-did-it-anyway/2018/03/20/22738ebc-2c68-11e8-8ad6-fbc50284fce8_story.html?utm_term=.cf38730b99d9

 

 

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EXCLUSIVE: Fired FBI official authorized criminal probe of Sessions, sources say

PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions picks up his remarks as Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe looks on during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, July 13, 2017.Alex Wong/Getty Images, FILE
WATCHTop House Intel Democrat: Even if McCabe firing ‘justified, it can also be tainted’

Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a “lack of candor,” McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

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Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them in congressional testimony and called on federal authorities to investigate, but McCabe’s previously-unreported decision to actually put the attorney general in the crosshairs of an FBI probe was an exceptional move.

One source told ABC News that Sessions was not aware of the investigation when he decided to fire McCabe last Friday less than 48 hours before McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, was due to retire from government and obtain a full pension, but an attorney representing Sessions declined to confirm that.

Last year, several top Republican and Democratic lawmakers were informed of the probe during a closed-door briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and McCabe, ABC News was told.

By then, Sessions had recused himself from the FBI’s probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, giving Rosenstein oversight of the growing effort.

PHOTO: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on November 14, 2017, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on November 14, 2017, in Washington, DC.

Within weeks, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to take over the investigation and related inquiries, including the Sessions matter.

Two months ago, Sessions was interviewed by Mueller’s team, and the federal inquiry related to his candor during his confirmation process has since been shuttered, according to a lawyer representing Sessions.

“The Special Counsel’s office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress,” attorney Chuck Cooper told ABC News on Wednesday.

According to the sources, McCabe authorized the criminal inquiry after a top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, and then-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., wrote a letter in March 2017 to the FBI urging agents to investigate “all contacts” Sessions may have had with Russians, and “whether any laws were broken in the course of those contacts or in any subsequent discussion of whether they occurred.”

It’s unclear how actively federal authorities pursued the matter in the months before Sessions’ interview with Mueller’s investigators. It’s also unclear whether the special counsel may still be pursuing other matters related to Sessions and statements he has made to Congress – or others – since his confirmation.

During his confirmation in January 2017, Sessions told the Senate committee that he had not been in contact with anyone connected to the Russian government about the 2016 election. He also said he was “not aware” of anyone else affiliated with the Trump campaign communicating with the Russian government ahead of the election.

Two months later, after a Washington Post report disputed what Sessions told Congress, the attorney general acknowledged he had met the Russian ambassador twice during the presidential campaign, but insisted none of those interactions were “to discuss issues of the campaign.”

Sessions “made no attempt to correct his misleading testimony until The Washington Post revealed that, in fact, he had at least two meetings with the Russian ambassador,” Leahy and Franken said in a statement at the time. “We know he would not tolerate dishonesty if he were in our shoes.”

Sessions called any suggestions that he misled lawmakers “false.”

Nevertheless, charges subsequently brought by Mueller raised more questions over Sessions’ testimony to Congress.

In November, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos admitted to federal authorities that during the campaign he was in frequent contact with Russian operatives about setting up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Papadopoulos pitched the idea to Sessions and Trump at a meeting of the then-candidate’s foreign policy team in March 2016.

PHOTO: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, June 7, 2017. Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, June 7, 2017.

Sessions later told lawmakers he “always told the truth,” insisting he didn’t recall the March 2016 meeting when first testifying to Congress. He later remembered the meeting after reading news reports about it, he said.

“We are concerned by Attorney General Sessions’ lack of candor to the Committee and his failure thus far to accept responsibility for testimony that could be construed as perjury,” Leahy and Franken said in their March 2017 letter to then-FBI director James Comey, who was fired by Trump two months later.

It is a federal crime for anyone to knowingly provide false information to Congress – or to a federal law enforcement agency. No charges have been announced against McCabe, and there’s no indication that the FBI has recommended he be charged.

McCabe was fired Friday after the Justice Department‘s inspector general concluded that McCabe misled investigators looking into how Justice Department and FBI officials handled matters associated with the 2016 presidential election.

In October 2016, hoping to push back on a series of news reports questioning whether he might be trying to protect Hillary Clinton, McCabe authorized two FBI officials to speak with a reporter about his efforts to boost the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation. When he was questioned later about that decision, McCabe “lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions,” Sessions said in a statement announcing McCabe’s firing.

“The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability,” Sessions said. “As the [FBI’s ethics office] stated, ‘all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.'”

McCabe vehemently denies misleading investigators, saying in his own statement that he is “being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.”

For more than a year, Trump and other Republicans have questioned whether McCabe harbored a political bias when making law enforcement decisions as deputy director. McCabe’s critics point to his ties to Democrats, particularly his wife’s failed Democratic run for state senate in Virginia nearly three years ago.

But in an interview with ABC News, McCabe insisted politics was “absolutely not” a factor in any of the decisions he made, noting he has considered himself a Republican all his life.

A representative for McCabe declined to comment for this article.

Franken, one of the two senators who pushed the FBI to investigate Sessions, resigned from Congress in December amid several claims of sexual misconduct.

–ABC News’ Trish Turner and Matt Mosk contributed to this report

http://abcnews.go.com/US/exclusive-fired-fbi-official-authorized-criminal-probe-sessions/story?id=53914006

DOJ gives special counsel internal docs on proposed Sessions resignation, source says

PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses a crowd of law enforcement officers in Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 30, 2018. JOhn Sommers II/Reuters
WATCHSigns show that special counsel is pursuing a possible obstruction of justice case

In the weeks before special counsel Robert Mueller’s team interviewed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department turned over a cache of internal correspondence, including documents related to the proposed resignation of Sessions last year and emails with the White House about fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

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Details of what the Justice Department has now provided to Mueller’s team, which sources say has been investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into possible connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives, reflect how widely investigators are casting their net.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, ABC News reported in November that Mueller’s office was interested in obtaining internal emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, but at the time it was unclear what other type of information Mueller’s office might have been seeking.

PHOTO: Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill, June 21, 2017.Andrew Harnik/AP, FILE
Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill, June 21, 2017.

Comey was fired in May of last of year, and days later Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel.

In an Oval Office meeting after Mueller’s appointment, Trump told Sessions he should resign, prompting the attorney general to submit a letter of resignation, according to The New York Times. But Trump ultimately rejected the resignation after advisers warned against it in the wake of Comey’s firing.

A month after that episode, Trump wanted to have White House aides fire Mueller but backed off after White House counsel Don McGahn and others made clear they were opposed to such a move, a source familiar with the deliberations told ABC News.

PHOTO: Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies on May 8, 2017, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies on May 8, 2017, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.more +

Emails and other documents produced within the Justice Department during that time, including emails with White House officials, have now been sent to Mueller’s office, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

Sessions and Rosenstein both played key roles in Comey’s high-profile removal. To publicly bolster the controversial move at the time, the White House released two memos written separately by Sessions and Rosenstein, with both faulting Comey for his handling of the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. During a House hearing last year, Rosenstein refused to say whether he consulted with the White House before Comey’s firing or whether anyone asked him to write his memo, insisting such questions “may well be within the scope of the special counsel’s investigation.”

The special counsel has already secured charges against four Trump associates, including Flynn.

Flynn was fired only weeks into the Trump administration after then–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed White House officials that Flynn lied to them about his contacts with Russian officials.

Referring to the Justice Department, Yates told lawmakers last year, “We believed Gen. Flynn was compromised in regards to the Russians” and “could be blackmailed by the Russians.”

Yates privately brought those concerns to the White House, and Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, acknowledging that before Trump’s inauguration he spoke about U.S. sanctions against Russia with Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

The Justice Department has now provided Mueller’s team with internal documents related to the matter, according to the source with knowledge of the matter.

Mueller’s team also asked former senior Justice Department officials for information from their time at the department, sources familiar with the request previously told ABC News.

Meanwhile, Sessions has faced public criticism from Trump over his recusal and Rosenstein’s subsequent appointment of Mueller.

At one point last year, Trump told reporters he wouldn’t have nominated Sessions to run the Justice Department had he known Sessions would give up oversight of the investigation.

In announcing his recusal, Sessions said he and “senior career department officials” spent “several weeks” discussing whether his role as top foreign policy adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign last year meant his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Such internal discussions have been turned over to Mueller’s team, the source familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Sessions was interviewed by Mueller’s team two weeks ago. Rosenstein was interviewed last summer.

In the wake of Flynn’s guilty plea, the former national security adviser is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigation, which has already netted another guilty plea and an indictment against two Trump associates.

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his time with the campaign. In court documents, he said he told Sessions and Trump during a 2016 meeting that he was working with Russians to orchestrate a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sessions rejected the suggestion that Papadopoulos should help orchestrate a meeting between the two.

In addition, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates have been indicted on money-laundering and other charges tied to their previous lobbying efforts. They have pleaded not guilty.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/doj-special-counsel-internal-docs-sessions-resignation/story?id=52721241

OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

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MEET THE COUNSEL

Robin C. Ashton Photo
Counsel, Office of Professional Responsibility

Robin Ashton became the head of the Office of Professional Responsibility in January, 2011.

ABOUT OPR

The Office of Professional Responsibility, reporting directly to the Attorney General, is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct involving Department attorneys that relate to the exercise of their authority to investigate, litigate or provide legal advice, as well as allegations of misconduct by law enforcement personnel when related to allegations of attorney misconduct within the jurisdiction of OPR. Learn more.

OPR OBJECTIVES

The objective of OPR is to ensure that Department of Justice attorneys continue to perform their duties in accordance with the high professional standards expected of the Nation’s principal law enforcement agency.

RELATIONSHIP WITH THE INSPECTOR GENERAL

Some allegations of misconduct by Department attorneys do not fall within the jurisdiction of OPR and are investigated by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). OPR’s jurisdiction is limited to reviewing allegations of misconduct made against Department of Justice attorneys and law enforcement personnel that relate to the attorneys’ exercise of authority to investigate, litigate, or provide legal advice. The OIG is required to notify OPR of the existence and results of any OIG investigation that reflects upon the professional ethics, competence or integrity of a Department attorney. In such cases, OPR will take appropriate action.

https://www.justice.gov/opr

Office of Professional Responsibility

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is part of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) responsible for investigating attorneys employed by the DOJ who have been accused of misconduct or crimes in their professional functions. The OPR promulgates independent standards of ethical and criminal conduct for DOJ attorneys, while the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has jurisdiction of non-attorney DOJ employees. Mary Patrice Brown was named acting head of the office in April 2009.[1] Robin Ashton became the head of the office in 2011[2]

The OPR receives reports of allegations of misconduct made against DOJ attorneys from many sources. Nearly half of all such allegations are reported to OPR by DOJ sources, such as the attorney involved.[3] The remaining complaints come from a variety of sources, including private attorneys, defendants and civil litigants, other federal agencies, state or local government officials, judicial and congressional referrals, and media reports. OPR gives expedited attention to judicial findings of misconduct.

The OPR reviews each allegation and determines whether further investigation is warranted. The determination is a matter of investigative judgment that weighs many factors, including the nature of the allegation, its apparent credibility, its specificity, its susceptibility to verification, and the source of the allegation. A decision to open a matter does not give rise to a presumption of misconduct, nor shift the burden of proof to the accused person. The OPR’s investigations involve a wide range of allegations, and the investigative methods used vary accordingly.

In many cases, the OPR notifies the accused attorney and requests a written response. Sometimes, the OPR also makes on-site investigations. The OPR reports the results of the investigation to the component head concerned and to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. The OPR also advises the complainant and the accused attorney of its conclusion.

OPR has a policy of not reporting or investigating complaints for violation of duty of candor towards the tribunal that may be resolved in court. It does not publish this policy in the Federal Register. OPR does not publish agendas of its meetings or keep minutes of its meetings.[4][5][6]

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Professional_Responsibility

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 977, October 4, 2017, Story 1: Mass Murderer Steve Paddock Was Prescribed A Very Addictive Anti-anxiety Drug Valium or Diazepam (Benzodiazepines) — Possible Adverse Effects of Benzodiazepines or Benzo Include Disinhibition and Aggressive Behavior — Benzos Are The Most Prescribed and Abused Drug in United States — Videos — Story 2: The Mass Murderer’s Former Girlfriend, Marilou Danley Is Now “A Person of Interest” — Flies Back To United States From Phillipines and Met By FBI To Answer Questions — Fully Cooperating With FBI — Knew Nothing of Friend’s Plans — The Criminal Investigation of Las Vegas Mass Murderer Killed 58 — 47 Fire Arms Recovered From Murder’s Hotel Room (23), Home (19), and Reno Home (7) — Videos — Story 3: Gun Grabbing Baby Killing Democrat Advocates vs. Pro Life and Pro Second Amendment Advocates — Real Aim of Gun Grabbers : Confiscate All Guns and Repeal Second Amendment — Gun and Ammunition Sales Booming — Make My Day  — Lying Lunatic Left Lies of Jimmy Kimmel — Videos

Posted on October 4, 2017. Filed under: Abortion, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Assault, Benghazi, Biology, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Budgetary Policy, Chemistry, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Eugenics, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Genocide, Government Spending, Health, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, IRS, Killing, Knifes, Law, Legal Drugs, Life, Lying, Media, Medical, Medicare, Monetary Policy, Movies, National Interest, Networking, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, Privacy, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Rifles, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Science, Social Security, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Transportation, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Image result for second amendment and gun control

Image result for list of psychotropic drugs

Story 1: Mass Murderer Steve Paddock Was Prescribed A Very Addictive Anti-anxiety Drug Valium or Diazepam (Benzodiazepines) — Possible Adverse Effects of Benzodiazepines or Benzos Include Disinhibition and Aggressive Behavior — Benzos Are The Most Prescribed and Abused Drug in United States — Videos —

Image result for drug valium diazepam

Psychiatric Drug Links to Violent Behavior

Psychiatric Drugs Homicide and Suicide The Connection

Vegas shooter was reportedly prescribed anti-anxiety meds

LAS VEGAS SHOOTER WAS ON VALIUM – HERE’S WHY IT MATTERS

Valium (Diazepam) Review and Side Effects

What Are The Side Effects Of Valium? | Learn The Dangerous Valium Side Effects Now!

Top 10 Most Abused Prescription Drugs

00:57 #10: Dilaudid [aka Hydromorphone]

01:56 #9: Soma [aka Carisoprodol]

02:45 #8: Ambien [aka Zolpidem]

03:48 #7: Valium [aka Diazepam]

04:52 #6:  Fentanyl

05:53 #5: Xanax [aka Alprazolam]

07:05 #4: Adderall

08:28 #3:Codine

09:26 #2: Vicodine

10:50 #1: OxyCotin [OxyCodone]

‘As Prescribed’ – Trailer for Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Documentary

The Many Faces of Benzo (Ativan Klonopin Xanax Valium) Withdrawal

What are Benzodiazepines? Benzo Facts and Effects

Facts You Should Know About Benzodiazepine Abuse

Psychiatric Drugs Are More Dangerous than You Ever Imagined

How I got myself off valium – Benzodiazepine

Valium withdrawal symptoms – benzodiazapines really are awefull to kick -Part 1 of 2)

Valium withdrawal symptoms – benzodiazapines really are awefull to kick – Part 2 of 2)

GABA Neurotransmitters, Anxiety, and the Dangers of Benzodiazepines

Dr. Von Stieff explains the dangers of what benzodiazepines do and how these GABA drugs, like Xanax and diazepam, can lead to prescription addiction and even cause alcoholics to relapse. Learn how benzodiazepine effects on GABA neurotransmitters can actually incite anxiety.

Alcohol Effects and Neurotransmitters: The GABA and Glutamate Balance

GABA Neurotransmitters and Glutamate

Relapse Prevention: Overcome Fear and Anxiety Attacks and Prevent Panic Attacks

MY BENZO EXPERIENCE: What it Feels Like to Take a Benzodiazepine for Anxiety

Some days I wake up with nearly crippling anxiety for no apparent reason. This was one of those days unfortunately and after suffering through my physical symptoms for many hours like I often do, I decided to take 1 mg of Ativan (Benzodiazepine) and film my experience on it and how it affected my anxiety.

The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging – Making a Killing – Full Documentary

SSRI Drugs are Dangerous!

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Prescription for Mayhem: SSRI’s and The War on Drugs

#LasVegasShooting Live Stream Update: Dissecting the Preposterous, the Possible and the Probable

Psych Meds and Big Pharma and the Link to Shootings

19. Aggression III

May 14, 2010) Robert Sapolsky continues his neurobiological exploration of human aggression. He discusses correlations between neurotransmitter prevalence and aggression levels, aggressive activity differences from genetic variance, societal factors and application, amplification from alcohol, and crime and punishment.

20. Aggression IV

“Behave” by Robert Sapolsky, PhD

By Kyle Feldscher |   

Las Vegas killer Stephen Paddock was prescribed the anti-anxiety drug Valium in June, a drug that has aggressive behavior as a possible side effect.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Paddock was prescribed the medication in June. He was supposed to take one pill per day and fulfilled the prescription on the same day it was written.

“If somebody has an underlying aggression problem and you sedate them with that drug, they can become aggressive,” said Dr. Mel Pohl, chief medical officer of the Las Vegas Recovery Center, told the newspaper. “It can disinhibit an underlying emotional state. … It is much like what happens when you give alcohol to some people … they become aggressive instead of going to sleep.”

Paddock killed 59 people and injured more than 500 others when he opened fire with high-powered rifles from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Hotel late Sunday night. He shot into a country music festival taking place on the street below.

Officials continue to investigate the incident, the largest mass shooting in American history.

Questions remain over whey Paddock wired $100,000 to the Philippines just before the shooting. The island nation is the home country of his girlfriend, who was out of the country at the time of the shooting.

He also reportedly gambled with more than $10,000 during the day before the shooting.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/las-vegas-shooter-stephen-paddock-was-prescribed-anti-anxiety-drug-months-before-killing/article/2636485

 

Stephen Paddock was prescribed anti-anxiety medication Valium which can trigger aggressive behavior four months before Las Vegas massacre

  • Stephen Paddock was prescribed anti-anxiety medication in June, records show
  • He was taking tablets of diazepam – or Valium – which can trigger aggression
  • It is not known why he was prescribed the drug or whether he had anger issues
  • Former neighbors said Paddock was a reclusive weirdo, while coffee shop workers said he was often rude to girlfriend Marliou Danley 
Stephen Paddock, the man behind America's worst ever mass shooting, was prescribed Valium months before the massacre

Stephen Paddock, the man behind America’s worst ever mass shooting, was prescribed Valium months before the massacre

Las Vegas killer Stephen Paddock was prescribed an anti-anxiety medication four months before shooting 58 people dead and wounding more than 500.

Paddock was prescribed 50 10 milligram diazepam tablets – also known as Valium – on June 21 by Vegas doctor Steven Winkler, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Diazepam is a sedative-hypnotic drug that can trigger aggressive behavior in people with underlying behavioral problems, multiple studies have shown.

It is not known why Paddock was prescribed the drug, or whether he had any behavioral issues.

Multiple people who knew him, including his own brother Eric, say he displayed no outward signs of aggression and did not appear as the kind of person who would carry out a mass shooting.

Staff at Dr Winkler’s office would not confirm to the Review-Journal if Paddock had been a patient, and said the doctor would not be answering questions.

One study conducted in Finland, and another in Australia and New Zealand, linked the use of benzodiazepines – the class of drugs to which diazepam belongs – to increased instances of aggressive behavior.

On Sunday Paddock used a vantage point from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel to slaughter 58 people and wound more than 500 using high-powered rifles

On Sunday Paddock used a vantage point from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel to slaughter 58 people and wound more than 500 using high-powered rifles
Paddock’s medical history was revealed as more information emerged about America’s worst-ever mass shooter.

On Tuesday investigators said he wired $100,000 to the Philippines before carrying out his massacre, the same country that girlfriend Marilou Danley was visiting at the time of the killings and where she is believed to have been born.

FBI agents met Danley as she arrived back in the US from Manila on Tuesday and said she is a ‘person of interest’ in their investigation. 

Investigators have not revealed where or to whom the $100,000 was sent.

The news emerged after actress and Scientologist Kirstie Alley put out a series of tweets claiming a common denominator in mass killings – aside from guns – are psychiatric drugs.

‘We have to solve the mystery of why there were no ‘shooters’ or almost 0 before the 1980’s. I know one common denominator other than guns,’ Alley tweeted Monday.

