When do we take up arms against an oppressor? Such is the troubling question our Founding Fathers answered with muskets in April 1775 and in the Declaration of Independence in July 1776. Such is the troubling question David Newquist takes up in his latest blog post, which discusses ignorant and anti-intellectual Trumpism in the historical context of the Holocaust and Black Lives Matter.
It’s not hard to figure out what the narrative is here. A liberal insurgency is destroying American society. The “only way” to protect yourself from this surge in left-wing violence (a made-up threat, to be clear) is to donate to the NRA — an organization that exists solely to help people buy guns [Zack Beauchamp, “This Chilling NRA Ad Calls on Its Members to Save America by Fighting Liberals,” Vox, 2017.06.29].
Newquist says such absolutist rhetoric leaves him wondering we should respond by leaving America, boycotting certain businesses, or resorting to violence:
People in America of differing politics, creeds, and ethnic groups don’t like each other very much. Their dislike is sparked by defamations in the social media and confirmed by reports of behavior of fellow humans in the traditional press. Violence by mass shooters, shootings of unarmed people by the police, shootings of the police by ambush, and menacing insults spewed out by the president all contribute to a sense that people have to make a decision. And that decision is whether it is time to walk away from America, make economic decisions on the basis of politics, or stand their ground and resist with violence. Or choose all three, so that history will not need to ask why they didn’t resist [David Newquist, “Voting with Feet, Billfolds, and Guns,” Northern Valley Beacon, 2017.07.05].
Butina asks about American sanctions on Russia that are “damaging” both countries. Trump says, “I know Putin, and I’ll tell you what: we get along with Putin…. I don’t think you’d need the sanctions. I think that we would get along very, very well.”
In September 2010, Erickson organized another business from that same 305 office at 4904 Oxbow, Investing with Dignity LLC. He must have gotten distracted with the Romney campaign and other projects, since after 2012, he failed to file his annual reports, until Secretary of State Shantel Krebs dissolved his corporation in April 2015. Erickson got Investing with Dignity LLC reinstated in 2016.
Butina posted these photos publicly on Facebook on May 13, 2015. However, the banner lists the 2013 sponsors. If you zoom into the classroom picture, just over the grey-sweatshirted student, the red ink by his head appears to refer to a semester test taking place “Fri May 15”, and May 15 was a Friday in 2015. The green ink on the board reads “Paul Erickson Investing with Dignity LLC.”
Butina’s acquaintance with Erickson precedes these 2015 events. On November 1, 2013, the day before she posted the picture of herself with David Keene in Moscow, she posted a photo of herself with Erickson:
I can’t get this photo any bigger, but at the center of the back row, that looks like TAR camp leader, now U.S. House candidate, Dusty Johnson.
I’m betting Dusty is taking this photo… and hey! look to the far right of this photo. There on the back bench in those star-spangled shorts is, I’m pretty sure, TAR camp advisor, then-freshman, now-resigned state legislator Mathew Wollmann.
And who’s holding up that world map for Butina? That hairline looks much like that of Paul Erickson.
I’m not positing any grand conspiracy; I’m just having a lot of fun playing the Two Degrees of South Dakota Separation. In Maria Butina, we appear to have someone who can bring together Mathew Wollmann, the South Dakota Teenage Republican campers, Steve Sibson, and Paul Erickson and connect them all to the National Rifle Association and one practical rubles-and-kopecks reason some Russians wanted Trump to become President.
Date: March 22, 2017 To: Members, South Dakota Legislature From: Daniel J. Hall RE: HB1072—Constitutional Carry—VETO OVERRIDE _______________________________________________
The NRA-ILA strongly supports an effort to override the governor’s veto of HB1072-Constitutional Carry.
Facts regarding the bill:
–Allows law abiding citizens to carry a concealed weapon without first being required to obtain a state issued permit.
–Makes no changes to provisions regarding who can legally carry/own a concealed weapon, or where a concealed weapon can be carried.
–Makes no changes to private property owners’ rights to allow/prohibit weapons on their property.
–Makes no changes to the current permitting process, as the permit is needed for reciprocity with other states.
This is a top priority bill for the NRA, and any veto override vote will be heavily weighted.[NRA-ILA, memo to South Dakota legislators, 2017.03.22]
No word from NRA on whether legislators will get extra points for overriding Governor Daugaard’s veto of House Bill 1156, the measure allowing non-law enforcement civilians to carry concealed pistols in the Capitol.
Rookie Representative Drew Dennert (R-3/Aberdeen) brought House Joint Resolution 1001, a proposal to have us vote on adding the following language to our state constitution:
Hunting, fishing, and trapping wildlife is a valued part of our heritage that shall forever be preserved for the people; water, wildlife, and other natural resources held in the public trust shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good but do not create a right to trespass on private property except as allowed by law, regulation, easement, or contract [HJR 1001, Section 2, introduced 2017.01.20].
Useless macho bang-bang legislation usually gets a warm reception in Pierre. But after the National Association for Gun Rights, South Dakota Bowhunters, South Dakota Wildlife, and the South Dakota Izaak Walton League spoke in favor of HJR 1001, Big Ag raised its voice via the Farm Bureau, the Stock Growers, and the Corn Growers to oppose the hunt-fish-trap amendment on grounds of superfluity and unintended consequences to property rights.
