The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Has Given Us Two Very Successful Experiments In Social Control – One Global, One National

The following editorial was written by my friend “ScotShot”. He is a resident of New Jersey and a firearms trainer. ScotShot is a NRA Training Counselor, a USCCA instructor, and a CCW instructor. He is also the co-founder with Klint Macro of National Train-A-Teacher Day. He has a greater appreciation for the US Constitution and especially the Second Amendment than many. That is because he grew up in a country which has no written constitution and no such protections.

More to the point of this editorial, “ScotShot” has a PhD in immunology from the University of Strathclyde and served for a few years as the Director of Research at a university center on biodefense.

It seems like an interminable time since the first recognized case of COVID-19 hit places in Europe (Northern Italy) and the USA. At the time of writing it’s been five months. There are many timelines out there that you can find, and the question of whether it actually came earlier is real. However, there’s a great interactive published by the New York Times that is well worth a look:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/22/world/coronavirus-spread.html

In these five months, the United States and other Western countries have been transformed by this event. Your present correspondent, who writes from the aggressively confinement-orientated New Jersey, has been struck by how much and for how long we have allowed this to modify our behavior and change our lives.

I’m not going to discuss the various successes and errors nor whether the Orange Man did well or poorly. I also am not going to discuss whether it was correct or wrong for Western governments to fall over themselves to follow the apocalyptic modeling of a certain Dr F from Imperial College, London after it became clear that it was only older people who were generally at significant risk. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We always, as they say, fight with the tools of the previous war, and this was fought with the tools built during the emergence of HIV. No foul, Drs F’n’B.

Let’s talk, Gentle Reader, about two Great Experiments.

EXPERIMENT ONE – “OK, we didn’t plan a biowarfare attack, but…”

Take another look at the NYT interactive linked above and remember that while this was taking place, China had essentially shut down, or was in the process of shutting down, internal travel. The Chinese Authorities very likely knew about how contagious this new virus was and the morbidity/mortality it carried. While we can’t know exactly what they were thinking, it’s interesting to speculate that some bright spark may have come up with the idea of letting a bunch of very likely infected people leave the epicenter of the outbreak to a whole bunch of countries just to see what would happen. That is, just to see how Europe, Australia, the USA would react at the levels of their governments and their citizens. I’d say that they are happy beyond their wildest dreams right now.

The whole Western economy disrupted, (multi?)-generational debt accrued, lockdown frustration amplifying civil unrest here in the USA (and whether the murder of Mr F was a deliberate trigger-act is for others to discuss). Oh, they learned a lot about us. Importantly, they learned that certain parts of our manufacturing capabilities were so dependent upon them that countries would order protective materials only to find that they were, for example, defective upon shipping or would buy back their own previously charitably-given supplies . They also learned that the political process here is so fractured that parties would use the pandemic to further their venal political ends. This brings us to…

EXPERIMENT TWO – “Wow, I never thought they’d do this…”

It is perhaps surprising (but only in retrospect) that only one or two countries, e.g., Sweden, didn’t follow the others in the mass-lemmingization of the West into the economic and social chaos of the pandemic lockdown. The UK, well England to be more precise, did make an attempt, but it was half-hearted at best and they basically caved at the first sign of trouble. Scotland, with its more socialist political environment, went for it whole-heartedly and are this week rejoicing that the affectionately-known “wee Nichola” has allowed them to once again go out and socialize but “at a distance.. over your garden fence, and not going into your neighbors’ homes..”. This is remarkably like it is in more blue-hued States here in the United States: NJ, NY, WA, OR, CA…. As we now begin to emerge armed with actual data about the effects of the pandemic and the entrepreneurial economy re-emerges in the red states, we see the true political agendas laid bare on the beach like little blue puddles as the tide of pandemic caution recedes.