‘One additional common denominator of ‘shooters’ is USA’s mass usage of psychiatric drugs. A % do have side effects of VIOLENCE & SUICIDE,’ continued the outspoken actress.

Elsewhere workers at a Starbucks in the town of Mesquite, where the couple lived, shed some light on their relationship – saying that Paddock was always rude to Danley whenever the pair came to the shop.

SIDE EFFECTS OF DIAZEPAM (VALIUM)

For most patients, these are the typical side effects:

  • drowsiness
  • tired feeling
  • dizziness
  • spinning sensation
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • loss of balance
  • memory problems
  • restlessness
  • irritability
  • muscle weakness
  • nausea
  • drooling
  • dry mouth
  • slurred speech
  • blurred vision
  • double vision
  • skin rash
  • itching
  • lost interest in sex

However, the pamphlet that accompanies the medication tells patients to call their doctor if they experience the following symptoms:

  • thoughts about suicide or dying
  • new or worse anxiety
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • attempts to commit suicide
  • feeling agitated or restless
  • new or worse irritability
  • an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
  • new or worse depression
  • panic attacks
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood

Mendoza said the abuse came when Danley would ask to use his casino card to purchase their drinks.

‘He would glare down at her and say, “You don’t need my casino card for this. I’m paying for your drink, just like I’m paying for you,'” Mendoza recalled.

She told the Los Angeles Times that Danley would then cower behind him and softly say, ‘OK’.

Meanwhile a former neighbor of Paddock’s from his time living in Reno described him as a reclusive ‘weirdo’ who barely spoke to anyone else on the street.

‘He would keep his face down, avoid all conversation and was just very unfriendly and strange,’ Susan Page told The Sun.

Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival from a suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel on Sunday night with multiple rifles, some of which had been modified to effectively fire on full-automatic mode.

During an estimated 72 minute shooting spree he killed 58 people and wounded 527 in America’s worst ever mass shooting.

Paddock then took his own life as police breached the door of his hotel room.

Officers say they found 23 guns inside the room, most of them rifles, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.

At Paddock’s home in nearby Mesquite they found another 19 weapons, along with explosive tannerite and fertilizer which can be used to make bombs.

Investigators have been unable to determine a motive for the attack, and the FBI says there is no evidence linking Paddock to any foreign terror organization despite ISIS claiming responsibility.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4947276/Stephen-Paddock-prescribed-Valium-Vegas-massacre.html#ixzz4uatJjYxV

 

 

Drug- Induced Behavioural Disinhibition

Incidence, Mechanisms and Therapeutic Implications

Adverse Effects

Summary

Behavioural disinhibition implies the loss of restraint over some form of social behaviour. Such disinhibition can be drug induced and, on rare occasions, lead to extreme acts of aggression or violence. Examples of behavioural disinhibition are often considered paradoxical and rare reactions to drugs, but they may in fact be a more severe behavioural manifestation of a general effect that the drug has on emotions and behaviour. However, the incidence of drug-induced behavioural disinhibition varies considerably and cannot be estimated accurately, as accounts stem mainly from case reports rather than from controlled clinical trials. Adverse effects of drugs are rarely, if ever, the sole focus of clinical studies, although they are now monitored more rigorously in controlled trials.

There are numerous anecdotal case reports in the literature of behavioural disinhibition occurring during administration of benzodiazepines, and recent controlled trials have addressed this issue. The incidence varies with the population studied, but tends to be higher in patients with pre-existing poor impulse control. Alcohol (ethanol) potentiates the disinhibiting effect of benzodiazepines. Aberrant forms of disinhibited behaviour may be accompanied by memory loss.

Disinhibition has also been reported after treatment with tricyclic antidepressants, and reports are now appearing that describe disinhibition in patients who have been treated with selective serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) reuptake inhibitors. These include incidents of akathisia, suicidal urges, agitation, hyperactivity and mania. They are more prevalent in children and those with learning disabilities.

Disinhibition is rare with antipsychotics and non-benzodiazepine anticonvulsants but some isolated case reports contain descriptions of such reactions with newer compounds.

The most important drug variable in drug-induced behavioural disinhibition is dosage, although mode of administration is also important. Discontinuation of the drug is usually expected to resolve behavioural reactions, but in certain cases drug withdrawal may precipitate a reaction. In order to minimise drug-induced behavioural disinhibition, it is essential to always use the minimum dosage necessary, to increase the dosage gradually and to monitor the effects carefully. Multiple drug use should be avoided whenever possible.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00023210-199809010-00005

 

Disinhibitory reactions to benzodiazepines: A review

Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Volume 49, Issue 5, May 1991, Pages 519-523

Abstract

This article reviews some of the important aspects of benzodiazepineinduced disinhibitory reactions. Although reactions of this type are relatively rare, they may sometimes manifest themselves in aggressive behavior accompanied by suicidal or homicidal tendencies. It appears that these reactions occur more commonly in younger patients, although the elderly (above 65 years) may also be at risk. Many mechanisms have been postulated, but none truly explain how these reactions arise. The concept that central cholinergic mechanisms may play a role, however, remains attractive and stems primarily from physostigmine’s ability to successfully reverse this type of reaction. The potential role of the benzodiazepine antagonists, eg, flumazenil, in reversing disinhibitory reactions is also discussed. Apart from patients who previously exhibited poor impulse control, there are no reliable indicators for recognizing potential candidates for this type of reaction. To minimize the occurrence of disinhibitory reactions, some guidelines, which include the avoidance of certain drug combinations, the use of low doses of benzodiazepines, slow incremental intravenous administration, and good rapport with patients, are presented.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/027823919190180T

 

Benzodiazepines

What are Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are a class of agents that work on the central nervous system, acting selectively on gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABA-A) receptors in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that inhibits or reduces the activity of nerve cells (neurons) within the brain. Benzodiazepines open GABA-activated chloride channels, and allow chloride ions to enter the neuron. This makes the neuron negatively charged and resistant to excitation.

All benzodiazepines work in a similar way but there are differences in the way individual benzodiazepines act on the different GABA-A receptor sub-types. In addition, some benzodiazepines are more potent than others or work for a longer length of time. Because of this, some work better than others in particular conditions. Benzodiazepines may be used in the treatment of anxiety, panic disorder, seizures, or sleep disorders. They may also be used as a muscle relaxant, during alcohol withdrawal, or before surgery to induce relaxation and amnesia (memory loss).

List of Benzodiazepines:

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Story 2: The Mass Murderer’s Former Girlfriend, Marilou Danley Is Now “A Person of Interest” — Flies Back To United States From Phillipines and Met By FBI To Answer Questions — Fully Cooperating With FBI — Knew Nothing of Friend’s Plans — The Criminal Investigation of Las Vegas Mass Murderer Killed 58 — 47 Fire Arms Recovered From Murder’s Hotel Room (23), Home (19), and Reno Home (7) — Videos —

 

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Las Vegas Strip shooter prescribed anti-anxiety drug in June

Las Vegas massacre probe turns to gunman’s girlfriend in Philippines

by Reuters
Wednesday, 4 October 2017 02:36 GMT

ABOUT OUR HUMANITARIAN COVERAGE

From major disaster, conflicts and under-reported stories, we shine a light on the world’s humanitarian hotspots

(Recasts with latest law enforcement news conference, officials say death toll confirmed at 58 plus the gunman, 12 weapons found in hotel suite equipped with ‘bumper stocks’, 47 guns recovered altogether, purchased in four states, crime scene photos are authentic, paragraphs 1, 11-12, 15, 17)

* Live-in companion sought for questioning

* Wire transfer of $100,000 under examination

* Trump calls gunman ‘a sick, demented man’

* Killer amassed dozens of weapons, explosives, ammunition

* Massacre stirs gun control debate

By Sharon Bernstein and Alexandria Sage

LAS VEGAS, Oct 3 (Reuters) – The investigation into the motives of a Las Vegas retiree who killed 58 people in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history turned on Tuesday to the gunman’s girlfriend in the Philippines, where she turned up after the massacre, authorities said.

Stephen Paddock, who killed himself moments before police stormed the hotel suite he had transformed into a sniper’s nest on Sunday night, left no clear clues as to why he staged his attack on an outdoor concert below the high-rise building.

But law enforcement authorities were hoping to obtain some answers from a woman identified as Paddock’s live-in companion, Marilou Danley, who Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said was a “person of interest” in the investigation.

Lombardo, who said on Monday Danley was believed to be in Tokyo, told reporters on Tuesday she had been located in the Philippines and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was in the process of trying to bring her back to the United States.

“We are in conversations with her,” he told an afternoon news briefing. He reiterated police had no other suspects in the shooting itself.

Danley, an Australian citizen reported to have been born in the Philippines, had been sharing Paddock’s condo at a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, about 90 miles (145 km) northeast of Las Vegas, according to police and public records.

Investigators were examining a $100,000 wire transfer Paddock, 64, sent to an account in the Philippines that “appears to have been intended” for Danley, a senior U.S. homeland security official told Reuters on Tuesday.

The official, who has been briefed regularly on the probe but spoke on condition of anonymity, said the working assumption of investigators was that the money was intended as a form of life insurance payment for Danley.

The official said U.S. authorities were eager to question Danley, who described herself on social media websites as a “casino professional,” mother and grandmother, about whether Paddock encouraged her to leave the United States before he went on his rampage.

The official said investigators had also uncovered evidence that Paddock may have rehearsed his plans at other venues before ultimately carrying out his attack on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival from the 32nd floor suite of the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

ARSENAL RECOVERED

Fresh details about the massacre and the arsenal Paddock amassed emerged on Tuesday.

Police said Paddock strafed the concert crowd with bullets for nine to 11 minutes before taking his own life, and had set up cameras inside and outside his hotel suite so he could see police as they closed in on his location.

A total of 47 firearms were recovered from three locations searched by investigators – Paddock’s hotel suite, his home in Mesquite, and another property associated with him in Reno, Nevada, according to Jill Snyder, special agent for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

Snyder said 12 of the guns found in the hotel room were fitted with so-called bump-stock devices that allow the guns to be fired virtually as automatic weapons. The devices are legal under U.S. law, even though fully automatic weapons are for the most part banned.

The rifles, shotguns and pistols were purchased in four states – Nevada, Utah, California and Texas – Snyder told reporters at an evening news conference.

A search of Paddock’s car turned up a supply of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be formed into explosives and was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of a federal office building that killed 168 people, Lombardo said earlier.

Police also confirmed that photos widely published online showing the gunman’s body, his hands in gloves, lying on the floor beside two firearms and spent shell casings, were authentic crime-scene images obtained by media outlets. An internal investigation was under way to determine how they were leaked.

Video footage of the shooting spree on Sunday night caught by those on the ground showed throngs of people screaming in horror, some crouching in the open for cover, hemmed in by fellow concert-goers, and others running for cover as extended bursts of gunfire rained onto the crowd of some 20,000.

Police had put the death toll at 59 earlier on Tuesday, not including the gunman. However, the coroner’s office revised the confirmed tally to 58 dead, plus Paddock, on Tuesday night.

More than 500 people were injured, some trampled in the pandemonium. At least 20 of the survivors admitted to one of several hospitals in the area, University Medical Center, remained in critical condition on Tuesday, doctors said.

The union representing firefighters disclosed that a dozen off-duty firefighters who were attending the music festival were shot while trying to render aid to other spectators, two of them while performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on victims.

“This is a true feat of heroism on their part,” said Ray Rahne of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

WHAT DROVE GUNMAN?

But the central, unanswered question to the bloodshed was what drove the gunman’s actions.

Federal, state and local investigators have found no evidence that Paddock had even incidental contacts with foreign or domestic extremist groups, and reviews of his history showed no underlying pattern of criminal behavior or hate speech, the homeland security official said.

While investigators had not ruled out the possibility of mental illness or some form of brain injury, “there’s no evidence of that, either,” the official said.

Paddock’s brother, Eric, has said he was mystified by the attack.

“It just makes less sense the more we use any kind of reason to figure it out,” Eric Paddock said in a text message on Tuesday. “I will bet any amount of money that they will not find any link to anything … he did this completely by himself.”

He said the family did not plan to hold a funeral for his brother, who was not religious, saying it could attract unwanted attention. He described his brother as a financially well-off enthusiast of video poker and cruises, with no history of mental health issues.

President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that Paddock had been “a sick man, a demented man.”

GUN DEBATE STIRRED

The attack stirred the fractious debate about gun ownership in the United States, which is protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution, and about how much that right should be subject to controls.

Sunday’s shooting followed the massacre of 26 young children and educators in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, and the slaying of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando last year.

The latter attack was previously the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Democrats reiterated what is generally the party’s stance, that legislative action is needed to reduce mass shootings. Republicans, who control the White House and both chambers of Congress, argue restrictions on lawful gun ownership cannot deter criminal behavior.

“We’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by,” said Trump, who strongly supported gun rights during his presidential campaign.

Paddock seemed unlike the troubled, angry young men who experts said have come to embody the mass-shooter profile in the United States.

Public records on Paddock point to an itinerant existence across the U.S. West and Southeast, including stints as an apartment manager and aerospace industry worker. He appeared to be settling in to a quiet life when he bought a home in a Nevada retirement community a few years ago.

(Additional reporting by Lisa Girion in Las Vegas, Jonathan Allen and Frank McGurty in New York, John Walcott, Susan Cornwell, Doina Chiacu and Jeff Mason in Washington, Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Writing by Steve Gorman and Scott Malone; Editing by Frances Kerry, Jonathan Oatis and Andrew Hay)

http://news.trust.org/item/20171003193434-ladhk

 

Las Vegas shooting suspect’s girlfriend is ‘person of interest’, says sheriff

  • Marilou Danley was in Philippines at time of shooting and remains there
  • Stephen Paddock placed cameras inside and outside his hotel room
The Clark County sheriff Joe Lombardo, flanked by Las Vegas’s Mayor Carolyn Goodman, left, and US representative Dina Titus, speaks during a news conference on Tuesday.
 The Clark County sheriff Joe Lombardo, flanked by Las Vegas’s Mayor Carolyn Goodman, left, and US representative Dina Titus, speaks during a news conference on Tuesday. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock’s girlfriend is “a person of interest” in the criminal investigation into America’s worst mass shooting, police said on Tuesday.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of Clark County said detectives are in contact with Marilou Danley, who was travelling in the Philippines at the time of the massacre and remains there. “The investigation with her is ongoing and we anticipate some further information from her shortly,” he told reporters. “Currently she is a person of interest.”

Lombardo declined to comment on an NBC news report that 64-year-old Paddock wired $100,000 to an account in the Philippines some time in the week before the attack.

Paddock opened fire from the windows of his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, killing 59 people – all but three of whom have been identified – and injuring more than 500 at a country music festival. Police stormed his room and found he had killed himself.

Lombardo said the first report to police came at 10.08pm and Paddock continued to fire for nine minutes. The sheriff also told a press conference Paddock had set up cameras inside and outside his room, including one on a food service trolley. “I anticipate he was looking for anybody coming to take him into custody,” he said.

The evidence offers an insight into Paddock’s careful planning of the shooting. Lombardo said: “I’m pretty sure he evaluated everything that he did in his actions, which is troubling.”

Police have said they found 23 guns in Paddock’s room at the hotel. The sheriff added: “We are aware of a device called a bump stock that enables an individual to speed up the discharge of ammunition.” Bump stocks can be used to modify guns and make them fire as if they were fully automatic.

He also said authorities had completed their investigation at the gunman’s property in Reno, finding five handguns, two shotguns and a “plethora” of ammunition.

Paddock’s motive remains unknown. “This person may have radicalised, unbeknownst to us, and we want to identify that source.”

The sheriff said the number of people injured would go down slightly because of some double counting. “We also had very heroic acts of people attending the event … Citizens providing medical aid and transport for people to get to the hospital.”

Lombardo added: “It’s an ongoing investigation and when I say I don’t know, I may know … I assure you this investigation is not ended with the demise of Mr Paddock.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/03/las-vegas-shooting-girlfriend-marilou-danley-person-of-interest-sheriff

 

Person of interest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Person of interest” is a term used by U.S. law enforcement when identifying someone involved in a criminal investigation who has not been arrested or formally accused of a crime. It has no legal meaning, but refers to someone in whom the police are “interested,” either because the person is cooperating with the investigation, may have information that would assist the investigation, or possesses certain characteristics that merit further attention.

While terms such as suspecttarget, and material witness have clear and sometimes formal definitions, person of interest remains undefined by the U.S. Department of Justice.[1]Unsub is a similar term which is short for “unknown subject” (used often, for example, in the TV show Criminal Minds). Person of interest is sometimes used as a euphemism for suspect, and its careless use may encourage trials by media.

With respect to terrorism investigations, Eric Lichtblau wrote in the New York Times: “Law enforcement officials say that the term simply reflects the new tactics required to fight terrorism. But some legal scholars say officials are trying to create a more benign public image, even as their power expands.”[2]

History

According to Eric Lichtbau in the New York Times:

The term has an ugly history; in the 1960s American law enforcement officials began creating secret dossiers on Vietnam War protesters, civil rights leaders and other persons of interest…The vaguely sinister term has been applied to targets of terrorisminvestigations, the chief suspect in the murder of the Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy and Steven J. Hatfill, the scientist who has figured prominently in the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacksAttorney GeneralJohn Ashcroft is often credited with popularizing the person-of-interest label, having used it [in 2002] to describe Dr. Hatfill.[2]

The term was used widely in mass media at least as early as the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing in reference to Richard A. Jewell. Its initial uses aroused controversy, but it has since seen increasingly regular use.[1] Jewell later remarked on the use of the term:

Question: Do you believe that the public will formulate the same idea about that person’s involvement in criminal activity upon hearing the term “person of interest”? Is this just a euphemism, just another way of saying “suspect”?

Jewell: I’d say so. The public knows what’s going on. Because of what happened to me, things have changed. It has definitely changed the way the media in Atlanta refer to people that are arrested or are suspects. And I’ve seen it on some of the national channels like Fox NewsNBC and CNN. They’ve all changed. Go back before 1996, at a shooting or a murder and see how they refer to the person whom they’re arresting in the incident. Compare that with something that’s recent and look at the difference. What happened to me is a factor in that change.[3]

Hatfill v. Ashcroft

The use of the term became widely critiqued when United States Attorney GeneralJohn Ashcroft used it in a press conference when asked if Dr. Steven J. Hatfill was a suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks case. In 2002, Hatfill’s attorney filed a complaint with the Justice Department‘s Office of Professional Responsibility, arguing that “the term is not recognized in law or criminal procedure and that Ashcroft did not have the right ‘to preside over the public shredding of [Hatfill’s] life. This is un-American. Mr. Ashcroft owes Dr. Hatfill an apology.'”[4] Hatfill sued the Department of Justice for violation of federal privacy law; the case was settled in 2008 for $5.8 million.[5]

Definition

Normal Justice Department parlance for subjects of investigation includes “suspect,” “subject” and “target.” Each has specific meanings relevant to different levels of investigation. SenatorChuck GrassleyRepublican of Iowa, wrote to the Attorney General for clarification of the unfamiliar phrase in September 2002. In December of that year, Nuclear Threat Initiative‘s Global Security Newswire summarized the response as follows:[6]

… the U.S. Justice Department has said that it did not intend for Hatfill to come under such intense media scrutiny by describing him has a “person of interest” in the anthrax investigation, according to department letters sent to Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), which were released yesterday. … The department did not intend to cause any harm to Hatfill when it described him as a person of interest, Assistant Attorney General Daniel Bryant said in one of the letters. Instead, the department meant “to deflect media scrutiny” and “explain that he (Hatfill) was just one of many scientists” who had cooperated with the FBI investigation, Bryant said.

Grassley said yesterday that he appreciates the department’s replies to his inquiries. “I also appreciate the department’s candidness that the action regarding Mr. Hatfill and his employment is unprecedented,” Grassley said in a statement, and that “there is no … formal definition for the term ‘person of interest.’

See also

References

Story 3: Gun Grabbing Baby Killing Democrat Advocates vs. Pro Life and Pro Second Amendment Advocates — Real Aim of Gun Grabbers : Confiscate All Guns and Repeal Second Amendment — Gun and Ammunition Sales Booming — Make My Day  — Lying Lunatic Left Lies of Jimmy Kimmel — Videos

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Hannity 10/4/17 | Fox News Today October 4, 2017

Tucker Carlson Tonight 10/4/17 – Tucker Carlson Fox News October 4, 2017 TRUMP, REX TILLERSON

Tucker Carlson; Blasts Hillary Clinton over Gun Control Tweet moments after attack..!

