Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Bill of Rights

Gun Ownership Explodes Under Obama

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 29, 2015:  

The latest report from the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) merely confirms what most sentient souls living in the US already know: more Americans are becoming aware not only of their Second Amendment rights but of the increasing threat posed against them by the current administration. More people are learning about that “palladium” of their liberties:

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That Was No Love Letter Holder Sent to Brownback

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 15, 2015:

The Great Seal of the State of Kansas

Within days of learning that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law the state’s Second Amendment Protection Act (SAPA), then-Attorney General Eric holder sought to put the upstart governor and his insignificant state in their place: SAPA was null and void. Federal officials would continue to operate in Kansas in spite of the new law, and if one of them were arrested, there would be trouble!

Wrote Holder:

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Federal Judge Tosses Brady Campaign Lawsuit Over Kansas Second Amendment Law

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 15, 2015: 

U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson punted last week on the Brady Campaign’s lawsuit against Kansas’ Second Amendment Protection Act by declaring that the Brady Campaign lacked standing to bring the suit in the first place. She wrote: 

At this time, Brady Campaign has not alleged an actual or imminent injury that is fairly traceable to the enforcement of the Act [that would therefore] be addressable by a favorable decision by this Court. 

 

Brady Campaign, therefore, lacks … standing to mount a constitutional challenge to the [state’s] Second Amendment Protection Act. 

This allowed Judge Robinson to avoid considering all the various “issues” raised by Brady: “The Court therefore need not reach the other issues raised in Defendants’ motion to dismiss.” 

What “other issues”? For starters is the law’s declaration that “any act, treaty, order, rule or regulation by the government of the United States which violates the Second Amendment of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.” 

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Rand Paul’s “Carpe Diem” Moment and the Patriot Act

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 1, 2015: 

When Kentucky Senator Rand Paul learned that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had called the Senate into special session on Sunday afternoon to reconsider extending the Patriot Act (and most likely the USA Freedom Act which the House just passed), he saw his opportunity. It was a “carpe diem” moment (“seize the day”).

He gave this to Politico:

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Genie Out of the Bottle: Nullification Efforts are Gaining Momentum

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 11, 2015: 

Cover of "Nullification: How to Resist Fe...

Once perceived to be invincible, government bureaucrats issuing decrees and mandates from on high are being exposed for what really are: Wizards of Oz. It was Tom Woods’ book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century that let the genie out of the bottle.

All Woods did was explain how the founders intended for the states to be the last line of defense against federal overreach. It put in place the Bill of Rights which contains the Tenth Amendment:

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National Reciprocity law: the Wrong way to do the Right Thing

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 18, 2015: 

P-64 (pistol)

Member of the House of Representatives Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) has let his enthusiasm run away from his good sense. For the third time in a row he has offered a bill giving power to the federal government to force the states into granting nation-wide “reciprocity,” so that anyone with a concealed carry permit, or a resident of a “permitless” state, can carry anywhere he wants in the country without repercussions. An identical bill was presented in the Senate by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Stutzman explained why:

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Pressure Building to Pass National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Law

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 18, 2015:

Official portrait of Congressman (R-IN).

Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)

 

In February when Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) reintroduced his Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced an identical one in the Senate. Stutzman touted his bill:

Americans enjoy a natural right to self-defense preserved by the Second Amendment. This federally guaranteed liberty should not be forfeited when state lines are crossed.

Unfortunately, this fundamental right has been under attack from the anti-gun lobby on both the federal and state levels. This bill preserves the right to keep and bear arms for law-abiding citizens while respecting the roles and responsibilities of state legislatures.

Promoters such as the pro-Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America (GOA) are urging their members to press for passage:

If you have a concealed carry permit — or if you come from a freedom-loving “constitutional carry” state that doesn’t require one! — you should be able to carry anywhere in the country without fear of losing your constitutional rights [just] because of where you are.

