Have We Exchanged Freedom for “Feardom”?

I am deeply disheartened by what I see today.  Too many are terrorized by this virus.  I sincerely thought that we were stronger than this.  What has happened to the American spirit of success, strength and optimism?  Replacing our dreams with fear is a fool’s errand.  Kipling said that, “Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”  And what better word for it than “liar.”  The 24/7 media cycle peddles non-stop gloom and doom, ginning up the uncertainty to foment fear in order to chase profits.  We must not forget who we are and how we got to this point in history.  It certainly wasn’t by being weak, timid and easily led.

Fear is the product of a lack of understanding which leads to uncertainty that undermines our routines and what we thought we knew.  Perspective is always helpful in gaining understanding.  In the first quarter of this year alone, approximately 50,000 American’s have died from the regular flu.  As of this writing, just over 5,400 are dead from Covid-19.  Hot spots around the country account for the lion’s share of infections.  The vast majority of people who contract this will recover without hospitalization.  Even using the worse-case-scenario numbers of potential lost life in this country, the changes of dying from this is approximately 0.0007 percent.  Contrast this with the fact that over 2.5 million people will die in car crashes this year.  That’s 1 in 103. Deciding to make that drive to the pharmacy to get your mask and gloves puts you at a risk factor of death by vehicle some thousands of times greater than that of contracting the dreaded virus.

It turns out that getting people to do nothing is a hell of a lot easier than getting them to do something.  After all, if your government locks you down, then they ought to pay you right?  Already we hear the shouts of “free money”, as if anything is actually free.  The political spin on all of this is to throw dollars at us in the short term, maybe even more that some made while working.  What a great incentive to dull ones spirit.  Does any thinking person really believe it’s a coincidence that those who pursue and crave power over us are busy right now exercising that power in ways in which we’ve never seen?

Whatever the current “shiny object” is, (today Covid-19), it is NEVER the actual truth of what is really being sought after.  There is ALWAYS an ulterior motive and the shiny object is actually a distraction.

Anwar Sadat said it best.  “Fear is, I believe, a most effective tool in destroying the soul of an individual, and the soul of a people.”  If we as a people, don’t resist this effort to cow us into self-quarantine, we will lose whatever we have left of our founders glorious endowment of exceptionalism.

Fear won’t cure tomorrow, but it will devour today.    

 

 

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Binghamton Rifle Club

This is how it started, 3-21-20

BINGHAMTON RIFLE CLUB   URGENT CLUB NEWS CORONAVIRUS UPDATE  
 HELLO BINGHAMTON RIFLE CLUB MEMBERS   In response to the State and local directives, requirements and recommendations in regards to Coronavirus, the Binghamton Rifle Club is considered a non-essential business and will be closing the range for all activities including casual use.    This is effective immediately and will continue until updated directives are received from the State and local authorities.    The door access system will be disabled.   Please watch out for follow up emails on this subject. Thank you.   The Executive Committee of the Binghamton Rifle Club

This was my response, 3-21-20:

 I’ve been a member of this club for nearly two decades and have never had an issue with our leadership until now.  I am asking that the Executive Committee rescind their decision made earlier today and align club policy with what I believe is a closer representation of the will of the members and the spirit of the firearms community.

Our club ought to be leading by example and not be cowed so quickly by unilateral government decree.  The club is a large enough building as to afford members sufficient “social distancing” while still remaining open.  If convenience stores, gas stations and the Hum-Dinger Ice Cream Store can remain in operation, there is no good reason that our club should voluntarily close.  We could easily self-police our activity to 3-5 members at a time while remaining safe and responsible.

This is what the Governor’s directive says in part:

11. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses, Including:  (partial listing)

law enforcement

fire prevention and response

building code enforcement

security

emergency management and response

As responsible and well-trained firearms owners, aren’t we best suited to assist in maintaining the safety… and security of residents and other essential businesses?  I believe that our club and its members qualify as ESSENTIAL SERVICES as defined by the Governor’s own decree as outlined above.

If there ever was a time to demonstrate leadership by example, while endangering no one, the Executive Committee ought to recognize that the members of the club, individually, should determine, for themselves, if they CHOOSE to use the club during this time.  If you’re uncomfortable using the club for now, stay home.