Tucker Carlson; Blasts Hillary Clinton over Gun Control Tweet moments after attack..!

LAS VEGAS SHOOTER WAS ON VALIUM – HERE’S WHY IT MATTERS

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In a talk given on the very day a gunman was apprehended at the University of Austin, American senior research scientist at the University of Maryland and gun rights expert John Lott explains why guns bans only serve to increase gun crime rates, why the pilots should be armed, and how statistics prove that since the DC handgun ban was lifted, there has been a dramatic drop in the murder rate. Lott points to his research which proves that there isn’t a place in the world where a gun ban lowers gun crime, in fact stricter firearms regulation habitually leads to an increase in murder rates, because the only people who follow such regulations are law-abiding citizens who turn in their guns and thus leave themselves vulnerable to armed criminals who don’t obey the law. Speaking on the subject of pilots being armed, Lott points out that up until 1979, pilots were mandated to carry with them a loaded handgun and throughout decades of this policy there is not one example handguns causing a problem on an airliner, demolishing the innumerable “what if” hypothetical arguments of those who oppose arming the pilots, as well as the arguments against having concealed carry on college campuses. Lott details statistics that show since the Washington DC handgun ban was lifted, there has been a huge drop in murder rates, a fact that has received virtually no news coverage in the anti-second amendment establishment media. Crimes using guns since the ban was lifted fell by about three times as fast as other crimes not involving guns. Alternatively, since the Chicago gun ban in 1982, Lott documents how gun crime soared in both Chicago and surrounding areas.

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  • Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Bill of Rights in the National Archives.

    Close up image of the Second Amendment

    The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.[1][2][3][4] The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals,[5][6] while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.[7] State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

    The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.[8]

    In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that, “The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence” and limited the scope of the Second Amendment’s protections to the federal government.[9] In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment did not protect weapon types not having a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.”[10][11]

    In the twenty-first century, the amendment has been subjected to renewed academic inquiry and judicial interest.[11] In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that held the amendment protects an individual right to possess and carry firearms.[12][13] In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court clarified its earlier decisions that limited the amendment’s impact to a restriction on the federal government, expressly holding that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment against state and local governments.[14] In Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016), the Supreme Court reiterated its earlier rulings that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding” and that its protection is not limited to “only those weapons useful in warfare”.[15]

    Despite these decisions, the debate between various organizations regarding gun control and gun rights continues.[16]

    Contents

     [show

    Text

    There are several versions of the text of the Second Amendment, each with capitalization or punctuation differences. Differences exist between the drafted and ratified copies, the signed copies on display, and various published transcriptions.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24] The importance (or lack thereof) of these differences has been the source of debate regarding the meaning and interpretation of the amendment, particularly regarding the importance of the prefatory clause.[25][26]

    One version was passed by the Congress, and a slightly different version was ratified.[27][28][29][30][31] As passed by the Congress and preserved in the National Archives, with the rest of the original hand-written copy of the Bill of Rights prepared by scribe William Lambert, the amendment says:[32]

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    The hand-written copy of the proposed Bill of Rights, 1789, cropped to show only the text that would later be edited and ratified as the Second Amendment

    Here is the amendment as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State:[33]

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Pre-Constitution background

    Influence of the English Bill of Rights of 1689

    The right to bear arms in English history is believed to have been regarded in English law as an auxiliary to the long-established natural right of self-defense, auxiliary to the natural and legally defensible rights to life.[34] The English Bill of Rights of 1689 emerged from a tempestuous period in English politics during which two issues were major sources of conflict: the authority of the King to govern without the consent of Parliament and the role of Catholics in a country that was becoming ever more Protestant. Ultimately, the Catholic James II was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution, and his successors, the Protestants William III and Mary II, accepted the conditions that were codified in the Bill. One of the issues the Bill resolved was the authority of the King to disarm its subjects, after James II had attempted to disarm many Protestants, and had argued with Parliament over his desire to maintain a standing (or permanent) army.[35] The bill states that it is acting to restore “ancient rights” trampled upon by James II, though some have argued that the English Bill of Rights created a new right to have arms, which developed out of a duty to have arms.[36] In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court did not accept this view, remarking that the English right at the time of the passing of the English Bill of Rights was “clearly an individual right, having nothing whatsoever to do with service in the militia” and that it was a right not to be disarmed by the Crown and was not the granting of a new right to have arms.[37]

    The text of the English Bill of Rights of 1689 includes language protecting the right of Protestants against disarmament by the Crown. This document states: “That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.”[38] It also contained text that aspired to bind future Parliaments, though under English constitutional law no Parliament can bind any later Parliament.[39] Nevertheless, the English Bill of Rights remains an important constitutional document, more for enumerating the rights of Parliament over the monarchy than for its clause concerning a right to have arms.

    The statement in the English Bill of Rights concerning the right to bear arms is often quoted only in the passage where it is written as above and not in its full context. In its full context it is clear that the bill was asserting the right of Protestant citizens not to be disarmed by the King without the consent of Parliament and was merely restoring rights to Protestants that the previous King briefly and unlawfully had removed. In its full context it reads:

    Whereas the late King James the Second by the Assistance of diverse evill Councellors Judges and Ministers imployed by him did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant Religion and the Lawes and Liberties of this Kingdome (list of grievances including) … by causing severall good Subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when Papists were both Armed and Imployed contrary to Law, (Recital regarding the change of monarch) … thereupon the said Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons pursuant to their respective Letters and Elections being now assembled in a full and free Representative of this Nation takeing into their most serious Consideration the best meanes for attaining the Ends aforesaid Doe in the first place (as their Auncestors in like Case have usually done) for the Vindicating and Asserting their ancient Rights and Liberties, Declare (list of rights including) … That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.[38]

    The historical link between the English Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment, which both codify an existing right and do not create a new one, has been acknowledged by the U.S. Supreme Court.[40][41]

    The English Bill of Rights includes the proviso that arms must be as “allowed by law.” This has been the case before and after the passage of the Bill. While it did not override earlier restrictions on the ownership of guns for hunting, it was written to preserve the hunting rights of the landed aristocracy and is subject to the parliamentary right to implicitly or explicitly repeal earlier enactments.[42] There is some difference of opinion as to how revolutionary the events of 1688–89 actually were, and several commentators make the point that the provisions of the English Bill of Rights did not represent new laws, but rather stated existing rights. Mark Thompson wrote that, apart from determining the succession, the English Bill of Rights did “little more than set forth certain points of existing laws and simply secured to Englishmen the rights of which they were already posessed [sic].”[43]Before and after the English Bill of Rights, the government could always disarm any individual or class of individuals it considered dangerous to the peace of the realm.[44] In 1765, William Blackstone wrote the Commentaries on the Laws of England describing the right to have arms in England during the 18th century as a natural right of the subject that was “also declared” in the English Bill of Rights.[45][46]

    The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute 1 W. & M. st.2. c.2. and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.[47]

    Although there is little doubt that the writers of the Second Amendment were heavily influenced by the English Bill of Rights, it is a matter of interpretation as to whether they were intent on preserving the power to regulate arms to the states over the federal government (as the English Parliament had reserved for itself against the monarch) or whether it was intent on creating a new right akin to the right of others written into the Constitution (as the Supreme Court decided in Heller). Some in the United States have preferred the “rights” argument arguing that the English Bill of Rights had granted a right. The need to have arms for self-defence was not really in question. Peoples all around the world since time immemorial had armed themselves for the protection of themselves and others, and as organized nations began to appear these arrangements had been extended to the protection of the state.[48] Without a regular army and police force (which in England was not established until 1829), it had been the duty of certain men to keep watch and ward at night and to confront and capture suspicious persons. Every subject had an obligation to protect the king’s peace and assist in the suppression of riots.[49]

    Experience in America prior to the U.S. Constitution

    Ideals that helped to inspire the Second Amendment in part are symbolized by the minutemen.[50]

    Early English settlers in America viewed the right to arms and/or the right to bear arms and/or state militias as important for one or more of these purposes (in no particular order):[51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58]

    • enabling the people to organize a militia system.
    • participating in law enforcement;
    • deterring tyrannical government;[59]
    • repelling invasion;
    • suppressing insurrection, allegedly including slave revolts;[60][61][62]
    • facilitating a natural right of self-defense.

    Which of these considerations were thought of as most important and ultimately found expression in the Second Amendment is disputed. Some of these purposes were explicitly mentioned in early state constitutions; for example, the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 asserted that, “the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state”.[63]

    During the 1760s pre-revolutionary period, the established colonial militia was composed of colonists, including many who were loyal to British imperial rule. As defiance and opposition to British rule developed, a distrust of these Loyalists in the militia became widespread among the colonists, known as Patriots, who favored independence from British rule. As a result, some Patriots created their own militias that excluded the Loyalists and then sought to stock independent armories for their militias. In response to this arms build up, the British Parliament established an embargo on firearms, parts and ammunition on the American colonies.[64]

    British and Loyalist efforts to disarm the colonial Patriot militia armories in the early phases of the American Revolution resulted in the Patriot colonists protesting by citing the Declaration of Rights, Blackstone’s summary of the Declaration of Rights, their own militia laws and common law rights to self-defense.[65] While British policy in the early phases of the Revolution clearly aimed to prevent coordinated action by the Patriot militia, some have argued that there is no evidence that the British sought to restrict the traditional common law right of self-defense.[65] Patrick J. Charles disputes these claims citing similar disarming by the patriots and challenging those scholars’ interpretation of Blackstone.[66]

    The right of the colonists to arms and rebellion against oppression was asserted, for example, in a pre-revolutionary newspaper editorial in 1769 Boston objecting to the British army suppression of colonial opposition to the Townshend Acts:

    Instances of the licentious and outrageous behavior of the military conservators of the peace still multiply upon us, some of which are of such nature, and have been carried to such lengths, as must serve fully to evince that a late vote of this town, calling upon its inhabitants to provide themselves with arms for their defense, was a measure as prudent as it was legal: such violences are always to be apprehended from military troops, when quartered in the body of a populous city; but more especially so, when they are led to believe that they are become necessary to awe a spirit of rebellion, injuriously said to be existing therein. It is a natural right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the Bill of Rights, to keep arms for their own defence; and as Mr. Blackstone observes, it is to be made use of when the sanctions of society and law are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.[65]

    The armed forces that won the American Revolution consisted of the standing Continental Army created by the Continental Congress, together with regular French army and naval forces and various state and regional militia units. In opposition, the British forces consisted of a mixture of the standing British Army, Loyalist militia and Hessian mercenaries. Following the Revolution, the United States was governed by the Articles of Confederation. Federalists argued that this government had an unworkable division of power between Congress and the states, which caused military weakness, as the standing army was reduced to as few as 80 men.[67] They considered it to be bad that there was no effective federal military crackdown on an armed tax rebellion in western Massachusetts known as Shays’ Rebellion.[68] Anti-federalists on the other hand took the side of limited government and sympathized with the rebels, many of whom were former Revolutionary War soldiers. Subsequently, the Constitutional Convention proposed in 1787 to grant Congress exclusive power to raise and support a standing army and navy of unlimited size.[69][70] Anti-federalists objected to the shift of power from the states to the federal government, but as adoption of the Constitution became more and more likely, they shifted their strategy to establishing a bill of rights that would put some limits on federal power.[71]

    Modern scholars Thomas B. McAffee and Michael J. Quinlan have stated that James Madison “did not invent the right to keep and bear arms when he drafted the Second Amendment; the right was pre-existing at both common law and in the early state constitutions.”[72]In contrast, historian Jack Rakove suggests that Madison’s intention in framing the Second Amendment was to provide assurances to moderate Anti-Federalists that the militias would not be disarmed.[73]

    One aspect of the gun control debate is the conflict between gun control laws and the right to rebel against unjust governments. Blackstone in his Commentaries alluded to this right to rebel as the natural right of resistance and self preservation, to be used only as a last resort, exercisable when “the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression”.[74] Some believe that the framers of the Bill of Rights sought to balance not just political power, but also military power, between the people, the states and the nation,[75] as Alexander Hamilton explained in 1788:

    [I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude[, ] that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.[75][76]

    Some scholars have said that it is wrong to read a right of armed insurrection in the Second Amendment because clearly the founding fathers sought to place trust in the power of the ordered liberty of democratic government versus the anarchy of insurrectionists.[77][78]Other scholars, such as Glenn Reynolds, contend that the framers did believe in an individual right to armed insurrection. The latter scholars cite examples, such as the Declaration of Independence (describing in 1776 “the Right of the People to…institute new Government”) and the Constitution of New Hampshire (stating in 1784 that “nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind”).[79]

    There was an ongoing debate beginning in 1789 about “the people” fighting governmental tyranny (as described by Anti-Federalists); or the risk of mob rule of “the people” (as described by the Federalists) related to the increasingly violent French Revolution.[80] A widespread fear, during the debates on ratifying the Constitution, was the possibility of a military takeover of the states by the federal government, which could happen if the Congress passed laws prohibiting states from arming citizens,[81] or prohibiting citizens from arming themselves.[65] Though it has been argued that the states lost the power to arm their citizens when the power to arm the militia was transferred from the states to the federal government by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the individual right to arm was retained and strengthened by the Militia Acts of 1792 and the similar act of 1795.[82][83]

    Drafting and adoption of the Constitution

    James Madison (left) is known as the “Father of the Constitution” and “Father of the Bill of Rights”[84] while George Mason (right) with Madison is also known as the “Father of the Bill of Rights”[85]
    Patrick Henry (left) believed that a citizenry trained in arms was the only sure guarantor of liberty[86] while Alexander Hamilton (right) wrote in Federalist No. 29 that “little more can be reasonably aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed …”[76]

    In March 1785, delegates from Virginia and Maryland assembled at the Mount Vernon Conference to fashion a remedy to the inefficiencies of the Articles of Confederation. The following year, at a meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, 12 delegates from five states (New JerseyNew YorkPennsylvaniaDelaware, and Virginia) met and drew up a list of problems with the current government model. At its conclusion, the delegates scheduled a follow-up meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for May 1787 to present solutions to these problems, such as the absence of:[87][88]

    • interstate arbitration processes to handle quarrels between states;
    • sufficiently trained and armed intrastate security forces to suppress insurrection;
    • a national militia to repel foreign invaders.

    It quickly became apparent that the solution to all three of these problems required shifting control of the states’ militias to the federal congress and giving that congress the power to raise a standing army.[89] Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution codified these changes by allowing the Congress to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States by doing the following:[90]

    • raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
    • provide and maintain a navy;
    • make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
    • provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
    • provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

    Some representatives mistrusted proposals to enlarge federal powers, because they were concerned about the inherent risks of centralizing power. Federalists, including James Madison, initially argued that a bill of rights was unnecessary, sufficiently confident that the federal government could never raise a standing army powerful enough to overcome a militia.[91] Federalist Noah Webster argued that an armed populace would have no trouble resisting the potential threat to liberty of a standing army.[92][93] Anti-federalists, on the other hand, advocated amending the Constitution with clearly defined and enumerated rights providing more explicit constraints on the new government. Many Anti-federalists feared the new federal government would choose to disarm state militias. Federalists countered that in listing only certain rights, unlisted rights might lose protection. The Federalists realized there was insufficient support to ratify the Constitution without a bill of rights and so they promised to support amending the Constitution to add a bill of rights following the Constitution’s adoption. This compromisepersuaded enough Anti-federalists to vote for the Constitution, allowing for ratification.[94] The Constitution was declared ratified on June 21, 1788, when nine of the original thirteen states had ratified it. The remaining four states later followed suit, although the last two states, North Carolina and Rhode Island, ratified only after Congress had passed the Bill of Rights and sent it to the states for ratification.[95] James Madison drafted what ultimately became the Bill of Rights, which was proposed by the first Congress on June 8, 1789, and was adopted on December 15, 1791.

    Ratification debates

    The debate surrounding the Constitution’s ratification is of practical importance, particularly to adherents of originalist and strict constructionist legal theories. In the context of such legal theories and elsewhere, it is important to understand the language of the Constitution in terms of what that language meant to the people who wrote and ratified the Constitution.[96]

    The Second Amendment was relatively uncontroversial at the time of its ratification.[97] Robert Whitehill, a delegate from Pennsylvania, sought to clarify the draft Constitution with a bill of rights explicitly granting individuals the right to hunt on their own land in season,[98]though Whitehill’s language was never debated.[99]

    There was substantial opposition to the new Constitution, because it moved the power to arm the state militias from the states to the federal government. This created a fear that the federal government, by neglecting the upkeep of the militia, could have overwhelming military force at its disposal through its power to maintain a standing army and navy, leading to a confrontation with the states, encroaching on the states’ reserved powers and even engaging in a military takeover. Article VI of the Articles of Confederation states:

    No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the united States in congress assembled, for the defense of such State, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgement of the united States, in congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defense of such State; but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.[100][101]

    In contrast, Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 of the U.S. Constitution states:

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.[102]

    A foundation of American political thought during the Revolutionary period was concern about political corruption and governmental tyranny. Even the federalists, fending off their opponents who accused them of creating an oppressive regime, were careful to acknowledge the risks of tyranny. Against that backdrop, the framers saw the personal right to bear arms as a potential check against tyranny. Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts expressed this sentiment by declaring that it is “a chimerical idea to suppose that a country like this could ever be enslaved … Is it possible … that an army could be raised for the purpose of enslaving themselves or their brethren? or, if raised whether they could subdue a nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty and who have arms in their hands?”[103] Noah Webster similarly argued:

    Before a standing army can rule the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.[104][105]

    George Mason argued the importance of the militia and right to bear arms by reminding his compatriots of England’s efforts “to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them … by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.” He also clarified that under prevailing practice the militia included all people, rich and poor. “Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.” Because all were members of the militia, all enjoyed the right to individually bear arms to serve therein.[104][106]

    Writing after the ratification of the Constitution, but before the election of the first Congress, James Monroe included “the right to keep and bear arms” in a list of basic “human rights”, which he proposed to be added to the Constitution.[107]

    Patrick Henry argued in the Virginia ratification convention on June 5, 1788, for the dual rights to arms and resistance to oppression:

    Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.[108]

    While both Monroe and John Adams supported the Constitution being ratified, its most influential framer was James Madison. In Federalist No. 46, he confidently contrasted the federal government of the United States to the European kingdoms, which he contemptuously described as “afraid to trust the people with arms.” He assured his fellow citizens that they need never fear their government because of “the advantage of being armed …”[104][109]

    By January 1788, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut ratified the Constitution without insisting upon amendments. Several specific amendments were proposed, but were not adopted at the time the Constitution was ratified. For example, the Pennsylvania convention debated fifteen amendments, one of which concerned the right of the people to be armed, another with the militia. The Massachusetts convention also ratified the Constitution with an attached list of proposed amendments. In the end, the ratification convention was so evenly divided between those for and against the Constitution that the federalists agreed to amendments to assure ratification. Samuel Adams proposed that the Constitution:

    Be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless when necessary for the defence of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of their grievances: or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures.[104]

    Conflict and compromise in Congress produce the Bill of Rights

    James Madison‘s initial proposal for a bill of rights was brought to the floor of the House of Representatives on June 8, 1789, during the first session of Congress. The initial proposed passage relating to arms was:

    The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.[110]

    On July 21, Madison again raised the issue of his bill and proposed a select committee be created to report on it. The House voted in favor of Madison’s motion,[111] and the Bill of Rights entered committee for review. The committee returned to the House a reworded version of the Second Amendment on July 28.[112] On August 17, that version was read into the Journal:

    A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.[113]

    In late August 1789, the House debated and modified the Second Amendment. These debates revolved primarily around risk of “mal-administration of the government” using the “religiously scrupulous” clause to destroy the militia as Great Britain had attempted to destroy the militia at the commencement of the American Revolution. These concerns were addressed by modifying the final clause, and on August 24, the House sent the following version to the Senate:

    A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.

