Ok, this one strategic maneuver has just pegged my too-much-winning needle on max overdrive. Donald Trump took a congratulatory phone call from the President of Taiwan, and now the Chinese will be apoplectic.
Those of you who have been with us for a while, will note our arguments against China’s MFN (Most Favored Nation) trade status have continually fallen on deaf ears within DC. Why? Because they are political ears paid to remain necessarily deaf, while various Chinese national interests have taken influence over our legislative priorities on trade and commerce.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) has signed legislation that will allow schools and colleges to hire armed, retired police officers to serve as security to protect students and teachers alike.
Christie’s signature comes during the very week in which a Somali refugee drove a car into a group of pedestrians, then chased unarmed students with a knife at Ohio State University.
According to NJ.com, the legislation, S86, allows schools and colleges to hire retired police officers as “special law enforcement officers.”
Under the cover of battling “fake news,” the mainstream U.S. news media and officialdom are taking aim at journalistic skepticism when it is directed at the pronouncements of the U.S. government and its allies.
One might have hoped that the alarm about “fake news” would remind major U.S. news outlets, such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, about the value of journalistic skepticism. However, instead, it seems to have done the opposite.
The idea of questioning the claims by the West’s officialdom now brings calumny down upon the heads of those who dare do it. “Truth” is being redefined as whatever the U.S. government, NATO and other Western interests say is true. Disagreement with the West’s “group thinks,” no matter how fact-based the dissent is, becomes “fake news.”
So, we have the case of Washington Post columnist David Ignatius having a starry-eyed interview with Richard Stengel, the State Department’s Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, the principal arm of U.S. government propaganda.
Entitled “The truth is losing,” the column laments that the official narratives as deigned by the State Department and The Washington Post are losing traction with Americans and the world’s public.
Stengel, a former managing editor at Time magazine, seems to take aim at Russia’s RT network’s slogan, “question more,” as some sinister message seeking to inject cynicism toward the West’s official narratives.
“They’re not trying to say that their version of events is the true one. They’re saying: ‘Everybody’s lying! Nobody’s telling you the truth!’,” Stengel said. “They don’t have a candidate, per se. But they want to undermine faith in democracy, faith in the West.”
Thanks to your calls and emails, A.4179 and A.4180, sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28), were removed from the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee’s agenda. As written, these bills require target shooters to produce a state issued ID along with an FID card or a purchase permit before using a range.
While A.4179 and A.4180 might have been removed from Monday’s agenda, these bills are by no means dead. Opposition from gun owners has resulted in the bills being held for further discussion. Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available. Again, thank you to those NRA members and Second Amendment supporters who contacted committee members in opposition to these anti-gun bills. Your action made all the difference. Again, there will be no hearing on these bills Monday.
In what will hopefully be one of the final acts of the Obama Administration on firearms, the ATF on Monday announced that its proposed changes to the Form 4473 would go into effect on January 16, 2017, just four days before the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. Form 4473 is the federally mandated form that must be filled out by any person who acquires a firearm from a licensed dealer.
The new Form 4473 includes several changes that should make it easier for prospective firearm purchasers to complete. For example, the form combines fields asking for the transferee’s street address and state of residence, provides clearer guidance to members of the military on determining their state of residence, and indicates how individuals who have had their firearm rights restored should complete the form.
The form also provides guidance to licensed dealers on how to complete a firearm transaction that was initially denied, but where the denial was later overturned. This is very important for individuals who may have been denied because of incomplete or dated information in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Not all changes to the form are improvements for gun owners. The new form must be filled out in its entirety at the business premises of the licensed dealer. Federal law already generally requires transferees to appear in person at the business premises to complete a firearm transaction, but there is no requirement in federal law that the transferee must complete the Form 4473 at the dealer’s premises. Appearing at a dealer’s premises with a partially completed form is a good way to expedite the buying process, but doing so will no longer be possible once the new form goes into effect.
Another notable change to the form is the inclusion of a bolded warning to potential transferees from ATF. The warning provides that “the use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medical or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.” This warning is a continuation of ATF’s policy that was first published in an open letter on September 21, 2011. Under ATF’s policy, not only are users of marijuana prohibited from possessing firearms, but a person may not transfer a firearm to an individual if the transferor knows that the transferee holds a medical marijuana card. Importantly, this second prohibition applies even where the cardholder does not actually use any marijuana.
