The all-important Second Amendment, and why Bernie is wrong when he votes against it

Bernie sanders yellingThis is part three in my ongoing series challenging a simplistic pro-Bernie blog that is aimed at and popular with young people. I Like Bernie, But… states questions that worried Progressives might have about Bernie Sanders and gives short, usually highly misleading answers to those questions.

I started a new blog, entitled I Don’t Like Bernie, Because. . ., and have already written posts challenging the way in which the I Like Bernie team pretended (a) that Bernie is not a socialist; (b) that his tax plans, rather than killing the economy, will enrich all but the rich; and (c) that he can successfully socialize American medicine. (You can also read those posts in Bookworm Room, herehere, and here.)  Those were easy posts, because one just had to take on the lies and misdirection.

A more interesting question is Bernie on gun control.  Bernie has been very uneven on that subject, sometimes voting for more gun control and sometimes voting against it (with his last few votes leaning more strongly in favor of gun control).  The I Like Bernie crowd seeks to assure people that Bernie really hates the Second Amendment.  I went a different way in my I Don’t Like Bernie post:  I want to convince young Progressives that they’re most safe in a Second Amendment world.  Here is a reprint of that post:

Why it’s no compliment to Bernie that the NRA hates him

The website I Like Bernie, But… seeks to address concerns that voters might have about Bernie Sanders, and to assure them that his plans work, that he’s electable, and that his vision his sound.  Previous posts on this blog have addressed the I Like Bernie take on his socialism (yes, he’s a socialist, not a Democrat) and his tax and spend plans (which are great if you want to kill the economy).  This post takes on the I Like Bernie discussion about Bernie and guns.

The question asked is “Isn’t he too weak on gun control?”  No, the I Like Bernie team hastens to assure readers, he’s not.  The Brady Campaign loves him and the NRA hates him:

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Guns, guns, guns, and more guns; or a pleasant morning at the shooting range

ruger-sr22-pistol-sideOver the past twenty years or so, I’ve decided that some of the nicest people you’ll ever find hang out in two places:  martial arts dojos and shooting ranges.  That’s not what one would expect in places that train people in the art of defensive mayhem, but the reality is that in both dojos and shooting ranges, you’ll find people who adore what they do, who are very knowledgeable about it, and who love sharing their knowledge and helping out.

This is especially true at shooting ranges, as was proven to me again today.  I wonder whether this has something to do with the fact that, at least in the blue, blue Bay Area, people at shooting ranges are beleaguered in the general community.  At the shooting range, they can be themselves and share their pleasure with others.  Or it could be that people who believe in the Second Amendment are just seriously nice.

This morning I met two of my readers, as well as their charming, poised son, at Bullseye, the local shooting range in San Rafael.  Out of respect for their privacy — because, as I said, gun owners are not incredibly popular here in Marin — I’ll call my readers Amy and Henry.

Before today, I hadn’t met Amy or Henry.  Instead, all of our contact had been via email.  Some months ago, during our email exchanges, Amy had asked me if I would like to join them at Bullseye, adding that she and Henry have a nice collection of guns that I was welcome to try.  You’d think that I’d jump at that invitation, wouldn’t you?  Actually, I didn’t.  I got nervous.  That’s because I read too much.

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[VIDEO] When human hyenas circle their prey, having this helps *UPDATED*

Thug with weaponA video has emerged from France purportedly showing a gang of Muslim immigrants armed with rocks and truncheons, descending upon a lone French man.  The way these human predators slowly close in on the Frenchman reminds me of nothing so much as hyenas encircling a wounded lion or elephant.  If this video is real, the Frenchman was fortunate in that he was armed and made it clear he was willing to defend himself.  Not all Europeans are so lucky — especially, of late, European women, who are completely at the mercy of the hyenas in their midst:

In situations such as this, guns save lives. And if the situation had escalated, and (assuming the video is what it purports to be) the Frenchman had been forced to fire at the thugs, killing one or more, it would have saved the life worth saving. As for the other lives . . . well, in a civilized society, you shouldn’t be stalking and threatening ordinary people. If you do, in a sane society, you’re assuming the risk that you, the bad guy, may not walk away from the encounter.

