Archive for January, 2019

Some history that I found interesting

January 22, 2019



The Great Escape Untouched for almost seven decades, the tunnel used in the Great Escape has finally been unearthed. The 111-yard passage nicknamed ‘Harry’ by Allied prisoners was sealed by the Germans after the audacious break-out from the POW camp Stalag Luft III in western Poland. Despite huge interest in the subject, encouraged by the film starring Steve McQueen, the tunnel remained undisturbed over the decades because it was behind the Iron Curtain and the Soviet authorities had no interest in its significance.

But at last British archaeologists have excavated it, and discovered its remarkable secrets.

Many of the bed boards which had been joined together to stop it collapsing were still in position. And the ventilation shaft, ingeniously crafted from used powdered milk containers known as Klim Tins, remained in working order.
Scattered throughout the tunnel, which is 30ft below ground, were bits of old metal buckets, hammers, and crowbars which were used to hollow out the route.
A total of 600 prisoners worked on three tunnels at the same time. They were nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry and were just 2 ft square for most of their length. It was on the night of March 24 and 25, 1944, that 76 Allied airmen escaped through Harry.
Barely a third of the 200 prisoners many in fake German uniforms and civilian outfits and carrying false identity papers, who were meant to slip away managed to leave before the alarm was raised when escapee number 77 was spotted.

Tunnel vision: A tunnel reconstruction showing the trolley system.
Only three made it back to Britain. Another 50 were executed by firing squad on the orders of Adolf Hitler, who was furious after learning of the breach of security. In all, 90 boards from bunk beds, 62 tables, 34 chairs and 76 benches, as well as thousands of items including knives, spoons, forks, towels and blankets, were squirreled away by the Allied prisoners to aid the escape plan under the noses of their captors.
Although the Hollywood movie suggested otherwise, NO Americans were involved in the operation. Most were British, and the others were from Canada, (all the tunnelers were Canadian personnel with backgrounds in mining) Poland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.

The site of the tunnel, recently excavated by British archaeologists. The latest dig, over three weeks in August, located the entrance to Harry, which was originally concealed under a stove in Hut 104.
The team also found another tunnel, called George, whose exact position had not been charted. It was never used as the 2,000 prisoners were forced to march to other camps as the Red Army approached in January 1945.
Watching the excavation was Gordie King, 91, an RAF radio operator, who was 140th in line to use Harry and therefore missed out. ‘This brings back such bitter-sweet memories,’ he said as he wiped away tears. ‘I’m amazed by what they’ve found. ’…/b2840a8c-e750-4909-b9ea-966…

Bitter-sweet memories: Gordie King, 91, made an emotional return to Stalag Luft III.
In a related post:
Many of the recent generations have no true notion of the cost in lives and treasure that were paid for the liberties that we enjoy in this United States. They also have no idea in respect of the lengths that the “greatest generation” went to in order to preserve those liberties. Below is one true, a small and entertaining story regarding those measures that are well worth reading, even if the only thing derived from the story is entertainment.
Escape from WWII POW Camps
Starting in 1940, an increasing number of British and Canadian Airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape..
Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of ‘safe houses’ where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.
Paper maps had some real drawbacks — they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.
Someone in MI-5 (similar to America’s OSS) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It’s durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads and, unfolded as many times as needed and, makes no noise whatsoever.
At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington Ltd When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.
By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game Monopoly. As it happened, ‘games and pastimes’ was a category of item qualified for insertion into ‘CARE packages’, dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war.
Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington’s, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany, Italy, and France or wherever Allied POW camps were located. When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.
As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington’s also managed to add:
1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass
2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together
3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!
British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a ‘rigged’ Monopoly set – by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.
Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war
The story wasn’t declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington’s, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.
It’s always nice when you can play that ‘Get Out of Jail’ Free’ card!
Some of you are (probably) too young to have any personal connection to WWII (Sep. ’39 to Aug. ’45), but this is still an interesting bit of history for everyone to know.

More on Red Flag Laws

January 14, 2019
Red Flag Gun Laws – Chapter 4
We here at the USGOA are taking on a team project of sorts as we address the Red Flag Gun Laws that are so BIG in the news right now.
As this begins the posts published have been submitted by Admins and Moderators and are OPINION pieces, their opinions, and as such, may or may not represent the entire staff or membership OF the USGOA.
This article is written by Cary Cartter, a personal and longtime friend. Cary is a very knowledgeable gun hand, a former Marine and one of our Admins, and has stuck by me through thick and thin for quite a few years now.
The latest attempt at control of what they want to be “their subjects” by the politicians with a totalitarian bent are the so-called “Red Flag Laws.” Specifically, these left-leaning people want to remove firearms from otherwise innocent persons without due process. I look at laws of this type as Slippery Slope propositions, since they often make it easier to erode the rights of the citizens, since a step has already been taken in that direction.
Let me make one thing clear up front: The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights says “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I take that to mean that the individual right to keep and bear arms is not to be stopped, slowed down, reduced, prohibited, or prevented in any way, shape or form. ANY law that restricts the sale or transfer of a firearm (or any related item, including but not limited to ammunition, magazines, accessories, or components thereof) from one person to another without government control is an infringement on the Second Amendment Right of all citizens.