According to ATF, firearm dealers should expect to receive new Form 4473s in early December, and, beginning January 16, 2017, all firearm transactions must use the new form. A full listing of the changes to the Form 4473 is available here.
If it wasn’t for Michael Bloomberg’s billions, there wouldn’t be much of a gun-control movement.
This year, Bloomberg got a background check initiative onto the ballots of Maine and Nevada. He lost in Maine by 4 percent, and won in Nevada by just 0.8 percent. Now, Nevadans won’t be able to privately transfer their firearms without going through a background check.
Bloomberg’s initiative only eked out the win in Nevada because of the $20 million spent to support it, amounting to an incredible $35.30 per vote. He outspent his opponents by a factor of three – in Maine, by a factor of six. Bloomberg was responsible for more than 90 percent of the money going to support these ballot measures.
Of course, this doesn’t count all of the studies that Bloomberg has funded to justify the initiatives. And he gives $50 million a year to Everytown for Gun Safety to push for regulations – 21/2 times the amount spent by the National Rifle Association on political activities. Gun-control advocates also receive a lot of free, favorable news coverage.
In short, to get close to earning even 50 percent of the vote, gun-control advocates have had to massively outspend their opponents. And sometimes they still fall short.
Legacy media corporations like the New York Times and Washington Post have big problems right now.
Consumption of their product is dropping. Public confidence in them has tanked. And in front of the nation and the world, they blew the biggest political story in decades by continually pushing the falsehood that Donald Trump had no chance to win the presidential election.
Any rational thinker might take some time for introspection and consider a course correction. But rational is rarely a word used to describe the legacy media.
So it’s no surprise that in response to their spectacular fall from a once lofty position of prestige and credibility, news outlets like the Washington Post are doubling down by insisting that the elite must continue to assert themselves as the ultimate arbiter of what is real and what is news.
For example, the Washington Post recently spent a considerable amount ink publicizing the conclusions of “independent researchers” who insist that Donald Trump was swept into office by a “flood” of “fake news” spread by a “sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign.”
These efforts, moreover, supposedly “exploited American-made technology platforms [such as Facebook] to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House.”
The Post article goes on to detail the work of an organization, PropOrNot, which it describes vaguely as “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.” This entity – the membership and funding of which have not been publicly disclosed – published a “Black Friday Report” and website, which amplify these assertions. “[T]his propaganda is undermining our public discourse by providing a warped view of the world,” it states, “where Russia can do no wrong, and America is a corrupt dystopia that is tearing itself apart.”
PropOrNot’s prescription to the Red Menace that it identifies is to “[o]btain news from actual reporters,” in particular, “NPR, the BBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, VICE, etc, and especially your local papers and local TV news channels.” Its website also contains a list of “related projects” (initially identified as “allies”) some of which will be familiar (and not in a good way) to those who follow the debate over gun laws in America. These include Snopes and Politifact, among others.
Now, we wouldn’t necessarily discourage anybody from getting their “news” from any of the “reporters” mentioned by PropOrNot.
But the days when any thinking American will uncritically swallow whatever “facts” such outlets report (to say nothing of their opinion or analyses pieces) are long gone, and well they should be. Examples of their arrogance, ethical breaches, bias, and outright political collusion are now so numerous that their reporting, especially on politically charged issues like firearm policy, cannot simply be accepted at face value.
Of course, no example is so brutally obvious as the inability of outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post to comprehend that Donald Trump was a legitimate and viable contender for the White House. Not only did they formally endorse his competitor, Hillary Clinton, they portrayed Trump – and even those who would dare support him – in a relentlessly negative light, to the point that “normalizing” the man Americans would eventually choose as their president itself became a sort of journalistic sin. As it became increasingly obvious to most Americans that Trump would win, anchors and commentators for a number of news network could only react with incredulity, anger, and even tears, completely negating any pretense of journalistic detachment.