This rapid decision to simply shut down seems to me antithetical to what I always thought firearms owners stood for.  It certainly flies in the face of my beliefs and I don’t believe I’m alone.  Was the purpose of our firearms and all of the training only to produce tools for punching tiny holes in paper targets?

I think we have a moral obligation to push-back on an oppressive government. We can and should remain open while simultaneously practicing the distancing protocols. We need to lead by example.  We are proud and patriotic citizens not subjects to be lorded over.  If I’m a lone voice in the dark on this, maybe I’m in the wrong club.

Bob Kingsley

This is an email I received from Tkutz31@stny.rr.com.  I’m supposing a member of the Executive Committee, 3-22-20

From Tkutz31@stny.rr.com

Hello Bob,

The decision of the Executive Committee to close the club was not done in haste but was with careful consideration of the Federal, State and local directives and recommendations in this unprecedented situation. We believe the closure of the range is consistent with other clubs in our area and is consistent with the recommendations set forth to help assist in controlling the spread of the Coronavirus.

We realize this impacts all of the members and also believe this is a temporary situation.

We realize the inconvenience this causes our members but we feel this is the right decision.

Regards,

The Executive Committee of the Binghamton Rifle Club

This is my letter in response to “Tkutz31@stny.rr.com, 3-22-20

My original letter to the “Executive Committee” explicitly explains why our club fits into the exemptions the state outlined.  The decisions that other clubs in our area made are immaterial.  Leadership isn’t about taking a poll of what others are doing, that is called following.  Perhaps if we demonstrate our rationale in staying open and thereby allow members to decide for themselves, other clubs would find that as inspirational leadership.

Let me provide you with an actual real-life example.  My church held a service today.  We were perhaps the only church in the areas to do so.  Our sanctuary seats over 300.  Before this “crisis”, our numbers would be between 35 and 55 on any given Sunday.  Today, 5 of us were in the pews.  Counting the choir and support staff, 13 in total.  While the majority chose to not attend, the point is the decision was left to members, not leadership.  Leadership showed up to lead.  Parishioners were able to make their own decision, attend church, and socially distance themselves as they saw fit.  No need for “leadership” to assist them in decision making.

Effective and brave leaders don’t put their finger to the wind, they empower others.

While it would have been perfectly reasonable to suspend club events that grouped people together, it was not reasonable to close the club entirely.

Marco Rubio is quoted as saying, “We live in a society obsessed with public opinion.  But leadership has never been about popularity.”  Followers dwell on problems, leader on empowerment. 

Do the courageous and reverse the decision to completely close the club.

Bob Kingsley

After my second letter protesting the clubs rationale, all communications stopped.  When that happened, I decided to post my letters on the club Face Book page.  They were promptly taken down.  Seeing that, I decided to post a photo of the club on the Face Book page expressing my outrage over their decision making:  Here it is:

The picture was quickly taken down and I was blocked from posting on the Binghamton Rifle Club Face Book page.  I then had a friend post to the club page, “What happened to Bob Kingsley’s posts?”  That too was taken down.

The Twilight Zone

Imagine if you will, a small gun club in upstate New York, over a 100 year old, quick to cow to government decree and comfortable censoring its own members and anyone else who disagrees.

Wait, a GUN club, super-submissive to questionable governmental edicts, embracing the muzzling of speech and censoring its members?  I thought the general perception of the “gun-culture” was anti-government, anti-edict, anti-establishment of anything and general apprehension of authority?  The leadership at the Binghamton Rifle Club, (BRC) apparently needs a reminder from Thomas Jefferson who tells us, “The government is best which governs the least because its people discipline themselves.”

Apparently not so at the BRC.  I am an eighteen-year member and I questioned the decision that closed the club to all activity due to the Corona-virus outbreak.  While I understood and supported suspending activities that congregated people in close groups, my point was that individuals could safely use the facility while practicing appropriate social distancing.

The club has 24/7 access and I posited that certainly 3-5 members could occupy  a 12-lane shooting range in 3000 square feet of space while keeping distancing protocols.  I reasoned that members could decide for themselves the risks, just as they do at the grocery store, pharmacy or hardware store.

