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  • 19 Jul 2014 1:22 PM | Frank Jack Fiamingo (Administrator)

    GUNS, VIOLENCE, RIGHTS & SAFETY

    Discussions concerning guns, violence, rights and safety generally become polarizing rather quickly. It should not surprise anyone that violence of any kind against innocent life generates an immediate emotional response.  As mortal humans, it is natural for us to personalize mortality. However, when a gun is used, many people tend to focus on the instrument of death, rather than on the perpetrator. Perhaps when a murderer uses her bare hands to strangle someone, or to beat him to death, there remains no question that she is to blame for the murder. The focus is on how to deal with the perpetrator and/or the underlying causes of the violence. However, for some reason, if a gun is used, the issue quickly devolves into a discussion about gun control. This phenomenon is worth investigating further.

    A good place to start the investigation is to examine who generally takes part in these discussions and who is influenced by them. In the aggregate there are “gun control” advocates, “gun rights” advocates and everyone else. Although these are convenient titles, they are nonetheless misleading. You can only control an inanimate object in the way you utilize it. Absent of human intervention, a gun requires no control. A human has to have access to it, pick it up and accidentally or on purpose discharge it. So, what we are actually talking about is controlling how individuals handle, store and use guns. With regard to “gun rights”, guns have no rights. People have rights. People who use guns have rights and people who do not use guns have rights. Gun rights activists are actually concerned with the rights individual people have to own and use guns.

    Why do some people want to control the use of guns? It is likely that the majority of people who wish to control the use of guns are primarily concerned with their ability to be used to intimidate, harm and/or kill. They may be concerned with both the deliberate and accidental harm that the misuse of a gun may cause. Ironically, advocates on both sides of the issue agree on this point. Activists who support the right of individuals to own and use guns do not support the use of a gun to intimidate, harm or kill innocent life. They do not support the right of an individual to be careless in the way he stores or secures his guns. There is much more room for agreement on these points than someone observing from outer space might at first determine. That is probably due to the fact that the rhetoric surrounding the issue is so loud, we each cannot hear what the other side is saying.

    Are there control advocates that would confiscate all guns? Yes. They are in the minority, but they are noisy. Are there rights advocates who reject any and all restrictions (including restricting violent felons and those who are mentally disqualified)? Yes, but again, they are in the minority. Most people on both side of this issue want to keep guns out of the hands of convicted violent felons and those who have been lawfully deemed mentally disqualified by a reliable source. We all have loved ones. None of us want to see criminals or the mentally ill roaming the streets with guns. None of us want to see individuals who are so irresponsible in the way they handle, store and secure their guns that innocent people are at risk of being hurt or killed.

    However, the two sides do differ in significant ways. Most people who find themselves in what is generally referred to as the anti-gun group, tend to be personally unfamiliar with guns. Those who are referred to as pro-gun, typically are gun owners or are otherwise personally familiar with guns. This is significant because there is a great deal of misinformation about guns and gun use that can unduly influence individuals unfamiliar with guns. It is unlikely that they are going to be educated on the subject by those who are on their side of the issue. If they are going to hear the facts, it is much more likely they will hear them from a gun owner who is willing and able to communicate properly.

    We have talked a bit about people on both sides who have already taken a specific position. It is important to understand that the vast majority of people in this country fall somewhere in the middle. They don’t own guns, but have no definite feeling that they should be banned or confiscated. They probably feel that there should be some regulation, but they do not spend a great deal of time thinking about the issue. Certainly they spend much less time thinking about it than those who are solidly in either camp. These are the people who can be easily swayed by the tragedy of the moment, but who do not exert much influence upon the policy makers in the long run. Some of the people in the middle may be attracted into one camp or the other. This is extremely important to keep in mind when making a public statement. In general, people are put off by the harsh and the shrill. If they are going to be swayed at all, they are going to be swayed by a good argument well communicated. Slogans, Jargon and esoteric arguments about Jeffersonian intentions will most likely be ignored. If you wish to reach these people, educate yourself on the facts, and polish up your communications skills.

    Obviously there is a LOT more to be said on this topic. I will gather more information and share it as I do. If there is one thing I would like the reader to walk away with, it is that we MUST change our approach. A true Government Of, By and For the people will not always consist of those who agree on every point. It is more important that we agree on what the guidelines are in a Constitutional Republic of laws, and that we engage in honest debate where there are differences. Until we do, we are at the mercy of the political elite who have so far successfully hijacked our nation.

    Frank Jack Fiamingo
    President – NJ2AS
    7/19/14

     

  • 14 Jul 2014 9:20 AM | Frank Jack Fiamingo (Administrator)

    The Grey Haired Brigade

    They like to refer to us as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs.  Some of us are “Baby Boomers” getting ready to retire.  Others have been retired for some time.  We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were.  We have worked hard, raised our children, worshiped our God and grown old together.  Yes, we are the ones some refer to as being over the hill, and that is probably true.  But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.