“Fact-checkers” have repeatedly and notoriously botched firearm-related claims. After Hillary Clinton said the Supreme Court was “wrong” on the Second Amendment and pledged to make that case “every chance” she got, Politifact rated “false” Trump’s claim that Clinton wanted to abolish the Second Amendment. The organization based its analysis largely on the premise that Clinton had not called for an outright repeal of the amendment, dismissing the fact that if the Supreme Court were indeed “wrong” about the provision, it would not protect an individual right to armed self-defense. Later, Politifact rated “mostly false” NRA’s claim that Clinton said gun confiscation was “worth considering,” even though Clinton said exactly that about Australia’s program of forced firearm surrender. As another news source put it, “NRA says Clinton said something she said. Politifact says NRA claim ‘mostly false’.”
News stories have also prominently misidentified firearms or demonstrated rank ignorance about simple firearm-related concepts. Several stories on the federal “assault weapon” ban (which of course concerned semiautomatic firearms) were dramatized on television news with footage of actual machine guns in action. More recently, Rolling Stone (currently subject to a sizable defamation judgment arising from a false story about gang rape on a college campus) breathlessly (and laughably) exposed the five most dangerous types of firearms as pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and derringers.
And reporters and news organizations have repeatedly been caught deceptively editing stories that deal with firearms or self-defense. Katie Couric is currently the subject of a defamation lawsuit for the misleading editing of an interview with a pro-gun group for an antigun documentary. The final cut of the film portrays the group as stunned into silence by a supposedly penetrating question, when in fact taped audio of the exchange proved the group’s members readily offered answers and rebuttals. NBC was caught blatantly doctoring the 911 call in the highly-charged case of George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, to promote the false impression that Zimmerman volunteered information about Trayvon Martin’s race as a basis for suspicion. In fact Zimmerman did no such thing and was only responding to a direct question about the subject’s race from the police dispatcher.
Throughout his campaign, Trump’s opponents sought to delegitimize him and his supporters. This effort continues, now that he has been elected. If anyone doubts this, try the simple experiment of attempting to find any positive coverage of the president elect in a major mainstream news source, especially any of those that formally endorsed Hillary Clinton.
The fact that newspapers like the Washington Post would try to pull the same stunt on their upstart competitor news sources is hardly surprising.
So read often and widely, but just remember that those who are now pointing fingers have plenty to be ashamed of themselves. And be especially critical of any news source that supports the regulation and investigation of its competitors, while exempting itself from those recommendations. If that reminds you of how the elites approach gun control, it should.
It appears that those gun rights supporters hoping that the leaders of the Democratic Party would engage in a moment of self-reflection following their historic defeat in the 2016 election may be left wanting. Despite having been routed in contests throughout the middle of the country, Democrats are on the verge of electing Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), an avowed opponent of gun rights, to Chair the Democratic National Committee. Ellison has made clear that he believes the Democratic Party should not only pursue a litany of severe gun control measures, but that the party should also directly attack the Second Amendment.
During an appearance on the March 21, 2014 episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Ellison explained his position on firearms. During a discussion on the efficacy of gun control, Maher challenged Ellison on the Second Amendment, which resulted in the following exchange:
Maher: Then why doesn’t your party come out against the Second Amendment? It’s the problem.
Ellison: I sure wish they would. I sure wish we would.
Maher: Really? Because I never hear anybody in the Democratic party say that. But they say, ‘I am also a strong supporter.’
Ellison: You’ve got to check out the progressive caucus. We have come out very strong for common-sense gun safety rules.
The lawmaker went on to further characterize the type of gun control he supports by telling Maher, “what it means is that if you want to have grandpa’s shotgun, have it, but get rid of the crazy military-style assault weapons.”
Ellison’s long history of working against the rights of gun owners stretches back to the time he spent in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003-2007.
In 2003, Minnesota became a Right-to-Carry state with the passage of the Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act. This was accomplished when the Minnesota House amended a Senate natural resources bill by adding Right-to-Carry language. The bill was subsequently approved by the Minnesota Senate and signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Ellison voted against the House amendment that added the Right-to-Carry language and the entire bill. Further, during Minnesota’s 2003-2004 legislative session, Ellison served as an author, or was the chief author, of numerous bills to encumber the Right-to-Carry, along with legislation to repeal the Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act entirely.
