Catholic Leaders: Proposed Gun Control ‘Measured and Reasonable’

On March 27, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-20) proposed new gun control, which includes the ban on private gun sales and the creation of a gun registry. It also provides police with “discretion” in deciding who should and should not be able to purchase shotguns or rifles.

According to iobserve.org, the four Roman bishops of the state of Massachusetts released a statement through the Massachusetts Catholic Conference supporting the gun control proposal and describing it as “measured and reasonable.”

The Bishops wrote:

It appears the legislation introduced [on May 27] is measured and reasonable; it does not infringe upon the rights of sportsmen and others who possess firearms for legal and legitimate purposes. It would help to prevent tragedies such as those in Newtown, Connecticut or more recently in Isla Vista, California. No community is immune to the possibility of a devastating tragedy. Whatever its final form, it is abundantly clear that legislation aimed toward the reduction of preventable deaths is necessary.

It is important to note that none of the proposed gun control in Massachusetts would have stopped Adam Lanza because he did not go through legal means to get his guns; he stole them. It is also important to note that a ban on private gun sales or the creation of a gun registry would not have stopped Elliot Rodger because he underwent background checks for his gun purchases, and all of them were registered with the state of California. 

These new gun control measures, like all gun control, will only impact law-abiding citizens. Criminals will neither read nor obey these laws. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.  Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.




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Breitbart in Bordeaux: French Reactions to Nationalist Gains in EU Elections

BORDEAUX, France—Much like liberals in America, people in France who lean left are shocked at conservative victories in the French elections for the European Parliament, and are concerned about the next national elections. Both on economic and social issues, the right is surging in France.

Paris is like New York City and Washington, D.C., in one, as both France’s largest urban centre and its capital. France’s elite media commentators and opinion makers are found there, and just like in the United States, these elites often misread national public opinion. In the vast regions of France filled with villages, chateaus, and simple farms, very different values dictate different priorities than one finds in the City of Light.

Situated in the middle of France’s wine country, Bordeaux is a mid-sized city where both sides of the political spectrum are represented. You’ll find a mix of traditional values and economic self-reliance among some French, versus moral relativism and a generic support for socialism among those who insist that a full-time work week should never exceed 35 hours, and that government should provide everyone with healthcare, education, housing, several weeks of paid vacation, and food—all paid for by “the rich.”

The reaction in Bordeaux to the victory of France’s National Front (FN) political party, led by Marine Le Pen, has been similarly mixed. FN’s victories parallel recent victories of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), though UKIP’s Nigel Farage cites some differences as precluding an alliance between the two.

Although Francois Hollande is only halfway through his term as France’s president, some people are already speculating Nicolas Sarkozy will be the opposition candidate in the next French presidential election, and that he will win back the presidency. Hollande’s socialist policies are perceived by the French as a colossal failure, as reflected in his abysmal 18 percent job approval.

Also interesting is how this plays out regarding social issues. France has a long Roman Catholic history, which is still visible throughout the countryside. For those people—as well as the country’s much smaller Evangelical minority—marriage is a sacred institution with religious foundations, focused on raising children that are the offspring of the natural union of a man and woman.

Kevin is a French tour guide with an American-sounding name. He is young and unmarried, and supports gay marriage. But he talks about France’s high divorce rate, which doesn’t include the growing number of adults who have children without ever getting married.

Standing on the Dune du Pilat overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Kevin told Breitbart News that being raised by a divorced mother was much harder for him as a male. He is grateful for his hardworking and loving mother, but feels the effects of growing up without a father to provide a firm hand, instil discipline, and supply a role model of how a man should act in daily life.

He says Hollande is a big supporter of redefining marriage to include a man and woman. (He expressed no opinion on polygamy, which is more of an issue in France than in America because of the much higher—and growing—number of Muslims in France, immigrating from Islamic nations where polygamy is legal.) Kevin is confident that Sarkozy, on the other hand, will support traditional marriage.