At first, I lobbied club leadership privately via email.  When my concerns and request to re-open the club went unresolved, I reasoned that perhaps other club members felt as I did.  To find out, I posted my correspondence to leadership on the clubs Face Book, (FB) page in the effort to engage the some 600 plus members.  The club was quick to take down my posts.  Flabbergasted by this, I posted a picture of the club with the words: “Frozen by Fear” photo-shopped onto the building.  The club took down the photo and blocked me from posting to my own clubs FB page.

Rod Serling, the creator of the Twilight Zone TV series so popular in the 1960’s was born in Binghamton, NY.  What a coincident that the story of the Binghamton Rifle Club today just might suggest a twilight zone episode.  Who would have thought that a 106 year-old rifle club could morph itself into a warped mentality that believes censorship and compliance without question is the right way to lead?

I wonder just how many other gun clubs and traditionally organizations historically thought of as “conservative” are likewise losing their way and their vision?  Might the Corona-virus situation be providing a beta-test laboratory for those in positions of power to observe and calculate just how far the American populace can be pushed?

Conservative American’s and especially those of us focused on the 2nd Amendment should be on the front lines of a healthy skepticism towards government.  Voltaire provides a clarion song when he said, “It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.

Hopefully, the BRC is not the canary in the coal mine for the trajectory of political philosophy in our nation.  We must assert ourselves as citizens not subjects and heed Thomas Jefferson who said:  “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take all that you have.”

Interesting how things work.  On Saturday, March 28, 2020 President Trump refined the wording to his list of critical pandemic infrastructure with this.  “The new language, added to the website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, now deems as critical  “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.”

TO:                  The “Executive Committee”

FROM:            Bob Kingsley (03-29-20)

RE:                   Club Closure and Censorship

I have made my positions and objections clear.  In response, you have censored me and others by taking down mine and other club members FaceBook, (FB) posts of opposing viewpoints.  The FB site as well as the club web presence belongs to the members, not exclusively to the “Executive Committee” to pick and choose only viewpoints it likes.

You expose your fear and lack of leadership by hiding behind the canard of “liability.”  My professional life involves on a daily basis the law, insurance and liability.  I understand the subject matter intimately.  This virus exposes the club to no more liability than normal.

Yesterday, President Trump also added clarity to the situation by adding these words to the list of critical pandemic infrastructure.  The new language added to the website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, now deems as critical “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.”

It is unfortunate that club “leadership” wasn’t able to embrace this as fact before being directed to by presidential decree.  It is also unacceptable that club leaders believe they know better than members in making decisions about using the club or not.

Now that club leadership has been enlightened, this is what should follow, and in this order.

  1. Re-open the club, with appropriate guidelines
  2. Re-post all of the material you saw fit to censor
  3. Issue an apology to all members for censoring feedback

There is no reason these measures should take any more than 24 hours to implement.

Should this fail to happen, I will consider it clear that the club does embrace censorship and leading from behind.  At that point, I will seek a larger audience for cataloging just what has happened here and let the court of public opinion decide the righteousness of the “Executive Committees” decisions.

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The Twilight Zone

Imagine if you will, a small gun club in upstate New York, over a 100 year old, quick to cow to government decree and comfortable censoring its own members and anyone else who disagrees.

Wait, a GUN club, super-submissive to questionable governmental edicts, embracing the muzzling of speech and censoring its members?  I thought the general perception of the “gun-culture” was anti-government, anti-edict, anti-establishment of anything and general apprehension of authority?  The leadership at the Binghamton Rifle Club, (BRC) apparently needs a reminder from Thomas Jefferson who tells us, “The government is best which governs the least because its people discipline themselves.”

Apparently not so at the BRC.  I am an eighteen-year member and I questioned the decision that closed the club to all activity due to the Corona-virus outbreak.  While I understood and supported suspending activities that congregated people in close groups, my point was that individuals could safely use the facility while practicing appropriate social distancing.

The club has 24/7 access and I posited that certainly 3-5 members could occupy  a 12-lane shooting range in 3000 square feet of space while keeping distancing protocols.  I reasoned that members could decide for themselves the risks, just as they do at the grocery store, pharmacy or hardware store.