UPDATE: Danny Lemieux, who is fluent in French, provides further, even more disturbing, information about this video:

Book, there was an error in translation: the news commentator makes clear that the person carrying in the video was a policeman (obviously plain clothes). Ordinary citizens in France are not allowed to carry – the people that he was protecting would have been completely vulnerable. The other things to note are that: a) this happened in plain daylight; b) this was apparently a fairly nice section of the town and c) ordinary traffic in the background was totally unaffected by what was happening and d) the police felt powerless to call back up, crack heads and make arrests. This is really, really bad…far worse than I imagined. It tells me that the violence has now spilled out of the “zones sensibles” (“no go” zones) into the communities at large.

Armed civilian stops escaping terrorist (in Israel)

Guns save lives in IsraelIsrael had yet another stabbing today, after yesterday’s horror attack, which killed a young mother of six in front of three of her children. Today, the pregnant woman who was stabbed survived, as did her baby. (If you don’t know about all this, don’t be surprised. The MSM assiduously ignores the daily horrors of Israel’s knife intifatah. The way to know about it is to follow a pro-Israel source on Facebook. I follow The Israel Project, StandWithUs, The Times of Israel, and the Israel Defense Forces.)

Today’s attack in Israel had a special resonance for me because of the way in which the terrorist was taken out of commission:

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The Bookworm Beat 1/8/16 — the “world gone mad” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I don’t know how this happened, but in just three days of collecting articles on my cyber-spindle, I’ve managed to gather together almost thirty solid links I want to share with you. No time for chat, therefore; instead, I’ll plunge straight into my fascinating “world gone mad” edition:

If you only have time to read two things today

This is a meaty round-up. If you don’t have time to pursue all these links, I recommend two articles, both of which say things we already now, but each of which expresses those ideas with such clarity that you must read them:

1. Noemi Emery’s Obama’s Pass From The Press.

2. Kevin Williamson’s Mrs. Clinton is Professor Click.

The danger to America from Obama’s unconstitutional efforts to grab guns

Mike McDaniel didn’t need to hear Obama’s tearful press conference to know what was coming down the pike. Before Obama even opened his mouth, Mike spelled out the benefits of having a civilized and armed society, as well as the constitutional limitations Obama planned to (and did) blow past on his way to gun confiscation.

I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that Obama lied about guns in America

Oh, and just about everything Obama said during the press conference was a lie.

Indeed, the very first lie was about those 30,000 deaths annually, with the implication that these are 30,000 annual gun homicides. There aren’t:

At a Jan. 4 press conference, President Barack Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, exclaimed that “30,000 gun deaths in America” was enough evidence for the administration to push past Congress to establish laws to combat gun violence.

“Thirty thousand gun deaths in America every year. Twenty thousand children under the age of 18 have been killed by a firearm over the last decade. Hundreds of law enforcement officers that have been shot and killed over the last decade. And in the face of all these statistics, what’s Congress done?” Earnest asked.

However, Earnest’s efforts backfired when Emily Miller, a reporter for WTTG and author of the book “Emily Gets Her Gun,” noted that 20,000 of those deaths were due to suicide.

Obama also ignore yet another truth: guns don’t just take lives, they save lives. It’s really beyond me why the NRA and other special interest groups don’t track down every single person who lives today because a gun protected him (or her) and have that person do a commercial: “Hi, my name is ___________. I’m here today because a legal gun saved my life. [Tell story.]” Finish with glowing images of survivor surrounded by happy loved ones.  These commercials should flood every type of media:  Television, print, and internet.

Was Paul Ryan more Machiavellian than we realized?