    The next day, August 25, the Senate received the amendment from the House and entered it into the Senate Journal. However, the Senate scribe added a comma before “shall not be infringed” and changed the semicolon separating that phrase from the religious exemption portion to a comma:

    A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.[114]

    By this time, the proposed right to keep and bear arms was in a separate amendment, instead of being in a single amendment together with other proposed rights such as the due process right. As a Representative explained, this change allowed each amendment to “be passed upon distinctly by the States.”[115] On September 4, the Senate voted to change the language of the Second Amendment by removing the definition of militia, and striking the conscientious objector clause:

    A well regulated militia, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.[116]

    The Senate returned to this amendment for a final time on September 9. A proposal to insert the words “for the common defence” next to the words “bear arms” was defeated. An extraneous comma added on August 25 was also removed.[117] The Senate then slightly modified the language and voted to return the Bill of Rights to the House. The final version passed by the Senate was:

    A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    The House voted on September 21, 1789 to accept the changes made by the Senate, but the amendment as finally entered into the House journal contained the additional words “necessary to”:

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.[118]

    On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) was adopted, having been ratified by three-fourths of the states.

    Militia in the decades following ratification

    Ketland brass barrel smooth bore pistol common in Colonial America

    During the first two decades following the ratification of the Second Amendment, public opposition to standing armies, among Anti-Federalists and Federalists alike, persisted and manifested itself locally as a general reluctance to create a professional armed police force, instead relying on county sheriffs, constables and night watchmen to enforce local ordinances.[64] Though sometimes compensated, often these positions were unpaid – held as a matter of civic duty. In these early decades, law enforcement officers were rarely armed with firearms, using billy clubs as their sole defensive weapons.[64] In serious emergencies, a posse comitatus, militia company, or group of vigilantesassumed law enforcement duties; these individuals were more likely than the local sheriff to be armed with firearms.[64] On May 8, 1792, Congress passed “[a]n act more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States” requiring:

    [E]ach and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia…[and] every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear, so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise, or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.[119]

    The act also gave specific instructions to domestic weapon manufacturers “that from and after five years from the passing of this act, muskets for arming the militia as herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound.”[119] In practice, private acquisition and maintenance of rifles and muskets meeting specifications and readily available for militia duty proved problematic; estimates of compliance ranged from 10 to 65 percent.[120] Compliance with the enrollment provisions was also poor. In addition to the exemptions granted by the law for custom-house officers and their clerks, post-officers and stage drivers employed in the care and conveyance of U.S. mail, ferrymen, export inspectors, pilots, merchant mariners and those deployed at sea in active service; state legislatures granted numerous exemptions under Section 2 of the Act, including exemptions for: clergy, conscientious objectors, teachers, students, and jurors. And though a number of able-bodied white men remained available for service, many simply did not show up for militia duty. Penalties for failure to appear were enforced sporadically and selectively.[121] None is mentioned in the legislation.[119]

    The Model 1795 Musket was made in the U.S. and used in the War of 1812

    The first test of the militia system occurred in July 1794, when a group of disaffected Pennsylvania farmers rebelled against federal tax collectors whom they viewed as illegitimate tools of tyrannical power.[122] Attempts by the four adjoining states to raise a militia for nationalization to suppress the insurrection proved inadequate. When officials resorted to drafting men, they faced bitter resistance. Forthcoming soldiers consisted primarily of draftees or paid substitutes as well as poor enlistees lured by enlistment bonuses. The officers, however, were of a higher quality, responding out of a sense of civic duty and patriotism, and generally critical of the rank and file.[64] Most of the 13,000 soldiers lacked the required weaponry; the war department provided nearly two-thirds of them with guns.[64] In October, President George Washington and General Harry Lee marched on the 7,000 rebels who conceded without fighting. The episode provoked criticism of the citizen militia and inspired calls for a universal militia. Secretary of War Henry Knox and Vice-President John Adams had lobbied Congress to establish federal armories to stock imported weapons and encourage domestic production.[64] Congress did subsequently pass “[a]n act for the erecting and repairing of Arsenals and Magazines” on April 2, 1794, two months prior to the insurrection.[123]Nevertheless, the militia continued to deteriorate and twenty years later, the militia’s poor condition contributed to several losses in the War of 1812, including the sacking of Washington, D.C., and the burning of the White House in 1814.[121]

    Scholarly commentary

    Early commentary

    William Rawle of Pennsylvania (left) was a lawyer and district attorney; Thomas M. Cooleyof Michigan (right) was an educator and judge.
    Joseph Story of Massachusetts (left) became a U.S. Supreme Court justice; Tench Coxe of Pennsylvania (right) was a political economistand delegate to the Continental Congress.

    Richard Henry Lee

    In May of 1788, Richard Henry Lee wrote (Wikiquote link) in Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer #169 or Letter XVIII regarding the definition of a “militia.”

    George Mason

    In June of 1788, George Mason addressed (Wikiquote link) the Virginia Ratifying Convention regarding a “militia.”

    Tench Coxe

    In 1792, Tench Coxe made the following point in a commentary on the Second Amendment:[124]

    As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.[125][126]

    Tucker/Blackstone

    The earliest published commentary on the Second Amendment by a major constitutional theorist was by St. George Tucker. He annotated a five-volume edition of Sir William Blackstone‘s Commentaries on the Laws of England, a critical legal reference for early American attorneys published in 1803.[127] Tucker wrote:

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep, and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Amendments to C. U. S. Art. 4. This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty … The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction. In England, the people have been disarmed, generally, under the specious pretext of preserving the game : a never failing lure to bring over the landed aristocracy to support any measure, under that mask, though calculated for very different purposes. True it is, their bill of rights seems at first view to counteract this policy: but the right of bearing arms is confined to protestants, and the words suitable to their condition and degree, have been interpreted to authorise the prohibition of keeping a gun or other engine for the destruction of game, to any farmer, or inferior tradesman, or other person not qualified to kill game. So that not one man in five hundred can keep a gun in his house without being subject to a penalty.[128]

    In footnotes 40 and 41 of the Commentaries, Tucker stated that the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment was not subject to the restrictions that were part of English law: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Amendments to C. U. S. Art. 4, and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government” and “whoever examines the forest, and game laws in the British code, will readily perceive that the right of keeping arms is effectually taken away from the people of England.” Blackstone himself also commented on English game laws, Vol. II, p. 412, “that the prevention of popular insurrections and resistance to government by disarming the bulk of the people, is a reason oftener meant than avowed by the makers of the forest and game laws.”[127] Blackstone discussed the right of self-defense in a separate section of his treatise on the common law of crimes. Tucker’s annotations for that latter section did not mention the Second Amendment but cited the standard works of English jurists such as Hawkins.[129]

    Further, Tucker criticized the English Bill of Rights for limiting gun ownership to the very wealthy, leaving the populace effectively disarmed, and expressed the hope that Americans “never cease to regard the right of keeping and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty.”[127]

    William Rawle

    Tucker’s commentary was soon followed, in 1825, by that of William Rawle in his landmark text, A View of the Constitution of the United States of America. Like Tucker, Rawle condemned England’s “arbitrary code for the preservation of game,” portraying that country as one that “boasts so much of its freedom,” yet provides a right to “protestant subjects only” that it “cautiously describ[es] to be that of bearing arms for their defence” and reserves for “[a] very small proportion of the people[.]”[130] In contrast, Rawle characterizes the second clause of the Second Amendment, which he calls the corollary clause, as a general prohibition against such capricious abuse of government power, declaring bluntly:

    No clause could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.[131]

    Speaking of the Second Amendment generally, Rawle said:[132]

    The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.[132][133]

    Rawle, long before the concept of incorporation was formally recognized by the courts, or Congress drafted the Fourteenth Amendment, contended that citizens could appeal to the Second Amendment should either the state or federal government attempt to disarm them. He did warn, however, that “this right [to bear arms] ought not…be abused to the disturbance of the public peace” and, paraphrasing Coke, observed: “An assemblage of persons with arms, for unlawful purpose, is an indictable offence, and even the carrying of arms abroad by a single individual, attended with circumstances giving just reason to fear that he purposes to make an unlawful use of them, would be sufficient cause to require him to give surety of the peace.”[130]

    Joseph Story

    Joseph Story articulated in his influential Commentaries on the Constitution[134] the orthodox view of the Second Amendment, which he viewed as the amendment’s clear meaning:

    The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpations and arbitrary power of rulers; and it will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well-regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burdens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our National Bill of Rights.[135][136]

    Story describes a militia as the “natural defence of a free country,” both against foreign foes, domestic revolts and usurpation by rulers. The book regards the militia as a “moral check” against both usurpation and the arbitrary use of power, while expressing distress at the growing indifference of the American people to maintaining such an organized militia, which could lead to the undermining of the protection of the Second Amendment.[136]

    Lysander Spooner

    Abolitionist Lysander Spooner, commenting on bills of rights, stated that the object of all bills of rights is to assert the rights of individuals against the government and that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was in support of the right to resist government oppression, as the only security against the tyranny of government lies in forcible resistance to injustice, for injustice will certainly be executed, unless forcibly resisted.[137] Spooner’s theory provided the intellectual foundation for John Brown and other radical abolitionists who believed that arming slaves was not only morally justified, but entirely consistent with the Second Amendment.[138] An express connection between this right and the Second Amendment was drawn by Lysander Spooner who commented that a “right of resistance” is protected by both the right to trial by jury and the Second Amendment.[139]

    The congressional debate on the proposed Fourteenth Amendment concentrated on what the Southern States were doing to harm the newly freed slaves, including disarming the former slaves.[140]

    Timothy Farrar

    In 1867, Judge Timothy Farrar published his Manual of the Constitution of the United States of America, which was written when the Fourteenth Amendment was “in the process of adoption by the State legislatures.”:[126][141]

    The States are recognized as governments, and, when their own constitutions permit, may do as they please; provided they do not interfere with the Constitution and laws of the United States, or with the civil or natural rights of the people recognized thereby, and held in conformity to them. The right of every person to “life, liberty, and property,” to “keep and bear arms,” to the “writ of habeas corpus” to “trial by jury,” and divers others, are recognized by, and held under, the Constitution of the United States, and cannot be infringed by individuals or even by the government itself.

    Judge Thomas Cooley

    Judge Thomas Cooley, perhaps the most widely read constitutional scholar of the nineteenth century, wrote extensively about this amendment,[142][143] and he explained in 1880 how the Second Amendment protected the “right of the people”:

    It might be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been elsewhere explained, consists of those persons who, under the law, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon. But the law may make provision for the enrolment of all who are fit to perform military duty, or of a small number only, or it may wholly omit to make any provision at all; and if the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of this guaranty might be defeated altogether by the action or neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms; and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose.[144]

    Late 20th century commentary

    Assortment of 20th century handguns

    In the latter half of the 20th century, there was considerable debate over whether the Second Amendment protected an individual right or a collective right.[145] The debate centered on whether the prefatory clause (“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State”) declared the amendment’s only purpose or merely announced a purpose to introduce the operative clause (“the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”). Scholars advanced three competing theoretical models for how the prefatory clause should be interpreted.[146]

    The first, known as the “states’ rights” or “collective right” model, held that the Second Amendment does not apply to individuals; rather, it recognizes the right of each state to arm its militia. Under this approach, citizens “have no right to keep or bear arms, but the states have a collective right to have the National Guard”.[126] Advocates of collective rights models argued that the Second Amendment was written to prevent the federal government from disarming state militias, rather than to secure an individual right to possess firearms.[147] Prior to 2001, every circuit court decision that interpreted the Second Amendment endorsed the “collective right” model.[148][149] However, beginning with the Fifth Circuit’s opinion United States v. Emerson in 2001, some circuit courts recognized that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms.[150]

    The second, known as the “sophisticated collective right model”, held that the Second Amendment recognizes some limited individual right. However, this individual right could only be exercised by actively participating members of a functioning, organized state militia.[151][152] Some scholars have argued that the “sophisticated collective rights model” is, in fact, the functional equivalent of the “collective rights model.”[153] Other commentators have observed that prior to Emerson, five circuit courts specifically endorsed the “sophisticated collective right model”.[154]

    The third, known as the “standard model”, held that the Second Amendment recognized the personal right of individuals to keep and bear arms.[126] Supporters of this model argued that “although the first clause may describe a general purpose for the amendment, the second clause is controlling and therefore the amendment confers an individual right ‘of the people’ to keep and bear arms”.[155] Additionally, scholars who favored this model argued the “absence of founding-era militias mentioned in the Amendment’s preamble does not render it a ‘dead letter’ because the preamble is a ‘philosophical declaration’ safeguarding militias and is but one of multiple ‘civic purposes’ for which the Amendment was enacted”.[156]

    Under both of the collective right models, the opening phrase was considered essential as a pre-condition for the main clause.[157] These interpretations held that this was a grammar structure that was common during that era[158] and that this grammar dictated that the Second Amendment protected a collective right to firearms to the extent necessary for militia duty.[159] However, under the standard model, the opening phrase was believed to be prefatory or amplifying to the operative clause. The opening phrase was meant as a non-exclusive example – one of many reasons for the amendment.[45] This interpretation is consistent with the position that the Second Amendment protects a modified individual right.[160]

    The question of a collective right versus an individual right was progressively resolved in favor of the individual rights model, beginning with the Fifth Circuit ruling in United States v. Emerson (2001), along with the Supreme Court’s rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller(2008), and McDonald v. Chicago (2010). In Heller, the Supreme Court resolved any remaining circuit splits by ruling that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.[161] Although the Second Amendment is the only Constitutional amendment with a prefatory clause, such linguistic constructions were widely used elsewhere in the late eighteenth century.[162]

    Meaning of “well regulated militia”

    The term “regulated” means “disciplined” or “trained”.[163] In Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that “[t]he adjective ‘well-regulated’ implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.”[164]

    In the year prior to the drafting of the Second Amendment, in Federalist No. 29 Alexander Hamilton wrote the following about “organizing”, “disciplining”, “arming”, and “training” of the militia as specified in the enumerated powers:

    If a well regulated militia be the most natural defence of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security … confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority … [but] reserving to the states … the authority of training the militia … A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss … Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the People at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.[76]

    Justice Scalia, writing for the Court in Heller: “In Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. 243, 251 (1846), the Georgia Supreme Court construed the Second Amendment as protecting the ‘natural right of self-defence’ and therefore struck down a ban on carrying pistols openly. Its opinion perfectly captured the way in which the operative clause of the Second Amendment furthers the purpose announced in the prefatory clause, in continuity with the English right”:

    Nor is the right involved in this discussion less comprehensive or valuable: “The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is, that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right, originally belonging to our forefathers, trampled under foot by Charles I. and his two wicked sons and successors, reestablished by the revolution of 1688, conveyed to this land of liberty by the colonists, and finally incorporated conspicuously in our own Magna Charta! And Lexington, Concord, Camden, River Raisin, Sandusky, and the laurel-crowned field of New Orleans, plead eloquently for this interpretation! And the acquisition of Texas may be considered the full fruits of this great constitutional right.[165]

    Justice Stevens in dissent:

    When each word in the text is given full effect, the Amendment is most naturally read to secure to the people a right to use and possess arms in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia. So far as appears, no more than that was contemplated by its drafters or is encompassed within its terms. Even if the meaning of the text were genuinely susceptible to more than one interpretation, the burden would remain on those advocating a departure from the purpose identified in the preamble and from settled law to come forward with persuasive new arguments or evidence. The textual analysis offered by respondent and embraced by the Court falls far short of sustaining that heavy burden. And the Court’s emphatic reliance on the claim “that the Second Amendment … codified a pre-existing right,” ante, at 19 [refers to p. 19 of the opinion], is of course beside the point because the right to keep and bear arms for service in a state militia was also a pre-existing right.[166]

    Meaning of “the right of the People”

    Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority in Heller, stated:

    Nowhere else in the Constitution does a “right” attributed to “the people” refer to anything other than an individual right. What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention “the people,” the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community, not an unspecified subset. This contrasts markedly with the phrase “the militia” in the prefatory clause. As we will describe below, the “militia” in colonial America consisted of a subset of “the people” – those who were male, able bodied, and within a certain age range. Reading the Second Amendment as protecting only the right to “keep and bear Arms” in an organized militia therefore fits poorly with the operative clause’s description of the holder of that right as “the people”.[167]

    An earlier case, United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez (1990), dealt with nonresident aliens and the Fourth Amendment, but led to a discussion of who are “the People” when referred to elsewhere in the Constitution:[168]

    The Second Amendment protects “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments provide that certain rights and powers are retained by and reserved to “the people” … While this textual exegesis is by no means conclusive, it suggests that “the people” protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community.

    There were several different reasons for this amendment, and protecting militias was only one of them; if protecting militias had been the only reason then the amendment could have instead referred to “the right of the militia to keep and bear arms” instead of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”.[169][170]

    Meaning of “keep and bear arms”

    In Heller the majority rejected the view that the term “to bear arms” implies only the military use of arms:

    Before addressing the verbs “keep” and “bear,” we interpret their object: “Arms.” The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity. Thus, the most natural reading of “keep Arms” in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.” At the time of the founding, as now, to “bear” meant to “carry.” In numerous instances, “bear arms” was unambiguously used to refer to the carrying of weapons outside of an organized militia. Nine state constitutional provisions written in the 18th century or the first two decades of the 19th, which enshrined a right of citizens “bear arms in defense of themselves and the state” again, in the most analogous linguistic context – that “bear arms” was not limited to the carrying of arms in a militia. The phrase “bear Arms” also had at the time of the founding an idiomatic meaning that was significantly different from its natural meaning: “to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight” or “to wage war.” But it unequivocally bore that idiomatic meaning only when followed by the preposition “against,”. Every example given by petitioners’ amici for the idiomatic meaning of “bear arms” from the founding period either includes the preposition “against” or is not clearly idiomatic. In any event, the meaning of “bear arms” that petitioners and Justice Stevens propose is not even the (sometimes) idiomatic meaning. Rather, they manufacture a hybrid definition, whereby “bear arms” connotes the actual carrying of arms (and therefore is not really an idiom) but only in the service of an organized militia. No dictionary has ever adopted that definition, and we have been apprised of no source that indicates that it carried that meaning at the time of the founding. Worse still, the phrase “keep and bear Arms” would be incoherent. The word “Arms” would have two different meanings at once: “weapons” (as the object of “keep”) and (as the object of “bear”) one-half of an idiom. It would be rather like saying “He filled and kicked the bucket” to mean “He filled the bucket and died.”[167]

    In a dissent, joined by Justices SouterGinsburg, and Breyer, Justice Stevens said:

    The Amendment’s text does justify a different limitation: the “right to keep and bear arms” protects only a right to possess and use firearms in connection with service in a state-organized militia. Had the Framers wished to expand the meaning of the phrase “bear arms” to encompass civilian possession and use, they could have done so by the addition of phrases such as “for the defense of themselves”.[171]

    Supreme Court cases

    In the century following the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the intended meaning and application of the Second Amendment drew less interest than it does in modern times.[172] The vast majority of regulation was done by states, and the first case law on weapons regulation dealt with state interpretations of the Second Amendment. A notable exception to this general rule was Houston v. Moore18 U.S. 1 (1820), where the U.S. Supreme Court mentioned the Second Amendment in an aside.[173] In the Dred Scott decision, the opinion of the court stated that if African Americans were considered U.S. citizens, “It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right…to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”[174]

    State and federal courts historically have used two models to interpret the Second Amendment: the “individual rights” model, which holds that individuals hold the right to bear arms, and the “collective rights” model, which holds that the right is dependent on militia membership. The “collective rights” model has been rejected by the Supreme Court, in favor of the individual rights model.

    The Supreme Court’s primary Second Amendment cases include United States v. Miller, (1939); District of Columbia v. Heller (2008); and McDonald v. Chicago (2010).