Nonetheless, Kevin supports Sarkozy over Hollande because Kevin knows his nation is in dire straits, which are getting worse. He doesn’t support Le Pen, and jokes that perhaps she’ll emigrate to the United States. But he supports Sarkozy because Kevin wants economic opportunity for himself and his nation, and has already concluded socialism—or at least Hollande’s expansive version of it—just doesn’t work in real life.

Kevin hasn’t thought through issues of his nation’s cultural identity, immigration, national security, or whether the Eurozone can ever form a cohesive economic unit in light of the foundering economies of Greece and various other hard-left nations. But he firmly believes France can do better.

And he’s not alone. If Kevin reflects the opinion of an increasing number of Europeans, then change may be coming to the Old World. The question for the United States is whether there are a similarly-growing number of young American voters who want to change the direction of the New World in 2014 and 2016.

Ken Klukowski is senior legal analyst for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.




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World View: Prisoner Swap Deal Infuriates Many Afghans, ‘Big Victory’ for Taliban

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Taliban chief Mullah Omar calls prisoner swap a ‘big victory’
  • Many Afghans express anger at the release of the Taliban prisoners
  • Abbas: Palestinian unity government will ‘renounce violence’ against Israel

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Taliban chief Mullah Omar calls prisoner swap a ‘big victory’

The release of five high-level Taliban prisoners from Gitmo, in exchange for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl who has been held captive for 5 years, is being declared a “big victory” by the supreme leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar:

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the entire Afghan Muslim nation, all the Mujahideen and to the families and relatives of the prisoners for this big victory regarding the release of five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo prison. …

We shall thank almighty for this great victory. The sacrifice of our Mujahedin have resulted in the release of our senior leaders from the hand of the enemy. …

I thank the government of Qatar, especially its emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad (Al Thani), who made sincere efforts for release of these leaders and for their mediation and for hosting them. May Allah grant all of them with rewards”

The five Taliban prisoners had been officials in the Taliban regime driven out by the US-led invasion of Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks. AFP and NBC

Many Afghans express anger at the release of the Taliban prisoners

Some Afghans are criticizing the release of five Taliban prisoners, saying that they’ll resume fighting within Afghanistan after the U.S. troops leave.

According to the U.S. military, the five are “high risk,” and were implicated in the murder of thousands of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan. The Taliban are militants within the Pashtun ethnic group, which is Sunni Muslim. There is continuing sectarian tension throughout the region, and the return of Taliban militants with a history of slaughter of Shia Muslims is going to raise alarms.

According to one high school teacher living in Kabul:

“This decision showed that the region, Afghanistan and its people aren’t worth anything to American government.

Otherwise, why would they swap a useless army soldier who broke the law with the five most dangerous Taliban fighters?”

The phrase “broke the law” refers to the accusation that Bergdahl had been captured in the first place because he abandoned his post, and walked away from his military base with only a compass and a bottle of water. Reuters

Abbas: Palestinian unity government will ‘renounce violence’ against Israel

Palestinians expect to form a new “unity government” with a press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon. The unity government will join Hamas, the governing authority in Gaza, with the Palestinian Authority (PA/Fatah) for the first time since the factions went to war in 2008.

The United States has not taken a public position on the reunification of the two Palestinian groups, but on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone to PA president Mahmoud Abbas. In the phone call, Abbas promised Kerry that the new unity government would recognize Israel and renounce violence. Few people believe that this promise will be kept.

Hamas is threatening to block Monday’s announcement unless a number of power-sharing issues are resolved. Previous attempts to form a unity government have failed because of such issues. However, the reunification has become a major international issue, and Hamas officials are indicating that they’ll go ahead with the announcement despite their misgivings and expect to make changes later. Jerusalem Post and Gulf News

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Eric Cantor Doesn’t Mention Support for Amnesty on Campaign Website

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been a prominent supporter of granting amnesty to the children of illegal immigrants and awarding more high-tech visas. Yet ten days before his primary against Dave Brat, his positions on those issues are absent from his website.