    In school we studied English, history, math, and science which enabled us to lead America into the technological age.  Most of us remember what outhouses were, many of us with firsthand experience.  We remember the days of telephone party-lines, 25 cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes.  For those of you who don’t know what an icebox is, today they are electric and referred to as refrigerators.  A few even remember when cars were started with a crank.  Yes, we lived those days.

    We are probably considered old fashioned and outdated by many.  But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off.  We won World War II, fought in Korea and Viet Nam.  We can quote The Pledge of Allegiance, and know where to place our hand while doing so.  We wore the uniform of our country with pride and lost many friends on the battlefield.  We didn’t fight for the Socialist States of America, we fought for the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.”  We wore different uniforms but carried the same flag.  We know the words to the Star Spangled Banner, America, and America the Beautiful by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing.  We have lived what many of you have only read about in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America.

    Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us.  We have loved this country, fought for it, and died for it, and now we are going to save it.  It is our country and nobody is going to take it away from us least of all the gangster banksters.  We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that is an oath we plan to keep.  There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.

    It was mostly the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democratic Congress.  You fell for the “Hope and Change” which in reality was nothing but “Hype and Lies.”  You have tasted socialism and seen evil face to face, and have found you don’t like it after all.  You make a lot of noise, but most are all too interested in their careers or “Climbing the Social Ladder” to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism and voting.  Many of those who fell for the “Great Lie” in 2008 are now having buyer’s remorse.  With all the education we gave you, you didn’t have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank the ‘Cool-Aid.’  Now you’re paying the price and complaining about it.  No jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom.  This is what you voted for and this is what you got.  We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.

    Well, don’t worry youngsters, the Grey-Haired Brigade is here, and in 2012 we are going to take back our nation.  We may drive a little slower than you would like but we get where we’re going, and in 2012 we’re going to the polls by the millions.  This land does not belong to the man in the White House nor to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid or the gangsters on Wall Street.  It belongs to “We the People” and “We the People” plan to reclaim our land and our freedom.  We hope this time you will do a better job of preserving it and passing it along to our grandchildren.  So the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, Stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our country, and thank God for the old geezers of the “Grey-Haired Brigade.”

     

  • 26 Jun 2014 1:28 PM | Frank Jack Fiamingo (Administrator)

    The following quality information is available on a regular basis by subscribing to "Cliff Notes"  by emailing cliff.2a@gmail.com. Thanks to NJ2AS member Cliff Toye for permission to post.

    Gun control advocates push to take firearms from those accused of threatening violence
    By Emily Miller - Published June 24, 2014 - Fox 5 DC
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/24/gun-control-advocates-push-to-take-firearms-from-those-accused-threatening/
    (in CT & DC)

    From AMMOLAND.com

    CO Gov Thumbs His Noes at Sheriff’s, Says He’d Sign Gun Control Again
    Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    Read more: http://www.ammoland.com/2014/06/co-gov-thumbs-his-noes-at-sheriffs-says-hed-sign-gun-control-again/#ixzz35kI3vvEZ

    Big Win for Gun Owners in Colorado, While Bloomberg Money Helps Cochran Squeak By
    Published on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    Read more: http://www.ammoland.com/2014/06/big-win-for-gun-owners-in-colorado/#ixzz35kIW4IcXhttp://www.ammoland.com/2014/06/big-win-for-gun-owners-in-colorado/#axzz35kHPUDA8

    CNN: Blame Failed Mental Health System for Mass Shootings, Not NRA
    Published on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    Read more: http://www.ammoland.com/2014/06/cnn-blame-failed-mental-health-system-not-nra/#ixzz35kJGdEWx

    Freakonomics and Gun ‘Buybacks’

    Published on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    Read more: http://www.ammoland.com/2014/06/freakonomics-and-buybacks/#ixzz35kN17sUM

    Found on GUNFEED.com

    GUNS AND SELF-DEFENSE: Map shows where guns have been used in defense of self, property
    by Richard Hall Published: June 23, 2014
    http://newsok.com/guns-and-self-defense-map-shows-where-guns-have-been-used-in-defense-of-self-property/article/4951520

    from VisionToAmerica.com
    Why Did The UN Just Place An Ad For A ‘Disarmament Officer’ In New York?
    Posted on June 25, 2014 by V2A
    Read more at http://visiontoamerica.com/17949/why-did-the-un-just-place-an-ad-for-a-disarmament-officer-in-new-york/#K1pWHlYSAHuA7Xj2.99
    The UN Small Arms Treaty has been out of the headlines for a while...

    The Real Reason Dianne Feinstein is Obsessed with Taking All Your Guns
    Found Posted on June 25, 2014 by V2A
    http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/06/the-reason-dianne-feinstein-is-obsessed-about-taking-your-guns-away/

    Very Interesting...




    “The constitution shall never be construed...to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”

    - Alexander Hamilton


  • 24 Jun 2014 4:37 PM | Frank Jack Fiamingo (Administrator)

    Introduction

    Today, I would like to talk with you about the origin and significance of human rights, how they relate to our governance in a Constitutional Republic and what we can all do to help save our Republic from any number of bad outcomes.

    Rights.

    What makes a being human? Some people say it is the human mind that separates us from the animals. Some believe that it is the soul. Whatever it is that makes us human, there are several conditions that must be true in order for us to live AS humans.

