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2nd Amendment

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Spring has officially sprung, fellow bikers! While your ever-lovable Grey Beard Biker rides year-round, the 2020 riding season is officially here. Where will 2020 take you? Perhaps to Smoky Mountain Thunder over Memorial Day Weekend? I certainly hope so. It is an amazing event that will make even the toughest biker well up with tears remembering the sacrifices our veterans have made to protect our freedom. We all know that FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!

We all cherish the Second Amendment. It is a very simple sentence:

“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.”

But this single sentence has been perverted by the gun control crowd more than any other sentence in our founding documents.

Our Founding Documents

Before we dive too deep into the Second Amendment, let’s take a look at all of our Founding documents:

  1. The Declaration of Independence was our original document. It was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, with input from Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman. This document declared our independence and described what our Founders were striving for: a democratic republic. It would be ratified by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
  2. The U.S. Constitution was the operating blueprint for the United States. It was officially ratified by all of the states on June 21, 1788 and became the effective rule of the land on March 4, 1789.
  3. The Bill of Rights was our next founding document and became the first 10 amendments to our U.S. Constitution. After the adoption of our constitution, many of our Founding Fathers were concerned about a lack of protection for the citizens. These Founders were primarily aligned with the Anti-Federalists and included the most outspoken critic of the Federalists, Thomas Jefferson. These wise men wanted protections for the people including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and protection against an overarching Federal government. These ten amendments would be drafted on September 25, 1789 and ratified by all states on December 15, 1791.

These amendments obviously included the Second – which we freedom lovers cherish. Over the years, there have been continuous attacks on the Second Amendment by those who wish to limit our ability to “keep and bear arms.” The biggest being the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 – a law which fortunately expired after 10 years of doing nothing to prevent violent crime with firearms. But the calls for new assault weapon bans continue along with other proposed legislation including: Universal background checks, restrictions in magazine capacity, banning of all semiautomatic firearms and gun registries. The biggest fallback fallacy of those wanting to take away our freedoms is, “the founders never envisioned modern weapons.” Or, “it only applies to the militia” – which they falsely claim to be our National Guard. This is all a bunch of hooey. Every single one of the Bill of Rights speaks to individual rights, with the exception of the Tenth Amendment – which provides that all rights not reserved to the Federal Government are reserved to the states.

Federalist No. 46

The Federalist Papers were written by three of the Founding Fathers: John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. These essays were originally written anonymously under the pseudonym, Publius, and were used as a way for these Founders to speak directly to the “People” – before the ratification of our Constitution.

Federalist No. 46 was written by James Madison and spoke to the “right to keep and bear arms.” Keep in mind this was before the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Some of the key portions of No. 46 are:

With regards to our right to bear arms, Madison writes, “The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States; an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and conducted by governments (states) possessing their affections and confidence.” Madison continues, “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments (states), to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government (Federal government) of any form can admit of.”

Conclusion

So, what does this all mean? First, the citizens of the United States are the last protection against any enemy, foreign or domestic. Domestic? Yes! Madison, and all of the Founders, recognized that a strong central government, with an ambition to force its will on her people, is dangerous to all God Given rights. Including speech, the press, assembly and the right to a speedy trial. Second, Madison recognized that these God Given rights are not given by the government. This includes the right to protect yourself. Someone attacking you is wanting to take away your rights to everything outlined in the Bill of Rights – with the exception of the Tenth Amendment. So, the next time a gun grabber tells you that you don’t need a gun, confidently tell them that it’s the Bill of Rights – which includes your right to live how you choose and protect yourself.

Grey Beard Biker
gbb@TheGreyBeardBiker.com
@GreyBeard_Biker on the Twiter

It’s happening right before our very eyes. America is in a state of decay. What happened to our great country? Our Founding Fathers, nearly 2 1/2 centuries ago, took 13 small British colonies and declared them independent of the British throne. They knew that the throne would consider them traitors and that they may all swing from the nearest tree. But these brave men created the greatest country on the face of the earth. Since then, we cleansed ourself from the shackles of slavery – with a loss of nearly 10% of our men – in the Civil War, fought fascism and Nazism in Europe and became the world’s greatest superpower. The Patriots who founded our country, and those who paid the supreme sacrifice to promote freedom, must be ashamed of what we have become.

Main Stream Media

One need look no further than the current Main Stream Media (MSM) to see the decay. While they claim to be presenting the news, nearly everything they report as “real” news is shrouded in a blanket of ideology. Their ratings have continued to decline over the past decade, but their followers believe what they spew because it validates their own beliefs. This is not journalism – this is the promotion of one political viewpoint over another – which is not American. 

