[COLUMN] Gun-Free Zones Claim 5 more lives

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“Sometime back I received in the name of our country the bodies of four marines who had died while on active duty. I said then that there is a special sadness that accompanies the death of a serviceman, for we’re never quite good enough to them — not really; we can’t be, because what they gave us is beyond our powers to repay. And so, when a serviceman dies, it’s a tear in the fabric, a break in the whole, and all we can do is remember. …

“… But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.” President Ronald Reagan, Nov. 11, 1985.

On Thursday morning, a man went on a shooting spree at two military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He killed four U.S. Marines before he was killed, presumably by police, though that had not been released at the time this was written. A sailor from Paulding died a few days later.

A city employee, and special police officer, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, was named as the shooter.

While we are still in the early stages of the investigation there are two observations that need to be made.

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Catch Me On The Radio This Afternoon

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I will be on the “Talk With Ron Williams” show from 3 to 5 p.m. today (Thursday) on WCIT-AM as I am every Thursday.

You can listen on AM 940 in the Lima, Ohio, area or online at http://940wcit.com. Call in at: +1 419-228-9494 or +1 888-894-3776. If you miss it, the show will be archived at Talk With Ron Archives.

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Nanny of the Month for June 2015

Reason TV presents its monthly Nanny of the Month for June 2015:

They’re fining folks for cursing in Arlington, Virginia, and banning dead people from driving in New Jersey, but this month’s Nanny of the Month award is going to the Garden State for its anti-smoking zealotry, which has reached an absurd new low. You would think New Jersey would welcome a company that wanted to conduct research that might actually help people kick the habit. But such research is actually prohibited under the state’s Smoke-Free Air Act. New Jersey claims the law protects people’s health by banning smoking in most indoor public places—even labs that want to study the health effects of traditional cigarettes compared to vapor based e-cigarettes.

State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11th District) has introduced a bill that would exempt medical and scientific labs from the Smoke-Free Air Act. That seems like something everyone can rally around, right? Nope! It turns out that a major anti-smoking organization, the Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy (GASP), opposes even this limited (and socially beneficial) expansion of indoor smoking.

“They can do the study outside, just like everybody else has to,” says Karen Blumenthal, executive director of GASP.

So to sum up: smoking is so bad that we should ban as much of it as possible, including smoking that might help more people quit smoking. Got it?

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Thomas Lucente: Decision worse than Dred Scott

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Last week’s Supreme Court decision was worse than its 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, at least in its reasoning. Indeed, it was probably the worst decision ever issued by the court since its first decision in 1791.

No, not the Jun 26 Obergefell v. Hodges decision recognizing same-sex marriage. I am talking about the June 25 decision in King v. Burwell saving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from its deserved demise.

Just as Chief Justice Roger B. Taney is universally criticized for the Dred Scott decision and his attempt to settle the slavery question once and for all, history will treat Chief Justice John G. Roberts just as badly for his tortured decision trying to rescue Obamacare.

Even supporters of Obamacare, at least the honest ones, would have to admit the decision Roberts crafted was, as Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his dissent, “Absurd.”

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Thomas Lucente: Common sense died in Charleston

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Once again the United States are seeing the symptoms of a serious plague striking the nation.

It is causing a serious lack of critical thinking skills and patient zero is almost always some well-meaning but completely ignorant leftist, though it has also been known to emanate from conservatives at times.

In the current epidemic, a single deranged individual walked into a church and killed nine people. Tragic, yes. But there are nearly 50 homicides every day in the United States. Those homicides, though, are largely black on black or white on white and not worthy of the leftist media’s snooty indignation.

In the aftermath of the slaughter, all critical thinking in the public debate seems to have evaporated.

At first, the lunacy was largely directed at the Confederate battle flag, as though somehow eliminating the flag from public view will magically eliminate racism.

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Thomas Lucente: What happened to life, liberty and property?

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America has truly lost its way. The experiment in self-government has ended and has been replaced by a hybrid police/administrative state where elections are largely pointless and mindless bureaucrats seem to possess all the power.