    We must be alive. Obvious yes, and it is something that we share with the other animals, but it is important to remember this condition when we discuss the right of self-defense.

    We must be FREE to think and act. Otherwise, that which makes us human, is stifled. While humans are creative and able to communicate in various media, animals cannot act much beyond the chains of their instincts.

    We must learn to respect the boundaries of other humans. The worst kind of brutish, animalistic behavior is the initiation of the use of force in our dealings with other humans. Be careful to note that I am not referring to the defense against the use of force, but rather the initiation of it.

    Whether you believe that rights exist as a result of man being a creature of God or of Nature, the same rules apply. Man cannot live as a human without rights. Another conclusion is that rights are not granted by the state but rather they preexist the establishment of government since government is a product of mankind.

    The Constitution “Power from the People”!

    It is the men and women who agree to participate in their government who give that government its power. That power does not BELONG to the government, it is INVESTED in the government BY the people. The people may at any time choose to revoke or withdraw those powers if they believe that it is in their best interest. Our founders, and the people who created the framework of our government were wise enough to construct a process by which THE PEOPLE may control our government. We all know it as the Constitution.

    Republic vs. Democracy

    We are quite fortunate that our founders did NOT establish the United States of America as a Democracy. They choose instead to establish a unique version of a Constitutional Republic. A government OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people. The reason we benefit from this decision is that in a pure Democracy, the majority may indeed vote away “the exercise of” the rights of the minority. That SHOULD not be possible in a Constitutional Republic *IF* it is healthy. I deliberately included the words “the exercise of” when speaking of the infringement of rights. I did so because, although you can prevent a human from EXERCISING their preexisting, inalienable human rights, you can never take them away. This is more than just an arbitrary semantic argument. It is an essential concept for those of us who truly believe that human rights ARE inalienable.

    Why the Second Amendment?

    As you know, I am the President of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society. You may be wondering how Amendment number 2 fits into this discussion. Please allow me to explain.

    First, the right to keep and bear arms is essential to preserving life. When used properly, it works as a deterrent to crime. When questioned by researchers what the one thing is that criminals fear most, the answer is NOT the police. What criminals say that they fear most is being shot by an armed individual who encounters them committing a crime.

    Second, people are not free to think and act when they live in constant fear for their lives. In order to LIVE free, one has to FEEL free. Some urban residents, as well as some suburban and rural residents are constrained by the daily fear that someone will break into their home or car, or will murder one of their loved ones or neighbors. That is not a way for people to have to live.

    Third, the people must have a “last resort” in the event that their elected officials refuse to abide by the dictates of the Constitution and follow the will of the people as guided by the Constitution. That is a roundabout way of describing tyranny. No matter how remote some people may think that possibility is, it does exist and must be considered. Without the right of the people to keep and bear arms, there would be no teeth whatsoever to enforce the Constitution.

    Why is Participation Necessary?

    I stated earlier that it is the PARTICIPATION of the people in their government that invests that government with its power. Ironically, the LACK of participation by the people in our government results in granting them a LICENSE to do as they please. Perhaps I neglected to mention that there is a responsibility to do more than just vote if one wishes to participate effectively. This is where the solution comes in. The reason our documents refer to “we the people” instead of “they the three branches”, is because our founders and framers knew from bitter experience what it was like to live under the rule an aristocracy. There would be little difference between the British Aristocracy and a “special” higher class of humans controlling the three branches of our government. The problem is, the people must WANT to participate, or an aristocracy is what they will get by default. And that is what we have today. A group of people in our legislatures, that believe they know what is best for their constituents, an executive branch that is so far out of touch with the reality of the middle class that they might as well be a monarchy, and a group of “specially qualified experts” on the Supreme Court who have complete and final authority to interpret the Constitution as they see fit. And WE allow this.

    Our Own Worst Enemy!

    The odds are against us. That very well may be true. Those who do not agree with our strict interpretation of the founding documents have been extremely successful in moving our nation further along toward socialism. Does that mean that we will give up? Of course not. Our children, grandchildren and loved ones mean more to us than that. It just means that we have to work harder to change the direction of our nation. How do we accomplish that? Well, if ultimately the government *IS* “we the people”, then we must go TO the people. Why? Any child who has seen the movie “Ants” can tell you the answer. There are a whole lot more of US than there are of them.

    This nation was built on the ideals of individual freedom and responsibility, also known as independence. Because of this spirit of independence and an abundance of natural resources, we eventually developed a strong capitalist economy. In spite of the perversion inflicted upon capitalism by people on both sides of the political spectrum, it is still possible for an individual to raise capital and to build an empire from one really great idea. This would not be possible under socialism. We have a system that rewards creativity, intelligence and hard work. If we understand this system and believe in it, then we have to stop being so schizophrenic about “those greedy rich people”, and accept that except where government intervention has given someone an unfair advantage, capitalism is still the best economic environment through which our future generations can obtain the American Dream. We need to support it enthusiastically. It is the anti-socialist bombshell. Being lukewarm on capitalism is like not understanding the difference between solid ground and quicksand. It is a VERY dangerous position to hold.