Conservatives in America were deeply disappointed when Paul Ryan pushed through a budget that fulfilled every Democrat’s dream. What the heck was he thinking?

What he might have been thinking about was repealing Obamacare. According to Rick Moran, the recent vote to repeal Obamacare was only possible because of the Ryan budget:

The key to this vote was getting a budget bill passed. Once that happened, reconciliation came into play – the first time since Obamacare was passed and Republicans were in the majority. Of course, there aren’t the votes to override the president’s veto, but the path forward for the people to take back control of their health insurance options has been cleared.

The question remains whether, over the long run, the Ryan budget will do more good than harm.

Culture can be a source for good

In America, of late, popular culture hasn’t done much for the public weal. It’s therefore nice to be reminded that something as simple as a song can be a source of profound good — as was the case with a Yiddish song that powered Jewish partisans during WWII, and that has frequently been recorded since then.

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[VIDEO] Elbert Guillory on Obama’s mission to disarm Americans in a dangerous world

Elbert GuilloryI am not exaggerating when I say that I have been in love (in a political way) with Elbert Guillory ever since I first saw him back in mid-2013, when he was still ostensibly a Democrat. That feeling has never changed and, indeed, my deep and abiding respect for his intelligence, humanism, and patriotism ratcheted up again when I saw this video he made in the wake of Obama’s anti-Second Amendment Executive Orders:

This is yet another video it would do every single person in Marin good to listen to — but the reality is that I’m not a totalitarian, fascist Leftist, so I don’t go around forcing people to listen to things.

Obama’s and the Left’s crocodile tears for the victims of gun violence

Obama tears up over gun controlThe Progressives on my Facebook feed are in a delighted tizzy. Obama actually cried — he cried! — when he spoke of his new unilaterally enacted gun control edicts limiting law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights. I quote:

“Bravo, Mr. President! Thank you so much for your leadership, your clear-headed thinking and your enormous heart.”

“I agree completely with Obama – if it prevents even one death, that life is meaningful.”

And finally, from “Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian” (in fact, a hard-Left Canadian comedienne), came this:

“If you find yourself mocking anyone who cries over murdered children, it’s Jesus’s way of letting you know you’re a sociopath.”

This was a sentiment that several of my Progressive friends “liked.”

There are so many things wrong with these statements that it’s a little hard to know where to begin. What I won’t discuss here are the specifics of the Executive Order — which apparently range from stupid, to dangerous, to vaguely helpful, but always unconstitutional. You can find several intelligent discussions at conservative sites. A few suggestions are Ace of Spades, Larry Correia, Bearing Arms, and AWR Hawkins.

Instead, what I want to discuss are those tears. I believe they are theatrical, and it’s not just because it’s possible that Obama “onioned” his eyes as a way to make them happen. Obama doesn’t needs onions to shed fake tears as a way of cementing a con — and his gun control push is a con, one that he’s probably deliberately running on the American people, although it’s conceivable he’s running it on himself too.

My “Obama is crying hypocritical crocodile tears” argument is best made through the filter of a 2015 HBO documentary, Requiem for the Dead.  Consider this argument a synecdoche, one in which the part is used to be illustrative of the whole.  My experience with a Leftist and Requiem for the Dead is America’s experience with Barack Obama and his acolytes.

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The Bookworm Beat 1/4/2016 — the “I’ve got a secret” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I have sitting in front of me a piece of a very juicy story that’s happening in real-time — and I can’t do anything about it right now! Two things stop me: The first is that, as I said, I currently only have a piece, and I need more information to understand fully what is going on; the second is that I don’t know yet whether what’s happening is operating under a confidentiality agreement.

The fact that I got some of the information means that someone (and I know who) violated confidentiality, but the whole thing is too sensitive for me to charge into. I’m going to keep an eye on things, though, and I’ll let you know when/if I have a real story. Meanwhile….