They go further to remind their members of what happened two years ago when Shaneen Allen, a Pennsylvania resident traveling by car in New Jersey, was stopped for a minor traffic violation. Thinking that her Pennsylvania concealed carry permit was valid in New Jersey, she

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Genie Out of the Bottle: Nullification Efforts are Gaining Momentum

This article first was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 11, 2015: 

Cover of "Nullification: How to Resist Fe...

Once perceived to be invincible, government bureaucrats issuing decrees and mandates from on high are being exposed for what really are: Wizards of Oz. It was Tom Woods’ book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century that let the genie out of the bottle.

All Woods did was explain how the founders intended for the states to be the last line of defense against federal overreach. It put in place the Bill of Rights which contains the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Thomas Jefferson expressed the matter slightly differently:

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Nullification Spreading: Minnesota Invalidates FDA Restrictions

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 11, 2015:

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

The Bill of Rights

 

When Minnesota State Representative Nick Zerwas was 15 years old, he was told he had only months to live. Informed that he wouldn’t be able to get a heart transplant, Zerwas was told by his doctor that he might be saved by a surgical procedure that was still experimental. Said Zerwas: “That was my right to try. I fully believe life is worth fighting for, and government has no role in getting in the way.” 

On May 1 Zerwas’ bill, the Minnesota Right to Try Act, passed the state house unanimously, 123-0. It had previously passed the state senate, 60-4, on April 21, and on May 5, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed it into law. 

In general the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits access by patients to experimental drugs, but 

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Barely Half the House Opposes the ATF’s ammo ban

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 9, 2015:

When the 114th Congress was sworn in in January, each member of the House took this oath:

I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

By failing to sign Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s letter to the chairman of the ATF, could one assume that a member of the House is violating his oath of office? After all,

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Patriot Act’s Illegal Section 215 due to Expire June 1

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 18, 2015:

The seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act is set to expire June 1, and each side in the upcoming battle to renew, reform, or let expire this unconstitutional abridgement of freedoms is rolling out its arguments.

Section 215 is often referred to as the Patriot Act’s “library records” provision because it allows the FBI to order a library or any other source to produce, without a warrant showing probable cause (as required under the Fourth Amendment), all “tangible things” belonging to its target of interest including “books, records, papers, documents, and other items.” That includes books borrowed and websites visited by the target while at the library. Niceties demanded by the Fourth Amendment are ignored in Section 215 as long as the FBI “specifies” that its order is “for an authorized investigation … to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

One of those favoring renewal of Section 215 is Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

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The Second Amendment continues to Thrive, says Pew Research

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, December 15, 2014:

Life has lately been hard for the anti-gunners and those opposed to the Second Amendment. According to Pew Research, it isn’t likely to get easier any time soon. For 20 years, Pew has been asking Americans a simple question:

What do you think is more important – to protect the right of Americans to own guns, OR to control gun ownership?

In 1993, the Second Amendment guaranteeing American citizens the right to keep and bear arms had few friends. According to Pew, just 34 percent of those polled thought it was more important than passing more gun control laws, while 57 percent favored more gun control legislation.

Its popularity hit bottom in March, 2000, about a year after the Columbine High School massacre in a Denver suburb, with just 29 percent supporting it compared to 66 percent wanting more controls.

Since then, however, Pew has been measuring a resurgence of support for the beleaguered guarantee,

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Dollree Mapp, Defendant in Landmark Fourth Amendment Case, Dead at 91

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 10, 2014: 

3,927 days Earl Warren from 1943 to 1953

Chief Justice Earl Warren

When Dollree Mapp answered the door on May 23, 1957, she had no idea of the impact her next move would have on jurisprudence in the United States. 

At her door were three local police officers who were searching for a suspect in a bombing, and they asked permission to enter her home, having been given information that he might be hiding there. She asked them if they had a search warrant. When they said no, she refused entry. 