Leftist Politicians

This same MSM provides a platform for politicians they agree with: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, Ilhan Omar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and all the other leftist politicians. Some of those they are providing a microphone to preach anti-American garbage, anti-Semitic trash and socialist doctrine. These politicians do not hold the same views as the average American and are chipping away at what has made America great for over 200 years.

Their policies promote open borders, expansion of the welfare state, Medicare for All, free secondary education and the slow erosion of our Second Amendment. They cannot win on the battlefield of ideas. Their platform is hollow and revolves around class warfare, racism and redistribution of wealth. Simply put, they have to give things away to receive votes. Unfortunately, the entitlements they promote will come at a punitive cost to the American taxpayer.

Antifa

Antifa is a stain on the great fabric of our country. While peaceful protests and civil disobedience have been key to the advancement of our great nation, Antifa represents neither. Antifa is an acronym for Anti-Fascist and represents a broad militant group. Fascism, according to Merriam-Webster, is defined as:

“A political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”

Nazism during Adolph Hitler’s formation of the Third Reich has many of the same traits as fascism: nation above its people, centralized autocratic government, a dictatorial leader and suppression of opposition.

Antifa claims to be anti-fascist, often trying to suggest President Donald J. Trump is a fascist, but this is simply not true. Trump is not a fascist. He does not forcibly suppress those who disagree with him. Rather, he calls out his opposition to ensure the people understand what he is dealing with. He is not in charge of an autocratic government. He is the chief executive of a government which still has three distinct branches. Lastly, Trump does not promote the government over the people. He understands that the government is the subject of the people and not the other way around. 

Antifa, on the other hand, is fascist in nearly every way. While their chosen name may lead one to believe they are truly anti-fascist, their actions do not support that position. They are protesting a government in which the people vote their legislators and president into office – far from an autocratic form of government. Unlike in a fascist government, the President of the United States can only serve two terms. Antifa members have become violent against many of those they protest, recently beating up a gay reporter, confronting Pro-Life marchers, attacking Trump supporters and blocking traffic. This is nothing like the civil disobedience Henry David Thoreau promoted from Walden Pond. Lastly, they claim to be against white supremacy but come to their protests behind masks – much like the Ku-Klux-Klan did during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This is unacceptable in a country which was built upon providing its citizens the freedoms enumerated in our Bill of Rights.

Indoctrination of the People

The Democrats having been losing in the arena of ideas since the Ronald Reagan years. Since the election of William Jefferson Clinton as president, this country has been moving more towards a far-left ideology – one drip at a time. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack H. Obama are disciples of the teachings of Saul Alinksky. Alinsky was the first “community organizer” and wrote the book, “Rules for Radicals” – which provides the modern Democrat Party many of the tactics they use today. The current hatchling of Democrat 2020 hopefuls, and their minions in congress, have not mastered all of Alinsky’s Rules, but some of them they have. Grey Beard has graded their mastery of each one:

  1. Power is not what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have: B- (they attempt to show their power, but the majority of Americans still recognize them as weak – especially on the laws of the land)
  2. Never go outside the experience of your people: D– (they are constantly failing here – with the same tired old faces spewing the same old hatred)
  3. Whenever possible, go outside the experience of your enemy: C- (Trump usually has them tongue tied and resorting to the same old talking points)
  4. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon: B+ (Ridicule and class warfare is literally the only thing many of them are accomplished at)
  5. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy: A- (Their people love to see them attack Trump, capitalism and religion)
  6. A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag: F (Their call for impeachment and continued investigations of Russian Collusion is way beyond its expiration date – move on already)
  7. Keep the pressure on: B (One must give them credit – they are trying)
  8. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself: C (most of their plans are still quite terrifying to Patriots)
  9. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition: B (They have been building their organization through societal indoctrination for many years)
  10. If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive: B (Medicare for all is a good example of their success – the more moderate Democrats have been slowly coming around to this)
  11. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative: C- (This may be the least understood of Alinsky’s Rules – the newest socialist members are trying to do this by throwing out something really unacceptable – like the Green New Deal – with the more moderate Dems offering a compromise which a short time ago no one would have ever seriously considered – this is perhaps the most dangerous of the Rules)
  12. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it: A+ (Credit where credit is due – the Left has built an entire political agenda around attacking Trump and impeaching him)

Grey Beard Biker’s Summary

Do not underestimate the power these far-left ideologues have to fundamentally change our country. For years they have been formulating their tactics and have quietly worked to take over our education system, starting with the most malleable in society: our children. The leftists knew this was a long-term play – sowing the minds of these children would take a great deal of time before bearing fruit. Today’s Millennials represent a bumper crop for the Left. They have been patient, and unfortunately, they have succeeded in brainwashing an entire generation. All of us Patriots need to start taking these young people back. The risk of not doing so is beyond grave.