On guns, using Alinsky against the Alinsky-ites

Saul Alinksy may have had an ugly ideology, but he was a master tactician. One of his mandates is that you have to make your political enemy play by his own rules. The Virginia GOP is making noises about doing just that, although I doubt GOPers will have the courage of their convictions:

Virginia’s radically anti-gun Governor and Attorney General were probably quite pleased with themselves when they spitefully severed concealed carry agreements with 25 states, including all but one of its neighbors.

They probably didn’t anticipate the backlash they’ve received, which includes calls to recall or impeach Attorney General Mark Herring, and pushes for legislation that will both strip elected officials of the ability to make such unilateral decisions, and get a little payback.

Herring’s announcement came three weeks before the start of the General Assembly session, which is controlled by Republicans. In November, a bill was filed that would require Virginia to recognize permits from other states. If approved, it would reverse Herring’s ruling.

Carrico said he’ll address the issue come January.

“A lot of the governor’s power is deferred to the General Assembly at that point and I’ll be getting with my collegues to circumvent everything this governor has done on this point,” he said. “I have a budget amendment that I’m looking at to take away his executive protection unit. If he’s so afraid of guns, then I’m not going to surround him with armed state policemen.”

Read more here.

It would be fruitless and damaging to try stripping Hillary Clinton of her Secret Service detail. Having said that, it would be brilliant if, at every campaign stop, people ask her why, because she is such a strong anti-gun campaigner, she shouldn’t be stripped of that armed coverage.  And I’d love to see the same question asked of Obama at town halls.

I suspect both will reply that they need security because they’re targets.  Statistically speaking, though, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the average citizen of Chiraq is just as likely to be a target — the only difference is that the Chiraquian cannot defend himself (or have others defend him).

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A pleasant Second Amendment surprise from a Berkeley-based romance writer

heart-gun-red-lovePart of why Andrew Breitbart was such an explosive presence in the conservative community was because he fully appreciated that “Politics is downstream from culture.”  People’s attitudes flow from the culture around them, rather than from the political platforms dragged out and speeches made every four years.  That’s why I think it matters when a popular romance novelist writes books that dismiss PC-identity politics, recognize that there’s nothing wrong with young people working and struggling to get ahead, and actively promote guns (including concealed carry) as a way for women to stay safe.

Before introducing you to those novels, let me digress a bit to explain why romance novels matter when it comes to popular culture.  Those who are not romance aficionados may be unaware that romance novels are the single biggest book category sold in America.  Good times or bad, romance fans will scrape together the money to get their fix.

If you’re hoping to write a book that sells, take a gander at these statistics:  By 2013, it was estimated that sales for romance novels would be around $1.08 billion, accounting for 13% of all adult fiction.  Of that $1.08 billion in sales, 39% of romance novels are sold as e-books, with paperbacks coming in second at 32%.  (In addition to cheaper prices, e-books have the lovely advantage of hiding the often tawdry covers that are attached to even the classiest books.) Those are some darn impressive numbers.

Romance novels come in all sizes and flavors.  You can get short stories, novellas, stand-alone novels and, with increasing frequency, novels that ostensibly stand alone, but are actually part of a set.  This means that Boy 1 and Girl 1 get together in Novel 1, but you’re also introduced to Girls 2, 3, and 4 (or maybe Boys 2, 3, and 4), with the promise that later novels will move these peripheral characters front and center, and show you how they too found romance.

If you happen to like a particular writer, you’ll willingly shell out money for the whole series.  Moreover, publishers (whether self-publishers or publishing houses) have figured out that, if Novel 3 needs to be marketed, one of the best ways to do that is to offer the e-version of Novel 1 for free and Novel 2 at a discount.  Once hooked, and desperate to know what happened to “all the other characters in the book,” your customer will willingly pay full price for Novel 3 and for all subsequent sequels, assuming the author is able to keep the writing fresh and interesting.