Now, I will be the first to admit that no, I don’t want a bunch of crazy people running around with guns. I’ll get back to that in a minute. What I DO want is for the individual to be able to decide whether or not they have the mental capacity and mental strength to arm themselves in case they need to defend themselves or others. There is no government agency, at any level, that has the authority to assume administrative control of this (or any!) enumerated right.

(For those who may not be following this thought yet, insert the Freedom of Speech as a substitute for the Right to Bear Arms – if the mindset is that the “arms” involved were meant for the technology invented at the time, get off the internet, write me a letter with iron gaul ink and a quill pen on parchment paper, have it hand delivered to me by a guy on a horse, and we can begin to discuss why you are wrong.)
Supporting or advocating for the removal of firearms because of a complaint about someone’s mental state is a step on a very slippery slope. The method of reporting, the authority and response of law enforcement agencies, the anonymity of the reporting party and the procedures to be followed vary from instance to instance, proposed law to proposed law (in some cases, enacted laws). Typically, John Doe can be reported by Jane Public to be a threat to his own or someone else’s safety. Law Enforcement is then directed to act on the anonymous tip, **seize any weapons in the possession of John Doe** and take Mr. Doe into protective custody, all without Mr. Doe having committed any crime. Sounds like the plot from Minority Report, doesn’t it?
Let’s take a look at some points of order with the above scenario:
-Who is Jane Public? Is she an expert on psychological issues? Has she studied the causes and effects of mental illnesses long enough to be able to spot a crime before it has happened? Or is she simply the disgruntled former romantic partner of John Doe, and bent on revenge in any way, shape, or form?
I imagine there are a fair number of divorces in this country that have had less-than-amicable results, where one person has wished for some way to “get back” at the other. A claim of suspected danger from the ex is a perfect way to put them through the wringer without getting your own hands wet.
-Amendment 4: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”
Probable Cause – a crime has been committed. Supported by oath or affirmation – a judge must have a sworn statement, made by the person searing the warrant, which means the judge must know who the prosecuting party is. Describing the … things to be seized – a list of items to be seized must be provided – not a blanket warrant saying “any and all firearms and/or weapons.”
The phrase “weapons” can be widely interpreted – knives, baseball bats, bare hands, any number of items that can be used to inflict bodily damage on another person – and unless a government entity has been demanding to know (assuming authority over a right) what weapons are owned by which people, how is a list of firearms and/or weapons owned by John Doe going to be made?
-Amendment 6: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”
None of these conditions are met in the above scenario, since no crime has been committed, only the “feeling” that something is wrong. Jane does not have to support the reasons for the warrant, either to the judge or John. John has no opportunity to confront the complainant in order to know the nature of the charges being used to deny him his Second and Fourth amendment rights.
Now, mental acuity: unless a person has been evaluated by psychological medical experts, there is no laymen’s method to determine the mental state of an individual. Oh, I’m sure you can tell when someone’s cheese has slid off their cracker, but unless an evaluation has been done there is no legal standing of that person’s mental state. The left, with their propensity to be “progressive” and “caring” and “inclusive”, has managed to outlaw having someone called crazy enough to warrant evaluation. It is considered impolitic to call up the Sheriff and say “Bubba done stepped over the line, he needs looked at.” Unless, of course, Bubba happens to own a firearm, then we go back to step one of the Red Flag Law.
Why are firearms the first item to be confiscated?
Because the Left has deemed them to be Not Good for the Public Safety.
The Left has decided that “they” (amorphous and anonymous) need to be in charge of telling the rest of us what is good for our own good. The Left should be allowed to make the rules as they go along, not following the same rules in their own life (see: celebrities and politicians who advocate for gun control and against border walls from within their walled compounds surrounded by armed guards).
Once it has been established that the Fourth amendment can be ignored in the quest to disabuse the people from exercising their Second Amendment, and the ability to prevent government from becoming a dictatorial body without fear of reprisal from the governed, then the rest of the amendments (and, by sequence, the entire constitution) can be removed from our grasps and done away with at their leisure.
The state of California is an example of the erosion of rights, and the slippery slope they are on. There are those who claim that a bloodbath will ensue anytime the already unconstitutional gun laws in place are either tightened or loosened; the ones against gun control will point to places within our country where tight gun control (meaning only the law-abiding will follow the law) has resulted in higher murder rates and other places within our country where relaxing the restrictions has resulted in lower overall crime rates; while those who favor control (not just of guns!) point to those same places and falsify claims about the same crimes.
A process to ensure the safety of all is needed, yes – but removing the ability of one to defend one’s self, either legally or physically, should not be the first step, and it certainly should not be done anonymously with no responsibility of the accusing party.