On Monday, police in Overton, Texas, took a bold step in protecting the life, liberty and property of the town’s residents by bring the full force of law down on two young girls operating a lemonade stand in order to raise some money to buy their father a Father’s Day gift. Apparently, in Overton, Texas, and many other towns across the USA, it is not enough for children to have permission from parents to operate a lemonade stand, but they must also seek permission from the government, which also entails a $150 bribe … er … “permit fee.”

Fortunately, the threat posed by these two girls was terminated by the fast actions of the Overton police officers. Surprisingly, the SWAT team was not used to bring this threat to an end.

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Thomas Lucente: The license to be free

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If you are still operating under the presumption that you live in a free country, the story of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert should finally disavow you of that false notion.

Hastert was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury because he didn’t withdraw enough money from his bank account.

OK, that is an oversimplification, but essentially true.

Under federal law, every cash transaction of $10,000 has to be reported to the federal government. That’s not a large amount of money.

To avoid the reporting requirement, someone might try to make multiple smaller transactions, which is known as “structuring.” This is what Hastert is accused of doing along with lying to the FBI about the reason for his transactions.

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Thomas Lucente: Honor those who gave their all

041112-N-0295M-001 Triangle, Va. (Nov. 11, 2004) Ð American flags decorate the headstones of service members that have passed away at the Quantico National Cemetery in Triangle, Va., on VeteranÕs Day. Opened in 1983, over 16,000 service members and dependants are buried at the cemetery. U.S. Navy photo by PhotographerÕs Mate 2nd Daniel J. McLain (RELEASED)

041112-N-0295M-001
Triangle, Va. (Nov. 11, 2004) Ð American flags decorate the headstones of service members that have passed away at the Quantico National Cemetery in Triangle, Va., on VeteranÕs Day. Opened in 1983, over 16,000 service members and dependants are buried at the cemetery. U.S. Navy photo by PhotographerÕs Mate 2nd Daniel J. McLain (RELEASED)

The report in the Ripley (Mississippi) Advertiser on July 31, 1861, was the first of many to be published in the weekly newspaper during the next four years.

It was a list of those brave men of the 2nd Mississippi Regiment who were either killed or wounded 10 days earlier in the first Battle of Manassas, a military engagement the federal government refers to as the first Battle of Bull Run. It was the first major land battle of the War for Southern Independence. It took place near Manassas Junction, Virginia, just 25 miles outside Washington, D.C.

Among the men listed was Pvt. Samuel Andrew McBryde, 21. He was my first cousin, four times removed. Also among the 847 killed that July 21, 1861, day was Samuel Joseph McBryde, 22, my second cousin four time removed.

Just like nearly every American family, quite a few of my relatives would be killed or wounded in that conflict. Indeed, when the war ended, some 850,000 Americans were dead.

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Thomas Lucente: Abortion bill just political theater

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On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

The bill would ban abortions at the point at which babies can feel pain, no later than 20 weeks gestation.

While I hope the bill becomes law, it is, at the core, nonsense.

Some 1.21 million babies are brutally killed before birth every year in the United States. This bill would stop about 18,000 abortions, or 1.49 percent. Indeed, only 275 of the nation’s nearly 1,800 abortion clinics even perform abortions on pain-capable babies.

Conservative lawmakers, though, seem to be falling over themselves to tell the world how great they are for saving 18,000 babies a year while continuing to permit the annual killing of 1.19 million other babies.

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Thomas Lucente: Education system’s slanted view of history

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In my more than two decades of writing newspaper columns, there have probably been fewer than five times where I felt the need to write a follow-up column in order to respond to the responses of the original work.

This is one of those times.

A few weeks ago, I rightly demonstrated that President Abraham Lincoln destroyed the America created by the Founders and began our long slide into the leviathan welfare state that is 21st century America. Oh, and as a bonus, killed 800,000 Americans in the process.

Afterward, on these pages, the Internet and on talk radio, several called me a racist who supports slavery.

Of course, these accusations are just the nonsensical ramblings of unthinking people. After all, the War for Southern Independence was a fight between two slave-owning nations. How can supporting one side or the other get you labeled as a racist and pro-slavery?

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