Fresh and interesting count for a lot in Romance Novel Land.  The reality is that all the novels are fundamentally identical:  boy meets girl, boy and girl go through travails, boy and girl end up happily ever after.  The freshness and interest come in devising a meeting and putting them through the travails.

As an author, you have to begin by selecting your romance genre, of course.  The major categories are Contemporary and Historic.  Within those two overarching classifications, though, there are endless subsets:  Suspense, Regency, Pirate, Western, Military, Scottish, British, Americana, Futurist, Murder Mystery, BDSM, Gay/Lesbian, Billionaire, Millionaire, Ditzy Heroine, Hard Boiled Heroine, Accomplished Heroine, Dead Heroine, Haunted Heroine, Psychic, Witty Plot, Emotional Plot, and on and on and on and on and on. . . .  Moreover, you also have to figure out whether, when it comes to sex, your book will be “sweet” (something my friend Judith Lown does so well), frisky, or “I wouldn’t let my teenage daughter read that.”

After you’ve figured out your genre and subgenre, well, then it’s all up to you as a writer.  I’ve tried more than once to write a romance novel, but I just can’t do it.  I don’t have the knack. For the foreseeable future, I’ll stick to political and social commentary, not that I’m complaining about that today, mind you, given my “serious brainpower.”   (Doug Ross, incidentally, is my new and forever favorite person.)

Because I’ve found it impossible to write a romance myself, I’m always impressed by those writers who do it, and do it well.  Some of the really well-established writers are Georgette Heyer, the grand dame of sparkling, witty, charming, delightful Regency romances; Linda Howard, who specializes in strong women loved by even stronger men; Lisa Kleypas, who writes good mid-19th century British historicals, and truly excellent contemporary novels (my favorite is this one); and Jayne Ann Krentz, aka Amanda Quick, whose prodigious output includes historicals, contemporaries, and futuristic, all of which involve accomplished women and slightly buttoned-down, but highly complementary men who fall in love while solving crimes.

Those are just the authors who pop easily into my mind. With romance novels having been hot sellers since Jane Austen, the list of authors is staggering and, thanks to e-books, growing by the minute.

Oh, and there’s one more author — the one who actually gave rise to this post: Rosalind James. Remember how I said earlier that one of the best marketing devices is, when e-novel 2 is published for full price, to entice people by marketing e-novel 1 for free? That’s how I stumbled across Rosalind James. When Book 2 in her eight (going on nine) book series about New Zealand rugby players was published, her first book — Just This Once (Escape to New Zealand Book 1) (which is still being sold at a low 99 cents) — was suddenly offered for free. I can never resist free books that might entertain me, so I gave it a spin. I liked it, and I started looking for James’ books.

In addition to the New Zealand books, some of which are better than others, but all of which are at least somewhat enjoyable, James has written two other series: One is about three siblings, the Kincaids; and the other, most recent series, is about life in Paradise, Idaho. Two of those books contain some pleasant surprises. The first surprise comes in Welcome to Paradise: A Western Reality Show Romance (The Kincaids Book 1), which as of this writing is being offered for free; and the second is in Carry Me Home (Paradise, Idaho).

The premise in Welcome to Paradise is that the contestants are living as if they’re 1885 homesteaders in the Midwest.  They show up in pairs (siblings, parent/child, married couples, unmarried couples, Hollywood bimbos) and the girl from the unmarried couple finds love with one of the male siblings. The book works well at many levels.  The main characters are likable, the secondary characters are surprisingly well-developed, the historical details are delightfully accurate, and, aside from the inevitable “boy gets girl,” the plot is original and interesting.

What really revved my engine about the book though, is how strongly it comes out in favor of traditional values.  The competitors are “diverse” (white, black, Hispanic, Jewish, gay), etc., but James actively resists allowing her characters to mouth PC pieties.  That’s how readers get a bit of interesting dialog when James introduces Stanley and Calvin, black father/son duo:

“My son Calvin,” Stanley said, gesturing to a smaller, much leaner version of himself standing nearby, his expression less amiable than his father’s.