    Is Knowledge Power?

    So, assuming we agree on the preeminence of human rights, freedom, responsibility, independence and capitalism. What do we do with this knowledge? We share it with the people. There are many ways of sharing our knowledge, but first let’s be sure of our standing. Who here has not heard the terms “preaching to the choir” and “speaking to each other in an echo chamber”? While it is quite natural for people with like minds to gather together, it can also be a petri dish of growing misinformation. We are not required to check our facts in an echo chamber. It is only necessary to echo back what we have heard and read from the exact same sources as everyone else in our circle. This natural tendency is a HUGE “gotcha”.

    In order to overcome this tendency, we must work a little harder to educate ourselves on the issues. That is why there are so many different groups out there. Some are concerned primarily with parental rights and common core. Some concentrate on religious freedom. Others are working very hard against Agenda 21 and for property rights. As you know, my group, the NJ2AS is fighting to reverse the dangerous trend towards gun confiscation and prohibition. It would be exceedingly difficult if each of us had to try and focus on all these different issues. Luckily we don’t. That is why I suggest that you choose an area that you are passionate about and focus on that. It is MUCH easier to educate oneself on one or two main issues than to become an expert on all of them.

    Saving the Republic Requires Action.

    OK, you have chosen your issue(s). You have read up on the subject and you have become somewhat of an expert, or even just knowledgeable. What next. Well, the knowledge that you have locked up in your head will not help to save the Republic unless you are willing to find a way to share it. If you can speak, then try to find some venues where you are not necessarily ONLY preaching to the choir. While it is not a bad idea to have some like-minded people around for moral support, if needed, what you really want is to reach those who would not otherwise even be thinking about your issues. I will share an example that we have used successfully in the recent past. In order to draw in a receptive crowd of people who may not even have a position on gun rights, we have been offering free Home Security Seminars. We bring in all kinds of experts from security systems companies to martial arts and self-defense instructors, and other experts in home safety and security. We also talk about the right to keep and bear arms, and about gun safety. We introduce people to the process by which they might obtain a Firearms Purchaser ID card. The point is, we offer people something of value that includes information they want, and we also provide them with information that we believed they need. It truly has turned out to be a win-win opportunity. I am sure that some of you are already using similar strategies.

    Another approach for those who are not yet at the point where they are comfortable speaking in front of people, is the written word. Anyone can write a blog post to a relevant website, or a letter to the editor of a local newspaper or perhaps even an opinion piece. To those who say it will never be printed, I can tell you from personal experience that is not true. The more you write and the more you submit, the better you will get at it and the more you improve your chances of getting your piece printed. The problem is that most people don’t even try. I hope that will not be the case with this crowd.

    Some of us are veterans, others belong to the Knights of Columbus, the Italian-American Club or other groups. These people are your friends and acquaintances. Don’t you think that they would want to help save the Republic if they knew how? You can teach them. The old saw about not talking about politics or religion among friends is nonsense. You should be welcome to talk about whatever you are passionate about. However, we must be careful not to be bullies. Because of our passion, we have a “slight” tendency to proselytize. That is not a good way to get someone to honestly consider what you are asking them to think about. There is a better way.

    The Issue is NOT the Message!

    If you understand your issue, then the next thing to do is to construct your message. This is something I have learned from taking the Tennessee Center for Self Governance (tncsg.org) Level 2 course. I highly recommend this series of classes for those who are serious about saving the Republic. In any event, what I learned is, that the message is NOT your issue. They are two entirely different things. There is a reason that I stress this. You are talking to people who may not care about your specific issue, but they may care deeply about the underlying message. So, for instance, my issue may be preventing guns from being prohibited. If my listener isn’t a gun owner, he or she may not really care one way or another about guns or gun confiscation. However, they probably do care about keeping their home and family safe. I want to construct my message to reflect THEIR concerns, not mine. If I concentrate only on my issues, I am way more likely to fail at making a connection with the people who might otherwise be willing to help me save the Republic. Conversely, if I speak to their concerns, I may move closer to forming the beginning of a relationship that could develop into a partnership.

    I am not suggesting that constructing a good message is a simple task. It takes a good deal of thought and preparation. But compared to the sacrifices of blood and treasure that our founders made, if we perform our task successfully, we can avoid the same fate many of them suffered.

    Conclusion.

    This discussion can never be concluded. Even after we succeed in saving the Republic (and we will), we will need to continue to keep it safe. This will require, as they say, “eternal vigilance”. That’s OK. It is hard to imagine what could be more important or more satisfying than knowing that we have helped to create an environment that will nurture our future generations. Let’s review what we discussed.

    Rights exist by virtue of our being born human rather than something that is granted by the state. We have a right to our own life, and by extension a right to protect our loved ones. We are by nature meant to be free and cannot thrive unless we are. No one has the right to use the initiation of force against another human, but we most certainly have the right to defend against such force.

    The government gets its power from the people, however, the people are constrained by their agreement to the dictates of the Constitution. If the people wish to change the Constitution, there is a process for that as well. This means that in a Republic, certain rights are NOT subject to the whim of the majority.

