bill stevens – the gun violence victim you will never hear about

Back on 28JAN13, Bill Stevens delivered the following testimony (transcribed as best I could) to the public hearing of the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group of the Connecticut General Assembly:

My name is Bill Stevens; I live in Newtown.

My fifth-grade daughter was in "lockdown" on December 14th, 2012. Unfortunately, her classmate’s little sister was murdered in Sandy Hook that day when "lockdown" and 911 weren’t enough to protect her from an evil person; not protect her from an assault rifle or some type of inanimate object, but from an evil person. Quite different from the elaborate security you all enjoy here at the capitol – it was fun getting frisked on the way in.

I’m not here to cite crime statistics, lives saved with guns, or the economic impact of the proposed asinine legislation – some of these gun control bills you have proposed – I will, however, read from the Connecticut state constitution. Section 15 reads very clearly – we all know what the Second Amendment says – but Section 15 in the state constitution says very clearly "every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state." There’s no registration, there’s no permitting, there’s no background checks. It’s quite clear.

I’m frankly shocked by some of the testimony today. In case some here failed American History, there is something called a "Constitution" and a "Bill of Rights" and a process by which to amend it. The same goes for the state constitution. These rights are inalienable and endowed by our Creator – not you politicians – to all citizens regardless of gender, race, or creed. In order to limit the rights of individuals, there is something called "due process", and legislation is not "due process", so if you want to take my rights away, let’s go to court. And with regards to due process, the final report with all the facts on Sandy Hook will not likely be issued until this summer, which is stated clearly in the newspapers. How can any legislation be passed in good faith or good conscience without all the facts?

Again, gun ownership is a Constitutional right, but it’s not for everyone, and that’s ok, and shouldn’t make gun owners suspects regardless of how many guns they have or how much ammunition they may have. My guns are not dangerous; they are at home, locked up, collecting dust and cat hair.

But criminals and tyrants – tyrants, especially – beware: "lockdown" is not an option at the Stevens residence, and 911 will be dialed after the security of my home has been established. Why is that same security my daughter enjoys at home with her dad not available at school in Newtown? That is what you should be considering, not making her dad a criminal.

Charlton Heston made the phrase "from my cold, dead hands" famous. I will tell you here today you will take my ability to protect my Victoria from my cold, dead hands.

*Slams the table. Walks away like a boss.*

Wow. What he said.

I love how he pointed out that we seem to value the lives of politicians more than the lives of our children. I love how he did not bother with the statistics of the conversation, but instead stuck to Tam’s core message of, "Where the hell do you get off thinking you can tell me I can’t own a gun? I don’t care if every other gun owner on the planet went out and murdered somebody last night. I didn’t. So piss off." I love how he notes that passing laws which force people to choose between their rights or remaining a "law-abiding citizen" is not the process upon which this country was founded. I love how he observes that states, and even the country as a whole, are considering draconian legislation in response to the Sandy Hook shooting without actually knowing most of the facts of that shooting.

And I love how Mr. Stevens’ testimony has received functionally no coverage in the mainstream media whatsoever.

The reason why not should be obvious to anyone familiar with the ongoing "gun control" debate – his words simply do not meet with the standard, anti-rights narrative. Here is a man who had a child at [update] a school near [/update] Sandy Hook Elementary when the murderer was running loose within its halls; by all rights, at least according to anti-rights cultists, he should be positively screaming for additional "gun control". And, you and I both know that were he to do so, his name and face would be plastered all over all of the major news organizations. But he did not, and he is not; instead, he is relying on the very antithesis of the motivations behind "gun control" – logic, reason, and respect for basic human rights.

So now it is incumbent upon us to ensure this father’s stirring, if a bit strident, testimony gets the exposure it deserves. Spread the word, and show that not all "gun violence victims" would disarm all on account of the actions of a few.