    Heller and McDonald supported the individual rights model, under which the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms much as the First Amendment protects the right to free speech. Under this model, the militia is composed of members who supply their own arms and ammunition. This is generally recognized as the method by which militias have historically been armed, as the Supreme Court in Miller said:

    The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. ‘A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.’ And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.[175]

    Of the collective rights model that holds that the right to arms is based on militia membership, the Supreme Court in Heller said:

    A purposive qualifying phrase that contradicts the word or phrase it modifies is unknown this side of the looking glass (except, apparently, in some courses on Linguistics). If “bear arms” means, as we think, simply the carrying of arms, a modifier can limit the purpose of the carriage (“for the purpose of self-defense” or “to make war against the King”). But if “bear arms” means, as the petitioners and the dissent think, the carrying of arms only for military purposes, one simply cannot add “for the purpose of killing game.” The right “to carry arms in the militia for the purpose of killing game” is worthy of the mad hatter.[176]

    United States v. Cruikshank

    In the Reconstruction Era case of United States v. Cruikshank92 U.S. 542 (1875), the defendants were white men who had killed more than sixty black people in what was known as the Colfax massacre and had been charged with conspiring to prevent blacks from exercising their right to bear arms. The Court dismissed the charges, holding that the Bill of Rights restricted Congress but not private individuals. The Court concluded, “[f]or their protection in its enjoyment, the people must look to the States.”[177]

    The Court stated that “[t]he Second Amendment…has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government ……”[178] Likewise, the Court held that there was no state action in this case, and therefore the Fourteenth Amendment was not applicable:

    The fourteenth amendment prohibits a State from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; but this adds nothing to the rights of one citizen as against another.[179]

    Thus, the Court held a federal anti-Ku-Klux-Klan statute to be unconstitutional as applied in that case.[180]

    Presser v. Illinois

    In Presser v. Illinois116 U.S. 252 (1886), Herman Presser headed a German-American paramilitary shooting organization and was arrested for leading a parade group of 400 men, training and drilling with military weapons with the declared intention to fight, through the streets of Chicago as a violation of Illinois law that prohibited public drilling and parading in military style without a permit from the governor.[64][181]

    At his trial, Presser argued that the State of Illinois had violated his Second Amendment rights. The Supreme Court reaffirmed Cruikshank, and also held that the Second Amendment prevented neither the States nor Congress from barring private militias that parade with arms; such a right “cannot be claimed as a right independent of law.” This decision upheld the States’ authority to regulate the militia and that citizens had no right to create their own militias or to own weapons for semi-military purposes.[64] However the court said: “A state cannot prohibit the people therein from keeping and bearing arms to an extent that would deprive the United States of the protection afforded by them as a reserve military force.”[182]

    Miller v. Texas

    In Miller v. Texas153 U.S. 535 (1894), Franklin Miller was convicted and sentenced to be executed for shooting a police officer to death with an illegally carried handgun in violation of Texas law. Miller sought to have his conviction overturned, claiming his Second Amendment rights were violated and that the Bill of Rights should be applied to state law. The Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment did not apply to state laws such as the Texas law:[64] “As the proceedings were conducted under the ordinary forms of criminal prosecutions there certainly was no denial of due process of law.”[183]

    Robertson v. Baldwin

    In Robertson v. Baldwin165 U.S. 275 (1897), the Court stated in dicta that laws regulating concealed arms did not infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms and thus were not a violation of the Second Amendment:

    The law is perfectly well settled that the first ten amendments to the Constitution, commonly known as the “Bill of Rights,” were not intended to lay down any novel principles of government, but simply to embody certain guaranties and immunities which we had inherited from our English ancestors, and which had, from time immemorial, been subject to certain well recognized exceptions arising from the necessities of the case. In incorporating these principles into the fundamental law, there was no intention of disregarding the exceptions, which continued to be recognized as if they had been formally expressed. Thus, the freedom of speech and of the press (Art. I) does not permit the publication of libels, blasphemous or indecent articles, or other publications injurious to public morals or private reputation; the right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons.[184]

    United States v. Miller

    In United States v. Miller307 U.S. 174 (1939), the Supreme Court rejected a Second Amendment challenge to the National Firearms Act prohibiting the interstate transportation of unregistered Title II weapons:

    Jack Miller and Frank Layton “did unlawfully … transport in interstate commerce from … Claremore … Oklahoma to … Siloam Springs … Arkansas a certain firearm … a double barrel … shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches in length … at the time of so transporting said firearm in interstate commerce … not having registered said firearm as required by Section 1132d of Title 26, United States Code … and not having in their possession a stamp-affixed written order … as provided by Section 1132C …”[185]

    In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice McReynolds, the Supreme Court stated “the objection that the Act usurps police power reserved to the States is plainly untenable.”[186] As the Court explained:

    In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to any preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.[187]

    Gun rights advocates claim that the Court in Miller ruled that the Second Amendment protected the right to keep arms that are part of “ordinary military equipment.”[188] They also claim that the Court did not consider the question of whether the sawed-off shotgun in the case would be an applicable weapon for personal defense, instead looking solely at the weapon’s suitability for the “common defense.”[189] Law professor Andrew McClurg states, “The only certainty about Miller is that it failed to give either side a clear-cut victory. Most modern scholars recognize this fact.”[190]

    District of Columbia v. Heller

    Judgment

    The Justices who decided Heller

    According to the syllabus prepared by the U.S. Supreme Court Reporter of Decisions,[191] in District of Columbia v. Heller554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Supreme Court held:[191][192]

    1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. pp. 2–53.[191][192]

    (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. pp. 2–22.[191][192]
    (b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved. pp. 22–28.[191][192]
    (c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms-bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. pp. 28–30.[191][192]
    (d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. pp. 30–32.[191][192]
    (e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. pp. 32–47.[191][192]
    (f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. pp. 47–54.[191][192]
    2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Millers holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. pp. 54–56.[191][192]
    3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition – in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute – would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. pp. 56–64.[192]

    There are similar legal summaries of the Supreme Court’s findings in Heller.[193][194][195][196][197][198] For example, the Illinois Supreme Court in People v. Aguilar (2013), summed up Heller’s findings and reasoning:

    In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Supreme Court undertook its first-ever “in-depth examination” of the second amendment’s meaning Id. at 635. After a lengthy historical discussion, the Court ultimately concluded that the second amendment “guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation” (id. at 592); that “central to” this right is “the inherent right of self-defense” (id. at 628); that “the home” is “where the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute” (id. at 628); and that, “above all other interests,” the second amendment elevates “the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home” (id. at 635). Based on this understanding, the Court held that a District of Columbia law banning handgun possession in the home violated the second amendment. Id. at 635.[199]

    Notes and analysis

    Heller has been widely described as a landmark decision.[200][201][202][203][204] To clarify that its ruling does not invalidate a broad range of existing firearm laws, the majority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, said:[205]

    Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited … Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.[206]

    The Court’s statement that the right is limited has been widely discussed by lower courts and the media.[207][208][209][210][211] The majority opinion also said that the amendment’s prefatory clause (referencing the “militia”) serves to clarify the operative clause (referencing “the people”), but does not limit the scope of the operative clause, because “the ‘militia’ in colonial America consisted of a subset of ‘the people’….”[212]

    Justice Stevens’ dissenting opinion, which was joined by the three other dissenters, said:

    The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a “collective right” or an “individual right.” Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals. But a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right.[213]

    Stevens went on to say the following:

    The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia. It was a response to concerns raised during the ratification of the Constitution that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several States. Neither the text of the Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms. Specifically, there is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.[214]

    This dissent called the majority opinion “strained and unpersuasive” and said that the right to possess a firearm exists only in relation to the militia and that the D.C. laws constitute permissible regulation. In the majority opinion, Justice Stevens’ interpretation of the phrase “to keep and bear arms” was referred to as a “hybrid” definition that Stevens purportedly chose in order to avoid an “incoherent” and “[g]rotesque” idiomatic meeting.[214]

    Justice Breyer, in his own dissent joined by Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg, stated that the entire Court subscribes to the proposition that “the amendment protects an ‘individual’ right – i.e., one that is separately possessed, and may be separately enforced, by each person on whom it is conferred”.[215]

    Regarding the term “well regulated”, the majority opinion said, “The adjective ‘well-regulated’ implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.”[164] The majority opinion quoted Spooner from The Unconstitutionality of Slavery as saying that the right to bear arms was necessary for those who wanted to take a stand against slavery.[216] The majority opinion also stated that:

    A purposive qualifying phrase that contradicts the word or phrase it modifies is unknown this side of the looking glass (except, apparently, in some courses on Linguistics). If “bear arms” means, as we think, simply the carrying of arms, a modifier can limit the purpose of the carriage (“for the purpose of self-defense” or “to make war against the King”). But if “bear arms” means, as the petitioners and the dissent think, the carrying of arms only for military purposes, one simply cannot add “for the purpose of killing game.” The right “to carry arms in the militia for the purpose of killing game” is worthy of the mad hatter.[217]

    The dissenting justices were not persuaded by this argument.[218]

    Reaction to Heller has varied, with many sources giving focus to the ruling referring to itself as being the first in Supreme Court history to read the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right. The majority opinion, authored by Justice Scalia, gives explanation of the majority legal reasoning behind this decision.[192] The majority opinion made clear that the recent ruling did not foreclose the Court’s prior interpretations given in United States v. CruikshankPresser v. Illinois, and United States v. Miller though these earlier rulings did not limit the right to keep and bear arms solely to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia (i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes).[192]

    Heller pertained to three District of Columbia ordinances involving restrictions on firearms amounting to a total ban. These three ordinances were a ban on handgun registration, a requirement that all firearms in a home be either disassembled or have a trigger lock, and licensing requirement that prohibits carrying an unlicensed firearm in the home, such as from one room to another.

    Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition – in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute – would fail constitutional muster…. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the District’s licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumed that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and did not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.”[192]

    Justice Ginsburg has been a vocal critic of Heller. Speaking in an interview on public radio station WNYC, she called the Second Amendment “outdated,” saying:

    When we no longer need people to keep muskets in their home, then the Second Amendment has no function … If the Court had properly interpreted the Second Amendment, the Court would have said that amendment was very important when the nation was new; it gave a qualified right to keep and bear arms, but it was for one purpose only – and that was the purpose of having militiamen who were able to fight to preserve the nation.[219]

    McDonald v. City of Chicago

    On June 28, 2010, the Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), held that the Second Amendment was incorporated, saying that “[i]t is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.”[220] This means that the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.[14] It also remanded a case regarding a Chicago handgun prohibition. Four of the five Justices in the majority voted to do so by way of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, while the fifth Justice, Clarence Thomas, voted to do so through the amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause.[221]

    Justice Thomas noted that the Privileges or Immunities Clause refers to “citizens” whereas the Due Process Clause refers more broadly to any “person”, and therefore Thomas reserved the issue of non-citizens for later decision.[222] After McDonald, many questions about the Second Amendment remain unsettled, such as whether non-citizens are protected through the Equal Protection Clause.[222]

    In People v. Aguilar (2013), the Illinois Supreme Court summed up the central Second Amendment findings in McDonald:

    Two years later, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. ___, ___, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3050 (2010), the Supreme Court held that the second amendment right recognized in Heller is applicable to the states through the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment. In so holding, the Court reiterated that “the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense” (id. at ___, 130 S. Ct. at 3026); that “individual self-defense is ‘the central component’ of the Second Amendment right” (emphasis in original) (id. at ___, 130 S. Ct. at 3036 (quoting Heller, 554 U.S. at 599)); and that “[s]elf-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day” (id. at ___, 130 S. Ct. at 3036).[199]

    Caetano v. Massachusetts

    On March 21, 2016, in a per curiam decision the Court vacated a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision upholding the conviction of a woman who carried a stun gun for self defense. The Court reiterated that the Heller and McDonald decisions saying that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding”, that “the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States”, and that the protection is not restricted to “only those weapons useful in warfare”.[15][223]

    United States Courts of Appeals decisions before and after Heller

    Before Heller

    Until District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), United States v. Miller (1939) had been the only Supreme Court decision that “tested a congressional enactment against [the Second Amendment].”[224] Miller did not directly mention either a collective or individual right, but for the 62-year period from Miller until the Fifth Circuit’s decision in United States v. Emerson (2001), federal courts recognized only the collective right,[225] with “courts increasingly referring to one another’s holdings…without engaging in any appreciably substantive legal analysis of the issue”.[224]

    Emerson changed this by addressing the question in depth, with the Fifth Circuit determining that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.[224] Subsequently, the Ninth Circuit conflicted with Emerson in Silviera v. Lockyer, and the D.C. Circuit supported Emerson in Parker v. District of Columbia.[224] Parker evolved into District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.

    After Heller

    Since Heller, the United States courts of appeals have ruled on many Second Amendment challenges to convictions and gun control laws.[226][227] The following are post-Heller cases, divided by Circuit, along with summary notes:

    D.C. Circuit

    • Heller v. District of Columbia, Civil Action No. 08-1289 (RMU), No. 23., 25 – On March 26, 2010, the D.C. Circuit denied the follow up appeal of Dick Heller who requested the court to overturn the new District of Columbia gun control ordinances newly enacted after the 2008 Heller ruling. The court refused to do so, stating that the firearms registration procedures, the prohibition on assault weapons, and the prohibition on large capacity ammunition feeding devices were found to not violate the Second Amendment.[228] On September 18, 2015, the D.C. Circuit ruled that requiring gun owners to re-register a gun every three years, make a gun available for inspection or pass a test about firearms laws violated the Second Amendment, although the court upheld requirements that gun owners be fingerprinted, photographed, and complete a safety training course.[229]
    • Wrenn v. District of Columbia, No. 16-7025 – On July 25, 2017, the D.C. Circuit ruled that a District of Columbia regulation that limited conceal-carry licenses only to those individuals who could demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the chief of police, that they have a “good reason” to carry a handgun in public was essentially designed to prevent the exercise of the right to bear arms by most District residents and so violated the Second Amendment by amounting to a complete prohibition on firearms possession.[230]

    First Circuit

    • United States v. Rene E., 583 F.3d 8 (1st Cir. 2009) – On August 31, 2009, the First Circuit affirmed the conviction of a juvenile for the illegal possession of a handgun as a juvenile, under 18 U.S.C. § 922(x)(2)(A) and 18 U.S.C. § 5032, rejecting the defendant’s argument that the federal law violated his Second Amendment rights under Heller. The court cited “the existence of a longstanding tradition of prohibiting juveniles from both receiving and possessing handguns” and observed “the federal ban on juvenile possession of handguns is part of a longstanding practice of prohibiting certain classes of individuals from possessing firearms – those whose possession poses a particular danger to the public.”[231]

    Second Circuit

    • Kachalsky v. County of Westchester, 11-3942 – On November 28, 2012, the Second Circuit upheld New York’s may-issue concealed carry permit law, ruling that “the proper cause requirement is substantially related to New York’s compelling interests in public safety and crime prevention.”[232]

    Fourth Circuit

    • United States v. Hall, 551 F.3d 257 (4th Cir. 2009) – On August 4, 2008, the Fourth Circuit upheld as constitutional the prohibition of possession of a concealed weapon without a permit.[233]
    • United States v. Chester, 628 F.3d 673 (4th Cir. 2010) – On December 30, 2010, the Fourth Circuit vacated William Chester’s conviction for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9).[234] The court found that the district court erred in perfunctorily relying on Heller’s exception for “presumptively lawful” gun regulations made in accordance with “longstanding prohibitions”.[235]
    • Kolbe v. Hogan, No. 14-1945 (4th Cir. 2016) – On February 4, 2016, the Fourth Circuit vacated a U.S. District Court decision upholding a Maryland law banning high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic rifles, ruling that the District Court was wrong to have applied intermediate scrutiny. The Fourth Circuit ruled that the higher strict scrutiny standard is to be applied on remand.[236] On March 4, 2016, the court agreed to rehear the case en banc on May 11, 2016.[237]

    Fifth Circuit

    • United States v. Dorosan, 350 Fed. Appx. 874 (5th Cir. 2009) – On June 30, 2008, the Fifth Circuit upheld 39 C.F.R. 232.1(l), which bans weapons on postal property, sustaining restrictions on guns outside the home, specifically in private vehicles parked in employee parking lots of government facilities, despite Second Amendment claims that were dismissed. The employee’s Second Amendment rights were not infringed since the employee could have instead parked across the street in a public parking lot, instead of on government property.[238][239]
    • United States v. Bledsoe, 334 Fed. Appx. 771 (5th Cir. 2009) – The Fifth Circuit affirmed the decision of a U.S. District Court decision in Texas, upholding 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6), which prohibits “straw purchases.” A “straw purchase” occurs when someone eligible to purchase a firearm buys one for an ineligible person. Additionally, the court rejected the request for a strict scrutiny standard of review.[233]
    • United States v. Scroggins, 551 F.3d 257 (5th Cir. 2010) – On March 4, 2010, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the conviction of Ernie Scroggins for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). The court noted that it had, prior to Heller, identified the Second Amendment as providing an individual right to bear arms, and had already, likewise, determined that restrictions on felon ownership of firearms did not violate this right. Moreover, it observed that Heller did not affect the longstanding prohibition of firearm possession by felons.

    Sixth Circuit

    • Tyler v. Hillsdale Co. Sheriff’s Dept., 775 F.3d 308 (6th Cir. 2014) – On December 18, 2014, the Sixth Circuit ruled that strict scrutiny should be applied to firearms regulations when regulations burden “conduct that falls within the scope of the Second Amendment right, as historically understood.”[240] At issue in this case was whether the Second Amendment is violated by a provision of the Gun Control Act of 1968 that prohibits possession of a firearm by a person who has been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital. The court did not rule on the provision’s constitutionality, instead remanding the case to the United States district court that has earlier heard this case.[241] On April 21, 2015, the Sixth Circuit voted to rehear the case en banc, thereby vacating the December 18 opinion.[242]

    Seventh Circuit

    • United States v. Skoien, 587 F.3d 803 (7th Cir. 2009) – Steven Skoien, a Wisconsin man convicted of two misdemeanor domestic violence convictions, appealed his conviction based on the argument that the prohibition violated the individual rights to bear arms, as described in Heller. After initial favorable rulings in lower court based on a standard of intermediate scrutiny,[243] on July 13, 2010, the Seventh Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled 10–1 against Skoien and reinstated his conviction for a gun violation, citing the strong relation between the law in question and the government objective.[243] Skoien was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for the gun violation, and will thus likely be subject to a lifetime ban on gun ownership.[244][245] Editorials favoring gun rights sharply criticized this ruling as going too far with the enactment of a lifetime gun ban,[246] while editorials favoring gun regulations praised the ruling as “a bucket of cold water thrown on the ‘gun rights’ celebration”.[247]
    • Moore v. Madigan (Circuit docket 12-1269)[248] – On December 11, 2012, the Seventh Circuit ruled that the Second Amendment protected a right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense. This was an expansion of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Heller and McDonald, each of which referred only to such a right in the home. Based on this ruling, the court declared Illinois’s ban on the concealed carrying of firearms to be unconstitutional. The court stayed this ruling for 180 days, so Illinois could enact replacement legislation.[249][250][251] On February 22, 2013, a petition for rehearing en banc was denied by a vote of 5-4.[252] On July 9, 2013, the Illinois General Assembly, overriding Governor Quinn’s veto, passed a law permitting the concealed carrying of firearms.[253]

    Ninth Circuit

    • Nordyke v. King, 2012 WL 1959239 (9th Cir. 2012) – On July 29, 2009, the Ninth Circuit vacated an April 20 panel decision and reheard the case en banc on September 24, 2009.[254][255][256][257] The April 20 decision had held that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments, while upholding an Alameda County, California ordinance that makes it a crime to bring a gun or ammunition on to, or possess either while on, county property.[258][259] The en banc panel remanded the case to the three-judge panel. On May 2, 2011, that panel ruled that intermediate scrutiny was the correct standard by which to judge the ordinance’s constitutionality and remanded the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.[260] On November 28, 2011, the Ninth Circuit vacated the panel’s May 2 decision and agreed to rehear the case en banc.[261][262] On April 4, 2012, the panel sent the case to mediation.[263] The panel dismissed the case on June 1, 2012, but only after Alameda County officials changed their interpretation of the challenged ordinance. Under the new interpretation, gun shows may take place on county property under the ordinance’s exception for “events”, subject to restrictions regarding the display and handling of firearms.[264]
    • Teixeira v. County of Alameda, (Circuit docket 13-17132) – On May 16, 2016, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the right to keep and bear arms included being able to buy and sell firearms. The court ruled that a county law prohibiting a gun store being within 500 feet of a “[r]esidentially zoned district; elementary, middle or high school; pre-school or day care center; other firearms sales business; or liquor stores or establishments in which liquor is served” violated the Second Amendment.[265]

    See also

    Notes and citations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

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Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

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Story 1: “Obamacare Failed” Says President Trump — Wants Obamacare Completely  Repealed and Replaced Sooner or Later — Obama Lied To American People — Does President Trump Understand The Relationship Between Pre-existing Conditions, Guaranteed Issue, Community Rating and Adverse Selection — Many Doubt Trump Really Understands The Relationship That Is The Real Reason Obamacare Was Designed To Fail From The Beginning So It Could Be Replaced By Single Payer Government Health Care — Videos

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Milton Friedman on universal health care

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The Pronk Pops Show 826, January 27, 2017, Story 1: March for Life 2017, Washington D.C. — Vice President Mike Pence, Counselor to the President Kelllyanne Conway and Representative Mia Love Speeches — Voices for The Voiceless — Celebrating Life — Videos

Posted on January 27, 2017. Filed under: Abortion, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, History, House of Representatives, Human, Law, Life, Medicine, Mike Pence, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Security, Senate, Technology, Terror, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show 826, January 27, 2017, Story 1: March for Life 2017, Washington D.C. — Vice President Mike Pence, Counselor to the President Kelllyanne Conway and Representative Mia Love Speeches — Voices for The Voiceless — Celebrating Life — Videos

“Never tire of firmly speaking out in defense of life from its conception and do not be deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with courageous determination. Christ is with you: be not afraid!”