“The token Black men,” Calvin said. “It’s just us and the Latinas, I guess.” He nodded to two women talking to an older couple nearby. “Minority Number Two.”

“You think the four of us are the only people of color who applied?” his father asked. “And yet they selected us, us four individuals. Nobody’s asking you to represent your race, just like nobody’s asking Mira here to represent hers.”

“Pop,” Calvin sighed. “You don’t really believe that.”

“That’s how I choose to look at my time here,” his father corrected him. “I can’t be fussing about what anyone else thinks.”

(James, Rosalind (2013-04-11). Welcome to Paradise (The Kincaids) (Kindle Locations 309-316).)

Stanley also turns out to be a former Marine, as well as an all-around good guy. Score one for James.

James also earns big points from me because she really doesn’t like the academic crowd. She has nothing but disdain for her two crunchy organic types, Martin, an anthropology professor in Boston, and his wife Arlene, a textile designer. James has a very good ear for how this type sounds:

“Martin Deveraux,” the man, thin and fortyish, said.

“And Arlene Filippi,” the heavier dark-haired woman next to him cut in. “We’re from Boston,” she went on. “We’re keenly interested in the negative impact that modern technology has on personal relationships and family dynamics. In fact, we’ve set up our own home as a technology-free zone, and we try to keep our children’s life simple too. No TV, no video games, no iPods,” she said proudly. “When we heard about this show, we felt it was the perfect chance to truly experience life as our great-grandparents lived it, and to model that simpler lifestyle for the rest of the country.”

(James, Rosalind (2013-04-11). Welcome to Paradise (The Kincaids) (Kindle Locations 358-363).)

When Stanley chastises his son, Calvin, for using crude language in front of the women, he and Marin have a polite discussion about the way a man should treat women respectfully. James leaves no doubt that she sides with Stanley on this one:

“I learned why they call cowboy boots shitkickers,” Calvin grimaced, prompting a rueful laugh from every man but his father.

“Language,” he growled in his deep rumble. “Ladies.”

“We’ve heard the word,” Arlene protested. “It won’t burn our tender ears.”

“Calvin would never have said that word in front of his mama,” Stanley countered, “and you wouldn’t want her to hear you say it now, would you, son?”

“No,” he muttered. “Sorry.”

“You don’t feel that kind of double standard is really another way of infantilizing women, part of the patriarchal belief system that’s kept them from full participation in society?” Martin asked, seeming genuinely interested.

Stanley looked at him in amusement.

“No, I surely don’t. I’d like to have heard you call Calvin’s mama infantile, or try to keep her from participating. Where I’m from, you don’t use that kind of language in mixed company, that’s all.”

(James, Rosalind (2013-04-11). Welcome to Paradise (The Kincaids) (Kindle Locations 637-646).)

Welcome to Paradise also stands out because James seemingly has no problem with guns. On guns, Martin and Arlene, again, are the voices of academia and elitism and, again, are politely disabused of their Ivory Tower notions. This bit of dialog takes place when the contestants assemble to learn basic gun handling:

“Can I just say something?” Arlene interjected.

“Go right ahead,” John [the instructor] said resignedly.

“Martin and I would prefer to sit this out. We’re pacifists, and we’re not comfortable handling a weapon. We wouldn’t shoot anything anyway, so there’s no point in our learning.”

“You planning on telling ol’ Mama Grizz you’re a pacifist, when she comes for you?” John asked. “Or when a pack of wolves shows up? You can call yourself anything you like. They’ll just be calling you dinner.”

“Bear attacks are extremely rare,” Martin snapped. “And there’s never been a documented case of a wolf attacking a human in the United States. I read up on it before we came.”

“Have the bears and wolves signed your mutual nonaggression treaty?” Kevin [the gay man] asked innocently. “And what about livestock? Have wolves been given a bad rap on that too? Or do your rules of interspecies harmony require us to share our cattle with them?”