A Silver Bullet; Gun Owners of America

January 12, 2019

Gun owners have a “silver bullet” that can stop the gun control agenda being peddled by Nancy Pelosi — thanks to a pro-gun member of the House of Representatives.

Republican Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina reintroduced his concealed carry reciprocity bill last week, and he was able to secure the same number as last year.

Like his previous bill, H.R. 38 would advance gun rights protections in several ways, as it would:

1) Allow your concealed carry license to be recognized in every state in the country — thereby eliminating the possibility that you would be imprisoned for decades, merely for taking the wrong ramp off an interstate.

2) Protect the right of people from Constitutional Carry states to also carry firearms out of state — so they could carry across the country with no permit!

3) Protect the right of citizens from anti-gun states (like NJ, NY, IL, HI, CA, etc.) by allowing them to carry in their own states, after getting a permit from a more gun-friendly state.

4) Open the door to allowing teachers to protect their students against mass murderers who attack their children in the classroom.

H.R. 38 already has nearly 100 cosponsors.

Urging Rep. Liz Cheney (R) to Cosponsor H.R. 38 is NOT a waste of your time!

H.R. 38 is a great bill. But why try to get cosponsors on a pro-gun bill when Nancy Pelosi controls the House?

Surely, Pelosi is not going to let H.R. 38 get a vote, right?

No, she’s not.  But we shouldn’t jettison our agenda, simply based on who controls the Congress.

Have you noticed that the anti-gun Left never stops pushing for votes — even when they are in the minority? That’s how they keep their momentum and their agenda on the table.

We at Gun Owners of America will not stop pushing for concealed carry reciprocity.

Besides, it may be the best way to kill the anti-gun agenda that Pelosi wants to cram down our throats.

In 2013, Senator Harry Reid would have passed Obama gun control (probably with 50 votes), had not our threat to offer reciprocity thwarted him.  Reciprocity became the “silver bullet” which helped us kill the entire Obama gun control agenda in the Senate. (See p. 6 here.)

Well, 2019 is going to be a long year and there are going to be a lot of legislative battles.

And we are going to need to stay on offense if we expect to win the war.

Heck, you may even see H.R. 38 as an amendment to an infrastructure or immigration bill.

Remember when our pro-gun parks amendment passed as an amendment to a credit card bill — with Barack Obama’s signature in 2009?

That’s why I say that we should never give up and never stop going on offense — no matter which party is in power.

Gun Bans and Gun Confiscation Orders

On Tuesday, anti-gun Democrats introduced Universal Background Checks in the House — legislation that effectively amounts to a ban on private gun sales.

And you can bet that the rest of Michael Bloomberg’s playbook, like so-called “assault weapon” bans, bans on gun parts kits, and more onerous gun controls will be soon introduced, as well.

In the other chamber, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has introduced a Red Flag Gun Confiscation Order bill (S.B. 7).

The Rubio bill probably has the best chance of passing and represents the greatest danger.

There can be no real Due Process wherever Red Flag Gun Confiscation Orders exist.

Because stripping you of your constitutional rights in the middle of the night — not because you have committed a crime or would ever commit a crime — but because you’ve been subjectively determined to be dangerous is inherently a violation of Due Process.

The battle lines are drawn. Gun grabbers are out to rip up the Constitution — and the Second Amendment specifically.

So fasten your seat belt. It’s going to be a rough ride for the next two years.

I need you to stand with GOA … to take action … and to forward this email to your pro-gun family and friends.

Thank you so much.

In Liberty,

Erich Pratt
Executive Director

More on Red Flag Laws

January 11, 2019

Red Flag Gun Control Laws – Chapter 2

We here at the USGOA are taking on a team project of sorts as we address the Red Flag Gun Laws that are so BIG in the news right now.

As this begins the posts published have been submitted by Admins and Moderators and are OPINION pieces, their opinions, and as such, may or may not represent the entire staff or membership OF the USGOA.

This article is written by Tex Reynolds, another personal and longtime friend, a very knowledgeable gun hand, a retired Law Officer and one of our Admins.


Laws that permit police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves, have come to be called Red Flag Laws. Their purpose is supposed to be to prevent violence before it happens.