Don’t wear a mask… everyone wear a mask… you don’t need a test… everyone needs to be tested… two weeks to flatten the curve… could be six months till we get a vaccine… back to normal…. emerge into the New Normal…

The “New Normal?” What is this New Normal that Democrat Governors are talking about? I’d say that they too have had a very successful experiment going in enhanced social control over their citizens. Well, I guess when you force small business owners to close down while letting corporate giants (naming no names) stay open, you are garroting your opposing political base. Who really cares whether people wear masks properly so long as they cover their faces somehow and you get the bonus of a bunch of Karens hounding those who do not, live-streamed on Facebook. You issued an Executive Order and people rushed to squeeze through the Overton Window just so that they could get out of the house.

What can we conclude…

So, what can we conclude, Gentle Reader, about the outcome of these two experiments? To date, they have been very successful and those who conducted them have learned a lot about their experimental subjects. Personally, I think it’s more important to think about what we, those very subjects, have learned about the experimenters and our fellow subjects.

As the lockdown is eased in red states and not blue, we see a picture emerging that is disturbingly similar to the cover of Kurt Schlichter’s book, “People’s Republic”. Blue State Governors working with the DNC to maintain control and build a New Normal up through the Election, and they do not care that they are now in plain sight. It’s probably wishful thinking to hope that there will be a move away from China as the source of inexpensive essentials and towards more domestic manufacturing, too. Too many of us are like the bunnies in Watership Down… “Look! Free Carrots!” and never mind where Fred went.

So I leave you with a question. Will those of us who believe in self-reliance and paying our own way simply become a thing of the past, turned to dust and blown away on the breeze, or we once again turn and say that we are ‘we’, “WE, the People”?

Social Distancing Made Understandable

“Social Distancing” seems to be the word of the year along with “flatten the curve”. All of this is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You go into many stores and you see “X” on the floor indicating just how far apart you should be from the next person. X’s are fine but I stumbled across an easier explanation that will appeal to those in the gun culture.

Instead of trying to figure out if that is 6 feet or is it merely 5 1/2 feet, the picture below makes it simple. I found it on Reddit.

I’m sure if you wanted to be pedantic you could say that an AR15 with an A2 stock is going to be longer than the M4gery with a collapsible stock throwing off the suggested distance.

Whatever.

Memorial Day 2020

Memorial Day this year is different. While the country is starting to reopen from government-ordered quarantines and stay-at-home orders, there won’t be the parades, Boy Scouts haven’t been allowed to put out flags at veterans graves, and access to Arlington National Cemetery is restricted to family members with the requisite passes.

Some things will remain as they always have. The Tomb Guards from the Third Infantry Regiment will still guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The difference this year is that they will do it without spectators.

Perhaps this is how it should be. The solemnity of their job as sentinels for the fallen is not to impress the tourists but to honor those who died for this country who are known only to God.

Interesting Chart On Population Density

This chart came to me in an email I get daily from Strategas. I’m not sure how I got on their mailing list but I get daily charts regarding economic issues from them.

They noted in reference to New York City reopening for business:

Population Density Will Cause Trouble for NYC Reopening
Reopening is underway in many areas of the country but New York City may have a more difficult time than other major cities for one reason: population density. NYC has a population density that is more than 1.5x that of the second densest city. With social distancing playing a large role in stopping the spread of the virus, New York City faces many challenges and may take longer to return to normal.

This reinforces my introvert’s desire to have 50 acres with the house smack dab in the center of the property. Oh, and to have a thorn-filled hedge of bramble and other thorny stuff surrounding all 50 acres.

Does Aurora Sportsmen’s Club Look Like A Golf Course To You?

Take a look at that picture above. It is an aerial photo of the Aurora Sportsmen’s Club in Waterman, Illinois. It has rifle and pistol bays ranging from 50 feet to 600 yards. It has two Skeet fields, three Trap fields, a 5-stand course, a 12-stand Sporting Clays course, and an archery range. On top of all of that, it has three stocked fishing ponds.