~Pope John Paul II

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WATCH LIVE: Vice President Mike Pence speaks at March for Life

President Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway Speech at March for Life -Washington,DC

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.”

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For the first time in the history of the March For Life a sitting Vice President addressed the audience.

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Kellyanne Conway, highest-ranking woman in President-elect Trump’s administration, speaks speak at the 44th annual March for Life, the world’s largest annual pro-life demonstration, in Washington, D.C. on January 27th, 2017

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Pence fires up anti-abortion activists in Washington march

WASHINGTON: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence fired up tens of thousands of anti-abortion activists who gathered on Friday for the 44th March for Life, celebrating a political shift in their favor with the election of President Donald Trump.

“Life is winning again in America,” Pence told the demonstrators on the National Mall, near where Trump was sworn in a week ago before hundreds of thousands.

The March for Life took place in the same area where even more massive crowds flooded Washington a day after Trump’s inauguration in favor of women’s rights, including abortion rights.

Pence, a longtime hero of the anti-abortion movement, is the most senior government official to speak in person at the rally, organizers said. As governor of Indiana, he signed what were seen as some of the nation’s strictest abortion laws.

Pence praised “the election of pro-life majorities in the Congress of the United States of America,” Trump’s upcoming nomination of an anti-abortion Supreme Court justice, and the president’s reinstatement on Monday of a policy that cuts off U.S. funding to healthcare providers that promote or provide abortions overseas.

“It’s the best day I’ve ever seen for the March of Life,” he said.

Trump senior aide Kellyanne Conway was one of many women to address the demonstrators before they started their march from the Mall to the U.S. Supreme Court, about 1.5 miles (2 km) away.

“We hear you. We see you. We respect you,” Conway said. “And we look forward to working with you.”

Protesters hoisted signs saying “Choose life,” “I am the pro-life generation,” and “Equal Rights For Unborn People.”

A Christian rock band warmed up the crowd for Pence, leading people in hand-clapping at the rally within sight of the White House.

“We’re here to stand up for the unborn because no one else can, and having Donald Trump in the White House makes everyone more enthusiastic,” said Jim Kolar, 59, of West Palm Beach, Florida.

Organizers had no immediate estimate of crowd size, but the march to the Supreme Court after the rally filled the street for many blocks amid chants of “We love babies, yes, we do, we love babies, how ’bout you?”

“This is good, this is a good turnout,” said the Rev. Kevin Cusick, a Catholic priest from Benedict, Maryland, who has been coming to the marches off and on for more than 40 years.

The March for Life is held each year close to the anniversary of the court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in 1973.

Trump has said Roe v. Wade should be overturned and has vowed to appoint an anti-abortion justice to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year.

He also has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood, which draws the ire of many Republicans because it provides abortions, along with other services.

Abortion rights supporters say cutting off funding for abortion providers will prevent poor women from getting other critical heath care and birth control that could prevent unwanted pregnancies.

The rally comes as the number of U.S. abortions has fallen to a record low. The Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health and rights organization, said last week that it dropped below 1 million in 2013 for the first time since 1975.

A Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday showed that 64 percent of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 31 percent said it should be illegal in all or most cases.

Anti-abortion forces are often inspired by a religious conviction that life begins at conception and see abortion as murder.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson and Will Dunham; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bill Trott and Lisa Shumaker)

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/pence-fires-up-anti-abortion-activists-in-huge-washington-march/3472882.html

Anti-abortion activists to ‘march for life’ in Washington

By Ian Simpson

WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Anti-abortion activists gathered in Washington on Friday for the 44th March for Life, buoyed by President Donald Trump’s pledge to restrict the procedure and Vice President Mike Pence’s plan to address the marchers.

Organizers expect tens of thousands of supporters to converge on the National Mall for the march, which is held each year close to the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in 1973.

Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican and longtime hero of the anti-abortion movement, is due to be the most senior government official ever to speak in person at the rally, organizers said. As governor of Indiana, Pence signed what were seen as some of the nation’s strictest abortion laws.

Senior Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and several Republican lawmakers also are scheduled to speak.

Rally participants will march from the Mall about 1.5 miles (2 km) to the Supreme Court.

The March for Life comes six days after Washington was flooded by hundreds of thousands of anti-Trump protesters, many of them backers of abortion rights. That protest came a day after Trump was sworn in as president.

Trump has said Roe v. Wade should be overturned and has vowed to appoint an anti-abortion justice to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year.

He also has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood, which draws the ire of many Republicans because it provides abortions, along with other services.

In a speech to Republican lawmakers at a retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday, Trump noted that on Monday he reinstated a national policy banning U.S. aid to non-governmental organizations abroad that provide or “promote” abortion.

Trump, who has frequently accused the media of underestimating the crowd at his inauguration, predicted the size of the march crowd would be “300, 400, 500, 600,000 people.”

The rally comes as the number of U.S. abortions has fallen to a record low. The Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health and rights organization, said last week that it dropped below 1 million in 2013 for the first time since 1975.

The drop could be because of improved contraceptive practices as well as restrictive abortion laws, the institute said.

A Pew poll last year showed 57 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. (Reporting by Ian Simpson and Will Dunham; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Bill Trott)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4164408/Anti-abortion-activists-march-life-Washington.html#ixzz4X148c9E1

ANTI-ABORTION GROUPS HOLD TRIUMPHANT RALLY AFTER OBAMA YEARS

The politically ascendant anti-abortion movement gathered Friday for a triumphant rally on the National Mall, rejoicing at the end of an eight-year presidency that participants said was dismissive of their views.

Vice President Mike Pence told the crowd at the March for Life that anti-abortion policies were a top priority of the new administration, and President Donald Trump tweeted that the rally had his “full support.”

The March for Life is held every year in Washington to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. While no official crowd estimates were available, the turnout was clearly larger than in recent years, when abortion opponents had less political clout. Many thousands huddled in the shadow of the Washington Monument and stood in long lines outside security checkpoints made necessary by Pence’s appearance.

“We’ve come to a historic moment in the cause for life,” said Pence, the first vice president to address the rally. “Life is winning in America.”

Pence said ending taxpayer-funded abortion and choosing a Supreme Court justice in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia – a conservative Catholic who opposed abortion – are among the administration’s most important goals.

One of Trump’s first acts after taking office a week ago was to sign an executive order banning U.S. aid to foreign groups that provide abortions. Pence said more such actions would follow.

A budget provision known as the Hyde Amendment already bans federal funding for Medicaid coverage of most abortions. Conservatives would like to see the rule made into a permanent law.

Majority Republicans in the House and Senate would also like to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provided more than a third of the nation’s abortions in 2014. They also hope to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Trump has pledged to sign both measures if they reach his desk.

Many people at the march said they were encouraged by the early days of the Trump administration, even if they did not support him initially or disagreed with him on other issues.

Trump “was elected because of people who did not have a voice before. This past administration did not listen to us and did not even care,” said Glenn Miller, 60, a cabinet maker from Coventry, Connecticut, who was attending the march for the fourth time. “I wouldn’t say that I was a supporter of Donald Trump. I voted for him because I didn’t think I had a choice.”

Other participants said they felt the march was important this year because their voices were not represented at last week’s Women’s March on Washington, an anti-Trump demonstration that drew massive crowds in Washington and cities around the country. The women’s march included support for abortion rights in its mission statement and dropped an anti-abortion group as a partner.

Joi Hulecki, 63, a nurse practitioner from Orlando, Florida, said abortion-rights supporters wrongly portray the decision to terminate a pregnancy as empowering for women, when in fact women often feel pressured to have abortions and regret it later.

“We don’t want to judge them. We want to help them,” she said. “We consider ourselves pro-women too.”

The annual event was never expected to attract a crowd on the scale of the women’s march, which brought more than half a million people to Washington. Organizers said in their permit application that they expected 50,000 people, though they hoped for more.

“There’s been a lot of talk about numbers this past week,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life. “It’s hard to add up so many numbers after 44 years because there have been a lot of us.”

Mancini added that the most important number for marchers was 58 million, an estimate for the number of abortions performed in the United States since 1973.

Americans remain deeply divided on abortion. The latest Gallup survey, released last spring, found that 47 percent of Americans described themselves as pro-abortion rights and 46 percent as anti-abortion. It also found that 79 percent believed abortion should be legal in either some or all circumstances.

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that poll shows why abortion-rights supporters should not despair.

“The vast majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade and support the legal right to abortion,” Hogue said.

The March for Life, however, is running ads arguing that a majority of Americans support some restrictions on abortion and don’t believe it should be funded by tax dollars.

Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Trump, also addressed the rally and assured the crowd that Trump and Pence were on their side.

“Their decisive actions as president and vice president will further this cause,” she said.

Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols .

Kellyanne Conway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kellyanne Conway
Kellyanne Conway by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Counselor to the President
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by John Podesta (2015)
Personal details
Born Kellyanne Elizabeth Fitzpatrick
January 20, 1967 (age 50)
Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) George Conway
Children 4
Education Trinity Washington University
(BA)
George Washington University
(JD)

Kellyanne Elizabeth Conway (née Fitzpatrick; born January 20, 1967) is an American Republican campaign manager, strategist, pollster, and trusted advisor to President Donald Trump. She holds the title of Counselor to the President. She is president and CEO of The Polling Company Inc./Woman Trend.

In 2016, Conway endorsed Ted Cruz in the Republican presidential primaries and chaired a pro-Cruz political action committee, Keep the Promise I, which ran advertisements critical of then Republican candidate Donald Trump.[1][2] On July 1, 2016, after Cruz withdrew from the race, Donald Trump appointed her as a senior advisor to his campaign. Conway was promoted to the position of campaign manager on August 19, 2016, after the resignation of Paul Manafort.[3][4] She served as Trump’s campaign manager for two and a half months, through the November 8, 2016, election, and was the first woman to successfully run a presidential campaign.[5] On December 22, 2016, Trump, then president-elect, announced that Conway would join his administration as Counselor to the President.[6]

Early life

Kellyanne Elizabeth Fitzpatrick was born on January 20, 1967, in Camden, New Jersey, to Diane Fitzpatrick.[7][8] Conway’s father, who had Irish ancestry, owned a small trucking company, and her mother, who was of Italian descent, worked at a bank. They divorced when she was three.[9] She was raised by her mother, grandmother and two unmarried aunts in the Atco section of Waterford Township, New Jersey and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1985. Her family’s religion was Catholic.[7][10][11]

Conway credits her experience working for eight summers on a blueberry farm in Hammonton, New Jersey for teaching her a strong work ethic. “The faster you went, the more money you’d make.” At age 16 she won the New Jersey Blueberry Princess pageant. At 20, she won the World Champion Blueberry Packing competition. She states, “Everything I learned about life and business started on that farm.”[11]

In 1989, Conway received her B.A. magna cum laude in political science from Trinity College, Washington, D.C. (now Trinity Washington University), where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa[citation needed]. She then earned a J.D. with honors from the George Washington University Law School in 1992.[12] She served as a judicial clerk for Judge Richard A. Levie of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia after graduation.[13][14]

Career

Conway at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)

Conway entered the polling business with Wirthlin Group, a Republican polling firm. She also worked for Luntz Research Companies before founding her own firm,[10] The Polling Company, in 1995. Conway’s company has consulted on consumer trends, often trends regarding women. Conway’s clients have included Vaseline, American Express and Hasbro.[15]

In the 1990s, Conway, along with other young conservative women, Laura Ingraham, Barbara Olsen and Ann Coulter, helped turn punditry into “stylish stardom” in both Washington and cable television She and her fellow conservative women commentators were referred to as a “pundettes”.[16][17] As she put it, however, her “broad mind and small waist have not switched places”[18]

Among the political figures Conway worked for were Congressman Jack Kemp; Senator Fred Thompson;[14][better source needed] former Vice President Dan Quayle;[19] Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich; and Congressman (now Vice President) Mike Pence.[15] She worked as the senior advisor to Gingrich during his unsuccessful 2012 United States presidential election campaign.;[20] another client in 2012 was U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin.[21]

In addition to her political opinion research work, Conway has directed demographic and attitudinal survey projects for trade associations and private companies, including American Express, ABC News, Major League Baseball, and Ladies Home Journal.[14] Her firm The Polling Company also includes WomanTrend, a research and consulting division.[14]

Conway has appeared as a commentator on polling and the political scene, having appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, NY1, and the Fox News Channel, in addition to various radio programs. She received the Washington Post’s “Crystal Ball” award for accurately predicting the 2004 elections.[22]

2016 presidential election

Ted Cruz support and endorsement

In the 2016 Republican presidential campaign, Conway endorsed Ted Cruz and chaired a pro-Cruz political action committee known as Keep the Promise I, which was almost entirely funded by businessman Robert Mercer.[23][24] Conway’s organization criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as “extreme” and “not a conservative.”[25] On January 25, 2016, Conway criticized Trump as “a man who seems to be offending his way to the nomination.”[26] On January 26, Conway criticized Trump’s use of eminent domain, saying “Donald Trump has literally bulldozed over the little guy to get his way.”[27]

In mid-June, following Cruz’s suspension of his campaign. Conway left the organization.[28]

Trump campaign

On July 1, 2016, Trump announced that he had hired Conway for a senior advisory position on his presidential campaign.[29] Conway was expected to advise Trump on how to better appeal to female voters.[29]

On August 19, Trump named Conway the campaign’s third campaign manager.[15][30] She served in this capacity for 10 weeks, through the November 8 general election, and was the first woman to run a Republican general election presidential campaign.[30]

Since October 2016, Conway has been parodied on Saturday Night Live by Kate McKinnon.[31][32][33]

Presidential transition

On November 10, 2016, Conway tweeted publicly that Trump had offered her a White House job.[34] “I can have any job I want,” she said on November 28.[35]

On November 24, Conway tweeted that she was “Receiving deluge of social media & private comms re: Romney. Some Trump loyalists warn against Romney as sec of state” with a link to an article on Trump loyalists’ discontent for the 2012 nominee. Conway told CNN she was only tweeting what she has shared with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence in private.[36]

On November 28, two top sources at the Trump transition team told media outlets that Trump “was furious” at Conway for media comments she made on Trump administration cabinet appointments.[37] The following day, however, Trump released a written statement stating that the campaign sources were wrong and that he had sanctioned her critical comments on Romney.[38] CNBC reported on November 28 that senior officials in the Trump transition “have reportedly been growing frustrated by Conway’s failure to become a team player.”[35]

On December 1, Conway appeared with senior aides of the Trump campaign, at Harvard‘s Kennedy School of Government, for a forum on the 2016 presidential race; the quadrennial post-presidential election forum has been held at the School of Government since 1972. Sitting across from Conway were senior Clinton campaign aides, including Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook. As tempers began to flare, the forum escalated into a “shouting match”; during one exchange, Clinton senior strategist Joel Benenson said “The fact of the matter is that more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump.” Conway replied to Benenson while looking at the Trump aides: “Hey, guys, we won. You don’t have to respond. He was the better candidate. That’s why he won.”[39]

In early December, Conway said that Hillary Clinton supporters were making death threats against her.[40]

In a January 2017 press conference, Conway stated that there are “alternative facts” to explain factual discrepancies reported by the media; this led to the George Orwell novel 1984 suddenly appearing at the top of the Amazon.com best-seller list, as Conway’s phrase is reminiscent of “Newspeak,” a dystopian language style that was a key element of the society portrayed in Orwell’s novel.[41][42]

Political views

Conway views herself as a Gen X conservative.[43][44]

She is opposed to abortion. Her reasoning is “We grew up with sonograms. We know life when we see it”.[44] On January 27, 2017, Conway was invited as one of the speakers at the 2017 March for Life, an annual rally protesting abortion and Roe v. Wade.[45]

She is pro immigration reform. In 2014 she coauthored a memo for FWD.us that supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers living in the US.[46]

Personal life

Conway married George T. Conway III, a litigation partner at the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, in 2001.[47] The couple have four children, including twins, and live in Alpine, New Jersey.[14][48][49]

Book

In 2005, Conway and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake co-authored What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live (Free Press/Simon and Schuster, 2005; ISBN 0-7432-7382-6).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kellyanne_Conway

Mia Love

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mia Love
Mia Love Congressional Photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah‘s 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Jim Matheson
Mayor of Saratoga Springs
In office
January 8, 2010 – January 8, 2014
Preceded by Timothy Parker
Succeeded by Jim Miller
Personal details
Born Ludmya Bourdeau
December 6, 1975 (age 41)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jason Love
Children 3
Alma mater University of Hartford(BFA)

Ludmya BourdeauMiaLove (born December 6, 1975) is an American politician and the U.S. Representative from Utah’s 4th congressional district. She is the first Haitian American and the first black female Republican in Congress,[1][2] as well as the first African American to be elected to Congress from Utah.[3]

Born to Haitian parents in Brooklyn, New York, Love was elected as the Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, serving from 2010 to 2014.[4] She was previously on its city council. In 2012, Love ran for Utah’s 4th congressional district, losing narrowly to incumbent Democratic Representative Jim Matheson. She was a speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention. She was elected as a Republican to the House of Representatives on November 4, 2014, defeating Democratic opponent Doug Owens, son of the former Congressman Wayne Owens and defeated him again in their 2016 rematch to win her second term.[1][2] In 2016, Love made headlines by joining a long list of Republicans who opposed the GOP nominee for President, Donald Trump.[5]

Early life and education

Love was born Ludmya Bourdeau on December 6, 1975, in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Mary and Jean Maxine Bourdeau.[6] At a time of political repression, her parents emigrated together from Haiti in 1973,[7] leaving their two older children behind with family.[8][9] Her father had been threatened by the Tonton Macoute, the secret police in Haiti, and her parents traveled to the United States on a tourist visa.[10] They spoke only French when they arrived. Her father became a paint-company manager and her mother worked as a nurse.[11]

Love’s birth enabled her parents to gain a US residency permit (green card) under an immigration law that favored immigrants from the Western Hemisphere who had a child born in the United States; it expired in early 1976.[8][12] They later became naturalized citizens.[13]

When Love was five, her family moved from Brooklyn to Norwalk, Connecticut.[14] Love attended Norwalk High School.[10] She was raised as a Roman Catholic in the faith of her parents. After the family settled in Norwalk, her parents brought her older siblings from Haiti to reunite the family.[2][15]

Love attended the University of Hartford Hartt School with a half-tuition scholarship.[16] She graduated with a degree in musical theatre.[10]

After college, she worked at Sento Corporation and the Ecopass Corporation.[17] She was also a flight attendant with Continental Airlines.[12][18] She moved to Utah in 1998 after converting to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and while working for Continental. There she married Jason Love.

Early political career

Love began to be active in civic affairs when she served as the community spokesperson in Saratoga Springs, Utah in an effort to persuade the developer of her neighborhood to spray against flies.[10] The city of 18,000 near Salt Lake City was established in 1997 and has had rapid growth.

