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Quote of the Day: Taxpayer Privacy and IRS Abuse

At CFIF, the issue of improving taxpayer privacy and protection against persistent abuse by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remains among our most important missions.  Among the abuses that we've chronicled is the case of convicted criminal Charles Littlejohn, who rejoined the IRS in 2017 with the specific purpose of illegally breaching and leaking the private tax returns of Donald Trump and other Americans to radical left-wing organizations like ProPublica.

In The Wall Street Journal this week, one of those victims speaks out on his own experience and the need for greater taxpayer protection against this recurring problem that should terrify all Americans of every political persuasion.  Ira Stoll, whose tax information was passed to ProPublica, even helpfully details how…[more]

May 29, 2024 • 11:28 AM

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Amid Riots, Gun Sales Skyrocket and Gun Control Logic Evaporates Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, June 04 2020
[E]ven according to the most conservative estimates, citizens use firearms to prevent crime at least 500,000 times per year, dwarfing the number of murders in America by a factor of at least 50.

"The right to self-defense is the first law of nature…   [A] citizen has a right to carry arms in defense of his property or person, and to use them if either were assailed with such force, numbers or violence as made it necessary for the protection or safety of either." District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)

Well, so much for gun control proponents’ evaporating rationalizations. 

In May, according to Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, over 1.7 firearms were sold in America, an almost unfathomable 80% increase over May 2019.  It also reports 1 million handguns sold last month, a 94% jump over the previous May, and 535,000 long gun sales, up 66% over last May.  Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ran over 3 million instant background checks in the month just ended, which sets a new record for May and a 32% increase over last year. 

As the nation’s cities continue to suffer deadly riots and widescale destruction, there’s no mystery why. 

“There’s economic worry, there’s crime worry and then you got the worry of coronavirus – it’s a triple-whammy,” noted Larry Hyatt, owner of Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina.  “Then you have this looting and rioting causing another demand, and it’s really putting pressure on inventory,” he added. 

This is precisely why our Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights, as the Supreme Court noted in its seminal Heller decision. 

For decades, gun control advocates rationalized that the Second Amendment protected only a “collective” right of state militias and authorities to keep and bear arms, not an individual right.  That argument always contravened constitutional logic, as the Second Amendment explicitly refers to “the people.”  That term is used repeatedly in the Bill of Rights, always referencing an individual right, not some sort of collective state right.  Indeed, the Tenth Amendment itself explicitly distinguishes between “the people” and “the states,” referring to them sequentially and thus conceptually separate. 

Even overlooking that inescapable textual logic, however, events of the past week show that the right to self-defense as the first law of nature referenced in the Heller decision cannot always be reliably safeguarded by governmental authorities.  Accordingly, suggesting some sort of state monopoly on firearms possession renders that natural right to self-defense illusory. 

That’s no indictment of police officers themselves.  They’re stretched to the breaking point, and even under deadly assault themselves. 

In St. Louis alone, four officers were shot as they formed a protective perimeter.  On multiple occasions, rioters even set fire to buildings with people trapped inside, then ghoulishly prevented both firefighters and officers from reaching the infernos they’d started. 

In Dallas, a store owner who attempted to defend his shop with a simple machete was beaten so savagely that his unconscious, bloody body was left in an unnaturally contorted heap on the concrete.  Innumerable other video clips capture horrendous assaults across the nation on both innocent citizens and overwhelmed police officers. 

Where actual firearms were employed by citizens, however, the results were very different. 

In Philadelphia, as just one example, Greg Isabella, the 67-year-old owner of Firing Line Inc. found himself confronted by four looters brandishing firearms.  Returning fire, however, Mr. Isabella killed one intruder and sent the remainder fleeing. 

Similar scenarios occurred elsewhere, and in many cases looters simply avoided confrontation when they saw armed citizens protecting their properties. 

These instances are not without precedent, of course.  In 1992, Los Angeles shopowners left to fend for themselves protected their lives and property by arming themselves and deterring aggressors under the threat of deadly force.   And even according to the most conservative estimates, citizens use firearms to prevent crime at least 500,000 times per year, dwarfing the number of murders in America by a factor of at least 50. 

Meanwhile, leftists oscillate from maligning police as fascist thugs one moment to advocating that only police should possess firearms the next.  It would be nice if they would at least make up their minds one way or the other. 

In any event, as the Heller majority observed, the natural right to self-defense constitutes the core of the Second Amendment’s individual right to keep and bear arms.  Across America, with authorities often unable to prevent criminal mobs from turning their cities into murderous war zones, citizens recognize that reality with renewed clarity. 

Notable Quote   
 
"Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says Democrats have tipped their hand to their desire to unleash noncitizen voting by opposing his state's citizenship verification in court and he is urging elections chiefs in other states to fight such lawsuits.Georgia's citizenship verification system has prevented noncitizens from getting on state voter rolls, but the state had to defend it in court…[more]
 
 
— Natalia Mittelstadt, Just the News
 
Liberty Poll   

Which would be the most useful for voters: a televised presidential debate that only includes Trump and Biden or one that adds Kennedy?