Now tell me who in their right mind would confuse this with a golf course and want to regulate it in the same manner.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) issued Executive Order 2020-10 on March 20th. It explicitly lists firearm and ammo dealers and suppliers as essential businesses. It also said “outdoor activity” was a permitted reason to leave home so long as social distancing was observed. This included both golf course and shooting ranges.

A week later, Gov. Pritzker issued a subsequent order that ordered golf courses closed and shooting ranges such as those of the Aurora Sportsmen’s Club which didn’t have an attached gun store closed as well. They closed upon the advice of legal counsel when golf courses closed.

As a letter this week to Gov. Pritzker from Eric Callis, President of ASC, makes clear, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity does not consider them an “essential business” and have said they have to remain closed.

Like many businesses, our not-for-profit club is being impacted by the stay at home order and shutdown of non-essential entities. We have followed the guidelines as proposed and with the revisions of March 27, closed the Club except to law enforcement agencies that needed to complete training to maintain certification and proficiency.

During this time we have watched as marijuana dispensaries remain open. We now see that dog groomers are going to be allowed to open. Even golf courses are being allowed to resume limited operations. Yet each time we reach out to DCEO through our elected officials, we continue to be told we can not reopen under any conditions.

So while golf courses, dog groomers, and pot shops (cannabis dispensaries) are allowed to reopen, a huge outdoor facility spread out of hundreds of acres is ordered to remain closed. Of particular relevance to this issue was the 7th Circuit’s ruling in Ezell v. Chicago which noted in reference to shooting ranges, “The right to possess firearms for protection implies a corresponding right to acquire and maintain proficiency in their use; the core right wouldn’t mean much without the training and practice that make it effective.”

In the letter cited above, Callis asks Gov. Pritzker for a written explanation with specifics as to why they aren’t allowed to reopen.

Ranges, training, and practice for proficiency protected under Heller, McDonald, and Ezell are not afforded the same opportunities as golf courses, dog groomers, and marijuana dispensaries?

Non-constitutionally protected activities are given more deference and protection than those enumerated via the Bill of Rights under the Second Amendment and court rulings?

Are hundreds of people allowed at indoor stores, yet we are not allowed to open up a 300-acre outdoor facility?

Can’t we re-open if we follow the same type of guidelines as golf courses?

The club has also appealed to US Attorney General William Barr who has told US Attorneys to be on the lookout for overly strict state and local orders which tread upon constitutional rights.

We, therefore, ask you to determine if those orders barring the use of indoor or outdoor ranges for the “training and practice” of firearms to maintain proficiency as enumerated in Ezell violate fundamental constitutional rights and are an overreach as you described in your memo.

We find it odd that dog grooming businesses in confined spaces are allowed to open, conduct business, and see people while our 300-acre outdoor range is not.  We find it troubling that there appears to be a political double standard for outdoor recreational activities that are not protected by the Constitution with enumerated rights but may be more politically correct.  We also find it inexplicable that drugs still considered to be illegal for sale and possession under Federal law are allowed to be sold, used, and shops that sell marijuana are open for business while actual legal conduct and constitutionally protected activities are being denied.

We appreciate your help in this matter and look forward to hearing from either your office or your representative.

According to the DeKalb County Health Department, they have had 101 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The overwhelming majority of the over 50,000 cases of COVID-19 in Illinois are in Chicago and Cook County. What might be appropriate for the dense urban areas of Chicago and its suburbs is not the same for rural DeKalb County where the club is located. Indeed, the Illinois Department of Public Health maps show zero cases in the club’s location of Waterman, Illinois.

Keeping the Aurora Sportmen’s Club closed is not good public policy nor, in my opinion, constitutional. I hope someone in Springfield wakes up sooner than later.

COVID-19 Causes 2020 National Matches To Be Canceled

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused another major event to be canceled. The 2020 National Matches at Camp Perry have been canceled according to an alert from the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

After thoughtful consideration and reflection, the Board of Directors of the Civilian Marksmanship Program announces the cancellation of the 2020 National Matches at Camp Perry.    