    In order to protect the Republic and the Constitution, the founders included a Bill of Rights in the form of Amendments to the Constitution. Amendment 2, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, is critical as a deterrent to tyranny, and as a last resort in the event that it fails as a deterrent. The Second Amendment also has several other implications such as for self-defense and defense of family.

    However, the key to saving the Republic is the participation of the people. In fact, without the participation of the people, a Republic cannot truly exist.

    The bones of our nation consist of our founding documents. The economic engine is capitalism. Each depends heavily on the other to work. All that a free market requires to flourish is that the government perform its main function of protecting individual liberty and responsibility, and otherwise staying out of the way. The more involvement the government takes, the more we move into a “mixed” economy and the more we will suffer the consequences.

    In order to save the Republic, we must educate ourselves on the issues. This is the time to focus on the one or two issues that we are passionate about, and to eliminate any misinformation from our repertoire. We need to step outside our comfort zone and become subject matter experts, and then we need to ACT. We need to find venues and media opportunities to spread our knowledge to the people.

    Constructing our message is key. The object of a good message is to connect with the people or person we are interacting with. It is extremely important to understand the difference between our issue and the message that will be meaningful to our target audiences.

    There is no way that this talk could cover this entire subject faithfully in this one document. Again, I recommend that those who are interested in in depth training to contact the Tennessee Center for Self Governance to find out about their courses.

    Let’s work together to save our Republic. Thank you.

  • 19 Jun 2014 2:29 PM | Frank Jack Fiamingo (Administrator)

    I am writing this article because I want to encourage others to help to save the Republic. Age, Gender, Race, Religion, Creed, etc. are of no consequence. The only requirements are the desire to live in a nation governed by the rule of law rather than the whim of any particular administration, a respect for individual Liberty and Responsibility, and the willingness to participate as an essential partner with honor and courage. You don’t have to join a group in order to make a contribution (unless you want to), you just need to act responsibly.

    Because there exist both good and evil men in the world, there will always be those who will attempt to control others in order to gain some undeserved benefit at the others expense. These men are usually referred to as criminals or politicians. Their crime ultimately involves either the threat of, or the actual USE of physical force. In some cases it may involve the use of fraud which is simply another word for mental force or deceit.

    In part, governments are created to defend against and discourage this kind of behavior and not to engage in it themselves. For the United States of America, our founders wisely chose to establish a Constitutional Republic. This cannot be stated strongly enough because too many of our fellow Americans mistakenly believe that we live in a Democracy. The difference between these two types of government can also not be stressed strongly enough. Under a true Democracy, it is possible for the majority to cast a vote to prevent a minority from being able to exercise their fundamental, human rights. However under a Republican form of government that should not be possible. The reason is simple but profound. A Democracy is controlled by the rule of men, while a Republic is supposed to be executed by men who are limited by the rule of law. In the United States, the highest and most important law is that of the United States Constitution.

    The Constitution, along with its amendments constitutes the basis and organization of our government, as well as its legitimacy. Some of us tend to think of the Constitution as granting us our rights. This however is the wrong way to look at our governance. As stated in our founding documents, and as fully recognized by our founders, rights preexist the establishment of government. Our rights exist by virtue of our being born human rather than as beasts of burden or as wild or domesticated animals. Our rights are inalienable because they are a part of our human nature. We are simply unable to live *AS* human if these rights are prohibited.

    What the Constitution actually does is officially recognize these rights and specify that the government has a duty to protect them and not to infringe upon them. The most important way that citizens can ensure their government does not infringe upon their rights is to participate as fully as possible in the administration of its laws and their application. They can accomplish this task by not only voting, but also by consistently making sure that their elected representatives are actually, A.) Following the Constitution and, B.) Respecting the will of the people. When A does not accommodate B, it is the DUTY of our representatives to give the highest priority to the Constitution.

    This last statement may sound counter-intuitive to some, but as citizens we have the responsibility to learn and understand our constitution and ensure that it is not breached regardless of any personal benefit that a specific decision may have on us as individuals. However, since if properly governed, we are a government of the people, by the people and for the people, we do retain the ability to revise the Constitution by agreeing on and passing amendments.

    What happens when the government as a whole fails to follow the rule of law as outlined in our Constitution? The answer to this question brings us to the importance of the Second Amendment. Our forefathers knew from bitter experience with their British rulers exactly what could happen when a government failed to obey the law or to consider the will of the people. The good news is that his road to tyranny can be short-circuited before it gets started simply by the knowledge that the citizens are armed. That is what was intended by Amendment 2, and that is the way it should be in a FREE nation built upon the ideals of individual Liberty and Responsibility.

    No discussion of saving the Republic would be complete without a discussion of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA). We all understand that these rights do not exist in a vacuum. Like so many of the rights we possess by virtue of being born human, their EXISTENCE does not depend upon the whim of any governmental authority. Unfortunately however, the EXERCISE of these rights “may”. Understanding the distinction between these two situations is critical to understanding the grave importance of the Second Amendment itself.