Grey Beard Biker

This is the last post in the five-part series, Principles of a Self-Defense Claim and deals with Reasonableness. In review, the five critical components to a successful self-defense claim are:

  1. Innocence
  2. Imminence
  3. Proportionality
  4. Avoidance
  5. Reasonableness

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position where you have to defend yourself with lethal force, your continued freedom will depend on whether the police, prosecutors and courts believe all five of these components were properly met. If there is any doubt in their minds, that each one was met, your legal team will have to convince a jury that you did in fact meet them.

Principles of a Self Defense Claim – Reasonableness

Reasonableness

Reasonableness of your actions is judged both objectively and subjectively. In the event that the police turn your case over to the prosecuting attorney, objective reasonableness will primarily be determined by interviews with witnesses, physical evidence – and if the case goes to court – testimony by expert witnesses. Subjective reasonableness is primarily going to be determined by your actions and any statements you make (Hint: a subject of an upcoming article). Let’s examine both of these.

Objective Reasonableness

Objective reasonableness is an imaginary litmus test. Essentially, it implores someone to consider if a reasonable person would make the same decisions and take the same actions you did if in exactly the same situation.

This imaginary person is a law-abiding citizen, does not have anger issues, does not do drugs and never drinks to excess. He/she would be cautious by nature. Average in every way, he/she would not have above average intelligence or super human strength.

When considering objective reasonableness, the police and district attorney may well transfer your physical characteristics to the imaginary person. If you are old, frail, small or handicapped you would likely fear for your life more quickly than a healthy man in his mid-20s. As such, a lower threshold would have to be exceeded before you began to become fearful and the fight-or-flight instinct kicked in – that point in time when you believed the threat was imminent.

In a self-defense case the court may also allow Mr. Reasonable to have specialized knowledge which you possess. A good example would be if you knew the person was extremely violent, unstable or had a reputation as a vicious fighter. If you were to find yourself in a position where he was coming quickly at you with clenched fists, and in an obvious rage, you may believe the threat to be imminent more quickly than if you did not have this specialized knowledge. Having this knowledge transferred to Mr. Reasonable is only fair because a reasonable person with such knowledge would be more likely to react quickly.

Other specialized knowledge, such as your previous understanding of the Tueller Drill (for more information see the article on Imminence) can be passed to Mr. Reasonable – and he, like you – will know that a knife wielding man is an imminent threat at 21 feet – which may not seem reasonable to everyone. But if you were to find yourself in court, you will most likely need to prove that you knew this before you used lethal force. Owning a book which cites the Tueller Drill, with a receipt, would be proof. Attending a self-defense class, prior to the incident, which provided information on the Tueller Drill may well suffice as proof.

If Mr. Reasonable would have taken the same actions you did, you have passed the litmus test for objective reasonableness. But that does not mean you are out of the “proverbial woods” yet.

Subjective Reasonableness

Subjective reasonableness takes into consideration all of the things you did and said. Just because Mr. Reasonable would have acted like you did, from an objective standpoint, if you did not believe you were innocent, there was not an imminent threat or your actions were not proportional, you are at risk of not passing the subjective reasonableness test. You may be wondering, “How would the police or prosecutor know I did not believe this if I did not tell them?” This is where your statement to the police may come into play. If you were to say, “I was not afraid for my life,” or “I could have taken him with my fists,” you are in jeopardy of losing your self-defense claim because there was not an imminent threat and your actions were not proportional to your perception of the threat.

Other things which can cause police and prosecutors to fail your self-defense claim, due to subjective reasonableness, would be running from the scene, hiding from police or tampering with evidence. These actions will immediately cause them to believe you were not the innocent party.

In Closing

In closing, remember that you must be able to prove the following to claim self-defense: you are INNOCENT, you believed there was an IMMINENT threat of death or serious injury, your use of force was PROPORTIONAL, there was no reasonable avenue of AVOIDANCE and a REASONABLE person would have taken the same actions.

Grey Beard Biker

Note: Neither the Grey Beard Biker or Michael are an attorney. While he has been involved in self-defense for many years, this article is provided for informational purposes only. Check with an attorney to understand your state’s laws.

This article was originally published in Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine and is used with permission. It was written by Michael Noirot – a/k/a the Grey Beard Biker.