Following passage, opponents of Minnesota’s new Right-to-Carry law filed suit, claiming among other things that the addition of the Right-to-Carry language to a natural resources bill violated the Minnesota State Constitution’s requirement that legislation be limited to a single subject. After a lower court struck down the law, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling in April of 2005.
In response to the court ruling, the Minnesota Legislature enacted a new Right-to-Carry law in May, 2005. Making clear that his opposition to the 2003 legislation was not a principled stance for the Minnesota Constitution, but rather an expression of his disdain for the right to keep and bear arms, Ellison opposed the new Right-to-Carry legislation at every turn.
As the 2005 legislation was making its way through the Minnesota Legislature, Ellison attempted to weaken the bill by offering an amendment that would have prohibited carry at various locations, including sports facilities, convention centers, and movie theaters, unless “expressly permitted by the management or operator of the facility.” Ellison also voted in favor of an amendment that would have permitted business owners to prohibit lawfully possessed firearms from parking areas, an amendment that would have forced business owners who did not prohibit firearms on their premises to post a “conspicuous sign at every entrance” notifying the public that that they allow firearms on the property, and yet another amendment that would have undermined Minnesota’s firearms preemption statute.
Of course, Ellison also voted against final passage of the 2005 Right-to-Carry bill.
In 2006, Ellison was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Since joining the U.S. Congress, Ellison has cosponsored a wide array of anti-gun legislation and has acted as a fierce advocate for harsh gun restrictions.
Ellison has supported bills that would ban commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, ban magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds, ban popular types of ammunition, require gun owners to purchase liability insurance, and expand the categories of individuals prohibited from possessing firearms.
Ellison is also a cosponsor of H.R. 3830, the “Reducing Gun Violence in our Neighborhoods Act of 2015.” This misleadingly-titled bill would impose an additional $100 tax “upon the sale by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of any firearm.” This legislation also threatens the privacy of gun owners by forcing them to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement for inclusion in a federal database.
Of the numerous gun control measures Ellison supports, three in particular serve to illustrate the severity of Ellison’s anti-gun fervor.
Ellison is a cosponsor of H.R. 3411, the “Fix Gun Checks Act of 2015”, and H.R. 3051, the “Background Check Completion Act.” H.R. 3411 would criminalize the private transfer of firearms by forcing individuals to conduct nearly all firearms transfers through a Federal Firearms Licensee and subject to a background check. H.R. 3051 would eliminate a vital protection that permits a gun dealer to transfer a firearm to a prospective transferee three business days after a NICS background check has been initiated, as long as the FBI has not notified the dealer that the transferee is prohibited. This safeguard prevents the federal government from indefinitely suspending a firearm transfer without proper reason.
Ellison supports these background check measures despite being a staunch critic of the federal government’s ability to conduct accurate background checks. On August 2, 2013, Ellison introduced H.R. 2999, the Accurate Background Check Act, which sought to place safeguards on FBI background checks conducted for employment purposes. In a press release that announced the legislation, Ellison lamented, “Up to 600,000 Americans are wrongfully denied a job every year simply because the information on their background checks is wrong.” Explaining a provision of the legislation that provided a safety valve for prospective employees, Ellison stated, “Under the ABC Act, the FBI will have ten days to find missing and incomplete information on rap sheets. If they can’t find final outcomes of arrests and court orders, the FBI will be required to remove the information from the background check.”
In June, Ellison participated in the widely-publicized gun control “sit-in” on the House floor. A purported goal of the protest was to force a vote on unconstitutional so-called “no fly, no buy” legislation that would permit the federal government to eliminate an individual’s Second Amendment rights without due process of law based on their placement on a secret government list. Minneapolis-based online newspaper MinnPost quoted Ellison as saying, “If law enforcement has deemed you to be so dangerous that you can’t get on an airplane, then maybe you shouldn’t be able to go get a gun… I’m happy to suspend your right to get a gun to sort out whether you should be in that program or not.”