At first, I lobbied club leadership privately via email.  When my concerns and request to re-open the club went unresolved, I reasoned that perhaps other club members felt as I did.  To find out, I posted my correspondence to leadership on the clubs Face Book, (FB) page in the effort to engage the some 600 plus members.  The club was quick to take down my posts.  Flabbergasted by this, I posted a picture of the club with the words: “Frozen by Fear” photo-shopped onto the building.  The club took down the photo and blocked me from posting to my own clubs FB page.

Rod Serling, the creator of the Twilight Zone TV series so popular in the 1960’s was born in Binghamton, NY.  What a coincident that the story of the Binghamton Rifle Club today just might suggest a twilight zone episode.  Who would have thought that a 106 year-old rifle club could morph itself into a warped mentality that believes censorship and compliance without question is the right way to lead?

I wonder just how many other gun clubs and traditionally organizations historically thought of as “conservative” are likewise losing their way and their vision?  Might the Corona-virus situation be providing a beta-test laboratory for those in positions of power to observe and calculate just how far the American populace can be pushed?

Conservative American’s and especially those of us focused on the 2nd Amendment should be on the front lines of a healthy skepticism towards government.  Voltaire provides a clarion song when he said, “It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.

Hopefully, the BRC is not the canary in the coal mine for the trajectory of political philosophy in our nation.  We must assert ourselves as citizens not subjects and heed Thomas Jefferson who said:  “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take all that you have.”

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Fear…

During the 1960’s, grade school teachers throughout the country herded classrooms full of students under their desks.  We were warned to close our eyes and not look towards the windows.  Several times each semester, we practiced for the long anticipated nuclear blast that was sure to come from those dreaded communists on the other side of the world.  Back then that evil menace was called the USSR, (today’s Russia.)

For the adults, there were fallout shelters.  They were seemingly everywhere there was a space to hide below ground.  If you grew up in that era, the signs identifying those spaces might still elicit a deep emotional response.

My father had a friend that had built his own fallout shelter behind his garage.  I remember visiting it as a twelve-year-old and the place both scared and fascinated me.

Even after seeing those grainy black-and-white videos of a nuclear blast incinerating and then almost simultaneously blowing away rows of trees and atomizing buildings, the power of our shared fear prevailed over reality.  We stuck with hiding under our desks.  By cloaking the entire herd with a collective, communal terror, skepticism was extinguished because the prospect of bucking that premise was unthinkable.  Being blinded by the light didn’t mean much if one second later you were pulverized.  Coming out of a fallout shelter only to encounter a radioactive dessert wasn’t a great solution, yet we ignored what was real and blindly trusted those who were lying to us.

This is what fear does.  Today, the Silent Generation and the Baby-Boomers, those who should know better, are self-exiling in their own homes, prisoners of their own making.  Maybe too old to get under a desk today, but still stuck with the dread, fed to them continually, over a lifetime of political indoctrination.

Over time, each drill made it easier and easier to get under that little desk.  Most kids instinctively turned from the windows without instruction.  Maybe it’s time now to crawl out from under that desk of despair for the last time and agree to never go back.  If the last thing I’m ever going to see is a nuclear blast, I want to view it with eyes wide open.  And if the blast never comes, I’ll keep my eyes open for the scoundrel that tried to scare me out of my mind, if not with a nuke, then with a virus.

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Shame..

Democrats stalled legislation for freeing up nearly $2 trillion in liquidity for Americans affected by this crisis.  James Clyburn, Democrat house majority whip told Democrats to see this situation as a, “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”  The bill failed because the Democrats attached to it a laundry list of crap that has nothing to do with the virus.  Clyburn’s pronouncement demonstrates to anyone willing to listen all they need to know about the lack of virtue, character and honor that only a strategy like that can explain.

It nicely frames the entirety of the new Democrat Party today.  The Left-Wing of what used to be thinking and thoughtful people has replaced reason with fantasy, fact with fiction and logic with lunacy.

The ideologic “isle” all were busy figuring out how to cross has become a freeway with no speed limits, too dangerous to cross, too likely to result in being run over.  In the past, conviviality and comity might yield results.  Today, stop sticks and the pit maneuver are the tools required to not meet half way, but to stomp the life out of not only the Corona virus, but the more dangerous and infective plague of liberalism.