[Update]  Due to my misinterpreting Mr. Stevens’ testimony, I posted that his daughter attended Sandy Hook Elementary.  This is incorrect.  She attended Reed Intermediate School, a few miles down the road, but did know one of the girls murdered at Sandy Hook.  I apologize for the error.  [/Update]

james yeager, helping the "gun control" extremists

Considering that my posts documenting how James Yeager is a coward and how he violated the Tennessee constitution are getting an unusual amount of traffic in recent days, I thought I would take a brief moment to comment on Yeager’s most recent bout of mind-numbing stupidity wherein he stated, "If it goes one inch further, I’m going to start killing people!".

First, just like the Sandy Hook Elementary School murderer, James Yeager is not representative of the average firearm owner, nor is he representative of the average pro-rights activist*. Using those two disgusting (for differing reasons) individuals to paint all firearm owners or pro-rights activists as murderous whackjobs looking for any and all excuses to fly off the handle is nothing more than a hasty generalization logical fallacy – a specious stereotype, in other words – and should be ridiculed and discarded as such.

Second, I refuse to allow my rights to be limited simply because one person who happens to own similar pieces of machined metal as I do cannot keep his temper in check. Or, to put it another way, one nutcase losing his gos-se on an internet video is a wholly insufficient reason to limit everyone else’s rights. You and I both may not like what Yeager says, and, speaking personally, I would very much prefer if he were to crawl in a deep, dark hole and pull it in after him, but so far as I can tell, he is operating within the bounds of the right protected by the First Amendment, and damned if I will not defend that right as much as the one protected by the Second Amendment.

Third, if you have ever received any training from James Yeager in regards to firearms, deadly force, or other related topics, I would strongly recommend that you seek out additional training from other sources such as Mas Ayoob, Larry Vickers, Todd Green, Front Sight, Gunsite, and countless other sources I do not know or cannot remember at the moment (note: I have no affiliation with the places or people named and have received no training from any of them). Why? The training Yeager provided you may have been technically and functionally accurate, but do you really want the prosecution of your self-defense hearing/trial holding up the video of Yeager claiming he is going to "start killing people" as an example of the person who trained you to shoot down that poor choir boy who was only trying to collect money for the Salvation Army mugger/rapist/murder/etc.? Being able to counter with examples of significantly-more-up-standing individuals in the self-defense training community might prove useful.

Fourth, do not even get me started on the cowardice of yanking the above video, claiming he does not retract any of his statements, and then whinging about people re-uploading the original video. If he had pulled the original clip and put up some kind of apology or somesuch in its place, I might consider giving him some credit… but this kind of response screams "hand caught in the cookie jar". Poor baby.

Fifth and finally, James Yeager and his company "Tactical Response" thankfully do not appear to be qualified to provide Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit instruction/training, but Yeager has been lying about his "certifications". I particularly enjoy how his site now says "TN Department of Safety Certified Firearms Instructor (formerly)", when the TN DOS representative TPM quotes states "there is no such certification offered".

[Update] On a related note to Yeager lying about his non-existent "certification" from TN DOS, it would appear as though his handgun carry permit has been revoked by the state of Tennessee "based on a ‘material likelihood of risk of harm to the public’". I cannot say as though I agree with that reasoning being acceptable to revoke a permit, and I have to wonder why that reasoning did not come into play during Yeager’s childish "duel" challenges, but there it is. [/Update]

In closing, like I said on Twitter, I would like to take a moment and thank James Yeager for providing the "gun control" extremists all the ammunition they will need to paint all firearm owners as equally deranged, murderous, and psychotic as he is… as if we did not have enough of that going on with the Sandy Hook murderer as it was. There are a fair number of people I sincerely wish were not "on my side", but this guy is pretty much at the top at the moment…

Of course, while I say that, rumor has it that James Yeager will be on the Ed Show (whatever the hell that is) on MSNBC tonight. Frakking awesome. We could have calm, cool, collected folks like Mr. Colion Noir represent us on national television, but instead we get flaming nutbags like Yeager. Good to see yellow journalism is still alive and well…

(* – I imagine James Yeager would get along with the woefully self-destructive "threeper" community just fine , what with his above-quoted line and absolute lack of any actual action on his part, but even I would not force this over-steroided gas-bag on even that community.)