(James, Rosalind (2013-04-11). Welcome to Paradise (The Kincaids) (Kindle Locations 866-874).)

Now, it’s entirely possible that James wrote about guns as she did because she was aiming for historical verisimilitude. After all, the real pioneers in 1885 couldn’t haven’t managed without their guns, so the show would necessarily have to use guns no matter how distasteful that could be to modern sensibilities. After all, disarmed vegans had a short life span when it came to homesteading. However, between Arlene’s and Martin’s pedantic, judgmental opposition to guns, and Kevin’s funny, logical reply, I came away from Welcome to Paradise, feeling that James is okay with guns.

Any doubts I had about James’ support for the Second Amendment were ended when I read Carry Me Home. Prof. Zoe Santangelo, the heroine, is a hydrogeologist who ends up being stalked by a rapist. Her love interest is Cal, a former pro football player and farmer. The setting is a small college town in Idaho.

I was less than thrilled when James’ moved her plot forward by repeating at some length the canard that every one out of four or five young women on a college campus can expect to be sexually assaulted.  After all, if this were true, no parent in his or her right mind would ever send a daughter to college. I forgave James entirely, though, when she wrote the following passage, which takes place as Amy, a young woman attacked by the rapist, Zoe, and Cal are entering the campus police station:

Personal Weapons: Secure Storage,” Dr. Santangelo read aloud from the sign over the door to the right of the reception desk. “Does that mean the officers’ personal weapons, or . . . what?” She watched a guy head out of the room, dropping a handgun into his backpack, a uniformed officer locking the door behind him. “Or . . . something else?”

“Oh,” Amy explained, “you’re supposed to turn in your guns for the day while you’re on campus. But I didn’t,” she whispered.

“What?” Dr. Santangelo stared at her.

“I shouldn’t say. Not here. But my dad said to keep it with me all the time.” She shifted her backpack on her shoulder, and now Dr. Santangelo was staring at that, as if she’d never heard of anybody carrying a gun before.

“He was right, too,” Cal said. “You listen to your dad. Make you feel a whole lot better. If he comes anywhere near you, you pull that thing out first and ask questions later.”

“Wait. What?” Dr. Santangelo demanded.

“I told my dad I was supposed to lock it up,” Amy said, “but he said if I never needed it, nobody would ever know I hadn’t. And if I did . . . well, that would be the least of anybody’s worries, that I was carrying.”

“Carrying,” Dr. Santangelo said faintly. “Sounds like some . . . movie.”

“Nope,” Cal said. “Just sounds like Idaho. Figure everybody’s carrying, and you won’t be too far off.”

“Do you know how to use it, though?” Dr. Santangelo asked Amy. “Otherwise, isn’t that really dangerous? I’ve always heard that a gun is dangerous because your attacker can use it against you.”

“Only if he’s not dead,” Cal said, which was pretty much what Amy’s dad would have said.

“Of course I do,” Amy said. “You’re right. It doesn’t do you much good if you don’t.”

“It’s like a whole new world,” Dr. Santangelo said.

(James, Rosalind (2015-06-16). Carry Me Home (Paradise, Idaho) (pp. 142-143). Montlake Romance. Kindle Edition.)

Nor is that the last James has to say on the subject. Later, Zoe and Cal rendezvous with Jim, the sheriff, at the home of Cal’s parents to discuss the stalker/rapist problem. Both Jim and Cal’s father, Stan, have something to say on the subject too:

Jim shoved the notebook back into his pocket and pushed back from the table, the others rising with him. “I sure hope this Amy has something more than a bat next to her bed now. This mutt sounds like real bad news.”

“She said that she . . .” Wait. Should she [Zoe] say? It was against the rules, Amy had told her.