Ellison is acutely aware of the problems inherent in using secret government lists as a tool to restrict rights, as he authored an April 9, 2014 letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson that took issue with the accuracy of the federal government’s secret watch lists and the lack of opportunity for redress. In a news release that accompanied the letter on Ellison’s website, the congressman acknowledged that his own constituents have faced difficulties stemming from their placement on a secret government watch list.
The fact that Ellison seems to understand the problems attendant to government background checks and secret government watch lists in certain civil liberties contexts, but not as they pertain to Second Amendment rights, underscores the congressman’s anti-gun zealotry.
Ellison’s radical anti-Second Amendment positions will not win the Democratic Party favor with the American people. Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans support the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment, that it protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. Recent surveys have also revealed that majorities oppose a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and understand that more Americans exercising their Right-to-Carry makes the country safer.
Following past defeats, the more rational leaders of the Democratic Party worked to steer the party away from the gun control issue in order to improve the Democrats’ electoral prospects. Choosing Ellison to lead the party would be doubling down on an anti-gun strategy that has failed time and time again.
Guinness World Records may refuse to acknowledge feats pertaining to the lawful exercise of right to keep and bear arms, but how about a world record for most shameless attempt to politicize tragedy? The competition would be stiff, as evidenced by the plethora of ignorant tweets issued in the wake of Monday’s motor vehicle and stabbing attack on the campus of Ohio State University.
Just before 10 a.m. Monday, Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove a car into a crowd of people near Watts Hall on the OSU campus. Those in the crowd had reportedly evacuated the building following reports of a gas leak. After plowing into the group with the car, Artan left the vehicle and began attacking the crowd with a butcher knife. Reports indicate that Ohio State Police Officer Alan Horujko arrived on the scene of the attack in less than a minute and shot and killed Artan. 11 individuals sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the attack.
A subsequent investigation into Artan revealed that he had posted comments sympathetic of lone wolf terrorist attacks to Facebook. The day after the attack, ISIS praised Artan as their “soldier.”
At the outset of the incident, university officials issued an alert warning of an active shooter situation on campus, urging students and faculty to “Run Hide Fight.” This information was then spread by various news outlets.
Rather than pausing to reflect on this tragic initial report or waiting for a full account of the facts, prominent gun control supporters rushed to their keyboards and pulled out their phones in a race to tweet their ill-considered reactions to the “shooting.”
Michael Bloomberg gun control frontwoman Shannon Watts was quick to tweet out, “Other nations protect their students. America gives dangerous people guns and asks students to defend themselves. God help us. Watts Hall.”
When another twitter user had the gall to question the Everytown media flack’s eagerness to politicize the OSU attack, Watts self-righteously snapped, “After Sandy Hook, I’ll never be quiet again. I’ll scream bloody murder because that’s what’s happening to 100k shot annually in the US.”
Not content to let the public ruminate on the deep wisdom of her initial tweet, Watts followed up with another, writing, “For school shooting victims it’s not too soon to discuss our nation’s lax gun laws – it’s too late Ohio State University.”
Recently defeated Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) used his twitter account to express the intense emotions he felt over the non-existent shooting. The ardent gun control supporter remarked, “Deeply saddened by the senseless act of gun violence at Ohio State this morning. Praying for the entire Buckeye Community.”
As if visiting us from the future, gun control supporter Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) shared with followers her foreknowledge of the scale of the OSU “shooting.” Edwards tweeted, “Enough is enough. Another #MassShooting, this time at Ohio State. This can’t become OUR normal. We must work to #EndGunViolence! #Gunsense?”
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence lamented, “Another school, another community. #Gunviolence in America doesn’t take a break.”
Actor and incessant tweeter George Takei felt compelled to use the OSU incident as a recruiting pitch for his LGBTQ gun control organization One Pulse for America, writing, “Tired of the shootings, and the complicity of the NRA? Join us to help fight.” As others have noted, some might find it curious that the former Star Trek actor, despite holding a healthy skepticism of the federal government, appears so eager to grant the state a monopoly on force.
For the sake of considered discourse, we hope that this incident will serve as a warning about the perils of making political declarations before receiving all of the facts of a particular incident. However, if history is any guide, the quality of anti-gun advocacy will only become more debased.