“This decision was not arrived at lightly, but was prompted by restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.  These matches date back to 1903 and have been held at Camp Perry since 1906,” said Judith Legerski, CMP Board Chairman.  

“The health and safety of our competitors, participants, vendors, military support, volunteers and staff members is of the upmost importance — overriding even the historical imperative of maintaining the continuity of the Matches,” agreed Legerski, with Chief Operating Officer Mark Johnson and Programs Chief Christie Sewell.    

“We were unable to come up with a manner in which we could safely produce the Matches.  Housing and pit duty were amongst the many insurmountable problems faced by the CMP Board,” Legerski explained.     The CMP looks forward to the 2021 National Matches at Camp Perry as the best marksmanship celebration ever!  In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy at home, as we prepare for the new normal ahead of us.

All CMP operations have been shut down since mid-March and a full resumption of business remains undetermined.  Full refunds will be made to those who have already registered.  

The last time the National Matches were canceled was in 1950 due to the start of the Korean War. They resumed in 1951 and returned to Camp Perry in 1953.

The Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere

245 years ago tonight Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescott left on their journey to warn the Minutemen that British regulars were marching to seize the colony’s stores of arms, powder, and shot. The next morning, the American Revolution began.

Ironically enough, Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA) is acting more like General Gage than the early patriots with his orders that firearm dealers remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. For his troubles, Baker is being sued in Federal court by a coalition of groups including Commonwealth Second Amendment, Gun Owners Action League, Second Amendment Foundation, and Firearms Policy Coalition in McCarthy v. Baker seeking to have stores reopened. The Pink Pistols have filed a motion to be allowed to file an amicus brief in the case.

While the real story of that midnight ride is here, most Americans know the more fictionalized account popularized by poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem below was meant to unify the North on the eve of the War Between the States and to remind that history favors the courageous.

Just like when Longfellow wrote Paul Revere’s Ride, we are facing a time of danger. The danger is not just from COVID-19. The more critical danger is that civil liberties are being trampled upon by public officials with their proclamations, emergency orders, etc. Whether it is police in Greenville, Mississippi interfering with a drive-in church, police in Raleigh saying people don’t have the right to assemble even if keeping their social distance, or Gov. Baker’s order on gun stores, the First and Second Amendments are being spit upon by small men with big egos and a misguided sense of their own importance.

It is time for that to stop.

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light,—
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war:
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon, like a prison-bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed to the tower of the church,
Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,—
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,—
A line of black, that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now gazed on the landscape far and near,
Then impetuous stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height,
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village-street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river-fog,
That rises when the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When be came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard-wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

Say No To Vote By Mail In NC

Under the heading of never let a crisis go to waste, the NC State Board of Elections under the leadership of Gov. Roy Cooper’s handpicked director is proposing “emergency” changes to voting in North Carolina. The changes to the NC Administrative Code would allow alternatives to voting in person to include the Democrat’s holy grail of vote by mail.

The law currently allows alternatives due to natural disasters, armed conflict, or extremely inclement weather. The proposed alternative is seeking to have COVID-19 included under the definition of “natural disaster.”

The comment period ends on Monday, April 20th.

While the comment period has been open since March 20th, it has been cruising under the radar. That is, until Grass Roots North Carolina issued the following alert below.

TOTALITARIAN WANNABEES NEVER LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE, AND RIGHT NOW IS NO EXCEPTION
Election day is months away, but they’ve decided that what is happening right now is a good enough  excuse to make drastic changes.
We the people control the government through our vote. Now the left wants to take it out of our hands. You only need to look at Virginia to see what can happen with one close election.  The left takes over and rams through all kinds of liberty destructive legislation.
Now they want to do the same here under the ever-convenient pretense of a temporary emergency to force the issue of mail in voting.
This is dangerous to democracy on a number of levels:
Identifying voters will be a thing of the past – along with free and fair elections.

There will be no ‘chain of custody’ of ballots – votes for the pro-liberty right could be easily ‘lost’.