Two officers left, leaving one behind to maintain surveillance. Three hours later the two officers returned, along with several others who demanded entry into her home. At that point, according to Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark, writing for the majority in Mapp v. Ohio, 

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Warrantless Taking of Drivers’ Blood Samples Ruled Unconstitutional

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals )

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 1, 2014:

At about 2:00 a.m. on October 3, 2010, Missouri motorist Tyler McNeely was stopped by a highway patrolman for speeding and weaving. After failing several field sobriety tests, McNeely was asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, which he refused. He was immediately arrested and taken to a local hospital in handcuffs, where he was forced to submit to having blood drawn to check his blood alcohol level — all without a warrant. McNeely went to court claiming his Fourth Amendment rights were violated.

The Fourth Amendment says: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Upon appeal, his case was heard by the Supreme Court in April of 2013, which agreed that

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Gadsden Flag Carries Clout in Ocala

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, September 12, 2014:

 

Illustration from High School textbook printed...

Illustration from High School textbook printed in 1885, titled “History of the US”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Gadsden flag of a coiled rattlesnake on a bright yellow field with the words “Don’t tread on me” beneath it was designed by American General Christopher Gadsden in 1775 during the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin explained what the flag meant to Americans then:

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Judge: New Mexico 10 Commandments Monument Unconstitutional

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 11, 2014:

Bill of Rights Pg1of1 AC

Bill of Rights

James Parker, Senior District Court Judge for New Mexico, ruled last Thursday that the five-foot-tall, 3,000-pound monument inscribed with the 10 Commandments (shown) placed on the lawn in front of the Bloomfield, New Mexico, City Hall is unconstitutional. He ordered it to be removed by September 10.

Parker also expressed reservations about his decision, calling the case

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Incorporation Doctrine Leaves District Court Judge in Never-Never Land

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 11, 2014:

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, painting by Rembrandt (1659)

Judge James A. Parker of the District Court of New Mexico ruled against the tiny town of Bloomfield, New Mexico, last week, giving the city until September 20th to remove a five-foot-high, 3,000-pound monument celebrating the 10 Commandments from in front of its city hall.

The judge admitted that, thanks to incorporation and the resulting judicial confusion emanating from rulings that the Fourteenth Amendment applies the Bill of Rights to the states as well as to the federal government, he was on his own:

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James Brady’s Legacy: More Guns, Less Crime

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 5, 2014:

James Brady in August 2006

James Brady in August 2006

On Monday the national media and the president noted the passing at age 73 of James Brady, the man who served briefly as President Reagan’s press secretary before being grievously wounded in an assassination attempt on the president nearly 33 years ago.

The New York Times called Brady “a symbol of the fight for gun control,” while President Obama declared, “An untold number of people are alive today who otherwise wouldn’t be, thanks to Jim.” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, agreed, saying that the law named to honor the former press secretary, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, has blocked about two million sales of firearms “to criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people.” Echoing the president, Gross added that there are

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Leahy Offers Weak Bill to Curb NSA Eavesdropping on Americans

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 30, 2014:

English: Official photo of Senator Patrick Lea...

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

On Tuesday, Senator Patrick Leahy (shown, D-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced his version of the USA Freedom Act intended to strengthen a similar bill passed by the House last May. It’s scarcely an improvement and likely won’t be taken up before November, if at all in this congress.

But Leahy was optimistic nonetheless, saying that his bill, if enacted, “would represent the most significant reform of government surveillance authorities since … the USA Patriot Act 13 years ago.” That was easy for this hard-left Democrat to say, as there has been no reform of the unconstitutional Patriot Act since it was passed. In fact, without revelations provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, even these modest “reforms” would never have been presented. Without Snowden, the NSA would have continued collecting every last piece of communications data it could and storing it for future reference at one or more of its vast collection facilities around the country. Since the bill was presented so late in this Congress, it is virtually certain no action will be taken on it.

The House bill that was passed back in May was so full of loopholes and modifications by last minute amendments as to make the effort essentially ludicrous. Although offered jointly in October 2013 by Leahy and his House counterpart, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin (the author of the Patriot Act), only the House bill ever saw the light of day. At the time, Sensenbrenner expressed great hopes for his bill:

Following 9/11, the USA Patriot Act … has helped keep Americans safe by ensuring information is shared among those responsible for defending our country and by enhancing the tools the intelligence community needs to identify and track terrorists.