A while back, we wrote about an inane NBC Today Show segment that recommended homeowners rely on car keys and wasp spray to defend themselves against burglars and other home invaders. A former New York City detective counseled viewers to “buy a can of wasp hornet spray in the hardware store or the supermarket [and] keep it by your bedside or the floor… An intruder hit with the spray will be temporarily blinded.” If the spray didn’t do the trick, he advised homeowners to treat the criminal “like royalty” and cooperate fully.
Apart from the likelihood that using any registered pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling would violate federal law, these products are not formulated for use as a human repellant and won’t work like mace or pepper spray.
Another curious strategy against home invasions and burglaries recently surfaced in England, where private possession of handguns is largely banned, other firearms are prohibited or tightly controlled, and where the right of self-defense has been progressively eroded. According to the Colchester Borough Council, “Defensive planting helps combat crime.” The Council has “joined forces with Essex Police and Poplar Nurseries to launch a Defensive Planting Initiative,” to advise residents and businesses on the “the best shrubs and other living barriers” to plant to deter access to a property and thereby reduce burglaries and other crimes.
The Chair of the Safer Colchester Partnership, Pam Donnelly, points out that “living barriers can be one of the best and most attractive ways of securing your home and property against crime. Although it can take some time for plants to grow, the end result really does justify the effort and should deter even the most determined burglar.” However, even this ultra-passive strategy comes with tendrils attached: local authority planning permission, if required, must be obtained, and the police advise the barriers should not leave the property owner “open to civil proceedings” from visitors and trespassers, as may be the case with vampire vines, strangling creepers, and man-eating trees.
Weighing the obstructive merits of a giant rhubarb (gunnera manicata) against those of a fuschia-flowered gooseberry (ribes speciosum) would be quaint but for the fact that the Brits have real cause for concern. Data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) indicates that almost 60 percent of burglaries of dwellings occurred when a resident or someone else was in the home; of those, the percentage where force or violence was threatened or used against the occupant has increased steadily since 2006. The latest CSEW statistics show that in burglaries where an occupant was present and saw the offender, the offender resorted to the use of force or another form of violent victimization in 41 percent of these crimes. The Colchester Borough Council’s website on crime warns that “burglars are breaking into houses while you sleep with the intention of finding your car keys, stealing your car and any other small items they find on the way,” and recommends hiding car keys in a noisy drawer – “but don’t take them up to the bedroom with you.”
Americans, with a constitutional right to armed self-defense and Castle Doctrine legislation in most states, don’t need to bother with cultivating a perimeter briar patch, and may hang their car keys off their bedposts with impunity. Unfortunately for those on the other side of the pond, keeping one’s family safe may mean a moat and drawbridge.
The afternoon story began with the announcement the jury in the Officer Michael Slager trial was hopelessly deadlocked. Previously the State of South Carolina presented two options for verdict consideration, Murder or Voluntary Manslaughter.
The voluntary manslaughter option (lesser charges) was added AFTER the trial phase was concluded and the defense presented, then rested, its case.
The reason for the lesser charge was transparent to all who knew and followed the case closely, there was virtually no-way for a jury to convict on just the original charge of murder, hence the lesser included.
Adding the lesser charge option after trial testimony was yet again more evidence of a manipulative prosecution.
In essence, the State –with the full support of activist Judge Newman– timed the lesser charge inclusion to ensure the defense never used elements within their legal presentation that would have defended specifically against the manslaughter charge.
The Pentagon has cleared the way for servicemembers to carry privately owned firearms on Defense Department property, reversing a longstanding rule that barred personal weapons from its facilities.
Troops can apply for authorization to carry a firearm that is not related to their official duties, according to a Pentagon directive issued Nov. 18 by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work. The new order also describes the Pentagon’s policies for arming troops and civilian DOD personnel for official duties, such as law enforcement or security.
The directive is the result of a long debate about arming more troops on military installations in the wake of several shootings at Defense Department facilities in the past seven years that have left dozens dead.
Pentagon officials began reviewing the firearms policies in 2009, after a shooting rampage by an Army major on Fort Hood in Texas killed 13 people and injured 30. Last year, debate over arming more troops at military facilities heated up following the July 2015 lone-wolf terrorist attack on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., that left four Marines and a sailor dead.