In February of 2013, Cantor delivered a major “Make Life Work” speech that praised the House for passing the STEM Jobs Act and urged the Senate to do the same. Cantor also suggested pouring more taxpayer dollars into schools where there are children “learning English as a second language.”

On his “Plan for the Middle Class” section on his website, Cantor mentions nearly everything else from that speech, including his support for education for low-income children; “Common Sense Health Care Initiatives” like repealing the medical device taxes; “Innovation and Job Growth;” eliminating “taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns and the Republican and Democratic Party conventions;” and expanding funding for pediatric research, autism, cancers impacting children, and “debilitating diseases and disorders.”

But Cantor apparently does not want voters in his district to know about his support for amnesty.

Cantor has not taken his June 10 primary against Dave Brat for granted after one of his top allies was ousted from a key GOP chairmanship in his district. Last week, Cantor sent out a deceptive anti-amnesty mailer even though he has supported giving amnesty for children of illegal immigrants and DREAMers who enlist in the military. Cantor has been a supporter for an increase in high-tech visas, even though scholars and numerous reports have debunked the notion that there is a shortage of American high-tech workers.

In his 2013 speech, Cantor noted that “median income in 2010 was about the same as it was in 1997” while praising the Senate for working on comprehensive immigration reform that the Congressional Budget Office would determine would lower the wages of American workers. Cantor also declared that a “workable guest worker program” was an “immediate priority,” even though that would also contribute to lowering the wages of American workers.

He also pushed for citizenship for DREAMers in that speech.

“One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents,” he said, echoing what would later be in the House GOP leadership’s “immigration principles.” “It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home.”

As Breitbart News reported, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) National Council President Kenneth Palinkas immediately raised concerns that if one of the “founding principles of our country” is “that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents,” then Congress would essentially have to grant perpetual amnesty to the children of illegal immigrants. As a result, even more illegal immigrants would try to enter the country hoping they would eventually be granted amnesty.




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Michigan Teacher Suspended for Teaching About Blackface in History Lesson

Despite support by parents and students – both black and white – a Michigan middle school teacher has been placed on “administrative leave” for teaching that in the 1800s and early 1900s some white entertainers performed in blackface.

History teacher Alan Barron of Monroe Middle School, Monroe, Michigan, was forced out of his classroom only weeks before he was set to retire after a 36-year teaching career. The suspension came after an administrator sitting in on the class objected to a video of blackface performers from the turn of the last century.

No black student, no white student, nor any parents ever complained about the topic, but Barron, who is also a Monroe Township Supervisor, was taken out of the classroom pending an investigation by the district.

In fact, not only did one black student find nothing offensive about the topic, but she and her parents came to the support of the teacher saying that he was only relaying factual history.

Adrienne Aaron, whose daughter is in Barron’s class, said the girl, “was more offended that they stopped the video. It had nothing to do with [modern] racism. History is history. We need to educate our kids to see how far we’ve come in America. How is that racism?”

School administrators would not say Barron was “suspended,” only that he is “on leave” pending an investigation.

The school released a statement saying, “Mr. Barron has been on leave for about a week while we look into a reported situation in his classroom. Because this is a personnel matter that is going through the teacher contract required steps, we cannot comment any further.”

Mr. Barron is similarly refusing to comment in public, as are his union, the Michigan Education Association, and his lawyer.

Students are not remaining silent, though, and have launched a campaign in support of the popular, long-serving teacher with posts on social media. Kids have even created t-shirts in support of Barron.

“Mr. Barron is one of the… great teachers we have in Monroe Public Schools,” one parent has said on Facebook. “He has changed many children’s lives over the course of his career. If Mr. Barron felt that he was teaching something that was offensive, he would most definitely not have done it.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.




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