But somewhere along the way, the balance between security and privacy was lost…. Washington must regain Americans’ trust in their government. The USA Freedom Act [I am offering] is an essential first step.

That first step was more like a stumble. Under the bill, according to The Guardian, “the government will still be able to collect phone data on Americans, pending a judge’s individualized order based on ‘reasonable articulable suspicion’ — the standard preferred by the NSA (National Security Agency) — of wrongdoing.” This is a far cry from the “probable cause” requirement demanded in the Fourth Amendment, but that’s only the beginning.

The bill purports to modify Section 715 of the Patriot Act while saying nothing about Section 702, which allows worldwide surveillance by the NSA. The bill allows for the continuous collection of Americans’ telephone records, according to the Open Technology Institute. Most grievously, the bill extended the Patriot Act until December of 2017.

Once the House passed its USA Freedom Act, 303 to 121, those opposed, including Republicans Darrell Issa, Ted Poe, and Raul Labrador and Democrat Zoe Lofgren expressed their disappointment with it. Said Lofgren, “[This] bill will actually not end bulk collection, regrettably.” It shifts collection responsibilities from the NSA to the telephone companies to which the NSA has virtually unlimited access, so it’s a cosmetic change only. The bill requires the NSA to get permission from the FISA Court, but FISA is not known for having a high regard for the freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights.

When Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) saw what the House had wrought, he said he was “gravely concerned that the changes that have been made to the House version of this bill have watered it down so far that it fails to protect Americans from suspicionless mass surveillance.”

Not surprisingly, the White House endorsed the watered-down version of the bill:

The Administration strongly supports … the USA Freedom Act…. The Administration applauds and appreciates the strong bipartisan effort that led to the formulation of this bill, which heeds the President’s call on this important issue.

The bill ensures our intelligence and law enforcement professionals have the authorities they need to protect the Nation, while further ensuring that individuals’ privacy is appropriately protected.

Especially grievous is the power that continues to be granted to the so-called FISA “court.” This is the secret court that first came to light when Edward Snowden in 2013 leaked a top-secret order issued by the court requiring a subsidiary of Verizon to provide a daily, on-going feed of all call detail records — including those for domestic calls — to the NSA. As Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School, explained,

The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long as they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to agree. This isn’t the rule of law. This is a coup d’etat.

Leahy’s bill allegedly will tighten up the House bill somewhat, creating a “special advocate” for liberty at the FISA courts, and limiting the NSA from vacuuming up data from an entire zip code or all the records from a communications service provider. It also declassifies some of those FISA court orders which have remained sealed and protected from public view. In its tentative support for Leahy’s new offering, Nadia Kayyall of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said,

The legislation may not completely end suspicionless surveillance … it allows the NSA to get a second set of records (a second “hop”) with an undefined “direct connection” to the first specific selection term.

Because the “direct connection” standard is vague, the government may seek to construe that phrase to mean less than reasonable suspicion.

Translation: The NSA, under Leahy’s new stronger, tighter, more restrictive language, may continue to do whatever it pleases in collecting and storing for later use all private communications from Americans.

Leahy’s bill will probably never see the light of day in this congress and will have to be reintroduced in the next session if anything is to be done to rein in the NSA’s collection of data. In the meantime, the NSA’s vacuuming of innocent Americans’ private communication continues unabated.

 

 

Tennessee Restaurant Welcomes Guns — Holstered “Unless Need Arises”

 This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 21, 2014:  
Colt clone in 45 cal. with Fastdraw Holster

Colt clone in 45 cal. with Fastdraw Holster

When Sharma Floyd, owner of Shiloh Brew and Chew in Maryville, Tennessee, read about a shooting at a convenience store in North Carolina that had posted a sign on its front door banning guns on the premises, she considered it both a warning and an opportunity:

They had put up a sign that said “No Weapons Allowed” and they were robbed at gunpoint two days later. The … store manager was shot.

And that got me thinking.