In 2003 Love won a seat on the Saratoga Springs City Council. She was the first female Haitian-American elected official in Utah County; she took office in January 2004.[18] During an economic downturn, as part of the city council Love approved a transition from the agriculture tax to municipal tax. She worked with other city council members to cut expenses, reducing the city’s shortfall during the economic downturn from $3.5 million to $779,000. Saratoga Springs now has the highest possible bond rating for a city of its size.[19]

After six years on the Council, Love was elected mayor,[20] winning with 861 votes to 594 for her opponent Jeff Francom.[21] She served from January 2010 to January 2014.[17] During her term, Love led the city in dealing with natural disasters, including a wildfire, followed shortly afterward by a severe mudslide.[22]

Elections

2012

Love ran in Utah’s 4th congressional district, which was created after the 2010 Census.[23][24] She competed for the Republican nomination against attorney Jay Cobb and State Reps. Stephen Sandstrom of Orem and Carl Wimmer of Herriman; she won the nomination on April 21, 2012, at the 2012 Utah Republican Party Convention with over 70 percent of the vote. She faced six-term Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson in the general election, who while living in the 2nd congressional district ran in the new 4th district. losing some of his reliably Democratic constituents.

Nationally, Love received campaign support from 2012 Republican presidential nomineeMitt Romney and his wife Ann Romney, House Majority LeaderEric Cantor, House Budget Committee Chairman and 2012 Republican vice presidential nomineePaul Ryan, and Speaker of the House John Boehner.[25][26]

In 2012, National Journal named Love one of ten Republicans to follow on Twitter.[27] When speaking to the 2012 Republican National Convention on August 28, 2012, she discussed lessons learned from her parents, immigrants from Haiti who fled political repression.[28] She said, “Mr. President, I am here to tell you we are not buying what you are selling in 2012.”[29]

In September 2012, questions arose about her parents’ immigrant status. Forbes investigated a claim in an article that month in Mother Jones that no law existed in 1976 that would have allowed Love’s parents to become citizens of the United States after her birth. Forbes found that immigrants who had been residents of the Western Hemisphere could get long-term residency permits (green cards) if they had a child born in the United States. Mother Jones issued a correction.[6][8][30] Love did not make her family’s papers available for review.[citation needed] In an October 2012 interview, her father said that Mia’s birth as a U.S. citizen was key to him and his wife gaining permanent legal status and ultimately citizenship.[10]

Love lost the election to Jim Matheson by 768 votes out of 245,277 votes cast,[31] a difference of 0.31%. She was regarded to have run a weak campaign, switching campaign managers three times, trying to “nationalize” the race rather than focus on local issues, and missing interviews and appointments because of rifts in her campaign staff.[32]

2014

Mia Love

In March 2013, Love said she was seriously considering another run against Matheson.[33] In May 2013 she announced she would run in 2014. As of July 2013, Love had raised over $475,000 for her campaign.[34] Love was an opening speaker at the 2013 Western Conservative Summit. She spoke of the need for increased grassroots organization in the GOP, and the need to be independent from the government.[35]

In August 2013, Love was chosen by Newsmax as an “Up and Comer” in their list of top “25 Influential Women of the GOP,” given her visible position as a young black female Republican.[36] In November 2013, Love acknowledged the growing consensus that the Tea Party needed to shift away from being the “party of no,” disagreeing with its part in forcing a federal government shutdown over the budget.[37] She later reiterated her support for the philosophy of the Tea Party and many of its leaders, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee.[38]

On December 17, 2013, Matheson announced that he would not run for re-election. Love was ranked as the favored candidate due to her name recognition and characteristics of the district. In early October 2014, the National Journal listed Utah’s 4th district as the number one most likely district to change hands in November.[39]

In early 2014 Love was made a member of the Republican National Committee’s National Advisory Council on African-American outreach.[40] On April 26, 2014 Love won the Republican nomination for the 4th congressional district at the Utah Republican Convention, with 78% of the vote at the convention.[29][41]

On election night, Owens led Love until late in the evening, when she pulled ahead and ultimately won by more than 4,000 votes.[29][42]

2016

Love ran for re-election in 2016. She defeated Democrat Doug Owens in the general election with 53% of the vote.[43][44] David Scott, a Democratic Representative from Georgia, gave $1,000 to Love’s campaign.[45]

A poll released in August 2016 found that Love was leading Owens by 13 percentage points, 51% to 38%.[46] According to the poll, Love was leading Owen with both Republicans and independents.[46] As of the federal financial disclosure dated June 30, 2016, Love had nearly $1.5 million in the bank and Owens had $890,000.[46] In a September 2016 poll, Love held a 18% lead over Owens, 53% to 35%.[47]

U.S. House of Representatives

Mia Love speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 26, 2015.

With the start of the new Congress, Love was appointed to the House Financial Services Committee.[48] Love joined the Congressional Black Caucus in January 2015 after taking her seat.[49] While campaigning in 2012, Love had said that if elected, she would “join the Congressional Black Caucus and try to take that thing apart from the inside out.” She described the mainly Democratic Caucus as characterized by

…demagoguery. They sit there and ignite emotions and ignite racism when there isn’t. They use their positions to instill fear. Hope and change is turned into fear and blame. Fear that everybody is going to lose everything and blaming Congress for everything instead of taking responsibility.[50]

In May 2015 she was a lead sponsor along with Duncan Hunter of HR 2518 the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act, designed to increase the amount of information universities and colleges are required to provide prospective students.[51]

In October 2015, Love was named to serve on the Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood.[52]

In April 2016, Love got her first bill through the U.S. House. HR3791, which was approved in a 247-171 vote, raises limits on how large community banks can grow, which Love says will make more credit available.[53]

Political positions

Love says she favors “fiscal discipline, limited government, and personal responsibility.”[20] She has also said that she asks herself three questions whenever she approaches an issue: “Is it affordable? Is it sustainable? Is it my job?”[54]

Love was described as a Tea Party conservative in 2012.[32] In a 2015 article titled “How ‘tea party’ is Mia Love?”, the Washington Post wrote that “Love’s rhetoric from 2012 to 2014 changed a bit, even as her policy positions remained fairly constant” and noted that Love had “angered some conservatives when she questioned the tea party driven government shutdown in 2013 over Obamacare.”[55] A blogger for libertarian-leaning magazine Reason described her as a “Trojan horse libertarian” due to her stance on homeschooling, federal control of land, and other issues.[56]

Love is pro-life.[57] She supports gun rights and holds a concealed weapons permit.[57] Love supports Utah’s effort to reclaim public land from federal agency controls.[57]

During her first campaign for Congress, Love proposed deep cuts to federal spending, particularly in the area of entitlement spending.[32] She also supports cutting taxes.[32] She supported cuts to foreign aid and tort reform.[58] She believes that the federal government should have less power.[58] In 2014, Love focused more on balancing the budget, avoiding stating specific cuts needed but identifying the goal of matching spending to revenue.[59] Love supported the March 2015 budget, which required an increase in federal employee contributions to their retirement funds.[60]

On October 8, 2016, Love issued a statement that she would not vote for Republican candidate Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election and urged him to withdraw from the race for the good of the party and the country.[61]

Personal life

Raised a Roman Catholic, Love joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after graduating from college in 1998.[62] While working as a flight attendant, she moved to Utah as part of her work. She also wanted to be closer to a Mormon temple and to learn more about her faith.[10] There she got to know Jason Love, whom she had met briefly when he was an LDS missionary in Connecticut.

The two were married in December 1998, four months after their first date. Love turned down an offer to appear in the Broadway show Smokey Joe’s Café that would start two days before her marriage.[10][63] When first married, the Loves lived in American Fork. They have three children together. The Loves decided that Jason should continue his software work and maintain their residence in Utah.[64]

Electoral history

Utah’s 4th congressional district election, 2014[42]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mia B. Love 74,936 50.92
Democratic Doug Owens 67,425 45.81
Independent American Tim Aalders 2,032 1.38
Constitution Collin Simonsen 1,424 0.97
Libertarian Jim L. Vein 1,151 0.92
Total votes 147,168 100.00
Republicangain from Democratic
Utah’s 4th congressional district election, 2012[65]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jim Matheson (incumbent) 119,803 48.84
Republican Mia B. Love 119,035 48.53
Libertarian Jim L. Vein 6,439 2.63
Total votes 245,277 100.0
Democratichold

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mia_Love

March for Life (Washington, D.C.)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
March for Life
The start of the 2009 March (2009)

The start of the 2009 March (2009)
Date Every year since January 22, 1974
(anniversary of Roe v. Wade).
Location Washington, D.C.
Website www.marchforlife.org

The March for Life is an annual rally protesting abortion, held in Washington, D.C., on or around the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court‘s decision legalizing abortion in the case Roe v. Wade. The march is organized by the March for Life Education and Defense Fund. The overall goal of the march is to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and reduce access to the procedure.[1]

The 2017 march was held on January 27th, a week following the United States presidential inauguration.[2]

History

Logo for the March for Life as of 2014[3]

The first March for Life, which was founded by Nellie Gray,[4] was held on January 22, 1974, on the West Steps of the Capitol, with an estimated 20,000 supporters in attendance.[5]

During the 33rd annual March for Life in 2006, the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court caused a major positive shift, because of the expectation that Alito would “win Senate approval and join a majority in overturning Roe.”[6]

Around the time of the 35th annual March for Life in 2008, a Guttmacher Institute report was released, which revealed that the number of abortions performed in the United States dropped to 1.2 million in 2005. This was the lowest level of abortions since 1976. Although this seemed like a victory, many march participants stressed that the figures were not a large enough decline. Many marchers said they would not stop protesting until abortions were illegal.[7]

During the 2009 March for Life, the threat of passage by the 111th United States Congress of the Freedom of Choice Act—a bill that would “codify Roe v. Wade” by declaring a fundamental right to abortion and lifting many restrictions on abortion—served as a key rallying point, because pro-lifers worried that the legislation would eliminate certain abortion restrictions like parental notification for minors and repeal the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.[8]

Itinerary

The March for Life proceedings begin around noon.[8] They typically consist of a rally at the National Mall near Fourth Street. It is followed by a march which travels down Constitution Avenue NW, turns right at First Street and then ends on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States, where another rally is held. Many protesters start the day by delivering roses and lobbying members of Congress.[9]

Attendance

Students from the University of Notre Dame

In 1987, approximately 5,000 participated, despite a snowstorm.[9]

In 1995, which is the last year that the National Park Service made an official estimate of attendance, 45,000 attended, compared to 35,000 in 1994.[10]

In 2016, the march proceeded despite a blizzard that dropped 24 inches of snow in D.C., with attendees that “appeared to be in the thousands”.[11][12]

Many teenagers and college students attend the march each year, typically traveling with church/youth groups. The Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney estimated that about half of the marchers are under age 30.[13]

Notable speakers

In 1987, Ronald Reagan spoke remotely via telephone, and vowed to help “end this national tragedy”. Jesse Helms, then Senator of North Carolina, attended and spoke. He called abortion an “American holocaust”.[9]

In 2003, George W. Bush spoke remotely via telephone and thanked participants for their “devotion to such a noble cause”. During his telephone addresses, he tended to speak broadly of opposing abortion as opposed to offering any specific efforts being made to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision.[1]

In 2003, speakers included Representative Chris Smith, Republican of New Jersey, and Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue. In his speech, Terry targeted the youth in the audience, calling them to “fight for all you’re worth.”[14]

In 2004, 15 lawmakers, all Republican, spoke. Many of them stressed the importance of backing and voting for only candidates whose platform supported antiabortion in the November elections. Among the lawmakers who spoke were Representatives Todd Tiahrt of Kansas, and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania. Tiahrt, who also spoke at the 30th annual march, urged marchers to “help pro-lifers in your state”; Toomey supported these remarks, saying to vote for pro-life candidates in order to reclaim the Senate and, in turn, the courts.[1]

In 2006, Representative Steve Chabot, an Ohio Republican and prominent pro-life advocate in the United States House of Representatives, spoke to the masses on overturning Roe v. Wade. He stated that what he called the killing of millions of babies should be “sufficient justification for overruling that awful case”. Nellie Gray, the founder of March for Life, spoke of “feminist abortionists”, foretelling that the United States would hold them accountable for their actions in trials equivalent to the Nuremberg trials.[6]

In 2009, approximately 20 Congress members spoke, including Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Wisconsin Republican and former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Gray.[8]

In 2011, speakers included House Majority LeaderEric Cantor, House Majority WhipKevin McCarthy, and several other members of Congress, including Mike Pence (see below).[15]

In 2013, presenters included Speaker of the United States House of RepresentativesJohn Boehner (via a pre-recorded video address), former United States Senator and candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nominationRick Santorum, as well as other members of Congress.[16]

In 2016, Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina took part in the march.[17]

In 2017, speakers included Kellyanne Conway, the Counselor to President Donald Trump; the Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan; pro-life activist Abby Johnson; NFL player Benjamin Watson; Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart; and Mexican telenovela actress Karyme Lozano as speakers.[18] Vice President Mike Pence announced on the eve of the march that he would also attend, a first for any vice president.[19][20] Pence was also one of the speakers at the 2010 march when he was serving as representative of Indiana‘s 6th congressional district.[21]

Media attention

March for Life has received relatively little media attention over the years.[22] The typical coverage consists of a “story with a tiny little comment from one individual marcher”, Gray has said. The 36th annual march in 2009 was just two days after President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

To counter the relative lack of media coverage, one of the March for Life’s supporters, the Family Research Council, organized a “Blogs for Life” conference in Washington, D.C. The main goal of the conference was to “bring pro-life bloggers together to talk over strategies” for securing more effective media coverage and advancing pro-life issues. Such strategies include securing media coverage through legislative means or by tapping into new media outlets.[23]

Associated events

Various pro-life organizations hold events before and after the March. Such events include a Luau for Life at Georgetown University and a candlelight vigil at the Supreme Court.[7] Additionally, independent films with a pro-life message have premiered or have been promoted in association with the March, including the Vatican endorsed film Doonby, which was shown at Landmark E Street Cinema during the 2013 march, and 22 Weeks, which premiered at Union Station’s Phoenix Theatre on the eve of the 2009 march.[24][25][26][27]

Anglican events

Anglicans for Life, the pro-life apostolate of the Anglican Church in North America, launched the “Mobilizing the Church for Life” conference on the day before the 2016 March for Life.[28] On the following day, the primate of the Anglican Church in North America, Foley Beach, led Anglicans in the March for Life.[28]

Catholic events

Youth Rally and Mass at Verizon Center (2006)

Preceding the March for Life, there are several Masses; two of which are celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception as well as the Verizon Center in Chinatown. The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington hosts a Youth Rally and Mass every year at the Verizon Center, attended by approximately 20,000 young people,[29] where a message from the Pope is relayed.

In 2009, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambri, read Pope Benedict XVI‘s message, which told attendants that he was “deeply grateful” for the youths’ “outstanding annual witness for the gospel of life”.[8] In 2008, the Pope’s message thanked attendants for “promoting respect for the dignity and inalienable rights of every human being.”[7] In 2011, an event parallel to the Verizon Center event was held at the D.C. Armory; a total of over 27,000 young people attended the events.[30]

In response to a growing number of pilgrims traveling to the area for the March for Life, in 2009 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington began to host the “Life is VERY Good” Evening of Prayer, the night before the March.[31] In 2013, a Morning Mass and Rally (preceding the March for Life) was added and held at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University, including Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and more than 100 bishops and priests from across the nation.[32] Life is VERY Good, which began with 350 participants in 2009, gathered in excess of 12,000 between its two events, held before and after the March, in 2013.[33]

Since 2000, Catholic students at Georgetown University have hosted the annual Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life the day after the march. It is the largest of the student-run pro-life conferences in the U.S., and it regularly hosts prominent pro-life speakers such as Cardinal O’Malley and feminist Helen Alvaré. Hundreds of laypeople and clergy attend each year to hear the speakers and to participate in break-out sessions on pro-life issues. [34]

Eastern Orthodox events

Orthodox clergy and laity at the March for Life in 2012.

The Orthodox presence at the March for Life is a long one with representation from many jurisdictions every year. The evening before the March, there is often at least one Vespers service at a local D.C. church. During the March there is a Panakhida for the Unborn performed along the way. Seminarians from Christ the Saviour Seminary, Holy Cross Seminary, St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary, and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary (represented by the St. Ambrose Society[35]) are invariably in attendance along with their families, hierarchs, clergy, and monastics from all over the country. Metropolitan Jonah of Washington (Orthodox Church in America) has been a speaker at the pre-March invocations in recent years. The Carpatho-Russian Diocese and Greek Archdiocese also have a strong connection to the March for Life and have been at the forefront of the pro-life movement. Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos (American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese) was a constant presence during his episcopate dating back to 1987.

Evangelical events

Clergy and laity at the 2017 United Methodist event for the March for Life hosted by Lifewatch, Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality

At the 2016 March for Life rally, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, organized a conference “aimed at increasing the level of engagement in the pro-life cause”.[36]

The Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality, which is a part of the National Pro-Life Religious Council, holds its annual service of worship at the United Methodist Building, and the liturgy held for the 2016 March of Life featured “a sermon by Dr. Thomas C. Oden, General Editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, former Professor of Theology and Ethics at Drew University, and Lifewatch Advisory Board member.”[37][28]

Lutheran events

Several factions of the Lutheran Church, including the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, North American Lutheran Church and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, have held conferences in Washington D.C. surrounding the March of Life and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) is planning the 2017 LCMS Life Conference to be held on 27 January, 2017, on the day of the March for Life.[38] Students from schools affiliated with the Lutheran factions mentioned above have made pilgrimages to the capitol of the United States in order to march in the event.[39][40] Before the 2016 March for Life, a Divine Service was celebrated at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia.[28]

Virtual March for Life

In 2010, Americans United for Life launched an online virtual March. Pro-lifers unable to attend the event in person could create avatars of themselves and take part in a virtual demonstration on a Google Maps version of the Washington Mall.[41] The online event attracted approximately 75,000 participants.[42]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_for_Life_(Washington,_D.C.)

U.S. Abortion Rate Falls To Lowest Level Since Roe v. Wade

The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds.

The report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That’s the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades — down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981.

The report also finds that in 2013, the total number of abortions nationwide fell below 1 million for the first time since the mid-1970s. In 2014 — the most recent year with data available — the number fell a bit more, to 926,200. The overall number had peaked at more than 1.6 million abortions in 1990, according to Guttmacher.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the longstanding controversy around abortion policy, the meaning of the report is somewhat in dispute.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said efforts to help women get better access to contraception are paying off. She points in particular to recent improvements in the rate of unintended pregnancies, and a historically low teen pregnancy rate.

“It shows that we’re finally doing a better job of helping women get access to birth control that’s affordable and that’s high-quality,” Richards said.

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, Richards is gearing up for a fight over federal funding for women’s health services provided by Planned Parenthood. Republican leaders in Congress have vowed to work with Trump to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which requires contraceptive coverage for many women.

“We shouldn’t go backwards on access to birth control,” Richards said.

Some anti-abortion groups, meanwhile, argue the Guttmacher report shows new state restrictions on abortion are working. Kristi Hamrick, a spokeswoman for Americans United for Life, said she has her doubts about the Guttmacher report — since the data come from surveys of abortion providers — but accepts the overall conclusion. She emphasized the impact of new regulations on clinics and laws requiring women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound, which she said are having a “real, measurable impact on abortion.”

“These have been game-changers, and we see the abortion rate dropping in response,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick said she believes abortion numbers are also falling in part because public sentiment is turning against abortion — although surveys by the Pew Research Center show opinions on abortion have been largely stable over the past two decades. The Gallup polling firm has found Americans largely divided on abortion in recent decades, with a majority labeling themselves “pro-choice” in a 2015 survey.

The Guttmacher report says abortion restrictions do appear to be a factor in the declining numbers in some states. But principal research scientist Rachel Jones, lead author of the report, said that’s not the whole story. She noted that abortion declined in almost every state, and “having fewer clinics didn’t always translate into having fewer abortions.”

A more important driver of the declining abortion rate, Jones said, appears to be improved access to contraception, particularly long-acting birth control options like IUDs. She noted that women in the United States have been using the highly effective devices in growing numbers for more than a decade, and said the declining birthrate suggests more women are preventing unwanted pregnancies.

“Abortion is going down, and births aren’t going up,” Jones said.

Chuck Donovan, president of the anti-abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute, called the drop in the abortion rate “good news,” regardless of one’s political point of view. He said there are likely a number of factors behind the decline.

“By and large, this is encouraging for a country that obviously remains deeply divided and discomfited about the benefits of abortion to the public,” Donovan said.

But when it comes to abortion, common ground is hard to find. The Guttmacher Institute’s Jones said the data may signal that some women who want abortions can’t get access.