“Be surprised if she didn’t,” Stan put in. “Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson make a pretty powerful argument. If she were my daughter? You bet she would. No way she’d be back here [on campus] otherwise.”

(James, Rosalind (2015-06-16). Carry Me Home (Paradise, Idaho) (p. 181). Montlake Romance. Kindle Edition.)

Bravo, Ms. James, for instructing your readers about the real world, and about the fact that, especially for women, guns are the great equalizer.

What’s really interesting about Ms. James’ stance on guns, political correctness, and the true way to respect women is that she’s based in Berkeley, California. I have a hard enough time in Marin County being a conservative. How in the world does James survive with those views?

I’ve written before about romance novelists who have strong pro-Second Amendment themes in their books. Given romances’ popularity, and the fact that politics flows downstream from culture, I think it’s incredibly important that we conservatives support those authors who tactfully, but strongly, use the most popular genre in America to stand up against Leftist gun-grabbing misinformation.

So, if you’re in the mood for some romance during these short winter days, think about buy a Rosalind James or Linda Howard book. Or check out Lisa Kleypas’s Smooth Talking Stranger, whose male romantic lead is an unabashedly old-fashioned guy who loves to go out hunting.

(If you do find yourself heading over to Amazon to check out one of those books, or to buy anything else for that matter, please consider using one of the links on this page to get to Amazon. If you do that, and if you make a purchase, a penny or two of that purchase ends up in my money jar.)

Trey Gowdy on the government’s denying 2nd Amendment rights without due process

Terrorism Watch List

Trey Gowdy grills DHS official on due process.

Posted by House Oversight Committee on Thursday, December 10, 2015

(If the video doesn’t load, go here.)

The Bookworm Beat 12-10-15 — the “Islamic terrorism” edition *UPDATED*

Woman-writing-300x265A few words about Donald Trump’s campaign success

Donald Trump is the ordinary American’s id. The id, of course, is our most basic intelligence, the one that gives us the atavistic reflexes that recognize danger and act on it to stay alive.

Trump has cut through the political correctness that prevented all politicians, including Republican ones, from speaking the cold, hard truth: Muslims are a problem. While we know that not all Muslims are a problem, until we figure out a way to separate wheat from chaff, we are insane to invite them in without limitations.

If you pay attention to what Trump said, as opposed to what the media says he said, Trump actually made a sensible suggestion, although framed in his typical inflammatory way: America needs to press the pause button on admitting Muslims until we can formulate a policy that’s aimed at separating bad (i.e., jihadist or otherwise fundamentalist Muslims) from good Muslims. Here, in his own words, with my emphasis added:

Donald Trump evoked outrage from across the political spectrum Monday by calling for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S., a proposal that taps into voter anxiety about the recent spate of terrorist attacks yet likely runs afoul of religious freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. “It is obvious to anybody the hatred [among Muslims] is beyond comprehension,” Mr. Trump said. “Where this hatred comes from and why, we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” His campaign said he would keep the ban intact “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” including the facts around the two attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., last week. Syed Rizwan Farook, a U.S. citizen, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, a legal immigrant who had a green card, were killed in a shootout with the police after the massacre.

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The Bookworm Beat 12-7-15 — Pearl Harbor edition and open thread

It’s ironic that on the eve of the 74th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, our President announced that the only thing that is infamous is (a) the Constitution (with primary focus on the 1st and 2nd Amendments) and (b) the apparently boundless (but surprisingly never acted upon) racism, Islamophobia, and gun-loving violence of the American people. Honestly, if this were December 7, 1941, he’d be telling us that Pearl Harbor had nothing to do with Japan and that we need to examine our consciences to understand why an unaffiliated group of Japanese people in Japanese military aircraft would attack our arrogant, imperialist military. And on that note, here are the posters:

Pearl Harbor

Loretta Lynch free speech

Loretta Lynch will prosecute anti-Muslim speech

Loretta Lynch and free speech

Loretta Lynch grinch kills free speech

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