    What does all of this have to do with “SAVING THE REPUBLIC”? The first point is that we can never afford to lose the ability to exercise our right to keep and bear arms. You will be told over and over again how well the gun ban is working in such and such a country. This is a myth. In most nations where guns are banned, overall crime rates have increased. If you have been forcibly stripped of your right to defend yourself and your loved ones and you become the victim of a violent crime, do you really care whether or not the perpetrator used a knife or a baseball bat instead of a gun? Furthermore, even if the overall crime rate were to be reduced somewhat by a gun ban (highly statistically unlikely), is that worth the loss of protection from tyranny that the right to keep arms provides?

    Ironically, this is a right we must retain in order NOT to have to use it for its intended purpose. The exercise of the right to take up arms against tyranny is a “last resort”. So, the question becomes how do we save the republic without having to resort to the use of arms? The answer lies in the underlying description of the true basis of our government – a government *OF* the people, *BY* the people, *FOR* the people.

    It is not enough to pay taxes and to vote. While those activities are important, they simply are not sufficient. In order for a government designed to respect individual Liberty and Responsibility to succeed, it is absolutely essential that individuals participate enthusiastically in the workings of their government. For a select few, it may mean actually running for office and winning a seat to help administer the government. However, for MOST of us it simply means paying attention BETWEEN elections and making sure that our opinions and the opinions of our fellow citizens are heard. Always remember that Liberty and Responsibility are two sides of the same coin. If we want more of one, we must be willing to accept more of the other.

    Our commitment to the Responsibility side of the coin requires that we become educated on the issues. This is where so many of us fail. It isn’t simply that some of the issues facing us today are complicated, often it is just a matter of getting past all the manipulative sound bites, and taking the time to go back to review the actual source material, so that we can reach our own independent conclusions. This is easier to do today than ever before, but it takes the willingness to expend a little more time and effort than simply listening to FOX news or Glenn Beck (not that there is anything wrong with either of those activities). In our hearts, we understand that every “news” source has its own agenda. That sometimes makes it difficult to get through the sizzle to get to the substance, but it can be done. Let’s face it, we cannot truly make independent decisions if all we do is hang around in an echo chamber and listen to the same tired voices over and over again.

    OK, now that you have taken the time to educate yourself on the issues, if you are a TRUE “Knight of the Republic”, you are obligated to take your newly acquired information and share it with those others who ALSO want to help save the Republic. Remember, this is a government of “the people” not “the person”. It is going to take numbers in order for us to influence the powers that be to follow the law and respect the will of the people. There are a myriad of ways to spread the truth. You can attend meetings and simply talk with other attendees. You can offer to make presentations to any group that might give you a podium. A severely underused method of getting your voice heard by many is a “letter to the editor” or better yet, an “opinion piece” (an explanation of how to write an effective opinion piece will be the subject of a future BLOG article).

    The main objective of this article is to emphasize the critical importance of participation in a participatory Constitutional Republic. I hope that I have given the reader enough reason to look deeper into this process and to understand how incredibly powerful it is. One of the main reasons that it *IS* so powerful is that VERY few people are willing to actually employ this method.

     

  • 16 May 2014 9:03 AM | Frank Jack Fiamingo (Administrator)

    Thank you all for coming, and thank you for inviting me here to speak with you tonight. The advantage of being with rights oriented people is that YOU already “get” it.

    May I ask how many gun owners we have here this evening? That just gives me a little better idea of how to direct my presentation.

    With most groups I have to explain what a right is. I think everyone here understands that rights are not “granted” by others, but rather are something we are BORN with.

    It is only our ability to EXERCISE our rights that can be taken from us – and usually by force. However, what is sad is that many individuals have traded in their ability to exercise their rights, for the promised security of the state.

    WE know this is a false promise. The only resources the government has are those they have “obtained” from “We the People”.

    As in most areas in life, the greater the number of middle men, the higher the cost. That can be a good thing when there is significant value added. However, when it comes to individual Liberty and Responsibility, who is in the best position to determine what is right for you?

    You also understand that we live in a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy and WHY that is an important distinction.

    When I talk about your inalienable, human right to life, you already understand that it is a preexisting right and that the Second Amendment is written as a warning *TO* the government not to INFRINGE upon that right.

    So, where are we today with regard to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms in NJ? Well… Frankly, like many of our other rights it is under assault.

    The Legislature of NJ is functionally incapable of distinguishing between law-abiding individuals and criminals. They consistently pass bills that do nothing to decrease crime and only serve to transgress upon the rights of innocent people.

    The recently passed, bill S993 is a prime example. This bill will make it a felony to POSSESS a firearm magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds. Keep in mind that is no hint of any criminal intent is required. The current limit in NJ is 15 rounds. In most states there are no magazine capacity limits.