“If there are women in these highly restrictive states who want abortions but can’t get them because there aren’t any clinics that they can get to, and that’s why abortion’s going down, that’s not a good thing,” Jones said. “But we think the story that’s going on in a lot of situations, in a lot of states, is that fewer women are having unintended pregnancies and in turn fewer abortions, and that is actually a good story.”

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/17/509734620/u-s-abortion-rate-falls-to-lowest-level-since-roe-v-wade

Number of Abortions – Abortion Counters

* Documentation for the basis for the Abortion Counters (Guttmacher, etc.)

Return to Life Matters TV
Below are the sources for the statistics used and rationale for the number of abortions used in the abortion counters. Each abortion counter is a real-time estimate of the number of abortion in the US and the number of abortions worldwide based on the very latest data of the actual number of abortions performed in past years.  Most of the abortions reported in these numbers are surgically induced.  The eleven abortion counters include: number of abortions in the US today, number of abortions in the US since Roe versus Wade (1973), number of abortions in the US this year, number of abortions in the US this year due to rape or incest, number of abortions in the US this year after 16 weeks gestation, number of abortions by Planned Parenthood since 1970, and the number of aborions by planned Parenthood this year, number of abortions worldwide since 1980, number of abortions worldwide this year, and number of abortions worldwide today.

* Note that the abortions in the counters on this site are almost all “surgical abortions”.   We have made no attempt to tally the totals for “chemically-induced abortions” here.  The Pharmacists for Life organization estimates that their have been approximately 250 million babies aborted chemically since 1973 in the USA: http://www.pfli.org/

* The Guttmacher Institute, formed as a division of Planned Parenthood of America, reported 42 million abortions World-Wide in 2003 which was down from 46 million in 1995.  The study was funded by the World Health Organization, an agency of the UN and the World Bank.

* In January 2014, the Guttmacher Institute reported:  * 1.05 million abortions in the US in 2012; * 4.8% of abortions in the US occurred from week 16 of pregnancy to week 32.  US 2014 STUDY on abortions:
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

World Wide STUDY on abortions: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_IAW.pdf

*  The National Right to Life Committee reported on their 2/2015 fact sheet  (http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf )    that the total of  US abortions since 1973 (RVW) through 2014  was 57496011 based  on state government health organization data & the Guttmacher Institute data including factoring in the possible 3% undercount cited by GI for their own figures.

* Planned Parenthood reports the number of abortions performed each year in their annual report. Planned Parenthood’s 2005-2006 annual report states that they committed 264,943 abortions in the USA in 2005 and from 1977 through 2005, Planned Parenthood performed 4,068,749 abortions in the USA.  More recent PP annual reports show they committed 289,750 in 2006, 305,310 in 2007, 324,008 in 2008, 331796 in 2009,  and 329,445 in 2010.  They reported 329,445 in 2010, 333,924 in 2011, 327,166 in 2012, 327166 in 2013 and 323999 in 2014 : 2013 report. , 2014 report 
* The World Wide abortion counters uses one of the more conservative estimates on the number of abortions world-wide since 1980 (40 Million per year for 30years)  and this equals 1,200,000 Billion (from Lifesitenews.com: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101604.html )

* All the US abortion counters show results with one decimal place displayed.  This was originally done to show that these abortion counters are active and not a static count.  If you look at abortion procedures like Dilation & Evacuation   or Partial-Birth abortion (http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS04AbortionTechniques.pdf), you realize that the abortion takes place in pieces over time so the decimal places do represent some reality.

* Why did we include a “black baby counter”:  Two African-American Religious-based web sites asked us to put in a black baby counter to highlight the disparity of the high number of abortions in the black population.  Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, had this as objective in her eugenics plan.
* Why is there a “After 16 weeks gestation” abortion counter?  There is a lot of argument about “When does life begin” ?  It would seem to be pretty hard for anyone to argue that a baby at 16 weeks gestation “is just a blob of tissue” based on what the scientific community knows today about the development of a baby at 16 weeks:

– The body is fully formed, the fingers and toes have fingerprints & nails.

– Is about 5 inches long and weighs  about 3 ounces, about the size of a large avacado.

– The baby is moving about: may grasp for the umbilical cord , suck it’s thumb, and  is capable of making facial expressions and kicking at the amniotic sac.

– The heart & circulatory system and the urinary tract are fully functioning. and the blood is pumping through these tiny veins

– The baby is inhaling and exhaling the amniotic fluid through the lungs.

-The eyes are in the proper position, and the baby can see straight ahead & blink his/her eyelids.

– The genitals have formed. In the case of a girl, the uterus has already developed and the ovaries are in the proper place.

– Umberto Castiello, University of Padova, Italy  reported unborn babies have the ability to interact as early as 14 weeks into the pregnancy: “We conclude that performance of movements towards the co-twin is not accidental: already starting from the 14th week of gestation twin fetuses execute movements specifically aimed at the co-twin.”

* This site is also accessible by www.usabortionclock.org.  The original idea a page of abortion counters came from the site www.usdebtclock.org is a very interesting perspective on the magnitude of the US debt obligations.

To view the active count of the number of abortions in the US and the numbers of abortions worldwide return to www.abortioncounters.com web page.

http://www.numberofabortions.com/

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The Pronk Pops Show 819, January 18, 2017, Story 1: President Obama The Last Press Conference — Bankrupting America and Burdening Future Generations With Massive Debt — A Legacy of Lies and Failures — Videos

Posted on January 19, 2017. Filed under: Abortion, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Budgetary Policy, China, Communications, Congress, Consitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Fast and Furious, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Iraq, Islam, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Israel, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, News, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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“The history of the failure of war can almost be summed up in two words: too late.
* Too late in comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy.
* Too late in realizing the mortal danger.
* Too late in preparedness.
* Too late in uniting all possible forces for resistance.

* Too late in standing with one’s friends.”
– General Douglas Macarthur

Great Speeches

General Douglas McArthur’s

Farewell Address to West Point

National Debt Clock————————————————————————————————————————–

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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President Obama’s Final News Conference Video by The New York Times

The following is the full transcript of a news conference that President Obama held in Washington on Wednesday, as prepared by the Federal News Service.

For further updates and coverage, follow our live analysis.

OBAMA: Let me start off by saying that I was sorely tempted to wear a tan suit today…

(LAUGHTER)

… for my last press conference

OBAMA: But Michelle, whose fashion sense is a little better than mine, tells me that’s not appropriate in January.

I covered a lot of the ground that I would want to cover in my farewell address last week, so I’m just going to say a couple of quick things before I start taking questions.

Continue reading the main story

First, we have been in touch with the Bush family today after hearing about President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush being admitted to the hospital this morning. They have not only dedicated their lives to this country.

OBAMA: They have been a constant source of friendship and support and good counsel for Michelle and me over the years. They are as fine a couple as we know, and so we want to send our prayers and our love to them. Really good people.

Second thing I want to do is to thank all of you. Some of you have been covering me for a long time. Folks like Christie (ph) and Lynn (ph). Some of you I’ve just gotten to know. We have traveled the world together. We did a few singles, a few doubles together. I’ve offered advice that I thought was pretty sound, like don’t do stupid stuff.

(LAUGHTER)

And even when you complained about my long answers, I just want you to know that the only reason they were long was because you asked six-part questions.

(LAUGHTER)

But I have enjoyed working with all of you. That does not, of course, mean that I’ve enjoyed every story that you have filed, but that’s the point of this relationship. You’re not supposed to be (inaudible) fans, you’re supposed to be skeptics, you’re supposed to ask me tough questions. You’re not supposed to be complimentary, but you’re supposed to cast a critical eye on folks who hold enormous power and make sure that we are accountable to the people who sent us here, and you have done that.

And you have done it for the most part in ways that I could appreciate for fairness, even if I didn’t always agree with your conclusions. And having you in this building has made this place work better. It keeps us honest, it makes us work harder. You have made us think about how we are doing what we do and whether or not we’re able to deliver on what’s been requested by our constituents. And for example, every time you’ve asked why haven’t you cured Ebola yet or why is there still that hole in the Gulf, it has given me the ability to go back and say, “Will you get this solved before the next press conference?”

(LAUGHTER)

I spent a lot of time on my — in my farewell address talking about the state of our democracy. It goes without saying that essential to that is a free press. That is part of how this place, this country, this grand experiment of self-government has to work. It doesn’t work if we don’t have a well-informed citizenry, and you are the conduit through which they receive the information about what’s taking place in the halls of power.

So America needs you and our democracy needs you. We need you to establish a baseline of facts and evidence that we can use as a starting point for the kind of reasoned and informed debates that ultimately lead to progress. And so my hope is is that you will continue with the same tenacity that you showed us, to do the hard work of getting to the bottom of stories and getting them right and to push those of us in power to be the best version of ourselves and to push this country to be the best version of itself.

I have no doubt that you will do so, I’m looking forward to being an active consumer of your work, rather than always the subject of it. I want to thank you all for your extraordinary service to our democracy.

And with that, I will take some questions and I will start with Jeff Mason, whose term is apparently not up.

(LAUGHTER)

I thought, you know, we’d be going out together, brother, but you’ve got to hang around for a while.

QUESTION: I’m staying put.

OBAMA: Jeff Mason from Reuters.

QUESTION: Thank you, sir. Are you concerned, Mr. President, that commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence will send a message that leaking classified material will not generate (inaudible) groups like WikiLeaks? How do you reconcile that in light of WikiLeak’s connection to Russia’s acting in (inaudible) election?

And related to that, Julian Assange has now offered to come to the United States. Are you seeking that? And would he be charged or arrested if he came here?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, let’s be clear. Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence, so the notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital classified information would think that it goes unpunished I don’t think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served.

It has been my view that given she went to trial; that due process was carried out; that she took responsibility for her crime; that the sentence that she received was very disproportional — disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received; and that she had served a significant amount of time, that it made sense to commute and not pardon her sentence.

And, you know, I feel very comfortable that justice has been served and that a message has still been sent that when it comes to our national security, that wherever possible we need folks who may have legitimate concerns about the actions of government or their superiors or the agencies in which they work, that they try to work through the established channels and avail themselves of the whistleblower protections that have been put in place.

I recognize that there’s some folks who think they’re not enough. And, you know, I think all of us when we’re working in big institutions may find ourselves at times at odds with policies that are set. But when it comes to national security, we’re often dealing with people in the field whose lives may be put at risk or, you know, the safety and security and the ability of our military or our intelligence teams or our embassies to function effectively.

And that has to be kept in mind. So, with respect to WikiLeaks, I don’t see a contradiction. First of all, I haven’t commented on WikiLeaks generally. The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked. I don’t pay a lot of attention to Mr. Assange’s tweets, so that wasn’t a consideration in this instance. And I’d refer you to the Justice Department for any criminal investigations, indictments, extradition issues that may come up with him.

You know, I — what I can say broadly is that in this new cyber age, we’re going to have to make sure that we continually work to find the right balance of accountability and openness and transparency that is the hallmark of our democracy. But also recognize that there are adversaries and bad actors out there who want to use that same openness in ways that hurt us, whether that’s in trying to commit financial crimes or trying to commit acts of terrorism or folks who want to interfere with our elections.

And we’re going to have to continually build the kind of architecture to make sure our — the best of our democracy is preserved; that our national security and intelligence agencies have the ability to carry out policy without advertising to our adversaries what it is that we’re doing, but do so in a way that still keeps citizens up to speed on what their government is doing on their behalf.

But with respect to Chelsea Manning, I looked at the particulars of this case the same way I have the other commutations and pardons that I’ve done. And I felt that in light of all the circumstances, that commuting her sentence was entirely appropriate.

Margaret Brennan?

QUESTION: Mr. President.

OBAMA: There you go.

QUESTION: Thank you.

The president-elect has said that he would consider lifting sanctions on Russia if they substantially reduced their nuclear stockpile.

QUESTION: Given your own efforts at arms control, do you think that’s an effective strategy? Knowing this office and Mr. Trump, how would you advise his advisers to help him be effective when he deals with Vladimir Putin. And given your actions recently on Russia, do you think those sanctions should be (inaudible).

OBAMA: Well, a couple of things. Number one, I think it is in America’s interest and the world’s interest that we have a constructive relationship with Russia. That’s been my approach throughout my presidency. Where our interests have overlapped we’ve worked together.

At the beginning of my term, I did what I could to encourage Russia to be a constructive member of the international community and tried to work with the president and the government of Russia in helping them diversify their economy, improve their economy, use the incredible talents of the Russian people in more constructive ways.

I think it’s fair to say that after President Putin came back into the presidency, that an escalating anti-American rhetoric and an approach to global affairs that seem to be premised on the idea that whatever America’s trying to do must be bad for Russians, so we want to try to counter act whatever they do. That returned to an adversarial spirit that I think existed during the Cold War, has made the relationship more difficult.

And it was hammered home when Russia went into Crimea and portions of Ukraine. The reason we imposed the sanctions, recall, was not because of nuclear weapons issues, it was because the independence and sovereignty of a country, Ukraine, had been encroached upon by force, by Russia. That wasn’t our judgment, that was the judgment of the entire international community.

And, Russia continues to occupy Ukrainian territory and meddle in Ukrainian affairs and support military surrogates who have violated basic international laws and international norms. What I’ve said to the Russians, is as soon as you stop doing that, the sanctions will be removed. And I think it would probably best serve, not only American interests, but also the interests of preserving international norms if we made sure that we don’t confuse why these sanctions have been imposed with a whole set of other issues.

On nuclear issues, in my first term we negotiated the START II Treaty and that has substantially reduced our nuclear stock piles, both Russia and the United States. I was prepared to go further, I told President Putin I was prepared to go further. They have been unwilling to negotiate.

If President-elect Trump is able to restart those talks in a serious way, I think there remains a lot of room for our two countries to reduce their our stock piles. And part of the reason we’ve have been successful on our non-proliferation agenda and on our nuclear security agenda, is because we were leading by example. I hope that continues.

But I think it’s important just to remember that the reason sanctions have been put in place against Russia, has to do with their actions in Ukraine. And it is important for the United States to stand up for the basic principal that big countries don’t go around and invade and bully smaller countries.

I’ve said before, I expect Russia and Ukraine to have a strong relationship. They are historically bound together in all sorts of cultural and social ways, but Ukraine is an independent country and this is a good example of the vital role that America has to continue to play, around the world, in preserving basic norms and values. Whether it’s advocating on behalf of human rights, advocating on behalf of women’s rights, advocating on behalf of freedom of the press.

OBAMA: You know, the United States has not always been perfect in this regard, there are times where we — by necessity are dealing with allies or friends or partners, who themselves are not meeting the standards that we would like to see met when it comes to international rules and norms.

But I can tell you that in every multilateral setting in the United Nations, in the G-20, in the G-7, the United States typically has been on the right side of these issues and it is important for us to continue to be on the right side of these issues because if we, the largest, strongest country and democracy in the world, are not willing to stand up on behalf of these values, then certainly China, Russia and others will not.

Kevin Corke.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. You have been a strong supporter of the idea of a peaceful transfer of power demonstrated not terribly far from the Rose Garden. And yet, even as you and I speak, there are more than five dozen Democrats that are going to boycott the inauguration of the incoming president. Do you support that? And what message would you send to Democrats to better demonstrate the peaceful transfer of power?

And if I could follow, I wanted to ask you about your conversations with the president-elect previously. And without getting into too much of the personal side of it, I’m just curious, were you able to use that opportunity to convince him to take a fresh look at some of the important ideas that you will leave this office with; maintaining some semblance of the Affordable Care Act, some idea of keeping DREAMers here in the country without fear of deportation? Were you able to use personal stories to try to convince him? And how successful were you?

OBAMA: Well, I won’t go into details of my conversations with President-elect Trump. As I’ve said before, they were cordial. At times, they’ve been fairly lengthy and they’ve been substantive.

I can’t tell you how convincing I’ve been. I think you’d have to ask him whether I’ve been convincing or not. I have offered my best advice, counsel about certain issues both foreign and domestic. And you know, my working assumption is that having won an election, opposed to a number of my initiatives and certain aspects of my vision for where the country needs to go, it is appropriate for him to go forward with his vision and his values. And I don’t expect that there’s going to be, you know, enormous overlap. It may be that on certain issues, once he comes into office and he looks at the complexities of how to in fact provide healthcare for everybody, something he says he wants to do, or wants to make sure that he is encouraging job creation and wage growth in this country, that may lead him to some of the same conclusions that I arrived at once I got here. But I don’t think we’ll know until he has an actual chance to get sworn in and sit behind that desk. And I think a lot of his views are going to be shaped by his advisers, the people around him, which is why it’s important to pay attention to these confirmation hearings.

I can tell you that — and this is something I have told him — that this is a job of such magnitude that you can’t do it by yourself. You are enormously reliant on a team. Your Cabinet, your senior White House staff, all the way to fairly junior folks in their 20s and 30s but who are executing on significant responsibilities. And so, how you put a team together to make sure that they’re getting you the best information and they are teeing up the options from which you will ultimately make decisions.

OBAMA: That’s probably the most useful constructive advice and the most constructive advice that I’ve been able to give him, that if you find yourself isolated because the process breaks down or if you’re only hearing from people who agree with you on everything or if you haven’t created a process that is fact-checking and probing and asking hard questions about policies or promises that you’ve made, that’s when you start making mistakes.

And as I indicated in some of my previous remarks, reality has a way of biting back if you’re not paying attention to it.

With respect to the inauguration, I’m not going to comment on those issues. All I know is I’m going to be there. So is Michelle. And I have been checking the weather and I’m heartened by the fact that it won’t be as cold as my first inauguration.

(LAUGHTER)

Because that was cold.

Janna Rodriguez (ph)?

QUESTION: (inaudible), Mr. President (inaudible). You have said that you would come back and fight for the Dreamers. You said that a couple of weeks ago. Are you fearful for the status of those Dreamers — the future of the young immigrants and all immigrants in this country, with a new administration?

And what did you mean when you said you would come back? Would you lobby Congress? Maybe explore the political arena again?

And if I may ask a second question: Why did you take action on (inaudible) a week ago?

OBAMA: Well, let me be absolutely clear. I did not mean that I was going to be running for anything anytime soon. So, what I meant is that it’s important for me to take some time to process this amazing experience that we’ve gone through; to make sure that my wife, with whom I will be celebrating a 25th anniversary this year, is willing to re-up and put up with me for a little bit longer.

I want to do some writing. I want to be quiet a little bit and not hear myself talk so darn much. I want to spend precious time with my girls.

So those are my priorities this year. But as I said before, I’m still a citizen. And I think it is important for Democrats or progressive who feel that they came out on the wrong side of this election to be able to distinguish between the normal back-and-forth, ebb-and-blow of policy. Now, are we going to raise taxes or are we going to lower taxes? Are we going to, you know, expand this program or eliminate this program? You know, how — how concerned are we about air pollution or climate change?

Those are all normal parts of the debate. And as I’ve said before, in a democracy sometimes you’re going to win on those issues and sometimes you’re going to lose. I’m confident about the rightness of my positions on a lot of these points, but we’ve got a new president and a Congress that are going to make their same determinations.

And there will be a back-and-forth in Congress around those issues. And you guys will report on all that.

But there’s a difference between that normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake. I put in that category if I saw systematic discrimination being ratified in some fashion. I put in that category explicit or functional obstacles to people being able to vote, to exercise their franchise.

OBAMA: I’d put in that category institutional efforts to silence dissent or the press. And for me at least, I would put in that category efforts to roundup kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids, and send them someplace else, when they love this country. They are our kids’ friends and their classmates, and are now entering into community colleges or in some cases serving in our military, that the notion that we would just arbitrarily or because of politics punish those kids, when they didn’t do anything wrong themselves, I think would be something that would merit me speaking out.

It doesn’t mean that I would get on the ballot anyway.

With respect to wet foot, dry foot, we underwent a monumental shift in our policy towards Cuba. My view was after 50 years of a policy not working, it made sense for us to try to reopen diplomatic relations, to engage a Cuban government, to be honest with them about the strong disagreements we have around, you know, political oppression and treatment of dissenters and freedom of press and freedom of religion, but that to make progress for the Cuban people, our best shot was to suddenly have the Cuban people interacting with Americans and seeing the incredible success of the Cuban-American community and engaging in commerce and business and trade, and that it was through that process of opening up these bilateral relations that you would see over time serious and significant improvement.

Given that shift in the relationship, the policy that we had in place with wet foot, dry foot, which treated Cub