Other articles in this series can be read by clicking on the following links:

Your whiskery, ever lovable Grey Beard Biker does some of his best thinking early in the morning while sipping his coffee. And while he may not be very talkative early in the morning, he thinks he is quite wise at this time of the day. This morning, reflecting on last week’s Democrat Presidential Debates, one thing which kept spinning around the cobwebs of his mind was their prophetic calls for “Commonsense Gun Reforms.” This group of 20+ wannabes are so damn predictable. Whether it’s student loan forgiveness, healthcare for all, reparations for the downtrodden, government funded abortions or commonsense gun reform they all spout the same stupid talking points.

But the Grey Beard is getting ahead of himself. Having read the linked article yesterday, on Personal Defense World, he was reminded of the Bullet Points article he wrote for the July issue of Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine. You see, when GBB wrote this article in mid-June, he was obviously being quite prescient about what would be said in last week’s debates. Let’s examine the July 2019 Bullet Points article (reprinted here with permission)….

Second Amendment – Danger On Our Flanks

Hello, fellow bikers. Greetings from middle Tennessee. Today, as I write my monthly article for Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky, I am preparing to take a Father’s Day ride. Father’s Day is among my favorite holidays, only being surpassed by Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. It is a day to reflect on our fathers and grandfathers.

Democrat Candidates 2020 – as written about in Personal Defense World
We won’t say we are coming for your guns! But we are!!

Speaking of reflecting, all of us Second Amendment loving Patriots need to reflect on the current state of political duress facing each of us. We definitely need to be involved in our political process as we are currently facing a serious threat on our flanks. Look no further than the current slate of 23(?) Democrats who have officially announced their candidacy for their party’s presidential nomination. All of these candidates will have a chance over the coming months to state their positions – and all of them have a position on the Second Amendment. Let’s look at some:

Joe Biden’s (D-DE) official position on guns is that he wants universal background checks, bans on “assault rifles” and adoption of finger print activated “smart guns.” While on the stump, in May, he admitted that the “Second Amendment exists,” but it doesn’t mean, “[everyone is] entitled to own a gun.”

Corey Booker (D-NJ) is proposing a national (Federal) gun licensing program which would impose minimum standards for gun ownership across the country. Prospective gun owners would have to apply for a license, and sit for an interview, in much the same way one applies for a passport. Additionally, universal background checks and assault weapon bans are part of Booker’s wish list.

Pete Buttigieg (D-IN) is also promoting far reaching gun regulations including such “common sense” reforms as holding the gun industry responsible for gun violence, banning “military” assault rifles and the establishment of a nationwide gun licensing system.

Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) is proud of her NRA “F” rating and touting it on her own campaign website, where she calls for passing universal background checks – which would inevitably require national gun registration – closing gun sale loopholes (which don’t exist) and banning assault style weapons.

Kamala Harris (D-CA) is making executive action the centerpiece of her plans on gun control, where she would implement “near universal background checks,” revoking gun manufacturers’ licenses (which they don’t need today) and require anyone selling more than five guns per year to obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL).

John Hickelooper (D-CO) also promotes his NRA “F” rating, promoting a policy on gun reform which will include universal background checks, national gun licensing, raising the national age for gun purchases to 21, restricting magazine capacities, banning all assault rifles and providing Federal grants to states which pass “Red Flag” laws.

Eric Swalwell (D-CA) states that he will no longer turn a blind eye to gun violence, proposing “truly” universal background checks, for guns and ammunition, push states to enact “gun violence restraining orders” and remove all “weapons of war” (code speak for those scary black assault rifles) from our communities, “once and for all.” This created a Twitter firestorm, where Joe Biggs Tweeted, “So basically Swalwell wants a war… You’re outta your fucking mind if you think I’ll give up my rights and give the gov all the power.” Swalwell, in true gun grabber speak, quickly responded to Biggs, Tweeting, “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit.” 

Now, this is nothing new for leftist politicians. They have been after our guns for a very long time. But the biggest threat is that they are listening more carefully to a media which is unhinged when it comes to guns. A media which neither understands gun owners, how guns work or the current Federal requirements of background checks. This is setting up a very dangerous dichotomy which blurs what we have today to what their Utopian societal dreams truly are. They cloak most of their proposals in the grossly overused phrase, “common sense gun reform.” But please don’t be fooled by anything any one of these candidates refer to as common sense. They totally prove the adage, “common sense is not so common” today.