    Exceptions:

    California- 10 rounds maximum capacity
    Hawaii- 10 rounds maximum capacity for pistol magazines only
    Maryland- 20 rounds maximum capacity
    Massachusetts- 10 rounds maximum capacity (unless customer supplies a copy of a license to possess high capacity magazines)
    New Jersey- 15 rounds maximum capacity
    New York- 10 rounds maximum capacity
    City of Washington, D.C.- 10 rounds maximum capacity
    City of Chicago, Illinois- 12 rounds maximum capacity
    City of Aurora, Illinois- 15 rounds maximum capacity
    City and County of Denver, Colorado- 21 rounds maximum capacity
    And recently Connecticut - 10 rounds maximum capacity

    The reason magazine capacity limits are a problem is that criminals and the insane do not obey the law. This puts law-abiding individual at a significant disadvantage when 3 armed assailants with 30 round magazines break into our home at 2 o’clock in the morning.

    Is this a daily occurrence? Of course not, but neither is a house fire. Yet we would never allow arbitrary limits upon what capacity fire extinguisher we can have in our home, or how many we may possess based on the likelihood of a fire occurring. We CERTAINLY would not allow the government to suddenly make it a FELONY to possess them.

    Another recently passed bill A2777 puts further limits on how, when and where we may transport our UNLOADED and LOCKED firearms. Being in the “wrong place” at the “wrong time” is a SECOND DEGREE felony regardless of criminal intent. So, if you stop at one the very few exemptions the state has provided for more than 15 minutes, you could wind up in prison for 7 to 10 years, presumptive 7, minimum 5, 3 years without parole. Again, we are talking mere possession of an unloaded firearm locked away in the trunk of your car.

    In addition to the passage of these bills, the Supreme Court decided not to review the Drake case, which was our best challenge to New Jersey’s “justifiable need” requirement to carry a firearm upon our person. This was a blow to every law-abiding individual who believes in the right to defend one’s life and family when outside of the home. Most of you know that NJ refuses to grant carry permits unless you can demonstrate a PROVEN, ONGOING threat to your life. Well, usually, by the time you are able to demonstrate that to a NJ judge’s satisfaction, it is too late.

    So, what can we as individuals do about this intolerable situation? For one thing, we can stop behaving like “closet alcoholics”. How many of us hide the fact that we are gun owners from our friends and family. It doesn’t matter if they think we are crazy, it is our job as responsible gun owners to educate these people. After all, these are the people who know us best. They should know BETTER than to think there is something wrong with us for taking individual responsibility for our own life and for the welfare of our families.

    We need to make more opportunities to bring more people into meetings like this one. We cannot accomplish our goal in an echo chamber. I am sure I am not the first person to tell you that. Why do we feel we can’t talk to our neighbors about something as important as the future of the United States as a nation of free and independent individuals.

    After the neighborhood, we need to spread the word out through the community, the county and the state.

    We all need to remember that the power still rests with the people of this country *IF* they are willing to exercise it. When Benjamin Franklin was once asked the question “What kind of government have you given us”, he replied by saying “A Republic, Madam, *IF* you can keep it”.

    Well, whether we like it or not, it falls to us, “We the People” to replace hopelessness and apathy with empowerment. We don’t need to convince *ALL* the people – we just need to convince enough. Let’s face it, the people aren’t going to come to us. We need to be the ones getting out there and spreading a consistent message of individual freedom and individual responsibility.

    Of course one of the best ways you can help us to spread the word about our right to keep and carry firearms for all lawful purposes, is to join the New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS). Of course you knew I had to put in a plug for my organization. It may not be the primary reason I came to speak with you tonight, but it certainly is one of them.

    The NJ2AS is the only all-volunteer, grassroots NJ gun rights organization. No one receives a salary and every penny of the dues and donations we receive goes right back into the mission. That mission is to promote the free exercise of our Second Amendment protected rights within the NJ Legislature and the public, to educate them about the safe and responsible use of firearms, and to engender a spirit of camaraderie among the members and their families.

    Mr Alexander Roubian is here tonight to help me answer any questions you may have and to sign you all up as members of the most effective gun rights organization in New Jersey. Before I introduce Alexander and take your questions, please allow me to close with these words of Benjamin Franklin which are as true today as when he first spoke them. I will alter them only slightly. The answer to what kind of government we have been given is, “A Republic, my friends, *IF* we will WORK together to keep it”.

  • 10 May 2014 12:30 PM | Frank Jack Fiamingo (Administrator)
    In Memory of Brian Torppey

    For those who did not know Brian Torppey, he was actively involved with youth and youth training at Old Bridge Rifle and Pistol Club, here in New Jersey. Among many other attributes, he was a past co-chair of the Old Bridge Rifle and Pistol Club Youth Small Bore League, and also a Boy Scouts of America rifle merit badge counselor. Brian was a friend to many, both young and old, and an avid supporter of gun rights in New Jersey. Sadly, Brian passed away last month and will be sorely missed.


    His wife Sue has very graciously asked those wishing to remember Brian to make a small donation to the New Jersey Second Amendment Society in his memory. If you should wish to honor Brian's memory, you may do so online here, or you may mail your donation to:

    NJ2AS
    P.O. Box 128
    Manahawkin, NJ 08050


    Please indicate "for Brian" in the comment or memo area. Your gift will be greatly appreciated by both Brian's wife and the members and supporters of the NJ2AS. I would also like to warmly thank those who have already recognized Brian's memory with a donation.