While votes for leftist candidates could easily be ‘found’.
The New “Crisis” Power Grab
Governor Cooper’s hand-picked Director of Elections, Karen Brinson Bell wants to sneak thought a very dangerous change to election law without oversight from our Representatives in the Legislature.
They want to impose last-minute “emergency” changes to our election laws, all without legislative approval, and this could include all-mail voting and California-style ballot harvesting.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!

We have until Monday, April 20th to object to the proposed “power grab” by the Governor and the NC State Board of Elections. To assure that your objection(s) get to SBOE, please do these (2) things: (Please read both before proceeding.)

Here is the link to the portal where you can comment on the proposed rule change.     Remember, the Left is inundating the site with sob stories of how many will be disenfranchised and how we’re all going to die. They need to hear rational reasons from you.

Copy your email from the portal and paste it into an email to rules@ncsbe.gov. Attention: Rule Making Coordinator with one of the objections below or write one of your own using this info. 
(Why the email? We need an electronic footprint to prove these objections were sent. We don’t trust the BOE. They could make an excuse and say these objections were never sent. Computer down etc.)


PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC: Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.  
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE

Suggested Subject: “No to Mail in voter fraud”   Dear : I object to your proposed executive overreach in forcing the mail in voting during a temporary emergency.

Such a scheme is fraught with danger to democracy and our representative republic. 

There will be no oversight by election officials.
The possibility of massive voter fraud.
There will be no ‘chain of custody’ for the ballots with another opportunity for massive fraud.

In short, this will destroy any confidence the people have in the electoral process and will taint any results and the legitimacy of the government itself. That is far more dangerous and life threatening than a disease outbreak that is showing signs that it is subsiding. 

There are a number of measures such as curb-side voting that can be taken – if necessary – to minimize the danger. 

I will be monitoring your actions on this issue closely through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.    

Respectfully,

Ammo Shortage?

Now it seems that in addition to the run on toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, bleach, and antibacterial soap, you can add ammunition to the list.

Cam Edwards reports:

The panic buying of toilet paper and cleaning supplies that have temporarily left store shelves bare is also starting to be seen in gun stores around the country, and it may soon have an impact on the availability of some common types of ammunition in the days and weeks ahead.

On Twitter, I asked folks who’d gone shopping in the past 24 hours to chime in and report on what store shelves looked like while they were in their local gun store. Plenty of people reported back on bare shelves, particularly for 9mm and .223/5.56 rounds.

He goes on to explain that any shortage probably will not be as the result of the difficulty in obtaining the raw materials – lead, copper, and brass – but the possibility that factories might be forced to close temporarily due to COVID-19.

The Power Line Blog which is not a gun blog had this anecdotal report. It came from an unnamed friend who wished to be anonymous and who goes to the range and gun store three times a week on average.

But today it wasn’t my place. It was a damn mess.

People, people, people! Everybody is buying guns. It happens every time apocalypse fever fills the air, animated by crazed dreams of civil breakdown, too many viewings of Mad Max, food shortage, the whimsy of life and death, and anyone’s aching need to protect children, spouse and self. This time it’s COVID-19, but it could be any dodgy possibility as sustained and amplified by the willfully ignorant.

So as I sat there in the crowd, waiting for my turn to get to the firing line, I wondered: Who ARE they?

They’re not conservatives. Conservatives already have their guns, many of them of the so-helpful AR and AK variant, and many boxes—and crates and pallets—of ammo. That’s because apocalyptic thinking is never far from the conservative mind, with its realthink about the evil that men do and how quickly they can do it. It wasn’t a liberal who said, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

So what can you do if your local gun store has run out of either your favorite caliber or your preferred brand?

May I suggest going to Luckygunner.com. You can find your ammo, you will pay a fair price, and it will be delivered to you at home. Click on the banner to go to their website.

Buy bulk ammo at Lucky Gunner

I should also note that I am an affiliate of Luckygunner.com and have been since 2011. I will earn a small commission that helps this blog and it won’t cost you any extra. I personally know many of the people there and they are good folks.