Rep. David Lust (R-34/Rapid City) “quizzed” Rep. Dennert and asked, based on his Legislatively engaged family’s commitment to hunting and agriculture, which is more important to the Dennert family, the ability to work the land or the ability to hunt and fish. Rep. Dennert equivocated, saying both are equally important fundamental rights and that to this day some people still rely on hunting and fishing as their main source of food. Rep. Lust followed up, noting that “your grandfather is probably listening,” and insisted that Rep. Dennert choose. Thus boxed, Rep. Dennert acceded to the primacy of property rights.
In his later remarks, Rep. Lust acknowledged the “pleasure of putting a new legislator on the spot,” then explained his opposition to the NRA’s language:
There’s nothing in our constitution right now that guarantees someone the right to farm. There’s nothing in our constitution that guarantees someone the right to be a lawyer, nor to be a fireman, policeman. All of those we would all argue are foundational to—maybe not the lawyer part—is foundational to our society, right? If we don’t have something in our constitution on farming, on some people’s right to farm—and I think Representative Dennert answered the question properly and his grandfather would be proud—we don’t need to put things like this in our constitution [Rep. David Lust, remarks on HJR 1001, House State Affairs, 2017.01.25, timestamp 24:58].
Rep. Isaac Latterell (R-6/Tea?), a great fan of trivial constitutional grandstanding, tried to save his young Aberdeen friend’s constitutional diddling by amending HJR 1001 down to just its first 20 words. Rep. G. Mark Mickelson (R-13/Sioux Falls) stepped with a substitute motion to kill HJR 1001, and House State Affairs followed the Speaker. HJR 1001 failed 9–4, losing four sponsors (Bartling, Beal, Lust, and Qualm). Eight Republicans and one Democrat voted for a cleaner constitution and Bs on their NRA report card; three Republicans and one Democrat voted in favor of NRA-stroking constitutional clutter.
Having been raised in South Dakota and been around responsible gun owners, I would never vote to take away ones 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. I grew up hunting on opening day and thinking of the NRA as an educational asset for the promotion gun safety. Unfortunately, the NRA has become an advocate for the firearm and ammunition manufacturers as well as one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington D.C.
When our national congress is unable to pass legislation to prevent citizens on the No Fly List from buying weapons, when 90% of Americans are in favor of it, it’s obvious that corporate money and power has defeated the voice of Democracy.
Both Drew Dennert and Dan Kaiser (my opponents) seem to be proud of their NRA endorsements, which may have been ok in the 1970’s, but times have changed and I’m proud to say that I wouldn’t accept their endorsement if it was offered. It’s time to take control from the few and give it back to the many as intended by our constitution. Vote for me in November to help make it happen! [Brooks Briscoe, Facebook post, 2016.07.07]
Briscoe makes an interesting point: we shouldn’t need gun makers’ endorsement to be considered advocates for the personal right to bear arms any more than we should need Martin Shkreli’s endorsement to prove we support the right to affordable health care.
Briscoe’s pro-Second Amendment/anti-NRA missive appears as #2 in what he promises will be a series of “20 Reasons to Vote for Brooks Briscoe” for State House. Stay tuned for more from my fellow sensible Aberdeen Democrat!
Pressler says we need to take on the National Rifle Association. A relatively new convert to Mormonism, Pressler also says Republcians need to stand against Trump’s familiar and dangerous call for religious persecution:
But gun control isn’t the only reason why Pressler is ready to join “Republicans for Clinton” — he’s also concerned about Trump’s rhetoric on Muslims.
“This election is starting to sound like the German elections in [the late 1920s],” Pressler said. “This is a very dangerous national conversation we’re slipping into.”
Pressler, a Mormon Sunday school teacher, said he understands all too well the dangers of singling out a particular religious group.
In 1838, Missouri Gov. Lilburn Boggs ordered Mormons to be killed, which forced many to leave the state before eventually resettling in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Trump makes “Mormons very nervous,” Pressler said.
“Mormons are the only religious group besides the Jews who have been ordered by the government to be extinguished, killed,” he said.
“The worst thing is for Republicans to be silent,” Pressler added. “A lot of Republicans are just saying, ‘I’ll sit it out, I won’t vote.’ Or, ‘I’ll vote for a third-party candidate.’ But if they don’t vote, they are giving more power to dark forces” [Tim Devaney, “Former GOP Senator Endorses Clinton After Orlando Shooting,” The Hill, 2016.06.13].
In a political environment in which numerous lawmakers are clamoring for the United States to deny safe haven to refugees on the pretext that those refugees come from a country with bad guys in it, one would expect to hear even greater clamor for rules to prevent truly suspicious people already in the United States from getting guns and bombs. Rep. King’s legislation even includes provisions for thwarted gun buyers to appeal if they feel they’ve been improperly included on the Terrorist Watchlist.
The NRA blocked a previous iteration of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act in 2009:
The NRA opposed the bill, claiming it would “deny law-abiding people due process and their Second Amendment rights.” As evidence, the NRA’s chief lobbyist cited a Justice Department report indicating that 6 percent of people on the list were included based on obsolete or extraneous FBI information. An editorial published by the NRA complained that the bill would lower “the standard measure of proof of guilt in criminal prosecutions” and that “whole segments of lawful firearms commerce could be wiped out.” The bill died in committee [William Saletan, “LaPierre the Lawyer,” Slate, 2013.01.17].
I am willing to wager that fewer than 6% of Syrian refugees are inclined to commit terrorist acts when they get to France or America (and 0% of the killers in last week’s attacks in Paris were Syrian refugees). On that slim percentage, far too many politicians will leave fellow human beings to languish in refugee camps or suffer under ISIS oppression. But suggest that we prevent terror suspects from getting guns, and Republicans briefly channel the ACLU and rediscover their commitment to “liberty” over security.