    Thank you,

    Frank Jack Fiamingo
    President - NJ2AS 

  • 08 May 2014 2:03 PM | Frank Jack Fiamingo (Administrator)
    The battle for RKBA in NJ continues. The NJ2AS needs many more individuals to contribute their knowledge and expertise. Most of all we need Organizers, Analysts and Soldiers. We currently require more people with the skills necessary to help us properly structure our organization. We have already recruited an activism coordinator to aid in this task, but we are going to need YOUR help to succeed.

    We are looking for people to become local area coordinators to help us to organize at the local level
    wherever they happen to live in NJ. If you feel that you have the ability to lead a small group of people in your county/legislative district, please email activism@nj2as.com or register here. Corey Mulholland is already in the process of gathering the names of individuals who are willing to help but we need more people.

    In light of recent events, I believe many more of you will want to be involved. There are many projects that can be handled at the local level with a minimum commitment of time. It does not take a great deal of experience, just a genuine interest in the mission of the NJ2AS which is to promote RKBA in NJ
    .

    In addition to Leaders and Organizers we need people who are capable of doing some light independent research to help separate fact from fiction with regard to lawful firearms possession. A typical example is how people throw around the "fact" that if you own a firearm, you are more likely to have it used against you. Where did that come from? Is there any reliable data? Do we have RELIABLE data from a respected source that refutes it? It isn't enough for us to SAY that it is bunk. We need to be able to demonstrate *WHY* we say it is bunk. I think you get the idea.

    In any event, we need both leaders and soldiers in these and other areas in order to have an impact going forward. If you want to be part of the solution,
    please respond to this request ASAP. We can win this fight as it has been won in 40+ other states in the Union, but we must be willing to work together.
  • 03 May 2014 4:34 PM | Frank Jack Fiamingo (Administrator)

    If Million Moms is interested in having an honest discussion of the reality of firearms ownership in the United States, we would actually be excited to participate.

    We are parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, etc. We care deeply about poverty and crime. We would like to see an end to gangs, illegal drugs and career criminals. What we will not tolerate, is the misconception that the infringement of people’s individual rights will accomplish those goals. It will not. One only has to look back in time a VERY short period to understand that PROHIBITION is not the answer. Calls for “temperance” inevitably lead to calls for “abstinence”. As long as there exists in this world evil and disparity of force, there will always be a justification for arms. Women have the right to protect their bodies from a larger more powerful attacker, as do men, and everyone has the right to defend their lives, families and vital property.

    It is not sufficient to expose people to the violence that those who are evil inflict upon the innocent and claim “If only we removed the guns from the equation, then the world would be a better place”. Indeed, if only there WERE a magical way to keep criminals and the mentally disqualified from using guns, perhaps the world WOULD be a better place. However, the is no way to accomplish that goal without harming the blameless. Furthermore, taking arms from the innocent will not prevent those intent on doing evil from using knives, bats, sticks, gasoline, bombs and so on, in which case defensive arms just might come in handy.

    I look forward to having further discussions with you on this subject. I assure you that I have not suggested that anyone disrupt your proceedings. I may or may not attend a screening myself. As you may know, The NJ Senate is holding a hearing Monday morning to further infringe upon the already dwindling rights of firearms owners in NJ. I plan to spend most of this weekend developing ways to defeat them. Eventually, we will succeed and the residents of NJ will have the freedom to own and use firearms lawfully, as is the norm in most of the rest of our great nation.

  • 02 May 2014 3:19 PM | Frank Jack Fiamingo (Administrator)

    Dear Senators,

    If for no other reason than you are unlawfully trampling upon our constitutionally protected rights and turning hundreds of thousands of voters into felons overnight, I ask you to oppose bills S993, A2777 and A2006. Not only will these bills do nothing to reduce crime in NJ, bill S993 and A2777 put the law-abiding homeowner at a significant disadvantage relative to a criminal who will undoubtedly NOT obey any arbitrary magazine capacity limits.

    Please understand that the New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) will make it our primary mission to recruit members and supporters to campaign against any member of the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee who votes to pass these bills onto the floor of the Senate for a vote. We will work diligently to support those who oppose the bills. We will raise funds and devote whatever resources are deemed necessary to succeed in our efforts. Firearms owners tend to engage in considerable discretionary spending. If they are prohibited from enjoying their usual pursuits due to further restrictive legislation that additionally puts their families at risk, I believe they will see the value of contributing to our campaign.

    There are other methods of reducing crime and gun violence that do not require the infringement of the legitimate, individual rights of the people. I would be more than happy to arrange a meeting to discuss these methods with you and your staff. However, these current bills are not acceptable, and are unlawful in a Republic founded upon a Constitution CREATED to protect the fundamental, preexisting, inalienable, HUMAN rights of the people.

    Frank Jack Fiamingo
    President – NJ2AS


    NOW IS THE TIME!!
    President@nj2as.com

    @NJ2ASPREZ
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 New Jersey Second Amendment Society
P.O. Box 128
Manahawkin, NJ 08050


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