The Grey Beard Biker realizes that the General Election of 2020 is still a long way in the future. Do not be lured into thinking their proposals are not an imminent threat. The politicians running to lead our state and Federal governments are attracting growing numbers of supporters who believe government should be larger. That the government should provide the things we have provided ourselves for generations: health care insurance, free college tuition, free abortions and student loan forgiveness. These people also want a country free of any reference to God, a country where free speech is limited to those whom they agree with, a country where the government sanctions killing babies – even after they’re born, a country where everyone – including the dead and illegal aliens – can vote – as long as they vote for them. But most importantly they want a country free of guns – unless you are an ultra-rich celebrity, politician, athlete, philanthropist, or Democrat/Socialist donor. Then you can own guns for the times you leave your walled compound with your armed gestapo. Do not let them take our country, brothers and sisters. Act today. Talk to your children and young people around you. The fight is here. Entertain your Grey Beard Biker as he dissects some of their stupid ideas:

Universal Background Checks

Every time a heinous crime is committed with a firearm – be it a pistol or rifle – the gun grabbers reiterate their call for universal background checks. These anti-freedom politicians never even wait for the victims’ bodies to cool before they step up to a supportive press to call for “commonsense gun reform” – which is followed immediately by a fresh call for universal background checks.

So what would a universal background check bill entail? First, universal background checks would require background checks on sales of firearms between individuals. Today, private sales do not require a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer to perform a NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) be run by the FBI before the transfer. With a universal background check bill in place, a father could not give his son a shotgun for Christmas!

What those Leftists proposing universal background checks know, but will never admit, is that universal background checks cannot work without one very critical component: a gun registry. Without the gun registry the government would have no idea who owns which guns. They would have no way to enforce background checks between individuals without the registry.

You must recognize they position new regulations as commonsense, knowing they will have to come back and enact more stringent laws to enforce their simple, commonsense gun reforms. This is their way of slowly moving further to the left, one little commonsense gun reform at a time. It’s kind of like dropping a frog in boiling water. He will jump right out. But if you put him in water and slowly bring it to a boil, the poor frog won’t realize he is the main course until he is well on the way to be cooked. Sooner or later, that dripping faucet will fill a pool. Drip, drip, drip, drip…

Never forget that their ultimate goal is to get rid of all guns. The universal background check will lead to a gun registry which is necessary for them to create their Utopian Society – free of all guns. Without the gun registry, they do not know where the guns are. With it, they know exactly where to send their gestapo to confiscate all of our guns.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO)

While not part of every Leftist wannabe president’s platform, they all support Extreme Risk Protection Orders – better known as Red Flag Laws. Several states have already passed such laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. No surprise here. These leftist states are all against personal freedom when it comes to the Second Amendment. Designed to temporarily remove guns from someone who poses an immediate threat to themselves or a spouse, these laws may seem “commonsense.” Everyone can agree that someone can suffer a temporary lack of judgment during a breakup, financial crisis or custody fight. This could lead them to do something horrendous which they would never normally do. The problem with these ERPOs is how they are obtained.

ERPOs are obtained by a family member, friend, neighbor or acquaintance going to a judge and asking for the order, Ex Parte. Ex parte means that the person being accused is not present. The judge will make a decision to remove someone’s firearms based solely on testimony of an individual without speaking with the accused being interviewed. This is fraught with pitfalls. What if the person requesting the ERPO is themselves a gun owner and is actually the person planning to use the firearm illegally? By obtaining the Red Flag order, the police will go and remove the only protection the accused has against the person who is a risk, leaving them with no means of protection. Lastly, who decides when the person deemed an Extreme Risk can get their property back. Without equal protection under the law, these ERPOs are dangerous. The Grey Beard Biker could get behind these laws if they offer both parties parity in protection.

Assault Weapon Bans & Restrictions on Magazine Capacities

These two gun grabber proposals do not need a lot of examination from your Grey Beard Biker. First, the scary black assault rifles the leftists propose to either ban or confiscate are no different than the common semi-automatic hunting rifles in gun safes across the country. They want to define them by simple cosmetic accoutrements like pistol grips, forearm stocks or collapsible butt stocks. But, at the end of the day, these two guns operate the same – one bullet fired with each trigger pull. A true assault rifle – or “weapon of war” – has a select fire switch – offering single shot, three round burst or fully automatic fire. These firearms are already highly controlled and have not been used in any mass shootings.

Restrictions on high-capacity magazines are not affective in reducing the body count of a determined madman. With practice, swapping magazines can be quickly done – even in an extreme stress situation. One need just remember the Virginia Tech shooter who used common semi-automatic pistols to kill 33 people! Pushing either of these commonsense gun laws will prove folly and will do nothing to prevent the next mass shooting.