First, she determined that, while she herself doesn’t own a gun, her customers certainly had a right to do so if they wished. Second, she had lost some business to a large group of motorcyclists “because they thought I didn’t allow weapons. But I believe it’s ok to carry as long as you have a permit.”

Third, she decided how best to make her position clear. She posted the following sign:

 

 

Guns are welcome on premises.

Please keep ALL weapons holstered unless need arises.

In such case, judicious marksmanship is appreciated!

Thank you. Shiloh Management.

Almost immediately she began to get not only positive feedback but also a boost in business:

I can honestly say I have gotten way more support than the one person who really gave me a lot of grief over it.

I have had so many customers take pictures of the sign, ask to meet me in person, and thank me.

Perhaps without knowing it, Floyd borrowed the language for her sign from Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, owned by Lauren Boebert. Boebert posted her sign months earlier, and business grew so much that it caught the attention of the Daily News, USA Today, and Denver’s 9News. Boebert goes one step further: Her waitresses openly carry while on duty, and they’re trained to protect themselves if necessary. When asked if this was just for show, Boebert was firm in her denial: “[The guns are] real and they’re loaded and we know what we are doing. I fear for anyone who tries to rob us.”

She added:

We encourage [carrying] and customers love that they can come here and express their rights.

This country was founded on our freedom. People can come in carrying their gun, and they can pray over their food.

Her establishment even offers gun safety classes once a month for those customers who don’t carry, but want to.

Over the last year a few major chains have been targeted (pun intended!) by anti-gun groups for allowing their customers to carry while shopping, drinking coffee, or eating, with modest success. Target, Starbucks, and Chipotle have each announced that they “respectfully request” that those who carry guns leave their sidearms outside. In each case the language of the announcements was carefully crafted so as to offend as few people as possible. This example from Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, will suffice:

In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outside seating areas.

In each case it was a “request” and not a “demand,” leaving the option to carry open to their customers, or to shop elsewhere. As noted elsewhere, this is perfectly consistent with all freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Some have started having regrets over making such requests. Just a month ago, Jack in the Box restaurants announced its “preference” that customers leave their firearms outside:

Creating a warm and inviting environment for all of our guests and employees is a top priority for Jack in the Box. The presence of guns inside a restaurant could create an uncomfortable situation for our guests and employees and lead to unintended consequences.

While we respect the rights of all our guests, we would prefer that guests not bring their guns inside our restaurants.

The irony of that request was made clear within days at one of their stores in Houston. Customers and employees were placed into “an uncomfortable situation” with “unintended consequences” when four thugs who didn’t get the memo entered the restaurant with guns drawn and forced the customers and employees to give up their wallets and purses. What’s more, this was the third armed robbery at a Jack in the Box restaurant since the company’s announcement. Perhaps thugs can read, after all?

The vast majority of restaurant chains, however, have decided not to touch the issue, granting local franchisees the power to make a decision in line with state laws. According to CNBC, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and LongHorn Steakhouses remain “gun friendly” in states that allow them to be so. In addition, TGI Friday’s, Subway, and Cheesecake Factory also allow customers to carry concealed if they so desire.

Pro-gun groups are springing up to help gun owners find restaurants that are friendly. There’s the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA), whose members have canvassed most of western Tennessee and confirmed that Olive Garden, Lonestar, Picasso’s, Chili’s, O’Charley’s, Red Lobster, and Red Robin all are happy to seat gun owners and greet them with a smile.

There’s Brian Crosswhite, the owner of Cajun Experience in Leesburg, Virginia, who has just opened a website — 2Amendment.org — with the intention of having gun-friendly businesses sign up and receive a “2AO – 2014” sticker for their front door. In addition, gun owners are able to use an iPhone app to find local establishments friendly to their interests.

Crosswhite is also taking advantage of the current furor over guns in restaurants by offering his customers an “Open Carry Wednesday” where those with permits get 10-percent off regular menu prices.

Leave it to entrepreneurs to see an advantage and press forward with it. Whether with clever signage, stickers, apps, or just plain word-of-mouth, restaurateurs are taking advantage of the free market to continue to serve their customers. The current debate is only helping things along.

 

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.