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Pushing Back

This is a letter to my gun club in Binghamton that was quick to shut down in the face of this emergency. Even those of us in the firearms community seem to be getting soft on oppressive government…

I’ve been a member of this club for nearly two decades and have never had an issue with our leadership until now.  I am asking that the Executive Committee rescind their decision made earlier today and align club policy with what I believe is a closer representation of the will of the members and the spirit of the firearms community.

Our club ought to be leading by example and not be cowed so quickly by unilateral government decree.  The club is a large enough building as to afford members sufficient “social distancing” while still remaining open.  If convenience stores, gas stations and  Hum-Dinger Ice Cream Store can remain in operation, there is no good reason that our club should voluntarily close.  We could easily self-police our activity to 3-5 members at a time while remaining safe and responsible.

This is what the Governor’s directive says in part:

11. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses, Including:  (partial listing)

law enforcement

fire prevention and response

building code enforcement

security

emergency management and response

As responsible and well-trained firearms owners, aren’t we best suited to assist in maintaining the safety… and security of residents and other essential businesses?  I believe that our club and its members qualify as ESSENTIAL SERVICES as defined by the Governor’s own decree as outlined above.

If there ever was a time to demonstrate leadership by example, while endangering no one, the Executive Committee ought to recognize that the members of the club, individually, should determine, for themselves, if they CHOOSE to use the club during this time.  If you’re uncomfortable using the club for now, stay home.

This rapid decision to simply shut down seems to me antithetical to what I always thought firearms owners stood for.  It certainly flies in the face of my beliefs and I don’t believe I’m alone.  Was the purpose of our firearms and all of the training only to produce tools for punching tiny holes in paper targets?

I think we have a moral obligation to push-back on an oppressive government. We can and should remain open while simultaneously practicing the distancing protocols. We need to lead by example.  We are proud and patriotic citizens not subjects to be lorded over.  If I’m a lone voice in the dark on this, maybe I’m in the wrong club.

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Gun Nuts?

Firearms owners have been shamed and ostracized forever for claiming that society is fragile and that a single event could create a situation that warrants immediate self-defense in the absence of police protection and normal civil authority.  Those of us old enough to remember the Rodney King trial in Los Angeles in 1992 and the resulting riots, looting and city blocks of arson fires know better by way of history and observation.  A famous photo from that time shows several Korean men on the rooftop of their building armed with rifles and shotguns, which kept arson’s from destroying their property.

roof top LA-1992

I’ve attached a link to a YouTube video of a news reporter broadcasting about that event during that time:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRc_FlmW2Jc  The armed men at that store were the only thing that prevented it from being burnt to the ground.  The police had already fled the area and had essentially handed south-central LA over to the criminals.

At the same time the Koreans were defending their property, then California Governor Pete Wilson was issuing orders that prohibited everyone from purchasing a firearm of any kind.  That’s right, in the middle of a regional wide riot, complete with looting, arson, mayhem and murder; otherwise lawful citizens were denied their right to firearms on the one hand, while the police on the other, were leaving them defenseless.  During those riots, nearly 2400 people were hurt and 63 we killed.

As King Cuomo of New York gets drunker and drunker with his new-found Corona-Virus power, it is likely he will do something so far over-the-top as to finally infuriate patriots to action.  Cuomo will undoubtedly impose draconian travel restrictions or even use the State Police and or the National Guard to martial civilian compliance.  It would not surprise me that martial law may be in his dictatorial playbook.

Does gun confiscation seem so far-fetched now?  Will we ever again have to use our imaginations to conjure up scenarios that we think might lead to governmental sequestration of our rights?  You see, it’s all for our own good, don’t you know.  It is out of a sense of benevolence and supreme wisdom and understanding, that those in government wield their power and authority over us, those poor minions who fail to see or understand the bigger picture that is so crystal clear to the brave and enlightened, but so oblivious to the peasants they are trying so valiantly to serve and protect.

It begins with a request, keep your distance, stay home, don’t travel.  Then they close businesses, limit staffing, impose curfews, even compel private industry into national service.  All for our own good, right?

A cautionary warning to Cuomo and his sycophants.  You’re fiddling close to a quagmire the likes of which may prove too powerful for your own escape.

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