Ammunition Restrictions

Ammo restrictions are something which were nearly unthinkable three years ago. Today, several states have enacted laws which require background checks to purchase ammunition, limits on how much can be purchased, how often purchases can be made and how much ammunition you can possess at one time. The states with the most restrictive ammunition laws are California and New York who require background checks at the point-of-purchase. But other liberal states are not missing the chance to limit your personal freedoms. Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey all require ammunition purchasers to pass a background check to obtain a license to buy ammunition. These are prime examples of leftist gun grabbing laws designed to keep law abiding gun owners from exercising their rights, as codified by God and the Second Amendment. The current laws in these states will do absolutely nothing to prevent gun violence.

Interviews with murderers and gangbangers in prison have proven that these people are not buying guns and ammunition legally at a local gun store or big-box retailer. They get their stuff illegally on the street. But, mark Grey Beard Biker’s words, every one of these candidates will support background checks on ammunition sales and limits on how much ammo a person can possess. Swalwell has already come out and said he supports this restriction. In fact, his state, California has already passed such a law. These laws are more about taxing people than making our streets safer.

Grey Beard Biker Recommendations

Ranting about stupid leftist gun grabber proposals is not something Grey Beard will do without offering recommendations which make sense and which will reduce potential body counts. So here are some Grey Beard Biker Approved Commonsense things our legislators can do now:

  1. Enforce current laws regarding FFL background checks and prosecute everyone who lies on form 4473 to attempt an illegal gun purchase – this includes straw purchasers, those who lie about current orders of protection, previous felonies or previous dishonorable discharges from the military
  2. Require every state to immediately report commitments to inpatient mental health facilities, whether they are voluntary or involuntary. These records should be instantly available to the FBI and stored in one FBI database. Currently, at best, these are reported to the NICS system sporadically – or worse yet – not at all!
  3. Require all schools have either SROs, specially trained teachers or armed forces veterans present and fully armed in our schools. It is well documented that those bent on killing large quantities of people stay clear of “gun-free zones.” – not necessarily because they don’t want to die – but because they do not want their death toll diminished because an armed good guy kills them too quickly.
  4. Provide firearms safety training in all public schools – by taking away the curiosity young children have with guns they will learn to respect them and use them safely

Together, legal law abiding gun owners working with their legislators can make our children and innocent people safer in our streets. An armed public, is after all, a polite public and a good guy with a gun is the best protection against a bad guy with a gun.

Molon Labe,
Grey Beard Biker

The Grey Beard Biker loves the “land of the free.” A key tenet to the foundation of our great republic is the Second Amendment. The 2A is not open to negotiation and is very simple in its wording:

Second Amendment

“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.”

With the exception of the Tenth Amendment, our Bill of Rights are centered on the individual. Whether it’s the right to free speech, free assembly, freedom of religion or the right to a speedy public trial – by an impartial jury or our peers – the Bill of Rights protects the individual from the tyranny of an overarching government.

Tonight, I write about our Second Amendment. Over the decades, politicians have tried to pervert what the true meaning of the “right to keep and bear arms” means. Since 1871, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has protected our Second Amendment rights – rights given to us by God, not our government or its leaders. It is, by far, the oldest civil rights organization in our great republic.

For the past 30 years your lovable Grey Beard Biker has been a proud member of the NRA. Today, he is a Lifetime Endowment member. In the grand scheme of things this really do not mean much. The NRA never asks me what I think, rarely checks up on what I am doing – unless it needs money – or does anything besides sending me requests for more donations. But this does not mean they are not doing things to protect my right to “keep and bear arms.”

Unfortunately, over the past several months the NRA has come under scrutiny. It appears, by all things which are being reported, that the NRA has:

  • Tied itself to an unscrupulous company which drained millions of dollars from its coffers;
  • Provided monetary instruments to its board members which may be less than ethical;
  • Provided their Executive VP, Wayne LaPierre, with a golden parachute very few CEOs of major companies could ever hope to negotiate

Current Situation

Today, the NRA finds itself embroiled in lawsuits in New York State which threaten the very existence of this once proud organization. They are at risk of losing their non-profit 501(c)(3) tax designation. This could make them liable to pay taxes, as a for-profit company, for several tax years. Currently, the NRA has less cash reserves to pay back taxes. Making matter worse, they are involved in a civil lawsuit with their longterm partner, Ackerman McQueen, which the NRA claims duped them out of millions of dollars for marketing services. The details of this civil suit are not known, but it is rumored that the NRA spent over $115 million with Ackerman McQueen over a six year period of time. This is serious change, friends.

