More Political Observations, Law and Order
When the Republican National Convention closed, the party, as predicted in my Aug. 26 Gun Talk article, did indeed endorse the pro-Second Amendment stance. Several speakers also added their experiences with firearms violence, recurrent “peaceful protests” that have involved fires, property destruction, violence against persons, drive-by shootings, and some cities’ and politicians’ refusal to control mobs.
The Democratic National Convention skirted these issues. In my opinion, voters on Nov. 3 wanting to choose how America will look and act for the next four years, at least definitely need to get platform facts. To get more information, gun owners can register, vote early, find your polling place or review the 2020 candidates by visiting GunVote. CLICK HERE to learn more.
For some voters, supporting the Second Amendment is a deciding factor, and it certainly is a key item for me. On the closing night on the Republican convention, President Trump vowed to continue that support in his nomination acceptance speech and did outline his 2020 platform.
One Republican convention speaker that resonated well with me was Anne Marie Dorn, the widow of 77-year-old retired St. Louis Police Captain David Dorn, an African-American who was shot and killed by looters at a pawn shop he was guarding during an incident captured on Facebook Live. He was shot in the chest at around 2:30 a.m. June 2 this year and died in front of Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry at 4123 Martin Luther King Drive, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
On that night, four St. Louis officers were shot, officers were pelted with rocks and fireworks, and 55 businesses were burglarized or damaged, including a convenience store that burned. Reportedly, on June 7, police arrested a 24-year-old suspect named Stephan Cannon. He faces charges of first-degree murder, robbery, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Mrs. Dorn’s emotion was obvious, as I had seen before during my involvement in Idaho with Concerns of Police Survivors. Especially after the Aug. 29 shooting of two more St. Louis officers, one of whom died the next day, yes, I am of the “Blue Lives Matter” persuasion. News reports confirm that eight St. Louis police officers have been shot in the line of duty since June this year.
One element that did emerge strongly from the Republican convention was continued and enhanced support for law enforcement, along with condemning protest violence. Contained in the 2020 Republican platform that includes, among other initiatives:
DEFEND OUR POLICE
- Fully Fund and Hire More Police and Law Enforcement Officers
- Increase Criminal Penalties for Assaults on Law Enforcement Officers
- Prosecute Drive-By Shootings as Acts of Domestic Terrorism
- Bring Violent Extremist Groups Like ANTIFA to Justice
- End Cashless Bail and Keep Dangerous Criminals Locked Up until Trial.
Also from St. Louis on the opening night of the convention were Mark and Patricia McCloskey, both in their 60s, who gained fame for standing guard outside their home during a protest in June. The couple has been arrested, and at least one of their firearms seized. For details, see this link.
This will be an interesting case to watch to see if charges get dismissed as Missouri state laws are quite specific regarding the defense of property. Charges filed include “unlawful use of a weapon/flourishing. The unlawful use of a weapon charge is a felony and can carry a sentence of up to four years in prison. It also can result in a fine and no years in prison.”
Missouri has Castle Doctrine laws and became the 25th state to adopt the “stand your ground” canon. It empowers gun owners to defend themselves outside of their homes or properties. They are not required to retreat, wherever they may lawfully be, prior to using deadly force. This assumes the person was not the initial aggressor and is not attempting to commit a crime.
An additional recurrent theme during the convention was lawful use of firearms and our continued rights to “keep and bear arms.” Republicans included a continuation of their 2016 platform that says: “We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a natural inalienable right that predates the Constitution and is secured by the Second Amendment. Lawful gun ownership enables Americans to exercise their God-given right of self-defense for the safety of their homes, their loved ones, and their communities.”
Nationwide, firearms sales continue to escalate in 2020. “Using the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System, National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearm trade association, "CLICK HERE" to view news. Estimates were over 12 million guns bought in the first seven months of 2020 — up more than 70 percent over the same time span in 2019. This number is likely to include nearly 5 million first-time gun owners so far this year. That is probably the biggest surge in gun ownership in American history. It’s worth noting, too, that the number would likely be higher if gun shops hadn’t been trying to keep up with demand for months.”
Generally, firearms sales tend to increase before a major election, but current civil unrest, concerns for personal and property protection, and the prospect of more gun control under a new administration probably are fueling firearms purchases. Ammunition also is more expensive and often in short supply, concealed weapons training classes are busy in some areas and not so much in others, and the delay from states in processing CCW permits continues. In my case, I mailed my Arkansas CCW renewal training certificate Aug. 5 and Arkansas State Police told me on the phone two weeks later that processing could take four to six weeks.
During the Republican convention, I went online for a status check and found “Your application status is: Pending Background Check Results - Your training certificate and/or fingerprint card have been received. Your application is pending the results of your background check.” My permit expired Aug. 14. Fortunately, Arkansas is a constitutional-carry state, so I’m good to go as long as long as I carry in state. With the pandemic on, I probably won’t travel beyond Arkansas borders for a while anyway.
From what I’ve read, in Multnomah County, Oregon (Portland), the average wait time for an approved permit now is five to six months. Perhaps what is happening in Portland with protests and violence might be a clue as to why so many applications. A friend in rural Wyoming recently confirmed a five-month timeframe for his state.
One could reason that the delay stems from Covid-19 issues and shortage of human help, but being suspicious of government involvement in most anything, I think there is more to this story as slow processing seems universal. “Why the slowdown in CCW processing?” might be a good question to ask local candidates before Nov 3. I’d be surprised if you get a verifiable answer though.
As we approach Nov. 3, get information on issues and candidates that matter to you, and be sure to vote. Voting will help you Stay safe, be prepared. ~ Mike
Mike now calls Northwestern Arkansas home, but has lived and worked in several states. He has been an independent contractor and consultant since 2006 specializing in risk management, emergency management and training. In addition to work as a law-enforcement planner and technical writer with the Boise, Idaho, Police Department, he has experience in journalism, crop and animal agriculture, dryland farming for 20 years in western Kansas, plant and animal diseases, pandemic influenza, agroterrorism, bioterrorism, food safety and healthcare marketing.
He has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and has newspaper and agency writing and editing experience. At Washington State University in Pullman, he earned a master’s degree emphasizing adult education and communications, with minors in mourning dove, chukar partridge, pheasant and mountain quail on the breaks of the Snake River.
While living in Lander, WY, Mike provided photographic coverage of the One-Shot Antelope Hunt for three years, and got to meet and accompany folks such as Chuck Yeager, Carroll Shelby, Buzz Aldrin, Dale Robertson and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf on their hunts.
In addition, Mike is a Federal Emergency Management Agency certified instructor and has worked and taught for state and federal agencies. He has responded to seven presidentially declared disasters, including Hurricanes Irma and Maria when they struck Puerto Rico in 2017. He also has worked and taught in Africa and Southeast Asia. Check his website at www.sampsonrisk.com.