As of February 2018, five states have passed laws allowing for the seizure of weapons before a crime has occurred. These laws allegedly temporarily remove firearms from citizens making everyone safer. The laws obviously are all worded a bit differently and require varying levels of procedures.

Many advocates of such laws have described them as a new frontier.

Actually, the idea has been around since 1956 in a science fiction story, later made into a movie, The Minority Report.

The idea of thought police is nothing new. The elite have long desired to have total control over the populace. Our Founding Fathers recognized this and gave us the 4th Amendment to prevent this from occurring. They said, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Advocates of Red Flag Laws claim that their laws don’t violate the 4th Amendment because the laws require a warrant, yet the current laws do not allow for the accused to rebut the argument, they eliminate due process beforehand, they do not allow the accused to face their accusers and in fact actually require the accused to prove that they are innocent. Our system of laws is based upon innocent until proven guilty and Red Flag Laws trample all over this tenet of our legal system.

These laws are not about people who can be proved to have committed crimes of violence, or can be proved to have threatened to commit such acts; we have laws already on the books for these actual crimes. Red Flag Laws take it several steps further and punish citizens for what they someone thinks they might do.

Advocates for Red Flag Laws couch their support for this in nice language that basically says the government can take away your rights at any time without due process. Of course first the Government must determine that the accused owns guns, and down the road they will need to know that so everyone must register their weapons. That’s the next proposal to the Red Flag Laws.

Do we want unstable people in control of weapons? Of course not! But can we trust people not to lie to the police, to judges, etc.

How do we balance the accused rights against the safety of the community?

How about the way our Founding Fathers laid it out? With “Due Process”!

If a person is a threat to themselves or others, arrest them based on a warrant or detain them for a 72 hour mental hold.

Take the weapons into protective custody, place a time limit on length of time the weapons can be held and make this time limit extremely short. If accusations cannot be substantiated within a set period of time not to exceed 30 days the weapons must be returned to the owner immediately and at no cost with no delaying legal procedures and all records that identify the firearms must be expunged.

Law Enforcement needs a procedure to immediately confiscate weapons from a high risk situation without retribution. But the clock starts on the expeditious return of those weapons at that time.

Red Flag Law advocates use all kinds of statistics to prove their case but deep drilling shows most of the statistics don’t help their argument. Duke University researchers looked at the application of Connecticut’s Red Flag Law between 1999 and 2013, they found that police served 762 so-called “risk warrants” during that period and estimated that “a gun suicide was prevented for every 10 to 20 seizures.”

So, in 14 years Connecticut’s red flag law prevented between 38 and 76 suicides (?), but wait, 21 of those people went on and committed suicide but only six used firearms. So in depriving 762 citizens of their Constitutional Rights over a 14 year period gun violence statistics in the state were reduced by at most 61. That’s four per year. I looked to see why there was such a wide disparity in the figures and I could find no data. It appears that if record keeping is not an accurate science. Basically all their statistics proved is that the end result of their Red Flag Laws delayed six suicides by firearms. Twenty-one people were identified as a threat to themselves and yet Government couldn’t prevent them from killing themselves.

The government cannot legislate common sense. The government cannot legislate mental health. We cannot let government continue to chip away at our inalienable rights and expect our Republic to survive!

Red Flag Laws

January 9, 2019

          Red Flag Gun Control Laws

So called Red Flag Gun Control Laws seek to disarm individuals deemed too violent to be allowed to possess or control firearms. “red flag law is a gun violence prevention law that permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves.”


   This accusation can be made by anyone, anywhere, and without any probable cause. The accused party has no ability to present counter arguments in their defense. Most, if not all of these laws do not have any time table built into them for a hearing for restoration of that person’s property or Second Amendment rights. Many politicians see this as a holy grail for putting a halt to much of the gun violence that happens, as well as other.
Those others may well be; Jilted ex-lovers; ex- spouses, former business partners, angry neighbors, co-workers that have serious disagreements with the targeted person, and political opponents just to name a few. Accusations such as these can also be used for harming a person’s public, personal, and professional reputation as well. Arrest records never go away. Indeed, investigation records never go away, and can be brought up, and used against a person decades later just based upon the fact that they were investigated for something. Much like frivolous lawsuits the damage is done simply by the existence of the accusation. These laws are written in such a manner that no legal action may be taken against the person(s) lodging the complaint.

Even if controls were implemented the utter lack of due process make these unacceptable in a Republic with a Bill of Rights such as in The United States. Further, there are already mechanisms codified into law that have been used for decades to address the core issues of being a danger to one’s self or others without abusing the natural rights of a person. These are commonly called mental health holds, or intoxication holds. Therefore “Red Flag Laws” are an abuse of authority by society upon an individual as well as the weaponization of government by groups and individuals for the sole purpose of political and or social conquest.

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