Save the Second

Today, a grass roots organization is trying to “right the ship” over at the NRA – Save the Second. They are not interested in breaking up the NRA or parceling it out. They are trying to save it from itself. They believe that the organization is out of touch with its members and is drifting rudderless in a storm. On their website, they list five very specific goals:

  1. Reduce the size of its board of directors from 76 to 31
  2. Create term limits for its board members
  3. Require board members to be present for board meetings
  4. Get membership involved in the organization
  5. Focus exclusively on protecting the Second Amendment

The Grey Beard Biker, as a 30 year member of the NRA, fully supports what Save the Second Amendment is doing. The NRA has lost its focus and is at serious risk of becoming insolvent. They rely on the generosity of its members to cover their daily operating costs and their war chest, to fight a serious flank attack from a Leftist assault, is seriously compromised.

Get Involved

Your lovable Grey Beard Biker is asking you to get involved. Go to Save the Second’s website and learn about what they are doing. If you are in a position to support them, donate to the cause. By all means, sign their petitions. With the current political climate in this great country there is no guarantee that any organization can protect the Second Amendment. Over the years, the only organization which has consistently been there to protect what we cherish is the NRA. Let’s all come together and ensure the NRA is there to protect what we value for our generation – and future generations.

Grey Beard Biker

Save the Second

Hello fellow bikers. If the proverbial “shit hits the fan,” and you have to use your firearm to protect yourself, you may find yourself in a world of legal trouble if the law believes you did not operate within some basic rules. Your freedom will inevitably require you to have a legitimate self-defense claim. There are five basic principles of a successful self-defense claim:

  1. Innocence
  2. Imminence
  3. Proportionality
  4. Avoidance
  5. Reasonableness

This particular blog post will focus on the first principle: Innocence

Your actions will have to satisfy all five of these principles for a successful self-defense claim. If they are present, you will prevail. If they are not all present, you may spend a very long time in prison. This month we will focus on Innocence.

Innocence

After the dust settles, you must be viewed as the innocent party. While this may seem easy enough to prove, there are many things which can happen which makes you the aggressor.

In an altercation, the aggressor is generally going to be viewed as the person who threw the first punch, brandished a knife or pulled a gun. In some states, words alone can cause you to be the aggressor. Tennessee’s laws are a bit vague with regards to who the aggressor is:

Tennessee 39-11-611

(e) The threat of force against another is not justified:

  • If the person using force consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other individual;
  • If the person using force provoked the other individual’s use or attempted use of unlawful force

Provocation is the key to Tennessee’s innocence claim and the fact that Tennessee has not clearly defined provocation, you must CLEARLY be the innocent party – not the provocateur.

Additionally, you can easily find yourself in a position where competing narratives of the event may portray you as the aggressor – especially if the witnesses are friends of the thug you were protecting yourself against. If this proves to be the case, an overzealous prosecutor may well pursue charges against you.

Proportionality, or the lack thereof, can also cause you to be viewed as the aggressor, not the innocent party. If the thug you are protecting yourself from throws the first punch, but you immediately escalate the encounter by pulling a concealed firearm, you will be in serious jeopardy of losing your innocence – and your claim of self-defense.

While the rules of being viewed as the aggressor vary from state-to-state, the Federal court system has simplified it somewhat with their finding:

“An affirmative, unlawful act reasonably calculated to produce an affray foreboding injurious or fatal consequences…” Michael J. Edwards v. United States

The keys to this are affirmative – meaning not accidental, unlawful – meaning well, unlawful and calculated to produce an affray – meaning the aggressor was the one who deliberately escalated the situation beyond what was necessary. And lastly, foreboding injurious or fatal consequences – meaning there was imminence that you are in serious risk of being maimed or killed. If it can be proven the thug exhibited these, your claim of innocence may be sustained and you will likely be cut loose and not face criminal prosecution.

There are a couple other actions which may cause you to lose your claim of innocence:

Pursuit/Sustainment – If you pursue or sustain the altercation you will no longer be considered the innocent party. In other words, if the thug decides fighting you is not in his best interest, and verbally communicates he is disengaging, and you try to sustain or further pursue him, you will become the aggressor.

Mutual Combat – If after a brush up with the aforementioned thug, you agree to meet him, or take the fight outside, you will have lost your innocence – and perhaps sunk your entire self-defense claim.

Escalation – This was mentioned earlier, and should be reinforced. If you find yourself in a fist fight, or a war of words, do not escalate the encounter beyond what it is – a nonlethal fight. If you pull your pistol at this point, you will be considered the aggressor or provocateur – meaning you are in serious trouble.

Now, if you find yourself in a position where you may have lost your innocence in the altercation, you may still be able to regain your innocence.

Tennessee 39-11-611(e)

  • The person using force abandons the encounter or clearly communicates to the other the intent to do so; and
  • The other person nonetheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the person

The Tennessee statue is clear here. You must attempt to disengage from the altercation and most importantly, you must verbally (preferably loud enough to be heard by everyone nearby) communicate your desire to end the affray. At this point, if the thug pursues the fight – or escalates it – you may well regain your innocence.

One other consideration you must keep in mind. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs will sink a self-defense claim. If you are planning on enjoying some adult beverages, leave your gun at home – or locked up where you cannot gain access to it. If you are under the influence and find yourself in a life-or-death situation, your best defense is not going on the offense. If you pull your sidearm under these conditions – even if you are the innocent – you are in serious legal jeopardy. If you have your weapon you must make the choice between potential death and a very long incarceration. But you risk much if you put yourself in this situation.

Watch for the next blog post on Imminence.

Molon Labe,
Grey Beard Biker

Note: Neither the Grey Beard Biker or Michael are an attorney. While he has been involved in self-defense for many years, this article is provided for informational purposes only. Check with an attorney to understand your state’s laws.

This article was originally published in Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine and is used with permission. It was written by Michael Noirot – a/k/a the Grey Beard Biker.

Other articles in this series can be read by clicking on the following links:

If you are reading this, you are most likely a defender of our Second Amendment. You may even conceal carry a handgun when you leave the house. If so, congratulations on taking your safety, and the safety of your family and friends seriously. We all know that the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But do not fall into the same trap many people do: that carrying a handgun makes you “bullet-proof.” It simply does not.

In fact, if you have become lazy because of that gun on your hip, you may be in more danger than an unarmed citizen who is very vigilant. Vigilance is the key to your safety and those with you – and vigilance starts with situational awareness.

According to Wikipedia, Situational Awareness is defined as:

“…the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event.”

And while situational awareness is a key component to riding a motorcycle safely – Eg. Is that car approaching from the side road going to run the stop sign and pull out in front of me? – many riders leave their situational awareness with their helmets when they climb off their scoot. In other words, they become unaware of everything going on around themselves.

Increasing your situational awareness starts with PAYING ATTENTION! Pay attention to everything going on around you. If you are like many people, that smart phone you are self-absorbed in is putting you at risk. Do not walk around in public with all of your attention focused on your social media networks. I have walked up to friends who are on their iPhone and greeted them several times before they were even aware I was there. That same person will never be able to defend against an attack by a thug if they are only paying attention to liking their friends’ Facebook posts.

It would be helpful to look at the way a thug intent on doing harm thinks. First, you must think of these people as being like a tiger which is stalking their next meal. Like that tiger, they purposely scope out the weakest animal in a pack before they spring forward to attack. Shit-bag thugs do the same thing. If they are going to commit an armed robbery they will look for the softest of targets – that person least likely to defend themselves when they spring forward to attack. Perhaps it’s that person peering intently into their smartphone. Perhaps it’s that person walking along the dark sidewalk talking to their girlfriend on the phone. Or perhaps it’s that person in the restaurant sitting with their back to everyone else. These are their easiest targets – those who due to their total lack of situational awareness have left themselves the most vulnerable – and least likely to be able to fight back. Even if they are packing a concealed handgun, they will be unable to act quickly enough to use it in their defense – and may even have their gun taken away from them and used against them.

Here are some suggestions which will help you increase your situational awareness:

  1. Avoid dangerous areas – Do not put yourself into a situation where you will be more likely to have to defend yourself.
  2. Remove your smartphone from your consciousness when you are in a public place. It is okay, even preferable, to have it with you, but your attention should not be focused on it.
  3. If you are walking into your corner gas station put your phone in your pocket. Look around the establishment before you enter. Is it well lit? How many people are in there? Are there any people who look dangerous? (Yes, it is okay for you to profile people.) What can you use for a barrier if the proverbial “shit-hits-the-fan?” Where are the exits? Have you examined the people present well enough to describe them for a police report? If not, you are not situationally aware of your surroundings.
  4. Do not sit where you have blind spots. Avoid sitting with your back to everyone else in that restaurant. I personally like to find a corner table and have my back to the corner.
  5. Events change and you need to change with them. Closely examine newcomers entering the restaurant, pub or gas station.
  6. Most importantly remove anything which can become a distraction.

The more you practice situational awareness, the easier it becomes. Be aware of the people around you. Be aware of the structure you are in. Search out exits. Scan faces. Stay away from dark areas where you can easily be ambushed. Do not ever become the prey because your concentration is elsewhere.

Molon Labe,
The Grey Beard Biker

This article was originally published in Thunder Roads Tennessee/Kentucky magazine and is used with permission. It was written by Michael Noirot – a/k/a the Grey Beard Biker.